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Laura-Anne

EST. 2011

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Tears still wet on my cheeks, but my breathing slowed and calm again, he turned towards me on top of the duvet and said,

“Maybe our word is purification.”

And, sensing my cringe from behind the pillow I was hugging, he went on.

“Maybe it’s the year we really dig into all the things we know are holding us back. Let them go. It might suck adjusting to life without the comfort of those things, but… how can we talk to people about becoming gold if we’re not embracing that ourselves?”

And then I wanted to kiss him and cry all over again. The mountain of things I hadn’t realized were weighing on my heart had come tumbling down in one overwhelming avalanche of emotion that night, sending me into the kind of crying reminiscent of the days where my depression was at its darkest. 

I’d finally gotten it all out – including the most trivial of things, like how my one tooth is moving and, because I had braces for almost four years, it’s making me so worried they’re all going to move – and he listened patiently the whole time. No advice given at that moment, just hugs and encouragement to get it all out. 

After a while he turned to me and suggested that word for the year. 2019 was quickly drawing to a close and he knew I was about to reflect on the year behind us. My word for 2019 was “delight in discipline” and it went well – just in a different way than I imagined it would. Some things were the exact right fit for where I was at, like budgeting and taking control of my talking about money issues, but some things just… didn’t stick.

“It’ll be the word that gets us through when it’s hard,” I said. “We can put it on the wall to be reminded of it every day.”

And, if you know Brandon, you know that he doesn’t like having ANYTHING on the walls (“it gets too busy!”), but he agreed.

At the very start of the year I saw this word as a stripping away of things that served me (and some that served me well) for a time, but that need to be ripped out now. Things like excessive screen time (useless scrolling, background Netflix, intentional but too often movie nights), eating foods that don’t bless my body, staying inside instead of going for a run, diligently charting my cycle… all very tangible, practical, easy to “do” things. 

Not even a full month into the year and I’m learning it also has to do with my attitude. 

I got ready for mass a few weeks ago and a song played that I only recently started listening to. The lyrics were familiar:

This will be my great redemption

While I’ll weep, You’ll set my feet to dancing

 

The song is Comforter by Amanda Cook, but it reminded me of a song I used to have in heavy rotation on repeat, delightfully (and for sure intentionally so) also by Amanda Cook. It’s called Heroes:

Awake my soul to sing

With Your breath in me

I will worship

You taught my feet to dance upon disappointment

And I, I will worship

 

As I work through what to share, how to grow my business, where I’m supposed to go with all this, I’m reflecting on what I did when I felt like I was “easily” doing the work set aside for me. I’m learning more of what God is speaking in this new year. 

I was a heckuva lot more open in the past. I shared freely, talking about the things that sucked and the choice I was making to look for joy anyway. I leaned into God, my heavenly Father, and learned of His goodness and divine parental providence and I found gold everywhere I looked and realized that’s what He was making me more like, too. 

I learned to dance upon disappointment. It was just the way of life. Was I dramatic about it? Yeah. Am I dramatic in general? Not as much these days. Part of that is accepting that I’m not the same person I was before the season I encountered depression so intimately. I stopped examining life in such detail. 

I still see gold, but this year of purification isn’t just about stripping away. It’s about what the refining uncovers.

My soul needs an awakening. As I work this out to name and claim it in real time, I know it’s already happening.

The purification has begun.

 

#thisisbecominggold

2020 Word of the Year

Leave a comment, friend!

NATHANIEL & DANIELLE


"Thank you for listening to us, understanding us, supporting us, and so much more. We appreciate your prayers and love. Thank you for capturing our special day and making us look awesome!!"

"You've been a spiritual companion to us."

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ROGER & SARA


"They are beautiful photos and I think you captured our day perfectly! You were amazing and made us feel so comfortable and relaxed, you felt like one of the family! Thank you for making the trip out here, it meant a lot to us! Thank you Thank you Thank you!"

"You felt like one of the family!"

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brandon & hailey

"THANK YOU for being a part of our wedding day and for taking such beautiful pictures! We are beyond grateful. It was so special to have good friends capture such special moments! We love you!"

"We are beyond grateful."

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ALLAN & EMMA

"But you make them comfortable, too. You move through life with such humility and realness that others can't help but be real in your presence. Being a naturally awkward soul, your patience and easygoing way of taking pictures brings out the best in us!"

"You challenge people to be the best version of themselves."

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JOSH & RACHEL

“The first time I saw our wedding photos, I felt like I was reliving the day all over again. Looking at them now, I still feel that way. It was a gift to have you as part of our day, reminding us to focus on the now while capturing moments we wanted to hold forever. We are so grateful for your gorgeous photos that help us to keep our wedding day close."

"It was a gift to have you as part of our day."

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