Friday, June 26, 2015

Invitation to Delight

St. Louis 1

Lee and I just got back from a little getaway to St. Louis.
Our teenagers have been at camp,
and we took advantage of some wonderful time together.
All along the way there was beauty of every imaginable kind.
There was God-made beauty.
And man-made beauty.
And the kind of beauty that can only be made
when people work hand in hand
with the creative God who made them in his own image.

St. Louis 3

There were animals, perfectly designed for their unique ways of life.



There we were, right in the middle of them, laughing.
Just the way I can only imagine that God laughed when he created them
(and probably when he created us!).
And when he watched us laughing, interacting with his other creatures.

St. Louis 7

St. Louis 4

There was lots of art.
But I was really taken by this Little Dancer of Degas'.
I imagined God watching Degas create, and thinking back to when he created Degas.
The same God who created me.
I thought, Isn't she breathtaking?
And I realized God said the same thing when he created each and every one of us.

St. Louis 2

There was the city itself, with all of her history and architecture.
Each building with stories of the people who made bold moves,
or big investments.
Not all of which turned out well.
For this world is tended by all kinds of people, meant for beautiful stories,
but not everyone pursues the sort of story God dreamt of when he made us.


St. Louis 5

We saw all kinds of architecture,
all built to connect the occupants to the land and surroundings.


We explored a small town, known for its stories of mischievous boys
who were unlikely messengers of the truth that everyone is created with value
that is way more than skin deep.



We saw all kinds of plants...

St. Louis 6


and homes of people who have made a life of tending plants,
plants that provide our very sustenance.

People everywhere, harnessing and using God's resources
to live and create beauty.

Recently, our Photo 52 theme was "Photographer's muse: What inspires you?"
This is it.
It's all this variety of life, sourced by a creative God
who invites us to enjoy and cultivate it right along with him.
It's awe inspiring.  HE's awe inspiring.
And the thing is--this is nothing out of the ordinary.
Beautiful life is happening right around us, all the time, if we simply open our eyes.
Every moment of every day, God is issuing us the invitation
to delight with him, to delight IN him, and in his creation.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower that the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Her Children Call Her Blessed

"Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her."
Proverbs 31:28


This kid-wrangling grandma


got a great big surprise this year on her birthday!

More surprises

She learned just how many people wanted to make SURE it was a happy one.
How many?
I didn't count, but a LOT!
All she really wanted for her day was to go to Jazzercise with her girls in the morning.


But her family had a whole big party up their sleeves.





Her son and daughter-in-law hosted the big shindig,
and made all this beautiful food.



People kept coming to honor the birthday lady.
Lots of family, friends, and even former colleagues.



It was obvious that she has spent a lifetime loving.
These people were so eager to return the love.


Grandchild Wrangling

Her kids knew she would love a photo with all the grandkids.
She really needs to be an octopus in order to facilitate that.


There was just so much cuteness going on.


And a tiny bit of bossing.




Happy birthday Judi!
Wishing you many, many more years of celebrations
surrounded by the ones you love.

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God."
1 John 4:7

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Creativity Project: Breakfast


Breakfast.  Such a novel idea, really.


I prefer mine at about 10:30.  
But some protein first thing in the morning would be ideal.




If I were a breakfast eater, 


I would eat hard boiled eggs.


And sometimes I do.




But most often?  My breakfast is coffee.  With creamer.
With yogurt mid-morning, and possibly some berries.
Incidentally…I accidentally bought the regular yogurt 
instead of the light and fit or whatever it is that has fewer calories.
Oh. my. word.  I'm not sure I can go back.

This deliciously happy breakfast (and full-calorie yogurt commercial)
was brought to you by The Creativity Project.
I am really looking forward to what breakfast looks like
in the other photographers' worlds.
(Hoping for some donuts to enjoy vicariously.)
Charisma is next in our circle.  
She had guests for breakfast,
and I hope the next time she will invite me.
Go see how beautiful it is!

What is your breakfast personality?
Help me come up with some good options
by posting a photo (even instagram!) on The Creativity Project Facebook Page!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Zoo Day with Little Boys


I was lucky enough to get to spend a morning at one of my favorite places 


with this sweet family!


My typical zoo settings include a fast shutter speed for animals on the move.


Perfect for keeping up with these energetic little boys!


I loved how laid back these parents were--lots of laughter and very little fuss.


That's a perfect recipe for fun!


This little guy was enthralled by the bears.



This one was enthralled by anything he could get his hands on.  Of course!


This was a really busy Saturday morning at the zoo, 
but somehow we managed to stay about twenty steps ahead of the crowd.


No waiting for us on the carousel, but by the time we got done the line was long!




The goat barn is always a hit with the brave kids.


This one is brave!


Dad is a chef.  When we were coming out of the cow barn he said,
"I know the signs SAY jersey and guernsey (etc.),
but all I see is sirloin, chuck, tenderloin, ribs…"


Dad is also a softy.



We were hoping to get a few pictures of just the two boys together.


We all know how that goes with busy boys, right?


That'll work.


These are really more like it.



We stopped to see the real live piglets and Mom said,
"Oh look, how adorable!"
You can guess what Dad said, right?
"Yeah, if by adorable you mean delicious!"


Their playful banter was priceless.



D family, I had a wonderful morning with you.
Your boys are precious, and you two are a great team,
obviously loving this life of yours together!
I know you will look back one day and treasure these memories
of a time when life really felt like a zoo--in a good way!