Tag Archives: my heart

3 Things That are NEVER Funny

I consider myself to be a person with a hefty humour, and I like a good sarcastic joke. But something that I have been reflecting on as of late is the misogynistic jokes that have found their way into my relationships with guys, and I let them slide because I didn’t want to be “That girl.” You know that girl, the one who is a little too intense about women’s issues, the girl who takes every opportunity to share her opinions about women’s rights.. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.  But if I don’t take the time to speak these truths, then I am doing a discredit to the fiery passion for human dignity and empowerment that is written on my soul.

Here are three recurring jokes that I can pinpoint throughout different times in my life that are NEVER acceptable, EVER.

1.Violence

I have actually had guys jokingly threaten me when not happy with something I am doing or saying. “I will punch you in the face,” “I will kick you,” “I want to choke you right now.” I am not kidding. At the time, I would just jokingly return in kind, saying that I would hit them back or kick them in the balls. Now that I reflect back, I am horrified that I ever spent time with these people. It is NEVER funny to joke in this way. A guy who is genuinely concerned about your safety and cherishes you wouldn’t find this funny or acceptable in any situation.

2. Numbers

Believe it or not, I actually had a guy give me a score on my “Wife-Abilities.” There were categories such as Cooking, Appearance and Mothering… The list goes on. I kid you not. I know what you are thinking, “Where in the world do you find these guys, Ehjae?” You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I cannot express the damage that was done to my soul in this experience. While it is the most extreme case that I’ve experienced, sadly it is not the only one. I have heard guys describe women as numbers in different categories more times than I care to repeat. “Her face is a 4, but her cannons are a 10”
Women struggle with perfection and comparison on our own. We always feel like we fall short of the standard, and are gloriously reminded that this is the case with the barrage of media reminding us to stay fit, but not too fit; to be nice, but not too nice; to be successful, but not too successful; and to be the perfect mother/wife. If a guy ever, EVER removes your dignity by describing you OR ANYONE ELSE by a number, walk away. No, RUN away. It will never change, and you will forever feel like a prisoner trying to be freed from the prison of “Not Enough.”

3.“WOMAN”

Have you ever been called, “Woman” by someone? It’s always said in a mocking voice, “Woman, make me a sandwich; Woman, bring me a beer.”

 MY NAME IS EHJAE.

Calling me “Woman” tells me that this is all that you see. You see my breasts, and the opportunity for conquest between my legs. I can hear some of you protesting- that’s not the case. So what is the case? What is the pressing need for you to diminish our worth? The sake of a joke? I can tell you that no one is laughing. And further more, why would calling me “Woman” somehow grant you power, as if to say that a woman is weaker and must submit to your request?

The verdict is out, and the joke is on you, misogynistic men. Women are strong. We are courageous, and we are not going to be treated like this. “It was a joke.” is NOT a reasonable explanation to ever do any of the above. Having let people speak to me, and treat me in this way for much too long, I hope that it will take some of the beautiful women out there less than a quarter century to stop enabling these destructive language and patterns. It starts with us, ladies.  We must stop joking back, and start walking away.

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Moment

Life is full of moments.

Moments that stand still

Moments that fly by, where you soar high

Moments when you can’t see and you can’t breathe

and you begin to wonder if you’ve ceased to be

       Anything

Worth loving

——-

NO

——–

We

need

to see

that this is not who we’re meant to be

That life is full of these moments

So that we know what it means to be free

Photogenic

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As a photographer, I often hear words like Photogenic.

It’s a word we use so often in positive regards to others, “Wow, you’re so photogenic!” And use it almost always to enforce a negative connotation on ourselves. “I’m not a photogenic person at all.” It breaks my heart to hear people talk about themselves this way.

Do you know what the word Photogenic means?

At it’s latin roots:
Photo: Light        -genic: Produced by, given life by

So essentially, it means to “give life by light,” or as Jesh DeRox puts it, “Light coming through life.”

You have a life that’s worthy of being remembered.

As a photographer, and especially as a lover of people, it’s my heart’s passion and desire to capture that glimmer of genuine life shining through and to capture that essence of who you are.

There is no such thing as a photogenic person, just a person.

You’re unique. Your heart, your life, your passions; you shine with a light that will never be shone again by another other being. Let it show. It’s beautiful.

You embody “photogenic”, you are its definition.

Photography is completely dependent on light. Some of us work with natural lighting, some of us have learned how to manipulate it. How we get the lighting isn’t the point. The point is that we can’t get a photo without that light.

In the same way, I would say that my photos are nothing without your light. Are you willing to let it shine, show me your heart?

I will keep trying to share mine with the world.  I promise.

loveehjae

Greetings from Uganda!

Greetings from Uganda! We have had power for a bit today, so I’m hoping that it will last until I’m done filling you all in on some of the craziness out here. First off, GOD IS GOOD. No one has gotten sick and despite being tired and a bit overwhelmed by everything that we have been doing and seeing, we are all doing really well. I didn’t realize how incredibly blessed I was to be in this beautiful country with these 9 other people. In the course of a couple of days, I have grown to love them and trust them with my life. I am really sad to even think about the fact that I will not be with them for much longer.. so I’m just not going to think about that. I wish I could upload some photos, our wonderful roommate who was already here is allowing me to borrow her laptop, so I obviously don’t have any photos on here for you. Shannon and I are sharing a room with this girl, her name is Christine.

There is so much joy in this house. We have conquered some pretty intense things together and legitimately seen the power of God at work. It’s funny. I was very curious about why I felt so strongly about coming to Africa, since I never really thought that I had a heart for this place, but I’m beginning to think that I see why I’m here. I have fallen in love with this country and its people. There is one girl in particular who captured my heart from the beginning. She has the most beautiful braids with green beads at the ends. Her name is Peace. The first time I saw her, she walked right up to me and took my hand. She’s a very quiet little girl, but she just looked up at me and smiled. We continued to have a mutual agreement that we liked each other and sometimes we would just stand holding hands and she would look up at me and I would look down at her and we would just smile and sometimes even giggle at each other. I was captivated by her smile and her joy, but I also began to notice that she favours her right hand and has a limp. One day Jimmy, our contact, came up and showed me her burns. They cover her upper thighs and stomach and back. He told me that she had been playing with another kid who had matches. He accidentally lit her clothes on fire and since they don’t have fire education out here, she didn’t know “stop, drop and roll”. Instead, she walked all the way home to get help. By the time she arrived at home, her clothes had melted into her skin. She spent 4 months in the hospital and has only recently been released. Her story blew me away because no one would be able to tell that this girl still lives in excruciating pain. She doesn’t complain. She has the best attitude and tries to be involved in everything with the other children. I was blown away by the truth in her name. She is full of Peace. She is so incredibly beautiful and I love her to the brim. (probably overflowing, to be honest)

We were able to deliver lights today.  It’s so incredible to see what a difference these lights make for families.  Today one of the families was living in a cement building with no windows. The women are sick with diabetes and cancer and are unable to gather together the money to buy kerosene, despite its terrible affect on their health.  We turned on the light that we gave them and the entire room just lit up and they were so excited.  The main mother in the home actually gave a couple fist pumps.  I feels to blessed to see how these lights are changing people’s lives.  Like how unworthy am I to be here and get to see this first hand? I am so thankful.  So extremely grateful.  Thank you to everyone who helped me get here both by supporting me financially and by praying for us.  We have NEEDED those prayers more than I can say.

I don’t know what else to share. There is just so much to say. There are so many things to ponder and reflect upon, and there are so many feelings I have yet to express or even to be realized. I am so glad that I am here. I want you all to know that we are safe and thriving over here. Things are amazing, and we are all incredibly blown away by the hospitality, love and blessings that we experience daily out here.

I felt like I should try memorizing Ephesians while on this trip, so I thought it very fitting to end this with a verse that I memorized today.

“For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Love you all!

Affoyo 🙂

ps. they gave us African names and I thought I should share mine with you. They named me Lakeesha which means “full of mercy and kindness”….. I know what you’re all thinking. It’s pretty awesome, eh?