New Location!!

You can now see my latest blog postings at Wish I Had Wings or wishihadwings.wordpress.com. You'll be able to read all of the past posts and comments from this blog on WIHW. I'll be closing this blog, and will be starting a new Photography blog/Site at Wordpress shortly. I decided it's best to seperate my business and personal life, so stay tuned for a second link added to this post.
Blogger, it's been fun, but I like Wordpress better, ;)


Mighty to Save

A couple of weeks ago I attended a valley-wide outreach at this same church. And we sang this song. My friend beside me told me as the song began that this was the song they sang at camp. The summer camp I never got to go to. The singing grew louder as the sanctuary passionately drummed out the words so familiar and precious to them. I made it through the first verse, though I could hardly get a word out. Thoughts rapidly rushed my mind. Thoughts of sadness and hurt and loss. The chorus came and I began to tear up. By the third verse I had completely broken down in my best friends' arms. The song seemed to last forever. And as the next song began to play, a song of praise and joy, I was still crying.
Today I was checking out an artist recommended by a close friend. I began to play the songs on the website as I worked on some homework. And then this song came on. I continued with my work, slightly distracted by the words that had pierced my heart.

This year is nearly over. 8 months ago my life changed, only 2 weeks after Winter Camp. I can recall the dates, the smells, the textures, the feelings I felt during those two weeks. But one thing I forgot was that no matter how painful life is, He's going to make it all beautiful in the end. I may not be able to see it now. But all of this is just a little bit of weaving in an incredible tapestry that will glorify Him in the end. And that's all that matters.
There isn't a day I don't think about the past. And many times I'll shed a tear or feel that familiar pain in my heart. I don't understand what He's doing. Not yet, not fully. But I can trust Him to be faithful in His promises-- His promises to wipe away the tears, to renew Hi mercies each morning, to be with me.

I would like to forget it all. He's made it clear that I'm not supposed to forget yet. There's a reason for it. There's a reason for all of it, and I'm thankful for that, no matter what the cost. It's worth it all.


It's Halloween...

It rained for the first time this fall last night. Appropriate, no?
It's Halloween, and I have nothing truly special planned. I'll go with my mom and Olivia for Trick-Or-Treating tonight, and my two best friends are probably coming over. Maybe I'll make a quick trip to Ralph's and Longs to pick up some festive things. My mom has been sick all week and for the first year of my life (Or so I assume... those early years are a little fuzzy.) we don't have Jack-O-Lanterns. Or pumpkins. Or Halloween decor. Barely any fall decor. It's a tad depressing. Oh wait, I'm broke. *Great*. Usually we buy pumpkins at a local ranch/pumpkin patch about a week in advance, carve them a day or so before Halloween, and we never forget to decorate. This week has been messed up.
I went to the doctor last week. I need to stretch my Illiotibial band in my legs-- they run from the hip to the knee. Mine has been tightened, causing me these ridiculous problems. I started physical therapy last week and it's going well-- I love everyone there. It's like one big family, and even the patients/clients get along fantastically. I can already feel improvements.
I went to a valley wide youth group outreach on Wednesday at my old church. It was a wonderful, strange, sad, weird, horrible, amazing night. I'm thankful that God allowed me to go to it-- I thought I wouldn't be able to, but He was so gracious.
Photography wise-- I'll be doing some portraits for a 1 year old and family portraits of him and his family as a gift from one of my good friends. Also, I'm shooting this same friend's nephew's birthday party. I'm really excited-- it's going to turn out great, I'm sure!
I will throw a party when the elections are over. I hear one more comment, see one more commercial... I might scream. And if you know me, you've heard my famous blood curdling scream. It's great. Anyway...
I wonder what kind of Halloween treats you can make with absolutely nothing? Heh. I could make pancakes and buy some canned pumpkin to add in with the single dollar bill that I have that I actually owe to my dad... I'll probably do that. It's girl's night in, I suppose. I have no actual Halloween plans this year. I'm not allowed to trick-or-treat (My mom thinks I'm too old, lol.) and I wasn't invited to any parties or anything. I don't even go to school to get to show off my costume... which I don't actually have. So Halloween is feeling kind of lame.

I have school to do.... Hear the reluctance in my voice? It's wonderful, no? ;)
Happy Halloween. I hope yours is more fabulous than mine.


The leaves are whispering tonight...

I wonder what they're saying. Perhaps they're singing? Or telling secrets?

It's a wonderful sound, to hear the leaves dancing. I was walking home tonight from hanging out with Natasha (shout out to you girlie, much love.) and the sun was setting. It cast a golden glow on the already golden leaves. I listened to Love Story as I read Natasha's letter and walked along the quiet path and once again, I felt something in the wind. Change. This autumn, this winter... things will be different and wonderful. Or at least, that's what I hope I "heard".
For now, I'm going to go to bed listening to the leaves sing me to sleep.

Hello, Fire Season

So I believe fire season has begun. It always seems to center around my area. Gotta love Soutern California. I've become well trained at determining types of smoke-- cigarette, cigar, barbeque, fireplace, wild, and barbeque. I actually like the smell of smoke-- my friends think I'm weird but hey, I don't mind.

No worries though. I don't plan on starting any fires other than the ones in candles.

Did you know I almost set my house on fire once? I had figured out how to burn the edges of a paper so it looked old and stuff and heh, it caught on fire. I was holding it in my hand as I stood over my desk and started freaking out and calling for my mom. I was extremely flustered because I don't think I ever told her when I was calling for her what had happened. The fire got closer to my fingers so I dropped the paper onto my desk. It quickly burned up and because my desk is laminate, not real wood, it didn't catch on fire. Praise God! However, I have a lovely burn sitting here to remind me of how "lucky" I was... and how I shouldn't be trusted with flames. To this day, my mom doesn't feel comfortable with me having candles in my room. I suppose I deserve such a reputation, but it has been two years. :)

I had my US History class today. It went well and I had a suprise presentation thing with my group. I hate public speaking, but we did find thanks to a guy in our group who is kind of an overachiever has had written down everything we needed to say. It worked out well. Actually, I had been in a group presentation with his younger brother only a couple weeks before and he proved himself to have the same kind of work ethic. Their oldest brother is the same way. And yes, they're all in my class. Their mama trained them well. :) So yeah, it was cool.

I made coffee this morning and it didn't taste horrible. Except I never actually finished it. My mom liked Arabica coffee, so that's the only kind we keep around. I myself am more of a Hazelnut kind of girl, but I suppose I'll just have to deal like I always have. :)

I believe I have a total of 1 reader... if that. So I've been trying to post every day this week. It's a good outlet for my thoughts... which, as of late, have been on the shallow side. Sorry. :)

My grandpa is in his last days. It's sad, but we all know it's coming. I've never been to a funeral before, so this will be a new experience for me. It could happen at any time now... At least I know what I'll wear. But I need a black cardigan. Now before you assume anything, I am not looking forward to this. But for me, if I know something bad is going to happen, I plan it out. That's how I deal with it. I'm planning on what I'll bring to my doctor's appointment in 2 weeks, and I'm planning what I wear to his funeral. That's what I do. That's how I deal.
I'm not completely emotionless. I'm sure it'll get to me at some point. I'm not hard hearted. But I have been toughened up this past year quite a bit.
I have a new song obsession: Love Story by Taylor Swift. It's so sweet, romantic, and wonderful. And the music video is awesome. Love her dress. The video was totally inspired by Pride & Prejudice, the one with Kiera Knightley. My favorite version. I know it by heart, and for awhile I watched/listened to part of it every night. So yeah, I know it pretty well. And Mr. Darcy... ah. :) Anyway, the music video is spectacular. Google it when you get the chance. :)

My new favorite name is Juliet. I will totally name my daughter Juliet. And I love the name Eleanor Rose. Shortened to Ellie. My other favorite name. Just don't say it too many times, it starts to sound wierd. :)

I'm off to finish school for the day. Later. :)



So, I despise Spanish. Actually, I just despise learning it. It's a fine language, and kudos to you if you can speak it or do speak it. Honestly. You're totally awesome. Me, however? I'm totally and completely English. Seriously-- one of my anscestors was William Brewster and he was on the Mayflower, you know, that ship that came over from Holland, origionally from England, to see religious freedom? Yeah. I should totally run for president. *wink* Actually, the last thing I'd like to do is be President. If you do, kudos to you. And Mr. President, if you're reading this and-I-don't-know-why-you-would, kudos to you too.
Ah, the elections. I hate politics, though I find it fascinating. I just hate the commercials and the brochures and the lies and all of the crud that comes with it. Kudos to you if you enjoy it. :)
The economy, I hear, is going down hill. I'm not too worried, as it's a cycle. It's constantly changing. But it does stink for those who are hurt by it, so kudos to you for stickin' through it.
Ever had a Kudos bar? They were a favorite when I was a little girl. I don't know if they make them anymore, but they sure were wonderful. Mmmmm. I remember getting them in my lunch when I was in kindergarten and first grade.
I got Sleeping Beauty on Blu-Ray with a DVD version in the mail today! Sleeping Beauty is my all time favorite movie. It's terribly wonderful and romantic. Plus, there are several Biblical principles in the movie: good trumps evil, evil should die and good endure, love conquers all (Ok, well His love does. :D ), we should wait for our princes and Prince, etc... I totally love it. If i just painted my walls pink, pulled out all of my Sleeping Beauty knick knacks, put away all of my random knick knacks, put up my white canopy, and got a pink duvet, I could totally have a Sleeping Beauty themed room. Yep. Truly. :)
I know I haven't posted photos for awhile. That's because other than for yearbook, I haven't taken any good ones. But I might have some brand new ones within the next couple of weeks. I don't know if it'll happen yet, but this would be something I've never ever ever dones before. Something wonderful. Almost as good as a wedding. :) So we'll see. :)


Outwardly wasting away...

I'm falling apart.
My knees and hips are horrible.
And it is so hard. I haven't been physically fine since... 5th grade? It's been 5 years-- you do the math. I know are others with my serious, grave ailments than I. But it's still extremely difficult for me, as I'm not accustomed to these physical limitations.
As I'm walking around my room, I'm moaning a bit because my knees are dead. I've done virtually no excercize in the past week. I've walked around the mall and such, but that doesn't count.
I admire people who have been through so much more than I have-- Abi, Abby, Mrs. Lim, the Kostjuks, the list is pretty long. And they are all so strong.

I see a docor on the 20th. I am really thrilled and really frightened. But I'm doing my best to trust Him and rest in His promises.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I always new this, but it brings new meaning now that I'm falling apart. Even despite my issues, He is still for me. He is still a good and gracious God. I am still unfailingly loved by Him.
I'm re-reading Elizabeth George's Loving God With All Your Mind. It's a definitely encouragement to me, as it deals with the thought life, trials, physical afflictions, and so much more. In one paticular chapter, she suggests preparing and planning for doctor's appointments like Edith Shaeffer did. Her husband had cancer, a far more serious illness!
Anyway, I've decided to bring along some materials ot busy myself with while waiting. My doctor, Dr. S., is an orthopedic specialist. He is supposed to be fantastic, though busy, which is why I've had to wait a month and why I'll probably have to wait a while before the appointment. It really helps me to think about what I can bring and do on that day. I know I'll be extremely nervous-- I hate going to the doctor and I think I'm allergic to something all doctor's offices have (I have no idea what it is, but my eyes always grow red and watery in all sorts of doctor's offices). Anyway, I'm thinking I'll bring my favorite magazine, Real Simple, my iPod, and my volume of Sherlock Holme's tales. All of it is pretty distracting, thankfully.
This is all so new to me. If you have any encouragement, advice, or ideas for me, please do share. I need support. :)


Sounds at my house...

... Tom and Jerry fighting it out
... Princess music
... Child's laughter
... Crazy songs from my middle sis Noel

... Typing
... The hum of one or more comptuers
... Clashing and strange noises being made as a toy chest is searched through

... The sighing, moaning, and jumping 5 1/2 feet into the air from my dog

... Soft singing from my 4 yr. sis

... The theme from one of many forensic shows we watch

... Laughter while watching What Not to Wear
What sounds are frequent at your house?


fabulous things...

I just entered a fabulous random giveaway from one of my all time favorite blogs, the one that introduced me to the ever fabulous world of design and pretty things, Design Mom. She posts fabulous things, mostly to do with children. But this contest, oh yeah, this one is fabulous for anything.
I also now seem to be subscribing to the fabulous magazine, Real Simple. It's my all time favorite magazine. I'm really dragging out reading my October (They send 'em out early I suppose. I got it on Tuesday...) issue, reading a little every day. It's so fabulous.
What Not to Wear is my current favorite show. It's fabulous. And the clothes are fabulous.
I haven't tried the new youth group yet for various reasons, but I promised a friend that I'll give it a chance. Next week, perhaps. This week and last week I had ballet, but next week my schedule will return to normal.
I haven't done a lot of photography lately. Partly due to the weather-- humid, hot, dreadful. Partly due to my busyness-- my grandpa is dying and my family is all having a field day, etc etc.
We joined the YMCA. After I see my doctor, I'll probably be able to use a few machines in the gym, swim, and join in on a pilates class, all of which are low impact.
Speaking of which, my knees have gotten worse. Both of my hip joints have been affected in the same way as well, so a lot of standing positions are incomfortable.
I'm on yearbook again this year, which should be interesting. We have a super small team-- I think there's only 3 or 4 of us. I'm the only one who has actual experience on the yearbook, even the director, my friend's mom, has never done it, but she knows the program better than anyone, so it's cool.
I'm also taking 3 classes with my friend Taylor and her mom (The yearbook director, actually.) We're doing home ec, British literature, and Spanish. The first two aren't so bad. Spanish is dreadful, of course. It is *not* fabulous. ;)
Hasta la vista.


I Actually Have Nothign to Do

I have nothing to do until 4 o'clock. I cleaned my room, did my dishes, have no lesson plans for today. I'm not about to vacuum or put away my clothes (Which are in a basket, tucked away neatly.) and there's nothing for me to find on the Internet. So now I'm "busy" deleting unneccessary programs on my computer. Wow. Life is fascinating, no?
I could read a book. But I don't have any that I'm truly interested in at the moment.
I could go on a photowalk. But I can't-- too hot, too bright. I'm saving my energy and strength for this evening's ballet class.

I want to do something profitable.

I suppose I should vacuum or put away my clothes...



Wordle is extremely addicting, as well as easy to use. I'll be sure to use it in scrapbooking.
Went on a photowalk last week for the first time in months. Not only has it been too hot, I haven't been inspired.

I got one of the actions I uploaded to work. Thank you, Elusive Actions! Adobe? I have a bias against you.

I was excited to finally find some of that beauty I'd been longing for. I took along my iPod and talked to God. I thought about the past and the future. I'm ready to commit to this new church, SCBC, if it's in His will for us to stay.

It's been a long journey, though some have had to trek farther, and over many more mountains than I. But I am thankful that He has given me the grace to get through this.

On a lighter note, I'm currently studying for my permit. I'll probably test for it in January. Why so early, you may ask? Well, I'm extremely excited. And I want to pass the first time. :)

Yesterday we had no electricity. Actually, the "fun" began at 11:21 the night before when my mom and I were in the middle of a murder mystery she had received for her birthday earlier that day. The nerve. So we opened up another one, lighted a couple of candles, and watched what we could on the laptop before falling asleep. Yesterday was the hotest day of summer. When we still had no power in the morning, she and I went to Starbucks to use the Internet and find out what was going on. We didn't go to church, since they had no electricity either. Thankfully, four dreadful hours later, we left to spend the rest of the day with friends. Who had air conditioning. And electricity.

And I had the best pie of my life. :)



Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography
"One step away from breaking down
10 minutes late and I’m totally falling down
And it’s so plain to see
I’m my own worst enemy
One more day and I’ll get it right
I’m a trip, I’m a mess and I’m crying on the inside
That’s why it feels so good to say
That You’re only a prayer away"
--Cadia, 2008

My themesong for the day.

Just when I think things are getting good, *whop!* I mess it up again. Not like I try to. I just do.

This song is an encouragement.

Thank you, Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography
A few of my actions made for PS7, not PSE6, actually worked a bit today. It was exciting, as I was also finishing up the last of my first client's photos and putting them on disk for her. I got to redo a few of my favorites with some actions. However, we veiwed them on the new HD monitor, and of course, they looked overblown. So hopefully, they'll look good on my client's computer.


Obsessions of the Moment

I'm obsessed with two things right now: the way of the French and being posh. Perhaps I'd not like to be completely posh, as many who are are quite stuck up. But they do dress well.


Finding the Beauty

The trouble with being an amature photographer, or even simply human, is that it's so hard to find the beauty amoungst that which isn't. Capturing beauty isn't at all difficult. Finding it is. Learning to see that which is unlovely as lovely is.
I've photographed every beautiful thing within walking distance. I have no car, so driving elsewhere is out of the question. My creativity is at an all time low. I'm constantly praying that God would open my eyes to see the beauty within people, within Suburbland where nothing is original.
Now, it's time to photograph the unlovely.


I am glad...

... that memories are starting to make me laugh again.

i don't laugh as much as i used to.

it's a nice feeling.



So yesterday was my birthday. I turned 15.

Before anyone asks, it feels great. Though I am tired. But that's irrelevant.
Before anyone asks, my friend Taylor slept over, we watched murder mysteries, and ate cake while doing it. We also got pizza with cheese-filled crust. Oh yeah. Amazing.
Before anyone asks, some of the things I received are: Adobe Photoshop Elements (it arrives in the mail sometime today...), adorable notecards, a porcleain Sleeping Beauty doll (for the five year old in me), a ton of flamingo stuff, a wonderful Starbucks coffee cup, and $45 total in Starbucks gift cards. Oh yeah. I also got a $30 Amazon gift card but I have no idea what in the world I'll do with it yet.
Life is pretty good.
My sister Noel and I are getting manicures and pedicures together as my birthday gift from her, so we might do that tonight.

We have the worst UPS delivery man in all of America. We get our stuff really late, sometimes even as late as 10. It's ridiculous. So I'm waiting for Adobe Photoshop Elements right now, and of course, it's taking forever. Figures. :)



So I got 'em yesterday. I was so excited! Cadia is my fave by far.

I used my homemade reflectors as a background. LOL.

I'd better get back to my school work. Yeah. Until I finish, which hopefully will be by early July.



All but 1 of my closest friends are six hours north of here. In the mountains. Where they are extremely busy playing paintball, zip lining, rock climbing, and listening to some awesome sermons. And enjoying one another's company. And the beautiful sunshine. And one another's company.

Not like I'm jealous or anything. Pffffft, me? Jealous? Nahhh.
Ok yes, I wish I could be there more than anything!!!!!!!!
Now that I have that out of my system.

This is probably going to be the busiest weekend of my life. This afternoon, my sister has something. Then right after that, I have dance. Then I have to leave dance 15 minutes early, pull on some nice clothes over that, then run to a graduation ceremony I have to be at. Then tomorrow morning I have to get up on time, run to the high school, stay there for a few hours, come home for a couple hours, run back to the high school early, preform, and come home. On Sunday, I have church. And most likely, my first time at the youth group. Ever.
I bought a new hat. It's a straw brim hat with an aqua ribbon around it and a bow in the back. Cute, simple, but old-fashioned. I want to wear it on Sunday, but I'm not quite ready to leash out my freakiness (lol) to the youth group. Why? Two words: GOOD IMPRESSION. I'll wear it when they've already figured out how weird I am and I have nothing to lose. Instead, I'll wear my favorite blue dress, new shoes, and tie my favorite yellow sweater around my shoulders and smile as I brush away my freshly curled hair. See? It'll be great. To my credit, my old fashioned side and favorite blue dress sides are both sides I'd show freely any other time. But these kids are different from those at my old church.

So I'm finally taking steps to redo my room. I haven't painted for five years, and I'd like a change from the purple and green walls. I plan on painting the walls a robin egg color. Theme? Birds and photography, haha. Slightly random, but I like it. I got a new bed and nightstand, and new white curtains for my windows which I tied back with a bunch of ribbons). I also bought a new lamp and lampshade. My favorite new thing I got is a pretty white birdcage and a birdie (robin's egg blue!) to sit happily inside. My mom and I hit a *bunch* of sales yesterday, so I got lots of new little things (I love $1 sales! :D)

My younger sister's 6th grade graduation was a couple days ago. She looked so pretty! I brought my camera with me and was running around photographing it the whole time. Noel was such a good girl-- she looked right at me and gave a beautiful smile a dozen times while I was behind the lens. It brought back a lot of memories from my own 6th grade graduation at that same school. it really wasn't that long ago, but it still made me feel a little old. One more kid to go!
I wonder if I'll be married when Olivia graduates elementary school. She's turning 4 next month. Wow. Scary thoughts, these are!


Somethings money can't buy. For everything else, there's giveaways.

So as you'll remember I entered a contest.
And won! I can hardly believe it! I new my dad has a magic touch (He won a trip for 2 to Maui a few years back) but I didn't know it had been passed down to me! I'm currently $206.45 in debt to him right now for my camera, and I've been hoping to somehow scramble up some money for my "Summer Tunes". God has so miraculously provided!


Isn't that just precious? Last weekend I went to my cousin's graduation party. It's hard to believe that he's finished high school. Next year he'll be at the local community college and then move onward towards full-time schools. This boy has some awesome talent in baseball, something I hope he'll continue with.

I had a great time with my camera and talking to my extended family and his about my photography. I learned that his uncle also does a great deal of photography. He was there with his giant camera, snapping away too. Apparently Alan Photoshops as a career-- getting rid of unsightly things in photos. It makes me proud to be related to some who is related to someone who shares in interest.

I get my first client next week. Actually, she's a friend, and she's not paying me. But the opportunity to photograph her like a "real" photographer is an exciting one. Also, I may be doing the portraits for my dance studio next weekend. It's a scary, yet exciting thought, as I may be photographing prospective clients. Thing is, I won't actually be paid. At all. But I may bring some business cards. I'm thinking about Moo cards, as they're just so cute and creative.

I'm also looking into rebuilding my photoblog into a blog and website, as well as purchasing a domain name and the like. It'd make life a lot easier. I'd also love to have someone design it for me, as well as a new logo. However, all of this costs a ridiclous amount and for the moment, I need to a.) Pay about $206 to my dad for my camera, b.) Purchase a good camera bag, c.) Buy a wide angle lens

Ok, perhaps I can wait on the lens....


Because I just *had* to...

Mrs. Dryer is doing a wonderful giveaway these next few days. I'd love to win, seeing as I'm $200+ in debt to my dad, with no job, and broke (Actually, I have $5... $4 are in coins.)
Seeing as there'll probably be over 300 entries, I don't have much of a chance at winning. But hey, a girl can try, right? 20 people will win though...
Here's the prize: 18 CDs. Eight-stinkin-teen. I really want to win this one, haha!


When I was little, I never thought photography would be on my path. I remember taking lots of pictures on disposable cameras and my first real camera (Two words: Barbie and shiny.) It was a lot of fun, but I didn't know what the heck I was doing! Three years ago, Natasha and I took photos of each other, and there the journey began. She wanted to be an actress, so I took some photos (They turned out pretty crummy!) Then I wanted to be a singer and discovered that I can't model for beans. I kept on shooting, and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Then I went to Washington, D.C. Armed with one chunky point & shoot (Canon A80) and two giant packs of batteries, I was able to take over 900 photos in one week. A personal record! I took mostly artistic photos, and unfortunately, whenever I was in it, I looked like a nerd who couldn't do their hair well at all. Anyway, it turned out fine.
A year later, I resurrected my photos, cleaned them up, and put them on CDs and DVDs. I noticed that not all of them stunk. Not much longer after that, I got a Flickr. I put up photos of Natasha, pumpkins, and D.C. And you know what? After I got some practice shooting and editing, people started to like them!
I never thought this would be apart of my life. Most of my family does business or law enforcement. Not many, if anyone, has ventured into the art world. Of course, there were the pianists and singers on my mom's side. But they don't count. :D
It's funny how God works. Always suprising us.


Ho Hum

I feel like that's been one of my titles before. Oh well.
"I must confess that the veiw from where I sit has been rather gray."-- Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, 2005. One of my most favorite quotes ever.
Axim is my new favorite word. Thank you, National Treasure 2. Thank you, Riley. The word shall forever be engrained in my mind. Watch as I use it with class:
I always seem to burn my toast. It's the axim of toasting.
I wonder if I used it appropriately...
We're closing in on a church to stay at, I think. It's nice. Very traditional. My old Bible club leader from junior high goes there. He's nice. Very traditional. Don't know anyone my age. The idea of going to another youth group freaks. me. out.
Is there a word for happy and sad at the same time? I used to think it was melancholy, but that's not right. What could it be?
It's springtime but it feels like winter. It feels dreary and monotnous. Perhaps it is the weather.
Washington, D.C. or London sound so beautiful right now. The cherry blossoms are no longer in bloom, but still... I want to be in one of those two places so badly! :) Ah well, I might get to take an East Coast trip in a couple of years.


Randomness and First Photos with my DLSR

The weather is absolutely gorgeous today! I wish I didn't have to take a test on biology and instead could go photograph it. Oh well, I'll wait a few hours until it's cooled down a tad more, and when the light isn't so harsh. Yesterday it was sweltering hot until about 7. Hello, summer!

Here are some of my first and favorite photos taken with my Canon Rebel XT. I'm telling you, it's incredible to shoot with such a wonderful piece of machinery. I had the time of my life shooting last night, especially the ones with Natasha and the kids.

You can see the rest on my Flickr.

I found a new blogger today. Her name is Sarah Barlow and she's an incredible photographer. And to tell you the truth, I think she might be a bit of a kindred spirit. I've been enjoying looking at her beautiful photos. I found her via Heather Paulsen's blog Emotional Purity. Check out her blog- it's fascinating to read about someone who has the job I'd love to have.

I'm off to go study for that biology test. Pfffft. :)


I got my new baby! The Canon Rebel XT!

It came a couple hours ago.
There isn't much to say. I'm just ELATED!
A whole new world is at my fingertips.
I can show you the world.
Shining, shimmering, splendid!
Tell me, Princess, now when did you last let your heart decide?

Ok, so my life would be a disaster if I let my heart decide. But that's not the point of this post. So, moving on.

I'm going to go to Tashi's babysitting gig tonight. There will be several kids plus the ever gorgeous Tashi to photograph, plus the evening light. Could it get any better?

I actually find the manual fascinating, haha. I'm such a lame-o. But hey, I don't care. If I did, I wouldn't put myself out here on the WWW. Now, put me in a group of strangers and I freeze up. Maybe next time I should just start taking pictures of them. :)


Why I No Longer Love UPS

Amazon said I would get free 2 day shipping. That was sweet. I figured it'd come sometime this week. After all, it does have to process before actually shipping. So today I start tracking it after finding out that it shipped (But who knows when!). And guess what I find out. That's it'd been sitting in Kentucky. For 3 days. Perhaps Amazon's warehouse is there. I don't really know. But after sitting in Lexington for a day and a half, it move to Louisville early this morning. It's finally on it's way out of Kentucky, as of 25 minutes ago. To come to California.

With 2 day shipping.
And UPS says it's "3 day select". I wonder why? On top of that, it's set to arrive on Tuesday the 20th. Ok, I get it if it comes Saturday. I get it that it won't come on Sunday. But I'm baffled as to why it would take me 6 hours to get from Kentucky to my house, and yet it'd take 5 pounds of plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper 5 days (With 2 day shipping!) to get to my house.
I'm a lot more patient than I sound, I think. And I really don't dislike UPS as much as it sounds. But I am confused. And anxious. And frustrated. But hey, at least I don't have to wait a year. At least I don't have to wait to use it until I pay my dad back or until my birthday. Those are all things to be thankful for. And I am. I'm just a little ho hum over here in Suburbland.
So anyway, I've been refreshing the tracking page constantly. Maybe by the time I get back from dance tonight it'll be somewhere near Suburbland? We'll see. My hope is that I'll get it tomorrow in time for International Photography Your Day... Day. It's on Sunday. Like I said, we'll see what happens.


So. Big news: I just bought my first DSLR! Sometime between Friday and next week I will be receiveing the Canon Rebel XT. I got it for a steal-- $412. It was labeled on Amazon as "refurbished" because the outer box was damaged. Isn't that great?! The camera itself is brand new and perfect. It even came with 18-55mm kit lens. I already have two other wonderful lenses, a macro and a more standard one. I am absolutely thrilled! No more point-and-shoots for me! (But I have a super duper sky scraper level of respect for those who use 'em!)

I can hardly wait. I am so excited. My hopes are high and I am just so thankful to God for providing it for me. I totally thought I'd have to wait for months and months. Wow. I am sooooooo elated and excited and giddy!


Wisdom from Winnie the Pooh

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes."

"When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."

"When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish."

"When having a smackerel of something with a friend, don't eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out."


Today I stumbled upon Jen's blog. She is an incredible artist, a wonderful photographer, and a sweet person. A couple of weeks ago she posted about her favorite ways to relax and calm down when life gets overwhelming. I was inspired to post my own little list.
  1. I pray. I tell God all about my concerns, my fears, my worries. I put them into His hands and remind myself that He is in control, not me.
  2. I turn on some music. My favorites are: the soundtrack to Pride & Prejudice (2005) and George Winston's December. I sometimes close my eyes and breathe deeply.

  3. Make some tea! I am convinced that drinking tea is the most relaxing physical thing you can do (As opposed to spiritual and mental things.) My favorite is, suprisingly, a Lipton. It's called "Island Mango". It's so delicious and works wonders for sore throats. Trust me. I know (Can you say, "Duet in front of people whose opinions you care about and have to see for 2 1/ days straight and you can't leave and you're super nervos AND have a cold"?)
  4. Do something mindless. Some of my favorite activities are knitting, lying on my bed silently, doodling, coloring in a picture (My last one was of the Seven Dwarves!), and excersizing. I also like to clean. I'm most efficient when I'm mad, by the way!
  5. I take a walk. Where I live, we have washes all over the place with a bike trail and fields with phone towers and even though you can see the busiest road in my town from it, somehow it's still incredibly relaxing to walk there. Sometimes no one will be around and I'll belt out heartfelt lyrics with my iPod and don't care, because only God is listening. Often times I'll take my camera with me. Click here to see one of those photographs (I'd post it, but Blogger is being freaky. Speaking of which, so sorry that the header is kinda out of wack. But until a miracle occurs or I become magical, y'all will have to deal. Sorry again!)

What relaxes you?


Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography
This is my dream shot. I've alwways wanted to take one like this, and all the others from this session as well.

Natasha looks gorgeous, no? She is a real dancer-- she's had experience in nearly every form of dance, and we're beginning together at a new studio (sort of) next week. We are so excited! We plan on doing some classic photos in the studio, which I'm looking forward to. Combining my two loves is so fun.


Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography
I never realized how easy it was to become bitter towards someone you've never met and know next to nothing about. I put myself in someone else's shoes tonight. And I found myself having a pretend conversation with the person who has given them a lifetime of hurt and questions and confusion.

"Why, God?" I asked. "Why does she have to hurt?"
"She will grow." was the answer.

With trials in a Christian's life, comes growth. And though we may not understand and though we may ask "Why?" over and over again, God still reigns on His throne. And He is still good.

I still don't understand why. And I probably never will. And that imaginary conversation? It is better left unsaid.


Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography
New photos coming this evening.

Think: black, pink, ballet, tutu, and Odile.

Yes. I'm doing a shoot of Tashi in her tutu from her preformance in The Nutcracker last December. I'm so excited, as we both share a love for dance. She has lovely technique, beautiful lines, and flexibility. Not to mention she is as gorgeous as it gets.

This photo has nothing to do with this afternoon's shoot. But I really like it and felt like putting it up.

I'm redoing my room this summer to make it more of my studio. Right now two walls are lavendar and the other two are a pale green. The curtains on my windows and my closet are purple. It's been this way for about 5 years. I am so tired of it, and so excited to start redecorating! Since two of my biggest interests are photography and dance, those will be incorporated into my room.

I'm going to paint the walls a light aqua. I'm getting a new bed, so I'm going to make sure that the headboard and footboard are white. I'm going to get a bookcase which will also be white, as well as curtains that are white. I'm going to put red and pink accents throughout the room as well.

I can't decide where I want my bed and desk and future bookcase. Ah, decisions, decisions. I don't like my desk anymore, but I don't have any choice but to keep it. Hmmmm!

So, I was invited to a wedding today. In Tulsa, Oklahoma. I wish I could go! The bride was one of my small group leaders for awhile, and a great rolemodel. She is beautfiul, inside and out, and I only wish I could be there on that day! I missed my other small group leader's wedding in August of last year. She is now pregnant and living, well, not here! Sad. :( However, I do get to go to a wedding in July. The groom is the older brother of a friend of mine, and sorta a friend to me as well. Actually, he's a freind to almost everyone... Anyway, I've known the bride's sister for several years too, so I have no doubt it'll be a spectacular wedding. I'm so excited.

I'm getting Do Hard Things today. Sooooooooooooo excited. This book, I have no doubt, will be amazing.

I am so bored.

I should do some math or clean my room. Cleaning my room sounds more fun. I am lame sauce. Oh well! :P


What Bethany Means
You are full of energy. You are spirited and boisterous.
You are bold and daring. You are willing to do some pretty outrageous things.
Your high energy sometimes gets you in trouble. You can have a pretty bad temper at times.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

Pretty true, I guess. Although, I'm not daring. Hardly bold. I may be authoritative, but no one ever listens. I do get carried away with my thoughts, and I am most definitely prone to paranoia. I don't like being fenced in (Living in a valley with visible mountains all over doesn't help!) and right now I'm facing the idea of settling down somewhere other than PBC. Yeah, this is be. But I don't think I'm suprising to anyone-- I'm too readable!


The Bible

Thank you, Anonymous, for your reply! I'd be more than happy to answer any other questions you have. I've been enjoying our conversation and hope it continues.

I believe in the Bible more than I believe in any other thing on this earth (Excluding God, of course, because He wrote it!). His Word is perfect, and I know this to be true. I go to it when I am hurting, when I am rejoicing, when I am confused. It truly does have all of the answers. I love it so dearly.

I am not perfect. I make so many mistakes. I do wrong things every day and make bad choices. But by the grace and strength of God, I get up again and fight harder to be more like Him. To imitate Him and do what He says is right. It's hard. It truly is. But knowing that I'm pleasing Him, and even moreso, knowing that I get to spend eternity with Him is so worth it! Christ and His Word-- they are worth it all. I would live my life and give my life for them. And I do try to live my life for Him. And like I said, I make numerous mistakes. We all do. It's apart of the fall (Check out the book of Genesis to see exactly what I mean! Here's a link that explains the fall of man and it's effects, but reading the beginning of Genesis really helps one to understand.)

You know, I've had the same questions you've been asking me. I've asked myself if God really exists, if the Bible really is true, and countless others. But then I go back to His Word, and I see once again, that He is real! And the Bible is true! There is no way it couldn't be.

I don't know if you've read any other parts of my blog. If you have, then you know what an incredibly hard time I'm going through. I was ripped away from my all of my friends and being in the place I love more than so many other things. If I didn't have God or His Word, I'd be in a terrible state. I'd feel hopeless because I had nothing to hope for. I'd be depressed because in my eyes, Id have no reason to have joy. I'd have no reason to live, because my reason to do so before was taken away. But because of God, I have hope!

Anonymous, do you know where you'll go when you die? Heaven? Or Hell? Are you good enough to get into Heaven? To be in the presence of a perfect and righteous God?

Before you misunderstand me, I'm not saying I am. No, I am most certainly not deserving of God or being with Him! But for some reason, He loved me and died for me. I cannot know exactly why! But He did. He payed the price, the cost that I should have payed. I shouldn't even be here today. I deserve to be suffering in Hell. But for whatever reason, He loved me. And because I believe in Him (not only in the sense of merely acknowledging Him, but truly desiring to be like Him and live for Him, etc.) I have hope that I'm going to be with Him! I have joy and peace in knowing Him.

Even when I don't understand why God does what He does, I can know that He's doing it for a reason that is perfect. I can know that in the end, He will be glorified. I live for Him because He died for me.



I got a very interesting comment just now:

Anonymous said...
" 'I'm not very good, but I have confidence that I can learn more with the grace of God. '

I have to disappoint you in this.. If you wait for God to make your pictures better, you'll have to wait for ever..Face the truth and live for yourself, not for a non-existing thing."

Oh Anonymous, how I wish I could talk to you in real life! What I'm about to say I don't mean harshly.

1 Corinthians 15:3-7- For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

I know God exists. I see Him all around me-- in the way the sun shines, in how He works through my life every day. I'm not merely waiting for Him to suddenly make me a pro-photographer. I'm working at it, but by His strength. This is the truth. His is as real as you and I and even though we can't physically see Him, we both know that He exists. I believe in love, even if I can't see if or feel it. I know it's there. I believe that the sun exists, even if it's hidden by clouds. And I believe in God, even if I can't see His face. I know I will someday.

God is creator of all.
Genesis 1:1- In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

God is holy.
1 Peter 1:16- For it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

God is the one and only God.
1 Timothy 1:17- Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Man is sinful.
Romans 3:23- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Man is not holy.
1 John 1:8- If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Man is without excuse.
Romans 1:20- For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Man is doomed to an eternity in hell.
Romans 6:23a- For the wages of sin is death.

Jesus is God.
Colossians 1:15- He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Jesus is perfectly sinless.
Hebrews 4:15- For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

Jesus died for our sins.
John 3:16- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jeus rose from the dead.
Luke 24:5-7- In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' "

Man needs to repent.
1 John 1:9- If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

If man repents, has faith, and believes, he (or she!) will be with God for eternity!
Romans 6:23b- The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Oh Anonymous, I am praying for you!

Do Hard Things - Amazon Book Bomb

Go pre-order your copy of Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations!

Written by Alex and Brett Harris, this book carries a message the teenagers of this generation desperately need to hear. I ordered my copy today. The goal is to spread the message further by getting it as high as we can on Amazon's Top 100. It's currently #25!

Soli Deo Gloria!



Pre-Easter Thoughts

Ageless Beauty
Originally uploaded by Bethany Mae Photography
Tomorrow is Easter. I won't be at PBC. The thought makes me sick to the stomach, really. My first Sunday away from it. The Lord knows best.

I've heard mixed things about the church we're visiting tomorrow. They have a youth group. I'm so thankful that He is strong when I am weak and frail. I mean, tomorrow I will meet a whole new group of people. I'll have to try and make a good yet sincere impression upon them. Somehow, I'll have to try and rejoice.

I am so thankful for my dear sisters--and brothers--in Christ.

Today I went to a party. I was afraid things might be different; awkaward. At first, they were slightly so. But as the afternoon wore on, things went back to what the used be before I left. It was a sweet time for me. Seeing friends felt so normal to me. Like the way things used to be, and that was sooooo nice. Aftwerward, Abi and I hung out for a bit. I loved that. She is so wise and so sweet.

I was reminded today that what we struggle with pales in comparison to what Christ suffered on the cross. The things that hurt me cannot possibly be as painful and crushing as what hurt Him.

I'll admit, I haven't taken time to truly contemplate the Cross since the summer. Not once have I sat down and thought about it deeply. No, my mind has been quite clouded. Perhaps I will now.

Jesus was perfect. He never made a mistake. He is God. The Creator of the universe. He spoke it all into existence. He created Pilate, Peter, Judas, and all those who betrayed Him on that night. He watched, knowing their hearts and minds. Many of those who shouted, "Crucify Him!" on that night had heard Him teach before. And as Romans 1 says, all men are born with some knowledge of God. They knew. And still they crucified Him. They beat Him with a whip on which shards of bone, clay, and rock were strung. His back was covered in blood. And all the while, He knew. 3 nails were shoved into His body-- one through each hand and one through His feet. We think paper cuts are painful. Multiply a paper cut a million times and that still pales in comparison to what He felt physically, and likely emotionally too. He was humiliated as His garments were sold to mockers. He was humiliated as a crown of thorns was pierced into His head and blood streamed down His face. (Is this how I treat Him?) He was humiliated as a sign mockingly proclaimed Him as the King of the Jews. He was humiliated as mockers served Him sour wine on a sponge. (Is this what I do with my life?) Then He said, "It is finished." And it was.

I put Him on that cross. It was for my sin, and for my justification. i deserve to be there. I deserve to feel the pain and rejection and hurt He felt. I put my own Savior on that tree. I put Him there.

His bones were not broken, as would have happened to any other. Instead, His side was pierced. And out of it poured water. Then, Joeseph of Arimathea came to take Jesus' body away. He was placed in a borrowed tomb--not even His own--and laid there for three days.

To be continued.




Wyoming is looking better and better every day! California's legislature stinks. I'm really disappointed, but I'm trusting that God is sovereign, even over this state. He can still great, incredible things!

Besides-- if I just *happen* to not show up to the public high school every day, what will they do? Use a taizer on me? Force me ot listen to polka in a dark room?



I stared at her picture. What did I see? Sincerity. A genuine love for God and love for others. A beautiful smile. Trustworthiness. Gentleness. Joy. Contentment. Kindness. A good friend. An amazing rolemodel. Wisdom. A desire to be there for others, and the ability to do so. An understanding heart. Purity.

And as I stared at this picture, I prayed, "God, please make me like her!" But then I realized that no, I should be wanting to be like Him. So often to I become consumed with myself and the things of the world. Then I come to face with someone so wonderful as this girl. I compare myself to her and see very, very little in common. Then I compare myself to Christ. And I cannot even be compared. I am not like Him. No one is. In the words of my dear friend LooLoo, "DOUBLE WHAMMY!"

Hm. Suppose I were like this girl. Would I say that? Would I be the epitomy of proud and say, "Yes, I am most like her! In fact, I top her in this, this, oh, and this too." I hope not.

Perhaps, I study people too much. Perhaps I study their behavior, how they speak, what they do. Perhaps, instead, I should be studying Christ-- His behavior, how He spoke (and still speaks through His Word), and what He did. We are all sinners. He is the one worth imitating. Then again, it isn't wrong to imitate a human. If I choose to do so, it should be because they are imitataing Christ.

So, yeah.


Sweet Words

Last Valentine's Day, Alex and Brett Harris opened up the Modesty Survey. Here are some of my favorite replies to the question, "If you could say one thing to your sisters in Christ about modesty, what would it be?" and, "What is the primary difference between something that is attractive and something that is immodest?"

Age 18
Sisters in Christ, we men in society have miserably failed at appreciating true womanhood. On behalf of every man out there who has painted a distorted picture in your life of what a real woman is, especially along the lines of modesty, I apologize deeply. There are many Godly men out there, as I'm sure this survey will prove, that are dying to give you their utmost respect when you choose to follow God's leading in this area of modesty in your life. We back you up all the way and want to do anything we can to help you. And we ask that you do all you can to help us as we struggle through this world of sin together.

Age 20
If I could only persuade you of one thing, it would be that God's ways are best. Our heavenly Father has our welfare in mind, and His commandments are not burdensome. Obedience is rarely easy (we men have our own battles to fight), but it is always blessed. I am convinced that a young woman who submits her heart to God in this area will experience blessing as a result. After reading this survey, some may decide to pursue modesty quite grudgingly, in order to avoid causing their brothers to stumble, but viewing it as a great personal sacrifice nonetheless. I can only hope that this is not how it is perceived by most of you. I hope you understand the value and significance of true modesty. And I hope you will not trade that blessing for a mess of pottage.

Age 16
Please don’t take modesty lightly. As your brother in Christ I value the relationship that I will have with my wife someday. When I am tempted because of you I lose a part of myself that I am trying to save for her. When I’m tempted because of you I become that much more accepting of the perversions in the world. When you remain pure and modest, my life is made so much easier. Instead of watching to ensure that I don’t sin I can focus on you as a person and fellow follower of Christ. I appreciate modesty more than you’ll ever know. Please, show respect of yourself and of me and be modest.

Age 17
Dearest sister: God made you a thing of beauty. A thing to be admired and respected. When you dress or act in a way that draws attention to your body, you make it easy for the guys around you to reduce you to the level of a disgusting toy - using you to mentally satisfy their fantasies. They stop thinking about your Godly qualities and immerse themselves in sinful thought. By dressing and acting modestly, you draw attention to your face instead of your body. Your body may be alluring, but your face - those deep, mysterious eyes and smiling mouth - is infinitely more beautiful than any amount of revealing dress. Would you rather be the tool by which guys satisfy themselves or the beautiful thing God created you to be, pure for your husband? My flesh prefers the former, but my heart pleads for the latter.

Age 16
As a Christian guy, modesty is SO attractive. I don't mean attractive in a lustful way, but that to see a girl living out God's standards in her life really is beautiful. And you have no idea just how much you would be helping your Christian brothers by being modest. We're not trying to blame you for our impurity, that's between us and God, but you can do so much to encourage and help us in our battle by being modest.

Age 26
Modesty is extremely attractive in a pure and holy way. Beauty is fleeting. Inner purity is gorgeous! Guard your intimacy with God. If you can't do something in the Holy of holies, don't do it at all. Eternity is a long time. Spend it with Jesus. Start now, if you haven't already. If you're intimate with God it shows. Intimacy with God is the most attractive thing in a woman. Purity and holiness is beautiful. Impurity taints a womans outer beauty. Purposefully or willingly sinning is not forgivable. Don't play with that. Eternity is a long time. Get plugged in to a local healthy growing church, if you're not yet. Fall deeply and madly in love with your Maker. Love God. Love people. Devour the Word of God. Hunger and thirst for righteousness, and you will be filled. (Matthew 5) Those who do righteousness are righteous.(1 John 3:7) Those who do righteousness are born of God. (1 John 2:29) Prayer is for intimacy with God. Intimacy with God is the very essence and breath of life.

Age 24
An attractive lady is one who has a pure heart toward God. She seeks God with all her heart and does not worry about attracting guys. She has an attitude of contentment with a gentle and quiet spirit. That attitude leads to dressing modestly. One's dress is just an outward manifestation of one's heart. An immodest lady is loud, proud, and dresses in a way that communicates such an attitude. She may be hurting or unsure of herself, but by dressing immodestly, she communicates that she is unsure of who she in in Christ.

Age 18
Girls, put modesty above "attractiveness" and you will find that guys will truly be attracted to YOU instead of your short skirt. Also, the type of guys that will be attracted to you will be different; they will tend to be the type of guys who notice that you are making an effort to care for them. They will tend to be the guys that put striving for godliness above personal lusts. One last encouragement, find like-minded friends! That has been the greatest encouragement as I have made changes, striving for godliness. Many a time is has been said that you can judge a person by their friends. That is completely true. Pick your friends wisely!

Age 19
Inward beauty, and your love for God is attractive. God designed guys to be attracted to outward beauty. The question is, how can we be attracted in a non-lustful way? I think this happens when your love for God is so clearly evident that His radiance shines through you. This is very attractive, and by all means not immodest. Wearing nice or stylish clothing is fine too, but you must be careful to not let your heart slip from honoring God to trying to honor yourself.

When I read the words these young men have written about beauty and purity and modesty, and the kind of woman that represents them, all I can think is, "That is who I want to be!" I want Him to radiate through me. When people meet me, I want them to see God. I want them to see His character and truth and a picture of what Biblical womanhood is.

I think of two young women I know. They are so outwardly beautiful! Their dress is modest and feminine. But what is even more beautiful, is their devotion to Christ. It is their love for Him and for being like Him. My prayer is that I would be like them, and more importantly, that I would be like Christ.




This blog is now called Bethany Mae Photography.

I have finally decided to name my collection. I call it "collection" because it is not actually a business yet. Someday, perhaps. If you ever want anything photographed, email me and I'd love to discuss it with you.

Check out my Flickr to see more shots I've taken. I'm working on watermarking and re-editing the best ones. I'd love any feedback.

The reason I haven't posted any photos recently is because we have no batteries for the camera I prefer to use. Sorry about that!




Originally uploaded by BethanyMae
I had an epiphany today. My day with some of my amazing, spectacular friends was ending, and I was staring at the bench two of them were sitting on. And it hit me.

I am a really rude person.

I'm sarcastic, I speak too quickly, I am not gracious or loving the majority of the time, I tease beyond what is kind. I'm sure I'm quite obnoxious many times when I go out in public. Laughing loudly, making a fool of myself, speaking rudely about strangers-- I'm pathetic. And I get annoyed when others do the same thing.

I'm ashamed.

I've been so busy humiliating myself, I haven't realized how great of an embarassment I must be to my friends. I can think of multiple instances today where I surely could have humiliated myself, my friends, and society!

How humbling...


How You Live

Time Capturer
Originally uploaded by BethanyMae
I've been thinking a lot about legacies. What legacy am I leaving? What, who does it point to? When people look back and think about who I was, what will they think of? What legacy am I leaving to those who are younger than me?

I regret so many things I've said and done. I've wasted so much time I could have been using to glorify God. The sarcastic, rude comments were unnessecary. When I was runnign from my fears, I could have been growing. Instead of subconciously forming a clique, I could have been forming new friendships.

I will never gain back the time I lost. I certainly hope the legacy I leave doesn't point to those mistakes. Instead, I hope it points to God. I hope it points to His beautiful grace, His joy, His sovereign plan, the Cross. That is what I want people to think about. I have no time for regrets now. I need to use every moment I have left to glorify Him.

Point of Grace has a new song called "How You Live". The words are so very profound to me. Here is the chorus:

"Turn up the music
Turn it up loud
Take a few chances and let it all out
'Cause you won't regret it
Looking back from where you have been
'Cause it's not who you knew
And it's not what you did
It's how you live "

I pray that I will not compromise again. I can't afford it. There is no time to waste. May God be glorified today, tomorrow, and for eternity.




Originally uploaded by BethanyMae
When the morning falls
On the farthest hill
I will sing his name,
I will praise him, still.
When dark trials come
And my heart is filled
With the weight of doubt,
I will praise him, still.

For the Lord, our God,
He is strong to save
From the arms of death,
From the deepest grave,
And he gave us life
In his perfect will,
And by his good grace
I will praise him, still.

Oh, what words! How many times do I refuse to praise Him when trials come? How often do I forget that He is good and worthy of praise?

Even during the hardest times of our lives, God is still a good and gracious God. He is still sovereign. He is still perfect. He is still sovereign. Because of these truths, God still deserves and is worthy of the worship and praise and honor and glory we have to offer.

It's amazing to me whenever I see God's providence in the worship services at church. He seems to place the right songs in the right times. This song came on one of the turning points of my life, although I didn't know what exactly that turning point would turn me to. The words of this song by Fernando Ortega challenges me to praise Him still. Will you?



Originally uploaded by BethanyMae
Does not this photo remind you of something terribly wicked? It does for me.

Yesterday evening I needed to get outside to be abel to think and pray. I decided to bring my camera and I am so glad I did! This may perhaps be one of my favorite shots I've ever taken. Yes, I did some photo manip--just contrast--but I think it makes the real vibrance of the photo come alive.

I once read that when you use photo-manip, it's only to make the veiwer see what you saw. This is what I saw.

I realized today that my 5 year old point & shoot is not an excuse for bad photos. Plenty of people have taken amazing shots with their Canon Powershot A80. Maybe not me, but perhaps someday. I have not learned all I can yet. I can still learn much, much more on this poor camera.

I'm considering taking a photography class in the fall. My only question is: do I want someone dictating what I should take pictures of or how or this technique or that? But perhaps it would be good for me. It would allow me to broaden my horizons and give me new experience. It would also give me the opportunity to get help and use resources I've never had. hm. Somethin to chew on.


Love Thursday

Originally uploaded by LoriBeth Drew
True love waits. This is a phrase well known to my heart. Why? Because I, too, am waiting. I'm waiting for the man I love. I've chosen not to date because I want to be able to give him every part of me-- first spiritually, then emotionally, then physically.

The waiting part is the most difficult. There are days I wonder if I will ever be able to meet the one I've been waiting so long for. But knowing, simply knowing, that perhaps he relaly is out there, waiting for me too, makes it all worth it.

Perhaps it seems radical. I thought so too. Two years ago around this time I first heard of the idea and scoffed. I thought the girls who did such things such as wait to date until they could date The One were crazy, and especially the fact that they were saving their first kiss for their wedding.

God changed my heart and broke it. He showed me that allowing my heart to be broken and bruised by guys who cared nothing about it wasn't worth it.

I still remember the moment I decided to change my ways. I had just finished telling my friend Taylor about the things I went through with this guy. It was early in the morning. And then it hit me-- I could wait. I could wait for the man that God created especially for me. That I didn't need to date around an dhave my heart hurt over and over again. That day, in the wee hours of the morning, I gave my heart back to God to someday give away to the man I will marry.

I look forward to that day more and more with every heartbeat. to think that I will be able to give my whole self to the man God made for me... It's unimaginable. This necklace I wear reminds me about the promise I have made to Christ and to my future husband and to myself. It is an outward symbol of my committment. It's not the necklace that creates the purity-- it's the heart.



There's something about swinging that makes a person feel free. On a swing, they're weightless. One can fly into the clouds. I believe that some of the best dreaming in the world has been conducted on a swing.

The best swing set I ever went on was near San Luis Obispo. It's right on the sand, overlooking the ocean. It is certainly the most beautiful place to swing.

On a swing, you can be a kid again. You can scream and squeal and laugh because you can. The feeling of butterflies as you soar into the sky is the best feeling ever.

Go swing today. It'll be worth it.


I hate choices. Seriously. Give me six movies to choose from and I'm toast. Honestly. I can't make up my mind. After 9.4 rounds of Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo, I still can't decide. That's why I love Starbucks:

The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no
decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of
coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people
who don't know what the [heck] they're doing or who on earth they are can, for
only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of
self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.
~~ You've Got Mail, 1998