Abiding within the healing; Anderson couples and portrait session; NW Indiana

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Abiding within the healing; Anderson couples and portrait session; NW Indiana

Abide in the healing

Let go of the hindrances, the burdens holding you down.  

Be fully present within the space you are currently in.  

Abide there, soak in the aroma of the atmosphere.  

Breathe it in deep, for healing may spring forth.  

Allow the sun to rest there, illuminating you thus more, filling with joy and overflow of the heart.

 Let it all go and experience the fullness of grace and presence.  

Complete presence, renewal, peace.  The overflow of the heart. 

We do not know the happenings of the future, nor shall we ever, 

It is beyond our capacity, 

And yet, we can know, as we abide, complete peace.  

We can rest in knowing that although we have hurts and struggles, 

Pain sometimes more than we can bear, 

Yet we can still trust that it has not been overlooked.  

It is in good hands, in the hands of our Father.  

And may we rest, as He knows the future, that it is for our ultimate good. 

And may we rest in knowing that joy can exist too, amongst the pain. 

It does not have to be one or another, 

They can exist together, in beautiful collision of each other. 

So may we come, abide with the one who knows us best, 

And then abide with those whom we have community with.  

Abide, around the table, in rich community, and rich healing. 

For healing happens from within to begin, 

And with friends to continue the healing.  

Today, I simply wish that we each find out space to abide, then heal in the spaces we each need.  

Abide within the healing. 

 
 

Blossoming Community 

I first met Elena several months ago through a creative group that I am a part of.  I quickly realized that we were going to become great friends.  Something about the way she carried herself, her overwhelming joy that just lit up the room from the moment she entered.  I knew she was someone special right away, and as I have gotten to know her more and more over the last several months, it has only further solidified all of my initial thoughts. 

But one of the things I most appreciate about Elena and am so grateful for is the way that she fosters community, fosters people being around a table together, spending intentional time with each other.  This day in age when our schedules are over crowded, and our heart and relationship space even more so, what a beautiful gift to cater people back to being with each other, with tasty food in front of them. 

Elena is a food and travel blogger.  And from what I have tried out so far from her recipes, her stuff is so so good my friends!  But the beautiful thing I love about Elena is her heart behind it all. She truly fosters joy at every turn.  And she is a living example that joy and hardship can beautifully collide.  Everyone's life has hardships and struggles, but Elena chooses joy over bitterness, community over reclusion.  She chooses life and light over death and darkness, and I think we could each use more of these choices in our lives! 

To find out more about Elena and her beautiful food blog, check her out here: 

https://www.savorparadise.com

 
 

Things are Better Together 

And one thing I have learned within my own life and journey is that things are better together.  Here is a little letter to Elena and Ben, about the cutest couple I have ever met! 

Elena and Ben: 

Oh my goodness you two!  Elena, I knew you were filled with joy, but when I met you Ben, I knew that you two were just perfect for each other.  Ben, you are so full of jokes, laughs and smiles all around.  The compassion, grace and kindness you show towards Elena is unmatched.  Always speaking highly of her and encouraging her on in all that she does.  Your words are seasoned with grace and love, a beautiful endearment for Elena.  And Elena, full of true kindness, and I will say it again, joy.  It flows out of you my friend.  It pours from your heart, and comes out through action. And you too are so quick to speak highly of others, especially of Ben.  You run first into his arms and enjoy the love that he brings.  You each fill each others cups with compliments and grace, stepping hand in hand together to each new adventure ahead.  And what a beautiful journey it has already been, hard in spaces, but beautiful all the more.  So, may the years ahead be just as beautiful my friends.  There will be valleys for sure, but may the mountains rise higher, and the inner joy fill the valley days.  May you be able to rejoice in each other, and rest completely in the grace that is there for you each day. 

 
 

Rest and Abide 

This week, and this entire holiday season, I hope and pray you are able to rest and abide, to slow down, get still and allowing healing to take place where it needs, and give yourself grace to not do all the things this year.  I hope you are able to spend time in wonderful community with your people and soak that in.  Rest and abide my friends.  Rest and abide.  Presents do not fill the soul, but presence with our Holy God does.  May we seek presence over presents this season.  

~Laura

And don't forget to check out Elena's Beautiful company Savor Paradise! 

https://www.savorparadise.com

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Be the Light; Portrait Session; Northwest Indiana Photographer

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Be the Light; Portrait Session; Northwest Indiana Photographer

Choose Light. 

"You are the light of the world.  A town built on a hill cannot be hidden." 

When fear presses in, choose light.  

When darkness creeps in, choose light.  

When valleys come, walk step by step, keep moving forwards to the hill where the light cannot be hidden.  

When hard days come, cling to the light, cling to hope. 

When depression hits, choose light. 

When disappointments linger, choose light. 

When relationships fail, choose light. 

When health declines, choose light. 

When storms are waging, hold on tight dear one, and light a candle, choose light. 

When hearts are heavy, drink deep the light of faith. 

When burdens run deep, choose to trust the light that never fades.  

For light covers darkness, light heals hurts, light restores and redeems, a light on a hill cannot be hidden; light, it is the rescue for our desperate souls. 

Choose light.

 
 

The Unexpected Blessing 

I first met Missy at a photography conference last year in Seattle.  We both had traveled there, and happened to end up in one of the same classes.  In time, we discovered that we were both ex gymnasts and now budding photographers.  AND that we had both competed gymnastics at the collegiate level within the MAC conference, AND we both knew my old coach.  Seriously, it was crazy!  We clearly became instant friends, and I have just so treasured getting to know Missy little by little over the course of this past year.  She is everything kind, compassionate and loyal.  She loves her family intensely and gives of herself in radical ways.  She radiates life and hope, and joy simply from chatting with her, as well as her consistent encouragement and support.  She is one of those people you meet, and you can't stop thanking the Lord for His generosity in bringing a person such as Missy into your life.  She truly brings light into the dark spaces.  

 
 

Be the Light

I just love that Matthew 5:14 states that a town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  It is such a reminder to me that first off, in life we have to work for things.  This town was built, it took time to cultivate, but it also consisted of people and community.  But, then, they built on a hill.  I can only image the labor that was involved, transporting goods and supplies to built this town, up and down a large hill.  I am sure it was timely, I am sure it was hard, I am sure there was mess involved, and I am sure there were times they wanted to give up.  But, they didn't and once completed, it could not be hidden. It was a beacon of light, a treasured masterpiece to be adored.  And this is the same with Christ.  I sometimes feel like an uphill battle, daily choosing light, but once we experience His presence, His true light, once we remind ourselves of the truth of the gospel, the hope we have access too, well true light abounds, and it cannot be hidden.  The Lord is above all, and in all and through all.  He cannot be hidden, His love and light will radiate far beyond our wildest dreams or imaginations.  So dream big, reach far, run higher than you thought you ever could, because I know that nothing is too big for Him or too far beyond His reach.  So, if you are feeling in darkness, keep walking up that hill sister, for He will meet you at the top of that hill, and He is with you every step of the way as you climb out of the valley.  

And as we discover His light, our only response can be to Be the Light.  To spread hope and love to those around us, and I just LOVE that this is what my friend has decided to do with  a special project within her photography.  She is currently running a project called BE THE LIGHT, where she is offering a free photography session to someone in need.  I think if we each did this, if we each chose ONE way that we could give of ourselves, how much more light we could have in this world?  No doubt we will always have darkness too, for we all struggle with our own things, myself included, but the beauty of it is that we can wake up and remind ourselves that grace exists admits the darkness and the light is still there, the hope is still there.  It never fades.  

So, please check out more of what Missy is doing here:

 
 

Accept your Sphere of Influence

So, my friends, may we each remember our sphere of influence.  May we hold tightly to it, and work hard within it.  May we spread the light where we are able, running to Jesus on the hard days, and easy days alike as we desperately need His outpouring and love over us.  May we be quick to listen, slow to speak, and negligent to judge.  May we go first to apologize and may we go first weeding through the darkness in our own hearts so that light truly has a chance to burst through.  For the world is waiting, the world needs more light, the world needs more truth, the world needs more people to stand firm and be the  light.  You are the girl for the job sister.  You've got this! 

~Laura 

 

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The days are slow, but the impact is eternal; Wilson Family Session; Ft. Worth, Texas

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The days are slow, but the impact is eternal; Wilson Family Session; Ft. Worth, Texas

Taking in the slow one bit at a time 

The minutes tick, the seconds slow,

the clock goes round, that which I know. 

The days are hard, 

My patience thin, 

I long to breathe a sigh of relief again. 

My eyes are weary, my heart is worn, 

To be a mother, always torn. 

Torn between seeking relaxation, rest and ease, 

And yet knowing there is a calling much higher than these. 

For little hands and little hearts seek constant attention, constant love, 

Tantrums and selfishness and lessons must begin. 

The days are long, the hours ticking by, 

I see you mama out there, I hear your cries.  

I know the road is lonely, the path is narrow, 

But know that you are worth it, 

Your impact is eternal.  

The hard work you choose, constantly pressing in, pushing past exhaustion, attending to emotional and physical needs, 

It's eternal, the weight important, the cost valuable, the memories irreplaceable. 

So forget not to fight with all you can, all you have within you, to press on dear mama. 

I know the days are long and the hours are ticking by, but you are seen sweet friend, 

Your work is not in vain.  

It is worth it.  Eternity is being invested in. 

 
 

Soaking in the Seasons

The Wilson family is one of those families that knows the joys of resting within the slow, soaking in these seasons of the younger years with children, and adjusting to all that is held there.  There is an overwhelming peace about them.  Have they known trials, of course!  But they have also known unspeakable joy.  Lauren is so great at bending of herself to address the needs of her children, and this quiet strength shines through her.  Living in the country themselves, this open space was like their safe haven, their comfort ground.  They were free and in each other's arms and all was well.  From the tender stroking of hair, to joyful dancing, rich love was experienced here, and I was just the joyful bystander.  To witness these moments unfolding before my camera, well it is truly the greatest gift!  May we each take some slower breaths this week, and remember that this gift of family is truly a gift.  Messy and hard, but worth it.  

I hope all of you mothers out there truly know the incredibly impact you are making within your children's lives.  You are rich treasures, far more valuable than you could ever know!! 

 
 

Letter to the Wilson Family

You guys, the truest form of love rests within you.  You seek to know and follow the Lord with your heart, and that shines through with your children as well.  A peace falls on you, and there is patience beyond words with your children.  Lauren and Taylor, you put each other first, and that flows over into security and safe affirmation for Emma and Ellie.  There is so much beauty resting within the gentle spaces of your family and it was just a delight to see it unfold before me. 

Lauren- my dear Lauren.  The years we have known together as friends, and your heart has only grown stronger, more compassionate and kind.  You are one of the gentlest, and yet driven women I know.  You seek the Lord with all your heart and leave nothing to waste.  You are head over heals in love with your sweet Taylor and the way you affirm and love him is so beautiful.  You are so patient with your girls, affirming them over and over again, intentional and wise in leading them up in the ways of the Lord.  Your heart grows beyond your years sweet one, and I just cannot believe that I get to call you friend.  Thank you for all these years, and what a joy it is to walk through motherhood together. 

Emma- Oh what a little caretaker you are!  Following in your mamas footsteps.  You love little Ellie so well and she is so lucky to have you as her sister.  You are confident in your own and with a tender heart, you will move mountains one day.  You will be a heart changer sweet one. 

Ellie- So full of adventure and on the move!! I love how little you are and yet it does not stop you one bit!!  Your little smile is so incredibly sweet.  You are so adored by your entire family. They are sure to love and lead you well! 

Taylor- I love how go with the flow you are.  You truly rest in each moment, allowing it to come to you as it may and responding within it.  You are a constant peace for your family to lean into and rely upon.  You love Lauren so so well and that radiates from your relationship.  Your girls are just smitten with you!  You are the best daddy to them!   Thank you so much for the way you serve your family and your community.  It truly does not go unnoticed. 

 
 

The days may be slow mamas, but your impact is eternal.  

Ephesians 5:16 "Making the most of every opportunity, for the says are evil."  

Satan is trying to steal your joy, numb your efforts, instill your exhaustion.  But may we endure the fight, pick up our armor and love well, invest well, fight well for these children of ours. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and don't give up dear one.  This journey isn't over yet, and your progress is coming.  Keep fighting dear sister.  

~Rooting for you, 

Laura 

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