SIGNS SIGNS SIGNS- Many of today's Renaissance Moms are creating handmade signs with paint and pen and computer graphics. Some hand letter their missives of encouragement while others salvage reclaimed wood and frame up canvases.
These word-centric works of art hang above our mantels, above our beds, above our couches, ever-reminding us of what is true and right and nobel. Adorning our homes with lovely things, decorating our minds with lovely thoughts!
In the old testament book of Deuteronomy, God declares the most important commandment of all, to Love Him with all we have (our heart, soul, and strength) then He goes immediately on to tell us how the love should flow out from within us - out into the lives of our children and into our homes, as we write His Words upon our doorposts and our gates.
Today's Renaissance Mom is the sweetest sign maker you'll ever meet. Many of Becky Leach's happy works of art simply cheer us up with an "Oh Happy Day!" while others cheer us on with scripture promises.
I'm so pleased to introduce you to, Renaissance Mom, Becky Leach
1.) Please introduce yourself and your family to all of us.
Hey y'all!! My name is Becky and I am the artist and owner behind the hand-painted sign shop, Little Branches. I am married to my hunky high school sweetheart, Jeff and we have three kids - Brady, Charlotte and Landry. They are 8, 5 and almost 2 respectively.
2.) What did your art look like before you had children?
I graduated from college with a degree in Interior Design and worked at an architectural firm until I had Brady (about four years). I didn't have any time for my "own" art to be honest. The creative part of my brain was spent by the time I went home every day, even though I LOVED my job so much. I, of course, moved furniture around in our little home all the time (now Jeff is just used to this), but I wouldn't have even considered it my "canvas" at that time. My job took all of my creative energy during those years - happily so.
3.) How did that art morph and change after children, and what does your creativity look like today?
After I had Brady, I knew I wanted to stay home and so, despite my husband being in law school at the time, we decided that's what I would do. The first year or so was HARD. I missed being around people (read: adults) and it took me a while to realize that I also missed my creative outlet. For a handful of years I basically started to make. Make what? you might ask - make EVERYTHING. I started cooking elaborate meals that were wasted on our children, but that we so loved. I taught myself to sew, I did lots of DIY home projects and I got really into Project Life - and this was all before Pinterest.
In 2012 I knew I wanted to start my own business - focused on whatever I was making at the time. It somehow turned into painting signs after I opened it. Looking back on it, it was divinely orchestrated, because I wouldn't have set out to do that in any way. But painting signs connects my love of being creative with my love of words - and only God could have put those two things together in that way!
4.) Where and when have you carved out time to create in your busy mothering days?
I love having a creative busness - I thank God for the opportunities (almost) every day. But with the blessing of having this business there is also a downside - and that is that I don't make for myself anymore! I NEED to do that more - paint for myself and for my friends, and sew! I would like to find time to sew - it's just hard to fit it in!
My youngest goes to mother's day out twice a week during the school year - so I tend to have two days a week solo for a few hours. This is where the bulk of my painting time happens... however like I mentioned above, this time could also be spent ordering supplies, shipping or hammering out details of a new blog post. Rarely is this time used purely as creating for myself! I need to get better at that! Today, in fact, I have some construction paper and crayons set out for my older two when they get home from school - and perhaps I can sit down and make right alongside of them!?
5.) Motherhood doesn't have to be the death of dreaming - in fact, it shouldn't be! We continue to dream even with little ones by our side. What are some of your hopes and dreams in regards to your creativity?
Oh gosh, Wendy. My dreams. My dreams scare me. I tend to get stuck somewhere in between what I want for myself and what God wants for me. What I've been learning though, is this: when I lean into Him, He molds my desires into His and His into mine. It's a weird thing, isn't it?
But in order to not evade the question here we go on my dreams : I have a book outlined that I want to write on dreaming big within the roles we play as women. I want to somehow see my painting and my call to write, speak and lead be integrated. (Only God can do this.) I want to pour creativity into my kids. I want to learn to take risks. I want my kids to see me take risks. I want to learn that it's okay to fail. And I really want it to soak into me this idea that success doesn't look the same for me as it does for the next sign shop. That God built my business differently - just like He built ME differently.
My greatest dream is that I would wake up and find myself (someday) fully content with who I am in Him both creatively and professionally. That one day I would realize that I don't have to do it all at once, but that God has given me this creative passion today for TODAY. For this moment right here. I dream that one day it wouldn't matter if anyone else recognizes the beauty of my artwork, but that it would truly be all for Him and that would be enough to make my heart full.
6) At Life Creative we believe that our creativity may actually be an important part of our Great Commission call. How has your art allowed you to share God's love with the people in your home, your local community, and out into the world?
With my artwork, that's an easy answer. I send works of art to other's homes with God's Word painted across of it. But that's the easy answer. The hard answer is that it's really an opportunity to BE different than the world. The hard answer is that God - through my artwork - has given me a platform to share His love and I often don't do that well. I try to be raw, honest and vulnerable but sometimes I know I hold back. My biggest desire is for people to love Jesus more and be reminded of him after seeing my artwork or reading my words.
7.) If you had one piece of advice to offer a mother who may be struggling with the messy blend of motherhood and art, what would you say?
KEEP GOING. Weary mom - you are NOT alone. You are normal. God has you right here and you are doing a GREAT job. There is no such thing as a perfect balance - or not one that I (or anyone who is being honest) have found. Make time to create each day - even if it's just for a few minutes. Sit down and do something with your hands. Sew, paint, write, draw, create, cook, make. It might not look the same as it did five years ago, it won't look the same in five years - but you were made to create TODAY. Don't put it off because the desire will catch up with you and some day you'll wake up and wonder what happened to the you that you once were! Even if you are sitting with playdough in your hands or sidewalk chalk in the driveway, just create.
8) How can our readers follow along with you online?
Yay! I would love for you to follow along online! My blog is www.bloglittlebranches.com and my shop is www.shoplittlebranches.net // I update my Instagram account @littlebranches most. I hope you'll hop on over and say hi!
Oh Becky! This conversation was so much fun. I especially love your dreams - all of them! Thank you for joining our Renaissance Faire, and inspiring the rest of us to live our Life Creative as unto the Lord!
We hope these interviews inspire you to celebrate your own
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