January 30, 2012

A sunny spring day

I know that it's not spring, but judging by today's weather it sure seems like it! We had a lovely 60 degree day (are you sure that it's January?) and I decided to take advantage of it. I'll admit that my camera has taken quite a long rest over the past few weeks, but today was warm, sunny, the lighting was beautiful and it seemed like a good day to dust off the camera and take some pictures.

Last fall I got a reflector for using with my camera (got it for free using Amazon gift cards that I earned through Swagbucks!), but I haven't played around with it much. It's great for getting neat shots with sunlight since you can have the sun back light your subject and then use the reflector to bounce light onto their face.

My six year old sister Lydia volunteered to be my subject. Isn't she sweet?

There are little sisters who love to pose for the camera, and others who just enjoy making silly faces so that they can see themselves. Miriam happens to be one of the ones who loves to be silly...

Of course, Flash had to have her picture taken too. I didn't use the reflector for her since she seems to have decided that it is an extremely scary monster that will eat her if it gets too close...

I know that I have a photography blog that I could post all of these photos on, but the main reason that I wanted to start it was so that I could enter photo contests without having to post those here. Photography is one of the things I love to do, and because of that I'll still be posting photos from photo shoots and life here at Treasuring Today!

January 22, 2012

My latest project

I would like to introduce to you my newest blog project - Rebekah Mae Photography (such an original name, I know). Over Christmas break I had at least 3 people ask me if I had a website or blog that I posted my photography on. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I decided to start a photography blog. Don't worry...Treasuring Today is my main blog and I'll still be posting lots of photography here too. If you'd like to check it out, just click on the button below...

Sorry that this post is somewhat short...I hope to do a bit longer one soon!

January 12, 2012

my heart's desire

I can't pinpoint an exact date when it happened - but it did. A passion started to burn in my heart. When I went to Mali, West Africa for a month in 2009 it opened my eyes to a whole new world outside of our American way of life. I always knew that it existed, but there's just something about experiencing it first hand that makes it so real. It's something that I'll never forget.

When I look at the smiling faces of the Malian children, I can't help but feel that I take so much for granted. They don't have large houses, the latest technology, or tons of toys - yet they seem so content. I want to live that way! I don't want to be focused on the stuff, but rather on how I can use the resources God has blessed me with for His glory.

Sometimes it's easy to let myself get caught up in my own little world and then forget about all of the hurt that is going on around me. Between juggling schoolwork and a busy schedule, it's too easy to let other things be pushed out of my mind. But over the past few months I've become more and more aware of the hurt, pain, and need that there is around the world, and it's made me want to do something about it.

Then, last Tuesday our Bright Lights lesson was on mercy - and since the person who is teaching always seems to learn more than those who are listening, I was again challenged in this area. God has called us to live lives of mercy, reaching out to those in need and showing them the love of Christ. One verse that stood out to me comes from Luke 7:47 - "Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven - for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Once we realize how much mercy we have been shown and how much God has forgiven us, it brings about a new motivation to share this love and mercy with others. We often hear "God loves you" and I think that we've started to take it lightly. But when the full reality of that love hits us, how can we not want to share it with others?

I want to be full of God's mercy for the lost, hurting, and starving people of this world. But how? Where do I start? I still have a lot of questions, but I pray that I will jump wholeheartedly into the opportunities that He brings my way. I'm sure there is a reason for this passion that He has placed in my heart, and I want to be ready to follow His leading, no matter what. For now, He has placed me in a community where there are broken, hurting people, and I want to see this as my mission field.

Who knows what God has in store? I can't wait to find out!
To His name alone be all the glory.

James 1:27
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: 
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to 
keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

January 1, 2012

hello 2012

"Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."
Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) 

A new year. A fresh start.

I can hardly believe that the first day of the new year is nearly over. Another year has come to a close and a new one lays before us, just waiting to be filled with memories.

It's with mixed emotions that I let go of twenty-eleven and turn the page to a new year. I wouldn't trade the past year for anything. The laughter, the tears, the growth, the work, the blessings, the friendships - so many wonderful memories that I never want to forget. God has blessed me in more ways than I can count, and I'm amazed at how He has worked in and through my life over the past year.

It was a year of growth on many levels. I grew in my love for photography, developed my horsemanship skills, and pursued my love for horses through Hippology. But even more importantly than that, I feel that I gained a better understanding of the woman God has called me to be. As a Christian, I'm not called to live a life watching from the sidelines - I'm called to be active in my faith and live it out in my day to day life.

But now it's a new year. I don't want to come away from 2012 with any regrets. I pray that it will be a year of growing in the Lord and living a life that is pleasing to Him. I hope that it is a time of growth, learning, and wonderful memories. Some of the goals that I plan to work towards in the upcoming year are...

- Being faithful in doing my quiet time each morning and memorizing scripture
- Running regularly
- Working towards improving my photography
- Being consistent in training my horse
- Competing in Hippology (the study of horses)
- Keeping my days scheduled so that I can get all of my priorities done :)

I'm excited about this year. I look forward to all of the adventures and memories that I'll have - but no matter what it may bring, whether it be storms or sunshine, I pray that it will draw me closer to my Savior.

Have a wonderful 2012.