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Showing posts from July, 2009

Influence

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It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).


"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV


I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

Light and Shadows

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The first thing any photographer learns is that taking pictures is all about capturing light. To the youngest child with his first camera it quickly becomes obvious that without light, you can't take a picture. George Eastman once said, "Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography."

There are many things to know about light and the shadows created by its angle and intensity, and I feel like I'll always have more to learn. One thing you discover early is that light changes constantly. From one moment to the next the scene in front of you can change dramatically and is affected by many variables. If you aren't ready to capture that moment when it happens, it may never look exactly like that again.

We are living in an extremely changeable time in history. It feels as though nothing is as it appears; what we think we see turns out frequently to be an …

Kiss It Better

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"It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth."
Ephesians 1:7 (Phi)

Remember when you were little and you would fall and skin your knee and your mom or dad or some loving grown up would come and "kiss it better?" I'm not sure the pain in the knee was really better, but the pain in your heart sure was!
As little children, there was something so unexpected about falling down and getting hurt. One moment you were running along with the wind in your face and the world by the tail, and the next, you were on the cold hard ground, bloody and bewildered, wounded inside and out.
I fell down on my proverbial hands and knees yesterday. To add insult to injury, the thing that tripped me up was my own fault. I made a stupid and costly, but very UNintentional error. Doggone it, I so want to go back and unmake that dumb m…

The Willow Weeps

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I am the very blessed daughter of parents who will celebrate their 49th Anniversary next month. In their front yard stands the enormous weeping willow tree in this picture. It has stood through many storms, and sheltered generations of us in countless ways since my family moved there in 1972. In many ways it reminds me of my parents--their marriage, like that awesome willow tree, has stood many storms and sheltered our family too!
Not only have they stayed together in proximity, but they have stayed so together in spirit, and are still so happy with the choice they made 49 years ago to get married, to sharethe rest of their lives with one another. Their relationship has been a blessing and an example to me and so many other people who have had the privilege of seeing them together over the years. I am thankful beyond expression for the pattern they have given me. Thankful too, that my husband and I (more than 21 wonderful years together) are just as committed to our marriage a…

Rocks and Other Hard Places

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This week I have felt constrained, constricted, confined and confounded in trying to work within the demands of too many needs, circumstances, parameters and limitations. Not only are there too many of them, but they all seem to be at complete cross-purposes with the goals, dreams and godly desires of myself and my family. I think we all have felt that we are stuck between a rock and a hard place . . . or maybe many rocks and many hard places.



I don't think it much matters the particular rocks or hard places by which I am currently being pressed, and it would be too easy for a list of them to become a complaint. Aside from that, you don't need my list, because I'm sure you have a list of your own. Life on earth is fraught with pressures and circumstances that box us in. Despite the commonality of our experience, we never seem to get used to it. God made us with a desire for freedom and we instinctively fight to break free of whatever box in which we find ourselves.

A Tale of Two Trees

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In San Diego's popular Balboa Parkthis amazing tree is a testament to the benefits of a strong root system. It is a Moreton Bay Fig tree and it was planted in 1914. In 2008 it was listed as having "a girth of 42 feet, a height of 80 feet and a canopy of 145 feet."

I took this picture on our last trip to San Diego while my children and I stood and marveled at the extensive tangles of roots winding and twisting their way to and through the earth. We felt and looked tiny under this sprawling giant that was so generous with its shade (my then-10 year old daughter is standing on the left side o

A Dry and Thirsty Land

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"For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;" Isaiah 44:3 (NIV) A dry and thirsty land . . .
This time of year in California, all the grasses that looked like emerald velvet in February, turn a dusty gold, toasted to a dry crisp in the relentless sun. It has its own beauty, especially when contrasted with the deep green of the majestic oaks that grace the hillsides, but it is very dry.
Yesterday my family and I went for a hike (my idea) on an unfamiliar trail at the height of the afternoon sun, and I paid dearly for it. I am very sensitive to the heat, and I was unprepared for the sustained climb of this particular trail or the heat of the day and I wound up with a throbbing headache I have yet to completely shake loose.
I got to thinking about how thirsty I was up there, how dry and hot and dusty I felt. My desperation for water and cool shade was so intense, I could not go further without respite from the scorching sun above. I finally came to a pl…

Keep the Son in Your Eyes

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Nature is filled with truth, with messages and illustrations from our glorious Creator--messages designed purposefully to show us something of Him. Like the good Teacher He is, He knows that we learn best when a visual aid helps us to see the concept instead of just reading about it.

A sunflower is a great example. It has an interesting property called heliotropism, which means that it continually orients itself to the sun. During the darkness of night the sunflower turns itself to face the east, awaiting the new dawn, so as not to miss even a moment of the sun's brightness.


This picture was taken just after sunrise and this sunflower is taking full advantage of the golden morning light. All through the day, as the sun moves, so does the sunflower, turning, turning, turning, slowly, consistently, staying in the optimal position to take in the maximum amount of light.

Sunflowers behave in a way that seems almost greedy for light. They aren't content like other flowers to ge…

Home Where I Belong

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This picture isn't of me, but in many ways, this girl IS me and is so representative of my thoughts about my country.

I have a very soft spot in my heart for the 4th of July and all that we celebrate today. As an American girl who moved to Canada at age 8, something wonderful happened to my patriotism. . . at least I think it was wonderful.

I always loved being an American, but I don't think I gave it much thought until I was in a new country, looking back across the border. As a little girl growing up in rural Iowa, the 4th of July was about fireworks and family and community and fun--pure Americana at its best! When we moved to Canada I learned about what was then called Dominion Day, Canada's equivalent to our 4th of July but celebrated on July 1st. I didn't mind celebrating Canada's independence, but I did very much mind that there were no 4th of July fireworks to go with it!

As I got older, although I deeply loved my home in beautiful British Columbia, and…

Stand Firm

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From a photographer's point of view, this is not a great picture, but for me, it is a message I need frequently.

In April 2007 my husband's company and his job were among the first casualties of what many months later would become the current economic crisis. When we got the news, we were disappointed of course, but immediately started looking for the good in it, and we both had great faith that God was going to use this for our ultimate good. We really didn't worry because we fully believed that God was more than capable of giving my husband a new and better job.

We just never imagined how long it would take.

We never thought we would lose so much.

We never thought God's provision would be so gradual.

We never thought we would be in such a precarious position for so long.

Before any of this happened, I had taken this picture and created a greeting card with it. Three years later, I feel like I frequently could benefit from sending it to myself! What I love about th…