Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Righteousness

Writing my previous blog post was all the motivation I needed to get into my heart and start digging things out. I didn’t do it through writing though. No. It was much uglier than that. I had to voice my heart, out loud, with the music turned up so I couldn’t even hear myself. Someone once told me “It’s out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks not the pen writes.” That statement is so true. In writing there’s much more opportunity for censorship. When I begin to speak to God straight from my heart, the things I say don’t pass through my mind before they come out of my mouth. I don’t worry about sounding eloquent. He already knows the thoughts and motives of my heart. It just flows.

God prompted me to get alone Friday afternoon. I drove way out into back country roads, pouring out my heart to Him all the way. The patience of Jesus is amazing. It was as though He stood there, holding up a mirror for me. At first, I refused to look. I didn’t want to see myself. But He persisted, prompting me to dig deeper, going far beyond the surface and getting to the root. It wasn’t pretty. The more I talked the more I saw myself. I’d become what I despise, despite all my best efforts. I was reminded that all of my righteousness is as filthy rags.

I am in awe that Jesus is so tender in humbling me. He showed me that I am nothing, but there is no bitterness in that realization. In my weakness I am forced to wait on Him. I went to this place I have in the middle of nowhere that I can just pull my car over and get out and walk around. God is so faithful to speak to me in that place. Not really because of the setting, but more because I’ve usually reached a point of desperation by the time I get there. I was spent. And I wanted to hear from Him.

He spoke. Almost as soon as I stilled my heart before Him, God reminded me of the promise that He has given me. That promise is unwavering. I know He will be faithful to fulfill it. And my faith will be accounted to me as righteousness. He gave me a mission – something to work towards, to bring honor to His name. When I got up to leave, the sun was setting. There was one place where a stream of light came through the trees. I stood there for a moment and I heard the Lord say, “I will make my face to shine upon you. You belong to me.” Nothing can compare to time spent with my Father. He is so faithful. He is so patient. And I will walk in His light all of my days.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Family Portrait Sessions

The holidays are returning and bringing with them the promise of cooler weather! Finally! Because God is blessing us with a string of gorgeous days, it's the perfect time for family photo sessions before Christmas.
Just as I did last year I'm offering my services to do family
portraits for a reduced fee. For $80 per session you will receive:

Up to 2 hours with me at 1-3 locations of your choosing
(Consider the State Capital parks, LSU, or fields/property in Central)
20-40 edited photos which will include group portraits, individual portraits (of each child), and couples portraits of your choosing
A CD of your photos will be provided to you with high quality images

In order to keep costs low, I do not process your photos. You can have them printed using or at most drugstores and superstores. It will take me approximately a week to edit all your photos and you will be able to preview them either through a private facebook album, your email, or on my blog. I will deliver your photos to you once they've been edited.

I will be available on weekday afternoons (after 4pm) through the end of October, and on weekends, both Saturday and Sunday, through the early part of December. Photos make great Christmas gifts, and Shutterfly offers some really neat photo-related gift items, as well as hundreds of unique Christmas photo cards.

***Special Christmas Mini-Sessions***

For those of you who don't want to do a long portrait session on location but would still like a nice family portrait in front of Christmas decor for a card, I am offering an in-home mini-session which will include:

Up to 30 minutes with me in/at your home
(in front of the Christmas tree, or outdoors if you have that option)
Up to 5 edited photos with poses of your choice
A CD of your photos will be provided with high quality images

I will be providing these shoots for the reduced cost of $35 per mini-session. This offer is only valid November 27th through December 15th to allow you time to order Christmas cards (unless you, like Wal-Mart, put up your Christmas decorations at Halloween. I'm not judging!). The delivery of your photos will be expedited and you should receive them within 2 days of your shoot.

You can contact me through facebook message, email, or phone if you'd like to discuss scheduling and details. Contact me soon! My schedule is going to fill up quickly!
** The photos in this post were taken during Christmas mini-session last year.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Recently I helped someone move. I thought that I would only have to show up and help move boxes that were already packed. The reality was entirely different. We arrived to find piles of household items around the perimeter of every room amidst the furniture. Only a handful of boxes were packed. Not to mention the closets and bathrooms were completely untouched. It was overwhelming, and it needed to be moved within a few hours.

Then I ventured upstairs to the Master Bedroom. Here, the closet was overflowing into the middle of the room where the bed was before. Piles of blankets, clothes, school supplies, books, cassette tapes, decorations – 4 feet high and 3-6 feet wide were stacked around the perimeter of the room in a pitifully failed attempt to organize before the move. I was armed with bags and boxes, but I didn’t know where to begin. For a few minutes I just sort of stood in the center of the room, dumbfounded, picking things up and aimlessly sorting through them. I was on sensory overload.

However, I was rescued. A girl friend was there to help, while the guys were ready to haul boxes and bags to the waiting trailer. She entered the room, grabbed a bag and started emptying the closet into it, with no rhyme or reason. No matter what – it was getting out of the room. I watched her for a moment before I opened a bag and started stuffing bedding into it until it was full. That was all it took for me to gain the motivation and momentum I needed. As long as she was moving, so was I. There was no time to stand there gaping at all of the stuff we were packing up. I had a singular thought - Move. Open another box, stuff another bag, just get it out of there. We talked, laughed, and she even sang as we worked. A constant stream of men were tromping up the stairs with empty arms, ready to haul each bag or box we crammed full. Steadily, the room began to empty out. We were finished in under an hour, and had fun doing it.

We moved on to tackle the closets, bathrooms, and kitchen. I had a rhythm now and was fine working alone. With all the help, the apartment was emptied in about 3 hours. It was a sizable accomplishment that left me feeling satisfied over the work.

It occurred to me that I’m approaching my mind and heart the same way I did that bedroom. It’s been so long since I’ve gone in and unpacked the things crammed in there. Writing typically gives me the outlet I need to go in, sort through things, make sense of them and come out with a clean slate. Whether it’s through an email, blog post, or in my journal. As long as I did it regularly it wouldn’t become overwhelming. But lately, I’m overwhelmed. It’s been a few months since I’ve written much of anything. I think I’m a little afraid of what might come out of me, because I know that once I’ve written something down, it suddenly becomes much easier to say. With words. And who knows what could come out of my mouth, what sort of things I could find myself admitting.

God has blessed me with some amazing friends. Sisters that are willing to dive into the chaos with me, help me dig around, and start to find some order in all of this. One friend recently challenged me to get to the bottom of things and clean everything out. I needed the motivation that came from seeing her perspective. And so I’m going in armed to clean everything out, to empty this chamber of my heart that I’ve left too long untouched. I’m ready to break up – forever – this pattern of walking in, looking around, feeling overwhelmed, and walking out, trying to forget it’s there. This passage from today’s My Utmost for His Highest spoke so clearly to me:

“How often have you come to God with your requests and gone away with the feeling – ‘Oh well, I’ve done it this time!’ And yet you go away with nothing, whilst all the time God has stood with outstretched hands not only to take you, but for you to take Him. Think of the invincible, unconquerable, unwearying patience of Jesus, saying, ‘Come unto Me.’

I’m not through yet. I’ve hardly started. But it’s going to get done, even if I have to throw everything out at once. I am so grateful that my God is so patient with me.