Life is for Living

Sometimes you've got to regroup. Sometimes you've got to slow down and breathe.

Sometimes you've got to sing in the car with the windows down, especially when it's too cold outside.

Sometimes you've got to let your schedule flex a lot to spend time with people you love.

Sometimes you've got to spend three hours eating lunch. At a middle school. With little hearts that jump out of their skin at the sight of your naked face and messy hair. ALL THE TIME I've got to remember that this life is for living. For having conversations with old teachers that make you hours late for the bookkeeper. For soo much bonding into the wee hours, you fall asleep on the first rug you see when picking up your Leila-dog at mom and dad's. For standing too long after a basketball game to talk with people who care about you caring for them. For editing pictures and advising friends via facebook who desire to tell the story of their own battle with cancer. For holding your eyes open with your fingers while one of your best friends tells the tale of her life. For opening your home to kids who crave company and Christ, even if there will be spilt drinks, lots of vacuuming to do and a dog that pees over all the excitement.

This life is for living. For loving. And for giving. And I so often forget that it isn't about hustling home to edit pictures, pack boxes and promote. Or keeping things neat, tidy, clean and orderly. I got back yesterday afternoon from the quickest trip to Bowling Green, Ky. EVER. Last May I became a WKU alumni - so BG is my second home. This place taught me how to be visually compassionate. This place is where I created two of the most meaningful works I ever could have - the babyGirl and Carothers' Cause stories.

I will be very honest: I didn't want to let my week be rescheduled to make the four hours of driving for a quick, 24-hour trip. One of my sweetest friends, Joy, made a quick trip up to visit a past photo story + our sweet little group of friends. We shared sushi, coffee, basketball, pretzels and couches. More importantly, we shared our hearts, our fears, our hopes, our progress since school.

I got to see the kids from both my Bears Football and babyGirl projects. I spent time decompressing with my amazing photo teachers and I visited many school friends.

I am so, so thankful for the crazy amounts of energy I've been afforded in my life. And for the wonderful people who encourage me. Life is for living. And that's what these sweet faces teach me - the old friends, the young hearts and everything in between. To live more fully and love more deeply.

I wish you could have been there when they turned the corner and saw me sitting in the lunchroom all by myself. They were trying to jump through locked doors, running as fast as they could, yelling like no one was listening - just to get a hug. Just to be the first to see someone who cares for them very much. These kind of someones they don't have enough of.

Where does your car need to drive you that you don't have time to go? I think you should grab your keys.