I wasn’t sure this morning if I was going to go through with sharing this out of fear of it being taken the wrong way. But I think the fact that Monday’s here on the blog are almost always dedicated to sharing personal posts and what’s going on in my life makes it a normal thing for me to share. When I first started photography, I wasn’t sure anyone would ever like my pictures, let alone pay to have me take some of them. I thought I was going to be a landscape photographer for National Geographic and that was my wildest dream as a freshman in high school. Then I wanted to go to school for photojournalism until I realized that only nine colleges in the entire country offer that major. I knew God had given me a passion for photography for a reason… I just had no idea what that reason was yet.
It would take years to start to see the entire picture and what God had planned for me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned these past twenty some years I’ve been on this earth, it’s that life is so much about waiting on the Lord. I waited on the Lord to provide good friends when my family moved cross country for the first time. I waited on the Lord to piece me back together after my mom died and my life changed forever. I waited on the Lord to heal more than one broken heart in my dating season before Justin. I waited on the Lord to lead me in the right direction for my college career. And then I waited on the Lord to show me what I should do with my passion for photography. He taught me how to love people through this skill set I was building. He showed me how I was to use it to glorify Him and not my own name… and He’s still teaching me the delicate balance between pride and promotion. Every work day morning that I wake up and open my laptop, I remember to take one day at a time. That I’ve been given today to make an impact, not tomorrow or next year because tomorrow is never guaranteed. One of the ways I’ve been passionate about making an impact this year has been through teaching. If I wasn’t a photographer, I’d be a teacher… so when God presents the opportunity to do both together, it’s a dream come true for me.
This Fall I’ll be one of three photographers leading Delight’s first ever Intensive at the Delight House. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll remember me sharing about Delight & Be a handful of times and the impact it’s had on my life over the past two years. In September, the newly renovated Delight House (which has had so many prayers, time, and heartfelt effort put into it for almost two years) will open its doors and do what it was made for: to build community, invest in young women, and encourage creatives to dedicate their talents to Jesus and use their businesses to bring glory to His kingdom… to love fervently and without reservation… to admit to mistakes but not let our faults hold us back from doing the good work God has equipped us to do. I have to remind myself of this every day because I rarely feel like I’m good enough in the eyes of my fellow industry peers, but I always know that I’m good enough for God because I have the grace given to me by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Oh, it’s such a sweet thing to know.
Today I’m filled with nervousness and joy over leading a spiritual retreat about wedding photography. It’s something to celebrate but also to pray for some serious guidance and wisdom over. “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” -James 3:1. If you want to be a teacher, you have to remember that God will judge those that teach with a harsher standard because they had the power to lead someone to life or death. I’m so excited that I have this opportunity to pour into the lives of other women, but it’s also something that I’m taking very seriously and not just sharing because I want to say “look at me” and “this is how established I am.” I’m sharing it because I want this blog to be a place where I can document journies – through business, photography, wedding planning, engagement, traveling, marriage, life – and encourage others to live passionate, full, rich, joyful lives grounded in God’s love and grace no matter what anxieties and trials are thrown their way. The purpose of my existence is to bring glory to the one through whom all things came into being. So today I’m celebrating this opportunity but also taking the time to clearly declare that at the end of the day, I’m nothing without the God that paves a way for me through every day. Every shoot. Every wedding. Every opportunity to lead. I’ll be forever thankful for the grace and goodness of the Lord, even when I’m far from deserving of it. But I know that my hard work and dedication + God’s divine wisdom and guidance = a life I’ll never regret. And that applies to any season, photography business or not :) All I can do is try my best to serve and love with what I’ve been given but give credit where credit’s due. And I’m so glad that love is at the center of the reason for everything.
If you’re between the ages of 16 and 21 and want to join us in beautiful Washington state to dive into all things wedding photography this Fall, click here.