The Great Vacation

Life updates

What a great past week! Vacation was amazing, northern Wisconsin always takes my breath away. The 70-80 degree weather up there was relaxing compared the 102 degrees we were used to! This year was a lot more laid back than our last family vacation.

We did some tourist shopping our first full day in Hayward..

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I couldn’t help but get a few shots of the amazing architecture ..:)

If you woke up early you were rewarded with a little eye candy.

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You could hear the fish coming up for air, leaving ripples in the water. The loons were calling out from some far off place, and the morning mist over the lake was moving calmly. You couldn’t help but take a few shots and then sit back and enjoy the peacefulness. It was heaven.

We filled the rest of our vacation with little activities like go-karts, bonfires, flea-markets, beach picnics, and plenty of dinners out {of course!}

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My favorite part of our vacation was when we rented a boat for the day and spent it all out on the lake 🙂

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Since we came back on Saturday, my sister and I were able to go to see Gungor at Summerwood. They are such an inspiration to the both of us and we were even able to meet and grab a picture with them! It was such an awesome concert. Being right next to the stage was a great experience!  Can’t wait to see them again! {Excuse the cruddy iPhone image quality}

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Trust. Faith. Destiny.

Challenge & Revelation

This wasn’t the really the first idea I thought I’d write about for my first blog post. It’s supposed to be quirky, fun. But, these are my thoughts, too. I hope you’ll continue to read my feelings, convictions, and adventures. There will be plenty of those I’m sure. Let me tell you where my story has been taking me lately.

Most kids “know” what they want to do when they grow up. Heck, I thought I was going to be a worship leader when I was 16. Toured colleges for it. I loved the classes, the teachers. But it was missing something.

A tech department.

No photography courses? I turned my back on that college and continued to pursue God’s bigger plan for my life.

As months passed, my passion for photography grew. I was given a Nikon D3000 for Christmas and little Ms. Amateur was born. That camera was glued to my hip. A few months later, I began doing little “shoots” with my friends, learning more about camera angles and techniques. Summer rolled along and my church deemed me the event photographer. At 17, that was a HUGE honor! I interned with the tech guys during that summer as well, constantly expanding my knowledge of lighting, camera settings, and post editing.

By the time October came and passed, I had a few professional shoots already on my belt for families and seniors. I was in my element and blossoming. Not to say that I didn’t get discouraged. Believe me, there were times I was discouraged if I could really take this to another level. What if I was always going to be the amateur with a nice camera? I certainly didn’t want to be the kid who delivered overpriced point-and-shoot prints. So I pushed myself to continually grow, I was where I needed to be and that was all that mattered.

The drastic difference from where I was when I first had my camera to now is amazing.

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June 2011

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Hard to believe just a little over a year has passed. I love what I get to do. The hard work, time, and money I put into this is well worth my while. And I’m excited to see where God takes this. I’m striving to be the best I can be. His favor surrounds me.

As of the past year, my heart has been calling me to Africa. An organization, Impact Africa , visited my church and I was drawn to their year long internship program. As a kid, I was intimidated by missions. You hear so many horror stories, you never want that to be yourself or someone you know in such scary situations. That’s where God changed my heart. Those that are meant to stay and minister to the people here, in America, that’s okay. Because it’s their calling. I feel a pull in my heart to travel and minister, capture the realities that many Americans don’t even know about today. Even I know that I’m not completely aware of all that is surrounding me.

As of May this year the opportunity was presented to me to go on a missions trip for several weeks with the same ministry I had felt a pull towards before. A family friend from the church we attend is heading up the trip and is aware of my passion for photography. Not only do I get to go to Africa, I get to take pictures, too! What a blessing. God has shown himself in every way. You see, fundraising for the trip had started before I graduated. I decided that if I was supposed to go, it would still be possible to raise funds after I graduated.

As I sent letters out and deadlines passed, a fraction of the payments needed came in. A big deadline was approaching before I left for a week long vacation and if I didn’t make this payment they wouldn’t be able to hold my seat on the plane for South Africa. A day before we left, the several hundred dollars I needed to make the payment was sent to the church offices in my name. If that isn’t the hand of God, TELL me what isn’t!!

Trusting God was always a hard thing for me. Completely handing something over to Him and saying, “I’m not going to worry about this anymore. I’m resting it at your feet, standing in faith, and speaking those finances in. But I won’t waste my time worrying about it.” is a VERY hard thing to do. But why do we make something so simple as refusing to worry, so complicated? I didn’t fully grasp trusting Him until just recently. Honestly, I don’t think I completely understood until my dad sat me down and began to tell me how much he cared for me and wanted to provide for me in the future. Teenagers, much less, adults, don’t seem to fully grasp how much their parents care about them until they’re gone.

If the God who created the whole world, couldn’t handle or solve our problems, wouldn’t we know already? Try it out. Turn something over to Him and when it crosses your mind, pray about it. Thank Him for giving you wisdom and favor in the situation.

Those are my thoughts for the day/week/whatever.