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Sunrise Reminder

I have a photo of a sunrise on my bookshelf. Just a basic 4×6 image in a frame. But this sunrise means more to me than other time I’ve seen the sun come up.

About 16 years ago I surrounded myself with people and things I couldn’t resist. Honestly, I didn’t even try to resist. I went in knowing exactly what would happen.

So in the early morning hours…I got in my car and headed home overflowing with guilt and shame.

Here I was saved, baptized, Holy Spirit filled…and in one night I threw it all away and did everything I swore I would NEVER do again.

I was ashamed, and felt like a worthless human, and then I drove around a corner to this sunrise…

I pulled to the side of the road, and sobbed. And sobbed. Full scale ugly cry.

With tears still streaming, I took this photo with a disposable camera to remember this moment.

Why?

In the instant I saw this sunrise, I heard God’s voice tell me He loved me .

In that moment I understood grace for the first time.

In that moment something changed in my mindset about mistakes, sin, and bad behavior. God was against sin and bad behavior because it hurt ME. It affected ME. It broke ME. He hated what sin did to His daughter.

He did not hate me because I screwed up/sinned/made mistakes.

He had not stopped loving me because I “backslid.”

Me He loved.

Sin He hated.

This was a life changer for me.

Point to ponder while you wander…

This sunrise image reminds me that His grace covers my mistakes, as I grow into who He made me to be.

AND

His grace empowers me to do things I could never do alone.

Today I can do things with Jesus I could never do by myself. Even if I blow it and screw up today, I am loved.

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Motivational Monday…Ansel Adams

“I hope that my work will encourage self expression in others & stimulate the search for beauty & creative excitement in the great world around us.” Ansel Adams

Who was Ansel Adams? Ansel Adams was a photographer mainly known for B&W landscapes, and for his love of Yosemite National Park. 

I love how his B&W shots force you to see past the colors to see the textures and patterns. He inspires me to walk in the woods with my camera. Not to copy him. But to look for the views and details that speak to me.

Here are a few shots of Ansel’s. I do not own the copyright to these photos. All are copyright of Ansel Adams. If you’d like to have prints of them, please purchase them. Don’t steal art! ❤

Moonrise over Hernandez…I love this one necause he said it was one of those right place right time photos. Not every one may love this image…but it totally speaks to me.

Rose and Driftwood…I love all the different lined in this one. The texture in the rose

Clearing Winter Storm at Yosemite…

Point to ponder while you wander…”Well done, Ansel.  You have inspired me.”  -Jill @Jillbeingstill.com 

God of Restoration

Today I am thankful that God is a God of restoration.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 ESV

Normally I’d dissect this verse and display all the treasure found in those 4 amazical things our God of all Grace will do for us. But today I’m focusing my gratitude on restoration. Today, for me, restoration looks like this…

image

For those of you who don’t know the story, here is my tale of woe: About 4 years ago, my Canon Rebel jumped out of my camera bag, rolled down the stairs, and crashed spectacularly at the bottom. I took it to get it repaired, and the guy told me that the good news is the lens is undamaged. The bad news is that mechanism inside the camera that actually captures the image is broken. It would be cheaper to buy a new camera. Yeah. Worst news ever for a photographer.

To say that I was devastated doesn’t begin to cover it. I had just paid that camera off, and a photographer without a camera is like a person missing an appendage. Sound tragic? It should! It was a tragedy to me! I grieved that loss deeply.

Don’t tell me it’s just a camera. Just a possession, a thing…I know that. But many of my dreams include photography, so no camera…no dreams coming true.

Fast forward 4 years to my women’s group having a discussion about dreams. I have a lot of dreams, BIG ONES. But I felt like I needed to talk about photography, the dream I felt had been shelved. I had forgotten how much photography meant to me, until I started telling them about my passion project with God. The one that stirs my heart and moves me to tears. The one that requires a whole lot of money and other people to pull off. The one that I don’t tell people about. Then this beautiful, amazing, generous friend looks at me and says, “I have a camera for you.”

And I cried.

I am still moved by the gravity and meaning of those 6 words. The extravagant seed she sowed into my dreams. It’s at times like this that I’m also grateful God is a rewarder. I cannot wait to see what she reaps for sowing into my dreams.

Something to ponder while you wander…God is the one who restores, but He usually chooses to work through people. Are you willing to let Him work through you? Are you willing to believe in and encourage others. Are you open to investing in others with your time, talent, and finances. You may be the one to change their life.

God believes people are worth investing in, shouldn’t we?