Tag Archives: God

amazing

7 Apr

Better than I imagined, our photo shoot today went SO well. This little dude was in such great spirits and even brought his boxing gloves because he’s confident he’s going to BEAT CANCER. What a trooper. And an incredible example of God’s strength. SO many laughs today, we can’t wait to share some more of the images. For now, here’s one I shot through Instagram.

What a great kid. What an amazing family.

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heavy

7 Apr

We were asked very last minute to do a photo shoot today for good friends of ours. They have just found out that their sweet little son has Leukemia, and they would like photos of him and with him before he looses his hair. Of course we agreed to spend the afternoon with them, to love on them, and to capture them.

*Sigh*

Why does cancer even need to exist? My heart burdens for the children that have to go through this. I can’t even imagine what it must be like as a parent to have to walk that road. To have to ask God the hard questions. And to wonder why YOUR child has to endure such a disease. We are always honored when people ask us to step into their lives in such a way, to touch them with our art and to bring to life emotions that they themselves aren’t aware that they are expressing.

But my heart is heavy.

Jesus, I pray that these images we take today would be so deeply special to this family. And that they would have some relief from the pain, fear and burden while they are with us. That they will laugh together and for a time, forget that cancer even exists. I of course pray for ultimate healing. But mostly for your will in their lives and that of all the people this family touches. Strength. I pray for strength. And peace. And healing in his little body. How frightened his mother must be. But I know that she trusts in you, in only ways you can give her strength to do. Give us a remarkable photo shoot for this family. And surround them with your peace in their lives amidst the scary road ahead. Amen.

* Image found on Pinterest.

needy & poor

9 Jan

I’m jumping right on in today on the next verse in my Proverbs 31 series. The next verse is:

‘She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.’ Proverbs 31:20

It probably seems like an obvious verse. Obviously, we all need to be helping the poor and the needy. Don’t most people have a heart for those who are less fortunate? For those who don’t have anything? For the needy?

I know I do.

The unique thing that I love about this woman, is that she is probably doing this right in her own neighborhood. She is probably reaching out right in her own community. And while I DO think she is actually helping people that don’t have much materialistically, I think more-so she is aware of those who also are needy emotionally. Mentally. Those who are wounded and broken. People who are in despair. Widows who are now raising children with no father because they were killed in Iraq. Encouraging the stay-at-home mom down the street who is so lonely that she just wants to die. Reaching out to the teenager who bags her groceries every week.

She is open to how the Spirit is to use her, all through her daily life.

Because the truth is, we all come into contact with people EVERY DAY who are struggling, contemplating suicide, doing drugs and begging on the inside for someone to notice how lonely they really are. They might actually have all the materialistic things in the world and still be needy. And I honestly have to read this verse and ask myself sincerely, ‘AM I truly open?’.  Am I opening my arms to the poor and EXTENDING them to people who are in need?

Whether it be giving a homeless man ten bucks to buy some food or just listening to a friend who has been deeply wounded in their past. Whatever the need may be, I read this verse and have to ask myself, ‘AM I truly open?’.

I always say that this woman amazes me. But she really does. This verse doesn’t say that she doesn’t have time to recognize those in need. It doesn’t say that she sees them and just prays for them because she’s too busy. It says that she just DOES it. She opens her arms and extends her hands, regardless of the need. And there is no doubt that she is busy. But she’s not ever too busy to reach out to those who are less fortunate. Or to those who are struggling. I imagine that this woman’s home was full of people who just wanted to be sitting on her couch just to be near her and her family. Her hospitality wasn’t lacking, I’m sure. The compassion that came from this woman was probably abundant.

She would just extend her hands to those who needed it. And from the depths of despair of those she saw around her she was able to share, Christ, grace, love, mercy, and friendship. And THAT, my friends is what it’s all about.

Inspiring, isn’t it?

more than rubies

30 Oct

I’m doing a study of Proverbs 31 on my own. I feel like I always find myself coming back to this passage in my life. And I feel like there’s a lot of wisdom to be gained from REALLY understanding what the passage is actually saying. I find myself constantly having a deep desire to BE this woman. And I know that I have a long way to go before I AM actually her. I wish I could actually know what woman Proverbs 31 is referring to.

Don’t you wish you knew?

I really look up to her. Is that weird? I find myself really WANTING to be all of these things. But it is SO hard. So I decided to somewhat dissect each verse- maybe one or two at a time- from this passage. I’m going to write my thoughts and what I’m getting out of it. I’d love for you to follow along and to gain inspiration of your own from this woman. I feel like it’s so easy to lose sight of what ACTUALLY is important in life as a wife, mom, and woman. And when I feel that way I often turn back to these written words of wisdom to find my way. And it really helps me to put things into perspective. And it really helps me to get my thoughts, actions, and life back on track.

So here’s some short, quick thoughts on the very first verse about the wife of noble character. Whoa. It’s already heavy, right? HA.

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

NOBLE character? WHO can find? This passage is describing a RARE woman. A woman who is hard to come by. One who is unique and who is cherished FAR more than even rubies. In a lot of countries, rubies are VERY precious stones and highly esteemed. This verse says that she is worth far more than that.

When I looked up the word noble in the dictionary, these are some of the words and phrases I found:

– of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence

– very impressive or imposing in appearance; stately; magnificent

– of an admirably high quality; notably superior; excellent

– famous; illustrious; renowned

You could fill in the word noble with any of those synonyms. A wife of MAGNIFICENT character. A wife of EXCELLENT character. A wife of RENOWNED character. A wife of EXALTED character. A wife of IMPRESSIVE character.

Who can find her? Because to those that DO find her, she is worth FAR MORE than RUBIES.

I know this isn’t groundbreaking. I know that I’m not revealing any brand new information here. But I AM going to admit to you that when I look at this verse this way, I am totally taken aback. The whole part of this chapter starts off by asking a question. Asking who really can find a woman or wife like this? Because she is rare. And she is precious. And she is very hard to find.

I’m not sure how to become this woman, exactly. But I know I want to be her. Already, one verse in, I desire to be her.

kate

4 Aug

The post of this sweet little girl and family is going live on our site today. We had the pleasure of shooting The McRae family about a week ago. If you follow their story, you know that Kate has been battling for her life from a malignant tumor that has resided in her brain. Their story is one of courage, hope, resilience, peace, love. Jesus.

It’s incredible.

Spending time with this family has kind of changed me forever. Watching Kate’s mom be a mother to her three kids all through the shoot and afterwards at dinner put a lot of things into perspective for me. How precious life is. How special is family time. How quickly it goes. How quickly our lives can change.

I have stared at these pictures for countless hours over the past week. And I’ve often, through tears, just sat at my computer PRAYING that God would PLEASE heal this little girl. I know He hears me. He hears the millions around the world that are praying desperately for her healing. He’s already been glorified through her story. How incredible would it be if He would just heal her?

God’s timing is not our own. And He’s in control. And I trust Him.

So does the family of this sweet baby girl.

But how I desperately want her cancer to disappear. She’s such a little girl. Who’s endured so much. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?

But what a beauty, right? Gosh. Simply stunning, she is.

* See the full post from our time with The McRaes on our website at www.sessionninephotography.com/blog.

forgiveness- revisited

13 Feb

I wrote a post over a year ago about forgiveness. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, and so I wanted to repost it here. Sometimes I really like going back and seeing what was on my heart over a year ago. It shows me how much I have or haven’t grown. And reminds me of the journey that we are ALL on as people. And it frightens me that someday I’ll have to explain forgiveness to my two little boys, not only in a way that they’ll understand it. But also in a way that they will see me living it out in my own life.

Whoa.

Anyways. I hope this post encourages you, no matter what or who you are struggling with. Sin sucks. We all deal with it. We all wound one another.

And we all struggle with forgiveness.

Repost from December 2009

I’m learning a lot about forgiveness right now. It’s not an easy lesson to learn, and can cause a great deal of pain. I’m not only learning what it looks like to truly forgive someone, but also what it looks like when someone doesn’t forgive YOU. Even if you’ve asked several times. This is one of the things that is causing a great deal of anxiety because I’m not really sure what to do if you’ve truly asked for forgiveness, apologized for a wrong, and it still isn’t accepted. Do you keep asking? Do you let the anxiety of it not being accepted just fester? Do you wait for time to heal your heart?

We always just expect people to forgive us, especially once we’ve asked. And once I’m aware that I’ve wronged someone, I really like to try to fix/clear up any issues that there may be. I really value my friends and family and don’t want there to be unresolved issues. There isn’t any reason why we as adults can’t communicate and clear the air.

So what do you do once you’ve done as much as you can, and it doesn’t matter? You’ve asked for forgiveness, apologized more than once, and it’s still not received. Do you let the friendship go? Do you try harder? Do you just forgive them for not forgiving you?

A lesson in forgiveness will be one that I will continually learn through the course of my life. We are human, after all. And while we do love one another, we are going to wound each other. I’m trying to surround myself with people who get that and who want friendships that can be built on the foundations of love, forgiveness and mercy.

And I’m trying to pray for the others who don’t.

home

25 Jan

I’ve been finding my ideas of ‘home’ changing, yet again. I’ve been doing a lot of research around the area that we live in and checking out homes for rent and homes for sale. It’s really fun for me to see what’s out there and since our lease will be up in August, we will be looking to move again. So I’m just getting a feel for the neighborhoods, their prices and what has been and potentially could be available once we are ready to move. I’m a planner, in case you didn’t notice. But I’m really excited about it. The more that I check out the area, the more I find myself wanting something so much different that what I thought I would want. I’m finding myself falling in love with these little townhouse communities. Townhomes that have been there since the 70’s, are smaller and are laid out differently that homes that are built today, with small roads and green lawns, small yards and have usually been remodeled on the inside. They are just so awesome to me. They are all over the place down here.

I’ve always thought that I would want a bigger home. That’s natural, right? You have kids and you’ve got to fit them somewhere! But what if we just don’t do that? What if we actually live below our means when it comes to housing? We’d still have room for our kiddos, space for them to grow up and be comfortable. But what if we just don’t have an enormous backyard? What if we just keep it simple, teach our kids to keep it simple and don’t even try to keep up with the Jones’?

Those thoughts are very appealing to me.

I’d love to travel with our boys and take them to see things that they’d never have the chance to see if we had a huge mortgage payment. I’d love to not have a lot, but to be good stewards of what we DO have and to teach them that. I’d love to settle into a smallish home that we could just keep forever. You’d think that living in Scottsdale there would be more of an urge to keep up with people in regards to what you own. But I actually, and honestly, don’t feel that way. Maybe we are surrounded by amazing people or maybe my mind has just shifted enough that I don’t care what people think, but I really find myself not worrying about the ‘stuff’. In fact, it’s the opposite. I find myself wondering how we can get rid and give away most of it.

It’s liberating, to not have to keep up with people.

God’s blessings still pour down on us, and it’s not always in the form of ‘stuff’. And I am so grateful that He meets our needs and that we do have everything we need. I feel really content with that and really don’t want or need anything more. So when it comes time to buy our next house, which Jason says is a long time away, I’m really looking forward to keeping it simple. Living in a smaller community in a city that offers lots for my kids, teaching them that it’s ok that we don’t have a pool in the backyard, and spending our money on actually living life and not what we’re living in. I’m not saying it’s bad to own or rent a big home, and who knows what type of home we’ll buy when the time is right. But I’m liberated by the idea of living way beneath our means.

Who knows if we’ll even end up staying here! Life can change in an instant and I’m definitely open to that. But when it comes to our next home, I’m really excited to keep it simple. These are just a few examples I love, and not all from the same house. But you’ll get the basic idea.