Erin Rachel Photography | Picayune MS High School Senior and Family Photographer serving the surrounding areas Mandeville LA, Covington LA, Slidell LA and the Northshore » Senior and Family Photographer covering Picayune, MS and Mandeville LA, Slidell LA and Covington LA. Offering Photography Classes and Workshops in the Picayune MS, Covington LA, Mandeville LA and Slidell LA area.

Influencing more than 110+ lives- with purpose

As my mister and I lay in bed last night…lights out after a long day of us both working…company over for a quick dinner and splitting ways during the evening to work on separate projects…we were finally both back at home…we were finally catching up on the happenings of the day.  Some of my favorite moments and conversations, as we are somehow “wide awake” because we want to hear how each others day went…yet our bodies are fighting us because they are worn out and want sleep.

Our last conversation was pretty eye opening for me.

The conversation went something like this…

Me- “We are so busy…”

Mister- “I know lately it’s been crazy…I know…”

Me- “and we don’t even have kids yet…”

Mister- “Well no, but I have 87 or so kids”

Me- “what???  oooohhhhh yeh and not a one of them is our very own”

Mister- “well true.”

Me- “Wait between the two of us teaching we have over 100 kids then”

Mister- “Whoa that’s a lot…”

Me- “Wait…wait…plus our Sunday school class even though that’s once a week…still that makes around 114”

Mister- “Wow we have a lot of kids that aren’t our own.”

Me- “Well what about the girls teen Bible Study class I teach…we’re up to 117”

Mister- “that’s amazing when you think of it that way…and I just rounded my students number”

Me-“Well you have a lot more than me, but that’s crazy that between the two of us we have an opportunity to impact so many young lives.”

Mister- “That is a huge responsibility when you think of it.”

Me-“Wow you’re right…and that’s just in those we teach on a daily or weekly basis not including nieces and nephews.”


[collage of a few iPhone pics VBS, Sunday School party at our house, my students having a party at our house}  photo-5PIN THIS

Yes…our calendars are full…we stay super busy… we feel like we run a “rat-race” at times… yet…

What a responsibility we have…not to just be “friends” with these kiddos and teens…but a responsibility to engage in their lives, be interested in what’s happening and make an impact on them for what could be for life…and hopefully more importantly for eternity.

Hey, our lives are not about ourselves…it’s about others.  Christ has called us to serve others.  Christ has called us to be an example of what He would have our Christian lives to be….to ultimately glorify HIM.

This is an opportunity that my mister and I do not take lightly…Yes he spends hours preparing for the educational classes he teaches, but having conversations with the students and working with them one on one and hearing him pray for them…that’s what it’s about in the end. How about spending a few hours on a Thursday night prepping for the kick-off Sunday for our Sunday School class and promotional Sunday.  Where the new kiddos who are of age step up into our class…painting the  room, hanging banners, prepping new material and planning a Mystery Dinner , which has lots and lots of details to cover, for next Saturday night.

Or how about as my mister walks out of the door this morning at 6:10am with maroon pants on…a bright gold/yellow school t shirt…and his face painted…because it’s spirit week at school and this afternoon is the pep-rally…and he’s telling me how he is mentally preparing to do cart-wheels…

All while I sit there with my cup of coffee in hand…laughing inside…half asleep still…adoring this guy I’ve married…and scheming a way I’m going to make it to this pep-rally this afternoon……… see this with my own two eyes!!!

Are those things we do just because we are bored and have nothing better to do.  Are these things we decide to add to our busy lives, just because we want a full calendar?  Are these the things we do because we HAVE to and that’s “what comes with the job”?  Do we take a week of our summer break to head to Alabama with the teens from church for youth camp, just because we have nothing else to do that week?  What about the hours of prepping and organizing for VBS and being on stage 5 nights in a row…being silly and acting crazy…learning 7 or so brand new songs with hand motions to lead them…is that just to get kids to laugh and have fun? I would say…

Absolutely not…in no-way… photo-3 copyPIN THIS

We could definitely fill our calendars with selfish things…things we want to do…hobbies that interest us.

Yet when we look at the big picture, these are the things God has called us to do.  We have been called to make an impact on others lives…we want to run our race well…run the race God has called us to and finish it well.

I had no intentions of making this sound like we are “tooting our horns” to say “look what we do…” again if that was the case we probably wouldn’t be where we are in a small Mississippi town, we would want something much bigger in life, something that makes more money, something that calls more attention to ourselves, something that takes us “bigger places” –in the worlds eyes.

We haven’t chosen that route…we have no desire to choose that route. We are thankful and happy right where God has planted our feet…to serve where He has placed us and to Go where He has called us.

Instead we talk about how busy life is…we relish the life God has called us to….with a calendar of busy things, that will make a difference and will impact lives for eternity…building relationships with purpose and for a reason…


  • Amber - Wonderful post, Erin!

  • Aunt Gwen - Beautiful Erin, I know those kids love and adore you and your Mister, doing God’s work.

  • Kathy DeRocha Guillot - Great post I alway enjoy reading your blog. I know you made a big impact on my son.

  • Gina Mason - Photos of said Maroon pants and gold shirt please. Facing paint and cartwheels would be an added bonus.

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