Did you watch the Grammy's?  Brett and I turned it on for a bit after the girls were in bed. And this song made me stop and actually listen.  It's brilliant, bold, BRAVE.  Not really a match made in heaven with the barrage of cow and farm pictures I'm about to hit you with, but to me they make sense.  Both lyrics and looks at the farm speak of encouragement, of beauty, of a certain calm and order and purpose beneath what's loudest in life.  

I love cows.  I could look at them all day.  I always imagine little stories about them, wondering who has buddied up with who, which calf is in trouble for the day, and which cow thinks she looks extra good with the sun glinting off her messy fur.   It's silly, but what else?
This is my response to most things most days lately.  If not silly, what else is there?  Serious all the time?  We both know how much fun that is. 

The lake near our farm and pond on our property are both mysteriously and wonderfully brave and beautiful.  Cold and frigid and dark looking on some days,
shining, bright, and cheerful on others. Always doing their job to the fullest, whether a human eye notices or not.   Waiting for the weather to change their state, probably preferring to be warm on the cold days, but being as COLD and frozen and beautiful as they can.  Being bravely beautiful. 

I've had a lesson or two in being brave lately. 

I've had a project of sorts I've been working on behind the scenes.  You all know I love to take photos of just about anything, but what I really like to take pictures of are things.  Still-life photography, if you will.  I've enjoyed this for years, and have dozens of photos that have been taken throughout my life story, since my love of photography has taken flight.
In the midst of a very mundane Monday a while back I got an email from a friend, Holley Gerth, asking me to help with her new book promotion.  The idea was that I would use my photographs and combine them with quotes from her new book, You're Going to Be Okay, for her to use on social media sites once the book was released.  The icing on the cake?  I even got paid, like a real job.  
I instantly felt non-qualified and nervous.  And then a tiny twinge of excitement.  I told Brett and a few family members about the exciting opportunity and then got to work.  I decided to be brave.  The work was totally enjoyable.  I never knew or dreamed I would get such an opportunity and really, really love it.  The excitement quickly overcame the nerves as I started to realize all those photographs I've been taking (and feeling silly for sometimes, honestly) were now serving a tremendous purpose, as I matched up photos with quotes from Holley's book.  It was as if God (through Holley) was saying "I want to see you be brave." And I was.  And it felt so, so good.

I want my girls to watch me and learn that, just like the quiet strength of the lake when no one's looking, whether your brave is seen or not, it matters.  Brave to me is somedays not posting on Instagram a million times, but instead quietly folding the laundry that's waiting.  Choosing to realize the mundane chores that depend on me matter, whether they win the vote of a thousand "likes" or not.  Brave is also praying for patience, just one more time, when my sleep is interrupted.

Brave is looking at the roots near the creek and asking God to show me meaning in them,
rather than allowing the thoughts that it's too silly to think so to rule.

Brave is saying no to the most popular things,
when I instead need to speak a "yes" to the fainter whispers of my heart.

Brave is laying down my thought-so's,
and could-be's,
and to do's,
and what if's,
and holding a big empty canvas out to God instead.
Giving up and giving in,
to the very GIFT of life and surprise and celebration that's waiting.

And for today, BRAVE is sharing this exciting news with you (Holley's book comes out next week and I'll tell you where to see my work then!)
instead of worrying over what people will think.

I want to see you be brave! 


  1. Excellent! I am currently reading a book by Holley Gerth, so I am beyond thrilled to know that you have collaborated!! I must have this book...and your autograph! That is super cool! I think there is an exclamation mark in every sentence... :)

  2. Oh WOW! Congratulations!!! That's very exciting news! And I love the cow pictures! Do you have any friends that paint??! Namoi? Or perhaps you could go to the painting place - I can't remember what it's called. You should have one of your cow photos painted - like Miss Mustard Seed has in her home. SO lovely! Anywho, just my thoughts! I just think that every time I see them on your blog! Can't wait to hear about the new book! :)


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