Yesterday during my morning quite time, I read a devotional about Leah from the Bible. She was a woman familiar with rejection; her husband was tricked into marrying her and preferred her beautiful sister Rachael. Her dad, Laban, knew the best chance he had of marrying off Leah was to get Joseph drunk enough so he couldn't tell the difference on their wedding night.
Man, that's rough. As someone about to get married, I cannot imagine how that must have been for her.
The story of Leah is heart-breaking. I think we can all relate to it. The most painful struggles in my life have been when I've felt unloved and rejected.
I put my worth and security in what others thought of me, and was ultimately hurt and disappointed.
But Leah's story is about God, who sees us and loves us beyond measure. We don't have to be anything other that what he created us to be. In His eyes, we are the greatest thing since sliced bread.
I relate so much to Leah's story because it's what my art is really all about. I want the kids I paint to know they are loved and valued for who they are. The parents who commission me absolutely treasure their kids and want to celebrate them.
Last week I finished a commission of two-year-old Cecilia for the Sanders Family. I met mom Betsy several years ago when I painted her oldest daughter Callie.
Cecilia is a curious and wild. She loves getting into her toys, especially her big, fluffy chair where she is a queen on her throne. Her portrait captures that her strong personality. In that way she's different from Callie, so it was important for me to portray her differently then her sister.
It's amazing what life and personality they have at such a young age, isn't it?
Betsy once told me the greatest thing she wanted to teach her kids is to try hard, but not to be a afraid. She wants to give them the freedom to make mistakes. I love that. I think that's the way we all want to feel - like our best is good enough. Like we are good enough.