Thursday, July 5, 2012

no-longer-grade-8 girls backroads photoshoot :: portraits, june 2012.

i'm a big advocate for generational relationships. the wisdom and experiences of others is so valuable to me. i love spending time with older people and am so blessed that they seem to like spending time with me! it's incredible to use those who are older and wiser as a sounding board. in most cases, they have already seen through the season of life i'm currently in and can offer perspective, advice, hope, and maybe even necessary solutions.

last year when i was interning for a wonderful pastor, he really challenged me to seek wisdom from those older than me: to latch on to a godly woman as she navigates, or has navigated, areas of life i too will one day - as a wife, as a mother, as a grandmother. the whole idea of generational wisdom, or mentorship if you will, really rocked me. and, as He does, He put a lot of incredible "older" people in my life to watch and talk with and learn from.

as a response to the blessing other women have been in my life, i decided to open myself up to potentially be that woman in some younger girls lives.


if ever i worked a wednesday morning at starbucks it was a pretty good bet that a handful of church ladies - or church moms as i call them - would come in for their "latte therapy" ha.

whoever painted church ladies as calm, quiet, and pensive has obviously never sat in a coffee shop near these women!

these beautiful, funny, kind, and pretty wild wives and mothers let me join them on my break and i still remember my first time chatting with them. i was inspired. i was empowered. i wanted to be just like them. that time and conversation blessed me. and i just wanted to give back.

as i learned and shared many passionate conversations with my internship pastor my heart was stirred. as i was being unofficially mentored by some lovely, godly women, being filled by their love and support for me and encouraged by their example, i wanted to pour it out for others.

although i've done youth ministry since i was a youth myself, i've never touched junior high. i have openly declared multiple times how much i despise gr 8ers. well, well, well. of course then the Lord would place a desire and direction on my heart to develop friendships with 4 amazing gr 8 girls - two of which are the daughters of the "latte ladies" from that original conversation! [how sweet is it to see things coming full circle like that... not that the circle is complete!] the heart of these relationships is to just be friends with them, like i am with their moms. to be a resource to them as they go through times in life that i have already experienced - ie: high school, university, love, work, etc - and some i've seen to completion. i hope this little "project" we are doing here will spur them on to do this for ladies younger than them!

in saying all that, on saturday night, the 4 no-longer-grade-8 girls, myself, and two of my good friends, sierra and alyssa, who i asked to join me in this, went out for dinner and then to a random country sideroad for a photoshoot.

these 4 girls are amazing: beautiful, kind, funny, adorable, smart, and talented! i know it's cliche, but i really, honestly cannot wait to see what God does in, with, and through their lives!

sarah                     april

julia                     claire

check out their smizing! dang girls! haha. we had so much fun with you ladies.
can't wait til our next hangout ;)

also, "like" my photography page on facebook!


  1. These pictures are beautiful Allie! And it's so awesome that you're being active in mentoring other young girls! Keep it up =D

  2. these are amazing. the girls are so precious... i used to think the same thing.... "gr 7 and & 8 girls are SCARY" but this is such a precious time to reach out to them. i'm encouraged by you allie!

  3. Samantha ShepherdJuly 5, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    Gorgeous girls (you as well!). I know you're influence in their lives is deeper than you probably realize. The young women who were intentional with me as I grew made such a difference. I'm sure you're doing the same with these girls!

  4. What lovely ladies! And beautiful photography too, by the way! Our youth group is from 7th grade through 12th grade, so I totally understand the challenges Jr. Highers can bring, but also the joys :) I'm very blessed to be mentored by a pastor's wife who's twice my age and has so much wisdom to share. I've been blessed in the past by other college age or young married women who took the time to invest in my life. Keep it up Allie! You never know what an impact you can make in these girls' lives!

  5. beautiful in just every way.

    long before i even really knew who you were, i remember hearing jenn and carey talking about this allie girl and how much they loved you and how great you were to spend time w/ their girls.. now i know why they were so impressed. :) investing in those coming along behind is so powerful. especially at this age. your influence and input with these girls will leave an imprint. really blessed by your sincerity and passion for young people. ~ come back for lunch soon. we never finished about 4 conversations! ;)

  6. What beautiful photographs! And beautiful daughters of God! I already know you're just an awesome and amazing person from reading your little about you on the side bar! And then this post. I want to go in that coffee shop and sit with those ladies too!!! I love learning from the older generations!
    Thank you for your inspiring words and thoughts.
    BJ xx

  7. These photos are awesome. And how wonderful to have the opportunity to be mentored as well as to mentor others! :)


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