family

In-Home Session: North Family

I spent some time in the the eastern part of Sydney at the lovely home of the North family where I was able to photograph Ash, Adam and their two littles Liam and Frankie. One of the cutest and down-to-earth families I have ever had the pleasure of knowing
(But don't take my word for it, I'll let the photos do the talking).

They'll be moving next year so it was my honour to give them this keepsake session to remember one of their first homes by. 

 

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From mine to yours...

Hey ya'll just want to shout out another Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you all have more eggnog than your stomach can handle (Also, please have enough for the both of us because I forgot to get some this year. Womp, womp, womp), more delicious food than your taste buds know what to do with and enough good memories to make your head swell. Here is a little video I put of my Christmas celebration this year. I was truly blessed to spend it with my aunt, uncle and cousins, which was all too fun. Funny enough, they open their gifts on Christmas Eve but I've always opened it either on Christmas day with Mom and siblings  or Boxing with Dad (who's also my aunt's older brother), Ma, and my siblings. Goes to show you if one family has many traditions, imagine the whole world! [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK2vl6XhZps&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Speaking of traditions, what are some you and your people do for the holidays? Any stories worth sharing? Leave them in the comments below, I'd love to read them!

 

 

Beyond My Borders: Joe George

My name is Joe Varghese George and I have been living in Sydney for close to 6 years now. I have to take a deep breath when people here ask me where I’m from as I prepare to elaborate. I know my skin colour gives away my Indian decent but I also know that  peoples lack of knowledge of the part of the world I’m from can throw them off with what I’m about to say next. So I don’t wait around to risk misjudgment and begin my longer-than-needed explanation that starts with the fact that I was born and raised in a place called Qatar. For the ones that have a confused look at this point or the Oh-yeah-I’ve-heard-Calcutta look, I have to clarify that it’s not Calcutta but rather a separate country, an Arab one, close to Dubai. And usually after the utterance of the name Dubai, everyone starts feeling at ease and that we’re making progress. From there I move on to clarify that I’m not Arab but I am originally from India. In fact, I come from a state called Kerala in the south of India. It is sooo beautiful that you have to look it up soon after reading this.

I chose to come study at the University of New South Wales after my high school. To me it was an exciting prospect. Living life on my own terms, growing into a real man, going to this fascinating new place and meeting new people, were all the fun things I was looking forward to as an 18 year old. The first year went by so quickly. I enjoyed the thrill of being challenged with many things that I never had to do before like finding my own place to live, managing my own expenses and COOKING! Not everything was rosy all the time. In fact, I got ganged up on and beat up by a bunch of teens one day while trying to mug me in my first visit to the city. It was all so new to me, you know this attacking-you-in-public thing. I came from Qatar, I’d believed the number of educated people in Australia was more than that in Qatar, yet I had never experienced such behaviour over there. I was left traumatized for a while after that incident.  But soon after I got a job in the city, a night shift at that. It helped me slowly overcome my fears and to be bolder and better prepared to act if it ever happened again. And I guess it brings me to the best part of living in a new country all by yourself….it is the realization that life moves on and you can chose to curl up in fear or overcome it and keep up and move on to better days. Since I knew I couldn’t afford to do the former, I had to start moving again. Yeah trust me that took many moments of being stuck, being scared and being alone, feeling far from home, to be this bold. I’m grateful for all of it.

Anyway, after my first year in Sydney I went back to visit my family and other important people and I must admit it was difficult to go back to living on my own, at least on the flight back it felt terrible. But I knew that I had things to get done so I kept at it. So, through many dangers, toils and snares, I finally got over with Uni… the reason I’d come to Sydney, and I had a choice to make of what was next for me. But I soon realized that I had found a home, away from home. In fact, I’m still confused of where “home” is. I realized that over these 6 years I’ve made some great friends that I can see myself doing life with. I’ve realized that when you let yourself to be vulnerable, you find friends. You find family. Over the course of events I had to really define my beliefs and something that was important to me…I had to ask myself who God was to me and how I really saw him. I had to taste God for myself and I can say honestly, how good he has been! I’ve become my own person in Sydney, albeit my foundations were shaken and re-cast. As cliché as it sounds, I found myself. I know more about me today, than I would have ever known in the comfort of my home.

Soooooooooooo…. The big finish! Get out there while you are still young! If anything, we grow! Why not grow with some great experiences, good and bad. Experiences that make you think about the way you see others; Experiences that make you think who about you want to be; Experiences that make you appreciate life and the people in it. So I say to anyone contemplating moving out beyond your borders, whatever that may be to you, be excited about new things, excited about discovering new places, discovering new people and more interestingly discovering yourself in the process. These experiences open up your mind to see things differently. So I say to you, in the words of princess Elsa, let it go….let it go…don’t hold back any more.

Meet (part of) My Family

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So I did a post that kinda introduced you to my parents and then a few weeks ago you “met " my sister. With that said, I figured you might as well meet the rest of my family - well at least my siblings for the time being. 

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Olatoye, we call him Junior because he has dad’s middle name but everyone else calls hm O’. Being the oldest of the bunch he has those “older brother” qualities. You know, annoying, hovers too much… just kidding. But in all seriousness he looks out for all of us. He’s always willing to hear your stories - no matter how boring or boy-oriented they may be. Not to mention his advice is always warranted. I remember my last years at college, he saved me a bundle thanks to his street smarts when in comes to money.

imageNext in age is Tejumola. We either call him Teju or Teej. Me and him are so similar in many ways. We both like to draw, introverted extroverts and love a good joke. Besides that, he reminds me so much of dad. Stern but just a big softie on the inside.

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You met my sister but just so she isn’t left out in this post, her name is Simisola but she’s called Sim or Simi (I call her my pearl but only on Sundays. Haha inside joke). I may not ask her for advice all the time but the way she lives her life and carries herself is advice enough.

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Last but not least, my twin brother Mobolaji. Just call him Mo. He’s the outgoing one that knows everything about everything. Quick to make friends wherever he goes- and I don’t just say that for effect, it’s literally true. His ability to do that is a trait I truly admire about him. He also has his quiet moments because he’s a thinker too. I know for a fact that if it were not for him, I would not have ventured out as much to experience all I have today. (Side Note: a friend of mine the other day gave me stern talking to when I just casually slipped in the conversation that I have a twin brother like it wasn’t a big deal. She was hurt that I never once mentioned it to her. So for all you people like Emily, here I am proclaiming to the world that I have a twin brother. You can no longer get upset when I fail to mention that).

So yeah, there you have it. That’s (part of) my family in a nutshell. If you have yet to meet ‘em I suggest you do somehow because they’re fricken awesome!!

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In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

[gallery]

In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

[gallery]

In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

[gallery]

In everything, I give it back to you and say thank you. Thank you God for the opportunities to love what I do and to do what I love. 

Sometimes when God blesses you it’s in such a way that it may be hard to notice at first but other times, when He wants to go all out you can’t help but stand in awe and say, “Why me?” 

Just a few days ago I finished my first term of grad school. Finals have been presented, papers have been handed in and I am done. I don’t know if God did this for me or maybe He didn’t but the fact that my last day fell on the exact year mark of me graduating college is something else. It makes me all the more thankful. It has forced me to put my life in perspective. I am so blessed. I can honestly look back and see more good in my life than bad. I see more purpose in my life than random actions strung together by nothing. I see that God has proved His love to me over and over again. Although He does not need to, He does not have to, He does! My past has brought me here and my future is going beyond what I thought possible.  I saw something yesterday that really resonated with me. It said, “Renew your strength by finding hope in God. You’ll find that what should happen naturally (exhaustion and weariness) will be replaced by what happens supernaturally (energy and vitality). To that, I also want to add more hope, excitement, determination, and positivity  -that’s what I have. He is the best thing to happen to me, to my life.

So now, you are probably wondering what does all that have to do with the pictures above. I took those photos earlier today in my first paid studio shoot. In the grand scale of things they represent my faith in Him, that He is doing something way greater than I could have planned for. A couple weeks ago I saw a “help wanted” sign asking for a photographer to shoot a few art pieces. Thinking nothing of it,  I passed by the sign but God told me to go back and contact them. My first reaction: “Ha that’s funny God. I couldn’t possibly do that. I’m not good enough.”

To which He then replied:

What about you says you are not good enough? Isn’t it I in you that makes you qualified for any position I place you in? For years you have sought me in prayer and asked me to give you the opportunities to do what you love. I set a path for you (He provided me with the money to get camera equipment and helped me get accepted into art school so I could hone my skills and interest for photography) and walked along it with you, but now that I have answered you, you call yourself unqualified. Who are you to lay such a heavy burden on yourself when I have already lifted it off? Who are you to doubt the creation I made, which is you.

In my most recent post I talked about my journey with God. In that same journey I am continually reminded that growth happens everyday and that no area in your life is free from it. I never realized that God could show me how to trust Him more by forcing me to not settle. He did it in my life and He can do it in yours if you let Him. 

Long story short, despite the fact that I thought I didn’t have the right equipment, didn’t think I was good enough, and had an immense fear for the new and unknown, God came through. Before and during the shoot He reminded me to stay calm and helped me to remember all the lessons on photography I have learned over the years.

At the end of it all, I learned that new, old, repeated or not, it is not us who brings the ability, it’s God.

*To see this series in its entirety, check out my portfolio.

blessed to be broken

magazines won’t do it. merits won’t connect you. even your friends and family won’t fulfill you. it’s that connection. in that grace it’s Him connecting with you! saying hey! i’m here no matter what you’ve done -no matter what you are doing. you push me away but I sent my Son to die on that cross that connects you to me. connect with me. identify with me. allow yourself to be with me. it’s the most natural thing to do.

so blessed to be broken and yet I still get to be a part of amazing things like this!!! Yes Lord.

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Left to our own devices my cousin (Angelique - left),  our friend (Tani - middle), and I decided to make lunch for Easter Sunday! After a few minutes of foraging through the pantry we found some penne pasta, mince meat, and red sauce.

The outcome, needless to say, moto bene! A little butter, some sprinkled natural cheddar cheese and our tastebuds couldn’t be happier.

Photos by Teniola Komolafe

[gallery]

Left to our own devices my cousin (Angelique - left),  our friend (Tani - middle), and I decided to make lunch for Easter Sunday! After a few minutes of foraging through the pantry we found some penne pasta, mince meat, and red sauce.

The outcome, needless to say, moto bene! A little butter, some sprinkled natural cheddar cheese and our tastebuds couldn’t be happier.

Photos by Teniola Komolafe

[gallery]

Left to our own devices my cousin (Angelique - left),  our friend (Tani - middle), and I decided to make lunch for Easter Sunday! After a few minutes of foraging through the pantry we found some penne pasta, mince meat, and red sauce.

The outcome, needless to say, moto bene! A little butter, some sprinkled natural cheddar cheese and our tastebuds couldn’t be happier.

Photos by Teniola Komolafe

[gallery]

Left to our own devices my cousin (Angelique - left),  our friend (Tani - middle), and I decided to make lunch for Easter Sunday! After a few minutes of foraging through the pantry we found some penne pasta, mince meat, and red sauce.

The outcome, needless to say, moto bene! A little butter, some sprinkled natural cheddar cheese and our tastebuds couldn’t be happier.

Photos by Teniola Komolafe

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.

I’ve been sitting in front this page for the last few days attempting to think of something cool and profound to say. I came up with a few good words but they didn’t feel authentic. Not that anyone would have noticed if I did not say this but I had to delete everything and start over.
You see, what I have been trying to do is come up with a way to thank God for a great life. I am truly grateful to Him for all that I have. I am well aware that there is no way I could possibly repay Him for all that He has given me but to just say “Thanks” would feel even below inadequate.

You cannot know how deeply indebted I feel unless you have lived in the blessing that is my life. Now I know latter half of that sentence probably came off as arrogant or boastful but it’s not my own that I take pride in. It is His actions, and His actions alone that I do so. I would have nothing without Him and that is a fact. However I must not stop the story there. Aside from the obvious money and health it’s amazing how much He has been a part of everything. It’s not like He plainly gave me all that I have and left me to my own but He put Himself in the details too so that I could make the most of it all!

Take my friends for example. He placed them in my life for something. Some friendships, I’m not gonna lie, I thought would not make it to the long-term. However, He knew I would need them and appreciate them more down the line. He somehow planned for them to stick around despite myself.

My four years at the University of Oregon, although extremely stressful and at times uncertain, they were some of the best years of my life. Filled with the cliches of love, laughter, and lasting memories.

My spiritual mentors, again, no one I would have picked but it was done that way for the better.  Man, I cannot say how much I love you guys. You were placed in at a time in my life when I didn’t know how much I actually needed you. You all stuck around even long after.

Every job I have ever had. Each one was able to fill more than my pockets but my mind with new values and lessons; my hands with new abilities; and my heart with a stronger passion for my calling in life.

Family, yes we have had our ups but the downs have made our bond stronger than fortified diamonds. I needn’t say anymore lest I desire to cry.

Self love. While it’s important to have love for others, I also got mad love for myself. I now know it is not who I am but whose I am.

All these words may come off as ramblings but I had trouble expressing such a raw form of appreciation. I could continue on forever, literally because God’s wonders never do cease, but even all the positive adjectives in the world could not measure up to one iota of how grateful I am.