PAINT THE DOW

An Acrylic Painting: Inspired by The Dow

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” –Acts 20:35, ESV

I married my husband, Nate, at 20 years old. I was thrilled to start a life that we had chosen for ourselves, not a life anyone else had chosen for us. Finally, we could start moving forward and pursuing our life goals together. But as most of you know by now, life rarely works out that way.

A few months after the wedding my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. My parents were divorced and one sister was living out of state, and the other was struggling to manage the giant hurdles in her own life. With my teenage brother still at home, I knew Nate and I were being called to care for Dad. My new husband and I moved back home one month later.

My heart goes out to anyone who has been a caregiver for a dying family member or friend. To this day it’s been the hardest thing I have ever done. It was so much more than the sacrifice of medical and hygienic care. It was helping my Dad through his emotions (rational and drug induced), prepping the finances, handling the estate, learning about Medicare, preparing the funeral, etc. That’s the simplest way to state it without making this a mile long, I honestly could write a book about it.

But even though at the time I was not saved and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, God was absolutely with me. I cannot thank enough the people that helped and sacrificed for us every time I was on the edge of breaking (which was often).

After endless phone calls of paying medical bills, doctor’s visits, moving money around, submitting documents to the court, requesting documents of the court, getting a crash course on Medicare, getting only a few hours of sleep a night, and the stress of neglecting my new husband, I was overwhelmed to say the least. I had to grow up and fast. I had no idea what I was doing; being the third child I was not used to being in charge of anything.

Enters Jim Talley, my Edward Jones broker. Jim and his assistant helped me with all of my financial questions and the piles of legal paper work. He and Tracy made phone calls for me, mailed financial documents for me, and gave me advice on what lay ahead and how I needed to be prepared. He assured me that it would all be fine, and that he would look out for our best interest. Tracy gave me advice on how to best wrap up my Dad’s estate (which was a complete 7 year long disaster).

Without going into specifics, he went over and above his job as a financial advisor. After so many phone calls of people responding, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you,” Jim said with a smile, “Sure, I can help you!”

An Ed Jones broker in South Carolina had commissioned me to paint a similar painting for her office several years ago. I showed a photo to Jim and he requested one. Even though I don’t accept commissioned jobs anymore, I jumped at the chance to repay him in this small way.

I finally finished the painting this morning. I wrote on the back, “Jim, thanks for everything. I will never forget the extra mile you went for us. (Acts 20:35) –Candice Smock”

Of all the things I want to do and be in life, I desire to be for others what Jesus allowed these people to be for me. Like Pastor Matt Chandler says, “There’s not one person whose entire life couldn’t be blown up with a single phone call.” I want to be the person that shows up, the only person to say yes, the friend that not only makes an emergency stop for medication but also grabs you some groceries.

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” –Acts 20:35, ESV

My immaturity grieves me often. But I say a prayer for all of us this morning that our eyes are wide open to the weak right in front of us, that we are willing to go the extra mile for them, and that God humbles us to see that we truly are more blessed to give than to receive.

Paint The Dow

The painting you are about to see is inspired by the Dow Jones. “The use of “bull” and “bear” to describe markets comes from the way the animals attack their opponents. A bull thrusts its horns up into the air while a bear swipes its paws down. These actions are metaphors for the movement of a market. If the trend is up, it’s a bull market. If the trend is down, it’s a bear market.” -Investopedia

You will be able to see the Dow line separating the two animals amidst their fight. Enjoy the progression of blank canvas to finished product.

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Finished off with two coats of poly and this boy is done!

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