Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Battle Already Won

I am reading through the Old Testament and had to stop and reflect when I got to the story of Gideon. It stuck on me because most of us tend to think that the people in the Bible had this great faith when the Lord approached them... but in this story we see that those that were called were much more like us than we think. 

From Exodus all the way through Judges, we see how the Israelites were constantly disobeying the Lord, then crying out to Him when they faced consequences without the Lord, He would forgive them... and then the cycle would begin again. 

Much like us when we distance ourselves from God and then realize we need Him when things come crashing down. 

The Israelites had disobeyed for a very long time and cried out to God for help because they were in the hands of Midian (which caused them to live in caves and became very poor).

So one day an angel of the Lord came and sat under an oak tree that was in the land that belonged to Gideon's father.

Gideon was threshing wheat by the winepress. The angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and says: The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. // Judges 6:12

And what does Gideon say? He asks the Lord if He really is with him why have all these bad things happened to them, why did God abandon them?

Funny how we tend to ask the same questions when things are bad for us huh?

The Lord turns to Gideon and responds:

Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you? // Judges 6:14


The Lord pretty much tells Gideon instead of asking where has He been and why hasn't He helped them... He says I'm here for that reason and I'm sending YOU.

Gideon goes on to say he isn't worthy and I can almost imagine God shaking His head and giving a little laugh as He tells Gideon that He is with him and not only will he defeat Midian... but he will do it as one man.

The next few verses shows Gideon asking God for proof that He is really with him... and the Lord patiently provides it over and over again. How amazing is that?!

I won't go though the entire story (turn to Judges 6-7 in Bible) but what goes down is pretty much the Lord has Gideon round up men for battle... and Gideon takes too many. 

The Lord eventually only leaves it to 300 men... and in the middle of the night they are instructed to blow their trumpets and the lanterns they have in their other hand breaks as they shout "For the Lord and Gideon!"

This causes the Midianites to run for their lives and the Lord causes them to turn against each other. 

And this is how Gideon defeats the Midianites... there was no battle! The Lord fought it for them. 

So what am I getting to? 

We are all guilty of complaining to God when things go wrong and why aren't things getting better. 

But what happens when we are called? Do we follow and trust God has it under control.... or do we cower away and say this isn't my battle to fight? I'm not good enough (insert all the excuses). 

When God calls us remember this ... He doesn't call us because we are brave or that we are the best of the best. 

He doesn't call us because He knows we'll do the job correctly. He calls us because despite our shortcomings, He just needs us to show up and trust Him... because the battle has already been won.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Lifestyle Portraits | Zachary

     I remember it like it was just yesterday photographing Daniel & Jen's wedding. And now here we are celebrating their adorable son Zachary's first birthday. 
     He was born July 4th last year, and so Jen and Daniel created the most adorable backdrop and all things Americana. He was an absolute ham and I had so much fun taking portraits of him!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Recipes | Tre Colori Pasta Salad

     It's finally the Summer... and it's hot and sticky and well you may be wondering what can you cook that won't make you just want to get out of the kitchen and order takeout. Well I give you... Tre Colori Pasta Salad

     It is the perfect dish that is quick, easy, summer-approved and delicious. You can substitute the pasta with penne or any other that you prefer. You can also add other veggies, and the best part is it's eaten cold and that means you can save it for more than one day! Here is the recipe below... enjoy!

12 oz. Tricolor Rotini or your favorite pasta
16 oz. Italian Dressing or Oil and Vinegar
1 Red/Yellow Diced Pepper  
1 Cup Baby Carrots Diced
1 Cup Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
 Mozzarella/ Bocconcin   
Black Olives
1 Cucumber
Black Pepper
Parmiggano Cheese

1. Boil pasta according to box instructions. 
2. Once cooked, chop all the vegetables, mozzarella and anything else you would like in your salad. 
3. Drain past and place in a big bowl. 
4. Bring all ingredients together and mix.
5. Add the dressing and sprinkle with chopped Parsley. 
6. Refrigerate and enjoy!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Grand Canyon and Sedona Adventure 2016

There are certain places that I've always wanted to see in person at one point in my life. That photos just wouldn't do it justice... and I had to see it through my very own eyes. 

The Grand Canyon was one of those places. It was just too surreal to take in through a photograph. And so within a spur of a moment (literally a week before), my sister, cousin and I made arrangements and booked everything in order to get us there. 

As many people probably would, we underestimated just how big the state of Arizona was. We drove from Phoenix to Sedona in just over 2 hours. As we pulled in closer, the Red Rocks were seen from a distance and we stared in absolute awe. 

Even in person, it just didn't seem real. The grooves and edges of the mountains resembled a painting in many shades of red.

The mornings greeted us with the smell of firewood, and the view of Snoopy and Lucy Rock from the Peanuts. The nights were illuminated with all of the stars that could be seen in the sky.

We stayed in the Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble on Main Street, Sedona which was pleasantly located on a very touristy street. Touristy in a good way though. It had hotels, a walkway, stores, and plenty of restaurants to choose from. 

When we finally reached the Grand Canyon, which was also another 2 hours... it was unbelievable. It looked as if someone had a television screen in front of us.

We visited the South Rim and other points including Yavapai Lookout. The Grand Canyon stretches over 1900 square miles and reaches over a height of 7500 feet above sea level.

Watching the sunset behind the Grand Canyon was my absolute favorite. It was a sight so beautiful and peaceful that I'll never forget. 

We also explored Sedona with Pink Jeep Tours and after got to go horseback riding on the hills and slopes in a desert. Besides my horse Pilot bringing me close to the edge... it was the most amazing experience ever ;). 

Sadly these photographs truly don't do the Grand Canyon justice, so you really do need to go for yourself someday if you can! But I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I did experiencing this little adventure of ours.