Looking At Me

by Laura Swift

this is my second year of getting in front of the camera intentionally. the purpose: taking a self portrait at the beginning of the new year. it’s an interesting exercise to watch and look for ways i have changed and grown more into who i am.

Listen to some of my thoughts as i was setting up this self portrait. “As I look in the mirror this morning, I see someone with dreams. Will she share those dreams or keep them to herself? Will she dare to try them and risk failing? Is she feeling confident today? Does she believe in herself? Does she trust herself enough to try?

In this photo, I see an heirloom mirror of the past, a new mirror, and a blank canvas. I see a chance to start again, to re-start, in a new place, in a new year, to live those dreams that have only been whispered.

My goal this year is to look in the mirror more and really see that face looking back at me with those new strands of silvery hair and those wrinkles around that neck! I choose to encourage her with kindness and love, and I will remind her that she is strong and courageous and that dreams are still possible.”

In this photo i see lots of empty space and blank walls. what will i create in this place, in this time in my life? I am so excited to see what this new year brings.

To see more of Laura’s photography: http://lauraswiftphotography.com






It’s Time To Get Up

by Crystal Vitelli

This year was horrible. This year, my best friend Lindsey Burgess Brinkley lost her husband. This year, my husband Nick Vitelli watched cancer take another person he loved dearly.

This year sickness & tragedy plagued many people I care about (Laura Tangalakis Donnelly, Jessica Alger Carlyle)

This year I saw people I love come undone…knocked down, torn down, flattened, bulldozed. I saw them demolished by death, loss sickness, hopelessness, heartache.

This year was a hard year. An exhausting year.

A year I want to leave behind. A year I’ve tried to run from. A year I’ve tried to fast forward through. A year I’ve tried to hide from.

This year…these 362 days have made me think about Him. The Messiah. The One who came for me. My Lover. My one true Love. My Father. My Friend. My Counselor. My Redeemer. My Defender.

My King.

This year I hated My King. I pushed Him away. This year, I was angry & bitter and I left Him. I shut Him out.

This year, I shut down. I quit. I couldn’t take it anymore & I collapsed under the weight.

This year, for me, life was a war zone. Somewhere amidst the blood shed I fell down. I fell down, and I couldn’t get up, so I just stayed down.

And I cried out to Him. My King. I cried and screamed. I thought I would die.

Tonight, He came to me. He saved me, once again.

He brushed me off and He whispered something my ears couldn’t hear but heart will never forget.

…and something clicked back on inside me.

He reminded me He is steady and strong. He reminded me He knows me. He knows who I am. He reminded me that He’s here for me. He is here…for me.

He reminded me that He is & that He will be. He reminded me that He is God & nothing escapes Him. No attacks, no schemes, no hits go unpunished.

He reminds me He is King & He sits on the throne.

He looked me in the eyes and He said ” Crystal, it’s time. It’s time to get up.”