I had the pleasure of chasing this little fire cracker around the other night at his at-home session. His mother contacted me because she wanted some photos of her baby boy in celebration of his 1st birthday. Naturally, I asked her if she wanted to do a cake smash or something similar. Her response was, “I want some natural shots of him. I like what you do with your kids.” I was thrilled to hear this! Don’t get me wrong, I love cake smashes. I love the cake smash photos of my own kids, but I love that she chose a more lifestyle approach to her photos. She wanted real moments of her little man. Moments that she can look back on and know that they captured Hudson being Hudson. So that’s what we did. He played, and I snapped away. Hope you enjoy!
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” ~JOHN 13:8
I wanted to write this devotion prior to celebrating the Resurrection. It would have obviously been very fitting to write about this event at the same time that it actually happened. However, I was unable to do that. We were busy. I knew this devotion was still supposed to be written, but I felt a bit discouraged that it did not line up the way I thought it was supposed to. That changed when my Audrey came out of children’s church this morning telling us how Jesus washed his friends feet because they were dirty. You see, part of my devotion is a picture. I wanted to capture Marshall washing Audrey’s feet. We had not been able to do that, yet. Today, was the day to do it. Now, it would be more meaningful to Audrey. Now, she would be able to connect more dots to why her Daddy would be washing her feet. Not only did we get the picture, but we got the exact vision I had in my heart. The light was beautiful as it sparkled through the water while Marshall rinsed the feet of his precious little girl. God’s timing is good. While I thought the perfect time for this to be written was long past, He had other plans. This makes my heart happy.
During the week before Easter, I had the pleasure of serving alongside other precious women of God. We were asked to take part in a ministry called Water Angels. This ministry serves the homeless and at-risk people of Knoxville. That evening I ate with, sang with, learned with, and prayed with a group of beautiful ladies. Ladies who were hurting. Ladies who were there for nourishment both physically and spiritually. Ladies who needed the love and acceptance of a Savior. My good friend who had invited me to come, taught the devotion that evening. She taught on John 13. She taught about a leader who became a servant to his disciples and showed them how to love. Showed them how to lift others up above themselves. As she taught through this passage a striking truth came to my heart that I knew I needed to share with each lady there.
Many of us know the story. Jesus was with His disciples as they celebrated Passover just before He was to be crucified. He did something quite unthinkable and began to wash their feet. When it was Peter’s turn, he adamantly refused.
Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” ~JOHN 13: 6-9
It was the servant’s job to wash the feet of his master, not the other way around! Peter knew that Jesus was his teacher, his master, his Messiah. How could he let him belittle himself in such a way? Peter felt absolutely unworthy. Yet, Peter did not understand the heart of his master. He would in time, but just not yet. We learn that to be a true leader, one must become a servant. Love constantly thinks of others. We learn that spiritually it is Jesus and only Jesus who washes away our filth and shame. Who daily washes away the junk that we keep stepping in. But, we also learn that we have to cast aside any feelings of unworthiness and let him wash us! How many of us feel or have felt unworthy to come to Christ. Unworthy to accept his forgiveness. I mean, just think of all that we have done! This was pressing on my heart that evening as I sat and listened to these women who have so much baggage burdening their shoulders. I felt that they probably believed like Peter. How can Jesus forgive them knowing where they have been, what they have done, what they continue to do? How can they allow him to wash their feet? This is the beauty of our Savior. He is a gentlemen. He doesn’t force himself upon us but rather gives us the choice. We can hold on to our “humility” like Peter tried to do and not allow or even ask for Jesus to cleanse us. Or, we can be obedient and let him wash us! Don’t let thoughts of unworthiness keep you from receiving from the One who is worthy. He died for you. You are worth dying for.
We ended the evening by washing the feet of those precious ladies. Yes, we washed their feet! We also gave them hand and foot massages. One of them was 9 months pregnant! She thoroughly appreciated the love. She planned to name her baby girl Nevaeh. What a beautiful name, Nevaeh. It is pronounced nuh-vay-uh. If you didn’t catch it, it’s heaven spelled backwards. I thought that was just so lovely. Heaven. Lord Jesus, help us to be heavenly minded as we sojourn in this place. Help us to accept your forgiveness and know that hope is to come! This life is but a breath compared to your eternity. All our hardships here will cease. All our tears will be wiped away. Help us to have a servant’s heart and to love others well. Help us to think on these things. Amen.
I will probably say this every time, but I cannot believe it has been another month. I am getting close to the 100th day milestone with this project. That thrills my heart! March was truly packed with favorites. I was even in two of the pictures myself! Not surprisingly, it was hard for me to just pick a few to blog. This month I also purchased a new lens! It is a 70-200mm 2.8 for those who know a little about photography. I LOVE this lens! The depth of field is exactly what I was looking for. I can take those far away pictures and still get the creamy backgrounds that I love. It has been a real treat to work with. Insanely big and heavy, but a real treat. LOL! I still use my 35mm 1.8 most of the time, especially for indoor photography. It is small and very light. I really love that lens, too. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my March faves!
What a treat this was! When Audrey decided she wanted to be Little Red Riding Hood, I jumped all over it. I ran inside to get my camera, borrowed my mom’s red cape and basket, and off to the woods we went. I love her imagination. She is just beautiful inside and out. Now, I want to do this with all the princesses! Hope you enjoy these photos as much as I do!
We are already almost a week into March, and I am falling in love with this project more and more each day. I am so thrilled with the moments I have captured and cannot wait to make an album for my family to enjoy for years to come. The amount of growth I have seen in my photography has been so rewarding. I have been sharing my daily pictures on my personal facebook page, as well as, my instagram. I wasn’t utilizing instagram before this project started and am so thankful that I changed that. It has been such an amazing source of inspiration. So many amazing artists come together and share their work, their lives, and their loves. It has been a real treat. I am only going to post a few of my favs from February on this blog, but if you would like to see more feel free to follow me on instagram here.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Valentine’s Day is upon us. A day, perhaps THE day, to celebrate love. I have been thinking about writing a devotional blog for quite sometime. Now feels like the perfect time. Having a baby sleep through the night on a consistent basis seems to make a world of possibilities open up. Also, with my photography business, I already have a blog set up. Again, now feels like the perfect time. My desire is to write what God is teaching me and perhaps, through that, minister to others. So from time to time, be on the look out for a little bit of my heart, accompanied with a photo, of course. 😉
Back to Valentine’s Day. I imagine there are many who will be sharing blogs about love. Being lumped in with them is fine by me. I don’t think there is such a thing as too much talk about love. This blog will take just a bit of a turn, however.
“Love…is not proud.” I have thought for a long time that the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is pride. Pride, the thorn in my side. I truly believe that any selfishness, any envy or jealously, any unforgiveness, any sin for that matter has a root of pride. I am not talking about the kind of pride where one is happy for someone close to their heart. I am proud of my loved ones all the time. The pride I am talking about is when we choose our way over God’s way. God says to love our neighbor as ourself. God says to be patient. God says to keep no record of wrongs. God says to be forgiving. God says not to envy. God says not to delight in evil but rejoice with truth. God says not to speak ill of anyone. I could keep going. When our way contradicts God’s way, yet we still go our way, we are victims of pride. Sometimes, we know our way is just bad, yet we still do it. Again, we are victims of pride. I hate that I struggle with pride. I rejoice, as hard and ugly as it is, that God is weeding it out of me. There is so much there that it seems like it is taking an eternity, yet still I rejoice. I want to love like God says is possible. Don’t you? 2 Corinthians 10 tells us that as children of God and by the power of His spirit “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” This is how we can demolish strongholds. I know I am not alone when I say that pride is a stronghold for me. I want to demolish it! When seeking the Lord on how to help me take my thoughts captive and stop my pride dead in its tracks, He gave me a little acrostic poem that has already helped me in more ways than one. I would like to share it with you in hopes that it may help you take your thoughts captive, too. How can we battle pride? Remember love…
Lift up praises (thank God for what he has done and will do)
Own up to sin (confess your prideful thoughts/actions)
Elevate others (pray for the blessings of others, especially those you envy)
My prayer for all, myself included, during this Valentine’s season and beyond, is to love like God loves. This is a supernatural love. One that cannot be mustered up. There is too much junk in the world for us to bring about this kind of love within ourselves. Let’s fight the battle against pride and allow His spirit to bring us out of darkness and into the light.