Our Life | Rediscovering Joy

This is about to get real.

If real leaves you feeling uncomfortable, now is the time to walk away.

I believe with every fiber of my being that each part of my life is linked and leaves thumb prints all over the place. There is no area in my heart that is isolated. This is especially true for photographers.

Regardless of the equipment we sport, our heart is the true lens with which we see the world. It’s my heart, dear friends, that needs sharing.

Before I begin, let me tell you: I’ve struggled for 6 months with whether or not I should allow this into my professional life. But as I mentioned before, there are just some things that bleed into every part of a person’s being. This is no different. I am not looking for sympathy, but understanding. I want to share with you how my heart (and in turn, my lens) has changed. Please know, I not only have permission from Tyler to share…but his full support.

You see, this week holds many things for my family. We will celebrate Tyler’s 29th birthday and my sweet Truett’s 4th birthday. I cannot tell you how full my heart is with thankfulness! These men are 2 of the 3 most important people in my life. They are worth so much celebrating!

This week also holds something else for me.

On September 8th, we loaded our boys up and rushed to a very exciting doctor’s appointment. We were going to hear our baby’s heartbeat again. This time, Truett would be introduced to the newest seed of joy in our life; a baby that was due to arrive on his birthday. I wish I could say the day turned out as ordinarily as we’d expected. Unfortunately, we found that we would not be meeting that sweet babe. I learned that day just how devastation and numbness can coexist.

The next 3 weeks were filled with some of the most intense emotional and physical pain I’ve ever experienced. It also began a journey that would leave me raw and completely ready to be remade. At times I thought I would be left as a bitter woman who knew nothing but anger and resentment. Other times, I thought I would simply cease to exist in a meaningful way. I’ll spare you the details, but know this – it was not the last time we faced that heart-breaking news and we are no closer to growing our family at this point.

We are, however, so much closer to being the family that God has written for us.

This week will undoubtedly hold a stark reminder of what could have been, but it also holds a reminder of what has been going on in my heart these past 6 months…

Through all of this, I’ve been clued in to a very simple and often missed truth: There is a level of joy that requires sacrifice and sorrow is often a prerequisite. Would I ask for this season in my life to repeat itself? No. I think the bigger question is: Will I allow this season to pass without bearing fruit? Again, the answer is no.

There is nothing within me that has been untouched. To think that I can compartmentalize myself as a woman and then a mother and further more a photographer would rob myself of the “…perfect work…” that the Lord is completing in me. I am under no assumptions that I will be a perfect woman, wife, mother or anything else when this season has passed. But of this I am sure: the work that God is doing will be perfect. It will be completed. It will leave me rebuilt.

It’s the rebuilding (do not confuse this with repairing) that has and will continue to transform me into a better wife and mother, as well as a photographer. I can say with complete honesty that I am now able to see the “precious” and “extraordinary” in the “ordinary” that I may have missed before. I still have hurt. I still have healing to do; but I welcome it. To do anything else would make the past 6 months a waste. I simply can’t let my missing pieces be a waste.

What does this have to do with OrangePeel?


It has changed how tightly I hug my boys, how deeply I love my husband, how closely I guard my heart, how freely I give my love, and how I see the joy taking place around me. Through the deep ache I still house within myself, God has freed me to truly soak in the joy that is found within the Everyday. It has altered how I not only see but also capture the ordinary moments of a family and the secret joys on a wedding day. For this, I am left feeling so humbled.

Before I go, here is what I’ve learned through all of this about “doing life” with those around me…

To embrace the joy (and sorrows) in the life of others while enduring your own suffering is a choice. It’s a hard choice. It means swallowing the gut wrenching tears that find themselves in your throat. It means never comparing your hurts to another’s. It means letting go of how someone may have overlooked or minimized your hurt in order to help them carry theirs. It means truly (and I mean TRULY) dying to yourself so that the love of Christ is made great during the joys and trials of another. I’m not going to kid myself and pretend that I’m going to nail it every time…but I’m going to try.

I’m so excited for wedding season to start for us. I can’t wait to see daughters look to their mothers for the perfect placement of their pearls. I can’t wait to see the twirling that every flower girl is compelled to do. It will nearly burst my heart to see fathers pat their son on his back before shedding a tear when they see that boy, who surely just learned to ride a bike, stand as a man promising his forever. I’ll soak  in the aunts and uncles and old friends who hug in celebration after years apart. I can’t wait. I just can’t wait for the joy and all the things that it will be wrapped with.

So, if you happen to see me out of the corner of your eye and you catch a glimpse of a tear, know this: I am not sad. I am overflowing with thankfulness that I have been privileged to share in those little moments whose sum is what fills our lives with the simple joy that makes the bumpy roads bearable.

Now that I’ve poured every bit of my heart out in the hopes that you will truly see how important the joy and moments of others have become to me…I’m off to spend the week celebrating my boys…


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  • March 19, 2012 - 9:59 am

    Maggie - Your words are beautiful, Kami. I can feel the Lord shining through you on this page. I firmly believe that He has worked amazing things through you and will continue to do so. You are a strong woman filled with the love of Christ and you will set an example for each client you meet, each child who enters your home, each friend you meet for coffee (well, Earl Grey in your case). Keep praying! Keep your heart close to the Lord as you have! Keep smiling! Keep shining! You have never left my heart and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pray for you and your healing soul and body.ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 10:04 am

    Angela Dillett - What an incredibly inspirational entry this is. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. The strength you show can & will help others that have gone through similar pain, conquer these speedbumps in life. Thank you again!

    God Bless!ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 11:24 am

    Amy - So well written and you feel your heart and soul in every word. Thank you for sharing Kami. Big hugs for you and your family and to a happy joyful wedding season!ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 11:44 am

    Becca - Kami,
    You truly are an amazing woman. God is doing some amazing things through you, and I can’t wait to see where He is going to take you next! I am so thankful for you and how you blessed us with such beautiful pictures for us to be able to remember details of our day forever. Thank you for pouring your heart out, and showing that God can work through hurt! He will continue blessing you because of your beautiful heart!ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 12:19 pm

    Ashley Keith - Kami, thank you for sharing this and sharing Christ through all circumstances! You are a beautiful encouragement and reminder of what matters most and your openness is a blessing to so many who might not be able to share those hurts or whose hearts are still heavy. God bless you and your family!! <3ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    Darbi - Your strength is beautiful. As is your heart, your love of life, and your commitment to lifting others, even when you are at your lowest. Hugs to you. XoReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 1:30 pm

    Andrea - Love you friend. Thinking of you much this week. 🙂 I’m SO thankful you’re in my life. You have made this sorrow more bearable knowing I am not alone. Love you.ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 3:02 pm

    Audrey - Kami you are so inspiring. Thank you for taking the time and risk to be real. Thank you for differentiating between repairing and rebuilding. I’m glad you’re able to use this as a chance to grow from this situation, that’s incredibly tough and I greatly admire you for being raw like this. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • March 19, 2012 - 10:13 pm

    Tricia Nugen - Kami- I know that must have been so hard for you and I am so proud of you. You are an amazing role model of what god can do through our love and Faith. So happy to know you…. God bless you and your family sweet girl!

    1 John 4:8
    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.ReplyCancel

  • March 20, 2012 - 8:26 am

    Erin - Moving and beautiful! You will capture every real moment and it will be remarkable. 🙂 That is very powerful. And many understand.ReplyCancel

  • March 21, 2012 - 2:37 pm

    Naomi - Hi Kami 🙂 SO good to read this. I definately can see your heart through your words. Thanks so much for sharing this difficult, yet growing time in your life.ReplyCancel

  • March 29, 2012 - 1:29 pm

    Meredith - thank you for being you Kami. Although I did not know of the extent of all you have been through, I always knew you were remarkable and thoughtful.ReplyCancel

  • April 14, 2012 - 10:03 pm

    Rita - I was thinking of you today and decided to check in and see what was new in your world. So sorry to hear of your sadness; so happy to hear of your strength and joy in the Lord. Hugs and prayers.ReplyCancel