Photography

Crawford Family

Back in December our church hosted a vendor event, offering a fun night of Christmas shopping to the community while providing a sales venue for women-owned businesses run by ladies both within and outside our church family.  Hubby graciously watched baby Lilly at home, and allowed me the evening out to participate.  After having been on hiatus for nearly 6 months due to our move in June and Lilly’s birth in September, I was excited to get things back up and running!

I held a drawing at the Glimpses of His Grace booth, and the Crawford family won the free mini session!  We had to reschedule due to a torrential rainstorm at the end of December, but were finally able to do their session a little over a week ago. Their sweet kiddos were great sports, and so cute too! Here are a few of my favorites:

 

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Photography

Haddon | One Year Old!

Last week, some dear friends from our community group asked me to capture a few memories for them on the eve of their son Haddon’s first birthday.  We selected a quintessential southern pecan grove not far from town as our location for the session, and it was gorgeous!  We had to battle an army of gnats who globbed onto us as soon as we arrived, and the heat was a tad on the unbearable side being a typical spring afternoon, but I think we got some great ones!

The Wilsons are a beautiful family inside and out, and it has been such a joy to watch Haddon grow this past year.  I can’t believe this handsome little man is one already!  Wilson family, Hubby and I are so glad we’ve been able to share life with you these past few years!

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Faith

Hear & Obey

This post will most certainly be a departure from my usual posts of late, but it is something that resonated deeply with me today and so I hope in some small way it might be a blessing to you…

I sat down at the kitchen table to have my quite time over breakfast this morning – something that, as one on whom God is still working greatly, I would be lying to say was nearly as regular an occurrence as it should be.  But God is gracious and understanding with me as he sanctifies my heart and motives.  I have been slowly by surely making my way through Genesis, and today I found myself in Genesis 22.  I was challenged by what our pastor said in church yesterday about making time to study the Word, and the helpfulness of keeping a journal in doing so.  I had grabbed a mostly fresh journal from our shelf intending to jot a few thoughts on what I read.  I’m a horrible journal-keeper – a point proven prominently by the fact that my only two previous entries in said journal were dated from our honeymoon in November 2011 – but I ended up filling the entire page with notes as I read through this chapter.

As a synopsis of Genesis 22, God calls on the man Abraham and commands him to take his only son, Isaac, to a distant land three days journey away and there offer his beloved child as a sacrifice to the Lord.  This is not a pretty picture, not an easy request.  Abraham is acquainted with the sacrifice of burnt offerings, knows full well that this will entail killing by his own hand the child that he and his wife had awaited for so long.  While the scripture does not specifically comment on Abraham’s emotional state, I cannot imagine that God’s request did not grieve his heart to the very core.  How confused and saddened Abraham must have been after God’s promise to bless him and Sarah with a child in their old age, only to be faced with the possibility that their precious son would now be taken from them.

Earlier in the book of Genesis, we see God make a covenant – a binding promise – with Abraham.  God covenants to bless Abraham, to give him an heir, and to multiply his offspring as numerously as the stars in the sky (Gen. 15:1-6).  Abraham was to be the father of many nations.  How did God intend to fulfill his promise with Abraham’s only child taken from the picture?  Surely Abraham struggled mightily to understand God’s purpose and will in this turn of events.

And yet, in the midst of his pain and perplexity, Abraham trusted God and obeyed.  Abraham’s relationship with God is firmly rooted in his knowledge that God, in his sovereignty, has guided and provided for Abraham for many years and that God truly has Abraham’s best interest at heart.  Verse 3 says that Abraham “rose early in the morning” to carry out God’s command.  He didn’t question, or tarry, but made the necessary preparations and set out resolutely with young Isaac and a few men.  As the group nears the mountain to which God has directed Abraham, even Issac begins to sense that something is remiss.  They have the split wood, the fire, he points out, but no lamb to sacrifice.  Still Abraham trusts that God will provide.  When Abraham and Isaac reach the place for the sacrifice, Abraham builds an altar, arranges the wood, binds Isaac, and is literally raising the knife to sacrifice his own son when God sends an angel to stop Abraham in his tracks.

As overwhelming relief washes over Abraham, he looks up to find a ram caught in a thicket behind him.  God has indeed provided a substitutionary sacrifice in the place of Isaac.  Abraham and Isaac sacrifice the ram on the altar, and are able to return together whole to their homeland.  And as a result of Abraham’s obedience, God promises to bless Abraham even further on account of his faith.

Even better than all this, is the fact that the story of Abraham and Isaac points forward to the gospel and the amazing truth that God was willing to sacrifice his own son, Jesus Christ, as the substitutionary atonement for our sin.

But okay, so what does all this Isaac and Abraham business have to do with us?  Here is some food for thought that I took away from this passage:

  • In the current state of my relationship with Christ, is my heart attuned to the Spirit in such a way that I would be able to hear and recognize God’s voice if he called to me?

In the first verse of Genesis 22, God calls out to Abraham by name.  Abraham’s immediate reply is “Here I am.”  He hears God’s voice and responds right away.  Now we don’t know for certain if God spoke to Abraham audibly, or merely spoke into Abraham’s spirit, but this got me thinking…if God were to call me by name, would I recognize and be able to discern his voice in the midst of all of my own self-talk, the jumble of overcrowded thoughts, and the interruptions and distractions of the day vying for my attention?  Do I quiet my mind to listen for the Lord?  Do I spend time getting to know God through his Word and in prayer so that I know his voice when he’s speaking to me?

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  • When God does direct me to do something, do I jump to obey him immediately as Abraham did?  Or do I lolligag and take my time getting around to it?

As much as God’s command must have grieved and confused Abraham, Abraham wasted no time in doing as God told him.  I know there have been many times when God has impressed on me to do something – whether it be reaching out to someone, or sharing my faith in Christ, or being available to serve – but because it seemed inconvenient or uncomfortable to me at the time, I was slow to do it and ultimately the window of opportunity passed.  My obedience to God should not be dependent on my earthly timetable or convenience.

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  • Do I trust God enough to do what he asks of me even when it is difficult, painful, or doesn’t make sense in my fallible, human mind? Or do I question him and his goodness, and/or fail to follow through completely?

If I were in Abraham’s position, I’m afraid I would seriously struggle to see how God had called me to do what he did, to be willing to give up the very thing that meant the most in my life.  So many times we forget that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isa. 55:8-9), and that he works all things for the good of those who place their faith in Christ (Rom 8:28-30).  People love to look at Romans 8:28 and assume that it means God will always do for everyone what seems “good” and best in our own eyes, but we forget to consider the rest of the passage.

Romans 8:28-30 tells us that “…[F]or those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (29) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (30) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

So what Paul is really getting at in Romans 8:28-30 is this: at the end of our days, when we are called home, our faith in Christ stands as the guarantee of our eternal good.  That doesn’t mean that life on this earth will always be easy as a follower of Christ, however, we can stand firm in knowing that whatever circumstances come our way or whatever difficult paths we are called to walk in faith, God is using them to mold us, sanctify us, and conform us more and more to his image and into the people we were created to be.

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Photography

Downtown Shoot | Paige

Earlier this month Hubby’s lovely momma, Paige, made the long drive to south Georgia for a visit and to help us begin preparing for our upcoming move.  (For those of you who don’t know, we will be leaving Air Force life entirely and relocating to North Carolina at the beginning of June so Hubby can attend seminary!)  My “Mom 2” as she’s affectionately known was a tremendous help and she and I got plenty done around the house, from boxing up the contents of the china cabinet and our overloaded bookshelves, to loading Hubby’s truck full of my painted furniture projects and castoff home decor to consign at my favorite local shop.

But we also made sure to make time for some fun and took advantage of having another girl around!  We got our nails done – fingers and toes, talk about pampered! – did some shopping, and enjoyed a few lunch dates.  My mom-in-law also let us talk her into getting dressed up and heading downtown with me for a fun little photo shoot one afternoon.  She looked absolutely beautiful!  There are so many photos from our 2 hours exploring downtown that it was hard to narrow down, but these are a handful of my favorites.

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Drexel Park | Wells Family

A few weeks have passed since this session, but with several rounds of family in town and all the traveling we’ve done, the month of April has truly flown by and I hadn’t quite gotten around to putting the photos up on the blog yet.  I joined the Wells and their two adorable daughters at Drexel Park on a sunny Sunday evening for family portraits.  We had to work around a Medieval-era LARPing battle in one section of the park – talk about keeping things interesting! – but we were able to capture some great shots.  Truly a beautiful family!

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Photography

A Man & His Dog

Happy Saturday friends!  Today turned out to be the most wonderfully gorgeous spring day here in south Georgia. The sun smiled brightly, the warm air rippled with the lightest whisper of a breeze, and the world was awash in a burst of color and new life.  Now that the sun has slipped below the horizon and the warmth and light has paled into night, I hate that it ever had to end.  Suffice it to say, it was a perfect day.

In the midst of this gift of a day, I had a strong hankering to get out and about with my camera for some practice.  Hubby kindly obliged to serve as my muse, so I allowed him to choose his own props!  What ensued was an adventure of a date night as we set out on a hunt for new locations, collaborated on some fun photos, and simply enjoyed each others’ company.  Here’s a bit of what we have to show for those few hours…

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Sorry for the hubby overload…I just can’t get enough of that handsome man!

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As I’m sure you can tell from these next few, I was very much enjoying my first opportunity to practice capturing sun flare.  To be completely honest, it happened by accident the first time as I crouched down to snag the shot a few photos above, but I was so excited I couldn’t stop hootin’ and hollering about it! I love learning something new!

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Ike-boy sure was wore out by the end of the evening with all that excitement, but he was an excellent model! And boy, did Hubby and I have some fun on our off-roading, camera-wielding, sun-drenched exploration through some of the town’s lesser known photographic destinations.  Here’s to a blast of an evening!

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