Friday, April 26, 2013

project 52.44


In the past month I have come across two different articles that talked about raising brave boys.  Both spoke straight to my heart.   One referred to so many of the "heros" of the Bible.  The brave souls that were willing to step up and say, "Here I am, Lord".  To be used by God to do scary things.  The author mentioned something I've never really thought about.  

All of these boys had mamas.  

I know God can use anyone, regardless of how they were raised or what their personalities are. But, the point was that these boys were raised by mamas (and daddies) who influenced their lives.  
How am I influencing y'alls lives?

My goal is that you both will become men that are willing to be used by God to do whatever He has called you to do.  Even if it's uncomfortable.  Even if you might fail once or twice.  Even if it's scary.

But, as your mama, that requires two things from me:

1.  That I am brave.  I must set the example.  I must show you what it looks like to trust God fully.  Stepping outside of my comfort zone to do what He has called me to do.  Even if it seems crazy.  And even if it's going to make me give up things I don't want to give up.  I want you to grow up with that being your normal.  Seeing your parents listening intently to what God is asking them to do and immediately doing what He asks.

2.  It also requires me to let go of fear.  In the weeks following your birth I remember praying specifically that if God wanted to use you in Kenya one day (or any other place for that matter) that I would be excited for you.  That I would be willing to let go.  Not holding you back from what God is calling you to do.  I prayed that.  Very specifically.  On multiple occasions.  But, as time has gone on, I have realized it is becoming harder and harder to imagine you coming home one day and telling me you're moving halfway across the world because it is where God has called you to be.  But, I am committed.  To letting go of that fear.  And being excited for you.  For what God is going to do through you.

So, now, here it is in writing.  For you to hang over my head in eighteen years :)  
No, but really, I am so so excited to see what God has in store for both of your lives.  I can't wait to see how He uses you to do incredible things.  I will do my best to be an example of a brave disciple of Jesus and I will pray daily that God will give me the ability to release you into His care.  Knowing that He can take better care of you than I will ever be able to.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

boger family - sneak peek!

 I got to spend some time with the Boger family about a week ago.  Miss Lily was five days old and as squishy and cuddly as you can get!  Her sisters, Brooke and Savannah, were quite smitten with their new sister.  

Newborn shoots are quickly becoming one of my favorites.  I love visiting families just home from the hospital.  I get to capture them in their new normal.  The real life stuff.  All that matters in this time is family.  Everything else is pushed to the side and time moves slowly.  It's a precious time and I so enjoy entering into it with people.  Not to mention, newborns smell so sweet.  So that definitely makes it fun!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

newborn sneak peek - david aaron

I got the opportunity to take pictures of sweet David Aaron last week!  I took pictures of his sweet sister, Claudia, almost two years ago.  It's hard to believe it's been that long.

 David Aaaron was so sweet and lovable.  I got to see Lindsey the day after she had David Aaron and she was already so in love.  She told me how sweet it was to have a second baby.  That she was captivated the second she held him in her arms.  It was so awesome to hear her talk about him.

I'm so happy for this little family of four.  I know they are in hog heaven!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

good words.

morning y'all.

the boys are down for a nap.  the washing machine is just finishing up on the sheets that have been overdue for a wash.  i'm enjoying my second cup of coffee.  the windows are raised and i'm wearing my favorite outfit of all time - shorts with a long sleeved shirt.  it's going to be a good day.  i just know it.  

before i get started on editing another newborn session [yay!  have i mentioned, these are my faves?] i just wanted to tell you about a sermon that i heard a few weeks ago.  it has been on my to-do list to blog about it since halfway through hearing it for the first time.  it was just that good.  the words have stayed on my heart and on my bathroom mirror in a dry erase marker since i heard it.  i can't not pass it along.

we go to a church that is phenomenal.  it has been such an answer to prayer.  every sunday, brian gets up there and speaks truth.  that is all i can ask for.  but, not only does he speak truth straight from the bible, it is also totally apparent that his first value after his relationship with Jesus is his family.  no ifs, ands or buts.  he loves his family.  in such an intentional and passionate way.  when you hear him talk about them you just know.  

this sermon was right up his alley.  and his words could come right out of a making things happen intensive.  it was called the 7 habits for highly effective parents.  here are a few things he had to say:

  • our job is to believe Him and!
  • forget childhood psychologists - the Bible is your only instruction manual (no offense to childhood psychologists :))
  • build habits (weave them in) that make things great
Here were his "rules":
  1. Seek God daily
    • highly effective parents LIVE to SEEK HIM
    • not just believing but CHASING after Him 
    • your children need the love of God in you more than anything else
    • the cry of our hearts should be "He is real!"
  2. They are leaders not followers
    • we must buck this culture - it is grabbing our kids and mashing them into it's mold
    • don't float down the river like an old, dead fish (he's a country boy, that's fer sure :))
  3. They are in touch
    • open hearts and build relationships
    • you can live with less stuff - it's worth a smaller home, used car and less belongings to be present with your kids
  4. They understand the power of words
    • your kids lives are in the power of the tongue
    • your lips shape your child's life ("set a guard over my lips" - psalms 141:3)
    • words speak life - use your window of opportunity to speak life
  5. Make Life Happen
    • In three places:
      • At the dinner table
        • this is the make-it-or-break-it place
      • At church
        • find a church where God is moving with leaders who love Jesus and a great children's program - it is worth everything (your job, house, etc)
      • At the beach, campsite, fire pit in the backyard - wherever you can make memories!
  6. Train and teach life
    • answer situations with truth
      • with your words
      • and, with your actions (Philippians 3:17)
  7. Aim high
    • the goal is not to just cook food, pay bills and make it through life - God is the light of the world and we are made in his image!
    • set your goals high and let God reach them through you
And some final notes:
  • Dad + Mom:  
    • we can be great models through Christ 
    • we can have great marriages (it will be a blessing if you can get there)
    • decide - "we are going to have the greatest family on Earth", "we are going to see great things happen"
  • "I don't care if my kids make minimum wage and live in my truck - they are going to shine for Jesus!"

y'all.  just typing this gets me fired up!   but, i know that i can't do it justice.  you need to HEAR IT!  so, if this sparks even the slightest bit of interest, let me know!  i would love to mail you a cd of his sermon.  seriously.  please comment or email me (jenny.s.conklin (at) gmail (dot) com) and i will mail you one.  

i so desire for my home to be the greatest place on earth.  i want jordan and i to build that for our kids.  i want people to walk into our home and feel Jesus.  i know that somedays we have a long way to go.  but, the good news is that God can reach this goal through us.  we are imperfect and always will be.  but God can work through us to make our home just that.  a place where Jesus is near, people feel loved, our kids are nurtured and the good news is shared.  this is my heart's cry.  and i will work towards this with everything i've got.  join me?  let's do this together.

happy tuesday, friends!  

Monday, April 8, 2013

newborn sneak peek - haddie jo!

After I photographed Haddie Jo's arrival, I got to spend a little time with the whole family!  It was such a treat.  This family is one of my favorites.  Meg and Brett are such intentional parents.  I have watched them parent for the last two and a half years and have learned so much from them!  

Haddie Jo is precious and Karis is clearly in love with her little sister!  
I am so excited for this new family of four!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

senior sneak peek - kendal!

I got to shoot Kendal's senior portraits this past weekend.  It was so much fun.  She put up with me dragging her all over town and interrogating her about what she's doing next year.  She's incredibly smart so she has tons of options for next year.  There was lots to talk about.  

And, she's obviously gorgeous!  In so many pictures I was taken aback by just how fabulous her skin is!  Seriously.  It looks photoshopped, but it's not!  It's just that awesome.  

And, at the risk of sounding old, I've gotta say this because it's so true...her heart is just as gorgeous.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

birth sneak peek - haddie jo!

 I had the unbelievable privilege of photographing the birth of one of my best friend's daughter last week.  All I can say is God is incredible.  I am in awe of how He designed our bodies and the body of a seven pound baby.  It is a miracle.  Honestly.  

Labor and birth is a very private, sacred thing so I am only sharing a few pictures in an effort to keep what happened in that room sacred for the parents of this beautiful baby girl.  

Welcome to the world, Haddie Jo!  You are beautiful and perfect.  I'm so excited to see what God has in store for your one wild and precious life!

 (watching a sweet video of big sister singing :))