Category Archives: dreams

flair

noun – a special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well

I have a friend named Emily. She’s a wife, mother, dental hygienist, and phenomenal singer. Recently, however, she recognized her love for photography. And when she started sharing her pictures with the world, her friends immediately recognized her gift.

But… just because someone else recognizes a gift in us doesn’t mean we automatically have the confidence to believe that it’s true. We often find it hard to believe that God could use little ole us doing a job that we adore. So it was with Emily. Until…

She prayed a simple — desperate — prayer.

As a wife, mother, dental hygienist, and part-time photographer, Emily was feeling the stress of trying to doing it all.  Her love of photography, a mere hobby at the time, started to demand more than she had to give. But how do you give up something that you love? How do you find balance between the responsibilities of life and the talent that fills your heart?

In a stressed and desperate moment, Emily cried out to God, pleading desperately for a sign to leave her gift behind or keep developing it. That evening she posted the following picture on Facebook which had been taken during a recent photo shoot.

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The next morning she headed off to work, ready to let the talent go if God so desired. As she was leaving work, she received a call from a friend that told her to check her Facebook account. Upon doing so, she saw that the picture she’d posted the night before had over 300,000 likes, and within 24 hours of the posting, the pic reached 1 million likes. That same 24 hours brought in 200 email inbox messages and hundreds and hundreds of encouraging comments from strangers all over the world! People from the United Kingdom, Canada, and even Australia raved over the perfectly captured moment.  Within 3 days, her photography fan page grew from 400 likes to 22,000!  According to FB, Emily’s photography had reached over 27 million people!

Needless to say, God answered: “Don’t let the dream go, Emily!”  I’m so proud to say that she’s my friend, and I love her heart, which says follow God even when the dream’s future is unknown.

Her story reminds me of quote from Holly Gerth’s book, You Were Made for a God-Sized Dream.  

It’s not about what you do as much as HOW you do it.  It’s about pursuing life with passion and purpose and going with God wherever he leads. It’s about not settling. It’s about tenaciously believing that you were made for more…more of Jesus, more of what he’s created you to be, more of what he’s called you to do. Less of you, actually, and more of all he is and all he has for you — which is beyond what you can even imagine.

God places dreams inside of all of us — gives us each a talent. Some of us choose to hide it, ignore it, or dislike it, but some choose to fight for it. That fight is what brings us closer to God because we know the dream cannot live without him. The dream requires something of us that we don’t have – a thing that only he can give.

May you be challenged to pull out your dream, lay it before God,  and decide it’s worth it . Just like Emily did.

Enjoy these photographic moments that Emily created just for my family.  Her flair for photography is evident.  If you are looking for someone to capture your family’s personality and preserve it forever in a photo, check out Emily’s Facebook page and her photography page.

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A little hint of our love for Ecuador

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Two of the greatest — and best looking– teenagers on the planet

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If you know us, you know this pic fits us to a T

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Can you find the hubs and me?

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Love the head on daddy’s shoulder in this one

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Yep, still in love and this pic shows it!

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Me and the wind…not staged…only real-life wind used here:)

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How fun is this?!

Thanks for being a God-sized dreamer, Emily. Your flair for photography and dedication to God makes all our lives a little more colorful.

swirl

verb – move in a twisting or spiraling pattern

It’s Monday, which means I’m supposed to blog.  I’ve tried to adhere to habit of posting every Monday, Wednesday (book review), and Friday. My mind right now, however, is swirling with thoughts and none of them can I pin down.

This little blog of mine which is read by somewhere around 30 people on any give day can dominate my thoughts. That number is obviously lower than I would like, but every time I think of giving the blog up, someone sends an email or message letting me know how much something I wrote encouraged them. So I keep up with the battle of thoughts.  What’s that you ask?  Take a peak in my brain for any given day:

  • “I need to BLOG!”
  • “Ohhh, that’s a great idea for a blog post!.”
  • “I can’t wait to tell my readers about this book on the blog!”
  • “Ugh, it’s Monday, and I need to blog.”
  • “Shoot, it’s Saturday and I forgot to blog yesterday.”
  • “I need a piece of paper: I gotta jot down this idea for my blog.”
  • “Does anyone even read my blog besides my Dad?” (Shout out to Dad whose comments always encourages:)
  • “Can’t I just blog something random that I write on the spur of the moment? I mean, all this planning, revising, and editing is making me crazy!”
  • “I NEED to blog!”

So as you can see, my brain spends a lot of time thinking about the blog even when I’m not writing one.

I’ve been in a weird kind of season in my life right now that keeps my thoughts swirling. Keith and I have been discussing “life dreams” and “life goals” and all of that heavy stuff that I think people in their 40’s start to discuss when they see that the years are coming at the speed of light. I’ve been reading books on finding your dream, how to live that dream, and how to make Southern Biscuits. Okay, so the last one doesn’t seem to fit, but in my swirling thoughts, it fits right in with what God is dropping in my heart. (Have fun finding that connection.)  

In the midst of all these discussions with Keith, I’m learning to let go of my need to be perfect-at-whatever-it-is-I’m-doing. This obviously explains the need that every post be Pulitzer Prize worthy. So…. that’s what today is. It’s letting my faithful readers out there into a blog that was written “on the fly” and not perfectly outlined and edited. Basically, I sat, I thought, and then I wrote.

I’m in the process of reading a book that I wish I had written, or better yet, a book that I know I could write. It’s just my style, and it’s so powerful in a simple way.  I won’t tell you what it is yet because that’s a post for Wednesday Reads, and as I said earlier, it’s only Monday:) Reading this book has reminded me that it’s the simple writing of personal thoughts and experiences that touch a reader’s heart and binds them to you in a way that can’t be explained. I want to write like that.

In order to write like that,  I have to take my swirling thoughts and force them down on paper. I have to let go of my “try-hard life.” When I do, I find a freedom that makes me want to pursue dreams that are way to big for me, but not too big for my God.

So although today’s post was not outlined and throughly revised and edited, you read it. (I hope you stayed till now.) So here’s my thanks for joining me each day. I really do think of you guys a lot ( as evidenced by the earlier brain insight.) Keep the comments and messages coming and I’ll keep blogging even when the thoughts might not find their place in an outline.

Happy Monday,

~a