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gently waving out a gift-filled year of firsts


i'll be honest: it’s been a challenge to actually sit down and give heart-time to this post––oh the ghastly intimidation of inward reflection, honesty and potential waves of feelings you aren’t quite sure you’re capable of surviving. hahaha. guys. honestly a classic for me.

however, one thing i truly do appreciate about writing is that i often sit down with a shiny idea of how to put together some eloquent, beautiful story and every. single. time. vulnerability starts to hum her invitation ––nudging gently until i give in. i've learned she’s worth leaning into, and when i strip back all the frills that love to find their distracting way into and around my vision, she is what i desire to have my life marked by (shout out to jesus for being the greatest example of vulnerability in history. whattaguy)

so, with that in mind: this year has been undoubtedly rich with freedom, exploration and beauty, just as much as it has been challenging, dark and exhausting.

it was a year of many firsts:

first year of full-time-creative-studio-running,

first full year living back with my parents and sister since leaving school 7 years ago (they’re the actual greatest),

first time travelling with a best friend (she’s also the actual greatest),

first trip to Portugal and the Azores Islands,

first time taking myself away for a few nights to greyton,

first time frolicking through the golden canola fields of the overberg,

first year of letting (my new) Jesus-family truly see my lack and my need (shout out to the JoshGen-ers for staring right into your soul and not budging),

first time teaching art workshops,

first time collaborating a painting into bespoke furniture fabric,

first group exhibition,

first job-rejection,

first university application rejection,

first time hosting a pop-up market in my garden,

first large-scale painting sale,

first year experiencing true freedom from the chains of mental illness,

and first year of actually accepting that it’s impossible to understand the fullness of God and life-giving to embrace His mysteries with open-hearted wonder, determined gratitude and reckless praise.

i've soared and felt fed, i've burnt out and felt numb beyond comprehension. i've felt certainty like ancient pillars in my soul, and i've fumbled the sandy foundations of confusion and doubt. i've laughed with that fiery breath of invincible life and i've been held under the weight of mourning tragic brokenness, unable to get up off my bedroom floor. i've learned how to implement healthy boundaries, and then i've immediately failed at implementing said boundaries.

what a breathtakingly awe-some thing it is to live a life with very few expectations, willing to bend and breathe with the move of Holy Spirit throughout my existence. with every twist and flail, with every dance and determined song of worship, i'm reminded of the gift it is to know that this life is not my own. the freedom and peace that brings, even now as i awkwardly make my way through another season of confusion and doubt, is unmatchable.

so here i am, gently waving out this year of firsts­­––very excited for much, very uncertain about much and steadfastly committed to not being swayed by that uncertainty. it, too, is beautifully enchanting.

i've popped a few photos below, a little look back at my year as a creative and wonderfully messy human. i hope you enjoy!


your support and love and encouragement makes my work possible

and oh my heart, i appreciate it so much

into 2020 we swing!

warmth and hugs,



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