Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Finding the Beauty


Some of you know I took a break from blogging a little while back to figure out why I was writing here. There were questions in my mind about whether or not this was the best time in life for me to write a public blog. It turned out to be a really refreshing, eye-opening time. I realized that some of my doubts came from a place of feeling unworthy to write because my life seems untidy. I would love to chronicle the days of someone who lives a gorgeously organized and inspiring life AND just happens to be a master of the DSLR, but the truth is that I live in a humble house and I'm scared of the manual settings on my camera. And there you have it. Do I want to have a lovely home? Yes. Do I want to be a photographer extraordinaire? Yes, once I get past my irrational fear of technical details.

I decided that being in the midst of a messy-looking journey isn't a good enough reason to keep me from writing. So what if it's true that no one who saw pictures of my house or my bedrooms or my daily outfits or my hair would want to pin them? There is beauty in every season of life, even if you have to search for it long and hard. Sometimes I don't see the beauty until time has passed and I'm able to look back objectively without the worries and distractions of day-to-day life. When I do look back, I see how amazing and precious life is.

One sockless foot.
I don't want to be so focused on my end goals that I miss the sweetness of the present. Gosh, knowing Chris and I we might never settle down and live a normal American life. We might decide to have 8 more kids and move to Madagascar to spend our days fraternizing with lemurs. (But probably not, parents, so don't worry.) The only option I have is to be content in my current circumstances, whatever they might be, and to be thankful for today's rich blessings.

One of the biggest reasons I have to write now is that I want to capture the tenderness of these years with my little men. If I don't mark the moments that move me when they happen, there's a chance that six months later they'll be forgotten and replaced with new moments, and on and on. I don't want that to happen. I want the boys to be able to read accounts of their childhood when they're all grown and they won't let me lick their faces anymore. And if they've forgotten how treasured and especially brilliant they are, I want them to remember through my words.

Little did they know a fuzzy red monster was secretly watching them.
Pre-nap tiredness.
Life is too short to be a perfectionist. So this is my story right now. Life is me sitting on a couch we found by the side of the road, writing on my laptop while the guitar lays on the floor beside me waiting to be picked up and strummed. Life is the fact that my kitchen is probably uglier than 99% of the kitchens of the people reading this, but I'm so thankful that I have a functioning kitchen. Life is sharing a bedroom with my husband and two little boys, waking up every morning to the sounds of their voices and laying in bed bleary-eyed while they step on me and try to rouse me. Life is ever evolving, ever interesting. I can't claim to understand it always, but I don't need to be able to make constant sense of it  to know that there's a wonderful story in there that wants to be told as it unfolds.

19 comments:

  1. As somebody whose life is messy, untidy, and not pretty most of the time, this spoke to the very depths of my heart. :) Thank you for being real and honest and helping me to remember that we're not to judge our day-to-day against somebody else's highlight reel. :) I love your heart, sister!

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    1. Thanks, Katy! I'm so glad. Our lives won't always be this crazy, eh? Some day we will look back and miss our insane toddlers. Some day.

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  2. Your boys have the sweetest faces.

    The best way to learn how to take pictures in manual mode is to ... take pictures in manual mode. I took 1000s of pictures before I was comfortable adjusting settings. Go for it!

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    1. :) Ok. I really want to. I feel so close to conquering this....

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  3. This was so so inspiring Hannah! I wholeheartedly agree, yet I struggle with precisely the same thing. I so desperately want to offer something worthy through my blog but too often feel it's not pin-worthy enough or spiritual enough or eloquent enough or funny enough, etc. I too am a hobbyist photographer and often decide not to do a post if I deem my photos to be just "ehh". That is just silly and I know it. I want the vision of my blog to be focused on glorifying God and not on myself. It's so easy to lose sight of that. Thanks for this insightful post today! ~Bri~

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    1. Thanks, Bri!!! I was just thinking the other day how gorgeous your little collage of pictures was from 2012 (I think? I was post surfing so I guess they could have been from a previous year.) You have a lovely, artistic style. I say, find your strengths and capitalize on them. Nobody wants you to be someone else, just be the best you that you can be!! I think you're doing a good job of it.

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  4. I feel exactly the same. EXCEPT, I would pin every single outfit you wear...seriously!!! I am slightly jealous of the fact that you never ever look frumpy! AND, I think you are an amazing photographer. Earlier this week I was looking at the pictures you took of Jos and was really thankful that you had taken those! :)

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  5. Oh, Amy. Thanks for your sweetness. But you have to think about how often you really see me... now it averages to twice a year, and before we moved it probably averaged to once every two weeks. The fact that I managed to pull myself together once every two weeks isn't really that impressive, lol.

    I'm sooo glad I got to take pictures of your darling little redhead. I only wish I could take some more.. and include the littlest Ater. Hope you're enjoying motherhood the second time around! You were made for it.

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  6. All you sweet girls make me wanna cry. And Hannah, you have such a beautiful way with words. You really do weave your heart into all those whitty things you say. And your darling boys are being shaped by your raw love. Will you please consider spending lots more time with me when I'm a wife and mom? I'm well on my way... I love you so.

    ~l'me

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    1. Thanks, Weezie. You make me feel truly special! I really really wanna spend time with you and be mommies together. I think it will happen, and when it does it will be a wonderful dream come true!

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  7. P.S. And I agree with Amy about your lovely sense of fashion. You pretty much shopped at the same places as me and yet would come out with such lovely lively outfits. You have become one of my fashion role-models, for sure.

    And Amy... you just don't know how beautiful you are. You're like a painting. If only you had someone to muse over you and paint you as you are, you'd see what I'm talking about. You're are elegant and absolutely beautiful and I hope you get knocked over with that revelation again and again this year.

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  8. umm.. we are twins. it's actually starting to freak me out (in the cool way of freaking out)! it's so good for me to read this and hear from you and just get to know you. my husband and i were just talking this morning about wondering what others thinks when they see our very modest way of living. for us, it's by choice but they all probably think we are nuts. i just want to hold on to the fact that what we share on our blogs is such a small part of our lives. i want to write about the things that make me giddy and happy not always the things that make life hard (though it's good to process that stuff too)!!! i think your amazing! and if i could tell you of all the times i've talked about how ugly our kitchen is we would be here for weeks!! i'll spare you.

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    1. I love it!!! Thanks, Elizabeth. It's nice to know we're on the same page. Some day we should have an ugly kitchen party together, whee!!!

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  9. this was a great post! your house does look lovely in these pictures. amazing how the work you did made such a difference. you're cool.

    ps. that furry red monster cameo was really funny.

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    1. You're cool!!! You inspire me with your simple little words to me.

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  10. i think 8 babies and Madagascar would be an awesome idea! haha! Love your writings Schmo. And i love you!

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    1. Only if you promise to come visit your nephews and nieces every fortnight. :) I love you!

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  11. "life is too short to be a perfectionist" YES! i need to tell myself this on a daily basis :). thanks for sharing your story because it IS important and worthy of writing. hugs, new friend!

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  12. Thanks for letting me link up, Andi! :) Hugs to you too!

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