i wrote this post in december titled 'Harvesting Hope: A life worth remembering'. if you didn't have a chance to read it then, i'd love for you to take a few minutes when things are quiet, with a cup of something good in your palm, and read it. and if you did read it, thank you deeply. thank you for your love, i felt it and i do feel it. vulnerability is a fragile, delicate thing… like taking a great big leap into something unknown, with the hope of beauty below. a sea of beauty. i am swimming in it. sometimes it is isolating but that is when i am just keeping my eyes on myself. it is in the looking up, being expectant for the warmth from the sun, and the racing after gratitude that reminds me of all the grace.
thank you for your comments, your support, and for those of you that expressed interest in having me into your homes to document your family for a full 24 hours. i have begun traveling for these harvest sessions. i am so very giddy to share this one with you. i took many MANY photographs. i ended up with 800 final color images (actually 1600, since there is a duplicate set in black & white). and in this little slideshow that i made to share with you there are 200 of my favorites. i just couldn't narrow them down any further. these sessions are so different than my normal portrait sessions because the goal is not for a smiley happy all together posed photograph. i am just beside you, doing your normal routine, on a normal day of your life. i tread lightly, i try to stay back but not too much, and we become friends in the in-between, i talk to you about your heart and share mine and we are forever bonded by this special and sacred shared pursuit of hope through photographs.
the robbins family invited me into their home to document their current season of life for 24 hours and bethany, the mama, sent this to me about her family to share here,
"These people in my little family are so dear to me-Daniel, my husband, and I both are constantly in awe of our children and each other, but we truly do not deserve such a safe and beautiful life. We've seen death and disease and extreme poverty-not just seen it, but we've held it and tasted it and seen hopelessness. We also truly have felt and witnessed healing and we have a great hope that all will be made new! For our children, we long to help them understand their faith, to hold onto the promises given to them by God and homeschooling gives me the opportunity to gently show them who they are, who they are meant to worship and how they are meant to do that. Of course, I long for them to be geniuses and to love learning, but most of all, I want them to have a deep knowledge and love of the Lord. I also don't want their days spent memorizing things and learning to please their peers. We hope to give them a strong foundation so they are confident in God's love and don't feel the need to seek that from anyone else in unhealthy ways. I've been so inspired and encouraged to actually lead my children through their education rather than teach them to be performers. I've always loved DOING things with my children-what better way to learn than by discovering God's own artwork through the eyes of my children. We live in a beautiful place for such learning and I'm determined not to take it for granted! Honestly, this photo shoot is so timely for us as we prepare our hearts for foster care-putting ourselves in the midst of someone's mess-opening our hearts and helping to carry the burden of broken families. But we're being led by our loving father and that's where we get our strength, it's been so sweet enjoying this time with just the five of us and a new chapter is about to begin. Daniel and I should not be alive, let alone happily married with 3 healthy children. It's all such a gift!"
and below you will find the little movie/slideshow of my favorite 200. photographing from the wee hours of the morning until late in the evening with the moon big and bright. it was a normal day for them so dad went to work in the morning as usual and it was a true gift for me to watch bethany homeschool, seeing a full day in her schoolhouse start to finish. i am surely a better mother, wife and teacher because of my time beside her, seeing her knead bread for dinner, make baby laugh and thoughtfully guide her boys with intentional learning. she made the everyday magical. and when daddy came home at the end of the workday, well, that's my favorite part. make sure to make it full screen. enjoy. :)