Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adventures Coming for Leah Christine Imagery

Lately there have been numerous times that I look over and see my camera sitting by it's lonesome. I miss it, and I miss having adventures with it. But I am SO excited to tell you    bloggie world   that my camera and I are getting ready to be very busy through the fall season! And I am excited out of my mind.

In 3 weeks, I'm going to fly to Detroit and meet up with two other young ladies for a road trip to Prince Edward Island, Boston & Niagara Falls! You see, I grew up watching Anne of Green Gables, Road to Avonlea and Lantern Hill ... movies all filmed or based on Prince Edward Island. This going to be like all of those stories coming alive! I'm already anticipating the feel of white sand beneath my toes, running on red cliffs, eating lobster for the first time on the sea shore and enjoying an enchanting moon next to an Atlantic lighthouse.































In 8 weeks, I will be traveling to San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico for a trip duration of nearly a month! I am humbled and so excited to photograph a wedding for a local Pastor and his fiancee. I'm going to stay with a missionary couple (I'm friends with) and help out in ways whatever I can with their ministry through the middle of October.




Right now I'm trying to plan some dates for a trip to southern California for atleast 4 portrait sessions    either the beginning of September or beginning of November. Either way, I'm excited!

Watch the blog over the next couple months, bloggie world, for more adventures & imagery!

Monday, July 23, 2012

What a Friend We Have in Jesus: Hymn Story

Today I decided to post this hymn story of, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

Can I just say.... I love, love, love this. It has ministered to me during so many times of blinding tears, disappointment & loneliness. How many times we fail to realize what a friend we have in the Lord.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Yet Will I Trust Him

It's been a season of coming home at 9 o'clock, and eating a bowl of cereal for dinner. I'm so tired, I fumble with the cereal box, it tips over and cereal spills all over. My basement apartment has dead spiders on the floor and live ones crawling on the walls (and it's driving me crazy)  but there's been no time to vacuum. All I want to do is cry in exhaustion.

I lay my head on my pillow, knowing that in six hours the alarm clock with buzz again and all I can do is cry myself to sleep.

"I know this sounds horrible to say so, but I feel like God's forgotten me."
A sister encourages, "Oh, if I were you, I'd just cry out to God. Earnestly pray."
"But truthfully, I don't feel like God cares. I know He said He does, but it doesn't feel like it."

I am in the midst of learning what it means to have FAITH that rises above my feelings. I must cling to Christ for my soul strength. I so often pray that I would know what it means to live in the reality that Christ is my sufficiency, yet when the storms of life rage against my soul, I wonder what on earth God is doing. The truth of it is, these storms and wilderness experiences are there to prove to me that God's promises in His Word are faithful & true. It's in the worst of times that you & I can see that His promises prevail, though all else does not.

My Shepherd has so wisely led thus far, my Pilot has safely navigated to today... why would the Lord fail in the future?

Lord, give me a faith like Job that says, "Though He ______, yet will I trust Him."

+++

"Frodo: I can't do this, Sam. Sam: I know... we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you - that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. ...Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something. There's some good... and it's worth fighting for."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Oatmeal & Strawberries + Heart Lessons


I looked down at my steel cut oatmeal slathered in strawberries, brown sugar & walnuts and took another bite.

My friends chorused in unison, "She got good really fast!" I piped in, "I know, and here she started her photography business just 8 months before I did!" Swallowing my bite of warm breakfast & taking a sip of Chai Latte, I sighed and added, "My photography business is definitely not where she is. Sometimes I wish I had such a successful photography business, and enough income from photography alone to be able to afford a little place of my own to decorate so cozily. I wonder how she does it!"

One of my friends spoke up, "But that's not what God had for you."

Those words rang in my ears. And we went on to discuss another topic.

Those words continued to ring in my ears over the new few days.

"...But that's not what God had for you."


+++

Sunday morning, my Pastor spoke on Humility & Pride. I'm ashamed to admit, at the beginning of his message, I thought to myself, "Okay, I don't think I have a pride issue..."

WHAM.
Ouch.

I'm naturally more of a layed back, quiet person, so I shouldn't  have an issue with pride, right? WRONG. My Pastor continued preaching, "Timidity is not to be mistaken for humility." The Lord continued to prick my heart as I sat in those cushioned seats. "Leah, you are prideful to the core when you refuse to let people in your life for fear of getting hurt. That is self-promotion. By blocking people out, you are saying that you are worthy of good... when in reality, you are hell deserving, worthless piece of dust apart from Me. You deserve to be rejected, to be spat upon, to be left alone. And yet instead, I stepped in your place and took every single painful blow for YOU. I want YOU to be that same sacrifice for others. Let man do what he will, and pour yourself out for the good of others."

The truth of it is, I am a flower quickly fading, a breath of wind... I am worthless dust. I deserve nothing good.  And yet, He calls me His. The GOD who created the universe... the GOD who created the hosts of stars and calls them EACH by NAME, created ME with a specific ministry to fulfill and He loves me for who I am. So why do I get so defensive when people mistreat me, or my life doesn't look like their story of success or God doesn't give me what I want?

+++

The Lord reached down and whispered to my heart, "Ah, Leah, you know I didn't call you in April of 2008 to have a big wedding photography business & to have a thousand Facebook fans. I created you to help, to minister... to minister to the least of these. Your photography business/ministry WILL look like failure to others, but that's okay because your photography talents aren't for Your self promotion. Your camera is just a tool and a means to minister to the hearts of those around you. So give your talents back to ME, dear one, and watch me glorify HIS name."

When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers... 

what is man that You are mindful of him, 

and the son of man that You care for him? 

Psalms 8:3,4 ESV


The actual song starts at 3:25. Listen to it. Your heart will be blessed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Missions Monday | Leaving My Comfort Zone

Sometimes missions means I need to leave the comforts of my safety zone and risk myself - my everything - for the cause of the furtherance of His Gospel, to give the good news to those who are yet walking in darkness.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe, but he's good. He's the King, I tell you." ― C. S. Lewis; Chronicles of Narnia





“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis




"You have listened to fears, Child," said Aslan. "Come, let me breathe on you. Forget them. Are you brave again?" 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Journal Entry From One Year Ago.

One year ago I was sitting on a long, ten hour flight from Salt Lake City to Tokyo, Japan. I was on my way to the Philippines for a week of the most intense evangelism I have ever done in my life. Flying over Pacific Ocean, I took my journal out from the seat pocket in front of me and penned:

July 2011


"...for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ...Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" Matthew 6:32+33, 7:7-11

These verses seem to be a recurring theme in my life the last couple of months. How easy it can be for me to doubt the Father's goodness + heart of compassion towards me. Does He really give that which is good? Or at the point of total + absolute surrender will He then give me something that makes me UNHAPPY or something I do NOT like? These questions have been real in my heart. And yet, I know that whatever He gives His children is always for our good + for His glory. Why is it so hard for me to TRUST that completely? Is it lack of total surrender? "Lord, I am willing that THOU shouldest make me willing. TEACH me the way that You want me to walk. Let me abide so close to You that I know Your heart + Your will. Lord, You said in Your word that You have not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love + a SOUND mind. I don't have to fear - only rest in Your trustworthiness and great faithfulness. You are my sufficiency + my all in all. Teach me to live in the reality of Your sufficiency + help me to rest my heart in You. Help me to be Your hands + feet in the Philippines. Help me to speak words that You would speak. Fill my mouth with Your praise and a testimony of Your greatness + power."

....



















A short video of singing "To God Be the Glory" at church in the Philippines:


Streets of Dumaguete, Negros, Philippines