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New Year Specials!

To ring in yet another NEW YEAR, I’m offering 3 amazing January specials!

joy

$100 Valentine Mini’s

$150 Mini Boudoir Packages

&

BUY ONE | GET ONE packages that include 2 full sessions for the price of one!

For a list of regular packages and pricing, click here.

Sessions must be booked by the end of January, but session dates can be set for any month in 2017!

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Happy New Year!

moments. not things.

collect moments.

not things.

hair grays. engines fail. people break. people break you. you break people. dust only moves, always resettling. lemons go bad. fashions fade. bones rot. and money runs out. but moments . . . those are stored in the soul. even what memory distorts, the soul has absorbed. the love. the grace. the morning kisses from the sun. the comfort from a friend. the hug. the magic of life. the Cross. the forgiveness. the music. the tastes of freedom. the tastes of honey, or Tennessee whiskey. it’s these moments, stored in the soul, that’ll sit with you, and within you, always.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The sun sets.

Every single night it sets.

And when it’s time to see her clearer,

the moon says hello.

She passes into dawn,

day after day,

showing more and then less of herself,

when it’s time.

Gravity keeps her close.

His promises keep her on path.

We know where she’s been, and we know where she’s going.

Hallelujah for the always present display of THE MAKER of the moon,

and THE MAKER of you.

still waters.

His grace abounds in deepest waters.

still waters.

i love so much how the Lord does His mysterious work.

at times we can nearly feel Him carrying us through.

His hand.

His voice.

His power.

and His perfection.

other times we feel like we have to cling.

and even though we might feel like we’re grasping at nothing, we still cling.

we feel lost.

we feel a separateness from the world we can touch and see.

lost, but not wanting to go back from where we came.

and then He’ll show up again.

though He was never far at all.

He is our very breath.

He is our life.

being present.

of course that’s what we all want right?

to be present.

no.

i don’t really think that’s true.

i think we want to be seen.

and in the best light.

i think we want to be known.

and know.

i think we don’t want to miss out.

cause that would mean . . .

others know something that we don’t.

AND – WE – WANT – TO – KNOW.

not live.

to be present . . .

to be more truly present . . .

that would mean swimming completely against the current of culture.

WE WOULD MISS OUT!

we would miss out on so much actually.

we would miss out on knowing how strangers and acquaintances are branding their image.

we would miss out on what the numb are causing to trend.

we would miss out on the temptation to compare ourselves.

we would definitely miss out on the freedom to know our truest selves; who we are unmotivated by the Jones’.

we would miss out on clarity of mind.

we would miss out on the boredom that lends itself to genuine creativity.

we would miss out on knowing those closest to us most deeply.

we would miss out on their expressions, in exchange for digital entertainment.

we would definitely miss out.

                  

being present would mean that i miss out in order to gain what is better, what is actually mine to gain, and what is my true.

it would mean that in order to really know anything about you, i’d need to connect with you, to see your face, hear your voice, and witness your humanity.

unfiltered by color, or time, just you.

unedited you.

being present would mean that i’m all where i am,

and all who i’m with.

i would see more deeply,

but be seen less.

i would know more purely,

and be known by fewer.

but isn’t that life, authentic life?

to be limited.

not all knowing.

and isn’t that desire . . .

to be all knowing . . .

what has broken us more than anything

selah.

RUDIMENTAL FEAT. ED SHEERAN

lay it all on Me.

year four.

2013 | 2014 | 2015

each year before i write about my new word, i read back over the previous years and remember why i chose what i did and i reflect on how mysterious The Divine Hand behind it all orders my days so perfectly. each year i can see more clearly how the years really build on one another and how the under-currant is ever pulling me closer to my destiny.

i can see in ways i couldn’t see then.

and with each year i’m able with more confidence to lean into new words, having seen how they build on top of one another.

my paths are becoming well beaten,

the way clearer each day.

and most certainly more clear with each passing year.

fallleaves

i typically start mulling over possible words for the next year when the leaves begin changing their colors.

dying that new life might have it’s turn.

design.

desire.

freedom.

quiet.

aim.

these were all words being turned and turned as possibilities for this year.

             

having purpose, having aim, having hopeful ambition.

there can never be a design without these.

without these, what you’re left with is chance.

the absence of purpose, the absence of aim and the absence of hopeful ambition.

desire.

to crave earnestly.

to the level of even rejecting what doesn’t submit itself to the thirst within.

to declining that which hinders ones position toward the deepest longings.

and freedom.

not in the sense of no restrictions, but rather through power.

the power to not be enslaved.

liberty without hindrance.

deliverance without restraint.

quiet.

little noise.

or even the complete absence of it entirely.

no clamor.

no racket.

to aim at these things.

to have design.

to desire a true power, through freedom, in the presence of disorder.

the ability to be still when the winds and waves surround.

that is what i’ve found my heart to be after.

and as i look back over my first 3 years of doing this whole WORD OF THE YEAR thing, i’m deeply moved by the necessity of every previous word to have prepared me for this new year and yet another word.

intentional (2013)

less (2014)

know (2015)

i needed a season of intentionality.

i needed to let my heart wander.

and i needed to begin filtering things out in order to make way, and make space.

in order to be something this new, there were things i needed to do.

not knowing when i started how each year would build and yet seeing what appears like a master plan causes my heart to explode in wonder.

in awe.

the same God that sends the rain,

that gives water to the fields,

who causes the dawn to know its place,

and who gives the horse his might,

it is he that gives me these words,

The Maker of all things.

if my days were written, and were before any of them yet were,

also were my words.

so in keeping with the etiquette and tradition of having only one word,

this year i choose the word intrepide.

it’s french like one of my most beautiful friends.

the word isn’t as beautiful as she is, but as image bearers of the glory of God, i wouldn’t argue any word is more beautiful than any one of us.

intrepide

but i would argue that to aim to desire to live a life of design, a life truly free of enslavement, or clamor, isn’t going to be the profit of motivations stemming from any form of fear.

we were not designed for fear.

fear does not free.

fear makes golden calfs out of anything it can.

selah.

i’m not interested though, in my truest self, of desiring any golden calf.

in my truest self, i know the eden i was made for.

i know the freedom that once existed.

i remember the best design.

and so this next year, without fear, i’m going to pursue exactly that.

i’m going to pursue the sender of the rain,

i’m going to rid my heart of even more clamor,

and i’m going to chase the one who gives the horse his might.

grace and the good news.

“If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” Psalm 91

audreyandcait-22

I really thought before meeting these two that the lessons I had learned personally, as a single mother, were some of the sweetest lessons I’d ever learned. I was wrong.

knowing these two, and having the opportunity to watch as they learn the same lessons, is much sweeter. Having the privilege to open my heart to this young mother’s heart, to let her in, in my past, in my present, to let her all in . . .

that has been the sweetest.

to watch and to KNOW that the Lord has both her and her daughter exactly where His sovereign best keeps her . . .

that’s the sweetest.

i know things this mother is in the midst of learning, and i know at the deepest level what she is still unsure of.

i get to watch God carry her in ways i couldn’t see God carrying me.

i get front row seats to watching how God sustains.

it’s like watching my story duplicate itself.

and the story of relentless love and rescue never gets old.

i get to say to these two with FULL assurance,

YOU ARE LOVED BY THE CREATOR OF LOVE,

AND YOU ARE IN PERFECT HANDS.

MAKE THE MOST HIGH YOUR DWELLING,

AND LET HIS PERFECT LOVE CAST OUT ALL FEAR.

audreyandcait-3

I asked this little one’s mommy what God had shown her most through being a mother, and I expected to hear something about patience, or sacrifice, you know, one of those virtues we tend to learn the hard way . . .

but she said she’d learned about God’s grace.

because even on her very worst days, grace is what this little beauty gives her.

grace.

might we all be a little more like this little beauty.

the blind date that never ended.

shoots with couples are the best kind.

neither person feels too much pressure to pose right.

they have someone to laugh at.

to laugh with.

and to connect with.

tiffanycox

often times, i’m inspired.

and i’m reminded of how beautiful the dance is between two souls who belong to one another.

these two were set up by their parents.

by her mom, and his dad.

he’s moved by her compassion and the way she cares so deeply for people.

he’s the epitome of a gentleman she would say.

“i’m precious to him.”

“i know this because of how he treats me everyday.”

they’re looking forward to children that will turn them into grandparents.

and i’m looking forward to watching their love ever unfold.

thank you both for inspiring me.

for sharing with me pieces of your story, and what unites you both.

and for reminding me how lovely it is to love.  

this time of year.

i can count on one hand the times i’ve sat to write this year.

and while i did choose LESS as my “word” this year, I never anticipated the theme would also eclipse my blog.

but even though it appears I’ve had less to say, I have had much to consider.

seed

i love this time of year so much.

not because more light shines at night,

on all the roofs and off the yards filled with wooden statues of angels or elves and reindeer, depending on the heart of the home.

i love this time of year because it’s a time of deep reflection.

for looking back.

for looking ahead.

for wishing.

for making sense of.

for merging what was with what is, and what might be.

that’s what i love about this time.

IMG_8208

different things make alive the souls and the spirits each of us embody.

writing does that for me.

and so during a season of deep reflection, i write.

and i come alive.

pen

i have a few women i’ve grown to love over these past few years, and we are committing to an annual reflection retreat. a 24 hour period of being together. not on Facebook. not in a crowded restaurant, or in a party atmosphere where we will put on the latest trend and smile for instagram then hashtag how blessed we are.

but rather, we will get away, and we will get real. we will have already done our personal reflections, and we will face to face, share ourselves with one another. we will experience the union we were made for, that we thrive in, and that honors the God we love so much.

this.

this is what i love.

i love to look forward.

and i love to look back.

and i love to know and be known.

known

here is what we will ask truly of ourselves, every year, and here is what we will share.

summarize this year in three words.

what were the most significant things in your life this year? how did they shape you?

what was difficult in your life this year and why? have you been able to see and receive God’s faithfulness?

what were the triumphs of this year? how did they lead you to worship?

who was important in your life this year? what role did they play?

what relationships have changed this year? wow and why? how have these changes affected you?

what relationships are in need of repair? where do you need to extend or receive forgiveness?

how strong is your belief in God’s goodness? how has it been challenged/strengthened?

what losses or disappointments did you suffer this year? how is your life different because of them?

in what areas did you struggle with sin?

what did you learn about yourself this year? how are you different?

what has happened in the world this year? how has your perspective and worldview changed?

did you care for “the least of these” this year? how?

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Then the righteous will answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35-40

how well did you steward your money? time? relationships?

do you have regrets? what are they? how have you worked to resolve them?

what and how did you hear from the Lord this year? what did He teach you?

do I need to repent of anything? thank anyone? encourage anyone?

what fears/hopes for the coming year do you need to lay before the Lord?

Lord Jesus,

thank you for seasons of reflection. and for those trustworthy enough to share ourselves with fully. thank you for promising to renew and redeem all that has been broken. and thank you for minds that are capable of being transformed by the power of Your word. let us be ever increasing in our awareness of Your hand moment by moment, in our knowledge of you and in our love for you as we reflect each year. 

 

Jesus said

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

“Rejoice and be glad,

because great is your reward in heaven.”

teachme

sweep streets.

some of us love to write.

and some of us love to read.

some of us love to listen.

and some of us love to bake.

some of us love other things,

like making people laugh.

but many of us forget.

we forget what we love.

we forget to make the time.

we let lesser important things take the place of the most.

we forget to guide our planes and let life pave our way.

but we mustn’t.

we must remember.

we must think on that which we love to do,

because those paths which take us to where our ultimate joy lies

are the places where we come alive.

tif

this is Tiffanie.

she’s lovely.

and she loves making jam.

she’s just making big batches, and people are buying them up.

she’s decided to start selling officially, and I wanted to make sure to spread the word.

there is something really special about the opportunity to watch someone do something they love.  to watch them say no to many other things and say yes to something better.

to watch them find that uniquely joy-filled space in a loud and demanding world.

jam

“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music.

Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.

Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

thank you tiffanie,

for gifting me with plum and blueberry jam yes, but also with inspiration, each and every time we meet. knowing you made each jar with that beautiful smile on your face puts another beautiful smile on mine. as you prepare that jam, know that the joy you’ll spread with every jar causes heaven and earth to pause and say that you’ve done that job well. 

(((hugs)))

~misty dawn

to place an order, contact tiffany directly at tiffany.h@hotmail.com

peach, apricot, strawberry, watermelon, blueberry, plum and apply butter jam

8oz jars | $5

tif

Forgiveness, Humanity & Hope

DEARMOM

Thank you Mom,

for teaching me that I would need to forgive.

Because I do.

And thank you Mom,

for teaching me that we are all human.

Because we are.

Thank you Mom,

for showing me how to hope.

Because you have.

And thank you for being who you are Mom,

because if you were anyone else,

I may not have learned these things.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom,

I love you.

~Misty

Celebrate Mom, Dad & Grad!

Andison-50

with so many wonderful opportunities ahead to celebrate those you love most,

Mother’s Day,

Father’s Day,

January2014b&w-65

allsmiles

and all types of graduates,

misshannah

give them something that will last.

Andison-37

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me

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for You, I’d leave it all

my house in Budapest

my hidden treasure chest

golden grand piano

my beautiful castillo

for You, I’d leave it all

relentless.

if human words could ever do justice what the Lord’s been showing me lately about who He is . . .

i’d choose the word relentless.

His promise to make me into His image is borderline frightening.

the lengths He is going through to assure my redemption in Him are lengths farther than any depth i could measure.

His pursuit of me is relentless.

His plan for me is unstoppable.

He wants my greatest good more than i don’t want pain.

AND – I – DON’T – WANT – PAIN.

He’s relentless.

but His ways are not my ways.

and He knows my desires even more than i desire good.

AND – I – DESIRE – GOOD.

He made my desires.

they’re the work of His hands!!!

He’s outside of time.

yet He’s put me in it.

there’s already an end . . .

and He wrote the whole story.

mine.

and yours.

and He’s the author.

my mind is blown.

He’s relentless.

i see Him redeeming.

i see His work in the hearts of those He’s pursuing.

those He’s chasing.

those He’s loving.

those who aren’t listening.

and those who are trying.

He’s redeeming.

and He’s relentless.

i can’t open a book without the waterfall of His grace pouring over me.

i can’t make small talk with a woman that I barely even know without seeing God’s mercy at work.

without hearing about how far His hand stretches.

the skies proclaim the work of His hands.

i can’t close my eyes without sensing His nearness.

and I can’t open them without seeing the shadows of His nature,

the shadows that He’s placed in everything.

He gives eyes to see to those who want to hear.

and faith to those who’ll listen.

are you listening?

why I’m not thanking God that it’s Friday.

for me, especially these last few months, i’ve noticed a sort of stillness in my joy on Fridays.

to be honest, it was jealousy.

i was jealous because i knew so many others were over the moon,

and simply because it was Friday.

and while there is so, so much truth in that . . .

the truth goes so, so much deeper.

yes,

on the surface,

there are so many celebrating today,

and in a way I probably never will again.

and i was jealous.

and since it’s almost impossible for me to let any emotion go unfiltered,

i thought about it.

i thought about the days I used to long for Friday to come.

and why I did.

i thought about all the memories I couldn’t remember.

and the memories I didn’t make, but should have.

and then I felt guilty.

over the shallowness of my jealousy, i felt guilty.

and that was that.

on repeat every few weeks, just a quiet nagging replay of those thoughts.

“take captive every thought, Misty.

every single thought.”

and so I would.

and until another excited for Friday burst of bliss would pass by, i’d be fine.

and then,

like He always does,

like a perfect Father always does,

He just stepped in,

at a coffee shop actually,

and made new a record from one that was broken.

a thought pattern that was off in me,

He made play right.

making music out of distortion.

making honest what was untrue.

you don’t long for Friday anymore because all of your days are the same now.

all of your days are Mine.

we walk together and you don’t wander anymore. 

we wander together, but you are not lost.

you long for Me, and as I meet you we make memories of the eternal kind.”

theinside

February 26, 2015

“Salvation is of the Lord.”
Jonah 2:9

Salvation is the work of God. It is he alone who quickens the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” and it is he also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.”

“Salvation is of the Lord.”

If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because he upholds me with his hand. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely. If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm. Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who liveth in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my salvation.” Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it. Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help cometh from heaven’s hills: without Jesus I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in him.

What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning:

“Salvation is of the Lord.”

charles haddon spurgeon

this life.

this life is hard.

like really hard.

one day you’re in love.

and the next you’re not really sure where home is.

or who home is . .

and some days joy just radiates without effort.

some days sorrow just won’t rest.

there are seasons of sickness.

the watching of someone you love suffer, but not being able to do anything to relieve them.

and for some, those seasons are more than seasons,

but a permanent layer of life.

no hope for relief.

then there is the struggle, and the willing sacrifice, made in the hope of attaining some ideal.

often proven in vain on the other side.

lending itself then to the arduous work of acceptance.

or the easier work of redefining the original hope of the sacrifice as something different than it really was.

sometimes the weight of this world seems crushing,

and sometimes it’s weight is our strength.

amidst the inescapable uncertainty, sickness and sorrow;

and amidst the struggle and sacrifice, in vain, or not in vain,

the joy that on some days just radiates without effort is still there.

it’s always there.

it can be had.

lindi-19

less.

because it’s always more.

for the past few years, i’ve laid aside resolutions and picked up the word of the year trend. and i highly doubt i’ll be going back. having something as simple as a word, as a reminder, has brought a personal richness to my days that only i can fully know. i can share my word, but i could never share the fullness of the depths of my heart and soul. i myself don’t even know these depths.

in 2013 I chose the word INTENTIONAL. it was a year for investing in the two most important souls i knew.

probably one of my favorite fruits of choosing a specific word, or direction, to follow me through an entire year is the deep pathway that is set in my heart. well beaten paths make the direction obvious and less energy is needed for finding ones way.

the choice to invest in the souls of those under my same roof is a deep pathway now that i will always travel on. no matter the souls. and no matter the roof.

2014 brought the word KNOW.  i was tired of being made by my culture and wanted to know more of what i am actually made of and made for. i wanted to live my life. mainly this looked like spending very little time on social media and more time IN my world. observing, and savoring what was . . my reality.

i wanted less entertainment and more pleasure. and in some ways that is what i got. and in others, it wasn’t.

this year, I choose the word LESS.

because really, i do think it always leads to more.

i actually chose the word months ago, but wasn’t so sure about it. it didn’t feel like enough. not rich enough. not worthy to commit to for an entire year. i wanted deep pathways carved, ones that I’d always enjoy traveling through.

to be honest, i didn’t want to want less forever.

maybe a season, but forever?

over the months, God has shown me that not only is this my word, but how merciful He is that He’d give it to me months in advance to saunter through. He knew the thickness of my fields.

and He was gracious to let me wander and play before the honest work of carving this terrain would begin.

and now i’m ready.

and sure.

this year, i want to filter all through this new lens of less and see what is left.

all.

all i have.

all i do.

all i desire.

i want to filter it all, and get down to the primary.

to what is pure.

most pure.

because the smallest of what is most pure, is more than the most of anything that is stained.