Ok so you know how there are verses in the Bible that when you read them, they just roll off your tongue so nice and sound so beautiful. Ã‚Â But in all reality to live out what they mean is just plain hard. Ã‚Â
1,966 miles later and I did it, I experienced the IF:Gathering. Ã‚Â Together withÃ‚Â 2,500 women “live” in Austin and thousands of others across the globe via simulcast, we wrestled with the question: “If God is REAL, then what?” Ã‚Â
IF. Ã‚Â It’s such a small word, just two letters long, but yet those two letters can be so powerful when put together.
It was about five years ago now and I was dating my beloved Kyle at the time. Ã‚Â We had decided to spend our evening together just kicking back, relaxing and watching a movie. Ã‚Â My mother has a great selection of movies andÃ‚Â as we were paging through them earlier in the day, The Bucket List, jumped out at us. Ã‚Â If you haven’t seen the movie its a story about two gentlemen from very different paths of life that find themselves in the same hospital room. Ã‚Â After a few days they discovered they both had the same gloom future with only a few months to live. Ã‚Â So they make these bucket lists. Ã‚Â
I know…I know! Ã‚Â I have been skipping out the past few weeks from this new blogging life. Ã‚Â Now I promise I have a great excuse, but you’ll have to wait until next week to find out!
Until then, I have the very best news! Ã‚Â Since the last time I blogged, I became an aunt for the fifth time. Ã‚Â And since it’s in every aunt’s job description to brag, I am just gonna go ahead and do so. Ã‚Â But before I do, can I just tell you the coolest thing? Ã‚Â In my family, I am the youngest of three siblings, and the only girl. Ã‚Â So that means that I have two big brothers, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything!
Well friends, it’s almost Christmas! Ã‚Â I suppose it’s no secret anymore just how much I adore this holiday. Ã‚Â But I love it for more than just getting a Christmas tree, more than just buying gifts, and more than just baking cookies. Ã‚Â But five years ago my Christmas was turned upside down. Ã‚Â I would love to share my story with you…I hope that’s okay. Ã‚Â Although, I must warn you, that I may go over my typical paragraph in length.
Twenty-eight.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.Ã‚Â And if you’re like me there is a lot of shopping to be done, cookies to be baked, and presents to be wrapped in those 28 days.Ã‚Â And don’t get me wrong, I love every bit of it; but before I know it, I am rushing from here to there trying to fit everything in.Ã‚Â But today as I was having lunch with some dear friends I was reminded about something so important, rest.
I know this may surprise you but I am going to deter from my holiday craze and just write whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on my heart today…I hope thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ok with you!
I can’t tell you how manyÃ‚Â people I haveÃ‚Â photographed over the years, or the number of images I have captured through my lens.Ã‚Â But I can probably count on one hand the people that were actually comfortable looking at an images of themselves.Ã‚Â At first, when I would be doing a presentation of my images, and I would hearÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“oh yuck, I don’t like that one,Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â I would take it really personally.Ã‚Â But as year after year went by,Ã‚Â I began to feel differently when I heard that;Ã‚Â instead of taking it personally, my heart would sink because I knew they weren’t criticizing my work, but rather criticizing a flaw that they saw in themselves.Ã‚Â And it happens ALL THE TIME in my profession, especially with women.Ã‚Â And now IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢mÃ‚Â not picking on anybodyÃ‚Â -Ã‚Â I promise I can put myself in this same boat.Ã‚Â I can look at an image of myself and just want to photoshop out all of my so-called “flaws.” Ã‚Â But the other day as I was working through my Bible Study, we were studying beauty, and something just struck me so strongly.
Sometimes I think it’s fun to look up a word you use often to see what it really means. Ã‚Â So before I wrote this blog I looked up what tradition meant. Ã‚Â Tradition is defined asÃ‚ÂÃ‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â