A Life of Purpose
Before I get into today’s post…yesterday, I was pretty sick so I didn’t have a chance to visit many blogs. I hope you’ll forgive me. And now back to your regularly scheduled ramblings: 

In the past few years, our world has been turned upside down. In these times of uncertainty, some of us may be finding ourselves looking for purpose and meaning in our lives.
Another Selfie-Jeremiah 29_11
For those of you that may not know me as well, I am not a professionally trained photographer (or blogger for that matter). And if you’ve been following me for a while, you may recall that I purchased my first DSLR shortly after getting marred in October 2009 (Ramblings and Photos was started a few weeks later). 

Like many of you, I found myself searching for creativity, community. and purpose I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but I’ve always found that if I had a goal, that I was much more likely to achieve it. In fact, I kept it pretty simple…I wanted nothing more than to re-discover my creative spirit, and enhance my photography and editing skills. Well, it’s been just over a year, and I continue to do all of that but more importantly…I’ve made some incredible friends along the way. 

What you may or may not know about me is my professional/educational background outside of this blogging/photography community. In college, I actually studied psychology and leadership studies. For the past seven years, I’ve been in a position where I develop customized training solutions (hahahaha – this has consultant written all over it). Needless to say, my professional background plays a huge role in how I approach blogging…specifically why I enjoy sharing my editing knowledge.

I tell you all of this, because the other day I was sitting in a Human Resource conference  last week and it hit me…and then I was listening to our latest church message and it hit me again. And, if you’re anything like me, the only thing that these times of uncertainty have done is cause you to reconsider how you want to spend the rest of your life. It felt only appropriate to revisit a scripture that has been guiding me for years.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans for hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

This verse keeps me focused. No matter how hard life has hit me, I have always known that it was leading to something much more significant. So today, as I continue to think about the decisions that will guide the remainder of my life, I feel that there are a couple of core principles worth revisiting as well:

1. Define your life’s purpose and identify your talents.  
Once you know the natural talents that God has given you, you can better make decisions on what you should be doing with your life. Typically, this means that we spend the first part of our life screwing our lives up (no…just me?). 

Then at some point, we get our big break…it hits us and we’re given an opportunity to reflect on how we’ve lived our lives up until that point…what did we do well…what would we change? Consider this a sort of “half time.” During this break, we’re also allowed to look into our futures. At this point, it’s not about what we’ve done or accomplished…it’s not about success…but significance.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

2. Consider the “season” you’re in right now. What is important for you right now?

It’s funny because I think Jeremiah 29:11 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 are speaking to one another. In previous posts, we’ve talked about how sometimes we want something so bad that we will it to happen. However, God has a plan for each of us…his timing is almost never our timing. But, we must still have to make decisions every day…and those decisions must consider the specific season we’re in.

In particular, in my life, family is becoming more and more important. If you’ve spent any time with me, you know that I am really looking forward to being a mother. To prepare for this “season,” I recall making a conscious decision to travel less (with work of course) several years ago. In that time, I also picked up a hobby with the intention of learning my camera well enough that I would one day be able to take photographs of my own children. I’m a planner…and I certainly like to prepare for the future. However, God has taken care of the rest. He’s managed to place people in my life that would teach me specific lessons and given me experiences that will fulfill his plan for me.

Five years ago, I’m not sure I would have imagined myself as a blogger or photographer.  I never imagined that I would be writing Photoshop tutorials every week…or that others would have an interest in what I was doing. Life changes though and “success” is not nearly as important to me as significance now is. If I don’t believe I’m a photographer, how can I expect anyone else to take me seriously? If I don’t believe I have a natural talent, how can I expect God to use that talent. Positive change starts with you (or in this case…me), so what are we waiting for?

My name is Ashley Sisk…and I am a photographer, a blogger and a leader. My life has purpose and significance. Nice to meet you.

PS: I’m musing today. Come over and visit me at: