Thursday, March 11, 2010

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The shutter rapidly flashes open and closed, each time holding still a moment, a memory for me and my children to look back upon when they're older. It has been a blessed week outdoors--just me, my children, two cats, and the camera.

After a hard, cold, ugly brown winter like this one, when springtime comes, God's creation just begs to be photographed. The changes we've been waiting for these past months seem to come overnight.

From last week's burgundy hint of leaves to come on the tips of wiry tree branches...
To this week's full blossoming of almond branches being worked by the bees...
Even from up under the seemingly-barren earth, life springs forth. Small onion flowers and violets unbend their heads and turn tiny flower faces to the warming sun...before my children search them out to pick with wild abandon, attempt to eat when I'm not watching, and stuff in several plastic cup vases on my back porch and across the kitchen cabinet.
And as if their bodies also know spring is here, each child has had a sudden growth spurt. Chubby baby faces now reveal little boy and little girl expressions. Shirts leave not-so-trendy belly-gaps, onesies no longer snap at the bottom, and pant legs look like we're expecting another flood.
All creation seems to be be telling of God's glory and new life: "the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands" (Isaiah 55:12).

But in the midst of my picture taking, I've realized something is missing, or should I say someone.


On the computer screen, I scroll through dozens of photos from the past few years; yet, it's rare to find a picture of myself. It's not that I delete them because they show an unflattering view of my around-the-farm bad hair days or less-than-perfect post-twin body.

It's simply that I'm the one always behind the lens--framing, zooming, and clicking to hopefully capture the smiles, the laughter, the beauty.

The nature of being a stay at home mom is that I am privileged enough to be a part of the life shown in each picture...but still always as the invisible party.

Perhaps this is a concern for each mother in some way: will my children remember those events from their childhood when there are no pictures to jog their memories?

Will they remember walking hand-in-hand with me around the yard in search of God's newest wonder? Listening to me lovingly sing the same sleepy time song to begin each nap? Jockeying for the best lap position as I sat on the floor to read another book?

Even with my image absent, will they still see in the photos just how much I loved them?


  1. I'm sure they will remember, but...please have your husband take some pictures! Someday when you have gone on to heaven, they will want to look through the photo album and scrapbooks for pictures of their sweet mom!

  2. Jennifer,

    Beautiful pictures! I have the same problem...always behind the camera and never in front.

    They will remember and know how much you love them. Pictures evoke emotion and feeling...and emotions and feelings are really things you can't snap a picture of. Pictures stir us from within and allow our minds to remember things we may have long forgotten and filed away.

    And remember if for some reason all those photos you snapped were lost...its the pictures that you have placed in their minds and hearts that matter the most!

    But you should still try to steal a shot or two of your

  3. Lovely pictures!

    Like you, I want to take many pictures of my friends, loved ones, and the beautiful surroundings and places I visit.

    But do also follow my example...I ask someone to also take the picture that includes me in it, just so I have something in "black and white" to remind me of the journeys I've been through.


  4. I enjoyed your pictures and your message today, as always. God is building beauty all around you, and you capture it well .... I dropped by to share a verse with you that keeps rolling over in my head these last few days, and then God just continues to bring you to mind and to prayer. The verse:

    "For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything." Hebrews 3:4

    I enjoy watching all the "building" going on in your life, Jennifer. You're a beautiful person. Thanks for sharing YOU with us.