Valley of Vision

More of a prayer than I poem I think.

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.


Think On These Things

You Will Not Abandon My Soul

A Miktam of David.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

~Psalm 16


The Quiet

It is a wet gray day here. The kind of day where you probably want to just stay inside.

I have to go to the grocery store but after that my plan is to hunker down and enjoy this first day back to our routine and normal schedule.

Christmas decorations have been taken down and pine needles swept up. I’ve always enjoyed this feeling of emptiness, this sense of quiet, that comes when the colorful holiday dress has been packed away.

IMG_0012I feel like I can think a little more clearly, a little more cleanly, if that makes any sense at all.

The winding road that travels through the anticipation of Advent and the hills of joyous celebration of His arrival lead us to the summit of Epiphany when He is revealed to the whole world. The space where we stand is vast and stretches free and wide open.

This same road will eventually descend into the valley of Lent and into the darkness of Good Friday before bursting into the brightness of the Resurrection.

The rearranging caused by Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany is a way to orient ourselves to the reality of our need for Christ.

Our need for this baby is great.

Our need for Him to grown in favor with God and man is immeasurable.

Those seemingly empty spaces need to be flooded with the understanding of our need for a Savior. For One who would bear our sin and take it to the cross and defeat a foe we can’t hope to rule over on our own.

Inhale the quiet.

Breathe deeply and rejoice that Love has come.

On A Cold Winter Morning Part II

I’ve made no secret that autumn is my favorite season. 
And despite my love of the beach, winter is probably my next favorite. Maybe because my winters are Florida winters and those winters are much different from winters elsewhere.
But it does get cold here and I love the nip of the frost and the brisk feeling of my air in my lungs. 
The light is different this time of year too. It interacts with the world differently and that of course means it does with the camera as well. Or at least I notice that it does 🙂 

Winter is the time for comfort,
for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.
~Edith Sitwell

On A Cold Winter Morning

It’s not unusual after shooting a really large even such as a wedding for me to put my camera down for a few days.

My eyes, physically as well as creatively, need to rest. Clearly, I’d never make it as a full time wedding photog!

Maybe because this wedding came on the heels of the holidays and the kids were just going back to school and Rob was out of town but I just unplugged last week. I left the computer off most days and barely even looked at my phone.

It was quite nice but I found I was having a really hard time motivating myself to do anything much less pick up the camera.

Until yesterday when the world turned cold and was all but encased in ice. Twenty-nine degrees and I get inspired to take pictures…crazy, but there you have it.

I’ll share some more tomorrow but here’s a few from the front yard where the sprinklers still came on and water drops froze and sparkled in the sun and ice crunched under foot.

Poor flowers have been confused over whether or not it’s time to bloom. I think Lady Winter cleared things up!
Frozen tears…
An icy bird bath photographs well but is less than hospitable, don’t you agree?

Beautiful diamond sparkle grass.

And my ornamental peacock looks to have shed a tear.

Hydrangea, how beautiful even in cold sleep.

Jewel crusted monkey grass lined the walkway. No wonder I was inspired to pull out the camera.

The way a crow 
Shook down on me
 The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued
~ Robert Frost