Sometimes, (or often) for me, we take what we have for granted until we see someone else admiring it. Nothings brings our blessedness into focus quite like seeing it through someone else’s eyes.
When I am feeling particularly overwhelmed, or tired, I will take a look at the photos on my phone or my Instagram account and get a reminder of how beautiful my life is. Being a very visual person, I take pictures of everything. Everything I see that is beautiful, interesting or of value. These photos serve as a fantastic reminder of all that is beautiful and valuable in my own life.
Those snapshots of daily life represent the love and beauty I’ve attempted to impart to my children. Like little treasures I’ve tried to leave lying around for them to find and appreciate. Whether or not they ever do, at least I know I have made an effort to bring something I value to them. What else can a mother do? Aside from loving them, protecting them, training and teaching. I was bent on showing them how creative God is and how amazing an abundant and productive life can be; lived close to nature and books was something I felt I needed to share with them. I wanted them to be deep and wide souls, not shallow little cultural graves of self- interest and small-mindedness with too much entertainment. So, they were raised on a ranch surrounded by what their mother deemed important. Right or wrong, I tried to capture what I loved and hand it to my babies. Mostly because I was a poor example in many other ways, coming into marriage and motherhood with few practical tools.
Recently I went ahead and printed out about 100 of these photos to make into a photo book to keep handy for myself, the children and our grand daughter. Nothing but good could possibly come from having a tangible and constant reminder of the lovely things in our daily life at my fingertips.
Life gets hard sometimes. It’s in the dark times, the valleys, that we need a reminder of what is good and true and beautiful. Being purposeful to jog my own memory is one way I combat destructive feelings. Sometimes if I’m pretty deep in a pit, I don’t have the presence of mind to start sorting through photos until it has gotten pretty dark inside.
Having a photo book that I can leave out on the coffee table or my desk as a reminder, an object right there I can pick up in my hands, seems like a holy weapon to cast truth and light on the darkness. Much like God’s word. I need that foremost, obviously.
I believe and have been told gratitude is the first step to happiness. Looking over at the non-staged, real life, every day images captured by the camera on my cell phone have the medicinal effect of curing my ingratitude.
Also I like the fact that I’m preserving memories. I have, like you I’m sure, people I love struggling with cancer. Taking pictures is a way to keep something of these people close.
We all comfort and pep-talk ourselves in different ways. This is one of my methods, aside from daily reading the Bible and prayer. What are your ways?