Sunday, June 28, 2009

My First Wedding

The title can be a little misleading...I have only been married once and I plan to keep it that way! I had the great honor to photograph a couple's wedding yesterday!

When presented with this opportunity, I practically begged out of it, knowing that I would simply not do it justice. But, it seemed that I was to go forth, and so, for two weeks, I studied all I could study, borrowed a lens and a speedlight, and lived in constant fear. Satan was constantly accusing me, telling me I had no right to even attempt such a precious thing, and to be honest, I was telling him he couldn't be more right! It was very sweet to me when the Holy Spirit led me to the passage of David and Goliath just a couple of days before the big event.

Shooting this wedding was proving to be the giant in my life! David conquered his giant not because he was adequate, but because he knew his God was adequate. God showed me that I had only 5 small stones to take with me...the camera body, 3 lenses, and a speedlight. They would simply have to be enough. And God would come through for me because he can't stand for his name to be defied. When Satan taunts me, he is taunting the living God, because I am His child.

So, fast forward to the big day! I think I was a little giddy...Eric (my assistant for the day) and I were the second people to arrive. It was good to get my bearings, though.

I won't give a ton of details, but, it turns out that shooting weddings can be a real blast! It was pure joy being around the sweetest couple you will ever meet. The love they had for each other just melted my heart.

I hopefully captured some memories and images that they will cherish. The lighting in the church was tricky. I learned so many things, though. You have to go with the flow and be very flexible.

I guess more than anything, I felt so honored to be part of their day. Honored that they would even consider me for the most wonderful day of their lives. It was a real blessing to be a part of something so precious. I really want to put some images up, but I guess I better wait til they get back from their honeymoon.

Oh, and it is so nice to be able to breathe again.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Writing this post is going to bring me a lot of joy. Hopefully, it will point to the glory of God! Our journey of "little or no" income started last year. It was November 24, the Monday prior to Thanksgiving. I thought it was incredibly rude for Eric's main client of 5 years to tell him the Monday before Thanksgiving that they were finished. Since then, we have survived on a small deal here or there and the totality of our savings. Cleaning houses and photography have helped as well.

We had put up two rent houses for sale, knowing we could survive on the proceeds if need be. We were also able to list our Toyota Corolla for sale, since we have been able to drive Eric's Grandmother's car. Eric has had a ton of meetings with various people in order to get new business. But things were moving s-l-o-w-l-y. And the savings account wasn't going to feed us another month.

But, last Wednesday, things changed. We got a buyer for our Corolla. Sweet little college girl who called at 10:30 p.m., begging us to hold the car for her til the morning. We confirmed a closing date (it's today!) for one of the houses. And, last, but not least, Eric had a very promising meeting to help someone raise funds for his business. The contract hasn't been signed yet, but if it goes through and he later finds funds for the company, we might even be taken care of for the next year.

If you have studied "Esther" by Beth Moore, then you are thinking what I am thinking: "Reversal of Destiny!"

But, here is where it gets good. I imagine the Lord had us lose our income on the Monday before Thanksgiving so that I would remember the day. It was exactly 7 months ago. Last Wednesday, June 24th was exactly 7 months after November 24th.

Ahh, the number 7! It is rich with significance and meaning in the Bible. It took 7 days to create the world. Jesus used 7 "I Am" statements in the book of John to describe himself. There were 7 feasts that the Israelites had to partake in. There are 7 churches listed in the book of Revelation. In the book of Ephesians, there are 7 elements of the armor of God that believers are instructed to put on. And it goes on and on...

The number 7 represents completion. It symbolizes rest.

Praise God, I think we are entering it. We have had 7 months of testing. We have had to rely on Him to be our complete provision. Eric has fully acknowledged God as the One who makes things happen and brings about work. God taught me that he doesn't need us to work in order to take care of us. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years and he was their sole provider. I am not saying God didn't institute work; he had Adam working in the garden before sin ever entered the picture. I am just saying that he may strip work and the financial comfort it brings in order to allow us to fix our eyes back on Him, the giver of all good things.

I think our vision has been changed on other things, as well. We are content to stay in our small, older home. We long to give more and more to things we believe in because we know how painful it is when you can't afford to. We desire to be totally out of debt in the crazy days to come.

I specifically remember our community group asking us at the end of last year how long we would "Be OK" financially. I told them February. If something hasn't happened by February, we will be coming to live with you all. Ha. Well, God likes to make good on His faithfulness. He also likes for all the glory to point to Himself. I think He did a good job of both, don't you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The first watermelon of the summer! That baby was good! It practically snapped open after I started cutting it in half. The boys loved it. Sam rather enjoyed licking it and sucking out the juice.
This first picture just makes me laugh.

If you ever want to capture 101 expressions on your child's face, give them a big ol' slice of melon!

See the black eye? Gotta love baseball season.

ummm, well, you know, all that watermelon juice has to go somewhere.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Testament Focused" round 5

round 5... #23 "Doubt"
James 1:6 "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind."

#24 "Convinced"
Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

#25 "Favor"
Esther 2:17 "Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti."

#26 "Treasure"
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."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"Testament Focused" round 4

Here is round 4...if you missed round 3, it is below the Father's day post. #18 "Embrace"
Mark 9:37 "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."

#19 "Fight"
2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

#20 "Crave"
1 Peter 2:2-3 "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."

#21 "Walk"
2 John verse 6 "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love."

#22 "Joy"
3 John verse 4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to the Daddy of my children...
This first picture will forever be one of my favorites. It doesn't even show your face, but it represents so much...your undying love, complete protection, and precious tenderness towards your boys.
I love how our third-born is your little clone. I mean, look at how you both wrinkle up your faces in the sunlight.
You have been a great coach to our kids...on and off the field. You also have a compassionate heart towards players that might not come from good homes.

Your own little gang...

You sacrifice your body at nights to let little ones beat you up and wrestle you to the ground...knowing it is good for their hearts.

This picture makes me laugh...but it also makes me think of you offering a hedge of protection to your little ones.

You love to be with your guys...teaching them new things and laughing with them. I praise God for the chance to partner with you in this thing called parenting. I love you.

To MY Daddy!
I miss you so much...I hate being so far away! I love it when my boys can be with you on the farm and experience things that I did growing up. You instilled in me such a strong work ethic and I am forever grateful. You love it when all 5000 pounds of me still crawls up in your lap as if 30 years haven't sped by and I am still your lil' toddling Lulu, pigtails and all. Your heart for me has given me a glimpse of the heart of my Heavenly Father. You hurt when I do and rejoice when I do. I am so glad God entrusted me into your love and care. Love you!

To My Father-in-law
You have been a great source of encouragement...always telling me that things have a way of working themselves out and that things aren't usually as big a deal as they may seem. You have raised 3 Godly sons who love the Lord and His Word. As a retired man, you have become very selfless in your 101 trips a day to Walmart, caring for your Mother, and doing dishes for Barbara. I hope your day is special. Love you! (Oh, and glad I was able to teach you how to smile.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Testament Focused" round 3

Here is round three....I think the last pic may be my favorite representation of a book/scripture yet! Uhhh, I think I only have about 49 books to go. Are you kidding me?

#13 "Dedicated"
1 Samuel 1:27-28a "I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord."

#14 "Consider"
Matthew 6:28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin."

#15 "Light"

Luke 8:16 "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light."

#16 "Race"
Acts 20:24 "However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."

#17 Perseverance
Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Part of the verse in "The Message" version says this, "Strip down, start running--and never quit!" Don't you just love that?

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Testament Focused" round 2

Ooooh, I am now an addict. Here is round 2 of 66 Books...based on pics I have already taken. The tricky part is going to be when I have to start shooting things like milk and honey and holy pots (Zechariah). How on earth does one go about making a pot look holy? Hmmmm.

#7 Rest
2 Chronicles 20:30 "And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side."

#8 Comfort
Isaiah 66:13 "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem."

#9 Blazing
Daniel 3:16-18 "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of the gold you have set up."

#10 Repayment
Joel 2:25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm, my great army that I sent among you."

#11 Transformation
Ephesians 5:8 "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."

#12 All Set
Colossians 3:1-2 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

66 Books Idea...

Mom told me about a cool photography website and as I was looking at it, I realized this gal had the coolest idea ever! She has dubbed her idea "66 books." She is trying to capture images that represent each of the 66 books of the Bible. Well, I am such a copycat, I thought I would join in on the fun. My images won't be nearly as creative or awesome, but it is a great way to study the Bible! I guess I'll have to rename it so I am not a total copycat...maybe something like "Testament Focused." Check out her stuff here:

Here is what I have come up with based on photographs I have taken in the past:
#1 see above pic..."Spacious"
Psalm 18:19 "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."

#2 Promise

Genesis 9:16 "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

#3 "Direction"
Proverbs 20:24 "A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?"

#4 "Laughter"
Ecclesiastes 3:1 and 4a "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to weep and a time to laugh."

#5 "Passion"
Song of Songs 1:2 "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth--for your love is more delightful than wine."

#6 "Sufficient"
Hosea 14:8 "O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? I will answer him and care for him. I am like a green pine tree; your fruitfulness comes from me."
This is quite fun! You should copy this chick's idea and try it as well. It is a great way to make the Word come alive! Come on, you know you want to name your photos and become obsessed with finding the perfect photo for the book of Revelation!! The trick is going to be with the minor prophets. If anyone has any ideas for Nahum or Haggai, then I am all ears!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

He Didn't Get Mad

I was reading the passage of the "last supper" in Luke Chapter 22. There are so many profound truths found in this little passage, but something different stuck out to me today. In verse 31, Jesus tells Simon (Peter) that Satan has asked to sift him as wheat. Jesus knows that Simon Peter will "turn". In fact, he will deny him three times that very night. This makes the next verse almost comical because Peter tells Jesus that he will go with Him to prison and to death. I say comical simply because I think we promise things when we don't even know what we are talking about...or we don't know the limits to our faith.

What caught me off guard was how Jesus presents this bit of information to Peter. It is pretty much like this: "Simon Peter, you are going to go through a time of testing, but I have prayed for you and your faith will not fail. You will come through this, even though you deny that you even know me, the one True God."

Since Jesus knows how Peter is going to act later on, it is ironic that He doesn't get angry with Peter and scream, "I thought you believed! Can't you represent me better than this? What about all of the time and discipleship I have poured into you? Didn't it do any good? Who is going to proclaim my Name when I am gone? Buck UP! This is the time I need you!" I guess it is amazing to me that He didn't get mad.

Jesus doesn't cower in self pity when he realizes one of his main followers will not be faithful. He has no sense of worth tied up in what others think of him or whether or not they will be true to Him. He knows He is the Father's Son and the Messiah. He doesn't need a posse in order to make Him famous.

I love the fact that verse 31 says, "But I have PRAYED." Satan will do his best to destroy Peter and his witness, but Jesus's authority prevails. His prayer is His WORD, and nothing refutes what He says. Creation came into being based on His words. In Revelation, Jesus is described as having a sharp double-edged sword coming out of His mouth. He does battle with His words. And praise God, Jesus sits at the right hand of His Father at this very moment, saying intercessory prayers on our behalves.

The last part that I noticed was how encouraging Jesus was. He tells Peter that he will fall away, but He doesn't linger there. He immediately jumps to, "WHEN you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." He gives Peter a vision of what his life will look like after the time of testing. Peter will fulfill the vision of "feeding the sheep."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Cade!

Oh my goodness, I can't believe you are 9 whole years old! You are almost into double digits and I can hardly imagine you much older than just one! Cade, you are an amazing boy! You are responsible in everything you do. You think of others and are a huge helper. You have incredible spiritual insight. You even told me one time that a peer in your class had a hard time obeying, but it was simply because the girl hadn't accepted Jesus as her Savior just yet, and that it is harder to obey when you haven't been redeemed.

Goodness, we can't even tell you how much we love you! You make us very proud. We are so blessed by God for entrusting you to us. We pray that you would continue to have a heart for others and that God would protect that heart on your journey of knowing and serving Him. Happy 9th, firstborn!