This lady. And her cup of coffee. What a ride it's been already and we've barely just begun. Transforming Beauty is officially launched after a year of dreaming, praying, researching, designing, praying, laughing, maybe a little crying, more praying, and LOTS of coffee drinking (please visit www.transformingbeauty.org for the full story). When Michelle gave me the first inkling of this vision God bestowed upon her, I had NO IDEA what she was talking about. (What in the world does t-shirt design have to do with adoption, or beauty, or ministry? was my initial tunnel-vision response.) Thank God she is obedient, and patient, and vigilant. I must confess that even up until about a month or so ago I was still somewhat in the dark as to how this was all going to play out, and fit together, and minister to others. The one thing I HAVE known all along is that Michelle Benzinger follows after (and trusts) the heart of God with a vengeance. So I felt fairly confident that whatever small part she saw me playing in this adventure would be good (not just for the ministry but for me as well), and might even stretch me a little.
Suffice it to say I am stretched. For a girl who's not exactly social media savvy, I am learning more about the ins and outs of Etsy, Facebook, Instagram (still struggling there), Zenfolio, and now the whole blogosphere (yes, that's actually a word . . . I looked it up) than I care to admit. But I am thrilled beyond measure to be discovering more and more about the workings of my Canon EOS 60D, scouting locations for a decent photo shoot, and using my creative vision to help tell a story.
This day's story took a humorous turn as, after hours of vineyard location blog shooting, we arrived at the studio where Michelle teaches a killer exercise class or two (because she doesn't do ENOUGH raising six kids, forming missionaries, launching a new ministry, and running a household - twinge of sarcasm, yes) and soon discovered she had all the equipment necessary except her sports bra. As luck would have it, I happened to be spending the night in Tiger, so of course had a bag in the car, complete with years-old, sweat-stained (even after being laundered) sports bra in tow. In my humble opinion, you have to know someone pretty well to borrow their undergarments, old OR new. Talk about your organic sisterhood. (!!!) Michelle did not skip a beat. She strapped that stinky thing on and got to teaching. This lady lives day-to-day with a plan, on a mission, and gets it ALL done in one way or another. Beautifully.
Even so, as well as I know her, the one thing I never would have guessed is that she HATES to have her picture taken (thanks for keeping that juicy tidbit from me before hiring me as your personal photographer, my dear). Seriously, it's like leading the lamb to the slaughter. She acts like I'm going to harm her with my lens. AND she blinks. A LOT. Thank God for digital throwaway shots.
Does this look like the face of cooperation to you? All joking aside, I am happy to be learning about and alongside this brave woman. She has stepped out in faith in a huge way. And even though the focus of this post has been "this lady," Michelle makes it very clear that Transforming Beauty is not about her. She is praying it will grow into a
"SISTERHOOD of women linking arms and joining hearts to journey into this organic adventure of faith that God has invited each of us to, personally and collectively." (from her blog at transformingbeauty.org)
I am intrigued and excited to see where God takes Transforming Beauty, and privileged to document as much of the journey as I am able. Here's hoping you'll come along for the ride.
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