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Meet Brit

This is my cool hipster, Jesus love’n friend Brit.  She is such a cool girl.  The first time I heard about Brit was when she was on her quest to spend a semester in Nepal.  She is a go getter who is so passionate about her creative endeavors and the world around her.  I am so proud of this girl and everything she has and is accomplishing.  She is an incredible graphic designer (hello, she made my NEW logo, not the one on this blog…working on that), she can sew really cool things (see the cool little purse down below that she made.  She’ll make one for you too.  She also made that quilt in the pics),  She uses her passion for Jesus to create awesome art work  that you can view and purchase HERE.  Brit is about to graduate college and is working on her new website.  You can see her website HERE. I was incredibly honored to take these photos for my dear friend.  I love this girl so much and I think you will too.

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Jen: Hey Brit! Tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, what school you have been going to and your major.

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Brit:  My name is Brit Lace & I go to The University of Texas at Arlington. In May I’ll receive my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communications (a fancy term for graphic design).

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Jen: Why did you choose graphic design? Was that an easy decision or is this something you’ve always known you would do?

Brit: I’ve always been interested in pretty much everything that was related to art, and that kind of created a problem when it came to choosing a specific concentration for my degree. When I was 5 I told my grandpa that I wanted to be an artist. A few years later I had an addiction to Microsoft paint & would spend hours on end making detailed images pixel by pixel. Then…. I would take the pictures I made into PowerPoint and make crazy (and very 90’s) animations. I really had no idea then what a graphic designer was at that point, but those experiences helped me decide on graphic design later on. I also chose graphic design because, well let’s face it: it’s one of the easier fields to get a job in.
vsco-0352webvsco-0361webJen: What do you want to do post graduation? Tell us more about your work.

Brit:  I may have decided to be an artist when I was 5 years old, but if you had asked me at that time what I wanted to do when I grew up I would have told you that I wanted to have a painting studio in my house so I could be an artist, home school my kids so I could be a teacher, make delicious cakes and treats for my family so I could be chef, have a super cool garage that would pull double duty as a hair salon by day and rehearsal space for my band at night. I think that mentality of wanting to do multiple things still rings very true for me today. Currently, I am into lettering and I sell prints and custom lettering pieces in an online shop. But I also sew, and make bags & quilts. Not only that, but I have dreams of starting a community development project to equip single or teen parents with the skills and help they need to support and sustain their family. I’ve still got a lot of work to do to make that happen, and even more work to do to keep doing so many things at once… but it’s what I love to do & what I feel called to do!

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Jen: What have you learned the most in your 4 years in college? Anything else you would like us to know?

Brit: In the 10th grade I wrote a speech about missions and used the story behind the hymn “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go” to emphasize my point. If you don’t know the story, you should look it up! But I think throughout college I’ve been learning to apply that mindset of following the Lord wherever He leads to my whole life, not just on a mission trip or for “spiritual things”, but in every aspect of my life. To know that His timing and His plan are perfect. This is also something that I seem to forget on a daily basis. I always want things to happen right away or exactly when I “need” them to. But The Lord never fails to surprise me and work everything out according to His plan at just the right time. That’s definitely something I have to remind myself of everyday, especially now as I try to see what He has planned for me after graduation. But whatever it is, I know it will be better than I could have imagined!

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Meet Megan

I met Megan for the first time when she was 16 years old.   My husband and I had just moved to Arlington and we were on a youth group mission trip in Atlanta.  I was pregnant with James at the time and I remember sleeping on a blow up mattress in a room with about 15-20 high school girls.  We were helping out a local organization clean up a children’s center in a part of town that needed the additional assistance.  I remember Megan because she was sick as a dog but continued to work her tail off at that place.  She painted, she swept the floors, the cleaned up in the yard around the house.  She was determined to get that place looking good, even at the expense of her own health.  During that trip we bonded and our bond has never been broken.  We have been through alot of life together since then and all I can say is this girl never, ever ceases to amaze me.  She is mature beyond her years (I knew that even when she was 16) and has a heart for the Lord and for her family and friends.  She is one of those people that I know will always be in my life.  I always tell her that she is the little sister that I never had.  This is another amazing woman that I thought you should know.

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Jen: Tell us about yourself, where you are from, where you go to school, your major, and anything else we should know.

Meg:  I’m from good ole Arlington, Texas, born and raised. I am just months away from finishing my bachelors degree in Biology at the University of North Texas. Through this long journey, the Lord has definitely tested and continues to test me in ways no one could ever prepare for. And believe it or not, I could not be more thankful in His belief that I can be a better daughter, sister, friend, girl friend, student, employee, and follower in Christ than I could have ever imagined I could be. Praise the Lord for the blessings of those tests for encouraging me to keep fighting and pushing through to graduate in May.

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Jen: What has been the most surprising thing about being in college?

Meg: Speaking of God’s wonderful tests, he brought me here to UNT, home of the mean green, four years ago kicking & screaming. I wanted nothing to do with UNT. It was going to be a one semester commitment, then I was high-tailing out of the Little D on a transfer. I knew nothing about UNT. And when I say nothing, I mean the first time I stepped onto the campus was the week before move-in at orientation. I literally cried myself to sleep every night in my dorm the first few months & was so angry with God. [Fast forward three years] At the beginning of this semester, my last fall semester of undergrad, I reflected on the past 3 years. The changes I saw in myself, the friends (that I consider more as family) enter my life, the boy that I fell in love with, the lessons I’ve learned, the knowledge I gained, the tears, the laughter. These memories are those that I would NEVER go back to change and are what FINALLY, three years later, made me realize that God’s plan for me at UNT was better than any plan I could make myself. If you would have told me those first few months of weeping that I was going to grow to love this university, these people & this town, I would have laughed in your face… And then probably cried a little more. That was definitely the biggest surprise of my college career. Oh & that being smart doesn’t come easy!

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Jen: Tell us what you plan to do after graduation.

Meg: Since we are on the topic on tests… My plan, which God has reminded me MANY times along the way, isn’t always His plan. I was planning on going straight into medical school after graduating from UNT. However, God decided that I needed a break from school & needed motivation to be better. He showed me His decision through the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad MCAT. (Yes, I just referenced the title of one of my fav children’s books) Long story short, due to having to retake the MCAT and the application process for medical schools being a year long, I decided to take a year off to work, build my resume, and get some clinical experience in before the next applications, and I have never been more relieved and at ease by a decision in my life. Again, the Big Man-589975367; Meg-0. Lord willing, I dream of becoming a doctor, specializing in neurosurgery or oncology (but staying open minded). The next question everyone asks is, “AWESOME! Where do you want to go?” I will learn from the lesson God taught me four years ago & follow His lead, because, man, He’s done nothing but fantastic things for me thus far!

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Jen: Any advice for new incoming college freshman?

Meg: If I had any advice for incoming freshman, it would be to enjoy every second of it. From the awkward moments of meeting new people & make new friends to pulling all nighters for tests, from bad break ups to finally finding that perfect fit of a church. Find your balance of seriousness and having fun. Don’t let a few bad grades bring down your confidence, just use it as motivation to do better next time. Not everyone will be your friend, accept that now. Form relationships with your professors, they are the best advice givers, recommendation writers & encouragers. And most importantly, with all the new formed relationships with friends, boyfriends, classmates, or professors, DO NOT knock God down a few spots on your priority list!! Those morning quiet times before classes will be your only saving grace some days. Trust in the Lord, and you will make it through!

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 I photographed these photos at the amazing venue 3825 S. Bowen in Arlington.  If you ever want to have your session here let me know, it is incredible!!

 

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Meet Jackie Hooks and Family

  •  If we are honest with each other, we would have to admit that life is filled with faces and names that often fade from our memories.  Good people and kind people, but for whatever reason they fail to have a staying power in our minds.  However, every once in a while we encounter an exception to that rule.  Someone who becomes etched in your memory with the simplest encounter.  These are people whose face and name are unforgettable.  Jackie Hooks is one of those kinds of people.  She is the exception to the rule.  An unforgettable name and face but only because each encounter she brings is filled with something contagious that you always want more of and never seem to forget.  It could be something as simple as walking you to your car when she will remind you that she has this uncanny ability to add depth and meaning to what you thought would be mundane.  She has a passion for this life that she has been given and it constantly inspires those who have the chance to spend time with her.  Jackie has written two Bible studies, started an non-profit organization, and is working on her first book.  She is just one of a kind and I felt that I needed to share her zeal for life with more people than just myself.  We decided to do a little online interview so you can learn more about where God is leading her and her family of 6.

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    Jen: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where you’ve been, where you are now, where you are going.

    Jackie: Corey and I have been married for 15 years. In that time period we have gone from crazy “party people” to horribly partying parents to a failing marriage to Jesus Freaks. 8 years ago when Jesus stepped loudly into our life so much changed…and we have never been the same since. We had the extreme marriage makeover, and it left me humbled and surrendered and feeling like we would lead a good life in Arlington, TX. But Jesus wanted so much more than just a “good life”. So, against all my better judgement, He moved us to Katy, TX. Here in Katy is where Jesus asked me for more than I ever thought I could give. When I found out I was surprisingly pregnant with my fourth child, I was floored. We were finished having kiddos and I couldn’t figure out why, if God said children were a reward, my reward felt like a stick of butter at the end of a marathon. So, if I didn’t understand God’s rewards to be as such, then maybe I didn’t understand what God wanted from me at all. And I asked Him, “Jesus what do YOU want for my life?” He answered with me beginning to feed a school of children in the 3rd ward of Houston. It was more than I could do on my own, but He told me if I said YES, He would do the rest…and He has…every detail is His over and over. Now we have a ministry serving lunch and breakfast 5 days a week to Generation One Academy and really just serving the people Jesus places before us…And where am I going??? Honestly, wherever He asks me to go. I would be a fool, after all I have seen Him do, to not say YES to anything He asks.

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    IMG_3726wwJen: Tell us how you are able to balance writing, mommy hood (to four kiddos), being a wife, leading women’s groups, packing lunches for other families. You are a busy lady!

    Jackie: I actually don’t balance it all very well! God is really gracious with me. To be honest with you, I have to reevalute everything I do pretty frequently. Each morning I ask Jesus to order my day, and make the things that are important to Him important to me…to make His expectations for my day the most urgent in my mind. And saying “No” to things that need a “No”. I cannot make every PTA luncheon or look like a million bucks everyday or have the most awesomely decorated house everyday, but I can listen to Jesus and SERVE whoever He places in my path…and I also except the fact that I will be exhausted sometimes too. I will fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow because that day was a day where there was big work to do for Jesus. Exhaustion will happen when you serve Jesus. And don’t compartmentalize your life…involve your kids and your husband in your service as much as you can…love Jesus together.

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    Jen: What is your life verse and why?

    Jackie: My life verse is Joshua 4:21-24 I love the book of Joshua. We named our youngest son after Joshua. When I read about the future generations looking back on the stones, and knowing they came from a river at floodstage…knowing that they represent the day that the nation of Israel saw the mighty hand of God, I literally am reminded to let my life be a monument. I can’t ever stop pointing people to the amazing things that Jesus has done in my life, and that means I have to be transparent, and that means I have to be willing to show people the places in my life where God pulled rocks from a riverbed and moved me closer to my promiseland. This verse kicks my butt also in the realm of being a mom…will my kids see the monuments in my life as pointing to Christ…

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    Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about your work?

    Jackie: I run Pruning Hooks Ministry with an amazing group of women. Our mission statement is, “Everyday ordinary women serving Jesus, allowing our everyday ordinary lives to become extraordinary.” We believe that serving Jesus is a daily thing…He wants your every day…He wants your morning with your kids and husband, your drive to work, your grocery store trip…He is placing people in your path all the time for you to love on and your job is the YES…He figures out the details. We believe that women get too caught up in what they can and cannot do, or waiting for the next event to serve. Serving should be all the time right where He has you. God has been gracious and brought so many people our way to love like He would love. We try to connect women with places to live out their love for Christ. It might be food for a single mom, helping someone get their house fixed up, prayers for a sick baby, packing lunches, making muffins for Generation One for breakfast or sharing their Jesus Story at our monthly events. It has been pretty incredible to see Jesus move through The Body of Christ in this way…He has so many plans for each of us and if we are waiting on the perfect time to serve or when our kids are manageable or when we have an empty day…then we will miss all He has for us to do.
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    Jen: Thank you so much Jackie for taking the time to chat with us.  Do you have an closing thoughts?
    Jackie: Bottom line…Jesus wants our lives to have meaning…He doesn’t just want us to talk about Him…He wants us to live life with HIM, and that may look really wacky or be really inconvenient and it might not make sense at all, but that doesn’t mean you should say NO…it just means your YES gets to be more exciting. Luke 8:1-3 is the verse that called me into daily life with other women serving Jesus. The women in this account were all different, from different backgrounds and different means…but they were following Jesus together…they were obedient to Jesus together, and because of this their lives became extraordinary and grace the pages of the Bible. Our lives are meant for extraordinary things, and only when we follow Jesus with the everyday do we start to see the life He planned for us.

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    To learn more about what Jackie is up to you can check out her facebook page HERE, her Pruning Hooks site HERE, and her blog HERE.
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