I've been so behind on catching up with our life that I forgot to post the most amazing news we've had this year. Last summer my wife gave birth to our third and beautiful child, Shane. Shane came into this world with absolutely no complications... on that Monday morning, Annie and I headed to the hospital to get ready to meet Shane. The delivery room was filled with tons of laughter, jokes, smiles, and hugs! My wife is a champ... truly there is no vocation like motherhood and all mothers should be celebrated if not for the mere fact of child birth. Enough words... I'll let the pictures tell the story now:
Cheers to a blessed rest of 2014!
Anytime I shoot a wedding, while watching the bride and groom make their wedding vows to one another, I can't help but re-live how utterly scary that moment was for me. Over 5 years ago I made a promise to a woman who, at the time I didn't realize that there was so much more to know about. The crazy thing was that I was saying "I do" to a person I had so much more to learn about and I was resolving to commit myself to her for the rest of my life! With that I echo wise words passed down to me from someone very long ago...
"Don't spend so much on a wedding that you forget about the marriage..."
I think I would be doing a major disservice to my generation and those that would come after me if I didn't stress the importance of the decision you make when you marry someone... this will be the person who will see you at your greatest AND your weakest. This person you marry will be the one that you may raise children with. This partner in life will be the one to brace you, embrace you, encourage you, love you, and whilst at the same time unintentionally (or not) hurt you. He or she will be the one to both wipe your tears and at times... cause them. And yet... she (or he) will be the one that you commit to with joy every single day of your life. That's why it's of the utmost importance to not rush into a decision like marriage.
Here are a few things I have found in my short 5 years that I believe continues to fire me up in marriage:
One, faith is huge. My wife and I believe that because we know of the great love of Jesus Christ (and uncanny love for us), it just makes it so much easier to love and forgive one another even when we make mistakes. We believe that a historical Jesus laid his life on the line to pay for the penalty of our mistakes and our weaknesses... this is the bedrock of where we learn how to sacrificially love one another (Romans 5:8).
Two, one day at a time. Another wise owl told me it best to take things one day at a time. Our first year of marriage was absolutely difficult. From getting to know someone and their weaknesses in life to allowing them to see me at my worst was very difficult to swallow ~ one day at a time means to discipline myself to not be hasty and jump the gun. To look at this moment as a moment that will soon pass, but more importantly - be in the moment.
Three, love with action... love with sacrifice. I must have said "I love you" to my sweet Annie hundreds of times by now, but none ever so strongly or passionately than with my actions. And the kicker is that it's usually shown in the relatively mundane things in life like washing dishes, doing the laundry, cleaning the toilets (all non-glamourous or romantic things I tell you!). I can say this... that in doing these things when not asked... I can't help but feel like I'm honoring this woman and treating her the best way i've found so far... and that's through sacrifice. I can only pray that my son will reciprocate this same love whether he gets married someday or not.
Hey, thanks for stopping by and reading this rant! A bit of a break from the pictorial blogs, but I hope this helps you as you also accumulate thoughts on marriage and life!
A month ago, I got a chance to go to a leadership conference. Phil Wickham, one of my favorite Christian artists was there and unfortunately had an "irregularity" in his vocal chords which left his doctor with the recommendation to avoid use of his voice and waiting for recovery.
All of this got me to thinking...what if our identity was limited only to our talents? Though our talents may draw popularity in the tens, hundreds, or even thousands - I was reminded that we as human beings are more than our talents, skills, and abilities.
Phil Wickham is a music artist who is more than his voice.
I am photographer whose identity is not formed by my ability to take pictures.
Your identity is more than "what you're good at"!
Hope your Tuesday goes well and hope that this post encourages you that your worth is far more valuable than the volatility of your job effectiveness!
P.S. Here's a link to Phil Wickham's Blog highlighting his vocal chord challenge
A weekend of fresh air, plenty of breathing, and connecting with God. Naive as I am, I always thought that the mountains never got hot. Now before you judge me, I can't remember the last time I went up to the mountains in the summer time! Several weeks ago, the fam and I hitched a ride up to Twin Peaks, CA for a retreat with our beloved friends and their church. Once we got out of the car, I was amazed at how hot it was!
One great thing about the mountain was that there was little cell reception and the wi-fi provided by the retreat site was weak... Why is that great? Well, if we had been pampered with high speed wi-fi, strong "4g" cell reception, and a cool-blasting a/c (I didn't mention that the air conditioner was weak too?), then I would have probably spent remarkably less time with my friends and family and probably more time trying to find out what was going on in the world.
Ever realize how many car commercials try to sell us with vehicles that are constantly adventuring in these remote and wilderness like areas? It's like they know inwardly we crave for adventure, the wild, or something different than what's around us. Being outdoors felt eerily satisfying... even though whenever I go out on retreats like this, I always feel a sense of technology withdrawal... being able to walk around and sniff the fresh air, hear ambient silence, and see stars at night... it certainly was relaxing.
So here it is... my weekend summed up in pictures and 3 words - forest, sleep, and kids
Took a morning to spend some time reading and thinking about life. Growing up in California, I always loved going to the beach to get some clarity. The ocean has always been the perfect place for me to unwind with God, breathe in fresh air, and just think. So whether through words said or written, pictures taken figurative and literally, I just needed some time to stretch out, pray, and think. Afterwards I walked around and enjoyed soaking in the surf and seeing these guys in action...
One of my favorites of the day (below), a man swimming alone out into open ocean. I felt very attached to this action, like in my life, constantly moving out into open uncertainty, sometimes grasping desperately for air or a chance to hold my head above the water... deep right?