Why I created the Grief & Loss Workshop

Did you see this week's announcement? I am holding a grief & loss workshop on September 21, 2019.
Why did I create it? To help people learn tools, a methodology and practical ways to apply them to their life as they navigate the world of loss. Because we live in a fallen world - and things happen whether we choose something with consequences of loss or whether someone else does and we are handed the bag, or whether it is an accident. It doesn't really matter how it came to happen in that we can all experience it in one form or another, even if the exact story and the extent of the loss is different.
What I can say is that when loss affects us deeply, we may make choices to not process it for our own survival. And we just don't want to - or can't go there . And then we avoid it and build our lives around avoiding it, while still carrying the burden of loss.
And then there is the part of ourselves that is not acknowledged because we aren't living with...
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3 Women in Heels - Story Behind the Painting

3 Women in Heels by Anna Jane Elliott for the Heels 4 Hope Event, An Event benefiting the Downtown Hope Center's Women's Shelter.
For one, this painting is a recent development. In fact, this painting didn’t exist a couple weeks ago. I painted it with the Event in mind, the Downtown Hope Center and specifically, their Women’s Shelter, in mind.
I was looking for a graphic for the event in the envisioned style of the Executive Director and what what the Deputy Director thought the Executive Director was wanting.
I thought a painting that captured both the idea of the event in a specific style and colors could help solidify the meaning behind the event. I could also provide a limited license to use the painting on event flyers.
So I decided to paint one (because if something doesn’t exist, I create it).
When I was painting it, she originally started with one set of heels but soon realized that the painting, the Event...
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Paint His Names

Remember the first time you meet someone?
What is the first thing that you do
to get to know them?
You ask for their name...
so it can be with God.
One of the best ways
we can get to know God
is through His names.
One of the quickest ways
to get to know Him and focus on Him,
and not in a mountain in our life,
is by focusing on one of His names.
The Paint His Names workshop is designed
to help you do that....
The Paint His Names Workshop
is an experiential workshop
designed to help you
focus on God by painting His names,
get to know God better by knowing
& focusing on His names,
& giving you the opportunity to
create three paintings that can remind YOU
of His names and what they mean to YOU specifically.
By painting His names,
we are focusing not just on His names,
but what they, and in turn He, mean(s) to us,
which can help us connect with God.
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Cool Abstract Landscape - Story Behind the Painting

Story time once again. This painting started much like post-its or any other invention gone wrong... but highly beneficial... I had bought professional paint, and different variations of it, in colors I appreciated, and was experimenting with the full body version. Which pulled, and was not giving me the result I wanted, and I was frustrated and felt let down. It seemed like everything was going wrong... and I questioned whether it was a good idea to even start using professional grade paint, thinking I am not ready for this... and then I took a step back.
"Sometimes it takes taking a step back from the situation we are right smack in the middle of, to see the larger picture." -Anna Elliott
So I did, I took a step back. And took a break, walking across the room, and then as I looked up and back at the painting, I could see it - what it was, a more abstract version of landscape than I had done before. So what did I learn? To not knock trying new things. To...
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Why Paint the Story Workshop

Sometimes I screw up.
Sometimes I make mistakes.
Sometimes I forget to put gas in my vehicle...or think I can do one more errand or pickup before running out.
And then I run out of gas.
Late at night.
On a highway with no shoulder or in an empty parking lot.
In fact, that happened as recently as this fall, when I put off getting gas until after an Art Workshop,
and then realized I didn't even have enough gas to get to the gas station,
and one of the participants of the workshop
graciously took me to Walmart
to buy a gas can and then help me fill it with gas, and return me to my vehicle.
Sometimes you can't make this stuff up, because it is real life.
I am human, you are human.
And we forget to fill-up with gas or rationalize out of filling-up when we need to (or is it just me?!?).
And yet,
God can...
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You're not a paint or an artist? Well, I'm not even a runner...

 I am not a runner. I do not run for fun most days, I don't even run most days.
I weigh significantly more than I did before kiddo was born, have bowed lower legs (thanks Dad), and had foot surgery when I was growing up and don't forget I'm short. So I don't have a runner's body, either.
And don't forget the time someone in college dubbed my running "the Anna run". Super awkward.
So even the idea of any person seeing me run sounds embarrassing much less the whole "thousands of people cheering you on from their many neighborhoods" aspect that is the Chicago Marathon.
Also, I didn't feel prepared to run the Chicago Marathon... then again, does anyone really feel prepared? I digress.. Every time I'd practice, I couldn't get past 6 miles running/walking, and in the last few weeks, I couldn't get past two miles due to blisters, changing styles of shoes and socks to try to find a solution.
The biggest excuse I had?!? I had...
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One Word From God

One word from God can change the trajectory of your life... one word from Him can reset your perspective on a situation, on a series of situations, on a relationship, on your work or career or calling, on who you are, or what you were made to do. It can make what was impossible, seem possible, and what was unbearable, now bearable. I should know, it has happened with me through painting.
And when we process our year through painting, we have the opportunity to acknowledge what happened, victories and lessons learned, and to celebrate them both, because while we are made in His image, we are also still human, and expecting perfection is taking on a burden we are not meant to carry.
Through painting at my Paint Your Year Workshop, you have a chance to hear from Him, and gain His perspective on what happened, what is ongoing, and what it means. Because while He is outside of time, we are not, and what happens in the past, can affect the decisions we make...
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Paint the Christmas Story

Today I am writing about my latest workshop, called Paint the Story: Christmas Edition. This workshop, Paint the Story: Christmas Edition, is the workshop I always wanted to take.  I wanted a way to connect with the Christmas Story at the beginning of the Christmas Season, so I could connect with God through His sending Jesus as a baby, focus on the meaning behind it, and reason for the season, and frankly, enjoy it.  
I hope you find this workshop as meaningful and helpful in aligning your Christmas Season with what matters most - Jesus' Birth, and your loved ones and serving others - in a way that supports you, so you can connect with those that matter to you most this Christmas Season.
The focus of the Paint the Story Workshop is to connect to the Christmas Story through painting.  In this workshop, we spend time thinking about the foretelling of Christ's birth and His birth story, and paint the story through the lens of what His...
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The Reason Behind the Worship Art Workshop

art workshops worship art Aug 08, 2020

The reason the Workshop Art Workshop was created...

The Worship Art Workshop was born not from thinking I needed more worship time in my life, it was born out of the upheaval of many areas of my life and feeling overwhelmed if I thought about all the things that were not going well in my life, not feeling like what I was doing to keep my world spinning in its axis was sustainable, and wondering how we were all going to fair when it crashed.
I didn’t know... what I was supposed to do, what I was good at, or even what I enjoyed.
And I asked God what I was to do next because I had NO IDEA... and didn’t know what to even start with. So I asked him and He told me I needed a morning routine. So I got back into the habit of reading my Bible and started writing morning pages each morning.
A month later, during a conversation with my mom, I told her I didn’t know what to do next, I didn’t know what I was good at, or even what I enjoyed. And...
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Paint the Story Workshop

So painting the story might not directly be in the Bible, but there is a Biblical Basis for creating a physical representation of how God has been involved in your life through remembering and telling these stories to yourself and others.

You might be wondering why, besides my journey, why anyone else wold want to paint their stories in a way that recognizes God's involvement?

Let's look at the Book of Joshua, Chapters 3 & 4. Just for a little context, at this point, Joshua is leading the Israelites as they follow God on their journey to inhabit the promised land. Moses had died, and Joshua is now their leader.

They are about to cross the Jordan River and the water is in the flood stage... God had told them to cross the river, but if they just looked at the river, they might get wrapped up in the situation of trying to cross a flooded river... all while carrying the Ark of the Covenant.

As soon as the Israelites take action, and their feet touch the water, the Jordan...

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