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true life stories ~ crushing all my fears

I’m sitting here at my desk in the office I’ve worked at for about nine years. It’s after 12:00pm, so I am officially off work for the day. Of course, when I say “off work for the day”, that only means I can leave my office job for the day and don’t have to do any more work here. For a good long while now, it seems like I’ve sort of been on a never ending treadmill of work. I am not complaining, because I am and have been super grateful for my jobs! But about a month and a half ago, I knew I needed to make a change in order to do better at life. So, instead of working for two amazing bosses at two different offices for a total of forty hours a week like I have been since the beginning of this year (and for years before that, it was the same thing, just all at the same office building), I will now only be working sixteen hours a week at one office for one amazing boss. And today is day one of my new hours! I thought I should probably do a blog post about it. :)

Change is pretty hard for me, and I tend to stick with something once I’ve committed to it, but I prayed a lot about this and definitely felt God guiding me to this decision. So I am stepping out in faith, in a big way. I am cutting way back on my steady income, in order to have more of me (which is absolutely not really me, but an overflow of Christ and His love!) to share with others.

I just got back from a trip to San Antonio with my family, where we watched and celebrated as my niece Laila completed her basic training for the Air Force Reserves. It was an amazing trip. I want to have more availability for things like that.

I miss my friends. We are all so busy that it’s hard to find times to connect. I hate that, and I want to help change it.

My own businesses, my photography and my little fledgling business of selling clothes, need me to breathe more life into them in order for them to really grow and blossom.

And the one thing I haven’t talked much about yet here on the blog, The Cornerstone Project, is something I want to have way more of me to pour into! (I realize the grammar is not great here, I’m just letting the words flow from my heart right now.) You see, I’ve taken on a co-leader position with this awesome organization, and I am full to the brim with excitement for what God is doing with it! I promise you will be hearing more and more from me all about Cornerstone in the future.

So anyway, the point of this blog is really less about me and what I’ve got going on, and more about God and how amazing He is at crushing all my fears! See, I’ve been really nervous about this transition from full time pay to part time pay. I’m not the best at handling my finances, and it scares me to think about not getting that full time paycheck every two weeks. So I’ve been talking to God about it. And you know what? He’s already answering my prayers! This past weekend was the best weekend I’ve had so far in clothing sales. And I’ve had people contacting me consistently about doing photo shoots! And they’re shoots I’m really happy and proud to be doing. Also, I am house and dog sitting this week, which is one of my very favorite ways to randomly make a little extra income. God is showing me He hears me and He will provide! I am so incredibly thankful for my relationship with Him! Just wanted to give my Lord a little shout out today.

~abi~

p.s. That image at the top of this post is from a shoot I did last weekend and it has a really cool story behind it, which I will be sharing soon!

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Kelly BeaneAugust 3, 2017 - 1:07 am

Yessss! Crush those fears girl. You are stepping out in a big way and I could not be prouder of your perseverance through difficult situations, your faith in the Lord and his plan for you, your commitment to serving him with your time and your passion for all the amazing things you have going on. You inspire me to be better and do more and you will continue to do that for others through these changes. I’m incredibly happy for you!

photo shoot ~ wesley’s senior portraits in downtown oklahoma city

This is Wesley Williams. I’ve been friends with his parents ever since his dad Scott was the pastor of my church about ten years back. Now, Scott travels and speaks, and I do headshots and such for him whenever he needs them (and I just realized I never blogged the last session we did, which was a favorite of mine, so I need to do a throwback post!). I was pretty stoked when Scott and LaKendria asked me to do Wesley’s senior portraits. See, Wesley hates being in front of the camera, but the camera loves him! The one and only time I’ve gotten to take pictures of him was back when he was nine years old. Nine! In fact, he hadn’t had any professional photos taken of him since he was nine. I personally love doing shoots for guys like this who don’t love having their photo taken, because I take it as a challenge to not make them too miserable during the session and also to make sure I wow them with the images. I think Wesley ended up really liking these, and I know his parents loved them, so I was happy! Plus, Wesley’s got killer style, and I always love photographing people who bring such coolness into their sessions.

Here are some of my favorites from our evening shoot in downtown OKC.Wesley~

Thank you for doing so awesome for me during our session! I know that having your picture taken isn’t your favorite thing, but you were so patient with me. I love the photos we ended up with!

I’m excited to see what amazing things you do in your future.

~abi~

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TamaraJuly 19, 2017 - 7:22 pm

Abi awesome job! Can’t wait to do Elijahs pics

true life stories ~ selling thrifted clothes online – plus a really cool style shoot

It’s been awhile since I’ve done some late-night writing, but this blog post is long overdue. I mentally gave myself a deadline of today to post this, so here I am at 10:45pm sitting down and forcing myself to put this out into the universe. You guys know I enjoy doing thrifted style posts, but I haven’t yet mentioned to the public at large that I’ve been quietly and slowly-but-steadily selling some of my thrifted fashion finds online since the end of last year. I even have an Instagram page where I’ve been posting only thrifted clothing stuff and following a lot of fashion-y types, as well as super cool boutiques and clothing re-sellers. Please go follow that page here. I promise I am going to step up my game over there and make it a cooler little place to land. Instagram is my jam, so I really want to make that page better and better, even if it will be a lot of iPhone photos. :)So, where am I selling online? You can find me on Poshmark (@abi_ruth) and eBay (abiruththeshoppe). My inventory is constantly changing, which is what I love about selling thrifted finds. Please, please feel free to follow along and shop! :) And I don’t cross-post, so be sure to check out both sites. If you’re local to OKC, hit me up if you see a piece you are interested in, and I will try to meet up with you in person to knock off that shipping fee – plus I might even offer you a discount, since I won’t be paying the fees that add up when selling on Posh and eBay. :)Now, I’ve seen a lot of the cool girls on Instagram re-selling their fast fashion clothes on Insta pages. This is not what I do. I am also not a “clothes flipper”. Well, not really. I am just a girl who loves fashion and loves spending hours digging through thrift store racks to find the cool stuff, the unique stuff, the really nice classic stuff. And for years and years, I’ve had people tell me they wished I could thrift for them. So this is a way for me to do that!If you want to read a way more in depth explanation of where I’d like this all to lead, and find out a lot more about me and the dreams I’ve been harboring inside for years, you can read this. I updated that page awhile ago, but never mentioned it anywhere. So I am mentioning it now. Please read it. :) I’ll summarize it very briefly in this post by saying I hope to one day own a thrifted boutique – a cool little shop where young people can hang out. Just click over and read the whole thing. It will give you a much clearer picture of what I hope to do!Does this mean I am quitting photography to sell clothes? Nope! I love both. I believe I can do a good job at both. And each thing feeds a different part of my creative soul. Plus, how fun that I can use my photography skills to do fashion shoots like this one of Micaliah — all these outfits were entirely thrifted, styled, and shot by me! :)God has also been rearranging some things in my life, and I am at a place where I will soon have more time to focus on selling clothes and my photography. It’s a terrifying and exciting season I am in! One that isn’t without some deep sorrow as certain parts of my life have undergone major changes recently, but I look forward with hope and expectations of good things to come! And I want to do my part and be a faithful steward of the talents God has given me, so this post is an effort to do just that. I want to rise up and move forward, not letting fear hold me back any longer.How’s that for vulnerability? Too deep for a post about selling thrifted clothes?? Nah. You guys know I like to stir it all together around here. :)Anyway, on to lighter subjects… I have to give a big shout out to Micaliah for being a fab model for me in this shoot! From changing outfits in parking lots, to walking back and forth on this silly parking block about a hundred times, she was a real pro! :) Thanks, girl. I love ya!And thank you all for reading through this. It made me super nervous to put this out there, because this is a dream I’ve had even longer than I’ve been doing photography. Like I said, read this and you’ll understand. And I kept thinking, “What if it fails and no one thinks the stuff I have for sale is cool?” or a million other similar thoughts. But you know what? Sometimes my procrastination pays off…I have been selling stuff online for months now, so that helped boost my confidence enough to just make myself share this with people I actually know. Of course, who even reads blogs anymore?? I guess we’ll see. Because this is out there now. :)Love you all, truly!

~abi~

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[…] true life stories ~ selling thrifted clothes online – plus a really cool style shoot […]

photo shoot ~ suhaila’s senior photos on western ave in oklahoma city

This beautiful girl is Suhaila. She is my niece Laila’s cousin. Suhaila graduated from high school this spring, and we took some fun senior photos over on Western Ave here in OKC. I love this area, and it was an especially great backdrop for Suhaila’s beauty.Suhaila is the queen of soft smiles. :)Cacti backdrop? Yes, please!Suhaila~

You’re a true beauty, and I loved taking photos of you! Thanks for trusting me to document your senior portraits. I enjoyed our shoot so much!

~abi~

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photo shoot ~ brady’s senior portraits

So, since it is now mid-June, and graduations are but a distant memory, I figured it was high time for me to share more of the senior sessions I got to do for some very cool 2017 grads. This awesome dude is Brady. I had met Brady before, years ago, at a walk to raise awareness for autism. A friend of Brady’s family had asked me to come document the day, and I was so touched by the whole experience. So I was really happy when Brady’s mom got in touch with me about doing Brady’s senior pictures. Brady is super smart, so he remembered me from that day he had met me as a child. He greeted me with a warm hug to start off our session, and I knew we were gonna have a great shoot! :) Here are some of my favorites from our evening in Bricktown.Brady has a keen interest in elevators, so I tried to find some cool ones for our session.Even though Brady’s parents didn’t plan on getting in front of the camera, I just had to grab a few quick shots of them with their handsome boy.Brady~

Thanks for letting me take your senior portraits. You are so kind and genuinely fun to be around! I enjoyed your session so much! I am excited to see what cool things you do in your future as you grace this world with your talents! :)

~abi~

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