annie agarwal photography | Buford, Georgia Photographer »

acorns and open hands

When Griffin was little, he would stuff his pockets with acorns. He would grab them on the playground at school, in the parking lot at church, in our backyard.
And I would find them on the floor, rattling around in the dryer, or strategically arranged on his dresser.

So, earlier this week, when I was taking my morning walk, this low lying branch stopped me in my tracks.

Funny how something so simple can just transport you right back to another moment in time.
In that instant I saw my sweet little 4 year old. Chubby cheeks. Sparkly eyes. Pockets full.
Somehow, almost a decade has gone by since those days and I find myself swallowing hard, willing the lump in my throat to go away.
Because Mommas, it does go by just that fast.
Treasure it all. The little things, that one day won’t be so little after all.
When they come in with dirty hands from exploring, learn about their adventures.
When they make up a grand story, sit on the floor and ask them to share it again.
When they crawl up in your lap for cuddles, let them camp there a little longer.
When they ask for a bed time story, read every line- sometimes slowly.
Savor it.
Soak it in.
Thank God for the moments- even when they are hard. And I know they are hard.
Because truly, even the smallest seconds are tiny little gifts that you’ll unwrap over and over again in your mind one day.
Oh and when they bring you handfuls of acorns, open yours, accept them as a rare gift and remember that one day a branch on your morning walk will quite possibly bring you to tears.
    Children are a gift from the Lord;
    they are a reward from him. 
Psalm 127:3

isabella’s senior story || gwinnett senior photographer

Photography has the coolest way of connecting people, who may otherwise have never met.
Such was the case with this sweet senior, Isabella.

We discovered that each of our families moved to Georgia within a week of one another last year. The struggles and joys of relocating definitely gave us an immediate common ground.

Before long, we were chasing light and laughing, as Isabella shined in front of the camera.

Oh how I love a girl who knows her style well, who has confidence that radiates from within and a smile that lights up each frame.
I also love finding an otherwise overlooked location and discovering all the beauty it has to offer!

This simple downtown space provided the most incredible golden hour and gave us a variety of options for capturing Isabella.
And just as the sun set, we stumbled upon the most charming little garden. To say my heart skipped a beat is an understatement. It literally could not have been more perfect! It gave us the most spectacular ending to this amazing session!

Thank you Isabella for trusting me with these moments! As you step into this last year of high school, I pray you’ll courageously pursue the things that set your heart on fire!

 

 

fighting perfection

I’ve been thinking about this simple reality for the past couple of days:
So many of us struggle with a performance based mentality, that often spills over into our relationship with Jesus.


It goes something like this: “I’ve got to do this to earn His love and if I misstep, even once, I’ve disqualified myself from being worthy of His grace or from being used by Him.”

And that simply isn’t true.

None of us are perfect. We can’t walk through this life without mistakes. Sooner or later we’ll encounter our own character flaws; but these moments are the ones that can drive us to Jesus, where the Gospel can penetrate, convict and lead us to change. And better yet, these are the very moments that instead of leaving us in a pile of pity and self doubt, can help us lift our eyes to our Savior.
Who is adequate.
Who is all we need.
They can remind us of the vastness of His love and how freely He pours out forgiveness and second chances.

And for a girl who often holds herself to a standard of perfection, that truth is liberating. Because I will fail. I will have to get up and try again. I will have to do it in His strength and not my own.

So, when you’re down on yourself, when you’ve messed up again, when you are weary and worn out and the voices in your head whisper “Surely, God can not use you. You are not enough.”

Pause.

Think again.
Preach the Gospel to yourself.
Repent.
Then, walk confidently in forgiveness and freedom.
And see,
just see what He can do with a heart that relies completely on Him!


How do you fight the lie that you aren’t good enough?

a new season

It’s a funny thing, this Spring.
Especially since I grew up in a perpetual state of summer, thanks to the geographical location I called home all these years.
But this? This is divine.
Flowers budding everywhere you look, birds chirping as though they have a million songs to sing, breezy afternoons that still catch me off guard and leave me lingering outside just a little bit longer.
But you know what else?
All of this growth and newness that our Creator is so miraculously putting on display; it’s as though He’s doing the same thing in my heart.
Ideas and dreams stirring in my soul, waiting to burst forth in a beautiful array of pastel colors. Prayers being lifted and answers being given.
It’s beautiful and overwhelming –
To have a relationship with the God who formed it all. To know that He cares about the details of our lives. To confidently rest in the fact that the dreams He has given will one day find their time of fruition.
Sometimes it just takes the birth of a new season. Some waiting. Tending. Praying. Trusting. Sometimes it’s tangible. Sometimes it’s just a radical change of heart.
But then, you find yourself there.
Spring.
And oh what a glorious experience that is!
I’d love to know what God is growing in your heart these days!

4 legacy reminders

4 things I’ve been reminded of today:
1)When God asks you to do something bold, something that seems a little crazy, just do it. Because you never know what hangs in the balance of your obedience.
2)God still uses broken and imperfect people to share His story of forgiveness and new life. I never want that truth to be lost on me.
3)God can absolutely blow your mind and do the impossible. Never underestimate what He is up too!
4)When it’s all said and done, it won’t matter what you have gained here on Earth; not the size of your house or the size of your bank account… but what you’ve given and shared and how you’ve loved .

May our legacy be more than “stuff;” may it be that we loved Jesus fiercely and shared Him with others no matter the cost!