( * As I have been praying and asking God to help me focus on His message for my article this week, He has been impressing upon my heart the importance of this topic. I am not sure who God intends to reach with this blog post, but there will be someone reading this and you will know that God Himself is speaking to you through these words. I want you to know that I am sharing this from my heart, as it is something that I have also had to follow God’s leading in and had to be willing to step out of my personal comfort zone in too. May these words be a blessing and encouragement to you. * )
If you only had a few minutes to leave your home in the case of an emergency evacuation, what would be the top three things you would be sure to grab and take with you? What are the things that you know would be irreplaceable if your entire home was blown away or consumed by fire? Your pets and loved ones are already safe – you don’t need to worry about them – so, what’s left? I don’t know about you, but there are a few things I know that I would want to bring with me: my wedding DVD, my grandmother’s ring and pendant watch, and as many photos/photo albums as I could carry out with me.
When emergency personnel come to your home to put out a fire, you will sometimes see those firefighters take the time to save as many photos as they safely can from that burning home. I have seen it firsthand. After a tornado comes and wipes out an entire neighborhood, when picking through the piles of rubble, people rejoice in community when they find an intact picture frame of a cherished photo and image of their loved ones. They hold the picture close to their heart and cry tears of joy for recovering that treasured slip of paper.
Maybe it’s because I am a photographer and a very sentimental person, but I really cherish my family memories that have been captured in photos. When my computer crashed last year, I wasn’t at all concerned about the status of any other files on that hard drive BUT the picture files; there are eight years of memories and family moments saved on there.
So many other things can be replaced,
but our presence captured for all time in a photograph isn’t one of them.
So, how does this have anything to do with being a wife? Well, I want to share from my heart that I used to avoid cameras and getting pictures taken. I was so ashamed of my looks, my weight, my “lack of” whatever that I took all of the pictures at family gatherings so that I could be BEHIND the camera instead of in the picture. I wasn’t the pretty one, so nobody would miss me if I didn’t participate in being in the photo, right?
(Can anyone else relate? Hmmm.)
Meanwhile, during this time of “hiding” and avoiding pictures, I started my photography ministry, taking pictures of others, encouraging women to be themselves and embrace their lives here and now. I knew the fact that you don’t wait to make a memory when you are skinny and fit into your pretty clothes; you buy some pretty clothes now and dance the dance to the music that is playing for you, today.
Tomorrow may be too late.
I am so humbled to say that God has done a work in my heart and let me see that in choosing to avoid getting photographed I wasn’t allowing my husband, children, and loved ones to have pictures of me. I was being – can I say it? – selfish in many ways by trying to protect my heart and play safe. I wasn’t seeing myself through the eyes of love of my husband, my children, and even my God.
We are created to be His Special Masterpiece, even if we weigh 100+ pounds more than our doctors would like. Even if we have more grey hair than colored. Even if we have never taken a Botox injection. Yes, even if we are wearing our grubbies and haven’t showered today. (Just keeping it real, y’all!)
I have been blessed to be a minister to women – - and this is a common thing I hear from them. So many women avoid family gatherings, intimate times with their husbands, and getting pictures taken…. In so many ways, it’s as if they think they don’t deserve these precious gifts from God because they aren’t worthy or special – - – and that breaks my heart.
Sisters – it’s time to step out of your comfort zones and start to walk in faith that you are blessed and that you are free to enjoy those blessings! Today, purpose in your heart to truly and completely embrace this season of your life and - dare I say it – to even enjoy it. We can’t put our lives on hold until things are perfect and we look good enough!
In putting this post into practice, I encourage you to take a new, recent picture with your husband, even if it’s on your cell phone! I have started doing this once a week – - -and I treasure those pictures, even the ones where I look tired and so not perfect – - -because I treasure the memory of that moment, and I always will.
I pray that through this post today, you have been encouraged in some small way to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to getting pictures taken with your husband and family. Take baby steps if necessary, but do take a step and get in the frame! I know that you will be blessed in taking this step – all to the Glory of God!
New Living Translation (NLT)
10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Here’s what’s coming later this week here on Unwrapping His Grace…
Thursday– Real life with me, a recently widowed homeschooling mama continues…I’ll even have pictures of my room ready for you so get your thinking cap ready!
Friday- We announce the winner of Recycled Memories Giveaway!!
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To God be the GLORY!
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