Friday Favorites ~ My Week

It started on Sunday, really. I felt a bit spoiled. A dear friend at church blessed me with my second Willow Tree figurine.

Isn’t she lovely? I now have two pieces so I can officially say I have a collection.

Right after that lovely gift another sweet woman in our church gifted me with one of her beautiful hand made necklaces. She gets her glass mostly from Italy I believe and uses a blowtorch to shape and create her beads. I now have my very own bluebird of happiness. If you want to see more of Ms Helen’s delicate work you can visit her etsy shop. Such beautiful craftsmanship!

And then one of the sweet kids gave me a lovely coloring page. I told you I felt spoiled with all that love being shown to me!

This week I finally got my fat quarters unwrapped and washed. (Remember them? I shared them in a post at the end of February.) I’m not going to lie, looking at that pile of fabric makes me a little nervous but I figure since this is a just because quilt I can take my time and do it little steps at a time. The plan at the moment is to get them ironed and then cut into smaller squares. I will keep you posted on my progress with this particular favorite thing.

One favorite thing I did this week was spend some time with my camera and these really really cool flowers I got at the grocery store. I don’t know what kind they are but how cool are they?

Emily and Hays got back from their honeymoon on Monday. I already got a text asking for a recipe and that made this mama’s heart glad. It also makes me glad that they will come visit us next weekend. And my heart gets downright joyous thinking about Easter when they will come again and so will Sarah and Devon. All my people will be home!

Hays shared some of the pictures he took on their honeymoon and I am going to wrap us this week’s Friday favorites post with a couple that I really loved. Glacier National Park sure is a beautiful place, isn’t it?

How cute is Em in this picture?

Have a great weekend, y’all!

Think On These Things ~ 1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,

but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 

or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 

but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Inconvenient Love

I found some rolls of film a while back. Rolls of used film actually and it has been years since I shot film. Unfortunately, since I found them I have once again lost them. Well, all but two of them so recently I decided to take those two to the camera shop and have them processed.

Honestly, I am not sure how I ever survived as a photographer at all based on what came back. If it weren’t for the fact that I actually have pictures to prove that I could take a picture back then and that people kept letting me take their pictures I wouldn’t believe it.

One of them only had something like two images on it. Not sure what the story is and how I only used just two of the average 24 exposures and then decided to rewind it all as it were but that seems to be exactly what I did.

The other roll though? That had a few gems, dark hard to make out gems, but they were there nonetheless. It took me a few minutes to sort it out and actually figure out where and what I had been photographing.

It was from one of my very first weddings that I ever shot. It was also after I had started shooting digital but apparently I was being all that and shot some details with film too. Apparently, at some point I was satisfied with just the digital files I had shot because these were clearly I wasn’t in a hurry to share these with the world.

I got to thinking about that long ago couple and realized that they have since divorced. It was kind of sad to reconcile the young, happy and in love couple from that day with an older unhappy calling it quits couple they ended up becoming.

As I was questioning how they ended up where they did I realized something.

Loving someone, anyone, is really inconvenient.

Loving people more than we love ourselves, which is how we are called to love, is rarely easy no matter Zac Brown and his band singing otherwise. Loving that way causes problems and disruption to our lives.

Have you read I Corinthians 13 lately? Does any of that sound convenient to you?

I don’t know if it works this way for you but being patient is rarely called for during a time that is convenient for me. As a matter of fact it’s usually the exact opposite, hence the need for patience.

And it is so much easier to be kind when, well, it’s easy. But what about when he just isn’t being considerate about my needs and doesn’t really care that my morning has been less that delightful and he just wants a cup of coffee? A love that shows kindness at that moment and pours a cup of coffee and offers it with a smile is not really convenient.

How convenient is it to not be arrogant or rude when we live in a society that pays homage on a regular basis to the drop the mic kind of slap down?

I don’t know how easy it is for you not to insist on your own way but it’s not always easy for me which means that it can be real inconvenient (Surprise!) for me to not be irritable or resentful.

It’s not always easy to rejoice in right doing when it is so tempting to make ourselves feel better by rejoicing in another’s wrong doing.

It is not always convenient to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things.

While love should be all of those things it isn’t exactly convenient to practice and pursue that kind of love. That kind of inconvenient love requires something from us, of us. It demands our death for the sake of loving those around us.

Because it’s the kind of inconvenient love that will suffer death on a cross.

And that kind of inconvenient love changes who we are so that little bit by little bit we are able to not only recognize that love being shown to us but also allows us to love in the same way.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit,
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Let each of you look not only to his own interest,
but also to the interest of others.
Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself,
by taking the form of a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Philippians 2:3-8

How We Fight

Maybe, just maybe, we haven’t shown the world what marriage truly is.

Maybe we haven’t lived our marriages in such a way that it is more than a legal transaction that grants certain rights and privileges. Maybe that’s all it is to the world because we haven’t shown them that it is holy and sacred…that it mirrors a holy God and His bride.

Maybe the world doesn’t view marriage differently because, statistically speaking (or so it seems), there isn’t much difference in pre-marital sex, abortion, adultery, and divorce inside the church as outside the church.

Consider that young man, the next time you behave less than honorably toward a young woman.

Consider that young lady, the next time you put on that push-up bra and low cut shirt and buy the short shorts that are just tight enough across your bum.

Consider what picture you are giving of marriage when you lay down beside one who is not your spouse.

Consider that husband when you choose yourself and what you want or what’s easiest for you instead of laying down your life for the one who you’re supposed to lay your life down for.

Consider what your actions are really saying despite any words you may utter wife, when you disrespect your husband and belittle him.

Obviously how we got here is much more complicated than that. But it seems like a good place to begin fighting back, doesn’t it? A better way than any pithy Facebook status or quippy little meme that just stirs up strife and contention.

We are told in Scripture to not answer a fool according to his folly so we don’t fight the way the world does. We don’t rely on just persuasive speech and political change.

We live relationships that reflect the glory of God. We love each other in a manner that brings honor to the One who has called us to be His Bride. Let our children and the world around us see the Gospel lived out flourishing in grace and restoration.

And when we do have opportunity to speak about why we believe what we believe about marriage and mankind and sin and grace and restoration may we do so with something more than bumper sticker slogans. May our words be winsome and wholesome, beautiful in that they point to Christ.

What happens after that is not ours to know or finagle an outcome. We are called to be faithful no matter the outcome.

May it be so.

wedding_rings_biblical_marriage_Christian_marriage

Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Murphy!

Exactly one month ago today on 12/13/14 they became husband and wife in a beautiful ceremony surrounded by family and friends.
It was truly a beautiful wedding with some of my favorite details to date. The flowers alone were just stunning.

The most beautiful thing about the wedding though was the love that cascaded between the bride and groom and washed over everyone there.

Such a beautiful family was created at that day!

At the risk of picture overload here are some lovely high lights from part of their day. More to come!

Walt and Casey, you have both remained steadfast and faithful, trusting God’s goodness to sustain you. God has surely blessed your obedience to Him. May your love for each other continue to grow and shine the light of Christ into the lives of everyone around you.

It Was A Party Y’all

Psalm 30 figured prominently in Lisa and Dave’s wedding.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psalm 30:11-12

It’s a beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness to grant life where death once reigned…to restore and put back together that which had been broken.

And for the newly wedded couple and their friends it was literal. These people danced! And the smiles and laughter spoke of garments of praise and gladness.

They had a fantastic dj who really knew how to get the people on the dance floor. A friend out did herself in preparing the food and of course the decorations were just beautiful.

It was a celebration to remember!

I absolutely adore this photo of Lisa’s mother…so happy!

Such a beautiful couple.

DJ extraordinaire on the floor.

Yee haw!

Dancing, laughing, celebrating the good gifts of our heavenly Father…what a gorgeous night!

Tim and Chrisann

One of the hardest things for a photographer who wants to share their work is choosing which images to post. Especially when there are so many good ones to choose from which is certainly the case with Tim and Chrisann’s engagement pictures. They are both photogenic but it really is the way their happiness and delight with each other just shines through every image that makes narrowing them down difficult. 

Except this one. This one is easy to share so that we can collectively enjoy the awesomeness that is Chrisann’s hair. Gorgeousness. 
Pensacola photography, engagement pictures Pensacola Beach
We started our time together in Gulf Breeze on a giant sand cliff and then moved on to Ft. Pickens. I ended up with way more images than I normally deliver and if the light had lasted longer probably would have ended up with even more. Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order.
couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

My goodness I just love this one.

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits
couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits
 
Tim and Chrisann, may the Lord continue to pour out His generous blessing upon the two of you as your love for each other declares His goodness and faithfulness. May He bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

A Boy and His Sisters

My son is the only boy out of five children. He is neatly sandwiched between two older sisters and two younger sisters. You would probably think the poor kid doesn’t stand a chance with that many little mamma’s trying to tend his business but I can tell you he handles himself just fine.

Last week I finally managed to get some time set aside to do some pictures of my own children to possibly use for Christmas cards. My youngest was quite proud of her little herp derp moment and made the face for me again asking if I had seen it the first time. Oh, yeah I saw girlie! And you will be a teenager one day and will so regret that you made that face 🙂

Then things started getting really interesting. It may seem as if my oldest child is clumsy and that her brother is trying to rescue her but the truth of the matter is that she’s not and he isn’t. As a matter of fact he was doing the exact opposite.

She is a good sport about it though.

And the youngest shows again how very big and expressive her personality is.

He doesn’t look apologetic at all does he?

His exact words, “Push Sarah off of a stone wall? Check!”

All is well that ends well.

Love my babies that are growing up way too fast! Sharing their silly story with Photo Story Friday, Best Shot Friday, and 1440.

A Thousand Words

In late spring I had the honor of photographing a wedding vow renewal for a dear friend’s parents. Forty-five years they were celebrating. So much love was present…the devotion to each other was beyond words…it was a visible expression of two who had become one.
She became a little emotional walking down the aisle and I’ll never forget the way he smiled and held his hand out to her. It was a practiced move…one that you just knew had happened before over the years when everything in their world would go a little crazy…he’d put his hand out to her…pulling her to his side offering comfort, protection, an anchor to withstand whatever storm they were facing.

Over six months later and I still get teary eyed looking at their pictures. And it’s not because I’m so close to them or know them so well. It’s that their devotion to one another is so clearly heard in every gesture and smile.

Yesterday he was moved to hospice. I just can’t imagine…and once again I am without words and overwhelmed by the beauty of their love for each other.

May God be gracious in mercy and may peace and comfort surround them.

Updated: Earlier this morning Mr. McShane passed away very peacefully with his wife at his side. He will be greatly missed but we rejoice knowing that he has been completely healed and is with his Lord.

Sharing their story at My Chaos My Bliss and  Best Shot Friday.