One of my "when I grow up" day dreams is to be a fabulously artsy photographer. You know the kind: her every snapshot is elegantly composed, beautifully lit, suffused with story. In this Instagram, camera-phone-at-the-ready, my delusions are all the more dangerous.
So here I am, with a kabillion (truly, I counted) lame pictures, cluttering up the digital cloud.
But every once in a magic moment, I manage to frame the scene and focus on the subject and capture the moment's beauty. I cannot credit skill or an artistic eye or educated experience... It is simply persistence that pays off. How I love that digital photography makes persistence — snapping hundreds and kabillions of photos — possible.
What can I say? I like to frame, to focus, to train my eye and brain to capture things as I hope to always see them.
Which is why I love January: a lovely month for framing our lives and focusing our minds' eyes on capturing our best selves.
For me, January is not about resolutions (self control is the most elusive fruit of the Spirit for this gal); it is about focusing my sights, my soul, on one word. Last year my anchor word, my guiding principal, was "light." This year, after many prayers, I am framing my decisions and focusing my vision on the "present."
I want to live in the present moment, to be truly present and engaged with my Mister and my kids, my family and friends — conscientiously unplugging from life-sucking electronic, household, and ego-centric distractions and consciously plugging into life-giving relationships.
I want to be mindful of and grateful for God's presents: the gift of Jesus and his love, grace, and salvation; the gifts of the Spirit (may self-control be ever more prevalent); the gifts and talents has has bestowed on me (and may I employ them for his glory); the gifts he blesses me with every day (family, friends, home, church, chocolate and wine — okay, maybe not EVERY day).
I want to fill myself up with God's presence. (Okay, I know what you're thinking: that's not technically the same word. I'm exercising a poetic license loophole.) More time in his word (see my anal 2013 Bible Reading Plan), more time in prayer, more time in devotional reading and writing. More time to be still, to rest in the peace of knowing God.
I want to pour out God's presence, to tune in to God and hear clearly how he wants to work through me in my little corner of the world. How can I serve him and those in need? How can I be God's hands and feet; how can I share his word? How can I be the humble jar of clay pouring out his rejuvenating Spirit?
This is how I hope to frame my days and my year. This is how I want to focus my thoughts and decisions. I know there will be days when I forget to be present, in his presence, enjoying his presents. I will clutter the spiritual album of 2013 with lame attempts and imperfect images. But I know that God will help me to persist. When I forget and fall short, he will remind me with a word, he will focus my blurred vision and frame my perspective with his forgiveness and grace and love. He will use this simple anchor word to help me be my best, to glorify the best in him.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
I pray God helps you to find your focus to frame this bright-shiny-new year. May it be so very full of his presence and his presents for you.