Waiting, A Time of Learning

I shared a post on Instagram the other day about waiting. I’m gonna share it below to help put the rest of what I’m about to write into context.
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I feel like this (the verse in the image above) is the anthem of my life, and let me confess to you…I’m not very good at being patient 😕 I am practicing and improving as the years go on though, so that’s something! 😁

I find myself continually in a place where I am practicing contentment and trying to be patient as I wait for the next thing in life my heart is desiring. A few years ago this waiting was in regards to being married. I longed to be a wife and enjoy the companionship of my handsome hubby. I even got to the point in waiting where I told the Lord, “If this isn’t the person you have for me let this relationship dissolve and plant a new desire in my heart”. As you know I am now happily married to that same wonderful man and wouldn’t change a thing. I learned a lot about myself in the waiting and it allowed me to prepare for the sacrifices that love and marriage would and has required of me.

Today that desire waiting to be fulfilled is motherhood. I have actually had “baby fever” for several years but recently that desire has been aching at my heart. I love kids, they are seriously the best humans in the world! They are smart, funny, so genuine, and love in such an unconditional way. It’s amazing to me. I feel like I’ve always been a mom at heart even from a young age, as I would care for and teach my baby dolls as if they were real babies 🙈

I am learning in this time of waiting (we aren’t quite ready for babies just yet as a couple and that’s ok, cause when we are ready it’s gonna be amazing) that I should be enjoying all the freedoms that life without kids offers. I usually stay occupied by taking great care of my hubby and our dog! However since it’s been just me and the dog, I miss taking care of another human. I know I am just missing my hubby and that is totally understandable! Plus I have several friends that will be having adorable babies soon, and I have so many friends who allow me to pour into and love on their kiddos!! I have truly been blessed in the season of waiting with some amazing women and kiddos to share life with while my hubby is away!! Thank you all for your love and support and indulging my baby fever!! #waiting #pactience #confession

I know this may seem like a totally new topic, but trust me there is a connection.

 

This past week my heart was a bit heavy. It’s been 4 years now since my Grandma Linda passed away from cancer. She was an amazing, feisty, strong willed, and wise woman. I learned so very much from her. She taught me during my waiting that being married is a job you must take seriously. It means taking care of and meeting the needs of your partner, sometimes even when you don’t feel like it. I think the most memorable thing she said to me during this time is, “There might be days you wake up and you might not be able to stand anything about your husband. Just the fact that he exists might be irritating; know that loving someone is a choice, not a feeling.” I can’t guarantee that those are the exact words she used, but it’s pretty close, or at least the best I can remember. The point is loving is a choice we must choose daily!

Then one day in our second year of marriage, everything my hubby did irritated me to no end and I realized what my grandma meant! I was short with him and when he asked why, I remember responding, “I’m not really sure but just the fact that you exist today is irritating.” I know that sounds terrible, but it was true. I just woke up “on the wrong side of the bed” so to speak and felt irritated at the world, and my husband, and the dog, for no other reason than I was in an irritable mood. I took a little time to myself, then apologized to my wonderful hubby and made sure he knew I love him so very much. I was just feeling funky and I was taking it out on him. That day what my grandma had said to me really clicked.

She was such a wise woman and I am so thankful for all the time I had with her. As I mentioned above, she passed away from cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer a few years prior, and I prayed that she would get well. That the Lord who can do all things, would heal her of the cancer. In this season of waiting for an answer, something was growing heavy on my heart. While I was praying, I just told God, “I know you are the healer; that all things are possible with you! I want you to know that, even if you don’t give me what I want. Even if my thought of healing isn’t the thing that happens, it doesn’t change how I feel about You. I know You’re still good and You still love me!”  I know that may seem crazy to some, but this wasn’t the first grandparent I had prayed to be healed of a terminal illness.

My grandma Mary passed away of Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) in 2000. My Grandpa Bill passed away from bone cancer in 2010.  I prayed and prayed for them to be healed. But I believe there are two kinds of healing: the earthly healing and the heavenly healing. Earthly healing, when you are healed and get to have a personal testimony to share with others. Heavenly healing, where you receive the ultimate healing of no more sickness and no more pain in eternity with the Lord.

I have a personal relationship with the Lord, and through that I have learned that God is faithful. He has always kept me safe and protected me from harm. He has healed me! So I know that even if my prayers aren’t answered the way I want, that He’s still good and His love for me is true.

I guess the whole point of this is that I’ve learned that my ways, wants and desires for my life and what affects my life aren’t always what God has in mind, and I have learned that Gods plans for me are always more/better than anything I imagined for myself.  If you read my post Everything I Dreamed and More, you know what I’m talking about.

I have learned in every season of waiting, to remind myself and the Lord, that even if I don’t get what I want, that I know His plans for me are good. I will still love Him even if I don’t get the things I feel so strongly in my heart. So even if my grandparents passed away, which they did. Even if I didn’t get to be married, which I did. Even if I don’t get to be a mom. That I know His plans for me are better than I can imagine and that I just need some help finding a new dream, if that’s the case.

I heard a song on K-LOVE the other day and it completely took me back to that feeling of crying out to God for what I wanted. Healing, a husband, Motherhood, and knowing that even if I don’t get what I want. God is my Hope and He has done so many good things for me and through me in my lifetime, that this one thing won’t keep me from loving Him! The song is called Even If,by MercyMe. The chorus is my favorite

“I know You’re able and I know You can

Save through the fire with Your mighty hand

But even if You don’t

My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt

Would all go away if You’d just say the word

But even if You don’t

My hope is You alone”

Just know that waiting is never easy. However in my experience it is always a learning experience that is preparing you for what’s to come!!

 

Thank you for sharing in my journey! If you are interested in receiving my blog posts in your inbox (I don’t post a lot, mostly just when I have sessions and if inspiration or life compels me), scroll down and click the follow button.

~Hannah

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There’s nothing good about goodbye…

Personally I think it’s a terrible name…cause good is definitely not how you feel when you say bye. I prefer “see you soon”.
You are probably wondering…. “what brought that on?” Well, I have just embarked on the longest see you soon I’ve had to do since my hubby and I got married in 2015. It’s his turn to go out and protect our country and I am beyond proud of him for his passion and commitment to his job!
I know this time apart will pass quickly, because I have such a wonderful family and great support system/family/friends here in Jacksonville. The Lord knew just where I needed to be during this time and even though when we moved here I wasn’t thrilled, I am so very thankful now. I have been blessed with an amazing church and church family to serve with here. I have awesome friends who are so encouraging and supportive; who are already opening up their arms to spend time with me and keep me occupied while the hubby is away. Not gonna lie, I’m kind of excited for some of the new activities I’ll hopefully get to do, like babysit some really awesome and cute kiddos.
I have also been immensely blessed with my photography business here and my It Works business ( I realize I haven’t actually shared that with you guys here yet. I’ll post an update soon) as well!
I am looking forward to my mother’s day minis coming up in may, and I recently had an opportunity open to me for doing some real estate photography as well!
I have been clinging to this verse for a while now, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)
This year, while having it’s challenges, will be so amazing. I know it might seem a little crazy, but this is my year to thrive. I can just feel it! The Lord has been so faithful and opened so many doors for me here, and I want to honor Him by doing my very best!
Something I remind myself of daily is this, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6, 7 NLT)
This promise is true, because I have been at peace about this long “see you soon” for a while now. Not that I won’t be missing my hubby, cause of course I will. I know some days will be hard and I will cry, other days will be easy….and I will be counting down the days till I get to see him again!
I would appreciate any prayers and encouragement you’d like to send my way this year!
Thank you for sharing in my journey! If you are interested in receiving my blog posts in your inbox (I don’t post a lot, mostly just when I have sessions and if inspiration or life compels me), scroll down and click the follow button.
~Hannah

Here are some of my favorite memories we’ve shared during our 2 years of marriage so far, and can’t wait to make so many more memories when you return!

Fletcher Family | Luxury Mini Session | Beirut Memorial | Jacksonville NC Family Photography

I had the honor of taking pictures for the Fletcher Family in November, they were so much fun. The weather was beautiful and the Beirut Memorial as all set in fall color! Plus that natural light, and just look at them…such a beautiful family!

hmb_4889hmb_4905Riley and Oden were such a joy to work with! They were so much fun and have such great smiles! hmb_4912hmb_4930hmb_4961All the love and joy in these images makes my heart happy and brings a smile to my face!hmb_4976hmb_4989These kiddos love their parents so much and they have some great ones! Love how evident that is! ❤hmb_4998Moments like this are what I love to capture for the families I serve, because these are the things you don’t wanna forget. One day those boys will be older, tickles probably won’t bring such joy and contagious laughter as they did that day, but you will always be able to look back at this image and remember how much fun they were when then. Don’t get me wrong seeing your kids grow up and change is amazing (I’m sure), but I think it’s awesome to be able to look back through images and remember, cause not only the joy of youth is captured in this image, but also the evidence of what a great parent you are!hmb_5009hmb_5117A sibling is a life long friend and these two are gonna have so many more amazing memories together in their lifetime. So honored to capture some moments of their youth! hmb_5168hmb_5221hmb_5241Love! As parents you have a lot of responsibility, you take care of your kids, work, clean, but the most important thing you do (in my opinion) is teach your kids how to love by the way you love each other! That’s why images like this melt my heart!! ❤️Parents who are still so very in love with each other and let it show!! You are teaching them what a relationship looks like, and let me tell you just from the time I spent with Abby and Jarod, those boys are seeing such a beautiful example of love!! Thank you for letting me into your world to capture the beauty of your love and your amazing family!!!hmb_5262This is one of my favorite new products!! There are so many ways to display your Wood Print: sit it on a desk, prop on a book-case, or hang on the wall!! The best part is that your family memory is preserved in print!!! #apearproducts #apearphotographyapear photography, family photography, jacksonville family photography

Thank you for allowing me to capture your active growing family, it is truly an honor!!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if so I would love to connect with you on Instagram!
If you are interested in receiving my blog posts in your inbox (I don’t post a lot, mostly just when I have sessions and if inspiration or life compels me), scroll down and click the follow button.
I would love to capture real life moments for your family. If you are interested in getting on this years session schedule I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and joining me on my journey as I live out my photography dreams!

~Hannah

Kalb Family | Mini Session Giveaway Winners | Beirut Memorial | Jacksonville NC Family Photography

Happy Valentines Day everyone! Thought I’d share Taylor, Tyler, and Anastasia’s beautiful family session today since they wore red for their pictures! The Kalb Family were picture perfect and with the beautiful fall scenery back in November… I love how you can tell how much love abounds in a family by the way they interact with each other, and let me tell you love is not in short supply here! ❤ Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyAnastasia is just the cutest little thing! I mean just look at that adorable face and let’s be honest you don’t pose littles they do as they please, which makes it so much more them anyway (that’s the goal isn’t it…well it’s my goal when photographing your kiddos). She has so much personality and I enjoyed capturing every minute of it!Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyTaylor and Tyler are such sweet parents! I love all the sweet images I captured for them!Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyJacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyJacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyJacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyCapturing the love a mother has for her child is just one of the many things I love about being a photographer! Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyThis little cutie will be walking before you know it, she was all for standing with mom and dad for some pictures and just look at that smile! Little smiles are possibly my absolute favorite thing ever…..⠀Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyThis little one is gonna be a heart throb when she gets older!Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyI believe love is one of the most important things we can teach our children these days! Not just loving them and letting them know how special they are, but showing and modeling what love looks like. How to be kind and considerate to others, while teaching them to love themselves. Trust me they notice more than you think, watching eyes are always learning. So teach them well! Jacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyJacksonville NC Photographer, Jacksonville kids photography, Jacksonville family photographyIt is always such an honor to capture these amazing memories for my clients (aPear Family)! I am truly blessed to be able to work with such wonderful families!

Thank you so much Kalb Family for entrusting me to capture your family photos, so you can cherish this life and these moments long after your cutie is grown!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if so I would love to connect with you on Instagram!
If you are interested in receiving my blog posts in your inbox (I don’t post a lot, mostly just when I have sessions and if inspiration or life compels me), scroll down and click the follow button.
I would love to capture real life moments for your family. If you are interested in getting on this years session schedule I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and joining me on my journey as I live out my photography dreams!

~Hannah

McCulley Family | Beirut Memorial | Jacksonville NC Family Photography

I had the honor of Photographing the McCulley Family over the Holiday Season and they were a fantastic bunch to work with! I got to put into practice my large group photo skills cause there were a lot of them! Talk about some of the nicest people in the world, I seriously think most of them end up in front of my camera, and this family definitely falls in that category!! hmb_44414 Generations are pictures here and aren’t they just beautiful!
hmb_4341The guys don’t look too bad either, all 3 generations of them! They were such good sports about getting their picture taken. hmb_4352
This is my sweet friend Stephanie and her beautiful family! I am so honored that she’s part of my military family. Her girls are the sweetest things, and look at how cute they are! hmb_4371
This is Jason and Kara and their family! They had a sick little but he powered through like a champ for most of the pictures! These two make 5 kiddos look like a breeze. hmb_4503Clint and Cindy are the luck grandparents to all these adorable kiddos. I can’t say it enough these are some of the sweetest people in the world right here! hmb_4478This is a special moment right here, a great grandma and all her great grand-babies, or at least all of them on this side of her family! hmb_4427By the end the older kids were the only ones interested in playing in the leaves and letting me take pictures! Cousins having fun together, all the laugher is like sweet music! hmb_4532
Holidays are for bringing family together and showing how much love you have for one another and these images will always take them back to that day, and all the love and joy they got to share!
Thank you McCulley Family for allowing me to capture these moments for you!
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if so I would love to connect with you on Instagram!
If you are interested in receiving my blog posts in your inbox (I don’t post a lot, mostly just when I have sessions and if inspiration or life compels me), scroll down and click the follow button.
I would love to capture real life moments for your family. If you are interested in getting on this years session schedule I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading and joining me on my journey as I live out my photography dreams!

~Hannah