Stories. Life is filled with stories. The bedtime stories from childhood. The textbooks from high school filled with stories of history and worldchangers. The novels turned to chick flicks. The stories our grandparents tell us. The stories our grandparents don’t tell us. The current events newspapers stories. The tall tales, the fishing stories. The networking meeting ice breaker story. The tell-only-my-best-friend story. The my-day-in-a-nutshell story.
If you sit down with me over a cup of chai tea latte and ask me my life story, it’s going to be a bullet pointed list starting in early college, looking something like this:
- went to Patrick Henry College to study Public Policy
- took a semester off and moved to Kenya with my family
- graduated with my Bachelor’s, started working for U.S. Congress
- pursued my love of photography, started a business
- spent three months in Uganda
- married the Canadian I met in Africa
- moved to Canada
Depending on my audience, I may or may not gloss over life lessons along the way, the heart ache when relationships ended and friends moved away, the way past experiences have shaped my worldview on today, the challenges in each particular season and the triumph in facing those challenges. But, I won’t ignore those situations and scenarios. They are, after all, pivotal in the shaping of the me drinking the latte across from you.
When I was ready to give away a photo session in honor of beautiful stories written by a God who loves, in celebration of Valentine’s day and the season of love it reflects, in awe of the many many beautiful stories around me, I was not prepared for the immense beauty and emotion in the stories I would receive.
I was challenged by Catherine’s delight in being better together. I wept when I read of Sarah’s (very recent) reunion with her birth father. I rejoiced in the classy correspondence that led to Dave and Patty marrying and now celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary. I was inspired by Shanna’s joy in her long distance relationship, while empathizing keenly in the challenges the distance brings.
These stories are not glibly told.
They are not formulaic or flawless.
They are not bullet points of history.
They are not easily forgotten.
These, my friends, are stories worth telling.
To vote for the story you think should receive a photo session with Jenni Marie Photography, head on over to the Facebook page to vote by “liking” the photo of your choice.