Hi, Muddy Feet friends! Thanks for your patience during my loooong blog absence. Our new website is finally more than a skeleton. She still needs some makeup, but the old girl at least can stand on her own now.
Please change your RSS and Google Reader feeds to our NEW and IMPROVED and FABULOUS and WHATEVER OTHER GREAT WORDS YOU CAN THINK OF THAT REQUIRE ALL CAPS blog:
I cannot thank you enough for your support as a reader of my blog and lover of photography. It means the world to me to have you on my side. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I truly hope to see you on the new blog. It wouldn't be the same without you.
This little lady has been giving her mother a hard time. She apparently is a party animal already, staying up late and drinking heavily. Getting it out of her system early, I hope! And with a face this gorgeous, I'm thinking she gets to do whatever she wants anyway...and still gets covered with smooches.
Here we are again. The year has ticked its first minutes, and people are freshly loaded with plans for a newer, better them. Circulars are stuffed with treadmills, organization bins, and financial paraphernalia. Weight Watchers & Jenny Craig ads are running amok as they try to gather all those well-intended resolutions before the willpower runs to empty and the abandoned plans lie dead in the battlefield.
As I mentioned last year, I forego resolutions. Not that I don’t think I need improvement, mind you. I’m forlorn to find an area of Erin that does NOT need prodding, coaching, and general upheaval. But, I find the endless hamster wheel of resolutions to be tiring and defeating. So, I choose to focus instead on one word. No detailed plan. No fail or pass. Just focus.
Last year, my word was “thankful”. I’d found myself bemoaning my current status and wishing for something more far too often, and I knew I had a cornucopia of blessings that I chose to belittle with all my coveting. So, I was thankful. Sometimes. Honestly, I lost my focus a lot. Being outwardly thankful was a lot easier than the inner battle. There’s a lot I want in this big world! But, I found an abundance to love about being grateful to others. Did you know that people are really nice to you when you express appreciation? Yup. My Verbal Gratitude Project was a highlight of my efforts. Every day in November, I contacted at least one person to thank them for their presence and influence in my life. It was hard and incredibly rewarding. I hope the lessons I learned about gratitude last year stick with me.
For all I learned, I felt I still participated in entirely too much wishin’ and hopin’. My “if only” list stuck like toilet paper to my shoe and refused to be flushed. So, for 2012, I chose the word “centered”. I believe it will by my hardest choice thus far. I must choose every day to live for Christ and keep Him completely as my axis. Sounds easy enough, right? I disagree. To say I choose Christ is easy, but to do so in action and thought is a completely different thing. For me, it means each word I utter and move of a limb should be in response to my love and desire for Him. I know that He is the key to absolving my want for “more” in life. So, I make no move without His consultation. I do not allow myself to forget about Him for a moment and trust completely in His direction for my life…without my input. In doing so, I’ll be ignoring my own desires and taming all those wants. Gulp.
Of course, focusing on my one word doesn’t accomplish much on my to-do list, so I still have business and personal goals for the year. My business goals are boring and likely extremely uninteresting to you. Well, my personal goals and one word commitment are probably boring and extremely uninteresting to you as well! What are your goals for these next dozen months? What improvements are you searching for and why? I hope you achieve each and everything you truly need. I’d love to hear how you are choosing to be a better you in 2012!
A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. - Galatians 6: 7-8
I've been very lax about sharing portrait sessions on the blog. I get into fine art and Manna mode and momentarily ignore my precious portrait pookies. This pile of preciousness is Brooks. I was fortunate to photograph Brooks as a newborn, and I fell head over heels for him then. You are about to fall in love. Consider yourself warned.
First, I want to give an extremely large “thank you” to each person who reads this blog and supports Muddy Feet Photography in any way. There are numerous days this labor of love is heavy on the labor and light on the love. And, it is often on those days that someone comes forward to say a Muddy Feet image touched them or a Manna post spoke directly to them. Those messages, I know, are God’s pep squad sent to pick me up and inch me forward in His plan for this business. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you.
I think it was the Dalai Lama who penned a famous quote about man continually planning for a better life and realizing at death that he had not truly lived. I cannot speak for generations past, but this is oh-so very true proverb applies today. We have a daily deluge of technology sucking us into a virtual world. Everywhere I go I see the top of people’s heads over their phone, laptop, or tablet, eyes darting left and right but glazed with the removal from reality. Where we used to only have the home television for an escape from our daily drudge, we now carry the escape with us in our pocket or purse under the disguise of connectivity. I fall victim to it often myself, planning just a quick check of Pinterest or Facebook that quickly becomes an hour (oh, sweet Pinterest, she is a temptress like no other!). We choose to lose ourselves in someone else’s life or a world that only exists online instead of fully living our own life.
Last week during my lunch hour run, I shared the trail with a pair of ladies walking together. I thought it was nice they had a partner to accompany and encourage them. Here are two people truly connecting and enjoying time together. Only, one of the ladies wasn’t really there. She was physically present, legs pumping and health improving, but her heart, head, and attention were elsewhere. She was on the phone. She completely ignored her walking partner for the duration of their exercise. The snippets of spoken word I caught when crossing their path led me to believe it was a social call and not a dire emergency. The phrases “Honey, let me tell you” and “No, she didn’t!” aren’t often found in crucial, life altering conversation. This woman was rude, for sure, but her underwhelming etiquette was not something I could just accept at face value. She poked me. Actually, she handed me a stick to prod my own life. Her withdrawal encouraged me to examine how often I am not truly present with those around me.
I am sorry to say I have caught myself numerous times in the days since, my nose tucked safely in my phone and responding to a child’s question with “Hold on. Mommy’s looking at something.” Ugh. I am THAT mother. You know, the one texting in the grocery store oblivious to her children screaming next to her because one just slammed the other into the grocery cart and then slipped in the ensuing pool of blood. Okay, not really, but same difference.
I will and do have numerous regrets in my life. Too many to count. But, I do not wish to add to them an immense regret of not being present for my family. I believe the present is called such because it is a gift. To be allowed a current status of breathing air and enjoying God’s creation is a gift, so why do we try so hard to avoid it?
Join me today in putting down the phone, logging off the Internet, and pushing the “off” button on your remote. And maybe again tomorrow. Let’s be present. Right here. Right now. Living our best life and loving our best love. And don’t update your status on Facebook to say so.
Here are a few moments I am glad I was present for this summer, with my niece & nephew, Abby & Jack, and my children, Archer & Celie.
Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. – 1 Corinthians 16:6-7
If you have been considering a photography session and have not yet booked, now is the time! If you are looking for Christmas cards or Christmas gifts, your session MUST be held by November 5. I only have a few sessions left!
Sessions are still available for the following dates & locations:
Saturday, October 15 - one mini-session in Starkville
Sunday, October 16 - one afternoon session in Clinton
Saturday, October 22 - one morning session and one afternoon session in Tallahatchie County
Saturday, October 29 - one afternoon session in Clinton
Who wouldn't love to have this under their tree?!