And because it's friday and because I am behind on editing photos and because I have a small portion of my life that's not dedicated to portrait photography (though, really, it's pretty tiny).... we'll do something a little different today.
First, I want to share with y'all the meaning and message behind pure beauty. It's the name I'm giving to the series of photos I've been doing lately.
See, I'm in an organization at school that seeks to glorify God through our creative endeavors and the gifts of creativity He's given all of us. But really, it's more than an organization; it's a family. The men and women in this group are my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I believe without a doubt that He hand-picked all of us to be here, in ARTISTS, together, to grow with and learn from each other.
The group of girls in ARTISTS is especially close-knit. Being an only child, I always wanted siblings. If I had only known that when I got to college, I'd have more sisters that I could have ever asked for.... but seriously, these girls mean so much to me. We rejoice in each others' triumphs and encourage each other through dark times. We truly do life together.
I cherish these women so much. Seriously, there are no words for the beauty that pours out of them. I see it in them, and they see it in each other, but because this world is a cruel place, it's hard to believe it about ourselves.
We look in the mirror and see what the world sees - skin that's too flawed, teeth that are too crooked, a nose that's too big, bodies that aren't the right shape, one eye that's bigger than the other, hair that's too frizzy, too stringy, you name it, when the world is looking at us, nothing is good enough. The world sees the skin that covers our true nature, and that's not good enough, so what's on the inside must not be good enough either. When the world looks at us, we are simply unlovable.
But that's not true. That's a lie. We are creations that are more beautiful that this dirty, nasty world deserves, because we are covered in grace and purity. We are redeemed and called and treasured and blessed. We are adorned and adored and anointed. We are beyond worth; we are priceless. This is a truth that is so easy to see in others, but we are masked from seeing it in ourselves. pure beauty exists to remove that mask.
pure beauty is my way of showing my sisters the truth - they are beautiful. It is my hope that God is using this series to reveal that to them, to reveal the beauty that others see in them, the beauty that He sees in them, that He placed in them. They are all different. They are all distinct. They are all unique, with their own unique stories and their own unique struggles. They all experience suffering, and yes, they all make mistakes. But they all serve a God who is bigger than anything the world can throw at them, and they are covered in His grace and anointed with His love. They all are treasured and cherished by Him. They are new births, created in His image. And that, my friends, is pure beauty.
This project is something that I've wanted to do for a while. God laid it on my heart several months ago, and recently He struck a match and put it under me, so this is what I'm doing. It's for His glory, not mine.
Phew. Glad that's off my chest.
I think heaven must be a lot like Texas in the spring.
I learned the other day that bluebonnets, the state flower of Texas, naturally don't grow north of the Red River. How cool is that?? Our bluebonnets are pretty loyal... and full of Texas pride ;)
no, these really aren't the best pictures, as far as composition goes. but man... wildflowers are some of my favorite things on the planet, and the lighting was simply divine, and I couldn't keep myself from pulling over on the side of the road when I was coming back to school from being home last weekend.
I suppose that's all I have for now. Have a good weekend, and I'll be back on Monday!
love, love, love.
PS: to my new readers/friends: thank you for reading/commenting/following! Y'all are sweet. It's exciting to me to have readers that I don't really know, because in the past when I've blogged, my only followers were maybe a small handful of my close friends. This is still a baby blog, but I am excited to see it grow, and I thank you for wanting to share in this journey with me! Y'all are awesome!! :)