Wild – The Movie

It’s not often I see a film that I am glued to for the duration.

But this one, yep, it had me.

I had partially read the book but ended up seeing the film before finishing it.

Reese Witherspoon is great and plays the introspective troubled soul perfectly. Loved the way she portrays brokenness and fragility against the grit and strength it would take to complete the Pacific Coast Trail.

There are gems of wisdom all the way through which almost made me want to pause the film and soak it in.

Here is my favourite:

“It was all unknown to me then, as I sat on that white bench on the day I finished my hike. Everything except the fact that I didn’t have to know. That is was enough to trust that what I’d done was true. To understand its meaning without yet being able to say precisely what it was, like all those lines from The Dream of a Common Language that had run through my nights and days. To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.

How wild it was, to let it be.”

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My easter revelation 

It’s the final half hour of Easter here in the UK

Today has been an amazing day of great celebration: church, food, laughter, loving others & just blessing upon blessing.

Does anyone else ever hear a verse or passage from scripture, often a really familiar one, and hear something totally fresh & impacting? Well it happened to me this morning in church.

I always knew the easter story. The stone rolled away & the empty tomb. However today, a new level of significance became apparent to me. 

It was this: Jesus broke out of the tomb. He didn’t stay submissive to the power of death.  The thing that held him captive, that encased him in darkness and death, that very thing he overcame.

In the natural, it was the end for him, for his family & believers. But according to heavens plan, it was just the beginning. The grave could not keep him in. He broke out. He overcame. Life was stronger, love was greater. 

And this means so much for us today. We can embrace new life. We are not held back by that which the world says is destined to fail. 

Jesus didn’t let death stop him.

He didn’t let darkness drown out his vision.

He broke free so we can break free. He was restored so we can be restored.

From every sin, struggle, hurt, pain, heartache, shame, regret, mistake – we can be free and be made whole.

We can exchange our tragedy, torment and turmoil for the triumph of the ressurection.

Thank you Jesus, glorious & amazing one.

Hope Ave x

More than just a move



More than just a move. Moving house. Moving home. The packaging of life and the transferring of comfort zones. A complex mixture of emotions. 

Packing up is both terrifying and therapeutic. Recovering things that have been abandoned at the back of the cupboard for a reason. Facing up and deciding what to do with them, to save or to sacrifice?

Old photo albums of good times gone by, clothes that represent a different season of life, university books, cards and letters recieved. So much emotion to face. But there’s freedom in facing it , revisiting the emotion connected with that briefly and physically either disposing of it or packing it away as part of the next chapter.

Then there is the hopes and aspirations for what will be. If you’re anything like me those dreams are characterised by fear and the occasional grip of catastrophising.

I realise I could protect myself from all of this upheaval. The solution would be to not move home. And at times in this process it has seemed really comforting and safe.

 I’m thankful though for the independent free spirit somewhere inside of me that is desperate to take steps, to not hesitate, to move freely and forward.

So, onward I go, boxes galore and onto horizons new.

Be blessed, all of you.

Hope ave x



An intentional Spring



Spring is probably not my favourite season of the year. 

I’m an autumnal girl through and through, preferring snuggly woollens over loose linens, but I’m trying to  break out of that a little, crawl out from my fleecey blanket and embrace spring this year.

I was driving through village in a very “spring” shower today, warm but drizzly, light breeze and sun gently appearing. There was a floral, grassy smell in the air and I just thought yes, there is something quite refreshing about this. 

As a chronic list maker and planner what better than to make a list about things to do intentionally in spring:

  1. Celebrate Easter intentionally. Prepare through the week, be reflective and journal. Reconnect with the heart of new life.
  2. Ok so this is a slight cheat as I have already done it – I totally recommend to everyone the value in visiting a local agricultural centre / farm for their lambing weekends. We visited some utterly gorgeous baby lambs!
  3. Display daffodils in jam jars around the house.  Seriously the more the merrier!
  4. Eat hot cross buns. Delicious cinnamonny doughy goodness. Mmm. Maybe I will also attempt to make some (recipe recommendations welcome)
  5. Pack away my winter wardrobe. Spring is the transition time between the cold and warm in my view. I will still keep a light cardigan or two out to layer up.
  6. Throw a Welcome Spring dinner party. Now that the evenings here in the UK are lighter for longer, this is the prefect opportunity to throw a few tables together in the garden, cover them with mismatched table cloths, jars of flowers, candles and cute napkins. When I add friends and food to any event, no matter how low key I am in truly in heaven.
  7. Declutter. Spring clean. Does anyone else acquire so much stuff over the winter months – I know I do. I really don’t enjoy cleaning but I really adore the feeling of a spotless home
  8. Smoothies for breakfast. It’s finally getting warmer so it’s ok to throw a variety of fruits into the blender for a great start. Blueberry, bannana and honey is my favourite combination.
  9. Walk. Walk everywhere. Get the air in the lungs and try to appreciate the changing of nature.
  10. Upcycle some furniture now the weather is easier to work outside. More of this to come.

So there we are!

My spring loves and intentions.

Do you like spring? If so what is your favourite thing?

Do share

Much love, Hope Ave 

Christmas: Starting with me #1 – Handmade

As part of my intentions for the Christmas period, amongst a few other things, I have decided to focus on handmade items.

I love to receive things that have been lovingly crafted in someone’s home. The time, skill, care and vision that go Into homemade gifts is something we lose when we walk into a shop, select a gift from the overstocked shelves of Christmas stock.

The first thing I’m making is a vintage paper rose wreath

I have bought a polystyrene wreath, covered in Annie Sloan paint I had spare from another projects and left to dry.

I started with cutting spirals out of the pages of old books. They need to be rolled from the outside in and glued onto the wreath.

It’s time consuming and takes a while to get the hang of but I think this will look very effective when eventually finished. I think this will look gorgeous with a generous organza ribbon bow tied on it.

I will wrap this in tissue paper and I have the perfect recipient in mind.

Will you be attempting any homemade items this Christmas?

Follow along for more Christmas ideas!

Continue reading “Christmas: Starting with me #1 – Handmade”

Christmas: Starting with me

Ok so it may still be October but this year I have decided to be organised, intentional and trade the financial nightmare of the festive season to embrace returning to the original spirit of Christmas . I’m thinking of taking time to focus on 2 main areas:

Advent – Each year advent seems to pass me by. It amounts to a candle or a chocolate in an advent calendar and despite good intentions, before I know it the bedlam of consumerist Christmas has swept me up. This year I am determining to use each day of advent to prepare my heart for Christmas, to seek to be still and peaceful and reflective. I am hoping to journal throughout advent and will share thoughts on the blog.

True spirit of giving – consumerism, gifts, money, glitz has turned the spirit of giving into something purely financial. I want to return to the true spirit of giving. Whether that looks like giving something that people actually need, giving time or practical gifts, even homemade gifts. I want to try and remove the madness of spending and buying endless “gift sets”. We all do it. I want to get creative about giving. I will share how I get on.

Do you have any aspirations for this Christmas season?

Hope Ave
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It’s the small things #6 – Out of the city

It’s a crisp Sunday morning. My husband and I were up early, wrapped up warm, boots on.

We are driving out of the city.
We’re heading to a National Trust property with a tearoom.

We plan to walk, talk, appreciate then eat, drink and enjoy.

Isn’t it just great to retreat out of the city sometimes, to seek the quiet and stillness against the backdrop of the city’s crazy hustle and bustle.

Sundays are made for the small things.

Enjoy all that today holds for you.

Be blessed
Hope Ave
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The power of story

This weekend I have experienced God in a completely new, strong and undeniable way.

I was at a ministry event last night called God of the breakthrough. And break through He did! It was like heaven touching earth. Someone prayed for me and I received an amazing word of knowledge which just blessed me so much.

A guy shared a thought last night which resonated strong with me- that the presence comes and meets us and we are forever changed. But we do our experience a disservice unless we “give it feet” and go out and tell our story.

I believe there is so much power in story, in the telling to others, in sharing testimony. I believe that when we do, we not only get the good news out there and lift Jesus high, but we also raise our own faith and lift the expectation of our own hearts and the hearts of others.

My story about last night is not just the presence of God falling and the sweetness of heavens kiss, it’s the context too. My story is the feeling heavy and unworthy at the beginning of the evening, feeling down and that I wasn’t going to experience God. It was the past week where I have felt stretched to within an inch of my maximum capability. The story is therefore always of Gods faithfulness to show up and meet us.

Do you know that wherever you are today, your story is unique and could be the key to truly bless and transform someone else’s journey?
I encourage you to give feet to the presence and power of God. Share, tell, explain, explore, advise. Use the opportunities God will weave into your world.

Go well & be blessed, beloved.

Hope Ave
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It’s the small things #5 – Sunset Marvel

On way home tonight I saw the most awesome sunset. It truly was a marvel of pinks, oranges and scarlet reds.

I had the privilege of seeing the sky changing and sweeping as the darkness set in. I truly felt a warmth in my spirit and I actually noticed joy arising in me. I wasn’t expecting such a physical impact from something in the natural.

This made the long drive home so worth it. I looked up this amazing scripture when I got home. The message version is so poetic, I love it

God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.
Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere. God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome! The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed, The daybreaking sun an athlete racing to the tape. That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset, Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith. (‭Psalm‬ ‭19‬:‭1-6‬ MSG)

It’s the small things.

Thankful

Hope Ave
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