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My Story

 Hi, my name is Jo. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mother, Linda, was an artist. She was a business woman. She was a vocalist, pianist and seamstress. She could do everything! Most of all, she was a Christ follower. Every day we would sing Jesus songs and create together. My days were full of her sweet sunshine. Then my sweet mama got sick and a year and half later, all the beautiful things she could do evaporated. She lost everything...who she was, getting to mother my brother, Ryan, and me, creating, singing, and even walking. Gone. The only ability that she had was to love us and Jesus with all of her heart.

   It was a beautiful, difficult many years for me...growing up, messing up, being broken, caregiving for mom, messing up again, and experiencing all the milestones of womanhood without her being able to walk me through them. I, then, threw myself into being a wife to the sweetest man in the world! David is not only my very best friend and love but he has loved me through those rough places that surface in brokenness. Then, the Lord loved me so much, he gave me a son. Samuel.

     As I was holding my precious, perfect, unbroken baby boy, I realized, I needed to deal with the fear that gripped my heart every time I thought of losing my family. I had no idea that I had this fear in me until I was gifted EVERYTHING in these intricate souls around me. Samuel began my journey of healing. Allowing the Lord to wash over me with His deep and perfect love. That was the long beginning of mothering my children ,without a map, but with The Guide . I had to wave goodbye to the fear of loss and step into trusting THE ONE who IS EVERYTHING, Jesus . Samuel is now 22. He is still one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.

    A couple of years later, I had a beautiful daughter, Lili Faith, who started my faith journey of trusting and knowing that the Lord can do anything and everything if I let Him! Little did I know it when I named her, but sweet Lili is able to trust without seeing the next step and exemplifies , beautifully, what it means to be a, " lily of the field who never toils of spins, yet Solomon in all of his splendor was not clothed as beautifully as one of these." She was named after Matthew 6:25-34. Look it up! It's so good! She also gifted me with what it IS like to mother a daughter. brokenness

   Then 4 years later our sweet surprise joy baby, Abigail Joy, breezed in! It was then that I crashed into postpartum depression and desperation. I had this beautiful family and it was so dark I could not see them. Then God mercifully delivered me from that wet blanket of depression that was keeping me from seeing the beautiful joy right in front of me. 

    Every year, God would bring more healing and redemption to me. Every year, while life was not perfect , He showed me how to give Him my expectations and exchange that for expectancy. The expectancy that He is always  just SO GOOD!  He is so sweet that He wants to redeem everything in us, He won't leave one stone in our hearts unturned.

Fast forward to 2020 .  The world stopped and I had to stop with it . My bustling life of errands , sports , music lessons , ballet , cleaning , and business owner (I am a photographer), all came to a screeching halt . The view in front of me was just my home and family and that view was so beautiful . Psalm 27:13 says , " I would have lost heart , unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of God in the land of the living ." Faith in Jesus had sustained me through the dark night of my childhood , loss of my mother, and postpartum depression and here I was in the middle of pandemic , seeing His goodness in the shrunken down world of quarantine . For the first time in my whole life of caregiving and busy, I had time to delight in the goodness He had set right in front of me . I also had time to delight in the fact that I had TIME . I had never had time to explore art .

   My mother had been an artist . I had always wanted that gift . I honestly think that I avoided even dreaming about it  because , here we go with the fear monster again,  I was afraid to try ! The reason , I knew it would break my heart to try and fail at something that I had so loved in my mom . I had adored the romantic notion that my beautiful , mother was an artist .

 The Lord used the gift of my daughter, Abigail Joy ,who had been with me in the darkness of depression,  to lead me into a parting gift from my mother, straight from heaven (she passed away in 2018 after a very long , difficult life). All Abigail did was ask me to paint with her. That was it ! I was hooked ! Isn't it just like the  Lord to turn over that stone of fear and on the other side of it , gifting. 

   It was like falling in love all over again ! I was enthralled . My heart could not stop drawing and painting and trying , even though I was afraid  The more I painted and tried something new, the less the fear was able to lie to me . Then , a couple of months into quarantine , I sold a painting !!! Someone liked what I painted ?  

   Now , here I am 3 years later , doing another thing I am afraid to do ... Designing a website to put my heart out there for all the world to see . I hope , as you look at my art , that you know it's one of the sweetest gifts given to me . It's God telling me that HE loves me , that my voice in this world matters to Him and, since my mom is now with her Savior, it's one last hug from her.

Thank you for taking the time to read just a small part of my long story. I hope you enjoy what's in my heart .

Be Blessed !

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my beautiful Mom, Linda, and me in 1978
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