Monday, January 28, 2013

{Fear, Inspiration & Lungleavin Day}

I find so much inspiration in this verse.  I for one, take the Bible at it's word.  With that said, I read this verse and know that God created me to be courageous and loving and determined.  How cool is that!?!  I love the thought that I was not created to sit on the sidelines of life cheering everyone else on.  I am meant to be knee deep in the trenches, acting as His hands and feet on this planet. 

That doesn't mean fear won't get the best of me at times.  It does...for sure!  One thing that terrifies me?  CANCER.  That word can stop me dead in my tracks, and make my heart ache like nothing else.  I have lost two grandfathers to cancer.  My grandmother and 2 great-grandmother battled and survived breast cancer.  Kevin lost his grandfather to brain cancer, and currently has a grandmother suffering with it as well.  The list just goes on and on.  So many people are affected by it, and it knows no boundaries.  It's easy to feel helpless, because the disease is just so vast. 

I have recently been feeling a tug at my heart, to volunteer with some organization that works with cancer patients or survivors.  I came across Magic Hour Foundation.  This organization's mission states, "We are a national network of professional photographers who want to serve the individuals and families who are fighting cancer by providing them with the ability to celebrate the truly important things in life through photography. These charitable portrait sessions will provide an opportunity to be normal - just relax, smile and have fun with loved ones. Above all, we will strive to express compassion and love as we support them and pray for God’s grace in their lives, no matter the outcome of their battle."  I am honored to now be a volunteer with this organization, and pray that my God given gifts will bring some joy into the lives of these brave warriors.  If you want to nominate someone, or are personally interested in applying for a session, please visit  We want to share this service with as many people as possible, so please help us spread the word!

Cancer is something I look at as a possibility in my life down the road.  With my family history, it's something I take very seriously.  But, it's not something I will ever allow myself to be fearful of.  My God is for me, and He is faithful!  Over the last few weeks, I have read so many stories of peers who have battled cancer, or have children or other family members facing down this disease.  So many of them are living out 2 Timothy 1:7, and I am in awe.

One story in particular touched my heart.  Heather Von St. James was just 36, and a brand new mommy to a 3 1/2 month old, when she was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.  This form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos and kills 90-95% of those diagnosed.  That's grim folks, and I cannot imagine baring that burden.  On February 2, 2006, Heather underwent extrapleural pneumonectomy...or the removal of her left lung.  Today, she is healthy, happy and CANCER FREE (to God be the glory)! 
On the anniversary of her surgery, Heather celebrates Lungleavin Day (I love the name of the holiday...perfection).  In a recent email to me, Heather said. "Lungleavin Day is a celebration of life and facing your fears. Each year we celebrate with nearly 100 loved ones. The idea of this day is for everyone to fill a blank plate with their fears and smash it into a bonfire at my Lungleavin Day party, symbolizing people throwing their fears to the fire. I also use Lungleavin Day as a fundraiser for mesothelioma research."

Wow!  My friends, that's how it's done!  I pray that I would be so brave!  Please take a second to visit Heather's blog post about this special day, and to donate to her cause.  I know that your time and/or contributions will be greatly appreciated.

On Saturday, after all 10 of my Valentine Mini Sessions are done, I plan to write out a list of the fears holding me back.  Christ died so that I did not have to be afraid.  I think this is a perfect time to take a moment and reflect on His grace, and send those fears right on up for the Big Guy to handle.  If you are really wrestling with something, maybe you should consider doing the same!  Celebrate Lungleavin Day and let those fears go bye-bye!

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