Fly Forward fosters communities who experience relational nourishment, deeper growth and connection with God, self, and others through exploration of our intrinsic creative nature.
about the founder
Jennie Schut founded Fly Forward in 2007. Since then, hundreds of women have experienced creative and spiritual exploration, awakening, and flourishing through educational materials, small groups, retreats, workshops, leadership training and art instruction. Jennie works with and teaches oils (painting) and encaustics (a wax-based medium) in her home studio and workshops in middle Tennessee and around the nation. Jennie has conducted dozens of groups and retreats based on material from her book, Waking Up Grey: An Exploration of Creative Awakening. She paints, speaks, writes, and leads groups of women seeking to enhance their creative potential. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from Middle Tennessee State University and a Spiritual Direction Certificate from Selah Center for Spiritual Formation. Jennie has four daughters.
To see Jennie's artwork, visit http://www.jennieschut.com/
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Jennie's story of Awakening
I've always known I am creative. But after becoming a wife and mother of four— and all that comes with it—and having experienced past hurts around my creativity, I neglected the creative parts of myself. Like watching ice cubes in a warm drink, every moment the ice threatened to disappear. Before melting away entirely, I realized I needed regeneration.
The Christmas after my fourth was born, I asked my husband for 6 hours a week. Six hours to explore, completely for myself. I began to play. I bought a box of crayons. Not the cheap, waxy, 24-count Kmart brand of my childhood, but the 64-count box with a built-in sharpener! The very box I begged for as a little girl. I began drawing outside the lines.
I went ice skating. I wrote in a journal. A lot. I took a local drawing class. It wasn't until Week 9 that I saw something new emerge. With no knowledge I could draw anything resembling a human face or figure, my sketches (surprisingly) began to take shape. This discovery sparked an ever-unfolding process. First, it ignited the writing of Waking Up Grey, published in 2009, and facilitation of Waking Up Grey groups and retreats. The fire spread to the study of art and completion of my college degree in May, 2013. The creative process ebbs and flows, but is always active. I have found when we are invited into a life of creativity, when we receive and live out the invitation, we become the work of art.