Earlier this year, when I was working with a mentor on my photography business, I had a realization that I was not expecting or was ready for. We were talking about a possible opportunity that was being presented to me. And when I was talking about this possible opportunity, she saw my eyes light up and I had excitement in my voice. This was not there when I talked about my business/photography. She was brave and asked me the hard question “Is photography what you want to do for a career?” And when she asked me, I realized at that moment something was missing for me. This something that I was missing is part of who I am. This something was the relational piece. While some photographers create a long term relationship with their clients, but for me, it seemed like a transaction after having worked in the social service field for so long. God created me to be a relational person.
The feelings I experienced after this realization was like a gut punch! What I thought I wanted to do for the rest of my life was no longer what I wanted to do. And the primary feeling I felt was lost. This feeling of being lost was somewhat familiar. I had felt this after I left my job in social work in May 2019. But the difference between the two, was that this time I felt truly lost. I did not know what to do or where to head next. I felt like I was going to be stuck in jobs that did not fulfill who God has created me to be for the rest of my life. Like I was just going to float through life just existing not thriving. I had heard of people who hated their jobs and just went because they needed to make ends meet. I have never hated a job and I did not want to be the case. I knew that I did not want to live my life existing and that I was created for more but in these moments it felt like just existing was what I was destined to.
Soon after this realization, God planted a seed into my heart and mind of a possible direction that I was meant to go. He even gave me a framework for a course to go with the idea He gave. And it would help fill the piece that I was missing in my photography business.
You would think since He gave me the idea and framework for the course, I would have jumped on board with the idea immediately. But it took me a while to get on board with God. He waited patiently as grieved what I thought I wanted in life and worked to through my feelings.
Part of what I needed to work through I had put myself in this box and I did not want to be viewed as someone who just changed directions on the whim. I eventually came to the conclusion that this direction change for me is no different than someone else changing careers.
When I finally got on board with the seed that God planted, it felt right. I did not feel like I was trying to fit a square into a round hole anymore. It made sense with what I know about myself and how God created me. And it was one of the parts of my job that I loved when I was working in social services.
I have always loved seeing the aha moments happen in the process when someone is empowered to dream and creates steps for those dreams, despite their circumstances. All the while looking at the roadblocks that stand in their way. This is the seed that God planted in me in March of this year. This seed will blossom into many beautiful flowers as people are empowered to grow into who they are created to be.
You can find more information on this at Marilyn L Weaver.
Recently, I wanted to try more of a fashion shoot rather than a lifestyle photoshoot. My friend agreed when I asked if she would model for me. We actually switched services. Miranda, my friend, became my editor for my Rocking Chair Stories Session and I would do the photoshoot for her. Miranda has this big and unique personality. She tells stories with lots of inflection, accents, and gestures. Honestly, the first time I met her, I was not sure I would be friends with her because I thought she was way over the top. It is a good thing that we don’t go by the first impression. Because I learned that at times she may be over the top by my standards but that is what makes her unique. There are so many other things that make her an amazing person and friend.
Miranda loves the people in her life deeply. She is on the quest for truth and authenticity especially in her relationship with God. As big as her personality is, she has this ability to be still and present where she is at. Miranda has a maturity that most 19 years do not have. Her style reminds me of the 1980’s and 1990’s with a modern twist to it. Miranda fit right into the vision that I had the photoshoot. The clothes she wore were all clothing she had in her closet.
We met in Lancaster City, PA on top of the Duke Street parking garage to begin our shoot. The parking garage had some great options for the photo shoot. After we were done at the parking garage, we got in my car and drove to the Lancaster County Court House. (Which when we go there we realized that we could have walked there from the parking garage.) At the end of the shoot, I found this alley beside the courthouse where we finished the shoot with a few alley shots. We visited La Dolce Vita Courthouse Bakery on the way out of town to take home some awesome baked goods for later on.
The Coronavirus has completely changed our lives in what it seemed like an instant. In these unprecedented times, take a few moments to document what you are seeing and experiencing in words and pictures. If you are home with your family, take a few photos each day of activities that you are engaging in. And you don’t have to be a professional photographer or own a “fancy” camera to do so. Just take photos with your cell phone to document what is happening in your life and in our world. You will be happy that you did. You will be able to look back at these photos and it will remind you of the memories that you made at this time. Heck, maybe make a photo album out of it. You could call it The Corona Chronicles.
Here are a few tips for you to be able to capture your photos.
I know this can be daunting to remember all this when you are taking a quick picture with your phone. Don’t get caught up trying to remember all this. Just take photos! Document what you are experiencing on your own or with others(family, friends/roommates). There is so much that we can take photos of during this time. Some suggestions are: what social distancing looks like for you in your home, your children helping you cook dinner, when you go for a walk look at the things around you, cute things your pets do, etc.
Give yourself grace as you are learning to take photos. You will not be at the level as a professional photographer and that is ok! You don’t need to be a professional photographer to be able to take good photos of your Corona Chronicles.
Lastly, I would love to see the photos that you take during this time. Tag me in your photo on social media or send me an email(firstname.lastname@example.org) with your photo.
You meticulously and brush the sky with the stroke of your paint brush. You do this with intention. You place the clouds in the right place so they can highlight the colors you choose to light you the sky with. You have colors in your paint palette that we don’t even know exist. You choose to paint the sky each morning and evening. You delight as you watch your creation as an artist when light dances across the sky with each sunrise and sunset unique in its own way. No single one is the same! You love when we stop and marvel at your masterpiece that you create.
When we choose to marvel the painted sky, we are reminded of you, the Creator, who does this faithfully every day without fail. If you are faithful in something like the sunset or sunrise, then how much more faithful will you be for me? I was created in your image. And you delight when I trust you, my Creator, to provide for me faithfully in every moment. So I can choose trust you in your promises because you are faithful.
A few years ago, I started a tradition for me on Christmas morning. My tradition is to go into nature on Christmas morning and take pictures. I love it because there is a stillness and peace. It’s like the world is still asleep. There are few cars on the road. And when you are out in nature you hear can hear the world around you. Sometimes it is the crunch of dried leaves as you step on them or the bird that is singing in the woods. Funny story – The first year I did this, I was at Chambers Lake at Hibernia Park where there was a beautiful fog that blanketed the lake. While I was standing there looking at the lake, I hear someone say “hello” a few times. I look around and did not see anyone. As I was about to answer this person, they continue on in their conversation. I then realized that they were on the phone.
The things you see are amazing. You see things that you normally are too busy to look for. The frost on the detail of leaves or the design of bark on a tree or fog nestled between the trees.
These are the photos from my 2019 Christmas morning photoshoot at Brubaker Park in East Earl, PA.
We have been fed this lie that being busy is a good thing. I think as a society we have become addicted to being busy. We think we have to be busy all the time. It is to the point when someone asks us “How are you doing?” A common response has been “busy.” When has this answer become ok. And in my opinion it is a masked answer for how we really are doing.
There are seasons where we will be busy and this is enviable. But when busy becomes part of our lifestyle is where we get it wrong. Because if we are always busy there is a time where you will burnout from always being so busy. You can only go so long before you will crash from being busy. You will not have time to do the things that fill you up. That help take care of you and your sanity. And we don’t have time for the relationships that are important for us.
Resting and not being caught in this hamster wheel of busyness is good for you as a whole especially emotionally. Being in the hamster wheel of busy there is an anxiety that comes with it because you have to always think about what is next. You miss the small blessings and miracles that are right in front of you in your day to day life. I can say this from personal experience. If I am not well emotionally, it throws the rest of my life off track and not seems to works well. If we are always busy, we are not taking the time to process what is going on with us and around us. I know when I do not take the time to process emotionally it is a recipe for disaster. Maybe not right away but eventually.
When we are always busy, things get missed because we can’t do everything well. When we try to so everything, we usually are operating outside of our gifts because we are trying to do everything.
The other thing about buying into the lie of having to always be busy, we rely on ourselves much more than we are suppose to. We don’t take the time to see if there is someone else in your life that would be better suited for the task than you. And we also tend not to take the time to seek and trust God. What if God doesn’t give you an answer before you need an answer? We tell ourselves it is easier to rely on ourselves and not on God or anyone else. We are created for community with God and others.
When God created the earth, He put a day of rest in for a reason. He knew that we need to rest so that we can be productive for the rest of the week. He even to took a day of rest when He created the earth.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3
So is your busyness for a season or is it a lifestyle? And is it a mask to cover up something else you don’t want to deal with?
Howard and Edie celebrated being married for 50th years. This is 50 years of choosing to serve God and each other. They have built a legacy that is great. I loved watching how they interacted with each other and how they are still in love after so many years. As in any other relationship they have had the good times and the not so good times. In all that they still chose to choose each other.
This is their wedding day picture and the original cake topper.
They recommitted their love for each other with a vow renewal service.
“And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.” — Kiersten White (The Chaos of Stars)
I love listening to their family and friends talking about Howard and Edie. Part of they legacy is their children and grandchildren.
Venue: Houston Run Community Center
Flowers: Florals in Time
Photography: Marlo & Co