As we are in the throws of a pandemic, “normal” life has come to a screaching halt. For the most part outside of the whole “virus trying to kill us all”, I’ve not minded the slow down. It has felt like a reset button for me, though if I was honest the “reset” started long before the pandemic. Last October, an office transfer for my husband, led to a an uprooting from the house and neighborhood we loved and called home for the last 14 years. We only moved about 30 miles from where we were, not far by most standards, but just far enough to mean life would change.
There is so much good in this season of life, but it has also been marked by a lot of loss. Some small, some big, and some that are still hard for me to wrap my brain around. There are days that feel really normal, but lately there are many days where the grief overwhelms me and the weight of it literally takes my breath away. I am giving myself permission to feel, and grace to cry when it’s needed, but I’m also committed to looking for hope. To find the places where I see God’s graces to me, reminding me that this is season. He is still here in the midst of it all. My losses are not lost on Him. He remains my hope and my peace in the pandemic and in the storms of life.
This weeks photo prompt for my 52 week challenge is “Hometown”. Since Sunday’s has become my normal shoot day for my homework assignments and 52 Week challenge, I headed out in search of something to capture the town we call home. The prompt reads, “Tell us the story of your hometown. It could be a famous landmark, something the town is known for, or even just your favorite place to relax.”. I have a few other ideas, so we shall see what I can come up with if time allows this week. Stay tuned!
Superbowl Sunday provided the perfect opportunity to get out and get some night photography shots. With everyone downtown in Atlanta, or holed up in front of their TV’s, it was a ghost town in our little neck of the woods.
This weeks challenge provided me with an opportunity to explore and play with my off camera flash. Flash photography is something that I am not proficient at, but I have made a goal to learn and master this year. I’m grateful for the Dogwood community of photographers because I have already received some bits of feedback that I think will help me execute this type of picture better in the future. I’m excited now to try this again, and hopefully when I have more time than the 10 minutes before my daughter was running off to her ballet class!
Outside of the photography learning op this gave me, when I read the prompt for the week this was the picture that immediately formulated in my mind. I think because we are in a season of change with my daughter, and to me this picture tells a story of her exiting a stage. Her life has been so focused on dance over the years and at the beginning of this year she was sure she was headed in the direction of pursuing dance on a professional level. However God has sifted, and shifted those dreams and aspirations, and redirected them into new paths.
As a result this picture holds so much meaning to me. She is exiting a stage soon and headed a bit into the unknown. It is a beautiful and scary time for her, AND her mama. From the moment these little bundles of joy enter our lives, we are preparing them for this moment when they head into the world as adults. This season of holding on and yet releasing is uncharted territory for me. I am learning to trust God on a whole new level. In the end though, I know He IS trustworthy. He has her right in the palm of HIs hands and that is the safest place to be. I’m excited to see where He will take her.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Lately life has been, well, crazy. I am lost in the hustle and bustle, the hurry of life made more complicated by the hurry of the season. And I forget. I forget the why of it all. I feel frazzled and pulled. Somehow in the rush of it all the Lord will call me back. He gives me moments and reminders to just breathe…a song, a devotional that hits home, or sometimes an unexpected moment in a small country town square when no one else was around. The quiet hush that allowed me a moment to take in the beauty of the season. Praying that each of you finds those moments in the midst of this holiday season.