Monday, January 28, 2013

the last monday I'll ever be fifteen.

 photo IMG_8546_zps6f1212b0.jpg It's kinda funny how life is. It seems like it will take forever for you to grow up, forever for Christmas to come, forever for your birthday to be here, forever for summer. And then all of a sudden, you realize you're almost grown up and everything comes a little too fast. It's not that I don't want to grow up. In fact, I'm super excited and can't wait. Yet there's still apart of me that's a little sad to leave the kid part of me behind. Growing up usually means you have to worry about things in life and take things really seriously. I don't want to be like that. I think having Jesus and knowing he's there makes things better. I don't have to worry about anything, really.

Life has been good the past week. The first two weeks of this month weren't the best, in fact for me, they were pretty much awful and I don't normally complain. I was really struggling with doubting if there was a God and who He was, I kept asking myself questions that didn't really have answers and it was driving me nuts. I've realized now that you really do have to believe some things in life. If not, life isn't too good. Besides, I've seen God work in my life and other's.

I'm learning to just live in the moment, too. I know that phrase is soo cliche, let me explain. Instead of worrying about doing this or that and beating myself up when I don't get it done, I'm learning to take things one at a time. Asking myself if what I'm doing is actually going to build me or others up helps to. I finally get why Jesus says to die to yourself so you can truly live. Doing things for him (even if it seems much too hard at the same) in the end is so worth it.

Well, I need to go study for that permit test I'm taking next week. Hello, sixteen!

 photo IMG_8578_zps214058ce.jpg  photo IMG_8582_zps75b32efb.jpg  photo IMG_8597_zps47958baa.jpg  photo IMG_8609_zpsaf315dfb.jpg  photo IMG_8610_zps368f44bc.jpg

Friday, January 25, 2013

an Ethiopian Christmas

I'm so blessed to have friends who've adopted kids from all over the world. A few of the families I've known for what seems like forever, and a lot are new friends. You don't know how neat it is to eat around a table with faces who are from different countries or see the adopted children meet their families for the first time. I've always been a lover of stories, but adoption stories really fascinate me.

A few weeks ago we were invited to an Ethiopian Christmas party and it was an experience I won't forget. I hung with friends, then even met lots of new faces. And since I brought my camera, they quickly put me in charge of the pictures for that night. Lots of fun, and I was planning on taking some shots anyway. I got called here to there to take requested photos, but my favorites are the ones I snap when no when is watching, when emotion is completely genuine and real. Even though the light wasn't the best, my flash didn't work the whole time, I didn't come prepared with everything I needed, as I went through these pictures I realized more and more that capturing life is what I want to do.

Here are the pictures from that night.


There's lots of them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

you just can't go back

Scenes flash through my mind. I remember pieces of the days I've nearly forgotten. I flip through the photos, worn and wrinkled. I look into my eyes. Is this little girl the same as the person I am now? I don't think so. So much has changed since then. But I think I know, deep inside, that I am the same person.

Funny thing is, when I was eight and going to school, running barefoot in the backyard, drinking lots of milk for breakfast and feeding worms to my little sister, I never really thought much. Things just weren't complicated. I didn't know everything but I was okay with that. I did mostly the same things every day. Life was simple. Even two years ago, everything was pretty simple.

It's strange how I never thought about those days being something to be treasured. I mean, growing up and being a real teenager and driving and doing your own thing must be sooo exciting. And now that I've almost reached that point, it's not that I'm not excited, it's not that I dread growing up. It's just that, as I look at these pictures, as I recounter memories, I realize something. I'm never going back. I'll never be that little ten year old with the wide eyes and short brown hair again. I'll never be able to go back to those days where I rushed through homework to go play outside until dinner, never be able to go back to the nights when if I got to stay up till nine it was a big deal.

Things change. Doesn't mean change is bad, in fact, it's usually mixed with bad and good. When change is hard, sometimes it's good for us, even when we don't see it. In the end, if we make it through, we become stronger and more beautiful people.