Friday, February 22, 2013

Behind the scenes.

I talk about keeping it real around here. Sometimes I have gotten 'in trouble' or scolded for doing that too outright. Even my own husband has said to me a time or two, "You didn't need to blog that!" In the past couple of years, I have had so many times words or pictures or both were on my heart. But I just couldn't bring myself to share them- for so many different reasons. Sometimes the overwhelming stuff in life is just that. Overwhelming. My outlet in life since I was a little kid was to write. To get it out. To put it down on paper. To put words to the ache or happiness or searching that was in my soul. I sometimes wish that blogs had been around when I was 12. And 13. And 14 too. Up til now. I wrote so much and sometimes I come across little poems or journals that I kept all these years and sometimes my words hit me in new ways or show me a glimpse of who I was way back then. It's amazing to me how powerful words can be.
So much so that I don't even know how to type them out in the way I feel I need to just to 'say it right'. Or to say it 'wrong' but at least it's out and I can process it and move through those feelings. This is one of those posts. Where something has been on my heart, but it's hard for me to put it into words. In part that hppens because this blog has touched a lot of people, and in so doing, there have been some who have responded in hurtful or even unintentional ways, which have made me more guarded in what I do share. And also in how I share it. Even though this is my personal space to write or share whatever. I know that words and pictures impact people. And stir things in others. Sometimes we're on such different 'planes' or simply can't begin to out ourselves in someone else's shoes, and so the message comes across all wrong. I get that. I get it to the degree that it affects what I share and how I share it.
But this thing- this longing in me to share whatever it is that presses on my heart for unknown reasons to me- is so great that it urges me to share. Even if I get misunderstood. Even if it makes no sense to anyone else but me, and even if it means nothing else to anyone. To think that maybe it DOES mean something, or maybe it can touch someone else, or shed some light, connect my heart to another, that is reason enough to share.
Maybe I didn't even need to write all that out. I sometimes feel the need to explain why I blog. I guess that is my issue and I should work on that. =) Today I just want to share some behind-the-scenes pictures that took on a whole new look to me in light of some of the trials I have been feeling and going through in life right now. Going through some tough daily routines in a place where I'd rather not be right now has been a big struggle. My heart has been so heavy, my days have felt long and pointless so many days in a row. Still I believe that there is a point to it all. I believe I am lucky to have some amazing people in my life- close up and far away. I am lucky to know and love and believe in a God who doesn't waste a single struggle in our lives when we are willing to look to Him to make something beautiful out of it all. I am seeking to see the beauty in the process. Even when it is overwhelming, all-consuming, not-so-easy, and harder than it seems it should be at times.
Our family went to a local beach on Lake Michigan at the beginning of December. We wanted to capture some family pictures and let me tell you, it is no small feat to do such a thing with just the number of people we have to get in one spot. We knew the boys would be okay, because Chip had taken them to walk along the beach a couple of times prior to this picture-taking event. We knew we were going to be lucky to get even one picture together, and my expectations were very low as to even how that photo might turn out. I simply wanted us all in one frame together. I wasn't remotely concerned about smiles or eyes shut or any of that. Just get us together and hopefully, some of us would even have a bit of fun out on the beach at the same time. That was my goal.
To pull it off though, as small as that goal was, took a whole lot of effort. Just getting everyone dressed and into the van and then up on the sand dune for the attempted photo was a major effort. The wind was blowing fierce that day, even though the temperature {for Decemeber!} was a balmy 50 degrees. The boys wanted to run one direction and climb and have fun. I wanted that for them too. We didn't tell them, "it's time to take pictures!" but instead slowly gathered us all to one spot and had our friend keep snapping frames the whole time. It's those behind-the-scenes pictures to me that tell a more true story. The airbrushed, over-edited, Photoshopped pictures are the ones we see in the media all the time. But the truth, more often than not, is that in real life the 'pictures' are rarely posed or neat the way we think they always are. I think one of my struggles has been falling into that comparison trap where what we see around us or as we look at the lives of others we think things are neater or simpler or easier or 10 lbs lighter than they are. the fact is life is alot more messy than that.
Marriage is hard!
Kids are hard!
Gas prices go up...salaries don't rise at the same rate!
Sometimes prayers get prayed and the answers don't come!
Winds blow.
Rains fall.
Burdens get heavier.
Smiles get hard to capture all in one frame.
Getting the 'perfect picture' takes a lot of energy, time, bribing with tiny boxes of raisins, carrying others up sandy dunes, and even then you're not guaranteed a good shot. Much less a great or perfect shot!
Therein lies my struggle. That battle or tension that no matter how good the intentions or efforts or cause, the result might fall far short.
But I am slowly learning and keep repeating to myself that no matter what the results, it is always worth the effort to try. And not to simply just get though it, but to actually put my best foot forward. That is easier said than done! It's never what it appears to be, but even as I look back and as I look ahead, filled with questions and wondering if it even matters, I know that there is coming a day when the purpose and point of all the tough scenes we've lived in life will be so clear. And not only clear, but they will be redeemed too. That is enough to keep me going. No matter how hard the winds blow. No matter how heavy the load gets. I want to be able to see the picture as it was meant to be seen- from glory's vantage point. By His grace, that day is coming and oh what a day that will be.


jo@blog-diggidy said...

I am so ready...not that I want to go on the next train or anything, but when the trumpet sounds, I'm ready to go!! This world sin sick world has nothing to offer me anymore. My son and so many others that I love are in heaven and my other loved ones are saved and on their way to heaven...I'm good to go. Sure, I'd like to see my daughter graduate, get married, maybe be a grandma. But if I don't get to see that, I don't think I'll mind. I'll be in heaven enjoying eternity...don't think I'll mind at all!! :) Blessings to you and yours!! Love the pics, you all look like you enjoyed yourselves!!

pakosta said...

you inspire me every day. to live an authentic well lived life.
I love your heart!

Barb said...

Thank you....for sharing your thoughts in these words....they are so meaningful and inspire others. That is a gift.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for your refreshing. I can really understand many of the things that you express so beautifully. The more I live, the more I can't wait to die...not to sound morbid or anything, but to me it means Heaven and what better way to be spending my days. Life is such a struggle sometimes. I know that I am blessed in many ways, but I am not made for this world and boy does that become clearer to me as I grow older. Someone once told me that anything that makes you long for Heaven is a blessing because it makes you focus on the right thing.

Don't get me wrong...I do not want to leave this world any sooner than I'm supposed to go because I know what it feels like when my son died and I don't like the thought of anyone having to go through grief, but I am tired. Tired of sin and of struggles and trials and sadness.

Blessings to you and your beautiful family. Thanks for sharing

hugs <3

Anonymous said...

great post and GREAT family picture :)

Anonymous said...

I never leave comments on the few blogs I follow, but I had to just stop and say how I admire your strength, honesty and FAITH. I am so sorry for the hardships you have endured, but I wanted to say that you are a wonderful person with a wonderful heart and I so admire the way you handle things. You give me hope that my life has good moments if I look beyond the bad stuff. Thank you for sharing with us. -jennifer