Here I am for part four, which I’ve been eagerly waiting to show you. 😀
On 10/5, we decided to go disc golfing with our cousins—which had it successes and failures. I took a lot of cool pictures, but we all stunk at disc golf. 😉 Plus, their were some not-so-good attitudes along the way. But you know what? It was nice to just spend time with the family, and worth any of the minuses we might have experienced!
Welcome to part three of my October 2017 vacation. I am working on catching back up with school, editing, everyday tasks, etc. So I decided to pace this series just a bit more, instead of posting a new part each day.
10/4/17- Was the day decided upon to celebrate dad and Josiah’s Oct. birthdays. It’s early as dad’s birthday is the 17th, and Josiah’s is the 24th–but our grandparents won’t be there on their birthdays so…
I am back with day two, part two of our vacation. On this particular day I was rather bored and took many random pictures–the majority of which are boring and dreadful. 😉 😀 So instead of sharing THOSE dreadful photos…I found 22 which I can narrate the day with.
“It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I write to ask your fervent and continual prayers for my dear brother and friend, Lorimer Arendse, who was diagnosed 2 days ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer that has apparently spread “all over his body”.”
We, as finite creatures- tend to drift. To float away weakly after the pleasures of the world. We exchange the wonderful blessings of Christ Jesus, for the fleeting pleasures of sin. It’s a rip-off, but we don’t mind. It doesn’t matter to us. But it should.
Many of you have probably heard the C.S Lewis quote about the children being more content with mud pies than with the vacation at the beach. That’s us. We’ll take the mud pies, disguised to look like candy- and devour them.
But there’s good news.
We’re not given over to our sin as unbelievers are. The Lord will never forsake His own. He pursues us, He loves us freely. And above all- He convicts us. Have you ever felt that terrible poke right before doing what you know is wrong? Most of the time, people refer to that as your conscience. But did you know that the Holy Spirit, while being a comforter- is also a convicter? God doesn’t wink at sin, and He has indwelt us in the person of the Spirit. He is merciful and gracious.
I feel that the things that I have been doing are drowning out the love that I ought to have for God. I cry out, asking why God isn’t answering. Why isn’t He there? Well, He is. Sometimes God doesn’t answer the way we want Him to. Sometimes we alienate ourselves from Him. We neglect reading His Word and praying. And then we wonder why we don’t ‘feel’ Him there.
The Psalm most applicable that I can think of to repentance (turning away to return) is Psalm 32. It tells us what happens when we do not confess, and I gives us encouragement to return.
Blessed Are the Forgiven
A Maskil of David.
” Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. 7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”
Sadly, sometimes it’s so easily said, and not easily done at all. I know when I’m in a ‘spiritual rut’ or find myself backsliding back into sin- sometimes the last thing I want is to return. Even though He loves me freely. Even though my current path will only lead to destruction. I still am content to wallow in the mud.
Sometimes we must wallow in the mud for a while to be brought to utter humility. We see our need of Him more clearly when He ‘hides His face’ from us for a while. But then, like the prodigal son—we return. He brings us back like lost sheep into His fold. We feast once again on green pastures. He restores our cast-down souls. He gives us drink from the clear, still waters.
And what does that lovely header for this post mean? Why is there a roadway? Well…friends, I went somewhere. But that will come later. I will start with a semi-comprehensive look at the past…two or three weeks? Here we go.
We had a very random snowfall that was very tiny, and melted almost immediately. I did take a photo of a plant in it though…
And then a day or two after that, I got the opportunity to try out slow sync flash. You basically set a slow shutter speed (I mostly did 2 seconds or 2″) and spin in a circle while the flash fires. It makes for VERY weird photos but is nonetheless quite fun to do. And it’s especially cool if you’re outside at night.
You can also use objects. I did this one in my studio/office.
And then after a few days it was time to go to a conference! This is photo from in the car.
Then we got to the hotel…which wasn’t awful. But I still don’t really like it.
On Saturday, we were at the YMCA–when mom told us we were going on vacation NOW. We hadn’t packed. We didn’t even know where we were going…and our family of eight had two hours to pack. And one of those hours we would have people over. But…those people happen to be the family I am getting to do a newborn photo session with. So this was my first opportunity to get a peek at baby Eva Marie. And she’s adorable! I think the session is on Friday. I’m going for a studio look.
Our 1 and a 1/4 day ‘vacation’ was to our grandparents house. One night my grandpa showed me his father’s old film camera a bunch of other cool stuff that went with it. Sometime, I want to try film.
The I decided to try an interesting technique using a tiny fisheye lens.
Then we were home. And I took some pictures of our red bud tree.
Then some photos of unnamed one 🙂
And that’s pretty much all that I’ve been up to for fun.
This post is one that’s been set rather immediately on my mind because of some things that have been going on in my life.
This isn’t a post of self-pity.
This isn’t a post telling you it’s all someone else’s fault.
This isn’t a post to tell you if you forgive someone they’ll be automatically changed.
Sometimes life seems like those broken pieces of glass. Getting broken is painful. Being sinned against (and sinning against someone else) hurts. There isn’t an easy fix all the time. Not every relationship can be fixed by simply setting up a day, meeting,
T A L K I N G IT OUT.
People will probably be bitter, have scars, and just be hurt in general. Forgiving someone isn’t just saying you’re sorry something happened. It’s much more difficult than that. If it was that easy, probably no one would have any problem with saying it. True forgiveness is HARD and takes a big dose of grace and humility. Asking forgiveness takes a pride-smashin’ session. And forgiving someone? It takes exactly the same.
For a while, I was feeling pretty comfortable with life (probably a bad sign). There were maybe a few small arguments once in a while…nothing major though. Then, out of the blue to me (also probably a bad sign) things starting coming up. I ended up hurt. There was a lot of emotional taxation. There still is. I was also angry. I didn’t understand why it was happening to me, or what I has done wrong in the particular situation. But I can already see it being used for good. It hurts, it’s maybe very inconvenient, and it makes me sad–but God has been drawing me nearer to Him through it.
Motivation for forgiving others…
“Why should I forgive someone (especially if they don’t even ASK forgiveness) ?” that question was going around in my head. At one point, someone asked me if I hated them and if I didn’t, why didn’t I? I was so tempted to just run off feeling even more hurt. But in that moment someone else told me to ‘start with the obvious’. Now, that probably doesn’t make much sense, but thankfully- I knew just what was meant. The person I was dealing with was a ______ in Christ. Christ had forgiven them with His blood- just the same as He’d saved me. I had no right, absolutely none- to hate the person. Yes, I was hurt. But I have been commanded to love, not to hate.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
~Ephesians 4:32, ESV.
You have every reason to love, and NO REASON to hate. Especially someone who is your brother or sister in Christ. If I could remember that every time I wronged someone or was wronged- there would be a huge forgiveness party! We would all be asking forgiveness.
This begins a new series of posts! They’re called Thoughtful mostly because they will focus on different things I’ve been thinking on lately. This first post is being started because I have been thinking a lot on the future- and specifically on what it holds.
Mainly, I have been thinking more on the future of this blog. I don’t want to quit writing here-ever. I just think it’s about time to think of new things to do on it. Here are some thoughts I’ve been jumping around with:
Perhaps start a new series (check! This is the newest blog series.)
Perhaps do a drawing tutorial in pictures?
Perhaps do a craft tutorial? I love crafting…and am thinking of starting back up now that I’ve cleaned up my ‘studio’. (more on that later)
Those are my thoughts on it thus far.
Another thing that’s had me all excited about the future is the acquiring of a new lens! A kind friend gave it to me, and it has changed my photography experience. Why? Because it goes to the minimum f-stop # of 1.8!!!! That makes for a great popped subject and a way more blurred background. I love it, and believe it will help with all my portraits from now on. Bonus? It’s a small lens, not at all heavy and it goes to 52mm max. Here are some sample photos:
Another thing that has me thinking is school. I have a lot and not a lot left. It still feels like so much and yet I only have a few courses left now. I always like watching my siblings do their school…mostly because I can take photos of them being studious.
Then I am so excited about the future crafting possibilities now that my studio is all the way clean for the very first time (I never finished unpacking at all).
The future of cooking. It’s no secret that I really like cooking. I enjoy it…but I would actually prefer to cook for a smaller bunch for a while. One thing I look forward to in the future is the possibility of someday cooking for my own family.
Writing! Maybe I’ll actually get something published someday?
Hope you didn’t find my thought ramblings too dull, or weird…