beautiful

An Eternal Perspective in Birth & Death

[Note: I started writing an introductory paragraph for a post on Spinning Babies & Hypnobabies as I prepare for the birth of our little boy but then I got completely derailed by my own thought processes and taken on a sobering mini-journey reminding me of life, death & HOPE in GOD.] 

I can’t believe that this Sunday will be the start of my 7th month of baby-growing! Wasn’t it just Christmas time when we were sharing the news with our family & friends?

You grow up and people tell you to “enjoy the journey because it’ll go by so fast”. They talk about how you’ll blink and next thing you know your babies are getting married and having their own but that notion, that time would go by so quickly, seems so distant when you’re young with your “whole life ahead of you”. But then we talk about death and the brevity of life, how we’re strangers in this land, sojourners, just like all of the generations before us (1 Chronicles 29:15). Our life is just a shadow, a vapor that disappears as quickly as it came and we’re left cherishing the moments that remain. Because who knows, maybe you’ll die tomorrow. Maybe your whole life isn’t ahead of you.

There’s no guarantee that I’ll live to see my little baby boy grow up, that I’ll celebrate my 40th wedding anniversary or that I’ll even make it to dinner tonight. Every moment that we have really is a gift that God has allowed us to experience. Sure, we hope that our children outlive us and that we’ll die peacefully after 50-something years of marriage, holding the hand of our spouse but that isn’t always the case. Too often people are taken from this earth “too early” and suddenly, leaving us standing there seemingly unprepared and shocked.

But don’t you remember? We’re just sojourners passing through. This life isn’t our home. You dont know what what tomorrow holds. Your life is just a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

So we count the days and plan ahead with hope and surrender. Let this realization cause us not to cling to the things of this life too tightly lest we build up idols that crumble and disappoint. This truth should ignite a child-like trust that is dependent on our Maker for every moment, every need, every next step as we plan and anticipate our days here.

I’ve been reminded of this truth my whole pregnancy as I fight the anxious thoughts of pregnancy complications (my mind runs wild), as we dream as a family and wait for God’s provision and direction in this season. For those that trust in Jesus to pay their debts and cover all of their inadequacies that disqualify them from living eternally, life AND death are beautiful things. We struggle here now for just a little while with heartache and disappointment but we look with hope to enter into our real life in a real city whose builder and maker is God.

So even in the joy of feeling my baby move, seeing prayers answered and planning ahead for a gloriously bright future, I remind my heart that this joy is just a whisper of what’s to come for the people who belong to Jesus when we will live where there is FULLNESS of joy and pleasures forevermore. Imagine that!

Oh, that my joy in this (temporary) season of anticipation and desire for my little baby wouldn’t outweigh my joy in God and my desire for Him alone.

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Nancy + Bill: Wedding Day Morning

It was the morning of their Wedding Day and excitement filled the air as people were coming and going through what seemed like every door of the Bride’s house! The kitchen and the bedrooms were filled with the wedding party members getting their hair and makeup done now that every available table and mirror had been turned into a beauty station.

Nancy, this morning’s Bride, sat calmly downstairs as her makeup artist, Bic, added the finishing touches to her glowing skin. I have never seen a Bride so peaceful and collected as Nancy! One of many sisters, she was very familiar with the “getting ready” routine but this morning was unlike any morning she had ever experienced. On this day, March 30th, she would marry the love of her life, Bill!

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I had the best time spending the day with Nancy, Bill and their families last weekend! I just couldn’t wait to share some of the images from the morning of their wedding! More of their special day is on it’s way!

Beautiful Hour

It’s only March but we’re already having to buy blackout window treatments to keep our room cool when the afternoon sun shines in. This also means that I got to practice with the beautiful southern California light.

This is Faye. Today I taught her how to detail her car and find hidden car wash deals in “little Tijuana”. It sounds like I’m really knowledgable about the area but it’s actually just because I got lost trying to find a gas station today. It paid off when I found a $5.95 hand wash!

 

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When this girl laughs she laughs with her whole body. I was thanking God this afternoon for how easily our friendship has progressed. She is such a gift to my life with her genuine encouragement, involvement, and vulnerable, challenging conversations.


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Today I learned how quickly the light changes during this time of day! Actually lots of lessons learned this afternoon as I was experimenting with different lenses and lighting.
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This next photo was taken when I switched to a 50mm. I love the lens flare and how dramatic it looks with the lowest aperture (experimenting) but I had some exposure issues with all of this light coming through. Still, it’s hard to make someone this beautiful look unfortunate.
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I’m thankful for beautiful people and beautiful places, it makes practicing that much more fun!