Where We've Been

 Oh my. It's been too long y'all. Life has been hectic for the past two months for all of us. School. Midterms. Traveling. Weddings. Photoshoots. And other awesome life happenings. We're busy in the throws of assembling the spring issue & it will be out in early April! Hooray!! Here's what we've been up to + what God has been teaching us this winter::


 Life is crazy. Crazy good and crazy hard.

Over the past 3 months I've been in a season of pruning and loneliness. And I've come to be okay with it...because it is a season. Not my life. Not my destiny. 

In December I moved for the first time in my life and gave up one of the only things in my life I'd kill to keep: my dog. She was a lot more than a dog, but my baby (yes, call me a sap but whatever!).  When I came face to face with the reality of having to move & give her up, I was in Fort Worth with these three lovely besties...best timing ever. Through praying about it and their wisdom, I had peace that this is what I had to do, and that God had a beautiful purpose through it. 

Oh, did He ever. 

It woke me up. From putting my identity in things other than Christ. From clinging onto things so hard. From not putting Christ first.

Losing my dog was the best thing to happen to my spiritual life.


As I drove away from giving her away, Desert Song played on the radio. 

"All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship"

Oh God's timing :)

My life hasn't been all peaches & cream since moving. God's been teaching me lessons on contentment, identity, and relationships, and sometimes I just want to curl up in a ball, cry, then magically transform into a girl that has it all together. Hah! I have so much to learn.

Not only did I move for the first time in my life, but I moved 25 miles out of Minneapolis into a city I would've kicked & screamed about living in 6 months ago. It's been different living in a lakeside city, not an inner suburb (mainly not seeing a lot of friends anymore), but the loneliness has been pointing me upwards. Towards Him.

One of my favorite quotes ever:

Loneliness is not an indication of abandonment, but an invitation to intimacy with the One who will never abandon you. - Steven Furtick

Can I get an amen?! 

I'm starting to feel okay about being where I am in life. Not only because after season of pruning comes flourishing, but God ordained me to be here for a gorgeous PURPOSE.

So for right now, I'm drinking in the solitude & working on assembling the next issue with the theme of new beginnings. And there is even new beginnings for the one still in the soul season of winter and loneliness. Always.


Hey everyone,

These past two months have been so incredible! When Bethany first began to talk about this upcoming topic of “New Beginnings” for the spring magazine issue, I was a bit nervous. Okay, I won’t lie I was really nervous.

I guess I was just afraid I wasn’t qualified enough to write on such a strong topic. WELL, little did I know all the things the Lord was going to be teaching me these past 2 months! WOW!

I mean like, holy guacamole WOW! All the way from travel to business to life, Jesus has just truly been chiseling away at my heart.

Lately the Lord has been reminding me of my past, now keep in mind its not a super yucky rebellious past, but I’m not particularly proud of it. It started at the beginning of my annual compulsive spring cleaning or LIFE DETOX as I like to call it.

After spending these past few months traveling, stressing over school & business along with not eating particularly grande, I just need to refocus on well, me. Not in a selfish way, but in a way that I needed to make sure my heart was in the right place.

But, back to life detoxing, as I rummaged through the depths of my closet I came across an old year book from my freshmen year (keep in mind this is from a large homeschool coop.) Lets just say, I wish I never had to see that again,

I think its all to easy for us to forget our past, you see, I went through this phase where I truly has no idea who I was, I was just going through the motions of life & one of my biggest faults was comparison. I was ALWAYS comparing myself to other girls around me & after a while that took a toll on my heart. My skin was certainly not clear, my heart was short and flat to my face, I had a funky sense of style, but the worst part was...

I wasn’t happy.

I thought, only if I looked like her, then I would be happy. NEGATIVE!!!!!

Girls, please please please listen to me. Until your every being lies in the Lord will you find true joy & beauty that radiates from the inside out. Start trusting Him & let him be your source of life, I promise, once you allow yourself to be transformed there is NO turning back.

I won’t lie, after looking at that year book picture & even remembering the car ride to have it taken makes me sick. I was teary eyed that morning because I felt so insecure with who I was.

For a while I thought I could dismiss this period of time in my life, but the Lord reminded me that we all change, why?

Because Jesus makes all things new.

I can now boast in the Lord for what He has done in my life & that my friends is an amazing reality.

Change is messy & far from beautiful, but until our eyes our opened to the fact that Jesus is made perfect through our imperfections can we truly live.

For it is no long I who live, but Christ who lives in me.

Needless to say I am truly excited to be sharing more about this season that the Lord really has all the Shine Team in (which is kinda wild).

Jesus is pruning & Spring is coming, come jump on this band wagon, cause we are stoked!


I’m at a place in my life where the friends that I grew up with are getting engaged, married, & having children of their own, while I haven’t even been on a date. Surprisingly, I’m ok with that… for now at least.

Of course, being in this stage of life is a little weird. These past two months I’ve learned a lot about myself: what I like and don’t like, what my passions are, and what makes me light up. I’m learning how to be an adult and what the world expects of me. I’ve learned to be wise when following my dreams. I’ve gone places and seen things and done stuff I never thought would be possible. I’ve dreamed big and worked hard. I’ve practiced and learned. I’ve made mistakes and pushed forward…

It’s hard some days. Those days when I start looking around at others and compare myself to them, I get discouraged at how far I have to go. But then I have to take a step back and reassess everything. The only person I can compare myself to is the person I was… so I do that and realize just how far I’ve come and all the obstacles I had to jump over to get here, where I am now.

In this issue we talk all about finding joy in the change and being content with where you are right now while still pursuing your ultimate goals. If you only take one thing away from this issue, I hope that it would be that life is all about perspective.

You can choose to focus on the negative things or you can choose to focus on the positive things. You can choose to bring glory to Christ through all of your circumstances or you can choose to be bitter about everything.

It’s up to you, how you perceive the world, and what you make of it.

These past few months have been a rollercoaster of new beginnings. It has definitely set the tone for the spring issue… from starting a new job, to traveling, to second shooting my very first wedding with Sarah, all of these combine to create the whirlwind that is my life right now, but I’m excited and ready to take on what comes next.


These past two months have flown by faster than I ever imagined they would or could! I've been balancing life, business, and school.... This year has been the most interesting combination of crazy and stressful, yet so blessed. I have traveled every other weekend, shot several gorgeous sessions in Nashville, Savannah, and Charleston... Visited with Sarah and Ciera, helped at the fantastic Making Things Happen Intensive, and lately I am burying myself in school work!

Life can be so wonderful, beautiful, and overwhelming at the same time. In every single circumstance, never forget to place your hopes and fears at the feet of Jesus. As I'm finding the balance in it all, I've been discovering so much peace in Phillipians 4:6-8:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I'm praying and hoping that you all find rest and courage in Jesus as we head into spring! I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!



  1. You girls are wonderful! Keep up with the hard work, you are shining Jesus' light so brightly and beautifully! P.S. Mackenzie, we should get coffee sometime. ;)

    1. Annaliese- Yes! I'm moving to Minneapolis in July, but I would love to talk over a cup of coffee beforehand!