twentysixteen, a reflection

my friends, we've come to another opportunity for reflection.

& I do love reflecting.

as I peruse the hundreds (thousands?) of photographs that I've created this year, I am humbled by the gifts God has granted me in my life. every patient friend, every beautiful vista, every good gift comes from Above. I hope that as you reflect on your twentysixteen, your spirit moves in gratitude & joyfulness.

may you lean into your memories of pain & suffering, opening yourself softly to lament & allowing Peace to overflow & heal. be kind to yourself. the Father grants you Grace upon your acceptance of It.

& may twentyseventeen herald Hope & usher in Grace, sufficient for each new day.

this year, I traded the familiar & found myself in a new city. I struggled there. most nights, I watched the sun dip over my balcony alone as I read & considered the Friendship of God. any plans at all were exciting ones, from weekly bachelorette screenings to uncertain reunions over flights of beer. a quick jaunt to the mountains I call home renewed my weariness & mornings awakening 24 13-year-olds with vinyl melodies energized my joy.

in cold months of change, I clung to what was Familiar, establishing life-giving ritual & exploring my identity in Christ. many friends were far, but many still were near, & their company was irreplaceable, manifested in mornings of frying bacon & nights of projected movies.

I fell in love with the music city, read more cs lewis, swayed in the audiences for the oh hellos, james bay, ben rector, coldplay, johnnyswim, avett (3 x! blessed!), the lumineers, carrie underwood, old crow medicine show, drew holcomb, & family & friends. exploring chi-town with my best friend abp was a restful highlight.

mandolin melodies diminuendoed, but a gift of kentuckian thoughtfulness arrested my affections in a fervent crescendo. wrestling with my heart of martha, I felt the growing pains of living in community. the questions of how I may serve the Kingdom in small & big groups continue to swirl in my heart, eager for true Rest.

my most recent venture to a new continent & a new coast stretched my bravery & leadership. I often found myself more led by the men & women I claimed to lead ~ their joy & eagerness inspired me to rappel waterfalls & climb trees & talk to people whose language I had never learned. but oh, how mighty & diverse & graceful is our God.

& through it all, the canon was a constant companion. I've changed my approach a lil bit : some updating of this website, the addition of social media (facebook | insta), and an editing style I find more classic, more lasting. more opportunities to shoot families & children has been a really really rich addition as well.

some of these photos you may recognize. others I've kept in quiet, perhaps meant for others to treasure. nevertheless, I find Beauty in them all, lavished upon me by a benevolent Father. every business casual headshot shoot, every playful romp in the leaves, every lecture or concert granted me such an incredible opportunity to capture Light. thank you to those who hire me, to those who let me point my camera at you. I'm so thankful!

you may find yourself in these images : know that I love you.

you may recognize some of the spaces : know that they have changed me.

cheers to you & yours, from me & mine. clink some bubbly for me, & I'll see you in the new year, canon in hand!

| haste thee on from Grace to Glory | armed by faith & winged by prayer |

Maddy BratcherComment