We could totally read the title of this post and call it a day and be done.
Those three little words sum it up, in a nice neat package. But friends, you know me, I hardly ever do nice and neat when it comes to words. Why start now?
I suppose if I get to the real heart of things, it's not so much the photos that matter, but the life that's happening in them. A few years back we got a nice camera, a DSLR. It was right before Anna Ruth was born and not too long after I discovered I loved it not just for it's ability to capture our adorable baby, but to capture life in its entirety. I feel like the world sometimes tries to close in on me, surrounding me with all kinds of negative. Between the news and negative FB statuses and photos of everyone doing at least something better than me, well...it just gets to be enough. "Enough is enough" they say. And "they" are right.
Here's the truth about my life: It is filled with all the real things life has to offer, like
bad moods and good,
weight gain and loss,
sleep and no sleep,
sad times and happy,
community and friendship,
good books and bad,
country life and farming,
chores (and more chores and more chores),
sending happy mail,
lots of discipline,
hugs and kisses,
laughs and giggles and hide and go seek,
pizza and movie nights,
drives on the dirt road,
singing loud to Hillsong,
SO much life, so much good, so much God tucked into every nook and cranny if I only stop to notice.
This is why I photograph our days. I'm teaching the girls a very important lesson about how special and sacred and fun life is by my attitude. Trust me, I have plenty of times I mess up miserably and get angry and lose my cool and patience. But I hope and pray that they always know their Mama loves Jesus, and them, and life. After hearing them say (on their own) "Mama, look at the beautiful sky" or wanting me to run over and see a feather found or a neat bug, I'd say we're doing all-right.
I'd been wanting to make a photo book for about a year and half and just hadn't done it. I read a post on Ashley Ann's blog about a similar topic and it was like the lightbulb went off. I decided to print my favorite photos from the last couple of years as 4x6 prints from Walgreens.
It was completely done in one afternoon and 323 photos later, only cost $32. (way cheaper than the last photo book I bought) We keep the photos in this brown box, on our table normally. The girls have already enjoyed looking through these and chattering away about each one.
This is what it's all about for me.
They are learning to see the face of God and hear the voice of God and think the thoughts of God when they notice the world and it's entirety and the beauty in brokenness, the needs of others, the joy, delight, safety and grace found in Christ. Taking photos, looking through them, and having conversations about the goodness of God is going to be a constant in our house.
Printing photos matters.