I created this piece for my sweet momma in honor of her 50th year of life.
Between all her children and her children's children, we have quite a family chain. A wide canvas barely holds us haha.
Every family has its flaws and broken places, and ours is no exception to that. And yet the thing I can confidently say has always felt true about my family is the fact that we really really love each other.
I mean when we see each other, we get really happy.
A reason for this love might be due to the fact that my parents did a great job creating a standard of appreciation among us for one another. I am remembering the early years of my dad coming through the front door after a long day at the office and my older sister, my younger brother and me all cheering "Daddy's hoooomeee!!!" and climbing over each other to hug him first. Even as an adult, I have heard "Chriiiistttyyyy Laaawlerrrrr!!!!" in the full voiced form of a sport's arena announcer and could look around knowingly to spot my Dad smiling at me across a parking lot or store. And to this day, whenever all of us get together, (our numbers now totaling 14 through marriage and kiddos) there's lots of cheering and hugs and craziness.. Just so you don't get the wrong picture, I wouldn't say we were a "touchy-feely" family that is just tickled pink by anything under the sun. Lawlers are pretty tough. In fact, I am by far the softest one (and probably Vanessa too :) ), and that makes me the oddball, or should I say the balling (tears) and odd yet still accepted one. No, we are not softies, but yet we have this very deep and very real affection for each other.
Maybe our love grew from being forced to hug each other and say sorry after a fight even when all we wanted to do was pout in our rooms. haha. Or maybe it was all the celebrating we did doing the most mundane tasks like a "rock, paper, scissors" championship at the mall while mom was shopping, or huddling together near the front door in the middle of summer to enter like a platoon on a very serious mission, which was of course to get in without letting any enemies (nasty June bugs) in our safe zone, and if they did hunting them down as a family and then cheering when the coast was clear... or the time my dad played the angel of the Christmas story who revealed the news to Mary and Joseph complete with a brown striped sheet on his head which he held around his face as he spoke in a ridiculous feathery-high voice.
I am sure its all of these reasons combined.
Honestly, I know the core reason this family of mine has such a real care for each other, is because my parents have done their best to be transparent about how their lives don't make sense without being grafted as son and daughter into the family of Jesus. They have centered their lives around their experiences and relationships with Him and have given us the gift of discovering that for ourselves. Jesus bridges all our gaps and makes us all common, and that is a bond that actually connects deeper than our flesh and blood because we get to partake in the perfection of His.
I love my family and now being in Denver, I am missing them a ton. But I am very spoiled to be so supported by such great people and I am happy that this painting exists safely in my mom's living room above the piano on which I first dabbled with expression. <3
Oh and also! My talented sister, Jenny, has a business called Captured Photography. She works with her best friend, Shelly, who snapped the photo I based the painting off of (although I added a few members due to the face that we've added to our numbers since this was taken.) They are based in South Florida but love to travel. You should definitely check out their work!