Wednesday, September 25, 2013

At the end of myself

I've been reading the book, “Radical” by David Platt. (Warning! This book will wreck your life if you let it) Suddenly, my whole life, my whole purpose, my whole being, is changed. I've realized that the last two years, I've been living completely for myself. Sure, I “helped” out in the youth group, and with the elementary outreach and the jr. high kids outreach, but what does that even mean? Don't get me wrong, doing those things isn't wrong, but it was wrong for me. I was doing it for myself, I was doing it so that I would feel like I had a place and feel like I was making a difference. Let me tell you, that's not how I felt. All I felt was empty and more unhappy. When I got out of master's Commission, (a discipleship school I attended for two years) I had signed a commitment to them saying that I would serve my home church for a year- it was a fight to make it through that year. That commitment I made, is really what kept me from running away completly. After that year, I didn't know what to do, so I simply kept doing the same thing I was doing- “serving” and trying to feel fulfilled.

Now I look back on those two years, and see how much time and effort I wasted on myself. Some of you might say, “you did awesome things with those kids” and maybe I did, but what for? I only did it for myself.

Fed up with that life, I made myself as busy as possible, working for yet again, myself. Only to feel more wiped out and tired and just plain empty. How lonely life is when you can't get your eyes off yourself. Well here I am in Nicaragua! After saving enough money, I bought myself a plane ticket and came here to visit my dear friends. At least when I'm with them I feel happy! Yes I also came to serve their ministry here and see what life is like- and two and half weeks in, it's ruined me hopefully for good!!!

I knew I would have a lot of down time here so I brought some books to read. One of the books I received at the end of my MC years, was Radical. I had tried to read it in the two years I've been home but couldn't get myself past the first chapter. Upon re-reading the first chapter here, my heart is changed.

I knew coming here would also be a wonderful time to re-connect to God and pray about what he has for me next. And goodness has it been good! I've missed so much living for myself! I have come to the conclusion that life is not worth living for myself. Just let that sink in. Think about life, the things we do, the people we see, the books we read, isn't it all for us? The worldly culture says that we need to make ourselves happy and fulfilled to truly embrace life. Whoa. This is the reality that we choose to ignore and participate in every day.

I have yet again, come to the end of myself- I am nothing. I am unworthy. I am powerless. I have nothing to offer. I am weak. I am empty.

Jesus, oh my Jesus – HE is something! He is worthy! He is powerful! He has SO much to offer! HE is strong! And His spirit IN me, makes me full!

The church today is too much about making ourselves look good and feel good when really, we have nothing to offer this world. It's only by the amazing grace of my Father that I can do anything! Luke 11:11-13 says, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” All we have to do is ask, and we have the Holy Spirit! David Platt talks in his book about how when ask the Lord to give us peace, he doesn't just give us peace, no it the Holy Spirit in us that is peace. The Holy Spirit in me in Love, Joy, Life, Strength and so much more!

It's all about Him and making him known in this world! If we think we have something to offer the world, then we'll get excited that when we can do something because then they'll see me! But It's not about us- God gave us the Holy Spirit so that he can be glorified through us. I don't want to go home in a few weeks and continue living for myself and to make me happy, I want to truly live for him and that means realizing I don't have anything to offer, but His Holy Spirit in me has what I need to serve and love.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The ones I want to remember

So a few weeks ago I took my brothers and sisters out again to take pictures of them.  I need all the practice I can get doing photo shoots and since I can yell at them, it's pretty great practice.  Only problem was, I wasn't quite prepared.  My battery was dying, and I went to the store and forgot to buy the tripod I wanted, so it was quite the stressful time.  SO I dragged them out there and bribed them with ice cream, and got some good ones worthy of Grandma's walls.  But my favorite pictures are always the ones I capture while I'm setting up and they are just messing around.  So instead of sharing the boring old good ones, here's the way it really went.  And this is what I want to remember when I think about how I used to drag them all out for shots of us before we all moved away.  So he's the behind the scenes:

 Of course all the funny ones are of Jake :)


Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Scarf

I just thought that sounded epic...yes.  So far my creative photo challenge is off to a slow start.  I've only taken one photo shoot of my first assignment which is "hat or scarf" because, people aren't really chillin in scarfs now that's it's so warm, and hat's haven't really proven to be any more successful.  So I'm going to look for some creative lighting and opportunities this grow and think creatively.

A few weeks ago, a woman at my church was having a "war party."  Sounds awesome right?  She was selling beautiful items that were made by woman from all over the world who are involved with this ministry that helps woman who are being trafficked.  It was such a blessing to be able to support this incredible ministry and support these woman.  One of the items I purchased was a beautiful scarf made by woman in India.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to take some creative shots of such a gorgeous piece of art. 

So here are just some fun shots I took, all using my 50mm lens.  My main light was coming from the right, and gives a soft, moving feeling to the photos.  Enjoy! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

A challenge afoot

Though I never had the chance to write about it, I took an 8 week photo class back in January.  Since that ended I've had a bad case of "lazy photographer."  I just don't take pictures like I used to and it makes me sad.  I've done the photo challenges before but I just end up doing most or all of it on my phone, (which is fine, we can still be creative with our phones) but I need experience with my DSLR.  So thanks to faithful pinterest, I found a photo challenge to make myself take more pictures! 

The website wasn't anything special but I just really liked these prompts.  These are things that will expand my mind and make me think outside the box-think creatively.  So I'm setting my own rules for it and going for it!

I'm going to give myself two weeks for each prompt-I can take as many photos as I want in that two weeks
I'm going to do it in order so I don't skip the hard ones and never get back to them 
I'm going to take them all on my DSLR
I'm going to be sharing them on here and as well as what I'm learning through this challenge

So let the games, commence!    Sunday, April 28th is my start date! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 things you should know about me

I'm a terrible blogger, I know!  In January my computer hard drive died and I somehow survived without my faithful booger for a few weeks.  After it was fixed, I just never picked up the blogging thing again.  Makes me sad :(  I really wish I could keep it up because I love it!  And I love sharing the things I'm learning and growing in.  Soooo one of my favorite bloggers did a list of 10 things you should know about me today, so I'm gonna be a copycat and do the same as well as share some Instagram happiness!  

1.  I love blogging and secretly (Not so secretly) dream of doing it hard core every day, someday.  

2.  When I was young and stuck-up, I said I would never shop in thrift stores, but now that I'm old and poor, I work at a thrift store and absolutely love digging through people's junk and finding hidden treasures!  

3.  I don't know what I'm going to do if I my kids turn out not cute....

4.  The 8 key on my computer is broken so I have to punch it like 6 times before it works

5.  I. Love.  Pictures.  And I'm not just talking about taking pictures, printed pictures in my hand are my new obsession....more on that later.  

6.  I love old things.  Vintage, antique, classic things get me all excited and giddy.  

7.  Someday I wanna life in Tennessee and Colorado.   

....that key that doesn't work.  I need more reasons to take pictures so tell me to take yours!  

9.  Nothing is more peaceful to me then a spring/summer rain storm.  

10.  I love coffee....but I think I actually just love the sugar in coffee and the fact that it's so classy.  

 Oh yes....and 11.....I love good hair days and wish I could always feel this excited and happy about my hair!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Just a few...

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family friends!  I'll share just a few photos today that sum up my week.

This GAME!  My brother got it and it's pretty much been played non-stop since then.  
The wrapping mess which has now become post-wrapping mess of boxes and paper covering our living room
Presents under the tree!
Little missy dancing ballet
Baking!  Or cleaning up...
Fake fire and real stockings
LOTS of snow!  This was when it had just started snowing Christmas eve.  We've gotten a few inches since then and more on it's way!
Yummy food and awesome Christmas light bokeh!
This was part of my gift, a family joke and a key chain camera that makes camera sounds!
Les Miserables!  Saw it Christmas night with some friends and wow, if you haven't seen it, it's SO worth it!  Amazing and so moving!

There she is!  World's ugliest tree :)

Favorite gift!  A nikkor 50mm prime lens!  I'm stoked!  and SO excited to start taking pictures with it!

More pictures to come!  Including the story of the ugliest Christmas tree and where we got it from!  Enjoy your weekend and New Years Eve!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tis the season...

Tis the season to be jolly, to shop, to laugh, to bake, to watch cheesy Christmas movies, to eat WAY to much food, to hug, to love, to share, to create, and to bask in the wonder of this holiday. 

I've found myself the last week saying to myself, "I can't think about that or feel that way, it's Christmas and I need to enjoy every little minute of this time."  I was amazed as I fell asleep last night that in two short nights, it would all be over.  On Tuesday night, I'll fall asleep and say, "That was a great Christmas," and we'll move on with life.  I'm constantly amazed at how fast things seem to pass. 

There are things I'm putting aside today, things in my heart I can't put words to.  Pains, worries, fears, hurts, desires, and longings.  Beside those things, today is Christmas eve, this is how it is, and this is what I want to remember.  I want to remember the excitement still in my heart for Christmas morning, the excitement in my little sister to get presents!  The cookie decorating, the terrible Christmas music,  my stuffed belly, the yummy smell of bread, the wrapping paper, the movies.  And I want to capture these moments in pictures!  No I don't have the lens or the speedlight or the tri-pod I want yet, but I have a camera, and this moment is now.  So I will take pictures, I will not like some of them, but I will look back someday and remember these moments, these precious, beautiful moments! 

I'll leave you with just a few pictures that describe some the pre- Christmas excitement happening around here:

(Still need to take a picture with presents under it and fully decorated)


Yes, Mexican is perfect Christmas food!

SNOW!!  We were blessed with a little snow the other day and some of it is still on the ground.  There is a chance for more tonight so we are praying hard!