Saturday, March 04, 2017

When you're free falling...

Sometimes life cruises along at a comfortable speed, on a comfortable path, in a comfortable climate, and feels very... well, comfortable.

But sometimes there are potholes in the road. Sometimes the earth starts shaking beneath you.
Sometimes the path splits wide open and before you know it, you're in a sink hole, in wide open space, you're in a free fall, not knowing when or where you'll land.









It can be terrifying. You're spinning, swirling, flailing. Falling. Falling. Falling. Grasping. Desperate for certainty, stability, solid ground. Desperately hoping for a safety net. But it seems that one will never come.
Here's what I know for certain: God will not let you fall forever.







This isn't just because I am saying it. It's because He's promised it. Repeatedly throughout the Bible, you'll see that He's promised you Hope and a Future. (Jer 29:11)... We are born into a living hope, to an inheritance that is kept in heaven for us. (1 Peter 1:3-4)... God is WITH us, mighty to save. (Zephaniah 3:17)... He will renew our strength, mount us up with wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)... This is a light momentary affliction, preparing us for eternal glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)





You may have to endure pain and fear. You may get bumped around and hit some obstacles in the midst of your free fall. But you have to know that He is with you, ready to catch you in His timing, ready to cradle you with love and safety and security. He has brought you this far for a reason.









Your free fall has a purpose. You may come out on the other side looking different. You may have scars. You may have different interests and tastes and talents than you've ever known. You'll definitely have new experiences. You'll have new knowledge. You'll have gained wisdom. You'll be stronger than you ever thought possible. He is preparing you for something so much greater than anything you could have imagined.

















There is light and joy ahead. Hope and laughter. Brightness and promise.
Trust that you'll land on solid ground soon.

It will be so worth it.

(all photos from Nicaragua)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Only what I need.

For today, please don't give me excess money.
For today, please don't give me huge bouquets.
For today, please don't give me ample opportunity.
For today, please don't give me abundant knowledge.
For today, help me be content with the basics.
For today, help me rest in my lack of knowing.
For today, help me find beauty in the simplicity.
For today, help me trust.



For today, give me only what I need.

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:8-9

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Why don't you?

One of my favorite quotes is "the dream would have never been presented to you if the reality weren't a possibility."

If it's in your head, if it's a flicker, it if brings butterflies to your stomach or a smile to your face, you need to pursue it.
That dream has possibility. Give it wings.

But we get scared.
"That's too crazy. That could never work. Way too far-fetched. Someone else could make that happen, but not me. Not with my life, my finances, my situation, my circumstances. I'm not capable. There's just no way."



But you won't know if you never try.
Is it scary? Heck yeah!! Terrifying? Even better. That means you're on to something.
Your gut knows you can and should, but your brain is saying, "whoa Nelly... you just need to back off that crazy-talk right about now. Let's all just settle down here."
But that brain - always boring. Always a buzzkill. What does it know anyway?

Your gut, your heart, knows your deepest desires. It knows your true possibility. It knows what you're capable of. It wants you be wild and free. It wants you to be satisfied and fulfilled. It wants you to live on the edge sometimes. It knows that's where growth and reward happen.

Psalm 20:4 - May he give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Now, does that mean we just run full force into the great wide-open, arms flailing, without any known destination? Probably not.
Do we jump from a plane, free falling, with no parachute? NO! We have to have a plan. We have a target. We have preparation and training. We study possibilities and outcomes and get ready. Then, we jump. Don't think you can wait until you're "completely ready" because that will never happen. I promise. Steady yourself, ready yourself as much as possible, then just do it. It will take faith, but the reward is worth it.

A few years ago, some of you might remember, I went to Nicaragua on a mission trip with a team of people I'd never met. It's one of the biggest leaps of faith I've ever taken in my life. I'm painfully shy at times, an introvert, and had lived a life of safety. Boring, frustrating safety. I always knew I wanted more and was capable of more, but had always been too fearful to try anything. I was absolutely terrified, but I knew my life was meant to be more than just the comfortable confines of my pretty North American walls. I knew that God would pull me through it, because he had presented it to me and poked at me until I could no longer ignore it. He has a way of poking at us, with those recurring thoughts and dreams.

I planned and prepared. I studied. I asked 82,395 questions, some of them repeatedly. I learned what I could, then I took the leap and dove in. And guess what? All of my planning was useless. It was nothing like I expected or prepared for. Maybe 3 of my questions turned out to be applicable. It was so much different and so much better! And that's where the growth comes, from pushing yourself far beyond what you could imagine.

We are not meant to know everything. We are meant to try and fail, then try again, fail again, then try more, sometimes try something different, learning and growing every step of the way. How boring would life be if we knew everything in advance? God designed this wild adventure this way for a reason.

If you want an extraordinary fulfilling life, you must participate. You must take risks and do the scary things. You must have faith that God will see you through. He has already prepared you in ways you're unaware of. He's already planned the lessons you'll learn and growth you'll experience. Trust him. 

The dream would have never been presented if the reality weren't a possibility.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday 2016!

First of all: Happy Thanksgiving!!
I truly hope you've had a warm and happy day filled with too much food, and plenty of love and warmth.

Second: We love shopping, we love giving, and we love a great deal.

So here's our Black Friday sale this year, and it starts right now:

Use code BF2016 to get 30% off everything at therustedchain.com! 
That's huge!

Third: Saturday is "Small Business Saturday." I'd like to strongly encourage you to support small businesses on this day. Whether it's online, in your hometown, down on Main street, or wherever. You'll be supporting small business owners, and you'll probably get a more unique product than any big box store can offer.

Fourth: Stay tuned for our Cyber Monday deal!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

October Barn Wedding

A few times a year I get the chance to photograph a wedding, which is one of my favorite things to do.

My recent bride and groom were so beautiful and fun to work with!
Easy, relaxed, and crazy in love.


 photo 88.jpg

















Megan & John, thank you for allowing me to work with you on the most important day of your lives. Thank you for trusting me in so many ways!
God bless your new life together. I am so happy for you!! Congratulations!