Last night I went to take 2 of my children, 12 and 6 years old, to the fireworks show. This got rained out. I was all super excited and ready with my camera, of course. Driving home, slightly disappointed I was in this stop and go traffic when I thought to myself this would be a great image! I took my camera in hand and captured the picture above. I'm pretty happy with it overall but as I was looking at it today I was inspired to write about having a limited view.
I thought about applying this concept to everyday life. Looking back at the various trials I've endured they always preoccupy so much time, energy and emotion. Being on the "other side" of things now and seeing how not only was it not as terrible as I felt it was and often became a springboard or catalyst for some other things to enter my life that is often better than where I was before.
I am going through a lot right now, but through it all I'm learning to trust God more closely, deeply and earnestly. I'm seeing in spite of my failings, my sins, He loves me, He forgives me, He provides. I'm also humbled and realize that although I am not comfortable, and experiencing distress and even crisis, He is still here for me. One day soon, (though in this moment not soon enough) I will be stronger, I will be wiser, I will have grown.
I don't believe God is the author of bad things happening to us, most of the time we do that on our own by the choices we make, but I do believe He can use those "bad" things and turn them into something good, beautiful and useful.
It's easy to have limited sight when you're in and going through the storm, but my encouragement to you all, is to just keep going.
In the words of Winston Churchill, " if you're going through hell, keep going"
Some of you may or may not know that I volunteer with www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org. This is an organization that strives to introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture.
Today I had my first real session with a family. For obvious privacy reasons I won't mention any details however, I will say with all that I have going on now in my life it seems to pale in comparison to how rudely and abruptly time stopped and this families heart decimated in 1000's of pieces.
The loss of a child, especially as a parent myself who has lost more than a few children to miscarriages and "tubal" pregnancies, is one of life's hardest tragedies. I hope you will join me in praying for this and other families that have to endure this.
I have long had a sense in my soul to connect with nature, to want to live a simple, clean life. The other day I got the chance to go to the Beauty Spot and took some pictures and as I walked around with my children I thought I could stay here forever.
Below the following pictures are a few that captured the honest moments of Bella and Andrew exploring and playing with some bugs. Watching a hawk scout above us. It was beautiful, and I can't wait to go back. What do you like to do in your "off" time?
I know, we're all busy! People tell you, it's just 5 minutes or 10 minutes and you can do THIS workout or THAT business idea or THIS meditation technique. The lists of stuff to do goes on and on. Funny though, how we do love to tell everyone how busy we really are isn't it?
One of the things I love most is going out on a hike by myself. It's like therapy for me. Being around God's creation, taking in the air, and as I am hiking I'm looking. Looking for cause to pause. Looking for a life outside of my own. This is an image I took just on Monday, Memorial Day. So, as I'm walking along, looking for interesting this going on, I see this beautiful, colorful spider. Eek! I know, spiders, but seriously this guy (or girl) is about the size of my thumbnail but it caught my eye. I began to ponder as I took a few snapshots. How far does he travel? Does he know I'm watching? Does he care? I wonder how old he is ( I don't know average lifespans for a spider)? I wonder does he have a personality? would it be a warrior spirit?
The age we leave in is wrought with heaviness. Do as much as you can in as little as you can with the least amount of effort. We are definitely a quantity or quality era. In light of this, we go go go all the time. This comes at the expense of our work productivity, our family life and interactions and even into our social times. I want to encourage you all today. Find something in life so amazing, beautiful and wonderful that you pause.
What is it or what will it be for you?
This little girl! When I'm having a bad day or just a rough day (because you all never have those right?) I look at this beautiful child and it becomes all better, all worth it. She looks at me and smiles. She grabs my fingers and curls hers around mine. I think back about the challenges and the triumphs of my life.
Can you think of times when you just wanted to give up? When you weren't sure how you were going to make it? Then you pictured your child(ren) and remembered your purpose, your strength, and picked yourself up.
Babies are a promise of new life.
Quickness. Like one day everything is status quo and hours later you feel like there might be only hours left. The doctors throw more information at you than you can possible assimilate or understand and offer little answers, in the beginning. I guess there is a reason the phrase, “spreads like cancer” exist.
My Dad had been having stomach pains and back pain for about 3-4 weeks and previously had problems with hernias. We thought it was just another hernia, or maybe kidney problems but then it was a scan, which showed some spots, a few days later it was recommended we get a biopsy then all of the sudden its stage 4 pancreatic metastatic cancer.
You never really know someone’s true nature, their true character until really pressed. Upon hearing the news my Dad was definitely shaken and a little scared, but the way I’ve seen him handle the news and especially the following weeks and tomorrow will start his first chemo treatment.
Upon hearing the news my heart sank, having been someone in the medical community I knew what sentence that diagnosis usually comes with. I immediately started planning a trip from Tennessee to Chicago where he lives. I felt it was really important to bring all his grandchildren (3 of them including a newborn) and make sure we had a great time and I captured as many images of him and my mom and the kids.
Cancer is a devastating disease, but to see how well, strong, and positive my Dad has been, is just an inspiration to me and has already been to others. I hope his story will inspire you too.