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jardin du luxembourg

© Tina Vega Photography

I can’t wait to experience Paris a second time around.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Because looking at these images from our trip last month, I long to wander and capture things differently.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

My senses were so overwhelmed that it required all of me to savor the moment.

© Tina Vega Photography

Which meant my camera was out for mere seconds at a time.

© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography© Tina Vega Photography

Which is why I want to stay much longer for our next visit.

© Tina Vega Photography

When we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.:D

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just a girl trying to do this thing his way

© Tina Vega Photography

I’m just a girl trying to do this thing [life] the way God had in mind for me.  Sometimes I get stuck in a rut – getting too caught up in schedules, to-do lists, and tasks.

But always, always – I go back to God and his word [the bible] for guidance.  Because without it, I would wander so far off I might never find my way back.

© Tina Vega Photography

And I’ve been there before => lost.  Though I didn’t realize it at the time.  It wasn’t until I found myself locked into a way of life I no longer wanted that it hit:  I was trapped.

And in desperation one night, realizing I was powerless to stop what I was doing, I begged God for help.  And he met me there.  Calmed me.  From that point forward, I made the choice to pursue him.

Baby steps.  Without a bible or church.  Alone.  Writing to him in my journal:

“Please help me, God!”
“I need You.”
“Show me Your way.”
“Help me to see You.”
“Help me to follow You.”

I was looking for him everywhere – self-help books, support groups, and therapy.  Spending years on the fringes.

Then my mom started talking A LOT about this bible teacher she’d been watching on television and I thought she was losing it.  Only she wasn’t.  Because while secretly watching the program myself (in an effort to figure out “what she’d gotten herself into”) I heard the message of the Gospel, really heard it for the first time.

© Tina Vega Photography

Jesus.  It all made sense, coming together like a beautifully woven tapestry.

And by the glow of my television in the wee hours of the morning, I laid it all out for God and asked him to forgive me.  For being so stubborn.  For chasing everything but him.  For refusing to let go.  For hurting so many.  For hurting myself.  I made an official declaration that morning to live for Christ and life has never been the same.

It has been a long process because of my stubborn nature and God has been so very patient with me.  This is what drives my faith today.  He loved me.  Pursued me.  Never gave up on me.  It wasn’t a neat and tidy cookie cutter experience.  It was messy and broken, perhaps made even more beautiful because of it.

© Tina Vega Photography

And it makes me love him all the more.

Melissa - April 18, 2015 - 11:12 pm

Tina, I can relate to this in so many ways, as my journey with my faith didn’t really come to be until I hit rock bottom in high school, and one of my best friends saved me by teaching me Romans Road in the Bible. It saved and changed my life. Thank you for sharing this.

God bless,


Tina - April 20, 2015 - 10:32 am

Thank you for sharing a bit of YOUR faith story, Melissa!

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5 fun things friday

5 Fun Things Friday

1.  Food Network, one of my favorite food magazines:

food network magazine

Seriously, with recipes like Pappardelle w/Spring Vegetables and Slow Cooker Beef Curry and Herbed Green Beans & Carrots and 50 Toasts and Rosemary-Orange Spritzers how could it NOT be?!!  Click HERE to learn more.

2.  I found the most beautiful pressed flower smartphone cases on Etsy:

pressed flower

If that doesn’t get you in the mood for warmth and sun, nothing will!  Click HERE to browse the lovely collection at Oh My Goodies.

3.  The best-kept baking secret:

king arthur flour

White Whole Wheat Flour from King Arthur Flour is 100% whole wheat with a flavor so gentle, it allows for easy 1:1 substitution in many of my favorite scone, muffin, and quick bread recipes.  (You’ll find their recommendations HERE.)

4.  This canvas tote bag from Seeker of Happiness makes my heart sing:

speak the truth

Click HERE to find it on Etsy.

5.  A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table by Tim Chester. 

meal with jesus

I will be sharing more about this book in an upcoming IF:Table post but it was SO GOOD it deserved a spot on 5 Fun Things Friday!  It was seriously one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in a long time.  The author takes a deeper look into the ministry of Christ and highlights several glorious things that happen around shared meals.  It was a huge inspiration to me yet at the same time challenging.  Am I creating an atmosphere that both welcomes and creates intimacy?  Am I stepping outside of my comfort zone to connect with the marginalized in a real and personal way?  Powerful read.  Click HERE to find it on Amazon.

Happy Friday!!!

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