At The Beach

Making Time

I’ve heard it said that people make time for the things they love. Or maybe it’s that we should make time…

For what’s important. Things like family and friends and chasing after dreams or sitting down to finish that book that was started weeks ago.

Other important things always seem to make their way up front first, demanding the time, things like laundry and dishes and bills and answering e-mails. For some it’s hard to set these things down for a minute and go watch a sunset or run outside after a rain and look for the rainbow. But I love moments like these. These refresh me and give me the energy and creativity for the all the other important things.

Sometimes I have to gather up my family and pull them along with me on late sunny afternoons to enjoy this place we live in.

We pause long enough to get sandy and be tumbled along in salty waves. We look for shells and seaglass and read books. And we let the stress of the long weeks at school and work get carried away by the tide.

And we’re happy for making the time together.

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
  a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Photography, Time for Art

Creating With Light and Memories

Preperation

 

Cyanotypes – Printing With the Sun 

Lazy summer days. These are the days I long for. Summer days hold the most beautiful treasures. Summer is slow and hot. Sometimes it brings the adventure of long-awaited vacation, sometimes endless days of boredom. And somewhere in between something magic happens. An unexpected new interest pops up.

Summer memories linger and stick together and ask to be seen and thought of in a different way. Those moments of lazy boredom mixed with adventure become inspiration for new creations.

Three summers ago I picked up a sun print kit when my family and I were camping along the shores of Assateague Island State Park  –a long and beautiful barrier island off of Maryland and Virginia, with wild horses! You may know her famous sister island from Marguerite Henry’s children’s book Misty of Chincoteague.

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Since that trip three summers ago, I’ve wanted to experiment with the sun print . The alternative photography process is called a cyanotype. Paper is treated with an iron solution which is light-sensitive. Here you can place an object directly on the paper and expose it to light, creating a photogram or essentially a negative image. You can also use  large format negatives to create a positive image.

For my first experiments I opted to order Cyanotype Paper from B&H Photo Video  and create my own photograms.

 

I grew up in the days of film and I miss creating this way. Photography in high school and college was a full hands-on experience in creating art. There was a slowness to the process which necessitated a lot of thought; selecting–and knowing–which film to use, loading the film into the camera, being limited to 24 or 36 frames, and thinking about each shot as a single image.

Once the shots were taken, a delicate and particular process began to even be able to see what you had selectively captured.

As I type this I can’t help but think of the time spent for a single image and how much I enjoyed that process.

The process of photography itself felt like a meditation in creation.

Now when I head out with my camera–whether it’s with my always-with-me and most accessible iPhone 7plus, where I share my photos on Instagram, or my Canon–I am no longer limited by the number of photographs I take. The way I interact with each image has a vastly different feel. I no longer spend this meditative time with a group of images, unless I am purposing to use them for a specific project.

A few weeks ago I found a local artist who was offering a workshop making cyanotypes. My summer start making sun prints had left its mark. I couldn’t wait to sign up and learn and create.

The process of creating cyanotypes brought back those memories and feelings of just starting out in photography.

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We mixed chemicals and waited.

I looked at each object I wanted to make an image of, I considered the paper I had and cut it to the size I wanted for each image, I brushed on the chemicals in a darkroom and waited for my paper to dry. I then composed my image in the darkroom before bringing my paper out into the sunlight.

 

I waited for the sun to expose the image and then brought the paper back into the workshop to wash and stop the developing.

 

This process was slow and unhurried. We met from 12-5. Those five hours flew by. I could have stayed in that space for hours more.

Now I can’t help but dream up ways to take over and convert a small portion of our own  house into a mini darkroom and get lost in the creative process of making more cyanotype prints.

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What is it that you love to create? The thing you could spend hours doing and it feels like no time has gone by?

 

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An Unfinished Story, At The Beach

Thus Far, But No Farther

Who enclosed the sea with doors
When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
When I made a cloud its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?

Job 38:8-11

This passage came to mind as the kids and I explored the beach as hurricane Sandy passed by along the open sea. I couldn’t help but be in awe of the mighty power of the waves and the boundary that was breached.

Sometimes God lifts the boundaries.

One of my favorite speakers is Ravi Zacharias. I listen to his podcasts when I fold the laundry. One afternoon I listened to him tell the story about how his daughter’s eye was injured when she was just a little girl. He told how the surgeon marveled at where that injury stopped. If the cut had gone just a little farther the outcome would have been much worse.

Ravi Zacharias spoke those words from Job in the powerful way that he does, “Thus far you shall come, but no farther!”

Those words brought stinging tears to my eyes. I thought of my brother and his injury when he was just a little kid. I wanted to ask right there, “Why God, was his injury farther?”

An eye that wasn’t severely damaged and a brain that was-

Was my brother’s brain injury too far? Or did God say, “Thus far and no farther!” when my brother was hit by a car?

The surgeons didn’t marvel to my parents. They only told them David wouldn’t make it. But David did make it! I know that even with a severe brain injury his life is a miracle and a gift from God.

Still sometimes I want to ask for more.

I don’t know all the places this story goes or how this story ends. There has been a time when I didn’t want to know where God was taking my brother’s story. It didn’t seem an answer to that would be good enough.

God is gracious though and He is patient and answers me gently when I question.

I wish I could read ahead and skip to the ending and tell you all about it. I can’t yet.

God is still busy writing this one.

I only know that if we are created for God’s glory that He will be glorified. If all is for God’s glory then so is a brain injury.

Time is not a healer

It is only a revealer

of how God heals the pain

~Ravi Zacharias

from his message The Ultimate Answer: Jesus Christ (click to listen)

His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.”

But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”   -Job2:9,10

Does pain and suffering cause you to question your faith in God or does the pain and suffering make your faith stronger?

I’m still in the process of counting my gifts. A Joy Dare. A dare to count one thousand gifts. I haven’t been good at keeping it here, but I take my journal with me everyday and of course my camera. Where would I be without it? Yep, my camera is quicker than my pen at capturing all my gifts of thanks.

~This time with God along the shore taking in all His power is one of those one thousand gifts.

~I’m thankful for the book of Job

~For showing us God through suffering

~For Job reminding us that we can not only accept good and not bad

~For God answering Job and reminding us of His mighty power

read Ann’s words today, her beautiful reminder of the power of thanks and I know that this is what God is trying to show me gently through all these years of prayers for my brother

What you think you can’t handle — might actually be God handing you a gift.

God asks us to give thanks in everything — because this is the way you live through anything. ~Ann Voskamp

 

Join the community in counting your gifts too!

At The Beach, Baptism

Baptized

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. -Jeremiah 29:11,12

This is my prayer for my son. I pray he will always remember to call upon the Lord and pray. Because God is in all the details and plans for our lives. Even when we don’t see or understand.

My husband and I made the decision to dedicate our son to the Lord when he was just a baby. I think as parents it’s something we have to remember daily. God loves our children more than we ever could imagine. We must continually trust His plan for their lives.

Today my son made his own decision. He asked to be water baptized. It’s something he said, “came to him and wanted to do.” I know God is working in his young life. I don’t know the plans God has for my son, but I know He does. I am grateful and excited to be a part of it!

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That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. -Romans 6:3,4 (the Message)

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At The Beach

A Day At the Beach With a Ballerina

 

If I had a ship,

I’d sail my ship,

I’d sail my ship

Through Eastern seas;

Down to a beach where the slow waves thunder –

The green curls over and the white falls under –

 

(From The Island by A.A. Milne)

 

She sings her own songs and dances away.

Six is quite wonderful.

A.A. Milne must have known and my little girl knows too. We read poems together from When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. She sleeps with the book and carries it to school in her backpack. But today we sailed our ship to the beach, me with my camera and her with her tutu.