Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

Elizabeth Elliot: How Do You Define a Hero? (Week 50)



Elisabeth Elliot Watercolor/acrylic quote 

Story behind the Painting:

Recently my son (My 20-yr-old) called and said, “Mom, do you know who Elisabeth Elliot is?”

“Of course, she is one of my heroes of faith. Why?”

“Oh, well my friend just told me how much she loved her and I wanted to get her something about Elisabeth Elliot for Christmas. What are your thoughts?”

We talked about some ideas (I am not going to say too much because I am not sure if she reads my blog and don’t want to ruin his surprise:) and I decided to try and watercolor her some Elisabeth Elliot quotes.

The image above and the 2 below are the result of that challenge and I have to say, my friends, watercoloring words was much harder than I expected!  My handwriting is about on a 3rd grade level but I thought the “artist” in me would trump that.  I see all these amazing watercolor quotes that look effortlessly splashed on a page but mine however did not turn out like that.

I pray my lack of ARTISTIC SKILL does not take away from the beauty and depth of each quote.  I hope you will read them repeatedly, letting their truths sink in and bless your socks off!

I am going to give this watercolor writing another go at some point, after I take some classes on “YouTube” but for now, I am sharing the

“not so good but still done in the greatest of love”

watercolor quotes in honor of one of my heroes, Elisabeth Elliot, and for one of my son’s (and my) favorite people!



Elisabeth Elliot Watercolor quote (Black and White)


Elisabeth Elliot Watercolor Quote (Brown and Cream)

Take-away Treasure:

My history with Elisabeth Elliot is deep and wide.  She didn’t know it but it is true nonetheless.  I bet I am not the only one who feels that way either.

My introduction to Elisabeth Elliot and her first husband, Jim Elliot, was somewhere around 2005 or 2006.  We had just joined a new church and we were actually drawn to this church because the Pastor at the time used movies every Sunday in his messages. He used them as windows into God’s Kingdom, using story, like Christ uses the parables.

One Sunday the movie used was End Of The Spear , and I was hooked! (See synopsis below.)

End of the Spear is a 2005 docudrama film that recounts the story of Operation Auca, in which five American Christian missionaries attempted to evangelize the Huaorani (Waodani) people of the tropical rain forest of Eastern Ecuador. Based on actual events from 1956 in which five male missionaries were speared by a group of the Waodani tribe, the movie tells the story from the perspective of Steve Saint (the son of Nate Saint, one of the missionaries killed in the encounter), and Mincayani, one of the tribesmen who took part in the attack.[1][2] The two eventually form a bond that continues to this day.

“End of the Spear”  was inspired by Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Through Gates of Splendor ,

Written while she was still a missionary in South America and at the request of the men’s families, Through Gates of Splendor was Elisabeth Elliot’s personal account of the final mission of these five courageous men. Filled with quotations from letters, material from personal journals, a wealth of photographs, and an epilogue update, this book tells a lasting story of God’s grace, unconditional love, and great courage.

We went straight from church and bought both movies, End of the Spear and the original documentary, Through Gates of Splendor. (Which by the way would be an awesome stocking stuffer for anyone:) The lives of theses brave missionaries and their families have resonated in my heart since I first heard their stories.  When my faith has gone weak in the knees and I go to build it up, like David did,

“…But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.” 1 Samuel 30:6 NASB

I look to the veterans and pioneers who have gone before me, heroes of faith, cheering me on in God’s Word:

“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:1-3 MST

And I look to “Jesus with skin on ” in His children, who are still here living out their race and sharing their faith stories.  These people are heroes to me. Jim and Elisabeth Elliot are just a few of mine.

How do you define hero and who are some of yours? *Please share in the comments

This the perfect place for me to put in another plug for my favorite TV moment of each year – CNN Heroes – a tribute to ordinary people making a difference in our world.

**Check out this link as well to see how some others define “hero”: How so you define hero? CNN.com

How do I define “hero”: Someone who lives their life for the life of another.


Back to my history with Elisabeth Elliot:

I went to a speaking and writing conference, She Speaks, twice, somewhere around 2009-2011. (I can’t remember exactly, but I can still remember the title and content of the keynote messages, which tells you the profound lasting effect these conferences have had on my life.) Going to these conferences ALONE at that stage of my Jesus journey was a huge act of faith.  I was so fragile and painfully insecure prior to my “leg over the fence moment” in 2007 and choosing to board a plane for the UNKNOWN, ALONE was so out of character for the “OLD me” and the “NEW me” was still growing in her BIG GIRL SHOES! The first person I met in the airport terminal was a girl, literally named, Elisabeth Elliot.  I remember looking at her, thinking, “I know you!” This is a prime example of God speaking my love language, a God Wink specifically for me, a confirmation that I was exactly where HE intended for me to be for SUCH A TIME AS THIS!

(**I reference GOD WINKS a lot in my writing and these books by Squire Rushnell would be awesome Christmas gifts for anyone! )

Can you think of ways and times God has spoken to you through something that, others may call a “coincidence”, but you know better? *Please share in the comments


So, just a month ago I chose to buy Elisabeth Elliot’s audio book, Shadow of the Almighty ,

Elisabeth Elliot shares her husband’s full story “… a life that, though “hid with Christ in God”, was in part revealed in some of the most poignant and moving spiritual writings of our time. Shadow of the Almighty is a tremendous biography of an adventurous and inspirational life…”

Mrs. Elliot’s reading of her husband’s letters, journals and notes gives incredible insight to an remarkable life lived to the fullest. She at times pauses from the text of the book to give further insight.

While my husband and son’s played golf, I rode along, listening to Elisabeth read aloud in my ear from Jim Elliot’s journals, sharing tales of how one ordinary man stepped out in bravery, sold out faith, joy, pain, and everyday life to make a difference, a Kingdom difference, in this world.

Tears in the best sorts way ROLLED down my cheeks, as my men watched golf balls ROLLING into holes.  Elisabeth shared many stories from their day-to-day life, and how they saw the extraordinary in the ordinary.  She gave me new eyes. She helped me shift my perspective, not to take these moments for granted. What a gift to simply watch my guys play golf, an ordinary day, being an ordinary family but recognizing, from a heavenly view-point, the extraordinary in MY MOMENT!


My dear friend Elisabeth, joined my day-to-day once again when I received a phone call from my son, saying,

“Mom, do you know who Elisabeth Elliot is?”

I do!

And if you didn’t already, I think you know her a little more now, enough to want to find out more or share some of what you knew already:)

I hope you have the most amazing weekend!

*Please share in the comments:

How you would define a hero and who are some of yours. Celebrating the difference makers in our lives is a great way to go into this season, a season that celebrates the greatest DIFFERENCE MAKER there ever was, is and will be, Jesus!

How has God Winked at you through the years, through people, places, circumstances, books, movies etc…?

What has been your take-away from Elisabeth Elliot’s life?


About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel Forgiven and Free Living a life that says: COME AND SEE!

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