There comes a time when what you’ve been waiting for finally comes around, and while it’s exciting and encouraging that thing you’ve been wishing for finally is in your life, calling for you, all you can think about it running as far away from it as possible.

I’m now three months into a new job. A new job at the church I started attending last year out here in Vancouver. Every time I think about how I ended up in this position I have to give my head a shake, one because it’s just so funny how God works, and two at how silly I was when the opportunity came around.

For months while working out in my home town and living in Vancouver, I had hoped and prayed God would lead me into a new job, something different, something closer to Vancouver. Anything so I could finally move on, because having my feet in two different ponds was becoming too much to bare. And prayer is powerful, my friends and community group had been earnestly praying that something would come up. and it did.

A position at the church I new was calling home….wait what?

Yeah, that’s what I said.

A maternity position opened for an admistrator at the church. And I passed it up. For many reasons, now many foolish reasons. And as I explain it all it’s just a testimant of how sovergn God actually is when you try to argue with His will. And just how much He loves His foolish children.

I started out saying no immediatly. The very first reason was that it was a maturnity leave. I was fearful to apply for a job that could only guarantee me a year, i kept over thinking it all. The practical side of my was right, at my age, I should be striving for those five year plans, and I couldn’t afford to start a job, only to leave it in a year, especially the way the job market was.

The second was my apprehenstion for working in ministry. I loved my time at my old job, i loved the people, I loved working for a church. But the type of position I had made me wonder if I had the gifting to work in ministry at all. I still wonder that actually, but as I am learning from other minsitry leaders (REAL ministry leaders) they are too.

So I passed it up and kept convicning myself along with everyone around my why I wasn’t going to apply. Then the posting dissapeared. And that was that.

But it wasn’t. A few weeks later it popped up again and more and more people came out of the woodwork asking me why I wasn’t apply for the job. And Again, I was telling them the same story. But as I prayed more about it, I felt a nudging from God, I continued to fight it. More people came to me, they came to the girl who was going on leave. My name was being thrown around the office and I continued to fight.

But the more I fight the more God kept throwing my excuses back at me. Easing my fears about the 1 year gaurentee, about being in ministry. About my ability to do the job. It got to a point where I couldn’t ignore it. I applied. a few hours later I got a response asking if I could come in for an interview. It was that quick. And when I came in for the interview, one of the pastors first words were, “We’ve heard a lot about you! We were wondering if you were going to apply”

After two weeks I was hired, my apprehentions settled, and I am a little more affirmed that I am where I am supposed to be.

It hasn’t been an easy three months, entering in a new job with a bit of a learning curve, mixed in with a busy season. But I am loving it. I’m part of a ministry where I am valued, and that I am challanged. And even more affirmed that this church in Vancouver is where I am called to be right now.

It’s weird to think how this change all started, how difficult it was in the beginning as i made the transition. I’ve lost some pretty important people, I’ve moved to a different city, I’ve lost touch with a few friends, and I don’t get to see my family as much as I used to. But it’s part of His Sovergn plan. It’s pretty comforting.

 

I guess an update is long overdue, but I never made any promises about being an up-to-date blogger. 

There are still a lot of emotions over the last few months, but I’ve started to attribute it all to the work I feel God is doing. It’s all part of this change I’ve asked for. And If I haven’t mentioned anything about praying for change, well let me tell you, this girl, who is afraid of any type of change imaginable prayed for change.

My heart was ready for it, and my heart needed it. And I was terrified, but I knew it had to happen. After that prayer was said, the ball began rolling. And so started the last 9 months, which included the deaths of three of my friends, me finding new community, and just recently a new home. 

I wont rehash what happened with Taylor, Travis, and Todd; Hmm just realizing now that they’re all T’s… I digress

I’ve always had a deep love for the city while living in the burbs. At the drop of a hat I would be downtown wondering my own city with my camera in hand, or at a restaurant with a few friends grabbing a bite to eat. It didn’t matter what the reason, any reason i could think of to go down, I was down there. With that came finding a church in the city, and while I still call SDBC my home I felt the need for community as mine at my home church had moves starting new families or a new start somewhere else. I became starved for friends that were my age and still single. I still love my friends that are married and have little ones, but that experiential overlap begins to fade when you’re trying to have a conversation about bad dates with your friend who is a new mom and they are wiping up baby throw up….

It felt good to find people I could relate to again. But it’s been a little challenging trying to juggle my growing spheres of friendships, but it’s been good none the less. For someone who has trouble meeting new people, I’m doing just fine.

The other big change has been my new address. It was only a matter of time before I would find myself living in the city, and I’m loving it. While I’m a little bit of an odd location (which I wont disclose :)) I am adjusting just fine. For an only child that has loved at home until the age of 27 (try not to laugh too hard now…) With moving away from home comes a sense of freedom because while I thought I was always the independent type, I realize now just how independent I really am living on my own (well I do have a roommate..). 

While all this change would have probably never occurred if I didn’t pray for it, as well as ask for God to mold my heart towards change. I’m happy with things. Sure there are the stresses every adult goes through, like how am I going to pay my bills, gas is ridiculously expensive when you have to commute back to the burbs for work, and how much for milk and eggs??

And with all of this is the hope that I will find that creative spark, that my heart will find enough courage to go out and shoot, to find things to photograph, and that I will be able to share them with the world. I know if I complained to Todd about my recent creative downfall, he would simply say grow a pair and get out there. Then let out a deep chuckle at the thought of me growing a pair then try and think of a better analogy to use..Those were Todd’s pep talks. As silly as they were, they always seemed to do the trick. 

Next great photo is for you buddy.

The Worst Thing That Could Happen

The last few months have been a real tough time. God is at work somehow, and the beauty of it all is that we will never fully understand just what it is.

Since the end of February three people I knew have died. So when I say tough time, it’s a bit of an understatement…

On February 28 we found out our lead Pastor’s 21 year old son was killed while house sitting in Langley. While details on the case are still being worked out, I watched a family I love very much and respect, mourn the loss of their son while coming to grips on the situation. It’s horrible to think that a kid as young as Taylor was had to go through such a thing, and to leave this life so soon. I watch a man I look up to and follow, not only as an employer but as a leader in my church, mourn as well as mold into a different person because of it all. God is using him for something, and He used the death of Paul’s son as a catalyst to get the ball rolling. It’s hard to understand why God would go to such great lengths, but like I said, we will never fully grasp the greater plan in it all.

About a month and a half later, an old friend of mine lost his battle to Cancer. He was someone I met while I was a new Christian and was a good friend to me over the years. Travis wasn’t someone I saw a lot, only about once a year, but to hear his story, and hear his life, he was a man who loved God. He was blessed with a beautiful family a little later in life, and again, I find myself wondering why he too was taken so soon. Leaving his wife and young daughters.

And again, last weekend, I found out one of my best friends from high school was killed in a motorcycle accident. This one hit me pretty hard, really hard actually. Todd was something special. He had a way with people, and as we all gathered over the weekend to remember and pay tribute to him, we all really got to witness just how special he really was. So many people from all over came and shared how Todd had impacted their lives. It’s hard to think about these guys and try to understand why they all had to go at such young ages.

Over the last week, I feel that I’ve been rather selfish with dealing with Todd’s death. Keeping myself busy so I wouldn’t have to go through the motions. When really I didn’t want to stop and think about it because all I can really feel is anger. Why did HE have to be the one that died. But that is one of the stages of grief, I guess. Part of it all was the anticipation of his memorials, the two events have now come and gone, and there’s a certain finality to it all that’s disheartening. But it’s part of life, or so that’s what people are telling me. And it is, I’ll agree with them sooner or later, right now I just want to sit and try to dispel that theory, because right now I don’t think that’s part of life. I can’t, someone being murdered and killed in a motor accident, can’t be part of life. Not when they’re that young. Old age and sickness I can deal with, but not accidents like Todd and Taylor’s.

The slight comfort in it all is the fact that these three men loved Jesus. They were solidified in His grace and there is no doubt in my mind as to where they are now. That’s the beauty in God’s sacrifice, because of Jesus’ blood that was shed on the cross, the worst thing that could happen to us is that we die, and after we are entered into something so perfect and pure we will never be able to comprehend on earth.

 

Hopeless Wanderer

The past week I’ve been trying to focus on getting back into my routine but it seems as though I’ve been suffering from a little post vacation depression. When all was said and done, and we had our bags and headed out of the baggage claim area and out into the terminal I saw two cruise ship reps waiting for passengers to take them to the Vancouver terminal. I actually stopped and asked them, “Can you take a stowaway? I’ll work for room and board” and in all honesty, I was being serious. I didn’t want to go back home!

I had to force myself to photograph, which was hard. Trying to figure out where and why I started to lose that creative edge has been a little disconcerting but it was good to at least get out there and photograph something different. The majority of my photos are from San Francisco though, because well, there was more to photograph there.  The third day landed us in Santa Barbara where we met a friend of my parents who showed us around the city. That day was even harder to photograph for two reasons, one it was a rainy day, and two I had the worst sunburn I’d ever had. After laying on the deck the day before for only an hour while we set sail from San Francisco I had burnt my face and chest. It was a nice shade of purple is was so bad.   So I spent most of it cringing in pain after every facial expression but still tried to take in the sights of the city.  The week flew by, with Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada all the following three days. Catalina Island was such a beautiful little port town, the majority of its inhabitants drive around in golf carts because the town is so small. So mom and I rented one and bombed around for an hour, we went up to the Avalon Casino to take some photos and then looked at the little vacation houses. Oh, to be rich and have one of those. San Diego and Ensenada were slower days, we didn’t get around much in San Diego and we didn’t even get off the boat in Ensenada.

But after a week of work and getting over the fatigue I think I’m starting to snap out of it. Only because the realization that summer is approaching and I can’t wait. I’m hoping for a few more summer adventures than last year where I can force myself to get photographing again, maybe take another class or two. Heres hoping.

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Just a few photos in no particular order. Enjoy.

 

 

Anchors Away! New Pics coming soon

After almost 4 years of University and working full-time I finally took a vacation. A real vacation that didn’t consist of work projects and noisy kids, or still kind of working by answering emails on my phone. Nope, I took a real vacation, where I turned off my phone and set sail along the California coast and escaped completely. It couldn’t have come at a better time, Easter stuff was over, VBS and Saltspring isn’t until the summer, and we got a great deal.

So last week, mom and I headed down to LA to catch the boat and headed down the California coast on a 7 day cruise that stopped at San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, San Diego, and Ensenada. I had been on a cruise before, when I was 8 or 9 years old, but I was excited to experience it as an adult where I could appreciate it more. I was also able to visit 3 of the 5 cities for the first time and snap a few photos. So while I work away at a noisy Starbucks with the Postal Service on repeat, I’m trying to get through a few hundred photos to throw up while still smiling at the fun week we had, that saw the craziest bus driver showing us the sights of San Fran, a sun burn so bad I resembled a lobster for a few days, a reunion with a dear friend of mom’s in Santa Barbra, bombing around Catalina Island in a golf cart, an over competitive treasure hunt with fun English lads and ended up losing but still ended up with more champaign than the winning team.

stay tuned.

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It’s one of those holidays where the weather is so miserable you try to get as much accomplished in the shortest amount of time. Then you can have the rest of the day buried in a bed of blankets to stay warm. That’s me right now with an added cold. I bought this book while doing my errands because the synopsis spoke to me. Ill be under a bunch of blankets with something warm to drink reading this if anyone needs me.

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Can’t I shoot something other than hockey? That thought came to me when I looked on my stats page and saw someone actually googled “canucks alana”. Yup.

I wish I could say that was a legitimate problem…But it’s not, but I seem to be only shooting hockey and while I wish that was a career of mine, I unfortunately have to stick to my day job.

With the season underway, I’ve somehow managed to see two games already and the photo’s below are of the most recent one last week against Colorado (It was a great game to watch live seeing as they got a shut out..). It was fun taking my big camera and standing at the front for warm-ups. For some reason a few of them got a kick out of trying to scare me while I was looking through the camera shooting by shooting the pucks at the glass instead of the net. Jokes on you suckers, I still got some great shots! Image

I didn’t see the irony until I edited this.

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The culprit.DSC_0054

Oh captain, my captain.

Some good news on the photo work front though, my good friend got engaged over the Christmas break to a lovely girl and last week he asked me if I would be interested in photographing their wedding. I was really honoured that he asked, that he has that much faith in me to shoot his wedding. I really want to but there are so many things that could go wrong, and then it gets awkward…Plus theres the battle between, do I want to sit an enjoy my friends wedding as a guest and party with my friends while celebrating an important day, or do I want to work at doing something I love to do with a good friend of mine by capturing his special day. It’s a toss up. And I’m still thinking about it… I tend to over think these kinds of things, so I’ll be at it for a while.

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The future Mr. and Mrs. Finch.

While I’m trying to fight off round two of this winter flu that’s been going around I’ve been trying to keep busy, but it’s hard when you have so little energy. The last month has been trying to prepare for the exodus of our Youth Pastor Grant. 18 years, he’s beenthe Youth guy at SDBC, and now he’s leaving. Not by anything you would normally assume (if you’re an SDBC member at least). After 18 years he realized in order for the ministry to grow, and for him to grow, he needed to move on. It was honestly the most grace filled exit I’ve ever seen in my 13 years being a part of a church. Since I found out back in October, I’ve been trying toprocess what his leaving means to me. I know it’s weird for a girl to take that long to process something, but with Grant it was different. The whole reason I stepped foot inside South Delta Baptist Church was because of Grant. Going to that youth program called Gap he led for 18 years was a huge reason why I became a Christian, and Grant is a huge reason why 13 years later I still strive for a relationship with Jesus. I grew up in youth group since I was 14, became a youth leader, interned in ministry, and now I am his co-worker, his peer, and have always been his friend. There are a lot of people in the community that can say that they’ve met Grant at some point, that they’ve come to Gap at some point in their youth. There are not many people that can say one negative thing about this guy, he’s so great. His heart for Youth ministry is inspireing. It’s what made me love youth ministry so much, and I have him to thank for the many relationships I’ve build over the years with some pretty amazing kids. It’s weird to think that he’s no longer a part of that. And it’s scary to think what the youth ministry is going to do now. I mean they have excellent leadership taking over until we hire a new Youth pastor, but change is always a little scary in the beginning, especially when you don’t know what the end result will be.

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The big man himself, Grant. Photo by me of course.

And finally, last week marked the two year anniversary of loosing Nana. Every day I still think of her, whether it’s a memory or something that I do or say and I remember that I picked it up from her. All of us still grieve and remember her in our own way, I keep trying to tell myself that when I hear a new crazy story about a family member, I also try to picture nana rolling her eyes and mumble “Christ almighty” in her scottish accent. God, I miss her. 104

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