Photo Contests!

It’s Time to Give Her Space to Exhale

Me Ra Koh

I love the Running on Empty contests. I love hearing all your stories. The strength so many of you carry with so much weight on your shoulders…it is dumbfounding and breathtaking all at once. Brian and I wish we could take all the nominees over the years, gather them all, put them on a plane, and fly them away to a weekend of pampering and restoration. Maybe someday. In the meantime, thank you for trusting us with your stories. Thank you for trusting us with your pain. Thank you for nominating those you love. Thank you for taking courage to nominate yourself.

As we prepare to head to the Minneapolis CONFIDENCE Workshop, I’d like to invite one more woman to join us. Her name is Jenifer Matthews, nominated by her friend Jacque Frank. When I got the votes in last night for Jenifer, I spent some time looking at Jenifer’s blog. I was in tears. This woman has a way with words after my own heart. She has gone through so much in her life. Jenifer…Brian (my Brian :)) and I would like to invite you to take a weekend where you can exhale. Our arms are open, and for two days you don’t have to be strong. You just get to receive. And we get the incredible honor of pouring our hearts, our creativity and prayers into you. What a honor that is for us.

If Jacque or Jenifer could confirm her attendance by tonight, it would be much appreciated. Since we are days away, if for some reason the timing doesn’t work, we have a couple beautiful nominees who are runner ups. Just email Genie at

For those of you who didn’t read Jenifer’s nomination by Jacque, here it is. And if you can, check out Jenifer’s blog. It’s incredibly moving, painful, poetic and healing. The top post “Mommy, maybe I’ll start smoking” left me speechless, but I stopped and turn to vape, so buy vape mods.

My Name is Jacque Frank. My e-mail address is

I have been waiting for this contest since you announced you are coming to Minneapolis. I would love to nominate my friend Jenifer Matthews. Jenifer is a mom of 4 children. Jenifer’s oldest son has cerebral palsy. He is a true delight. He has shaped and formed their family in so many ways…they wouldn’t be the same without him. But a child with disabilities does bring so much more responsibility. This alone warrants a spot in your running on empty contest.

This past year has been particularly hard. Jenifer and her husband we pregnant with their fourth child. They found out at 20 weeks that they were going to have a boy. They named him Luke. Luke wasn’t growing very fast. Luke struggled to grow. In December Luke was born early and only lived 80 mins here on earth. He then went to live with his heavenly Father. Most of us cannot fathom the pain that Jenifer and her family have gone through. I would love it if Jenifer were to be the winner of the running on empty contest. Jenifer’s blog is You can read her story there.

Jacque, words cannot express how awesome a friend is when they do what you have done for Jenifer. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to introduce us all to Jenifer. We are all better for it. May you be blessed even more.

Much love, Me Ra

Please help me welcome Jenifer!


Do you live on the West Coast? We are kicking off 2010 with a CONFIDENCE workshop in Seattle! The November Seattle CONFIDENCE Workshop is already sold out, but we have spots for the January Workshop! CLICK HERE to get your spot!!

Our Refuse to Say Cheese DVD series are now AWARD WINNING! Read the press release HERE ! If you haven’t ordered your own copy yet, check out our popular Instructional DVDs Refuse to Say Cheese and , and our 101 Kits for starting or expanding a business in photography, click on the titles of your choice!



  1. Aileen says:

    wow. Jenifer, you so deserve this and I can only say Congratulations. I’m so sorry for the loss and heartbreak you have felt this year. Truly, truly sorry. Your blog is just incredible with emotion and honesty and pain. Please take this weekend to yourself.

    You and your family are in my prayers.

  2. Christina says:

    When she was nominated I was moved by her nomination. I went over to her blog and I was in tears. I am so happy that she was chosen!!
    I have been praying for her and will continue too.

  3. michelle s. says:

    Congratulations Jennifer!! Have fun in Minneapolis! 🙂

  4. Wow! That is all I can say is wow. Thank you for sharing the nomination again. I must have missed it the first time you posted cause this was the first time I read about Jennifer. I just checked her blog and it is so amazing. I just started a series at my church called “Grieving God’s Way” last night. The room is filled with people who have lost someone they loved. The woman leading it lost her baby when she was born too. It’s devastating to say the least, but it’s amazing that Jennifer is able to share her heart so openly and honestly. It will definitely help the healing process.

  5. Amanda says:

    Congrats Jennifer!! You deserve this so much, your blog truly touched me as well. You are amazing and I can not wait to meet you and experience Me Ra and Brian right along with you!!

  6. Me Ra Koh says:

    Isn’t her blog amazing. I know, I read it for over an hour last night, and it was so healing to read.

  7. Jane says:

    Jennifer so deserves this! Wonderful blog and wonderful mother.

  8. Kari says:

    I sobbed big, fat mommy tears as I read her blog. Jennifer, may this time at the workshop replenish and renew you — in ways you would never expect. As a former “running on empty” winner (it feels weird to say “winner” at being empty…), I know just how amazing this time will be for you. God has a mighty plan for your time with Me Ra et al. Blessings to you!

    And, Me Ra, thank God for you. The spot you hold for this one special woman each workshop, is part of the miracle that makes you, you. xxoo!

  9. Tacey says:

    Jennifer…The world needs more people like you….I am humbled by your strength and spirit…MeRa, hold it together girl…Bring lots of kleenex…It will be healing for both of you…I will be with you in spirit.
    Big hugs to you both.

  10. Rhonda says:

    Wow! Because I myself have been “running on empty” so much lately something had to give. And one of the things I have had to not do was read, especially blogs. I have missed a couple of the blogs very much because of how much they encourage me and minister to my Spirit and yours is one of those. I happened to have some time to myself today and fighting the urge to just sleep, I decided to see what I have been missing here. When I got to this post, and then to Jennifer’s blog, all I can say is WOW. I sat reading and crying over Jennifer’s response to being chosen as the winner of this running on empty contest.
    I LOVE to read how God uses you and Brian to bless others.
    And how He uses you to minister to me.
    I really believe that much of my felt emptiness lately is the result of spiritual attack and I am fighting the good fight in every way I know possible. And in the last month I invited a friend to be a prayer partner with me on Wednesday evenings. We have dedicated that time to intercessory prayer – each month praying for a different church, a different leader, a different ministry, a different person we don’t know that God brings to us through either friends or the internet. All that to say, Jennifer is going to be that person for us this month and I wouldn’t have found her if it hadn’t been for you and her friends.
    Isn’t it cool how God intertwines so many stories and events for His glory?
    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to hear a small part of how God continues to use you in ways you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise hear, and definitely in ways that only God could ordain.

  11. […] you know a mom who needs this kind of group and weekend getaway? Do you know a mom Running on Empty? If so, nominate her today. Let’s turn her day around and let her know we are rooting for […]

  12. […] you know a mom who needs this kind of group and weekend getaway? Do you know a mom Running on Empty? If so, nominate her today. Let’s turn her day around and let her know we are rooting for […]

  13. Jessica Lee says:

    A mother who lost her daughter to SIDS in February; Kellie Grein Staats — she has touched many women’s hearts on her blog and is getting into photography among other things to help her heal from her loss.