The Johnson’s Harvest Party – Minnesota Event Photographer

Here is a post from a dear friend about a Harvest Blessings Party we had at our house recently. Enjoy!!

Whispers of Light Photography

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”
— W.T. Purkiser

My lovely friend Kim is preparing to head out to follow a call into serving God in Senegal. She and her wonderful family are some of the dearest people you’ll ever meet. They thought it would be fun to gather together some friends out on their charming farm, and have a sort of harvest party– a time of fellowship to come together and thank the Lord for all that He gives.  Friends dressed in 1800’s style costumes, games, great food, a pie contest, a dance, and a whole lot of family-fun ensued, and I got to capture just a bit of the beautiful evening with my lens 🙂

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Thank you, lovely Johnson Family, for being such great friends to so many people, and for hosting such a special…

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Minnesota Summers

As I was driving into town today I was thinking of all the things that I enjoy about summer time.  Living in Northern Minnesota really makes you appreciate summer, as the winters can sometimes be unbearably long and cold.  Now, I’m sure there are some who live in states where their summer’s are HOT, like much of my extended family who live in New Jersey, that may say that our high 70’s – low 80’s is a bit chilly for summer.  But it suits me just fine.  I have also been savoring the changing of seasons here more, knowing that when I am in Senegal the seasons will be much different then I am use to.

To change the topic of just a moment…I’m sure many of you have heard of the book One Thousand Gifts – A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are At by Ann Voskamp.  I first heard Ann speaking about her book on one of my favorite radio programs, Chris Fabry Live.

Here is the publisher’s synopsis of her book,  “Drawing heartbreaking beauty out of the simplest of details, Ann Voskamp invites you into her grace-bathed life of farming, parenting, and writing—and deeper still into your own life. Here you will discover a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of living that is fully alive, and a way of becoming present to God that brings you deep and lasting joy.”

Last winter I read most of the book and while it was very good, I’m embarrassed to tell you I didn’t finish it.  I have a bad habit of reading most of a book but never quite finishing it (unless it’s a novel).  Another thing that slowed me down a bit was Ann’s writing style it very poetic and that made it a little hard to follow at times.  But, that being said, I still really want to read the whole thing sometime.

Anyway…ever since reading One thousand Gifts – A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, I have been making my own list.  But, so far this summer I’ve been very lax about actually writing anything down.  So, I’ve decided to share some of the things I’ve found myself being thankful for this summer.  Feel free to leave a comment with things you thankful for today!  The more we look for the beauty around us the more we see and know God!

 

1. The lush green of the fields, forests, ditches, yards, and gardens

2. The smell of strawberries fresh from the garden…I really wish I could bottle that smell for the cold winter days

3. A swarm of bees flying overhead, looking for a new home

4. The smell of dirt after a rain

5. Potlucks with dear friends

6. Hanging wash out on the line

7. The warm clothes just off the line that smell of summer and sunshine

8. Evenings spent with friends sharing how God is at work in my life…drawing me to Africa

9. Phone calls with a “little” brother far away

10. Watching my niece profess her faith in God by being baptized

11. Eating perfectly ripe raspberries out of the garden

12. Moments of working together with my Mom

13. Drives to work in the morning with my Dad

14. A perfect sunset

The list could go on and on…but to be perfectly honest, I have had to stop and consider what to write here.  God has given each of us so much to be thankful for, even when life is hard, but so often we take it for granted.  Or, at least I know I do.  I have been trying to soak in the little moments of joy that come my way so often, to acknowledge the gifts God sends my way every day.  Even when I am pulling weeds in the garden, washing dishes or mopping a floor, there are things to be thankful for.

I would truly love to hear some of the things you are finding to be thankful for…please take a minute to share!

Fresh laundry

Today was a perfect day to hang clothes out on the line!  Hot and windy…I think they will dry quicker on the line then in the dryer!  I don’t know about you but I love the smell of clothes dried in the hot sun.

Walking…

I decided last month that I needed to start taking a walk at least twice a week…but due a busy schedule, bad weather, etc, etc, I failed to begin my weekly walks.

My desire to start walking comes from a desire to be healthier.  During my senior year of college (2008) I spent evenings working out with a number of my friends.  We would lift weights, run around the gym or up and down the stairs, do crunches during movies, all which added up to me being the healthiest I have been as an adult.

In the past five years my exercise habits and hence my health has had its ups and downs.  This winter I began to feel especially sluggish, so this spring I began to realized that I really need to be more motivated to take care of my health.  Thus the bi-weekly walks.  Beyond my physical need to get out and walk, is my spiritual need to get out and walk.

One of my favorite ways to connect with God is to spend time surrounded by beauty of His creation!

Yesterday, I made the first of hopefully many walks this summer.  I didn’t walk as far as I hoped I would…but I’ll get better!  It was really nice to get outside, exercise, spend sometime talking with God and soaking in the beauty God has placed all around me!

Here are a few pictures remind you of some of God’s simple blessings in our lives.

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What are some of your favorite ways to connect with God?

Canoeing the Crow Wing River

One of my most favorite outdoor activities is kayaking and if kayaking is not an option canoeing comes in at a close second. Earlier this week I got to spend three day out canoeing on the Crow Wing river with my church youth group. The weather was perfect and it was great to spend some time getting to know the students better!

If you have never been to Minnesota…sit back enjoy a glimpse of the beauty of my state!

If you live in Minnesota and haven’t found time recently to get out and enjoy our beautiful state, hopefully these picture will inspire you!  If we have to deal with ridiculously cold winters we should really make time to enjoy our amazing summers!

 

I spent 3 days on this lovely river with 20 amazing teenagers!

I spent 3 days on this lovely river with 20 amazing teenagers!

Taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of God's creation!

Taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation!

A glimpse of whimsy...

A glimpse of whimsy…

We had perfect weather for our trip, sunny and low 80's!

We had perfect weather for our trip, sunny and low 80’s!

Sorry this picture is a little blurry...but it was the best one I took.  We saw quite a few eagles along the way!

Sorry this picture is a little blurry…but it was the best one I took. We saw quite a few eagles along the way!

I love the site of canoes and a river.

I love the site of canoes and a river.

Over the course of two days I counted close to 200 turtles...I also saw 2 of these huge snapping turtles!  A few of the guys decided to catch this one!

Over the course of two days I counted close to 200 turtles…I also saw 2 of these huge snapping turtles! A few of the guys decided to catch this one!

Here I am drifting along...the river had a nice current so we didn't have to work too hard!

Here I am drifting along…the river had a nice current so we didn’t have to work too hard!