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Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation

A year of change, a year of difference…

December 31, 2016

Can you believe this year has already come to an end?! I feel as though just last week I was saying “I can’t believe 2015 is over!”… and somehow, we’ve jumped to 2017. Woah. Crazy right?

This year was surely something different for me personally, but more on that later.

I’ve heard so many times in the last 366 days (yep, this was a leap year) of the struggles and difficulties that those around me have been enduring. I’ve seen the tears, I’ve heard the stories. There have been losses and tragedies all around. Even in my own life there were disappointments and times when I thought I couldn’t face what might be ahead. There was so much uncertainty… I had no idea how 2016 would end, or how I would make it through.

But I did!! and you made it too! What a beautiful ending right?

I feel as though 2016 was a novel that confused me until the end. As I sit reminiscing on all that this year has brought, I don’t think of all the times when things were tough. I look at myself and I see all that I have become because of all that happened. I see all of those who have made it through their tough times and overcome obstacles. I see people who have grown and built stronger character. I see little moments that on their own didn’t make sense, but altogether formed a beautiful picture. I see a version of myself that I’m truly embracing and I appreciate each moment that I’ve lived.

I prayed on New Year’s Eve 2015 that this year would be a year of change… and that prayer was surely heard and answered. I didn’t think at the time that asking for change would mean so many challenges… but I see now that what you ask for may not come in the way you imagine. God has a funny way of doing things, but in the end, so long as you hold onto your faith and do the best you possibly can, things really do work out.  So don’t despair when what you’ve been hoping for doesn’t come in the way you expected.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” – Isaiah 55:8

I’m sure if you take a look at your own life, you’ll find many lessons now etched into the fabric of your mind. The experiences, the hurts, the let downs have taught you how to be stronger, how to avoid future troubles. They’ve transformed you in some way or the other, and you couldn’t possibly graduate to the next phase of life had things gone any differently.

So when 2017 brings you something you don’t quite seem to like at first, don’t forget that there is purpose hidden in every experience, you never know if today’s hurt will become tomorrow’s stepping stone.

Wishing you all a beautiful year ahead and here’s to hoping that 2017 that takes you closer to the version of yourself you’re destined to be!

 

 

Faith, Featured, Friendship, Inspiration, Love, Photography

Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After – Jodi + Regan

March 17, 2016

It’s not everyday that you come across couples whose relationships have stood the test of time. I’ve seen social media swarming with new relationships and young love, and while there’s an adorable quality to all of it – I have always felt a sense of awe over couples that’ve grown up together and stayed true for years upon years. That’s where my true ‘awwwww’ moments are born.

Couples like my grandparents, who have honoured ’till death do us part’ and share generations of lessons, love, struggles and everything else that comes with a relationship have a different kind of structural integrity that I can’t help but admire. I only have a few couples in my life, and by few I mean like three… who have marriages and relationship stories that inspire me… and boy do I try to learn from them. It’s a rarity in this world, but social media often tells us that everyone has those amazing perfect relationships.

What social media doesn’t tell you is that it’s much more about getting through the rough than enjoying the #datenights. It’s about fighting for what you want, maintaining a firm grip on your beliefs, and striking a balance that mutually encourages, supports and strengthens both people involved. I believe the same goes for friendship. You have to choose friends who are willing to go through the tough times WITH you, knowing that the journey will be long, but will be worth it if you’re both heading towards well aligned goals.

If you’ve found that in a friendship, or relationship, I suggest you count your blessings and work at it to keep it going. Hold on to it tight, because it’s the stuff that so many only dream of. If you haven’t, there’s a time and season for everything – so take the time to improve yourself until you do.

For Jodi & Regan, the sister and brother in law of my dear friend Kade – they seemed to have found the perfect recipe that works for them. They seem to have found it, and are holding on tight! Being the lover of weddings, engagements and all the mushy stuff that I am –  I thoroughly enjoyed tagging alongto grab a few shots of their journey towards the big day. It was clear to see how well they fit together, and super inspiring. Shout out to all the dreamers out there (myself included) – it’s possible!

Here are a few shots from their engagement shoot… Stayed tuned for shots of their destination wedding!IMG_0183rblog

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If you decide to use any of these images, please link them back to me please or feel free to tag me!  🙂

All images © 2016 Aimee Melyssa

Faith, Lifestyle

Bethel Music: Spirit Move // Kalley Heiligenthal // Have It All

March 10, 2016

At various junctions in my life, I’ve come to the point where I’m not sure how to take a step forward… or even back. I feel immobilized by circumstances and feelings and have moments of total uncertainty. It’s as though the motivation and zeal to get through anything is being drained… Thankfully, I’ve triumphed over many of these moments via a simple formula: worship. I know it probably sounds clichéd and there are surely moments when I forget about this powerful tool and waste my time trying to find other ways to hold on… but when I remember the beauty that comes through music… specifically worship… oh wow… Let the catharsis begin!

Nothing picks me up, and dusts me off quite like music can. I just thought I’d share the album version of the song that’s currently taking me through and giving me the much needed pep in my step for this season.

Hopefully someone out there might find something in this song too. If you’ve never heard of them, please check out Bethel Music on YouTube. Their worship has been impacting my life ever since the first time I listened… I personally prefer their live versions, but I thought to include the album version as a starter.

 

Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation

6 Lessons to Take into 2016

January 6, 2016

6. Don’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Start your day right. I suggest doing this by starting your day with 5 minutes of meditation to help you gain clarity on what lies ahead. For me, I try to pray while focusing on what’s ahead of me. When I remember to do so, it makes a HUGE difference. Admittedly I don’t always do this, but I hope to make it a habit. Often, there are a number of things we need to do during the day but when we wake up feeling scattered, you can bet that that scattered state of mind will continue throughout the day.  Meditation gives you the opportunity to purge all the messiness in your head. Chances are, when you take 5 minutes to meditate, your mind will start to race with all your to-dos and stresses.  This is the purging process. Just stick with it and allow this to happen until your focus becomes narrowed to what’s most important.  Eventually, this will create space and clarity in your head to recognize what your first task should be and you’ll feel more ready to conquer the day. Your attitude when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day. Be determined to make each day a good one – the sentiment alone can be revolutionary.

5. Surround yourself with motivated people.

Numerous scientific studies have shown that the people around you influence your behavior. They define what you consider “normal” and thereby either bring you up (or down) to their level. We’ve all heard about having ‘good’ friends and finding the ‘right ones’, which is the broader aspect of my point, but let’s get specific! It’s 2016 PEOPLE!!!

If you hang around people who are energized, purposeful and committed to making a difference in the world, that’s what you’ll consider to be “normal.” Don’t spend time around those who constantly see life as a struggle, or worse, don’t be that guy. Life will always be filled with challenges and obstacles, but having people around you who are determined to push past those challenges in hopes of getting to all the wonderful things ahead… Those are the ones you need to be surrounded by. After a while, being naturally motivated will become a part of who you are. 

Know your goals. Know your friends. If the two don’t align, one of those probably needs to be re-thought. *cough* It’s probably not your goals.

4. Eat wisely because success takes energy.

Our civilization currently suffers from a self-induced plague of obesity, caused by the mass consumption of addictive food products that give people life-shortening diseases after first making them listless and drained. I’m looking at you Cinnabon!!!

Ohhh.. that tray of minibons.. the caramel… and pec..*ehem* Where was I?

I’m not saying you don’t eat the occasional slice of cream cheese smothered carrot cake. However, if you want the energy to act, the energy to achieve your goals, you need to give your body the kind of fuel that can create that energy. And it’s not going to be found in refined sugar. Eating healthy eventually leads to you FEELING and being healthy. So make the sacrifices now, you’ll be glad later, it’s not as hard as you think.

3. Don’t wait for perfection, just do it now!

Perfectionists are sometimes the biggest losers in life because they either expect things to be perfect before they take action or, if they do take action, they can’t enjoy whatever happens because it’s not the perfect outcome. *smack!* THIS ONE HIT ME. It’s me. *cue the guilt*

The only thing that’s perfect in this world is that you’re perfectly free to take action – now, as in right now. Don’t get me wrong- patience is wonderful, but waiting TOO long for PERFECTION is the enemy. Whatever you have is enough to take you to wherever you want to go, as long as you’re willing to do what it takes. Perfection can still be your guide, but don’t make it your goal if it’s not realistically possible, and if falling short will discourage you. This is something I’ve struggled with, but I’ve learned that giving your BEST is better than striving after unrealistic goals and expectations.

2. Loving someone does NOT mean losing YOURSELF.

I know this one is a bit cheesy… but it’s so true. True love should empower you, but it shouldn’t obliterate all traces of yourself or your individual priorities. There’s an unmistakable passion that’s bred out of love. When you love someone, or something, you suddenly feel an inner strength to go past your natural borders and boundaries to ensure that your priorities reflect whatever, or whoever it is that you love… It’s easy to lose yourself in this passion and forget to prioritize your own emotions and individual goals. Individuality is just as important as existing as a part of something or someone else, so be wise in your sacrifices and prioritizing.

1. Your attitude determines your altitude.

I once saw that quote scribbled somewhere, but it’s now etched into my brain because I’ve proven it to be soooooooooo true. Attitude is everything. Attitude determines what you do after you’ve fallen off the proverbial horse… it’s not just about getting back on, it’s about HOW you do it. Are you going to whine and b**** about the fact that you fell off? Are you going to blame the horse then storm off yelling expletives? Or are you going to try harder and hold on tighter?! *inner applause for decent analogizing* You’re the boss of all your decisions. You decide what happens after you mess up or after you’ve been hurt. We all have awful days when we wish we could disappear into some alternate universe or hop into a time machine (yes I’m a fan of FRINGE and time travel). However, since we don’t have a Marty McFly around, the next best thing is to adjust your attitude and give your BEST to whatever you’re faced with. Let integrity hold you accountable and keep trying, I promise you’ll eventually get there… wherever ‘there’ may be for you.

I’m sorry this was such a lengthy post, but it was hard to summarize and finally decide on just 6 lessons that I’d learned. 2015 was a tough year for me, I’ve learned way more than this, been through so many trying times, but they have all helped to ready me for a better 2016, and positioned me to create a better version of myself. Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to share more about these in the future. Until then, I hope that 2015 was a good year for all of you, and if not, take the initiative to make 2016 better and believe it will be. You’re stronger than you think! You’ve got this.

This can be your year, just take control, give whatever you can’t control to God and work hard to see your dreams materialize.

Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation

Limited Edition

August 17, 2015

“That’s a stupid decision.”

“Why?!”

“Are you sure?” 

Haven’t we all heard statements and been asked sarcastic questions that force us to question our decisions, our character or our morale?

I know I have. I’ve been subjected to my fair share of judgement, misunderstanding and often doubted my decisions as a result of not getting the approval I thought I needed.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all felt at some point as though we were wrong for not getting approval from someone who mattered. I’m pretty sure we’ve entrusted our ambitions, our feelings, our validity and self worth to people who shouldn’t have jurisdiction to even decide such. If that’s you, like it was me, then you probably know what it feels like to be down-trodden and discouraged.

If that’s you now… STOP!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

Continue Reading…

Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography

Cathartic Bombs and Minefields

August 2, 2015

 

Ever tried sleeping in to avoid life? I have. It probably sounds immature, and not very conclusive, but it’s an avoidance tactic that I remember using as a teenager to diffuse ‘stress’. Shame on me for thinking that life was tough back then! Little did teenage me know, reality would only sting harder as time went on.

Thankfully, although now I’m plagued with new, more grown up realities… call it stress 2.0... I’ve found a few little anecdotes that I thought to be share-worthy..

Call it my ‘I wish someone carefully explained this to me before I had my awkward teenage stage’ revelations if you will.

Back then, I thought that everything was some cathartic bomb and life was a minefield. Now, I pretty much recognize that that’s actually true… Except… I actually posess the power to deal with every hand that I’ve been dealt.

There’s a simple solution to my problems that always existed, but I was probably too self absorbed to take notice.

Continue Reading…

Faith, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography

Start Somewhere.

July 16, 2015

If only there was some sort of blogging mirror that I could use to practice my introduction to the potential readers here in internet-land, I’d be much more at ease. Since there isn’t, forgive my simplicity and timidity in creating this first post…

Hi, I’m Aimee in case my newly re-created logo failed to make that clear. (I hope you like it!)

Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a deep passion for expression. I’ve always had a healthy imagination and an innate love for creativity in all forms.

A few days ago, while doing some thinking on purpose, specifically my purpose, I had an aha! moment of courage.

Perhaps these passions placed in me have a purpose. Perhaps I’m meant to use them to a greater extent than I do now. Perhaps I’ve wasted too much time waiting on the ‘perfect moment’ to come along to chase after what I want most. What a waste it would be to look back on my life and realize that I never did anything with the multitude of things I’m passionate about. What a waste it would be if I never tried to use whatever talents I may have to do something greater. What inspiring stories will I tell my future kids?!(woops that’s probably too personal!)

This is my attempt to ensure that I’ve at least tried. In the many hills and valleys of these twenty three years that I’ve been around, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life. is. short. We either make the most of what we have NOW, or look back and wish we did.

A simple pin on Pinterest, (my procrastination tool of choice) humbled and inspired me last week after having my aha! moment. It started an internal revolution that can’t be muted. We often have hopes, desires and dreams that are silenced by our circumstances, peers or emotions… but the truth is, an escape or solution is always around the corner as long as we start somewhere. This simple truth was my new beginning, I hope it might be the same for someone else out there.

 

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