Sunday, December 20, 2009

Mision Complete!

Mission Complete!!!

I have done many things so far during the course of the 24 ½ years that I have been around. Perhaps one of the greatest things I have done was to take pictures of a family this Christmas season.

During the beginning of December I heard a song by Matthew West titled “Give this Christmas Away.” Upon hearing that song I wanted to do something to give this Christmas away. Living in such a materialistic world, it is hard sometimes to keep the right perspective. I knew that I wanted to give this Christmas away, I wanted to give someone hope. I knew that I wanted to participate in such a movement but had no idea how I would do this. Follow this link to listen to the song: Give This Christmas Away by Matthew West

Then one day I was reading through some blogs when I learned about help-portrait. Help-portrait is a movement of photographers who are using their time, equipment and expertise to give back to those who are less fortunate. It is about giving, not taking pictures. It works like this – find someone in need, take their portrait, print their portrait and deliver them. The light bulb went off in my head – this was it, this was how I was supposed to give this Christmas away. Ok so I had the idea to give this Christmas away, and now I knew how I was supposed to do this…but with who? I called my mom.
Moms are good at solidifying things! She told me about a woman at church and her two children, that their husband/father died three months ago. They came here with nothing and had to rebuild. She said they would be extremely grateful. The next day I was taking pictures. She brought with her a picture of her husband – hoping in some way I could include him in the picture. So this was it, I was to give this Christmas away through help-portrait of this woman and her family. It all made sense.

I took the pictures – the little boy looks just like his father, and the little girl is very photogenic. She gave me the picture of him, I uploaded all the pictures and did the edits, had them printed, and even framed one. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible I felt knowing that I had accomplished just what God called me to do in this situation. With God’s timing, my mom’s guidance and this family’s need, I was able to give this Christmas away.

I have completed help-portrait number one and look forward to making this a yearly event. The one thing I wanted more than anything this Christmas was the opportunity to put hope in somebody’s heart and a smile on their face, I wanted to give this Christmas away. The odd thing is, now that I have gotten what I wanted – which was giving something away - I feel so incredibly blessed! Which makes me think about a quote from Mark Batterson’s book, Primal; “The blessings of God are never ends in themselves. And if we use a blessing selfishly, the blessing actually turns into a curse. The blessings of God are always a means to an end. And the end is blessing others. We are blessed to bless.” I have been blessed with the gift of photography, and am so grateful that I had the opportunity to bless others with my blessing. AWESOME… Don’t you just love when you get to see things come full circle?

I have uploaded a collage that includes the original pictures I had to work with as well as the edited finished results that I came up with.  What do you think?  The first two pictures I combined to make the family picture of all of them together!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Primal Review

By: Mark Batterson

We have a tendency to complicate Christianity. Jesus simplified it: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we are to live out the essence of Christianity, we must commit to being great at this Great Commandment.

In Primal, Mark Batterson explores the four elements of Great Commandment Christianity: compassion, wonder, curiosity, and power. Along the way, he calls you to be a part of God’s reformation, starting in your own life.

As Mark writes, “Is there a place in your past where you met God and God met you? A place where your heart broke for the things that break the heart of God? Maybe it was a sermon that became more than a sermon. Maybe it was a mission trip or retreat. Maybe it was a vow you made at an altar. In that moment, God birthed something supernatural in your spirit. You knew you’d never be the same again. My prayer is that this book would take you back to that burning bush—and reignite a primal faith.”

Primal will help you live in light of what matters most and discover what it means to love God. It will help you become great at the Great Commandment.

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.
To purchase the book please click here.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  I started using those little post-it notes as I reading through it to mark parts that really stood out to me.  And when I got about half way through the book I think I had more post-it flags than pages in the actual book!  It is a great read.  It pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Week 49 - Pets Only!

Week 49 - Pets Only!
We happen to have a very photogenic dog - when the camera comes out she literally will sit at my feet until I start taking pictures of her.  This isone of my favorites - don't like the glow in her eyes but any edits I do just don't quite look right. Check out the other i heart faces entries.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Value Gifts for the Holidays Blog Tour

Foolproofing Your Life by: Jan Silvious

Precept Ministries (Kay Arthur) radio co-host discusses how attempts at coping with difficult people often fails, because they are what the Bible refers to as “fools.” Silvious provides tools to help readers get along and conduct relationships in a way that honors God, while preserving their own sanity.

I found this book very enjoyable to read.  The writing style lends itself to being an easy read with an incredible meaning.  I love the scripture that is tied to the dealing with difficult people in our life. 

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.
To purchase a copy of this book please click here.

99 Ways to Increase Your Income by: Frank Martin
Successful entrepreneur and author of over sixteen books. Provides tips to generate more cash, and rebuild or supplement an income, while hanging on to existing dollars.

I must admit, upon recieving this book I read through the entire thing as soon as I took it out of the package.  It was a quick easy read.  I like the way the book was organized, it shows you ways to increase your income at work and at home.  I would definately recommend this book.

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.
To purcahse a copy of this book please click here.

Week 48 "Sweet Dreams"

Week 48 "Sweet Dreams"
This is a picture of my little guy napping before his 2nd birthday celebration!

Check out all the other great entries at i heart faces.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My little man...

Seth is quite an amazing little guy.  I like these 'self portrait' style pictures that I have taken with him recently!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Treasured/God Gave Us Love/ God Gave Us Christmas

by Leigh McLeroy/Lisa Tawn Bergren

Treasured: Cigar boxes. Refrigerator doors. Scrapbooks and sock drawers and top shelves. These are the places we store our treasures–the keepsakes that tell the story of whom and what we’ve loved, how we’ve lived, and what matters most to us.

God is a collector, too, whose treasures are tucked securely into the pages of his book: a golden bell here, an olive leaf there, a scarlet thread, a blood-stained cloth, a few grains of barley. Each of these saved artifacts reveals a facet of his heart and tells the story of a Father whose most precious possession is…us.

In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides us in discovering evidence in our own lives of his attentive love.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
To purchase this book please click here.
This was an awesome book that reminds everybody that we are special and loved by an almight Father.  This was a true 'feel good' book and a page turner, I couldn't put the book down once I started it.

God Gave Us Love: As Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, the young polar bear begins to question why we must love others… even the seemingly unlovable.

In answering her questions, Grampa Bear gives tender explanations that teach Little Cub about the different kinds of love that is shared between families, friends, and mamas and papas. Grampa explains that all these kinds of love come from God and that it is important to love others because…

“Any time we show love, Little Cub, we’re sharing a bit of his love.”

This sweet tale will warm the hearts of young children as they learn about all the different sorts of love, while the gentle explanations of each provide a valuable opportunity to encourage children to share with others a “God-sized love.”
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
To purchase this book please click here.
Having read other books in this series, I knew I would enjoy this one.  My two and a half year old loved all the bright pictures, but didn't quite sit through the whole story.  I'm sure in time he will!

God Gave Us Christmas: As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?” Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that… Jesus is the best present of all.

This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.
This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
To purchase this book please click here.
Having read the other books in this series, I was excited about reviewing this one and adding it to our collection!  My two year old didn't make it through the entire story but he got bits and pieces at different times!