Hobbies

Baby Steps

In my last post, I talked about wanting to share my nature photography with others – and I am happy to be able to say that I finally set up an instagram for my photos and their accompanying anecdotes. 

It’s a small thing, but it’s also a big thing. I am not generally such a transparent person, and I have decided to be more transparent in sharing my photos and what they mean to me. I am also proud of myself for just  doing it, instead of only thinking about doing it and analyzing it to death. 

So, if you follow me here but also have an instagram – check me out @thiswholeearth! 

I look forward to crossing many of my other goals off my list this year, as well! 

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Hobbies

A year of execution 


At the risk of seeming like someone who only does things because they are trendy, I want to share the fact that I really enjoy photography. I always have, in fact. My mom bought me a Polaroid camera when I was younger and I used to love taking pictures that printed out immediately (though the film was expensive so I tried not to waste shots). My mom has always believed that I would one day become a photo journalist, and who knows? Maybe I still could. 

Now that everyone seems to be into photography, it’s hard for me to be openly interested in it without feeling like I’m just buying into the hype. One things that sets me apart from most people I know, though, is that I am less interested in photographing people and more interested in photographing still life, landscapes, or scenes of nature. 

There is something so peacefully profound, to me, about photographs in which an inanimate object or a part of nature is at the forefront. 

One of my goals for 2017 is to start taking myself more seriously in terms of setting out to execute the various ideas that I have been holding onto. I have a wonderful imagination and am quite ambitious, but find it hard to get ideas from being a lightbulb over my head and into reality. 

I’d love to start a small photography business in which I can share my love of nature and still life with whoever crosses my path. This year, I won’t just daydream about it, I am going to do it. 

Christianity, Infertility

Haiku Sunday : Wings Unexhausted.

“Soaring with the storm.

Wings unexhausted. Softly.

The beauty of flight.”

I know. It’s not my best haiku ever.

I was walking with my husband to the movie theater last weekend, and we happened to see a little girl and her mother feeding a flock of birds. These birds were everywhere and in very large numbers, so I just had to get a picture of them. In the theater, as we were waiting for the movie to begin, I started uploading some of my bird pictures to Instagram and wanted to think of a haiku to go with one of them. I thought for a few minutes about what the bird pictures meant to me – aside from being random pictures that I took while walking to the movies – and as I scrolled through the pictures I’d taken, I was reminded of a sermon that I’d heard as a child.

The sermon, as I remember it,  was based on Isaiah 40:31. This verse says that “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and will not faint.” The minister who gave the sermon was emphasizing the point that when eagles fly through harsh winds or storms, they do not tire themselves out by flapping their wings incessantly. Instead, they soar. They get up into the air, spread their wings out, and allow the wind to take them the rest of the way. The minister was trying to encourage us to have that kind of trust in God. Instead of exhausting ourselves by constantly trying to make our lives fit into our own agendas, we should learn to “spread out our wings” (relinquish our need to control and manipulate life), and allow the “wind” (God) to take us on the journey. In doing this, we find more beauty and meaning in our lives – because we allow the one who gave us our lives to also direct it.

One of the things that I am learning, through infertility, is how to “wait upon the Lord” and “soar with the storm.” I am quite an indifferent person, and have never really wanted anything very badly in my life. I’m easy-going and easy to please, and I have often mistaken my indifference for patience, peace, or acceptance. In the times where I have been denied a want or desirable outcome, I was able to get over it fairly quickly (within minutes!). The truth is, I’ve never wanted anything badly enough to really become frustrated when it was denied me. Furthermore, the few things that I have wanted in my life have been within my ability to obtain.

Infertility is the first time that I am facing a situation where I can’t have something that I really want, and I can’t control when – or even if – I’ll get it.

And I’ll be honest, I hate infertility. With a passion. But I can also see the beauty in what it is teaching me. I can see how God is using it to make me a better person – more compassionate, more transparent, more trusting, and with more respect for the gift and the Giver of life. The longer I struggle with infertility, the better I am getting at simply spreading my wings and allowing the wind to take me where it will. I am getting better at waiting on the Lord. And for that, I am grateful.

No matter what your struggle is, use it as an opportunity to learn how to have true patience. Use it as an opportunity to become more compassionate and sensitive to the silent struggles of others. Use it to find beauty and meaning in the life lessons that your struggle will inevitably bring – the life lessons that will equip you for potentially harder times in the future. Most of all, use it to learn how to wait upon the Lord. He knows what He is doing.

Soar with the storm.

General, Language

Life in Haiku

I’m starting something new on my instagram page, where I will take a picture and write a Haiku to go with it each day. I’ve mentioned here before how much I love Haiku, and I really would like to get better at it.

I’ll choose some of my daily haikus to elaborate on here, with more information as to why I wrote it and what it means to me. Eventually, it would be nice to create a photography/haiku book and publish it. I don’t know how marketable that would be, but I am always coming up with haikus and I think it would be nice to have a place to store them.

Today I posted this picture and the accompanying haiku.

image
I have already /taken the road less traveled. /Nothing left to fear.

I have already / taken the road less traveled./ Nothing left to fear.

I wrote this haiku last year on my way to work. I have been in an odd place, spiritually, for quite a few years and although I often seek relief from this spiritual “condition,” I also have begun to realize what a blessing it has been. Through the spiritual  experiences of my life, I have been able to see and learn so much more about God and about humanity than I ever would have been able to otherwise. This isn’t to say that I have all the answers or have reached some kind of enlightenment, far from it. However, I have a peace about my spiritual state. A peace that eradicates the fear and anxiety that I should have, considering the spiritual turmoil I have been through.

What I love about haiku is it’s ability to be simple and yet simultaneously poignant. It’s really been on my heart to study haiku and learn about how I can become better at it. I want to make that a goal for 2015.