“Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won't also cost you yours.”
~Rich Mullins

May 31, 2012

I've been awarded!!

Sweet Sadie over at Moments In Time awarded me with the Liebster Award.

I'm not quite sure what the award is for...I think just a way to get to tell someone you love them and get to see some new blogs!

The strings attached are as follows...

Put a link to who gave you the award.
Put the award on your post.
Choose 5 blogs with under 200 followers to receive the award.
Let them know you awarded them.

Sooo....if your name is below, you've been Liebstered. (what that means is I just really like you and/or your blog) :)

Oh, and I know some of you don't like re-posting things like this on your blog...don't worry...you don't have to. I just decided to Liebster you anyways because you're awesome!

~ Jordanna from the awesome blog Quilted Cowgirl
~ Savannah, part of the wonderful Family Cochran
~ Perry, authoress at Perry Elisabeth
~ Amy from the amazing Proverbs 31 Ten
~ BushMaid, Aussie, authoress, and humorous author at BushMaid

All these girls are awesome (as are their blogs)...so go check them out and give them a follow!

Feeling professional!

Okay, guys...I just gotta tell you...I am so not cut out to be a businesswoman. Which, I guess, is a good thing in some ways. But, it can be a bad thing in other ways.

It can be bad when you have just photographed a show, have orders up to your eyeballs, and have no idea how to set up a bank account. And other small details like that.

On the other hand, I am having so much fun with my photography "business." And finally, I am starting to feel a little professional!! I now have my own website (www.atruefocus.com), have made money on orders, handled different circumstances where people want their prints matted or framed or the thousand other possibilities, but the biggest thing I'm excited about right now is....

I now have my own "signature"!!!! Not just a watermark that goes across the middle of my photos so people don't steal them, but my own little logo.

My wonderful friend David over at GodsCountryBoy.blogspot.com came up with this for me. He is an incredible artist (check out his art here http://godscountryboy.blogspot.com/p/artwork.html) and was willing to put this together in a huge rush so I can start shipping orders.

I have it in black or white!


And it looks amazing and, well, professional on pictures!!!
God is so good!! I was actually really nervous about this show that I did because it was going to be my first paid photo job, and I was just feeling a lot of pressure. So I started praying that I would just be able to relax and do this for His glory. He just really blessed the whole thing. The day was gorgeous, the pictures are fabulous, and I am happy. 

For so long, I've been trying to find my "thing" that I can do to make some money right now, and eventually (Lord willing) use to bring in some extra income for my family. I tried piano teaching - not my "thing" - and a couple other different things, but photography is IT. 

For Him!!

May 28, 2012

Technical difficulties of graduating!

First off, HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!! And a HUGE thank you to anyone out there in the military, or anyone with a family member in the military! God bless you and thank you.

I am very happy right now. I finished school today!!!! YAY!!!

And, I'm graduating on Friday! But, there have arisen a few technical difficulties that I need to tell my wonderful blogger friends about and get their prayer and opinion.

First: We have a mare ready to foal, and if she doesn't foal by Friday, my mom won't be able to go to my graduation. So please, please, P.L.E.A.S.E., pray that she foals this week!!!

Second: I have to dress up. My normal attire is a t-shirt with jeans/cut-offs and boots/flip-flops. So I think to myself, "Great! I'll wear my denim skirt with my bling flip-flops and a nice shirt." Then I read their email, "No denim or flip-flops."

"No denim or flip-flops?!?!?!?" What are they thinking?

So I go shopping. And find nothing modest and pretty.

Then my aunt calls, and tells me that she has a dress that she'll send me that is gorgeous. And, boy oh boy is it GORGEOUS!!! It's my favorite color, with a low waist-line, and sparkles! The prettiest piece of clothing I've ever touched. But is it too fancy?

Goodwill here I come. I found a really cute, simple, little black dress.

Sooo...which do I wear? You tell me. Jess and I ran out in the front yard tonight and took pictures of me in both dresses. (Please, please ignore the fact that I have been medicating sick horses all day, and am very dirty...just look at the dress and picture me on graduation night all "made up")

Black dress :)

I just thought this was really cool how it turned out.

And the amazing blue dress

Thanks for ANY input anyone can give me!!

Oh, and if you would like to see some of the pictures from the show I photographed a few weekends ago, you can see it on my photography blog at http://atruefocus.blogspot.com/2012/05/adcs-arena-trial-in-prescott-az.html#more

Here's a sneak peek picture :D

May 25, 2012

Where in the world is Prince Charming?

This post is a post for girls. But not just any girl....for a specific type of girl who may be going through Prince-Charming-itis. Prince-Charming-itis is a common ailment among young Christian homeschooled ladies who are trying to go back to the Biblical principles of marriage, family, and courtship.

But said young ladies sometimes get tired of waiting. They look around at all the young men who are mostly either one of two options.

1. Foppish, wimpy, effeminate guys who don't know how to give a hearty handshake, get grossed out at the sight of blood, and overall excite no feelings of admiration in a Godly young lady looking for a real man.


2. Blustering, loud, look-at-me-I'm-so-tough, weight lifting dudes in their muscle tops who are really just insecure, but excite no feelings in a Godly young lady except for a sincere eye roll.

But I digress.

These young ladies observe either Mr. Effeminate or Mr. Bravado, and heave a sigh of despair, wondering where in the world is Prince Charming.

Thus this ailment, Prince-Charming-itis. 

So how do you know if you are one of those young ladies that is affected by this ailment?

If you have ever.....
  •  Thought, "Wow, I'm old enough to get married now. So why isn't it happening?"
  • Watched your friend(s) grow up, fall in love and get married and rejoiced with them. And then come home and gone to bed...laying there praying and wondering (and yes, even crying), asking God to do the same for you.
  • Gone through phases when you think, "Okay...I'm good where I'm at. I'm content, I'm happy, and I am fine to wait for God's timing." And then those random days pop up when you think, "What is wrong with me? Why am I so discontent and wanting to be married?"
  • Prayed that it is God's will that you be married one day, and then think, "I want to be married so bad that maybe God is going to make me wait a long time or *gulp* maybe stay single just to teach me to leave my life in His hands."
  • Wondered where in the world is your knight in shining armor? (or, as in the case of my beau ideal, your knight in dusty leather)
If you've ever done any of those things, then you're just like me, and, girlfriend, this post is for girls like us. Believe me, I am so not saying that I have anything resembling an answer except for this...turn to the Word. And talk to other Godly girls who can give verses and thoughts that have encouraged them. And, of course, talk to your parents.

What I thought I would do is this...(*note* this idea popped into my head the other night as I was falling asleep and thinking over these things, so there is no guarantee that this is going to make much sense. Beware of inarticulate ramblings)...I will just post and share some of the verses and concepts that have helped me. Many of these are not original to me, but have been shown me by other sisters.

But you have to do something for me in return *evil chuckle*

You have to comment and tell me if you have a verse or idea that encourages you in this area! (Guys, you can comment too if you have any encouragement for your sisters)


~ "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content..." (Phil. 4:11)

~ "Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You." (Ps. 73:25)

~ "Listen, O daughter, Consider and incline your ear; Forget your own people also, and your father’s house; So the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him. The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; Her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You. With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; They shall enter the King’s palace." (Ps. 45:10-15)

~ "For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you..." (Is. 54:5-6)

~ "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11)  

~ "The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband." (1 Cor. 7:34)


~ If I, as an unmarried young girl, cannot be content in the family situation I am in right now (as a daughter and sister), what makes me think that I will be content in a different family situation (as a wife and mom)?

~ Marriage is a huge, HUGE commitment and change in lifestyle. I should not only be "content" to wait for God's timing, I should be desperate for and thankful that all the responsibility (so to speak) is His, and that He's got it all figured out.

~ Just because we are trying to return to the Biblical beliefs about marriage being good, children being a blessing, staying at home being right, etc., doesn't mean we can idolize marriage as "the supreme state." We can't bewail our fate if God's will isn't for us to be married later or not married at all...it's His plan.


Those are some of the things that have encouraged/helped me when I feel the symptoms of Prince-Charming-itis coming on. 

Any other ideas or input?? 

May 24, 2012

Have you given the horse his strength?

“Have you given the horse strength?
Have you clothed his neck with thunder?
 Can you frighten him like a locust?
His majestic snorting strikes terror.
He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength;
He gallops into the clash of arms.
He mocks at fear, and is not frightened;
Nor does he turn back from the sword.
The quiver rattles against him,
He devours the distance with fierceness and rage;
Nor does he come to a halt because the trumpet has sounded.
At the blast of the trumpet he says, ‘Aha!’
He smells the battle from afar,
The thunder of captains and shouting."

May 22, 2012

George Whitefield quote

I came across this today while reading a sermon by George Whitefield and really, really liked it....especially for us "young believers."

"You that are young believers in Christ, you should be looking out for fresh discoveries of the Lord Jesus Christ every moment."

I could do a whole blog post on that.

But I won't...

I came home from photographing a horse show last weekend with 2500 pictures to edit and post on my website. Good and exhausting :)

G'night y'all!!

May 17, 2012

Socialists in France

My grandma sent this to me the other day. Makes me scared!! And makes me think of this verse...
"If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?" Ps. 11:3

The rest of the chapter is encouraging, though! "The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright."

This was the email she sent me...and this is coming to America!!

"This is from a friend who lives in Paris & is an expert on the growing menace posed by Muslims in France & in Western Europe. It is a tragic & dismal report.

Hello to my American friends,
as you know, the Socialist Fran├žois Hollande won the presidential elections in France, last Sunday.

It is a catastrophy for France
Hollande was elected by the Muslisms.A survey (of 10,000 Muslims) shows that 93% of the Muslims voted for him.

As 2 million Muslims participated in this election, Hollande got 1,720,000 Muslim votes more than Sarkozy did: (0.93-0.07) x 2,000,000 = 1,720,000
But at the end, in the whole population, he got only 1,139,316 votes more than Sarkozy.
So, without the Muslims' votes, Sarkozy would have been re-elected.
All the Muslim criminals feel now empowered. Criminality is already on the rise (1,700 cars were burnt in France for the first night). Muslims are screaming anti-French and anti-Jews watchwords in our streets.Veiled women, wearing the illegal burqa, are strolling in our streets.And, as if this wasn't enough, Hollande wants to give to all the foreigners the right to vote in our elections !!! France will face a very hard situation. We are heading for civil war in a few years.

That's the last news from occupied France."

May 15, 2012

Thoughts on 1 Samuel, Jonathan, Saul, David....

A couple of years ago, one of the wonderful women at our church challenged me to start reading my Bible through once a year. I decided to try it, got through one year, and was absolutely floored at how much I enjoyed and was blessed by it. "No, duh, Lisa!" Right?? But seriously...up till then, we had read the Word as a family, memorized Scripture, and been taught lots about it (by parents and at church), but reading it for myself was a whole new ballgame.

It was so different to go from Mom saying, "God says this about that" to "Wow...God says this to me about that." When I read it for myself, I was able to claim the amazing promises, be convicted, and become totally amazed and ultimately glorify God. Now, I can't even imagine not reading a few chapters a day. If I miss a day, it is so obvious in how I act throughout that day! I (think) I'm on my third or fourth year now, and every year, I think "How did I miss this section last year?" Incredible!!

Soooo...anyways...I said all that to say this: in my daily read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year, I just finished 1 Samuel, and  oh my goodness! Did I never read this book before or what? Entertaining, convicting, and encouraging!! But, there were two things that really stood out to me.

**         **         **

1. The story of David & Goliath. Everyone's read it, every little boy loves it, but this time through was like reading it for the first time! There was one part that I stopped and re-read...and re-read...and scratched my head and re-read. It's 17:48. Here this good-looking teenager has come down, seen this 9 and a half foot giant, and told the king, "I can take him on, are you kidding?!?!? God's going to fight for me! What's that? Oh no, I don't need any armor." He goes out to the field, and said giant tells him, "I'm gonna feed you to the birds, kid." David's response is amazing. What faith!!

"“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

And then here comes the real knock-out. 

Verse 48 says, "So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine." Hurried and ran. Really?? Defenseless kid running out to meet this champion giant. Outrageous!! And amazing.

That is what real faith does! It RUNS to meet the trials God throws in our way...yes, even giants.

**         **         ** 

2. The other thing God really showed me was Jonathan. I never really noticed him before, but wow was he a man of faith. And what a contrast to his dad!! There are so many circumstances where Saul reacts in complete fear and humanism, and Jonathan reacts in complete faith and trust in God. 

First, in chapter 14, Saul is sitting in camp trying to figure out how to defeat the Philistines who are bigger and badder than the Israelites. Jonathan grabs his armor bearer, and says, "Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” The two of them go up and defeat the whole Philistine camp! 

The other contrast is how the two men reacted to David being chosen as king. "The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul...And Jonathan took off the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, even to his sword and his bow and his belt." The taking off of the robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt was symbolic of him resigning his place as heir to the throne and giving it to David. He immediately recognized that God had chosen David, and he had no problem with it! Humility!!

Saul, on the other hand, "was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, but had departed from Saul. Therefore Saul removed him from his presence..." and he eventually ends up hunting David down and trying to kill him. Pride!!

**         **         ** 

So what kind of person do you want to be? Saul? or Jonathan? or David? Yes, David messed up...big time. He murdered a man and stole his girl...that's nasty and messy! But haven't we all done the same? Maybe not the same sin and maybe not outwardly, but in our hearts we're exactly the same.  Until we reach Heaven and get to throw off this sin nature, we're going to be fighting our flesh and sometimes succumbing to it.

But the main thing is that we need to keep striving to walk by faith more and more and by our flesh less and less. It's hard. It's nasty. And it's messy. But by God's grace, we will overcome. Our pastor said something a couple weeks ago that I really liked...(I'm paraphrasing here) "In order to run the race, you have to learn to walk; and in order to learn to walk, you have to learn how to crawl; and in order to learn how to crawl, you gotta learn how to scoot. But as long as there's life, there'll be movement."

Keep trying to be a Jonathan.


May 14, 2012

Fun random things

These are just some really fun random things that I came across lately :)

I would be eternally grateful if someone would find and buy me this t-shirt!! (considering the fact that I drive an awesome Ford truck...I may be a little biased) 

Is this awesome?!?!? I could satisfy my boot and flip-flop addiction at the SAME TIME!!

And this is my future wedding cake :D

May 8, 2012

Fellowship and Cookies!

We had a wonderful time last night hanging out with some friends from church! It originally started because some of the boys were going to come over and help us move a squeeze of 64 bales of hay. Well, the hay guy was taking way too long to show up, so all day long we kept calling him and saying, "Where's our hay?" Finally he gets here around 7:00 and the hay is terrible. Not even fit for a cow. Firewood.


So, now we have a bunch of hungry people and no hay to move! Instead, it turned into a wonderful excuse to just fellowship and hang out. We tried to please our favorite hay mover (and adopted brother) by making all his favorites.....fried chicken, mashed potatoes for dinner, and his very favorite chocolate chip cookies. *thank you so much Jordanna for posting the recipe on your blog!!*

We ended the evening sitting on our beautiful front porch, singing hymns until around 11 PM. Wonderful evening....and no hard work to do!

We'll work off the cookies later this week when the hay actually arrives..... :)