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February 2016

Conversations with our Kids

One thing that has often resonated with me is that the conversations I have with my kids are harder than I ever imagined.  They’re also deeper, and more exciting, and funnier, and braver, and more honest, than I knew was possible.

 

When I share them with friends, they often seem as amazed as I am, so I know they must be somewhat rare, and I am quite sure they are precious.

 

Recently, we had a conversation with our younger kids about a special friend coming to visit.  The friend is a girl, and she’s very special to one of our sons.  I’ll leave it at that for now.  😉  But I was struck as we were talking that our kids assumed they’d be investing in relationship with this young woman, because she is valuable to one of their siblings.  Even Blue looks forward to talking with her, because that’s how he will get to know her.

 

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As we prepare for the visit, we’re all talking about what it will look like, what we will eat and do, where we will go together… but more than anything, we are looking forward to the conversations.  And I know they will be meaningful, because we’ve built a history of living with good conversation.

 

I’m going to share more of those conversations going forward (with the blessing of my kids), because I want to dare you, I think, to be brave, too.  As life gets harder, I’m convinced that conversation with our kids is foundational.  We have to say, and be willing to hear, hard things.  Because it’s in those conversations that the gospel becomes real, that life takes on meaning, and that we develop who we are, as individuals, and as a family.

 

 

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For Love or Money

I wondered, when I said goodbye to my photography as full-time-business in this time, if I would die to it for good, or if it would regain more of my attention when my heart settled into a new world, a new season.

 

I’ve wondered, over a year-plus-a-few, if I should rush out and find work that pays, and although I’ve done small projects, I haven’t felt a release to look for full-time work.  There is a sweetness in this season of comparative-quiet.  There’s a renewed sense of urgency in my mothering, as one my one “my” birds fly the nest.  There’s a refreshing deepening of relationship with our youngest ones, as they both grow and observe, stretching into it, the more advanced conversations with their older siblings.

 

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But God so graciously gives me glimpses of the joy that grew into (dare I call it?) art, that grew into business, that grew into full-time-income, that needed to rest for a season.  This week I glimpsed it anew.  For a few moments, my girl and her heart-friend-come-to-visit from Hawaii gave me a few moments to play in the studio.  We photographed their exploration with makeup and styling, but I knew in a moment that sweetness of sweetnesses, we photographed their hearts.  And so I glimpsed again the beauty that is the Design of each of us; the innate beauty that only seeps to the outside from its original source, the Papa who made us all.  And oh, how that beauty is magnified when its bearer knows Him who gave it.

 

I remember again that what I love, what I get to capture, is creation.  Whether it is food or nature, a pretty part of a home or highest of all, a person (the only made-in-His-image), what I love is capturing creation, because in so doing, I capture a glimmer of the Creator who made it all.

 

(For more photos from this session, visit my photography site, Legacy Seven Studios.)

 

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The Limit | Praying for the Elections {Five Minute Friday}

In talking with some mom-friends today, we of course circled round to politics and the current state of our nation, and to praying for the elections.  As I sat and listened to the varying thoughts of a beautiful and diverse group of ladies, I was moved by how little control we have over the “big picture.”  We have the voting right, of course, and we have the ability (and the responsibility!) to wield influence both as individuals and united in groups, in a positive way in our nation.  But ultimately, time passes on and if we study history, we realize that the choices of those who came before us, and the choices we ourselves have made leading up today, have far-reaching consequences that we often simply can’t control.

 

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord;
he turns it wherever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
but the Lord weighs the heart.
To do righteousness and justice
is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:1-3, ESV)

 

I’ll be honest, sometimes as a mom especially, I can go into panic-mode when I think about the almost unavoidable consequences that loom before us as a nation; ones that may cause harm to my children.

The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord.

 

No matter what may be “chosen” as the path our leaders take, there is a limit to the effect they can have.  In fact, my Papa’s love letter tells me time and again that He has His glory and the best interest of His people in mind.  He will work out His purposes, and He does not fail.  Ever.

 

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There is, apparently a limit to what can happen here in the Shadowlands, and I don’t need to strive, or worry, or panic.  I am called to do justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly with God.  But I needn’t be in fear that anything can happen to me that is allowed, because in this world, there are limits, and the One holds them can ultimately be trusted.

 

{On Fridays I try to keep up with a wonderful group of writers who challenge themselves to free-write for five minutes on a shared topic.  Click to Kate’s page Five Minute Friday to see what others are saying!}

 

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