December 30, 2014

[illuminate us]

Hello, dear friends. 

Although I may not know you, I trust that you are searching for meaning & that you feel the need for a deep sense of belonging (hint: because that's what everyone desires). I want you to know that 2015 holds an endless supply of possibilities, successes, adventures, monumental learning experiences.. and maybe some darkness dispersed in between.

Wait, don't go. I promise this will get better.

So, ever since I was a little girl I have loved to craft - soap bars for my extended family members (why not?), "snow globes" in translucent, upside down Dixie cups for my mom to put on her desk at work (what can I say? I'm an artist), and more recently, beer bread for my coworkers (yes, cooking is a craft). Pinterest has accelerated this interest of mine. Anyway, I tend to craft items for people I love. So this Christmas, I knew that I wanted to make something for some family members, but I didn't know what exactly I wanted to make. This is where Pinterest comes in. After perusing the website for several minutes/hours/..days (you be the judge), I decided to make soy candles.

In addition to crafting, I also journal. This year I wrote down a couple of words to describe each individual month. I have a fear of forgetting the good & the bad in the midst of busyness, and I want to remember what each month brought to the table. Personally, I would recommend doing this - it's been pretty interesting. According to my journal, 2014 was full of settling in, backsliding, busyness, surprising myself, a European adventure, celebration of an absence, and love.

Back to the candles.. after choosing my idea, I, naturally, thought of light and its meaning to me.

Jesus said that He is the light of the world - that whoever follows Him shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life. 
--John 8:12

Jesus' word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. 
--Psalm 119:105

And then it came to me.

Although I wrote down individual words to categorize each month, there is one key word that is representative of each of the months. It is depicted in bold, capital letters, size 394,856 font on the banner that covers my year of 2014. All 12 months. All 365 days. And that one key word would be: Light.

Even though there were times that I attempted to hide in the dark, as well as times that I almost forgot what light looked like, it has been there. He has been there. And even when darkness dispersed into portions of my 365 days, Light prevailed.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
--John 1:5

So, dear friends - remember what I said about feeling the need for a deep sense of belonging? Know that in Him, 

You, along with the Church, are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
--1 Peter 2:9

Here's to 2015. I know that it's going to be a marvelous year - for you & me both. When we acknowledge Him, we are sure to see that His good, sweet, and victorious Light always prevails.

[give light]:

makes about 12 small candles

you will need:
- 12 small decorative containers (I used planters from Anthropologie)
- soy wax flakes, 1 lb bag.. get this at Hobby Lobby
- pouring pot.. also at Hobby Lobby right next to the soy wax flakes (SCORE!)
- wooden spoon for mixing.. I used chopsticks
- wick wire.. also next to the soy wax flakes at Hob Lob
- 12 clips to put your wire in.. "see above"
- any scent you so desire (I bought "homestead" scent from Hobby Lobby)

1. Turn the stove to medium heat and pour all of the wax flakes into the pouring pot.

2. As the wax begins to melt, stir with wooden spoon. Stir every so often until all flakes have melted completely and wax is transparent.

3. Remove from heat and pour in your scent. I poured in the whole bottle. (Note: this activity can also serve as the perfect bonding opportunity for you and your boyfriend.. or.. you can make him craft with you because you're a procrastinator on gifts and need help asap.)

4. Let the wax sit for 25 minutes before pouring in the small decorative containers so that it can cool to 120 degrees.

5. While you are waiting for the wax to cool. put a clip and some wick wire in your small decorative containers.

6. After 25 minutes, pour the wax into the small decorative containers. Then wait for the wax to harden (15 hours). As the wax starts to set, it will become less transparent.

7. Trim the wicks, tie some twine around your candle and gift to a loved one.

Happy 2015!

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