Monday, June 19, 2017

FOR YOUR ❤️ ONLY /// photographs and memories


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.


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