It is all over facebook this week in Highlands County. Schools are letting out and seniors are waving goodbye with a mix of happy and sad tears as they look to the horizon smiling at what their future may bring. So I thought I'd go ahead and share with you all the awesome 2013 seniors I had the pleasure of photographing this past year. Starting off today with the girls, and starting the girls off with the lovely Sheri. This girl is not only gorgeous inside and out but is talented too. I remember the first time I took a look at Sheri's photography portfolio a few years back. It was impressive with lots of not just good images but creative thinking behind the shots. And her talent has done nothing but grow, and grow and grow. She is heading off to Daytona State College in the fall to grow that gift even more and I can't wait to see what is in store for this girl in photography and in life. Thanks, Sheri for giving me the honor of photographing you. <3
Last night at church we honored our seniors and I had to opportunity to stand in front of a handful of girls that I have been able to invest in over the past 3 years as their Youth Group leader. Crazy cool. With a handful of emotions all the way from fear to pure joy. And sitting right there in the front was Sheri.
When I moved back to my home town "temporarily" and got involved as a youth small group leader almost 3 years ago I remember in my first meeting telling the girls "I am just here temporarily… basically, don't get too attached." I wasn't really that pompous about it, I don't think. But never-the-less I thought I was doing something for them by getting involved in their lives. And then a funny thing happened. I got attached. Through the course of this "temporary, indefinite" stay for the past 3 years in Sebring these girls worked their way into my heart and I have been able to watch them grown into incredible young women of God.
Last night we handed them tiaras and I encouraged them to look outside of their own head and their opinions of themselves, their friends and family's opinions of who they are and outside of all other influences to look to and focus their gaze on how God views them. "Set his words in your heart. Carry them with you." As they put the tiaras on their heads I asked them to remember that they are daughters of a king and to walk forward in their lives with that confidence, clothing themselves in "strength and dignity and smiling at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25)
I borrowed one of the girls tiara's for a second to place it on my own head for a little "demonstration" and I couldn't help but to feel the weight of such a thing. Now a girl just can't wear a tiara without her back straightening up a bit, her shoulder's going back as she draws in a deep, grand breath fixing her eyes straight ahead. Trying to hold back a grin I could feel the strength and dignity swelling up from within. I guess I am the daughter of a king too.