Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yep! He's that Awesome!

So this is just a story, a story about something that happened to me.  It has absolutely nothing to do with photography, but it is a story worth telling.  The Lord has graciously trusted me with the organization of a women’s Christmas event at our home church.  In total I have been coordinating this type of event for ten years, 8 at my last church and now 2 at our current church.  I believe coordinating events is a talent that the Lord has given to me, I have an eye for details and can trouble shoot problems before they become a reality.  I can spend hours roll playing beverage service and all the potential pit falls, it’s a little bit strange but it’s a good thing when you’re planning an event.  I am always very prayerful about the event, I pray for the hostesses to be inspired, and for God to minister to them in a special way thru the planning and hosting of their tables.  I pray for my team leaders, who manage the different segments of the event, praying for encouragement and strength to get everything done and that they will be blessed in the process. I pray for the folks providing the music that they will be well, that they will remember their words and that they will experience Jesus in the midst of their service.  I pray for the speaker, that God will bring the person that He has chosen to the event and that He will lay His message for the evening on their heart, I pray for their protection and that they will be used by God as vessel to share His heart with us.  I also pray for the ladies that will purchase a ticket and come to the event, I pray that God will minister to each and every one in a way that only He could.  I understand that while I can plan the event only He can bless it.

Earlier this month, I got an email from a one of the hostesses, she had a lead on a speaker for 2011.  Sheri Rose Shepard, who is the founder of His Princess Ministries and has written His Princess: Love Letters from Your King.  Wow! Wouldn’t that be cool, but I had been doing this for a while and such a prize speaker would be well outside our price range.  I explained my cost concerns in a reply email.  Another email came, someone was willing to cover her honorarium! We would just need to cover the travel expenses.  Wow!  That was pretty awesome that someone would be willing to cover the honorarium but with our tight budget there was no way we could cover the travel expenses, it would still be way over what we have allotted to spend. The subject of Sheri being our speaker was laid to rest.  
 Several weeks went by and I was doing my morning Bible Study, I was reading the story of a man by the name George Muller, I can’t begin to share his incredible story in this forum but if given the chance I do believe his biography would make for a good read (George Muller of Bristol: His Life of Prayer and Faith).  I was so inspired by his unwavering faith in God to provide for him and his ministry needs.  Muller himself wrote, “From the moment I asked until the Lord granted it fully, I never doubted that He would give every shilling of that sum.  Often I praised Him in the assurance that He would grant my request.  When we pray, we must believe that we receive according to Mark 11:24, “What things so ever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.””  As I pondered this lesson, I prayed and told God that I wanted to have that kind of faith, that I wanted to believe God.  As I sat looking out my front window, trying to let my lesson sink in I remember the emails that were exchanged regarding the speaker for our Christmas event.  It was time to put that prayer to the test, did I really want to have that kind of faith, was I really willing to let go and rely on God to provide the money we would need?
 I had prayed and asked for that kind of faith and now God was giving me an opportunity to believe in Him. I wish that I could say I skipped to my computer with absolutely no fear that I was about to do something just plain crazy! I was afraid, but I also willing to step out and believe. So on the 18th of February I set the ball in motion, was Sheri still available? Was the donor still willing to cover the honorarium? If so, we would move forward and trust God for the rest. I imaged the road ahead, we would plan and execute all the while praying for God’s provision, He would come through but it wouldn’t be a minute too soon, we would likely be crying out in the final hours and He would show up in some miraculous way. Over the next few days, I receive confirmation that the speaker was still available, a few days later it was confirmed in an email that “expenses will be covered”. There were multiple people copied on the email and I didn’t want them to think we could stop praying about the travel expenses, she was merely confirming that the original donor had agreed to cover the honorarium, so I sent another email to clear up the confusion. A response came “travel and honorarium will be covered”. Ya know people are busy, they have a lot of things going on, it is easy for one to get confused, it would be better to discuss this in person on Sunday.

“Now, you don’t mean that everything is covered, we still have the travel expenses and hotel right?”

“No, I mean everything is covered, travel, hotel, honorarium, everything.”

Stunned silence….

More stunned silence…


“Yes, everything.”

Tears of awe and joy…

God’s timing is always perfect, He could have waited, been more dramatic, but He loves me and knows me and my situations completely and He knew that not only I but my husband would benefit greatly from a miracle of this kind right now.  That’s the thing about God, He loves us so much and He knows exactly what we need and exactly when we need it most.  To God be ALL the glory and honor forever AMEN!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Chicken, A Teacher, Some Horses and a Precious Little Girl

 Yep, that's a chicken and just a small indication of how I feel like a chicken with it's "head" cut off...  so, let it serve as a warning that I may be a little all over the place today. I have had such a super fantabulous day (ya know I just bet the spell check on my computer hates me and all my made up words!), so... my lunch cancelled (that was not the good part that was the "oh man... seriously?!?!" part).  So, I decided to see if Mrs. Meeks needed some help in the classroom today (Mrs. Meeks is Ryanne and Sabrina's 1st grade teacher).  Now I have never been able to volunteer before, working two jobs just never allowed for the time and if I had tried I would have been a crazy stress ball of a person that would have been no help at all; but, since I no longer work at AKI I am my own boss and I can decide if I want to volunteer at school!! And I was soooooo excited!! Woohoo!  Poor unsuspecting Mrs Meeks!!  First I cornered her on the black top and offered my services, she sweetly smiled and let me know that she didn't have anything for me to do and went on to explain that usually she knows in advance if a parent is going to volunteer and has things prepared.  I think maybe in hind sight that was nice code for "listen lady, any parent with half a clue knows that we have designated times for volunteering and you need to sign up in advance so that we can be prepared." 
 Yep, that's another chicken (well actually it's the same chicken but another picture of a chicken).  Unfortunately, for Mrs. Meeks I did not catch on to her "nice code" and insisted that surely there was something I could do.  She countered with "no, not really", and then "I actually have another parent coming in at 10:30" (more nice code for call in advance and come at the designated time, yep I missed that one too) but I didn't give up, finally she conceded and said I could stay I nearly skipped to the classroom in excitement.  By the time we reached the classroom she had come up with an assignment for me, I would be looking up and writing down the kid's addresses (in proper penmanship) on index cards so they could start learning their addresses.  She got me all set up at her desk, but first I noticed that her desk could use a little bit of straightening.  I gathered the pens and placed them in the pen holder, straightened some papers, put all the photos in one place and neatly organized my supplies to get started on my assignment.  At one point Mrs. Meeks popped over and made a comment on her tidy desk top, to which I replied "ya know... I could organize all of this for you (hand motioning to the floor and sets of shelves on each side.)  "Oh... you could?" (Again in hind sight I think maybe I missed something in her hesitant tone.)  So, as the kids watched a video on Abraham Lincoln, I started organizing the shelves and floor around her desk.  I grouped like things together, sorted and labelled stacks of paper with sticky notes, copied phone numbers and email address from small pieces of paper into the school directory and rearranged the shelves for better work flow (I even gave her a personal shelf where she can keep track of her cell phone, gloves, keys, water bottle and coffee cup!! How fabulous is that?!) 
 Yep, that is a horse checkin' himself out in my van window...  During my organization task Mrs Meeks pulled me away a couple of times, once to read with some of the kids (I think maybe I was supposed to read with more kids than just my own... opps!  Well, I did read with Cody, sort of) and then to play a letter sounds game with the kindies in the lunch room (sending me to the lunch room may have been another hint I missed, I had only been there 3.5 hours).  When I returned with the kindies it was time for lunch, they washed their hands and gathered their coats while I resumed my work organizing.  As they left the room, Mrs. Meeks turned out the lights and said "I'm going to lunch, aren't you?"  Perhaps another hint... but again it flew right over my head "oh no, I want to label these bins for you."  Imagine her surprise when she returned 45 minutes later only to find that I had moved on from the desk and started on the supply corner.  I quickly gave her a tour of her desk and explained how to use her new organization system and let her know that I was starting on the supply corner. 
"Don't you need to get going?"
"Oh no, I'm happy to stay and do this for you, unless I am in the way."
"Well, actually we are going to be doing a "parent project" this afternoon." 
Ah... finally the bat connects with my baseball of a head!  I fear if I hadn't figured it out then I would have gotten the Bon Qui Qui "Security!!" and been forcably removed from the building. So I walked with Mrs Meeks as she went to get the kids from recess, telling her all about how I could organize the whole room for her.  I can only imagine in her head she was praying "Oh Lord, help me!!"  
So, while I fear that I grossly over stayed my... hmmm, I was gonna say welcome, but I wasn't really welcomed, I kinda forced myself on her.  Okay, so I forced myself on her, moved all her stuff around and stayed WAY longer than I should have, but man, did I have a GREAT time!!   I'll try to be a better volunteer parent next time, I was just tinkled pink to be there I couldn't help myself!!  (Sorry, Mrs. Meeks!!)

 Okay, hold on, we are shiftin' gears!!!  This is Hartley and this was our 3rd shoot together!  She is 1 year old!!!  Once again, I ventured out to Grandma and Grandpa's place, they live on an amazing ranch in Larkspur.  The chicken...  theirs.  The horse... theirs as well. 
 So I usually jump in my van and follow them around the land to different places they have in mind for pictures.  Yesterday was no exception.  We took off driving down the dirt road,  I looked out my wind and there is a dog running along side my van, I glance at my speedometer 20 mph!  I look in my rear view mirror and there is another door following from behind.  We turn and head west on a windy road through the trees...  we keep going and going eventually the dogs are no where in sight and I wonder "will they be able to find their way back to the house?"  We finally arrive at our first location and I start scoping it out for lighting etc.  We get all set up and start shooting when low and behold the dogs show up!!  Holy moly!  They ran forever and actually found us! Amazing!  (Although they did catch a ride in the back of the truck on the way back). 
 Some one said this was a perfect pose for the outhouse!  Oh ba ha ha!

 "Hey Hartley, What does a monkey say?"
 I love this picture... tiny little girl in a great big world.
 Next, we headed over to the barn near the chicken coop.  Oh my goodness, the chicken was killin' me!  Hartley has a very different life than I did growing up!  She didn't even flinch!  I think I might have flinched.
 Our last stop was another barn that had a huge loft inside,  below Hartley is standing near the double doored window.  I loved how Grandpa staged the area for us, hay bails, a rope, a hook (for the hay I think) and a fancy blue pitch fork!
 While I was taking Hartley's pictures all these horse showed up...  I was totally crackin' up; they were super friendly and very interested in my camera!!
 Ah, there's Hartley with her Grandma.  I just love her!! (Grandma that is, oh and Hartley too.)  What a nice lady... real, real nice (yep, I did it with my accent).
 This horse was making sure Kayla (Hartley's mama) wasn't up to no good!
I always enjoy my time with the Bornhoft family!!  Until next time! Cija

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Baby Photographer in Castle Rock, CO

Yesterday afternoon, I met up with this precious little girl.  This was Kylie's 3rd photo shoot with me and she was showing off her sittin' up skills at 6 months (well 7 1/2 months actually).  It was pretty chilly and quite windy and our shoot started off with a train racing past us, ummm, maybe 20 feet or so away from us so it was LOUD!!!!  Really super duper loud, but she didn't seem to mind.  One of my favorite things about taking pictures of little one's is all the different expressions, I love trying to capture them all and she had some of the sweetest little faces!!  Well, I have to make this short, I going to see Heartley this morning, she is turning 1!!  I'll be back soon!!  Cija

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Children's Photographer in Castle Rock, CO

Seriously?  Do they come any cuter than this!?!  I don't think so.  You may recognize this little guy, this is our 3rd photo shoot together.   Say "Hello" to Jacob, who is celebrating his 9 month birthday.  I just love this little guy, he always in such a good mood!  He just goes with with flow and hands out the cute little expressions. 
Oops... I just realized it's time go get my little cherubs from school.  Tonight is the big music program so it will be crazy time from here on out.  So...  sorry to post and run!!  Until next time.   Cija

Monday, February 21, 2011

Family Photography in Denver, CO

Happy President's day!  I don't really get President's day, is it like father's day for Presidents? Do they get the day off?  Do you think Mrs. Obama is taking Barak out for dinner tonight?  I'm just curious.  But no more babbling!!  It is date night with the girlies, so there is no time for dilly dallying.  Ryanne is already gone (she's with Grandma and Grandpa Dearing) and Sabrina and Melia are datin' with mom tonight.  Nana is still out of commission and dad is working late.  BUT... before we left I wanted to get a sneak peek up for Levi and his fabulous family!  We spent an hour or so at Red Rocks on Saturday afternoon.  Levi is another one of my milestone babies that is turning ONE : ( so on Saturday we did some shots of just Levi and then some of the whole family (you can add on a family shoot to any one of your milestone shoots for few extra bucks).  Well, I really must go, before the native grow restless.  Tomorrow I will be with Jacob, it's time for his 9 month pictures.   Until next time... Cija

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Perfect Pairs... a Late Valentine's Post

Okay, hold on... I'm about to go all controversial on my blog!  Well... it is my blog, so why not.  Now I realize that I am a little late, on Valentine's day I was just sitting here thinkin' and I decided to snap some fun shot of things that go together, perfect pairs.  Sometimes I wish that I would have these ideas in advance so I could really think them out and make them all pretty and perfect ("perfect" that is so me!!), but instead I took the 5 minutes that I had and walked around my kitchen looking for perfect pairs.  Then... when I discovered that my images were far from perfect I set out to delete them and scrap the whole idea.

 But in the end... 5 days late I decided to embrace the pictures for what they are and post them any way.  So...  a few days before Valentine's day I was having a discussion with... a young man, who will remain nameless (for now anyway), he had recently become engaged so I was curious what he would be planning for his first Valentine's Day with his new "Bride to be". 
 Imagine my disappointment when he replied that they were simply exchanging "cheesy" cards, they thought Valentine's day was silly and that it doesn't mean anything if you are forced to express your love on a certain day of the year.  Poppycock!!  I couldn't disagree more! (yep, this is extent of  controversy for me, by nature I am still I people pleaser!!)
 I am in love with love!  All kinds of love!  The first love you experience with your mom and your dad.  Your first best friend and the comfort that comes from always having someone to play with.  Love for a teacher that saw something unique and special in you and took the time to cultivate what they saw.
 Young love, that first boy who makes your stomach do sommer saults and causes you to be act beyond ridiculous. 
 True love when you find your soul mate and the person that will share every part of who they are with you and you with them.  That person who will share happiness with you when you buy your first home, fear when you get laid off, sadness when you lose two babies and joy when you hold your baby girl for the first time.
 But then there is the greatest love of all... the love of a God, who sent His son to die on a cross so that I might live.  A God who relentlessly pursues us... 
 Love is Patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Faith, Hope and Love.  But the greatest of these is love.
So... as far as I am concerned if anything deserves a holiday it would have to be "LOVE". 
I say, roll around in it, get all pruney in it and then spread it everywhere you go!!