Saturday, January 31, 2009

my {other} girl

Amelia Bee. My sister’s little girl. Oh, how I love her. She melts my heart!

A little over a year ago little Amelia Bee entered this world.

The emotion that took over my body when she arrived was almost more than I could bear.
I had felt this kind of love before (with my own children, obviously ;) … but it was so different to experience this overwhelming love for a little baby…without all the other emotions (exhaustion!) associated with giving birth.

I could just love her completely without all the worries that new parents experience.

At least, that was my plan . . .

Just days after Amelia was born, I flew down to California to stay for a week and “help out” my sister and her hubby as they adjusted to having a newborn.
It was my first night there.
I was all settled in, sleeping peacefully.
Until the middle of the night, when I awoke suddenly to the sounds of a crying, hungry baby.
I was so tired.
I was completely disoriented.
I jump out of bed and go running for the nursery to “help” (cause you know my sister probably couldn’t nurse her baby without my assistance).
Unfortunately, I hit a small flight of stairs that I didn’t realize was there. I went flying down the stairs and landed flat on my back at the bottom. Nice.
My very kind brother-in-law rushes to find out what all the commotion was…he finds me sprawled out on their hardwood floor.
He helps me to the nursery and I lay down on the floor right in front of my sweet sister, in her rocking chair, trying to nurse her baby in peace & quiet.
All is well until I go into a full-blown anxiety attack, right there on the nursery floor.
Oh ya. Good times. As if things couldn’t get worse.

I got through it, but I'll tell ya, it wasn't pretty!

It all worked out and they got me back to bed without any more trouble (and I even slept through the rest of the night!), but I'm sure they were more than a little concerned about what it was going to be like with my "help" for a whole week! :)

I can look back now and laugh. Actually, I was laughing about it the next day. Laughing about the fact that instead of caring for their newborn baby in the middle of the night, my sister and her hubby were fanning me, giving me herbal “tincture” for anxiety, bringing me ice-packs…and anything else they could think of.

I know they were so relieved to have my help!

Here is sweet little Amelia Bee a year later . . . laughing at her VERY silly auntie!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

c l e a n

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
And I will put my Spirit in you
and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Ezekiel 36:25-27

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

w h y ?

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

(“By Your Side” by Tenth Avenue North)

I love this song.

I have since the first time I heard it. Probably because it addresses what so many of us have spent so much of our lives doing …STRIVING.

I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was a little girl, and I have never willingly walked away from Him.

I have always known that if I died, I would go to heaven.

I have always “known” that salvation is a free gift to anyone who would accept it.

So what is it in us that just can’t fully accept this gift of grace?

What is it that makes us feel like we need to earn something that has been given to us…free of charge?

Is it just too hard to understand?

Is it because we believe that we just aren’t “good enough”?
We aren’t!
We never could be!
That’s why it’s called grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Why do we make it so hard?

Thank you, Jesus that I don’t have to do anything to “earn” my salvation.
It’s already been paid for…in full!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

my boy

Austin. My kind & gentle, 11 year-old, “manly-man”.

Ever since he was little, he has always been such a “man’s man”.

He loves all things outdoors.

Loves riding quads.
Loves shooting guns (at the shooting range ;).
Loves his new-found passion…pheasant hunting with Dad.

Here he is at four years old with his Papa (my father-in-law)…toy gun in hand.
(Isabelle was almost two in this picture…love those curls!).

And here he is at six years old – VERY serious about his toy gun.

And finally a real gun!

This is Austin just a couple weeks ago on his first pheasant hunting trip…with the new shotgun he got for Christmas (oh yes, and a beautiful, dead pheasant).

Good times!

Oh, how I love this boy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

my girl

Isabelle. My sweet & spunky 8-year old.

She loves horses…always has.

She is so full of passion and doesn’t mind working her tail off so that she can ride.

She has learned more about hard work (and I mean hard) from her riding instructor, Charlie, than I ever thought a little girl could know.

I am blown away by how truly precious the relationship between a girl and a horse is.

So sweet!

Here Isabelle is two-and-a-half years ago as she was eagerly awaiting her first riding lesson.

And here she is more recently. She looks so little on these big horses…but they know who’s boss…and they love her for it!

"All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl." ~ Unknown

Saturday, January 24, 2009

As Unto The Lord

Not sure if you noticed, but my blog was down for a few days.

Sometime down the road, I may share in-depth what I believe God was doing in my heart during that short time.

For now, I will sum it up by saying that I needed to take the time to really assess why I have a blog…and what’s the point.

I believe that God is calling me to share my life…my journey…how He is slowly but surely changing me from the inside out.

NOT to bring attention to myself…but to bring glory to God!

NOT because I’m perfect…but because I am SO far from it.
His power is made perfect in weakness. Without Him, I am so weak it’s not even funny!

2 Corinthians 12:9
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.”

2 Corinthians 4:7
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

My hope and prayer is that you will be able to see beyond me, and instead, see the ONE who wants to take our ashes and create something beautiful . . .
if we would just let Him!

Isaiah 61:3
“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes

s p e e c h l e s s

{ resposted from Wednesday, January 21st }

Have you ever been truly speechless? For those of you who know me personally, you will know that being speechless is not usually a problem for me. ;)

Well, there was a time not too long ago that I really was…and today is a lovely reminder of that day.

Back in the fall, I was one of the parent-drivers on a field trip for Isabelle’s 3rd grade class. We were on our way home from the Puyallup Fair and I was leading the pack, moving down I-5 from Puyallup to Olympia.

It was a beautiful day. We had so much fun at the fair. Isabelle and her best friend were chattering away in the back seat. I had my music on, singing along. Life was good.

Good…until I see *flashing lights* behind me.

I started to shake. This couldn’t be happening. Seriously. It’s bad enough to get pulled over…but when you’re leading the pack and you have a bunch of other parents driving behind you…not cool!

So I pull over to the side of the freeway. The nice state trooper comes up to my window and I can barely press the button to roll it down, I’m shaking so badly.

He explains to me why he pulled me over and gives me a chance to explain.
I can’t speak.
All I can think about is how many parents are seeing this go down.
All I want to do is get out of there…hoping that maybe the car with Isabelle’s teacher in it hasn’t passed by yet.
So I say nothing.
He gives me the ticket and tells me to have a nice day.

So today is my big day. The day I go to court. The day I get to face a judge and try to explain why I did what I did…and why I didn’t explain myself then. I can feel the lecture coming already. Oh boy, can’t wait!

{ Oh, and I have no sympathy from my family…they think it’s hilarious! }

e m o t i o n

{ reposted from Tuesday, January 20th }

As I was packing lunches this morning, I looked up at the news broadcast playing on the TV just in time to see George W. Bush and Barack Obama standing together in front of our nation.

I was instantly overwhelmed by emotion and tears began rolling down my face.

Not happy.
Not sad.
Just overwhelmed.

In that moment, I didn’t see a President and a President-Elect.
I didn’t see a Republican and a Democrat.
I didn’t see a Conservative and a Liberal.
I didn’t see a white man and a black man.

I saw two men, both willing to give up life as they once knew it . . .

because they love their country!

Join me in praying for both of these men. That they would both seek God for wisdom in the coming days, months, years. That the God of peace would sustain them and direct their paths. That they would both experience unspeakable joy…that only comes from Jesus.

2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

a little about me

{ reposted from Monday, January 19th }

Thanks for coming to visit my new blog.

As many of you know, I have blogged before, but only for business purposes. I recently left my career as a children’s photographer to return to my first, and most important, calling . . . being a wife and mom.

My hope is that this will be a place where friends can come to join with me on a journey toward living the abundant life that is promised to us in God’s word.

In the coming weeks, I plan to introduce you to my family and share what’s going on in our lives.

I plan on sharing my heart with you in hopes that my journey from brokenness to wholeness (no matter how bumpy!) will be a testimony of God’s goodness and His power to accomplish His will for our lives…in spite of us!

And finally, I am excited to have a creative outlet for my love of photography. While I was blessed to have a wonderful career spent documenting the lives of lots of wonderful little children & families (and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything), I let that get in the way of documenting the lives of my own children. I am looking forward to more time to photograph my own children…and taking the time to create images that serve as an artistic reminder to me of God’s blessings in my life.

Thanks for joining me. It is my prayer that you will be blessed through everything that is shared here and that, most importantly, God will be glorified!

And, if you know me, you will know that no post is complete without a picture. This is the picture of my children (Austin & Isabelle) that I shared with my clients when I announced my retirement from the photography industry. It seems fitting to use the same image to reintroduce myself into the blogging world . . .