This is not a post about Taylor Swift, sorry to disappoint.. Ooooo I hear “X-off” clicks right now! Ha! Saturday while celebrating Rocker’s first birthday, we ventured to a new dog park that is located pretty close to my house and I was amazingly surprised by how much I like it! This dog park has a creek that runs through it and it brought back so many memories I have from my childhood. When I was young, most of my mom’s side of the family spent every weekend at my grandparents ranch. While it’s nothing extravagant, it was a great place to go and hangout with my cousins. While we were at the park and playing in the creek it reminded me how much time my cousins and I spent at the “tank” at my grandparents ranch.

My cousin Tia and I would go off by ourselves for hours and hours at a time just walking all over the place, just like our older cousins did before we could walk. During one of our adventures, I actually taught Tia how to properly walk across a cattle guard! You can take the girl out of the country but not the country out of the girl, I suppose. Anyways, it dawned on me how fearless not only we were but how our parents were fearless with us. We would be gone for hours playing in the barn, tank, pasture, field, windmill, even walk what seemed like 15 miles to the mailbox and not once did they think we would get eaten up by a snake, coyote or even a bear (ok, maybe not the last one.).

All my friends and family know that I’m terrified, let me say that again… TERRIFIED of snakes. I hate snakes, they creep me out and pretty sure are on the devil’s side. I am so afraid I’m going to be attacked/bitten/killed whatever by a snake that I’ve held myself back from going on adventures. It’s funny how times changed, I mean I was 5 and running all over a ranch that had snakes. I know the ranch had snakes because my Pepa had a whole box full of rattlesnakes he found in the barns and on the land. I remember being 3 and my Uncle Don was holding me while we were out in the barn “looking” at these evil beings. I clung tightly to him but still wanted down so I could run around and play in the hay. Nowadays if we let our children roam a ranch by themselves for hours I’m sure child services would be called.

It’s amazing how some people (yes, including me) let fear run their life. I’m guilty of it. I went on a 15 day photo boot camp a few years ago while I was a student at Tech and I had the worse time letting my fear go and have a great time while shooting in places where snakes were pretty prevalent. We even had to photograph a rattlesnake 3 feet away from us as an assignment. I dreaded that day, and to be honest I was in the worst mood leading up to that day because I was so afraid and I feared for my life. I was so wound up by my fear of the snake that I couldn’t enjoy myself, but the time came and went and I got “killer” shots of the rattlesnake. I was actually proud of myself because I did the assignment and I completely forgot about my reservation of snakes and concentrated on getting great images. Sadly, I’m still terrified of snakes, it worked for about a week but then my fear came back. Maybe I can tag along with Wyman next year and photograph another snake so I can work on the fear again! haha. Probably not!

Watching Rocker and Raider at the dog park, got me thinking about how much fear controls my life. I hold myself back due to fears that I have. While I was watching them try to cross the creek I noticed Rocker wasn’t loving the deep water that Raider was playing in but at the same time he wanted to be next to Raider. I watched him as he gathered up the courage to tread through the deep water to get to Raider, it took him a couple of minutes but he faced his fear and got over to his big sister. At that moment, I was so proud of my little “Rock of Love”.

After watching Rocker conquer his fear, I immediately thought of a quote from a book that I’ve been reading. Some of you guys know I’m going through some things in my personal life and still trying to heal from not only Rudder’s death but my aunt’s death. I’ve never been a super religious person and I’ve slipped from a relationship with our creator and I’ve actually tried to read this book before and my heart wasn’t open enough to understand and learn from this particular book. But my cousin asked me to give it another try as it helped her fix her relationship with God and I told her I would. This time around I have to tell you that I’m really connecting to this book and my heart and soul are open to the words I’m reading and the lessons that are in this book.

The book is called “The Shack” and I’m really impressed with it this time around. I was reading before bed Friday night and I came across a particular part in the book that described me to a t. I read it over and over and over. I couldn’t move on to the next paragraph because I was fixated on what it said. Here is what it said: “It is your desperate attempt to get some control over something you can’t. It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn’t even real, nor will it ever be real. You try to play God, imagining the evil that you fear becoming reality, and then you try to make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear.”

Wowza. That is powerful and that in short is how I live my life. I now vow to myself and all you can be witnesses that I will not continue to live my life how I’ve lived it. Instead of trying to control everything, I’m going to put my trust in the person that created me. I know its going to be a long hard battle but I’m determined to not try to control everything in my life. Any words of encouragement and thoughts/prayers will be greatly appreciated!

Of course I won’t leave you without posting a few photos from our adventures at the newly found dog park!

The creek running through the park!

Rocker looking at the minnows!

Raider going for a dip!

Rocker being silly!

Fun day at the new dog park!

love it. live it. capture it.

~ Jalys.

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