He, the Alpha and Omega

The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.

I had an absolutely amazing weekend. I will fill you all in at a later time. God moved. I am free. I am strong in Christ. I am cherished. I am chosen. I am His favorite. I am loved. I am redeemed. 

I have been a believer in God my entire life. I formally invited Christ in when I was 8. I am not perfect. I have fought hard through the darkest part of my life, and all I had left was God to cling to. He’s amazing. I am thankful. 

Your worth is so much more than you think. 

Ladies, especially, please take a moment to read this.

Dating can be fun and rewarding. You’re able to spend time with someone, go to dinners, dances, etc, and have a great time! However, many times, we tend to take these dates into relationships for the wrong reasons, or ignoring “red flags” that end up making us unhappy down the road.

Before you decide to be exclusive with someone, you need to ask yourself several questions.

How do I expect them to treat me?

Many times, we go in to relationships, letting things slide in the beginning. We make excuses like, “Oh, they don’t really know me well yet.” Or “It’s not that big of a deal.” This is the truth, if anyone makes you feel put down or unworthy of anything, you need to let them know how they made you feel. Sometimes, personalities need to grow. If they ignore your wishes and disrespect you again, you seriously need to reconsider seeing this person as a potential date. You do not EVER deserve to be put down, disrespected, or ridiculed. Someone who cares for you will be cautious of hurting you.

 
Where are my physical/emotional boundaries?

Knowing where you stand, physically, being able to talk about your limitations in the relationship is a huge deal. If you talk these things out with your partner, and they continue to “push the envelope” please respect yourself and do not allow them to manipulate you in to doing things you’re not comfortable with.

Emotional boundaries tie in to this, as well. If you’re not comfortable talking about marriage and kids, on a hypothetical level with that person, you need to draw the line there. Tying your hearts together by speaking of a future with them before either of you have made a commitment, like being engaged to marry, can be dangerous. There is a high chance that they are “saying the right things” to get whatever they want from you. Sometimes, that is physical pleasure, or financial security, or even, just someone to placate them until someone else comes along. Do not put yourself in a corner by being so emotionally, or physically, invested too soon.

Where do I see myself in ten years? (WITHOUT THIS PERSON)

If you can see your future without this person, and feel content, you really need to analyze what you are doing in this relationship. Many times, in the present time, we feel content with someone in our life because we are lonely. I’ve been there. I understand. Filling the void of loneliness just to have someone with you really isn’t worth it. You’re hurting yourself, and the other person, in the process. You should desire to be with someone, because they accentuate the life you already have.

Am I just lonely, or ready to make a commitment?

This, in a way, ties in to the previous question. If you are lonely and crying yourself to sleep, because you don’t have  a warm, sense of security by having an embrace to help you sleep at night, then you’re not ready for a true relationship. Again, being in a relationship to avoid loneliness will only hurt yourself. The reason is, you cannot be happy with someone else if you’re not content with yourself. You will rely on that person to bring you joy and contentment. That’s a lot to ask! Someone who truly cares for you will do their best to make you happy, but they will fail you, sometimes. I was the person who did everything I could to make someone happy, but it wasn’t good enough. If someone isn’t happy with themselves, nothing someone does for them will truly bring joy. It may bring you peace for a moment or two, but you’ll be looking for more and more. You may, even, start looking for happiness from someone else. That isn’t fair to them.

In a nutshell, 

Wait for someone who only adds to your quality of life, someone who shares some interests with you, but can expand your mind. Work on yourself, do things that make you happy, and live your life! In the right moment, when you are happy being YOU, a good person will come along and pursue you. They will love all the quirky things about you that other people ridiculed. They will make you feel MORE capable in your strengths, MORE comfortable in your skin, and motivate you to embrace your weaknesses. Sometimes, these things humble us and help us help others. Allow someone to treat you well, dote on you, pursue you, and add to the life you’ve already created for yourself.

Biggest fan

IMG_0095.JPGThese are a few examples of my work displayed. “They” say that your mama is your biggest fan. In my case, it is true! I am so thankful to be able to contribute to my mother preserving memories of her family through photographs. If she was my only client, my purpose would be fulfilled.

Struggles are blessings.

I am more in love with Christ than I ever have been before. So many years were spent questioning our bond, wondering why I couldn’t feel Him the way I used to. I realized, my innocence was gone, and my child-like faith was gone. Growing up is so difficult. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve been through hard times, and I’ve been humbled in ways I didn’t see coming. Even though I had some reality checks in the past few years, I am so thankful! I lived much of my life doing no wrong, taking no risks, and LEARNING NO LESSONS. I learned that, sometimes, we need to fall in order to learn how precious our Lord is, and how truly ever present He is- even if we can’t feel it.

Recently

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It has been foggy, so I took the opportunity to capture it! My college professor said that no photo is worth taking without a risk involved. The majority of my photos are not “risky”. I am a very cautious person. However, I couldn’t resist taking my camera out in to the mud, amidst all the animals. They were acting so crazy this morning, because the fog was SO thick.

Yesterday, the skies were more clear.

Yesterday, I stopped down to 2.0 and had my ISO at 1000. I did this, because I was photographing animals, and they move very quickly.

This morning, I pulled my ISO down to 100 and used my 50mm macro lens.

It’s how I do.

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I’m an extremely imperfect person. My jeans are a testament to that, but I rock them anyway. It’s how I do.

See that grass stain? It’s from my mule feeling claustrophobic and making a run for it on our way to the round pen. Stuff happens, then you get back up and keep going.

 

 

 

Also, I posted this on Facebook.

Ladies and gentlemen, please take a second to read this…
I would like to make a PSA to every individual I have as a Facebook friend. Taking selfies is such a huge deal these days. So many of us thrive on posting that “perfect” selfie, displaying our great make up, hair, or flawless skin. That is, after 150 failed attempts. I am posting these photos, even though I am making silly and unflattering facial expressions, even though I have acne that won’t seem to ever evade me, and even though I have no idea what my hair is doing. You know what? In these moments, I am still beautiful. There are reasons I still have acne- maybe that reason is because I’M A HUMAN BEING?! I am not posting much these days. You may have noticed, or you may have not. I honestly do not care. I have not become apathetic. I am just no longer needing validation from anyone other than myself. It’s a beautiful thing. No matter the day, no matter how my hair is when I wake up, and no matter whether I’m bloated or paper thin; I will tell myself I am beautiful every single day. Try it. It’s freeing.

 

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I would like to take a moment

To brag on my God. In 2015, He opened doors for me I had been praying to open for ten years. 

By the age of 12, I had to kiss sports goodbye. Soon after, I dove in head first in to music. I learned how to play six instruments, three were self taught, but I absolutely dreaded performing solo. I performed for my piano recitals and orchestra concerts, even for UIL. However, at home, I highly disliked when I was asked to perform for guests. I have anxiety. My mind literally goes blank. 

I decided that there had to be a way to honor God by doing more than playing my instruments in my room. Then, I had an “AH HA!” moment. I could teach music! I had always wanted to be a teacher, anyway, so why not combine two of my passions? In 2013, I moved to this little town, began substitute teaching, and soon learned that there were no music classes for these kids. After a year and half of advertising, I finally had a couple of students who were fully invested in learning music! I had two, then a few months later, I had six! A few months after that, I had eight! I had eight students in this tiny town who were willing to learn music! I was elated, so thrilled, and so ready to pour my love for music and the arts in to these kids! 

It’s been a year now and I have four students who are continuing their music education. I am so thankful to God that, even after I had given up on this “pipe dream”, He rewarded me with some wonderful kids who are expanding their minds!