Praying For A Life Less Ordinary

Thoughts about God, life, and love

More than just pictures….

Sitting at the big table in the kitchen/dining room, listening to the rain, cuddled in a warm blanket and comfy sweat pants I stole from Dustin. Just reading some random manga…de-stressing after a weird week and wishing I had made some more sushi for dinner…

I took a little break from reading to check my e-mail. I don’t often pay attention to the articles that show up on Yahoo’s homepage, but every now and then I just take a few minutes to see if there is anything interesting. Tonight I found this article about photography and Flickr. It was beautiful. It was something that moved me. 

it reminded me that photography is more that just taking pictures of certain subjects. That it’s something special….it’s something deeper and more, and different for each person. And even in one person, photography can change many times throughout life. 

I was thinking of getting back into photography. I was getting really excited, and I might have had a chance to get a new set up with better lenses, but that will have to wait for a little bit longer. But what I have now is good. It’s even great. It’s better than a lot of people have…than a lot of people who produce amazing pictures have. And I have done some wonderful things with it. If not for other people, at least for myself. 

A lot of people around me knew I loved photography and would even keep up with my Bench Monday project that I started working on after finding a Bench Monday group on Flickr. Some Mondays the pictures would be crap. Like….beyond crap. But there would be some Mondays when I’d be super inspired, or have a really awesome idea, or the picture would just turn out really awesome. But it’s been a long while since I’ve done a Bench Monday. Life changes, priorities change, photography changes. Also I lost my favorite bench (That was a special birthday present from my family because they knew I enjoyed doing Bench Monday) while working one day. 

Some days I find myself thinking randomly of an idea that could turn out to be a pretty cool Bench Monday picture, but I don’t get past thinking about it. And that kind of makes me sad. 

I don’t know if I ever will start back. I did enjoy it a lot, but at the time I had decided to stop doing Bench Mondays I was getting tired of it all. I was feeling uninspired and it was even stressing me out trying to make sure I got my picture and edited and uploaded it before the end of Monday. 

I still love photography. And I really do enjoy taking pictures and going back through them later and editing them. I get so excited when they turn out really good and I enjoy my style of editing. 

I’ve done photography jobs, such as weddings, senior pictures, photoshoots, and other events. And they were nice in their own way, but when I think about it, being hired to do something with photography, I just can’t seem to put my heart into it so much as when I am taking pictures just because I really want to take pictures, because I really want to capture certain people or certain events. 

There are people that want to push me into becoming a professional photographer. But I wouldn’t even know where to start, and even just thinking about it stresses me out more than it should. I don’t want to do photography because it’s what other people want me to do. I want to do it because it’s what I want to do. It’s not something I want to have a job doing. It’s something that I would rather consider a passionate hobby. 

I’m 24 1/2 and I still don’t really have any clue what I want to do for the rest of my life. Not that I have to do the same thing, but I know I need to do something that makes some sort of income. I’m hoping to head down one road and it will be something that I will enjoy enough that I will be able to continue with it. I think it could be a really wonderful thing. But I am scared that it might end up being another thing that “just doesn’t work for me”. I am envious of those people who know without a doubt what occupation they want to go into. I have done many jobs that I really enjoyed, but did not love and would not want to be doing long term. But I’m hopeful that someday I will find something that I will love and enjoy thoroughly. Although I really should be extremely thankful that I have such a life of luxury that I am able to find a job like that and that I don’t have to work at some place I despise just for the paycheck. I am extremely spoiled. I am thankful for the family and friends that support me no matter what happens. 

 

It’s Been A While…

I’m not who I used to be. I’m older. I’m different. I’m trying to live life one day at a time. Sometimes I forget and just try to make it through the day or the week or the month. This past year has been something. I’ve learned a lot of things. Some good. Some bad. Change is going to happen soon. Bigger change than has happened lately. I’m ready for change, but I’m also sad. There are so many emotions in me right now. Excitement, fear, depression, happiness, confusion, nervousness…..I’ve been like this for a couple of days now and I just hope that it will go away soon and that I can focus on the change that is going to be very good and work with the change that I don’t like so much.

Sometimes I just have to remind myself that it’s okay to mess up. That you learn from messing up. And that it’s not really messing up, it’s just change and learning and while it might seem bad, there can be good that comes out of it all.

I don’t really write as much as I used to. I actually forgot all about this blog. I don’t know if I will update it very much, or even at all. Usually when I feel like writing I just write in my journal. I should find that….

There is much to be done, much to figure out. Writing lists helps. Talking it out helps. But tears still fall from my eyes and I just pretend and try to remind myself that this is for the best and everything is going to be totally okay. And that it’s okay to be scared.

Let love breathe.

Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust

People throughout life are always telling you to think of what you want to do with your life. Asking you what you are going to do. Telling you to live your dreams. To find a job you would want to do even if you didn’t get paid for it.

Well, I’m going to do that.

I’m tired of pretending like I actually want to do meteorology or environmental science.

I’m tired of being in a place that I’ve felt is wrong ever since I transfered.

What do I want to do with my life?

I want to travel.

I want to take pictures.

I want to show people the love of God.

I want to be able to focus on making this a possibility.

I can actually see myself doing this with my life, where I can’t see myself doing anything with a meteorology or environmental science degree.

I want to work towards making this my reality.

I know my dreams aren’t the greatest. But they are mine. And I love photography. I am passionate about it. It will be hard, but not impossible. And I know God is going to use me and my photography skills (That I have now and the many many many more I will gain over the years) in great ways to further His kingdom.

I’m scared, but I’m also really excited and I know this is going to be awesome.

And I’m so blessed to have family and friends who are helping me and supporting me and praying for me during this time of change in my life.

Thank you for your prayers! They are so very much appreciated!

🙂

Change…

I’m so restless. 

And this doesn’t feel right. 

It never really did. 

I just keep moving on. I keep changing. 

Hoping maybe this time it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. 

It’s so hard to try for something when there is no motivation or excitement. 

When you are just doing it just to do it…

It’s even harder at Tech trying to live like that.

And it’s been this way ever since I transfered. 

The first month is okay until I start failing everything and I just want to give up. 

I have no passion for Tech. I have no passion for meteorology. I have no passion for environmental science. 

What am I doing?

What do I want to do?

What do I want in my future?

What am I actually willing to work towards no matter how hard it gets?

I’m so scared about the future.

And I want to talk to you…

I Let My Self-Righteousness Get In The Way Of Bringing Others To God.

Just the other day I was telling a friend how I was struggling with the fact that sometimes I get upset at other people who are Christians, but don’t live their lives in a way that, I feel, loves God.

This past Sunday, Pastor Joe was reading from Luke 15:11-32, and specifically verses 25-30. This passage is such an awesome passage. The story of a son who left his father and destroyed his life but then humbled himself and came back. His father was so joyful that his son had changed his ways he threw him a big celebration that his son was not dead anymore, but had come back to life! However, his older brother was not a celebratory mood. He felt that he had been treated unfairly, for not running away and doing everything his father ever wanted or needed him to do. But he never got a celebration in his honor.

He was self-righteous.

He struggled with self-pity, letting something hurt him more than he should have.
He struggled with self-importance, wanting the attention all for himself.
He struggled with self-righteousness, thinking that he was better than his little brother.

Instead of rejoicing that his brother had been found and had come back to life, he just wanted a celebration of himself instead.

Sometimes we see or hear stories about people who just seem so bad. Doing things we would never even think about doing. People we believe should be punished for the things they did.

We get so caught up in self-righteousness, being mad at other people for their sins, that we forget we are called to love them and to pray for them.

We compare ourselves to them, to make us feel better, to make us feel like we are doing something good in this life, to make us forget our own sins.

And in that comparison, we forget about them as people. We forget that maybe they really are struggling with this issue and they are trying to get over it, but it’s hard. We forget that maybe they really don’t even know any better. We forget that they have a story of their own. And we fail to love them, fail to help bring them closer to the God who can help them through their sins as He helps us through ours. We fail to pray for them. Asking God to give them a chance, some grace and love that none of us actually deserves. We fail to be a friend in Christ to them when maybe that’s what they need most. We fail to listen to them. To learn about them. To try and understand why they are the way they are.

We let our self-righteousness get in the way of bringing others closer to God.

I let my self-righteousness get in the way of bringing others closer to God.

And so these people who frustrate me, those people who don’t even seem to be trying, I am learning to pray for them. To love them. Just as Christ has called me to love all. It’s not my place to judge them. It’s not my place to compare myself to them. It’s my place to live my life as Christ has demanded, not as the world suggests or whatever is easiest to do.

I fail. Often. And I forget. But I am learning. I am trying…

With God, I can get somewhere.

I Expect Too Much And Think I Deserve Something At All.

But I deserve nothing.

The sin in my life is far too much for me to deserve any good.

I deserve to be punished.

I deserve to die.

Without Christ, there is no hope. What hope could there be?

All those sins stay and haunt me.

Day and night.

They never leave.

And every day, I’m sinning again, sinning more.

How can I live with all these sins. All these wrongs? All these mistakes?

How can someone love me when I fail multiple times a day?

When I’m always messing up…

And yet,

I still expect people to be kind to me, to be gentle, and patient. To love me.

I even get upset when people do not act this way towards me.

BUT WHO AM I?

Who am I that I should expect people to act that way towards me, when I know I don’t deserve it at all?

Who am I to think I deserve respect?

What excuses do I have that allow me to deserve anything good?

But who am I to deny someone else of my kindness, gentleness, patience, love, forgiveness, respect….

In Christ alone my hope is found.

The ultimate example of mercy and grace.

Forgiveness is given with unfathomable love.

And I don’t deserve it. But that is what makes it so wonderful. It’s not something I can or cannot deserve. It’s something that is given simply because of love. No matter the condition of my life.

And all I have to do is come to realize that I need forgiveness. That I need Christ, because He is the only one who can forgive me completely.

The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.

If life were fair, we would all be suffering and dead.

Thank You, my God, for Your beautiful, amazing, powerful, and unfathomable grace.