Friday, August 17, 2018

First


As I sit here at the dinner table of my home, lights off with just the sunlight from the side door pouring in, I anxiously wait for the words to spill out...  and then I realize how much of a jumpy, uneasy person I am.

Sigh, I'm a worrier. 

I worry when there's a phone call... will it be bad news this time?

I worry if it rains hard enough... a tree might fall through my roof.

I worry I accidentally said the wrong words to someone... and now they think I'm a terrible person. 

I worry about my health and finances.

I worry I give the wrong impression if my Instagram is not perfectly pretty.

I worry... about worrying. 

And just like that, I've become Wemberly Worried, the character in the children's book I read to our class this past year.

This morning I decided to start first off reading the bible and my devotionals along with it before I began my day.

I don't know about you guys, but you know how when you ask God to show you something, and you're like "WOAH that's it!" when He actually does?

The overall theme was so obvious, it speared right through my heart.

In John 21:15, Jesus asks Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?"

Jesus asks this question three times.   

"More than these" could have easily been anything else that Peter placed before Jesus. 

In Genesis 4:4, Abel brought the first of his flock and of the fat to God as his sacrifice and offering. 

Do you see what's going on here?

God wants to be the first important thing in your life.

What do you place before God?

If I'm going to be honest, as much as I say I'm not going to... worry and fear terrorize me before running to God first.

But why?

Jesus specifically tells us in Matthew 6:33,

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all of these things shall be added unto you. 

I often ask God for the same things, and I get so upset and frustrated because He's not answering in the time I want. 

And then it brings me to think maybe we want the answer to our problems more than God's own plan for us.

But is it possible that God is trying to change us before our circumstance?

I think so. 


Jesus never said, follow me and forget everything else you ever wanted.

No, He said, follow me first and then everything else you need will be given to you. 

We all make this mistake thinking other things like our careers, relationships, status, and yes even family should be first. 

God wants to transform your life, no mistake in that. But before He does He needs you to put Him first

I promise you, once you do... be prepared for the change of a lifetime.  

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The R Family | Lifestyle Session


I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing this gorgeous family recently. I always ask my clients if they would like to do a early morning or sunset session because the lighting is always most beautiful. 

And so we walked along the riverview early in the morning and I got to have a cute little chat with their adorable daughter as I snapped photographs of them.

Thank you for allowing me to capture this special time in your lives, and much luck and love to your new bundle of joy coming very soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bold, Brave, and Free


They say that you are your truest self at the age of 5. And after this past year, I can say that that statement might indeed be true.

Last year I was in a leadership position of head teacher, and it challenged me in ways I didn't think I was capable of handling. (But God proved me otherwise).

Whereas this year, I took a more humble role as assistant teacher alongside two other girls. 

I went in blindfolded not knowing what to expect, and in the first week.... I cried my eyes out. (Let's be honest here, I start and end everything with crying my eyes out.)

The amount of work was emotionally and physically draining. Did I really go to school for THIS? I shouldn't be here. What am I doing? Constant negative thoughts shouted at me in my mind.

But I don't like to start things and quit midway. And so I promised myself I'd stay.

Our class recently graduated and it was a sweet and emotional celebration. As I adjusted their caps and zipped up their gowns backstage, I could see the nervousness behind their quiet smiles. 

And in that moment I realized how lucky I was to be the one to look at them and remind them they were going to be great. 

That all they had to do was look at us if they got nervous, sing their hearts out, and forget that they were in a crowded room. 

With only a few weeks left of the year, I'm thinking about all of the things that happened this year and how it grew me. 

And what I've learned is this:

If you open your eyes to the circumstances around you and allow God to show you another perspective... you'll realize that there is so much to learn from any situation you're in. 

That no matter what job you are currently in... God can use you for His purpose. 

That a job doesn't make you better or worse than anyone else. Even if you hold a degree, it's your amount of humility and character that will shine through. 

(If Jesus, the Son of God lowered Himself to be here on earth as a carpenter... it's the perfect example for all of us to humble down in any position as well.)

There is nothing more rewarding than being part of a team and realizing that there is someone there to laugh with when everything around you is out of control, encourage and celebrate the small victories with... (and eat unicorn cake with around a kiddie table) at the end of a long day. 

I truly cherish the friendships I made this year working alongside these girls and couldn't have made it through without our laughs and support. (Teamwork makes the dream work for sure!)

Sometimes you need to step into the field that you are avoiding. 

As much as I didn't want to admit it... teaching brought out the part of me that needed to come out. 

Being silly, outgoing, talkative, not afraid to laugh at yourself, and being comfortable in front of people. All of these traits that were present at one time, but covered up as the years went on.

And I realized that perhaps that spunky 5-year-old bold kid might still be in there if we just scratch off the surface a bit. Being a teacher gave me that push that I need to be bold in other areas of my life.

Teaching is not what I do... but rather part of who I am. And now I can finally admit that. 

Children this age truly taught me to see and love people in the way that Jesus does. I understand what Jesus meant when He said children are like the kingdom of God. 

// But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. // Matthew 19:14

I often think about how the world is such a scary place with terrible things happening, and people being lost day by day. 

Will it ever change?

Our class sang "You and Me" by the Disney movie Descendants 2, and as we led the moves in front of the stage I tried to cover up the tears streaming down my face of both being so proud and realizing how much meaning this song has for me too. 

In a world that seems like it's getting worse day by day... now is the time.

The time to be bold in our faith.

The time to be brave and not be scared to stand up for the Truth.

The time to be free and use our freedom to lead others to the Light.

And if we look deep inside we'll realize... it all starts with you and me.



// We gotta be bold
We gotta be brave
We gotta be free
We gotta get loud
Making that change
You gotta believe (whoa)
We'll look deep inside
And we'll rise up and shine
We can be bold
We can be brave
Let everyone see
It starts with you and me (whoa, whoa, hey)
It starts with you and me (whoa, whoa, hey)
It starts with you and me //