deer

“Every time you feel in God’s creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: ‘O my God, if thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!” – Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

I came across this quote in Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

There isn’t much I can add to this. I love going out with my camera and trying to capture “something pleasing and attractive”. I am grateful to God for allowing me this simple pleasure.

J is for Joy

I’ve loved ABC books and A-Z lists for quite a while. This post is one in a series on writing, with the subtopic of poetry.

Writers must find joy in writing, or why else would so many keep at it for so little pay? It’s because of the joy received while putting words on paper. Like a photographer, a writer looks at the small things as well as the big picture. From a little caterpillar to a wedding party to the Grand Canyon, there is beauty everywhere. The photographer will take the picture, then edit it, perhaps crop it, play with the light and colors a bit, to get the picture looking the best it can. So, too, a writer must work through many steps to produce a piece he is proud of. But, oh what joy when he steps back, smiles, and hits SEND. Or POST.  Or puts in in an envelope. Or just keeps it for himself.

Sometimes rejection may come, in the form of “This is not what we are looking for at this time.” That’s when joy comes into play. Happiness is fleeting, but joy has a deeper connotation. Of course, I’ll be happy when I get a check in the mail (or in paypal!), but my joy in writing is what keeps me going.

I could not find a particular type of poetry for J, but I tweaked a poem I wrote a year or so ago.

 

Baby J

Eyes of sapphire sprinkled heather

Like an ocean all together

On a  quiet breeze moments flee

~

Giggles delight like a feather

Cuddling warm and close together

Gentle breath tickles soft and sweet

~

Looking nigh and in the nether

Where the laughter runs together

On a  quiet breeze moments flee

~

She is like the true bell heather

In and out of sunset weather

Gentle breath tickles soft and sweet

baby J

Baby J – 2015

 

Editing and Grace

Last week’s lesson for my #capturetheham group was on editing. Our fearless leader (yes, the one willing to step into the road for a good photo op) gave us all kinds of tips and app recommendations for editing our photos right on our phones.

photo by Jamie Golden

                    photo by Jamie Golden

I’ve downloaded one called TouchReTouch – I have an android and it was $1.99. Check out the before and after below:

before

       before – Taken at Cahaba Lily Park

after

                              after

Jamie also applied the idea of editing to not just photos but to life. I think her take was on the idea of editing out unimportant things and keeping the important ones. Which to me means taking a look at my life and seeing what I need to edit out. There isn’t an app for that. There also isn’t an app that can edit our past to make it look better. Oh, I think we all often try to. And it would be wonderful to be able to edit out all the bloopers like I did in the photo.

The better thing is forgiveness. God can and does forgive sin. My job as a Christian is to work toward the goal of having less that needs editing, less that needs forgiving. I think that’s called growing in grace.

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever         2 Peter 3:18

The Unexpected

blogsparkle

When I take photos, I like to look through the view finder and not at the LCD display. I have discovered, however, that I never really know exactly how well I have hit my target or what else I may have captured until I upload the pictures to my computer. Often, what I thought was a great shot turns out blurry or has something distracting in the background that I didn’t notice before. But, sometimes, as in the picture above, I get something extra. I didn’t see the sun with six points, or the beautiful sparkles on the water.

Life is much like this. Sometimes what we think is going to be great just doesn’t turn out that way. But, sometimes, we are given a gift in an unexpected place or at an unexpected time. Those are the best gifts of all.