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Saturday, September 29, 2012

picnic in paradise

When Sasha mentioned taking me on a hike up into the mountains at first I was a little freaked out.  I love nature, but had no idea what to expect.  How hard was she going to work me?  I mean were we going to need ropes and stuff?  HA!  Weren't there bears and critters that could maul us to death?  It was a little intimidating.

What I didn't really consider would be the overwhelming, almost hush of reverence I felt for the Lord and the beauty He created.  It felt like we were walking on holy ground.  HOLY GROUND people!!

Every branch, every vista...unique and surreal.

I felt like I was in one of those landscape pictures in an antique store.  I could almost hear the music building and could visualize Julie Andrews running over the hill twirling her arms singing "The hills are alive with the Sound of Music....ahhhh ahhhh a ahhhh.....

How is it possible this exists?  It was postcard worthy...

And I was actually standing in it!


The hike was challenging, but doable.  We saw a lot of older people.  Mostly older people, and honestly at times I was chanting to myself...if they can do this so can I...if they can do this so can I;)

There are rules not to get off the beaten path.  The rules are so you don't destroy the flowers or get attacked by wild animals.  For the most part we followed the rules.  There was just one time we moved off to get a better picture of some flowers.  And of course don't you know we had a scare that I'd lost my phone.  We eventually found it buried in my backpack:/  I'm kind of a mess, you should know this about me;)

This is where we sat...on a boulder and ate our lunch and took in His creation. We picnicked in paradise. 

This girl KNEW bringing me here was going to blow my mind.  She knows me so well.  She loves me that much!  We had a spiritual experience on that mountain and on the way down we drank in praise music. It was amazing!

At the end of our hike we collapsed on the damp earth and stretched our legs.  The cool air was refreshing...the sun was warm on our shoulders.  I could have sat in that spot all day long.  There was a little creak running nearby.  It was cool from the melting snow.  And I had this scripture pop in my head... from Luke chapter 19:39-44

39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”
40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” 41-44 When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you!

Many years ago I heard a praise song about rocks and trees praising the Lord.  It stuck with me.  When I'm out in nature I still think about that.  It's His creation...all of it.  They are living things.  If we don't praise Him...THEY WILL!  How unbelievably crazy is that!!!  Vibrating, swaying...worshiping their Creator.  Too amazing to even imagine.  I want to be the one praising Him.  I can do it so much better than a rock:)

*It may take me a month to share everything.  Hope you don't mind;)


Have a blessed day.
782. Sasha
783.  God's glory which overwhelms me
784.  simple sandwiches that taste heavenly, on a rock in paradise
785.  a body that allows me to move and climb
786.  that i found my phone!!
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Thursday, September 27, 2012


Hello friends...long time no see.  I hope you've missed me;)  For those of you without Instagram you've missed a lot!!  I literally feel like I've been around the world.  I'm not the best at readjusting after long trips.  The time difference screws with me greatly and I'm just...well...possibly getting too old for travel.  Naaaahhhh!  Totally just messing with you there;) 

I should be posting vacation pictures (I've got a ton), but I've had a post on my heart for awhile and I just can't ignore it anymore.  A lot of you know my girlie big chick is on Instagram.  Her name is bigchick7

When we first decided to let her get a phone it was an adjustment.  I mean what 12 year old really needs a phone right?  It's not like she's calling anyone, but the opportunity presented itself and we thought it might help her make friends and keep connected to the old ones. 

It wasn't long after that I found Instagram.  LOVED IT!  It has completely changed my life.  I know that sounds melodramatic, but it has.  The ability to just snap a moment and "postcard" my life...well it's almost better than blogging.  I said almost;)  Not to mention the wonderful new friends I've met and the old ones that I can stay in better contact with.  It's really aMAZing!  


With a little fear and trepidation I decided to let my big chick open an Instagram account.  I was a little scared because well you know what young people can do with pictures...not that I didn't trust her I just had no frame of reference.  And then when my people started to find her and follow and comment...a whole new level of oh no is she being exposed to too she vulnerable??  It can be a sick sad world and the ability to read and leave comments was scary at first.

It didn't take long before it started to appear...and by it I mean my girl's gift shining bright.  I would look at her pictures and be transported.  Instead of a normal snapshot of an average thing, she showed the extraordinary in a new, and gloriously wonderful perspective.

She was a light seeker.  
A beauty explorer
A sweet spirit with her innocent captions. 
A photo ARTIST!!! 
 And best of all, to my utmost surprise...a BOLD witness for Christ!!

I've had several of you mention her gift and talent to me and I have to say as a momma...this new feeling of pride is almost overwhelming at times.  I look at her and want to burst I'm so in awe of her.  I've always been proud, don't get me wrong, but when you see your children unfold their wings and innately use the gifts God has buried in's surreal! 

All of these pictures are hers.  Taken by her cheap little phone.  I wonder what she would do with a real camera and actual knowledge under her belt??

My little chick is her muse.  If you follow her feed at all you'll see countless pics of her doing everyday mundane tasks and somehow big chick makes it magical and interesting. 

And a few of her folks...which crack me up. 

The other night I sat on her bed and took her face in my hands and started weeping.  I had a complete mental flashback to when my mom used to do that to me as a child.  I had just looked through her feed...through her gift and it came.  The big tears of gratitude.  The big tears of thank you Lord for giving me this daughter.  Words of praise and affirmation covering her.  We need to do that as parents.  We need to take the time to see praise them and to be thankful for what incredible gifts they are.

Anyhoo I just HAD to share.  I'm officially a fan. My girl has me swooning and it's all kinds of wonderful!  Sorry for the sap.  I'm a momma what can I say:)

***Oh and the winners of the Katie Evans photography book are:

Have a blessed day.

777 the gift of capturing life through a lens
778.  a momma's pride
779.  HOME
780.  little blue sleeping pills
781.  lots of orders this week...the Lord knows just when I need it;)
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Katie Evans give-away

Hello my sweet friends.  I hope you are all having a great week.  While I'm away I thought you might like a little give-away.  I did a book review for photographer Katie Evans on her first book The Key to Taking Pictures in the Spring of about it here
Since then she's written another one called, The Key to Natural Posing.  It's a great guidebook to help you take better pictures of your peeps.  Whether it's purely for pleasure or you run your own business it's sure to help your pics turn out better. 
I love that it's in a 5x7 format so that you can print it out and easily pack it in your camera bag. It'll give you great insight with how to interact with your subject in order to capture that perfect picture. 

****Katie is generously offering 3 FGP readers free downloads to her book.  To enter just leave me a comment telling me your favorite family photo memory.  If you can't wait to find out if you won, enter FARMGIRLPAINTS in the discount code box when you order and get 35% off your own copy now:)

These are my favorites.  This first one was taken in a field close to our house in MN. The cows just meandered over to where we were. They wanted to be in the pic. SO FUN!  We stomped through waist high weeds and muck with my tripod in hand to get to this perfect spot.  Giggling the whole time;)  Good times...such memories.

This one was on the back of our Christmas card last year.  It was horrible of me, but I loved it anyway.  It showed each of our personalities.  The girls giving it their all. Honey jumping on board, and me hanging on for dear life.  Oh what wonderful things can happen in a year.  SO grateful for the ease, grace and mercy that happens when you just let go and completely trust.  God is so good!

Have a blessed day.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

the ultimate love letter

My heart's a little giddy writing this post.  As you read this I'll be flying out to the Pacific Northwest for an entire week.  It's my third time out there, and I'm beyond excited for the inevitable adventures that await.  But before I go I felt let led to reshare an email that my mom sent me a couple of years ago.  I paired it with the last of our Outer Banks vacation pics with our friends.  I'm hoping it blesses you as much as it does me.

My Child,
You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.
Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.
Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.
Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother’s womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know me.
John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.
1 John 4:16

And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.
1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48


Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33


My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.
Psalms 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all my heart and all my soul.
Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things.
Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart,
you will find me.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in me and I will give you
the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires.
Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine.
Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you.
Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart.
Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes.
Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.
John 17:23
For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed.
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being.
Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you.
Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.
Revelation 21:3-4

His death was the ultimate expression
of my love for you.
1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love.
Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of my son Jesus,
you receive me.
1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you
from my love again.
Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.
Luke 15:7
I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.
Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is…
Will you be my child?
John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you.
Luke 15:11-32


Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

**Be sure to check back in later this week.  There will be a cool give-away on the blog.

Love you girls. 
Have a beautiful and blessed week. 
Hope you follow along on Instagram(farmgirlpaints). 
I'm going to need your encouragement to stay on course with



773.  new memories to be made with lissa and sasha
774.  a week of independence
775.  family that lets me spread my wings
776.  my God who loves me so...


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