September Gratefulgrams

Wedding day portrait | Lorin Marie Photography
St. Lucia Sandels Resort blue chair  | Lorin Marie Photography
Oxford Exchange Tampa | Lorin Marie Photography
Friends with babies | Lorin Marie Photography
At Last wedding invitation | Lorin Marie Photography
Baby rocking chair | Lorin Marie Photography

"God is true to His purpose, not our expectations."
{Dr. Dick Lincoln}

What a difference 12 months makes. 52 weeks of living. 365 days of life.

Looking back over what I was grateful for this time last year and wow! I was pregnant, working full time at an ad agency while running LMP and we were still living in Virginia! Now we have a beautiful 4-month-old, I'm staying at home with her and we have moved to the South (the real South, that is).

And what things have stayed the same! The friendships we've been blessed to form over the years have continued on long after we moved and became parents.

The first photo, where Dean and I are posing as wedding guests, was for our sweet friends Wei and Elizabeth. We're staying with them this weekend when we head back to Virginia for a wedding :) The adorable couple holding hands in the third photo? They are watching Madison while we shoot Hooman and Priscilla's wedding. And the couple in the bottom right photo?  Laura, the sweet bride, will be the coordinator for this weekend's wedding.

If you would have told me five years ago that this would be my life, I wouldn't have thought it to be true. But as our pastor reminded us several weeks ago, "God is true to His purpose, not our expectations." I never would have imagined that I could spend my time photographing couples' love and sharing in their wedding days with them, married to such an incredible man and raising up a cutie patootie little girl whose giggles melt away even the worst of days, living in South Carolina of all places :) (Looking back on my childhood, I always did love the state flag though. Sounds so silly to say that now but whenever we were traveling through SC, I always loved the look of the palmetto and crescent together).

And His timing - goodness, how I so wanted to be married and start having babies when I was graduating from college in 2010. But God had other plans for my life, plans that I couldn't have anticipated, scheduled, coordinated or thought out. Things that I needed to learn, grow through and experience long before any of that could take place. And He is good. The plans He has laid out are for our good, yes, but ultimately for His good, and His glory.

Can I offer a word to any of you out there feeling less than satisfied with your current state of affairs?

Let go of your picture-perfect expectations of how life should be or what it should look like, or what you should have done by this time or your life, or what job you should have by now. Lay them at the foot of the cross and pick up God's yoke, which is easy, and His burden, which is light. Start living the life He has ordained for you and you will find joy, freedom and peace.

{September Goals}

Fall flowers | Lorin Marie Photography

"There's 0% chance, 100% God."

A couple weeks ago, we had the privilege to hear one of the members of our church share about his journey with a brain tumor. He so boldly spoke of his trust and full reliance on the Lord in the midst of getting his diagnosis, how he and his wife had come to answer the ever-so-common question, "So what are your chances of surviving?" with 5 small but powerful words: "There's 0% chance, 100% God."

Wow. That hit me like a punch to my stomach.

Here I am, tumor-free, and am I actually trusting God to the full extent of my brother and sister in Christ who are actually experiencing a situation that makes it difficult and challenging to trust Him? Does my faith prove weak and futile in the time of trials, let alone in the good, easy times? Instead of figuring out the chance of this or that happening, what would my life look like if I surrendered it all to God, knowing that He is sovereign over it all?

I'm praying that God would continually remind me of my need for Him, every day. In good times, let us lean on Him and praise His name. In the tough times, let us praise Him still.

"Lord, I need You. O I need You. Every hour I need You. My one defense, my righteousness. O God, how I need You."

September Goals

>> Study Aimless by Ange Smith with a girls' small group
>> Commit new verses to memory
>> Plan for our 2-year anniversary trip (YAY!)
>> Spend a week in Florida with my family
>> Finish reading From Anger to Intimacy
>> Take a daily walk with Madison, weather permitting
>> Lovingly serve our LMP clients
>> Reach out to designers for LMP rebrand
>> Review our budget and plan for October

What are your goals for this month? I'd love to know what your aim and focus are set on!

September Gratefulgrams

Wedding guest
White wedding cake inspiration
One year anniversary Luray wedding
DC cherry blossoms wedding
Bull Run Golf Course wedding

"God is using your present circumstances to make you
more useful for later roles in His unfolding story." {Louie Giglio}

Embrace the place, position & plan God has for your life. We can only see a step at a time but He know the direction He wants to take you. Living a life of trust means praising Him now in the storms or the desert as well as in the times of harvest & on the mountaintops.

1. I love getting dressed up & spending an evening with this guy / 2. A gorgeous cake from on talented baker friend / 3. Celebrating 1 year of marriage with our good friends Steve & Bekah / 4. Capturing pretty light is the beeeest / 5. Charlie & Laura say I do!!

Sneak peek: David + Jesica | Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Wedding | Vienna Wedding Photographer

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Wedding

Ever so gracefully, Jesica walked out across the courtyard patio of the Atrium & down the aisle to the love of her life, David, waiting in front of an exquisite floral-draped cross that represented there mutual hope in the Lord & commitment to the vows they were about to make before God, their family & friends. More of their beautiful Meadowlark Botanical Gardens wedding coming soon!!

{September Goals}

Far from what I once was but not yet what I'm going to be

"and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all." {Colossians 3:10-11}

This passage in the letter Paul wrote to the believers in Colosse is so powerful! The believers were called to put OFF & to DEATH the old man, the fleshy ways that they once were so accustomed to. As 19th century English preacher Charles Spurgeon said, "We are to leave the grave of iniquity & the graveclothes of our sin behind."

Instead, they were to put ON the new man & clothe themselves with tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering & love (v. 12, 14). As believers today, we're called to the same transformation. It is certainly a life-long journey & like the beautiful quote above says, we're not done yet but we're not the same that we once were.

Philippians 1:6 is an awesome reminder of God's continuing work in our lives: "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."  When will we see that perfection? That day when we reach heaven's streets of gold :)

September Goals

>> Finish reading A God Entranced Vision of All Things (carryover) & Through the Gates of Splendor
>> Drink 4 water bottles of water (or more!) daily
>> Take firearm class with Deano
>> Catch up on all LMP editing, website updates, etc.
>> Shoot 2 wonderful Winchester & DC portrait sessions
>> Continue apartment searching & line up more visits
>> Have our monthly budget meeting


>> Read & mediate on God's Word
>> Pray (Adoration | Confession | Thanksgiving | Supplication)
>> Set aside time to truly rest & reflect
>> Date night
>> Connect with family
>> Seek to serve & bless others
>> Go for walks/run
>> Blog 2x
>> Stay faithful to our budget