Monday, October 28, 2013

When the big picture falls off the wall and shatters...

So, yesterday I decided that I was going to take our family photos (read: tripod and self-timer and an entire family that will not be still for a group photo). It was sure to be a fun time, really. Since I regularly photograph other families, I should have no problem photographing my own, right? I know the photog tricks, right? I know how to capture the details; pick the perfect lighting; adjust my settings; set-up my tripod AND set the self-timer.

Yeah. My worlds were colliding yesterday and my MomTog powers were quickly failing. My mother-in-law, who is an amazing artist herself, stepped in to help on the shutter button so at least the tripod and self-timer factors were eliminated - opening our photo session up for a little better chance at success. However, despite my mother-in-law's valiant efforts (and she did well), our children are 1, 3, 5, and 7. They had no interest in sitting still for a group photo.

In fact, most of our shots came out this way.

I was getting frustrated and, finally, gave the official mother's siren of surrender, "OH, NEVERMIND." We'll do this another day (another day five years from now, perhaps).

Do you ever feel that way? You've used your precious brain space to architect the details of what's to occur; you've taken time, effort, and a whole lot of sweat and grass stains to get there and, in an instant, everything just seems to fall apart? The walls crumble. The rocks slide. It's a wash.

I was starting to feel that way. Frustrated, I flung my camera strap back over my head and the children scattered all over the yard. Three of them ran to the swings and the baby started crawling through leaf piles, quickly dirtying the fall outfit that I'd picked - so carefully - for our photo session. A few deep breaths and I started doing what I usually do, photographing the kids having fun and enjoying life.

Then I thought of something; when I photograph families, we may do the obligatory milestone family shot, but 99% of the photos I take are of life, as it happens. I want to capture actual memories being made, not just children sitting quietly in a carefully arranged huddle, with wide grins and hands folded on their laps. In real life, families don't behave that way. So, why make such a fuss to capture that?

My original plans may have been foiled by wiggling kids, but I think the Lord had a bigger plan for me yesterday.

Because of my wiggling children, I was able to capture this:

And this

Our kids will remember their precious time with grandom; they will remember dad giving them underdogs on the swing-set; they will remember getting muddy in the grass. Yesterday, I was reminded that life is more than just a pretty picture - it's the details that matter.

And the LORD presented this lesson that I seemingly have to learn, time and time again. HE knows each of our days. He knows how our lives are going to shake out. He owns the details. So, while we fiddle and fuss over something that may not have happened our way, remember the details, the learning experiences, the lives touched and the hearts surrendered. Remember that every breath and beat of our heart has been carefully orchestrated by HIM. I'm re-assured by those things, when "my" plans don't work out. How about you?

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  

Seems like an appropriate time to leave you with one of my favorite quotes. "Remember this, had any other condition been better for you than the one in which you are, divine love would have put you there." -C.H. Spurgeon. 

Amen..and amen...and amen.

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