January 1, 2007: I’m laying on the floor with wet hair, worship music playing on my iPod, the book of Exodus open, writing in my journal. I feel challenged this year to stretch my relationship with God. I need a morning prayer time. I am overwhelmed with desire to know Him more. I’m fasting from TV this week. I know God has more for me than I could fathom. I want to have even a QUARTER of that blessing on my life, career, family. Whatever happens I want it to be in God’s will. While reading Exodus 16, I saw something interesting. The Israelites were all complaining in the desert without food and Moses said [paraphrased] that when we complain it’s not to each other, but against the Lord. Who am I to complain with all the blessings I have?
January 21, 2007: After a three-week journaling sabbatical, I return with some thoughts. I struggle with eating. I need to fix this. I rely on eating as something to do and a comfort to me. I’m far from where I was two years ago and that’s a good thing. My food habits need to get better and I want to lose 10 pounds. I’m going to start weighing myself. Hopefully I can lose 10 pounds in a healthy way for the first time. This is a new phase.
February 6 2007: I’m trying to live life right now rather than regurgitate a bunch of “stuff” I’ve been feeling. I had a beautiful time away with the family in Seattle. I love travel. I cried after school today because I was so happy to see Mom and Brandon. It wasn’t a good day. I analyze things constantly. Sometimes things need to be left alone. Second semester started: all new classes. I’m still frustrated with high school. I need to teach myself not to think.
February 8, 2007: I struggle with school often and feel a need to “get through it” until I remind myself that God has a plan. I am living His plan. He gives me strength each day. I want to enjoy these years. Confession: sometimes I go to the bathroom during a school day to close the stall door and breathe and be alone before going back to class. It’s nice.
Dear 16-year-old-Jamie, I wouldn’t trade places with you for all the money in the world but I love seeing you grow. You are learning to persevere. Yes, God does have a plan and yes, He gives strength for the everyday. I forgot that you used to go to the bathroom to be alone. Hah! Quirky little girl. I love that your “waiting” is now spent in the Word and prayer — not in front of your mirror. I was reading this morning from Romans 8 in the Message translation. I thought of you:
“Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same Moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.”
April 17, 2007: This evening Mom and I drove to Vancouver to buy an indoor exercise bike for our workout room. It was fun to have the evening drive with her. Mom showed me the places she used to run and work. I love seeing her history. Twenty years from now, maybe I’ll be showing my daughter around the neighbourhood we live. I love imagining Mom as a girl, living across the street from her elementary school and playing baseball on summer evenings. Mom showed me the apartment where she lived my grandparents. I saw her window and the building entrance where Dad dropped her off every night they were dating… Where will my places be?
May 23, 2007: I’ve been crazy busy with my business in the last few weeks. I bought a domain name: Jamiedelaine.com — and a ton of work went into a cheap template. It was a huge pain so I’m giving up. Buying a different one. I don’t know if I have enough money to cover the cost but Mom and Dad will help me out in the meantime. I have business cards now! I should tape one in here. A new lens and two memory cards, too! Including the new website, I have put about $950 into my business. I’m in my double study block now so I’m headed back to school real soon here…
On January 1, 2007, I wrote about the desire God was stirring in my heart for prayer — the blessing I believed He had for my life if I would seek Him. It’s cool that January 1 was the first day I read the OpenSourcePhoto forum. OSP was an instrumental part of my growth as a photographer in the coming few months. I read every thread on the business of wedding photography. I wanted to know it all: pricing, marketing, album sales, equipment, off-camera flash, slideshow programs, blogging tips.
In March, I started working at a coffee shop. I loved work: being in “the real world.” Every paycheque was saved and used to purchase something photography-related. By the end of the school year, I launched my website. Photography gave me purpose in what felt like purposeless years. I found something I could build at my own pace [fast] and on my own time [all the time]. In my own business, the harder and longer I worked, the more successful I knew I’d be. I loved the challenge. School was no longer skipped because I was sick and anxious, it was skipped so I could spend another two hours working. The same vigour and energy I had thrown into perfecting my body, I applied to my business. It was an exciting time.