Friday, October 14, 2011

I am a.........Photographer???

When does it happen? That magical moment when you know you have become what you always wanted to be? What if you never knew what you wanted to be, but have found yourself headed towards a goal you didn’t even know existed, or that one day it would appear in front of you.
Did you really feel like a Mom when you first held your baby, or did you feel like an imposter put in charge of something very special and unsure if you were up for the job. I did. How about a few weeks later as you deftly changed diapers at midnight, without a single light, or found clean clothes for yourself and the little one without a bit of sleep. How about a few weeks after that, when you realized it had been at least a few weeks since the last time you showered, or maybe it’s when you realize it’s been a few years since you were able to go potty by yourself. When did you officially realized you are a “Mom” now.
Some jobs seem easier to define, while others are a bit harder. When does a Nurse become a Nurse, is it when she passes that all important Test (I know it has a name, but I don’t know what it is, because, well, I’m obviously NOT a nurse)  and gets to officially put that “RN” behind her name, or is it the first time she watches one of her patients die. Or maybe it’s the first time she saves one.
Is a Teacher one, because she has a degree, is it when one of her students pass a test, or not until all of them do? Maybe it’s when she sees a student’s eyes light up in understanding, as she explains something new.
What makes a person a writer, poet, artist, singer or photographer? Talent can give a person an edge, but without training, it can go to waste. Going to school can add skills but does not make a person talented. Talent and school can bring a person to the brink of a career, but without a head for business, even then they may fail. But is a Career the goal? Is Making $$ the measure of “making it.” What about the cliché ideology that “An Artist is never appreciated untill they are dead.” Would you consider Picasso a failure? But didn’t he die penniless? Hemmingway?
When I filled out my google+ profile, it asked for my profession. I typed, deleted and re-typed photographer 4 times. I felt like a fraud, but I left it. What makes ME a photographer??? Is it because I’ve taken around a million photos? Or is because I have a DSLR camera? Maybe it’s because I don’t use “Auto” mode anymore, or possibly because I’ve read my camera manual. Is it because I was born with an “artist’s eye” and I’m a bit analytical.  Is it because I’ve taken photographs of sunsets, sunrises, flowers, families, weddings, baby bumps, childbirth, newborns, toddles, teenagers, engaged couples and puppies? Or was it when I received my first twenty dollars afterwards?
I don’t think it’s any of those things. I think it’s when you fall in love. Remember when you first fell in love with your man, and everything you talked about came back around to him, no matter how hard your friends tried to talk about something else. That’s it. It’s when you have a few moments alone, and find yourself wondering what the light must look like outside, or you open another book on photography. It’s when you drive somewhere and you catch yourself saying out loud; “Look at that light” even though you are alone. And when you’re with someone, the conversation keeps turning in that direction. It’s when you ponder white balance and ISO during church, or forget to pray because you are trying to catch the moment when everyone else is. Or like this morning, at 2:54 am, I woke up and couldn’t sleep, so I went outside and took 64 photographs in the dark, and then wrote this blog..
It’s when you know that no matter what happens, bad experiences or big mistakes, and that if you never make a dime, that you will never stop. That’s how you know.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Ghost Luna.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What is your label?

Church "Lifers" have a few got-to labels about people from the bible that we've absorbed without really thinking about the reasons for, or maybe lack of reasons for them.
Such as, what comes to mind when you see.....

Thomas or better known as Doubting Thomas. Yes, this is easy, the disciple who doubted.

Simple enough, what about Lot's wife. Ohhhhh, the woman who "looked back" on her sinful life, who is now a pillar of salt somewhere.

Here's another. Job's wife. What did she say, "Curse God and die." Not such great advice I guess. Here's one that are a bit harder, King David. The man after God's own heart AND the Adulterer.

Here's a tougher person to label, for me at least. JosieRae. What comes to your mind?

As I stood in church on Sunday, I was overwhelmingly filled with thankfulness that my past doubts have been forgiven. Just awestruck at the awesome work God has been doing in my family despite my unfaithfulness. For you see, just a few months ago, I was begging the Lord to send another man, one who could actually love me. A year ago I was pleading with God to kill me or my husband, thus freeing me from this stupid vow of "till Death do us part" and all the pain that came with it. Several years ago, I was asking God why he let me follow my own path. And almost a decade ago I told God, that I loved him, but wasn't "into" serving him right now. And that I'd be back, but first I needed to spend some time on my own. Dark words for dark times. These were not my only prayers, they were my prayers of doubt.

There were other prayers too, prayers asking for forgiveness for my selfish choices, prayers of love for my husband and prayers of thankfulness for the blessings God has given me. But do these prayers make me a faithful follower? Or does the list above label me as a doubter.

Think on the people listed above.
Sure Thomas doubted, but if you read a few paragraphs up, ALL the disciples deserted Jesus in the Garden. And only 2 disciples went to the grave with Mary and Martha when the ladies reported an empty grave. All were hiding in a locked room when Jesus did appear. It was Thomas, who asked for a little proof, so we labeled him the doubter. Peter denied Jesus 3 times right before he was crucified, yet he got the lucky label of "the Rock." That sounds a lot better than Peter "the Deny-er."

Let's look at Lot's wife. Seems to me that it was likely they had lived in Sodom for some time (which, I'm sure Lot had nothing to do with, right???) and probably had a few friends, and maybe some family that she loved in the city. Can you claim you've never looked back on a few of your favorite past sins longingly. Maybe you've even indulged in them a time or two, only to be reminded of how ugly they were.

How about Job's wife. Now if Job was such a faithful guy, don't you think he'd have a faithful wife? It's possible he didn't, but if we look farther and see that before she muttered the infamous words, "Curse God and die." 10 of her children were killed. Maybe not all of them were hers, but it's possible that  at least 1/3rd of 1/2 were. Either way, 3 or more of her children were killed in one brutal blast of the wind. Personally, I'm pretty sure I'd Curse God and hope to die also. That pain couldn't have been easy to bear.

So, it stands to reason, that all of us have two names, like King David. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord and truly seek him, we can  become men and women "after God's own heart." Yet watch out. David got a little lazy and spent a little time with a woman he shouldn't have, and suffered much pain as a result.

So here I stand, constant sinner, often doubting, forgetful, un-thankful, lazy, undeserving, often judgmental, prideful and self serving.

Yet God, he works. He works in my life, my heart and my desires.

Thank You Lord for hearing my Prayers and changing my heart and that of my husbands. Thank you for loving me, despite my faults and for never giving up on me!!!


And if our God is for us
Then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us
Then what could stand against us.