"simple thoughts" is my online, personal journal. within these pages i share, not only my business portfolio, but glimpses into the daily life of my family.
i consider myself blessed beyond measure to share life with dan and our four girls, savannah, madison, emily & caroline.
my life is not perfect, yet i humbly open the pages of my story & invite you to c'mon in and stay a while.
i love caffeine free diet coke, monograms, anthropologie, running, golden retrievers and above all else, Jesus.
photography is my passion. it's my attempt to capture the simple moments of life that can easily be passed over. after receiving requests and encouragement from friends and family, i launched my own business, paige knudsen photography, in the fall of 2011. i'm a natural light photographer serving the atlanta area.
recently another passion found it's way into my heart. Noonday Collection . noonday offers accessories handmade by vulnerable groups of people around the world. our aim is to style you while creating a pathway out of poverty for artisans and their families through dignified sustainable income. having been widowed at the age of 30, i feel a kindred connection with many of these women. you can be a voice for the oppressed too!
okay. so take 2. i posted this yesterday and at some point my website was hacked. after speaking to my host provider i heard that wordpress has been hit a large amount this week. now, over 24 hours later i’m hoping i’m back up and running smoothly after “being restored” . unfortunately the restore took out my last couple posts and a large amount of work/images i had laboriously added to my portfolio. sadly, i had received some of THE sweetest, most tender comments on this post & the one prior and now they’re all lost. thank you hacker. i cruised through reader & did a quick little copy/paste and planted this one back up again.anyways….enough complaining….enjoy….
Seems like all I could see was the struggle Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past Bound up in shackles of all my failures Wondering how long is this gonna last Then You look at this prisoner and say to me”son Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”
I am redeemed, You set me free So I’ll shake off these heavy chains Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be I am redeemed, I’m redeemed
All my life I have been called unworthy Named by the voice of my shame and regret But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head” I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same And a hope that will carry me home
i’ll be honest, the past week or so has been a tough time for me spiritually.
i’d share the details of the recurrent situation but it’s not really important to the story. suffice to say, it’s a big huge chapter in my little book of issues where i can allow fear to literally eat me alive.
”I’m not who i used to be, cause i am redeemed”
i believe this is true. but sometimes my mind, my spirit & my heart don’t all line up in a neat little marching row and allow me to act as a believer of this promise should act.
we all have consequences for our sins. or for this particular situation, i’ll use the word “decisions”. that’s a less in- your- face term. so, we all have consequences for our decisions. both good & bad decisions. however, i think for those of us who have tangible consequences that are repetitive or ongoing, trying to move on past those sins of the past, or poor decisions is almost impossible. well that’s the situation for me. it’s as if i have an ongoing reminder of a poor decision from years ago. just fear and shame and ugliness always rises to the surface when i think about the situation.
it’s easy for me to accept jesus loves me. primarily because i have a loving earthly father & married two loving men, i don’t doubt His love. jesus came that we may have life & a full life. free from bondage, free from chains that bind us up. chains like shame and regret. chains like fear and worry. that’s where i struggle.
i sometimes wonder if i will always need to make the, sometimes daily, choice to lay these issues down. it’s honestly a reminder to me that i’m not all that. i’m in need of grace. every single day. there’s a place in my heart that only Jesus can fill. that’s honestly how we were made. i believe, anyway.
several times this week, as i would lay my head down at night i felt He would impress on my heart the following~~ don’t be afraid, i have redeemed you. i have called you by name. you’re mine. i’ll never leave you. i’ve healed you. your sins are forgiven & i’ve removed all of them ( poor decisions too) as far apart as the east is from the west. they are remembered no more. now rise up & forgive yourself. and rest in me.
i heard that in my heart night after night.
furthermore, as corny as it may seem, during the dolphin show at the Georgia Aquarium, there was a part in the show where a large magnificent image up on the screen ( yes it was related to the dolphins, okay?) said confidently and loudly, “fear not”. tears just spilled down my cheeks. it was another reminder, amidst dozens all week long, to lay down the fear. ( and yes, the dolphins were brave too)
so, back to the song. to hear the words “I’m not who i used to be, cause i am redeemed” is a balm to my soul.
i encourage you to push play on the video ( after you X out the little ad along the bottom). close your eyes and let these lyrics marinate in your heart. let the truth that you are a new person in christ just flow through your spirit like a river. because He has already paid the price for all of it. and it’s wiped away, as far as the east is from the west. we’re the ones that choose to tote our past around. when i carry around all the yuck or “stupid me” or the regret or the whatever it’s as if i’m saying the cross wasn’t enough.
“child lift up your head”, He loves you & He’s not through with you yet. now i’m off to do the same. i am redeemed. He’s set me free & He’s not through with me yet.
can you see the little tiny baby bunny in the photo below? far left corner?
yes. for spring break, i’ve watched brinkley watch out the front windows at the tiny baby bunnies living out in a large plant in our front yard. all.day.long.
we’re not spring breakers that head to the beach. well let me rephrase that. as the girls have gotten older, they sometimes head to the beach for a few days with friends. so dan and i, brinkley and caroline have been holding down the fort and watching the pollen count rise to 8,000. for folks that have no reference for what on earth the pollen count is, think sinus armageddon.
don’t let me fool you. we’ve had a great week. i’ve had a few photo shoots & am actually heading to birhmingham tomorrow to be a second shooter with a very gifted photographer to photograph a wedding!
lucky me, when madison doesn’t have to work, she’ll head off to photo sessions with me. we had a blast photographing some super cute little girls here in atlanta, actually from birmingham, to see Mary Poppins at the Fox theatre. i’ll share some of those soon.
we headed down to Passion City church to hear, yet another, fabulous lesson from louie and kick off a week of raising awareness that slavery still exists. ( see previous post)
tuesday we took madison to visit the Georgia Tech campus. GT is an incredible institution right in the heart of the city. big rivals with our beloved UGA. both schools very competitive not only against each other in sports, but in their admission process. at our little tour, they told us this year’s freshman class gpa average 3.99 and sat score 2100. whoa. madison has not applied yet but is very interested. GT has a gorgeous campus and we were there on a spectacular spring day, making it all the more beautiful.
emi was down in cocoa beach with her friends. she’s home now. burnt and peeling. i know. i know. but she had a blast. she’s sporting the very popular and will surely sell out again this year, noonday perfect sunhat.
while sissies were packing their beach bags, ( madison is now down at navarre beach) caroline mentioned that if we’d simply take her shopping one day she’d be happy. she has gift cards from her birthday party. let me throw in right here a little shout out to little bit. dan & i were discussing the other day what an easy child she is. always pleasant. easy to please. cheerful. never complains. never wakes on the wrong side of the bed. like ever.
so wednesday morning dan asked her if she’d rather have some extra cash to add to her giftcard loot or go somewhere on a little adventure. without hesitation she replied that she’d rather do something with us. so off to the georgai aquarium we went.
despite that awful photo of me, we had a fantastic time. the dolphin show was worth its weight in gold to me. i cried. no like i really cried during the show. it was beautiful. i’ve always had a special place in my heart for dolphins…anyways. it was wonderful.
for those of you visiting atlanta, just down from the world of coke & the aquarium is west side urban market. one of my favorite shopping areas. kayce hughes just opened a new boutique a few weeks ago. there’s also lululemon, jack spade and free people, just to name a few.
then on to flip burger boutique. love flip burger. the milkshakes are amazing…..so i hear, wink. the one shown below is the nutella burnt marshmallow.
i’m finally getting caught up on some good books. dan has been reading off the required reading list savannah has for one of her UGA religion classes. so he’s been hanging out with the likes of c.s. lewis and timothy keller. the jury is still out on whether caroline will love reading. she’s always been a gadget girl but lately she’s found some books that interest her. having read the lightning thief series for school, she fell in love with those! she just finished shawn johnson’s book, Winning Balance: What I’ve Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams
while it’s not as sophisticated as the original, i did enjoy an adapted version of Les Miserables
i’ve enjoyed angie smith’s blog since she began writing. her ability to weave humor and truth is really like none other. Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Wholeis a collection of several of her blog posts. i highly recommend this one!
i’m just a regular person. living in suburbia. driving a SUV and eating pizza on friday nights. in the midst of all that regularity, a couple years ago i found out that slavery still exists. turns out it didn’t end with Lincoln. over 27 million people, half of which are children are still enslaved. right now. on our watch.
now that i know. i can’t unknow.
while the easier, much easier thing to do is just turn away. like i do when i hear a sad animal story. just turn it off. it’s too sad to think about. or refuse to believe it’s real. but my friends it is.
while the fact that there are still people enslaved, some right here in atlanta, and the number, 27 million, are both incomprehensible and seem an impossible beast, we can do something. even if only for one. which is exactly why i came on board with Noonday Collection.
many of our pieces are made in india. right now in india it is estimated that there are 20 to 65 million bonded laborers. mere children working for debts- generations old, that will never be re-paid. Noonday Collection partners with many different jewelry-making groups in India whose goal is to build long term equitable trading relationships that ensure low-income artisans are truly being helped out of poverty and will not become a bonded laborer. artisans are paid a livable wage and have safe working conditions, access to healthcare and childcare, and on-going training and education.
sex trafficking also victimizes massive numbers of vulnerable people in South Asia: In 2009, the head of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation estimated that there are more than 1 million children in the commercial sexual exploitation industry in the country. (stats from international justice mission)
while i’m not breaking into brothels this week or helping put a man behind bars that’s selling children in the sex trade industry, i can raise awareness . i can be a voice for those without a voice. and i can be educated and intentional in my shopping. and so you can you my friend. we can do this together. we can end this thing called slavery.
if you’re interested , here are a few links for you–
if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday
something as simple as wearing a piece of jewelry is a way to shine a light. a way to make a stand. here are a few pieces i thought you may enjoy… you may click on each image for more information on each piece
and a few pieces to help someone in india directly,