Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Dream

Does God speak to us through people we admire or look up to?
What if said person is someone we've never met?
And God uses a dream to speak to us in the voice of that person?

Weird and vague I know.

And sometimes I get anxiety about sharing something that feels a little more personal.

But last night I had this very vivid dream where I was communicating with a photographer I really admire, and she is such a lover of God too. I can't remember her full, first comment to me, but she ended it with "beautiful lady."
I replied, "I love that you always say 'beautiful lady.'"
And she said "Well of course! Your creativity is exquisite." (At least, I THINK those were the exact words said, I'm a little foggy now)

I immediately woke up from this dream and knew that God spoke those words to me. I knew, because I've desperately needed to hear those words.

It's been a long time fault of mine to fall into the comparison trap. I fall into it big time regarding beauty & photography.

I see women who have had 3 kids and look like supermodels. Or women who can eat whatever they want and not gain an ounce. (how unfair, right?!)

I see these professionals with their college degrees and $15,000 worth of equipment and feel I can never measure up.


I am enough. I am beautiful. The dreams God has given me are unique and the ability he's gifted me with are exquisite. God can and will use me exactly where I'm at, with my limited experience and funds. I must continue to be faithful with what he's given me and stop comparing to everyone else!

Step up. Step out. Your creativity is exquisite.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Greener Grass

It seems I'm constantly learning that the grass isn't always greener on the other side. I've talked about chasing dreams, moving, believing things will be better when we get to x, y, and z. But sometimes the grass is just green enough to paint a beautiful portrait...if you allow yourself to see it that way. I can almost picture the dead grass next to my apartment shining a beautiful golden hue at sunset. A picture worth hanging on my wall.

I'm not where I want to be, but I'm getting there. My heart is being refined, I'm choosing joy even when I don't feel like it, I'm working to be faithful in the small things, in the things that aren't my own, believing that God can then entrust me with much more.

On a less heavy note, my cousin in Oklahoma gifted me with the chance to attend a full weekend photography workshop in Oklahoma mid-February. I feel so blessed and excited! I am just crazy itching to actually launch a business and be doing more with photography. I have so much vision and so many dreams. Just praying that the Lord would help me bring in clients :-)

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Places I've Lived

When I see pictures of any place I've lived, there are fond memories attached to each of those places. There are hard memories, tough times attached too, but I seem to only recall the good times. And naturally it leaves me longing for it a bit. I experienced it when I moved away from east Texas. Golly I longed for that place. It's been 2 1/2 years since I moved away from there, and while I occasionally miss it, I've realized with time, that I miss the people, the experiences, the things that only existed in that season. I've come to terms that I don't get those things back, and I'm glad I lived life to the fullest while I was there.

When I lived in Canada, newly married at the ripe age of 21, plucked from all things familiar, I did not live life to the fullest. I complained, I hated the cold, whined about the snow, talked often about missing my home church in Texas, missed my family. But when I look at pictures now, see familiar people, Canadian family, and sweet friendships that were made in that 9 months, my heart deeply longs to go back. I see what I missed out on while I spent so much time complaining. And I guess I wish I could have a second chance. And I wonder how life would have turned out had we not moved back to Texas.

I sense that there is more regret, more longing, when we don't live life to the fullest. Either when we don't see the blessings in a certain season, or when our hearts are guarded - it holds us back from all that God has for us.

I cannot change the past and my mistakes. Maybe one day we will get the chance to live in Canada again, who knows. But I want the lesson learned from all of this to stick - no matter where I am, live life! We miss out on so much when we choose to complain rather than let God reveal the beauty and the blessing of where we are at. That includes right now, living in Texas, wondering what the future holds, trusting God with our desires and dreams, knowing that He really does have the absolute BEST in mind.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

First Week of 2013

Well we are a few days into 2013 now. Josiah seems to have picked up some little bit of sickness this week. He doesn't want to eat much, doesn't want to drink anything, and is breathing like darth vader. Poor baby. I've pulled out all the stops to try and help the guy out, and he seemed to have a lot more energy today, but still darth vader and no appetite. Hopefully this clears soon! I started to feel a bit of his cold hitting me, so I'm drowning myself in vitamin C, hot tea, and green smoothies. Seems to be working so far.

Rob started his new job. He's working overnights 3 nights a week as a security officer. It's definitely a change to get used to, being alone for 14 hours, then being alone during the day so Rob can sleep. Good thing I have a fun and energetic little boy on my hands! After Josiah goes to bed and I'm all alone, reminds me of my single days. Days that I don't miss, days that I pray I never will know again. I am so thankful and blessed that God allowed me to get married and have my own family at such a young age. Pretty sure I'm the only 23 year old on the planet who is celebrating that I'm going to bed at 10:30 at night! I wouldn't have it any other way :-)

You know, I have not taken a SINGLE picture since 3 days before Christmas? Yes, that means I didn't take any pictures of our Christmas this year. Which is like, blasphemous when I'm so passionate about photography. It's been kind of nice to just soak it all in, to be refreshed. It's actually stirring my heart so much for what's ahead with photography, coming up with plans, ideas, and lots of vision and determination :-)

Forgive me for the randomness and lack of any point to this blog. This momma's brain is exhausted and foggy! Glad I only have like 6 followers on here ;-)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012. Yes, Like Everyone Else

One year ago today I wrote in my journal - "2010 was the best year of my life, 2011 was the worst, please please please God just let 2012 be normal." And it's safe to say that it was. 2012 had the normal ups and downs, but it was never consistently bad, nor consistently awesome, just the winding roads of ups and downs. And I'm okay with that.

The first 7 months we relied absolutely and completely on the provision of the Lord. We did without a lot, and I mean A LOT. But God always provided exactly what we needed each and every month.

Two different times there was an anonymous and unexplainable deposit in our bank account that paid our rent. A couple of times strangers handed us cash. Several times friends wrote us checks so that Rob and I could have a simple, desperately needed date night. Each time God provided, it was thrilling!

In the midst of our financial struggle, in April God spoke to me about taking a giant leap of faith and pursuing my passion for photography. That was tough, really really tough, to trust God on that one. But my husband fully supported it, and it was one of the best decisions.

In June I was offered a full time job, one that would finally take care of our family. I cannot even tell you what a relief it was to finally KNOW that we could pay rent when the 1st came around. And while God providing for us each month was thrilling, and I am so thankful for that season, the growth, and the lessons learned, I hope we never go through that again. In fact, that season has changed my heart SO SO SO dramatically towards the poor and needy all around us. My hope is that God can use this experience to change other people's lives in 2013.

In July, Rob became a permanent resident of the USA! This is hands down the highlight of the year. The immigration process was the most difficult and trying thing I've ever done in my life, and I'm so glad we never have to think about it again.

Rob started working in the fall for a valet company, and while we've been grateful for that job, ten hours a week and not knowing if you'll even end up getting those hours was getting pretty lame. So Rob was offered a job as an overnight security guard, and this is a job he is really going to love. It's right up his alley! I cannot tell you guys how much Rob deserves this. After spending a year as strictly a stay at home Dad, seeking God and trusting Him during this season of being unable to work, man does he deserve this!

I am so, SO excited for 2013. There is something melodic that leaves me in great anticipation for this year ahead.