An Unexpected Christmas

A Shepherd’s Field on the hills surrounding Bethlehem, Israel | Contax 645 , Fujifilm Pro 400h 120

A Shepherd’s Field on the hills surrounding Bethlehem, Israel | Contax 645 , Fujifilm Pro 400h 120

I started writing this Christmas post to accompany this image from the hills surrounding Bethlehem early in December. With anticipation and expectation I had asked the Lord to teach me something new about the Christmas story this year and a few weeks into December I thought I knew what it was going to be...

When we toured the holy land we found ourselves standing in the blinding sun squinting, peering out at shepherds fields and ancient gardens that hold stories from the black of night. A place transforms based on light. A field doesn’t seem so far away from a city in the daytime when you can see it in the distance. You can’t even glimpse the stars, though they are surely there behind the veil of brilliant blue. The fullness of the light of the sun oftentimes blinds us from the small moments in powerful stories told in the dark. Yet there we stood in the shade squinting our eyes because our tour didn’t include any nighttime stops though the stories they held surely did. On that first Christmas Day a new beginning came in the dark of night lit by handheld lamps and far away stars.

I thought that was it. God comes down in the silent black of night to bring us the everlasting light. Yes, what brilliant truths that message holds! I planned to pray and ponder over it all throughout this season as my work slowed and the holiday festivities commenced.

And then the unexpected happened. An unexpected death, an unexpected whirlwind of a trip for a funeral, unexpected sleepless nights, unexpected tears, unexpected stories. Missed meetings, rescheduled photoshoots and unsent Christmas cards and gifts all added to the list of the unplanned.

The unexpected interrupted the well laid plans I had for this Christmas season. But then isn’t that just the very heart of the Christmas story?

And there it was. If a baby born to a virgin isn’t the most unexpected story I don’t know what is. I’m sure those shepherds in that dark Bethlehem field were never in a million years expecting the heavenly hosts that would interrupt their silent night. Certainly no one thought our Savior would ever come as a humble baby boy born in a back room stable within cool stone walls. 

Our God is a God of the unexpected. Though none of it is a surprise to Him.

Maybe this Christmas season what I really needed to learn is instead of agonizing over unwelcome surprises in the night to lean in and look for Him there too, like the shepherds on a Bethlehem hill lit by starlight on that very first Christmas night. 

“O little town of Bethlehem

How still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting Light

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight”


Loss at Christmas Time

As the Christmas season has been coming upon us my heart has been heavy for those who lost someone dear to them this year. Christmastime can oftentimes be the hardest. I think back to that first Christmas without my dad. After 34 years of celebrating alongside him, things were painfully different. I know the ache. If you've experience loss, you know it all too well too. And for anyone whose lost someone this year you are in my prayers and have been on my heart for the past few weeks. 

And then...

Courtney + Josh Wedding Preview — The Don CeSar Wedding Photography — St. Pete Beach, FL

Courtney and Josh and their St. Pete Beach, Don CeSar wedding celebration was the definition of modern sophistication with lots of room for fun! I loved their colorful details and easy going spirits. (And believe it or not I took more photos on the dance floor than the entire rest of the day combined.) Needless to say it was quite the sweet celebration from start to finish. Thanks for having me and congrats you two! 

xoxo, Caroline

Vendors:
Photo - Caroline Maxcy Photogrpahy
Planning - Natalia Day | Days Remembered by ND
Venue - The Don CeSar
Dress - BHLDN
Florist - 2Birds Events
Hair and Makeup - Kristy's Artistry Design Team 
Desserts - The Artistic Whisk

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Fall Mini Sessions with Caroline Maxcy Photography

Seven years ago when I officially started my full time photography business this, this right here was the heart of it, telling the hometown stories of family and friends through captured images that become heirlooms for generations to come. I love when this time of year rolls around and the fall family session inquiries start coming in. It’s time to document a year of growth, a year of change, new additions and long lasting love. And while I love a good ole 1-2 hour long family session spent wandering and capturing beautiful images at your family home, farm or favorite park I know that doesn’t suit every family’s needs (or budget). In steps the mini session. A relax 10-15 minutes at a beautiful outdoor location with lots of lush, Florida goodness to explore. It’s for everyone from the young family, to multi-generations, to the professional looking for updated headshots, to seniors and engaged pairs.

So if you think you’d be a good fit for a Caroline Maxcy Photography Fall Mini Session head on over to snag your spot today on one of our two offered dates, October 13th and November 17th by {clicking here}.

Keep scrolling to check out some peeks into last year’s minis to get a feel of the session and plenty of ideas for everything from what to where to who to bring along.

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Rachel + Ryan — Central Florida Wedding Photography — Sebring, FL

Happy One Year Anniversary to these two! A year ago Rachel and Ryan tied the knot on one of the most joy filled wedding days I've ever seen. Much like the day we experience just today one year later, September 1st started off with all the sweet, crisp sunshine and then quickly turned into storms right at ceremony time. Filled with calm they decided to move all their guest to the front porch of the gorgeous private home they were getting married at and said their "I dos" in the sweetest of intimate ceremonies surrounded by their nearest and dearest, a gentle rain shower and lots of happy tears. Just try to look through these photos without smiling. It's nearly impossible. Congrats again Rachel and Ryan and I hope this first year of marriage has been filled with so much bliss and so much growth and so much glory to our Jesus! Love you!

xoxo, Caroline

Emily + Patrick Wedding Preview — Central Florida Wedding Photography — Sebring, FL

You guys, my husband's twin brother got married this weekend! Which means we added another amazing lady to the family (Welcome, Emily!). I loved being there to 1/2 capture the day and 1/2 be an adoring guest (and a big thanks to my associate photographer Lisa Taylor Hall for capturing the parts of the day where I was doing the whole "guest" thing, aka. posing for family photos, sipping coffee and slow dancing with my hubby on the dance floor). Congrats you two and thanks for putting together such a perfect day complete with the all the colorful peacock details, the prettiest wooden floral bouquets and brunch for dinner! <3

Photo: Caroline Maxcy Photography and Lisa Taylor Hall
Hair: Chanea Losee Turner at Vanity Hair Salon 
Make-up: Brittney Fann with Beauty Fit for a Queen
Florals: Ladonna Paedae Rodriguez with Hobby Hill Florist
Wooden Floral Bouquets: Etsy Seller
Dress: Davids Bridal
Suits: Maxcy's Mens Wear
Ceremony: Whispering Pines Baptist Church
Reception: Sebring International Raceway, Hall of Fame, Gallery of Legends

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