The Mann wedding in Austin, Texas was absolutely exquisite! I always love painting this venue due to how personal it is to me – my parents and grandparents were both married in this room. Charlotte and Charlie moved me to tears – their hearts for one another and love for the Lord is contagious. #knappyhour
He's more than I deserve, and I cannot wait to marry him! The celebration of marriage, whether yours or mine, will always have an eternal significance. Here's to July 2018!
My favorite C.S. Lewis quote says it best:
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable.
When I was in college, I used to look up to so many older girls in my sorority – Charis Freiji was one of those who I still consider a role model. Not only did her stunning beauty turn heads everywhere she went, but her presence alone radiated warmth and a joy of knowing the Lord. After talking with Charis, I always felt closer to God and hungry to know Him more.
Today, Charis’ precious little boy, Cade is fighting Stage 4 Wilms cancer. It’s a battle I have only been able to witness through her social media posts and blog entries, but nonetheless, I am on my knees for this beautiful and powerful family. These lions continue to be a strong image of who God is – He is a steady presence of strength, He is hope, He is with us.
Cade – I pray your lion will remind you He sees you and He is with you every day. He is never going to leave you. Keep your head up and keep fighting.
Charis’ words reminded me of this lion (blog link below) –
“Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at the end of what was fading away." 2 Corinthians 3:7-13
It was like in that moment walking out of the hospital the Lord reminded me that He wants me to look at Him. His face does not look defeated, His eyes don't look ashamed or sad. His face should determine what mine looks like, but only if I'm locking eyes with Him. And only if I remember that I'm allowed to stand in front of Him, without fear, without distrust, and look Him square in the eye, while the storm rages around us.
Cade the Warrior Blog – cadethewarrior.blogspot.com
Join me in praying for Cade over this Christmas season! Our God is with us.
Every morning, I routinely wake up, brew some coffee and curl up on the couch to read – most days, my roommate Liz – "Lizzie Lou"– joins me. Night after night, I come home and sit on Liz's bed to exchange stories and process emotions from the day – most often we laugh, but sometimes tears come. Day after day, for the last year and a half, Liz has influenced my life personally and professionally.
Through many seasons of life, I have witnessed Liz embrace each day with courage, and a firmly held belief in the goodness of God. Even in heartache and hurt, she wears a smile and holds on to the hope of what is to come. Liz carries with her an infectious presence of joy, and never turns away from an opportunity to sincerely love someone. With great compassion and wisdom, she listens and engages in the stories of friends and strangers, alike. Although she would never admit it, Liz changes lives by deeply and powerfully engaging hearts.
There are no obstacles which our Savior’s love cannot overcome. The High Places of victory and union with Christ can be reached by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by laying down of our own will and accepting His. The lessons of accepting and triumphing over evil, of becoming acquainted with grief, and pain, and of finding them transformed into something incomparably precious... -Hinds Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard
Needless to say, in January, Liz will be moving to Africa to take her infectious personality, Masters in Professional Counseling (LPC), and bold love for the world, to a whole new level. She will work for International Justice Mission (IJM) in Nairobi, Kenya for a year. Read her letter below to learn more.
I thought it only fitting to donate proceeds from 25 "William the Warrior" Lion prints to Liz's fundraising efforts... please order one in the shop, and help me send her to Africa! or donate Directly:
Dear friends and family,
As most of you know, I am in the midst of an exciting transition. In January, I will begin a one-year fellowship in Nairobi, Kenya with International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights organization based in Washington, DC. This decision is the culmination of much prayer and discernment about my next step, and I am so grateful to pursue this opportunity.
For those of you who are not familiar with the work of IJM, it “is a non-profit organization composed of Christian attorneys, social workers, criminal investigators, and support staff. IJM carefully investigates situations of slavery and abuse and partners with local officials to free victims from their immediate situations of danger. After the victims have been freed, IJM seeks to address the root of the problem by prosecuting the perpetrators in local court systems and empowering communities to make structural changes that can prevent such abuses in the future. IJM also works with aftercare providers to help the newly freed victims adjust to a life that is very different from their past oppressive experiences.” IJM has field offices in 17 countries throughout Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia to fight against forced labor slavery, child sexual assault, sex trafficking, land theft, and police abuse.
I will be based in Kenya where IJM focuses on police abuse and child sexual violence. My role in this office will include working with the aftercare team whose focus is restoring victims, as well as working as an executive assistant to the field office director.
I am extremely thankful for this amazing opportunity and confident that God has placed me as part of this team. I firmly believe that He is a God of justice and desires to restore the oppressed. That said I do need help this year. A simple step that everyone can take to partner in the fight against injustice is to pray. Prayer may seem simple, but it is a powerful and much-needed tool. I ask that you pray for the work of IJM, and for the strength of all those who have been rescued and those still in slavery. Also, pray for my adjustment to living in a new country and handling the
responsibilities of a new job. If you would like to join my prayer team and/or receive regular updates of my time in Nairobi, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My fellowship is unpaid and my goal is to raise $20,000 to cover expenses, which include airfare, visa fees, rent, meals, insurance, transportation, etc. I would greatly appreciate if you would prayerfully consider partnering with me financially. If you would like to support me in this way please read the details in the “How to Provide Financial Support” page attached.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions about the ways you can join me in this journey. I am passionate about this cause and would love to talk to you more about it!
Photography: John Cain Sargent Venue: Beano's Cabin
2018 Jennie Lou Art Calendars are in the works and will be available in the next couple weeks... we cannot wait for you to see them! Each calendar is 10x16in. and spiral bound. Each month has a different 10x10in. Jennie Lou Art floral print attached with perforated edges, for easy framing. They will be $40 each, not including shipping. Available in early November.
On Friday, I had the privilege of painting a "styled shoot" in the gorgeous studio of Prema – Style + Flowers. She is truly a master of details and creator of elegance. With just a few pears and blackberries, not to mention some flowers too, Frances created a gorgeous table set. It was so fun to paint something that does not move, for a change! This painting is a 24x30, titled "Gather" and it is available in the shop... email me for more information. Check out these other talented vendors: Banks and Leaf, & Rachel Gomez Photography
We just got back late last night and this is the best email to come back to! Thank you for the sweet words, it's always nice to hear how someone else sees things! We LOVE the painting!!!! It seriously is so beautiful and better then anything I could have pictured! You did a great job and Doug and I were saying on the Honeymoon we are so glad we chose you and have something to keep and look back on for many years to come! I cant wait to go pick it up...
Thank you for taking the time to come and I hope you had easy travels!! I would recommend you to anyone!Jennifer (Houston, TX)
It is always a pleasure working with Texans in Colorado! I think the warmth and comfort of familiar people makes me paint better. Friday night I had the honor of painting for, not one but two, family friends in Beaver Creek at Beano's Cabin, for the Rehearsal dinner. It brought me to tears to hear the speeches about these two lovely people!
Saturday morning, I woke up and drove to Basalt to paint another wedding at the Roaring Fork Golf Club as a surprise from the groom to his bride... low and behold, I personally knew the bride and did not even know until I arrived! Such a special weekend, and the mountains held off the snow until Sunday... perfect timing! Safe travels, Texans! xo, Jennie
My wonderful friend, Jessie, woke me up at 7am one morning to do a fun shoot in one of my favorite parks, Washington Park, in Denver. As the sun rose on the lake and the geese swam circles around their little babies, it was the perfect morning to paint a simple impressionistic rendering of iconic lake. Live paintings are really just connecting the world around me, with the canvas in front of me. Painting constantly teaches me to pay attention to the ordinary – there is magic right before our eyes, it just takes awareness to see the extraordinary. Notice the soft transition of colors during a sunrise or sunset, the sweet intricacy of flower petals, the way light dances through water... look for it.
See Jessie's website here: http://jessienicholephotography.com/