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!
They gathered in a big circle. Ã‚Â They had just finished Bible school where many of them understood for the first time what the blood of Jesus meant and the power of His love. Ã‚Â Now in front of them stood a huge pallet full of beautifully wrapped gifts. Ã‚Â After a few songs and a prayer, we began to hand out the gifts one by one, trying to guess their age as each package was labeled with a boy or girl sticker and an appropriate age. Ã‚Â We counted down and when we reached zero…
I have a confession to make…are you ready? Ã‚Â I LOVE the holidays. Ã‚Â And when I say LOVE, I mean in the listening to holiday music in July just because I miss it sort of way. Ã‚Â I know right? Ã‚Â And just to clarify the holidays to me are both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ã‚Â Because if they made Thanksgiving music, I would totally jam to that too!
It was almost a year ago to this day that a plane landed its wheels in Monrovia, Liberia carrying me and a whole lot of other passengers.Ã‚Â I was there to document with one of my best girls the story of what SamaritanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Purse was doing in Liberia.Ã‚Â It was the 10 year anniversary since the end of the Liberian civil war, one of the worst civil wars in history..Ã‚Â Over the next ten days we made some serious miles to the most remote areas of Liberia and sat on benches and heard how the love of Jesus is changing lives.Ã‚Â I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even know how to describe what that did to my heart.
So you know how every great recipe has a secret ingredient. And every great business has a secret. Well I know I am new to the blogging world and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably a little early to let you in on my secret. But I never was very good at keeping secrets anywayÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
So here it is (feel free to do a drumroll on your deskÃ¢â‚¬Â¦)
Ã¢â‚¬Å“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.Ã¢â‚¬ÂItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the verse that can be found in Genesis 1:27. But letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s think about this for a second. We are created in the image of God. Do we know what that means?