The Grace Mask

When I was in high school, one of the families for whom I babysat regularly were a couple of photographers. Their little boy was exuberant and full of life and I loved spending Friday nights playing with him.

So when the time came to have senior pictures taken, I didn’t even have to think about it. It had to be the Strattons.

We covered several hours and a lot of territory in Springfield, and by the end of the day, there were lots of great pictures to choose from.



Two years later, my sister was a senior, and we got to spend another fun day shooting with Jason and Aurelia.


Their primary business, at that time, was wedding photography, so a couple more years later, when I was planning my wedding, they were the first and only photographers I called.

On a very cold Saturday in February, my Jason and I headed out to Sequiota Park and laughed and kissed while Jason Stratton snapped away.




The weather on our wedding day, however, was perfect, and so were the pictures the Stattons took.

JA (1321)JA (1564)JA (1741)

After another couple years went by, and we had exchanged the titles of “bride” and “groom” for “mommy” and “daddy” and the Strattons met us at the Nature Center to capture our growing family.

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It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since those pictures were taken. God has brought Jason and me a long way since that time, and he’s done the same for the Strattons. These days, they still take lots of pictures, but they are out of the wedding business.

Sort of.

Now Aurelia takes pictures of just one Bride – a bride with many faces – the Bride of Christ.

Today, I’m going to have the honor of sitting in front of her camera for a ministry called The Grace Mask.

Aurelia says:

“I believe women and young girls need to be reminded of who they are IN CHRIST.  I love my husband.  If you are married I hope you love your husband too.  Maybe your husband is a jerk, I don’t know.  But I guarantee you that no man sees us like Jesus does, they just are not capable of it.  The trouble with brides today is that they think they only get ONE day to be a beautiful bride and walk down the aisle…. but the wedding day is merely a symbol.  Life is the aisle, we are all walking down it together, you better get dressed, you better believe HE is waiting for you, and I promise you he thinks you are beautiful… today is your day, tomorrow will be too.  If you are breathing, you are a bride.”

I’m honored to be serving Jesus alongside women like Aurelia and excited to have a little girl time this afternoon. Once the pictures are ready, I’ll be sharing my story over on her blog. But in the meantime, please check out the many other wonderful stories of God’s grace in the lives of ordinary women like you and me here. And if you’re interested in sharing your own story, I know Aurelia would love to hear from you!


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