The Lovely Crux Journal

Creating + Journaling My Way Through Spiritual Transformation

The Lovely Crux Journal

Home is Where the HeART Is

2020 SiP Magazine Feature

As summer comes to an end, I can’t help but think of the exciting and unusual season we have all had. This summer, well this year, has been a lot for everyone. But something I am reminded of and so thankful for is home. Our hearts and minds can find such ease at home where our families, spouses, pets, and comfy couches are.

SIP Magazine recently featured my crazy busy home. The candid moments captured are sweet and the staged photos are what it looks like once a year, but it is only complete with the love of our family.

To no one's surprise, something I touch on in the SIP feature is ART! It can be overwhelming to think about your collection (whether it’s big or small), but here are some quick pointers for you to take with you on your art journey.

  • Buy art that moves you. If you purchase art that makes you happy or brings emotion, you will find a place for it in your home.

  • Tour galleries, look through design magazines, do online searches, or simply go shopping to see what types of art elicits emotion for you.

  • Size and scale are important! When buying art for the wall over a sofa consider a piece that is two-thirds the width of the sofa or go even bigger.

  • If you find a piece of art or photograph you love that is too small for your space, consider framing it in an oversized mat in order to increase the overall visual impact.

  • Don’t worry about matching the colors of your space instead, look for pieces that you love at first sight, and don’t worry if the colors match with the other pieces in your room!

  • Don’t think about the art living in just one spot permanently. Buy art when you love it and then just move it around your space.

Thank you so much to designer and article writer, Sidney Wagner, photographer Minette Hand, and SIP Magazine for featuring our home! 

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A Path Towards Gentleness + Vulnerability

If I've learned anything over the last year or so, it is that great strength comes from allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true. So much growth, connection + strength is nurtured when we admit we don't have all the answers. Wouldn't it be great if we could share the parts we want to hide, receive the love + wisdom of others who have been there + then encourage one another to walk out our new truth?  Gentleness + vulnerability is where it's at!

There are too many people being crushed under the burden of pretending they have it all figured out. Have you noticed them hustling to cover up their failures + putting off that bulletproof vibe that no one could penetrate? That doesn't invite connectedness; it repels it. It's so much easier to show our flaws; we find community there. 

Even though it's not easy, we can admit we have weaknesses + oh my goodness, we can say "I'm sorry" when we've done something wrong.  If not face to face, at least take time to write a meaningful note.  It's in that place of surrender that we grow + connect in ways we never, ever dreamed.

I'm a mess on a daily basis + gratefully aware of how vulnerable I am. I know it's only through my Savior I get one single thing right. I gladly beg for his covering grace! I'm more about speaking truth in kindness, having a steady hand with a gentle touch, + letting everyone see the kindness of my heart so we can walk through this world side by side. We all have access to the grace needed to be vulnerable, connected, accepted + loved. This 7-minute video explains it in the most delightful way.

 Let your gentleness be evident to all. 

-Philippians 4:5

 Are you willing to be a little more gentle + vulnerable? I hope you find at least one thing here that encourages you to step into that uncomfortable space that yields so many beautiful rewards.  

If you enjoyed the content of this post, I encourage you to signup for my email list where I go even deeper into this soulful journey where you can receive handpicked quotes, inspired artwork + musings, soulful encouragement + exclusive studio updates each month.

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A Visual Journey: Art + Faith

My spiritual + art journeys have evolved right alongside one another.  I realize more + more every day how the Lord was working in me through my passion + desire to express myself creatively.  That is evident in both my visual  + verbal expressions.  Much of what I create is driven by an almost uncontrollable need to transmit my emotion into the world in some palpable form.

My line of note cards is no different.  I was + continue to be so compelled by specific passages of scripture that my life has come to revolve around them, + my artwork has followed that same path.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galations 5:22-23

As I meditated over that scripture, several watercolor paintings came pouring out of me, images + symbols that embodied these beautiful Christlike characteristics that I aspire to have.  I quickly realized that these images needed to take on another kind of life in my art collection; they were beautiful expressions that needed to be shared + multiplied.  And that is how my stationery collection was born. 

Each painting is hand-traced + transferred to a linocut printing block.  The designs are then carefully carved to leave the symbol exposed so that ink may be applied.  I have thoughtfully chosen + mixed colors that I feel represent each design well.  Those inks are then applied to the printing block, placed on quality cotton stationery + individually hand-pulled to reveal the colored image.  After having time to dry, I sign each one with love + care, making each an original artwork to be gifted with a note inside + then framed.  

As the creation of these cards continues, they will come to embody the fruits of the Holy Spirit collectively.

Block print carving by Michelle Owenby Design
Original Block Prints by Michelle Owenby Design
Custom color palette by Michelle Owenby Design
Inking Linocut Blocks by Michelle Owenby Design
Hand-pulled Prints by Michelle Owenby Design
Faithfulness Note Cards by Michelle Owenby Design
Gentleness Note Cards by Michelle Owenby Design
Note Cards by Michelle Owenby Design
Self-Control Note Cards by Michelle Owenby Design
Peace Note Cards by Michelle Owenby Design
Love Note Cards by Michelle Owenby Design
Images captured by Christine Hamrick Photography + Michelle Owenby
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Are you Making the Most of your Life?

While I love + believe in good hard work, some work can only be done in the heart, + that is more about slowing down than hustling!  Do you ever stop + wonder if all your hard work + hustle is truly paying off? Is it giving you all the soul-filling peace + contentment you are striving for?  I dare you to slow 
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There Has To Be More...

I could be totally off base on this but, I think if you asked almost anyone in my life to describe me you would likely hear them say things like “she’s helpful”, “she’s organized”, “she does what she says”, “she gets things done” and hopefully you would also hear “she’s kind” or “she’s patient” or better yet, “she’s loving”. I would graciously take ANY of those compliments. But what I know about ALL those descriptors is that ultimately I’m an over-achieving people-pleaser who is really good at following to-do lists + directions. Doesn’t sound so flattering from that side, does it? Trust me, I’m working on it!!

I’ve come to realize that I have spent most of my life doing those two things: wanting approval + acceptance from others + following the outline + rules of the world. I reasoned that this was a good path, I thought that I would eventually be satisfied if I just stayed the course. I thought to myself, “I’m a good + giving person, my heart + intentions are in the right place, I’m doing things right”.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10

It wasn’t until I began revisiting my creativity that I started seeing the trouble with that train of thought. I was so focused on pouring my energy into the world that I had gotten lost from what my own heart was telling me. Because I placed all my hope + expectations in the wrong places, I often felt exhausted, disappointed, sometimes jilted + jaded. I had come to expect my satisfaction would arrive from all my efforts in following the ways of the world + constantly trying to help + please people. Listen, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with helping people or making them happy, I think it becomes wrong when you have expectations tied to it!

 By creating + stepping away from my habits + patterns, I slowly opened up space for the Lord to speak, to reveal Himself to me + all I was missing! Little by little, He dripped sweet, lasting truths + satisfaction into my life; showing me where I had gone wrong + all I misunderstood. Now, make no mistake, HE orchestrated me returning to my creativity, I give Him all the glory but, that is a whole other story! He moved me from one place to another, from confusion to clarity, from striving to rest, from dissatisfaction to soul-filling contentment. He did all of that by placing my eyes + heart on Him. He freed me from my prison of pleasing + striving in the world to a warm, inviting haven of simply receiving His love + approval.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” – Colossians 3:23

Can you relate? Are you working + striving + competing for the right things? Are they satisfying you? Many of us spend our entire lives trying to “become”: become successful, become recognized, become needed, become loved, become more…but, the lucky ones, the ones who seek true enlightenment, find out there is so much more beyond “becoming”. They find out that Jesus is the only source of lasting contentment + satisfaction. He is the only one that deserves all our efforts to please. He is our model for “becoming”. He is more!

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