Thursday, September 29, 2011


I should be editing right now, but I wanted to take a minute to share what's on my heart these days: 


I leave in 2 weeks. I really can't believe that it's finally here. I've been preparing for this trip for what seems like forever. Now the time has come to pack my bags and go.

I am truly amazed how God has provided the funds for this trip. I have raised over $1000 just by selling headbands! I just want to say THANK YOU to each of you that helped me! I am blown away. All along the way, God has provided exactly what I needed! Just yesterday I got a check from someone who saw my headbands and sign about my trip in my husband's store. I don't even know them, but they gave me exactly the amount I needed for shots today. I didn't know where that money was going to come from! People I hardly know have helped me the most. I have been left speechless more times than I can count. God has used this to stretch my faith and I haven't even left yet!

For those of you who don't know, I am going to Ethiopia through an organization called International Crisis Aid. They have many projects all over the world, but in Ethiopia their main focus is rescuing girls from sex trafficking. My heart broke the first time I realized how rampant and wide-spread this horrible injustice is in Ethiopia and all over the world. The men will go into the Red Light District and invite the girls to come to a party that we will host. At the party we will have the opportunity to show the love of Christ to these girls and tell them that they can get out of this life. We'll also get to talk to the girls who have been rescued and are in safe homes. To say that I don't think I'm ready for their stories is a huge understatement. I don't even know how to prepare. There is a feeding clinic we will work in as well. In case you haven't heard, starvation is extremely widespread in this region. Drought and war have ruined their crops. How do you prepare yourself to see starving children? The reality is sinking in now. They won't be mere faces on a piece of paper that I can ignore. They will be real and right in front of my face. I will touch them. I will see their pain.

Having this knowledge before me everyday puts things in a different light. I know Africa will change me. It already has. I just came back from the grocery store with all kinds of scrumptious food. My fridge is full with milk, bagels, cream cheese, fresh fruit, veggies, leftovers and our freezer has even more food, including ice cream. I have so much.

I have much; I give little.

I could go on and on, but I'll end with asking for your prayers. I know that I am powerless without the Holy Spirit moving and working through me. I know prayer works. I have seen it time and time again. I am praying that God brings many people to Himself. He doesn't need us, but He chooses to use us. Prayer is a huge part of that. If you are interested, I am putting together a prayer list where people can sign up to pray for us for one day while we are gone. Email me if you would like to be on it. I can't tell you how much that would mean to me.

I thought this song was fitting for this post. It's about Africa.

A few days at home...

Hello guys! I've been at my family's home for the past week! Boy, was it jam-packed with fun stuff! I rarely ever get to spend more than 2 days with them at a time because of Jonathan's work schedule or other things going on at church. I hated to leave my hubby for so long, but it was nice to be able to spend  some individual time with ALL of my family...which is saying a lot because there's 8 of us all together!

While I was there we celebrated my birthday early and my family got me some things I needed for my trip to Ethiopia. (It's so soon!!!) Everyone was there but my closest sibling in age, Matt. He was busy working, you know, to save up money for his upcoming wedding. It was a good excuse. :)

While I was at home, I got to see one my old highschool friends get married. My sister was one of the bridesmaids, so I went early to fix her hair. I loved watching everyone get ready and remembering our special day, which is almost a year and a half ago! It was such a sweet wedding and she was so stunning. It is always so amazing to see how God brings two people together. It was evident that God is the center of their relationship and their wedding.

Don't they look so precious? (Sigh) I love love!

The next day I was also able to catch my best friend after a senior shoot in Jacksonville. I love that we can pick up right where we left off, no matter how long it's been. Whenever we meet up, we talk for hours and hours. She's the kind of friend I can share anything with. We've been through so much together and it's only made our friendship stronger. We laugh with each other until our sides hurt. We cry for each other. We love each other no matter what. It's a blessing to have a friend like that. We had such a good time, but I forgot to take any photos though. (Shame on me!)

After spending a week at home, it almost felt like I lived there again. I finally stopped calling my old room, "my room" on this trip. It's Michelle and Katie's room now. It feels kind of weird. It made me remember the summers and breaks I spent at there, wishing I could be with Jonathan. I'm so thankful for the home I was raised in, but my home is now wherever my husband is...he is home for me. And yet, my home is with them too. It feels strange to have 2 homes. I suppose the more people you love, the more homes you have and home is wherever they are.

Anyway, I hope to catch up on everything I've missed while I was at home! I have lots of lovely photos from shoots that are begging me to finish editing them! I hope to show you all soon!

I hope you all have a blessed Thursday!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Will of God

How do we know God's will for our lives? How do we know we are making the right decisions? I have often pondered on these questions at different times in my life. I found this quote the other day and thought I would share.

"Obedience to every command puts me on the track and keeps me there. Decisions of course must be made, but as in railroad, so in life - a block signal, a crisis, is lighted only where there is special need. I may not always be in sight of a 'go' light, but sticking to the tracks will take me where the next one is. Understanding the will of the Lord is believing Him, that He will - in all situations where I have obeyed - make that way His own way, effectual for eternity." - Jim Elliot, quoted in Shadow of the Almighty pg. 128

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sponsor & Winners

Sponsor for missions!

All sponsorships for October are going to help raise money for safe houses for girls in Ethiopia who are rescued from sex trafficking. I get to see these girls in just a few weeks! I am very excited to promote your blogs, etsy shops, and photography sites in order to help others across the world. Sponsorships have been going very well thus far and this little blog continues to grow. It's the perfect place to find exposure, and you can help someone else by doing so. I look forward to talking with you guys about it!

Each sponsor will get a spot like the one below, a sponsor spotlight post and possible giveaways.

Contact me for more details at

Now for the giveaway winners!

The winner of the Brightside Studio Giveaway is Eliza!!!

The winner of the La Luce Designs giveaway is Tereza!!!

Email me soon!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Sometimes I find that I beat myself up for having emotions. By nature, I am a pretty steady person. My emotions hardly ever fluctuate and it takes a lot for me to get upset or offended. When I do get emotional I hate myself for being so silly, but this shoot made me realize that woman's emotions are a beautiful thing. I wanted to be full of emotion because emotions are tied to femininity.

Women have the capability to feel things deeply. Our femininity allows us to have the capacity to mother children, to love and follow our husbands, to hurt when they feel what they feel. Our emotions help bind us so tightly to the ones we love that little can break those ties. It is powerful. It's not a bad thing; it's beautiful. 

I would say that I am a "girly girl", but I always equated that with dresses and curls. I realize now that I've been leaving out an important part of femininity. My emotions shouldn't be pushed down inside me when they start to arise. Feeling isn't bad. I may need to control them, but I don't need to make sure they don't come out at all.

I think that being job-less for the past few weeks has helped me realize this. I am a very determined and  go-getter type of person. I like my own independence. I feel bad sometimes for having to depend on my husband for everything and suddenly becoming a full-time homemaker has been an adjustment to say the least.

Through this journey I've become a bit more emotional (and by that I mean maybe crying twice! Ha!). One day I told Jonathan that I was so mad that I was feeling all of these things and He said, "That's how your'e made Jen. God gave you emotions." Now, I see that my emotions are closely tied to my femininity. I am happy now to feel. I love making our home a safe and relaxing place for our little family. My emotions tie me these things and I am glad. God made women this way for a reason! I just never saw the benefit of that reason until now!

Have you ever hated your emotions or femininity before?

PS: You can find more of the photos from this shoot on my facebook page and photography blog!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I am back home in Jacksonville for a few days and I am so excited. There are so many fun things on the agenda! My sister and I went out to take a few photos. I've been wanting to recreate a shot from Pride and Prejudice for months, something dramatic, full of emotion and with a beautiful flowing dress. The two above are just a little preview of what is to come! I'm so excited to share!

While I'm home we get to celebrate my birthday (a little early), go to an old friend's wedding and a few shoots here and there! I love my family and it is such a blessing to spend time with them whenever I can. My little siblings are growing up so fast! I hate that I can't be a part of their lives like I used to. Sigh, I suppose that is the plight of the oldest of 6!

Well, I'm headed off to talk with my sibs late into the night!

Oh and don't forget to enter the double giveaway below!!! They are such darling things!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Double Giveaway!

Ladies, today I have a DOUBLE giveaway from 2 of my lovely sponsors! They are both so cute! The prints from Brightside Studio are darling and the headbands from La Luce Designs are so elegant! Well, you can win them!!!

{To enter you MUST be a follower of The Blair Affairs and let me know you favorite print}

Extra - comment for each:
Follow me on twitter
Follow me on Bloglovin'
Tweet about the giveaway
Blog about the giveaway
Post on facebook

{To enter you MUST be a follower of The Blair Affairs and let me know you favorite headband}

Extra - comment for each:
Follow La Luce
Follow me on twitter
Follow La Luce on twitter
Follow me on Bloglovin'
Tweet about the giveaway
Blog about the giveaway
Post on facebook

You have until Friday to enter! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Hello guys! I've been busy working with my new camera to say the least! I have been so thankful that things are picking up! I have a few more shoots this weekend and I'm incredibly excited! It's only been a few weeks, but I feel like I've been doing this forever. I absolutely LOVE it! I want to learn everything! I've been testing out trials of photoshop and lightroom is next. (If you guys have some preferences or tips please let me know!) I have been trying everything. I love that I can take some not-so-attractive places (aka our back yard...if you can even call it that) and take a decent photo.

It's been such a blessing that I've been able to start this up with minimal expense. Sure, I don't have the best website, blog or equipment. In this field it's very easy to compare and want better. While I do want to strive for excellence, I want to stay content and true to myself. I have to start out small and that is ok. I am limited in design work and had to do my own website. That's ok. I have to wait for more lenses because I'm broke. That's ok. I've really been learning about contentment lately...and that God provides in many ways. I got a $60 refund check from the Doctor's Office the other day! Crazy!

Anyway, that's about all the updates from me.

PS: I just finished a 50's inspired portrait and have some photos up on my photography blog and facebook page! Let me know what you think!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Spotlight on Sponsors

Hello friends! My name is Natalie, and I am the potter and blogger behind NS Pottery. I have a heart for taking dirty clay and turning it into something beautiful and useful in everyday life. I strive to live for Christ every day, and hope that I can inspire others to do the same. On my blog, I talk a lot about my faith as well as my life as a potter. I hope you'll join me in my journey.
 {Check her blog out here!}

The blog of a girl who is a lily among thorns. She gave up living for herself so that her Lover could live through her. She owes Him her life. I'm pretty much your ordinary girl with an extraordinary hunger for beauty, which can only be found in Him. This blog is pretty much a diary of of my life through His story. 
{Check her blog out here!}

Hello! I am Sarah and I am a photographer & designer, from Colorado! I love Jesus with all my heart! I am very close to my family & I love to bake! :) I have an etsy shop: which has my photo prints & other handmade items for sale!

I run a blog called, "on the brightside"… and it is a really fun way for me to document so many things… it is where I share my photos & designs… what inspires me… & little pieces of my blessed life! It really is such a blessing to me! I would love to have you stop by sometime…
{Check her blog out here!}

Hello friends! I'm Leigh & I write Very Loveleigh. I believe in turning off the television, opening a book, and wearing a smile. I am blessed to be called as a middle school teacher and live in a little house with a red door that I share with my husband and kitten, Moses. I love knitting, new friends, and above all, Jesus Christ.

{Check her blog out here!}

"I am married to my high school sweetheart.  I live in downtown Chicago.  I work at a bakery.  I study communications at Moody Bible Institute.  Now, I blog."

{Check her blog out here!}

I'm Jen, and I blog over at Jennifer March. I love photography, fall, my dogs, and a cup of tea and a good book. I'm a student, a worker, and a believer. I write all about my life on my blog, as well as using it to try to make a positive difference in the world. Most recently God has led me to help those in extreme poverty, and I'm so excited to see where He leads me with this. I would love for you to come follow along on my journey with me.
i'm perpetuating my own brand of individuality by combining the act of classy with the act of gangster, because when you're from where i'm from, you can do that. {okay, not quite.} i'm a twenty-year-old undergrad studying english lit and history. i love Jesus, reading & writing, and the color orange. i believe singleness is a gift even when it isn't easy, that faith is a journey, and that it isn't until i lose my life that i find it.

{Check her blog out here!}

Beka Fox. Mother of 2. Wifey to 1. My husband (aka-SUPERMAN) and I are in full-time ministry to a small-town in Iowa. We are directors to Master's Commission(! I am a full time photographer & I love to sing & lead worship at my church. My blog is about Jesus, Family, my favorite things, & helping others. :) I enjoy meeting other people. 
{Check her blog out here!}

Hi! My name is Mary and I'm a graduate student at University of Florida! I am a student by day and well, a student by night but any time in between I am a craftaholic and blogger obsessed. I have found a passion in using my photography, crafts and new found love of writing to bring glory to and serve God so that He can become greater and I can become less. I strive to be an example of His love for me to others and hope that my blog will bring encouragement and joy to all who read it! 
{Check her blog out here!}

Hey everyone! My name is Ashley Marie Wilson. I love God and try everyday to live a life that makes Him smile. I've been blessed with my husband... an amazingly creative man of God that makes ME smile ;)  I'm a lover of all things creative and a photographer that adores the art of style, thats how La Luce was born. It's a mix of my photography, art, writing, design and my handmade accessories. I'm also the founder (with my hubby) of, which is on a mission to saturate the world with LOVE and encourage a lifestyle of people looking for opportunities to uplift and change the world. It is such a pleasure and honor to connect with Jennifer, she has such a beautiful heart and love for God, I can't wait to read about what He does through her in Ethiopia! 
{Check her blog out here!}

Friday, September 16, 2011


Mother Teresa once said, "You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing. Jesus made if very clear. Whatever you do to the least of My brethren, you to it to Me. Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little child, you receive Me."

Go check out Compassion's Cry and read more of the post "Lower." I felt compelled to write this today.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

This momentary marriage...

Lately I've been reading This Momentary Marriage  by John Piper. I've hardly read a handful of chapters, but I'm already seeing things in a different light. The books starts off by talking about martyrdom. (Funny way to start a book of marriage, huh?) What he has to say is very different from what you normally hear people talk about. Some of the comments I've heard make being married sound awful! It got me thinking about all the things people told us before we got married...

"It'll be a huge adjustment."

"The first year is the hardest."

"Just wait, the big fight is coming."

Well, we're still waiting for that fight and we actually love being married. Sure, we get frustrated sometimes and I know that there will be conflict and pain. Still, we are really hoping that we won't fight very much and we are very careful not to say anything negative or hurtful towards one another. We don't always agree on things, but have decided that most of the things we disagree on just aren't worth bickering about. We know how to push each others buttons, but choose not to do so. I think part of the reason we feel this way goes back to what Piper talks about in the book. We know that marriage isn't intended for simply for our happiness. Staying married isn't about staying in love. It's a covenant. it is meant to be a picture of God's relationship with His bride, the Church. 

Looking at marriage like this takes a lot of selfishness out of it. Now we certainly haven't perfected this by any means...our relationship is definitely not where it could be! By nature we are selfish beings, but the goal of conformity to Christ fuels our desire to love each other with selflessness. I know that we will hurt each other eventually, but in that moment we are called to forgive. Marriage is much bigger than we are. It is a beautiful, deep covenant. Knowing this helps when our differences get on each other's nerves! (And we are very different!) 

In marriage I am shown grace everyday. I am a flawed wife, and yet my husband loves me in spite of that. He chooses not to point out my faults, but encourages me and critiques me when needed in love. I am blessed to have a husband who has such a Biblical view on marriage. He shows me Christ every day by his actions. I look forward to raising children with Him to be little followers of Christ. What a beautiful and challenging calling!

So today if you are married, I encourage you to view marriage as the precious, sacred covenant that it is. Our culture has demeaned it's value but it is a beautiful thing. Sure, it's hard sometimes. In marriage the real you comes out, especially when personalities clash. But God has made this a tool to help you become more like Him! If you aren't married, seek God first. He never promised marriage to anyone, but He gives it as a blessing. He knows the right timing for you. I promise you can trust Him with that!

So what do you guys think about marriage? Have you heard those comments before? What is your experience and what has God taught you through the adventure of marriage?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Answer...

As I listened to the voice mail, I knew the time had finally come for an answer. I hadn't really worried about whether I was going to get the job or not after the interview. Instead of wondering if I'm good enough, I've been sticking to the "I am who I am" policy. I know that it doesn't really matter if I'm good enough at all, because God can do anything through me if it is His will. For 10 days I had been calm and patient, but yesterday broke my stoicism. All of the sudden I thought, "What if they tell me no? What if they choose someone else? What will I do then?" I spent the rest of the evening trying to quiet those nagging questions.

I woke up this morning with that phone call hanging over my head. "No matter what, I trust You LORD!" I prayed and then picked up the phone.

After the hellos she said, "We talked about all the interviews and it was a really hard decision."

I knew then that I didn't get it.

"You were one of the top 3 but..." and she started telling me why they chose the other girl. I hardly heard another word because disappointment washed over me like a flood. I dropped to the bed, engulfed in confusion. I was surprised, but somehow I already knew the answer I got today. Wait. Why had God directed me to pursue an open door just to shut it in my face? He knows my heart is to do His will, so why the waiting?

"For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay."
(Habakkuk 2:3)

Wait. I'm pretty tired of hearing that word. I've gotten past feeling useless at home everyday. I have a schedule now and have plenty to occupy my time. I have my little photography business...but I know there is more. I know God is calling me to something else, but I must await the vision. On days like today, it is hard to wait. Still, I find my faith grows stronger with every passing trial; it is built up by waiting on God's direction.

The will of God is found in the pursuit of I pursue and I wait.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In fields of cotton...

The other day I had the opportunity to take some photos of my friend Nicole. I have known her since college. We lived in the same apartment complex, lovingly dubbed "the ghetto". We tried to keep it as classy as possible though. Nicole is a very friendly person and easy to get to know. I've always loved her care-free bohemian style. From the get-go I knew this would be a fun shoot! You can see more on the photography blog and facebook page

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Looking forward

I've always been one who loved to move on to the next step in life. I guess it all started when my mom put me in school early. Most of my friends have been older than me, I moved to college when I was 17, and I got married at 21. The 'next step in life' has always excited me. However, the past few weeks I've found myself looking back. Often, I have slipped into self pity on days that I'm tired of being self-disciplined. I think back to when I had a steady income, money in the bank, a normal routine, etc... It's not like me to look back. So I've decided to focus on the things I'm looking forward to...

Ethiopia - I leave in one month! I can't believe it's so close! It feels so surreal. I've been dreaming of Africa since I was 15 and now I'm finally going. I've been praying that God will use me "to make a difference for [Him] that is completely disproportionate to who I am" (David Brainerd) and that we may reach the lost and hurting for Christ. I have much to pray for. It began to sink in when I wrote the check for the last payment last week. I was able to raise over $1000 just from selling headbands! Thank you to all who helped me! I am so blown away by your generosity.

Going home - I get to go home at the end of this month! One of my friends from highschool is getting married, so I'm taking the opportunity to spend a few days with my family, taking pictures and having fun. (They are always willing subjects for photo shoots!) It is always such a blessing to be with my family. I want to take advantage of these moments before my little siblings are all grown.

My birthday - I love birthdays and I love that mine is in October. It's obviously the best month of the year! Jonathan somehow forgot to take time off before the holiday season, so he has to use it in October! He's planning on taking some time off before my trip. Maybe we'll get to do something fun. :)

So that is what I'm looking forward to these days. Finding things to be excited about is perfect for chasing away the pity party blues!

What are you all looking forward to?


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