Monday, February 8, 2016

The Work of Hands

A thought came into my mind recently. If someone were to place me in a room and I had to distinguish my family and friends without seeing their faces... would I be able to? 

Hands. Their hands... I realized anyone that I was really close to, I knew what their hands looked like. My mind memorized their features. I was fascinated by this discovery.

Odd thought, I know. But think about it. Hands are basically all sort of similar in structure, five fingers, nails, etc,... and yet they are distinct and unique to each and every person.

Isn't that awesome?! We all have OUR very own set of hands that aren't alike to anyone else in the entire history of time in the universe! Such a simple concept but boom, such an unbelievably awesome fact.

A few days ago at work, the word domestic came up, and a child asked what it meant. The teacher went on to explain how it means having to do with the house, or being particularly well at things done at home.

Today many things have almost gone the opposite direction of domestic. Where once it was praised to be skilled in many different things such as sewing, cooking, handwriting a letter, being able to fix and work with car parts... I feel like we've almost forgotten the beauty and importance of working with our hands.

Everything is automatic, microwaveable, or instant. We type or text messages, opt for fast meals that don't require making anything from scratch, and throw aside the blouse with the buttons popped off.

Have we lost the touch?

The work of hands fascinate me. The rhythm of movement as one slices an apple, rolls out the dough, cuts the perfect angles in someones hair, paints a portrait, carefully inserts the needle in and out of a button, the way fingers glide and dance on each piano key. 

And so I observe. I watch my mamma cut, blend, and pour tomato sauce onto a rolled out dough. I look at the strokes and dotting of someone's i's in their signature. I watch as my cousin interlaces her fingers through each strand to form a braid in my sister's hair. 

Our hands are marvelous tools we often overlook, and these skills and talents are treasures I'm holding onto in the hopes they never fade away.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sweet Love | Proposal: Kellianne & Daniel

I first met Daniel a few years ago at the church we both attended, and his caring character and love for Jesus beamed through him as he led the youth group and every time someone spoke to him. 

When he first introduced us to Kellianne he said, "She's beautiful... even more on the inside than the outside." And she really is!

So when he asked if I would take photos of his surprise proposal, I knew I couldn't miss out on that special moment he had planned.

Kellianne was already in the restaurant with her family, and Daniel had a bunch of his friends in on the plan. We hid with balloons, cameras and excited smiles in the back room, waiting for his song to play and then we would follow him out. 

He danced and twirled her around as Kellianne laughed. Then at the right moment, he got down on his knee and proposed. 

I can't say I heard the exact words over everyone's shouts of "She said yes!!!", but I snapped away behind my camera. I tried sooo hard not to cry, but there was no stopping these hot tears from rolling down my cheeks. It was such a sweet moment!

Kellianne's reaction was priceless. She was so overjoyed and surprised, it was contagious. There was shouts of happiness and claps throughout the entire restaurant.

Daniel and Kellianne, thank you so much for having me be part of this special day in your lives. I had so much fun documenting it.... I wish you two tons of love!!!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The girl who didn't want to be found

"So you're like the girl who didn't want to be found..." My cousin suggested as she listened to one of my ramblings about a recent incident. 

"Oh yea... yea I guess I am!" I laughed at her statement that seemed to perfectly hit the nail on describing who I was.  

You've probably heard countless stories of how people would leave clues, hints, a map that led to hidden treasures. How without these clues... well it's safe to say that without them the treasure would never be found.


If someone entrusted me with a mission to make sure to leave behind clues, anything that would help someone get closer to finding something.... I would totally fail. 

Let's begin by stating that I'm a note hoarder. No seriously I am. I have like five packs of sticky post-its (the neon squared ones) in my purse and then backups in my drawer. Oh and that doesn't include the sealed up one for when I run out. 

Then let's not forget about the countless journals, and scraps of paper that randomly float around to the bottom of my tote bag. The reason for it is because I'm always listening, looking, and observing like everything. And so by the end of the day my brain is somewhat like Dory in which I forget things in an instant if I don't quickly jot it down. 

So the solution is to always have some sort of notepad and pen on me. I'm the girl that will be watching a movie or hearing a song, and some beautiful quote or scene will speak to me... and then you better believe I'm typing it in my phone if I can't find a piece of paper.

So it brings me to the incident which I was telling my cousin about. I was at work one day and had a note in my hand and when I came back to my room, I realized I had dropped it on the way.  

My mind flashed to some random child or teacher picking it up and thinking what a weirdo this person must be for these scribbles of thoughts. Or even worse.... that MY name was written on that torn paper and then I'd be revealed. They'd then parade with it down the hall until the whole school would know I was some sort of freak.

OH THE AGONY. So you guessed it, I retraced my steps to search for my little prodigal scrap of paper. And low and behold, there it was in the middle of the hallway, a note no bigger than my hand and blending into the shiny white floors. 

I quickly picked it up and read the tiny, written too fast font on the ripped out piece of lined paper. My heart sank and I felt a relief and sense of guilt at the same time.

On the piece of paper was a bible verse that I didn't want to forget. Nothing more, nothing less. 

How silly was I to run back after that note as if it contained my deepest darkest secret? I often feel like sometimes many of us hide what we treasure most, for fear that someone will point their sticky fingers and laugh at us.

We're careful not to leave behind any traces of ourselves or what we love for fear of rejection, humiliation. So in a way it's sort of like we're saying we don't exist.

Because the truth is without a voice, our voice... we don't exist.

And that should make us all a little sad. Well actually it should break our hearts. Because it sure breaks God's heart. 

It's like God leaves us our own personalized map, with trails and different treasures to uncover along the way. The treasures are our talents, quirks, and interests that ultimately lead us to where we're supposed to be.

So what I'm saying is if we don't share the things that make us want to swirl around until we're dizzy from laughing so hard, the things that make us feel alive... how will we ever know what amazing things we're capable of?

If you and I don't come alive... how will we help others come alive?

And so don't be like the girl who didn't want to be found. The world needs your treasures, the ones you hold so deeply and make you come alive... because your treasures help the world come alive.

Don't be afraid to share your heart, what you love, why you love it. You were not a mistake and neither was your unique mind.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

As Simple as Snow

It amazes me that something as simple and delicate as snow can cause everyone and everything to just stop. Millions of these little ice crystals trickle down their own path slowly... and yet not one of them is alike. I once caught one on my glove and it actually had the shape of a hand drawn snowflake.

It really looks like a snowflake!! I squealed with excitement. I guess part of me always thought our imaginations made up the shape... but they really are detailed!

I got all bundled up to help with shoveling the snow outside today. Leggings, extra thick socks that wouldn't fit into my rain boots, gloves, blanket-huge scarf and my Eskimo looking parka coat.

I look at the beautiful snowflakes piling up... so delicate and yet can also cause so much havoc. Shovel in hand, my mind starts to doze off and wonder... and then I'm brought back with a gust of wind, spraying cold little ice petals onto my face.

Ten minutes in the cold and my fingers already start to go numb with occasional shocks of heat... and then throbbing pain. How frail are our bodies?

People feel small when standing next to the ocean, which of course I do too. It's so majestic and big compared to our tiny selves.

But I'm humbled when standing outside as the snow falls and dances slowly all around me. 

These little snowflakes, as small as they may be show the grandiosity of their Creator. That even in the smallest particle... His power and beauty is always eminent.