Friday, August 26, 2022

33: A Light in the Wilderness

Today I am 33 years old... hard to believe it myself! Other than my responsibilities as a new wife and a few wrinkles here and there (sighhh lol), I don't feel a day past 17. It's true that situations and circumstances push us forward in growing up as a normal part of life, but the inside--- your heart, your soul, I truly believe stays youthful and vibrant, adventurous, yearning for all of the beauty and life that the Lord had originally intended before sin came into the picture.  

As the verse says in Ecclesiastes 3:11, 

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

I believe there is a spark, a flicker, an ember of a sort that is waiting for us to ignite in every season of our lives. Most times we need the Lord to help us remember who we are and what we are here for despite the circumstances that surround us.  

This past year has been a year of changes for me in all aspects of my life. I became a wife, live in my own home (became an official adult!)... lost loved ones, and walked through unexpected illnesses within my family. 

And yet, I can wholeheartedly say that I've never felt the Lord's hand surround me more in my life than the past year.  

With so many things happening one can lose hope, but when I look around me, the blessings far outweigh the circumstances. How can I not see His goodness and hand through it all?

Through these trials, the Lord has used them to grow me up a lot this year. But what I've learned is that the refining of our hearts and souls happen through the thickest of trials. I always ask God to make me more and more like Him, but I never expected Him to allow what He did. 

And with that, we can either allow it to tear us up and give in to the world's standards OR we surrender to the Lord the very thing we won't let go of... and trust that He is going to shape us and change us into something more beautiful than we ever could imagine. 

Through many tears and prayers... I decided to choose the latter no matter what the world thought. I decided that trusting in the Lord for Him to guide me in wisdom was better than anything else this world could offer. 

I'm usually the girl who loves learning, note taking, highlighting... taking it all in. But what's the use of all this knowledge if it can't be applied right?

And so I think there comes a time in our lives when the Lord says it's time apply all that you've learned... and so He allows situations to arise so that we can do just that. 

Everyone tells you that your life is supposed to look a certain way, have a certain job, status, etc,.. by a certain age, but I don't think that's so true anymore. You see if we do live that way, we never give the Lord a chance to truly use us and grow us because we place our lives in other people's box of expectations.

Ahh there's so much I'd like to say about this past year and originally I wasn't even going to make a post about my birthday... but here we are.

If today was my last day on earth, this is what I'd say:

Thank you Lord for seeking me when I was lost and saving my soul... it is a gift that is too wonderful for my feeble mind to understand sometimes, but so thankful you loved me enough to do so. 

I'm grateful for Jesus and His grace that He gives every single day. I've seen Him work in ways that you wouldn't believe if I told you, but He truly does listen to those that love Him. 

I'm grateful that the Lord gives us multiple chances even when we are stubborn and don't understand. If you ask Him for guidance and His wisdom... the Lord will move mountains, shake up every single thing you thought you knew and believed and lead you exactly where He needs you to be. 

This verse I used for our wedding last year still is true today:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

This year has taught me the greatest lesson of all: what it means to solely rely and trust in the Lord and His wisdom. He made a road in the wilderness where there was none.

I'm so thankful for another year that I'm alive and can continue to tell people of His goodness and loving kindness! Here's to 33 and to following the narrow path that leads to life... the path that is lit with beautiful light leading you all the way home.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Alie & Leandro | Ideal Beach, NJ Proposal

This summer has been absolutely beautiful in New Jersey. It's been hot, yes... but I don't complain about that as long as it's sunny and gorgeous :D. I love when clients choose the beach for their portraits especially around sunset, the glow is just so warm and inviting and simply beautiful. Ideal Beach was perfect because it isn't usually crowded which gives you plenty of space to pose.

I was so excited to document Alie and Leandro's proposal! Leandro had Alie's friends set up a beautiful table with all of the d├ęcor and have it ready to surprise her when they arrived. Whenever I photograph proposals, I always try (time permitting) to give the couple an engagement session too after He proposes to her :). The day couldn't have been more perfect, these are my favorites I photographed of them... wishing Alie and Leandro so much love on their new journey together!

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Antonietta's Bachelorette in Charleston, SC

This trip started out a bit rocky with two delays and a cancellation hours before our departure... but I'm so glad we finally made it to Charleston to celebrate my sister's Bachelorette! We were only there for 1 day, but I'm so grateful that the Lord allowed us to have a great day and we did everything we had originally planned! 

We stayed at The Ginger Lily House and had the whole house to ourselves! It was the girliest, cutest house--- decorated in every single corner and super picturesque. Ginger, the host was the absolute sweetest lady ever and was so welcoming to us.

We started our day and had breakfast at Toast before our carriage ride around the city with Old South Carriage Tours Co. We learned about the history of Charleston and got to see many of the famous streets and beautiful historical homes. 

We then had lunch at The Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits ----it was SO good and had a beautiful view of the city of Charleston from the rooftop. 

We visited the The Charleston City Market and did some shopping and made sure we took a stroll to see the colorful homes of Rainbow Row and the cute Pineapple Fountain by the waterfront. 

Finally we ended our day with a sunset boat ride out on the harbor with Holy City Boat Tours of Charleston... the views were so beautiful and God gave us the most gorgeous sunset to end our time together. 

We truly had a blast, and realized sometimes life doesn't go as you plan but you need to make the best of it anyway with the people around you. And that we truly did... here are our favorites from our beautiful trip!