The Life We Live

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“I wrote this down and keep it near my desk to remind me every day. Thank you again for your encouraging words Jenna.”

During the past few weeks there have been a series of moments that remind me that I serve a bigger purpose than myself.  The first was when a friend posted a picture of a sticky note with a comment I’d left on her Facebook page the other day after she mentioned she was feeling insignificant.  The comment was the first thought I’d had when I read her status.  It wasn’t some profound, thought of the century.  But it obviously resonated with her.  Perhaps I was just the delivery channel for the message God wanted her to have that day.

That was soon followed by a call at work from a customer who just wanted to say thanks for supporting a local Farmer’s Market and that she enjoyed seeing our company in that setting.  As the event coordinator for this company I wouldn’t say that the market is a high priority.  And it’s probably one of the simplest events we do all  year.  Regardless it made an impact significant enough for this customer to reach out just to say thanks for being a part of it, which makes it important in an entirely different way.

Then I got a freelance inquiry from a couple who want me to photograph their elopement at Denali!  Seriously?!  Who in their right mind would turn that opportunity down? What I didn’t know when I first responded to the email was that they are flying in from Philadelphia for a weekend just for that purpose!  They’d seen my ad on Craigslist and liked my style, so they contacted me.  It was just the reinforcement I needed that the tiny voice in my head saying I’d finally found ‘my’ style was right.  It also confirmed that although I have a different editing technique than many photographers do these days, there are people out there who want their memories to have the look I create.


Tonight, as I scrolled through Facebook I spotted this and it clicked.  This sums up my recent experiences.  I often feel that I’m not living up to my full potential, that I haven’t found that thing that will lead me to change the world.  This made me consider the idea that I don’t HAVE to complete some news worthy accomplishment to change the world.  Instead I can change the world in little ways.  Ways that matter individually, just when people need it. Granted I may never know that I’ve done so; but just when I need the reassurance that I’m making a difference I’m sure God will give me another spree of ‘signs’ to remind me.  This life we live – may it be the reason someone smiles today!

A New Leaf

LeafThose of you who know my husband and I personally know we’ve been waiting a VERY long time for his military retirement to happen due to a severe knee injury and the resulting numerous surgeries.  We anticipated that we wouldn’t get official word for a few more months, so we were pretty shocked when he got a call the other day that his orders had been processed for an ‘out date’ of July 1!  Luckily we had been preparing for this transition for some time now and had a basic plan of action, but the shortened timeline caused a few snarls in our plans.  That’s nothing new when working for Uncle Sam – as any military family will tell you.

What struck me most about the news is how we reacted to it though.  It certainly caused plenty stress and a lot of “What ifs?”  But I think we both feel a sense of peace about how it all worked out.  He will have to return to Kodiak for a few days to complete the process out paperwork, retirement physical and check out of his barracks room, which meant we had to reschedule the second portion of the CDL course he’s currently in.  He was able to switch with someone in a class scheduled for July giving him enough time to wrap up his military career before returning to school and finishing the certification that will likely lead to his next job.

We’ve also been extremely thankful for the numerous offers our wonderful friends have given to help with any detail they can – from the little things to the big ones.  We are truly blessed to have these people in our lives and will certainly not loose touch with them after this transition.  I know that although my husband is ready to move on, he is sad to no longer work side-by-side with many of these same people.  But life changes and people move on.

As we’ve worked our way through the emotions of the situation, I find myself declaring The Band Perry’s “DONE” our anthem one minute and feeling sentimental for my first year as a military wife the next.  I was proud of our sacrifice.  Missed birthdays, long hours, changed plans.  I still am proud of what we’ve given.  But my husband has paid his due and then some to serve his country.  And now it’s OUR time.

Ironically, just as we were dealing with this news we were signing a contract to build our new home and starting the loan process.  We’ve been dreaming of this for a while and I literally have the house decorated in my head (via Pinterest) already.  We both look forward to building this new life together, over the foundation laid during our years with the military.  We know that whatever may be thrown in our path we can overcome it with grace, as long as we do it together – balancing each others strengths and weaknesses.

We took a little walk in the neighborhood park the other day to decompress and I spotted this pretty little heart shaped leaf on the newly green trees.  It’s become my symbol of the growth in our relationship and personalities.  Then just tonight I found a perfectly fitting quote to go along with that image.  It stuck me because I’m a self-admitted impatient person.  But I’ve come to realize that God’s continuous lessons on that very subject matter weren’t about testing how long I could endure, but rather if I showed faith while waiting.

As always his timing is perfect.  I’ve come to understand this lesson just in time to carry it into the next chapter of our journey together, where there will be plenty of ‘new leaves’ not only on the trees that will surround our home, but the garden I will plant.  And beneath those leaves will be the beginnings of some very DEEP roots! 🙂