On the eve of a new year, it’s typical to look backward before looking forward. So I thought I’d step away from the regular Lewisville photo coverage on this last blog post of 2008 and share a bit more on a personal level. I hope you won’t mind. Come January 1, we’ll get back to finding new photo moments in Lewisville.
I thought about calling this post “Confessions of a Stubborn Woman.” That’s because this perhaps seemingly meek and mild woman has been a stubborn soul throughout much of her life. But even deeper than the stubbornness has been a menacing layer of fear.
The truth is, I’ve been pretty good at hiding for many years. Generally speaking, I’ve kept people at arm’s length for decades. I honestly thought that would make life “safer” for me. Instead, I’ve slowly — and I emphasize “slowly” — learned that hiding the hurts one has encountered, or hiding one’s imperfections or mistakes, is a certain path to misery and isolation.
I chose the above photo for this post because there appears to be no stopping this little one as she runs with a determined joy. Her eyes are on her destination. And the heart painted on her face is symbolic of living life to the fullest.
As I look toward 2009, I’ve decided that I’d like to live life much differently than I ever have before:
- I’d like to be a woman of unbounded faith.
- I’d like to break with old ways that have hindered me in the past.
- I’d like to believe that change is possible, and that missteps can be redeemed.
- I’d like to believe again that God could be glorified in my life.
And in case there’s even one person reading this blog whose faith has also wavered, I hope you’ll realize that you’re not alone. I propose that we “Dare to Believe” that God is for us, not against us — and that we start walking in His direction. I’m choosing to believe that He will meet us somewhere along the way.
I look forward to sharing with and getting to know many of you in the coming year. I’m honored that you’re a reader of this blog.
All the best to you and yours in 2009,
I photographed this little fellow on a beautiful fall day in October in Shallowford Square at the A Day in the Park event that was sponsored by the Epilepsy Institute of North Carolina. As the rock-and-roll band, Sub Q, played under the Pavilion, kids were bouncing and sliding on giant blow-ups, getting non-permanent tattoos, and enjoying hot dogs and soda. All the while, adults were engaged in fellowship and in receiving support and information on epilepsy.
This photo makes me think of discovery. As I mentioned in my previous post, one of my discoveries in 2008 was realizing how much I enjoy photographing children. Unlike any other subject matter, I think differently, and feel differently, when I photograph children. I’ll try to explain what’s going on inside me — if I can find the words for it.
When photographing children, I think it’s natural that I sometimes see myself when I was their age, and I recall some of the simple joys of childhood.
Sometimes I imagine that I can see the hopes and dreams of children in their eyes. And I often see some beautiful qualities in them that I catch myself hoping they’ll never lose.
Other times, I’ll be shooting away (photographically speaking), and I’ll get a picture in my mind of what the child before me might look like as an adult. That can be an uncanny experience!
As simple as they might appear, on some level, I believe there’s a profoundness about children. And their innocence and possibilities strike me as sacred territory. But are they really any different than adults?
There must be something about children that, in Jesus’ eyes, qualified them for the kingdom. He not only said that the kingdom of heaven “belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14), but He also said something that’s quite startling, actually — and perhaps troubling to our adult minds. He said:
I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 18:2
In some way, when I photograph children, I believe I’m experiencing something that has the hint of heaven to it. For me, there’s really no better explanation.
As we approach the end of 2008, I’d like to share a few final photos of children that made me think of qualities I long for in my life. I’ll share more specifically about those qualities in the next post, which will be the last one of the year.
Meanwhile, take a look at a few other photos of some “heavenly” children! Feel free to share your thoughts about them by clicking on the “Comment” link below.
With the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
— “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
Year-round, the US flag hangs in this old barn. And for as long as I can remember, the crèche has been placed there, too, each Christmas.
One symbol peacefully coexisting with another. May it always be so.