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Breathing in Hope, Breathing Out Exhaustion, Tonight I choose

 

Breathing in Hope, Breathing out Exhaustion

 

Tonight I choose to breathe in hope, 

Even though the world says I should fall, 

That I should compare, and consume, 

Worry and Doubt, 

Belittle Myself, Run and Hide. 

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe out failure, 

As God says I am adequate, 

I am enough, just as I am, no better, no worse.  

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe in hope, 

Dreaming dreams of bright futures ahead, 

Doors being opened and roads paved, 

Walking freely along my path, 

Tunnel vision for my worth. 

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe out Exhaustion, 

The constant striving to be better than I am in the current moment, 

Recognizing that new horizons will come, 

Growth will continue within me, 

That I will not stop creating and learning and evolving, 

However, that where I am right now is enough for today, for this present moment. 

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe in peace, 

To let it soak into my veins and echo deep into my soul, 

My work is of value, 

My documenting of overwhelming purpose, 

Capturing these ever passing moments in time, 

The connections created here, the passions and tensions, 

The hardships and mess, 

The blooms and Fruits. 

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe out Disappointment. 

The feeling of not being enough for those around me, 

Or living up to the perfect image that I create for myself.  

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe in gratefulness, 

Gratefulness for the opportunity to see life within the beautiful moments of time as they pass, 

In constant awe of this life I live and everything entangled with it.  

 

 

Tonight I choose to breathe out Praise, 

To speak of all the blessings I have been given and all the good placed before me each day, 

The flowers growing in the yard, 

The trees blooming before my eyes, 

The sun rising to the east and setting to the west, 

The stars and moon shining brightly, 

The restful quiet of country nights, 

The warm snuggles from my little darlings, 

The tender kisses from my handsome prince, 

The helping hands and gracious hearts of my family and friends, 

The means to have shelter, food, clothing and so much more, 

The blessing to know the Lord and the riches of His grace, 

The ability to see life differently behind my lens, 

To enter a new world, and document with connection as my guide not fear.  

 

 

Tonight I step out and I choose. 

I choose for if I don't, then who will choose for me? 

 

~Laura 

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When life feels like a failure and faith is hard.

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When life feels like a failure and faith is hard.

When Life Feels Like a Failure and Faith is Hard

Waking up, rolling over to the sounds of Thomas crying once more.  Is he up for good this time I think, or maybe he will rest just a little longer if I hold him close, comforted in the warmth.  My heart is heavy, dreams are fading.  For you see, as I look into the lives of others, read about the lives of others, it is always about how there was a hard place, a valley, but now they have succeeded and everything is wonderful with the world once more.  That is wonderful, and I am happy for them, but what about myself, seemingly stuck in this valley again, dreams fading, harsh realities sinking in and when my world is full of mess and hard places.  What about this space, on the days where I feel I want to give up, allow the lies Satan fills in my head to win me over, and just stop trying to make something of all of this, when life feel like a failure and faith is hard. 

For you see, I come from a  pretty successful background, top 10 in my class in high school, recruited to represent Ball State through gymnastics in college, met the love of my life there and graduated with a high GPA and hopes and dreams as big as the world.  Back then, professional photography was not on my radar (although I have always loved a camera in my hand), but traveling was.  I wished to travel the world and I had the most amazing man by my side to do it.  But then, life seemed to get in the way.  Our dreams of having a family jeprodized, only to be followed by the blessing of children, which has in turn become the largest, life altering change within my life.  After building jobs and becoming steady, I now sat at home with crying babies, a messy house and far fewer dollars in the bank.  So, photography happens to land in my lap, and as is my nature, I become utterly obsessed, diving in to this passion I have always had, but learning the professional side of things and becoming almost one with my camera as I feel it can capture my emotions and nature of the scene before me, much better than my words can ever describe for me sometimes.  Clients begin coming my way, I am learning the business side of things slowly and loving it every bit of the way as my vision for this small venture begins to become a reality.  I am finding my style and I feel more in love with this beautiful gift now than ever.  Then, God calls us to a new location.  A perfect location for photography.  We live in the countryside, wide open spaces, where the air feels fresh and the wind can be heard brushing by.  My children can roam, and I can have room to breathe.  But what about this dream of traveling the world and using these gifts I feel I have been called to for photography?  My clients dwindle as we are in this new location, and meeting new people and spending my name is hard.  The introvert in me wishes to stay by myself, in my shadows and quiet, yet, my name is dying.  And now photography is beginning to feel like a failure and faith is hard.  

So, where do I go from here?  Why am I sharing the aching cries of my heart?  Because I am choosing to say yes, choosing to believe that there is more that lies beyond the here and the now.  More beyond these lies in my head that I will never be good enough and that my dreams will never come true.  For who gets to decide my successes and failures but me?  And, something gymnastics taught me well is to never give up.  Never stop trying.  It takes attempt after attempt after attempt to succeed in this life.  But we must keep practicing, we must keep showing up in this life.  And why?  Because it matters, because even on days where I feel in the lowest valleys and my emotions run high, I know that there is a God who cares for me.  I don't feel it some days no, but I am choosing to say yes to trust, choosing to say yes to faith, because if my kids remember anything about me, I at least want them to know that I was faithful to take the next step, to keep moving forwards and to keep pursuing my dreams.  I will not give up, I will not stop trying.  I am called to this, this is my purpose, and I will continue to document the beautiful things in front of me in this life.  Whether the world deems me a failure or a success, I will keep marching on, because how we deal with the valleys and moments where we have nothing tells more about us than our successes ever will.  

And I share this to say, that right now, whatever you see of me and think of where my life is at, know that some days, like today, it feels messy and a bit low.  And that is ok.  Maybe your life is messy like mine right now, and you too are wondering if anyone else is out there, who doesn't quite have it all figured out yet?  Whose house isn't pinterest decorated and whose children's hair isn't brushed and who cannot for the life of you figure out why you feel so different?  Be encouraged my friend.  This is me, saying I am here, in the mess, and its ok.  I tell my clients I love to document what feels messy to them, to be able to shine more light on it, and show the beauty that exists even there.  And so, here I am saying that I am going to continue to document my messy so that I too can find the beauty where the mess seems to be shining brightly.  

I hope and anticipate that my future is filled with many of my wonderful dreams coming true.  I know it is highly possible.  But for now, I choose to try my best to be content, right now, with what I have, the small platform that I have been gifted, the 2 children I have been blessed with, my husband who always stands by my side.  I choose to say yes and keep marching on, and I hope you will too and we can achieve our dreams together.  It is possible my friends.  Let's do this! 

Warmly, 

    Laura 

 

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Making space for snuggles, giggles and tractor watching

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Making space for snuggles, giggles and tractor watching

Making Space

 

Space.  It is something I so desperately longed for as the children were infants, barely having a moment to myself, with my space, without the warmth of another human resting against me.  And there is beauty in the space.  The space to have freedom of thoughts and peace and quiet.  However, lately I have been thinking of a new kind of space.  Making space within my life for intentional time with family, intentional, focused play time.  For you see, how is it that I can stay at home with my children, and yet still be constantly missing it?  Because, some days, I have no extra space within my thoughts.  They are filled with my ever increasing house to-do lists, business to-do lists, personal to-do lists.  I thought being at home would make it easy, and yet I do still get much more time with my children, but I still must fight for it.  I must choose to make the time, to make the space, for otherwise everything else will fill the day and I will miss it. 

So, this is what we are intentional weaving into the space of our days now.  We are making space for the snuggles, for tickling and chasing around the house and dancing.  For watching tractors and birds and ducks and chicks.   For picking leaves, playing in the dirt and discovering new things.  We are making space for it, for I know that if I do not create the habit of the little things and time with my children being important now, when they so desperately desire it and need it, then I feel I will miss my window and they will grow to not want it as they age.  They will find new desires, new people to invest time in them.  And this is my job, my family, my people.  They are always the most important.  So, let's start making the space for the little things in our lives too, because little things over time become the big things and big things become the memories etched within our hearts and souls.  So, may we commit to doing the little things well.  They are important too. Make space to breathe.  

Warmly, 

      Laura 

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