Glimpses of Grace: Simply Reading Project - week 1

I just recently joined in a little reading club of sorts, with a few other photographers.  The mission is to read through the book Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home  and create or capture a photo that resonates with you based on the chosen quote of the week.  

Week 1:

"The opportunity for growth in holiness lies right in front of your face—sitting in the tepid dishwasher, festering in the laundry basket, at your crowded dinner table, and under the car seat where your toddler stashed her leftover granola bar for later. Sure, fuzzy mold might be growing there, but in these moments it is also where growth in holiness happens.'"  - Gloria Furman, Chapter 1, Glimpses of Grace

 

At the end of chapter one, I'd moved through a serious of emotions and reactions, to the words I was reading, as it began to penetrate my heart and peel back the layers, as God drew me in and reminded me of the truth that in Christ alone, is my strength and joy and peace.  I am looking forward to what God has for me hidden in these pages, uncomfortable as it may be.  I'd love for you to join me in reading through this wonderful book and also check back next week for a glimpse of the grace and growth that's unfolding in my home.  

 

Illusion

Being content in the life God has called me to is something I struggle with, some seasons more so than others.  Many times the distractions around me of what others are doing or creating keeps me from seeing the even more beautiful work God is doing in me and through me.  The last couple of years I have really struggled to embrace where I am...I long to be doing more, traveling more, creating more, yet the reality is I am home, tending to children and messes, or running taxi service for my children, and there has been little time to live the life I envision in my head.  The life of happy, sunny, beach vacations, or sunset walks, through the dreamy cotton field, twirling across a daisy field, and cantering into the sunset.  A life of a happy family full smiles and giggles, saturated in the golden light.   Aiding my discontent is the constant influx of social media and seeing everyone else living the life I am envisioning.  As summer quickly plunged forward, I decided I was done watching everyone else live the life I wanted, the happy family on the sunny beach, and while a vacation wasn't possible, an evening picnic at the lake I could manage.  Still being relatively new to this area, I spent some time online looking for nearby parks, with a lake and beach and finally settled on one about an hour away.  I convinced my husband that this would be a great and relaxing adventure.  I managed to convince 5 of the children to join us for my adventure, and we packed up the sandwiches and swimsuits and set out for our hour long drive and the adventure and beauty I longed for...

I could end this little tale here, but then you would be left with an illusion because despite the lovely images I captured that evening, the adventure was anything but that which I was envisioning.  The reality included a baby screaming for an hour long drive, a grouchy husband because of the screaming baby, disappointed children because the only beach we found was that tiny patch of sand pictured above, nasty water, wind, and some dried out sandwiches.  I got my adventure but it wasn't relaxing or joyful.  I captured some beautiful images that don't capture the reality of the adventure, but they do remind me of God's goodness and grace and His ability to bring beauty from ashes.  I appreciate that in His gentle and loving way, that He reminded me that we can find beauty right where we are, in the daily life that He has called us to, that is the great adventure He has set us in.  Within the walls of my home surrounded by the family He has given me is my adventure and a beauty that radiates, if only I take the time to see it.  This beauty is no illusion, it is filled with spilt milk and cheerios, bickering children, piles of laundry, short fuses, too little time, frozen pizza, lost shoes, holey socks, dirty diapers and on it goes, but in it all is the beauty of a life lived, surrounded by the chaos of the family I love, and I'll take reality over the envisioned, illusions that play out in my head. 

Mission of Motherhood Part 1

There is no denying that the current season I am in is HARD, and in fact motherhood itself is no task for the weak and weary, but requires a profound amount of determination.  I am blessed beyond measure, but sometimes find myself struggling to breathe because of the busyness of the daily and all that clambers for my immediate attention.  In this busyness of eractic running and mindless checking off of the boxes, as I move to the next thing, I fail to embrace life as it unfolds, in the here and now, and then I pause to breathe and take in my surroundings and I see the man child all grown up, and I wonder how did it happen?  Did I blink?  A clumsy toddler pulls on my leg, as he calls "mama" and I look down at his dirty face and the trail of crumbs he has left in his wake and I realize that in another blink he will be the man child all grown up and I determine to not let it all get whisked away in the whirlwind of life.  I grab my camera off the shelf and begin to capture all the life swirling around me, attempting to freeze this time in a bottle and it is then that the Mission of Motherhood Project is birthed in me...to find the beauty in the daily mundane, to pause and savor this season amidst the chaos and to reflect on God's goodness in it all.