Sunday, April 13, 2014

Be enough

While I consider myself a hobby photographer (I'm not really sure what that definition means, other than it's NOT my job) I've been running around a fair bit lately with my camera.  And I'm loving it.  But what happens when I'm photographing anything other than my own family? Doubt creeps in.  And then I don't really want to take my camera anywhere.  Doubt. . . I don't really like that guy. . . makes me feel that I'm not "enough" of a photographer.

But last week, I found out that a dear friend's mom had unexpectedly passed away.  And since I'm friends on Facebook with a lot of her family, I was seeing many family photos posted.  Old black and whites.  Recent Christmas and birthday and race party photos.  Some were even photos that I had taken at a 80th birthday celebration for my friends mom.  

And then I realized. . . those family photos? THEY were enough.  It wasn't about me, it was about the result of my love for photography.  Not always "perfect" results.  If the truth be told, they are not always sharply focused, not always pleasing compositions, not always abiding by the numerous photography "rules".  But that's okay.  What matters is that I keep pursuing my love for photography. 

So this is really just one of those "preaching to the choir" conversations.  Me convincing myself (now, and later) that continuing to haul my camera around with me and snap whats in front of me is the important part.  Don't retreat and don't back down to that guy named "doubt".  

And, maybe I'm preaching to you too.  Whatever your gift. . . writing, cooking, singing, or. . . don't stop exercising and growing your gift.  You are enough.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting of shadows. ~ James 1:17


Friday, March 28, 2014

Reflections

It was "that" kind of morning.

I said "bye, zacharoo" to my 17 year old and wondered how much longer he'd let me call him that.

I thought about my sweet grand-baby on the way to work and reminded myself to call my 25 year old to warn him how fast time passes.

I thought about how long it had been since we'd seen our extended family...HOW, does time get away from me like that?

And just when I was about to dissolve into tears on the way to work (not a good make-up move), I glanced up to see the most perfect, fiery circle of a sun rising over the horizon.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I grabbed my phone and tried to snap a picture.  Driving + iPhone does not equal great photography.

Luckily, every day I drive past St. Andrews church.  And they just happen to have this serene setting behind the church.


And once again, my day was on the right track.  

(yes. just an iPhone photo... but still)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Letting go

Have you ever had something stuck in your heart?  Not "good stuck".  Bad stuck.

 And you wondered how to make it go away.  How to STOP thinking about it.  How to not let it consume you.


Yeah, me too.  And maybe you're like me, and prayed for it to go away.  Or maybe you begged God to take it away.  But it was still there.  Everyday.

My "sticky" was coloring my outlook on life.  

It made it impossible to concentrate.

I wanted to fix it.  Get rid of it. Obliterate it.

But how?

Finally one morning as I was praying (not about getting rid of this horrible sticky in my heart), I felt the words forming in my head "God, how do I let go?".

And He said? 

Open. your. hand.



Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Psalm 130 #SRT

The bible study over at She Reads Truth is inviting readers to share their study of Psalm 130. I had big plans of spending a lot of time writing a very introspective and elaborate post about these verses. Then, I felt I'll equipped to share anything at all...isn't that the way? Over confident or no confidence. 

I'm just sharing what has leaped off the page at me every time I've read this psalm...verses 5 & 6: I wait for The Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for The Lord. More than the watchman for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchman for the morning.

Those emphasis are in my NAS edition bible. I find it eye-opening that in two short verses, the message of waiting is stated 4 times WITH EMPHASIS...indeed wait. 

I pray that I will hope and indeed wait for The Lord.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What I read today 2/20/14

I am working through 2 bible studies right now, IF:EQUIP  and  SheReadsTruth. I can't give up one for the other, as I'm afraid I'll miss something...

Today, I read John 4:1-42 about the Samaritan woman at the well.  I know that God will meet me (and you!) anywhere, not just at church.  And I know that you might deem yourself unworthy to meet Him, or carry His truth, but you are worthy... so worthy that He sent His Son to redeem you.  Read through this passage for yourself and know that HE KNOWS you too... just as He knew the woman at the well.  And He loves you too.  And He wants you to spread that Truth.

The daily study for SheReadsTruth was 3 John 1:1-15...and this verse jumped off the page at me; "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.  The one who does good is of God, the one who does evil has not seen God".  If we are to imitate good, that surely means that if you are "doing good", you WANT to be imitated. Right? Maybe we all need to quit trying to reinvent the wheel, and just "imitate good"...(I'll be pondering/ruminating/praying on that)




 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Verse art

I have a file on my computer called "verse art"...and I just can't stop adding to it.  I started out saving bible verse art that I saw all over the web.  I'm  a very visual learner and it helps me memorize...and it also just looks pretty.  Nothing wrong with that :)

Now I love to relax in front of the computer with photoshop opened in front of me and create my own verse art.

This song plays in my head a lot...sometimes I'm just humming under my breath "I am the child of the One true King"...so, it only follows that 1 John 3:1 would end up on my latest image.



 I'll be adding these to my Words to L.I.V.E. by page...so check back.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Measuring up (or not)

So many articles. So many blog posts. You've probably heard the phrase "comparison is the theif of joy" more than once lately (thank you, Theodore Roosevelt). Did you ever think that the reason that phrase blares from the radio, your Facebook feed, your iPad screen, is because there's truth in those words?

I've read several blog posts (here's one) lately and the words are finally starting to pierce my heart.  To make me want to find my thing/gift/purpose and stop wanting to be her (with her absolutely beautiful and truth telling writing) or her (oh, look at that gorgeous wall art... and her heart). 

Last Sunday, the sermon in church was about "what is my purpose in life". Kinda big stuff. Purpose in life, in God's kingdom, always seemed to me that it should involve standing in the pulpit, or trips to Africa, or fostering/adopting at risk kids. And I still think that those are AWESOME, necessary things for His people to do. But, why would I think that God, who created this entire universe, had only 3 (or 10, or 50, or 1000) gifts to give to His people. And why would I want to have their gift instead of the amazing, miraculous, totally special gift He gave to me? Ahhhhhh. Humans. 

As I keep strolling (sometimes trudging) along, praying about what He has for me, I'm starting to see some truths about myself that are giving direction:

1. I love taking pictures (yes. I ask for camera equipment every year for Christmas)

2. I hate talking about money (could be why I no longer have a photography business)

3. I want my gift to glorify God and not be about me (I DO NOT love being the center of attention)

Our pastor illustrated his sermon  (check out 1/19/14) with musical instruments. He asked all the instruments to play a tune. Guess what? NOT ONE of those instruments could play themselves. Then a musician came up on stage and played beautiful music...even on the cheap, beat up guitar. Does that mean that God can use EVEN ME to make something beautiful for Him? I'll be honest, I can't see the big picture yet...maybe I never will, but I can see the arrow pointing to the path. And as long as He keeps posting the arrows for me, I will keep walking. And I won't look to the left or right to compare myself to someone else. Because it doesn't matter. He created her. And her.  And, yes, He created me.
(this SO reminds me of the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children".... "all the children of the world, red, and yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight")

In case you need further "proof" that God has a plan and purpose and gift JUST FOR YOU, read this: 1 Corinthians 12:14-26

And one more thing...as you are praying about His gift for you, check out this post and think about how you could use your gift.