Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Captured Glory Photography

Years ago, the idea of Captured Glory Photography was simply a distant dream lost in the mind of a photography lover. Unpredictable life events required the dream to be put on hold, abandoned and forgotten at times. Once the dream was hung up on the shelf, it began to transform and change into something bigger and better than my human brain could ever concoct. This dream became a calling - an outlet to express my creativity, my love for people and more than anything, my genuine adoration for the Creator of all things. Here and there, connections were made, those connections became future clients and God opened doors, which have led to where I am now: owning my own photography business. It's hard to believe; sometimes I feel like I'm still dreaming. Other times, it's trying. I doubt my giftings and question my adequacy - my sweet mentor has had to remind me that "comparison is the thief of joy" all too often. Overall, I'm learning to trust God's timing and development in this business venture. He is the one I ultimately wish to serve through this adventure; therefore, I will look to His sustenance and sovereignty.

    Yesterday, I finalized my logo with the help of a wonderful friend. It's another piece to the puzzle, another step on the journey of owning this business. My friend and I collaborated and came up with a logo that I am more than overjoyed with! She was able to incorporate a hidden meaning within it - one that reflects the foundation of this business. Within the ornate "O" of "Glory" are the numbers 96:3, representing Psalm 96:3 - "Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!" This is exactly what I hope to accomplish: capturing the glory, creation, beauty and majesty of God within His creation. Whether or not my clients are believers does not matter - I have opportunities to photograph the day two become one, a new life is welcomed into the world, a senior graduates, true love is expressed and other major milestones that all speak of brilliant beauty so out of this world.

   Needless to say, I'm living a dream and cannot to see how it progresses. I'm learning to be content with the dream in it's present form, trusting God with it's longevity and impact.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Do you know what it feels like to live in the shadow of your doubt?
It's like tip-toeing towards the edge of a cliff, where a pit of despair is much too close a reality.

Look past the doubt, look past the fear.
Realize your ideal is illusory and false,
or else no strenuous effort will allow me to reach that unreachable height.

Open your eyes, see your heart is already opened.
Cherish what this is - for what it is rather than what it is not,
or else I will never stand a chance.

Stop trying to ruin a good thing, a God-given gift.
Let your mind let go of what you've thought you needed, based on what you've known
or else I could never live up to that impossible standard.

Let your character be stretched, let your heart be pained at times,
for that sting and the stretch make the joys much more vibrant and the love that more deep.

Let your fears be conquered, let your heart be at ease, may your trust be restored. Let love win.

And until then, I tip-toe towards the end of the cliff - knowing there is darkness in the pit below, but letting the hope that you've built a bridge across it worth the risk.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Lord, Guide me in Thy true light in a world full of evanescent illuminations.
Keep my gaze fixed on You.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Living in the Shadow of Christmas

The notoriously joy-filled and peaceful season of Christmas has come and gone. Presents have been ripped open (and either enjoyed or returned), the twinkling lights shine no longer, decorations have been packed up, feasts and cookies have been consumed and life returns to normal (perhaps with a few extra pounds around our waists).

The days before Christmas are full of anticipation, preparation and excitement. Then, come December 26th, the magic and merriment seem to vanish instantaneously. Life goes on and the cycle continues the following December.

Is this how Christmas should be - a short-lived, seasonal moment of excitement? For those who have come to know Christmas in terms of a "Hallmark holiday" - mainly existing for consumeristic purposes, with no real depths or meaning other than an opportunity to shower those we love with the latest and greatest gifts and rack up a whole bunch of credit card debt - then the joy of this season really is only temporary (with the ending result/shadow of Christmas including momentary excitement until the gifts get old and the burden of debt).

For those of us who claim to know the real reason for the season - God incarnate who came for all mankind as a baby in a lowly manger - then the "shadow" of Christmas is more like a brilliant light, full of peace, joy and redemption that floods our entire lives. If the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, then the rest of our year should be spent living out a life of thanksgiving to God. If we know the reason for the season, our lives will be full of light, our situations will look radically different and we will know a source of hope and unsurpassable peace, even in the face of trials, tribulations and despair.

If we celebrate Christmas with purpose and richness that can only be attributed to the birth of a Savior, Christmas songs have more meaning, love has greater depths and hope knows no bounds. For those who are trapped in the patterns of the consumeristic Christmas and for those who live in the seemingly unshakeable shadows of darkness, depression and despair even in the Christmas season, there is hope. It is never too late to know and experience the good life in Christ. And for those who know this Savior, let us rejoice in the opportunity to experience Christmas joy year round, even after the lights are packed up and the decorations are put away.

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. - Titus 3:4-7

Friday, September 2, 2011

I Can't (Won't) Let Go

"Do you know where your heart is?
Do you think you can find it?
Or did you trade it for something
Somewhere better just to have it?
Do you know where your love is?
Do you think that you lost it?
You felt it so strong, but
Nothing's turned out how you wanted

Well, bless my soul
You're a lonely soul
Cause you won't let go
Of anything you hold"

One Republic's song has been playing in my head all day. The line that cuts me the most is also the one that has convicted me: "You're a lonely soul, cause you won't let go of anything you hold..." Surrender is an action on which Christianity is firmly founded. There is true freedom (often accompanied by fear) when you realize that the amount of control you actually have over your life is miniscule. But the freedom comes in acknowledging that God is sovereign over all, is in control of everything and has our good in mind. Letting go allows us to see God move. It requires faith. Trust. A daily, maybe hourly, decision to let go and not take what we had surrendered back to try and figure it out on our own.

I've seen God move in areas I've surrendered to him and I am so in awe of His faithfulness. But when it comes to love, the ability to surrender is often crippled by whispers of the past, wonderings what could have been and deeply rooted feelings. While I feel like I've surrendered so much, the fruit of my present predicament points to the fact that I'm still holding on to something. Because I won't let go, i'm disabling myself from fully committing or wanting to move forward in anything else, relationally. And there is no one to blame but myself. I won't play the role of victim or ask God 'why?' any longer; it's time to accept that I am currently in this place because I have chosen to be. I say this without being guilt-ridden and self-degrading, but with hope in the freedom this realization brings.

I love how on One Republic's CD, the song that follows "Say" is "Mercy". It's like the first song is meant to convict you or propel you into a state of self examination, and the latter is meant to remind you how much mercy surrounds you, right where you are. Whether or not Ryan Tedder and the band intended to order their songs for this particular reason or I'm reading into it way too much, it is comforting nonetheless.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I Am {Purposefully} Single

Recently, someone laid out priorities in this order: 1) God 2) family (spouse first, then kids) 3) your ministry. Someone else shared a shift in her life from a thirst for adventure to wanting to be known as a Godly woman, good mother/wife and someone who always has freshly baked cookies in her kitchen. Still another person that knows me fairly well was shocked as we caught up and exchanged news of friends and family members' progressing romantic relationships, and i did so in a seemingly cynical manner. As I've sought council on my current predicament, I've come to realize it's not cynicism at all. I am completely overjoyed for my dear friends and their sweet relational seasons and marriages. I cannot wait for the day marriage is (perhaps) in my own horizon.

About a month ago, God gave me this vision of myself sitting in a room surrounded by doors - some are wide open, some are locked, still others are open just a crack. As I sit there, God is instructing me to wait. Instead of waiting, I've made attempts in moving forward anyways. A friend recently pointed out to me that "drama swirls around you like a tornado". While part of me gets offended (I blame the thinker in him and the feeler in me butting heads ;P) I do know this "dramatic" season has been in large part due to the fact that I have attempted to act out of confusion and take steps forward solely based on my "in-the-moment" emotions. I've self-prescribed my singleness as "unhealthy". I've blamed past relational baggage. I've wondered what is wrong with me in not being able to move forward with one of the most amazing men I've met. I've looked at all these doors and wondered if I'm having commitment issues, in fear that walking through one door will require me to shut all the other ones. While some of these fears and possibilities could perhaps be playing an underlying role, I'm beginning to believe this season of singleness is a God-ordained season full of purpose.

I've placed myself on a track that much resembles the "Christian American Dream", as I refer to it: that drive to find a partner in ministry/spouse at a young age, settle down, etc. etc. which has led to disappointment and failure due largely in part to the fact that God's journey and plans for my life are entirely different.

In talking with my mentor, I realized this is yet another time in my life where God is calling me to yield and surrender EVERYTHING to Him - my relationships, my singleness, my career, my school, my passions, my dreams, literally my all. This thought and act of surrender doesn't seem too difficult at the moment, seeing as I'm in a place where I'm not clinging to anything or refuse to give anything up. Seeking the Lord and waiting for His instruction are the only things I can really do, sitting in this room surrounded by doors. Not to mention, I've seen the Lord's faithfulness in past moments of surrender - where He has taken my petty, humanly-constructed plans and replaced them with a bigger calling and better-fitting journey in Him.

There are seasons of singleness that are unbearably painful - perhaps after a divorce, a death, a brutal break up, separation etc. Sometimes, singleness is cast upon us and we have no choice but to grin and bear it. This particular season, however, is purposeful, sweet and indefinite. I am not putting a time frame or restrictions on it, but trusting God will allow it to continue until He sees fit, as I continuously yield to and lean on Him. I TRUST that He will make it clear in moving forward and that He is continuing to heal and prepare me for the next season.

For now, my priorities are my Lord and my ministry and that EXCITES me. I do not have to attempt to fit into a relationship or move forward when I am clearly not ready. I firmly believe love will be awakened when the timing is right. And one day, while I'd love to be a Godly woman, good mother and wife, with cookies readily available (probably store bought cookies, in my case ;P), I will enjoy this wild adventure and sweet season as a single woman seeking to know and draw closer to the Lord. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Come Away

I can't get enough of Jesus Culture's song, Come Away today. "I have a plan for you, it's gonna be WILD, it's going to be great, it's going to be full of Me..." This line keeps penetrating my heart over and over again. God's plan for us is WILD - this EXCITES me. I think I've lost site of that idea lately. I have this vision of myself sitting in a room full of doors that are partially open or closed and locked or not yet open, and God is instructing me to wait patiently and be still before Him, allowing Him to move in His timing. Just this morning, I was in the midsty of battling exhaustion on so many levels - spiritually, mentally, physically, and ready to give up. Yet in His mysterious way, God used a song with simple lyrics to restore my confidence in Him. His wild plan involves journeys through desert seasons, through trying times and heartbreak. It leads us into great joys, bigger and better dreams than any human could ever fathom or construct. It may lead to unbearable pain, may cause us to surrender other plans, may bring us to a point of diverting from the social norm. But His plan is great and ultimately brings us to know Him MORE. And while this plan may involve pain, it's worth it over and over again.

So in a time that requires much patience in practically every area of my life, I rejoice knowing it's all part of God's WILD plan. What a relief for a free spirit to know my life and journey in the Lord will never be mundane, boring or look like anyone else's! Besides finding rest in this song, it's also time to reread C.S. Lewis', The Great Divorce. Mmm, yes. Life's simple pleasures :).