Monday, February 13, 2012

Support the BIG ADVENTURE : Prints available of Her Eyes!

This painting has a very special story (read here) and is playing an important role in my journey! 

To help raise money for all the expenses of my upcoming trip (more details coming soon!) I am selling prints of this picture (without the watermark!) signed by me (the artist!).

All the money - every single cent that this picture brings in - is going directly for "the big adventure" and is playing a key role in making this happen financially! 

Below is a list of the sizes available with prices (prints only!) :

4x6 : $5.00 each or 2 for $8.00
5x7 : $7.00 each or 2 for $12.00
8x10 : $10.00 each or 2 for $17.00
11x14 : $15.00 each or 2 for $27.00
12x16 : $20.00 each or 2 for $37.00
16x20 : $25.00 each or 2 for $47.00
20x30 : $35.00 each or 2 for $67.00

Shipping NOT included.

If you're IN FLAGSTAFF, I would love to meet up with you to give you your order!

If you are NOT IN FLAGSTAFF, shipping is not included in the prices above. The cost of shipping will be what they cost me to send, nothing more!

If you want to get a picture, send me a message on facebook  or email me at with your NAME, ADDRESS (if outside of Flagstaff), WHAT SIZE and HOW MANY prints you would like! If you would like it signed, let me know!

Checks can be made out to Kailey Jensen and sent to :
         400 South 10th Street
         Williams, Arizona 86046

I will make the first order MONDAY February 20th and can meet you or send your order the following week!

If you have any questions, you contact me on facebook or email me at!

So thankful for your support and role in making this opportunity come to life!

- Kailey

Her eyes..

Do you ever have those moments that you know you just have to do something, create something, be somewhere, talk to someone, reread your favorite book, look at your most treasured photograph? It's  like an ache, a craving inside you that you cant shake. I was in one of those moments and just needed to get it out of my head... I had dreamed about this picture several times and it simply wouldn't leave me alone, so I decided to paint it.

And this is what came out. 

For many reasons, this picture is a glimpse deep into my heart. The purple (my favorite color!) stands for purpose, imagination, inspiration, and seeking something; green represents life, healing, learning, safety and transformation; white means purity, kindness, energy, truth, wholeness, new beginnings... Kinda interesting how that turned out huh? I didn't set out with this color choice in my head, but as I looked at the finished painting in front of me - it came at me in a deeper way.

The girl is me, who I am isn't important - I didn't put myself in the middle of the painting for a reason.

The true face in this painting belongs the child I am holding. The eyes were the hardest part in this whole image, I just couldn't get them right. Seeing this in my head they were the thing that kept capturing me, keep tugging at my heart and asking me to come back and stay. It is said that the eyes of a person reveal their soul - and I knew that somehow these precious eyes would be revealing both her's and my own. 

There is a deep longing for safety and desperation for love in them. So many questions, such reserve. Not the eyes of a child but of one that have seen too much in her young age. And each time I look at this image all I want to do is pick her up and just hold her, tell her that she is loved and that she is safe, that she is a miracle and a blessing

Speak deep into her heart that she is a child that is wanted and adored. 

There are so many children that never hear those words. That rarely experience healthy human contact. That usually don't have enough food in their bellies or know of where they will be sleeping at night. They don't hear "I love you" or "sweet dreams" before they close their eyes at night, or often hear their name being called with a loving voice. They don't have many memories that make them smile, or someone encouraging them to follow their dreams and listen to their hearts. They don't have someone to kiss the scraped knees or put band aids on them, to wipe the tears after a bad dream. They don't have someone that loses sleep when they don't come home or stays awake in the hospital room with them. They don't have someone to speak truth about who they are - loved and adored. 

And I am not okay with that. And so that is why I am going. If only for one child or for many - to remind them or maybe even for the first time tell that that they have worth, that there is hope, and that they are wanted.

I don't have concrete details of what this will look like, but I know that it wont be easy or comfortable - I don't think that is the life we are meant to live any way. I do know though that it will be full of adventures with crazy wild amazing so sweet! cool stories, of digging deep into trust, of standing fast in hope, of speechless moments, deep sadness and overwhelming love. And I am willing for it all.

Friday, February 3, 2012


 Many people have been asking me about my story and what has lead me to the decision to pursue going to Uganda, so here is a little of my journey...

About 8 years ago I began thinking about working with children 'when I grew up'  - I was fifteen and had no plans to 'grow up' anytime but my dreams of astronaut and circus performer weren't quite panning out so I thought I should put some thought into it.. When this whole process started I had a no idea what this would look like and in His faithfulness, unending patience and overwhelming grace (praise Jesus!) He's revealed more and more about my personality, gifts and passions. Through opportunities and incredible adventures in the last several years, I've discovered more deeply about what makes my heart come alive and have been walking towards where He wants me.  

I went to Northern Arizona University (NAU - go Lumberjacks!) and double majored in Women and Gender Studies as well as International Relations. As a disclaimer, I've not graduated due to a few reasons but have about a year left to finish! I focused my attention on issues of women and children in poverty and the relationship of empowerment as well as human rights in the Third World - basically what is causing poverty and how we can eradicate it! One issue that resonated with me personally and that I spent most of my time academically on is the reality of millions of vulnerable children and orphans due to poverty as well broken social and political systems - specifically due to HIV/AIDS. 

As many of you know, Young Life seeps into the blood and so for about 12 years now it has played a very significant role in my life. This ministry is all about loving on students and has changed how I see Jesus, shown me time and time again how He redeems, how He gives adventures and life to the full in ways more then I could ever dream up by myself, and has cemented a commitment in my heart to live a life that reflects the deep intentionality as 
well as the relational aspects that Young Life is built on. 

In my sophomore and junior years of high school, I began taking a more active role in leadership and responsibilities, learning more of the background and theology Young Life and of how Jesus lived and loved. Over the years, more and more has been given and asked of me! My senior year a group of us started Wyldlife in my hometown - it was hugely challenging but also incredibly beautiful! If any of you have ever ever interacted with middle school-er's : #1. praise Jesus for you, #2. its exhausting and completely ridiculous! I was challenged hugely through this experience and began to realize more about the Father's extravagant love and grace and my desperate need for both.


My sophomore year in college at NAU I was asked to be apart of starting Young Life College Life for our campus - I had no idea what I was doing or what needed to be done BUT the Lord's grace covered my inefficiencies and through a lot, a lot of tears and laughter, people's deep passion and commitment to our students, and their faithfulness to seek out and love on our friends - we now have a full blown ministry that is active and currently exploding!  I have learned so much more about God's heart, about my personality and quirks as well as how my mind and heart work through the experience of being apart of starting a ministry from scratch. 

Amor ( is an organization that we here in Williams and Flagstaff have been working with for the last  decade or so.The first trip I took with them, I was a silly sophomore in high school and was utterly speechless at the poverty and hopelessness of the community we worked with in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. But more than anything, I saw the glimmer of joy and desire for redemption in the kids eyes as we worked to build a home for them in a weekend. What has captivated me each time I'm in this place of such desperation and loss is watching the kids come alive; the joy that is evident in the eyes of the boys and girls as they are overwhelmed with love and attention. These moments have played a very significant role in my desire to work with kids that are alone and desperately need not just food or basic necessities but most of all, need love.

I've learned many real life qualities - aspects of business, organization and management as well as organizing events and coordinating details through being involved with Young Life, Amor and other experiences. But more then anything, I've been learning how to love when it gets hard, to be consistent and faithful, to chose joy even when I don't understand - how to live and love along side people as we are called to do.

In the last year and a half I've been researching a lot of non-profits that work with children in Africa - looking at how they operate and sustain themselves; trying to find ones that I fully believe in, ones that I love how they serve and demonstrate the Lord's heart for kids that desperately need it. My desire has been for the Lord to lead me to ones that He wanted me to 
support and work with.

I came across a friend's blog ( several months ago and the Lord has used her words and courage several times since then to speak truth to my heart. I got an email that she had a new post and innocently clicked on it to go and read it, sitting in a coffee shop - soul shaking, heart throbbing and tears falling - I watched the video she made of the kids dancing over and over (about 9 times in a row!). I sat there and Jesus spoke several words and there was a deep peace that came over my heart; an excitement and confirmation that I am supposed to be apart of this magic, this utter joy that the Lord is calling forth. 

For about a year and a half, the word over my life has been 'wait' - and so its been a year of learning how to wait with grace, to lean deeply into trust and to listen in the silence and in the loudness. 

And now the word has become 'go', it has been confirmed only as He can - in the hilarious and intimate ways that only He knows my heart.  As my journey continues, I am realizing deeply how my heart beats more and more for living my live in a way makes people come alive; pushes them to reach for something big; to live in grace and to choose joy. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I have the freedom and the desire to go where He wants me - wherever that may be - and through a lot of talking with and listening to Jesus, I believe that I need to be 
faithful and pursue working with kids that desperately need love.  

There are so many more adventures and people that have played huge and important roles in me coming to this place. You know who you are, I am so thankful for the love and support, encouragement and prayers, that have blessed me from you - I wouldn't be here without you! And the excitement and confirmations that you have responded to this big adventure with - means more than you could possibly know!

And so I am going. With my camera and a desire for adventure. My heart is beating faster as I write this. Beating with excitement of the unknown, reaching for patience and sitting in utter peace that for this time, for this season, for reasons I don't fully know - I am going to be walking through the red dust that Uganda is known for. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Keeping the hope.

HOPE.  It seems to be the season of hope. Of wishes. Of promises. These words have been floating around a lot lately, I wonder if this is something I need to pay attention to.

What do you hope for
What makes you have hope?

In my head, my first thought about hope is its like a wish. Like "make a wish upon a star" or "hope they have my favorite froyo at Yogurt U!" or "hope the traffic's not bad or I'll be late!"... But part of me thinks that there has to be more to it than that...

Obviously, the first thing I did was google it - we (my trusty friend google and I) are best buds forever! As some of you know, that's not really  a joke but anyways...

I came across some interesting ones.

                                Hope means to  : wish for something with expectation  of its fulfillment.
                                                 : to have confidence in; to trust.                           
                                                 : to look forward to with confidence.
                                                 : to expect and desire.
                                                 : to be optimistic; to be full of hope.

Seems that hope has this involvement, this interaction that just wishing is missing. Its not just a thought or a side comment or a mumble under my breath but a verb, its an action, it requires a part of me to happen. Hope is not fleeting but instead there is a element of stability, of perseverance, of commitment that is missing in just a wish. Hope is an active choice rather than an assumption. The more I've been thinking about it, the more I'm recognizing that maybe hope plays a significant role in who I am. Maybe how I hope and what I hope in is key to who the Lord is in me.
Hope defered makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. 
                                                                                        - Proverbs 13:2
Its a hard verse. The first part has a sense of desperation to it almost. I don't know about you but I don't want my heart to be sick, its not quite on my 'to do list'... The definitions above don't at first lead me to believe that the confident expectation or desire of something will lead my heart into troubled waters. And yet, I know that this is usually where my stubborn heart leads me - you too maybe?

It seems to me that maybe we - the human race - have this desire, this innate ability to hope. And yet it's not until our hope has been violated or abused that makes us into the un-trusting and self protecting adults we seem to have to be to survive in this dog-eat-dog world we live in. We all have those moments that come to mind of the disappointments, the rejections, the not-met expectations, the loss of trust or intimacy, the broken heart
- the failures of ourselves and of others.

A friend had some really good questions, they sum up what I've been thinking about..
"Why do we defer hope? Why would we shy away from something                                      that can bring us happiness and peace?"

To defer is referring to the postponing of something. When something we hope for - a person, a circumstance, an answer, etc. - is delayed, not made evident in our timing (big one right) or is snatched away too soon for us is when the questions start rolling in and the doubt begins sinking little to deeply into our hearts.

But we also have a role in deferring hope. We can chose to walk away, we can wobble and let bitterness seep in instead of the stability that hope needs from us. I can grab onto distrust or the loss of things hoped for and un-met expectations from my past instead of being in the present.

Anger, pain, insecurities, loss, lack a patience, frustration, bitterness, fear, feelings of unworthiness, discouragement, loss of trust, un-met exceptions... I can defer hope because these things seek up and make themselves known. I can chose fear and discouragement instead of believing the worthiness and importance of my hope.

I think sometimes we can be so immersed in obstacles, in frustration or just not understanding what's going on that what we are hoping for becomes a bit fuzzy and goes a little out of focus. I can lose sight and waver because my hope is seemingly so far away - so I step back to prevent myself from being disappointed and my heart let down.

But hope asks for me to walk into it when adversity comes against it. Hope has me not run away when something looks different then the way I had it in my mind. Hope asks me to trust - myself and the Lord in ways that I might never have before. Hope demands a response and calls forth courage. Hope begs for confidence and pleas for patience.

And so when the hope I'm trying to hold onto seems to be slipping from my weak fingers, maybe I need to just breath and take the next step forward. Maybe I need to not focus on the many things I lack or insecurities, and look to the steadiness of the Lord's promises. Maybe when the confusion and disappointments hit, I need to chose confidence and patience. Maybe when my little brain just doesn't get it, I need to trust that He knows my heart so much more intimately then I know it and that He has it all together even if I don't. Maybe when the dam of doubt ruptures, I can depend on Him wanting a life filled to the brim for me. And when the ache seems too much, I can remember how He has never left me alone and that I am utterly and deeply loved. And maybe when it all seems like too much and not enough at the same time, I can see how He is giving me just enough, only enough to chose Him.

I came across this is Jesus Calling this morning, He has a funny sense of humor - reminding me that I will have enough to take the next step with Him, keeping me by His side and in His timing inside of marching out over the cliff on my own..
"Follow Me one step at a time... If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for the strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways."

How my heart wants to soak up the promise that He is enough. I want to know hope.  I want to be a person of hope. I want to move forward in confident hope. I want to live my life in the hope of being redeemed.