Creating the Moment You Are In

Today I once again realized how much of my life story is in photos; not just a click of a camera or phone camera, but of setting up the photo so it conveys a message. At least that is my hope. I take photos every day from various parts of my day. Don’t get me wrong, that isn’t ALL I do, but it certainly is a part of all that I do. But it sure helps me be present in the moment!

You might say, “What’s the big deal?” Well, in my experience, I have found that often times our kids don’t really hear what we have to say. That isn’t just in this present day either. I often times wish I would have listened more to my elders, asked questions to see if on the right day I would get the answers. I didn’t think about it then. I do now. So I hope at some point when I am not a round to wait until they ask the questions, they will one day see them in my story of photos. We are more of a light to others by how we live than talking or pushing them in a direction. I so agree with that. So my photos will be a legacy to them at some point in their lives and I hope that they will come to know me even better through that legacy of photos.

Let’s think about that for a moment. What can we offer to those who are around us in our sphere of influence? Are we walking in the fruit of the Spirit, or are we walking to impress someone, be known, or be in the middle of the crowd for attention? Is it really about the house we live in, the car we drive, the sports our kids are a part of, how good they are in those sports, our clothes, our looks? Really? Is that what we want others to see? Or do we want to invite others into our home to share hospitality with them, use our car to help get someone to a place they need to go, allow SOME sports for their education and teach team efforts, or look at our closets and see if we can share some of what we have, or let the beauty from within shine from within? I am learning that lesson everyday given all the surgery on my nose and face. I believe that more than ever before, we need to exercise our spiritual muscles now, so that, we can carry what God has for us to carry later on. We never know when that heavier load will come upon us.

So today as I think about these things, I have my “YES” glassybaby burning on my desk to remind myself to say “yes” to God again at the beginning of each of my days here on earth. I want to say yes to where He wants to take me, say yes to His teaching through His word, say yes to the nature around me and say yes to get on track to put myself in the best position I can to do what He asks of me. Simple? Well…yes it can be. We just need to say, “I surrender”, to God on every level of my life. Empty every room of our spiritual house. Simple? Maybe not so simple if you have been living for yourself more than living from a place of surrender each day to His will. I choose to wake up with a good morning to God, with a surrender of my day on my lips, and a request for Him to lead and guide me this day. What joy can come from those simple steps. I am committed. I’m even changing my sign off here on the blog this year! I believe that each moment in life is precious. So catch a hold of it it and use it for change for His purposes, and He will use it for yours!

I’m saying a resounding YES to Him today! Are you? Can you? I’m cheering you on!

For the love of the moment…

~JoAnn

My Story 365

IMG_2322This week I was reminded once again about life; daily life.  We don’t often think we are going to wake up one morning and get news that turns our life upside down.  But it happens.  We don’t think we have to worry about our health because we feel pretty good, and then something shows up and changes everything.  We think we will always have our family around us, and then there is a transfer and a move.  Life is one change after anything, and it requires us to be life changers.

IMG_2321We never expect the difficult things that come along, but we seem to remember those far more than we remember what is GOOD in our lives, or what great things have come our way.  It may feel like it’s the end of the world when our season of challenges come, but it will eventually come to be something we can handle.  We wake up every day, and each day that goes by becomes a little bit easier.

I am going into a new season myself.  I don’t know exactly what it has to hold for me but I am moving forward with confidence that God will reveal what is ahead of me as I step forward… trusting.  Give me light for the step I’m on!  I am hoping it won’t be like the last couple of months, but if it is, then I am prepared to walk it out.  Not complaining, but with expectation of what I will learn through it.  This is a transforming time for me, I believe.  I like those times and welcome the changes that it may bring for me.  My personality is such that when things get hard, I look all the more for something to counteract that challenge in my life.  It’s why I make goals every year in January.  It keeps my focus on good things, and always gives me a grateful heart for what I DO have in my life..

One of my goals has been to improve my photography, not necessarily just taking better IMG_2301photos, although that is part of it, but more to see with different eyes.  Catch that unusual idea, that special lighting, or a unique perspective.  It challenges me, but in a good way.  I am not out to compete with other photographers, or those who enjoy taking pictures.  My goal is doing something I love, and conveying a message to a person who is looking at my photo.  I love creating something that conveys a message to the person looking at it.  I have felt that God usually has a message for me in each photo I take, which always keeps my life perspective on the right focus.  I love that!  That is how the Holy Spirit works in us.  Helping us learn, convicting us, and helping us see that God is there in every step.  

IMG_2286So with that being said, I invite you to watch for my group “My Story 365” on Facebook, and I will share maybe once a week if I can here on the blog, to highlight some of the photos I take.  If you would like to learn more about how to take better pictures yourself, I’m happy to help in that area as best I can.  I don’t pretend to the a great photographer, but I can sure tell you how to improve your basics!  I love seeing others take up their cameras to capture those wonderful life moments!

This blog is evolving and I’m excited to see where it might go.  Join me in the group if you like, watch for the posts here, and also share a photo you may have taken and be a part of My Story.

Until next time…

~JoAnn