Midwestern Mom's Musings

My view of the world through words & photos


In less than a month, I will have been unemployed for three years.

That is certainly a stand-alone statement.  It is one of the harder things I‘ve had to write in quite a while.  But it’s the truth and sometimes the truth isn’t easy.

Everyone is out of the house today and I’ve had some time to reflect.  I’ve also had some time to work on my photographs since my computer and camera are finally speaking to each other again.  As I’ve been going through the newly loaded photos on my newly acquired photo program (Aperture – no compensation received), I came across a series of shots from a retreat I took earlier in the year.

Now, for any of you who have been on a retreat, thinks they would like to participate in a retreat or needs some time to sort through some life issues, I can recommend an ACTS Retreat without hesitation.  But this isn’t about the retreat itself…it’s about some things I learned as I reviewed the many, many photos I took during the retreat.

I love capturing life in photos.  I hate posed shots.  I’d much rather take dozens of shots as they are happening and delete the blurred ones to help me capture the moments of fun, reflection, growth or beauty.  As I was sorting through these shots at the Pallottine Renewal Center, I remembered some of the thoughts that were going through my head as I walked the grounds.  It was March, so I really wasn’t sure what I was going to photograph since it was one of the first warm days of spring and very few things had bloomed yet.  But I took my camera with me on my walk just in case I saw something interesting.

I like to play with angles and close-ups.  I love finding nature’s patterns in things that we might normally pass by as we are going about our lives.  I also like finding contrasts.  I found a fence with barbed wire wrapped around the top (the shot at the top of this post).  What struck me was the plant that had ignored the man-made barrier and had intertwined itself through the barrier.  Rusty metal and a growing vine – contrasts.

I’ve also been exploring the way nature uses straight lines, twisted lines and curving lines.  Without the leaves on them, it was easy to see how the various branches of the trees and bushes formed.  Some seemed to grow with the changing wind – bent and twisted and haphazard.  Others grew straight up to the sun in uniform pattern. 

And patterns don’t just exist in limbs and branches.  Have you ever looked at bark and rocks up close?  I remember walking with my kids when they were toddlers.  You see the world in a whole new way when you look at it from the perspective of a three-year-old child.  You see sand…they see hundreds of colored rocks.  You see the trunk of a tree…they see the textured bark that tickles their hands as they rub it with their soft, pink hands.

God’s beauty is amazing!  And He has a plan.  He has a plan for everything that inhabits His world – the plants and animals, the wind and rain, and you and me.  While nature is satisfied with moving forward day by day in the way God planned, we humans keep trying to take control of the plan.  And while questioning and learning and growing are all important things (and I do believe in the saying that He helps those who help themselves), I often find trusting His plan for my life as one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

I’ve had to deal with many things in the past three years that I never imagined when this latest adventure started.  Most of them have involved hospital stays and doctor visits, which as many friends have noted I couldn’t have handled as well if I had been working full time.  This adventure has also meant I’ve gotten to experience the lives of my husband and kids in a way that was much more hands-on than we had previously lived – whether that’s good or bad, I’ll leave up to them to determine.  I would love to change the hardships, but I realize that they are all part of the same adventure and I’m grateful for all I’ve experienced.

I am not the same person I was three years ago.  None of us are.

And as I reviewed the photos, I found a message in one that I didn’t see at the time I took it.  Sometimes you have to slow down and examine the details for life’s messages.  See if you can find the message in this photo.

[You can also see a slideshow of some of my photos from this walk here:  http://youtu.be/mmY1N-eEsIE]


3 comments on “Reflections

  1. Selina Tourjee
    June 7, 2012

    Kathy, thank you so much for taking time to create ths blog and for this reflection. I love the photograph at the top, the fact that the plant that had ignored the man-made barrier and had intertwined itself through the barrier. I believe God will give you the strength to intertwine between your hardhsips as well.

    God bless!
    ysiC, Selina

  2. sharon
    June 17, 2012

    I just watched the slide show–beautiful!

  3. Michele Johnson
    June 18, 2012

    This is lovely, Kathy. Keep writing and taking photos…you do both beautifully. Blessings!

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2012 by in Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , .
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