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5 minutes with Lara ...

Tell us a little about you

I live in a corner of Five Dock, next to my church, with my husband and 2 little ones. Set adrift after doing my Bachelor of Science years ago, I was unsure of what sort of career path to pursue. I’ve recently had the epiphany that I’m a creative who loves science and the natural world and not a scientist who makes art. It’s been a harmonious realisation. Even though mothering and being creative keeps life full, I love making time to cook with edible flowers we grow in our cottage garden.

What's your favourite bible passage & why?

Psalm 104:14-15

He makes grass grow for the cattle,

And plants for people to cultivate -

Bringing forth food from the earth:

Wine that gladdens human hearts,

Oil to make their faces shine,

And bread that sustains their hearts.

When I was little we used to say these verses for our grace before dinner and so I know them by heart. I love the poetry in these verses and the reminder that God provides all that sustains me.

How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?

By being grateful! I’m in a really busy season of life and struggle to set aside time to daily read the bible. So I deliberately look out for three things each day that I can praise God for. I share them with my husband and ask my kids what their 3 things to be thankful are.

What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?

Our culture is so sexualised, so much more than when I was a child. The devaluing impact that it’s having is massive. I would like to encourage the next generation of Christian women to cling to God and rest in him as our source of identity, value, purpose and strength.

What's one thing that you love about your local church?

I love doing life with my church community. My childhood was quite an isolated, lonely one, so the contrast of being able to share the highs and lows of daily life is an amazing blessing and a reminder of God’s love. There’s always someone around if you need - very helpful when they pick up your child from school because you’ve forgotten!

What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?

There have been times in my life where I’ve felt crushed and feeling empty, turned to God and said, “I give up, I can’t do this.” As time passed and I came out the other side, I knew full well it was God’s strength that got me there, because there was no way I could have done it on my own.

What are you passionate about?

I absolutely love hand lettering. It’s taken me awhile to find out what sort of art I want to focus on making and what medium to do it in. I’ve been learning about hand lettering and practising in all the pockets of time I can find. During nap times, park outings, or in between chopping vegetables and stirring the dinner, I’m always pouring over my battered sketch book, taking visual notes and sketching new ideas or reading another book about art, typography or design. I’m excited to feel like all those little snippets of time are starting to pay off and I’m getting somewhere with all the reading and sketching.

I’ve just completed my biggest design challenge, to make an advent calendar with 24 of Jesus’ names. I’ve created them to come in a kit of 24 cards with a number on one side and a name of Jesus on the other. The idea is to string them up like bunting in your house. Combined with the 2 colouring in pages I’ve created to go with the kit, I’ve drawn 51 designs for this project.

What do you enjoy doing when you rest?

Often I’m creating in my rest time, as I find it relaxing to make something with my hands. At the moment my project is a hand stitched scrap vomit hexie quilt. Basically, a hexie quilt made from all the scraps I can find. I love the stories each fabric has and my kids delight in finding familiar fabrics I’ve used on projects for them. I also love chats with my husband on weekends sharing a cup of ‘weekend tea’ (T2 Madagascan vanilla, it’s delicious).

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