Monday, March 26, 2012

New Life + New Seasons + Faith



I love Spring. It signifies a season of New Life. Jesus says, "Behold, I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)

This Spring signifies a new beginning for me.

The last couple months, I have been "crying out in the wilderness" for help, for guidance, for wisdom to know the next step. Forgive the frankness of the words, but it's as though I've experienced living "hell on earth." I found myself sobbing for Jesus to help. "Help" was all I could cry out. It was as though my soul was being crumpled, shriveled, trampled on as nothing. My physical health was going down hill, due to the stress.

I knew it was time to take some action.

It was time to to move out and get a place of my own.

Not to run away from my circumstances (because, in a way, these specific circumstances will always be apart of who I am), but to run to hope, help, and healing found in Jesus ... to leave all that is considered "safe" in order to follow Jesus and to be able to become fully who He wants me to be.

As I looked at apartments & townhouses and then looked at my finances (and the lack of substancial income coming in) I got discouraged.

I began to pray and ask the Lord to provide for my needs. HE can do such marvelous things!

One afternoon, I got a phone call from someone in my church, and they offered me their basement bedroom to rent out from April 1st to August 1st. I was ever so grateful for the offer, but I knew that in time, additional income would be needed to be able to afford rent... and groceries.

Two days later, after my church's evening service (we have both morning & evening services) someone approached me and asked if I could nanny their six year old daughter from May to August. Immedietely tears came to my eyes and all I could do was cry. WHAT an answer to prayer! This nanny job will only be 3-5 minutes down the road from where I'll be living for the next four months. Infact, I could probably save my car's gasoline & just walk to work! Aaand, I'll have Mondays off, in additional to Saturday & Sunday, leaving time for me to still devote to my photography business.

Who could have provided & orchestrated in such a way but God? He is truly Father to the fatherless, and I DO stand in awe of Jesus. He knows what we need & He is more than able to supply for those needs.

Last week, if you would've told me that THIS week, I would be packing up my belongings and moving by next week, I wouldn't have believed you.

My rent at this place will be up in August, and I am trusting that the Lord will again provide & give me wisdom where to move after that & where to look for rent next... and that He will provide the finances necessary.

We serve a big God, and I stand in awe of Jesus.

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." —Isaiah 43:19 ESV

Missions Monday | Father to the fatherless

Just lately, I have been reminded over and over again of the Father's relationship to me, as His err —His daughter.

The Lord promises in John 14:18, "I will not leave you comfortless [as orphans]. I will come to you." That verse brings such comfort to my heart. Recent times have found me so run down and weary — I've wanted so desperately to cry out to my Father, but it was as if I was too weary to even whisper a word. The Lord says that HE will come TO us! I love that. In 2 Corinthians 6:18, He says, "[I] will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons & daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." Another beautiful promise is found in Galations 4:6, "..Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Maybe today you are crying out in a wilderness. You have been wounded, you are hurting, you are left "fatherless" (whether literally or figuratively) and you wonder when healing is coming. Take comfort in Matthew 9:22,

"Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee WHOLE." —Jesus

You are WHOLE in Jesus Christ today.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Jasmine Star: theFIX event | Denver

When I found out that Jasmine Star was coming to Denver for a one evening "talk" on how to help your photography business, I got so excited. And even better yet, the tickets were affordable!

Jasmine has been one of those photographers who I started "blog stalking" around the time I quit my photography business two years ago. Why? I don't know, but I was drawn to how real she communicated herself & her personal likes, dislikes, quirks, and fears on her blog. She seemed REAL, and I have always been drawn to people who are real and genuine about everything; people who don't put on a fake show or who aren't hypocrites.

One of the greatest things I gleamed from theFIX was just how important it is for me to network with other photographers, and surround myself with people who support my photography business. God never called any one of us to "do it alone." One of the things Jasmine brought out was that, "We are stronger together, than we are apart." Jasmine's husband, JD told her, "Regardless of the struggle, I'm going to stand by you and we'll do this crazy thing together." A couple other things Jasmine said was that, "Influential artists thrive on each other" and that "The more entrenched you are in those around you, the harder it is to walk away from your business."

I need to focus more on my relationships & making friendships with others. I'm not sure why, but that's scary. I suppose it's because it means I'm risking my true, real self and putting myself "out there" to either be loved OR hated. I have a choice if I want past rejection to get the better of me, and if I'm moving on and find my security in Who I am in Christ.

The other thing that I was really challenged by at theFIX was that direction & a plan is necessary to reach a destination. In order to reach goals, I need to write out what I want, and then put a deadline next to them. Otherwise they'll just be dreams "floating out there" with no intention of trying to MAKE them a reality. It's so easy for me to say, "I'd like...", "Someday...", or "It'd be so nice IF..." but instead, I need to start saying, "I WILL..." and then make steps to make my goals a reality. It's not enough to TALK about it. I think the reason that it's such a scary, hard thing for me to take action is because it involves risk & making myself vulnerable.

"Action is a great restorer and builder of confidence.
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naction is not only the result, but the cause, of fear.

Perhaps the action you take will be successful;
Perhaps different action or adjustments will have to follow.
But any action is better than no action at all." —Peale

Monday, March 19, 2012

Missions Monday | Denver, CO | New Weekly Blog Series!

Words cannot express how excited I am about this new, weekly blog series — Missions Monday!

A couple of weeks ago, I was "burning some midnight oil" (that's typical for me, just ask my family. Ha.) The house was quiet, still, and I was reading & meditating. And then it just hit me like a lightbulb.

If I have passion for this and if this is apart of ME, who I am, I need to broadcast it outloud to the world.

Like ON my blog.

This past Friday evening, I was driving home from an inspiring photography business talk/meeting, and as I drove home, the Lord prompted me, "Leah, you really need to start this 'Missions Monday' blog series. THIS Monday." And then I started arguing with myself, "But I failed my calling & my purpose two summers ago. I failed..." And then God just said, "If I gave Jonah a second chance, I am giving you another chance too, Leah." Oh, what mercy & grace from Him when I fail so much.

At the birth of my professional photography business four years ago, the Lord gave me this vision statement for my business, "To use photography for the advancement of His kingdom."

So what does this 'Missions Monday' blog thing exactly look like? I will be posting pictures from my excursions around the globe in years past (New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, the Philippines — and any other countries I may visit down the road), quotes, and who knows what else that is Missions related every Monday.

So for this installment of Missions Monday, I bring to you a picture — not from a thirld world country — but a photograph taken just a little over an hour from my house — the mile high city: Denver, Colorado.

Just this past Friday afternoon, I met this beautiful little girl as I was walking down streets in a "poverty stricken" area of Denver. At first, I was timid and unsure if I should approach her (I mean, hello, what if some creeper or gun-slinger jumped out in front of me?) But I DID approach her, asked what her name was... and took a portrait.



"Break me for the nations. Let my heart become Your heart for all the world.
Send me to the harvest as an ambassador to speak Your Holy Name.
Send me, Use me as a vessel yielded in the Master’s hand and
Please touch me with Your anointing for a world that’s broken and in need."

Monday, March 12, 2012

THE Office Space for Leah Christine Imagery

Here you have it: the newly "renovated" office area for Leah Christine Imagery! (mainly a new office desk & storage ottoman to sit at)

You have no idea how wonderful it is & how grateful I am to have a functioning work space specifically for 'Leah Christine Imagery.' The last four years of being a professional photographer & being in business, I literally have parked myself with my laptop wherever I could find room... the livingroom couch, kitchen table, and most recently, it has been at the dining room table with 3 students who are constantly studying. Though no one's fault, that particular area seems to be the "hub bub" of life and noise, thus making it quite difficult to buckle down without distractions.

I've come to see and realize (myself) that this photography business is not a passing dream... it's not a "trial & error" workshop-in-the-garage... it's not a JOKE. It is an important, functioning business, and so likewise, a functioning work space is necessary. Yes, portability is fantastic when traveling, but when I'm home, it's important for me to work without distractions.

And so, here you have it my friends! This is definitely not the "final presentation". I'm going to need to come up with a way to file, organize, and store paperwork, and I'd also like to personalize it a bit and make it more "photographer-ish" ... like perhaps setting up lenses/camera body on display? The possibilites are numerous!

PS.—
Maybe I'm OCD. But the unvacuumed carpet & wires underneath the desk are really bugging me in these images. Sorry, blog readership. ;-) Maybe it's just being a visual photographer. Yeah. That's what it is... ;-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hope Baptist Church :: Loveland, Colorado | Charter Service

Sometimes I do marvel to see God work & make our lives cross paths with other brothers & sisters in Christ — thus bringing opportunities of ministry that we would've never asked for or dreamed of. And the great thing about it? It's all God!

I have journals from when I was 15 & 16 years old, and I wrote of my surrendering to God for His service & ministry — whatever that meant. Whether that was a Pastor's wife, a missionary... I didn't know, but I knew that I wanted to serve the Lord in some kind of ministry. When graduating from high school, I thought about going to a Christian University to major in Woman's Ministry for counseling, but I just didn't have God's peace about it. And then the Lord called me to be a PHOTOGRAPHER. Yes, a photographer, people! I thought to myself, "Um, what about ministry? What about being a missionary? I've never heard of a missionary photographer." And so, I layed the idea of ever being involved in vocational ministry on the 'back burner' and decided that if God wanted me to do that, He would work out all those little unseen details. As you know, God works in mysterious ways and calls nothing impossible. Throughout the last four years, I've been able to use my photography in churches, conferences, and in 4 foreign countries: New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, and the Philippines. I even got to photograph a wedding for a Muslim couple in Bangkok while I was on a missions trip to Thailand... with only 24 hours notice! It was a tremendous witnessing opportunity.

ALL of that to say, when I was asked if I could photograph the charter service for a new church in my town, I jumped at it  — because I love to use my photography for ministries.

Pastor Barclay & his wife, graduates of Tennessee Temple University, moved to Loveland, Colorado from Ohio to start a new church — Hope Baptist Church. (http://​www.hopebaptistcolorado.org/)

Take a sneak peek of their charter service!

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Pastor Barclay welcomes people to the Sunday morning service —
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"And Can It Be?"
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"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." —Psalms 119:130

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Pastor Barclay preaches —
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Pastor Duttry, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Milford, Ohio came out here for the Barclay's charter service.
(Pastor Duttry is from the Barclay's sending church.)
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Mrs. Barclay fellowships with other ladies after church —

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Pastor & Mrs. Barclay's son ... ready to go EAT! :-)

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After the morning church service, there was a potluck lunch for everyone.. including a special cake!

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Pastor Barclay sliced & served the cake for all of his new church members!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Taylor Danae | Newborn Portrait Session

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalms 127:3

Meet precious baby Taylor Danae! I got to take her portraits when she was just one week old.

This was my first newborn portrait session, and I absolutely loved it! I can't wait to do more newborn portrait sessions. :-)

This first one, and the couple following it are quite possibily my personal favorites. What are you thoughts? I love getting new ideas for future sessions!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

For God's Glory

This video was played at someone's wedding ceremony.. It's SO GOOD!!
Whether marriage is many miles down the road for you,
or you have been married for years, WATCH all of it!

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Dipsey Doodling" in Windsor, Colorado

Quite recently, I spent five days dog-sitting for two different families while they were away.

While dog-sitting for the one family, who lives about 30 minutes away, I decided to "dipsey doodle" around old town Windsor - since I was right here. These are a few of my favorites!

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