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5 minutes with Leanne ...

Tell us a little about yourself I own a portrait photography business called Reverie Studios in Geelong Victoria. I have been married to my very patient husband for 23 years and I have three incredible teen daughters Meghan Caitlin and Asha. Early in my life I realised that I was drawn to the arts. I loved to read and loved to draw and studied art when I left school. It was then that I first picked up my camera but it wasn’t really the right fit. I was twenty and drawn to other mediums to express myself. But fast forward to the day I saw an ultra sound of my womb and the first little moment I had photographic evidence of life and suddenly the idea of recording this became profound. My husband and I on that day discovered that we were having twins and having had an earlier loss through miscarriage the idea of two babies was such a blessing. However, in those early days, it was hard work. In amongst this I picked up my camera to document each little life. I was just so tired that first year it is a good thing I have those photographs because it was just a blur of feeding and nappies! And our story and family grew. Another baby girl was born and suddenly we were a family of five .. amazing. See it wasn’t really the photographing that hooked me in, it was the way it captured connection and moments in time. Suddenly this black device with a lens helped me to record and capture moments that would have otherwise been lost in my memory, perhaps stirred to thought somewhere down the track, but possibly gone forever. This device, this camera was just a way to connect to the things I loved and it is probably why to this day I am not about the technical side of my art but about the heart of my subject matter. That doesn’t mean I can’t take a great photograph it just means that the details, the device, is not important, its my instrument to convey the message. I guess the connections, the relationships are a part of that desire God stirs in us to have with each other and it is priceless. What's your favourite bible passage & why? I have always loved Isaiah as a book but chapter 54 will always have my heart. It speaks of crying out and singing in the midst of lack, to expect more, to enlarge our tents. It speaks promise to the barren places. Mercy, redemption and peace for your descendants. It reminds me that the God Almighty is a constant source of provision in every aspect and the redeemer of things that have been lost. What a beautiful picture for us to hold close in our spirit. How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus? This world is so full of distractions to stop our eyes from resting on Him so it is important to have scripture embedded in your heart and worship to set the atmosphere. It is easy to forget this and allow the climate of an environment to affect the way we respond but God calls us to be the thermostat, we bring the peace of Him with us when we choose to put Him first in our day. Too many times I have forgotten to greet God into my day and flesh comes in pretty quick to set me off course. God is my compass and my True North, so I remind myself to check the map and seek His path. What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know? I want them to know that they are enough. They are worthy of sitting in the presence of the Most High King so if they can grasp that then they can do so much more than they thought possible. The world will have you think you need to be different but we need to embrace who we are and stand proud. If we spend our life trying to please man we will never measure up so stop trying. BTW I am still in a journey of working through this. Daily. What's one thing that you love about your local church? My church is awesome. I go to Planetshakers and I love to sit in a congregation of worshippers who understand we are called to pull the promises of Heaven down to earth and to live in His blessing. What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard? My hardest period of time was when I suffered severe depression and anxiety. I was in dire straights. I was so low I didn’t believe I was capable of being a mother and wife anymore, and it is by the grace of God that I am still here today. I realized in this period of time that I needed to rest in Him. That it is striving to rest at times. When I lean in on Him and incline my ears I hear the whispers of the Father telling me that I will be more than okay. That He will carry me through this. He will re-establish my soul and I will have my peace restored. I guess that is why Isaiah 54 is precious to me. What are you passionate about? I am passionate about my family. I am passionate about justice. I am not often able to sit back when I see wrong. I am an introvert by nature but I will speak out when Truth needs to be spoken. I have always been this way but with age I have learnt to harness Gods grace more and more in how to deliver the truth. The term “Velvet covered steel” always comes to mind. Soft to touch but firm in stance. What do you enjoy doing when you rest? Oh that is easy. I love to read in my hammock under the shade. I have found rest is so vital in this busy life, and we as woman often feel guilty to take time for ourselves but it is essential, as we cannot give out when we have nothing left to give.

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