A Gardener's Daughter Testimonies

One of the best things about having my Etsy shop is that I have people purchasing my art work for incredible reasons. I love to make art but love it even more when it can encourage someone on a deep level. When you create with God there is always a message attached and my prints are full of messages and truth that isn't from my heart or mind but from His.

The first order I ever had at A Gardeners Daughter shop was one of my lungs prints. The lungs is one of my favourites because it is full of words and songs that God was speaking to and singing over me personally about speaking out and using my voice even though it is not the loudest or clearest. Everytime I look at it I am reminded that it is His breath in my lungs and that even though my voice may be merely a whisper it is strong and powerful. After I sent the order out and let them know it was on the way the customer replied saying they bought the print to give as a gift to someone who had just had a lung transplant. They wanted them to be able to read it and be encouraged in their recovery. I mean, hello! Knowing my art is being used like that makes heart soar to the moon and back.

Another person bought a lion print to give to their brother because he had just had a back surgery!

I know there are two brain prints hanging in psychologists offices. How great is it that there is something to look at while waiting in their offices that reminds you that your mind can be renewed and your broken places healed.

One more story is that one person ordered a crown to give to a younger girl she had been mentoring. She said that as she talked to the girl she would always try to encourage her with the truth that when you become a child of God you become royalty. When she came across my Etsy page she saw the crown print as the perfect gift for the girls baptism.

Leaf Print. New Listing On Etsy

The leaf print started with God speaking about renewal and refreshing and about his care for us. He breathed into him the breath of life/ Renewed/ When I speak the weary places will sprout. From there it turned into how refreshing should lead to praise and that as you worship you will become filled with love and fervency. Because your steadfast love is better than life my lips will praise you (one of my favourites)/ You will be fervent, zealous, and passionate.   

What I love most about this is that it is a beautiful circle. Refreshing will lead to praise which will grow passion for God with will in turn be refreshing because God's desire is to fill us. 

So this is really a word for anyone but especially for you if you feel weary and in need of an encouraging pick me up. God will meet you. He will water you and bring life again to your wilted leaves if you give Him the opportunity. You are loved. You are cared for and you are wonderful. 

A World Restored / Book Cover Design

A few weeks ago a beautiful powerhouse friend released her first book and I had the privilege of doing the cover art work. She had a vision for what she wanted so I drew up some sketches and we worked together tweaking the final details until we felt it was just right. If was a bit of a process as I often find that doing art with God can take longer than I plan but I have learned to trust the process and my sensitivity to Him as I add to an artwork. There are many times even with this book cover where I sat down and couldn't get anywhere with it and then there were other times where God's inspiration flowed and I'd have a big part done rather quickly and I knew that's exactly what it was meant to look like. Thankfully God honours deadlines and we got it done in time to send to the editor for printing.

The book is called A World Restored and you can find it on Amazon here. I haven't yet gotten to read it myself but Kimberly walked me through it section by section to get a feel of the book and it is definitely going to be a good read. You can also check out her website here.

Just figured I would share a few pictures of the process. They aren't set up nicely and are a bit messy but I barely took any while I worked on it so these will have to do. As per my usual style these days you will see some hidden words amongst the details if you look closely. To see the final cover you will have to look on the Amazon page :)

World Print. New Listing On Etsy

It's been a while but I finally have a new print in my Etsy shop and it is one I have wanted to do for a long time. You can find it here. I love maps so I have always wanted to do a print of a world map and this is the first one. I have a few ideas for another design with different meaning as well so we will see when I get to do that one. Probably someday when my heart is filled with wanderlust and I want to pack our family up and meander the streets of Europe. 

Lately I have been finding that I start a design with an idea from God and a few verses that often don't seem like they connect at first but I know that they are meant to be part of it. This one was similar but as I sought God for more words and verses to fill the shape I saw the story He was painting. I started with the truth that He will go with you wherever you go and give you guidance there. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (Psalm 32:8) Then I also felt to include verses about peace and the omnipresence of God so I started on the left with peace. (I didn't plan on putting them in Canada but its appropriate considering Canada is a nation of peace makers!) Peace in knowing that God is with you, that He upholds you in His righteous right hand, and that He is King on the throne. Then there are lots of verses about how His plans for you are for good, that He will help you, and that He will show you the path to take. You shall have no difficulty in finding the way if you watch Me. Lastly on the right there are verses about how He is always there for you, that there is no where you can go from His presence, and that you are loved. Where shall I go from your spirit. Where shall I flee from your presence? Even there your hand shall lead and hold me... for you know me. (Psalm 139, in my own words)

I don't usually write those things out but I guess I was suppose to for this one. Those are the main points but there is so much more in the details of this print that you will have to look for yourself. I think there is a special truth in there for each one of you so check it out. 

Be a peace knowing that He is with you wherever you go and that His plans for you are good.

Love Jill

17 Months Old & Happy Fathers Day

I hope everyone had a good Father's Day! We got Jason a warm housecoat to weather the winter in and made him lots of good food, complete with a black forest cherry cake. It was a really good day and he deserves to be celebrated for how wonderful of a father he is. He and Ira have such a good relationship and I love seeing how it has deepened and developed. This boy loves his dada and no-one can be as silly or get him to laugh quite as hard as dada can. He gives the best bear hugs, thinks of the funnest games, and lets Ira play the piano with him! What more could a boy ask for? He is also faithful and selfless and patient and wise and all of those amazing qualities as well. As a wife and mom I am so thankful for Jason. He has matured and grown so much since becoming a father and takes care of us so well. I love that I can be gone for the day at work and not have to worry a bit about the two of them because they always have such a good time together. I am usually away waiting for Jason to send a picture of whatever silly antic that are up to at the moment. I can't wait to see him hold and love our newest baby boy in October! Happy Father's Day Jason! You are the best! 

Ira will be 17 months old this week which is something we have a hard time wrapping our minds around. He is becoming more and more of a little boy and less and less of a little baby everyday and we are completely enamoured with him. Here are some of the silly highlights from him in the past while: 

- Since he was little (littler? he is still little haha) he has specialized in animal noises. I would consider him a professional at being a dog, cat, elephant, lion, cow, horse, duck, penguin, snake, bumble bee, monkey, owl, sheep, fish, and a few more I can't think of. Our house is basically a zoo. 
- He sneaks hugs and kisses all day long. 
- He is a wild thing in every good and wonderful way and lives for wide open spaces like shopping mall hallways and the aquarium to run around in. 
- Everything is "Woah!" 
- He likes the sound of motorcycles. 
- He loves to snuggle up and read books. 
- He is still afraid of bubbles in the bath tub but also weirdly loves bubbles so you have to make them in a ice cream container and put it by the bath and then he plays and plays with them. 
- He is gentle and kind. 
- He loves babas, especially little tiny ones. We saw a two week old a the mall last week and he was so happy. I can't wait to see him interact with his little brother. 
- One of his favourite games is to push the couch out from the wall, pick one of his stuffed animals out, and then have you chase him with it around and around in circles. He laughs his head off and I think he has done thousands of laps in his short few months of walking. 
- He LOVES to sing. We have a mini whisk that is his special microphone and he walks around the house singing all the time. Lately he has been closing his eyes and raising his hands as if in worship but he usually peeks a little to make sure we are seeing him do it. It is the funniest thing. 
- He likes to watch Paddington Bear and videos of the baba aka himself. 
- He says a lot of words. Some common ones are cracker, flower, mama, dada, ball, water, car, tractor, all gone, tree, teeth, nose, eye, cheese, Gogo (Grandmother), star, whale...etc. 

I could go on and on. He comes up with something new everyday and I try to record and remember them because most of the time they are so silly and he is onto the next thing in no time. He is a dream come true. 

We took these pictures yesterday after Ira had some of the cake we made for Jason and therefore a bit more energy than we could burn running around the living room. Jason always takes Ira to this field called the Vlei to play so it was the perfect way to relax on a special afternoon. 

14 Months Old With Something to Share

Is he not just the cutest human being alive? We love him so and love that we were able to have him share some exciting things coming up in the sweetest way possible. Enjoy!

New Listing on Etsy. Lion Print.

I added another print to my etsy store a little while back. I did a lion a few years ago for a friend's baby that was full of prophetic words over his life and I had so many people say that if I did another one that they would want a copy. So here it is and I must say I love it. I love how God leads and puts together themes as you create and seek Him for words and verses to fill the shape. This one started with Proverbs, "The righteous are as bold as a lion." and from there God kept speaking of how much courage it takes takes to actually be righteous and how we will find it in Jesus. There are so many simple connecting words and verses. Enjoy!
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