Photo Credit: © 2006 Lynne Holder

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Energy Boosters

The last week has been a busy one, full of the activities that went into the preparation for a single photo shoot. I spent the week planning, coordinating my modeling partner, the stylist/makeup artist, and my husband's schedules, taking an afternoon shopping trip with the stylist for shoot wardrobe, getting my nails done, and watching like a bride planning her outdoor wedding.

I chose modeling, not just because of the lights, the clothes, the makeup artist fussing between shots with my hair and powdering my face, the sound of the shutter, the FUN of it all; it is my heart's desire to be a role model for women of my generation--especially now. I know all too well that place of helplessness and resignation to the aging process that many women feel as menopause claims their physical youthfulness.

It has taken a couple of years to remember it because of my struggle, trying to starve myself into keeping my size 4 figure while the pounds inexplicably crept on, but I finally realized (duh) that beauty comes from my spirit, no matter my dress size.

This shoot would be my first since the economic downturn and the start of my journey through menopause. I had put this dream on the very back burner of one of those humongous gourmet kitchen stoves, so to grasp hold of it again and stand in front of the camera, I confess, did make me nervous.

Did I still have what it takes? Is there even a market for my look? I don't see that the "youth = beauty" American culture has shifted a whole lot. My sweet husband, Leland, spent plenty of time assuring me, with that lustful look he gives me (which I love), "Oh yes, you've still got it."

Shoot day was upon me.

"This is it," I told myself, "no backing out now. Forward--only forward."

I was jazzed. Energized. Throwing off all kinds of brilliant colors, or at least that's how it felt!

I would love to be able to encourage one woman by saying, "Look--I can still be a beautiful, vibrant woman, and YOU CAN TOO!"

To the sisterhood of the random mood swings and body temperature changes, please feel free to share your stories here.

To all, male or female, what are your recovered dreams? How did you bring them back to life?

I love stories!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

When All Feels Lost

The past many months have been exhausting for me. Being one who has walked through many challenges, energizing wins, devastating losses, and learned many crucial spiritual lessons, I thought I had this "life is constant change" thing down and found peace in trusting God with the events of my life and the inevitability of change.

Recently, not so much.

Life has been a mixture of feelings: immense gratitude for the wonderful husband and family, among other things, I am blessed with, and the desperation of having my faith challenged to the point my soul feels like it is bleeding. 

I could hear the enemy, that rotten little naysayer, badgering me even in my sleep; telling me what a crazy fool I was. I quit dreaming because it was too painful to realize that most of my dreams seemed to have flat lined with no hope of resuscitation. Placing them in the hands of The Dream Giver and choosing to trust Him with the timing of the manifestation of these dreams calmed the undercurrent of uneasiness for only brief periods of time.

 And then--having lost all hope, confidence, and resigning to failure--I read a guest blog post by Geoff Talbot. Inspired, I visited Geoff's blog, where I found this video of his story.

I listened, I cried, and I was excited. The student was ready for the teacher. Just when I had reached the end of myself, God heard my pleas for help. I am seeing and hearing those subtle ways God uses to encourage us, through other people. 

Thank you for your words, Geoff. May they reach far and wide.

I'm not giving up. I dusted off this blog. I volunteered to assist an equine assisted therapy center. I scheduled a shoot for new comp card photos for this Thursday. I have contacted modeling agencies in the UK and Germany. I'm surrounding myself with creative types in my position as a video camera operator on the production team at my church (meeting lots of really cool musicians and pros in production) and working with my husband as his assistant. I am focusing on the positive again.

May I challenge you to offer words of encouragement at every opportunity? You may never know their impact, but they could have a profound one.