This week in pictures

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I have a photo shoot this Saturday- a family of 4 with one on the way! I am loving my new lens and can’t wait to see how the pictures turn out! Being able to get paid to do photography is almost as good as getting paid to teach… it seems like I should be doing it for free because I love it so much 🙂

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Artsy photo #1 of the week. Can you tell what it is?

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Artsy photo #2 of the week. Can you tell what it is?

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Believe it or not, this was a sunrise I drove into this week on my way to school. I absolutely love clouds that are scattered- they let lots of light through and create amazing photos… I will literally pull over on the side of the road to take pictures like this. If you know me, you know how much I LOVE sunrises and sunsets. I just usually am not up for early morning sunrises. But as a teacher, I see them every.single.day. And yes, I doubted the profession I chose when it hit me how often I’d see the sunrise 🙂

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On my way to good ol’ Trader Joes this past Sunday after church and this view caught my eye. BEAUTIFUL Danville night and I once again realized how darn lucky I am to be in the Bay Area. It truly is gorgeous.

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I don’t pride myself on this photo- in fact, I really don’t care for it. But, it is a reminder of my fun walk/run with Lynnie on Wednesday before Youth. Great conversation during our walk/run ended with an aerobics, dancing, moon-walking session in the parking lot of the church to some tunes blaring from my iPhone. This crazy dance sesh caused my hair to fall out of its bun- which then lead to me bragging about this massive mane I have. Lynnie was hardly jealous 🙂 She snapped a photo to capture the moment. Gosh, how I love cameras.

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And here we are tonight. Dinner is gone, the screen door is open, the wind is blowing while the sun sets, and I get to listen to birds chirping and the waterfall rushing. I love my apartment. I love nights like these. I love sitting by myself and getting to soak up all that surrounds me. My run today was much needed- I was in a terrible mood, stressed with the unknowns of my future job, housing, etc., and I was beating myself up about various stuff. At the end of my run I ended up, conveniently, at Whole Foods and bought some delicious food to make at home- and walked the rest of the way home. It’s amazing what time outside in the amazing California weather will do- what headphones, worship music, walking, and thinking can do for your mindset.

On my walk home from Whole Foods today, I was listening to a song that I have left on repeat many times throughout this past year in different circumstances because of how much it speaks to me. It’s the song “You Are I Am” by MercyMe. I have to be honest, they are not typically a band I love or listen to very often. But the more I listen to it, the more I sink into the lyrics, listening as it voices my true heart. The deepest parts of me have felt, muttered, and experiences these things.

“I’ve been the one to shake with fear, and wonder if you’re even here. I’ve been the one to doubt your love, I’ve told myself you’re not enough. I’ve been the one to try and say, ‘I’ll overcome by my own strength’. I’ve been the one to fall apart, and start to question who you are.”

This is where I think we find ourselves so many times if we are honest with ourselves. We fall apart and then question who God himself is. shake with fear and then wonder if God himself is near. I doubt God’s love and then tell myself that I am not enough. Funny how they never match up with God’s truths about us. The song goes on to then reveal that we don’t just have wrong theology so many times, but who God is and he powerful, gentle, and loving character.

“You’re the one who conquers giants, you’re the one who calls out kings, you shut the mouth of lions, you tell the dead to breathe. You’re the one who walks through fire, you take the orphans hand. You are the one Messiah, you are I am.”

What hit me today on my walk was this: God conquers the giants in my life. Not me. I walked around all day today trying to fight my own giants- trying to conquer my own struggles, trying to win my own battles, and while leaning on God, not realizing that he is there wanting to fight for me this entire time. He conquers the giants, not me. He fights my struggles for me, he steps in when I am too weak, and he never has asked me to do this on my own. He shuts the mouths of lions. He not only conquers my giants, but he protects me from situations that try to harm me. It doesn’t mean I don’t experience hard circumstances or situations- it just means that he protects me from ultimate destruction.

You and I get to walk around all day knowing we are fully protected in the grace, promise, and sacrifice of the one true God. He is sovereign, gentle, kind, merciful, full of grace, full of forgiveness, full of love and he has never ending patience for you and I. He has our futures in the palm of his hand. He goes behind and before us, promising to shape us into his likeness and reveal his glory in us. He promises to meet us where we are, but not to leave us there. He promises to build us up and use us for great purposes. He promises us his Spirit, which guides us, speaks to us, and reveals secret things to us. What an incredible gift.

And yet, if we don’t take the time to reflect on these truths, we (I) sit in the unknowns full of fear and doubt, lacking faith, and struggling through each day. God has not called us to live like this. He has big plans for us- are we willing to jump into the river and experience what is moving? The reality is that the river will flow with or without us. We just have to be willing to get in if we want to see what He will do. He promises to use us- and we don’t have to get it all together first.

Sit with this quote today: wait at God’s promise until he meets you there, for he always returns by the path of his promises.

“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature…” 2 Peter 1:4

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