Saturday, January 31, 2015

Black and White

"When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls."  -t.g.

post inspired by Leaking Hearts Magazine

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wisdom's Three Rs

This past month I've had the opportunity to teach the youth girl's Wednesday night class with one of my good friends. The study we chose is Me, Myself, and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild. I've loved this study and have found it to be very relevant to my life. The study focuses on the words we speak to our souls, how they affect us, and how we can live focusing on God's truths. A lot of my writing in the To My Sisters series has reflected that, especially in my post To the Labeled. Today I want to share with you from the study Katelynn and I taught last week.

Jennifer Rothschild began last week's lesson discussing our feelings and how they affect us. We see from Scripture that our feelings are not trustworthy (Jeremiah 17:9), particularly in the way they affected Esau. If you know the story of Jacob and Esau, you may remember the time Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew (Genesis 25:29-34). Esau traded something very valuable (his inheritance) based on his present feelings of hunger. We often do the same in our own lives. We act upon temporary feelings such as anger or disappointment and let it affect our lives in possibly more long-term ways than if we had instead paused and asked God for wisdom in the situation. Esau's decision to act on his temporary feelings of hunger caused him a much harder life. Because he gave away his birthright to his brother he eventually became angry with him and sought to kill him. Esau became the nation of Edom, a nation that hated Israel and was eventually destroyed. 

In order to keep our emotions in check and act out of wisdom instead of feelings we can remember the "three Rs" (found in Me, Myself, and Lies):

James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." God invites us to the opportunity to receive wisdom, all we have to do is ask! This often this can be something that takes practice. When we're "in the moment" it can be hard to remember to pause and ask God for wisdom, but if we know our weak points we can even ask Him now to guide us with His wisdom when we do find ourselves in times when we're overwhelmed with our feelings.

Proverbs 9:10 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." To revere, or fear, God means that we show Him respect. We recognize that He is Lord of our lives, the one in ultimate control, and respectfully allow Him to be so. 

Proverbs 12:15 says, "The way of a fool is right in His own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice." It is so easy to get wrapped up in ourselves believing we know the right way to handle things and that our opinions are best, but God says this is foolish. If we are wise we will recognize our faults and open ourselves up to the wisdom from other godly, more experience Christians. It is very important to have someone like this in your life because they often have lived through the same experiences we go through, can see things from a different perspective, and encourage us in our walk with Jesus. Whether it's your mom, grandmother, or a lady from your church I would encourage you to find someone who can provide you with Biblical wisdom.

I hope each of you have an amazing week :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Family Portraits | Britt :: Wilmington, NC Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

I had such a great time photographing this beautiful family! They are all so sweet and funny that we had a wonderful session with beautiful pictures.

View more of the Britt family and my recent sessions here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Because You Need a Pep Talk

It had been a hard week...a week full of lies to myself and a hurting heart. I turned my music up, sang truths to my heart, and prayed that God would give me rest ... "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Two nights before God planted that verse in my mind knowing I would need it. I prayed, He answered, and that night I decided I needed to give myself a pep talk. Too often we're hesitant to see our worth as God sees us and to remind ourselves of who we truly are in Christ. We might do this for a number of reasons...sometimes because we desire humility. Sometimes because we simply don't believe there's anything good to list. Sometimes we struggle to see ourselves as He sees us because somehow we find pain, loneliness, and sadness a thing to easy to dwell in, as if it's almost comfortable in some way. Thus, pep talks are few and far between...but sister, we all need them. You need them. I'd like to force you to read this post, to believe these words, but I can't so I'm going to hope that you will despite any hesitations.

Here's a pep talk for your Monday, your Tuesday, your Wednesday, and...well, every day of your life because nothing on this list will ever change.

You are beautiful
You don't need your girlfriends or some guy to tell you this...stop listening to society broadcasting the lies and choose to listen to Christ.  You wouldn't follow every single fashion choice, hair cut, or makeup routine declared beautiful so why let society define you at all? Society does a horrible job of defining are so much better than anything they could ever say about you...bad or good.

You are loved, so much. It doesn't matter the number of people that tell you this or even the degree to which they mean it... God loves you bigger and better. There's no doubt about it, so don't listen to anyone or anything try to tell you otherwise. "...that you, being rooted and grounded in love may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge..." (Ephesians 3:17-19).

You are forgiven
You sins are nailed to the cross by the One who gave his life for you (Colossians 2:14).

You have guts
Let's face is hard. But hey, life is really, really, really good too. I have no clue what you may be going through, but I know God promises strength. Trust Him in that. He's never failed, and He won't start now...or ever.

You are blessed
If you're able to read this you have greater advantages than the majority of the world. Your life is amazing. Never forget that.

You are not boring
Sometimes your interests and passions are different than those of your friends and you may feel like you're boring or weird, but God has given you your passions for a reason. Dream big, do big. Also, sometimes it's hard to hold true to your convictions when everyone else around you seems to be doing the opposite. Never be ashamed of convictions. It doesn't mean you're a better person, but it doesn't mean you're boring or naive either. God has made you the person you are for a reason and there will be people who respect that. When you struggle with this just read Galatians 1:10.

You are God's child
He chose you (Ephesians 1:4). He prays for you (Romans 8:26). He holds you (Isaiah 41:10). He rejoices over you (Zephaniah 3:17).

You are known
From your waking thought, the tears streaming as you're driving down the highway, your laughter, your steady breathing at night, your sparkling eyes, your make-up free face, your tomorrow... Jesus knows it all and gave His all because even while fully knowing you... He loves you.

You are valuable
You are a treasure. You are more valuable than a diamond in the rough... you are priceless. Nothing, I repeat, nothing can destroy your worth. God says you are His (1 Peter 2:9-10). You are forgiven. You were died for. You were wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Nothing can change that. God said, and it is so.

You were created
There is no accident in the fact that you were born. Before anyone even knew to think of you, God did. He planned you. He loved you before time, loves you in this moment, and will love you all of eternity. Just think, after all this time you finally get to love Him back. --This is actually a great song that you should listen to, here--

Today is a new day. Crush the lies of the Destroyer.

Dwell in truth.

If you enjoyed reading please share :)

Other posts in the To My Sisters Series...
Encouragement from Instagram
New Year Encouragement
Peace is a Person
Remembering Grace

Monday, January 12, 2015

Encouragement from Instagram

Today's post is a little different than most in the To My Sisters have to go search out the encouragement yourself. But it's worth it! I love, love, love Instagram (find me at "haleynicolephoto"!). My feed is cluttered with photographers, some of my favorite + inspiring artists and celebrities, and good friends. I've recently found it to also be a source of encouragement and today I want to share with you three accounts that are constantly putting out encouraging messages.

The first is Quite Women Community. I found them through the artist Jamie Grace, who you are probably familiar with. Her sister is the founder, and since finding them I've enjoyed reading the daily posts of encouraging reminders. Find them at "quitewomenco" on Instagram. There are also separate accounts for several different states...look up yours!

She Reads Truth daily posts encouraging Bible verses or quotes (plus pretty backrounds ;) ) Personally I've never used it, but they also have study plans on their website for reading the Bible if you're looking for a new one. Right now they are going through the book of John. 

Another of my recent favorites is Erin James. I found her recently through Instagram also, and while I haven't had much time to go back and read many of her old blog posts, she writes many encouraging posts on Instagram. Find her at "_sheisdarling".

Do you have any encouraging accounts you follow? Maybe on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Family | Timaeus :: Wilmington, NC Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer

Kevin, Sally, and Emmalee were a joy to photograph. Kevin and Sally are great parents and you can tell they are Emmalee's best friends. Before taking the pictures below she put her arms around their necks, pulled them close, and said "come here you two!"

I love the way the pictures turned out and hope you enjoy :)

See more of the Timaeus family and other sessions here.