Lessons learned from a Lotus

A photographer won’t get rich giving away photos.


But when you feel like God is leading you to do so, you just need to act on it.


During a couple weeks of continuously waking at 4am I had many different thoughts racing through my mind.    Obviously. 

One that repeated itself for a couple nights was that I should take a specific photo of mine to the owners of TruBroth Coffee & Vietnamese Cuisine in Travelers Rest.

Up to that point I had never been to their restaurant.  I had only read about it in a couple news articles when they opened.  I knew that they had a Vietnamese background and they were health-conscious with their menu items.  That’s about it.

The photo I was led to give them was one of my favorites.  It’s a fully open Lotus flower with an unopened bud to the side.  I took it in the Italian water gardens at The Biltmore Estate in 2018.  I knew from other friends that the Lotus plant had great significance in Vietnamese culture.  It grows in muddy water but rises above the muck to bloom with great beauty, symbolizing purity and goodness of the heart, as well as a commitment and optimism for the future.  It seemed just the gift a new business venture needed.

So I dropped in at TruBroth one evening and began talking like a deranged person (probably how it seemed to the owners anyway).  I told them that I felt led in my dreams to give them this photo.  They looked at me with the expectation that I would soon ask for all their money or some other odd request. But I ordered some food to go and, while it was prepared, carried on a wonderfully inspiring conversation with Charlie Ngo, the owner. 

Charlie spoke of the hikes he takes in the mountains that attracted him to Travelers Rest.  He noted that the dead trees or branches are hard, brittle.  But those that are flexible are alive and healthy.  And he compared that flexibility to our lives as a need for healthy living in food choices and activities.  What I heard in my heart was that my thoughts and experiences needed to also embrace this flexibility; I should stay open to ideas other than just my own.

Wouldn't the world enjoy a little more flexibility by all of us? 

By the way, the food was delicious!  And I’ve been sleeping better lately.


Written 8/21/2019


For a deliciously healthy meal, I would suggest stopping by TruBroth at 36A S Main St in Travelers Rest, SC.  Be flexible in your food choices and your life choices!


  • We would all be better off if we showed more flexibility in our beliefs and ways

  • Hope you & all of the family is doing well. Enjoyed this read- I’ll admit this is the first that I’ve read on your blog, but will be reading the others. Love seeing all of your pictures that you post.

    Michelle Sasser
  • What a heartwarming story. Keep sharing your inspirations!

    Kathy Heath

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