August 21, 2012

the journey

Photography, like life, is a journey. You can't learn every single thing there is to know about photography in a day. Or a week. Or a month. Probably never. No matter how much you learn, there is always more. Sometimes it's easy to think that where we are at is good enough, but if we settle for less, we'll never experience the results that only come from knowing we can improve, and working towards that goal. This doesn't just apply to applies to almost everything we do in life. Riding or showing horses, competing in sports, school work, putting up a fence...just fill in the blank!

Today I had an "ah-ha!" moment that reminded me just how much of a learning adventure photography is. While watching (or shall I say photographing) the little kiddos outside, I figured out what playing around with the metering and focus settings on my camera does. It was one of those moments where I felt like jumping up and down and wondering why I hadn't thought of re-setting it before! I have found that improvement doesn't come by letting the camera stay in it's bag and wishing I could improve - I've got to actually pick up the camera and start shooting!

On a more serious note, our walk with the Lord is also a journey. No matter how deep of a relationship you have, it can always go deeper. There is never a point where we can say that we have arrived and we have the absolute best relationship with Him that could ever be obtained. It just doesn't work that way. You would have to be perfect in order to be able to say that with complete confidence...and since no one is perfect, no one can say it truthfully. Sadly, we often settle for less when we could have more. We settle for a shallow, "comfortable" relationship that doesn't require much devotion on our part, when we could be living a life of radical obedience and experience amazing things that just boggle our minds. This is such an important thing to realize! When we feel like our relationship is at a standstill, we mustn't let ourselves get into the mindset that it's "good enough". God desires that we grow in Him every single day of our lives - He wants to have a close relationship with us! If we truly desire to experience more, we've got to intentionally seek the Lord. Since we aren't perfect people, our relationship with the Lord can always get better, no matter how "good" it may seem. But we also need to realize that we can't do it on our own. It takes surrendering ourselves completely to the Lord, and asking Him to help us every step of the way. It takes's a journey...a learning process.

So are you ready for an adventure? An amazing journey?
I am!

I would love to hear what "learning adventures" you have had lately!

Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."

August 19, 2012

Rolling along

One of my favorite things about Sunday afternoons is the fact that they are usually designated as family time. And in case you hadn't guessed, I love my family. Some times it's a hike along a lake, a trip to the local ice cream shop, or just a simple walk around the farm. Biking happens to be one of my favorite family activities - so when my dad announced we'd be taking a bike ride, I was all for it.

Pedaling along I realized how much I enjoy biking - and how much I missed it. It has probably been a good year since I've been on a ride, and I had forgotten how good it felt to have the wind in your face, the sun shining through the trees, and the happy chatter of kids as they rolled along the trail. Several times I found myself slightly lagging behind just soaking up the beauty of God's creation and enjoying the ride. What a magnificent world He has created for us to live in!

I haven't yet mastered the art of taking photos - or even toting a camera bag for that matter - while perched atop a moving bicycle. It seems to be a tricky feat - and one that I may never achieve. Oh well...I guess that I'll just have to content myself with taking photos from a standstill. And when I think about it, I suppose that would probably be the safest for both me and my camera anyways!

And to finish off the evening, a double scoop of strawberry shortcake ice cream.
I'd have to say that's about the perfect ending.

August 18, 2012

{ awesome }

>> We serve an awesome God. <<

I think that in our hearts we all know that, but it never hurts to be reminded of it every now and then. There wasn't anything in particular that sparked this thought in my mind, but just looking around at all He has created, all the ways He has worked, and all the blessings He has given me, I can't help but praise Him. Not just for what He has done in my life, but also in the lives of people all over the world.

For how He answers prayers that are said with simple, childlike faith.

For how He works in the lives and communities of African villages (this leaves me amazed).

For allowing hard things to happen in order to draw us closer to Himself.

For the simple little things in life, like the joyful laughs of children as they play.

For the way He brings peace in the midst of unrest.

>> How has God left YOU amazed today? <<

(Okay...I'll admit that I haven't been behind my camera much lately. I had to do a little bit of digging around in some dusty photo archives to come up with something to add a bit of color to this post!)

August 4, 2012

summertime harvest

// beans //

// tomatoes //

// watermelon...or what's left of it //

// blueberries //
I could eat these all day every kidding.

// onions //

// snapping beans // peeling beets // saving watermelon seeds // preserving pickles // freezing blueberries 
// canning grape jelly // husking corn // 

It's that time of year when we start packing baggies and jars full of fruits and veggies. Once they are filled to the brim, the bags go into the freezer and the jars get carried down to the basement to be lined up on wooden shelves. And there they wait until the cold, snowy days prove that summer is gone and a new season has begun.