I joke often about leaving pieces of my heart around the world.
I left a big piece in Rwanda. I cried for several months after returning from Thailand. I left my tastebuds in Brazil, for sure. Colorado and my friends and family there have a HUGE piece of my heart. And now Alaska too. I knew after last summer I had left a big piece of me here. The moment I stepped off the airplane at Lake and Penn Air in Port Alsworth, I knew I would probably be leaving another piece.
I spent a few months feeling like I was in a fog. Not in darkness, not alone. Hurt, yes. But the moment I arrived in Alaska, it was as though the fog started clearing. Like I could breathe deeply again, and was waking up from being asleep. My favorite part of this was that the creative thoughts returned. All of my creativity, and my desire to do or make things had been on hold. All of the sudden, my brain is buzzing again. It feels nice to return to being “me”.
In the midst of all this, several amazing opportunities opened up here. Ministry photography, which is my very favorite, with some great people who I have met through Tanalian Leadership Center. A longer project, tying together the work from this trip with the work from last trip, as well. Work, housing, friends, and incredibly photography opportunities and adventures were basically laid at my feet. What’s a girl to do?
I laugh a bit, because I had just concluded that I would stay in Colorado for the summer. Glorious, glorious Colorado summer with the people I love most. Truly, I had no intention of moving up here! But something that I love about my God is that as soon as I surrendered my dreams and plans to Him and said, “I’ll go, I’ll stay, I’ll do whatever”, He opened up a new and unexpected door.
So. California next week with Molly. Be still my heart, there are some shenanigans about to happen. Then back to Colorado for about 6 (or is it 7?) weeks, and back to Port Alsworth at the end of May. Bought a ticket already, so it’s happening!
So, what has been so great about this place? Where do I start? There’s the Wardells, of course. The frozen lake, the airplane adventures. The hikes with awesome friends. Lots of new babies. An amazing ministry that I’ve gotten to be a part of, in terms of their marketing and media work. I think I’m going to need to write another blog to cover all of it….feeling a bit too overwhelmed and full in my heart to be able to type right now.
As a bit of comic relief, here is Megan Kirkland and I sounding like chipmunks and sharing our summer plans.
Some Eric Wardell, being manly. I decided to make all the awesome and “fun” videos first, before I settle in to edit the bulk of the work for the Tanalian Leadership Center here. That will take about 50 hours…
Seriously, I can’t get enough of this girl.
Macro shots standing out on the lake:
Photo credit on the below photo to Daniel Wardell. He wanted to make SURE I shared this excellent photo with everyone, I told him it’s one of the best anyone has taken of me.
And photo credit here to Jon Burrows. Maybe a bit blurry, but I really do LOVE the expression on Ellah’s face. And I wish to express the panic mixed with enjoyment when I saw how close she swung that racket to my lens.
The Wardell twins celebrated their birthday when I first arrived. Sarah made awesome cakes, so pretty!
The light here is golden!
Ellah is looking so much like her mama these days. Cutie pie!