5.31.2011

In the Quiet

I'm in a different season right now. A time I didn't see coming. 
It is full -sometimes busy -sometimes slow for the taking. 

I am aching to grow again in an area I've known God's calling in the past. An area I've failed over and over again. Can't I just cut off my tongue? "Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing." (James3:10)

I also find myself consistently asking Him to lead me into putting and leaving Him center at all times. It's not easy coming out of this driver's seat, letting go of all the structure and planning of a perfectionist. Yet, I'm reminded that "whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for (His) sake will find it." (Matt10:39) So, why can't I stop trying to keep up with and hold onto my life?

I've tasted being over myself. I've been sick to death of me many times. But how many more will it take for me to just it give up permanently? Isn't asking over and over the same as signing on the dotted line? What in my heart stops this process, and can We dig it up and throw it out for good?

Although, the quiet inward is the only way for me to go forward for now, I am guilt ridden not to be here in this space, writing and sharing as usual. I think of it every single day. Of you, and your encouraging words and stories... 
I know that you are gracious and forgiving. 
I pray that all is well in your hearts and homes. 
I will be back as soon as the time comes. 

Blessings, 
Lora

5.16.2011

God Speaks... & sometimes there's more to come

Last year, I spent most of my days with a group of girlfriends.
We did everything together. Moms, with our little ones in tow.


We formed something sacred and special I will never forget.


Something that has since ended, leaving me still, shell-shocked
and content these days being on my own.

The wild turkey, 
who usually roam in pairs of females with their poults,
could be seen last year throughout the day, 
crossing our yard, drive and street. 

They roamed as a pack of five moms, with a total of 19 babies.
These were unusual numbers and caused 
quite the excitement in our neighborhood.


 I imagined this could only lead to another year of the same,
if not more.

This year, I can't help but feel the tinge of correlation
between myself and the only female turkey we've seen yet.
A single turkey (a new type of unusual)
who roams alone, day and night through our wood.


Our kindred nature draws me to her condition.
I wonder about her story. How she came to roam, alone. 

I wonder about how He will use this bird again 
when this perseverance has finished it's work in me.

And when I find a lone seed, half out of dirt,
the sprouting of new life from within brings Truth:


I do.
___________________________________

He fell in love with her~
the foster kittens' mama.

Who would have thought, those kittens
would not be the ones to steal his heart?


For as many times as he'd prayed 
to God for his very own cat, 
sorrow filled his heart when the time came to let go.


Days passed, and we visited the shelter where the kittens were
awaiting their adopting families, without their mama.
Their mama who was to be picked up by her rescuer, days earlier.


Much to our surprise, that mama cat was there!
She was hiding under a cage, 
scared, hurting from surgery, and lost.
Lost without her boy...


her boy, whose every dream of a forever cat

came true when we immediately adopted her 
and brought her home with us!
___________________________________

And lastly this week,
it turned out that this story, too, was not over 
when it first seemed that the door was closed.


The day after I wrote that post, I got a call from a web artist
who included me as the sole photographer for a commercial shoot 
in a bid he had placed, months prior.

After I had given him my quote for the job
I thought nothing more of it
I assumed by this time, someone else 
had gotten the contract. 

It turned out that not only did the guy get the contract, 
but we would need to schedule the photo shoot
within the month!

My profit from this opportunity would more than cover
half the cost of the kind of camera I would
now have to purchase to do this kind of work.

Combined with the profit I would make in
photographing a wedding the last weekend in May,
my dream camera would be well paid for!

And so...


my new baby.

What areas of your life are you waiting on God's 
good and perfect finishing touches?

Where are you celebrating the "more" that came
from what once seemed to have passed?

I love to read your stories! :)

5.09.2011

God Speaks... and sometimes what He says hurts


As many mistakes as I've made as a parent, I've always felt good knowing that since the moment our son was born I have been right here. Not just physically, but in every single awestruck way. 

For some reason it has been my passion that I would not miss one bit of this time I have with Ezekiel.  

I've always felt that I will get back my days of freedom to run around, fulfill other dreams, travel, and career for myself... 
but this is my one little guy. 
This is my once in a lifetime chance with him. 

As flawed as I can be at the many facets of parenting, I can say surely that have given Motherhood everything I've got.

That's what makes this next part so hard.


This weekend, my son and I set out intentionally to take his photograph for the first time in over six months.  

Yesterday morning, Mothers' Day, I downloaded the photos off my camera. 

As I went through each picture I learned a lot about my son, myself, how I've been approaching our relationship and even how I've been spending my time lately. 

The lesson stung.

The last time I took Zeek's photos, just six months ago, I knew him through and through. In each photo I recognized his every look, smirk, twinkle, gaze... nothing was unfamiliar or new to me. 

So when I looked at the photographs I took this weekend and I didn't fully recognize the little boy in those pictures, my heart ached. 


It hurt that I was seeing him, who is right in front of me everyday, a little better through his still frames.



It hurt most of all to be enlightened through some of the looks on his face, the revealing in his eyes, to some of the ways I've been letting him down lately.

I reflected back on our session, recalling some of my harsh words toward him;

"you can squat down like a big boy or you can sit like a baby, whatever you're more comfortable with... This is an empty farm yard, Zeek. No one lives here. There are no animals left to worry about!...I don't know why you can't just stand behind that door and peek out? COME ON. put your arms down, that looks silly... you're face looks like this right now, do you really think that's going to make a good photograph?..."


Yes, I am crying and humiliated to be writing this. 

Yes, I hate myself for putting stupid things before my son, like photographs, and what I want, and how I want it. 

I'm so grateful to God for using these pictures and the early Mothers' Day morning hours to shed light on the direction my Motherhood and relationship with my son was headed.

I'm saddened but grateful to have seen this weekend:


that as independent, smart, and sure as he's becoming, 
he's still very young and has a lot of growing up to do,


that as scared and unsure as I am about my abilities to parent such a child, 
I'm still his one and only Mom,


that although I experience and respond to his million questions,
 he is deep and full with another set of secret questions,
questions that aren't being asked out loud.


These hidden questions are about himself.


Like, is he worthy?


Is he strong?


Is he good enough?


Can he measure up?


Is he okay?

And I realized that I have not been answering these special questions very well -with my high expectations, sarcasm and the manipulation of my reverse psychology.

I assumed he KNEW how incredible he is. He acts like he knows. 

I'd worn out of better ideas and thrown in the towel, and I didn't even know it. 
I'd decided that a boy who could have this kind of attitude, this lip, this kind of ungrateful gumption needed a heavy parent. 
I started sternly laying down the law, saying yes or no, period. 
I stopped listening to his debates and arguments, and reverted to "because I said so" and "that is that."

I was acting out of fear that I would otherwise be failing him to let him stomp about, an only child, making all the decisions for himself, fighting tooth and nail for every right he has and doesn't have. 

I thought he would never grow up to be a good man if someone didn't push him away from his toggling between bully and princess (please hold the hate mail- I know that's ignorant -I'm just being honest)

On Mother's Day Sunday, when I realized I didn't know my fast growing son in my latest photographs of him, I knew God was giving me a heads-up. It knew that it was time to make some changes. 
So, I put down the armor, hard parenting, tough love, and pushing, and I showed up for the day just being his loving Mom, again. Period. 

The gifts that followed filled my Mothers Day with light, life, tears of joy, gentleness, kindness, peace... starting to sound familiar?

As I spent time with him, really looking into him and tending to him, I watched the little glimpses of awesome treasure in my son's character slowly peek out as he began to trust me with himself more and more.


I would have never thought that I could put on a superficial parent-front with him, during which time I daily remembered my gratitude for him but began to completely miss the boat on the moment to moment becoming of the boy, himself. 

With God's Grace, my son's resilience, and this new lesson in my pocket, I am moving forward to rebuild this relationship between he and I. To take back the perspective that there is a little person happening here right before my eyes. I pray that I will further understand that just watching and pushing isn't going to be enough. 

I need to love, look and see




This is the only time we will be together this way.
God, please do not let me lose sight!

5.02.2011

God Speaks



I sit down with His gift box in front of me. I can't even see what it is. 
I'm at a loss for what to write, what to share, how and where to dig out a lesson from my week. 

Does God turn away in disappointment that I'm too blind to see His present for me? Does he sit and wait for me to figure it out on my own? Does he storm off with my prize wishing I were only better at this?

No. God is SO incredible to meet me here so faithfully every Monday morning.And if I can't find the gift, if I can't wrap my hands around it and start to peel back the wrapping, He does it for me!?

It's amazing to watch Him unfold His beautiful Truth and lessons out of my week, right before my very eyes, flowing from Him through me, off my fingertips onto this computer screen. WOW. 

I only humbly put my own name to this.


My best camera took on a rainstorm 
from the hood of my Jeep a couple of weeks ago.

As much as I've wanted a new camera, I deeply hoped 
the water hadn't taken away the option of my frugality 
(that's the nice way we refer to my being utterly cheap).


But the effects were obvious, and the only solution 
seemed to be the purchasing of a new camera of its class. 


Mid-week, God had His say, and I cried
through an evening of strong conviction setting in.

Though affordable, this expense was not part of the plan. 
On the contrary, we have been in saving and preparing mode

Buying a replacement camera, in fact, would derailed 
a plan that God clearly set into motion in our household.

I called my husband who was out, and explained how I was feeling.
He agreed that we revert back to plan A: trusting and following our Guide.

The camera order was cancelled the next morning.


And the beauty is uncovered in the current consensus 
that my doused Nikon D80 has quite possibly never worked so well.


It's not that my camera was or wasn't affected or compromised by the water. It's not whether or not I was blessed with a supernatural camera healing...

See, when I fell in love with photography five years ago, all I knew was the Holy Spirit and a Fuji FinPix. Some How heavenly light was capturing beautiful life through a virgin eye and an uncertain, shaky shutter finger. 
I knew nothing about f-stop, aperture, white balance, ISO, metering...

Three and half years ago, I took matters into my own hands and "learned the ropes". 
Immediately afterward, I felt the union slipping away. I knew I'd put myself in the drivers seat, and as much as I begged, there was no turning back.

My only Peace in the tension was the understanding that it would just be a long ride before I would have another stop in which He would offer to trade seats again.


As disapointed as I was to have lost the connection, I knew He would be Faithful to grow me in this time. I knew that it would be worth every second alone behind the lens before our Chinese fire drill.

God is so good. He is so much fun. 
His passion and timing fills me to the brim.
And these such blessings follow every act of obedience.
Behind every test is a testimony in waiting! 


Have you entered my giveaway?
We're drawing a winner Friday, 5/6!