too blessed to be stressed

Selah

Some days I forget to selah (pause, breathe, and give thanks) and that leaves me with an overwhelming feeling of stress, doubt, and anxiety. However, before those feelings have time to take root, this is what God tells me:

If you stop comparing you can see it.
If you stop rushing you can feel it.
If you stop complaining you can hear it.
If you just stop you can notice that life is good.
Life is beautiful.
You are blessed.

It’s then that I am reminded of the truth, that I am right where I need (and want) to be.

Life is crazy. Learn to deal.

With November now officially in full swing I now can look back at the quick blur that was October. It brings to mind all of  the things that happened that month. Although no event in particular was anything for the history books even so, it was a “busy” month. Longs weeks filled with packing our house into boxes, preparing for finals, birthdays, working on projects, catching up with friends, organizing events for church - a basic jambalaya of sorts.

Although, it wasn’t all bad though, in the cray of it all I learned this: 

Life is crazy. It always has been and it always will be. Learn to deal. 

It took me quite a bit of time to realize there is no reason to miss the days when Saturday morning cartoons and nap time were our way of life when we can have that today. Well, not necessarily but at least we can have something similar. 

image

 

Whether you are 5, 10, 24, or 59+ all that is needed is a bit of grace and patience. Grace in the sense that we must know it is possible to do anything with God - small or grand. 

And patience to deal with the changes that come your way. In order to have a different life away from stress and fuss you’re gonna have to do things differently - a godly type of different.  Some days you’re going to think that your way is best and want to continue on that path but don’t. Stop and let God direct your steps no matter how crazy they seem. 

Which, if you ask me is the greatest news I’ve heard in a while. We don’t have to think for ourselves, that burden is now up to Him. 

So, while October flew in with a bevy of overwhelming plans, God reminded me that the same peace He gave me as a child is the same peace I can have now if I only believe in Him. Just because my circumstances and settings have now changed does not mean God has done the same.  

Think of it this way, the “little” amount of faith it takes you to trust in God to deliver the sun the next day is the same amount of faith it should take to trust in Him for deliverance of your student loans, the baby your hoping for, the job position you’ve been eying for the last few months. 

So stop stressing.  Stop making plans to do this on your own. Stop thinking that because you didn’t get what you want you never will. Stop fussing over the things God has already covered. Just stop. 

Life is crazy. It always had been and it always will be. The only way we can deal is to let God.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

22 years. 264 months. 8,030 days. 192,720 hours. 11,563,200 minutes. 693, 792,000 seconds. Add all that up and you still couldn’t even come close to the number of ways my life has been blessed. I’m so extremely grateful for every moment that has led up to right here and now. Although this life is solely mine to live, it is not solely mine to own. The thing is, I have felt the enormity of an undeserving, gracious love given to me by Jesus - I have the family, friends, and a life full of memories to prove it. However, it would be a little too selfish if I kept all that goodness to myself. While I cannot physically relive them all with you I made a list (as one does when something grand like a birthday comes along) that was inspired by all the things I’ve learned, experienced, and been blessed with over the years. I hope it finds and/or leaves you well.

1) Work for it. The easy way will get you nowhere. My dad once said, between climbing a mountain and jumping on the spot, both will get you off the ground but only one way will actually keep you up.

2) Be present. There is no other way to live because anything else is not living.

3) Sleep is like a jealous partner, ignore it and your whole life will be affected in ways you never thought possible.

4) Keep your hands busy while you’re waiting on God. Don’t forget He’s waiting on you too.

5) GRACE ABOUNDS - Oh God, how grateful I am to have such a perfect thing and how blessed am I that it is not circumstantial but ever-lasting.

6) Don’t air your dirty laundry but don’t air all your good either. Not every moment needs to be a status, not every situation needs to be instagramed, keep a few for the treasure box of your mind. With that being said, pictures from other people’s social media are no indicator of the value of your social life - you are.

7) Your age should be no teller of the things you ought to be doing. Don’t let expectations cap your greatness or make you feel worthless.

8) Let God go. I mean literally let Him go… and work wonders. Trying to control everything around you will do nothing but consume your own life.

9) You will always have wealth as long as you always remember it’s not limited to dollar bills.

10) Live to the fullness of your years. Not just to 70+ years but to 70+ FULL years.

11) I am beautiful. Everyone is beautiful, and not just in “their own way”. Each person is just plain beautiful. We all need to see that on a daily basis.

12) Always take pride in Jesus.

13) Double check… everything. .

14) Don’t let what you see blind you from what has yet to be seen. Remember, it’s not at first glance but what can be done with at the first chance.

15) Love is not a a simple word or emotion but an action we must CHOOSE to show daily - yes, love to some extent love is a choice.

16) Invest in your future by taking the time to pray now.

17) There is always room for new friends

18) Be a missionary. You don’t have to travel to Guam or Mexico to be one. God can send you to your own university or place of work to go preach the gospel with not only your words but mostly with your actions.

19) Learn to accept gifts, love, compliments, and advice. It not only benefits your life but the giver as well.

20) Being fearless is not a pre-req for any action in life. Fear always likes to rear its unwanted ugly head no matter who you are so you might as well go ahead and do whatever it is you have your heart set on anyway.

21) We cannot change other people, the only thing we can do to them is accept them for who they are.

22) Your actions will outlive you.

Certain words are like fireworks or grenades in your life. People will tell you something and they will either come back to set off something magnificent or they will be timed modes of destruction. Luckily I’ve hard a lot more of the former and less of the latter in my life.

Anchors n Oceans

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

    Funny how no one really reads the old testament but if they did they would notice how much the stories of Moses, Samson, Rebecca, or Ruth actually relate to our lives. I remember this time last year -well I think it was around this time last year- when I had finally realized who my core group of friends were. I remember that day because I cried during church service. That moment of realization had been a long time coming. However, it was not long after that moment did I then realize that I would soon be moving half way around the world without my friends for school - it hit me hard. Here I was, the end of a 4-year wait for great friends only to start another wait all over again. 
  

   Fast forward to a few Sundays later and Pastor Wes was preaching on Abram. 
Now for those of you who don’t know the story of the first Good Ole Abe, it goes a little something like this: 
                                    

  Abram was a wealthy and well-known man in his town. He had land, money, family and friends - all one could need and more. However a day came when God told him to leave all that behind and travel to a distant land called Canaan. At that point Abram was like ‘Okay, God. That’s really funny but you I don’t think that’s gonna happen.’ (Who could blame him, that’s 500 miles of nothing but walking). Despite Abram’s disapproval God told Abram to trust Him and know that He would never do Abe wrong. With that Abram took his family along with some belongings and set foot for Canaan. Like God always has done, He followed through on His promise and  safely delivered Abe to a new land - the land of many promises.
    I too have to thank God for doing the same. God uprooted me from Oregon to live here in Sydney. You’re probably reading this and thinking, big deal, it’s Australia not social exile. Nonetheless, it was not the destination that was the problem for me. I was apprehensive at first because He was taking me away from everything I had ever known- I would still feel the same about moving to Washington. Fortunately, I have a God who provides no matter where I go and that is what He did. So if you took away all the good things that people love about Sydney at the end of the day I would still I feel extremely and utterly blessed to call this place my new home. I left Oregon not to let go of old but to gain a new - friends, memories, experience, and to follow the calling He has put before me.

To any of you who read this, I want you all to know that our God will never take you out to leave you. Trust in Him when He calls you because He’s calling you for greater. No doubt the transition will be a little difficult but that does not make it any less worth it.

[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.

[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.