This is us.

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."-Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

We stepped away this month. (See my recap here.) And one of the things I was looking forward to the most, was the chance to step in front of the camera with Greenprint Photography with our crew of seven. I ordered sweet Rosie's little romper not too long before I knew we'd step in front of the camera.  I'm not going to lie, it was a silly purchase. Probably a one time use deal, cost a little too much money for what it was, and I even paid extra to get it to our doorstep in time. And when it arrived, it was huge. Falling off of her shoulders, swallowing her up in ridiculousness. And not that it's a big deal at all, but as any mama who has ever planned her own family pictures understands, (much like the last time we lost a shirt between loading the car and arriving on location), I was disappointed.

View More: So I did what so many of us do, called up my mom. A little bashful, a little embarrassed, but humbly asked her if there was any way she would be able to fit yet one more thing on to her to-do list, completely taking apart and resewing this tiny little ensemble on my behalf. And, as I hope I somehow can for my own children, she worked her magic, pulled it off, and, once again, came to the rescue. Something I could never do, as she always does, through sacrifice of time she gave of her giftings, her heart. I say this all because sometimes, many times, most times, all the times, photographs don't tell the whole story. They don't tell of the cough syrup and Tylenol chugged by many parties within these frames just to make it through a half hour in the humidity. They don't tell of the planning, the traveling, the snapping, the bandaids, the bug bites, the hairspray, the reality behind the color and light and imagery my dear friend Lexi created for us. However, what they do sing of to me, is how we each carry within us, a God breathed calling meant for only us, and how, when it is answered, even if only in the slightest, tiniest, faintest, faith-breathed whisper of "yes", the rest will be fulfilled.

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It's not usually easy, and the results are usually not instantaneously, but leaning fully, living freely in who one has created to be is the great beauty we can ever achieve. View More:

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived" -- the things God has prepared for those who love him 1 Corinthians 2:9

I was touched recently by the musings of a fellow artist, Ruth Simmons, We moms tend to think that it's all or nothing; that we must either throw ourselves into mothering or fully into career, a creative pursuit, or business. We sometimes think that making time for one assumes the demise of the other, but that's simply not true.  We get to reflect our Maker's artistry, we just have to change the means in which we do so in various seasons. Whether it's with a sewing machine or supper ingredients, we can use what time and resources we have to do the most with our giftings.

I don't think I've fully arrived to this point of understanding, but I know this, whether it's training, painting, baking, singing, stitching, peaking, writing, listening, computing, crafting, mothering, designing, breathing, whatever form of creating freely has been breathed into us, it's not really about us. Rather, it's needed outside of us.

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"Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness." 2 Corinthians 9:10

He has created space for and supplied those faint hopes in our hearts. And when we act on the glimmer of faith, what glorious harvest will be reaped.

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"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desire of your heart." Psalm 37:4 Simply put, I believe we all possess immense desires to create. And though we rarely pause to feel the depth of them, they are truly sacred, divinely hidden within us because we ourselves are God's finest, most beloved handiwork.

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And by allowing whatever has been created and placed within us to flow freely from us, uninhibited by any sort of fear, real or imagined, it is then that we most clearly reflect the Creator Himself in all the greatness and glory He possesses.

View More: And when we gaze towards and inhale only True Beauty, our souls are renewed, empowered to exhale the Beauty hidden within us.

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