Category Archives: follower of Jesus

I got lost …

for a bit of a while.

Wandering aimlessly even though I knew full well the direction.

But I didn’t follow them.

The directions.

It happens to everyone at one time or another.

I left what I knew to be true and followed what I wanted to be true.

A path that can lead to nowhere in particular.

I have made it clear in previous posts that “religion” has very little to do with me.

Depending on what someone believes, their “religion” could be just about anything.

I love Jesus.

I do.

I fail to show it more often than I succeed, but it is true.

People fail.

It is in our nature to falter and to struggle.

We. Are. Not. Perfect.

But Jesus doesn’t expect perfection.

And that is a very good thing.

Otherwise, we would all be doomed to what we have done.

Don’t shake your head and say you haven’t done anything because trust me, you’ve done plenty.

If my past was the crux of my salvation, I would already be doomed.

I could tell you stories that would curl the hair on your head, and if your happen to be bald, it would sprout growth.

I deserved to have stones thrown at me.

I still do, every day, and yet, for some reason, Jesus loves me.

One day, He will dry the last tears I will ever cry.

That is a lovely line and I would like take credit for it, but it comes from a song from Casting Crowns called “The Wedding”.

It says a lot of things that mean something to me.

Why?

Because I know that any goodness I have, have had or will ever have comes from Jesus.

He made a choice to give His life for all of us.

God didn’t make him.

Jesus was, as we are, of free will.

He could have opted out and even prayed that the cup be taken from him.

He could have refused.

But He didn’t.

It should be enough to know that he could have and didn’t.

I judge myself daily, multiple times.  I don’t need others to judge me, but they do anyway.

All I really know is that He shows me incredible things through His creation.

I feel the wind on my face, the sun on my skin … see the lightning and hear the thunder.

I am amazed by who He is and what He has done.

I feel odd saying that He loves me, but He does.

I don’t know why and have stopped asking.

He just does.

Via Casting Crowns:  “There’s a stirring in the throne room” … “the last tears she’s will ever cry have been wiped away”.

Today is Easter.

The “Third Day”.

“Resurrection Day”.

I believe this just as I believe the birds sing, the sky is blue and the moon is beautiful.

He loves me even when I am unlovable, tainted, scarred, sinful, judgmental .

He finds me beautiful as He will find you.

I will share this day, not my photographs, which He has given me through the eyes of His spirit, but a song by the group Casting Crowns.

Know your worth in Christ.

He is beautiful and finds you to be the same.

Don’t be ashamed of who you were, be joyful in who you are.

We are His and He loves us even though we are not worthy.

A beautiful thing, that.

Psalms 139:14 ~ I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

 

 

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The thing about money …

is that it is only really important when you need it but don’t have it.

Most of us are working class people who know how to make a penny squirm.

I know I do, and yet, there are times when I don’t have a penny to bully.

That’s the way of it.

Of life.

There are times of plenty, on occasion, but for the most part, the times are lean and we find ourselves trying to make a dollar out of thirty seven cents.

It isn’t easy to cough up money we don’t have when it essential that we have it, when it seems impossible and unattainable, but that is the essence of faith.

Of believing and hoping when there isn’t anything else but belief and hope.

That is the epitome of life.

Ups.

Downs.

Blessings.

Joy.

Sorrow.

Triumph.

I live in my own little world most of the time.  I have a job and am happy for such, for but I long for travel and photography and writing.

I don’t want to work for a living, I want to live for a living.

But I digress.

My point, the main point in fact, is that I am not worried about money.

It always seems to be there when I need it.

Jesus promised many times to supply our needs and to  come to our rescue when we were in trouble.

He asks little, really.  Only that we believe in Him and have faith in Him that He will do what He says He will do.

I have what could be construed as an insurmountable thing, but I haven’t given it a second thought.

I gave it to Jesus to let Him sort it out according to His will.

I have faith that He will, as He said He would, take care of me.

It is difficult, I know, for some to live simply by the faith that someone will actually do what they say the will, but I live by it.

I depend on it.

I rely on it.

The promise from Jesus, that is.

I take His word for what He says He will do and leave it at that.

Do I have the money I need?

No.

Will I have it?

Most definitely.

I have no doubt that what I have need of will be provided to me.

It is really no different than the trail shoots that I go on with nothing but my strength, stamina, camera and tripod.

I could see the same things that everyone else who walks the path sees, but instead of looking through my own eyes, I rely on the eyes of Jesus to guide me and the results are beyond anything I could have imagined.

The same goes in my day to day.

Is it always pleasant?  No

Is it always what I hoped for?  No.

Do I find blessings in the unexpected?  Yes, more often than not.

I won’t say that every experience is a good one because that would be a lie, but for the most part, when I give myself over to Jesus and let Him lead, I learn something about myself, humanity, love, grace, or some other wonderful thing that reminds me that I am a child of God.

A blessing to Him.

A flower in His crown.

As hard as it is to believe sometimes that I could be an asset to anyone, I am, according to Him, His glory.

How magnificent is that?  To be glorious to someone?  To be important enough that someone would willingly die on my behalf?

I am breathless at the the mere thought of it.

But breathless or not, it is true.  He did.

Without reservation.

And therein lies trust and belief because I was important enough to die for.

We all were.

Some of the lessons are hard and leave me shattered and nearly broken.

The keyword here is “nearly”.

I have what I need when I need it.

That, in itself, is a beautiful thing.

I don’t have to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself.

I don’t worry about today because I have given it to Jesus.

My past is just that, a past that I, if I choose to, can regret, or if I use it wisely can learn from the successes and failures.

I am only concerned about now, this moment, this particular space in time.

The rest, well, it is out of my hands.

As it clearly points out in Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It pretty much says it all.

Faith.  Hope.  Evidence.

Right now is my priority, tomorrow is uncertain, yesterday is beyond me.

Now is what I have to work with.

Period.

I choose to have faith, believe, hope and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He meant what He said.

There is my comfort, my strength, my joy, my thanksgiving and my life.

Life is, whether in the valley or on the mountain or soaring above the mountains and valleys, good.

And I am blessed.

Amen.

Hope makes us more than we really are.

Hope makes us more than we really are.

It has been a long few days …

or has it been weeks?

I haven’t posted anything new.

No blog posts.

No photographs.

Nothing.

I have been in a holding pattern of sleepwalking, nightmares and erotic dreams that leave me confused, wondering and bewildered …

and all the while, trying my very best to make it, without losing my cool, through the seemingly endless days and eventful nights.

I have had patients cry on me, their families strike me, people pulling at my heartstrings which are linked directly to my tear ducts and during all of this, trying to find out if I am to blame for something I had no control over.

I wonder if I have severed a crucial friendship and have already began to mourn the loss of it.

I have a way of ruining beautiful things because I rarely feel worthy of them.

I have slept outside, sent messages I wasn’t aware of and tried desperately to hold it together.

A difficult few days, indeed.

But tonight changed all that.

It came a storm.

A big one, with lots of lightning and torrential rain.

Normally, during such an event, I would be set up on the porch with my tripod and camera, but this time was different.

This one wasn’t to be documented and photographed.

It was to set my spirit free.

And it did.

I stood on the porch with my jeans and t-shirt, getting soaked.

But as time passed, I wanted no earthly barriers between me and the blessing that God was giving me.

A cleansing.

A fresh beginning.

Letting the past be past and bygones be bygones and memories no more than a blip on my radar.

One piece of clothing after another was discarded until I found myself standing nude and vulnerable under the rain, with the lightning flashing, the thunder bellowing, echoing between the mountains and valleys …

tears running down my face.

I prayed to a God that I had decided had forgotten me.

He hadn’t.

I think He was just waiting for me to remember Him.

It was frightening.

It was freeing.

I was liberated from the hold this world had on me.

I was, for that span of time, one with nature and the God who created it.

I still struggle with the emotions and thoughts in my head, but He designed my brain and is well acquainted with my mindless and sometimes senseless ramblings.

He doesn’t hold them against me and so I won’t hold them against myself.

Not everyone believes in my God.  I don’t find fault with them.  I know what I know, they know what they know.

I can only be who I am and, despite all my faults, and they are many, I feel at peace.

And despite that, my friends who don’t believe in my God like me anyway.

I am humbled by that.

Just  as I accept them, they accept me.

With our differences of opinions and thoughts.

It is irrelevant.

Isn’t that what it was supposed to be like?

Love one another?

Are my thoughts still burning through my head? Yes.

Do I still sometimes feel out of control? Yes.

Do I have someone to share the thoughts and emotions with? Yes, and I am thankful for them.

Do I wonder if I am making the right choices? Yes.

Following Christ doesn’t mean that everything is just peachy.  In all honesty, it is the opposite.

I don’t do it right, I never have, but I hope to at least encourage somebody along the way.

And selfishly, I hope to be encouraged.

I wonder sometimes if I am nothing more than the punching bag of the universe.  I don’t mind it if it keeps someone else from suffering, but every now and then, it wears on the soul.

And then, an incredible storm comes, I stand in the rain, and all is right again.

The circle of life.

It is what it is what it is what it is.

It is what we make of it that counts.

So make it count.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

a beautiful human, inside and out.

Coughing, sneezing and I’m going to be sick …

seem to be the catchwords these days.  There are, at any given time, several bugs going around that are contagious, HOWEVER, due to the unusually warm weather this winter season, the bugs (and not just the flu ones) are winning the war.  It’s funny how, when someone is sick, all the lessons they learned as a child (such as covering their mouth when they cough) just fly out the window.  I have been coughed on, spit on, puked on and, as of today, hit on (though that is, unfortunately, not contagious hahaha). 

I never really intended on being a nurse, but for some odd reason, I seem to have a knack for it.  I am not a people person.   Might as well admit it.  Through the harsh experiences in my life that God had decided I needed to face, however, I have been given an arsenal of ways to relate to people facing crisis.

I still wake up every morning wishing I could spend the day looking for photographs to take, but that is not the turn my life took.  I went to school and studied things that grossed me out on many, many levels and, got kicked out of the OR by a very irritated surgeon; at some point, though, was able to actually practice (mostly without gagging) what I had learned.  I hate germs, hair and skin cells.  They make me want to run for cover, so I ask myself over and over why I became a nurse.  The answer is one that doesn’t please me, but the truth is often a bitter pill to swallow; I became a nurse because I didn’t have the nerve or courage to be what, in the depths of my soul, I wanted to be.

Ironically,  there is a survey that everyone in the place I work has to fill out.  Thankfully, we don’t have to put our names on it because one of the questions is “do I get to do what I do best every day”.  The answer is no.  I don’t get to photograph nature and life and I do not, on any level, consider making a note in a patient’s chart using medical jargon and words that I am pleased to not only know the meaning to, but know how to spell (such as costochondritis, hyperemisis and macrocytosis), writing.  But even so, I don’t discount the sheer magnitude of the moment when someone who is in need says to me “you have put my mind at ease” or “I am thankful for you”.  Those times almost (not completely, but almost) make me feel guilty for not wanting to be a nurse for the rest of my life.

I have, more than once, as any of my friends can tell you, been in a position where I needed to have my own mind put at ease.  As recently as the last two days, if I am to be honest.  I find that I treat patients the way I want my parents to be treated and often spend more time than I should trying to fix an unfixable problem.  Doing so is like hitting my head against a wall again and again, but I simply don’t have the mindset to do something halfway.  All or nothing, whether I love it or not, is just the way I roll.  It is a blessing to know that, along the way, I can give back what has  been given to me; that I can relate, even in the really bad stuff, and give someone a bit of peace by letting them know that I understand.  And, too often for my own comfort, I do understand.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  A blessing because I can bring some peace to a single, solitary soul, and a curse because I often wish, without guile, that I were anywhere but where I am at the moment.

Knowing that I am relevant in peoples’ lives  doesn’t cure the wanderlust or the need to write or the need to see or the need to photograph.  Those things make me who I am and whether I am face to face with the flu bug or dodging vomit, or squinting my eyes shut as someone coughs directly in my face, it doesn’t change what I want to be.  Just because I am good at what I do to earn a paycheck doesn’t mean that I want to keep doing it.  I’ve been saying that for over twenty-five years and my reality, though sometimes skewed by moments of insanity, hasn’t changed.  In my heart, I am a photographer and writer and that will not, even if those particular desires are never fulfilled, change.  I still have my trail shoots.  I still have my blog.  I still have my dreams.  I still have my faith.  While I will continue to do what I do as long as I must do it, there is so much more I want to experience.  Being an optimist, I have no doubt that the chance will come.  Being a Sagittarius, I am just stubborn enough to wait for it.  Being a follower of Jesus, I have the faith and patience to wait.  Being a nurse, I at least know that, while I am waiting, I am accomplishing something that matters to someone.

So all of that being said, I remind everyone to wash your hands several times a day, change your clothes the minute you get home and for Heaven’s sake, don’t eat or drink after people;  that is nasty even when you are well, even when it is people you love dearly.  Remember, germs don’t care who you are, they are just glad when you are gullible enough to bring them into yourself, so protect yourself and run when necessary. Be well, be safe and follow your dreams, no matter where they may lead.  I certainly intend to.

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Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

On the Eve of New Year’s Eve …

I have found myself looking back over memories of the past year.  While some of the looking has been within the vast memories of my mind and heart, most of the thoughts have been invoked from the photographs that depict the life I have lived.  While I appear in but a few of the photographs (part of being the photographer), they depict what I have found to be inspiring, beautiful, profound, enlightening and without doubt, some of the most exceptional moments I could ask for.

I have learned that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you know (or think you know), there is more to learn.   People are complex and, at the same time, simple and beautiful  My niece Gracie has Down’s Syndrome, but I’ve learned from her that the things that make people different aren’t an anomaly or defect, but something to be praised and honored.  She reminds me that, if I get lonely, I only have to look into myself to find company.  She only sees the beauty, the positive and she never fails to offer a smile.  She reminds me to smile, even when I don’t feel like smiling.

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I have learned that I don’t have be alone when I want to go to the hard places; that there are people willing to go with me, not because they want to go, but because they know I want to.  A long and arduous trek to the White Rocks this Autumn brought this thought process to fruition.  My sister knew how much I wanted to go and because she didn’t want me to go alone, she, along with my niece, Sophie and cousin, Emily, made the journey.  It was exhausting and breathtaking and full of fellowship and fun.  It reminded me that there are people in my life who care about the things that are important to me and want to help me succeed in finding them.  These are memories that, as long as my mind lasts, will stay with me, for they are precious beyond words that can describe them.

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I learned, through my niece Sophie, what it means to be courageous and not to balk when an obstacle presents itself in my path.  She is fearless and has a sense of adventure that makes me proud.  I’d like to think that, somewhere in her heart, she has a tiny bit of me and that between the two of us, we can see and experience everything.  She, while sometimes a challenge, is an inspiration to me and a constant comfort.  She is beautiful and strong and reminds me that life, even when it seems to be mediocre, is an incredible journey that should be loved, for the moment, at the moment; the rest will fall into place when it should.

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I have been reminded that music has no boundaries when it comes to what moves the soul.  I have been introduced to new music that has touched my heart in such a way, that it will never, ever be the same.  Friends come into my life and then fade away, but the mark they leave is everlasting and causes a chain reaction of the thirst for knowledge of music in its purest form  and the peace that it brings to my mind.  For those who have influenced me, I am thankful, for there is much I would have gone my whole life without knowing had there not been special ones to show me that there was more than what I thought possible.  Music always has and will continue to be a balm to my spirit.  I am grateful for the musicians that have graced my life and made it, because of their presence in it, richer and more beautiful than I could imagine.

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I have been reminded just how wonderful it is to have the love of a beloved pet.  One who will let  me hold them way too tightly as I cry into their soft fur.  One who knew all of my secrets and then took them to heaven with them, for I cannot imagine that these sweet animals that stole my heart could be anywhere other than in Heaven.  They were my friends, my confidants and my loved ones.  As I think of them now, tears run down my face, for I miss them terribly.   They were the best of me.  The purest of me.  And the most loyal of any friend I have ever known.  They were an extension of myself and brought me great joy, teaching me even as they lived, what it meant to be a friend.  I have learned so much from them and thankful to have had them, for but a moment, it seems, in my life.

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I’ve been reminded that sometimes, something as simple as a ride on a tire swing can bring joy unspeakable.  Through time and space, I was transported to my childhood and immersed in the beauty of the memories that bring me happiness.  There is nothing like being reminded of happier times to bring a smile and moment of happiness to my heart.  I am thankful that the little ones that I am blessed to be a part of their lives, who remind me what it was like to be a child, to be carefree and to have no worries other than when I get to swing again.  My blessings continue to mount as I reminisce over the past year.

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My parents, whom I am blessed to still have in my life, have been a profound influence on me. The took me to church when I was but a babe and, while there were times I didn’t want to be there, it all came full circle when I came to the point when I wanted to give my life to Christ.  They encouraged me when I was down, supported me when I was an embarrassment to them and loved me when I was, as I know there were times when I was, unlovable.  I owe so much to them.  My parents.  My biggest fans.  My rocks.

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I am reminded of those who have gone to be with God, who will grace this life I live no longer, other than in memory, and am not ashamed at the falling of the tears at there absence.  I am richer for those I have known, more blessed for the ones that have graced my life and more fulfilled because some of the most wonderful people I have ever known have passed through my life.  It has, while moments of sadness would say otherwise, been an incredible year of learning and discovery.  I am blessed beyond what I deserve and am thankful for every experience.  Not all of them have been good, but through each one, I have grown a bit, both spiritually and in the human factor.  I have no regrets.  I have no wishes for do-overs.  While there are those that have left a lasting impression on my life, be they alive or dead, I am grateful.  Each experience has brought me closer to that which is written that I should accomplish.  I am thankful.  I am grateful.  I am in awe of my Awesome God.

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Through it all, there is joy unspeakable in the beauty that my Heavenly Father reveals to me, through His astounding beauty and wonderful works.  I am thankful for all that I have learned this year and anxiously await what He has in store for the next.  God Bless my friends, followers, family and everyone who feels that their life has, for one reason or another, been in vain.  Know that you are important to so many and that without your influence, things, at least for me, would have much less wonderful.

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For each moment, each experience, each happiness, each sorrow, each disappointment, each joy, each heartbreak, each smile, each tear, each lesson … I am grateful.  I can  only hope that the next year will bring as much knowledge, love and friendship as this one.  I am grateful.  More than words can say, even through the hard times, which have been many, I am, thankful and optimistic.  That is my nature.  I am a Christian and a Sagittarius … What choice do I have, after all?

Christmas, to a Follower of Jesus …

is, second only to Good Friday and Easter, the singularly most important religious holiday that is celebrated.  It is true that Christmas, to the secular world, has been commercialized with thoughts of Santa, spending money and giving gifts that may or may not have any bearing on the holiday itself.  It has become a day about getting, getting more and then being disappointed in not getting enough.  But to those of who hold Christmas in our heart for what it truly means, it isn’t about getting at all, but giving.  It is the celebration of the Virgin birth of the Christ child.  Now, it is no surprise that there will be many who will scoff at this.  That is not unexpected or taken in offense.  I know, in my heart and soul, what I know in my heart and soul.  It brings me great pleasure to honor Jesus at the celebration of His birth.  To revere  Him for the Savior that I personally know Him to be.

It is a beautiful image in my mind to think of a sweet little baby, wrapped in swaddling clothing, lying in a manger that is normally used to feed farm animals.  As it has been taught to me by wise teacher, swaddling clothes were usually reserved for females in order to depict the suffering that they would endure through childbirth.  To find a male child wrapped in swaddling clothing was simply not done.  But Jesus, more than any woman bearing a child, would suffer.  And not only would He suffer, He would do it willingly.

I can think of none of the children in my life, not my daughter nor my nieces, that I would sacrifice for anyone, much less a sinner, a murderer, child molester, thief.  Not a chance.  I would sacrifice myself before I would offer up any of those little ones dear to me; and only then as a trade.  But willingly?  I cannot fathom.  Nor can I fathom knowing the day and the hour that I would have to turn my back on any one of them, leaving them to fend for themselves while I remove myself from from their suffering because that was the only way to obtain the redemption that their death would bring.   It would be hard enough losing a child unexpectedly, but to know, day after day, that the time was drawing near.  I cannot fathom.  Were it up to me, it is quite obvious that mankind would be doomed to die in their sins for at the last moment, I would balk.  I am, after all, only human.

I find it, therefore, an honor and privilege to revere the Christ Child and the Father who was willing to sacrifice Him for my sins.  I’ve heard it said that God is callous and cruel, but what an enormous amount of love it would take for mankind in order to make Him turn His back on the Son He loved just so that we might be redeemed.  Nothing callous about that.  It is, without doubt, love in its purest form and I can only hope that, as I go along this life I’ve been given, I can give as unselfishly as my Father and my Savior.

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Luke 2:1-7

2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered

.And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Being a greeting card designer …

was never  in my plans; it wasn’t even in the back of my mind.  A thought not yet thought, a dream not yet dreampt.  It never really occurred to me that I could design greeting cards until one day, four years ago, when I was looking for a place to make a birthday card for my friend Len.  I wanted to use a photograph of our Great Pyrenees dogs to upload to a card in order to wish a happy birthday to my dog-loving friend.  I had looked up such sites before, but could find none that would allow me to upload my own photographs onto the card.  And then, out of the blue (always a sure sign that a blessing is in the midst), I found Greeting Card Universe.  It was exactly what I had been looking for and the site said that I could upload my photographs and make cards out of them and actually make money off of them.   I had an overwhelming urge to do just that, caring about the photography and not really expecting to make any money from what came out my heart and head.  The site said that it could take several months to sell a card and it could be years before any revenue was made.

My husband, who was still living at the time, encouraged me to make more.  To put the words in my heart with the photographs that I had been given.  I had to come up with a name for the store and because I give God all the glory for what I see through the lens of my camera, Through the Eyes of the Spirit just popped into my mind.  Jim was one of my biggest fans and a sounding board for new ideas and thoughts.  He was brutally honest and I appreciated that, as honesty is very important to me.  I began to put words to the photographs I had taken and created cards that I could scarcely imagine that anyone would want. I was at a crossroads.  A place where I had two choices; share what I had been given or cowardly hide it away because I couldn’t fathom that anyone would want anything that I had created.

So I did it. I took the leap of faith and uploaded a card with my own photograph and my own verse and prepared to wait for months or even years for anyone to take an interest.  Eleven days later, I sold my first greeting card.  The feeling was one of jubilation, honor,  humbleness and, quite honestly, disbelief.  I simply could not believe that there were people who had an interest in the words I had to say, words that were given to me, those not my own, but placed in my heart by a faithful God.

I immediately considered the first sale a fluke and then more came.  And more after that.  It seemed that I had a knack for coming up with the words that people wanted to say, but didn’t quite know how.  I made card after card, the verses rolling off my tongue as though they were native to me.  What inspiration and joy I had from each one and every time I had a sale, I was thankful and gave thanks to the Lord who had given such a wonderful thing to me.  It became a ministry.  One of encouragement to the downtrodden and suffering.  It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  Many times I cried over the verses for they were born of life experiences and hardships that I would never have dreamed could ever be anything more than a burden.

It has been four years since I joined the world of greeting card design and more than 20,000 cards have sold.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Twenty thousand.  I am stunned.  I continue to be stunned.  And with each sale, whether it be for one card or 500 cards, I feel the same as I did when the very first one sold.  The thrill and exhilaration has not faded.  Each time I get a notification, I first thank God, for it is all for His glory.  My name will fade from the mind only moments after hearing it, but His name will still be on the lips of His people until the end of time.  I am  honored that He has chosen me to be a part of His ministry through something that I love as much as my life itself.

In my heart of hearts, I am a photographer.  I see things differently and that, in itself, is a blessing.  I would love to be able to thank every single person, from all fifty states and thirty different countries for their support.  It isn’t possible.  I  don’t know who buys my cards.  All I am privy to is the location from which the card was purchased, but that doesn’t impede my desire to pray when I sell a card for “loss of mother” or “college graduate” or “thank you from bride to father”.  I am grateful for each one and feel a sense of gratitude and humbleness that out of  hundreds of thousand of cards, someone picked mine.

I don’t take this blessing lightly as it has had a profound influence on my life.  And I am, as I said, very grateful.  I am blessed beyond what I have the words to say and at times when I am feeling low, He lifts me by using the talents and gifts He gave to me to bring joy that would otherwise be absent.  I am in love with Jesus and take great pleasure in knowing that He loves me more than I can ever love Him.  Although life has a way of kicking me down from time to time, it cannot compete with what lives inside of me.  Life will go on whether I am a part of it or not, but how wonderful to know, that through the gifts given to me, that I am able to bring joy and encouragement to others.  That, without doubt or reservation, makes my life worth living and for that, I am grateful beyond words that I can say.

So again I say, to everyone who has ever purchased a card from Through the Eyes of the Spirit, I hope you got even a tenth of the joy from receiving the card as I got from creating it.

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Isiah 41:10 ~ So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.