This is my summer.























It’s funny to think that as my photography skills develop and life goes on, the words associated with my pictures dwindle. I think it’s because I want my photos to be able to speak for themselves. They’re mature enough, methinks.CSC_7141

Oh, friends. I hope you can relate to bits of my summer, ’cause I certainly enjoyed myself. All the adventures and growing times, new friends and new places, learning to trust and trusting more; all these are what made up my summer. These photos remind me of all I learned, and I’ll treasure the lessons for a good long while.


portrait of summer


a new attitude [CHINA]

towards trust, love, and people.


I love people.


// helping them, serving them, just being a friend //

B U T  it’s  H A R D, and I fail. I fail a lot.

looking back on my time in Shenyang & Beijing with my teammates

I find it nearly impossible to understand how we all got along.


but we did, by G O D ‘ S  G R A C E.


 we talked often about how crazy we were together

we had the “super organized – on top of everything” person


the “girly – cute – sweet” person


the “manly man – muscles-can-do-anything” guys


the outgoing ones


and the ones who didn’t fit into any category


they’re super special too.

But  S I G H T S E E I N G

Beijing with this team was amazing_CSC1007First off, B I K E S are everywhere._CSC1910


Second, P E O P L E are everywhere.

_CSC1954 _CSC1967 _CSC1977

During our (quite extensive) walk about the Forbidden City, I encountered more stares and pointing than I ever have before.


(this isn’t in the Forbidden City, but is an example of a wonderful old woman who gathered up Ellie and myself for one last photo before the retreat ended. I’d like to think that it was because of my winning personality that she loved me. But alas, ’tis probably untrue.)

I’m told that it was because I am a white female with a camera and American accent. More than once I  was asked for a photo by complete strangers…

prepare for architecture

 and lovely old, old beauty in the



_CSC1980 even the ground garnered my attention


this pile of carven stone looks amazing, I guess



BEHOLD THE TURTLE-DRAGON (yes, it needed to be bold and big)

_CSC2041 so many lions! the ball symbolized power and the lion cub represented heritage


detailing was exquisite in some places and regal/powerful in others


the ceilings! I didn’t know where to look half the time; so many sights to see!

_CSC2143_CSC2141_CSC2139_CSC2156That is all.
But I have more, which will come later, hopefully.

But right now, I’m content to remember these beautiful, sweaty, muggy, friendship-building, bonding times where we walked for hours through crowded corridors in hopes of catching a glimpse of history preserved in glass boxes in age-old castle-like palaces and stared silent at trees and rocks surrounding ancient houses of servants and royals. We ate eccentric flavors of ice cream (green tea/mango/lemon, anyone?) and saw professionals roasting whole ducks in stone ovens. We joked about huge signs declaring “PUBLIC TOILETS” and quietly discussed the implications of Tiananmen Square and its infamous events.

By way of excusing my long, long absence: I’m a person, and that means I’m a part of people, and people are inconsistent. Time is consistent. Life is time and time goes on. Life happens. Some times life happens to be busy. Life continues to happen, regardless of my own sentiments.

More later? Sure thing, friends.


trust (and obey)

/ Why is trust so hard? \

Simply this:

I’m a selfish human.

Everything I do is for me.

But that’s why love is special!

It’s making someone else more important than self.

In order to love you must trust.

But trust is hard.


The funny thing is, I wrote the above post over a month ago. I had been asked to go on a short-term missions trip to Shenyang and Beijing as the team photographer. I wrote it out before everything.

Before I raised all the money to get to China.

Before I knew what (on earth) I would be doing in China.

Before I knew the team I would be working with. I’d never met them before.

Before I let myself become vulnerable to God’s plans.

Yet there I was.

In China.



Eating noodles and duck with chopsticks.



Walking (trying to survive) down a busy Shenyang street to Dunkin’ Donuts…


With team members I fully trusted.


_CSC0975 _CSC0978 _CSC0980

/being adventurous with my food choices\

_CSC1045_CSC1043 _CSC1004

I love the Chinese culture. All of it. Seriously.

_CSC1007 _CSC1049



Before we met the families we would be ministering to, I was sort of freaking out.



/no idea what to expect\


 But watching the local volunteers welcome these precious families with disabled kids, I was a little overwhelmed by happiness._CSC1339_CSC1341

Watching the American team work with them; just loving on the kids…


_CSC1267Going into China, I wasn’t sure how /free\ we could be when talking about faith.

_CSC1631_CSC1607/But God\

(my two favorite words)

provided opportunities for all of us to show them hope and love.

More importantly, we actually told them where it came from. Jesus. _CSC1600_CSC1596 _CSC1259_CSC1104

I am so thankful for this opportunity, many families and volunteers told me how much it meant to them that I and the whole American team came and showed interest in them and their families. Disabled people are quietly shunned by the public and to have young people (American AND Chinese) work so hard for these families really meant a lot to them. 


// part 2 [the team and sightseeing] coming soon \\


of the new and old

Hello there.

You may know me, and I may know you.

But I’ll introduce myself.

I’m Lis.

// Pronounced L-ih-z //

My face:)

I’m nineteen, but I still have some growing up to do.


I love writing.

I have found, in my life, that writing out my thoughts

// allows clarity //

transforms my jumbled feelings into blocks that I can build with.

So, I write.

But there is a twofold purpose for this.

I also love photography.

at camp jim's lake.

 All photography intrigues and excites me.

Sunsets and birthday parties; portraits and museums… Whatever catches my eye.

at santa monica beach, california

catie's wedding

   I like to keep my pictures fresh, unique; not repetitive and meaningless.

I take pride in my work, and my goal for this blog is to document the improvements I make in both writing and photography.


If you’d like to come along with me, I’d be happy to have you!

// Lis //