The Courage to Pursue

The other day I did something new. I posted my first Facebook Ad!

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This may not sound like big news to you but, for me, it’s huge. Why? Because it took courage. I announced – “to the masses” – that I not only had new wedding photography packages but that, by default, I also had a photography business. I put myself out there. And, for me that’s a pretty big deal.

I don’t like putting myself out there. Maybe it’s the INFJ in me or maybe it’s because I don’t always do so well with criticism or maybe it’s just because I’m a chicken, but the idea of announcing to the world that I’m doing anything – whether it’s writing, photographing, ministering, coaching or even just sharing my opinion – kinda makes me want to crawl in a hole. I’m concerned someone’s not gonna like what I say, what I do or why I do it and that can make this INFJ personality shrivel up and disappear.

I know I shouldn’t care. I shouldn’t let other people’s opinions affect me.

But, I also know I’m human and the truth is that the opinions of others does affect me.

I think what matters is not letting those opinions keep me from doing, saying or pursuing what I want or am called to do. And that is why I’m proud of myself for posting the Ad. That is why it feels like a big deal to me. I was apprehensive in clicking the “Promote” button that sends the Ad off into cyberspace to do its promotional thing. In fact, Scott may have had to put his hand on mine and “help” me click the button the first time (the first time, the post failed to send; so I had to do it all AGAIN and then get the courage to click the button a second time! Agony!). Yes, I was apprehensive. But I did it.

And, who knows, maybe I’ll even get a new photography client because of it. But, even if I don’t, running the Ad was worth it because I grew just a little more brave in pursuing one of the interests that I have.

 

 

 

Haiti

Today, Scott and I are flying to Haiti.

It’s not actually a Kaleidoscope trip, but we are going down there basically for the same reason. We’re documenting. Documenting what one family is doing in the country. 

We both work full-time for our Alma Mater. Scott’s been a videographer in the marketing department for 10 years, creating all kinds of promo-type videos for departments, events and other university needs. And, though, photography is not part of my “normal” duties as a Financial Analyst at ACU, my boss believes that any work for the university still benefits the university even if that “work” doesn’t fall within your actual university job description. Translation: he was happy to let me come along as the photographer. Which is pretty awesome.

This week, we’ll be covering the work that an alumni couple has been doing in Haiti for the last few years. We’ll also capture footage and photos of the help that a group of current ACU nursing students provide fort LiveBeyond this week.

So, here I sit in the Miami airport waiting to board the last of thee flights to get us from Abilene to Haiti. Once we land in Port-at-Prince, we’ll load up all the people and their luggage and drive to Thomazeu. 


Rumor has it that, on Haitian roads, this is a 2ish hour drive. And we’ll be in the back of a truck.

Memories of World Race travel days are flooding my mind! Haha.

(Posted via WP app on my phone. Please forgive any funky formatting or misspellings!) 

#write31days: cheating

I’m cheating today.

It’s been a really long and full four days here in Cambodia! I am pretty pooped and tomorrow Scott and I are hopping on a bus for a six hour ride to another city called Siem Reap. There, we will continue capturing “B-Roll” footage of Cambodia by capturing some shots of Angkor Wat and some of the other surrounding temples! …all that to say, I’m going to redirect you to the blog I wrote for Kaleidoscope today and use it as today’s post. 🙂

Don’t hate me.

#write31days: serving

A few years ago, I went on an eleven-month long mission trip.

I think I’ve mentioned it before. It was a really difficult experience for me. One that I’m still not sure I can see purpose in. It was a few weeks before leaving for the Race that I realized I no longer wanted to do it. My heart was not in it anymore and I was backpedaling. Fast. But I really felt that the Lord was calling me to the Race. It was just an option He was laying before me. He was inviting me, beckoning me to join Him on this particular journey. So…I launched. Strictly out of obedience. And I stayed out of obedience.

I had several raw, honest conversations with the Lord during that eleven month period and remember praying every day that He help me see Him in some way that I wouldn’t be able to if I were at home. I’m still not sure that He really did that, but I do know that He let me see myself in some ways that I wouldn’t have if I were at home.

And it was not a pretty sight.

One of the things I saw was that I like to serve. …but I like to serve on my own terms. When schedules change and communication is lacking, I get frustrated. When it’s hot and humid and sticky and I am hot and sweaty and stinky, I get grumpy. When I don’t see the point in what I’m doing, I become indifferent. When I know where I am but my sending organization has no clue, I get angry. These (among others) are things that I saw in myself as the Lord led me along the Race but, to be honest, I kinda just left it at that.

It wasn’t until Scott and I went on our first Kaleidoscope trip to Ghana that I began to try and sift through the emotions and engage the Lord in conversations about why I only like to serve on my own terms. That Ghana trip was a year-and-a-half ago. I’m not really much further in my understanding of the selfishness that is within me, but I do know that I am making progress.

How?

Because I’m in Cambodia right now and all I really, truly want to do is serve as I can while I’m here. Yes, I still don’t enjoy being hot, sweaty and stinky or not really knowing what my day is going to look like (though, we have a much better idea of our days here than I did most of my time on the Race), but those things aren’t negating my desire to serve. I still want to in spite of them. Five years ago, I might have helped but I would not have served. There’s a heart component to serving in any ministry capacity, I think. And I am finally beginning to see some of it in my heart.

 

#write31days: travel

This is us right now.

Ok, well, it’s not a picture of our plane and we’re not even on the plane…yet. But, it is a perfect representation of wheat we’ll be doing very shortly.

Scott and I are sitting in the Houston airport less than half an hour away from boarding a flight to Moscow. Our ultimate destination, though, is Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We’re headed there to do some work for our nonprofit ministry, Kaleidoscope Media Ministries, and are so excited!

We love to travel. We also love to serve. So putting travel and serving together is a match made in heaven for us.

I intend to continue my #write31days challenge while we’re across the world, but may have to post several blogs at the same time depending on how easily we can find internet. 🙂

#write31days: zentangles

I doodle.

My mom used to get mad at me for doodling during church. Not really when I was a child, but as soon as I moved up to my tweens and teenage years doodling became disrespectful and no longer allowed. I learned to cope with my wandering mind in other ways during the sermons and such, but I never really stopped doodling in other areas of my life that required long attention spans.

Like school, for example.

I did pretty well in high school. Graduated in the top 10% of my class with a solid GPA. I carried that on through college, though my work load also picked up in college so my GPA wasn’t quite as stellar. But, I never stopped doodling during the lecture classes. All of my notes are filled with random drawings (nothing spectacular, truly just doodles) in amongst the important pieces of information from the talking head at the front of the class. Still, doodling in church remained a no-no in my brain and I never did it.

Until recently.

It happened slowly at first. I’d doodle, but not throughout the entire message. Just here and there when I felt my mind wandering. And what I discovered was that the doodles helped me to stay focused on the message so much better. I think it’s because it helps reign my wandering thoughts in and focus them in one direction which, interestingly enough, opens me up to being able to retain more of what I’m hearing.

Anyway, I decided to embrace the doodling and let it be a tool for me when I need to focus or when I just want to pass some time doing something (sort of) artistic. Around the same time, I happened to stumble upon something called “Zentangles” and I thought I’d just been handed an “Ok” from God to keep doodling.  …ok, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration…but, I was pretty happy to find out about this art form by happenstance.

Zentangles are structured patterns that can be combined to create images. The images can be abstract or concrete, but multiple tangles are generally used to create one image (see pic below of some I’ve done). I’m just starting my Zentangle journey so I’ve got a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I love being able to create something, from scratch, using simple patterns.

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And I plan to keep doing them for a long time to come. Even in church.

#write31days: homecoming

My Alma Mater’s Homecoming is this weekend!

Attending Abilene Christian University was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I have honestly loved ACU since high school. I started coming to campus as a high school freshman after I was accepted into the university’s chapter of the Upward Bound program. I loved walking around the campus, pretending I was one of the college students heading to class or to the library to study or to the campus center to meet up with some friends. Yes, I was a bit of a dork, but it’s true. It was actually through one of my summer Upward Bound sessions that I learned about, read about and saw my favorite musical ever: Les Miserables.

However, just like any other high school senior, I didn’t really want to attend college in my hometown. So, ACU wasn’t initially on my radar for universities. I was looking to get out not stay put. But, the Lord is good and He had a plan and that plan was for me to stay put and attend this small, private university in the middle of West Texas.

As a student, I got pretty involved in some of the extra-curricular activities on campus. Things like social club, Sing Song, Homecoming Steering Committee, Welcome Week Steering Committee and other social activities were par-for-the-course in my college career. I also managed to work 30 hours and carry a full-time class load. How?! I have no idea. I don’t remember sleeping that much, but … eh. It was worth it!

I learned a lot about myself while walking the campus of the university. I learned more about who I was and who I wasn’t, what I wanted and what I didn’t, where I came from and where I was going. There were lots of times I didn’t think I would make it to graduation and I was certain that my professors were going to call me into their office one day to say that I just wasn’t cutting it. But there were also many days where I knew that I was going to make something of myself in the future. I was challenged & encouraged simultaneously by multiple professors who refused to let me off easy but were gracious in their pushing. And, my faith blossomed into something that was mine – not my mother’s – while under the faithful ringing of the bell tower.

I suppose it is of no surprise that I now work for this university that has had such a large impact on my life. And I am thrilled to be attending this weekend’s Homecoming.