A Tribute to Memories and Remembering – September 11th

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Today is such a hard day for so many people, sometimes there are just no words for the grief that can just be so consuming. Although I didn’t loose someone in the events that took place on 9-11-11, I just don’t think you can so the trauma of the event and not be affected by it in some ways.

For my family September 11th has a different meaning of loss. 10 years ago today my Grandma passed away from cancer. She was the light of our family, filled with kindness and joy. She loved everyone, always. No matter how much you messed up, she gave so much grace. She was the model for who I try to be everyday. I am so thankful to God for making her my Grandma.

For those of you who don’t know my Grandpa and Grandma raised me. My young life was full of turmoil because of a Father who had some major demons that eventually took his life and a Mom, who was trying to do the best she could possibly do for me. And it has taken many, many years for us to have a loving relationship and put the hurt and pain behind us. So when I ended up with my Grandparent’s at 2, it brought some much needed stability to my life.

As I grew up, my Grandma taught me so many things. Here are a few:

She taught me to respect everyone, no matter skin color, age, education level, etc.

She taught me to try new things, new foods, new activities, new friends.

She taught me to cook, clean and sew, I like to call it Loretta’s Wife In Training Class. And even though I’m not a wife YET, it has been so very helpful. Honestly, you have no idea how many buttons I sewed back on to clothes in College…

She taught me to love Jesus. Not just His word and who he was, but how to love Him with my life.

She taught me to be active and to exercise. She walked everywhere, I mean everywhere; shopping, school, restaurants; everywhere.

She taught me that I could do anything I wanted in life. She knew I was the creative one, that my life would be spent creating things. And she nurtured that and grew it.

So today, to anyone grieving a loss whether a fresh one or one you have lived with for some time. Know that you are seen, even if just by me. I pray that you will be filled with comfort, joy and happy memories of the people you have lost.

Have a very blessed day!
Heather

PS: the photo today is a tribute to my Grandma. She loved lily’s and so do I, so these are for her today.

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Where’s Jack? – September 1st

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The end of summer brings these Giants out, they guard our gardens, and reach toward the sky. Like the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, they start so small, like a little bean, and reach for the kingdom in the sky. I have felt like them recently, reaching for the kingdom in the sky, but never quite reaching it. And I am left to wonder what to do next with the wounded dreams. I suppose I will keep on dreaming, keep on hoping, it’s all I can do. Well that and keep climbing the stalk toward the dream, with trembling muscles and a wounded heart, and a smile on my face from the warm sun. I think before it’s done, I’m going to have even more freckles.

All I can do is lean into God in the midst of life, especially a life I don’t understand, all the time. For some reason the heart always hopes, that what God does, gives us the ability to hope when the dreams look like they will never happen.

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I know how you feel Mr. Sunflower, sometimes I want to hang my head too. On a sad note, we had a awful wind storm and most of these garden giants got blown down overnight. Sigh…

Have a blessed evening!
Heather

Prayer Night – February 14th

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Today’s new thing was decidedly different, not food related or a new place, but a new event. A time of prayer with new friends, sisters in Christ from all walks of life, different churches and different backgrounds. But a beautiful collection of God’s daughters! Truly an honor to pray with and for them tonight, to make new friends, to laugh and enjoy good food. What a beautiful thing, and it beats sitting at home and eating an entire box of chocolate and feeling sorry for yourself. Sorry the photo is blurry.

Have a blessed evening!
Heather

Valentine’s Day – February 14th

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“The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject a intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and planted the interests of another in the center of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that.”

~ C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:10 ESV)

I am currently reading this book, it is so good and so challenging all at the same time. Interesting how sometimes the thing you want the most, long for the most, pray about the most, takes so long to happen. Oh the tears that have been shed over love or the lack of love, at least the romantic kind. Hopefully this to will end soon, I have certainly prayed a lot about it, and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. But I suppose the process of this is causing me to learn something, and grow my heart. Which it has, in so many way. If anything the idea of a Hollywood romantic comedy kind of love and relationship has stopped, reality of the hardness of relationships has set in. Like I said it is a growing and learning experience.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12, 13 ESV)

Remember to, you may not have a romantic love, but you always have love in your life. Be it family or friends, or most importantly to me the love of God, we all have love in our life. C. S. Lewis’ book The Four Loves speaks extensively on how important friendship is and how much it teaches you about love, the non-romantic kind of love. What a beautiful picture of life to not only have a romantic love but to have friendship love as well, it’s something that I have invited into my life more and more, because friends are the best! I have often been so grateful to God for the friendships he has given me, they are beautiful vibrant people who make life so much better. We talk, we laugh, we cry and in the darkest times we pray. What could be better then that.

So single or married, divorced or widowed, orphaned, lonely, whatever you may be, know that love doesn’t have a relationship status. It is beyond that, far beyond romantic, far beyond friendship, love is transformational for all who truly experience it. That would be my hope for all of you, that you would experience love in it’s truest and purest form.

All that to say, Happy Valentine’s Day! And know that you are loved and cherished!

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Something New Everyday – January 31st

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My Birthday is in February and I have decided I am going to try something new each day for the entire month. I don’t know that it will be big things, but brave things I think is what I am actually want to do. Trying new foods and activities outside of my comfort zone, because it takes being brave and actually doing it. I think as I go alone I will post things about my new daily thing here, just for the fun of it and accountability, and because maybe it will birth in me a desire to continue this beyond just February. Which is my hope in the midst of this year!

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Love is Vulnerable – January 28th

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A couple of quotes from C.S. Lewis on love.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies an little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” ~ C. S. Lewis The Four Loves

“Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” ~ C. S. Lewis

Oh the joys and perils of loving someone, because sit could possibly mean you could get hurt. I am only now just learning this and my desperate need to allow myself to love people. Even if it means I might get hurt. But there will still be boundaries, if only to make sure I am not completely destroyed. I have to say I love C.S. Lewis’ wisdom about love, what a beautiful thing to think that even if you can be hurt by the one you love yet in some ways that love can also draw you closer.

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Light and Dark – January 27th

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I love the light in this photo, it is so bright reflected off the river. Quite a bit like what I believe about God, that he is so light, that the light reflects off of Him in a bright and shining way. What a beautiful thing to think that in the midst of darkness there is light. You don’t really notice it until you are in a room that is completely dark, and then the lights on your electronics fill the room with light, not bright but it’s there. I love light, I think it is because I long for light, both literally and figuratively. I long for the light of the sun because its warm and bright. But I think I long for the true light even more, the light that stamps out darkness in all areas of life. The light that is God! It is the deepest longing of my soul for that light because it is a life giving light.

There are so many verses in the Bible that speak of light, one of my favorites is:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:5 ESV

May you all experience light in some way today, and may it warm your souls.

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Irresistible – January 24th

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“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired” ~ Robert Frost

How I love this quote by Robert Frost. I think in some ways we all want that, to be irresistibly desired. Sadly sometimes though we put that desire for love in so many wrong places, I know I do that. I put it everywhere except where it belongs, with the God who loves my soul, with the God who saved me, with the God who does irresistibly love me. Who shows His love for me on a daily basis.

I snapped this shot yesterday morning, it was so beautiful, a bright sunrise through the trees. I love my drive to work, even on cold mornings, I can feel the warmth of the sun on my face, like a warm hand. You know like when your Dad cradles your face in his hands. I love that feeling, or in my case when my Grandpa does it. So much love for me, and so many sweet moments, especially after 15 days in the hospital when he didn’t really know who I was. But the day he started feeling better, he gave me the biggest hug and cradled my face in his hands and said I missed you. Love that! I can honestly say I have the best Grandpa, and I appreciate every moment I get with him. So may all of you be blessed with a special moment today and my you feel irresistibly desired.

Have a blessed day!
Heather

Necessary Endings – January 16th

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Sometimes I stand and watch the sun go down, I watch it drift down below the horizon and I wonder if the day that just ended actually amounted to much. And since this year I don’t want to live like that, wondering if my days actually matter, I have decided it means for me so necessary endings. This means that I will no longer be party to the comparison game with my family, not will I live in the place that they h e put me in so many times. I will no longer allow them to make me feel bad because of things that are outside of my control and I will hold them accountable for the things they say that are rude and hurtful. If I am to believe that God loves me, and He does, even on the days I don’t feel like it. Then I cannot allow them to hurt or control or speak junk into my life. The truth is I have been deeply wounded by them, and now it is time to put some boundaries up. Not to protect myself, but in a way to allow myself to heal and to grow and to live in a place of potential. The truth is I never have, I have allowed negative people and negative self talk to rule over my life. Well, I don’t want that anymore. I know that when I stared this blog I thought it would be all about my photography. But it is truly something more to me I guess. A way to get out all the stuff inside that needs to be said. No I do t want this to be a negative place, and hopefully that isn’t what it will become. I want this year to represent changes for the good, hope filled changed, life changes, bold moves and extraordinary friendships. Risk taking, stretching and yes, scary things too!

Goals for this year include:

Growing my photography skills, I mean really challenging myself when it comes to my photography. Not just doing the same thing over and over again, but really discovering what I love about photography.

Growing this blog from something that is just about my photos and really more about life, and not necessarily mine. Still trying to decide if I need to change the name or not…

Being more bold in my friendships.

Really going after what I really want. Even when it scares me to death!

I will add more to this list as I go though the year. But honestly I want to look back on this year next year as the year that was the start of something. The year where I let go and let God. Even when I don’t understand everything that he is doing.

Wow, didn’t know I had that in me.

Have a blessed day!
Heather