“Prayer adds an element of surprise to your life that is more fun than a surprise party or surprise gift or surprise romance. In fact, prayer turns life into a party, into a gift, into a romance.” - Mark Batterson
The year isn't quite winding down yet, but in anticipation of all of our holiday plans I thought I'd write up a re-cap of our year now while it's on my heart. So there's this book, The Circlemaker by Mark Batterson, I've seen it many times and never picked it up. Maybe that is not a coincidence because this year I was in just the right season of life for it. My heart was so inspired to start dreaming, to ask and hope and imagine. You can ask any of the people that knew me as a child, and they would tell you they knew I would be a mom and wife someday. It's what I've always wanted. It was my dream. My dreams came true, and I've loved loved being a stay at home mom for these twelve years. So while I was reading this book I realized I have more dreams, and I had to ask myself if it is fair after having what you've always wanted to ask for more. I have had a love for photography ever since I got my first camera, a Nikon Smiletaker, the Christmas I was ten. My poor brother, I would dress him up and semi-force him into photo shoots. I think my favorite one was him in pajamas and robe reading a newspaper. I've been taking photos of my own kids, friends, and their kids for several years for fun, and in the past few years it has slowly morphed into a very small business. I started to get frustrated with my photos, and them not turning out how I wanted. Part of that being because I didn't know how to properly work my camera. So after reading dozens and dozens of photography articles and watching online free classes I realized I needed to take a class in person, but I was afraid to ask for such a thing. After reading The Circlemaker I found a new bravery and excitement in my heart to pursue photography, and I remembered a few people over the past few years suggesting these non-credit classes at UT. So I looked them up and with them being once a week night courses for a reasonable fee my heart starting beating with immense excitement that this might be something I could actually do. So I asked Michael what he thought, and he...well really I can't capture in words this moment. He has been so enormously supportive of me, and so I shouldn't have been so surprised that he thought I should absolutely do this and he would happily pay for it. Then, the fear set in thinking of having to find a seat among strangers, parking in a parking garage at night, finding out I have zero talent, taking time away from my family...the list goes on. Facing those fears has been the most liberating thing about this entire year. I found friends in my classes, and in fact am going on a weekend class with one of them in a few hours. I found a new voice, a new independence and a new passion to create art. Since my first class, I started dreaming about more classes and my parents have generously said they will pay for me to finish my certification (this is 160 hours worth of classes and I currently have somewhere around 70). I'm not sure where this is going exactly, but I do know I have loved pursuing this. I have been photographing families, high school seniors, newborns, children, and I even got to do a shoot for a boutique. So, speaking of dreams-- Michael got a new job this year!!! Actually, he just started this week! He is working with the same company, but in a different division. He is working at the corporate office and he will also be traveling. This job means so much to our family because he will be home a lot more- hurray!! This means no weekends of working and more time off! He has worked so hard in the different parts of this company and the experience, in my opinion, makes him so perfect for this job. I know I wrote so much about me, and I'm writing so little about him but he doesn't like for me brag on him (which only makes me love him more). Just know my heart is bursting for him and with the appreciation of what God has done for us this year. I was going to write about what the kids are up to this year, but I will have to save that for the next post.
To my awesome and amazing friends and family, thank you for supporting me. I have literally wept with thankfulness for many of you. Dream on dear friends, I wish you a year of dreams for yourselves!