I don’t know when I fell in love with photography. As a girl, I begged for a camera. And for my tenth Christmas, my parents gave me their old Kodak 110 camera. I made everyone shrug into their winter coats and stand outside on bare, brown ground so I could take family photographs. My camera made occasional appearances after that.
As I grew into my teens, I got busy with activities and clubs and sports. I took pictures now and then.
College, my twenties—they passed in a blur of discovering who I was as a student, then a teacher, then a wife. I always loved taking pictures, but I wasn’t purposeful in preserving those memories.
It’s been in the past number of years that I’ve discovered beauty all around me. My eyes have begun to look for the beauty. Whenever we go somewhere, our camera is hanging by my side. Or my phone is at the ready to capture the images that make my soul sigh deep.
I’ve discovered that when the world around me is going a little bit crazy—whether it’s hubby’s busy work schedule, the kids’ activities or just an emotionally draining day—if I take some time to look for the beauty God’s placed in the world around me . . .
. . . if I capture it on film (so to speak), it reinvigorates my spirit.
Peace comes from being intentional about looking for the beauty around me. And capturing a beautiful image? It just makes my heart happy.
I’m learning we all need to find those things that allow us to slow down and be intentional about seeing God’s grace, His presence, His essence around us. He’s filled our world with beauty, and with opportunities to just stop and see Him.
In those seasons when I’m too busy? I don’t take those few moments to stop and watch the sun shining through an orange-tinted leaf, or reflecting off fresh fallen snow on branches. I don’t take time to just breathe in the nearness of God’s presence.
When I don’t take a few moments each day to look for the beauty around me, my spirit ends up rollicking with turmoil. I get stressed and knotted up inside.
It’s good—healthy, even—to take time to find the beauty in my world. Because when I do this, God’s peace unknots the feelings and the stress winding me up tight inside.
Taking those moments to look for glimpses of beauty and capturing them with a camera give me time away from the stressful situations. They renew my perspective, and they strengthen me to go back into the difficult situations.
When I take a walk, camera in hand . . . .
When I take time away from the stress-factors . . .
And I look for God’s fingerprints in my world?
That’s when I can begin to breathe and settle into the nearness of His presence, even when life gets a little crazy.
What about you? What shows you God’s nearness in your days? What helps restore peace during the stressful seasons in your life?