Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm Ready for 2016

Stunning vacation home Mr R and I were blessed to rent on the Maine Coast
to celebrate our 30 anniversary

Throughout my life I've made a mistake. That error is this: I've all too often thought peace meant getting away from hard or tiring circumstances. You know...taking a holiday, a vacation or at least a good nap.

This past year the Lord has been teaching me otherwise. Peace ~ real peace//lasting peace ~ will only come in accepting my current circumstances and trusting God. I can hear the echo of this sentiment in Jesus' words from the garden, "Not My, but Thy will done." I want to live like Jesus. And, I want to die to self like my Savior did.

So, I'm ready for 2016.
I'm ready to let go.
I'm ready to give up control.
I'm ready to back off.
I'm ready to surrender my expectations.
I'm ready to stop clutching.
I'm ready to stop grasping.
I'm ready to stop holding my breath.
I'm ready to stop insisting on my way.
I'm ready to stop striving for perfection.
I'm ready to stop fighting to lead.
I'm ready to stop panicking.
I'm ready to stop insisting.
I'm read to stop worrying.
I'm ready to stop demanding.

With God's promised help,
I'm ready for 2016.
I'm ready to trust Jesus.
I'm ready to trust Jesus with the outcome.
I'm ready to learn how to forgive.
I'm ready to breathe deeply and slowly.
I'm ready to exercise regularly.
I'm ready to serve others.
I'm ready to get rid of stuff.
I'm ready to be okay with messy and dirty.
I'm ready to spend more time in my Bible.
I'm ready to start blogging again.
I'm ready to pray about writing a book.
I'm ready to plan purposed times of rest.
I'm ready to trust Jesus.
I'm ready to let my kids make mistakes.
I'm ready to fight my anger.
I'm ready to learn how to watercolor.
I'm ready to eat less.
I'm ready to try to get to know my neighbors.
I'm ready to fight anxiety.
I'm ready to work to know God.
I'm ready to give my husband grace.
I'm ready to trust Jesus.
I'm ready to listen to my children.
I'm ready to stop interrupting my husband.
I'm ready to get my camera out more often.
I'm ready to pray more.
I'm ready to fight my fears.
I'm ready to learn to love lavishly.
I'm ready to strengthen my organizational skills.
I'm ready to trust God with how my kids turn out.
I'm ready for 2016.

None of these are New Year's Resolutions. I will fail. I will slip and stumble and slide and fall flat on my face. I'd prefer to think of these as places of grace for myself. When I fall, I'm going to put a hand to the ground and push myself back into a standing position, relying on the Lord's strength to do so. I'm going to keep on trying. I'm going to bathe these dreams in prayer. When I mess up, I'm going to confess any sin to God, set my account right with the people I love and try again. "God is my helper and the uplifter of my life" (Psalm 54:4 ESV) He's my solid rock, not me. I'm ready to stand on Him and throw myself joyfully into the waves that will come in 2016. God is with me and for me. I'm ready. I'm ready for the peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7).

Friday, September 18, 2015

365 People Photos: Number 130 -- One I'll Frame

In my last post I mentioned that I was an English major in college. Needless to say, a mind trained to recognize symbolism sees a wealth of material in this photograph. I'm not even going to dip into meaning I see in this picture. Before I share my thoughts of deep meaning hidden in this unposed capture, I'd love to know, what, dear reader, do you see pictured here? What strikes you about Brielle's real-life effort to make her way into the building behind these massive doors? I'd love to know!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

365 People Photos: Number 128 -- Strength...and Vulnerability

With Zhenya's wedding behind us, I had the chance to do a newborn photo shoot today for friends. As I began to edit the pictures tonight, I couldn't get beyond this photo. Perhaps my attraction to this particular capture hearkens back to my past. I was an English major in college, and I see symbolism here. What a vivid representation of the the newborn's vulnerability and his daddy's strength! I even love that Dad's ability to protect his family is even apparent in the callouses on his hand. In order to get his best chance at life, this little guy will need his father to shelter and protect him until someday he is a man. God has been good to give this newborn a father who is all in.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

365 People Photos: Number 126 -- Guard Duty

As I was making an adjustment to my camera settings during this mini session with our newest grandtreasure, their family dog ambled into the area. I quickly adjusted my focus so that I could get her furry front legs in focus with little Jillian just a blur in the background. Now this has turned into one of my favorite photos from visit there.