Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Rock the Shot: Flower Portrait

One night, a few weeks before her birthday my sweet girl, Emerson, and I went to take some pictures of her.  What was meant to be a few minutes of taking some pictures to mark her 7th birthday turned into me witnessing the unforced and naturally sweet and free spirit of my girl.  I kept attempting to focus her on the task at hand, but in  her little girl way she would spot wildflower after wildflower.  She moved from the "most beautiful flower" to the next "most beautiful flower" with eagerness and excitment.  I'm not sure when I realized that what I was watching was giving me more of a pure glimpse of her sweet little girl heart than posing her would, but I soon stopped talking and began moving around her as she discovered and smelled and danced in the sun that was close to making it's last shouts of glory for that day.  This was one of the moments that I captured and it's become a favorite.  

 www.rocktheshotforum.com is hosting a monthly challenge this month: flowers. Check them out to see other beautiful flower shots posted by some both new and seasoned photographers!  There are some very beautiful shots!

My sweet Emerson just before her 7th birthday.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Being Real: Carrying each other's burdens

There is something about being real that is hard for me.  Do you know what I'm talking about?  When that smile that you're putting on suddenly becomes the real thing - you feel your eyes relax into a place where true joy is apparent.  Or when you hear the words coming out of your mouth that feel so genuine that you will the words to make a visual imprint on the person you're speaking to.  What you would think would be the easiest place to draw your emotions and words from, that real and authentic part of you, is sometimes the hardest.  At least it is for me. I think we're trained to respond the "right" ways and that becomes the easiest thing to do.  Of course, there is the issue of being vulnerable, too, I suppose, and that's hard...  I digress...

Anyway, I found myself listening to a friend this week whose weight on her shoulders is heavy.  Crushing, really.  I dug deep and every ounce of me wanted to speak Truth into her life that she would believe.  Something that wouldn't be a cliche .  No "it'll be ok" or "God has a plan" statements.   I've said those things before myself, but really, do I know those things to be true?  Do I know that God's plan will bring comfort? I don't.    My heart hurt for her and I wanted her to know that, so that maybe she could realize that I was carrying a little bit of her hurt so she could let go of some of hers.   I imagined myself literally taking handfuls of the heavy pain she was carrying and transferring it over into my arms, into my heart instead.

Suddenly, I realized that was VERY real to me.  Seriously, I have had so many, both through word and deed, be an example of what it is to carry each others burdens the past few years - through miscarriage, surgery (and the enormous mountain of money it took to get there), more surgery and some heartache, too.  Physical burdens... emotional burdens... there are many facets of the burdens that we face daily, isn't there?

It made me want to ask a real question, both for me and well.. for each other.  Have you felt the desire to take away someone's pain?  What about allowing someone to help carry yours?  How has someone meaningfully and purposely "carried your burdens" with you?  What would be the most practical way for someone to do that?  What would be real to you?

For me, honestly, it's words.  I'm a words person.  It's my love language.  I respond to and cherish, am moved by, read and re-read, save and go back to later, the words, encouragement and love that people have served me with.  The real, raw, honest stuff.

What about you?  Would you vulnerably share with me what this might look like to you?  I would love it if you would.   


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