Monthly Archives: February 2011

today: 27of28. (not) any given sunday (and early spring)

“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.”
-Anne Lamott

This afternoon I ran, wishing I’d had my camera with me when I noticed spring had started coaxing green from the trees and a sprinkling of early bird flowers dotting the park. My feet begged for a few more miles when time constraints pulled me home to laundry and clean up to prepare for the week.

Collin picked me up for a date after that, and because it was a bit early for dinner (though both of our ever-hungry stomachs were rumbling), we headed back to the park for a walk. He indulged my need to take a few photographs, and I’m grateful he is that way: present in the midst of time, rarely rushed and usually up for anything. The annual newness canvasing outdoors started coaxing hope out of my heart. The events of this week on both the international stage and regional theater weighed heavy, and yet here is a world colored beautiful by a God who created it and called it good. Surely he is big enough to redeem it yet. I hope. Yes, I hope.

After our walk, we headed to dinner which included a rooftop patio, music, wine… we skipped out on the Oscars and sat outside in the warmth of an early spring night, very much alive. My heart begs for days like today and nights like tonight. For I hope. Yes, I hope.

today: 26of28. Jono and The King’s Speech

“…don’t I have rights?”

“You have privileges.”

“not the same thing…”
-Dialogue between Bertie and David in The King’s Speech

Jono, my 12-year-old brother emailed a few days ago and asked if we had any chores that needed to be done. He wants to play paintball in a few weeks. He came over to earn the money to buy himself the experience he wanted, and he worked hard all afternoon. I watched The King’s Speech tonight and aside from having viewed my choice for Best Picture tomorrow, I find myself pondering the contrast between rights and privileges. I think a sense of entitlement is sometimes birthed when privileges are perceived as rights. Entitlement displaces humility. The movie worked through some big themes, and I loved it, and you should see it.

My little brother doesn’t expect things to be handed to him; he understands the privilege of playing paintball has a cost attached to it. Today he set out to earn the privilege. It makes me proud and excited to watch Jono grow up choosing to be the kind of kid who sees something he wants and works hard to be able to do it. It doesn’t matter that paintball in the grand scheme of things isn’t that big of a deal. It matters that he asserted himself. It matters that he listened to instructions. It matters that he said thank you at the end of the day. Examining a few moments of life happening often reveals character or lack thereof. Jono is growing character. He demonstrated it today.

These are incomplete thoughts, but I’m tired, so this is all I’ve got for today. The humility theme in the movie was broader and a sermon and a half all by itself, but I’ll save that for the DVD.

At the end of the day, Jono let me take a few photos of him, shown above, and he took this one of me. “I don’t know how to use a camera,” he said. I gave him a few tips and handed over the old 5d…

tonight: 26of28. For Libya, pray(ing)

NPR reminded me things look bleak, in Libya.
Sharp was the repentance drawn from my heart
that I balked at rising gas prices.
“I watched them slaughter our friends with knives,
they cut them down.”
A thick accented oil worker described his horror
as he watched African co-workers fall dead.
These political complexities I do not understand.
The horror of these atrocities, his voice described,
and I only know I’ve been invited, if by proxy to see this
story when
stripped of economics laid bare, the human story
broken, so broken.
Stark without hearts pressing into knees burdened to ground,
“Mercy, God, please mercy.”

today: 24of28. On packing and love.

“Don’t forget to pack your courage for your journey to greatness.”
-David Weinbaum

Before traveling, I put off packing until the last possible minute. I’m not great at it, and the fear that I might forget something juxtaposes with the dread of carrying excess along with me. When we were in the vagabond phase of our life, Carla, my bestie-and-a-half, packed my bags for me more than once, giving instruction to my eyes-glazed-over self. I handed her the things she determined I’d need without question, grateful for her quickness in decision making.

It was a simple way for her to love me, but it felt profound to have someone essentially hold my hand through a task that ought not be so overwhelming. It is to me, and Carla understood. It wasn’t to her, so she took care of it.

My friend Heather did the same thing for me last time I went to Africa. Because of the nature of that trip, the likelihood of forgotten items really overwhelmed me that time around. While I was planning the trip, I mentioned to her that Carla had helped me in the past. I told her of my packing difficulties. She offered to help.

Tonight my boyfriend and I packed boxes in my sister Bridget’s kitchen. She’s moving in April, and her whole house needs to be boxed up. As we sorted linens and stacked Tupperware into boxes I remembered the times Carla and Heather helped me prepare for trips. I thought about how rather than telling me to get over myself in regards to my (silly) packing shortcomings, they offered to help. In doing so, they showed me love. I think in my busyness I often fall short being present like that when someone I love has a need, but man, I want to be that kind of friend.

today: 23of28. my sister is getting married.

everything must change
we will never be the same

-David Crowder

In less than two months, my sister is getting married. She’s the first of us to do so, so it’s a whole new ballgame. Along with the anticipating of the wedding, there’s the planning for the marriage. Bridget will move cross country. She needs a new job. She’ll start a life there.

Today I received the wedding invite, and I thought about how weddings are one of the few covenants left in our culture. I thought about how God gets behind a couple and makes a covenant with them at the same time they make one with each other. I think that’s important to know going into marriage. God thinks Bridget and Brian’s story matters enough to get right in the middle of their story.

I need to rsvp to the wedding and buy a dress and figure out what shoes I can wear. Being on my feet all day kills my desire to wear fun girly shoes, and having been a wedding photographer for a few years now, I don’t even bother with looking for great heels for a big day. All the external trappings must be attended, though.

That said, Bridget and Brian need more than a headcount and nicely dressed crowd in attendance. They’re stepping into something big. For these next less-than-two-months and for the long haul, they need prayers. They need friends and family to come alongside them. Everything will change, yes, and we get to change right along with them, hopefully for the best. That is so very good.

today: 21-22of28. This life, hopefully not passing me by.

Life is full, and I am skilled at spreading myself thin. Creating an image a day has been challenging. And I have failed to post an image on the day I took it a few days.

I watched the dog watching out the window yesterday. She knows when my sister or boyfriend approach, even when the blinds aren’t raised, her uncanny instincts telling her to sit beside the door, anticipating. When strangers knock, whether it’s the UPS man with a photo order or the maintenance guy coming to fix the dishwasher, she tenses and barks, protective.

I wish I knew what was coming next so that I’d know how to respond. At least I think I wish that. In reality, I know I need the faith it takes to trust God to work out all the details of my story. I need faith to believe he’s allowed me this path to walk on here and now. I need faith to know his great love, that I should be called his child. And I am, and that’s enough. You are too, and that’s enough.

P.S. The beginnings of guacamole, yum…

today: 19-20of28. People make life.

“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.”
-Tennessee Williams

Last week flew by, and by Saturday morning, I wanted sleep and quiet. I knew, though, the story of this weekend had a preset of photos to shoot and events to attend. I left at 830 and barely passed go all day Saturday. Sunday looked similar, with a 945 exit, which was a bit more appealing. The busyness of this weekend, though, was largely centered around celebrating people.

Yesterday was my sister Bridget’s second wedding shower, and it was a beautiful tea at the Fort Worth Club. Our friend Megan hosted the shower. Megan exudes hospitality. She gives the best of herself to her friends. Every detail of the shower not only honored Bridget but celebrated the guests as well. Everyone who was there felt special. Though the food was good and the company wonderful, Megan’s planning and consideration took the shower to a level of excellence that amazed me.

Megan has a unique friendship with each of my sisters, and our whole family adores her. Yesterday was a day to treasure, not only for Bridget, but for all of us. I left the shower so thankful for Megan in our life. Her heart is huge for the people that she loves. It’s compelling. Megan adds such beauty to her friendships by being herself. The shower utterly reflected that.

Tonight was Randy’s recital. Randy and I became friends a good 15 years after we met, which is to say we’ve known each other more than 20 years. Randy is finishing up his Master’s in Violin Performance (I hope I’m getting the title right) at the University of Texas in Arlington, and tonight he performed a recital. Watching my friend, who plays with passion and skill, as he created music with his instrument swelled my heart with joy. He worked so hard; it was obvious.

Seeing others come around Randy displayed a wealth of relationships supporting him. The concert hall was filled with friends and family, and after he finished, we stood and clapped. Everyone beamed. Some were moved to tears. We celebrated afterwords, with food and people, laughter and conversation. I hope Randy felt the love that filled the room. His creativity and dedication were displayed tonight. The community that has surrounded him throughout his life were present. I loved that I got to be a part of it.

Besides Bridget’s shower and Randy’s recital, there were photos to shoot and lunch with Debo. Last night a group of us went to Joe T Garcia’s, a Fort Worth cultural establishment (and experience). It was my first time to eat there, and I can only describe it as Stuff White People Like, Fort Worth edition. There was church this morning and lunch with dear friends. Groceries needed to be bought. The dog needed to be walked. Life happened and a lot of it, in the best possible way. I sometimes look around and can’t believe the people in my life are really mine. My heart is full tonight. I’ve said it time and again, but I know God’s kindness best through the people he’s given me.

He is very kind indeed.