Stories, Travel & Adventure

The day I attended my first South African wedding

Right before the New Year I attended my first South African wedding. It was beautiful. And attending the wedding turned into being the wedding photographer with a few hours notice. So, I also photographed my first South African wedding. It was an adventure. I’ve been looking for new opportunities to learn more about the culture. However, I didn’t quite expect it to happen this way. As a photographer, I’ve photographed a few weddings over the past year or two. I know the general layout of a traditional American ceremony – what happens when, what details are important, etc. But this…this was a whole new culture. And to be honest, I was nervous because I had no idea what the order of events was or what details were important to capture. It basically boiled down to the fact that I felt like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or where I was supposed to be at any given moment! And yet as soon as the festivities began, it was so easy to get caught up and swept along in the excitement and beauty of the day. Worry fell by the wayside as the moments unfolded with bursts of color, smiles […]

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Healthy Lifestyle, Passion & Purpose

5 Ideas for life-giving rest + recharge

Life can be a little crazy at times. I want to live a life of passion and purpose, but even (and at times especially) when I’m doing something I’m passionate about, I easily get caught up in the to-do lists and tasks of the day. I run myself dry. I’m human and don’t function well in a 24/7 work mode. Know the feeling? If I truly want to thrive, not just survive, I need that time to reset. I know that I need time to reset, but recently I was challenged because I realized that many times when I needed to recharge, I found myself just randomly filling the time. But when I take that time to stop – with hopes of resting and recharging – I have to ask myself, “Am I filling that time with things that are truly life-giving?” Now, I realize that not everyone can carve out huge chunks of time, but to get you started, here are some ideas that I personally have found helpful… 1. Spend time with the Lord This is the space where I can find true rest and peace amidst the craziness of life. It’s here that I am reminded of who […]

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Passion & Purpose

Living With Passion & Purpose

South Africa. If you would have told me a few years ago that this is where I would be living, I probably would have shrugged and said, “Well, I guess if that’s where God leads.” But in the back of my mind the answer would have looked more like, “Nope…that’s not happening.”  But God has a way of lovingly working in our hearts and growing us in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. I’ve never had a “5 year plan”. I knew that ultimately, as a daughter of God, I wanted to live a life that glorified and made much of Him. I didn’t have the faintest idea of how that would be playing out a few years down the road, but there were two words that came to mind a lot: Passion & Purpose. I don’t want to get to the end of my life only to realize that I lived it without passion or purpose. That’s a scary thought. Living with passion and purpose sounds nice in words, but how can we intentionally act upon that? We’ve got to start with vision. Long term vision is important, even vital, but I find that the little details rarely go as […]

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Personal Journey

This is home.

Home is important. I stepped onto the plane excited about the new adventures that laid ahead. I stepped off onto South African soil, and although familiar and exciting, it wasn’t home. And that’s okay. Home doesn’t happen instantaneously. The process of unpacking bags of familiar items into an unfamiliar room was a bit difficult. It was then that reality hit that, “This is home now.” And to be honest, deep down inside I didn’t want to accept that at first. It was hard. It didn’t feel normal. The still, small voice of God whispered, “I am your home.” Peace flooded my heart. I knew that, even when my surroundings don’t feel like home yet, my home is in Him. He is my firm foundation. He is my place of belonging. In Him I have all I need. The weeks have rushed by, and slowly but surely, this ground is becoming home too. This is where life happens. This is where I make my coffee and eat my meals and sit on my favorite rock to have quiet time with God. This is where I slip on my shoes and walk to the office to work on media. This is where […]

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Passion & Purpose, Personal Journey

Open Hands

I didn’t fully realize how many things I was thankful for in this season until it really began to set in that I’m moving. Honestly, I think it usually works like that. Change makes us stop and appreciate the blessings we hold. Each day I look around and see more and more things I absolutely love about this chapter of life. And each day I’m reminded that this chapter is coming to a close – it’s a bittersweet feeling. I love my morning quiet time with God on the front deck. I love that I get to see my family so much. I love the colors of Iowa sunsets over acres of farmland. I love late night talks with sisters. I love the chilly fall mornings that call for scarves and sweaters. I love the precious kids that I’ve had the joy of watching for the past 6 years. I love my amazing church family. I love wonderful talks with dear friends. I want to cherish these things. I want to remember these things. But I want to hold them with open hands. God has blessed me so richly in this season – I don’t deserve any of it. But I’m […]

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