Summer is in full swing here on the farm.  The sheep have shed their winter coats, the egg baskets are brimming over and the grass seems to grow by the minute.  While many are able to push the pause button on normal life during the summer months, our schedules are fuller and busier.  Knowing the pace of our days, I was especially grateful to have a few moments to play with the girls in the field and watch them twirl and laugh and enjoy.  As I was looking through my lens, particularly at my eldest, I could have sworn she grew taller and older before I could press the shutter.  She seemed more alive and more herself in a way I had not seen in some time.  As we walked inside she thanked me and said she loved me and could we please do that again.  I know that it was not the simple act of me taking her picture that stirred her heart.  I sense it was the feeling of being seen, appreciated and valued.  So whether it involves my camera or just my gaze, I hope to see her in a way that gives her wings.  And with those wings, that she would soar over the mud and the mire and see clearly who she really is and Who it was that made her.

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different…” -C.S. Lewis

 

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We moved into our house the week before Christmas.  It was cold and windy, the trees were barren and the grass was dormant.  April has come and brought with it the charm I hoped would surface.  Flowers, asparagus, blooming dogwoods and the steady greening of the fields.  As a photographer, my mind automatically turns to what could take place under those flowering trees and in the knee-high grass.  And let me tell you, this family did not disappoint.  They were the first family that I have photographed on our farm and definitely not the last.  Cheers to many more sun kissed nights in the wide open fields!

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When we moved to our new house, there was a long list of highlights.  The kitchen, the back yard, the barn, and so on.  But at the very top of that list was our new neighbors.  This family is something special.  Their capacity for loving and serving people is unparalleled.  It seems that every free moment is filled with serving someone.  And the most amazing part- their kids have embraced this spirit and cheerfully welcome people to their farm, always willing to jump in and help.

When we moved to Tennessee, as with any previous move, the greatest challenge was meeting people and building relationships.  Friendships take time and effort and a laying down of one’s desires for another.  Who knew that within a few days of arriving we would meet this wonderful family and now be blessed to call them friends.  What a gift.

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We moved to Tennessee just over a year ago.  We arrived with a ten day old baby, three older girls, and a handful of animals.  We were ready to strike out on our own, knowing that it would be challenging, but hoping that in the end, it would be worth it.  As of today, we are still in the challenging phase; but, we trust that the Lord is still leading us and that no matter the outcome, He will take care of us.

Enter Breanne.  At our introduction class to our new church, we sat beside this young, buoyant couple.  Breanne and her husband, Alex, had recently moved to town and were working at the church.  We quickly connected on being new, moving from the north, parenting and so on.  She and Alex cheered our fledgling effort in farming and have been on our team ever since.  This couple is dynamite in every way.  They care for those in their sphere of influence with energy and intentionality.  They serve and bless and honor everyone who walks through their door and into their life.  They parent with the same care and tenderness and their two children are a beautiful picture of contentedness.

On top of their character, they are knock-outs and were a joy to photograph!

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