Thursday Thoughts

Well friends this week I have discovered the blessing of pre-blogging, and that sometimes writing down your raw emotions in an iPhone note is sometimes the greatest thing. So today consist of a lot of my true feelings and a note that I wrote over a week ago while I was on vacation in Ocean City, Maryland!

**This post is proof that you don’t need a DSLR camera to take beautiful photos! All photos in this post come from my iPhone 4**

 

Wow.. That’s all I can say right now. But really, what else do I say when I’m literally awestruck at what lies before me. As I type this I’m sitting on 140th street in Ocean City, Maryland in a lifeguard chair. I feel as though I can see the entire world from here, but not the world we see with buildings, streets, cars, and people. But rather, the world beyond it all. The world that I hope and long for. I sit here in this lifeguard chair and I remember this place fondly. This place, Ocean City, Maryland was the whole reason for starting this blog. Two and a half years ago I was preparing to move here and have my life wrecked by Him. He used 33 people to wreck me in the greatest ways possible. image[3]It was on this very sand that I had heart to hearts with women who challenged the very ground I walked on. These women showed me grace and walked humbly in it daily. It is on this sand that a brother snatched a cooler from my hands to show me what it meant to be served by my brothers and to be loved as their sister. It was on this sand and in this water that I made the proclamation to walk in truth and grace for eternity. This sand holds memories that I can’t even begin to share because I get so caught up in the beauty of them all that I fall at a loss for words. But alas I sit here two years later with welled up eyes looking at the present glory that is myself. This glory is not by my own doing, or of those faithful men and women, but rather of Him. Of Him who loves me so much so that He ruins me daily all for His glory! image[4]I sit here now and I allow the random tears to stroll down my cheeks like raindrops on a window and I smile profusely because these are tears of redemption. These are tears of grace being thrusted upon my ever broken life. These tears are the arms of my beautiful father saying, “I love you, well done!”  Seriously, what more could I ask for. image[2]I know today that as I leave this sand that this sand was but a single chapter in the beginning of my story, and that because of it all other chapters are effected and based on. But I also know that I leave this sand my story is still being written. My story did not end on August 8th, 2012 as I jumped in my 2004 Dodge Stratus that had no radio or power windows and drove on Route 50 all the way back to Virginia. But rather it was just the beginning. I cry these happy tears with gladness and joy knowing my father is alive and well, and He is the author and perfecter of my story!  image[1]So thank you friends for reading this super sentimental and sappy story. I hope you, yourself felt redemption because of it and you cried/laughed right along with me. And please remember as you leave here that your story is but far from finished, and that as you read this it is being written! Happy Thursday friends, y’all are the literal best!

image[5] imageYes this photo above is post, tears! Haha, typical!

Tuesday Confessions: Cooking Overseas

Happy Tuesday happy followers! This is just a whole week of new here on the blog and today is another new installment that’s coming to the blog! Tuesday confessions is my chance to let you in on some crazy things that I experience in my life. I’ll also be letting you in on a huge hobby of mine and a huge passion of mine and those include being overseas, and cooking! So, let’s get after it!

Being overseas is something I really, really love! Getting to live in and experience new things spurs me on and seriously energizes me like nothing else. Before May 2013 I had never left the country and since then I have now been to seven countries. Each one holds a special place in my heart and the cultures in each of these countries have really captured me. Now in going to all of these places I’ve also had to adopt in a lot of ways, one being in how I cook. That brings us to our confession for today.

COOKING OVERSEAS IS FAR FROM EASY!

This year going back to Central Asia I knew the food was something that I loved because it challenged me as someone who loves cooking. In this part of the world, to make something spicy simply means to add more “pepper”. It’s quite comical actually. My first summer in Central Asia I survived on eating out, but when I would cook for myself I would just make green beans and chicken “breast” but hey, I would doctor that chicken and those beans with any “spice” I could find and that stuff tasted like heaven! Now don’t get me wrong, I love the food in Central Asia. Seriously, so much of it is so good. There’s definitely some pickings that are not so tasty, but all in all I’ve definitely found some great picks over there. But, heading back for my second year I vowed that I would cook and that I would get adventurous with my cooking.

This year in Central Asia I had a roommate who had a few food restrictions and she’s become accustom to working with food and really doctoring things, and working her way through. So one night when two of our teammates were coming over for dinner we decided to spiff it up and make STIR FRY! So so so thankful that I had a roommate like her to help to make a delicious meal and serve our friends! So now, onto the confessions!

IMG_7803So naturally we start with all the ingredients, and let me tell you something there was no such thing as a peeler where I lived. So I probably walked out of this meal with 7 or 8 cuts. It was quite an adventure.

IMG_7812 IMG_7813 IMG_7814 IMG_7819IMG_7824 IMG_7822 IMG_7830We had ONE LARGE SKILLET to make everything in so once again the adventure goes on! But it was an incredible adventure!IMG_7826

IMG_8813None of this would’ve been possible without my incredible roommate, Soumya! She’s quick on her feet and when we didn’t have an ingredient or something else we quickly worked it out and found a new replacement! This meal was wonderful and I think our incredible team would agree!

IMG_7847Cooking overseas was definitely awesome and I loved it, and I’m hoping that my time of cooking overseas doesn’t end here. I hope it is something I’ll have to do for the rest of my life. So who knows five years down the road I’ll be writing a post like this but it will contain a story of me cooking crickets and frog legs!

My Life Monday

Hey Friends! I am sooooo excited to be introducing so many new segments on the blog this week and the first one being this segment, “My Life Monday”. This post will basically consist of a recap of the weeks in my life. Some of these post will be sickly intense, packed full of excitement; while others will be slower and more relaxed. But within these post I won’t just share a few details of what took place but also 5-10 nuggets that I feel all my faithful followers and new friends could benefit from! For this first one we’re definitely on the busier side of everything, and whew, was it exciting! So rather than causing you to sit in anticipation lets just get right to it!

This last week consisted of a little bit of R&R at my favorite beach/place this side of the Atlantic, Ocean City, Maryland! It also contained a lot of reflecting and showed me a lot of doors that I should be opening and walking through while others need to be slammed shut and the door padlocked and key thrown away. All together I learned A TON this week. Not only did I learn a lot about my life, I also got the chance to learn a ton about photography this week! Gahh I’ll be sharing about that next week! It’s gonna be great friends! But seriously, Kaitlyn Phipps is an excellent teacher and getting to shadow her this weekend was great and so so so refreshing.

So onto my life…

-Ocean City, Maryland is a place that I have spent a great deal of my life and it is a place where I see so much of my own personal growth and I see where I’ve come from. And from this week I realized that every time I drive over the Route 50 bridge I feel like I’m driving home. I smell the salty air, and I taste the boardwalk fries from a mile away, and I know that I’m home. I cannot wait to share with you about that incredible place this Thursday in the first installment of Thursday Thoughts!

-Housesitting/babysitting is something I truly love. It gives me the chance to live out my true dream of marriage and having a family someday. This week I’m housesitting and I love it! And the family I’m housesitting for are the absolute best and they literally give me nearly full disposal of their house. So I’ve been baking life crazy, having friends and family over, and just really enjoying life! It’s so great and freeing!

-I think one of the best things a person can do for themselves is get in their car by themselves put one incredible song on repeat and drive until they run out of gas or road, which ever comes first! It’s seriously so liberating, and relaxing. So go on give it a try!

-Watching two friends who you love deeply tie the knot in a ceremony that perfect displays both their personalities is even greater. And the best of it all is when you know their marriage will be more beautiful than their wedding day ever could. That my friends is what I witnessed this past weekend and it was simply incredible!

-Lastly, everyone and I mean everyone should give “Though You Slay Me” by Shane and Shane featuring John Piper a listen. Talk about conviction and healing in one siting!

IMG_7809 IMG_7812 IMG_7821Now get ready for the first round of Tuesday Confessions starts tomorrow and I’m talking about one of my favorite things… COOKING!

I’M BACK!!

IMG_8738Oh hey ‘Merica!!!! I’m backkkkkkk! Gosh, my heart is full right now. I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop on campus, with my current favorite song blasting in my head phones, just basking in the beauty of my life right now! I am so excited to catch y’all up on all I’ve been doing the past two months, and letting you in on some updates that will be coming to the blog! It’s gonna be so awesome so let’s just dive right into it.

Well I just got back from my most favorite place in the entire world, Central Asia! That land has my heart like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and just knowing that I’ve gotten to go there and teach English and share about my life to the students there overwhelms my heart in the greatest ways possible. I’ll go into greater detail about that later this week, but know that I am forever changed because of that incredible place and it’s even lead to a few enhancements that will be coming to the blog!

Gosh, have I ever mentioned that I reallllyyyy love blogging? Well even though I often times forget to do so for long gaps of time I really do love it. So to avoid the long gaps of no blogging I’m going to get some accountability up in here for y’all! So for that I’ve come up with some new titles, if you will, that make it so I literally HAVE to blog!! YEAAAAA, I’m so excited about this, so here we go!

Every Monday there will be a new “My Life Monday” post. These post will basically be a recap of the previous week that will go through, my general life including photography, my travels, and so much more. I’ve just come to realize that y’all do enjoy hearing about my crazy life and all that comes with it, and I’ve finally come to a place where I think it’s totally cool to share about it! Now here’s my favorite thing I’m doing, I got the idea for this while I was in Central Asia, and it’s literally the bomb.com, do people still say that? TUESDAY CONFESSIONS!! This will be a new segment on the blog and I’m oozing with excitement for this. These confessions will be different every week, it could be Confessions of a World Traveler, Confessions of  Thrifting Addict, and so much more. It’s gonna be great so stay tuned. Wednesdays will be reserved for blogging about any shoots I do (Golden Hour, Chasing the Light), so these won’t necessarily happen every week but they will be used for something. Thursday Thoughts will also be a new segment. This will be a super simple post just sharing about things I love and what my thoughts are on them. One thing I love to do is talk and share my thoughts with others and also hear theres. So this segment will be about that.

So all of these post will begin next week and be forever in effect. I’m so excited to share my life with y’all and let you into the crazy whirlwind of it all! You guys are the best, and I can’t thank you enough for sticking with me through my crazy times of forgetting to blog, and just being lazy. But seriously y’all are the best and I’m excited to share this with y’all. How many times can I use the words “excited” and “y’all” in a single post?

Well before I leave you today I’ll leave you with some awesome photos from my time in Central Asia. Be looking for some post about that this week. It’ll definitely be more than one so get ready 🙂

IMG_4484 IMG_4491 IMG_4779 IMG_4865 IMG_4866 IMG_4987 IMG_4954