this whole idea of being comfortable started late May of this year. I went to an event for a local christian high school to watch a movie some of the students/my friends made. I loved it, I loved going to the event, I loved getting to see my friends from Teen CBS, from Op Camp, from church & seniors that I’ve photographed – all in one place. I loved to support my friends that made the movie but a lot of why I loved it & why I went was for social reasons – I loved getting to high five and hug all of my high school aged friends. It was fun. It was easy. It was comfortable to me. I was in “my element”.

But I left that night with this notion that we are not called to be comfortable. Everything in life isn’t easy. God never said it would be easy. Now, I’m not saying there was anything wrong with me going to that event – I have just started to question my motives. Then I started to think about some other high schoolers I know that don’t have as many people who come and support them on their special nights. I thought about how much harder, less comfortable, and less fun it would be to seek them out and find out when their big events were & go support them. How much more would it mean to someone who doesn’t have a line of people out the door who love and support them?
I’ve been wrestling with this idea for a while: getting uncomfortable. I feel like God has given me a pretty good idea of what He wants me to be involved in next year {more on that later} and most of it are things that {at first} aren’t going to be the following: easy, fun, or comfortable. They will be challenging, I will be clinging to the Spirit for help before, during and after. I expect I will be loving in a way that I don’t normally love. I will get to set myself and what I want aside & give up what is fun and easy for me for what is life changing for others.
Since God has been revealing this all to me several things have happened. I’ve been excited and ready to go, I’ve been disappointed, I’ve been discouraged, I’ve seen glimpses into what could be really great, and I’ve let the enemy tell me lies. But tonight I’m choosing to believe that God will prepare me, equip me, and walk with me in whatever it is that He has in store. It isn’t always what I think or what I want it to look like but His plans are always best.
I’m clinging to those promises. I’m hoping for the future, and trying to spend a lot of intentional time in prayer for the students He’s called me to work with and for my heart to change for them. I’ve found recently that the more you pray for someone – the more your heart grows softer for them and the more you love them.
Do you struggle like me with wanting to stay in your comfortable bubble?

  • Mary Beth and Travis - YES! I struggle with this daily…and it’s so encouraging to be reminded that God doesn’t call us to sit back and be comfortable. Thank you for this post Wynne- beautifully written.ReplyCancel

  • Olson Family - You are wise beyond your years in this area. This has been the “theme” of my walk with the Lord for the past couple years. After 9 months of living in OKC and being removed from my “comfort zone” (my church, my friends, my ‘activities’, my restaurants…I know…VERY shallow of me, etc) I FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY realized what God was trying to teach me. At what point did I think being a Christian was about ME and MY comfort? The Bible clearly gives story after story about Jesus calling us to be like Him which pretty much always means ‘out of our comfort zone’. I could go on and on about this because I’ve been living this lesson since we moved to OK. But I won’t take up your blog space;) Thanks for sharing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Mel Cable - comfort is my idol!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - I love this post! Yes, I struggle too with all the same things you listed and God has been putting the SAME THING on my heart lately. Getting our of my comfort zone is, well, uncomfortable! haha But, it’s so worth it to follow Jesus into the hard places to love those who can’t or won’t love you back and to serve when it hurts. Learning these lessons slowly and trying to live it daily…ReplyCancel

  • CaseyWiegand - girl i love this, i need u to guest post this bestie xoxoReplyCancel

  • Kate - This was something I needed to hear. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Wynne. :) I feel like I constantly have this “want to be comfortable” mindset, and yet I realize that it’s the times in my life when I’ve been the least comfortable that I’ve actually done the most for Christ. I know He’s calling me to get out of my comfort zone so I can better serve and better love those around me. Again, thanks for sharing. I love reading your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Sommer - So humbled to be your friend…thank you for sharpening me day after day….ReplyCancel

the past few days I’ve been trying to go through all of my pictures from the beginning of the summer to make sure I document and record all the happenings of life. I started this blog as just that – a way to journal what we were doing “way out here” when we moved in 2008 – so people could feel connected with us and I could keep an account of all of our happenings. Since then, this blog has been many more things. Blog design tips, the start of my photography career (oh gosh, don’t look back now!), and more recently – adoption.

The coolest stories have come from this silly blog. Friends of mine telling our story to their friends and then inevitably they send them here. to the blog. I started to wonder: when they come here, do they get an idea about adoption? are the encouraged? challenged? if they are seeking advice and community – is that found here? now while I considered for a minute just stopping the blog thing, last Monday God really started flooding my mind with ideas and inspirations for this blog. All of a sudden I saw it as something different – a place to encourage, to challenge, to be REAL, to be transparent. Because life isn’t all trips to Disney World. That’s fun and that’s vacation but that’s not my day to day life. my day to day life is full of struggle, and grace, and battle – just like yours. In my real life, I hope to really strive to be transparent – to be real – and I’ve learned that it’s through that transparency that we become close with people. We really start to walk and do life with the people we open up to.
I’ve said all along with this whole adoption thing I have been an open book. I want to answer questions, I want to tell our story better, I want to encourage other families who are considering it, I would to encourage other families in the way they raise support – none of this is because I’ve got it figured out but it’s all because that’s what I’m walking through right now. I’ve always been the type of person that once I find something really good I tell EVERYONE. Just this week, that was jewelry and then a new perspective I found on my prayer life. And not that I’m so important that you should listen to me, but I know for me when I’m looking for answers or for someone else to say “yeah, I’m there too” I really do search for it, for those people. and I feel like God has given me this blog as a outlet to do that. I don’t want this to be about me, but all about Him. the cry of my heart is to make HIM FAMOUS and to bring HIM glory. So…I don’t really know what that looks like yet on the blog. I just wanted to warn you that it’s not all going to be Disney world & sno cones anymore. Not because I want to be all “preachy” but because I want to be real - I want my life to be an open book, and I want to believe that God can use me.
Things are looking up:)
photos by: Bend the Light

If you are new here: look at the left top corner of the blog called “new here” and read what the heck we are talking about:)

  • Lauren - sounds like you and me have a similar work going on in our hearts right now. :) Slowly making some changes to my own blog and it’s content.ReplyCancel

  • kristinbednarz - Oh, sweet spirit!!! You are so right about drawing us closer as One Body of Christ! This is how we move as the sprit and minister to one another for sure and you are so doing that.

    I started my blog way back in the day of dino’s and that was always my goal as well. to have a place to vent, dream, document.

    You’ve encouraged me today.

    Keep on working it!ReplyCancel

I just wanted to tell all you families with children that read this blog that if you haven’t yet – you should check out this awesome DVD series called Hurleyville! My good friend Janice Henry, had a vision to make a TV show for children that shared God’s love for them. Out of that came Presson Productions! Their first venture is a DVD series based on the 10 commandments.

This is what they say about Hurleyville:

Hurleyville is a laugh-out-loud children’s episodic DVD series, about a group of adventurous kids, who are constantly challenged by the surprises life throws their way. At its core, Hurleyville embodies the struggles, joys and adventures modern kids face in today’s world.

Their heart on starting PressOn Productions:

PressOn Productions developed Hurleyville to expand the selection of children and youth programming available in the Christian and secular markets. We also felt led to create an inviting show that will minister to people from all ages, backgrounds and religions. Our mission is to restore respect for God and his message through the visual arts and to “show” God’s love.

{the cast}

It’s such a FUN and entertaining show that everyone just LOVES. And this week – the Dove Foundation reviewed the movie & gave them 5 out of 5 stars! {you can read the review here}

Check out Hurleyville’s website & buy a DVD for $9.99! This includes the first 2 episodes of the series – the 10 commandments! click here!!!

Last weekend Stephen & I headed towards our old stomping grounds.
that’s right – Hunt, Texas!
we played parents for the weekend to our dear friend, Jude.
He was at Camp Stewart for 2 weeks and his parents needed some assistance picking him up as they were getting back into town from their anniversary trip.
We JUMPED at the idea (not to mention the cash money we made is going towards our mission trip to Africa later this summer!)
The night before, we stayed with Stephen’s cousin, Jim at his unbelievable house that he built with his own two hands in Kerrville – Casa Pobre. It has a beautiful beautiful view. We ate mexican food, and hung out on his porch until close to midnight talking family, photography, oil, missions, and more. It was so great to catch up with him.
Friday morning we headed to camp and it was so exciting. Just like the old days.
Picked him up, he ran to the car & gave me a big ole hug.
We met his counselors, took a picture of him on his bunk, took a pic with his counselor, chatted for a bit then were off. (totally felt like my mom – those are all the shots she would get of me at camp)

then it was lunch at the Hunt Store, another tradition.
the car ride home we sang every camp stewart (and some mystic) songs, told all the stories, talked about what he’d be doing if he were still at camp.
I remember the days well. The laid backness of camp, the friendships, the stories, the songs, the joy and enthusiasm. I can’t wait for my kids to go to camp, and I can’t wait for MY camp to be here in my arms. The grandparents are even dreaming of the day they help pick up our kiddos from camp. The tradition lives on. Love you Jude!

  • jenniestinebaugh - That is the sweetest post, and the picture with jude in his sash melts my heart! Thank you for being the best “parents for just a weekend” ever! We love you too!!ReplyCancel

Last week my two beautiful friends (pictured above) Whitney & Allison hosted my firstNoonday Collection trunk show for me! I fell in love with Noonday Collection after I met it’s founder, Jessica, at the Together for Adoption conference last fall in Austin. She is just another god fearing, orphan loving, stylish gal and she started this whole thing called Noonday Collections. She tells the story better on the site: It started as a fundraiser for her families adoption from Rwanda and out of it was born this beautiful company that’s passion a is to connect you with the lives of artisans struggling for a better future while styling you along the way. fashion and design are a vehicle for opportunity and change. you, too, can be a voice for the oppressed! (from the website)

You all know how I LOVE accessories and when I found an avenue to both buy stylish accessories AND help women artisans all over the world support their families. It’s something I’ve become very passionate about. One might say that I’m good at sales – because when I find something I love and that I believe in…I want to tell EVERYONE!

The show was super fabulous. Friends from all different places in my life – my photography community, church community, my few adoption community friends, CBS family!! It was pretty overwhelming to me that people wanted to hear my voice and support not only me but also for the poor. Thank you friends for helping us get to sky high sales that evening. I think we broke a record;)I am looking forward to styling you with MORE noonday gear along the way. Way too blessed!

More pictures on photography blog here: