Advent Photo Journey 2010-Intro

28 11 2010

A photo a day during Advent, perhaps a brief reflection a day. Reflecting, visually and verbally, on an Advent scripture passage, or on a general Advent theme. Sounds simple enough, right? Right. I’ve done this for several years now, as have a few friends. But this year I’m doing it a bit differently. I’m going to reflect on an upcoming Sunday’s scripture, rather than on a Sunday that has passed.

The only problem is, Advent began 16 minutes ago (as I write this). I’m already behind! I was going to start this past week, reflecting on tomorrow’s Scripture passages. I was going to enter the 2010 season of Advent more reflective, more mindful of God and God’s word. I was going to enter this season feeling ready. Not behind. At least not with this one piece of my life.

I did begin taking photos on Thanksgiving day. So I’ll post those in a bit. And today, the first Sunday of Advent, will simply have several posts. Posts with good intentions.

Ready or not, Advent is here.


2 03 2010

That’s what I’ve done–adapted. Adapted to the way things are in our new home. Not completely. I’m still eager to finish unpacking, organizing,

Monday, March 1st

de-cluttering, etc. There’s a lot to do. But it’s also become easy to adapt to the way things have settled. These pictures on the mantle, for instance. They drove me crazy seven weeks ago. But now, they look pretty good to me.

If they don’t to you, just stare at the picture everyday for seven weeks, then let me know what you think. The arrangement might grow on you. You just might adapt to the temporary arrangement of pictures that are eventually going to be up on walls. They ended up on the mantle just so we could have something to look at while deciding where pictures should go. I never intended to leave them here. But I’ve now adapated, and actually like them. At least tonight I do.

Lent reminds me of how quickly we adapt to the way things are. Even when they’re not supposed to be this way/that way. Especially our habits that distract us from following God. Not necessarily the obvious habits or actions that would make us all think twice. But I’m talking about the hard-to-notice, temporary, “just this once”, habits that we adapt to. They’re not super bad–they might even look good, arranged that way in our lives, if we live with them for seven weeks or more… or less. But they aren’t exactly helpful to our journeys of faith, they aren’t what the bigger picture needs to be.

What habits have we adapted to that we need to revisit? rearrange? revise? get rid of completely? How have our daily lives contributed to this adaptation?

Photo challenge, Kajsa as Vertical Line

2 10 2009

I’ve been trying to participate in a “Photo Challenge” group online. It’s a daily challenge, and I’m not able to participate everyday, but many days since I’ve joined I have taken a photo based on the theme. Yesterday’s theme was “Vertical Lines”, and I took this photo in Target. I like it.

Vertical Lines

If you’d like to see more of the photos from my “collection”, some have been showing up on my Flickr badge on the right… others you can see on my other blog that I started specifically for this challenge: photo challenge. If you want to see more photos from the group (I have no idea who the rest of these people are in the group–it’s simply a great way to view and take neat photos, with someone else organizing it all!), go here: And, if you want to challenge yourself and join the group, and have fun in the process, go here…to the Photo Challenge site.

Bag Lady, Part 2

25 09 2009


or… “Contents of a Toddler’s Backpack”. I’ve posted this photo on my other blog...(the one I started to post my Photo Challenge pictures I’m attempting to take each day. or most days.)

This is not a fake photo. This is real, folks. This is what I dumped out of Kajsa’s backpack today. Hmmmmm… Shes’ a riot.

In other photos… last week Jim found an old harmonica that he let Kajsa play with. Today when we saw “Zee”, the owl on “Noggin”, (DSC_5073a preschool TV cable channel) playing the harmonica, she wanted to find her harmonica. We couldn’t locate it, but Jim had another one… and let her play with that. She loved playing it at the same time as Zee, and kept playing it from time to time throughout the evening.

Ashes, ashes… we all fall down

25 02 2009

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Some years I embrace Lent, because I’m feeling solemn enough and ready for the rest of the world to engage such solemness.. (not the purpose of Lent, I realize.) And I like ashes on my forehead. I like to reflect on how Christ is challenging me to change. To follow him. And some years I am so not ready for Lent, because I feel “Lented” out. Lent has not felt like a liturgical season in my life as much as a pattern for many years. Somber, sadness, darkness, dust to dust, ashes… enough. I’m ready for a year of Easters. Of rejoicing because of Good News.

This year it’s a bit of both. I’m embracing Lent, ready for its challenge. I want to realign my priorities, and Lent seems to be a natural place to make time for that process. I’m excited and feeling spiritually challenged by the Photo Group this Lent. We are reflecting–through photography–on the Gospel lessons from the lectionary each week. (So starting today through Saturday, my photos will be my photographic reflections of the Ash Wednesday text. Then starting Sunday, the text for the first week in Lent.) I like the Lent Prayer site I found a couple of years ago, and am eager to visit it everyday. There are many reasons I embrace this season this year.

But I’m also feeling a bit Lented out. I feel as though we have all fallen down so much lately, that we are merely ashes, and we are stuck on the ground. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down… that familiar phrase from “Ring around the rosy” runs through my head each Lent.  And this year, though I have much to celebrate (i.e. Kajsa!), I’m wrestling with  much as well: the friend/parishioner who is still in ICU after a skating accident; others who are sick; the loss of some dreams this year; God’s purposes/plan for my infertile/single/job-frustrated friends, and some broken relationships.

I’m Lented out. I’ve lived it enough. Or so I feel and think. My loved ones have lived it enough. Enough, God, enough! How long? And yet, I have to remind myself that Lent isn’t about me–at least not in that way. Lent is about traveling to the cross with Jesus… and Christ’s sacrifice for us.

I used the “Ring around the rosy” phrase several years ago in an Ash Wednesday sermon. One of the things that stuck with me (and my own sermons do not always stick with me!) was that we tend to get back up… Ashes, ashes, we all fall down! But then as children playing this game, we get back up and start again. That’s what I’m hoping to do this Lent. Get back up and start again. Start up my efforts at being more faithful to God. The God I don’t always understand. The God I cry out to in anger. The God I lean on when I need strength. Get back up when I feel down, like dust-with-no-theological purpose…. and work again at realigning my priorities. Get back up and try to be faithful to the God who does provide me with countless blessings, even in the most dark Lenten seasons.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s ashes. I need that reminder of who I am. And I love reflecting on that in the context of a worship service with beautiful music and visual elements. But tomorrow I need to get back up, as a reminder of who God has called me to be.

Blessed Ash Wednesday…. and all of Lent.