When Children Create...

The children came this week.  They were amazing.  Their creative minds inspire me so...


A Beautiful Beach Shoot

I had the pleasure of working with the sweetest family while at the beach last week. We shot in beautiful Destin, and the weather couldn't have been more perfect! Sporting my new Nikon--I was really pleased with how they turned out, but what really made the images was how fun this group was. We had Mike, Theresa, their two precious daughters and their parents. These are some of my favorites at first glance.  There were lots of favorites! Thanks to a fun family for a wonderful shoot!


My Spiritual Retreat Week at the Beach

What a summer I have had. I have enjoyed time with my girls out of school. And lots of time at the beach. In fact, I spent a week alone at the beach for my birthday. You may ask, "Who does that?"

The day I arrived--when Tropical Storm Debby was trying to take over. Wildness in the waves & wind!

A spiritual time away to revive and renew my soul was what I wanted for my birthday. I admit I was a little scared that I would feel lonely on that day, especially being a twin and getting to celebrate with her most years. But God asked me to trust, and choosing to spend it alone with my Creator was the greatest gift I could have given myself. 

It was time away given to me so effortlessly--my daughters were both busy with their goings on, and the opportunity became so clear and do-able.  During my week, I just hoped for a return-to-me sort of time.  My paints, my tennis racket, and my sunscreen came along with me. Living simply--not spending hardly any money, and only eating primarily what I brought from home--and from the Green Street Market in Huntsville was more like myself.  I enjoyed a couple of movies on my laptop at night.... My week was beyond my hopes!

Stunning sunset and cloud display my first night!

God showed me truths about myself and had me to confront things in my life that were both surprising and expected, but it all worked out wonderfully and He is still doing His work in me. I feel so grateful for that time He gave me in a beautiful place. To get away to a place where you can discover, either for the first time, or to rediscover inner stillness in your soul is amazing! In that quiet and stillness is where we meet God. That place where there is no thought. That place which can be hard to achieve with the bombarding of thoughts and stress. But God invites us to rest in Him and to lay those things on His shoulders, and when we do, He shows us little by little the way He works in our lives and in our issues. It's all about letting go and trusting.

As you can expect, being the visual documenter that I am, I documented with photos my entire week. Some of them, I am sharing with you here...(all photos shot with iPhone 4S)

My morning reading and breakfast. Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating was my main read. Awesome!

Me on my birthday at sunset. 45 years old!
Painting a commission that was due a couple of days after I returned home.
Sea oats agains the setting sun
A fun day captured here. I had totally let my hair go free all week.  It's VERY curly at the beach. ;)
Alone but not lonely...
Birthday lunch.  Two forks to commemorate twinness.  Miss my sister when we can't be together.

My last night. Feeling grateful.  Wanted the moon in the background on this. :)

Running while shooting was funny


I look like my sister in this shot

One of my favorites--felt like running with new meaning

I am home now and back to my real world where now I have new tools to work with--spiritual ones and practices that are proving to work wonders for me. Find your inner strength by being still.  My main reading was the book Open Mind, Open Heart written by Father Thomas Keating.  (Get it from Amazon here) It is about contemplative prayer--a practice that will produce more peace, faith and intimacy with God in your life. I am so grateful to my brother for encouraging me to read and apply this book at this time in my life. It's a life changer for sure.  Be blessed in your journey. My best to you!