Update!

Good Afternoon Blogosphere. You’ve probably noticed that I’m doing my usual of posting at least 4 days in a row and then not posting for a month, well that is coming to an end!! New things are coming to the blog… as soon as I get back from Central Asia in a month. Be on the lookout!

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Golden Hour: Jonathan and Nikki

IMG_6657 IMG_6823 IMG_6635Friends, today is a momentous day on the blog because I get to bring you two new amazing people. Blogosphere meet Jonathan and Nikki Bowell. These two are a beautiful couple that I am so thankful live in the beautiful city of Radford. When I was a freshman here at Radford and had no idea what to do with my life or how to spend my time Nikki and Jonathan came into my life. I met these two when they were just dating and they were  in the same college ministry I had just joined. Nikki sang in the band and Jonathan was the emcee, so they were pretty well known faces within the movement. I look back now and I remember thinking that they probably thought I was just this supper annoying Freshman girl who had no life and just wanted to hangout with the older students (which was a little true). As I got more involved I actually did a women’s group with Nikki and through that group she and I grew a lot closer spiritually and I got to see a piece of her heart that just captured me. I saw that this girl had passion and I loved it. When it came to Jonathan I just remember thinking he looked like Shaggy from Scooby Doo and I loved it! This guy is my kinda funny. Super spit fire humor that will have you on the floor if you’re careful and I loved it. Jonathan also really challenged me in the greatest ways possible when it came to my faith. I found myself constantly having conversations with Jonathan about the bible and Jesus and I just thrived. I love that I’ve gotten to catch just a glimpse of these two in my years here in Radford. Well good news these two amazing people got married a year ago and my sweet friend Kaitlyn shot their wedding and engagement so you should totally check those out!

Well that brings us to now. It’s been almost a year since these two got married and man let me tell you what The Lord has done since that beautiful day last year. He has brought these two to Valley Bible Church and man has he used them since bringing them here. Jonathan is currently one of our interns and he blesses that place like crazy, Nikki has also started working at the church and they are honestly just such a blessing. I feel privileged to know that I have people like these two who love Jesus so well that it just radiates through everything they do. I could go on for days! So now this brings us to just a few weeks ago. I was with Nikki and I was telling her that I was really wanting to launch this business and I asked if I could do a shoot with her and Jonathan for their anniversary, and her eyes lit up and she gave me a resounding yes! I was so happy that it warmed my soul! I am so happy to be bringing these two on the blog and for y’all to meet them. So with no time wasted I met with these two on a beautiful day here in Radford to take some gorgeous photos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People who have had their souls refreshed by Jesus, take the best photos ever! Seriously I couldn’t stop complimenting these two, because they’re just that beautiful!

So that’s enough of my babbling. Enjoy my adventures as I explored the golden hour with Nikki and Jonathan!

IMG_6310 IMG_6324 IMG_6316When the first five minutes of your shoot start with images like this you just know it’s gonna be a great day!IMG_6347IMG_6371 IMG_6397 IMG_6401 IMG_6407 IMG_6411The dress that Nikki is wearing is actually the dress that she wore when she and Jonathan left their wedding. I was really excited that they brought a piece of their sweet day for the shoot!IMG_6419 IMG_6425 IMG_6448 IMG_6553IMG_6480 IMG_6510 IMG_6514The sun in their eyes and they still look flawless… They’re so ready for GQ!IMG_6540 IMG_6549IMG_6564IMG_6572IMG_6570After this we decided to get a little bit more casual and head to the infamous Main Street of Radford. This place is full of color and I was so pumped that I finally got to shoot here. If you ever just come through Radford you must stop on Main Street. It’s just so homie and quaint. I’m personally obsessed. IMG_6685IMG_6680Just look at these two… FREAKING MODELS!!IMG_6626IMG_6612IMG_6610IMG_6651IMG_6727IMG_6716IMG_6700Main street has these super cool walls that run through it and as we headed over to the train tracks Jonathan asked if we could stop and take some pictures with them. I gave zero hesitation! This place is awesome, like I said you have to stop at Main Street! It’s the best!!!IMG_6736 IMG_6744IMG_6751 IMG_6756 IMG_6768 IMG_6769 IMG_6772 IMG_6784 IMG_6789These next two shots are hands down two of my favorites from the whole shoot. When I sat down to go through the photos my jaw dropped when I came across these two. Gahhh their wonderful!IMG_6791 IMG_6794Gosh you two are simply gorgeous. Just stop it!IMG_6813 IMG_6807 IMG_6802 IMG_6834Jonathan and Nikki, thank you sooooo much for running through the street and experiencing the golden hour with me. You two are wonderful and I absolutely loved our time together. You’re both beautiful people and I am so blessed to call you friends. Thanks for listening to your callings and ending up here in the middle of nowhere Radford. Seriously, I love you both. Running around with you refreshed my soul and brought life to me so for that I thank you! I hope you enjoyed everything, because I know I did. Y’all are wonderful and Happy Anniversary! One year down, forever to go!IMG_6827

The Reason for it All

IMG_1747IMG_1226 IMG_3124Hey friends! It has been an extremely crazy time in my life, but it’s finally finals week here at Radford, and I couldn’t be more excited for this. This semester, scratch that, this year has been the most taxing on me in every sense of the meaning. Emotionally I have experienced more this year than I have in a long time, and I think I’ve just come to realize that there will be days when I don’t understand, and when I won’t enjoy the hand I’ve been dealt, but deep down I’ll know that it is for a much greater purpose than I could ever imagine. Every tear, bad day, and moment of insecurity will all become meaningless when its all said and done. That friends is the reason for it all.

I am a striver. I constantly want people to love me and approve of me. I have definitely felt some liberation from the approval aspect but that bit that I hold onto still has a strong pull on my life. Throughout the last year of my life I have felt extremely unlovable. Like my personality, because of how strong and heavy it is, is undesirable to others. People have tried to convince me otherwise of this but nothing ever seems to work. I have read books on books on books of how different personalities and different people are needed to create a well oiled machine, but I always feel my contribution to that machine will break down the entire operation. I just never feel good enough. But recently someone shared with me some information that I desperately needed to hear, even if I didn’t necessarily like it…

1. Maybe I’m not supposed to know the plans for me life

2. Maybe I’m not supposed to always fit the mold of the world

3. Asking the question of, “Why did this happen to me?” might not always get answered, or at least not in the way you thought it would.

4. Sometimes we need to forgive even if we’re not actually ready.

These four bits of information have continually been repeated into my life in the last few weeks, but most specifically the last two. My main question recently has been why. I sat in a car in a parking lot on campus with my best friend a few nights ago and just bawled because I want to understand why!? Why did I lose my mom in the middle of my college years when I really needed her? Why, after making it a conscious decision to remain single for a whole year am I still single? Why do I feel like everyone has just walked away? Why? Why!? WHY!? Do I sound like a brat or what!? Seriously, even as I write this I can think of 20 more “Why” questions? But my question should not be “Why?”, rather it should be a response of, “I’m just going to trust, even when it hurts, and especially when it’s hard!”

Someone recently shared with me a story of a girl who was called into an extremely difficult situation that she was far from prepared for, but she was told that maybe, just maybe; right here and right now in the fire and the ruble of your broken life; YOU WERE CREATED FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS! hearing this left me on my face! What if in it all this is my “WHY!” I was created for such a time as this. A time of intense growth, and a time of intense trust!

This trust was proven to be needed just a week ago. I shared recently of how I experienced grace in the greatest way possible when I felt like a relationship of mine was being mended. Well a little over a week ago I felt some extreme conviction in regard to that relationship. I had been so mean to this person. I would cold shoulder them and ignore them. I hated being around them because I was holding back so much of what I honestly wanted out of everything with this person. Well this conviction got so strong that I was moved to tears lying in bed one night that I knew what I had to do. The next day I saw this person and I pulled them aside and I let it all go. I begged for forgiveness for all of my wrong doings in our whole relationship, I revealed some truth that needed to be shared, and then I did it… I told them that I forgave them. In that moment did I want to do that? HECK NO! But, I knew I needed to.This person forgave me without hesitation, and reaffirmed me in all I did that day. They told me they were proud of me and that I was brave. That word brave… it has such a deep meaning in my life. It has implications like nothing I’ve experienced recently. I knew that in order for this weight to be lifted I had to be brave, I had to recognize the true reason for it all.

I’m not writing this post to say I’ve gotten it all figured out, or to share my “ah ha” moment in it all, but rather to remind myself, and you that I am human, that I am woman, that I am emotional, that I have passion, that I mess up, that I suffer, and that all in all IT’S OK! I am daily being renewed by a force much greater than you and I combined. I am being restored to an eternal glory that I was indefinitely created for. That my friends is the reason for it all. That is why I feel joy through my pain, and freedom in my suffering! That is why I can stand before the world today knowing that all in all I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me!

I have recently heard a song that encapsulates my thoughts in the greatest way possible, here are some of the lyrics,

“As Your love In wave after wave Crashes over me, For You are for us You are not against us Champion of Heaven You’ve made a way For all to enter in…You make me brave, you call me out beyond the shore and to the wave. You make me brave, no fear handle now the promises you’ve made…”IMG_2267