Monday, December 8, 2008

This weekend was a busy weekend, packed with Christmas shopping, tree-hunting and decorating, and cleaning - again and again and again. I brought my camera along on our tree trek, hoping to catch some cute photos of Piper. With a busy toddler and a husband who was needed to carry a tree, my photo-op was rather limited, but in the few moments I did have my camera at the tree farm, I caught a little bit of life worth remembering:

Now if I only knew the people who'd love remembering it!

I've been having a bit of an identity crisis over the last couple of days. I developed some Christmas photos that I had edited on Friday, and the difference from screen to print was disheartening. I haven't had time or money to take a class in photography or editing or printing or whatever-the-new-gig is about photography. I don't have the best eye or the best timing in the world - there is always someone who took a photo that I wish I could have taken myself.

This discouragement comes on the heels of a wonderful couple of weeks rediscovering why I love to take pictures in the first place. I'm looking at the photos on my blog and I wonder why I put them up - there is so much wrong with them. Why can't I just *get* this?

I think the discouragement has a deeper source than my non-perfect art. I've been snapping pictures in my mind that I can't take with my camera, either because I'm too busy being a mom or because I'm too slow behind the camera or the lighting isn't right, or someone else was there before me. I want to *be* a photographer right now. But I don't know how it works with being sick and being a wife and a mom.

I've been coming to see the beauty of the physical place God has brought us through the lens of my camera, but I don't think I've been taking time to discover the place He has brought my heart.

I think that art must always be inherently linked to the heart and what it is doing. I can't force good pictures - believe me, I've tried. They just happen, when my eyes are open to the life around me. When I can't see, there is no picture, no matter how much time I spend on composition.

Yesterday in church, the worship team sang a song asking God to open our eyes to see what He sees that makes Him cry. I hate songs like that. Do we know what we are asking for? I've seen a lot that makes Him cry. I closed my eyes to it for a long time because I couldn't take the pain of His heart on top of the pain in mine. Yet how often have I looked for joy?

For the first time in my life, I really know what joy is. I know that it is more than a concept, more than "something I'm supposed to have as a believer." It's not just a mood that I can choose; it is something He is giving to me. But I don't readily view life through that lens of joy. I don't want to lose the beauty of His gifts to me anymore because I refuse to see.

As we shopped this weekend, I tried to push away the nauseating feeling that we can't afford for me to be sick right now. As the barometric pressure flipped around this weekend, my mood went up and down with the sunlight. The higher dose of garlic I started last week made its presence known in my aching joints and fogged-up brain.

Keeping up in the chaos of the Christmas season is the least of my worries. How will I see what is around me now? My little girl who will soon be 17 months old, my husband who is looking forward to a special *us* Christmas, a God who gives me enough, and more, so I don't have to worry about how expensive diapers are.

You know, I think I am tired. This post is only half-coherent and not at all concluded. But then, that's me right now. Half-coherent, viewing life through a dark glass, and only partially-finished as He completes the work He began in me.

(This post began as a response to Emily's Monday challenge. I guess sometimes I need to notice that I don't notice. Someday, I will come up with cool, inclusive ideas like hers.)


emily said...

Alright, Kelly. I think I have a lot to say on this one. First...I'm glad I'm not the only one who takes photos of strangers just because I see a moment that needs capturing. That photo you took of that woman and her girl and their dog...Love. It.

Second. I think every woman in the world can relate to the feeling of wanting to create and be free in that, yet having so many other things pulling at us. Your post is more coherent than you give yourself credit for. I appreciate your honesty.

Noticing that you don't notice. I realized that a lot this week, too. Thank you for sharing. You are beautiful and so are your photos!

Miss G said...

This is good, Kelly. Thanks for writing it. Keep persevering.

Romans 5:3-5 (New International Version)

"3Not only so, but we[a] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

thanks for writing and sharing with us. Kelly

*Just Jen* said...

WOW! What a great post! Happy Holidays!

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