July

In the recent days I’ve begun to realize a growing discontentment within me, of a sort I did not recognize. So I’ve decided to pick my camera up again, and reenlist her as my tool for seeking out and savoring the beauty of everyday life. These images are from a Sunday morning when my spirit was awakened early by the whisper of the King, beckoning me outside to the porch for some coffee and time alone with Him as the world awoke. 16-July-116-July-316-July-416-July-516-July-716-July-8

 

Advertisements

Sandcastles versus Marble Palaces

There is an undeniable scream inside all of us crying out for something more, a meaning beyond the world behind our eyelids. Like stormclouds gathering, we let the emotions roll in one after the other. Insecurity. Disappointment. Hurt. Bitterness. Perhaps they don’t always arrive in that order, but arrive they do. All are symptomatic of the same thing, what my brother calls “sandcastle pride.” We stop trusting entirely the Lord’s plan for us, and start searching out ways to make our dreams happen on our own. True, any dream worth anything at all requires work, but at what point does work transfer into idolatry?

In the words of one wise nine year old, “Start reading your Bible so you can learn how to get your life back on track!” We are desperate to be alive, yet terrified at what that would mean. Authors make millions off self-help books, either about gaining control or letting go, or doing one to achieve the other. We all dream of a higher existence of some sort, but only once we seek and pursue the Lord’s vision over our lives will we find any sort of the divine calling we crave.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ – this is the Lord’s declaration – ‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” Jeremiah 29:11

It’s not about the work itself. It can never be about the work or else we’ll fall into either a cycle of obsessive over-achievement or bitter resolve to press on. Neither can it become about whatever earthly outcome, money, or fame, for in the end, once it’s been realized, there will be an inevitable sense of “that’s all?”

I’m not saying we all need to jump up and become ministers; He did make some doctors, filmmakers, musicians, or writers, etc, but there must also be some eternal goal for our lives or else what’s the point?

We all have some daily burden; what’s yours? The daily awareness of what is, and screaming response of what should be? This is your battleground, so wage war! There we find our sense of purpose, of vitality- there we bring bits of His kingdom to earth. And it is in this process of fighting for the “should be,” of fighting for some necessary change weighing on us so heavily it seems that to not strive to bring it about would be a moral slight, that we being to trade the sandcastle for the marble palace.

 

Break My Jaw, Give Me Life

Realizing the girls sipping coffee beside you are suddenly some of your dearest friends as gently as the sun slides into the Pacific’s blanket of blue. Giggling about the boys you secretly (or not so secretly) admire. Dreaming of weddings and shores yet to be kissed by our nation-worn feet. Writing letters. Discovering every flavor of Top Ramen. Waking up at 4:30 AM for morning yoga in Himalaya hiking prep. Phone calls to home. Redefining “home.” Realizing it’s a concept none of us will ever see the same again. Tears on staircases. Sins confessed over lunch. Broken stories and shattered hearts shared as the evening’s breeze drifting from the ocean chills our bones. Discovering our rythms have suddenly found us.

Faith being stretched in ways I could never have imagined. Miraculous healing that could never be faked. And over and over again Christ whispering in my ear “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

Outreach is getting closer, and I feel the Holy Spirit working overdrive in all of our hearts. How is this already the end of week seven? While sometimes it feels like I’ve only arrived yesterday, others it seems like YWAM is eternal and home was only illusion. And yet the first quarter is already through. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Old, weary relationships rebuilt and restored. Shaking in my Birkenstocks one moment, the next utterly wrecked by God’s exquisite purpose for the lungs wrapped inside these ribs. He has expressed and confirmed to me several times now that I am to go home after outreach. Somewhere in my innermost heart, part of me had firmly believed that wasn’t going to be the case, at least not for about a decade or so; that first my ministry would be brought to some unknown nation where I would reside with only the one my heart loves, the people we are ministering to, a camera, and a Bible. But no. I am going home. And I am so stoked.

Until then, I am here, and there is no where else I would rather be. Discovering the reason I have such a hard time with regular photoshoots is because I am built a photojournalist, and that’s simply different. These thoughts are a tangled mess, and I’m having a hard time unraveling them. Through prayer, nineteen years of liver issues that had crippled me in so many areas were healed in five minutes. Insight was given through the Spirit as to why my jaw refuses to heal: it’s my broken hip, so to speak. I’ve used my mouth to speak so much death, and words are my main form of ministry. It’s time only life flows from these lips.

Thus was week seven. Sorry there are so few pictures; it was an insanely busy and beautiful seven days. Until next week.

XOXO

week seven (1 of 2)week seven (2 of 2)week seven (7 of 9)

 

 

 

Hungry Hearts

Do You hear the sound?
Hungry hearts
We are one thousand
Crying “Holy, You are.”DSC_0264

Do You feel the rush
Hungry hearts
Grateful, we push
Forward to Your arms.DSC_0237

United purpose
Single Spirit
Fragrant roses
We lift our souls to You.DSC_0206

One thousand tongues
Words of fire
We lift our souls to You
Lift us higherDSC_0244

Joy resounding
From the trees, the sky
We lift our souls to You
Lift us high.DSC_0270

Do You hear the sound?
Hungry hearts
We are one thousand
Crying ‘Holy, You are.’DSC_0277

September Sunrise

It’s a farewell season
On to new horizons
Heralded by autumn’s fire
With each hello this
Summer is demanding a goodbye
It seems, if not to faces
Then phases
But I’m learning
I’m okay with it.


In the quiet
Fear assaults
Ferocious doubt, like a lion
Will tear me to shreds, if not
I take the plunge, over the deep end
Into the blue abyss, swim until
My feet find land.


It is time to leave
My feet are aching
For unknown shores, dreams unseen
I will return
But for now, I must leave
This town feels small
It’s only shrinking
It is I who must grow
My feet are aching.

Terracotta Sweater

Lately in my life things randomly and bizarrely disappearing has become commonplace, to the point where my dad has seriously considered buying a hidden camera for the house to see where it all goes and how it vanishes. I have learned that even of my personal belongings, I have no real control. Only God does, but in that there is so much peace. But these disappearances are merely a part of a hidden painting.

It’s a season of gentle interludes. Clock in, clock out, typewritten prayers and telephoned memories. Perhaps one day the future will come, but for now it stands a hazy mirage in this desert land. My words feel mediocre. Do I have what it takes to go pro, or will I ever remain an amateur? Clock in, clock out, sip the coffee, make the copies, and pretend to myself that one day I’ll be an honest artist.

I don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps one day the work will pay off and writing will become my full time job, next to ministry; or perhaps it’s just a little girl’s dream along with unicorns and rainbows made of lollipops. All I know is that the Lord is holding it, and if I can let go, there is so much beauty and adventure in the unknown. He will make me into the artist I am designed to be, in His perfect way and timing. While this interlude is meant for rest, my mind insists on pushing on into worry. How often is that the case? The Lord blesses us and we do everything in our power to distort it into something vile. No. Not today. Today I will curl up in my terracotta sweater, sip the coffee, make the copies, and breathe, always breathe. The most perfect God of the universe is holding me and these dreams. Life is haywire, but darling, isn’t it beautiful?

Revised_146.jpgRevised_145.jpg  RevisedDSC_0115_022.jpgDSC_0115RevisedDSC_0104_019.jpgDSC_0104  Revised_156.jpgRevisedDSC_0039_101.jpgDSC_0039Revised_187.jpg  Revised_154.jpg  Revised_153.jpg RevisedDSC_0106_020.jpgDSC_0106 RevisedDSC_0101_017.jpgDSC_0101 RevisedDSC_0056_005.jpgDSC_0056 Revised_213.jpg Revised_197.jpg

Photographs taken at Panther Coffee (Wynwood, FL), the Old Florida Bookshop (Hollywood, FL), and the Florida-Georgia Line.