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Defining who we are.

I got this sweet message the other day on Facebook from a friend from high school.  I couldn’t help but laugh reading it.  In high school, she was a friend who we cheered together, were even movie “extras” together in a TV movie filmed at our HS, and were in a photography class together (this was before digital existed and we were learning all that old school darkroom stuff, ha!).  It’s funny to think back to that class and how at the time, if someone had told me, “When your 10 year reunion rolls around, you’re going to be a wedding photographer,” I would have totally not believed it.  While, yes, in high school, I liked photography, it was only one of the millions of creative things I liked, and it certainly didn’t define me.  At the time, my heart was set on becoming an architect.  And my plan was in 2 years, I would go to the University of Florida, major in architecture, go to grad school, become an architect designing luxury homes.  That was “my” plan, but apparently God had different plans.

The other part I laughed at when reading her comment was my label, “Scarlett the photographer.”

‘Is that what I’m defined as to people?’  I thought. Yes, I’m a photographer, but I’m also so much more.’

I mean, yes, from a branding perspective, it’s probably good that people define my husband and I as that, but there’s also so many other things I define myself as.  I define myself as a designer.  As a cupcake maker.  As a wife.  As a daughter.  As a mom to a furry child.  As a princess to a glorious Heavenly King.

Even recently, I had a talk with a girlfriend who also became a photographer recently, and ironically was in that same high school photography class, but after feeling like our lunches together were becoming mostly work related, I had to have a heart-to-heart with her to ask her, “Can we simply go back to being just girl friends, not photography friends?”  With the start of the new year, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how, yes, I’m a photographer, but it’s not what defines me. Sometimes I just want to be known as Scarlett, not “Scarlett the photographer.”  Maybe that’s why I’m more inspired to share blog entries that are from the heart, rather than share photography tips.  There’s definitely a time and a place where I turn on “Scarlett the photographer” and Stephen and I are excited to share with you everything we know in our 2012 workshops, but here on the blog, I like to simply be…. Scarlett.  If we were sitting across the table from each other sharing a soup and salad at Panera Bread, I would care less about what kind of camera you use, or for those non-photographers, what you do for a living.  I would want to know what your dreams are, what your fears are, what inspires you, what makes you laugh, what your favorite TV show is, what music you listen to.  I would simply want to know about…. you.  And what makes you, you… Because to me, that’s so much more interesting than the name brand of gear you use, or the name brand on your jeans.

I know in social settings and meeting new people, the most obvious ice breaker is “So, what do you do?”  It’s both the starting place, and the easy way out…. But, instead, I want you to leave me a comment and NOT tell me what you do.. I want you to tell me who you ARE…. Tell me, what 5 words define you?  Then tell me, what is the story behind the most recent thing that made you laugh?  Lastly, tell me, what’s your all time bible verse and why does it move your heart so much?

I can’t wait to hear from you.

 

Urban WifeFebruary 21, 2012 - 8:32 pm

I am a Daughter of Christ, forever grateful to be redeemed!
I am a daughter to loving Christian parents.
I am a wife to a Godly man.
I am steadfast and loyal with family and friendships.
I am blessed with good health and don’t let my infertility define me.

My husband made me laugh while I was cooking dinner tonight – honestly, it was probably his laugh that made me laugh. He was watching Frasier. :)

My favorite Bible verse is Ephesians 5:1-2. “Be imitators of Christ, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” This verse has been my lifeline, from the lows in my life to the highs. It speaks to my heart because I am reminded that everything I do should be a mirror image of Christ.

ShelleyFebruary 21, 2012 - 6:00 pm

This is the first time I’ve commented too, but I love bragging on the Lord and the way that he defines me! And I love that you share your heart in such a beautiful, honest way even when you have no idea who you’re sharing it with. So here’s me sharing:

1. Beloved of Jesus (which makes all the rest possible) 2.Sister (I live in an amazing, deep community of believers) 3.Caller-out-of-beauty (Does it count as one word if it’s hyphenated? It’s what I get to do in photography and in loving people) 4. Warrior (I love fighting in prayer and training my body) 5. Goofball (self-explanatory)

Talking in ridiculous accents and making up stories with my sweet friends last night. I’m glad that we’ve given up our pride and exchanged it for silliness and humility.

Isaiah 61:1-3 goes straight to my heart every time I read it because Jesus has done all those things for me and now He gives me the privilege of coming alongside Him as he sets others free and gives them beauty for ashes. So good.

scarlettFebruary 21, 2012 - 2:51 pm

@Georgina- I’m SO GLAD you left a comment for the first time, what a great comment to be your first. Thank you for opening up and helping me to get to know you better. And YES, I totally understand the ways a dog makes you laugh.

scarlettFebruary 21, 2012 - 2:50 pm

@Allie- THANK YOU for opening up and sharing your heart. I love how boldly you put it out there that God is the source of your identity. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my all time favorite verses too!

ALLIEFebruary 20, 2012 - 11:25 pm

Okay, here goes. I am:

1. A follower of God. I don’t know what I would do without my connection to God. I feel so beyond blessed to be a receiver of His gifts and I try to be a window for which His light can shine through.

2. A girl who adores my family. My family means the world to me. I love them so much and I try to build my life around having a close connection with them. They are the ones that truly know ME and they can make me smile:)

3. Someone who loves to laugh. I try my best to see the beauty in all things and the humor in everything, even the situations where it feels the hardest.

4. A person who enjoys simple things. I always compare myself to “Elf” from the movie, because I get way too excited about little things (like skipping or dancing in public)!

5. I’m always striving to be a better, child of God, daughter, sister, friend, etc. and I’m learning about encouraging my self along the way:)

Um, the thing that made me laugh last? Probably my brother. He cracks me up! Or maybe a youtube video of a laughing baby. I can’t get enough of those:)

My all time bible verse: “Trust in God with all of your heart. Do not rely on your own understanding. Seek His will in all that you do and He will show you with path to take” -Proverbs 3:5,6
Although there are SO many verses that inspire me, that one really speaks to my heart. I find my self trying to figure things out on my own and forgetting to trust in Him and seek His will. The best thing is that I see this verse everywhere and people have been emailing me with this verse, or telling me about it around town. I think that is truly His way of speaking to me. I love miracles:)

Thank you, Scarlett, for your inspiration to us. You are a beautiful window for which God shines His light through! God bless!

scarlettFebruary 20, 2012 - 6:25 pm

@Georgina- Seriously amazing. Thanks for being a follower of my words all these years, and for leaving your first comment! :-) I truly appreciate the card you sent my dad and the prayers that went along with it during that time. Tomorrow marks 3 years since he passed, how quickly that passed.

GeorginaFebruary 20, 2012 - 5:11 pm

Follower of Christ, wife, teacher (yes it’s what I do but also a huge part of who I am), friend, inspiring crafter.
The last time I really laughed was earlier today at the park. My husband and I took our great Dane and lab to get some exercise. We let them run loose in the vacant baseball field. Our lab is definitely a retriever so we were throwing the ball for her. Our Dane just wants to be center of attention and rather than run she prances, like a deer. It was just humorous watching them run their hearts out. Our great Dane left divots all in the field from running so hard. Once they finished running they ran to the edge of the fence and started to eat snow. This was the first time they had seen snow together. Written out it doesn’t seem as funny, but I know Rhett provides plenty of entertainment.

My favorite scripture is Colossians 3:12-17. This was the passage my husband and I chose to have read at our wedding and try to uphold it in our marriage daily.

This is the first time I’ve ever commented but I have followed your blog ever since I stumbled upon it while in college. I prayed with you and your family through everything wih your parents, even sent cards to you dad. I cried during your first dance. You are such an amazing roll model to so many. I pray blessings upon you and Stephen and I know the Lord is going to do great things in your marriage.
God Bless, Georgina

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