Coffee With: Sarah Bragg of Surviving Sarah

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Though we are no longer Atlantans, I still think of many of the friends that I came to know during our 3+ years of living in the city.

One such friends who welcomed me into her world, listened over coffee, prayer, empathized, cheered on, and encouraged me in the Gospel, was Sarah Bragg.  She is a podcaster, wife, mom, author, cheerleader, and gingham-wearing, coffee-drinking friend.

Her podcast has been such an encouraging feed to me over the last year and I encourage you to go read her blog, her book, and hear her talk to many others, championing what they do, and encouraging women along the way.

So, here’s a little interview with her.  I hope you love her as much as I do.  Friend, I’m thankful for you!

1.  Can you tell my tribe a little about who you are?
I am in my late thirties (its strange even typing that), married to Scott for 12 years and we have two elementary age girls, Sinclair and Rory. I worked full-time student ministry for about 6 years and then transitioned to work for a non-profit organization, Orange, who helps equips those to work in ministry. After creating resources for middle and high school students, I currently lead a team who creates small group material for adults. My first book, Body. Beauty. Boys. The Truth About Girls and How We See Ourselves chronicles what I wish I’d known when I was a teenager—how to learn to be content to be who God made me to be. But my most favorite and fun thing that I do is host a weekly podcast called Surviving Sarah where I get to have conversations with different people about how they are surviving life. We talk about all the things that relate to women.
2. With so many other forms of “social”, why a podcast?
Before kids, I used to travel and speak to young women or women groups around the country. I absolutely loved using my voice to inspire and encourage others. But when my kids were little, it was difficult to even put words together to form sentences so using my voice stopped. As elementary school approached for my kids, I would pray, “God what do you want me to do?” And for two years, I felt like God answered with, “I want you to push others forward.” But I didn’t know exactly what that meant. I would tell God that I just wanted to use my voice again. I liked writing but I loved speaking.  I was still unsure of what God would do. But in October of 2015, God spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to start a podcast so that you can use your voice to push others forward.” I still get to inspire and encourage women while shining a light on the guest on my show.
3. I know you learn so much from each person on your show, but has something really stood out to you in the past eps?
With nearly 100 episodes in the books, I have had several favorite episodes. For me, my favorites tend to be ones about motherhood since that is the state of life for me. I’ve loved chatting with Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Julie Barnhill. And one of my all time favorite episodes was with Suzanne Stabile, the author of The Road Back To You, as we discuss what the enneagram is and how when you understand who you are wired or those around you, then you are able to extend grace more for yourself and others.
4. How do you balance it all?  Is balance such a thing or just this lofty idea?
I definitely wished that I was able to balance it all. Most days I feel like I’m dropping the ball on something. I think it looks different in different seasons. My kids are a priority, but in this season I can’t volunteer weekly in my kids school. I can’t lead in the PTA. And I can’t bring homemade cupcakes to the Christmas party. I have to be realistic about my schedule and my own limitations. But I can send in money to help with something. Or volunteer once a month in their classroom. It also requires some effort on my part to schedule well. And not just my work hours, but family hours and personal hours. Some days are good and some days are a struggle. And at the end of the day, I have to receive a lot of grace. 
5.  I love your thoughts on hospitality and your kitchen table, your intro the blog each week. Can you talk about how you use your home for hospitality other than your podcast guests?
I have learned a lot over the past several years about not waiting for perfection until you allow others to step into your world. If we wait for perfection, then we’ll be waiting for a long time. Hospitality is about letting others in. It’s about sharing what you have. It’s about vulnerability. I want our home to be a place where people are welcome and feel comfortable enough to be their authentic self. So we have people over for dinner or impromptu sprinkler fun outside. In fact, our front yard has really become an extension of our home. We spend a lot of time in the front yard. My girls know all the dogs in the neighborhood. It takes effort to know the people around you and sometimes the last thing you want to do after a day of working is to talk but that is what hospitality is. Come as you—even if its messy or untimely.
6. If I was still in ATL, and we could sit down at your fave place to chill and chat…where would we go and what would you be drinking?
Well, that depends on the time of day! But my favorite place to sit and chat with someone is my local Starbucks. I can always count on my drink being just right. And I always see people I know from the community. In the summer months, my drink of choice is an iced coffee with cream and vanilla. In the winter months, I stick to a Misto which is basically coffee and steamed milk.

kcreatives newborn : baby M

I love doing a newborn shoot with a really good friend.  I’ve known Tasya since we cheered for the same school in high school.  We got reconnected because of the joyful thing called social media about a decade ago.  That was before either of us were dating our now husbands, and of course neither of us had kids.

I couldn’t wait to meet baby M – and even though that meeting took a little longer, I still got to meet him, hold him, and capture him in all of his sleepy cuteness.

All photos are property of kcreatives photography. If you are interested in a newborn shoot: kcreativesphotography@gmail.com

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kcreatives newborn: baby M

 

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kcreatives newborn : baby m

heart.hope.justice adoption: Aaron and Lisa Tant

posted in: hearthopejustice | 1

Tant Family

Here is another way that heart.hope.justice gets to support families who are loving orphans!

I’ve known Aaron Tant for about ten years (and his wonderful family).  I met Lisa when they moved to Louisville and I got to know them when we were all attending Sojourn Church there.

Here is a brief synopsis of their story:

Aaron and I have been married for 9 years this July and we have two children, Elias, who is almost 7, and Sophia, who is 4.  We have always had a heart for children with special needs and we desired to one day adopt a child with special needs. A few weeks ago a friend who is a social worker made us aware of a child who will soon be available for adoption. In order to be consider to be this child’s adoptive parents, we must become licensed foster parents in our state and we must get our home ready for the required home study. The biggest priority is remodeling the basement. Currently we have a guest room on our main floor which will need to become this child’s room. That means that our basement, that is partially finished but not a very pleasant place, needs to be remodeled into a functioning guest space. We would also like to open up our kitchen to accommodate more people. Another large purchase we will need to make is a mini-van. We are currently working to raise money to cover the costs. Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase an appropriate vehicle and do the necessary renovations in our home. Then if there is any money left over we will use that money to pay down our debt. We want to be the best stewards of our resources so that we can best care for our children, and we feel that getting rid of our debt is one way to do that.

 

You can support them by heading over to the heart.hope.justice page and taking a look at the print and then sending me an email (kimddavidson@gmail.com) and tell me what color cardstock you want your print in.  The ink will be black, but I can vary the cardstock color.  The prints are 5.7 and 16$  10$ of every sale will go directly to the Tant family and the rest will go to printing, shipping, and supply cost.  I make nothing.

 

Creatives: Photographer Mallory Ward

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mallory ward photography

Love the way that people weave through your life at random times and bring light and sunshine each time they enter.

I first met Mallory when she was in high school when I was chaperoning a ski retreat with a church I used to be on staff with in Florida.  She had an eye for celebrating the everyday even then.  I love her pursuit of others, her craft, her friends, and her Jesus.

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Now, she is in Woodstock for just a brief journey in life before she moves to Australia early next year, and we’ve reconnected – she’s come to our home and eaten at our table, she has given me lots of places to try out for coffee and good eats, and she has shared some of her life with me again.

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Let her glimpse through her lens open your world to its love and light.

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The above picture is a sweet newborn session with our dear friends Jack and Maizey.  Love this photo!

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1.  How did photography come to have such a grip on your life?

Ever since I was a little girl, I would always take my mom’s camera and take pictures of anything I could. I always loved watching her reaction when all of these random photos came through on her camera, she knew I was discovering a hobby, yet little did I know it would become a passion. I had a friend in high school that would always take photos with me. We would pose, go on adventures with our cameras and play with natural light. Sometimes we would even skip morning classes to catch the perfect early morning haze on the island. I graduated high school in 2009, and that’s the year that I pretty much realized that I was really in-love with the beauty of a photo. My sister’s friends who had families started contacting me wanting me to do photo sessions of them, and then I just kept shooting. Everywhere I would go I would have my camera with me. I started taking my friends at college and around the area on photo adventures and just using them as models to expand my photography portfolio. So here I am- 5 years later, with many clients, and the same ones I started with who have supported me since the very beginning.

 

2 What would be a dream fulfilled for you and your lens and your soul?

A dream of mine when it comes to my photography would definitely be to use it as a way to record the adventures that life takes me on. When I went on my first mission trip to Haiti a year ago, I absolutely loved the way I was able to communicate with the Haitian kids through the power of a photo. It literally was like they had never seen how beautiful they were before. I would love to travel, and just take photos of different cultures, people and nature.

3.  What do you most like to be peering at when holding your camera?

Nature & people. Nature because of the sincerity of it and people because… well, people are just awesome. I absolutely love capturing couples during an engagement session because their love is so powerful it explodes through the photo. I love to put people in nature because it’s like the beauty of trees, flowers, or a sandy beach changes their perspective and gives them a sense of freedom and happiness. Children, also, are amazing to capture. They are so innocent and happy. Eyes, skin, smiles- there is so much beauty in everything!

4.  Is there any place you are dying to do a photo shoot?

I don’t think I could pick one exact place to do a lifestyle shoot. There are far too many amazing places in the world I have yet to see. Definitely would want to choose a place that if authentic, unique and natural. From an alley in Paris to a field in Ireland… I really couldn’t pick just one!

5.  What are three words that describe your photography?

Beautiful moments captured.

 

life together: the isaacson girls

Sisters.  Sisters.  There were never such devoted sisters.

S and A and their mom Jennifer are such sweet dear people.  Jennifer and I go way back (to her middle school days) and I love the fact that me and my son get to be a part of their lives.  For this session we were in Palm Coast, FL at Princess Place Preserves – never been there, want to go back.  It is such an old Florida place – trees, moss, water, not a bazillion tourists around!  Then we trekked back to St. Augustine and had lunch at her parent’s place and played on the beach with the seagulls!

Such sweet time!

Such a lovely place for an outing - Princess Place Preserve in Palm Coast, FL
Such a lovely place for an outing – Princess Place Preserve in Palm Coast, FL
Love those lips and that pout!
Love those lips and that pout!

 

She had fun doodling in the sand
She had fun doodling in the sand

 

sweet back seat hugs
sweet back seat hugs

 

I wanna go to the beach mommy!
I wanna go to the beach mommy!

 

Thoise eyes!
Thoise eyes!

 

What is all this white stuff?
What is all this white stuff?

 

Love that belly laugh!
Love that belly laugh!

 

So sweet little girl!
So sweet little girl!

 

This is the "Mommy it is bright, I don't want to look" face!
This is the “Mommy it is bright, I don’t want to look” face!

 

Such sisterly love!
Such sisterly love!

 

Reading already!  She's brilliant!
Reading already! She’s brilliant!

 

Chasing seagulls
Chasing seagulls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee With…Stacy Rist

posted in: Coffee with... | 1

Love catching up with old friends.  Stacy Rist is a friend of mine from Southeastern Seminary who is serving in a local church.

We sat at Caribou…sipping on pumpkin chai and Diet Coke…talking about life and fall and women’s ministries.

What is your favorite thing about Fall?

     Sweaters.  Christmas in the air.  Leaves changing.  Leaves dying…Hope is coming.

What is your favorite part of the Church?

     The Church has many parts…all integral.  They all reflect God and His glory.  Redeemed.  All walks of life. 

If you had a purpose for women in the church…what would it be? 

     For them to truly understand God’s Word and have the tools and methods to study it and be involved in their growth. 

If you had your dream job, what would it be?

     Investing in women’s lives by writing and speaking with intentionality.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

     Australia: hopefully doing intentional women’s ministries (anywhere in the world).

Stacy writes over at Chord of 3 Strands if you would like to check out her blog and her heart for Jesus, the church, and women.

Cold Hands Warm Heart: Girl of Norway

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Behold, the power of the internet. And blogs. And girls. And designers. And fun gifts. And Christmas. I decided to participate in the Cold Hands Warm Heart Blog Christmas Swap this year as a way to get to know other people. Tine, a wonderful lady from Norway, was my swap partner. She got my package on her birthday (added blessing) and I got her gift today…when she got a promotion at work (happy Friday to both of us).
One thing I’ve learned about Tine is how caring her is – you can tell in her blogs and in her chats on facebook. What a blessing that is! I do hope I get to meet her one day. She is coming to America in 2012. Or, maybe I need to take a little jaunt across the pond.
The best part of her little package she sent my way was the care and family thoughtfulness she put in it. The mittens (my first ever pair of them) were: “My Father’s family is from a place called Trysil. Its known for its big downhill skiing facilities. In the 1930s the community collected patterns from the local woman.” She hand knitted some ornaments with a pattern from Norwegian design duo Arne & Carlos. She is a beautiful knitter (something I am not good at). I appreciate others’ talents. Especially when they bless me with their gifts.
Tine and I have matching hair clips now, and I love pearl! 🙂 And I have been looking for little hair accessories since they are all the rage now. The last fun thing in my little package is something I know Tine really loves, too. So everytime I use it I will think of her. She loves the work of Lisbeth Dahl, a designer. Look at the beautiful work and you will love it, too.
Tine – you are a blessing to me. I loved the personal-ness of this package (and am amazed at your packing ability). Everytime I look at these gifts, I will think of you. Glad we are now friends.

Much & Link Love: November 21 edition

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Vacation over: Thanksgiving ahead.
1. Vacation was great: hiking, eating, sleeping, photoging, seeing friends. Beautiful weather.
2. Parents come in town tomorrow.
3. I’ve decided not to do the half on Thursday. That would take out 9 hours of what my parents and I could do together (drive, run, drive), so we will find stuff to do in Raleigh without going to Charlotte.
4. Friends are crucial to my wellbeing, but I also love downtown when I don’t see another soul. I’ll have to find a time to do that after my parents leave. Hmmmm. Maybe New Years.
5. It just wasn’t a pretty football weekend, except for the GATORS. I was in Boone (home of ASU) and loved saying GO GATORS. One of the signs I saw read “Gator: It is what’s for dinner. Go App.” – Well, that didn’t happen.
6. Short week in the office, busy week of editing and reading.
7. To shed some weight this holiday season (instead of put it on): one meal a day has to be either oatmeal, egg white omelette, or veggies. That will definitely help cut some calories during the day.
8. Got some new things in the works for after New Years. Thinking and excited.

Link Love:
1. Girls Gone Wise blog hits up entitlements and rights of women.
2. I think I would like to host one of these. Anyone in RDU interested – good way to start the new year.
3. These will definitely be making their way to a holiday party near you.
4. These will also be making it to a Christmas party near you (if you live in RDU or Lakeland).
5. Love this article that Justin posted on his blog. Often as Christians we ignore culture. But, here are some wise ways to engage and redeem. Hopefully a post will be coming on that by a friend of mine.
6. I would like to try this Chicago-style pizze at home one night, maybe while the parents are here.
7. Ed Stetzer to the rescue – especially if you are flying this holiday season.
8. I thought of these videos a lot this wknd while scaling 23 feet up a ladder on a side of a mountain.

Much and Link Love (November 15 edition)

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Halfway through November today. Wow, the holidays will be here before we know it and our schedules will be super busy.

1. Busy weekend, but good: Meta 2010, Tedd Tripp Conference (see live blog notes here), great sermon I sat through twice, fall foliage, photog with a friend at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham (love.for.photos.)
2. Ate too much this weekend.
3. Much to do tonight when I get home at 9pm and it doesn’t include watching MNF.
4. The Gators looked HORRIBLE on Saturday night – but thankful, if we had to lose, we lost to Steve.
5. This week: 1.5 lessons to write, hang out times with friends, photog sessions, and hiking with a friend. 4 days off in a row. Love. I never thought I would appreciate vacations – now I do.
6. Cooking this week: roasted chicken tacos, balsamic roast chicken, zucchini, wheat bread, asian chicken and vegetables, and something for dessert which I haven’t decided on yet.

Link Love:
1. This is a great post on theology and photography. Thanks Kerry and Devin for pointing me to it and writing it!
2. Gils Gone Wise has done it again – great post about dating and dating the right person. I’ve been thinking about settling – just to have a date – NOT worth it.
3. I think I will participate in this for the next two months…I have way too many cookbooks I don’t use!
4. Love this post by the Resurgence on great women of the reformation. Great women we can aspire to be (or exam their lives).
5. Love this piece on culture and influence, especially for my friends who are pursuing this regularly…

Short and sweet this week!

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