Seek First – Pole Steeple

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

There are times during the week I forget to seek first, those days are rough. Fridays are family day and are about recapturing time with my Lord and my wife. This past Friday we decided to drive to the Appalachian Mountains and hike Pole Steeple. It was amazing to be in a deserted place away from people and responsibilities — to be alone with creation.

Walking through the forest I understood why Christ would remove himself to such locations to pray. It’s peaceful and humbling, naturally creating the perfect posture to come to the Lord. It gave me a lot of perspective, yet I still had trouble putting down my camera to just enjoy what He has made. I kept thinking of how amazing the photos would look on Instagram or Facebook, putting off spending time with our Creator.

I’m broken.

I didn’t get around to praying in the woods that day & so I am writing this post as a reminder for myself to seek first the kingdom of God. That afternoon it wasn’t just the collapsed trees and dead leaves in the forest that were decaying — it was myself as well. Due to the fall of man that took place in Genesis 3 we all are dying without Christ’s saving love. You and I are naturally separated from the design & order of His creation.

Seek First - Paige standing among the dead trees as we walk the road deeper into Michaux State Forest.
Paige standing on the path as we walk deeper into Michaux State Forest.

He makes everything new

But there is hope. Among the fallen trees there was life — small buds of flowers and leaves were beginning to form, grass starting to shoot up! A regeneration as springtime comes upon the earth, clothing creation in life. This also, is like Christ’s love for you and I.

You see there is a promise in the verse: seek first the kingdom of God and his righteous, and all these things will be added to you. It refers not only to your physical, momentary needs, but your eternal ones as well. If you seek God’s kingdom, headed by Christ, you will receive His love, renewal, and transformation. There will be peace for your heart and salvation for your soul.

When I forget to seek first His kingdom I break the order and disrupt the cycle. I’m a mess and I create disorder. But when I come humbly before my Lord, everything is made whole and built up for Him. Including the pictures of Pole Steeple — what caused me to miss the moment has been renewed in this written reflection through seeking the Lord.

Amen.

I would love to extend the conversation about Christ and His love for you. Coffee is on me, just get in touch, email sethnenstiel@gmail.com, or call/text 717.781.9802.

Seek First Pole Steeple

Seek First by Creative Photographer and Writer Seth Nenstiel – Inquire Now

I want to take your family photos

I didn’t set out to be a family photographer. In fact, as a child I didn’t want to be a photographer at all. What I truly wanted to be was a garbage man. Ask my mom and she’ll tell you that I wanted to collect your trash and throw it in a truck. I was riveted with the idea.

Somewhere around age twelve I changed my ideal profession to being Bill Gates. Whatever that means. By college I was studying computer science. And in the middle of freshman year I quit the 16 hour days of programming to become a photographer. I’m so glad I did.

Photography allows me to experience life’s riches. I capture what makes up the everyday, as well as the important moments in between. I photograph weddings, adventures, stories, and families.

I would love to take your family photos.

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Let’s get real

Some of the best moments in your life are spent with family — going on vacation to the mountains, back yard camping on the weekends, and holiday get togethers! I’m not sure, but I’ll bet none of your greatest family memories were of you standing awkwardly in the park or sitting uncomfortably in a room with a backdrop. So why is this the accepted norm?

Together, let’s break the cycle!

I want to photograph your family in action, and I want to photograph them in a way that matters. May I suggest a ‘day in the life’ session to capture the special moments, or how going on a ‘family adventure’ to get everyone excited? (See the links for examples.)

Yes, these sessions are crazier and less controlled. But family is raw, real, flawed, & imperfect. Family is also loving, caring, pure, & fun. These qualities are what make up family, and the memories together are what make up the fullness of life.

I want to photograph your family in action, because life happening together is what counts.

I believe you feel this way too.

Please contact me about a day in the life session or a family adventure.

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A Thank You & Vote for Best of York 2015

From the moment I set out on this journey growing my photography business has been hard work. Starting anything means making mistakes, taking risks, and the certainty of having some failures. But what’s been so great about starting this business is the people. Over the past several years I’ve had the chance to serve the growing community of York by telling stories with my camera. The best part has been the amazing support and love that I’ve received from the community. To this my warmest Thank you!

Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives — capturing precious moments at weddings, watching your families grow, documenting important events, and generally entering into the adventures that make up everyday. It is my hope that I am able to serve York for years to come.

Once again I need to thank you, the community, for nominating me for the Best of York. With two days until the voting period runs out I am asking that you cast the important ballots. Your support makes a difference for all the businesses involved. We are here to serve and love our community. Please vote for the businesses you love!

Vote here: http://inyork.com/bestofyork2015

3 Ways to Love Your Spouse While Managing a Creative Career

As a freelance creative my world is a little crazy. I work late, I start early, I run out in the middle of the day, I am constantly on email and social media, I answer phone calls when I shouldn’t, I take gigs that are impossibly close to other commitments, I have meeting after meeting, and in general I create chaos around me whether through my schedule or whatever new idea pops into my mind that I decide to follow.

My amazing wife, Paige, rolls pretty well with all of it. Through some conversation, we have come up with some great ways to address my lifestyle. So if you find yourself in a creatively demanding career, or have a spouse who is, I want to offer a few tips and thoughts I have picked up over the past year I believe will help your relationship.

1. Create a family day

A family day is something that Paige and I are just starting to put into action. It was first suggested to us by our pastor and his wife who work incredibly demanding schedules as they love and care for people. A family day helps keep them sane and ensures they spend time with each other. We’re finding it works for us too.

That being said, here’s what I suggest: not just a day but a family ‘36 hours.’ I try not to have any late evening commitments the day before, or early commitments the morning after family day. I block off my schedule like this because if I am stressed the night before family day my irritableness — no matter how hard I try — will shine through in the morning. Or if I have a pressing commitment the morning after family day, I will lose focus towards the evening and try to slip away to prepare. It goes without saying that this causes hurt and arguments. For me, it is of primary importance to love Paige with my time.

For us, family day is Friday. Paige doesn’t have work on Fridays & I often have work scheduled on Saturday afternoons with weddings or families. The best part about family day falling on a weekday is that restaurants and activities are much less busy!

2. The importance of small gestures

I love surprising my wife in little ways. Best of all, it makes me a happier and better creative. When I pause for a few minutes every couple of days to decide how I can honor and love my wife, I flex my creative muscles. Think of an athlete cross training — that’s what this action does, it cross trains creativity. Here’s a few ideas of things I have done in the past, but I suggest you come up with your own ideas as well & keep them fresh!

Notes: Notes are an amazing way to say thank you for putting up with the crazy & express your love for your spouse. Try listing out all the qualities that you love about them — their patience, beauty, love, kindness, caring nature, and genuineness.

Flowers: Guys, whether you add flowers to a note, or just pick up flowers to give to your wife they are sure to be a hit! Bonus for adding her favorite candy.

Coming home early / showing up when they don’t expect you: I remember I was photographing a wedding and it slowed down earlier than expected. The bride and groom thanked me for my great service and gave me their blessing to leave early. In this moment I was able to love my wife by joining her at a family event earlier than expected. She was so pleased!

Spur of the moment actions: Paige and I were out running errands one evening and she mentioned she was craving a caramel ice-cream sundae. An hour later on the drive home we were passing a McDonald’s. I began to pull into the drive-through Paige asked me what was going on? I said that I was getting her a caramel sundae. The smile that popped on her face was infectious! It reminded me of the need to make small things important.

Paige Nenstiel Photo Adventure
Paige out on a photo adventure!

3. Engage your spouse in the creativity

Yes, being a creative is work! But if you’re like me, and chances you are, then you didn’t enter a creative field to work endlessly or make money. You entered in to your art — photography, film, painting, drawing, pottery, etc. — because you loved the experience of creating. There was a release that spoke to your heart and built it up. It was beautiful and you were captivated.

A wonderful way to engage your spouse is to invite them into this experience & reveal the beauty of your art. Take them on a photo adventure & put the camera in their hands, make a short film together while being goofy, or spend time painting silly portraits of each other. Before you were married your spouse was attracted to you & some of the magic was probably around your creative spirit — harness this! Not to mention it will be extremely gratifying to see the fruits of your creative labors together.

If you find yourself reading this and your spouse is the creative — ask them to reflect on what they love about their art. Seek to bring them out of business mode. In our case, Paige & I go on photo adventures which combines our love of traveling with my love of photography. Paige is becoming increasingly excited about her ability to document our wanderings & the future we have together!

What do you do?

These are just a few ways Paige and I have learned to love each other while I maintain a creative career. We would love to hear about how you take action to love your spouse while being a creative. Shoot us an email or leave us a comment below, we’d love to have a conversation!