16 For a Moment

God in his beautiful grace gave me a son for my oldest. This kid is a joy to raise. Jason and I had been married for 18 months when we found out we were pregnant with Andrew Jonathan. We were just kids but we were so excited to see what God would do with our combined genes. And while just looking at AJ you will exclusively see his dad’s looks and fairly laid back idea of fun, start a conversation with him and challenge him about something he is passionate about, and you’ll soon meet his mother’s attitude and strong will.

AJ is a learner. If he’s interested in it, he will figure it out and become very good at it. He’s highly protective of his sisters which will prove to be quite entertaining in about 6 or 7 years. And he’s independant. Way more independent than either I or Jason was at his age. And so as we venture into the freedom-giving age of SIXTEEN I hope the rest of us will be able to keep up the cool-factor because these friends of his are pretty much amazing! We had a fun little birthday party for him. Here are the pictures…

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Bethany’s Bridal

Don’t tell anyone but if you ask me to do a bridal session, I’m going to have a really hard time refusing. 😉 I truly LOVE photographing bridal portraits! And it just so happened that I had an a few hours open after Bethany’s practice run through for her hair and makeup. So she headed over… and these are my favorites!

 

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Magical Mt. Home

We are currently in production for the Winter issue of The Grace Mask Journal. On Saturday morning we loaded up the van and headed down to Mt. Home, Arkansas, to photograph one of our writers at her home. Oh my goodness you are going to love the story she is living! I can’t wait for you to meet her!

But you’ll have to wait until December for those pictures…

Until then, let me give you a peek at the light we were blessed to work with! It was so magical! And although we didn’t shoot her session in this enchanted little world on the west side of Norfork Lake, we had the same beautiful light streaming in through the clouds at just the right moments! I saw this little spot as we were driving into town and insisted that we come back and check it out. Our kids spent at least an hour playing and building this little tree hut. I want to come back down here and catch a sunrise or sunset. Isn’t it beautiful!?

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Camera Battle: John & Bethany Engaged

It was Battle: Engagement Session with John and Bethany last week downtown! This time I (Aurelia) won! The original Facebook album has been updated to show who shot what so go check it out if you are curious. Thanks to all who played along with us but most of all thanks to John and Bethany for joining us for a fun and creative evening in Downtown Springfield!

The Ivaska family has been a part of our Springfield life for close to 20 years! This Fall will mark the 20 year anniversary of our first semester at Evangel College (now Evangel University). Finding a church home in Springfield was a bit overwhelming for us in 1997 but we ended up landing at a “big-to-us” congregation at Grand and Grant called Calvary Temple. Jason and I spent the first 10 years of our marriage with CT and John and Sarah Ivaska became family to us there. We’ve watched these Ivaska girls grow up and now in August this one’s getting married!

Bethany and John we love you both! We are so blessed to call you friends and excited to be a part of your tribe. Please know that Jason and I will encourage your marriage and always point you to Jesus. Thank you for allowing us to pray for you both and capture these images. May the deep joy in these pictures be present in your marriage for all your years together!

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Let Her Alone

Alyssa Beth | Easter Sunday 2017

“Believing Jesus is anything other than Savior of the world will affect her story deeply.”

Luke 18:17 “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and Me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”

I was overwhelmed by God’s grace today during our Easter service. We sang an old favorite hymn, Because He Lives, oh how powerful the words of that song are to me and my story. I grew up singing that song in a little Southern Baptist church. So when my early story touches my present story, the hugeness of God’s grace is overwhelming. Our pastor preached from John 20 today focusing in on the story of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the risen Jesus.

Mary Magdalene.

This girl loved Jesus so.

So much that on that first Easter morning though she came to the tomb with other women and though she brought the disciples to the empty tomb, she ended up alone with the risen Jesus.

Those with her left her alone… and the result? She was the first person in history to declare the Gospel to The Church.

Yesterday I revisited the day Alyssa first said “yes” to Jesus. You can read that post here too.

One of the verses I included with that post was Jesus’ words from Luke 18:17. As I was reading the word “alone” in that verse I thought about Mary being alone at the tomb seeking Jesus. She wasn’t afraid to be there. She wasn’t afraid to question angels or gardeners. She was so in love with Jesus she was fearless even in her grief. I want my kids to have that kind of love for Jesus.

I want my kids to know they are completely safe in their relationship with Jesus. I want Him to be the One they trust and love above every other relationship they have. I don’t want them dependent on me or Jason or anyone else for their identity. And Jesus’ words to me as a mother of three kids who have now accepted Christ and followed Him in baptism are “let them alone”. Not abandoned to figure it all out themselves. Not unattended as they learn how to study God’s word. Not isolated from the body of Christ and family. Jesus isn’t telling us to leave our kids. He wants us to stay out of their way as they follow Him and out of HIS way as He leads them. When Jesus called Mary’s name that day He was the only one she could turn to because she was alone-there was no mistaking him for anyone else in that moment. I don’t want to be in the way when my kids call out to Jesus. I pray I direct Alyssa to Jesus always as her source for everything. He will use me to meet her needs for a few more years. But I would be a faithless and fearful mother to try to do what only he can do for her. It’s time for me to let her alone.

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365 | 3.29.17 | Wherever You Set Your Foot…

On the days you think you’re losing it more than you realize you’re being restored…

On the days your confidence is not in Him but in yourself – low – weak – tender…

On the days they doubt you – despise you – reject you because of your confidence in Him…

Remember this was yours before it wasn’t. You gave it up, it’s true. But He’s giving it back to you.

So every step you take, dear Bride…

“Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours…” Deuteronomy 11:24

“Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you…” Joshua 1:3

“… for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world.” 1 John 4:4

And “take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33

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