Monday, August 11, 2014

St. Augustine Adventuring | Personal

One of the final weekends at Jax, I was invited to go to the quaint touristy town of St. Augustine with a group of friends. The air by the ocean was salty and hot, but we didn't mind it because we were enjoying ourselves far too much. Later in the afternoon, it rained (poured, really) on us—and the overcast skies added to the mystery of this little town.  It was an afternoon that I'll never regret, and the continuation of friendships that I'm thankful to have. Here are some of my photos from our adventure!
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Madeline | Waterloo Christian School | Waterloo, IA Senior Portrait Photographer

Maddy was a natural in front of the camera! She's bubbly, full of sweetness and talent, and is totally my kind of girl. Even though we met for the first time the night of her senior portraits, I felt completely comfortable with her and wouldn't mind hanging out with her just for fun! Although that might be kind of hard…she's a busy gal, involved with volleyball, basketball, track, leading worship, band, choir, teaching sunday school, and ya know…just add school and a social life on top of that! ;) She definitely will go far in whatever area she decides to pursue!

Thanks so much for hanging out with me, Maddy! Let's grab coffee over Christmas break and catch up on life then:)

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Love Always,
Amelia Renee

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Reminding Myself of Truth

Today hasn't been nearly as productive as I had wished. That early morning bike ride didn't happen, and so far my bedroom is covered in dirty and clean laundry, old college textbooks, and receipts from the past few months. My two page "to-do" list has only a few checkmarks on it as of 3 pm.

And I think that it's okay. 

Because today I'm wrestling with some deep thoughts and hurts and fears. Oh, that last word, it's a soul-sucker…one that has attached itself to my heart and brain since I entered this wild world 22 years ago and manages to remind me of its presence every once in a while.

Summer is ending in just a few weeks (hence the room purge!) and company will be here this weekend to stay in my room—a reminder that in two weeks from now, my room will be fully back to "guest room status" and I'll be living in the same building as a few hundred other mostly-freshman-aged-people that I get to love on and cry for/with and share in life with. But that isn't what has me thinking today.

This heart of mine is thinking too much and too deeply about my future. Things I have no control over, dreams I have that I doubt will come true, wondering about the value of my heart and if I value the things I should

What is my purpose?

Don't we all ask that? Don't we all want to know the answer? 

I know the answer. I've been given the key to the code, the last book in the series, the final puzzle piece. And in that is tucked away joy and hope and love. Those are greater than fear by far, but sometimes I let the one who tells lies sit on my bedside table and spread a tasteless grey over the beautifully colored canvas of life I have been given.

Today I'm saying no.

In saying no to fear, to lies, I have been reminded of the freedom in truth. The truth that I am loved. I will be provided for by the One who calls me Daughter. He gives me peace in times of tears and joy that is new each morning. He gives me hope to pray big prayers, dream big dreams, and the ability to rest in what I know and trust for what I do not.

So. I'm going to wipe the tears off my face.  This afternoon I'll finish a few items on my list, but I am also going to take the time to choose joy in the small things like last night's Frozen movie party with 4 precious neighbor kiddos (complete with themed deserts and sparkler dance party afterward), hugs from my favorite dad, the beautiful Iowa landscape I've been blessed to call home for so much of my life, and smooshy fresh-baked brownies.

For the Lord has chosen Zion [and Amelia!],
    he has desired [her] for his dwelling, saying,
14 “This is my resting place for ever and ever;
    here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;
    her poor I will satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,
    and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.

—Psalm 132: 13-16