Wednesday, April 3, 2019

My Parachute

The sky was the bluest I'd ever seen since the warmer days of fall had left, and the sun finally made an appearance after the endless cloudy days of winter.

I drove down the winding road, lined with brown trees yet to bloom. I liked this path to my second job. It wasn't a really long drive, but it was long enough for me to listen to a sermon in the car, talk to God, or just belt out to my favorite songs on the radio. 

The views of the city skyline to the right made a perfect backdrop to the gorgeous red, yellow, and orange trees in the fall, and the beautiful green in the spring.

I was enjoying my ride, breathing in the crisp air, "all is good today" type of attitude. And then straight out of left field, one thought after another, like a radio station playing in my head... and sure enough doubts began to flood my mind. I find it amazing how your mind can hold on to voices, pictures, and scenes that can steer you in all sorts of directions within seconds. 

But these thoughts weren't just little itty bitty doubts that I could quickly shove away. No, they were the kind that had me in a shouting match for the next ten minutes of the ride, signaling into the air with one hand, as the other hand held on to the steering wheel.

I got so worked up that within two minutes I looked in the mirror, and my face was red and cheeks were smeared with tears. I kept my distance from cars so that they wouldn't see this pathetic girl driving as she ugly cried. Believe me, I 've done it enough that one time this kid just laughed at me at the red light.

'What if my life doesn't have anything I expected? What if I never get married? What if I never have kids? What if my business fails? What if I stay like this forever as everyone else moves on? God who is going to take care of me when I get older? Am I going to be alone? What if everything I thought would be my life.... isn't actually what's going to happen?

I'm 29. God am I supposed to be doing something else? Don't you know I have a time limit?! Don't you know that I'm supposed to be on this path by now? Don't you want all those things for me? What do you want for me... are you even listening?'

The words echoed as I talked out loud to no one that could hear me, except for myself and God.

I stopped and as always, I could almost hear a faint voice in my head, "Are you done now?"

I sniffled. "Lord, just promise me you'll take care of me no matter what...."

I hadn't realized I had left the radio on, and I could hear some music to a song begin to play. I turned it up so I could hear the words:

//  The fear that I'm alone
Around my neck like a stone
And gravity
It's pulling me
I've heard that You are good
And You are strong
And if I could I would believe
Help me to believe

Cause I am falling
Will You catch me?
God I need You
To be my rescue
I am broken
Will you fix me?
God I need You
To be my rescue
Be my parachute

I know I need You
To save me cause
No one beside You
Could save me now  //

The words really sunk in me. Do you know how certain songs or things could bring understanding sometimes at a pivotal moment? This song gave me a clear perspective when doubt and lies were clouding my mind.

I realized that God never promised me any of those things that I'm expecting, especially in my own timeline. Yet somehow I convinced myself I would have all these things by a certain age.

But where I messed up the most is failing to see that the Lord has taken care of me all the days of my life up until now... why would He not continue doing so for the rest of my life and future?

A parachute is such a good way to describe what Jesus is. I can't expect someone else to save me, take care of me, pick up my broken pieces... because they're not God. But Jesus is. I need to place my trust and literally let it all go.... to Him. Just like a parachute.

I know I expected many different things by now. But looking at it from another perspective, had I gotten everything I thought I wanted by now... perhaps I would've never had the time and best gift I received.

I'm getting to travel with my cousins. I got to try at photography, something I never thought I'd be able to do and began a business. I'm growing with a group of girls I love surrounded by God's Truth. I got to know Jesus. I got to spend time growing and focusing solely on Him, surrounded by my little brother, sister, family, and friends... who encourage one another in Christ.

I wouldn't trade these years for any other type of life. Because really at the end of our lives, I don't think that we'll have wished it all aligned better with "our plan". Or that we got to travel more. Majored in something else. Got married sooner or later. Had kids at a different time.

No, I don't think we'll wish that at all. Rather, all the times we shared His Truth and loved others. We'll get to see all the times Jesus sat beside us as we cried, laughed, mourned, rejoiced, and prayed. We'll get to see just how much God carried us through it all... and rescued us just when we needed Him the most. 

Song by Hawk Nelson:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Katrina & Michael | Maternity Session

I feel so blessed to be able to take part and photograph the most beautiful and pivotal moments in people's lives. Especially when you are beside them from season to season and watch their family grow. I photographed Katrina and Michael's engagement a few years ago and now here we are with their baby boy arriving soon!

It was a cold morning but they braved the cold for the sake of photography, and boy was it worth it! They look absolutely stunning, truly naturals in front of the camera... Katrina and Michael you totally rocked it! Here are my favorite photographs from their fun session.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Wedding Guide 2019

I'm so excited to introduce the Barbara Marcella Wedding Guide for all of my future brides! Wedding planning can be quite stressful, and so I created this little guide to help along the way. 

I tend to be very resourceful when it comes to finding certain things that I want, and so I included some of my favorite sites that have to do with weddings. I also included tips like what to wear on your engagement session, a sample wedding timeline and more to help assure you the best day and photographs ever. 

I had so much fun creating a little preview video for it too... enjoy!

Here is little intro video I created:

Monday, February 25, 2019

Out of Chaos

So here's the thing guys, I feel as if in my writing I've been rather... distant. It's really hard opening up online where so many people can read my words, and then, in turn, misinterpret my heart. 

We were headed to some friends' get together the other night, and I read D my recent writing. I asked him for honest feedback. Where am I lacking? Is my writing even any good? Does it matter? Should I just altogether stop? Does anyone care?

I'm always thinking the worst of any given situation. But the thing about D that I truly value is that he is always honest. No matter what the situation, he told me that he'd always be honest with me... even if I wouldn't like the answer.

And then he said the words I somehow knew and feared most he would say. 

You're a good writer, but I feel like I don't have a connection with you. You're too scared to let anyone see the real you. And I can tell you think no one cares. You just need to find your voice.... Why do you love to write?

Sigh. It's like my feelings are completely transparent. 

Truth is it's hard to not want to have everything perfectly aligned. I'm a photographer, and honestly, I love beautiful things and having a pretty, neat feed. I love happy and redeeming endings, pretty pictures, and lovely words. I love order, not chaos. I love light, not darkness. 

But I don't realize how much of that I take with me in every single aspect of my life. I want to portray what I truly love in life. 

But to be honest... life isn't really all sparkles all the time. 

So to answer his question, why do I love to write?

I love the feeling and magic of words when I read them off of a page. I love the images I see in my mind, and the emotions I feel when reading something that touches me. 

I know how it feels to be sad and then read the right words at the perfect time and the tears start to tread down my face from knowing someone out there is facing the same thing as me. 

I love that words can connect strangers across the world and both say "me too".  

I love that with four words "Let there be light" God spoke life into existence. 

I love that with the words I read in the bible that one day a few years ago as I sobbed on the floor of my bedroom, God whispered into my heart that I was deeply loved. 

I love to write because I hope I too can have someone feel what I feel as we go through this life. That I struggle and I have insecurities, but I hope that somehow my words can bring hope and life to someone else. 

I hope that my words reach out to you as if I was right there and just wrap themselves around you and tell you, hey you're not alone.

Words are powerful. Words truly matter.

And now that I think about it, words are the one thing that people have that no other creature or creation has. 

We (people) were made in His image... and were even given the words just like God. He really did make us special, because He wanted to talk to us. 

And with that thought, I just blew my own mind. 

It's my hope that I open up more about who I am, and not hide so much behind the colorful photographs I post.

Life really is beautiful, but I'm starting to understand that light would not be as bright if the darkness wasn't behind it to let it shine. 

Out of the chaos of nothing, came the unimaginable beauty of life. 

I hope I always remember just how important each part of my story is. The beginning, the times I want to go back in time to, the times I wish I could just erase out of my memory, and the times that drew me closer to the people I love. 

And that it's okay to crack open the door a little to let others see.  We're all going through this one life and from time to time need some light to shine in.  

You're here. And I'm here... and all I know is that matters a heck of a lot. 

I'm so relieved there are new days to start over. New days to apologize, to forgive, and to find the right words that we always wanted to say.

Saturday, February 9, 2019


In the 7th grade, I had an English teacher who had the word "FOCUS" printed in giant letters posted high up on a wall in her classroom. 

Being 7th graders, most students would make fun of it, but she regularly would refer to it and point at it when teaching one of her lessons standing at the podium in front of our class. 

I still remember this class vividly and staring at the words every time I'd walk into first period. She placed the words there as a reminder to focus on our own work that we were doing. So many years later and those words and the memory of it still remain in my mind.

I find that today more than anything it's really hard to focus on our own path. There are so many distractions everywhere... that it makes it a real challenge to not veer off in the wrong direction. 

Social Media, entertainment, the news, and the list goes on and on. I was driving to work the other day and lately I've been feeling a bit confused, sad... and just not right.

Honesty time. I kept thinking, "God, it's hard. How am I supposed to be focused on my own path, when everyone else's successes seem to be on display like a billboard all the time?"

I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. And I've realized that I have a problem with focusing on the road that God has for me.

Truth is, it's hard not to look at other people. Considering we live in a time when everyone invites you to peek into their lives.

I met up with a friend the other night, and we talked about God, life and our businesses as we sipped on raspberry sweet tea and I slurped down my favorite bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup from Panera's.

Talking to someone in person lets you realize we're all in similar boats out on the big vast ocean, just trying to keep on paddling.

Some people have little boats, some speedboats, some yachts, and some fishing boats. But we're all in the same waters, under the same sky... subject to storms at some point in life.

There was a part in John 21:21 when Peter is walking with Jesus and asks him, "... Lord, and what shall this man do?" meaning how is John's life going to turn out, what cool things is he going to do for you?

And this is what Jesus replies: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me." John 21:22

Jesus pretty much told Peter that it was no concern of his what He was going to do in John's life.

Ouch. The truth hurts.  

Which brings me to this. No matter what, we need to remember people will always put the best things in life on display. I mean no one likes to throw a parade on the bad stuff right?

But no one is perfect and behind it all everyone has their own load of hurt and things they're going through.

When people run in a marathon, they don't look behind them, to the sides, or to the person wearing red who's running way ahead. Instead, they stay focused on their path and time to make sure they finish.

I want to be devoted to the season I'm in, with the people and job that was given to me right now.

I can only run forward. 

Let's do the little things, for they amount to much. Wherever you are, be all there and focus on the road that God has uniquely placed you on. 

You matter not because you're super fast or overly qualified... but because you are IN the race... now let's finish it with grace.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lifestyle Portraits | Benjamin

I was so excited to get to spend some time with my sweet friend from college and her adorable son Benjamin. What I love about being a photographer is being able to be present with people and capture the moments through time with them. I love the emotions and reactions from the actual session and then when they receive the photographs. Here is this sweet birthday boy who turned one, and had a super messy but fun time gobbling up his cupcake.