At the Peak of a Precipice

As I look around me here in Texas I realize that there are very few Precipices to be found. I mean Dallas is not known for it’s mountains or even high ground. I will note that Cedar Hill does happen to have the peak elevation for the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex but 830ft is hardly a hill in my book. I was born at a higher elevation in Colorado Springs and grew up in North Carolina a stones throw from the Smoky Mountains. I have spent my fair share of time at a higher elevation then the one that I find myself at these days. In fact I spent almost a year living in the side of a mountain in Alpine. All this being said doesn’t seem to have done anything more than deviate me from my point.

The thing about a peak in particular is that it is the very top. If you ever have the joy of finding yourself at the peak of a mountain you find that no matter what direction you look you have uninterrupted views. Okay so not every peak gives you an uninterrupted view. Especially not in North Carolina or any stretch of the Smoky Mountains there are trees all over those peaks. But if you ever find yourself on the peak of a desert mountain you will be able to enjoy an uninterrupted view.

I love looking over an uninterrupted view. Do you know what I find is especially nice about that view? When I am standing there I know exactly where I am and can see where I am going next. I can see the obstacles that lie ahead and can plan on any detours that lie down the path. There is a security that can be found in seeing what lies ahead. Now I don’t know about you but even in the desert mountains there is still no way to know exactly how long it is going to take you to get from one place to the next or how often you may need to detour from you previously laid plans.

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” – Psalm 37:23-24 (NLT)

There is a certain exhilaration that I get when I stand on a mountain. It is a feeling of infinite possibility. As I face the dawn of this New Year I find myself exhilarated by that same feeling of Infinite Possibility! This year is full of so much potential I am so glad to find myself stepping into this new season.

God Bless and Happy New Year!

AZ-str

The Netflix Effect

Nine years vs Nine weeks!

That can be the difference between contentment with the end of something or utter frustration!

So yesterday the last episode of How I Met Your Mother aired. I was busy with work and people so I couldn’t watch it live but I had DVR’d the episode so I watched it this morning since I was off from work today! Now I guess I should mention that until February I had only seen one episode of the show ever! But I decided that I would check it out. Now I was given the same opportunity to start watching this show nine years ago as many of you. Several of my friends were fans and had mentioned the show. I have always been more of a fan of cop shows like CSI and NCIS over your Situation Comedy or Sitcoms any day. To this day I have only seen about half of a season of Friends. But I have seen every episode of CSI that has aired! All this to say that about two months ago or around nine weeks ago I decided to start watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix and with current work my schedule I was able to get myself competently caught up in a few weeks. Basically just in time for the series finale.

**HIMYM Spoilers**

Now I have heard and seen posts complaining that they feel jipped out of the last nine years of their life. Because well the ending was horrible and no one liked it. I am not going to lie I really liked the Barney & Robin combo and I am kinda mad that they broke that up. But seriously to all those who complained you might want to take a little time and watch the show from a beginning because if you didn’t see this coming it might be because it has been a while since you watched the earlier seasons.

When it comes to a good story line that is written to cover a long period of time there is something that writers do called foreshadowing. It is widely used in books but can also be seen in many TV shows over the years. Now this observation could be coming out of my love of a good mystery. But after my years of cop shows and a more recent love of Sci Fi, foreshadowing has become one of my favorite parts of fiction. More specifically in TV shows.

Well if it has been years since you have watched the show well then you might consider watching it again or at least the pilot episode because although they didn’t know how long they were going to have this show run they were always going to have Ted & Robin end up together! Because “Hello!” we meet them and as they are meeting!

Another example would be LOST. Recently a friend of mine and her husband watched through LOST on Netflix. He had watched it before real-time but she had not seen it before. It was funny to watch her watch through Lost and hear her appreciation of the plot and the new discoveries as the show developed. When it came time for the show to end me and many of my friends that waited those six years asked her what she thought about the ending. Much to my surprise she actually liked it.

SO through all this I have been curious about why these forms of fiction have this effect on us.

TNE

Well I don’t know about you but I am not the same person I was one year ago let alone the person I was nine years ago.

I have watched CSI since I was in high school. I still remember what was going on in my life when The Miniature Killer kidnapped Sara.  I cried when Warrick Brown was found dead. I have watched as the characters of the show grew up and I have grown with them. The devastation I would feel of an abrupt or bad ending to CSI possibly force me to want to boycott Jerry Bruckheimer for the rest of my life only to realize it is because of the moments that I shared with these characters and that although I don’t personally know them. They have been a constant companion since I was a teenager.

So although I have enjoyed CSI over the years I had never really watched either of the spinoffs of the franchise aside from the occasional crossover episodes. But with the availability of both CSI: NY and CSI: Miami on Netflix I decided that I would give them a chance. I randomly decided to watch through New York first partly because I have always enjoyed Gary Sinise and I really like New York as a city over Miami. Well what I have discovered is that I can still be a shipper even on the short run and that I can’t help but cry my eyes out during ten year the September 11th anniversary episode but over all I will never be as attached to the characters of NY or Miami as I am to those in Vegas.

Now one could venture to say that they could judge the reception of a show by the time invested. But if you really think about it the same amount of time is invested in watching any given Television show. You are still taking an hour out of your day to watch each episode. The real thing to that changes the reception we have for a show is how much patience we invest in watching each episode and how quickly we allow the story to unfold. Are we willing to invest that time of our life over the span of years or over the span of weeks? This is the difference I am referencing.

I guess this isn’t really that big of a revelation but I have just been thinking about it a lot lately and finding out How Ted Met Tracy kinda gave me a bit of a platform to talk about it.

Blessings,

Alicia Zinn

AZ-str

Turning the Page on a New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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As I look back I realize that with the best intentions of blogging on a regular basis I ended up barely posting once a month. 2013 has been a year for the books I Graduated from CFNI receiving my Bachelors in Theology, Moved into my own place, Started In His Eyes full-time, Found a part-time job to help pay the bills, Lost that job, then booked a Wedding… That was fun & I am sure there is plenty of other things but for now it seems to about cover things! As this year is ending I look back over the memories I made and can’t help but smile because of the immense joy that comes to my heart as I think of the amazing people that have come into my life over the last year. I find myself even happier as I look forward because I know many of these relationships will last the rest of my life!

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The next year has even more to bring with the hope that more business will start to come my way! I will say that there is still hope of a mission trip this year and a maybe a road trip or two. I will only be young and single once so I want to live out my life to the fullest! I have truly enjoyed the season I am finding myself in right now! I look to the future with an expectation of so many things… But it may seem funny but I will have you know that of those many thing one thing stands out! This girl would really like to have a hand to hold and a heart to love within the next year! Alright I said it! I have been single for about as long as I can take it! So hurry up Mr. Whatshisname! I am getting tired of waiting!

May you all have a great new year and know exactly what you want for the next season of your life!

AZ-str

 

World Missions

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If you know me you know that I have a passion for world missions. Mission support has been something I have held closely to my heart. I have been praying for and doing my best to financially support missionaries since I was a teenager. During my time at Christ For the Nations I formed connections around the world. I have the joy of knowing people all over the world making a difference and bringing hope to the nations!
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In the picture above you see a map. If you can’t tell some countries are a little darker than others. These countries I have had the joy of impacting in some way whether through financial or prayer support. A personal goal of mine is to one day see the entirety of this map completely painted a darker shade. So you might be asking why I have decided to share all this with you? Well it is because some things will be changing as the new year approaches.

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Next year I will begin donating a portion of my prophets from In His Eyes Photography to missions support. I have been praying about this for a while. So it brings me great joy to now be able to support missions by doing what I love! I hope over the next months to introduce you to some for the missionaries that you will help me support!
Alicia

Saying Goodbye

It isn’t easy for me to write this post. As I write this it has been two years since my father celebrated his last birthday alive. At 52 years of age he lost the battle with cancer a month and a half after that birthday. That day of celebration was beautiful each moment of that last six months I cherish. Every sacrifice I made to be there was worth it. I knew that it was exactly where I was supposed to be that last six months of his life was so full. I am thankful for the amazing family that walked through the valley of death together. That is no place to be alone. The last two years have gone by so quickly and some days it was easy but some days it was hard. I remember a few days where I would be mad because he wasn’t here so angry that he was missing this part of my life. Days where I just needed a hug from my dad but he wasn’t there anymore. Days I just wanted to call him and tell him about my day because he was a good listener. Some days when I felt like the one that didn’t fit because I am so much like my dad and Paul is like mom. So many huge moments like graduating with my Bachelors. Turning 28. Seeing Paul travel to Africa. Mom realizing her potential. So I am going to do something that I may regret a little because it will be extremely personal but I am going to write my dad a letter telling him a few things as if he has just been out of town for the last almost two years. This is what is personal and hard about this post. I am writing my father a birthday card update. If you know me understand I am okay. If you don’t know you I hope these words are helpful. If you have experienced a loss or know someone who has. I would be glad to share my whole story. I may feel hurt occasionally but I have never stopped living. I have loved and lost.

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Happy birthday Daddy,

It has been almost two years since I have seen you. I want to tell you what has been happening since then. When you left us. Paul and I drove to Texas. It was an adventure I learned that I should never be trapped in a car with Paul after he has had two 5 Hour Energy’s in the span of 10 hours. He almost didn’t survive the trip. After that mom and I went to visit your family with Grandma Kay (My mom’s mom). Your parents didn’t take you leaving well. Nanny (his mom) has not been feeling well. We are not sure how much longer we will have her here with us.

After we got back to NC I prayed about what I was supposed to do so I packed what I had with me there in NC and up and moved back to TX with the hopes of finishing my degree in site.

So in November I did.

In December Mom is moving here. She found a foreclosure in Cedar Hill that she likes. I like it. It even has a pool. I am glad the family will still be together.

In January I was able to start my last year and a half of school.

In February I fell. The doctor said it was a seizure. I was really scared. He said that it was likely that I had had them before but had never been diagnosed. They put me on this crazy anti-convulsion medicine that makes me sleep for 12 hours and wake up tired and feeling like a zombie. I am not allowed to drive for six months I don;t have a job and I am in the middle of school! I hate this! It is hard! I need your help! You aren’t here.

It has been a few months that doctor figured out a better dosage. It isn’t as hard but I still miss you. The three of us went on a cruise with Grandma & Grandpa! Alaska was amazing. I may have sprained my shoulder while zip-lining in Juneau. It is almost your birthday. I love birthdays. I just had mine. And I can drive again.

So I may have overestimated my ability to apply my self in school this semester I decided to duel enroll. I am taking classes at two schools altogether I am going to finish out the semester with 25 credit hours. I hope I make it.

I made it! I can’t believe I made it through that! I straight A’s for all my classes at CFNI and DBU I finished with a B & C. Not bad. I finally found a job again. Nothing exciting I am back in retail but it is good work for while I am in school.

Christmas… I had to work so I am in Cedar Hill with almost no one to celebrate with. Paul and Mom went to NC to spend the holiday with Grandma & Grandpa. But… It Snowed this after noon… I can’t believe a White Christmas in Texas! It was a beautiful day!

Happy new year! I am starting my last semester of school in May I get to graduate, After some careful consideration I realized it is best if I stick with one school graduating in May with my Bachelors is enough for me. Because I really don’t want to still be in school when I turn 30.

I can’t believe how quickly that went by. Just like that I am all done. I am now the proud owner of a Bachelors in Practical Theology Majoring in Worship from Christ For the Nations Institute. I remember in 2007 when  you were there as I completed my Associates. Paul wasn’t there but you know I really don’t mind because guess what Dad! He finally got to go on the mission field he went to Africa!

I can’t believe I am actually 28. I had one of the best birthdays ever. So many amazing people here to celebrate with me. I think you would have loved to know them all. I know you remember some of them when you were here once or twice. I have an amazing Church family here. They have helped make these last almost two years possible.

Hi daddy, It is your birthday. You aren’t here. I had a great day yesterday and today has the potential for so much. I have been working a great summer job but it is time for me to get a big girl job. I have been working on getting my studio in a better place as far as a sustainable income but I know it takes time. I have been living with mom. But guess what there is a beautiful house that I may be able to rent. It is perfect for me. I am waiting to hear back about it but it is the type of house where I could eventually start a family. Things are falling into place. I am looking forward to tomorrow. each day holds the potential for steering my future forever. I love you and miss you. I wish you could be here for what comes next but I know you can’t be. Maybe someday I will be able to tell you about it but for now I will have to leave you by saying goodbye.

Goodbye Daddy! Your life was a precious gift to me thank you for being a part of it! I love you!

Alicia

New Design

New Design for In His Eyes Photography

If you haven’t noticed a few things have been changing around here. About a week ago I was looking at my website and realized that as much as I liked it really meant very little to me which for me is a big deal. In the past everything I have put into this business has been from my heart inspired by God.  But the Umbrella, the previous font and the colors were really just an early attempt at learning some Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop from a design perspective. At the time I liked how it looked so I went with it. But last week I realized that it really wasn’t communicating what I was about or I want to see this studio become so it was time for a little change.

The first thing I did was took a little time to pray about it. Then I gave my amazing brother who is currently working as a graphic designer and talked it over with him. We talked it over and showed him some of what I was thinking about. Ultimately he told me to take it to the Lord and which is exactly what I did. After about a day or two with the Lord I was able to decide on the font for the name and tagline which really describe my vision. I love books Vintage or Classic books are my Favorite. So I wanted to find a font that reflected the classic set type that can be found in on the pages of books printed in the early 1900′s such as the type below from the publisher page of this 1920′s edition of Anne of Green Gables.

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The found was perfect for what I was looking for because it looked just like what I was looking for.

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I liked what I had a lot but I really felt like something was missing. I am not a fan of a logo that is just words but I also want something that has a deep meaning. So I couldn’t just use anything. I don’t want to be too cliche and use something like an eye. It is cheesy and is almost impossible to do right. For those who don’t know why I choose to name my business the way I did I guess I should give a little back story. When I decided I wanted to be a photographer I really didn’t want to name the business after myself. It was a two fold decision the first reason was because well one of these day’s I do plan on getting married and didn’t want to go through the trouble of being forever stuck with Alicia Zinn Photography when someday I hope to no longer be Alicia Zinn. But the main reason I chose not to use my name as my was because I am not in this to make my name famous but rather the name of the Lord’s. After some prayer and consideration I ended up with In His Eyes because my desire is that through my photography I am hoping to give them a glimpse of how incredibly amazing they look through His eyes! All that as a wordy lead in on my choice for a logo.

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There are several reasons I went live with my changes immediately as apposed to waiting on launching them with a big announcement. I wanted to as a few opinions on some of the designs without any hearing anything from me. I was able to talk to a few friends I trust about the changes and what they thought could be changed. I was able to hear some people out on several points and see where I could make changes if needed. This is the one thing that I found any questions about my choice. But I listened and the more I heard as to the reasons I might reconsider my choice. The more I heard  the more I knew it was absolutely the right choice. But I chose not to explain at the time. Because I was in a listening mode.

I have purposefully not said what the logo is at this point I wanted your to form an opinion for yourself. Some may see an “A” and some may see a star. Guess what you are both right! This is my first Initial. When I initial something it looks a little like that. But before you start to question because I did say I didn’t want to make my name famous. Whenever I initial I purposefully make a star shape. Because it is a reminder to me that I am a sparkle in God’s eye.

My heart is that my life would be lived out according to Colossians 3:17 which reads ”And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

I hope you like the changes.

If you have any Questions let me know! Also Let my know what you think!

Blessings,

Alicia

The Keeper of My Heart

So with the approach of Valentines I have been thinking a lot about my singleness and such. It is funny at this time of year most single people are depressed and lonely. Although I have had my days I can’t say that I am even close to actually lonely and am most defiantly not depressed! And in case you are wondering Yes I am still very single. Well mostly that is… A few years ago around the time my dad was losing his battle with cancer I had a conversation with the Lord about my desire to marry and the fact that it was becoming clearer that my dad may not be around when that day was to come. I told the Lord I wanted Him to have all of my heart and that when the right man came along he was going to have to first approach the Lord to even have a chance to romance me. Because there is no one who knows how to romance me better then the Lord! And I trust Him implicitly when it comes to matters of the heart.

***Sigh***

So as a woman and more specifically a human… Well I get ahead of myself and make some silly choices. And well I may be absolutely sure that I know what is best for me but most of the time I find out He knew even better.

So here’s what happened. (Right now it’s about to get really real!)

Not very long ago I started to find a certain young man more interesting then the others. Something felt different about this one. Everything about him seemed so right and well needless to say I was smitten! I am the type who falls fast and hard and most of my family would tell you we go all in! (Side note) A long time ago I almost ruined a friendship with a very close friend by making such feelings known and after that I decided I would never be the first to speak of matter of the heart and the possibility of a deeper relationship with any man. (End side note) So it was just a whole lot of emotion on my part. Let’s just put it this was… Things got a little complicated and well I found myself begging the Father for my heart. I am not sure why but as I think back it seemed like a desperate attempt at picking up the pen to write my own story as opposed to letting the Lord. But you know I love the Lord for how He knows me because well He can always rebuke me in a way that I thank Him almost immediately.

We this is basically how the exchange went…

Me: Lord, Can I have my heart?

God: Yes, daughter… Can I ask you a question first?

Me: Yes!

God: What do you plan on doing with it?

Me: Well there is this guy.

God: Oh… I know him.

Me: You do?

God: Yes I do… But what does he have to do with your heart?

Me: Well… You know I like him a lot!

God: Oh I see… Can I ask you another question?

Me: Yes… What is it?

God: Why do you need to have your heart just because you like this young man?

Me: I want him to see my heart.

God: You told Me when you gave my your heart to keep it and be sure it was safe. How can I keep it safe if you have it?

Me: Oh… That’s a good question.

God: I love you! I want you safe and I will give you your heart if you want it. Do you want it?

Me: Um… I guess it might be better if you hold onto it.

God: What is it that you like about this child of mine precious daughter.

Me: He is a man of integrity who seeks you first and longs for adventure and I can see so much in him that I would love to walk with him into the future and see everything that You have for him to be.

God: You see him like I do! I have another question… If you love that he longs to adventure and seeks Me first why would he look to you for your heart if yours is the one he wants to join with?

Me: Oh! I guess if he is the man I belong with You better be the One who has my heart.

(End Conversation)

I am pretty sure that there are few things more humbling then conversing with the Lord on matters of the heart. I often say that if my friends who are older than me can wait longer then I can to marry without complaining then honestly I have no room to speak. After this conversation I was reminded that even if God exists outside of time. He has no equal He has no one to love aside from us. He gave His Son to us so we could know that He loves us and He just longs for us! He longs to protect us and journey with us! One day I will truly comprehend the fullest extent that He went for me to have these seemingly trivial conversations with Him but until then well! This is how it goes!

I am His and He is my beloved! God my Father and Lover is the keeper of my heart!

If he who finds a wife finds a good thing (Prov 18:22) I want him to find this lady while seeking the Lord!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.    Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

 Alicia