February 29, 2012

Everyday Beauty

I often let my camera go unused for lack of inspiration. But yesterday as I looked around at everything that was going on around me, I remembered the reason I ever picked up a camera in the first place. When I was younger I didn't photograph to get perfect photos every time, I took pictures to capture memories - the little things in life that I didn't want to forget. Little siblings playing with the kittens, the big smile on my sister's face as she splashes in a mud puddle, a Lego creation that my brother made. They weren't perfect...but they captured real, un-staged moments. I find myself falling into the routine of only picking up my camera when I see "the perfect photo" instead of capturing those beautiful, everyday memories.  Yes, staged photo shoots are fun...but I also want to capture the precious moments that I often overlook or forget about. I want to capture the real happenings from my real life - the little things that make each day a special gift from the Lord.

So I set out on a quest to capture some of those moments.
Not perfect pictures, just everyday happenings.
And you know what? I had a lot of fun!

>> Lydia is our craft queen. She'll take paper, foam trays, toilet paper tubes, glitter glue, toothpicks, and anything else she can find and turn them into some little work of art. Hardly a day passes that she can't be found at the dining room table with supplies in hand, hard at work on her latest creation.

>> Over the last week or two we've been starting seeds under the grow lights in our basement. Just in the last few days some of the little onions have started to poke their tiny green heads above the soil.

>> Legos. What would a home be without Legos spread all over the floor? When it comes to building things, my brother's brains work in ways that mine never will. "That crank turns this gear, which causes this little thingy over here to do go down, which will then make the wheels turn..." I just smile and nod and pretend that I understand how it works...

>> Sarah decided to try growing some flowers under the grow lights. It's so hard to believe that it's already the time of year to be starting them! Miriam seems to be Sarah's little shadow, and was trying to help out as much as she could.

>> A mocha...after getting up at 5:00 for my early morning babysitting job, I needed a little caffeine to keep me awake for the rest of the day. That's a pretty good excuse, right?

I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.
- L.M. Montgomery

February 25, 2012

giving it all

Sometimes God places before us a task that is seemingly impossible and we feel that all that we have to offer is completely inadequate. This morning in my quiet time I was reading in Matthew 14, and I'd imagine that is kind of how Jesus' disciples felt when He told them to feed a crowd of five thousand when all that they had were five loaves of bread and two fish. But Jesus took the little they had to offer and multiplied it to more than enough. Isn't that amazing?

I think that the feeling of not having much to offer can hinder us from serving the Lord. We feel like we need to have a better knowledge of the Bible or be more spiritually mature before we can serve Him. The thing is, He doesn't ask us to bring enough - He asks us to bring all that we have and He will make it enough. Many times it's just taking that step of faith and totally surrendering everything we have to the Lord, allowing Him to work out the details.

The bottom line is that God can and will do amazing things in and through us when we surrender our all to Him and allow Him to multiply it. He isn't looking for those who have it all - He's looking for those who are willing to give their all, no matter how insignificant it may be. It's through our weakness that His power is made perfect.

February 12, 2012

a chilly winter evening

A cold evening is the perfect time to grab a warm cup of tea, the laptop, and my hippology study material (it's the study of horses...not hippos...a common misconception).

Generally around the middle of January our hippology group begins holding weekly study meetings in preparation for the state competition at the end of March. The contest covers everything from genetics to tack ID to breeds to diseases. In other words, anything and everything horses. It's a lot of hard studying...but it's worth it and so much fun!

 I love the late night study sessions with sisters that almost always end up in laughter. I love learning about one of the most beautiful creatures in God's creation. I love stretching my mind to learn new things. I love discussing horse related topics with other horse crazy kids. If you hadn't already guessed, it's always a highlight of my year :)

|| What's your favorite thing to do on a cold winter night? ||