This week’s challenge is a people’s choice challenge. No celebrity judge (well, wait a minute; Angie and Amy ARE celebrities, at least in MY book!) Participants choose their best face photo from the summer and link to the contest post; Amy and Angie will choose the top 100 entries and then it will go to a vote-off. SO… if this photo is chosen, I’ll be reaching out to my friends to vote. I LOVE this photo; the adorable little girl was adopted from China after a long wait, and she had been with her forever family for a couple of months when I was finally able to do their family shoot. This pic says it all, doesn’t it?
For a look at all of the entries, before they get whittled down to the final 100, hurry on over to I Heart Faces and check them out!
I Heart Faces has a wonderful theme this week…”A Touch of Sun”. And I really did have plans to use a photo from one of my recent shoots; there are several in which sunflare was incorporated beautifully. But we’re here in Destin, FL, and my boy is in his element at the beach. Chasing crabs and fish, splashing in the waves… yep, we’re loving the “touch of sun” in our little vacation right now!
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a truly blog-worthy thought. Or maybe it’s just been a long time since I’ve been willing to sit down and write it down. I don’t even know that I can get this thought down, but I’m going to try.
I’ve watched various friends face challenges and fears lately, and I’ve loved seeing them come out on the other side of fear, finding many good things there. Tonight, I was thinking about a lovely young friend who was dreading college and all that she would leave behind here to go there, and this thought popped into my head. Fear is like the house of mirrors at a fair. Its whole purpose is to confuse you and turn you around; to smack you down, so that you drag yourself back to the start instead of making it all the way through to the end. Satan strategically places those mirrors… erroneous reflections of things that aren’t really there, so that you’ll get turned around. So that you’ll wander, and wonder, and eventually whimper back to what seems like a safe place. But if you push ahead; if you take your time; if you look UP, to where the mirrors meet the ceiling… THEN you can find your way through that maze of fear and out the door to where life awaits you.
And as these thoughts tumbled through my mind, I remembered a time several years ago when Adam and a friend were running through a house of mirrors. They were chasing each other, back and forth. At one point, Adam was running AWAY from his friend, and he ran hard into a mirror. It knocked him down, and it knocked the breath clear out of him. His friend helped him up and led him out, back to safety. Isn’t that just like us? Running away from God while satan does his best to trick us? If we would only FOLLOW, instead of running away, life would be so much easier. We’d have less bumps and bruises, and the journey wouldn’t be so stressful. And yet, even when we run away, He chases us and wants to catch us. When we hit a wall, if we’ll just let Him pick us up, dust us off, and lead us out, we will still be OK. Sometimes I feel like I’m in that mirrored maze; I just need to remember; stop running, and look UP.
You know who this is, right? And why he’s called “Bug Hunter” for all of the first years that I blogged… right?
And you know he’s in middle school now don’t you? I know, I don’t blog anymore, other than photo contests. So maybe you missed that little tidbit; the boy is growing up. Middle school. 6th grade. No more carline numbers, no more room moms, and hello salad bar and a la carte. And yet…
Yesterday, I went for a walk and when I came back, the answering machine was blinking. When I checked the message, it was from one of the middle school deans, and it was static-y and garbled. “Adam is *static*.. and it’s *static* emergency. *static* try your cell phone.” ??? So I ran to get my cell and there was a message. Fortunately, it was NOT an emergency (does anyone remember the x-ray from the little playground incident back in the spring? If so, then you KNOW why my heart was pounding a little bit). The dean said something about bees, and his backpack, and endangering other children. And that he wasn’t in trouble.. THIS time. And that she would call my husband since she couldn’t reach me. I looked on caller ID and he had tried to call after the school phone call, so I knew she had reached him. I called, and he said that the dean was very nice, but that Adam had brought some bees into the classroom, and they were afraid that a child with an allergy might get stung. So while there would be no consequences this time, if there was a next time…. not good. He was supposed to talk to us when he got home and then go back to her today to tell her what we talked about.
I know my son. I know that he would find a million excuses to not go back and talk to her. OR he would find a way to play what we said against what she said so that he would have free license to bug hunt on school time. So, I parked instead of getting him in carline, and I went in and waited. And when he came down, I took him for a little “stroll” around the school while we discussed the events of the day. And then I took him upstairs to the dean (to his great mortification) so that we could all make sure we were on the same page. Both the counselor and the principal were laughing. I think the principal might even have asked if I was there to pick up Adam’s hornets. And I am very thankful that he goes to a school where the faculty and staff know and value him for who he is. But I am also very thankful that I went in with him to see the dean. Because in about ten minutes’ time, he had her wrapped around his finger to the point that she was suggesting that he carry a bug container with him at all times. Which I promptly nixxed. He has five minutes to get from class to class; I cannot even imagine the grief I’d be dealing with if he thought it was OK to bug hunt along the way. He’s been bug crazy since he was about 18 months old; for the past ten years, this has been our norm. I kind of hoped that he would pull back a little on the need to stalk and capture insects, but apparently the more things change…the more they stay the same. *sigh* I do love my bug boy…
Back to school pics… not happening for me this year. My one and only started middle school, and he made it abundantly clear that he was not posing, either before school or AT school, any more. We did go out the weekend before to an old barn, and I took “entering middle school” portrait photos, but they don’t capture the “moment” of entering middle school. *sigh*
But, I do take photos for the school events, and the back to school event that I most look forward to is our “Circle of Prayer”, usually held the second week of school. Faculty, staff, students, parents, and pastors circle around facing the school, hold hands, and pray. For the school year; for students; for teachers; for wisdom and guidance. And then, they turn and face outward.. to the community. And they pray, once again, for God’s protection and guidance for all of those who surround the school. I love this photo of one of my friends and her boy; what a blessed way to start school.
For more “back to school” shots, don’t forget to head over to I Heart Faces and check out the other entries!