You know how to give, but do you know how to receive?

love by klocke photography
I talk all the time about how much better it is to give than to receive. In fact, because that is how I speak my love language, I find giving easy. Whether it’s time, a shoulder, or gifts, I love to give.

But I stink at receiving.

Through the help of counseling a few years ago, I’ve gotten better. I can receive words of love and compliments without deflecting at least 85% of the time, which is a huge improvement over the previous 5%. But in addition to seeing how badly I have been at receiving, I have also learned that I’m not alone.

Over half the people I try to give to deflect or refuse my gifts.

In 2013, I had the honor of photographing clients from our local pregnancy center for a 2014 calendar. Recipients were receiving a totally, completely, no-strings-attached free photo shoot of their child. They’d receive a disc of photos that they were free to print however they wanted. No money would pass between us. It was completely a gift. With the deadline looming, and with all the clients our center has, I ended up with only 10 months – 10 clients who were open to receiving. Sadly, I was turned down more often than a session was accepted.

It was even harder to complete this task again this year, and by “harder,” I mean it didn’t happen at all as we had planned. Instead, we only had one client open and willing to accept this gift. Our whole plan had to change.

One client-turned-friend summed it up for me when she arrived for her session. “My husband thinks you’re going to charge me. He thinks that there is no way this is a real gift.”

That’s how far we’ve come — we don’t recognize love and gifts when they stare us in the face. We mistrust the intentions of others. We don’t believe someone really just wants to love us.

I know that’s how I’ve felt for way too long. They only say I’m talented because they want something from me. They only did me that favor because they want me to do something even bigger for them.

I’m not worth their love.

Several close friends have pushed their love on me anyway, and I’ve slowly learned to receive. It became easier to receive when a friend reminded me that when I refuse these gifts of time, love, praise, and material items, I am not allowing others to love me in their own love language. I am refusing them the opportunity to give, to speak their affection in their own way.

I thought about how much it can hurt my feelings to give a gift, only to have it handed right back. “I don’t want it.” Would you really say that to someone on Christmas morning? As you sit with your loved ones and they hand you a gift, you just hand it back and refuse it? It’s very likely you wouldn’t. But we do the same thing every time we turn down someone’s offer to love on us, to give us words of kindness. Every time you add a “but” onto your “thank you,” you are deflecting. And when you push a gift back with, “No, no, I couldn’t,” you are refusing the real gift of love.

Let yourselves be loved. Receive with an open heart. Accept love at face value. I know not every intention is genuine, but you can accept it that way anyway.

If it’s better to give than to receive but no one is open to receiving, what’s really happening here?

Are you good at receiving, or is this something you can begin to work on right this very second?

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“Seventeen years ago this week, I cried over my (ex)husband’s casket, my hand on his chest, no heartbeat or life left in his body. I apologized to him that I couldn’t save him, that I couldn’t love him enough to make him change, that I couldn’t make myself stay with him any longer. I carried the burden of his death as if I had killed him myself, when in reality, his death was his own fault. More, I carried the weight of my weak inability to save him.”

Continued at –

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As They Grow: The Malone Family

{Just a reminder, this is the Malone session when they were waiting for Baby #2, and this is that baby girl’s newborn session. Oh, and there was this other time with Mom and her boy.}

I love this little family. Not just because we are now family, but because they are just awesome, fun people. And I love getting to watch the babies grow bigger and all of their love grow wider by the day. I love when we get together to make new photographic memories, and let me tell you, I laugh so much. For every “right” picture, there are a dozen outtake attempts. But the whole thing is just good times every single time.

Malone Family

A toddler will toddle, ya know?

Malone Family

Sweet, sweet mama and baby girl…

Malone Family

She sure does like her fingers, and he sure does like her!

Malone Family

Does it seem like he might be thinking mischievous thoughts? Because I think he might have been.

Malone Family

No but seriously, cuteness factor times a million!

Malone Family
Malone Family

I love watching families when they are in the middle of loving each other —

Malone Family
Malone Family

Neeeeeeaaaaaaaar! Faaaaaaaaaaaaaar!

Malone Family

Daddy is so good at the daddy-ing.

Malone Family

And Mommy is so good at the cuddly mommy-ing.

Malone Family

I can barely stand the cuteness of these two, and I know it’s gotta be just as hard for you both. I know you are hardly getting through each day and it’s tough looking at these faces, but hang in there. I believe in you both!;)

The Malone Family

I love you guys!

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Karen Dane - Angela…! What a gift you have.

’Tis the season for out-of-town family and friends!

In previous years, Klocke Photography has shut down for the holidays. But this year, I’m staying open for you to fit in your family sessions with your out-of-town loved ones!*

Book a holiday session and take $25 off and receive a bonus 8×10. (Holiday Sale only good for these dates.)

Dates Available for Holiday Sessions —

December 18 3:00 p.m.
BOOKED December 19 8:00 a.m.
BOOKED December 19 3:00 p.m.
December 20 8:00 a.m.
December 20 3:00 p.m.
December 21 8:00 a.m.
December 21 3:00 p.m.
December 22 8:00 a.m.
December 22 3:00 p.m.
December 23 8:00 a.m.
December 23 3:00 p.m.
December 27 8:00 a.m.
December 28 8:00 a.m.
BOOKED December 28 3:00 p.m.
December 29 8:00 a.m.
December 29 3:00 p.m.
BOOKED December 30 8:00 a.m.
December 30 3:00 p.m.

Note: I will NOT book all of these dates and times. I am merely sharing the availability. If dates/times are booked, I will adjust accordingly.

(Klocke Photography will still be closed and unavailable December 24, 25, and 26.)

See Complete Investment Details Here!

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