God Has Perfect Timing

February 19th, 2019

I have been reading the  New York Times #1 selling book “Girl, Wash Your Face:  Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Are Meant To Be”  by Rachel Hollis.


Last night’s reading was Chapter 10 – “The Lie:  I Should Be Further Along By Now.”  I have been thinking about a key phrase in this chapter today – God has perfect timing.


There are so many times in my life when I thought I knew what would be best for me and my life and God had other plans in store.


God has perfect timing.


When I was in high school, I didn’t have a boyfriend.  I thought I might meet a guy at college.  For some reason, I thought that this person would become obvious to me in the first year or two at my school, Luther College.  When I started my junior year, I came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to happen for me, at least not now, and I didn’t think about it anymore.  Halfway through that year, I met my husband.  There was a time when I wasn’t sure I would meet someone.  But, there was a reason that I didn’t fall for someone else or someone else didn’t fall for me earlier, because God had an ultimate plan.


God has perfect timing.


Two weeks after we were married, my husband started medical school.  It was such a stressful time in our lives.  We had to take out loans just to live, praying for a day when we would be able to pay them back.  During these years, I started to see our friends having children.  Other medical students were having kids.  It just didn’t seem fair that we had to struggle so hard daily that children weren’t even an option at that time.  But I also wondered, would I be able to have children if we waited?  Wasn’t it better, or more reliable, to have kids earlier than later?


God has perfect timing.


After 4 years, my husband’s family practice residency began in Mason City, IA.  Many other residents and their spouses were having babies at this time.  We still did not feel prepared.  In his second year of residency, we were ready to have a baby.  But, it didn’t happen according to our time table.  Month after month went by and we finally decided it was no longer a good time.  A due date around the time my husband would start a family practice position and we would be moving would be too hard.  And then, Surprise!  I was pregnant with our son, Bo.  And at 30 weeks, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma.


I was watching “The Talk”  today and one of the guests was Courteney Cox, who is hosting a series called “9 Months”, where women were followed through their pregnancy.  One woman was diagnosed with breast cancer two weeks after she found out she was pregnant.  She was facing the decision of whether or not to have to have an abortion to save her life.


Because God has perfect timing…


…I didn’t get pregnant earlier, when I had hoped,  and when I might have had to face this same decision.  I was far enough along that we could have our baby at 35 weeks and I would be able to start treatment.  Both my son and I lived!


We did not know if after treatment we could have any more children.  And then with God’s perfect timing, we found out we were expecting another child, a girl, 3 years later.


Our children are the biggest blessings in our lives!  Because they were born when they were born, they had amazing friend groups in school, wonderful experiences,  and played sports with their incredible teammates.    With God’s perfect timing, I look forward to seeing who they will meet for their future spouses (who are, by the way, going to be SO LUCKY!), whom I pray for now daily, and their children.  Those families are going to be SO blessed!


My career in photography came with God’s perfect timing.  I went to college and acquired a degree in music education.  I knew in my heart that this was not the career for me halfway through my senior year.  In “Girl, Wash Your Face,” Hollis talks about “maybe a goal wasn’t ever meant to be yours.  Maybe you are destined for something so much cooler…  Nothing has been wasted.  Every single moment is preparing you for the next.”


I felt so bad about not using my education.  I was so incredibly hard on myself.  I did not treat me with the kindness that I would a stranger.  I called myself a loser, useless, a burden….


It wasn’t until 15 years later that photography, a life-long hobby, came into my life as a career.  I have had the opportunity to celebrate and capture lives, special occasions, and milestones.  I have recently been inspired to explore some other areas of photography.  I am still growing into the person I want to become.  I am looking forward to new experiences!  I know that they will be coming because…


God has perfect timing.

Even the Dog….

February 16th, 2019

Nobody is immune to retouching when it comes to my photographs.  Not even our dog.  🙂


When retouching clients, my family, or myself, my goal is to make everyone look like they do on their very best day.  Everyone looks a little “fresher” – eyes are a little whiter and a little less red, lashes are a little darker, circles under the eyes are lighter, wrinkles are softened…  I believe that this IS who they are!  This IS their spirit!


Here is a recent picture I took of our dog, Riley.  This is her soul, her beautiful spirit!   Her fur had a few spots that were uneven and there was spots with some separation.  Her eyes had “sleep” in them and some hairs across the pupils.  I saw the white underside of her bandanna, her ears didn’t appear as full as they usually do.


I started out with my color image, retouched the areas I just mentioned, converted the image to b&w, cropped it a square and extended the top of the photo, then added a great texture to the top.


This image is by no means competition-worthy, but I love it!   It  is priceless to me!  🙂


In the future, I will show a before and after of a person retouched – a picture of myself.



Following Through

February 8th, 2019


“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”  Eleanor Roosevelt.


This year I made a commitment to consciously work at creating a life with no regrets.  Big goal.  But what is a goal without a plan?


Step 1 of creating a plan?  Getting physically stronger.


The last years have included problems with my knees and I’ve had ongoing back issues for many years.  After a 5-year break, we have a family vacation planned!  Actually we have a plan for the following summer, too.  🙂  I want to be stronger!  I want to fully enjoy these times with my loved ones and not worry about my back or pain.   I want to walk, to hike, to explore, and concentrate only on having fun!  Therefore, nearly every day has included exercise with the goal of building more muscle.


Step 2?  Writing daily goals.


Days seems to go by too easily when I don’t have a daily list of things I want to accomplish.  I have been writing my list of realistic expectations I have set for myself each day.


Step 3?  Have more fun!


This is a big one!  I have many friends that I would like to get together with more often.  I have been able to spend time with some of them.  I will continue to reach out to those I haven’t seen in a while.  My husband and I have made dinner and movie dates with friends.  We will have more people over to our home this year.  Just for fun, I am working on some music so I can perform a couple of songs with a 2nd grader.  It’s going to be a blast!  I’ve always wanted to go zip-lining and our family is doing just that this summer!


Step 4?  Work on new aspects of my business.


I have some personal goals.  I also intend to compete in competition again next year.  I took a 2-year break with the busyness of having a high school senior followed by health issues.  I can make time now.  I get excited by the process of bettering myself!  I’m happier when I feel I am moving forward and building my skills!


Step 5?  Better myself with reading.


I have a good friend with whom we’ve created our own little book club.  We are currently reading one together and discussing over lunch.  It keeps me motivated and accountable to read the assignments we have created for ourselves.


I will continue to work on the follow-through of my goals this year.  🙂  2019 is on a good start!


My Little Haven

February 1st, 2019

What to do on a sub-zero day in northern Iowa?  It’s not hard for me to retreat to my office in our home.  It’s my little haven!  My daughter has said, she never wants to work in a cubicle.   But, essentially that’s the environment I am in most of the time when creating images.  It is a time for me to thoughtfully pour over every image I shoot.    I actually really enjoy this alone time.


Very little of my time is spent shooting.  It is more often spent creating special touches, retouching, and combining multiple images of many subjects to create one “perfect” picture. “This picture would have been our ideal choice.   If only so & so had the smile they had in this other image.”  Ta Da!!!  I make that happen!  And it gives me such great joy to create an image that my client will love!



Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home2/michelle/public_html/wp-content/themes/salerno/archive.php on line 317
      107 E. Overmeyer Drive - Algona - IA - 50511      515-295-6128