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
A normal grocery experience for our family of two involves one of those little baskets they keep at the front of the supermarket. Ã‚Â But today I knew I was gonna need a big old cart. Ã‚Â First stop, the canned fruit and vegetable aisle where I proceeded to grab a WHOLE flat of pumpkin. Ã‚Â Next stop? Ã‚Â The baking ingredients where I bent down and picked up a ten pound bag of flour and a ten pound bag of sugar. Ã‚Â (That’s right, no need to workout today, because I just lifted weights…) Ã‚Â Before I left the aisle I grabbed a big container of nutmeg and cinnamon. Ã‚Â Lastly, I stopped by the eggs and grabbed three dozen and placed them in the cart next to all their new friends!