A Lovely Little World

Adventures in Southern Ontario

Tag: love

Losing Hope

This week has been challenging one for the world, with new acts of violence and terror, in a place that should have been safe, and those hurt were girls, teens and their mothers.  Undoubtedly, people are angry and scared. If you are one of those people who believes that love makes a difference and that they way forward is hope, well, basically it’s hard to believe at a time like this isn’t it?

And this is easy for me to say, because I’m not there… I didn’t lose a loved one… but I think the answer is the same. One by one we have to make life better for individuals, until the good outweighs the bad. We can’t suddenly give up on trying to make the world better because it seems like the odds are too big. THEY ARE HUGE. THEY ARE OVERWHELMING. But I spent too many years assuming there was nothing I could do, and you know what? Nothing got done.

As I’ve gotten older, I realized how foolish it is to throw your hands in their air and let the world kill itself, which is really what apathy does. If you don’t fight for a better place, who will? And isn’t it better to try, than to do nothing, even if in the end it makes no difference? Find a way, any way, you can to make the world better for even one person and… right there, it IS making a difference. Do not despair. Do not be apathetic. Pray. Love. Hope. On the smallest level you can, until it becomes bigger.

These photographs were all taken at Hamilton’s Royal Botanical Gardens.

JT: A couple session

When I first started doing photography professionally, I swore off weddings, not couple sessions, just weddings. In a way though, for photojournalist type photographers, they really are a dream. Weddings come with so many emotions, and sweet moments, and people are in some ways more informal with the photographer, because they’re thinking about love and looking their best. I love going through the photos afterwards even more, which is weird for me, since editing is usually my least favourite part of the process.

I have these friends who are always up to try anything, and I really wanted to try using smoke in wedding-type photos. We went to the beach, they were, as always their gorgeous selves, and the smoke did not work AT ALL the way I wanted. That being said, I’m determined to give it another go, I will master this eventually. In the meantime, here is a couple that makes everyone believe in love. It’s true, I’ve seen the comments they get on Facebook. Watching them interact was even better. Even if they were on their best (not that good for the record) behaviour.

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Being Alone, even with faith

I haven’t been able to take much comfort from the assurance God will always be with me.

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“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” – Hebrews 13:5 doesn’t have meaning when you feel like you’re on your own facing the challenges of daily life, or at the very least, that God is distant and His direct presence requires some kind of faith I don’t have.

Also, I kind of just want a husband and family of my own, so it’s hard to get peace out of the thought God is present when you want a flesh and blood human beside you.

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My dad died when I was seventeen, and I was grossly aware of his absence and how much I needed him still. At that time, I clung to God’s promise to be a father to the fatherless and although that thought provided temporary relief – it never sank deep enough into my soul to cause life altering change.  Plus what made me so special that God would see me as a prized daughter?

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And I’m not saying that I’ve since got it figured out. I just feel like if we could really grasp the intent of God’s heart, we wouldn’t ever feel alone.

We are alone because we don’t fully appreciate how present He is and use that to our advantage. We are alone because we don’t have a relationship with Him the way that the He offers. We keep Him “on high” instead of beside us.

Isaiah 45: 2 says “I will go before you and will level the mountains”, but instead of providing comfort, verses like “levelling mountains” that make me feel extra alone. Why doesn’t God level mountains for me? Only nothing even that massive, much smaller stuff.

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But I think he wants to.

I think God does want us to trust Him enough to turn to Him. He really is beside us every second. We don’t fully turn to Him because we don’t fully grasp it. God, THE GOD, is right there with you every second and you can turn to Him and talk to Him and He will LOVE it since that’s why He created you and He’ll help you and give you “hugs” in the sense of comfort and all that you need.

But somehow, you have to fully understand, to fully grasp, that you are not alone. And that thought may not make up for your lack of husband, but at least it makes the void smaller and the journey less lonely, and more than that, you can focus on being who are you are meant to be and the beauty all around you because you have to worry or feel pathetic or empty.

Some who’s love is perfect, who will never infringe or hurt you or steal your independence or take all your space is right there loving you. You are in the spiritual presence of the divine any second of any day and the possibilities for that are endless, not based on anything YOU can do, you just have to see it.

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Revolution is a scary word

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Revolution

It’s not Socialist, but it’s definitely not Capitalist. It’s not about making lots of money and buying lots of things. It’s a realization that greed is wrong and the political system is infiltrated by people who are greedy, for money, power, and shallow things at the cost of others. It’s not about violence and rebellion, although it is a protest. It’s about caring enough about humanity to care about the earth. If the air we breath is sick, and the water we drink is sick, the people too will be sick (David Suzuki). It’s not about being complacent and thinking we can’t really make a difference, things are the way they are. It’s about seeing a need and helping to meet it. It’s not just about random acts of kindness, when you’re in a cheerful mood, it’s about loving, and acts of love, even when you aren’t in the mood. It spreads like the ‘kissing disease’ but it’s not that kind of love and it’s not demonstrated with lethargy and pain. It’s not isolationist. It’s AWARE! It’s doing what you can EVERY time you think of it. It’s about protecting each other even when we don’t understand each other. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a revolution of love.

Love

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I saw this on pinterest, and it links to a tumblr page, so I’m not sure the original source, but it’s actually how I’d like to begin this New Year. I think a lot about love, and what it means to love, and I guess, if you’re an atheist or don’t follow a religion, that really isn’t a code that says you have to love at all. This isn’t to say that you don’t personally believe you should, just that there isn’t a greater being telling you it’s required. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to love people just because it’s required. It’s something that I really believe in. Love is the only thing that I think can actually make a difference in the world. So often we just pick a few people that we can tolerate or that we’re born to love, and just focus on them. We may not even continue it past them offending us in some way or another. That’s not what this is about. This is not about sticking by people even when they are abusive or bad for you or repeatedly hurt you. Yes, forgiveness is not a good idea, but so is getting far away from the situation.

I’m meaning… loving people on a more universal score. As a Christian, I’ll write this from what I know. Jesus didn’t look down from Heaven and say, “Well God, that guy over there, he smells funny, or that woman, see her…. she’s abusing the welfare system, she should really get a job and stop popping out children that the system will have to pay for, or that guy is a murderer, or that child is sort of an ugly child… I’m not going to die for those guys. I’m just going to die for the ones that make me feel happy and look pretty and bath and don’t irritate me”.

Jesus died for everyone.

To refer to the obvious “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”; God isn’t leaving out the ugly children.

For a long time, I thought it was enough to just live my life and give a bit of money or food at Christmas, and in general be kind to people, but not too kind because that’s not required, and may be deemed creepy, plus who doesn’t have a bad day, I’m only human, so when that customer is really annoying, I’ll unleash all my wrath on them…. but I think that’s not enough. Please keep in mind, these are my personal musings, what you feel you have to do may be very different from what I feel for me personally, I can’t know what the right thing is for you.

Furthermore, I never really thought “charity” was entirely required by God, just sort of, something to do like not smoking, but the more I read looking for what the Bible says about love… I realize how much God does ask us to look after others and more than that, to love others.

1 John 3:16, 17

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” Yikes.

Ephesians 5:2

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us”

And seriously, I’m not even giving you a tiny fraction of all the scriptures that tell us to love; I can if you want.

My favourite passage right now though is 1 John 4:16, 18-19.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him… There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…we love because he first loved us”.

First off, God is love. I always find that so re-assuring and beautiful, and I cling to that.

I also didn’t really understand “There is no fear in love” until I read the quotation I included at the top of this very long blog post; “our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy”. We have all kinds of excuses to get us out of loving people, but in my case, the reality just is, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of helping someone who will just take advantage of it. I’m afraid of caring too much and getting hurt. I’m afraid of people thinking I’m stupid or silly or naive. When we love with God’s love… there isn’t fear. His love is perfect. He loves even knowing all our flaws, He loves because He can see into our hearts and observe the goodness, but even if He sees only nastiness, HE STILL LOVES US. I can’t even really fathom that, but I know what I feel inside me. That love is the way to go, and I am so far from being there yet, but I want 2015 to be a year where I learn to not be afraid to love. I want to show compassion and genuine good will to anyone I meet, not just the people that love me. If you have suggestions for how to get there, I’m all ears, but this is my start.

Dielman-Hostetler Wedding

One of my dearest friends got married this weekend, and I was invited to be in the bridal party. As a result, I didn’t photograph the wedding, even though I would have loved to, but I loaned out my camera to basically anyone who was willing to use it. Here are a few of my favourite captures from the day!

We probably had the most relaxed bridal party morning ever. We kinda just sat around in pajamas and ate pizza. I had my hair and make-up done when I got there, but the bride’s aunt and cousins worked on everyone else’s hair and make-up. Then we got dressed and arrived at the Church basically on time. We did a few photos in the backyard, and there were tons of crickets and they kept jumping up our dresses! Apparently the groomsmen had a blast doing their photos and the dock they did their photos on separated from the land while they were out there, so we almost lost the groom. But it all worked out in the end… and the ceremony was truly beautiful. Jennah looked so, so lovely walking down the aisle and the flower girl was perfect! She loved everyone looking at her, even though she woke up literally a minute before it was time to start.

A few of my favourite photo booth photos.

And finally…. photographs from the dance. I’ve only met a few people in my life who loved to dance as much as these people. They danced and danced all night, even as they cleaned up after the wedding. And… it was contagious. Plus it wasn’t just shuffling from foot to foot, it was arms waving, full body dancing!

And…. my favourite photograph from the day….

The bride and groom dancing

The bride looks so happy in this candid moment late in the night after everyone was starting to go home

And finally, the dreamy lanterns we sent into the night sky.

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Wedding lanterns against the night sky

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I was so grateful to be a part of this truly magical day, and I wish Jennah and Cam all the happiness in the world. I love you guys.