Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Home..Home at last. Egyptian Believers..Blog #1

And so we made it home! The (attempt) at sleeping like normal has been interesting. Three days in and I have been up at 3Am, 2am, and then 1am. I don't know why I'm going the wrong direction but I know I'm still not used to Nort' Dakota time.
The trip was in a word: Enlightening. Enlightening to see the beautiful Holy Land of Israel in (and out) of it's biblical context. Enlightening to see Egypt in all of it's populated, nothing like the books glory. Enlightening to have the opportunity to meet with persecuted brothers and sisters in the 20 million plus populated city of Cairo and to once again realize that fellowship, that sweet Koinonia shared by those in the body of Christ, that it goes much farther, much deeper than the ability to share in a conversation, as we did not speak the same language.

To shed light on "once again", my husband and I went on a mission trip to Xochimilco, Mexico (suburb of Tijuana) in January of 2008. Our Spanish is, as is our Arabic, someone less than fluent and so there was a constant struggle to find the rights words. One particular moment in Mexico solidified my belief that the love of Christ, the fellowship of His Body, is unmatched and unparalled in all of His creation.

There was a man in Mexico names Jose, who was a wonderful person, spoke very little English, but you could see his love for the Lord all over his face. Kirk and Jose had spent considerable time serving together and Kirk wanted to tell Jose that he could see his faith by the way he lived it out. Kirk speaks less than zero Spanish and so he couldn't find a way to do it. Until, he picked up his English Bible, Jose picked up his Spanish Bible, and Kirk took him to the passage in James that (paraphrased) says "Show me your faith by your works". Jose must have understood what he was saying and so the two of them proceeded to have a conversation using Bible verses back and forth for a good half an hour. We left Mexico with a bond to brothers and sisters we didn't even know we had, that is absolutely unbreakable. All without what we would call conversation.

The same was true in Cairo. We showed up to this aparment building in the middle of one of the poorest places I have seen in my life, surrounded by garbage with a very heavy spiritual atmosphere. They had a special service, just because we were visiting. There was only about 12 of us who were allowed to go to the service and my husband and I were beyond blessed to be two of them. We pull up and there are kids EVERYWHERE. They are all lined up, with their hands out saying, "Nice to meet you", "Nice to meet you". I think they learned it just before we got there. :) They were so beautiful and their little faces shone so bright. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin as soon as I saw them. I shook their hands and then kissed each one of the girls twice on each cheek. (I learned that right before we got there). We shared the service with our Egyptians brothers and sisters, which was absolutely packed. After the service, we had cake to celebrate one of the brothers, Elisha (a wonderful, bright light for the Lord). Before we left we were able to spend alot of time with the children. They were very respectful and very curious about us Americans. There were a couple of teenage girls whose English was choppy but far beyond my Arabic. I got to hug them and love them and my heart broke to leave them. As we left the kids waved and blew kisses and said "I love you, I miss you", "I love you, I miss you".

For me, the crowning moment of the 18 days was not snorkling in the Red Sea or hiking in Petra, but sharing 2 hours with brothers and sisters whose light shines unfailing, unwavering amidst heavy persecution and constant unrest.

Who, I pray, I can learn from and let my 'light so shine before men'..
"For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6

Monday, November 9, 2009

Israel/Egypt/Jordan-December 1st-18th

I wanted to let everyone know that my Beloved and I will be traveling to the Holy Land throughout the month of December and so I will not be taking sessions until December 21st.

It will be quiet on the blog from now until our return but CRAZY at the Hayes' household/In His Image Photography business office as I rush to get orders completed and on their merry way!

I will post LOTS of pictures upon our return so until then: may He bless you and keep you..

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Roller Kids

We hoped to get some outdoor photos, but the rain was not permitting. Thankfully they have a lovely home with great lighting.
I am always amazed to see the difference between boys and girls, no matter the age.
Senior Girls: Take my picture, make me look beautiful, 9 outfits...Senior Boys: I'm doing this for my mom, I don't care how I look, 1 outfit.
The same is true for the little ones. The little ladies want to show you their room and smile pretty. And the little guys, if you don't have something gross to show them, or something for them to demolish (or throw), they're not interested. :)
Thankfully my Beloved husband was along with me to offer that bit of testosterone I was lacking, which helped on the cooperation side of things. Thank you Matthew and Gina for showing us your beautiful home, and thanks to Addison, Max, and Sam for the great bear impressions.

The Winfrey Family

What a day! Unfortunately the weather was a bit chilly for this session, BUT it didn't start to rain until after we were finished for the day.
As I've said, I love the quirks of each little child. I met Scarlet and Amelia for the first time, two beautiful, very blonde, very "Nort' Dakota" looking little ladies. The first thing I noticed was beautiful Miss Amelia pursing her lips when she was thinking of something or when she was focused on her letters and numbers (which she did VERY well), or when she was looking for "bugs" in my camera lens. Then there's Scarlet, the vivacious 1(and a half) year old. She smiled and she smiled and she ran and then she ran some more. Oh to have the energy of a 1 year old.
I am able to have an interesting perspective when it comes to busy little ones. I get to enjoy the energy and the life, but I don't have to feed them or put them down for the much needed nap.
Thanks again, Collette and Steve..

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jake & The Soeby Family

What a great time! Mr. One Year Old Jake was ready to go as soon as I got there. It took him about 10 seconds to show me his beautiful little smile. Which was none of my doing, he saw himself on the camera and thought it was the coolest thing. After some fun with Jake, in came Logan with his family. Logan, with his big beautiful eyes, was not all too camera shy and took no time to warm up and have fun.
I am so so grateful for what I'm able to do for a living. I love the opportunity to meet all these different kids, with their unique personalities, and interesting little quirks that add to their individuality. I've said it before and I'll say it a hundred times: To me, the most wonderful way God expresses Himself is through His little ones. I am most awed by the Artfulness and Ingenuity of the Lord when I see His creation in them.

So thanks Anna and thanks Holly for time to meet and enjoy your little ones.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Natalie & Gina.....AKA Banana & Cupcake

I love my job. I love what God has given me the opportunity to do. I love old family farms. I even love the wind (from late May to early October).
I haven't had the chance to photograph girls around this age for some time and so I'd almost forgotten how much fun they can be. They are old enough to not require much coaxing but young enough to still be free in their adolescence and able to have fun and act silly with me.
None of my adult friends ever want to play with me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jannelle, JD, Chaz & Damarha

This family has been friends of my family for going over 10 years now. And even 10 years into a friendship, I'm still not sure if I spelled Jannelle's name right. (This wouldn't be the first time..there was a birthday cake). It was great to get to spend the afternoon with Jenny and her kids. They were the first sojournors to the chilly (see: lovely) Nort' and then we followed suit.

Thanks so much Jennelle, Jannelle, Jannell, for a fun Sunday afternoon.
(and for the PB&J sandwich)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Maureen, Wayne & Family..at the Lake.

The weather was a bit below the "ideal", but I think we made the best of it. We spent the time at their lovely lake cabin on Island Lake. These are my favorite kinds of sessions. We went for a walk around the loop, to the lake, and then when we reached the end..we were done.

The entire day was great. It was great to spend time with the Riley's, then a nice walk, then hot chocolate and conversation in a rocking chair.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Haley - Class of 2010

I couldn't be more pleased with this session. ALL the glory goes to Him. Whether it was the soft warm lighting or the slight wind gusts which were perfect for wisping hair. Then there were the various God-given backdrops, in combination with her well chosen outfits, which enchanced her so beautfully. At the end of the session, down at the river, just as I was saying "Alright, I think we've got it", she says "Can I just jump in?..You only have Senior pictures once.."

I love it!

Keep that adventurous spirit, if you let the Lord take it, what a ride it will be.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hunter-One Year Photos..

If only we could retain the fervor and adventure of the one year "what can I get intos". I would have to say, this one is after my own heart. I came into his room and the first thing I see is knotty pine, camoflauge, and a coyote hat! He was a busy busy little man! He had places to go and I was delighted to follow him there. We played in his room, downstairs, and outside with a pumpkin, then finally to the cake..and subsequently, a bath. What a great time..