Monday, June 30, 2008

Sweet Memories

Today marks one year since my grandmother, Edna, passed away ~ an event which (at the time) would unknowingly became the start to a new career path for me.  Most of you know that Grandma Edna was a very special person to me, as grandmas often are~ at a young age she introduced me to three of the sweetest things on earth: church and Jesus and dessert. We've had many a discussion about the importance of being part of a church and knowing God while enjoying a dish of ice cream, a piece of fudge~ if it was sweet, we were eating it ;-) She's the one person who was just always tickled with me no matter what I did and would not dare believe I could do anything sinful... and isn't that what Grandmas do best?? I do wish she was here to see me now, doing something I love, and yet I understand things would not have happened the same way if she were still here. 

What I didn't know last year when Grandma left us to be with Jesus is that she would also leave a special gift that was more than the sum of its parts: the chance to pursue a dream, be challenged in mind, body and spirit and allow God to reveal my purpose in being here while working in and through me to touch others' lives. For that, I am eternally grateful.

December 2005~ Christmas Tea with Grandmas "Cake" and Weidler

February 2007~  celebrating 'Great-Nana Cakes' 94th birthday

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Giving Back~ Organizations supported by Circle of Life Photography

In giving back, Circle of Life Photography's main goal is to help those experiencing extreme poverty and nourishing them with food, shelter and spiritual guidance. Education is a big part of helping people learn how to help themselves and change the downward spiral of poverty for a better future for themselves and their children. Locally, a more tangible way of giving back is through using my photography gifts to serve others who are experiencing crisis (see NILMDTS and Pillows of Love.)

Compassion International~ Haiti's Child Survival Project

In 2011-12, Circle of Life Photography makes a monthly $30 donation to the non-profit organization, Compassion International, whose goal is to change Haiti through the rescue, nuture and discipling of children during the critical early childhood years.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation (NILMDTS) gently provides a helping hand and a healing heart for families overcome by the grief and pain of the death of their newborn or infant. Offering gentle and beautiful photography services in a compassionate and sensitive manner is the heart of this organization. The soft, gentle heirloom photographs of these beautiful babies are an important part of the healing process. They allow families to honor and cherish their babies, and share the spirits of their lives. I am an active NILMDTS volunteer photographer for Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Lancaster Women & Babies Hospital.

Joni & Friends Family Retreat

I am honored to be a volunteer photographer at the Joni & Friends Family Retreat in the Poconos (Spruce Lake Retreat) for a week each summer (click here for past blog post.) Joni & Friends seeks to serve as a ministry of outreach to people with disabilities and their families across the US and around the world. Families from around the country attend Family Retreats seeking relaxation, encouragement and a time to strengthen their family.