Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Faith vs. Fear

Fear. We've all experienced it. But how do we conquer it? How do we deal with fear without becoming paralyzed? The answer is simple, yet challenging. The key to having victory over our fears is Faith.

A week ago my husband had to fly to Washington, D.C. for a work conference. This was my first time alone in our new house. During the daylight hours, I kept myself busy by working, cleaning, walking the dog...doing anything and everything I could to keep my mind occupied so as not to let the fear creep in. But when it came time for bed, after the sun was gone and there was nothing keeping me from my thoughts...that's when the fear began to overtake me. Like water slowly rising, I found myself being drowned in my fears. Every sound was magnified. Every awful scenario played in my head. I was completely consumed with panic.

The first night I opened a bottle of wine in attempt to calm my nerves. But it was pure exhaustion that finally lulled me to sleep around 4am. The next night was just as tormenting. I couldn't shake the dark thoughts and feeling of terror at what could happen as I lay there...all alone.

Then I chose faith.

As I laid there in my bed, vulnerable and seemingly alone, God whispered through the dark to my heart and repeated His promise "I will NEVER leave you." (Deut. 31:6) And in that moment I had a choice to make...either I was going to trust that God IS who He says He is and therefor trust in His promises or I was going to believe Him to be a liar and stay stuck in my fears. In Isaiah 41:10 Christ says, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

I began to remember every instance where God had come through for me. I looked back at all the moments where at the time it wasn't clear that God was there with me but in hindsight....He had never left. His track record was perfect. Not once has He failed me. Even though I constantly fail Him. I began to ask myself if I could trust Him with my eternity...why couldn't I trust Him with my right now? I thought to myself, what if my worst case scenario came true...what then? Would it change the fact that whenever my life here on earth ends I will be with my Savior in eternity? And that's when I felt His peace embrace me.

 My God has conquered the grave. There is no greater power on Earth that can keep me from Him. And in that knowledge...through faith...there is nothing left to fear. We have eternal victory through Christ!

As human beings, fear will inevitably rear its ugly head throughout our lives. But fear is NOT from God. We must bring our thoughts back to His love and power. Turning fear into praise. Our God is FOR us so who could ever be against us? I pray you find the same peace in His promises today.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Home Sweet Southern Home

It's been an awfully long time since I last updated my blog. It's not simply that I've been unmotivated to blog but that life has been pretty busy (and exciting) in our lives lately.

Since my last update, Jared went on several interviews at Universities all over the country. He had a couple offers from the places he interviewed but ultimately it came down to what would be best not only for his career, but for us as a family...and thinking into the future as our family grows (which we plan on expanding our family someday...although I think everyone around us is in a bigger hurry for that than we are).

Our desire has always been to live somewhere that values family and faith as well as offered a good working environment for Jared. We prayed long and hard about our options and didn't go with the highest bidder (though it was tempting). We instead chose family over fortune and beginning in July, Jared will be a professor at the University of Mississippi...better known as Ole Miss. I wasted no time in helping him build a website for his lab which you can check out by going to: I am so proud of him. He's worked so hard for this!

We are so excited to start this new chapter of our lives in Oxford. It is a charming little town full of hometown pride, history and character. I've described it to many of our family and friends as a storybook town, or for you Gilmore Girls fans out's a real life version of Stars Hollow. :) I believe it's going to be an excellent place to call home.

Upon accepting the job, we set out to do the next important step of buying a house. We had dreamed about being homeowners for so long and now the time to find a home had finally come. We looked at homes online for months prior to house hunting and we set aside a weekend to see as many as we could on our list. We saw about 15 homes in total and then narrowed it down from there. Before we knew it...our offer was accepted and we are now extremely excited homeowners!( will be official when we close on June 3rd) I'm still in a dreamlike state about it all. The blessings seem to be overflowing and I'm so incredibly grateful for how everything has come together. God is so good!!

Here is a photo of our beautiful home! :)

I can't wait to put our own personal touches on it! There is a decorator inside of me that is dying to get out! ;) We're both so excited about sharing lots of memories with friends and family in our new home. We have plenty of room for guests so don't be a stranger! We'd love to have you!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

5 Wonderful Years

Five years ago today, I married my best friend!

Jared and I have had so many amazing adventures since then. I'm thankful for even the difficult moments because they brought us closer together. We are learning every day to love each other greater and to honor God with that love. And we look forward to the many blessings, experiences, and years ahead of us!

As a photographer, I have made it a tradition to take our own anniversary photos each year. (Which let me just say, that it is much more challenging to take my own photos rather than someone else's...but I give it my best) So here are a few of the images I took last weekend at Stone Mountain Park here in Georgia. It was an absolutely gorgeous autumn afternoon and I got to enjoy it all with my favourite person in the whole world! :)

I still can't believe he's mine.

Just a glimpse of the beauty we saw that day...

Happy Fall Y'all! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

See For Yourself....

If you have not heard Jon Weece, Lead Follower of Southland Christian Church bring the message then I encourage you to take a few moments to do so. You can watch and listen to past and recent series online at

Jared and I have had the opportunity to hear him speak at Southland before but because we have lived in different parts of the world throughout our marriage we have been thankful for the opportunity to continue to hear his messages online. Technology - when used right - is a powerful tool.

I always learn something from Jon's teachings. I am always inspired to improve my walk with God after hearing him speak. And I'm always left encouraged. (I also enjoy his approach and humor)His humble, proficient and practical delivery of the truth is refreshing and authentic. To reference one of his messages on spiritual gifts...he is definitely living in his "sweet spot".

We recently watched his online message series From Death To Life and I couldn't wait to share it with you. It is the best delivery of truth I've ever heard. If you are questioning who God is, if you are struggling to believe in the power of the resurrection of Jesus or even if you have already determined that there can't possibly be a God, then I urge you to watch the following video. In it, Jon asks some thought-provoking questions that perhaps you haven't thought about, but that are imperative in our search for truth. Not once will he ever tell you what to think or how to think, which is what I love about him. The best teachers tell you where to look, not what to see. So I encourage you to see for yourself....


To quote Jon himself, "There is nothing in the life of Jesus that He wants to force on you. I'm just amazed that so many people are against Him without ever studying Him. I promise you, if you read Him, you will fall in love with Him. Here is why...because He loved everybody and everyone who came in contact with Him, fell in love with Him."

I can say with sincerity that the best thing I've ever done is fall in love with Jesus.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Georgia On My Mind

Jared has been home with me in the United States for just under a month now. In just a month's time we have celebrated his return in downtown Indy, enjoyed special moments with family and friends, moved to Atlanta, Georgia and as of today, we are officially debt free! Our God is a God who provides!!!

Living in Europe...more in one of the most expensive countries in Europe, far from our loved ones and distant from our comfort zone, really stretched us in so many ways. The daily challenges we faced in the last two years were very overwhelming most days. But through it all we leaned on our faith that God will always take care of us. And He has NEVER failed us.

Sunday night we found our new church home at Passion City Church here in Atlanta and one of the worship songs that night called 'Always' by Kristian Stanfill shares these lyrics:

My help is on the way
Oh my God
He will not delay
My refuge and strength 
I will not fear
His promise is true
My God will come through 
I lift my eyes up
My help comes from the Lord

This song resonated with me because we faced some major storms and battles these last few years and I know we will face more in our future but God's promises are true ALWAYS. And the truth that "He will not delay"...even when in the midst of struggle and waiting when we are thinking "anytime now God!" ...He is not delaying His timing...He is ALWAYS right on time. Looking back I can see His perfect timing in it all. And because I have seen how He has taken care of us in every single detail up to this point, I can return to these words and trust in them when fear and trials come up again. 

We are so grateful to be where we are right now. We are loving our new city so far! We are within 5-10 minutes to all the major grocery/shopping stores, restaurants and everything we could possibly need. (no more hiking up and down mountains and catching trains to get anywhere! YAY!) We're in a quiet, safe area just outside of the city and are looking forward to doing some more exploring once we are fully settled in. 

It was like Christmas for us going through all of our things that have been in storage for over 2 years! It was heaven sleeping in our OWN bed for the first time in years! The cats seemed to feel right at home immediately too. They're already walking around like they own the place! ;)

More praise to share....Jared and I have been here in Atlanta for one week exactly. On Monday I applied at a local portrait studio, got a call back within the hour and had an interview the very next day. I had my second interview today and left feeling really good about it. I just got a call a few moments ago and was offered the job as the Senior Photographer! This is such a blessing! Moving to a new place as a photographer, it takes time to build up clients and because we will only be here for a few short months, it didn't make sense to invest what would be necessary to gain clients only to pick up and move again in a couple months and have to rebuild all over. With this job, I will still be able to do what I love and when we settle permanently in a few months from now, I will have this experience under my belt. I'm really stoked! :)

Just wanted to share a quick update for those who have been praying for us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for every prayer! We are so incredibly blessed and want to take every opportunity to shout how great our God is!