Faithful Mothers

 

Today I am thankful for my mom who not only raised me and cared for me but also helped point me to Christ and shared the gospel with me.  She plays a vital role in my testimony. At a time I was confused and rebelling she gave me a book called “Chist our Destiny” and asked me to read it. It was through this book that I first came to see and realize my dire need for Christ. 

I now have an amazing privilege to see my wonderful wife teaching our daughter about Jesus and reading the Bible to her. I get to see my daughter light up with joy and excitement to read the Bible. I am thankful for my wife and the wonderful mother she is and all that she does but especially how she works on teaching our daughter about Jesus from an early age. 

Here is what Charles Spurgeon wrote about the influence of mothers in our lives and the influence his mother had on him. 

May these words be of encouragement and inspiration to you. 

I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother; neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring. . . .

Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother. Certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed on me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me.


How can I ever forget her tearful eye when she warned me to escape from the wrath to come? I thought her lips right eloquent; others might not think so, but they certainly were eloquent to me.

How can I ever forget when she bowed her knee, and with her arms about my neck, prayed, “Oh, that my son might live before Thee!” Nor can her frown be effaced from my memory — that solemn, loving frown, when she rebuked my budding iniquities; and her smiles have never faded from my recollection — the beaming of her countenance when she rejoiced to see some good thing in me towards the Lord God of Israel.


I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom, on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scripture to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading; there was a little piece of Alleine’s Alarm, or of Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted, and this was read with pointed observations made to each of us as we sat round the table; and the question was asked, how long it would be before we would think about our state, how long before we would seek the Lord.

Then came a mother’s prayer, and some of the words of that prayer we shall never forget, even when our hair is grey. I remember, on one occasion, her praying thus: “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.” That thought of a mother’s bearing swift witness against me, pierced my conscience, and stirred my heart.

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Edits

I am sorry that I haven’t posted in a long time. Its been a very busy time around here. Between work, school and learning to be a dad, I found that my camera has been spending more time on the shelf than I would like. Although I have been finding some time to practice my editing and trying to develop a work flow and figure out my style. Recently I’ve started teaching Irina on how to use my cameras so that she could take pictures with something other than her cell phone (although I do appreciate getting dozens of photos of our little one every single day). Irina not only loves photography but also has a very good eye. This got me reminiscing about my late Nikon 50mm 1.4, since thats the lens that started it all for me and got me into photography (unfortunately about a year and a half ago I let someone borrow it and well long story short it is now in pieces in box somewhere).  Since I haven’t been shooting much, I decided to re-edit one of the very last images I took using the 50mm.  This image was taken of Irina at Wild Wheat Bakery Cafe in Kent, WA.  This is one of our favorite places for weekend brunch.  Their ‘Grandma Minnie’s Blintzes’ are absolutely amazing! They were so good that after trying them for the first time, I scoured the web for a recipe so that I could prepare them myself sometime.

Here is the image of Irina and my first edit of it.

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And here is my recent re-edit of it.

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Labor Day Weekend

I started noticing that I’ve been leaving my film camera at home more often.  So the past few outings I made a point to take my film camera, and leave my DSLR at home instead.  Here are some pictures from Labor Day Weekend, as well as Irina’s Birthday. I learned a few things; like taking pictures of a baby who loves to move with a Hasselblad 503 is hard, and the keeper rate is low. Also learned that despite how I feel if I am taking my Hasselblad with me I should throw my tripod into the trunk. There has been several times in the last couple of months where I wanted to take the picture, but it was just too dark for handheld.  One example is while wondering downtown Tacoma, we saw this old beat up garage that’s no longer being used, have its door open and the owner was doing some work. We asked if we could go in to look around and discovered the car hiding in a corner.  It was so dark in there that I had to shoot at 1/2 a second shutter speed. I used Jemma’s stroller handle as something to prop the camera on and hoped she wouldn’t kick or wake up and move the stroller around. From now on I’ll leave the tripod in my trunk to have just in case I need it.  Please let me know what you think.

35mm FujiPro400H

Fujifilm Pro400H

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Kodak 400TX

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Kodak Portra 400

Fujifilm Pro400H

Kodak Portra 400

Kodak Portra 400

My One and Only

Yesterday I noticed that the leaves on the little tree outside our home are already yellow. This got me thinking how Fall is here… and in no time at all we’ll be going to cut down Jemma’s first Christmas tree.

Whenever our family gets together for the holidays, we have this tradition where everyone will share what blessings we’ve experienced over the year, what we are thankful for.  The last time I shared how I am thankful for Irina.  And as cliche as that sounds being that we are a newly married couple, truly there isn’t a person I am more thankful for.

I grew up with three sisters, and a household of ferocious readers. So I am not a stranger to the works of Jane Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery. And if you were to ask me a few years ago, I would of said that there is no such thing as a ‘kindred spirit‘.  Where as now, I see without doubt, that Irina is my kindred spirit. There is no other person, not even anyone from my family that I am more comfortable with, or would rather be with, than Irina.

She can be silly, act goofy, and laugh with roaring laughter, yet be classy when need be.  Share her dreams and desires with me.  I love that she loves to explore cities, and coffee shops, and small boutique stores. Irina loves photography, and takes more pictures in a day than anyone I know (and sends me picture messages through the day, while I am at work). She is an emotional person, and can tear up from a silly movie, from a heart breaking story or a news article. These are just a few of the  things I like about her.

One of the things I love about Irina is that she is aware of others and is purposeful with her words and actions.

Recently I was asked to define courage.  I answered that courage is love towards someone other than yourself.  Each and everyone of us loves our self, we are consumed with what will make us happy. Our social circles, our families, our friends, people we avoid or dread meeting/talking with. All advertising is about how you need something because it will make you happy. The popular phrases of today… “being true to self”, “just do what makes you happy”, “love yourself”. Well its easy to love yourself but hard to love others.   The Bible says that one of the key characteristic that the followers of Christ will have is love for one another (John 13:35).  I’ve quickly come to see that this is true of Irina.  She is quick to defend others and has a heart full of compassion for others.

I saw the following quote  on another photographer’s blog and its exactly how I feel about Irina, and I am thankful that she too loves photos and allows me to constantly take photos of her.

“If I had a camera”, I said, “I’d take a picture of you every day. That way I’d remember how you looked every single day of your life.” – Nicole Krauss

Last weekend my love celebrated her birthday.  Here are a few pictures from the mini photo shoots we had.  {All images taken with Nikon D3s and edited with Rebecca Lily presets}
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