congratulations sarah & nate! | personal

I was blessed with really great roommates during my college years. Sarah was my first roommate at Liberty University. She was so perfect for me at that time in my life - telling me like it was and not putting up with my drama. She helped teach me to accept the truth while also not being offended by it. She was with me when I went through my first real break up, some of the hardest family times I have dealt with, and during a time of huge change in my own heart/soul. Not to mention she is one of the most patient and accepting girls I know. I love her. :)

So when she let me know earlier this week that she was headed to town with  her boyfriend, I was really looking forward to spending time with them. She has visited a few times the past couple of years, each time to take a class or a test here at Liberty for her master's degree. But when her boyfriend stepped out of the room they were in to ask me (over the phone) when the local florist made their deliveries, I became a little suspicious. This wasn't a special occasion... Sarah was in town to take a test and that was it. It wasn't her birthday and valentine's day had already passed. Was he going to propose tonight? Then, a few hours later, we were once again on the phone making dinner plans and his only request was that we go to "somewhere nice." My suspicion grew.

Fast forward an hour or so and Sarah calls me and says "I'm engaged!!!" Ahhhh!! I totally knew it! I cannot tell you how exciting it was for me to be in the same town with her that very night! We are rarely ever in the same town and this was the first time I was actually meeting Nate. I was so excited and honored to be able to be there to celebrate and share in their joy.

Tommy and I stopped into their room on our way to dinner and I grabbed a few shots of them being oh-so-cute!

Congratulations, guys! I am so very happy for you!

gratituesday: my friend sabrena

Gratituesday is a weekly blog meme I participate with over here. You should join, too! If you do, be sure to let me know in the comments because I would love to read what you write about.

Internet, meet Sabrena.

Sabrena is another photographer here in Lynchburg, but more importantly, she is my friend. Sabrena and I shared a lot of classes in college, including the same photography class. We started shooting professionally around the same time.

And it is important for you to know that she changed my life.

When you are just starting a photography business, it is very easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself and your work to others. It's easy to compare things like how much business you appear to be bringing in, how accurate your white balance is, the overall quality of your images with others, and the list goes on and on and on. It's easy to feel competitive and it is very, very exhausting.

One Sunday I was chatting with Sabrena after a church service we both had attended and she was telling me about her work. And suddenly she said "I don't worry about competition because I trust that the Lord will provide for me and my family."

Um. Woah. Imagine that.

That statement made me stop and reflect. Do I believe I was meant to do this? Yes. Do I believe God wants me to have this business? Yup. Then why am I worried about whether or not I will be successful? If it is clear to me that this is what I am supposed to be doing... then I need not worry.

And from that moment on, my life was changed.

Of course, I love Sabrena for so much more than her life-changing statement. She is an inspiration to me. She is positive, encouraging, and has a servant's heart. She is confident yet humble. I love that we both receive and give encouragement to one another regularly. I love all of the time we get to spend together... and I love that she is in my life!

So this week... I am grateful for my friend, Sabrena. She is a light in my life!

P.S. I also really love that her and her husband are comfortable enough in our home to come over wearing slippers and comfy house clothes. :)