Monday, April 19, 2010

[Re-Invention Photoshoot]

Today, we shot part of the fall fashion line for Bella-Chic, a company whom Re-Invention markets. It was a beautiful day & we got some really good shots.[ Bella-Chic website ]

I have been photographing for Re-Invention for two years now and I absolutely love it. Kellie Guthrie, the owner and founder of this wonderful company, has become a very special person in my life. Not to mention,the Re-Invention team has become like family to me.

So you ask, what is Re-Invention:: "Re-Invention is a wholesale, lifestyle company on a mission to re-invent the we way shop by becoming good stewards of our resources and making purchases which offer alternatives to "consumption as usual." Re-Invention's main goal is to break the chains of extreme poverty by providing economic sustainibility. We come along humanitarian organizations and ministries that have established economic alternatives to not only help someone out in their dire circumstance, but to remove them from it. The stories of the people we represent from all over the world, from India & Thailand to right here in the South, are absolutely beautiful. Please visit the Re-Invention blog to learn more about the company, Re-Invention Blog. If you have any questions, please email us- & follow us on twitter... @re_invention!

Some shots from the day::
beautiful building downtown Opelika

the floor was rather holey, had to watch your step.

and of course, we stir up some trouble on the along the way
Us doing our thing: behind the camera & transportation.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Earlier this week one of my friends got the idea of going to Atlanta, GA and just hanging out with & loving on the homeless or honestly whoever. No set plan. Just go. So 9 of us decided why not? We decided to leave around noon on Friday, prayed together and there we went. One of us asked,"So do we know where we are going or anything?" and the response was,"Nope. we are just going with the Spirit." And that is exactly what we did.

We got off the interstate and decided to find a park, then we would just walk and pray, trusting for an opportunity. Literally having no idea what was going to happen, but knowing the desire the Lord had put into our hearts to be there. We split up into groups. The first guy my group came in contact with definitely wanted nothing to do with us and that was very obvious. At first, it was kind of a let down because we were so fired up. We then continued to walk and honestly nothing was happening, we didn't know where to go, what to do, who to talk to, and all these doubts began filling our minds on why did we come, and are we even going to be able to talk to anyone. Then, Jeff, one of the guys in our group, said "We just need to stop and pray." So there we are in the middle of downtown Atlanta at a Mediterranean/Italian restaurant (yes, i'm not sure how that happened) praying for direction and opporunities. We get up from the table, Caroline and I hang behind and decide to pray for the boys as they try to talk with a group of men across the street. Immediately, the guys seems to make a connection with these people and talk for awhile. He is faithful.

 As Caroline and I are praying, a guy passes us and stops. He is convinced he knows us, and that we met him at SafeHouse (a homeless shelter down the street), which we did not. It was actually a rather comical conversation. Nevertheless, we were pleasantly suprised at here this man stood that literally came to us. His name was Michael. We began to talk to Michael about his life and where he was from. He told us interesting stories about how he arrived to where he was. He was a rather joyful and funny person. After talking to Michael for awhile, we asked if there was anything we could pray for him about. The expression on his face immediately changed. You could tell there was hurt, desperation. He named 3 things: a home, peace, and his children. He then asked us if we could pray for him right then. As we began to pray for this 56-year-old man that we had literally just met, I feel tears running down my arm. I look down and see that Michael is sobbing. I hurt so bad for him, I was feeling his brokenness in that moment. After we were done praying, he asked if he could pray for us. At this point, I was shocked, humbled, stopped in my tracks. Here we were coming to Atlanta to serve him, and he wanted to serve us. It took the words out of my mouth. He prayed over both Caroline and I, and it was one of the most touching things I've experienced. We continued to talk after and he made us promise we would never forget him and he would never forget us. He actually made us take a picture on my phone, he was pretty insistent on it. He made me laugh, a lot. I thought of 2 Corinthians 8:2---
"They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity."
That to me, was Michael.

During the time Caroline and I are talking to Michael, a guy comes and sits near the group. Immediately, Stege (who had just walked up) knew there was something about him. Stege went over to talk to him and long story short- he had lost everything, through a serious of really unfortunate events, and there he was our age, in downtown Atlanta-searching, for something, with nowhere to go or noone to go to. This was Cody. 

He was looking for something, and the Lord had put Stege right there in his path to speak truth to him. "Ironic story"- when we were getting out of the car, Stege ran back to grab his "Crazy Love" book by Francis Chan. Well come to find out Cody mentioned loving to read, and Stege was able to give him the book, and just talk with him about the Lord, and hope. Thank you, Lord. Cody was a really big testament to me, here he sat with nothing. Literally. And he said, "You know... I have faith the Lord will get me through, get me through to where I need to be." Wow. I wondered...could I say that in that situation, of being completely stripped of everything? We talked to him for a bit more, and then we left. Stege and I just really had a hard time with it after we left. We left Cody there, without being able to really "do" anything. We kind of felt helpless. But realized we cannot dissociate God's sovereignty with this situation. God's characteristics do not change in circumstances. He is above them. All we can do is pray on Cody's behalf. After all isn't that what we are called to do? It took on a different meaning, when ultimately this is all I could do to help Cody.
"Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere."  [Ephesians 6:18]
The whole experience today just left me without words. I was humbled. These people blessed me far more than I could have imagined. The whole ride back, we could not stop talking about how faithful, how incredible, and how beautiful the God we serve is. I am so thankful for this experience today, and hope to make it a regular one. Michael and Cody will always be people I remember. Please keep them in your prayers.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

chasing the cloud...

Through many so-called "random" events this morning something that has slipped my mind was quickly brought back to my memory. It impacted me so much that it motivated me to start my own blog, which is a first.

With saying that, I find it fascinating how the Lord brings different people into our lives for different reasons, even if we do not realize it until later on down the road. The body of Christ is something I've really been taken with lately, how we need each other, help each other, and motivate each other among many other things. Someone who has become a very dear friend to me sent me an email this morning discussing whether or not the Lord wanted to her to "wait" or "go". Upon reading the email I immediately thought of Moses leading the Israelites out of captivity. Not until that moment had the intensity and reality of the "cloud" hit me. The Lord appeared to the Israelities and led them by a cloud through their journery. In Numbers 9:17-23 it says,
"Whenever the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel would break camp and follow it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel would set up camp. In this way, they traveled and camped at the Lord's command wherever he told them to go. "

So...reading this it all hit me piece by piece. This is my life. When the cloud moves, I move. Sometimes in life we have absolutely no idea- no idea when, where, or how we are going to wherever or whatever we are going to- but the Lord does. Sometimes we have no option but to just precisely move when the cloud does. We don't know how long the cloud might stay-days, months, years. However, the Lord is still ever-present in that time. His presence does not waiver. We might have to stay at camp for awhile, but the good news is- the cloud will eventually move. We then will pick & go, trusting where the Lord will lead us, walking in faith, maybe not knowing where we will land. But we need to stay with the cloud regardless. His timing is perfect. This is not to say that this is not trying or frustrating. The Israelities often complained and even stated wanting to go back to captivity. They knew no better, but He did. He knew where they were going and how much better they would be there, the blessing it would bring them. This rings true in our lives as well. The Lord knows where we are going, and he never leaves us. He knows better.
"For I know the plans I have for, declares the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me."                  -Jeremiah 29:11-13 

His presence or "cloud" per se is still hovering over us regardless whether we know what's going on or whether we like what's happening or not. The Lord's characteristics do not change with our circumstances or seasons. He is still on the throne. He is still ruling. God is still God. He is bigger than anything we face. Praise the Lord, He knows me better than I know myself. I don't know where my life is going, but I do know one thing. I want to follow, or rather chase, the cloud. I want to be right in His will, not missing what He has for me. Wherever that may be. I confidently know that he will not forsake me. This realization today, which I am so thankful for, will be something that I seek everyday, making sure I am in tune with His Spirit, trusting, and chasing Him; knowing that in Him is everything, and where He wants me is exactly where I want to be.
"Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest. Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things." (Ecclesiastes 11:4-5)