Mint-Chip Ice Cream and A Mighty Grace

These past few days have been a bit of a rough patch. And to even say that/type that aloud so that the whole Internet world can see is scary, but also maybe a little bit necessary. The world could use a little more honesty.

I don't know about you, but my default whenever life gets rough is to withdraw a little more, to self-protect. Which, in retrospect, is probably not the best thing to do since the very one I need to protect myself from is none other than - you guessed it - myself. The myriad of self-spoken lies are too believable without someone to intervene and point you to truth that can combat the poisonous hold of a lie you chose to believe about yourself and your self-worth. Depression is no joke, especially I think, when it comes to us women.

I had recently attended a service at my church this past Sunday that spoke into this very issue. I can't speak for everyone else, but for me, I find it's never a coincidence when a message ties so specifically and so scarily into detail the exact thing I am struggling with. It's annoying and liberating all the same. I like to think that God sat me down and had a good heart to heart talk with me, complete with a tissue for the tears and a cup of mint-chip ice cream he knew I would need. Hard to hear, but comforting all the same.

In exchange for my burden, He gives me rest. And the best part? Unlike even the best department store shoe sales, the best of Black Friday sales, the best clearance racks during the winter time, the trade doesn't cost me anything - only my willingness to give the burden away and instead receive an unconditional rest and grace.

Matthew 11:28 " Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and  you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

I hope this message encourages you today the way it encouraged me.

Happy Tuesday!

Meatloaf Mondays and Musicians

Every person is made up of stuff. A mix of stuff that make you, well, you. On the Heartbox Photography website, this “stuff” is referred to as “heartprints.” (I made that term up, but isn’t it cool?) Like finger prints, but funner! It took a while for me to come up with a philosophy, vision, and name for my photography business. Something reflective of my voice, me as a person, and my love for photography. And that’s when I realized that the only way I can come up with a name was to look at what exactly made up my own heartprints and share that with the world.

What or who makes up some of my own heartprints? Lots and lots of people and experiences…so much to name. I’ll talk about them throughout my blog in many future posts, but for now, I’ll start with my husband, Justin.

He is part of my own heartprint as a person, in life, and of course, in photography. He has seen me through and supported me through a lot since we have been together. He’s seen me hiccup and cry (yes, the ugly cry) my way through a lot of challenges. He joins me in the nerdiness of laughing a little too loudly at things in public. He’ll do the dorky dance in the kitchen with me when our favorite songs blast through Pandora. He has the uncanny ability to say exactly what I’m thinking right when I’m thinking it. (it’s THE FORCE people!)

He loves me through morning breath, bad hair days, and becoming emotionally unglued (hello, PMS!). He prays with me, for me, and for us. He gave me my very first Canon SLR camera, knows all about my dreams to become a full-time photographer, and supports me every step of the way. He’s very a talented musician himself and he “gets it” when I talk and talk and talk about all things artsy and creative. Even if it involves me wearing hula hoop-sized earrings and wearing 5 different colors all at once. In public.

This past Monday was just another example of my husband’s thoughtfulness. As I fought my way through traffic to get home, he was making a yummy meatloaf dinner and simultaneously working to wrap things up with work.

I’m thankful to have my husband be a part of my own “heartprint”.

Let’s hear it for Meatloaf Mondays and the loving musicians who make them.

Duck-Robbing and Standing Your Ground

Once upon a time, I was short. Like, short in a way that’s appropriate for a 6 year old.

I was short enough for the roaming geese and ducks of a local park to look me straight in the eye and challenge me to a dual of wing flapping for the bread my chubby hands held dearly. Little did they know that this little chubby girl version of Bruce Lee (What? You didn’t know? See here.)

Clasping my dad’s hand as he helped me venture down the grassy hill (never mind all the duck diarrhea that we stepped on to get there) towards the birds with my whole-wheat offering, I felt the excitement growing as we got closer towards the flocks of ducks and geese that seemed, at the time, to promise a little kid a wonderful childhood memory in the making.

Now, I don’t know how they did it in the duck/geese ‘hood, but dang, you’d think they’d ask politely instead of straight up rob an innocent kid of her bread offering to them.

ROBBED, I tell you.

I must have been moving too slow in making my offer to them or something because one brown duck about my height not only impatiently snatched the bread from my hand but thought it’d be funny to reach out it’s snarling beak (it was SNARLING I tell you!) and bite my cheek as well. Now, I know I had a bit of a chubby face back then but just cuz a kid’s face looks like Wonder Bread goodness with all that face dough, doesn’t mean you go biting them for fun. That’s just rude.

I could hear still hear that duck waddling away and laughing “SUCKA!!!! I got your bread...AND YO FACE!”

I cried that hiccupping ugly-cry we all get, but stood my ground, sans my whole-wheat offering, among all the laughing ducks.

Key life lesson to remember from this random post? I STOOD MY GROUND.

Even after they took my bread and bit my cheek. Be it with a duck or anything else in life, I continue to learn how to stand my ground.

It's not easy but as everyday passes, I hope you do, too.