"I think so often we hide ourselves because we're not "perfect" but God made us so uniquely and I think we can be creative in sharing beauty with one another!" 


Katie from Hope Engaged sent a few of us a sweet challenge last week, inquiring if we wanted to be a part of link-up to share the arts and beauty.  Part of this request required posting self-portraits.  If you know me in real life, I hate being in front of the camera alone.  Strongly dislike. Loath. Not a big fan. I rather run a marathon in bare feet. You get the picture? 

I was about to respond with a kind email along the lines of, " Thank you so much Katie for reaching out, but my camera is broken as of 2 minutes ago."  Or maybe something a little more honest, "Thanks Katie, but there is no way in the world I will ever do this in my whole life. Want me to take YOUR photos, please?"

For most people a little self-portrait is no big deal, but it causes me anxiety. I prefer to be on the other side of the lens, magnifying what is already beautiful in others. And I think this was just the point Katie was trying to make - It is OK to take a moment in life to find the beauty God placed inside each of us. 

So after re-reading Katie's email, I asked myself a few questions, "How can I write on addressing fears, if I won't address my own small ones? How can I start sharing messages on authentic beauty next month, when I don't want anyone to see me?" "How can I ask others to be vulnerable and honest, when I won't be?"   

So long story longer, I asked my sweet roommate to snap a few photos of me before I had a heart attack.  I laid out all these J.Crew approved clothes, only to pull on my old t-shirt, jean shorts and favorite watch.  If I am going to have my photo taken, it's gonna have to be the authentic me.

It was a bit awkward at first, I am not gonna lie.  I stared at my roommate and asked her, "What do you want me to do?"  

She replied, "How do I work your camera?"

After a few camera lessons, the shoot began.  I forgot we were taking photos through all the laughs. We actually both got so excited she took a focused photo and I did not look awkward, we both began to cheer and before we knew it a small boy was fist pumping the air and mimicking our words with great joy, "We did it! We did it! We did it!"  Game over - the rest of the shoot was just plain fun.

Sorry for the novel, but I wanted to share my small fear with you, in order to encourage you to keep conquering yours, no matter how small they are!  More on authentic beauty next month :)

PS. I am happy to report, it ended up not being that bad and I am still alive and breathing.  And to your (and my) great surprise, I have a few more photos to share tomorrow ;) 

P.P.S. Don't forget to head to Hope Engaged to see more posts and beautiful photos! Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone Katie :)

Photographer: @katdurham 

With a grateful heart,
XOXO always,

- Live simply - intentionally - gratefully - joyfully -


Rachel :

You sure look like you were quite alive in these pictures! They are beautiful, and I think it was an excellent choice to choose clothes you're comfy in!

Anonymous :

I never have fully understood why you don't like having pictures taken of you. You are absolutely gorgeous! You could easily be a model.

Katie Cook :

Ummmm...GIRL YOU ARE GOREGEOUS! And I seriously teared up at the beauty of this post...your vulnerability and truth, and the ability to face your fears and anxieties! And I laughed out loud (for reals!) when I read your comment about how your roommate asked you how to work the camera! hahahah! I'm dying! I'm so happy it was a fun experience! I know it can be awkward at first, but after a while it's just SUCH A blast!!!! And from now on, I'm making SURE you post pictures of yourself so the world can see your incredibly beauty!!! Love you and am soooo happy you linked up!!! Love Katie

Lisa :

Gosh you so beautifully articulated what I felt when I received Katie's email! Thank you.

The photos are gorgeous and you are stunning!!!

God bless

Denise Lopatka :

you are beautiful!! and im so proud of u for conquering a fear of yours and im so glad u did because these shots are amazing! love u!

Kristina :

You are beautiful...inside and out :) So proud of you for conquering your fear. Happy almost weekend!

PS: I'm looking forward to our skype date :) I'll email you and we can work out the details.

Elle Alice :

I LOVE these photos and your honesty and vulnerability! I agree with the self-portrait-phobia ... I am the same way and it was pretty cool to jump out of my comfort zone and post a few pictures of only me. It was weird, but cool. :) Glad I found you through Katie's link-up!

Lauren Lindsley :

This pictures are fabulous. I especially love the one with the dog jumping in the background-too cool. I'm glad I found your blog through this link up!

Lauren @ How Beautiful Are The Feet

Sheila@TheFailteHouse :

Thank you so much Kristina, and sorry for taking a bit to write back :) I always forget about posts here :( I can't wait either, let me know when works for you and we will set a date! excited! xo

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