expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Thursday, September 29, 2011

rainy day, 2 obligated subjects and a new lens.

my boys are used to me using them to practice by now,
and this morning fed ex delivered my beautiful new 85mm 1.8 lens.
it's not the best lens ever created, but for what i paid for it, it's pretty close!!

so i threw them in front of the french doors, and made them pose for me.

now my 20 minutes of free time is up, and i guess i should stop putting off the inevitable...grocery shopping.

here's an encouraging verse for the day.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless!"

so thankful for all the good things that God has given me!

happy rainy thursday!

ps. i am working on my discipline video to put on here. hopefully it will be up by the beginning of next week!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

i am...nothing.

i can remember it like it was yesterday.

i was incredibly hot and very thirsty.
i had just climbed up to the top of the citadel in haiti.

there were people everywhere.
my age.
holding up necklaces...that they had made by hand

begging me to buy one more.
we had already bought 5 from other women.

this one woman stands out in my mind, because she was talking so fast, and i could not understand what she was saying, but i of course knew what she wanted.

i had just walked by the places that they call...

i don't know...

you be the judge.

and i had a hard time even comprehending that a family lived here!

as i closed the door to my car, this woman continued to hold up her beads to my window.

the music that happened to be playing in the car was

amazing love
how can it be
that you, my King would die for me

i couldn't hold back the tears.
i thought,
i am no different than her!
no different at all.

i wondered if she knew her value.
what the God of creation thought of her!

i still think of her. a lot.

now back to today. 
to reality.
to the place WE call home

 i mean, not me personally.
but..According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average home size in the United States was 2,700 square feet in 2009.

a little bit of a difference?

i have been thinking so much about who i really am.
i of course wrote about my fear of thinking too highly of my photography business and starting to focus on making money, 
when that is so not what life is about.

but i have been thinking even more so about who i really am.
so much of our world today is based on popularity.
sometimes i feel like i am in the 6th grade waiting to be picked in gym class.

you know...how many people are following my blog? how many people have liked my photography page? and on and on it goes.

i have so often looked at other blogs, and thought...really?
how does she have so many people following her blog?
i mean...what does she have to say that is any different from what i have to say?

then i thought this.

why do i get the opportunity to blog for the world to see, when this woman i just talked about will never get to have people hear her thoughts..
her dreams.
her struggles.

it's not fair.
and so i was reminded.

i am nothing.


who cares how many people read what i write?
this woman has no one reading her thoughts.. 
yet it does not mean that my thoughts are of any more value or importance than hers.

according to james,
yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

and that is it.

regardless of who you are.
what your status is
who your friends are...
you have no idea what your life is going to be tomorrow.
neither do i.

love others today.
live for God today.

don't worry about what other people think about you.

because if we all start realizing that we are nothing.
that we need to be putting the needs of others before our own needs
that we are here to bring to glory to God and God alone
not receiving glory for gifts that God himself has given us.

then maybe, 
just maybe.

this world would be a little different.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

the benefits of getting off your couch

i have been looking back at some of my blog posts that i wrote years ago.
it reminded me of the long tiring days with 2 little boys in diapers, 
leading youth group, 
owning our own business 
and financial struggles.

it's good to look back and remember where you have been, and where God has taken you!

i am very passionate about godly, intentional parenting (as most of you know) and am always blessed and encouraged when i see parents who are really parenting the way God wants.
sadly, i feel that there are a lot of christians who are being beguiled into thinking that God's Word is not the ONLY answer.
i believe 100% that God's Word is the only answer!

so here's where i'm going with this.

remembering back to the days of a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old at home...
a lot of my days were spent disciplining and disciplining, over and over.

let me give you 2 options that i had and what each outcome would look like.

i tell my son to pick up the cup off the floor and put it in the kitchen.
he says no.

option 1.
stay sitting on the couch (since i did only get about 2 hours of un-interrupted sleep last night and i am in the middle of reading a book to my other child.)
i can just pick up the cup later, and i don't feel like moving right now.

option 2.
tell the son i am reading to that he needs to hold on for a couple of minutes.
calmly get up off the couch
take my disobedient son upstairs and bring my bible and the paddle with me.
discipline, hug, kiss, pray.
go back downstairs and finish reading my story, while my now obedient son puts his cup in the kitchen.

obviously option 2 takes a lot longer than option 1.

let me tell you the results of option 1 vs. option 2.

fast forward 6 years

result 1.
tell your now 8-year-old son to go upstairs and get dressed for the day.
he ignores you.
tell him again.
he starts whining, and continues to play his video game.
tell him again.
he turns and says that he will do it when he is done
tell him you are serious!
he stomps his feet and looks at you with eyes that are daring you to try and move him.
you throw you hands up and tell him that his father is going to have to deal with him when he gets home.

result 2.
tell your now 8-year-old son to go upstairs and get dressed for the day.
he says "yes mom"
and goes upstairs to obey.

see, this is the beguilement that we fall for...
try things once, twice, maybe even 5 times.
but then mix it with not following through 6, 7 or even 10 times...

and then we don't get the results we want, so we fall back to sitting on the couch.

i can not tell you how many times this has come to my mind this week alone -

i am so glad that i was consistent when they were little!!

because the rewards i am enjoying now are so amazing, 
and i don't even remember most of the stressful days!

i am throwing around this idea in my head of making a video to put on my blog explaining biblical child discipline.
i think that people hear the word "spanking" and freak out.
they picture a woman in a grocery store grabbing her child by the arm and slapping her on the bottom.
then they say "how can you teach your child to not hit, by hitting??"

well, since that is not spanking, maybe if i showed you examples of what it actually looks like, you might have a different idea.

so there you have it.

the benefits of getting off your couch now?
are that you will not have to get off your couch later!

so seriously. get off the computer.

stop reading this, and take care of your little one who is throwing a fit right now!

it will be totally worth it!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

i heart faces {a touch of sun}

this week's photo challenge is a touch of sun.

i want to call it touch of Son...
because not only is this beautiful girl on the outside
but she is an absolutely awesome example of what someone should look like who lives her life to honor and please Jesus.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


have you ever heard God's Word called convicting?
Hebrews says this
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Psalms says that our secret sins are set before God in the light of His presence.

i have to say that this morning, my sins were set before God, and it sure judged my thoughts and ATTITUDES.
in a painful kind of way.

see...there are times in my life, when i think i am treated unfairly.
i have times when people hurt me, and i don't understand why.
i feel like certain people should treat me certain ways...
and when they don't?
i just don't get it.
maybe i use the fact that i am "hurt" to kind of justify the startings of bitter thoughts and emotions towards them.
because, after all...they have God's Word too, and should know how to treat me!

I might even excuse my bad attitudes by saying that i am not hurt for myself, but for my boys, or my husband.

ya. i started doing that yesterday.
it ran over into today.

not like i was up stewing and angry all night or anything, but i will say that facebook doesn't help in this area.
when i feel like i am fine and over something, then i see a comment that reminds me - 
oh yaaa....i can not BELIEVE that person did that or said that!
what did i do to deserve this??
and blah, blah, blah.

see? it even looks ugly typing it!
isn't it weird that you can actually have a physical feeling of...i don't know, discomfort?
thinking about having the right thoughts towards someone can literally bring discomfort to my body. like i am fighting within myself!
(which according to galatians is accurate! my sinful nature and the spirit are literally fighting against each other inside of me!)

so anyways...after i was done spewing out all my frustrations and ugliness
(which, of course, was my right, i mean...i didn't do anything to deserve this! ha!)

i read my devotional for today, September 14, 2011.

here's a little excerpt from it.

 Streams in the Desert - Sept 14
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Mark 8:34

The cross that my Lord calls me to carry may assume many different shapes. I may have to be content with mundane tasks in a limited area of service, when I may believe my abilities are suited for much greater work. I may be required to continually cultivate the same field year after year, even though it yields no harvest whatsoever. I may be asked of God to nurture kind and loving thoughts about the very person, who has wronged me and to speak gently to him, take his side when others oppose him, and bestow sympathy and comfort to him. I may have to openly testify of my Master before those who do not want to be reminded of Him or His claims. And I may be called to walk through this world with a bright, smiling face while my heart is breaking.

Yes, there are many crosses, and every one of them is heavy and painful. And it is unlikely that I would seek out even one of them on my own. Yet Jesus is never so near to me as when I lift my cross, lay it submissively on my shoulder,and welcome it with a patient and uncomplaining spirit.

He draws close to me in order to mature my wisdom, deepen my peace, increase my courage, and supplement my power. All this He does so that through the very experience that is so painful and distressing to me, I will be of greater use to others.

please tell me that i am not the only one that struggles with this!!
i have to NURTURE kind and loving thoughts about the very person who has wronged me.
i found this definition of nurture - to feed and protect.

i have to be feeding and protecting those kind and loving..

get this.

not actions...which can be done hypocritically and with a rotten attitude.

but my thoughts.

i find it interesting that i can think of myself as a strong, independent woman who can handle anything.

then i can't even control my stinking thoughts from people who are wronging me.

that is not strong.
that is weak.

BUT...fortunately for me,
i have this loving reminder from an amazing Father who knows that i am weak...

HE tells me that i can take pleasure in my weaknesses, because when i am weak, HE is strong.

so thankful for the fact that i have God's Word to remind me of where i need to be.

because, although i think that it feels good when i talk about how i was hurt, 
it is very short-lived.

it does not feel good.
it feels rotten.

it's just like when you go running.

it hurts when you are running. 
when you get cramps, when your legs are aching...

but when you are finished? 
you feel amazing. stronger. accomplished.

same way here.
let God's Word be a light to you, and convict you.

even though it hurts when you read it and when you act it out.

when you are finished? 
you will feel amazing. stronger. accomplished.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

big families

my sister has one.
there is always something going on when they are around!
when they were here, the house was rocking!

her kids are really great kids.
her and my brother-in-law are serious about raising kids the way God says to.
and it shows.

i love having them around.
i miss having them around.

every single one of them is so special to me.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

i am so in love...

with these two little boys.

first this little boy who came into my life when i was 24 years old.
i didn't know i could ever love someone so much

someone who changed my life completely, including suddenly not sleeping at all!
somehow, i didn't care one bit.

you see that sweet face? you wouldn't have minded either!
that sweet, adorable little face that still brings so much joy to my life

this high-needs baby that has grown into a totally chill, and relaxed little man.
just like his daddy.
oh, i just love him so much!
then, less than 2 years later...

the little brother.
i didn't think i could ever love someone as much as i loved aj.
but i did!

this time, i got a baby that slept through the night pretty quick.
i have to admit, i was hoping for a girl.
but now? i can not ever even imagine my life without ry.
i am a boys mommy through and through and can't imagine it any other way!
sweet little crazy, silly, anything but chill ry.
just like his mommy

i can't stop smiling and tearing up just looking at these pictures of my babies.

i am with them constantly.
for real.
when i am gone for a couple hours?
i miss them like crazy.

i am so incredibly thankful and blessed
God has given me and my adam these two little boys to raise up to bring glory to HIM.
they are sweet.
they are rough.
they are smart.
they are athletic.
they are godly.
they are funny.
they are perfect to me.

i am so in love.
and you can see why i would be!

Thursday, September 08, 2011


my thoughts have been all over the place lately.
not that this is uncommon or anything..it's just been more noticeable lately!
i stumbled upon a problem that i didn't really realize was a problem.
do you ever do that? i hope that i am always open to realizing when i need to change.
which is a lot.

i was outside with my coffee, reading my Bible the other morning.
i realized that as i was sitting there, my mind was going crazy.
i was thinking about a way that i could better advertise for my photography.
i was thinking about going out to buy some more props from an antique store nearby.
i was thinking about all the editing i had to do from my latest shoot, and posing i was going to use for my next one!
my point.
i wanted to be thinking about what i needed to do to get The Porch ready,
i wanted to be thinking and praying about how i can be a better mom and better wife.
i wanted to be thinking about the girls from my young adults group that i promised to pray for.
i wanted to be thinking about the planning i need to be doing to get ready for this homeschool year.

do you see where i'm going with this?

all of my thoughts are being spent on my business and not on anything with eternal value.

of course, i love my business. 
i adore capturing people on camera
i really enjoy what i do, and that is where the conflict was.
do i just put my camera down, and forget all about it?
i didn't want to do that! i love it too much! 
and i feel that God has gifted me with this ability!
so this is where i was going back and forth and back and forth.

i have just been feeling conflicted on my time management and what things need to be taking first priority.
see...i believe wholeheartedly that it is my responsibility to tithe a MINIMUM of 10% of my finances.
i also believe that i should be "tithing" my time as well.
when adam and i tithe our already small income, God always, always provides and blesses us even more.
a verse in proverbs says that giving to the poor is like lending to God.
God always pays us back even more so than what we give.

i think it should be the same with my time as well.
i need to be giving my FIRST percentage of time to God.
then to my husband.
then my kids
then my ministries...

my photography.

this does not come naturally for me, but the whole thing about it is?
i don't want "natural" results for my photography!!
i want God results.

you may think that it is kind of crazy to even include God in this, because it is something i do on the side.
it is a camera. 
a job.

but i need to really work on making sure that i am allowing God to have what is rightfully his in every area of my life.

every area.

i tend to get up and read and pray.
then spend the rest of the day figuring out how to do everything else.

that is where i have been conflicted!
because i have felt guilty when i am spending too much time editing, or researching, or anything that has to do with that.
i feel like i HAVE to do that first, because i want to fit everything else for that day in!

so here is where my confliction ends.

i don't think God needs little old me to spend  hours coming up with ideas and plans for ways to make more money.
i think that God needs me to be honoring Him with my time, with my money and with my thoughts!
when i do that, i can only imagine what he will do to bless me.

i want to spend way more time praying, reading, planning for my ministries, spending quality time with my husband and my kids.
then, when i feel like i have accomplished what God has clearly called me to FIRST
i will put the left over time into my photography.
i want to be a proverbs 31 woman. 
that is my goal. i know that that includes being a business woman as well as a mom!

there. it's all out. 

ok. i feel better. 

thanks for working through that with me!

now i have to get moving. 
i have tons of homeschool planning to do, 
the porch needs to be cleaned before it opens monday,
and i have 2 senior sessions sunday!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Alton Bay 2011...the rest of the days

part of me hates putting these pictures together with this post, because it means that vacation at the bay is over.
so so many of my childhood memories are from alton bay.
so many great memories.
our family has gone to this camp ground ever since i was about 2 years old.
what is so great about it, is that it is a totally family friendly place.
there is no alcohol allowed on the grounds,
there is a private beach where only one-piece bathing suits are allowed (even more appreciated by me as my boys are getting older!!)
there are different speakers and singing groups that come to the campground,

and it is just a safe place to be.
this was the first year that i really let my boys go back and forth to the playground, and the beach and the cottage by themselves.
it reminded me so much of the years when i would do the same with my cousins!
when i started dating adam in the 10th grade, he would come up in the summer for a day or two and stay with our family.
he has come to love this place too!
we rent different cottages each year that we go, but eventually we would love to own a cottage ourselves!

i just love all the good, old-fashioned-summer-fun!

and that is it.
so thankful for an amazing family.

thankful that i have a family that all want to honor God with their lives..
a family that wants to raise their kids to please God.

and i am thankful that i have these pictures to forever remind me of the great times we had together.

to bring a smile to my face everytime i see them.

and to remind me of how blessed i really am.

Blog Archive

Blog Design by Caked Designs