finding my J.O.Y [a personal note]

by amandamaephotos

This morning while doing a little reading and sipping of coffee, I felt led to share a little of what God is doing in my heart these days.

Life has been grand the past month. Well it’s always been grand, I just didn’t always notice. Maybe it was the mini beach vacation away from life, but I truly believe God was working on my stubborn little heart.

I always felt defeated. I would have a high streak followed closely by a low one. I would let the littlest things get me worked up. So, anxious about things that I would let it take away my joy. I can’t stand my job. For those who don’t know, I work at a bistro and have to wake up at the crack of dawn to be there. Can you see why I don’t like it? Ok good. But, how can I complain, when I actually HAVE a job, and I have to opportunity to make a living. Man am I fortunate. I get to meet people who travel for a career. I’ve met people from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, France, Africa, and many more that I can’t remember. For someone who loves to travel to new places, that’s pretty sweet. I have the opportunity to brighten someone’s day by just smiling and having a cheerful attitude as I hand them their coffee.

I can’t even begin to tell you how humbled I am at how God has allowed me to photograph so many wonderful people this summer. Before I would let jealousy and pride get in my way, looking at other photographer and their success or not wanting to learn from them. Who cares if they have more clients, have better equipment, better branding, I could go on… We all struggle with that. I know it’s not just me. But what we can do, is learn, be encouraged, and motivated by them. This I’ve come to realize. God gave me this gift, and I use that lightly because I always feel self conscious saying that, and He did it for a reason. Time to put aside my own selfish ambitions.

Now that I look back, I realize that I was just out for myself. I tried a lot of different avenues of photography, many ending in epic failure or just complete dissatisfaction. Everyone seemed to have a nitch, but I just wasn’t finding mine. Although, I have found great satisfaction in my portrait sessions, I don’t feel like those will entirely fill my future. I think I may have found it, my nitch that is, but I don’t want to disclose it just yet. It has become a real passion over the past month, and I think that is the reason for the new-found joy in my life. It actually began inhabiting my mind close to 4 years ago when I wrote a paper about it one summer for a class. I just happened upon it and haven’t gotten it out of my mind since. I’m really not sure what to make of it. I tend to get something in my mind and want it so badly, but when I get it, it’s not all I’m expecting. You ever have that? Um hello, this is America; I think everyone is like that, but I really think this is different. I get an overwhelming sense of excitement when I research or talk about it and some doors are opening that could give me a taste for it.

This leads me to something else. I’m currently reading, aka trying to read, Walking With God by John Eldredge, meaning I started it several months ago and just made it through the first chapter. 🙂 I get distracted… Anyway, this morning he talked about assumptions. Us assuming that because God wants the best for our lives, that it will be all sunny days with all our desires placed in our lap. Trust me, that’s totally me. Still is. Growing up, pretty much any job I had was literally placed in my lap. Not because I was spoiled by any means, it was because I knew someone who knew someone. Small town. So here I am assuming that this is the direction God wants me to go in, and that I would have already gotten the job I applied for and that I would already be in the place I want to be. You notice all the “I’s” and that big fat WANT in that last sentence? Well it never occurred to me that what GOD wants for me may not totally line up with what I want. Whoa, really? Rude awakening. I seem to be having a lot of those lately. Maybe He’s trying to tell me something, no?

Ok, before this turns into a novel, I shall end with this. God wants what’s best for us. He wants us to be happy, filled with joy. We can’t find that unless we find him first. Walk in a life that is close with him. In the words of John Eldredge, “We can’t find life without God, and we can’t find God if we don’t know how to walk intimately with him.”.  My life may not be what I think it will be, what am I saying, I have no idea what I think it to be. But, I do know this, God has great things in store for us. We may not always see it or feel it, but if we walk with Him, we will find joy and fulfillment that only comes from a relationship with Him. So if I can encourage you at all, let me say this. Life is too short to be waisted away on your own desired future. Enjoy the small moments in life. Don’t rush. Smile at a stranger, they may need it. Love more. Pray more, and most importantly, walk with God. Have a relationship with Him. He’s pretty awesome. 🙂

Here is one of the many blessing that is in my life right now. My sister Anna! I love her so much and she is living with us! It’s just the three Farrell sisters and I could not be happier for the chance to be together once again. 😀

Much love and grattitude