Monday, June 19, 2017

FOR YOUR ❤️ ONLY /// photographs and memories


@mamahall 


i'll never forget the time my Dad said to me, with my arms full of film canisters having just returned from a week-long vacation with friends,

"i hope you didn't spend your entire vacation behind the camera."

he was right to say that, and i was convicted. i had a dozen rolls of film indicating that i had indeed spent a lot of time taking pictures on my vacation. i was enjoying the scenery but was also consumed with capturing a collection of perfect photographs. how many moments did i miss because i was framing it up in the camera, reloading film, or adjusting the lens settings?  

that was back when cameras took film, pictures took days to be developed, and to share a picture with someone meant to show them your vinyl bound acid-free sticky plastic paged photo album. sorry, Kodak, but thank God for the invention of digital cameras. 

every single stinking time i think to take a picture, i am convicted by my Dad's words from 1997. yeah, 20 years later. i turn on my camera and pause, and i wonder, am i missing a moment for the sake of a photograph? am i making a memory or forcing a photo? am i living behind the lens or in the moment? i honestly have this conversation with myself a lot.

in the same way i learned to restrain myself from taking too many pictures, i have learned to be picky about what i share on social media, selective about who sees my posts, and i even share photos with long distance family and friends in different ways. i text, email, and private message many of my photos to family members. what's more, i don't typically share photos "live" or as they're happening. because, then, not only did i spent precious time taking the photo, now i have to mess with filters and cropping and captions and hashtags! at what cost?  



when we had to work with film canisters, we took 12 or 24 pictures to use up all the film. then we had to drop it off at a developer and wait about 3-5 days to get our pictures back. if we were in a real hurry we could pay extra and get our photos developed in an hour. all of this was acceptable. so why now do we feel like we have to rush to snap a picture and hurry to get it uploaded to our facebook page? friend, i'm about to release you from that bondage: you don't have to. you have permission to take a picture and then get back in the moment and post it later if you want to. or don't. let's take the pressure off of ourselves to share everything all the time. instagram can wait.


"relationships come first. the camera is just on the side." -esther havens

it's way easier now to share photos online for faraway family and friends to keep in touch. and that's a good thing! but i would encourage you, mamas, to get out from behind the camera/phone and be selective about what you share online. this isn't about restrictions or rules, just about balance, moderation, discernment, self-control, and making the most of these days and these resources. we have to use this technology wisely, even if it means setting screen limits for ourselves. we have to intentionally choose to put away the phone and look with our eyes at what's right in front of us. we have to protect our family memories by respecting our family memories.



not everything is meant to be shared online. some memories are for your heart only. i hope you don't spend your entire vacation behind the camera.



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teach us to live well!
teach us to live wisely and well!
psalm 90:12

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

MIDYEAR // around here lately




"the best way to live a good year 
is to do a reset halfway through the year. 
the patterns of our lives 
reveal the form of our souls." 
-ann voskamp 

we are easing our way into summer, sleeping in but still making time for reading and writing, spending hours at the pool but still keeping our bedtime routines. the rhythm of our home isn't drastically different in the summer than any other season, but we do like the perks of long sunshiney days and lingering with friends and more s'mores and no homework. i love the pace of summer, the smell of summer, the potential of summer. midyear is the perfect chance to reset and reestablish healthy habits, peaceful patters. here is what is going on around here lately...

reading // the con man's daughter by Candice Curry, "a story of lies, desperation, and finding God." a page-turner, i sought hope and redemption on the author's behalf. incredible story of an incredible God. put your warrior boots on by Lisa Whittle, "walking Jesus strong, once and for all." this one pumps me up and i'm so convicted to live fearless. have you seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie? the scene where Belle asks her Dad to tell her about her mother? and he simply says "your mother was fearless." i want fearlessness in my legacy. remarkable faith by Shauna Letellier. make your mark 40 day devotional by Gateway Women, a daily read with biblical inspiration for living a life that impacts others for the glory of God. also reading the book of Galatians. 



relaxing // i'm all for unplanned days of relaxing and letting my kids get bored so they can rest and tap into their creative imaginations. i feel no urgency to book up our summer days with camps and activities and travel. a quality summer isn't do more go more - it's slow down be here. you won't find me exhausted by my kids being home, wishing summer away. afterall, we have less than 10 summers left with our kids before they are adults doing their own adult summer things. relax. slow down. pause. be present. make the most of it. soak it in, drink it up. take a photo. these are the days.

journaling // my daily journaling has always been pretty unstructured for the most part. haphazard thoughts, prayers, hopes, dreams, and random lists all scribbled out on the pages. it's therapeutic but sometimes i want structure and guidelines for my writing. well recently i tried something. now, in my daily journaling, i write out these prompts:
"i am thankful for..."
"today will be great because..."
"i am praying for..."
"today i am..."
and "highlights of yesterday..." 
loving it! it's not a new or brilliant idea, but gosh it really gets my heart and mind focused for the day. if you also like some structure for your journaling, michael hyatt shares his journaling template, here's how claire diaz-ortiz journals, and there are a slew of journaling ideas on pinterest.

reflecting // "two things you'll never have to chase: true friends and true love." -mandy hale. God is not going to close a door that he wants to remain opened. so if a door is closing, hey eryn don't try to stick your foot in and force it to stay open. let it go. and then, "forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now seems so obvious in hindsight." -judy belmont. and if a door is opening, even if it's baffling or seems really random? go with it. trust God's leading and His directing. stay alert, be aware, stay in tune with the Spirit. stay on the path, walk in obedience.


celebrating // my son was accepted to a private UMS grade 5! my daughter finished 7th grade cum laude gpa! both kiddos successfully completed another year of dance (hip hop and lyrical) and rocked their recitals! family friends high school and college graduations! the flower girl in our wedding got married! my younger brother had his first baby! one of my best friends had her first baby! my husband's grandma celebrated her 87th birthday! so many answered prayers!

recommending // shauna niequist's easy & tasty berry crisp recipe. atmosphere album by the anointed eleven32 worship band. Declare conference in October for bloggers, writers, speakers, podcasters, and women using their calling to know God and make Him known (nearly sold out!!! ticket price increases 8/1!!!). rodan+fields skincare products, especially the loose mineral powder makeup with SPF so light for summer! 21 Day Fix Extreme and Shakeology (vanilla vegan!) for fitness and healthy weight maintenance. i feel like i'm constantly recommending the God Centered Mom podcast. apple cider LipSense literally an every day lip color (want to try? i know a girl.) Once Upon a Time fantasy/mystery series on NetFlix. safest sunscreens.  


'gramming // have you discovered the "collections" tab in instagram? it's the bookmark looking button on your profile page, next to the icon for "photos of you." as you're scrolling IG, and you come across an image/post that you particularly like, you can obviously LIKE it, but you can also add it to a collection - like saving it to a private folder on your IG account. and you can categorize your collections! kind of like pinterest?! my current collections are dance/fitness inspiration, Declare inspiration/mentions, and favorite words/quotes (pictured). i love instagram and this new (to me) feature is super smart. here is a better explanation of IG collections.


welp, that's about all that is going on around here lately. stay cool, compadres!

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"take care of yourself, have a good time...
God deals out joy in the present, the now." 
-ecclesiastes 5:18

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