Faith, Photography

Following God When It Doesn’t Make Sense

It doesn’t make sense to be an artist.

Exchanging a high-paying corporate job for camera gear and an altruistic assignment doesn’t sound wise, but I’ve known many who have done exactly that.

Moving across the country with no job, not much money, and three kids sounds irresponsible, but it was clear that’s exactly what we were supposed to do.

What if what God is telling you to do makes no sense, could financially ruin you, and seems to go against common wisdom?

Here’s what you do: You pray, you trust, and you go.

Here is what you don’t do: Doubt.

I’ve been thinking a lot about trust versus doubt lately. I used to think that considering doubts, worries and fear would make me more prepared for when the inevitable fall would happen, whatever that may be. It was as if it was part of doing due diligence; fully researching the pros and cons of each idea before I act.

Here’s what it looks like:

God puts a new idea in my head. It grows in my heart. I get excited, and start to think and dream into it even more, and imagine life in a new way…and then HARD STOP…I consider the doubts. I list the “What ifs”:

  • What if I fail?
  • What if this is harder than I think it will be?
  • What if this turns out to be a REALLY BAD idea?
  • What will people think of me? I mean it’s a crazy idea…
  • Am I crazy?
  • The list goes on…

I’m realizing that this train of thought does nothing to prepare me for failure OR the future. Instead, it quickly paves the way towards despair and giving up. It leads to complacency and a feeling of numbness…which makes me ask:

  • What if the cost of NOT following God is distancing yourself from His plans, His voice and your true purpose?
  • What if staying safely in the known entities of your life leaves you very comfortable, but increasingly dead in your heart?
  • What if there is something new, right around the corner, if only you let go of the voices of doubt that echo in your brain?
  • And who exactly owns those voices, anyway? Who are the people who speak light and hope into your life, versus doubt and fear? Notice the contrast, and what that does to your heart, your relationships and your inner thoughts. Choose who you open your heart to.
  • And perhaps most importantly: What if doubt is a form of disobedience; a way to delay doing what I know I need to do? What blessings are my family and I missing out on, because I’m following my own wisdom instead of God’s leading?

The Bible is full of people who initially doubted or resisted God’s call on their lives (Moses, Jonah, Gideon), as well as those who didn’t (Noah, Mary). I want to be like the ones who acted on faith, knowing that the One who called them would be the One who would work each detail out for our good.

What about you? Where do you feel the pull of doubt versus trust in your life? Do you feel God leading you in a new direction, but are afraid to take the next step? Or, do you feel God’s peace in your current situation, and instead of resting in that contentment, do you let doubt say you should be doing something else?

Let’s notice the voice of doubt versus truth, and choose to listen to truth. Let’s follow peace instead of fear. Let’s allow God to write our steps, and follow his still small voice as one day unfolds into another. Because the safest, most secure place we can possibly be is within God’s good and perfect will. That’s where you will find peace in your heart, no matter how crazy it may look to the rest of the world.

Matthew 21:21 – And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.”

Married Life, Photography

Peaceful Inspiration – Prints To Take Home

I’ve always felt God’s presence most in nature. There is a sense of grandeur, infinite peace, and creativity beyond my imagination that transports my mind away from the bustle of the world and into the quiet. Time and time again, when I wander in the forest, or by the sea, or up a mountain top, I learn a bit more about myself, and about God.

One of God’s greatest gifts to us here on earth is the earth itself: The granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley; the powerful surf crashing against cliffs on the Big Sur Coast; the giant Sequoias that stand big and strong, as alive in the 21st century as they were when Christ walked the earth. All of these declare His glory, His creativity and His power. Experiencing this beauty sets my soul at ease.

For a long time, Rich and I have sought out places of beauty, in an effort to experience this peace. Rich strove to capture the views on film; I would collect the experiences in my mind, trying to wrap words around the delight of my senses, sometimes on paper, usually just in my mind.

The Bible talks about how all of creation sings praises to God; that even the rocks and trees call out; that if no one ever heard about God, or who He was, or had any sense of “religion,” creation itself would declare who God was through its beauty, strength and majesty.

The other day, Rich took one of his photographs and laid a piece of scripture over it. It was a photograph he took on the way up to Yosemite Valley, of a group of trees we were fond of, and had become like old friends we enjoyed seeing each time we drove into the mountains.

We were intrigued by the pairing…scripture, plus his photographs. God’s word, plus a carefully composed and deeply felt view of His creation. It goes against all rules of photography…photographs are supposed to speak for themselves; a photograph says 1000 words… But those 1000 words can be different, based on each viewer…and it felt important to point the viewer not to worship the creation itself, but the Creator…

We were given words that could be meditated upon; words that coupled with the artwork in a harmonious way; words that gave a deeper meaning to something that could be construed as simply a pretty view.

The rocks cry out…

The trees clap their hands…

All of creation sings of His glory.

We wanted to share this coupling of scripture with Rich’s photographs with you. Take a look at our first few pieces, and if they inspire you, order one…it will help us continue to fuel this project. We will be adding more in the upcoming days, and I’ll post them as they are available. They are all printed as fine art prints, on fine art paper, and are ready to be matted, framed or simply tacked up on your wall.

Want to give these away as gifts, or sell them in your store? Contact me for quantity discounts, or wholesale pricing. 

Visit my Etsy store.


Married Life, Photography

15 Things I’ve Learned About Being Married To A Photographer

Photography has defined my life since I first started dating my husband, Rich, nearly 30 years ago. Since then, photography has taken us on adventures I never could have imagined that first time I stood next to him in his old-school darkroom, watching an image magically appear in the developer tray.

After navigating through brambles, long-awaited sunsets, several versions of LowePro backpacks, and countless dropped lens caps, here are 15 things I have learned about being married to a landscape photographer:

1. All extra money that comes into the household will be first considered for photography or photographic purposes.

2. Most trips of any meaningful length, distance or expense, will also involve photography and/or will completely revolve around photography.

3. Romantic sunsets sitting side-by-side will be replaced by sunsets spent sitting next to his camera bag while he photographs.

4. You will freeze many mornings while watching spectacular sunrises. Bring blankets or hot cocoa.

5. Dinner will not be eaten until it is completely dark, and all possibilities for photographing sunset have disappeared. Bring snacks.

6. You will find yourself answering a slew of questions about your husband and his photography, while he’s busily taking photographs. Be patient and kind.

7. A “quick drive to check something out” always turns into a longer adventure than you expected.

8. Bring hiking boots. Even if you are going out for a romantic dinner. Especially if you are going out for a romantic dinner. This image of Half Dome, for example, was taken on our second anniversary, requiring an unexpected hike in a Yosemite meadow (pretty, but not so great with flats), and delaying dinner by at least an hour. It was still a happy anniversary.

9. Photography equipment will hurt you. Especially heavy tripods, which always seem to catch onto something…like your ankles. Or your hips. Or your back, as you are juggling it alongside your three-year-old toddler.

10. Inkjet printers, photo equipment and mat board will fill your home. Who needs a closet for clothing? We spent our clothing budget on photo gear, anyway…

11. Photographing with kids? That’s almost always an oxymoron…especially if you have more than one child in tow.

12. If you are traveling, at least one of your carry-ons will be a camera bag, and your checked bag will be partially filled by a bulky tripod. Plan accordingly.

13.  You will see breathtaking beauty and fleeting sights that few people will ever see, just by hanging out with your husband.

14. You will gain a new understanding of light and simple beauty, while exploring the area around his tripod holes.

15. You will likely never be rich, but photography will take you on adventures you never dreamt of having, giving you experiences that will shape your life for the better, one beautiful scene at a time.

View More