Oh boy, y’all. Today was fun.

The right thing to write, the tear-jerker scenario, is how uncomfortable it was and how unworthy I felt to be the center of attention, how I teared up and shooed my friends away saying, “I can’t do this” in a dramatic fashion, blah blah blah.

But let me tell you the God story in this- because God has spend significant time [read: constantly for the last 27 years] telling me who I am to Him, things like this are fun.

Yes, there was a bit of awkwardness- I usually don’t wear this much makeup. But the whole time I kept thinking, ‘this is another step towards my dream’. And I was lovin’ it.

The photographer, Ann, is a lifelong friend of mine. So when it was time to decide on someone to take these pictures, she came to mind first. (Well, her and Jeremy Cowart, but I think he’s probably booked… and a tad bit famous.) Ann is starting her photography business, so I was excited to work with her. More than anything, I want pictures that really look like me. And being that Ann and I have been friends for almost 3 decades (yikes!), I figured she could look through the viewfinder and see the real me, versus just the “hot model” me that anyone could capture on film.

I have already hired two full time employees. And by “hired”, I mean I buy them lunch sometimes. And by “full time”, I mean they are my best friends so they really can’t ignore my pleas for help. Or my phone calls.

Molly is my manager, in charge of my calendar and making sure that the venues I speak at are set correctly and meet our expectations. At least, that’s what she will do when someone starts asking me to speak somewhere. 🙂 There wasn’t much for her to do today, so she worked at her current place of employment, but I could sense her support beaming over from her office across the Square.

Haley is my stylist. She has been dressing me for years- she found my homecoming dress in 1996 and she’s picked out 3/4 of my closet ever since. [The 25% that I pick out are the clothes that make you question my style.] Today, Haley helped me select my outfits and did my hair and makeup. And because I paid extra (I got her son some nuggets), she also came with us to “the shoot” to keep me looking fine.

Since it was raining we didn’t get to take any outside pictures. But we went to the Marietta Square with the hopes that our sister church, StoneBridge, would be open and that the pastor, David, would be there. Though he mocked me openly, he did allow us to shoot in the sanctuary.

Haley got my camera out of my bag after about 1 1/2 hours of shooting. I mean, if anyone deserves to see the humorous side of this whole “making a new career” thing, it’s you bloggites.

Here is me posing for Ann. Outfit #2. Location #5 (in StoneBridge). We also shot at a local coffee shop and that was really cool. I can’t wait for y’all to see the pro shots.

And here’s how I felt after 1 1/2 hours of smiling. You know me, that much time of being serious and following directions, I needed Haley to give me some relief. So I decided to make a stupid face. See stupid face below.

I mean, y’all.

In this next picture, we are standing on chairs in the back of a RiverStone plant church on the Marietta Square because my friend Ann is a photographer and she is taking photos of me for a website because I want to be a writer.

That whole run-on sentence blows my mind. If you would have told me 10 years ago (before RiverStone existed, before I had written one sentence that made me feel alive, and before Ann owned a digital camera) that today would have happened, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Because I didn’t know.

I didn’t know that God dreamed so big for my life.

I didn’t know His dreams for Ann’s life.

I didn’t know His heart for Marietta.

I know now. And I love Him more for it.