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thank·ful adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\

: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.

: of, relating to, or expressing thanks

Synonyms: blissful, chuffed [British], delighted, gratified, happy, joyful, joyous, pleased, satisfied, glad, tickled

I got a call one evening from a friend that was fostering a little black puppy.  She said, “Hey Kel, I’m trying to remember – if you got a puppy what were you going to name it?”  You see, I had been a homeowner for about 6 months and I really wanted a dog, I was just worried about what the dog might do to my shiny new floors and furniture.  But, as it happens, everyone I knew felt like I needed a dog and I had also managed to tell them all that I already had a name picked out.  She was going to be a strawberry blonde golden retriever and we would ride around in a convertible wearing matching bandanas and sunglasses.  Since I don’t own a convertible it’s fairly obvious that this was a pipe dream.  But, any who, I had told everyone that this strawberry blonde dog was to be named Shelby.  So, when Dana called and asked me a totally innocent question about this dream of dog ownership I played right into her hands.  I said, “Shelby.”  And she said, “Whoa, that’s crazy, I’ve got a puppy named Shelby that I’m fostering!  You should come and meet her!”  This, of course, was a lie (the name, not the puppy).

Being a lover of all puppies I couldn’t resist, but to make sure I didn’t come home with said puppy I called in backup (aka The Hubs, but at this point, boyfriend).  His sole purpose in going with me was to make sure I left the dog at Dana’s and said “NO” to any and all attempts to get the dog into my shiny new house.  We both failed miserably and the next thing I knew we were at Petsmart chasing her down the aisle because she had jumped out of the buggy and made a run for the front door.

Eleven years later – this fuzzy baby is my constant companion, my foot warmer and my live-action teddy bear.  I’m so thankful for her and so happy to see her fuzzy little face every morning.  She loves me so much more than I deserve and I’m so grateful to be her Mom!

 

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For those of you that have joined me on this journey of thankfulness this year, thank you!  My hope is that we’re all able to carry this gift of true thankfulness in our hearts year round and make a real impact during this season of giving.  Now let’s go eat some left overs and watch football!;-)

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thank·ful adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\

: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.

: of, relating to, or expressing thanks

Synonyms: blissful, chuffed [British], delighted, gratified, happy, joyful, joyous, pleased, satisfied, glad, tickled

I clearly remember the night I decided to start my own business.  It was about 11:00 pm and we were just daydreaming and talking about the future.  Once we hit on the idea of me being a full-time photographer I jumped up and ran to my computer to immediately start searching for domain names for my website.  I think I ended up going to bed around 1:00 am and falling asleep around 2:00 because I was just so excited and pumped to be starting something this amazing.

Years later, still working 2 (and sometimes 3) jobs, the novelty had faded and I had begun to doubt myself.  Could I really do this full-time?  I had taken countless courses on photography from a technical aspect as well as a business aspect, so it wasn’t the skill I was doubting but the business itself.  Launching and maintaining a business while working a full-time job was exhausting.  During one of those 3 job seasons we were once again chatting about the future and Chris said, “You know, I think it’s time to pick one.”  It felt like someone had called my bluff, but he continued with… “Most people just work one job, I think it’s time for you to pick the one you want and go for it 100%.”  He was right.  I was burned out, our marriage was suffering and there was no way I could sustain working 3 jobs for the long term.  Even though I loved all three it was time to cut ties with 2 of them and focus my energy on one job, my health and our marriage.

After running the numbers for several weeks and multiple scenarios, I resigned from my day job and my part-time job and decided to make a go of it full-time as a photographer.  Was I terrified?  YES.  It took me at least 6 months to adjust to having just one job – free time, being able to actually cook meals at home and get in bed before midnight.  What?? No joke – when you run at 150% capacity for several years in a row, running at 100% capacity feels like a vacation!  But here we are, almost 3 years later and both of us look at April of 2012 as the month we made the best decision we’ve ever made as a married couple.

I am so thankful for this business that started 10 years ago as a dream and a wish. It has now turned into a full-time job that I truly love and thank God for every single day.  I get to work from home, hug my dog anytime I want and capture amazing weddings and corporate events for wonderful clients.  I have a quote on my office wall by Barbara J. Winter that says, “Faith is like stepping off of a cliff and expecting one of two outcomes – you will either land on solid ground or you will be taught to fly.”  I’m so glad that we had the faith to jump off of that cliff of financial security and take the chance on running this business full-time and I’m so grateful for what it’s become.

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Thanks to Hayley for capturing this in-action photo at Morgan & Eric’s wedding last month!

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thank·ful adjective \ˈthaŋk-fəl\

: glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists, etc.

: of, relating to, or expressing thanks

Synonyms: blissful, chuffed [British], delighted, gratified, happy, joyful, joyous, pleased, satisfied, glad, tickled

I read something earlier this week that made me stop and think – nothing earth shattering or amazingly brilliant, just something I hadn’t really given thought to before.  Basically, it said to think about all of the things you take for granted every day – the sun rising and setting, the leaves on the trees changing, your heart beating, your blood pumping.  There’s is nothing you can do to make that happen.  You can’t wake up in the morning and force the sun to rise, you can’t make the leaves on the trees change color, you don’t wake up every morning and turn your heart on.  These things just happen.  And we expect them to continue to keep happening.  We wake up everyday and trust God absolutely 100% to handle the sun, moon, stars, etc.  So why can’t we trust him 100% for all of the other things?  Worry, doubt, and fear creep in and we think we need to handle it.  Surely God doesn’t have time to take care of this or that or those things.  But He’s the same God that made the sun rise and fall and kept our heart beating throughout the night.  We fit Him into this tiny little box of things we think He can handle and then tell ourselves we’ll need to handle the rest.

This past Sunday in the preschool class we were singing a song that’s really stuck in my head all week (they usually do!) – it goes something like, “Thank you God, we say Thank You God, we say Thank You, Thank You for the things you made we Thank You God, we say Thank You God, we say Thank You, Thank You everyday.”  It’s a catchy little tune that I’ve really enjoyed humming the last few days and it’s reminded me to thank God every day for everything.  I’m thankful that I have a God that will take care of my needs 100% of the time because frankly, if my life were left up to me to run it would be a huge, epic fail.  I’m thankful that as we wait and hope and dream of the future, God already has it 100% in control and he’s promised us that it will be a prosperous future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  I’m thankful that I’m not in control, no matter how many to do lists I write or how many calendar appointments I accept.  I’m thankful that He lead us to an amazing church that has loved on us and blessed us so much in the last 2 years that we are literally bursting with excitement to tell others about Him and what he’s doing at FiveStones.  I’m thankful that I get to worship every Sunday with 15 three year olds because their joy and excitement about what we learn keeps me smiling all week.  So Thank You God, Thank You everyday!

 

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