Hey Summer + Where I've been for the Past Two Months...

Hey sweet friends! Wow oh wow it's summer time! Okay, I know it's still May, but in Florida that means summer is in full swing, and that makes my heart oh so happy.  This is going to be a little bit of a life update because so many things have happened since my last post in March. I'm sitting here writing this, and I'm just the most excited and happy person because I have so many sweet gifts to share with you. So, here are 5 major things that happened in my life over the past 2 months!

1. I started a photography business: Yay! This one is so exciting to me because it wasn't planned at all! I absolutely love photography, and I've been taking pictures as a hobby for a little over a year. In February, I felt like it was something I wanted to pursue further, so without any real jobs or a solid idea of what I was going to do I decided to upgrade my 7 year old Nikon D3200 (still a great beginner option) to a Canon 80D. I know, it was a huge leap of faith. But,  Jesus is so sweet because it was only a week or two later that I had my very first client who contacted me because they saw photos taken with my new camera. How great is that? And, if that wasn't enough of a blessing, a couple that I knew from home contacted me about shooting their wedding and engagement photos in April. I am so unbelievably happy about this because it wasn't something I really spent time seeking out. It was one of those rare gifts that God sits in front of you when you least expect it, and I am so grateful. Because of this, I created a Facebook Page and added a new Photography section to my website, so check it out when you have a chance because I would love to take your photos, too!

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"Jesus doesn’t participate in the rat race. He’s into the slower rhythms of life, like abiding, delighting, and dwelling—all words that require us to trust Him with our place and our pace."-Lysa TerKeurst

2. I finished my junior year of college: And, this is the reason I haven't blogged in ages. April was probably the most stressful month I've encountered in college. Between final projects, making room to catch up with all the wonderful people I won't see until the Fall, diving into my photography business, and working hard at several internships, my schedule was absolutely more than I could handle. I would love to say that I slowed down, spent time with Jesus, and relied completely on Him instead of trying to control a schedule that was far from being tamed, but that's not exactly how it went. The busy pace of my life kept me distracted and constantly attempting to cling to my own endurance instead of God's peace and rest. I think that through this season, God transformed my heart to see how debilitating a schedule filled to the brim can be and to understand that He calls us to slow down our pace and our gaze to rest in Him alone. It's in these moments that we can truly reorient our hearts to depend on a God who fills our weak hearts and tired muscles with His overwhelming strength.

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3. I turned 21 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean: Well, it wasn't really the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, but it definitely felt like it. The week after I finished the semester, I went on a cruise with my family which happened to be during my birthday. So, I did turn 21 while cruising through the wild sea. If you know me, you know I love the ocean, so it was the most refreshing thing to look outside and see deep indigo waters and smell the salt air every morning. I really focused on resting and spending time with Jesus because the weeks before took so much energy. One way I did this was by reading this book called Redeeming Love. It's a novel by Francine Rivers, and it's based on the book of Hosea. Okay, I can't begin to describe to you how beautiful or impactful this book has been in my life. It was a refreshment to read a story of the relentless love of God. Although different from my story in so many ways, there it was so much a part of it as well. I never have time to read things like this, and it was so refreshing. We also visited Cozumel, Mexico, so I got to speak and read in Spanish a lot, and I really enjoyed that, too. I have so many pictures from this trip, so stay tuned for more!

4. I started my summer job: Last summer, I interned with Costa Sunglasses based out of sunny Daytona Beach, FL. I'm not sure if I can adequately express how great the brand and company culture really is, but I'll definitely try to share more about it because I'll be back again this summer as a Community Coordinator.  Built for adventure and tied to the water, Costa embraces the salt air on your skin and the wind at your back, which is why they make their lenses the clearest on the planet and built for any adventure. I'm so excited and inspired by everything I've learned so far, and I can't wait to see what this summer will bring.

5. I started a Youtube Channel: Ahhhh okay! I've been going back and forth with this idea for so long, but after praying about it and considering all kinds of options, I finally decided to do it. I think it's going to be an adventure for sure, but I want to share with you a little bit of my vision for this channel. You can watch my very first post for more details, but my main goal is to use this channel to share life and community with people. I love building relationships, exploring new places, and seeing creativity, beauty and goodness in the world. I think a Youtube Channel will give me the opportunity to capture all the adventures of life and things I'm passionate about while sharing how Jesus takes every piece of our lives and turns it into something beautiful. I hope you lovely people will subscribe and follow along because I love y'all more than you know. 

Thanks for sticking with me through this crazy long update. I hope you all are doing well, and if you wanna hang out this summer and talk about life just let me know!