My life has been consumed this week by two things: 1) finishing my Beauty and the Beast retelling, and 2) my new camera. I’ve really missed having a digital camera, so I am extremely excited to have this one. I’ve played with its picture and video capabilities quite a bit since it arrived on Tuesday. As for my retelling, Through Time is finished, and I officially submitted it yesterday morning, prompting a pit to settle in my stomach immediately. I’ll probably worry about it a for a week, but then I should be able to forget about it. Winners will be announced on March 1, 2015. So, I have a while to wait.
In honor of all the fun I’ve had with my camera in the last few days, I decided to share some of my favorites from the pictures I’ve taken with it, along with some life principles I’ve discovered while looking through them.
Read the directions.
In some ways, life is meant to be lived with abandon, open-hearted and free. But that doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be lived stupidly. Reading the directions, whether they be for school, for a process at work, or for a new camera, gives you understanding that enables you to use it correctly. And God has given us an instruction for life: His Word. These directions will bring light to your path. (Psalm 119:105)
Look for sunshine.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the negatives of life. There are days that it feels impossible to stand. But God never leaves you alone. He spreads jewels of hope all around us; we just have to open our eyes and look beyond the clouds to the sunshine. This has definitely been an exercise for me in the past few weeks: finding things each day to be thankful for. And it’s remarkable how many things I discover when I just look with open eyes.
Enjoy God’s Creation.
I make no secret of the fact that winter is not my favorite season. I’m not fond of cold. But winter is still part of God’s Creation and it is beautiful. I’m always better for having let go of my dislikes and stepping out into the wonderful world God has made. Don’t let your aversion to some aspect of the outdoors keep you from discovering the many joys and lessons it holds.
Find the unique.
One of my favorite parts of photography is finding a unique way to take a picture, a special way of telling a story through the photograph. And sometimes, in searching for that unique angle, I discover another side to something ordinary that I never knew about. This is the ceiling fan in my room, and, to me, it looks like it’s going to take off and fly. Find your own unique experiences. They may just change your whole outlook on life.
Hear the music.
For me, this is literal. I play piano. I’m bad at practicing but always enjoy coming back to it. I also listen to music and sing almost constantly. My head is full of melody and lyrics. And there is something magical about music. But this doesn’t have to be literal. There’s music in a child’s laugh or a bird’s call or a fire’s crackle. Music is emotion and wonder and beauty; never get too busy to hear it.
Embrace the Stillness.
Because I listen to music so much, it’s sometimes difficult for me to quiet my mind. But it’s amazing how rejuvenating stillness is to your soul. God tells us to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) It’s in the quiet moments that we often get our deepest glimpses of God. A little over a week ago, Braden Russell posted about The Importance of Being Still on his blog, The Storymonger. It inspired me to embrace stillness, and I highly encourage you to check it out!
Ultimately, these things all come down to one point: Enjoy life. Don’t let it slip through your fingers because of carelessness or apathy or misplaced priorities. Life isn’t meant to pass by; it’s meant to be LIVED.
How do you live life to the fullest? What kind of pictures do you like to take/look at? Let me know in the comments!