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Name: A. Ann
Interests: God. My husband. Our 8 children. Art and photography. Home decor, creativity. Sports. The great outdoors, camping. Fashion. The beach and warm weather. Music and writing. Simplicity.
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|My desire is that this blog not be about views, comments or advertisements~this is merely my occasional journal of photography, memories, and my journey to draw near to God. My hope is that people will feel encouraged to pursue relationship with Jesus Christ (not a list of religious rules/lifestyle), see purpose in the storms of life and live each day with less regrets. Feel free to message me and I will try to write back. Please ask for permission before using pictures or writing.
Here is an awesome fall leaf. I use to think it looked prettier before little hands held it and admired it. Now it is a bit wrinkled. Cracked in a few spots. Broken around the edges. But somehow, in my mind, it's more beautiful held in their hands then sitting perfect on my coffee table. The brokenness shows it has a purpose more than just for show. And that's beautiful. The leaf now has a story it couldn't tell before.
I want to thank you all who emailed and wondered where I'd gone and begged me to come back! I could say it was the hospital this week but really, it wasn't that which shut me down, as hard as Christian fell due to a breaking of a tree limb, he didn't crash through the house. I was crashing instead due to the "race."
I learned a lesson this week. Hopefully more than one. When you are running a race, you should be concerned for those, and about those who are running along with you. Then there are the sidelines. That's where people just sit to watch. I suppose nothing wrong with sitting and watching a race, eh? But if you aren't a runner, and you are sitting there criticizing all the runners, looking for problems in their form, complaining about their speed, accusing them of not working out enough for the race, I guess I might call that a self-appointed side-line judge. Now, I am sure analogies always break down somewhere. I am sure this one does.
But may I encourage all of us to run the race of Life, in Jesus Christ, together! If you are race runner, trust me, there is no time to sit on the sidelines and judge! You want to get up, encourage those other runners around you, allow Christ, the Holy Spirit, to be the Coach instead of trying so hard to coach those in all the ways you think they ought to be running. In all the different races I've run, I have always been amazed that those who do not look to be the "runners" are miles ahead of the pack!
Let's not stop running because the side-line judges stick their feet out and trip you as you run by. Get up, take your wounds to the Coach and keep running for the prize! This word is to me! This week I sat there in what seemed like a pool of blood from wounds inflicted by "well-meaning" race critics instead of getting up and calling on the name of my Coach to bandage up the hurts.
I've seen too that side-line judges may even be right at times with their critiques. Let's not suppose they're always wrong. They may have spent their lives watching lots of people run, but never running themselves. When you've been a self-appointed judge for awhile, you may even think you know how people should run -- when all you are doing is watching the race, you even have time to critique what runners should wear when they are running, what their expression should be as they are running, whether or not they should say certain things while they are running, even somehow know what should be playing on their ipod while they are running... oh, and the list can go on and on.
But amazing, isn't it to take advice and correction from someone who has loved you and accepted you (someone running along side of you, maybe even a team member) as opposed to someone who was merely watching your race to see if they could find the slightest limp?
There is something about watching a runner win after they've been tripped. If you've watched the Eric Liddel movie, you know what I mean. It's that whole leaf idea. It's the beauty in brokenness. It's realizing that even with the careless handling, the little holes and cracks, that the image seems to have more character than it did before. It's why I like old things - the fact that they've held up through the wear and tear and it's added to the character of the whole image.
I want to be like that. First, I want to be a "runner" - my goal and aim being to press on to know Christ all the more as the Day is drawing to a close.
Second, I don't want to ever stop and just take a look at all the runners and make sure they're doing it the way I think they should.
Thirdly, when I've been picked out by side-line, self-appointed judges to be focused on, instead of fearing them and trying to please them, I want to go to my Coach and ask His help and healing in the matter.
Fourthly, may the experience give me greater determination, greater passion, and greater power to run the race all the more. For the complete and only praise of my Coach. For in that, lies the prize. I can see the expression on Eric Liddels face even now as I type! That look where he picks himself up off the ground, eyes set on the finish line, and his heart, his head, his passion, his soul does not falter from the focus until he has completed the race.
Resolved to Keep Running,