Miranda McEachern | Portraits

DSC_0036It's a special thing when God brings people into your life. If you've followed my blog for a little while, you may have read the story of how I met my friend, Miranda. If you haven't, basically we met online. But the story is a good one and an amazing testament of how God can use us in the most surprising ways. I am so thankful that Miranda reached out to me over three years ago and we've been able to keep in touch through texts and more recently, visits in the flesh! She is a special girl, with an amazing calling on her life. God is already using her in great ways and I can't wait to see where He takes her! A couple weekends ago, she came to visit us. If there's one thing about Miranda that I know for certain, it's that she LOVES children! So we had this weekend planned as soon as possible after Hannah was born. And she was such a help with Micah and Hannah over the weekend that I really could've gotten used to having her around every day! ;)

One crazy connection we have, is that her family owned a lake house 10 miles down the road from me! She grew up in Georgia, but remembers coming down to visit the lake house in the summer when she was young. The house has been vacant for years now, but we thought it would be fun to take a trip over there and shoot some portraits. I needed the practice, and it was literally right down the road, so on a whim we decided to go. Let me tell you, I am SO glad we did! Not only was it beautiful to see the lake house where she spent sweet days of her childhood... but it is now going down as one of my favorite locations for future shoots!

DSC_0028DSC_0096DSC_0131DSC_0147DSC_0094DSC_0151

We had the babies with us in a stroller, and there was a pretty steep drop off to get to the water... so we didn't take too many shots down by the lake (at least not without a couple babies in our arms, ha!) But the water was gorgeous!! I can't wait to get back there to take more soon.

DSC_0197Only walking distance away, was a beautiful dirt road covered with trees. So of course, we took advantage of that.

DSC_0403DSC_0483DSC_0596DSC_0614Then we made our way back to the lake house and decided to take a quick peek inside. Surprisingly, these turned out to be some of my favorite shots! Although the house is empty now, it carries so many beautiful historic qualities about it that can't be replicated. I am so thankful Miranda allowed me the chance to capture her here. It was spontaneous, but sometimes those are the best times. After all, that's kinda how we met. :)

DSC_0667DSC_0678

If you live in the Central Florida area and would like to have me as your photographer, please visit my photography page for more details and pricing! 

 

Insta-blogging

instabloggingpic Let me start by saying, I wish I had more time to blog. It really is one of those things I LOVE to do - but unfortunately, the clock keeps ticking and there are just not enough hours left at the end of the day (or after 9:30pm when both kids are finally in bed!)

Lately, Instagram has become my go-to for those little spurts of inspiration I need and want to give away. It's just so much easier to sit down during a 20-minute nursing session and scroll through my beautiful feed (of mostly other mamas and their children). Occasionally I'll be going through a crisis of sorts where I just need to see something pretty instead of the chaos that is going on around me. Usually I'll find it there. And then there are those times when something thought-provoking hits me and my fingers sweat as I share a picture and some words that would usually take me hours to compose in a blog post.

Insta-blogging, is what they call it. And it's probably a blogger turned mom's answer to prayer! At least it is for me. Quick, fast, easy community and inspiring to boot (I will include a few of my favorite "grammers" at the end of this post).

I don't want to neglect this space entirely though. I'll continue to write as often as I can. But you'll probably see me using it more to feature some upcoming shoots in the next few weeks! Can I just say how thankful I am for the opportunities I've had in photography since I officially started taking sessions only a little over a month ago?! It's just been further validation that this is what the Lord was leading me to do (more on that in another post soon!)

If there's one thing I've been learning lately that I want to leave you with - it would be to stop feeling guilty. The condemning, ugly feeling that you are not doing or being enough. That's not from God. (Romans 8:1) Sure, there is conviction and sometimes it's uncomfortable and humbling. But it's also peaceful and encouraging. It's the convictions that lead us to make changes in our lives for the good. But guilt just leaves us with questions. We don't know which way is right or which way is wrong. We just feel stuck.

I get this way a lot when it comes to learning how to balance my life as a wife and mother with two kids, while leading worship and also taking photos for people in my "spare" time. It's the spare time stuff that makes me feel guilty. But I know it is purposeful and a blessing to others and my family. I have found that I need to be creating something at all times. Sometimes it's music or photos and sometimes it's a human being. And seeing that I've been pregnant for 18 of the last 28 months, it seems I've been doing more of the latter than anything else.

So why should I feel guilty for devoting a couple hours in the week to using my gifts and talents outside the home?

This is me saying goodbye to guilt. And encouraging you to do the same. Walk in the truth that God has knitted you together uniquely, and placed within you abilities and desires to further His Kingdom. Will we multiply what He has given us or hide it under a rock? (Matthew 25:14-30)

Here are a few of the insta-woman who challenge me to be more creative and also point me to Jesus with their honest and encouraging words (I'm purposely leaving out friends I know in real-life, because there are just too many of you to name!) Check out their feeds and be sure to follow them for some daily inspiration!

caseyleighwiegand threebabesandapastor alesyazubik jennyhaas allieroyall thepursuitofjoyproject christielacy kristinrogers lucadele thrive_moms

 

Day 7: One Week of Blogging

I just want to take a moment to congratulate myself on ONE WEEK down of the 31 Day blogging challenge. (pats myself on back)

No big deal. It's not like I've been rushing around to get a post in before midnight or anything.

(looks at clock - it's currently 11:20pm)

Ok, really though... blogging every day has never been one of my strengths. I've been writing for 8 years now, and never have I gone even a WEEK blogging every day. At my BEST, I was blogging 2-3 times a week. So this week has been challenging, to put it lightly. I guess one of my problems is that I don't plan ahead. I'm not a "strategic blogger" in any sense of the word. I have no goals, no agenda, nothing I'm really looking to promote here. Except the gospel of Jesus Christ, of course. I write for personal pleasure and hopefully to offer encouragement to others.

If I were honest, sometimes I get discontent about that.

photo-1
photo-1

I am thankful for all the great readers I have out there. I've realized more in this last week just how many of you there are! And I don't want to take advantage of that. Or even come across like I think my voice matters more than yours - because, honestly it doesn't. There are so many of you who I need to learn from. And when I write something, and it gets passed along to others, sometimes I get nervous about that. I'm not an expert on friendships, or marriage, or being a mom or the bible or anything really. I just share personal stories and my perspective on these things.

So anyway, I say all that because when I'm rushing around to get a post written before midnight, it takes everything in me to ignore the little voice that creeps in telling me that I have nothing good to offer and why even bother. I know it's a lie.

By the power of Jesus, I believe that people's lives are going to be changed. Whether He chooses to do that through Billy Graham or little bloggers like myself, I believe it. And that's all I need to know to be content that what I'm doing matters, as long as I'm doing it for Him.

afterlight
afterlight

This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.”  See all other posts in this series by clicking hereOr enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!