Meet adorable Ryane! Who – yes – I photographed LAST FALL 🙂 – but who’s keeping track? THIS is what a shoot looks like when a family meets up and just has fun….relaxes, plays, laughs…I just love it! My best advice to my clients – who want so badly to have great NATURAL photos that really capture the essence of who they are is to RELAX – be themselves – not worry about clothing, the setting, how perfect your hair is (or isn’t) – and just enjoy the time together – and let me shot and play along! Nicole I’m so so sorry it’s taken me a year to finally post these!
When God rocks your world – and your heart – words and pictures don’t seem enough. And so I’ve started – and restarted – and restarted – this post. I’ve had conversations ABOUT this post – some in my head – some with friends over the past few months.
Some things are different around here.
If you haven’t noticed, my blogging and my social media interactions have been few and far between the past year. It’s been intentional. It’s NOT that I’m not busy lol – but the opposite.
There’s just not enough time in the day – day after day – month after month – and every time I successfully pass off a commitment or free myself from something – the time and space is filled with something else. Do you identify?
And don’t hear me complaining right now – the “something elses” that fill my life are blessings – babies, a husband, a homestead, furry friends, photography work…..but about two years ago, my time was so maxed that all I could hear was NOISE and STRESS. I couldn’t see some of my blessings as blessings.
Every day was a blur of the million and one things that I couldn’t accomplish before sunset.
I was tired.
I couldn’t hear God’s whispers.
He was there – orchestrating every little detail in my life – but I was busy.
It wasn’t a single event – or some “I see the light – ah ha” moment – but just a gradual “realization” and “peeling back of layers.”
I didn’t want life that was so rushed – or a life where I constantly thought “if I can just get on top of XYZ, then it will all be OK.” Because yeah, you’re never going to get “on top of XYZ” – there’s always going to be something else behind it.
And so I did something simple – I became intentional about my “quiet time.” I started filling my mind with some good reads like Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, Lysa Terherst’s The Best Yes, Rachel Stafford’s Hands Free Mama. I also started filling my ears during my runs and my drives with sermons – like Levi Lusko over at Fresh Life Church. (#addictedtohim). I began “planting and watering” the perspectives and lenses I WANT to see life through.
Boy what a difference it makes when you MAKE SPACE for God to move.
The daily “stresses” of life haven’t disappear – my days are still busy and hectic – but how I DEAL with them has slowly changed.
I took Facebook off my phone – and I have stopped constantly checking my email and texts. I put my phone down. I just feel like being on my phone distracts me from what is going on right around me.
I’ve become very intentional about anything I post on social media. What messages are my own posts sending out? Does everyone really need to know the details of my life – especially if it means I’m missing out on EXPERIENCING life myself because I want to get the perfect picture and post? And in that arena I decided that I want my posts to do two things – 1) Let my friends and family near and far keep up with us and my daily laughs (but NOT with every single little detail:)) and 2) I want to speak life into other peoples’ lives…..God shares so much with me everyday in my readings and church gatherings and I want to share…not because I want you to think that I’m all deep and have it all together…but rather because the things I’m hearing and experiencing are healing my own brokenness….and I want to be a vessel that continues to spread that….
And so I have also cut back on my work. God has blessed me – and it’s so hard to say no to photo shoots. I love my job and the relationships I have with my clients – but I was just trying to do too much – and giving my family the “leftovers” of my time (which was whatever I had after I’d finished my editing). So I’ve been taking fewer appointments – and not stressing about things like blogging (Eeeek I have shoots from last October that I still haven’t blogged – but it’s ok).
My continual prayer in all of this has been for more of HIM and less of ME.
And boy when you ask God for something, He gives it to you – but it doesn’t look like what you thought.
I prayed for joy and contentment. He took me to a village on the top of a mountain in Guatemala. Three times in one year.
I prayed for more of a sense of “community” in my life. He resurrected and restored relationships with family and friends.
I prayed for burdens to be lifted in various areas of my life. He helped me see that these burdens and stresses were all part of His greater plan – and that they were making me who HE wants me to be. My BEST ME.
And all the while, my readings and prayers – and His voice – remind me that I am just a child – a broken child who needs His guidance and His mercies to get through each day.
He has shown me that He wants me to do more than just GET THROUGH each day – He created a stirring, an urgency, to not be complacent and just “survive” this thing called life – but to seize it – tightly – and chase it down for HIS glory.
Now don’t get me wrong here. Again, I don’t “have it all figured out.” Like I said, my life is still crazy – just about every day.
For instance, my daughter MIGHT have missed her very first dance class the other week because I put the wrong date on my calendar. That definitely gets me the “dance mom award” right?
AND I might have been a panicked wreck while we rushed home to view the damage to our house on Friday when a freak storm blew a 100 year-old tree down on it. All I could think about was my furry pets inside the house.
But my perspective has changed. I’m looking for His glory in each thing – and slowing down.
So this blog has been on my mind the past few months…mainly the question of what to do with it. I don’t have the time to do the kind of blog posts I’d like to do for each photo shoot – so for a long time I’ve just been slapping up pictures and “calling it a day.” But even that is time consuming….and I already post the galleries for the families to view online…so my method of just slapping up pictures on a blog too seems pointless…
So I had an idea….I’m addicted to Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience. Go check her out. I never miss a chance to read what she has to share. I just love how she combines her personal musings with photography. Granted she posts daily and is a writer by profession…..but I’m thinking I can handle posting once or twice a month…and include some recent favorite pictures…some personal thoughts that may not even be related to the pictures…some honesty from me that might make you feel a little more “normal” yourself…..and maybe a favorite recipe or “mama secret/discovery” of mine here and there.
I’m going to call it my “Monthly Musings”….. and if you have thoughts or suggestions I’d love to hear them!
First I’m going to try to play “catch up” from the past year….and post some favorite pictures over the course of a few posts for you all to enjoy:)
These shoots, yes, are from LAST OCTOBER….but it’s ok….looking over them got me REALLY EXCITED about the upcoming fall…I hope they do the same for you!
Happy Thursday Ya’ll!
Hugs and blessings,
Here’s a glimpse at the 8 sessions I did with baby chicks this spring! We had ALOT of fun as always! Kids + Animals = My Favorite! If you missed out on them this year, be sure to sign up for my newsletter below so you’re on the radar for next year! These are the only mini sessions I typically offer each year to my established clients – and they fill FAST! It was such a blessing because the proceeds from these sessions went directly to the fund for my Guatemala mission trip coming up in June. These sessions alone actually paid for two of us to go on the 10 day trip! Thanks so much to these families for the support:)
I’ve decided that I’ve just gotta catch up on my newborn blogging in particular….because some of these babies will be coming to be soon for the “next pictures” lol….so be ready for lots of lil babes on the blog over the next week!
Meet sweet Julian….such a dreamy little boy in these pictures…but like many newbies he wanted to be awake for the pictures….so we waited a bit and then when he was out, he was OUT 🙂
Thanks so much Colleen for calling on me!
So excited to share these sweet miracles today! My dear friend – the very first friend I made when I moved to the Charlotte area 11 years ago as a matter of fact – had TWINS a few weeks ago – and I was tickled to get to spend some time with them and their big sister Carlie!
And all sucking thumbs….:)
Isn’t Carlie’s face here priceless!!? “Hey they are doing that crying thing again!”
AAAND some outtakes with Miss Carlie who is such the little ham 🙂