Rob Macklin’s Photography

I do not like to wait. I want things to happen at once. 

Which is unrealistic to say the least, unless we’re talking about making instant noodle soup.  I am in the learning stage for many things. For all these things, the levels are different. In some things, I am at the intermediate level, in others, the beginner stages.

Which means I have to practice, practice and wait to improve while I practice and learn. Then I see the level where others are at that I want to be at and impatience gets the best of me. I have no idea if I will ever get there, but I can taste the wanting…….

And so I keep practicing and learning with what I have. I believe that if I am faithful with the little, eventually I can be trusted with more. As with anything in life, if we want to improve or get better at something, there is a cost. It takes work, sacrifice and time.

Here is the link to a photographer whose work I admire and this is what he says:

                Rob Macklin      

“I shoot landscapes. I take my camera out for sunrises and sunsets. I hike places. I sleep in my car…..a lot. I like coffee. “

He is also on Flickr. His work is amazing.

The only similarity we have is that we both like coffee. Perhaps, perhaps, I might get somewhere close to where he is right now. Or perhaps, I might develop my own creativity. Who knows? While I don’t like waiting, I know I have to. While I want to excel right off the bat, I know the reality is that I have to practice, practice and practice.

Eventually, I will improve.

Advertisements

Filthy Rags Investment

These last few days, I oscillated between persevering and giving up. I don’t know if you do it too, but I do. Most times, I am stable. Got my sights set on the goal and heading towards it. 

But these last days, there have been new things in the mix; I have been walking a tightrope and extending my neck out in a new venture that just screams out for me to be criticised;  there is no change in the women I teach and counsel. No great testimonies to write home about, no significant waves to rock any boat.  Yet, I am pouring in; falling on my face and crying out to God. And He is saying, “Just keep going,”.

I do, but I wonder if it is worth it, is there any point to it, what is my continuing to do what I do going to change anything because I see nothing being changed. 

I read verses from Ezekiel 33:30-33 and Matthew 13 and I go, “Gah! This is exactly it. Hard hearts. Deaf ears. Is there a point to keep going?” I keep adding to my new venture as well, wondering if I am wasting my time. Giving up seems logical. Humanly. Why keep going if there are no gains, no profit?

But, I am not just a logical being. I am a spiritual being. My mind is being transformed to be like Christ’s. If we look at ourselves from His point of view, we are liabilities. There is no profit in us. Filthy rags, we are. Why invest more in a liability? Yet, He doesn’t see us as liabilities. He sees us as potentials. He sees us the way we were meant to be. Before we got covered and entangled in the muck and mire of sin. So, he invests in us. He pours His all into us, literally His blood, sweat and tears. His whole life lived out on this earth was for us. His filthy rags investment. He walked with 12, teaching them even when they could not understand; trusting that they will understand later.

And here I am. Moaning about the little I do. Just because I see nothing being changed. But He said to keep going, didn’t He? He will bring the changes in time. He will rock the boat and all He wants me to do is do what I am doing, and keep going. Humanly, I want to give up because it does not make sense to continue.

But, when I see what He invested in me when I myself was hard hearted and stiff necked, how He kept pursuing me when I rejected Him over and over again, I see that the only logical thing to do is to keep persevering.

Giving up is not an option because He never considered it an option when He dealt with me.

And I am reminded of the verse, “we walk by faith and not by sight.” It is not about what I see happening or not. It is about what I believe God will do in the face of sheer impossibility.

Ordinary (A Five Minute Friday Post)

5-minute-friday-1

A clay jar sits at the bottom of the stairs, dusty and unused. It is cracked in certain areas and the lustre on its finish has long been rubbed away. Forgotten, it waits, hoping that one day, it will be used again for what it was created to be used for. 

The master walks by one day, and His eye catches sight of the unused jar. He picks it up, runs His hands over the base of it, looks at it and sees its potential. A servant comes running at the gesture of His hand and takes it to the workshop at the back of the property. Hours turn to days before the jar emerges one day, restored and beautiful. Ready to be used once again.

No longer ordinary but extraordinary.

Savouring Life

In the midst of everything  we do, there is a time when we need to stop for simple luxuries. More often than not, they are simple things, events or occasions that put a smile on our faces, a spring in our steps and enough smile power to keep us going forward.

My simple pleasures are:

  • Hawaii 5-0 the new version. The theme song at the opening gets me every time and puts this huge smile on my face.
  • Chilled coffee with milk without which I become an ogre.
  • The crisp coolness of a clear fall night accompanied by the smell of burning wood fires and thick piles of fallen leaves in beautiful shades of reds and oranges. (Unavailable for this season of my life, sigh…)
  • Looking up into a star studded inky black sky and marveling.
  • Being greeted by both my dogs even if I know that one of them just wants to use my legs or the bottom of my jeans as her paper napkin to wipe clean her beard.
  •  Floating in the ocean, feeling absolutely carefree while consciously trying to eject the theme music from Jaws constantly playing in my head.
  • Hanging out with friends and sharing great conversations.
  • Sharing all of the above with my husband.

So, what makes you smile?

Being Thankful

I kept thinking about being grateful and remembering how Jesus healed the 10 lepers and only one returned to thank Him. 

Only one. Wow.

Am I always grateful or do I complain? Do I see what I am surrounded with or do I look at what is not there and gripe about it?

It is a scary thought to think of what we actually think about every minute of our waking moments. What are we thinking and if we had a printout of everything we thought about throughout the day, would we be pleased? Embarassed? Shocked? Saddened?

It made me wonder about how Jesus would feel about my thoughts. And I want to make a conscious choice to be thankful. Because He has given me more than I could possibly imagine and He keeps giving.

So, today, I am grateful because I had time to do the many things I needed to do. I got to visit people I needed to and wanted to see. I am grateful because I can trust God.

Go ahead, tell me what you’re thankful about.

Unfurl Ourselves

Sometimes, I jump in headfirst. I say inappropriate things. I get all brave and say something because I believe it even if no one else does, and then sit around chewing my lip the rest of the day wondering if I should have said it. Yesterday and today have been those types of days.

I believe that I have the talents to do certain things. God given talents. Like write. Paint. And yes, even take photographs. One rejection does not disqualify me forever. I have other talents and gifts that have been proven,  but in these 3 areas, I struggle to keep my head above water to believe. I wondered about it, wondered why it was so hard for me to even say that I am a writer. Or that I am an artist.

In our world, someone only gets a title such as those above only when they can earn money doing those things. Receiving money for writing, painting or photography denotes that someone thinks that we can do those things well enough to warrant being paid for doing it. And this is where I get all insecure.

I love doing those things but I haven’t received payment from any of them. Does that disqualify me then, from professing that I am a writer? Am I wrong to say that? Is that inappropriate to say? It feels much like a little child who has been admonished for cheerfully saying something that he believed to be true but yet, is disputed by an adult, because it does not fit in the criteria of what is deemed true in the adult world. There are so many women and men who are closet writers, painters, photographers, etc. They love doing what they feel that they have a talent to do, yet they will not consider that they can call themselves as such.

Must everything we do be dictated by a dollar amount? Are we also defining ourselves based on whether we are saleable or not? In whose eyes?

I will keep writing, I will keep painting and I will keep taking photographs. Because I have a voice. I have thoughts, ideas and creativity that were given to me to be shared. To encourage others so that they too will not be afraid to reach for their potential, to be brave to do what they know they can do, despite what others tell them.

What is it that you know you can do, but is afraid to do because you think you might not be good enough?

Share a little with me in the comments box with a link to your blog so that I might be able to share your story with others here.  We need to unfurl ourselves.

unfurled

unfurled (Photo credit: Darwin Bell)

Write ( A Five Minute Friday Post)

Yesterday I read a blog about dreams. Dreams that fell to the wayside because of how life played out. Yesterday, I also read another blog about little girls living in a country that does not necessarily allow them to live out their dreams. It made me think of my own dreams and sometimes, in the journey of living and thinking out many things, dreams get shafted aside.

I used to dream. I live one of my dreams now but I still have other dreams that had been put away, forgotten, collecting layers upon layers of dust in the attic of my mind.

I write now but it was a dream that had been put away for a very long time.  Writing used to define me, it used to be my outlet to the imaginary and more interesting world. It allowed me expression when I could not speak the words. Perhaps, I am not a published author, yet; but in my heart, I know that I am a writer. Not because others tell me that I am.

But because that is who I am.