Saturday, April 20, 2013

Like cotton candy

So much has been going on lately. My head is spinning 'round and 'round.

But it's a good kind of spinning. It's like the cotton candy machine at the carnival. It twirls in circles over and over, creating rainbows of color. Then suddenly you're handed the most delicious treat anyone could ask for. (Let's forget the sugar crash afterwards...)

That's how my life feels like. Everything is moving so fast. Here. There. Everywhere. Lots of amazing, beautiful, whimsical events happening in my life.

Life has seasons, and this is just one of them. Some weeks are slow and easygoing, providing the rest and calmness we crave. Then other weeks are bouncing with schedules and people and memories and laughter.

My concert at the Acoustic Café in Eau Claire this week was absolutely perfect. A dear friend drove 4 hours to come sing backup harmony for me, and a young man from church played the hand drum with us. It was a cold, rainy night. The streets were slippery and the wind whipped across our faces. My heart stopped the minute I laid eyes on the sign outside the café with my name written in chalk on it. It hit me. This is for real now! (As if it wasn't before I saw my name??)

Wonderful friends drove up to support us and there were also regular customers there. Everyone was so kind and listened to every word we sang, and applause followed after every song. The manager was easy-going and the baristas were friendly. Everyone seemed so relaxed and genuinely happy to be there! The whole atmosphere just encompasses all that I love.

Playing the songs I've written over the years is such a joy to me, mostly because it allows me to share my story. My hopes, dreams, failures, pain, happiness, and love. Every song had a meaning and singing them flooded my heart with memories.

There are so many wonderful things coming up in my life soon- the list just goes on. My mom is visiting now and the kids and I will drive back with her to Kansas City. I always look forward to spending hours in the prayer room there, watching Sitora dance and being encouraged and filled spiritually. I smile thinking of the fun things we will do together like taking walks and playing games. My Grandmother is coming and I'm absolutely elated! If you know my Grandma, then you know why. She is spunky, creative, funny, energetic, and willing to try anything. Life is always fun with Grandma!

To top it off, I am traveling to one of my hometowns, Omaha, Nebraska, to shoot mini sessions for my old friends! Photographing them and their families will be a joy and a dream come true.

As if it couldn't be any better, I have 5 weddings booked this summer/fall! My heart just can't take any more happiness. I feel so blessed and honored these brides have chosen me to capture their special day. I am a hopeless romantic, so taking pictures of lovebirds makes my heart soar.

Life has its ups and its downs. I treasure the valleys because that's when my faith deepens and I am melted to my core, just like in the song Refiner's Fire. But I also welcome the mountaintops because frankly, we all need them. Encouragement and times of refreshing fill me back up and help restore what I've lost or been drained of.

So I'm thanking the Lord for giving us these times of beauty and strength. As I watched the eagle soaring over our house yesterday I thought, "That's me right now. I'm soaring on eagle's wings."

I'll close this post with lyrics from one of my songs...

What can I give back to You 
For all You've done for me?
I was trapped in chains
But You freed me

I'm silenced in awe
Of Your mighty hand
And I am humbled
By the measure of your mercy
That I did not deserve 

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