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Live intentionally

Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention

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Waking up and Going to Bed with Intention

Intention 

Intention.  Our determination to act a certain way.  Resolve.  Significance.  What one intends to bring about.  - Merriam Webster.  

I love this word intention.  Not only does it talk about having a determination or a drive, but it also addresses our own significance.  Do you ever find your significance lacking through the comparison game, or the feeling of never measuring up?  Me too.  I totally creep down that path some days.  But, something that I have begun to implement this year are a few things that I have started doing as I wake up and as I go to sleep that I do with a heart of intention to help me focus on the right things in life. 

 
Father and daughter enjoying time together outside by a stream
 

Waking up with Intention

Every morning, before my feet hit the floor, I have started trying to do these 5 things.  4 of which I heard from Jenna Kutcher and her amazing podcast.  But here they are: 

1. Think of 3 things that I am grateful for. 

2. Pray.  I pray for have a heart of service, a heart of freedom, and that I would enjoy the day, that I would fight for joy, and be able to notice the small places of joy He brings before me. 

3. List out the top 3 things I need to accomplish today.  (I actually list these out the night before, so I simply think upon them so that I bring them to my attention). 

4. Drink a glass of water.  I always have water beside my bed, but Jenna reminded me of the importance of drinking a large amount of water in the morning so as to jump start your metabolism and help with brain function, and I would have to say that I have noticed a difference in my drowsiness in the morning with drinking a large amount first thing in the morning. 

5. Finally, stretching.  If I am able I try to also do a couple of stretches in the morning.  Typically I will do some hamstring stretches right in my bed, or I will stand up beside my bed.  

All of this together takes me less than 5 minutes.  Typically closer to 2-3 minutes, and it really has been changing the way I feel in the morning. 

 
mother with daughter moody black and white portrait
 

Why Living Intentionally Matters 

Why is this so important to me?  Why does it matter?  For me, a couple of reasons.  First, I want my life to be the best picture of the gospel that I am able.  And because I am incredibly selfish, (which now shows up more than I could have ever imagined being a mother), I need practical steps to help me focus my attention and desires off of myself and to that of my creator.  I want my life to be reflective of fresh water pouring out, and this is only slightly possible if I first reflect on the goodness of the Lord.  And secondly, I have to remember to take steps to take care of myself physically and mentally as well.  I am so bad about putting everyone and everything else about myself and my own needs.  And while this can be good in some aspects, such as care taking for my children, I have to also remember that I cannot run or pour out from a dry cup.  I have to make sure that I take care of myself so that I can be equipped to take care of others.  I have to remember how to enjoy the Father and this body He created if I am to teach that to others as well.  I have to come first sometimes.  And that is where these steps to waking up with intention come into play. 

 
Detail shot of girl- highlighting her eyelashes
 

Going to Bed with Intention

Here is where I confess my true struggle.  The social media scroll.  Goodness, why is this so incredibly hard for me?  So many of my evenings are wasted away from scrolling for far too long.  But something I have started to implement at bedtime are these 3 things: 

1. Write out my list of what I need to get accomplished the next day.  This helps me prepare what I need to the night before to be ready to actually accomplish what needs to happen the next day.  This eliminates so much stress and helps my brain to turn off at night. 

2. Every night I put on my coconut oil with lavender moisturizer.  I LOVE this! It is a simple way that I can pamper myself, and not only does it help my skin, but it also helps me to relax and helps me to sleep better! 

3. Read.  I have gotten into the habit, instead of scrolling on social media (not that I don't still do it at all, but I set a limit of about 10 minutes), I make sure to end my evening with a couple of pages in a book.  It literally is only 5 minutes some nights.  But, someone once told me that whatever you intake right before going to bed, will also be what your mind thinks of first thing in the morning.  Which I think could be true. When I scroll, thats the first thing I also want to run to in the morning.  But, when I read and activate my mind, it seems that is the first thing I also want to do in the morning.  And not only that, it brings my heart more peace and clarity as I think on things that are true and enlightening right before bed, versus comparing myself right before bed. It leaves me on a positive note rather than negative.  

 
(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here:    https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/the-advocate-hope-shop/

(The moisturizer I use each night before going to bed.) Can be found in our shop here: 

https://www.lauradugglebyphotography.com/the-advocate-hope-shop/

 

How will you live with Intention this week? 

So, are you on board with me?  Do you feel like there are some areas you could adjust and tweak to live your life with more intention?  What I truly believe happens in this process is that we are able to have more joy.  We are filing our hearts and our minds with more truth, and less compassion and doubt, and I truly think that is such a beautiful thing.  If you want to take it one step further, I also created an amazing guide: 5 Steps to Reducing Stress that you can get here if you would like.  

Let's choose more intention this week, so that we can lean more fully into the spaces the Lord has for us.  I can guarantee our lives will be more full experience His goodness over our selfishness. The intentional life is the fruitful life. 

~Rooting for you, from my home to yours this week, 

Laura 

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Coming Alongside KidsAlive

 

Heart Full, Knees Surrendered

Heart full, knees surrendered.  

Here I am again, enveloped within the Lord's loving grace, yet overwhelmed with the hurts, pains, sufferings encountered around the world.

And each to our own, we all have brokenness to bear, and may we not raise one or cast aside another, but only bring equal importance to each piece.  

Just as we, as believers are all a part of one body, the body of Christ, may we not bring praise to the hands, but forget the feet. 

For we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to come alongside the least of these, the poor, of both riches and spirit. 

So may we make the sacrifice, whatever the risk, may we be willing to crucify our worldly desires so that we might pick up our heavenly desires, the true desires we were created for, the ones the impact us to the core. 

I too am poor and needy, needing forgiveness for my broken words and actions each day, but also richly blessed by the things around me. 

May I never forget those struggling to take their next breath, hungered and diseased.  

May I be the hands and feet to the poor, the abandoned, for aren't I called to come alongside the brokeness of my fellow man?

May we together, break the chains of darkness, the cries of hunger, the agony of abandonment.  May we together point to the hope in Christ, the fulfillment of our very soul, and provide the physical nourishment so desperately needed, while also showing each person they too are seen, they are not forgotten. 

For no story is too small, no story insignificant, no story beyond the importance of documentation to be seen and shared.  There is beauty in it all, purpose in it all.  

If we truly believe this than we must run in full surrender so that the light breaks the darkness to these injustices, to these wrongs.  

May we love boldly as Jesus has, and may we never forget the broken lives all around us. 

For it is truly in laying ourselves down that we are able to find our true selves.  It is in being the gift, the sacrifice, the service to those around us that we are able to filled with the true gift of love, peace, contentment.  

There is a reason we are peace-seakers, joy strivers and adventure lovers.  Yet, they are not found from striving for them in our own strength as we usually do, but rather in laying down our peace, laying down our joy, laying down our adventure that we are then able to find it all the more.  

As we break free of the box we have created for ourselves, we open ourselves to become the very thing Christ has created for us. And maybe that is something far richer than you ever dreamed of becoming. 

Be the sacrifice. Be the surrender.  Be the love for only you to see.  

This is not about a show, not about the glory.  This is about life change, heart change, people change. 

Be about hope. 

 

Coming Alongside KidsAlive

This week, I am excited to share something new happening within my business.  If you  know me personally know that my heart has been drawn towards the orphaned and needy around the world for most of my entire life.  It finally occurred to me a few weeks ago that I should integrate my business with the cause of the broken and needy.  This is a lot of what my brand already represents, documenting the beauty within the broken, the messy and the chaos that sometimes abounds.  And because this is also who I am.  I want to be fully transparent in every part of my life.  I don't want to be one person outside of my business and another within.  When you work with me, you get all of me, my heart, my vision and also a few of my passions.  I certainly come alongside you as the client to best portray you and your story accurately, but as I am the one behind the camera, you are also getting the version that I am seeing within my vision and creativity.  And so, I wanted my heart and passions for the poor, specifically children who are in vulnerable situations and physical need to be collided within the structure of my business.  I wanted to be able to use my business as a way to do more, to be more, to serve more.  And as I have prayed and researched, the organization of Kids Alive International became it for me.  For you see, they first look to restore the family unit when possible, and when not possible they create a family unit for children with care and provision in loving homes.  

The family.  This is clearly extremely important to me as I love to document families and weddings (the entering into a family).  There is so much power and beauty in the story of unfailing love.  And although worldly families do fail us at times, there is also incredible beauty within the fight to stand by one another, even when its hard, even when its messy, even when you don't have it all together.  For from our brokenness we learn of our extreme dependence.  We are humbled, rescued from the destruction of our self-pride and we are brought into the most beautiful piece of life.  Doing life together, in community and loving as best we can.  

I am both humbled and excited to begin giving towards Kids Alive
As I have gotten to know a lady from their staff named Phyllis it is so clear to me that they truly desire to come alongside the broken hearted, the hurting and the abused, and not just to help provide for them physically, but to provide the love of Jesus to them, hope for the long term.  They are also incredibly committed to helping their sponsored children once turning 18 as well.  They make sure that they have a future to go towards, whether that be future schooling through university or finding a job somewhere.  

Kids Alive International

What Kids Alive Stands For: 

Here is some of their mission statement: 

"Kids Alive International is a Christ-centered mission dedicated to rescuing orphans and vulnerable children – meeting their spiritual, physical, educational, and emotional needs.

All of the children in our care were orphaned, abandoned, or abused, living on the streets, and victims of poverty, disease, or war. Kids Alive rescues these children – one at a time – and enrolls them into one of our Children’s Homes, a Care Center, or School program that is best suited to the care they need."

Within the organization I have decided to directly give towards the Karundas Children's Home in Kenya.  

"Karundas is a 50-acre farm, home to 72 residential children and serving an additional 15 children.  The home has been able to rescue many children from near-death conditions." 

They have several houses within the home that serve the following needs: 

"House of Joy, originally founded as a home for abandoned babies, now cares for girls up to the age of 11 years, while Rebecca House cares for younger boys.

Deborah House meets the needs of vulnerable girls who are faced with social and cultural challenges including forced/early marriage, sexual abuse, and neglect.

Esther House, like our other Independence Homes worldwide, meets the need for safe transitional housing for girls before they re-enter society as adults. "

10% of any session booked with Laura Duggleby Photography will now will go directly towards the Karundas Children's Home.  You will be directly impacting these children and the work that is being accomplished here.  I feel so honored to work alongside you as my clients and do our part to bring a little more hope into a broken world.  I hope you feel as honored as I do to be able to come alongside this organization and help provide more funds and resources in practical ways to be able to rescue and nature more children.  We have been so richly blessed.  May we not forget to also do what we can to do what we can for those in need.  And what a beautiful thing that as your family or wedding is being documented, you are also able to provide a family environment to a struggling child.  There is no greater privilege than this. 

Please feel free to check out Kids Alive and their amazing work! www.kidsalive.org

Warmly, 

  Laura 

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