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Hope Grasped. Lackey Family Session; NWI Photographer

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Hope Grasped. Lackey Family Session; NWI Photographer

Hope Grasped

Hope grasped onto. 

Arms tenderly wrapped around children, 

Holding them close.  

Delicately embracing the beating of of her heart. 

There is a beauty about her. 

Her children call her fearless, bold, determined, caretaker, truth teller.

Willing to risk it all for the sake of the one. 

With an infectious laugh and ears open to listening, 

her joy overflows, abounding in goodness. 

This light she carries, though many days threatened by the dark, will not be defeated, 

for she is a warrior.  

Fighting for truth for her family, her community, her own heart,

enjoying togetherness. 

Speaking words of truth, words of affirmation over each other, 

bringing power and hope to the honor of the spoken word. 

As you stand on the mountaintop together, 

may you be bold enough to take on new adventures, new seasons for the sake of hope. 

Hope grasped onto, never letting go in each and every season. 

Setting hearts ablaze. 

I had the Immense honor and privilege of photographing this beautiful family recently.  To day their hearts poured over in love, in togetherness, in faithfulness and tender support would be an understatement. Time is such a gift, and my time with the Lackey family was one of the greatest gifts! 

 

Letter to the Lackey Family: 

Time with you is a rare gift.  You have the power of honor each other with your words. Your family is filled with incredible joy.  You stick together, fighting for each other; through the hills and the valleys you are one.  There is value in the togetherness, in the time. You reckognize this season is ever changing and the small grasp there seems to be to hold it still.  Yet, even amongst the wavering, there is peace, there is unspeakable wholeness.  There is a firm foundation resting here, the heartbeat of your family that holds you together.  This mold is unique, strong and lasting. Keep pressing in to each other. Keep loving each other, even on the hard days.  Keep making time to listen, for it is so incredibly worth it!!  You guys are simply incredible!! I hope you know what a rare gift you are to this world.  Thank you for allowing me to be just a small piece of your grand story being written.  

Ben- you are so so loyal and kind.  I believe you will be a quiet leader in your days ahead. Humbly showing up each day.  You are filled with goodness.  You have so much to give. You feel this world, and do not let that scare you.  For compassion for others is one the greatest gifts we can posses.  I truly believe you are destined for some incredible journeys! 

Nate- Quiet and reserved, yet I can see a beacon of light coming from you.  Your smile can light up any room and there is quite a bit of creativity welled up inside of you. You are an amazing caretaker for your sisters.  You process the things of this life, and I cannot wait to see where that extraordinary gift takes you!! (And ps, I hope you keep your hair forever, because it is amazing!!) 

Katie-You are going to do great things in this world.  You are a doer.  You lead your sisters so so well. May you never forget what a gift you are.  Life itself spills out from you, as you serve and encourage, and care for your sisters.  You are a beauty for the world to see; not only physical, but also of the heart. Keep loving others well, for this is how we change the world.  Extending love, one person at a time. 

Addy- So fun loving and spunky!  You just go for things, full force, all in.  But within this, you are kind and compassionate.  I cannot wait to see where this takes you!  Continue to be exactly who you are, for it is what makes you the most beautiful version of yourself! 

Anna- Lover of life and lover of your brother Ben! :) I adore how much you admire your older siblings. You surely have some good ones to look up to!! But remember, that there is an amazing treasure within your own gifting as well.  You are loyal and you have so much wonder of heart built up in you.  Never forget the beauty and wonder of this world.  Bottle it up dear one and pour it out to the world. 

Mark- A great listener and a great leader.  I love that in speaking life and truth over Kelly you mentioned her greatest joy to exist within birthing your children.  You see beauty in sacrifice, and surrender, in the gift of new life, as you are speaking into the lives of others and showing them the gift of life itself.  Your boys look up to you in the most radical ways.  Your girls cling close, knowing they are in a safe space.  Your words of affirmation over Kelly were so powerful and poignant.  I hope that wherever life take  you next, you will remember this gift of speaking life into others, into your family, into the love of your life. 

Kelly- Where to even begin.   There was a connection I immediately formed with you.  Your compassion and grace know no bounds.  The way you gently cupped Ben's face and spoke words of affirmation into him is one I will never forget.  You, like Mark are a life giver.  In gentleness you are also willing to step out in courage and take risk.  You would do anything for your children, and they know this, they know it well.  You remain close in truth, yet allow distance to grow.  There is this beautiful space to feel welcomed, encouraged, blessed and challenged by you all in one.  Challenged to step into that in which we are called to.  Your gifting know no bounds.  You have a heart that spreads to each soul you meet.  You are a great treasure.  Stand in this beautiful space of holy surrender, for your family is watching and they are being given the greatest example.  Thank you for allowing me into your sacred space.  For your family truly is sacred.  Keep holding them close and soaking in this time.  Each day is a gift. 

Grateful and blessed with my time with this family.  May we remember to grasp onto hope in every season, never letting it go.  And may remember the power of our words.  May we spread hope with us wherever we go. #hopedoers

~Rooting you on from here. 

Laura 

***In honor of hope, in honor of spreading this power of words into the lives of others, we have an event taking place, June 9th.  We are hosting a tea party, where we will discuss this idea of hope, as well as create an intimate space for rest, for fellowship, for good food and intentional filling up.  We would love to have you be a part! Simply email TheAdvocateHopeShop@gmail.com for more info!! 

Would you like me to photograph your family?  I would love to bring hope and joy to you in whatever season you are in. 

 

 

 

 

 

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For the Identity: My WHY Behind my Work

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For the Identity: My WHY Behind my Work

"Reshape the identity of people back to that of their creator, instilling value and hope. "

 

Bringing People Back to Truth 

This is it for me.  This is why I step into the realm of photography time and time again for me, for my children, for my clients.  I want to bring people back to the truth of who they are, their true beauty and amazing awe that makes them exactly who they are created to be.  I want my clients to be able to see themselves, and say yes, this is me, this is my child, and this is the value I hold for my life.  I stand behind advocating rich stories of hope, making extraordinary from the seemingly ordinary.  This is my mission statement and what I do with my work.  But, to go deeper, I advocate for these beautiful stories for the very fact of renewing hope into the lives of my clients, and truly anyone and everyone who may see my work.  I remind each and every person that there is extraordinary resting within the ordinary they claim rests there.  I teach people to hold firm to that which they have planted, and rise up into the bloom set forth in motion.   I want my clients to resonate so strongly with their images that joy spills over, and love resounds in their soul.  Love and gratitude for all that rests within their lives and the season that they are in, messy, broken and all.  For beauty still resides.  And I desire for my work to encourage connection.  Art moves your soul.  When you see something that you are drawn to, you naturally want to be more like it.  And this is what I strive for in my work.  My work resonates the hope of true, strong, valuable identity in Christ and for that hope to draw my clients in to a greater self-esteem and value, and thus moving them to more positive action within the world. 

 I want to remind each and every person that there is extraordinary resting within the ordinary they claim rests there.

Let's talk self-esteem

Goodness friends, is this just me, or does self-esteem affect every single aspect of your life?  I know when depression, self-hatred, anxiety and the doubt creep into my life, I also become self-absorbed, prone to cast people aside, I become more easily angered, and cut off people closest to me.  When I have a false perception of my identity, everything else in my life shifts and my purpose is lacking.  I am doing little or no good to bring hope to those around me and truly my purpose falls void.  But, it is because I am not seeing clearly, my perception is off.  But, when I truly see myself for how the creator God sees me, as holy, righteous, redeemed, valued, worthy, and beautiful.  Well, then things shift for me,  They shift into a place of confidence.  I no longer need to beg for the approval of my husband, my friends, social media, or those around me to lift me up.  I no longer need to rely on my children behaving a certain way in public in order to build me up.  I no longer need to have everything fall the way I want it to in life in order to please myself and lift myself up.  I can be ok with inconvenience.  I can see my children as the joy that they are.  I can see my husband as a delight instead of a servant for my needs.  I can REST in the delights of the Lord, for when our perception is set straight, so is our ability to love and serve others well.  And when our identity is seen for what it truly is, then we are overcome with the purpose set before us.  We can dwell within the value we hold and pass that along to those around us.  Because, more than anything else, I think we are living in a generation that is DESPERATE, I mean DESPERATE for hope.  Desperate to rest at the feet of Jesus.  A generation that is desperate to stop striving and running and going, going, going, and posting, and prepping and mothering and tidying, and baking and dressing for the approval of others, and simply to be seen.  It falls flat and void, and is just plane exhausting. It fails it's desired task of being enough, being worthy and being of value.  So, I am calling it quits.  I am saying, be done with the fame game.  Just let it go, and let's learn to rest in all the creative gifts you personally are given and the AMAZING identity that YOU personally sit within.  Let that be enough, and my goodness, your mindset will change, and your life will be free and full of joy.  

 I no longer need to rely on my children behaving a certain way in public in order to build me up. ...I can be ok with inconvenience

Joy to Fill the Days

And this is what I deeply want for my clients dear friends.  And, you might think I am crazy to put so much expectation on a photo.  But, I can tell you, so much can be pulled from a single photograph.  Feelings, emotions, connection, imagination, documentation, hope, joy, sorrow.  Photographs bring us to a special space.  A space to reflect and sit in whatever emotion it folds for us there.  Maybe it brings healing, maybe it brings hope, maybe it brings reflection or joy.  But truth be told, it brings something.  And there is value in that.  Every life has value, every life has meaning and we are here for way more than self glorification.  So, may we spend our days loving others well and reflecting on the true identity which rests over us.  Let's make more images true to ourselves, true to our identity, true to the hope that rests within us, true to everything good and lovely and beautiful.  I know it sits within you, even if you think you are ordinary, I guarantee there is extraordinary there.  Let me show you. For the identity.  For the love.  For the hope.  For the world.  One clearer fixed identity at a time. 

~Laura 

*If you would like to have your family documented AND help support education costs for boys in need in Rwanda, walking alongside KEFA Project those are happening THIS Sat. Sept. 16th. on our property on the farm! 7:00am, 7:30am and 7:30pm timeslots are still available. If interested 

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Chosen; Northwest Indiana Lifestyle Family Photographer

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Chosen; Northwest Indiana Lifestyle Family Photographer

Chosen and Loved

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last."  John 15:16 

Lately I have been so reminded of how I have been chosen, we each have.  And as I reflect in the beauty and peace of this truth, I am reminded that deep down, we each so deeply long to be seen, to be heard, to not be forgotten in this world.  We long to be loved and accepted and CHOSEN. 

Chosen for goodness, 

Chosen for grace, 

Chosen for purpose,

Chosen for calling, 

Chosen for mission, 

Chosen for love, 

Chosen for acceptance, 

Chosen for success, 

Chosen for victory, 

Chosen for value, 

Chosen for identity. 

You, me, together we are by grace CHOSEN.  

And there is no place I would rather be. 

 

Rest Secure

As we are chosen we are also held within the beautiful arms of Christ.  With Him, we are enough.  No need for crazy fame or perfect lives, for we are enough just as we are.  And even through our mistakes and failures (Which believe me, I seem to run to), He still chooses us time and time again.  We can rest secure that He is there and He sees the rejection around us, He hears the lonely cries we desperately weep through in the darkest hours of the night, He knows the despair and failure that runs through our veins.  And yet, He still chooses us.  We are still enough.  We still have value and purpose.  Because the fact of the matter is that as we surrender ourselves to Him, it is not really us working anymore, but rather Him through us. He is alone our source of strength and wisdom and satisfaction.  And that for me is incredibly freeing.  I may fail in my own strength, or my own plans, but the Lord has a purpose.  And in that I can rest secure. 

 
 

Truth over Feelings 

So, looking practically into accepting that we are chosen in our lives each day, I try to remember the truths over my feelings.  Feelings can be so misleading  and can simply distract from the call at hand.  Not to say they are not also good for leaning into intuition and seeking fellowship with others, but they can also lead into paths of deep deep destruction of our minds and thus our actions.  So, here are some practical ways to continue to accept the that you are Chosen for such a time as this: 

1. Repeat truths each morning in front of a mirror.  

This may seem a little silly, but guys there is something about speaking truth, OUT LOUD to yourself, in front of a mirror.  I am able to accept it better and hold onto it better throughout the day.  (When I actually do it.  Speaking to myself as well! ) 

2. Surround yourself with good people. 

Good, genuine friends are so key.  Friends that aren't afraid to go into the hard places with you as well as call out the lies you may be telling yourself and speak truth over you,  Let's be honest that there are seasons where the darkness is so dark that we simply are blinded to the truth of the light and need others around us to lift us into the light.  And that is ok.  Keep good people around you and don't be afraid to approach them for help! (And friends, maybe you are like me and genuine friends are hard to come by, because you don't speak easily to people or put yourself out there enough.  But let me say this.  Pray.  Pray that God will bring that person to you and I believe He will answer!  Pray and be available for an answer.) 

3. Write down the times that God has shown up in your life/ He has chosen you! 

When I am feeling incredibly rejected or unwanted, I try to go back to the times when the Lord has shown up in my life. It reminds me of His faithfulness, His goodness, His truth and how He holds firm to His promises. 

4. Advocate for Yourself! 

Be on your knees before the Lord and ask Him to remind you of how you are chosen and what you are chosen for.  Do not give up on yourself or the plans that the Lord has for you.  For He is good, and although our ways are not His ways, He is so so good.  Remember that He wants the best for us and advocate for yourself! 

5. Cling to the Hope of Christ Always.  

Even if you don't feel chosen, remember that Christ was chosen.  He was chosen to come and rescue the world.  He had an incredibly hard task, the hardest asked of any human, and yet His reward was the most beautiful of all; redemption for mankind.  Just because the road is full of rejection and hurt of the world, cling to the hope of Christ. He just may have something far greater than you could ever imagine in store for you.  You are CHOSEN. 

 
 

Adoption Project

Because of this idea: Chosen, my heart is drawn ever so closely to orphans around the world.  My heart bleeds for them, as I feel every child deserves to be Chosen.  Every child deserves a fighting chance to have the best life possible.  I feel I am chosen to advocate these rich stories of hope and bring awareness to others so that it might spur forth change in the lives of others.  There are so many beautiful ways to help orphans around the world.  Maybe it is adoption, or maybe it is supporting an organization that aids in orphan care and family reconciliation.  Maybe it is  aiding in education around the world.  And maybe your call is far beyond orphan care.  But even so, would you partner with me to pray for these children around the world?  Pray that hope might come, that each child in need might be Chosen, taken care of and given a fighting chance at life.  

And even within your own space, how can you bring hope to those who feel forgotten, abandoned, or don't feel chosen?  What is your part?  

 
 

What is your Part?

Would you like to help be a part of reducing poverty around the world while also getting gorgeous images of you and your family?  Would you like to come alongside me and celebrate the beginning of a new school year and education here, by also stepping in and helping a child in need receive education as well?  Let's celebrate education together!!  If this is you, keep a look out on my social media handles as I will be announcing all the details coming VERY soon!!! I cannot wait for you to be a part!! 

Let's each do our one thing, our small part to change the world! 

Places to follow along: 

Thank you so much for following along as I combine family and couples photography with humanitarian efforts around the world!! I am so grateful for this space and for each and every one of you!! So rooting for you friends!! Let me know how I can encourage you on your journey! 

~Laura 

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