August 22, 2015

This + That: Beauty Edition

YAY for beauty products and happy bunnies! I've had lots of opportunities to try new cruelty-free products that are amaaaaaazing! I'm so excited that there are so many wonderful options out there for those of us who are looking for cruelty-free beauty products!

  • Acure Organics. Oh man, this stuff! It has officially become my new skincare routine, especially now that it is sold at Target (yay!). I originally tried it after sadly finding out my old skincare brand (Algenst) began animal testing. I started out with their Argan Oil (mixed with Frankincense and Helichrysum essential oil) for my nighttime moisture. Then I added their Brightening Scrub which is packed with sea kelp and French green clay for my weekly exfoliation. It smells kinda gross but it is an amazing exfoliating scrub! Then I added their Superfruit cleanser. The cleanser is great if you need to wash away layers of sunscreen, primers, makeup, setting spray etc., but I have found it to be a little drying to use every single day. 
  • Alba Organics Good & Clean. Since the Acure Organics Superfruit cleaner is pretty intense and would be a bit much for me to use every day, I turned to Alba Organics. This cream cleanser is heavenly! The smell alone (pineapple + vanilla + grapefruit) is worth it to me. I love how it washes away clean without a residue and it actually does a great job cleansing. I think a lot of cream cleansers don't really do much, but this stuff rocks. I'll never use another cleanser for daily use, it's that good!
  • Lush Cosmetics: Feeling Younger Skin Tint. This has been my favorite summer make-up addition. It's a beautiful, creamy highlighting cream that gives a dewy glow without a glitter explosion all over your face. You can mix it with your moisturizer under makeup, mix it with your foundation, wear it alone or use it simply as a highlighter on cheekbones, brow bones etc. 

  •  R + Co. Blow Out Balm. There's a reason it was named Allure magazine's Best of Beauty award. This stuff is aweeeesome! It's a straightening cream that tames frizz, holds your style, gives a little lift and doesn't weigh your hair down or feel gunky. It's light, smells great and makes your hair feel like you just walked out of a salon.
  • Wet n' Wild: Take On the Day Eye Primer. I don't think I've worn Wet n' Wild since I was in like 7th grade, but when I heard about this primer, I had to try it for myself. This stuff actually scares me. It makes your eye shadow and liner stay on so well, that if you mess something up....well, good luck. You can't get this stuff off for the first few hours. I put this on once and then I sneezed with wet mascara on (gah!). I could NOT get the mascara off of my brow bone. My best make-up remover struggles against this primer. Soap and water do nothing. It's like liquid cement on your eyes. But that's a very very good thing if you want your eye make-up to last for hours on a hot summer day. Just consider yourself warned :)
  • IBD Gel Polish: Flowerful. When I was in CA, my sister and I went in for manicures the night before my surgery (hey, if I'm going to be laid up in a hospital, I wanted pretty nails to look at!). Jenny found this incredible color that neither of us had ever seen before despite frequenting nail salons for years. It was a beautiful creamy pale coral color. She had at least 3 people come up to her in the salon and ask what color it was because it was so unique and pretty! I was straight up obsessed with her nails the entire time we were in CA. I knew I had to have it! After intense research, I discovered IBD was owned by cruelty-free parent company, hence no animal testing. Hooray! It's officially my favorite gel color. Ever.
  • ColourPop Cosmetics. Maybe it's the fact that it's made less than a mile from where we "lived" in California. Maybe it's the pretty colors. Maybe it's their clever branding and reasonable prices ($5 for a high quality lip stick? Yes please, I'll take 7). But I'm obsessed with ColourPop. I am systematically ditching all of my lip glosses and sticks in favor of their Lippie Stix. They come in Sheer, Satin, Creme, Hyper-Glossy and Matte finishes. But they all come in the adorable tubes you see in the picture below. I'm so sick and tired of trying to put on gloss with my finger or wand applicator. So I love that you can get a gloss finish out of a tube. Yeah! Plus, you get a hand written thank you note with your purchase, how wonderful is that? :)


August 17, 2015

Wonderful Wyoming

I love Colorado, I really do. But so does everyone else in America and they all love to travel here and clog up my roads and scenic places, especially in the summer. It kind of drives me bonkers. By August, I feel like I'm suffocating in a sea of tourists. It's usually about this time that we'll head north. We live pretty close the Wyoming border, which I am thankful for for many reasons. I love everything about Wyoming (except for the wind!) and feel very blessed to be so close to such vast, empty, open beauty.

David and I headed to the Snowy Range, which is ridiculously close to us, all things considered. We wanted a long weekend away to camp and hang out in the mountains and that is exactly what we got. This place is so gorgeous, I'm amazed it isn't a National Park, it really should be!




 David has this awesome boat that he takes out on lakes to fish with. He caught 30 fish! 



 We had sustained wind for 2 of our 3 days, but the 3rd day was so peaceful and calm. The lake in front of our campsite was so still, the reflection was incredible!
This was my favorite place of all. While David fished for an afternoon, I went nature walking and stumbled upon this gorgeous scene. The trailhead was decently crowded, but the weather was scaring people away, so while everyone was walking back to their cars, I discovered the Klondike Lakes all by myself. I had to scramble up some rocks to get this vantage point...something I could not have done 6 weeks ago, 6 months ago, 9 months ago...but now I can! Yay for healing!

Still working on those Milky Way shots. We lucked out with no moon, relatively clear skies and almost no light pollution at all. I even got a shooting star in this one (center of the photo, just below the Milky Way, you can see a straight line that goes up and down). Lucky shot!

August 15, 2015

This & That

Been a while since I did one of these bad boys, eh?

  • My precious little puppy niece, Lulu, is the current highlight of my life. I love her so much! We started an Instagram account for her (Luluthesquish is her name if you want to follow her) and she's becoming quite a famous puppy. She already has almost 900 followers! Everyone loves BabyLu! But, I mean who wouldn't love this little face? She is so squishy and happy!

(yes, she lets us dress her up in pajamas) :)
  • We are heading to Kentucky in 4 weeks! David has a business trip in Lexington and we decided that we should probably do the Kentucky Bourbon Trail while he's out there, so we're staying an extra 4 days to run around and sample whiskey, do distillery tours and let David geek out over bourbon. He LOVES bourbon, so this is pretty much his dream vacation haha! He has done so much for me this year with my surgery, I wanted to do something special for him and this seemed like a perfect fit! He's flying out a few days early for his conference and I'll drive out to meet him. "Drive? Becky, why on earth would you drive 1,250 miles to Kentucky by yourself?" A few reasons....1) I'm afraid of the pressurization on airplanes. My flight home from L.A. after surgery was torturous and I don't want to subject myself to that again until I'm 110% healed. 2) I love road trips (remember, I'm still contemplating becoming a long haul truck driver as a profession) 3)I can bring all my camera gear with me without worrying about it be damaged in flight. I hear Kentucky is beautiful in the fall! 
    {Source}
  • I started counseling a few weeks ago. I'll never be one who is ashamed to pursue counseling, heck I have my M.A. in counseling, but I must admit that I didn't think things would ever get to this point. And by this point, I mean to the point where I can't seem to help myself anymore. It's been 3 years. It's time to stop thinking that I'm dying every time I have a stomach ache. PTSD from my ruptured ectopic pregnancy has slowly started infiltrating my life. To the point where anytime I have a stomach ache, I convinced that I must be I'm pregnant and dying slowly. I never though pregnancy would be something I actually worry about. So I'm doing EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) with a wonderfully gifted counselor, which is a really cool technique that uses both hemispheres of your brain to help you work through trauma. I'm a few weeks in and I can already feel things changing. 

  • I'm addicted to Bachelor In Paradise. This season just started and it's already such a trainwreck. It's my guilty pleasure this summer :)
  • I officially got clearance from Nurse David to start hiking again :) :) :) :) :) :) I promised him that I would start out with short, non-strenuous hikes and then work my way up. I am so excited! Hiking is one of my favorite things ever and I am so very very excited to get back to it! My doctors have cleared me physically, but David and I have been a little worried about the cognitive side of things...like what if I got out on a trail, suddenly became confused and disoriented and couldn't find my way back? 4 weeks ago, that was a very likely possibility. But I've come really far in the last few weeks and I think I'll be just fine! Can't wait!
  • I've been thinking a lot about overhauling my vegetarianism lately. Did you know I'm a vegetarian? It's been probably 6 or 7 years now. I started because of some ethical issues I have with factory farming. But for a while, I held on to a "humainitarian" mentality that allowed meat if I knew it was raised humanely. I know, it sounds very Portlandia (please tell me you've seen this episode, it's amazing). But honestly, I would much rather support a local farm that raises free range chickens than a corporation (I'm looking at you Tyson, Oscar Meyer, Jenny-O etc.) who perpetuates an awful cycle of unnatural and abusive practices in every manner possible. Don't worry, I will spare you the gory details, but trust me when I say it's really bad. At this point, I only eat meat 1x week at the most. But as time has gone on, I've felt compelled to just give it up completely. If I do though, I want to be more intentional and ensure my vegetarian meals are more than a simple afterthought for whatever it is I am preparing for David's meal. Too often I wind up eating rice for dinner because I just didn't have the energy to make myself a vegetarian dish. So my new challenge to myself is to find more vegetarian dinners to make myself. Just something that's been on my mind lately. If any of you reading are vegetarians or vegans, I would love to know about any good blogs/cookbooks/websites that have good vegetarian recipes!










August 10, 2015

Healing: 4 Months

I'm officially 4 months post-op! Interestingly, it is also exactly 1 year since my SCDS symptoms started out of the blue one day while I was working in my office quietly answering emails. Oh how life can change in 365 days! A year ago, I never would have guessed I would be diagnosed with a rare syndrome and would need brain surgery to correct it! It still feels a little surreal to say "I've had brain surgery..."Crazy what life can throw your way!

So I am now 3/4 of the way to my 6 month mark, which was when my doctors said that I would really start to feel well, and I'm 1/3 of the way to the 1 year mark, which is when they deem healing "complete." They say time flies right? Well, recovering from a craniotomy slows time down a lot! And yet, I'm amazed at how much time has gone by. April 2nd feels like decades ago.

I don't measure my progress day by day or week by week anymore...rather month by month more-so now. I can say that August is much better than July was. And July was much better than June. Each week I think to myself "Now I'm finally feeling better! I just thought I felt good last week...but this is what healing really feels like!" I've probably played that phrase over in my head at least 12 times now as the weeks go by.

I struggle with describing this recovery, it's all very intangible. There are often no words to describe how I feel, which is frustrating. So I try to focus on the things that are measurable and tangible.

I really turned a corner at the 3 month mark. My balance is amaaaaaazing, I can't even remember the last time I had vertigo. Whooo! Praise God! The nagging pulsatile tinnitus which was still with me constantly just a few short weeks ago and since diminished greatly. Occasionally it will return for a minute or two, but it is quiet and doesn't rattle my head like it did before. I will have consecutive days go by where it's completely gone. That has been a HUGE blessing! I can officially say now that 90% of my pre-op symptoms are GONE. Gone gone gone gone, never to return again!

The primary area where I am still struggling is over-stimulation. I already joke that the speed limit of my heart is pretty slow, but it's much much slower you add brain surgery recovery into the mix! If I encounter stress, my brain turns to mush. It can be as simple as listening to complicated music while also writing an email or talking on the phone while sitting in rush hour traffic. If there's too much going on (Whole Foods at 12pm, I'm looking at you!), I'm done. Unfortunately, it can also be completely self-induced...if I think too much about something stressful (running a business, anyone?) or my emotions are high, it's like all cognitive operations come to a screeching halt.

I still have quite a bit of pain and numbness at my incision site, but my jaw muscle is healing well...I can almost bite into a big cheeseburger ;) I'm sleeping better, walking further and generally trying to get back to living life, just at a slower pace.

On a slightly different note, I *think* I'm getting to the end of my medical turmoil with spinal taps (gah!!! h.a.t.e. them so much) and trying to figure out what's going on with the inside of my skull (bone wearing away, cysts etc.). I went back in for another spinal tap 2 weeks ago. While it wasn't as traumatic as my first one, it was still absolutely awful and an experience I never want to repeat again. We had the added help of radiology, 2 doctors, 3 nurses, Ativan, a triple dose of Lidocaine and it was still excruciating. But at least this time it was successful and we got results! My spinal fluid pressure levels were normal!

This was such a huge relief, because if they were high it would have meant yet another surgery. That has been hanging over my head ever since my neurosurgeon at UCLA mentioned the "concerning imaging" he saw prior to my surgery. So YAY for not having to worry about that anymore! Since the spinal fluid results were normal, we can officially rule out intracranial pressure. While we're not sure what exactly has caused the abnormalities, we know that it's likely not the result of something "bad." I think this means I can close this chapter on this. Now I can hopefully just focus on healing well without worrying about other medical stuff! Thanks for your prayers through the past few months!

July 14, 2015

Wilderness Therapy

Last week just felt haaaard. After the failed spinal tap, I struggled to keep optimism and perspective. I was easily irritated, virtually everything sent me into an emotional tailspin and I just didn't feel like myself at all. Ugliness abounded.

I had an elopement in Vail on Saturday so we thought we'd turn it into a weekend away and try out a one-night camping trip. Most of the day really didn't go all that well. We were stuck in 4+ hours worth of traffic to Vail, I was almost late to the wedding and stressed to the max. Once we arrived, the skies opened up during the wedding and I shot for an hour in pouring rain with a grouchy bride who wouldn't share her umbrella. At the end of it all, we seriously contemplated just turning around and going home. The weather didn't look promising and we were both so down that the thought of driving 2 more hours and setting up camp in a thunderstorm really didn't appeal to us. 

I'm not sure what exactly caused us to keep going, but we did. We stopped for fuel and kept heading west instead of east. 90 minutes later we were in the Flat Tops Wilderness and utterly in awe of the beauty that surrounded us. It was then that my perspective started to shift.

Every time life gets too hard, a trip into God's creation almost always seems to be the remedy for us. The last few months have been some of our hardest months and I haven't felt physically capable of spending a full weekend away in the mountains, so I knew this trip was going to bring some spiritual healing to my heart. And it did. This was wilderness therapy at its finest!
 


 We spent a while driving around looking for the perfect camp site. We 4x4ed up dirt roads and through aspen trees. This was one of my favorite sites, but someone was already occupying it so we moved on.
Eventually we found a great spot! Well, technically it was a great site but there was a dead chipmunk in our fire ring and we didn't really feel like cooking dinner over it, so we moved to the next site over, which wasn't quite as good, but still very good!


Also, I *think* we may have finally resolved our tent drama. YAY! We returned the REI tent we camped with back in February because it flapped in the wind and was too loud and small. We noticed that Marmot had just released a new tent called the Tungsten2P. It's lightweight, durable, easy to get in and out of, very spacious inside and best of all, no flapping noise like our previous 2 tents! A thunderstorm rolled through at about 3:30am and this tent held up beautifully! We stayed dry and had no issues with the wind at all. We'll keep testing it out, but I think we finally have a keeper!
 I was really happy that I had a chance to bring my camera, tripod and filters with me on this trip. I spent a lot of time taking photos and immersing myself in our surroundings (while also taking it pretty easy, resting a lot, relaxing and going slow). It felt good to get back into landscape photography a little bit.  I'm really happy with how far I've come in learning and technical knowhow with night photography. 6 months ago, I could only really dream of taking photos like these, but each time I practice, I get closer to what I am aiming for.
It was right around this time that I started feeling a sense of peace and calm wash over me. There is something about standing under the stars that can put everything into perspective. The anger, doubt, frustration, irritation, sadness and discouragement began to fade away. I know God has everything all worked out. I know that trials are a part of life and that He will use them for His glory. I know that I still have learning to do when it comes to going through difficulties with a godly perspective. But those truths didn't really sink in and make sense until I was looking out over this scene. It was like I could hear God whisper "I know it's been hard, but chin up! I've got this Beck, and I will continue to carry you through, regardless of how easy or hard it may be. Calm down. Trust me." It's hard to stay mad/sad/discouraged when the Creator of the universe is speaking truth over you. Thank you Jesus!
Sunday we just took it slow. Slept in, drank coffee in the cool mountain air, David fished for a little bit and then we headed up a dirt road to explore. We checked out a cool looking trailhead that I definitely want to hike once I'm back to hiking more. We had a picnic in our hammock and then packed up to head out. We took the long way home, avoiding interstates at all costs. Our drive home took just as long as the interstate, but without people, accidents, motorhomes, tourists and stress. It was calm, beautiful and relaxing.

I am so so so so glad we didn't turn the car around on Saturday. We both needed this trip so badly and I'm very thankful we stayed the course and went through with it. It definitely made me look forward to even more trips like this in the near future!


July 8, 2015

Suffering

As I lay on the table, feeling every inch of the long needle go through my flesh and move closer to my spine, I quietly cried out to God, "where are you? why is this so painful? I prayed that things would go well...so why aren't they? why have you left me here in pain? where are you? this is too much for me to bear."

To say my spinal tap went poorly yesterday would be a massive understatement. It's a long story why I even had to do it in the first place...something about my neurologist being concerned about elevated spinal fluid pressure. That's not important. What's important is that I didn't respond to anesthetic, leaving me wide open to feel the excruciating pain of not one, but two botched spinal tap attempts. Hands down, one of the worst and most traumatic events of my life. I have no words to describe the pain.

After the surgical draping was removed, iodine washed off and medical staff had left the room, I laid there on that table utterly inconsolable. The tears simply refused to stop. David prayed over me, read verses with me, uttered soothing words to me...but my pain, sadness, anger, disappointment, despair and discouragement would not be assuaged. After all this time. After all I have been through....

I was mad at God. Mad that He left me high and dry. I sought Him for help, comfort and peace. All I got was a hole in my back, horrible pain and the added anxiety of knowing I have to go through this all over again in the near future. I've never been so mad at God before. Not when I found out I had to have brain surgery. Not when we lost our only child. Not when David lost his job. Not when I was enduring endometrial biopsies, blood draws, hormone injections and surgeries. Words can't begin to describe the waves of pain, doubt and anger that washed over me.

This was the final straw. Rock bottom.

Maybe it seems dramatic that a spinal tap could rattle me so much, but it did. I'm not a dramatic person. Truly. But I discovered a new low, a level of discouragement I have not known before. I can only liken it to Paul saying he "despaired even of life." After all I've been through...was it too much to request that I make it through a simple spinal tap without complications or blinding pain? It went back to my constant struggle with Him...why is He able, but not willing? 

God didn't let me sit at rock bottom for very long. 5 hours, maybe before I read some powerful encouragement last lifted me off the ground last night. And this morning brought with it new perspective, fresh advice from a dear friend and healing through God's holy Word.

I've thought a lot about suffering over the past year. Why some people suffer tragedy after tragedy, while others seem to skate through life without a worry in the world. Why God answers some prayers but not others. Why He heals one person but not the next. What the purpose of hardship is. What God does with suffering and our character. Why my suffering is drastically different than a Christian living in Syria. It's all been rolling around in my mind like a dryer on Wrinkle-Shield. Every week or so, I'll have new thoughts, new questions, new ponderings that tumble around about the role of suffering in life.

I think the first step to figure out the purpose of and response to suffering is asking myself, "what is the goal in life for a follower of Christ?" Is it to have a happy little life? Days full of blessings, joy, puppies and rainbows, avoidance of all affliction? The answer here in the West is probably very different from the rest of the world. In America, we view pain and suffering as a stink bug that just landed on our shoulder. Quick! Shake it off, squash it! Don't let it touch you!  I'm convinced the rest of the world doesn't think this way about hardships and pain. Surely Jesus didn't think this way.

Assuming the answer to that question has something to do with living for the glory of God, allowing Him to use us and accomplish things through us to promote the Kingdom of God here on earth, we have to accept suffering will be a part of it. If it was true for Jesus, it will be true for us. One of my favorite authors, John Eldredge said "If God doesn't use suffering to accomplish maturity, what exactly is He going to use instead? A lack of suffering turns us into little narcissists. We have to loosen our grip on the demand that life work our for us and embrace the fact that suffering allows us to know God in ways that others don't."

In the last 24 hours, for the first time in my life, I have felt like I can relate to Jesus in a way I never have before. Through suffering. From Gethsemane to Calvary, he suffered. He suffered physically, emotionally. He despaired so deeply, it was as if the life was being crushed out of him in the garden of Gethsemane (Mk 14:34). He asked for the cup to pass him by, to be spared. Yet he, the Son of God, was not spared. "God sometimes says no. Sometimes He calls us to suffer and die, even if we want to claim the contrary. Never did a man pray more earnestly than Christ prayed in Gethsemane." (Surprised by Suffering, R.C. Sproul).

Jesus had his answer. He knew what fate lay ahead of him and he stayed the course. He didn't flee Jerusalem or stomp his feet in a tantrum about things not working out. He pushed through to the bitter end. And His suffering was ultimately redeemed for His (and our) glory. We are called to participate in Christ's sufferings. Some of us may participate more than others, but we all experience it. We can't escape it. I can't escape it. So I might as well try to take hold of it the way Jesus did.

My beautiful friend Stacy called me this morning and spoke words that I know were inspired by the Holy Spirit. She said "If God were a helicopter-parent, He could have swooped in yesterday and spared you that pain. But instead He chose to allow it, intended for a larger lesson that will last a lifetime." I don't quite have the full picture of that larger lesson, but I know her words were true. There is purpose in pain.

I certainly don't have all the answers, maybe I never will this side of Heaven. I haven't landed firmly in a place of peace over all this yet, God and I are still wrestling over a few things. But I do know that God is good. That He intends suffering as a way for us to share in His glory, to participate in Christ's suffering is to participate in His exaltation (2Tim 2:11-12). His comfort flows into our lives just as His sufferings do (2Cor 1:5). I'm trying to rest in this truth, I guess it's the best place to start.



June 27, 2015

Back to "work"

They say when you love what you do, you never really work a day in your life....that is very much true for me.

I made the decision last year to only photograph elopements and intimate weddings (less than 20 guests), so 2015 is truly the first year of my photography career where I don't have any large weddings. Now that June is here and I'm feeling good, I am officially back to "work"! I say "work" because my job truly doesn't feel like work at all. It feels like I get paid to play in the mountains with my camera. :)

On any given Saturday afternoon, I can be scrolling through my Instagram feed and see dozens of my wedding photographer friends gearing up for days full of stress, heat, cranky wedding planners, late makeup artists and out of control wedding guests. But not me! Nope, this girl no longer has to work 30 weekends in a row between May and October since most of my clients opt for weekday elopements. This girl doesn't have to deal with stress and chaos anymore. This girl doesn't have to be on her feet for 10 hours, carrying 25 lbs. of gear and walking 7 miles all over creation (did you know the average wedding photographer walks 7 miles at a wedding?!) Ahhhhhhhhhh! Thank you LORD that I free from that stress and exhaustion!

 Last week I had an elopement in Telluride and a then tiny little wedding at Copper Mountain. Both couples booked me over 9 months ago and they both booked top packages, so refunding their money would have been painful. I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Since I'm not quite 100% healed, David came along, just in case I suddenly didn't feel well (plus we got to turn it into a fun trip away together). Overall, I felt amazing! I definitely worked a little too hard and had to take a few days this week to recover, but that was a small price to pay.
We stayed at a beautiful riverside inn just outside of Telluride. Another perk of this job? My clients pick awesome wedding locations and then pay for my travel to get there and lodging. Sometimes I have to pinch myself...is this a real job?!
We stopped for a roadside selfie as the sunset....how can you not with a location this beautiful?
Our elopement location in Telluride. Wowza!

We stopped in a beautiful area so David could get a little fishing time under his belt and the next day we had fun in Copper with some clients from Texas that planned a tiny little destination wedding on top of the mountain. Unfortunately the chairlift broke, so we had to 4x4 up the mountain in our car with the bride and groom! I'm sure that will be something they always remember!

My associate photographer Andrea came along with us on Saturday in case I needed her to step in and help out since I was going to be on my feet for several hours. I am so blessed to have her, she is literally carrying me through this year. She has stepped up to the plate so much, helping me out, shooting for me, answering emails when I was in the hospital. She's amazing. I was so thankful she came with me on Saturday! This was our first time shooting together in 2 years! Crazy!
My clients brought their sweet little dogs all the way from TX for the wedding! They were a little afraid of the elevation as we hung out on top of the mountain!

Gosh, it felt good to be in the mountains with my camera in my hands again. Photography is so important to me, it has been really hard to go without it for so long! I had an absolutely blast with both of my clients, going back to work couldn't have gone better.


June 24, 2015

Firmly Rooted

It's interesting to me how easily our identities can be gobbled up by motherhood and pursuit of it. I have friends who have lost all sense of "self" because they have so wholeheartedly devoted themselves to being a mom. They take a step back years down the road and have no earthly clue who they are anymore. And then myself...I have devoted so many years, so much energy, money, time, emotion, tears and prayers into becoming a mom. And when I took a step back I realized that somewhere along the way, I too had lost a sense of who I am

For a long while, I felt like a mangled mess sitting in the aftermath of an infertility tornado that had cleared a path straight through my identity. Infertility chewed me up and spit me out. The aftermath of that destruction had become a place of isolation and loneliness and I found myself sitting among the rubble trying to figure out which way was up.

The hardest part of that aftermath was I feeling like such an outsider. A misfit. I would look around and all I saw were people doing something different than I was doing. It made me deeply uncomfortable to not align with the world around me. I mean, I've always fit in. Ever since I was a child, I have always done the same things as my friends, gone with the flow, been in the same life stage as my peer group. I've blended in quite well until recently.

My inability to blend in anymore made me realize just how much I've looked to the world around me for validation. I looked to friends, family, Facebook, bloggers, church, women in line at Target, people on TV, other photographers and society for acceptance. I drew a huge amount of affirmation from the infertility community, but after a while I started feeling like an outsider even there. I have sought after affirmation, approval and my identity from the world for far too long. Is it any wonder I felt lonely and lost when I kept looking for validation in invalid places? 

God in His grace and goodness, gently reminded me that I need to stop looking at the world, and start looking to Him for my identity.

Christ is the Beginning and End, my Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer and my Complete Joy. He is the Source of all that I am and ever will be. And He has created me to walk a unique path, to live a life that maybe doesn't look like everyone else's. And you know what? I'm learning to not only embrace this truth, but give myself permission to get excited about it. Instead of feeling self conscious about my inability to blend in anymore with the world around me, I'm reveling in my ability to break away from the patterns of this world and follow a path of discovering who I am in the Lord. Maybe it sounds a bit cliche, but honestly few things seem as important to me these days as having an identity that is firmly rooted in Jesus.






About Me

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Hi friends, my name is Becky. I am a follower of Christ, wife, sister and friend. I own a photography business based in beautiful Colorado. I am an adventurer at heart and an explorer of God's creation. I'm obsessed with beauty products, simple living, traveling, hiking, camping and all things outdoors. I am learning more about myself, God, healing and my faith as I navigate the aftermath of 5+ years of infertility. I'm glad you're here, I'd love to connect with you! :)

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