Monday, June 23, 2014

What If?

I hate that I have to admit that the meanest people I know are Christians. And the world is subjected to the daily outcry of their condemning opinions and interpretation of Scripture. Sometimes I just have to hide my face in shame and say, No. If that is what constitutes Christianity then I am not a Christian. I am not participating in all the hurt and the judgment that at one time drove me to question the very existence of God; and if he did exist, what was my purpose in his angry presence? I ran from it all, only to find myself running towards the gospel; to divine love. That's where I slowly learned to experience healing. And hope. But for ten years now, my soul has begged the question; What if?

What if Christians put the gavel down? 

What if tattoos and piercings don't matter?

What if Christians got over how many alcoholic beverages are or are not okay?

What if Christians thought more about loving the little children and less about beating them with the rod?

What if it's okay that a child happens to throw a temper tantrum?

What if a child could only see Jesus through your love?

What if Christians got over the yoga pants?

What if the square centimeters of visible skin showing on a woman's body didn't really matter?

What if men are actually capable of respecting women?

What if modesty were actually a virtue and not just a clothing standard?

What if a homosexual is deserving of your love and friendship?

What if it's okay to not go to church?

What if it's okay to not spend time daily in the Bible?

What if it doesn't have to just be the King James Version?

What if it doesn't matter so much that someone say and do all the right things?

What if Christians could accept someone for being real rather than simply embracing their facade?

What if Christians quit throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater and started truly caring for one another and reaching out to others?

What if it doesn't matter so much that you be a world-changer?

What if it did matter that you be the light in a stranger's day, a hug for a lonely friend, a smile for a sad child?

What if your heart were big enough and open enough to be the change in the world around you?

What if preaching the gospel was living the gospel? 

What if Christians could see people through Jesus' eyes?

What if the world could see Jesus in Christians?

What if Christians were known for their love?

What if? What then? What would our world be like?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

My friend Rachel totally made my day... no, my week... no, my year... no... my life!  when she came to visit me last week. You see, we have been friends for about 14 years, if my math serves me correctly. We became pen pals back in our childish days which turned to life-long friends. I'm not really one to pick and choose favorites and BFF's, but she would definitely fit the category, and has definitely been a true and very close friend for... well, 14 years. Which says a lot because we have both grown and changed. Reality can be hard on childhood friendships; particularly those of the long-distance variety. But in this case, reality has just made us better, closer and more awesome.

Her two girls are just younger than my two boys. Yes, we have totally match-made. Our children are as good as married.

But of course as fate would have it, after a steady stream of lovely perfectly sunny happy weather, the day she came the sun chose to hide behind the clouds and the wind chose to be cold and send patches of rain. And while the world seemed very cheery amongst my favorite people, there really was not much time for photoshooting and cute kid poses. But we couldn't let an afternoon together go by without some cute shots of her and her little beauties.

My niece and nephew and their mommy got to spend the day with us as well, and they totally adored 3 year-old Angeline. So enjoy all the cuteness that has made the year 2014 already epic.

Baby River

Diva Angeline

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Barneson Siblings and Family

I love this amazing, laughing, spunky, fun-loving family. I've known them since approximately just before I can remember. Lizz has been a dear friend for just as long. Years pass, we grow up, our families and lives ever expanding and changing, yet somehow we have stayed friends through thick and thin and I just adore it when her marine brother comes home and she asks if I'm available to do pictures. Because hanging out with her and hers makes me laugh a little bit harder and my life a little brighter and I want to turn around and do another session just as soon as I have my gear packed up. But I don't think her brothers, good sports that they are, would appreciate that, so I fasten my seatbelt and just hope she asks again next week... or at least next year.

And how cool is the Banbury Place for a portrait backdrop?

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sweet Baby Mark

It's probably fairly obvious at this point that I have a serious weakness for baby boys. Behind all that sweet peach fuzz is that manly little face with a determination to take life by the horns and live it to the fullest. Of course, when you're a growing 9 week-old, full is relative to the status of the tummy. But I think this boy is destined to not just reach for the stars in his lifetime, but harness them and collect them in his bucket of dreams and make the world a better place. His mommy and daddy know about that kind of determination and I'm excited to see their dearly adored little prodigy grow up and move mountains. But first, let's stop growing by leaps and... pounds and be a baby for just a little while?