What’s in A Flame?

Is it just me, or does Anthropologie seem to have first dibs on all of Capri Blue’s most beautiful candle designs each season? Every time I walk into the store, my first stop without fail is the candle section. Be it elegant mercury glass, an opulent opalescent finish or some other form of art glass on the outside, I always know I’ll find my favorite fragrances on the inside, dressed to impress, practically begging me to put them on display in my home. BTW – All candles on anthropologie.com are 25% off right now!

Home fragrance candles from luxury brands like NEST Fragrances or Capri Blue in one’s home are more than just decorative pieces of tablescape eye-candy or status symbols in some cases (I mean, have you seen the Colossal ones at Anthro or the price tags on some at Neiman Marcus??). No, a home fragrance candle has the ability to completely change the atmosphere of the space it is in, as well as alter the moods of the people gathered in the room it illuminates. No pressure or anything, but home fragrance is the first impression your guests form an opinion about as you welcome them into your home, and can even set the tone for the rest of the visit thereafter.

Can’t understand my fixation? Ask anyone close to me and they will tell you that I have a shark-like sense of smell. My husband, Justin, isn’t the biggest fan of this superpower of mine because it has a direct correlation to how frequently our garbage gets taken out during the week (generally his domain on the chores list); however, I really think that God fashioned me with this elevated sense of smell because He knew it would not only keep my home smelling [deceptively] clean, but would also be an accessory of comfort for me down the road. 

You may have heard this before, but rumor has it that the human sense of smell is the strongest of the five senses tied to memory. That’s why every time I come into contact with the heavenly aromas of orange blossoms, gardenias and jasmine, I am immediately transported to springtime at my Mema’s house in Florida where the orange blossoms and gardenias bloomed in her back yard and the jasmine climbed gracefully up the lattices of her carport.

A more visual reminder for me | IG: @fineartbykate | Facebook.com/fineartbykate

It also explains why I was so insistent on having a familiar and comforting aroma fill our home in the days that followed the loss of our twins a couple weeks after our IVF transfer. It was our only shot at IVF, as the eleven embryos we started with had thinned out to only two just before they were to be cryo-frozen. It was December 17, 2018 when Justin and I received the blood test results from my doctor’s office over the phone, informing us that our two “AA” grade, growing embryos-turned-blastocysts I was carrying had not survived. We were absolutely heartbroken. He and I had come to the conclusion a couple weeks earlier that no matter the results of the test, I needed to leave my high-stress job for the health of our babies and, ultimately, my own health.

Side note: My best friend, Heather (an RN who had administered many of my hormone injections), and I have a tradition of giving one another the Volcano scented candle from Capri Blue at each gift-giving occasion and I hadn’t yet purchased her Christmas gift.

So that next day, I drove an hour north to my office, turned in my resignation to my very understanding buying team, then drove an hour and a half south, straight to The Mall at University Town Center (UTC) to pick up Heather’s candle at the Anthropologie there. 

The Mall at University Town Center | Sarasota, FL
Photo Credit: SarasotaMagazine.com

It was a glimmer of light on an overcast, misty day. I was in my element: a high-end shopping center in the middle of the work day, knowing exactly what I wanted and where I was going. No one I walked past knew the inner turmoil that was stirring about inside of me and, ever so briefly, I felt like I had regained control in my life.

For a moment, I could pretend that I was just another shopper on a mission for a Christmas gift. For a moment longer, I could walk the floors of UTC with money to burn because I had one more paycheck coming my way before our finances changed. And in that same serendipitous moment, I spotted the “30% Off Candles” sign in the window! It was decidedly my sign to not only secure my friend’s gift, but to also purchase for myself the biggest Volcano candle I could get my hands on! #retailtherapy, am I right??

Anthropologie | The Mall at University Town Center | Sarasota, FL
Photo Credit: mallatutc.com

Sadly, the Colossal-size candle they sometimes carry was not available at that location at that time, so I “settled” for the Giant size (second only to the Colossal). The justification I conjured up for Justin was, I didn’t pay full price and wouldn’t need to buy another one for a really, REALLY long time. And true to my word, I haven’t.

Believe it or not, when I experience that fragrance, instead of evoking feelings of loss or sadness, I am actually reminded of intentional joy, friendship and God’s faithfulness through it all. As much as I had initially desired the fragrance of my Giant burning candle to be a sensory comfort, He was even more so in my midst with gentle reminders of peace and comfort. Through every moment, just as the pleasant fragrance filled the walls of my home, He was there diffusing His healing presence; whether in the stillness of my quiet time, or in the company of loved ones. In every tearful breakdown, every nap with my dog, every gaze into my husband’s [gorgeous] blue eyes, every outburst of laughter, every heart-to-heart with my mom and every moment in between — in all of it — He was there, ever so near and using those moments to mend the pieces of my shattered heart. 

Quiet Time 6.5.19 | Blessings for the Morning and Evening by Susie Larson
[Fun Fact: My Giant candle is actually peeking through the back]

Needless to say, the warmth of a flickering candle, beautifully decorated, emitting a pleasant fragrance is more than just a trendy ‘home accessory’ to me. And when God blessed me with the opportunity to become a Home Décor Contributor on TV for HSN, less than a year after my biggest heartbreak, He brought everything full circle. So much so, my first official brand partnership was with none other than Harry Slatkin, presenting… wait for it… HomeWorx by Harry Slatkin home fragrance candles! Far beyond serendipity, this was a divine gift of healing and restored purpose.

I suppose if I had become a momma to twin littles when I had so hoped I would (and yes, sometimes I still feel the sting of wishing it had happened that way), then this opportunity may not have been possible for me; nor would our move to Wilmington have likely happened (and I know we are here for such a time as this — more on that later). And finally, there is the definite possibility that I would not have started this blog as an outlet for creativity and encouragement for kindred spirits. Sometimes extinguishing the former flames of what we wanted allows us to illuminate our lives with new fragrances we never knew we needed and even diffuse Grace immeasurably more than we ever thought possible.

I lay down my old flames to carry Your new fire today. 

New Wine | Brooke Ligertwood | Hillsong Worship
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16 Comments

  1. Cyndi Perkins
    March 27, 2020 / 11:47 pm

    Love this and am so happy for you. I too love my candles. I’m gonna have to check out Anthropologie candles!

    • April 6, 2020 / 5:53 pm

      Thank you so much, Cyndi! I highly recommend trying the “Coastal” fragrance from Capri Blue — Anthropologie carries them once a year during the spring and summer months and it is such a lighthearted, unique tropical aroma! 🙂

  2. Mom
    March 27, 2020 / 11:59 pm

    Congratulations on your first blog! I look forward to reading many more captivating “scents” and Godly “sense” you share. Love you so much and am so proud of you!

    • April 6, 2020 / 5:55 pm

      Loving the wordplay!! 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement and loving support! XoXOxO

  3. Heather Bishop
    March 28, 2020 / 12:35 am

    Wow, you have such a way with words! I’m so proud of you for sharing your story! What an amazing perspective to have. I truly have such sweet memories of spending time with you while smelling our favorite candle! Love you, friend! Can’t wait to see where this blog-journey takes you!

    • April 6, 2020 / 5:58 pm

      I am so thankful for the gift of your friendship and all the joy you blessed me with during such a pivotal time. I vote we keep the tradition alive, no matter the distance — a girl can never have too much Volcano, right? 😉 Thank you for your sweet encouragement!

  4. Michelle
    March 28, 2020 / 1:56 am

    I absolutely love reading what you write, I can completely hear you saying it. Thank you for sharing your heart so eloquently. I love you so much ❤️

    • April 6, 2020 / 6:01 pm

      It makes me so happy to hear that, Michelle! Thank you for following, supporting and encouraging my heart’s endeavor as it all unfolds. Love you so, sweet friend!

  5. Rebecca McQuillen
    March 28, 2020 / 12:05 pm

    Written as beautifully as you are beautiful! Continue to share what God gives you to bless others. You are His vessel.

    • April 6, 2020 / 6:03 pm

      Thank you so, SO much! It means the world to have you cheering me on in this endeavor. Love you dearly!

  6. Teresa Gambill
    March 28, 2020 / 4:20 pm

    I loved reading this! You are so special and God is using your many talents!! Love you Katy ❤️

    • April 6, 2020 / 6:05 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for being such a wonderful encourager and following along. Love you much!

  7. Steph
    March 31, 2020 / 3:45 am

    This is beautiful just like you. Thank you for sharing your heart! Love and miss you a bunch!

    • April 6, 2020 / 6:06 pm

      You are the sweetest, Stephanie! I am following along on your big move as well and love that we are in this new chapter in life together. Love and miss you so!

  8. Kathy Bishop
    May 24, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    Congratulations on your move and new venture! We will certainly miss you when we visit Nic and Heather but wish both you and Justin continued success!❤️ Mrs. Kathy

    • May 27, 2020 / 2:30 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathy! It was so lovely getting to meet you all and I hope our paths will cross again during some of our visits “home” to Palmetto! 🙂

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