One Word 2011: personal {dallas, tx engagement and wedding photographer}

Monday, January 3, 2011

Words fascinate me. The way a few letters strung together just right can convey a whole feeling or thought when used correctly. I love knowing the history or detailed definition of a word, to help me better grasp just exactly how it's meant to be used. Because, lets face it, in America we tend to use words however we want, and then make them mean whatever we want.

After I'd agreed to do the one word challenge with my Whitney friend and I'd read over what exactly it meant, my mind froze. ONE WORD?? Just one? For a whole year?? I didn't know how I'd ever pick, and what if I picked the wrong one?? But even as I was stressing over how I was going to figure out what my one word was supposed to be God brought to mind something that He'd already been nudging me about over the last 2 weeks. The following conversation in my head went something like this:
"Oh dear, God, really? What's that even supposed to mean??"
"I want you to be _____"
"For a whole year God? That's the one big thing you want me to work on??"
"Well, bring it on"

And then I had to go and look up the exact definition of my word, so I could try and figure out what I was getting into.

Authentic \Au*then"tic\, a. [OE. autentik, OF. autentique, F authentique, L. authenticus: coming from the real author, of original or firsthand authority, Having a genuine original or authority, in opposition to that which is false, fictitious, counterfeit, or apocryphal; being what it purports to be; genuine; not of doubtful origin; real; as, an authentic paper or register.


Authentic: conforming to fact and therefore worthy of belief and trust.

And I got really really excited about my word :)

I want my life to be characterized by authenticity. I want to be "in opposition to that which is false, fictitious, counterfeit, or apocryphal". I want to be genuine, and what I "purport" to be (side-note. purport: another really cool word you need to look up if you don't know what it means:).

I want my business to be based on who God's made me to be and the specific dreams and goals He's given to me. I don't want to model my business exactly after the most successful photogs out there in the hopes that someday my business will be a carbon copy success like theirs. I don't want to spend so much time figuring out how everyone else is doing it, and forget to spend time figuring out how God might want ME to do it.

I especially love the first part of the definition "coming from the real author, of original or firsthand authority". It made me think of Heb. 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...". To be authentic as a Christian means being like my author, Jesus Christ, and staying true to the things He has shown me to be true. It means not chasing someone else's dreams, or worrying about someone laughing at my decisions. It means diligently seeking Christ about what He would have me do as a whole this year, and what He would have me do each individual day of this year, and then once I have a clear view of what that is, never letting go of it. Even in the face of opposition, taunting, or confusion. It means being open and honest with those closest to me about struggles I'm facing. It means admitting that I can't do it on my own. It means letting people see the real me, not the me I want them to see, or even the me I think they want to see.

It's a scary word.

But it's exciting :) And I'm looking forward to how God uses that word to continue to conform me to the image of His Son this year. And now that y'all know about it, you can help keep me accountable! And if any of you have decided to take part in the one word challenge I'd love to hear about it in the comments! :)

As Jonathan Edwards said, I am "Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live."

Much Love.
Jessica Shae
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  1. I really like the one word idea, and I've decided to do it as well. My word is grow. I want to grow in my relationship with the Lord, to grow as a person, to grow in my photography, and I want my relationships to grow.

  2. i'd never heard that first definition... "coming from the real author". wow. i love that. what a great picture of what it means to live with authenticity... honestly and genuinely reflecting not only our Author but also the way He's written us to be. we are enough just the way He made us.

    love the chance to "meet" you through this. your site is great... and seriously, you are so adorable!

  3. I *love* this. I'm so excited to do this with you this year.

    Authentic is such a beautiful word, just like you, my beautiful friend.

    Let's love Jesus more than year than ever before.

  4. Jessica,
    This post really blessed and encouraged me. I know not what my "one word" might be, though I do have a few ideas. But yours is profound. And your reasons and all you wrote is full of Truth. This is just what I have strived for in my business this past year. I am truly blessed with what the Lord has taught and given me. Our type of business brings so many opportunities to either "be the best" which is the worlds idea of success, or opportunities to reflect the light of our King. May we ever strive and choose the path to shine, no matter what others think... Thank you for sharing and standing strong.

    I would love to get together with you sometime, it sounds like we think alike on many things :). I live close to Whitney H., so if you are ever over this way in East Texas, let me know!

    Blessings on your New Year... and one word!
    Lydia Covey, Harpist

  5. that is a BRILLIANT word, Jessica! and something we can all grow in.
    Since i read your original post, i've been praying about what my word should be... and i have to agree... still figuring it out. haha!

  6. Hi Jessica! I love this post and your picture at the end.

    My word is Obey. I posted about it here.

  7. Wow, Jessica, it's so amazing to think that being truly authentic is truly reflecting what Christ is like! I had never thought about that before! I'm so thankful God has shined his love and truth in your heart :) Isn't being a child of God wonderful?!

  8. Jessicaaaa, :) Yes, I love it. Your word is perfect. Since I'm the little sister Whitney kept going on and on about it until I decided to do this too. So I guess that means we're all three doing it together. :)

    So yes, like I said, I love your word.

  9. This post made me smile so much! I'm so excited for you! Thanks for sharing something that's so close to your heart, Jessica.

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  11. Wow, Jessica!! This is profound and beautiful. Such weight in just ONE word. I have not thought about this word in such light before. Thank you for sharing this with all, and not being ashamed to publicly make known your choice to be conformed to Him alone and seek hard after Him. Its encouraging. Blessings to you on this new year!

  12. I was inspired after reading your post, and so I took the leap and found a word, too!! God revealed my word during my devotions one morning. Possibility. "With God, all things are possible!!!"


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Thanks for taking the time to say hello, it makes my day everytime! :)

Jessica Shae