Entries in photography (9)


one frame: kelsey & john wed

The light — it draws us in. Kelsey & John's wedding was dreamy — Queen Mary, perfectly bright and lovely on an overcast Long Beach day.


they told me i was crazy

If I were going to Europe, it would seem slightly more understandable. But no, I was about to embark on a three-week solitude retreat without technology, friends or leisure reading material. I was spending my entire vacation and travel savings on quiet and less than luxurious surroundings in Washington state. 

I was scared they were right.

I was about to spend two of the most precious equities of our day: time and money. Without any guarantee it would be worth the risk.

I decided to go anyway.

Two weeks before I left, my mind was racing.

What if I hadn’t discerned correctly? What if this was a waste of time? What if my travel savings would be used on a miserable experience … when I could have gone to Europe?!?

The questions were endless, sometimes leading into panic. “What if I, I … I?”

All of my questions surrounded this one letter, a pronoun — me. I was concerned about my time and money. My energy. Me. Somehow I had forgotten the original purpose of this three-week solitude retreat. I had forgotten that it was about what God wanted to do. That it wasn’t for me. (In our culture this is practically a sin.)

It was for God. For us — my relationship with Him.

Moreso, I had forgotten who He is — loving, kind, merciful, purposeful. Could I really think that God would use time and resources on something pointless? Why not prompt me to use this money elsewhere?

I realized I was asking the wrong questions — questions I was taught to ask.

The lies of our society entangled myself in the awe of time and money — that time and money had a higher value than trust in God and stepping out in faith.

The lies of perfectionism and productivity were wrapped into these dirty little fears and doubts. This trip must be productive in some way or else it isn’t worth it. What will people think of me? The lies of our society entangled my trust in God.

Slowly, but steadily I began to turn my questions around. What if God uses this trip for His good? What if God has been calling me to this trip? How will God work on this trip? If I’m this deep in, God must be up to something.

I’m not sure how I would have reacted had I returned and decided it wasn’t worth it, but I don’t think that’s how God works. I’m positive that years later, I would discover the benefits of stepping out in faith, defying societal and cultural standards, denouncing the power of a guarantee on my investments and giving up some of my most precious equities of time and money to His use. The practice of surrendering alone can bring one to new heights in their relationship with the Lord, whether immediate grief or joy follows.

For me, I knew within the first few days that surrendering to whatever God had for me on this trip was worth it, but it took years to get there. One year later, I’m still unpacking the goodness of God from those three weeks alone with Him and I'm positive that will be the case for the rest of my life.


Where is God calling you to step out in faith during this season of your life?

I'd love to hear what you think about stepping out in faith and how society impacts our daily choices, even in following God. Join the conversation and leave a comment below.

*Photo taken on my three-week retreat in Gig Harbor, Washington. Summer 2012.


erin & ethan: proposal

She said yes. When Ethan messaged me last week, I had high hopes for what it meant — he was proposing to one of my dearest, bestest friends ... really, my sister. I've known Erin for as long as I can remember. Literally. (Our moms were pregnant together.) My hopes were confirmed when we talked later that night and for the remainder of the week, I was nervous to call or text Erin in case I would somehow let the surprise slip. Luckily, no one let the surprise slip.

With the perfect cover, Ethan planned a date that ended on the Balboa peninsula at the Bay Arcade, where they spent their first date two years ago. With the ring slipped in the prize counter, Erin and Ethan played skee ball and air hockey after a ferry ride over from the island. Eventually they made their way to the counter, where Erin found a much prettier prize than she ever expected.

Erin and Ethan, Congratulations! I am beyond excited for the two of you. I have loved watching your journey as a couple and it was a blessing to photograph your engagement and celebrate with you! Erin, you will always be my sister. Ethan, I am so excited to have you as a brother! The two of you make not only an incredibly gorgeous couple, but a couple whose story will continue to bless and minister to others. I love both of you — individually, together and for each other!


patrick the pony

I couldn't resist.

We pulled over and as soon as Patrick realized we were there to see him, he galloped the distance between the back of his pen and where we stood. If he wasn't a puppy in another life, this pony was definitely a child model.

*Photos taken in Livermore yesterday.



Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea ...

It was off the path, easy to miss. I wasn't supposed to stop. But I must, I thought. I was on an adventure. The windows down, faint clouds and a summer breeze, I slowed off the exit pondering where this round about exit with a fantastical title may take me. 

It was the first time I had driven that far up the coast. The first time my eyes laid on the cold waters near San Luis Obispo and the first time I drove without time. That exit proved to stop time that day allowing space and retreat from the road, a busy world and earthly thoughts. Wonder opened to heaven.

Yesterday, we drove up the coast. The exit, an absolute must. Once again, I pulled off the path. My own place of heaven. This time to share and revel and of course, stop time. Even if for a few minutes in a chilly wind and heavy clouds, it will always be mine.

though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake ... Selah.


*Photos taken off the coast yesterday.