Abandoned Warehouses // Anna + Tori

I hope everyone is doing well in this crazy holiday season!

Recently I have been struck with how much God loves and deeply cares for His children. I am blessed in so many ways and am usually too naive to see it until after the fact. In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 7 talks about how earthly parents know how to love and give good gifts to their children, but these are in comparison nothing to the kind of love and care and gifts that God showers on his beloved children (Matthew 7:11). Right before this Matthew talks about how when we ask, God is gracious and gives to those who ask. I’ve been really thinking a lot about the power of prayer recently. So many times in my life God has proved Himself time and time again to me through answered prayers. If you are discouraged about a situation, pray about it. God hears us. He cares about us. You may not see immediate results, but then again you might. God may may answer with a no, but ultimately He is going to do what is best for us because He loves us and can see the big picture of our lives that we are unable to see. Even if you are not discouraged, I would encourage you to spend time in prayer. Thank God for the good things in your life. Lift up others to God that may be struggling.

One of the huge blessings that I feel Gods love through is my roommate, Anna. When we both came to Covenant we did not know anybody, and we just let the admission people put us with a random person. Little did I know that not requesting a specific roommate would be one of the best decisions I would of made for my college years. We were randomly placed together, but I could not think of a better person to live life with. I dearly love this sweet sister in Christ. I believe that she is a physical expression of Gods love in my life. Her selfless and compassionate character has been very good for me over these past three semesters and has gotten me through a lot and has encouraged me more than I think she will ever know.

I can always count on Anna for being up for a good adventure, or having a good discussion about some art piece, or pursing our creative passions in one way or another. If I ever want to talk about some hard theological questions Anna is the first one to be willing to talk through hard life stuff with me.

Before I went to college I prayed for a good roommate, little did I know what God had in store for me far surpassed what I was hoping for.

 

Anna Jumping Correction

One Sunday afternoon we were feeling a little extra adventurous and our creative ideas were flowing. We had been wanting to do a photoshoot for a while but just had not been able to find the time with our busy school schedules. After church, before heading back up the mountain, we passed some old buildings and abandoned factories and old warehouses . We could not pass up the perfect opportunity so we pulled over and took some pictures and enjoyed each others company. Doing photo shoots with people you know so well is so much more fun than doing them with strangers or people that you do not know very well.

Joyful Blessings
Joyful Blessings
That stunna gaze though

 

tori + anna

Anna 4

 

Now boys, I know she is stunning, but you’re going to have to get through me first 😉

Sisterly Love
Sisterly Love
“Partners in Crime”

 

Photo Creds to Anna for these next three Photos 🙂

tori 2

tori 4

tori 9

We are coming for you, World.
We are coming for you, World.

Don’t be afraid to seize opportunities when they arise. Take some chances. Would you rather wonder what what could of happened? Or would you rather have tried it and either it be an amazing experience or possibly you might found out it wasn’t the best, but at least you tried.

Go. Adventure. Hope for the best. Love those around you. Pray. 🙂

Until Next Time,
Victoria

Back on the Mountain

Welp. I am back on the mountain, and to say that I missed these sunsets would be an understatement. The semester started off a little rough but God is gracious and things are working out nicely now. Praise the Lord for his comfort in our times of weakness! God has been exposing how broken I really am and it makes his love so much sweeter and his comfort so much more precious when I realize how much I truly do need Him, and that I am nothing without Him. Below are just a few words of encouragement that have been very helpful to me over the past couple of days.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – II Corinthians 12:9-10

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling… BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.” – Psalm 46:1-3,10

“You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is [restless] until it rests in you.” – Saint Augustine

Sunset Covenant August 2015

 

In the next few weeks I will probably be posting some photos from this past summer that I did not have time to blog about – that is if I have more time now (haha, not likely but I am going to humor myself and try anyway).

I hope whoever is reading this will have a fantastic week and I pray that God’s grace would fill your life!

Until next time,

Victoria Grace

Chicago // Millennium Park

Since I have been home for the summer from college I feel as if I have just been constantly traveling. I started off the summer by going to Alberta, Canada, then Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. This week, my family went up to the suburbs of Chicago for a wedding. So of course it was a given to take the extra time and explore Chicago for a bit. Even though we were worn out from all the festivities, we still made it to downtown Chicago.We spent about 2 hours in the city and we were able to see something that I have been wanting to visit for a while. THE BEAN. Actually the real name for the famous sculpture in Millennium Park is “Cloud Gate” but most people refer to is as the “The Bean” due to its shape. Its reflective qualities make for some pretty intriguing compositions in pictures.

 

Cloud Gate
“Cloud Gate” in Millennium Park, Chicago, IL.
Cloud Gate
“Cloud Gate” also known as “The Bean” is a huge stainless steal sculpture created by Anish Kapoor in 2006. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates that were welded together to get its seamless surface. It measures 33′ X 66′ X 42′ and weighs 110 tons.

 

Cloud Gate
Hi. That is me. The one with the camera.

 

Cloud Gate 6
R E F L E C T I O N
Cloud Gate
This is the view if you are standing right underneath The Bean and are looking straight up. I know, cool. Right? If you look super close I’m Right in the middle looking up. Good luck trying to find me. 🙂
Millenium Park, Chicago
At the entrance of Millennium Park there is this beaut. It is one out of four portrait sculptures in the park created by the Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa. This particular one is titled “Look into My Dreams, Awilda”

After walking around the park for a while we went to get some coffee from Intelligentsia, at the Millennium Park location. No words that I can use to describe this coffee will do it justice. It was phenomenal to say the least. I was able to try their Cappuccino and Chai Latte. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a Chai Latte so much. It was like heaven for my taste buds. I also got a pastry that I can not remember what it was, but regardless it was outstanding as well. That amazing coffee experience was the close to our short stop in Chicago, but I dearly loved my couple of hours spent in the city. I absolutely love traveling and revisiting and/or seeing new places.

Intelligensia
Busy city vibes.

 

Intelligentsia
Cappuccino from Intelligentsia. Delicious and of course you can not forget the lovely latte art.
If you are ever hesitant to go on a spontaneous trip. DO IT. You will regret it if you do not go. I almost did not go with my parents on the last trip (Memphis/Nashville), but I am so glad that I did! I was able to experience and fall in love with a new city. I used to not be the most spontaneous or adventurous person out there, but I’m getting there. If you are given opportunities to travel, take them. Those opportunities may not always be there, and I can guarantee you that you will be able to see and experience places and things that you would not have been able to otherwise. Go places. Live life. Explore. Even if its just for a day, or even a couple of hours. Go. Have fun. Don’t be afraid to look like that stupid tourist, because chances are the locals can spot you from a mile away, so you might as well own the awkward title (thats not an excuse to be a jerk or obnoxious on purpose though, still be courteous of others). Learn about different places and ways of life. Enjoy the experience. God has made so many places with so many neat things. Get out there and explore His creation. 🙂

 

Until Next Time,
Victoria Grace

Kitscoty, Alberta // Black and White

I have to apologize, I have not posted in a while. My life has been hectic to say the least – but I am finally home and can take a minute to breath. I went straight from finals to Canada for my cousins graduation. Going to Canada is one of my favorite things. All my dads side lives up there so every time we go it means spending time with beloved family that I wish I could visit more often.

This particular visit consisted of me, my mom and my dad traveling to the quaint little Village (yes, it is actually considered a village) of Kitscoty, Alberta for my cousins graduation. I also had the blessing of spending Mother’s Day with my mother and grandmother. This small little town of about 850 residence sits right between Edmonton and Saskatoon (Wikipedia) . There is not much there but I had the pleasure of my cousins showing me where they go and what they like to do.
While I was editing these photos I decided to choose a black a white theme. Why do you ask? Because I felt like it was the best way to portray how I perceived this little village. To most people, this village is probably not the most exciting. But to me, it is a beautiful place that helped me slow down after a busy year and spend time with family. I was able to explore areas that I would not have been able to see unless my cousin had shown me them. Also, I was able to have the marvelous experience of seeing the Northern Lights (yes, I am going to share this experience in a separate post).
So to answer the original question of why I chose a black and white theme is simply because I found this little village, although not very popular, to be quite beautiful. Simple yet lovely. Adventure inspiring. This place is not beautiful just because of the places we went or the things I saw, but because family resides here, and nothing is as special as the comfort and love of family.
The CN railway goes right through the village.

 

Alberta is filled with enormous farms, ranches, wildlife, oil fields and refineries.

 

My cousin took us out to an old trestle bridge (don’t worry the trains do not use it anymore). Perfect spot to shoot some photos. This place was very peaceful. All you could hear was the water beneath. No cars. No construction. Just serenity.

 

I found the terrain to be very intriguing. I’m used to all different kinds of land. Farms, cities, mountains (more like very large hills), and the list goes on. But here, it is all just flat. Flat for miles and miles and mostly occupied by farms and very small communities. And lots of dirt and gravel roads.

 

My cousins took us to another bridge. Cars use this one, but we parked and took a little walk and went beneath the bridge. You could walk the whole length of the bridge on a tiny walkway. The fence seen in this picture only was for the first 20 feet or so. After that you were about hundred feet above the ground/river on a small walk way with just a metal cord on either side of you. The experience was a bit exhilarating. Every time a car would pass over the whole thing would shake and rumble loudly.

 

Graffiti on the bridge.

I enjoyed my time in Alberta. Stay tuned for my pictures of the Northern Lights! 🙂

 

 

Ballet + Nature

To continue a thought from my last post…

I am surrounded by wonderful people, and I have a fantastic roommate! What do you do when you love taking hikes and photos and your roommate dances? Well you take dancing photos in the woods. duh.

But on a serious note. I absolutely adore creativity. I admire any form, even if I don’t completely understand it. Photography, painting, dancing, singing — the list could go on forever. God created us. He created us in His image ( Genesis 1:27). Since we are made in His image, we share some of His attributes — we too are creators! He gave us dominion over this world (Genesis 1:26,28). I think that when people take the resources that God has given them and make something new out of it, that they are fulfilling their duties in having dominion over this world. Or when we use our bodies to dance or sing, we are using the very thing that God has given us to glorify Him. Or in the case of photography, when we can capture moments and sights, it is a incredible thing, we are capturing the beauty that He has put in our life. I fully believe that using your creative abilities to glorify God is one of the most fulfilling forms of worship. Artistic expression is a way for us to praise God.

 

“Ever since I began ballet, dance was portrayed as an act of worship to the Lord. Since my small beginning eleven years ago, dance has been an outlet of praise and honor to Him, my heavenly Father. I feel that Tori truly captured the essence of praising our Maker through the graceful movement of the incredible bodies He has given us.” – Anna

“Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” Jeremiah 31:13

Anna Dance 4

My beautiful roommate, Anna.

Anna Dance 14

“Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!” Psalm 149:3

Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”
Genesis 1:26 ‘Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:28 “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

 

 

Perks of Living on Top of a Mountain

I attend a College that is on top of a mountain. At first I had mixed feeling about this place. Yes, the view up here is undoubtably breathtaking, but it’s also on top of a mountain so to get anywhere it would take around 20-30 minutes. I am used to being 5 minutes away from everything so I was kind of dreading this part. But, this part that I wasn’t so excited about I have come to love. It has made me slow down and enjoy what is around me.

I have been so incredibly blessed by this place. The people that surround me here are beyond amazing. God knew exactly what I would need and who I would need and set me right in the midst of it.
So what do we (me and my dear friends) do on a beautiful Sunday afternoon? We take a hike! For me, there is something so sweet about just going out and taking in Gods creation. For me, it is a way to worship Him — to acknowledge Him as Creator and Praise Him for all the beautiful things He has made.

Hiking Friends_

IMG_8149 MC Hiking

IMG_8165

MC Looking into distance

Leaves MK

 

More posts to come!

 

Rediscovering interests

I used to be very interested in photography. I always had my camera with me, and I was always taking pictures and reading different photography blogs. Over the past 5 years my life has been so hectic and busy that I just didn’t have time for somethings anymore. I started taking pictures less and less, and didn’t have time to sit down and edit photos anymore. Sadly, I let documenting my life through photographs slip through my fingers and out of my daily life.

Recently I have been inspired to start up on my photography again! I have made time in my life for some hobbies of mine that I have neglected over the past couple of years.

Here are a few of the photos that I took today. I just pulled out my camera and started playing around with some different settings, poses, etc.

Enjoy!

Isaiah 55:12  “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Isaiah 55:12
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
Sometimes we need to take the focus off of ourselves.
Sometimes we need to take the focus off of ourselves.
Well... just because I love boots! :)
Well… just because I love boots! 🙂
"You cannot be all things to all people. Be unique. Be different. Give to others what you want yourself. And do what you were made to do"
“You cannot be all things to all people. Be unique. Be different. Give to others what you want yourself. And do what you were made to do”

Until next time,

Tori M.

 

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:31