Revisiting the Cathedral… and Celebrating Another Year!

I had the opportunity last month to revisit the National Cathedral for a portrait session of a young lady celebrating a milestone birthday.  This was the first time I’d been back since the earthquake last year, and I actually forgot that they had sustained some damage during that quake.   I was astonished at how much damage there was at the cathedral with all of the scaffolding that I was trying to dodge with my lens.  As the young lady had make-up applied, I took the opportunity to look around the interiors of the cathedral… WOW!!!!! I was speechless!  Just like when I visited the Holocaust Memorial, I was thinking about all of the money that was needed to make this Cathedral a reality.  There were so many details and such high beautiful ceilings.

I have included some photos of the inside of the cathedral as well as some of my favorites from this portrait session.  She was definitely a trooper because while we were out there, it started to rain, and she was out there braving the elements!  All in all, I love the end product, and I was so excited that I was able to get some  structural shots without the scaffolding and other signs of construction and repair!

By the way, if you see something you like, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

The DetailsAn altarThe CandlesJas1Fashion ShotsI Look to YouClose UpDancing in the Rain

Let Me Be an Instrument

Since I was a child, one of my favorite things to do was to sing!  I would sing with all my might…   Anyway, as Whitney Houston grew in popularity, I found myself aspiring to be a “singerstar” just like her. I held onto a version of that aspiration until my junior year of college when I saw that industry as just eating Christians up and turning them out.  What I mean to say is that I saw many Christians going into the industry and perhaps singing R&B and either their records didn’t sell, they somehow got discredited, or as I felt happened most, they started singing things and dancing and dressing in ways that didn’t glorify God.

Well, I guess the last thought of singing popular music on the world’s stage was one day when my college roommate Step and I went to a festival in the Atlanta area and they had a little singing contest.  Step tried to encourage me to get up there, and I while I was flattered by her confidence in my abilities, I told her, “They don’t want to hear people that sing like me.”  The crowd in turn voted for the woman with the highest vocal range as the best singer (she sang the R&B classic “Loving You”) – she was nice, but she wasn’t the best singer that got on the stage in my humble estimation.  Well, even though this has been a love and passion of mine – singing – I have not always put myself in the forums to do so.  After college, I eventually joined a church in “Hotlanta,” and when I went to join the choir, I found out that I would need to spend around $500 for 2 robes (1 of which was getting phased out) and polo shirts.  As a recent college graduate with student loans to pay off (thankfully this goal was accomplished a few years ago – thank You Lord), I could not conceptualize paying that much money to a church knowing that I owed the bank even more.  Years later, when I joined a church in Delaware, I joined the choir, elated that there were no robes (at the time).  In Delaware, I sang on the choir, and then eventually the praise team, and then in time a community choir.  I sang, and I loved it, and I sang… And I had so much going on that I soon got burnt out, but I still loved it, and I watched God give me favor in that arena.  As I pursued my masters in education, I moved to DC, where I chose not to sing, desiring to not fill my plate with too much.  That worked for a time, but I missed the joys of learning new songs, singing with others, and moments of corporate praise and worship.  When I joined the church I now attend, I knew that I had to sing in the choir.  I could no longer just belt it out from the pews, and so I joined the Adoration choir, and have loved this decision immensely.  One of the most exciting things about singing with this choir as of late has been how in sync this choir and the one in Delaware are.  For example, one week I was in Delaware and I decided to sing with the old choir.  At rehearsal we learned Pslams 150, and this anthem is a big and powerful song.  Well a few weeks later, I rejoined the Adoration choir in DC and to my surprise, we were learning Psalms 150.  Then the last time I visited the church in Delaware, they sang as the sermonic selection one of the faves that we sing in the Adoration choir.  I guess I take moments like this as affirmation that I am where God wants me to be at this time in my life. Even though some days I feel like I am just too tired to go to rehearsal, I go anyway, and I feel this joy and honor as I sing love songs to my Father and Lord!  It is during these times of practice that I am reminded of my need to sing unto the Lord in my own personal time.  Just as I desire the man who I’ll call my husband to serenade me with love songs, so too the Lord desires us to sing love songs to Him and to just spend time in His presence.  I think you get my point.

Well I was asked to take pictures of Adoration a few weeks ago during our rehearsal.  I waited to snap until we start singing one of my all time favorites – “Order My Steps.”  I have included select images below.

Choir Rehearsal - Sopranos and AltosTenors and the LeadDirectingClapping

I’m Thankful For…

Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me what I was thankful for.  Oh my, there are so many things on that list, like:

  • a wonderful place to stay
  • a meaningful job
  • many supportive coworkers
  • a thriving business
  • loving family
  • caring and available friend
  • hope for my future
  • money in the bank
  • the opportunity to be selective about what I eat
  • a closet full and drawers full of clothes
  • reliable transportation
  • SO MUCH MORE!!!!!!!!

I could go on about things small and large, but indulge me please to share just one more.  And that is being blessed to spend time with precious little ones, like this cutie pie – my name’s sake –  Victoria Faith Payne, who just turned 2!

Little Victoria