From the heart · photography · truth

The Joy We Crave

One thing we do as a family often is go to the beach. It doesn’t matter if there is a hurricane coming, if it’s raining, if it’s hot, or cold, we show up and have a great time. I have been a beach goer ever since I was an older teen and it’s always been close to my heart since then.

I had never been to the beach until I was 17 and the moment I saw the ocean as we were coming downhill off the bridge, it sparked so much joy and happiness within me. My best friend and I just started yelling “woohooo” and laughed like crazy with so much excitement.

And then I kept going. I would wear my swimsuit under my clothes at work (I lived in the country, but worked in the city an hour away) and would go to the beach after I got off when I had short days. The beach brought a sense of calmness and serenity and the water was just amazing. It was a place where I felt so connected to God.

When we first got married, I stopped going as much. My husband didn’t care for it, so I just kind of stopped going. Then I had my daughter and just sunk into postpartum depression. I lost a sense of who I was. I realize now that I kind of stopped allowing myself to be who I was because I was afraid to do things on my own.

During my healing, as I started to enter into a huge transformation, my daughter was about 3 or 4, I started going with her to the beach. We just soaked it up and enjoyed it so much.

But something interesting happened with the husband. He started working at a new fire and rescue department and after working there for a while, he was stationed at the beach! And God kept him stationed there off and on for about a good 3 years. During that time I believe that God was pursing him with the beauty of his creation and after about 6 months, he started to develop a love for the beach.

You guys, the man even developed a love for photography to capture that beauty he was now starting to actually see and became REALLY good at it! (He used to dislike photography as well)

Isn’t it amazing how he works on us so gently that we almost miss that we have been transformed?

The thing is, so many times we rule out something that will actually bring us joy based off what our eyes see in the moment when we are not truly enjoying every single day of our life. I believe so many times we are afraid to let our guard down and let our hair down to soak up life and try something new, even if it’s a bit messy, or we might become sweaty, or maybe it’s just something our culture just did not do.

How much of life are we missing out on when we say stuff like “oh, I’m not doing that” when we haven’t even given ourselves a chance to even see what it may be like or what kind of joy may come out of it?

My daughter pictured here just allows herself be a free butterfly in life and I just love it so much!

It’s okay to get messy. It’s okay to try something new, but remember as you step out, I believe the first few times will be just you overcoming a false belief or maybe a bit uncomfortable.

I didn’t find joy in running at first. I didn’t find joy in painting at first. I didn’t find joy in writing at first. I didn’t find joy in photography at first. I didn’t find joy in gardening at first. I didn’t find joy in ice skating at first. My first attempts at most of this was quite horrible!

I decided that I wanted to enjoy every single day of my life and most the things I tried, I had a desire to try at some point, but thought they ridiculous after trying.

So I want to encourage you to to get out there, enjoy your life and allow yourself to be free. Allow yourself to experience that joy you have so desperately been craving in your soul! It may be a bit scary to let go a bit, but your life has been waiting for you. Waiting for you to step out and live.

Much Love,

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