About Me

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My name is Amber and I am seventeen years old. My greatest interest is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I like to dabble in photography and writing, so this blog is a mix of my photos and stories. I also might at times post some heartwise articles. Please enjoy; I always appreciate comments.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pictures Awry

Anyone out there know about taking pictures of young kids? If you do, you have probably discovered that it is difficult to take a group picture.

In fact, some days it is virtually impossible. By the time you have one child finally looking, the others have lost interest.

The most frustrating thing can be when you are reviewing the pictures later. You might have some adorable shots of some of the kids, but the others aren't smiling.

Oh well! The kids still look cute!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Story: Forgiveness

       Hi all. I hope you are doing well. Ever since I was young I have enjoyed inventing stories. About three years ago, I took an online writing class from an amazing teacher, Susan Marlow. She taught me how to put my stories down on paper (or screen) in a coherent and consistent manner.  Please let me share one with you. This story speaks of the power of forgiveness. Enjoy~


      Maya stood in stunned silence, her mouth hanging wide open. What in the world had her father just said?

      “I’ve given it a lot of thought,” he was saying, “and I’m meeting with my lawyer next week to start the divorce. I’m sick of you.”

       Maya looked at her mother and flinched at the unutterable pain and shock she saw there.

       “Come on, Maya.” her dad said. “We’re going to be late for your dance class.”

        Maya followed him mutely out the door, letting the news sink in. Once they reached the car, though, Maya’s shock had turned to pain and anger. Turning on him she let loose, almost screaming, “Who do you think you are anyway, just waltzing up to the front door and casually announcing this? I can’t believe you. What in the WORLD are you trying to do? Didn’t you see what you did to her?! You’re supposed to be our dad and her husband, and protect us. Now you are just going to walk off and leave us!”

       “MAYA, get in the car.”

       Maya could see his anger rising in his eyes, and knew from experience that it could well match hers. But she was too furious to care.

       “I hate you. I hate what you did to her and I wish you weren’t my dad.”

       “Maya, get in the car,” he grabbed her arm and pushed her into the front seat where she sat looking straight ahead as he started the engine and drove away.

        Robert Andrews was a man with a quick temper, which his daughter was very good at arousing. He gripped the steering wheel, driving fast, but in too hot of a rage to notice it. “It’s my life,” he thought, “and nobody is going to keep me from doing what I want.”

        As he approached an intersection he glanced at Maya as she sat ramrod straight in her chair, with her chin set determinedly. Incensed, he pressed hard on the gas pedal, ignoring the red light above.

        He heard Maya screaming, “Stop!” Turning his head he saw a huge semi-truck headed for Maya’s side of the car. Then he heard crashing metal and everything went black.

        Robert woke a few minutes later, trapped in the car. His whole body hurt and through a fuzzy haze he could hear voices. All that he could think was, “I’m going to die.”

        He suddenly thought about his life and a fear gripped him. He thought about his wife and Maya’s Christian faith. He knew that he deserved Hell. “I’m so wicked,” he thought. Then he thought about Jesus, whom his wife had lovingly told him about numerous times. Suddenly it all made sense. Jesus had died for him, and had taken his punishment.

       “Oh, Jesus,” he cried out, “Please, I am so sinful. Please save me. Help me to become your servant. If I live, please help me to regain my family‘s trust and love.”

          Robert laid his head down, having surrendered to his Savior in that mangled car.

          Maya saw swirling blackness. Suddenly the murkiness cleared and she was sitting in a small room. She rose shakily, trying to understand where she was. As she looked around the room, her eyes fell on a book lying on a table. Picking it up, she discovered that it was a Bible. She began to flip through it and her eyes fell upon Proverbs 19. It read, “The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

         She flushed guiltily, remembering the events of that morning. She went on and came to Matthew 5 where she read, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”.

        Maya slammed the Bible shut and threw it down, beginning to pace the room. “God, I can’t forgive him. He hurt all of us so much. I just can’t!” At that moment the room started to darken and Maya lost all awareness.

        Robert woke with a start. He looked around him, trying to discern where he was.

       “Robert, it’s me Kathy. Can you hear me?”

       He looked and saw his wife sitting beside his bed. He suddenly realized that he was in the hospital. “Yes, I can hear you. What, where-”

      “You were in an accident.”

      “I remember,” he said.

      “You are fine,” she said with a tremor in her voice. “The doctors say that you should be able to leave in a few days.”

      “Kathy,” he said, “I have to tell you. When I was in the car, I-I thought about a lot of things. I thought about God and how I haven’t been following him. I prayed and asked Jesus to save me and give me a new heart.”

       Her face crumpled as she sobbed. “Thank you, Lord,” she whispered.

       A moment later a thought struck Robert. “How is Maya?” he asked urgently.

       Kathy paused and said hesitantly, “Sh-she is in the hospital, too.”

      “Kathy,” he said. “I want to know.”

       “She is in the trauma center. She is in a coma and the doctors don’t think-” she stopped to gain control of her voice. “The doctors aren’t sure if she will ever wake up. And if she does… she will never be able to walk again.”

          Maya slowly began to become aware again. This time she was in a different room. A brilliant light filled the place. She looked at the wall and suddenly words appeared on the wall. She immediately recognized them as being from Matthew 6. She read them out loud, the words burning her eyes. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

          Maya began to tremble as her feelings warred inside her. When her heart began to consider forgiving him, an uncontrollable rage rose inside of her. A picture of her mother’s sad, careworn face presented itself to her mind. Next came her father’s: smirking, unkind, and carefree.

         Maya began to scream uncontrollably. But her shrieks could not drown out the sound of the verse, repeating itself in her mind.

           “So, how are you doing today?” the nurse asked sympathetically, as she checked Maya‘s monitors.

           Robert shrugged his shoulders. “All right. The Lord is giving me the strength to face each day.”

          He looked down into the hospital bed and gently caressed Maya’s still face. “I keep praying that the Lord would give her back to me, but I know I don’t deserve it.” He looked at her sharply. “There’s no hope, is there?”

          She hesitated, as though searching for the words. “We can only hope,” was her tentative reply.

          “I understand,” he replied, as tears filled his eyes.

         Before she could see anything, Maya could hear a terrible noise. As she adjusted to her surroundings, she found herself standing on a hill, in a crowd of people. Looking up, she saw a sight that made her jaw drop and a wave of horror sweep over her. Rising high above her was a cross, on which hung a Man. Maya knew instinctively that it was her Lord Jesus.

        As she surveyed the scene, Maya was struck by the horror of it all. Her Savior hung dying on a tree, weak and bloodied. She shuddered at His labored breaths, looking in shocked outrage at the ones who had shouted for His death.

        Suddenly she heard a voice high above her say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

        Maya could not believe it. At that moment, the importance of what had just occurred fell on her like an avalanche. He had forgiven them, he had forgiven her, for every sin, every offence against Him.

        Maya fell on her knees and sobbed. “I’m so sorry, Lord. You have forgiven me for so much; why couldn’t I do the same? Oh Lord, please help me, I forgive him. As she lay there crying, the noise began to fade and swirling blackness returned.

         Maya woke with a start. She was lying on a bed in a dark room. She looked around, her heart pounding wildly as she tried to comprehend where she was.

         Abruptly, a small light flicked on and Maya saw a nurse walk in. The woman’s jaw dropped when she saw Maya, and she quickly left the room. Someone rushed to the side of Maya’s bed; turning her head, Maya saw that it was her father.

        In a moment the room was entered hurriedly by another nurse, and a man who Maya presumed to be a doctor.

        As they started hurrying around the room, looking at monitors and medications, Maya turned her head and looked at her father.

       “Wh-what, where am I? What happened?”

       “We had an accident, sweetheart. D-do you remember?” he asked, watching her face.

        Suddenly a wave of realization swept over her and she remembered. Yet even as she re-lived the moments before the accident, she vividly recalled every second of her dreams.

        She struggled to sit up, and immediately became aware of a strange sensation. “Dad? What is wrong with my legs?” she asked with a trembling voice.

        Her dad dropped his head briefly, then looked her straight in the eyes. “Maya, when the semi hit our car, your spinal cord snapped. The doctors say that you will never be able to walk again.”

        Maya stared ahead in shock. An unbelievable terror filled her mind and she longed to jump out of the bed and run as far away as she could. But she suddenly looked down and saw her father.

       His trembling hands were covering his face. Maya could hear low sobs coming from his mouth. A deep love and pity filled her heart. Gently, she placed her hand on his shoulder.

       He looked up into her face with a troubled, yet hopeful expression. Maya smiled softly and said, “I love you, Daddy.”

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Camera

Hi all! I must admit that I am very excited about this post. You see, for years I have been taking pictures with a decent, but old camera. To be fair, that camera has served me wonderfully over the years. I am very comfortable with it and know most of the tricks of how to coax good pictures out of it. However, it is time for an upgrade.

Almost two weeks ago, I bought my new camera, a Nikon P500. I am really enjoying learning to use it. It is definitely challenging, but I know it will be well worth it once I have it mastered.

Here are a few pictures from one of my best photo shoots so far.

I have to say this is my favorite. This is the roof! I love this zoom.

Have a great day and don't forget to check out the song of the week!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I don't know why it is, but it seems that most kids just love sunglasses at some stage in their lives. The kids I nanny for are no exceptions; they love to pull some "shades" out of the drawer and wear them. Unfortunately, I discovered that I don't have any good pictures of the older two in sunglasses, but I do have some rather cute ones of the others.

Ben practicing his hunting.

I love that face!

This last one is my personal favorite!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


This post is designed to introduce myself to my readers and set forth the purpose of this blog.

My name is Amber and I am sixteen years of age. God has given me the blessing of being raised in a Christian home. Jesus saved me and brought me to Himself through a long process of learning. I seek to spend my days living for Him and bringing Him glory. I am nothing but a dirty sinner, but Jesus has made me clean and given His righteousness to me.

My mom has homeschooled me and my siblings for many years and this has given me the ability to pursue many of my interests, photography being one of these. In fact, the main purpose of my blog is to give myself a way to share my pictures with others. I hope to grow in my ability to take photos and I think that this blog will give me a reason, a drive, to take better pictures.

There is one theme in particular that often is displayed in my photos. I absolutely love kids and I am blessed to be able to nanny for four beautiful children. I plan on posting many pictures of "my kiddos". Let me introduce you to them:

(Please excuse the large size of the pics;
they look grainy if I don't make them this large.)

Isabelle is the oldest at 7 years of age. She loves being the big sister and is a great helper.

AJ is 4 years old. He is definitely all boy in his actions, but he has an extremely tender heart.

Ben is 3. He is a totally joyful little guy and loves one-on-one time.

Gracie, the youngest, is a passionate 2 year old, very sweet and adorable. Her greatest love is shoes. :)

Aren't they cuties? Other picture subjects that will occupy my posts are the many photos I capture of flowers and other plant life around my house.

I also enjoy writing stories and I plan to publish some on this blog. In fact, I plan on completing NaNoWrMo this year, so I will possibly post some of what I accomplish in that month.

I must say that I have authored a blog once before; it was also called Living for Jesus (As an aside, to anyone who might have read my previous blog I have changed my online name from Lulu to Amber.) but was hosted by Homeschool Blogger.  That eventually slowed to halt; I became very busy, and no one really read it anyway, etc. Well, this time I am determined that I am not going to let this blog wither and die. I am going to commit to myself and you that I must post at least two times a week. Please don't let me forget that promise. :)

Well, now that this introduction is complete, I can begin writing ordinary posts. Thank you for reading this, though it was slightly long. Please do come again. I love hearing from any readers, please don't feel shy. :)

~In the grace of Christ