peripheral perceptions

a look at life from the corners of my mind


6 Comments

Pondering a major paradigm shift

I have a Canon Rebel EOS. I’ve had it since 2008 and it’s served me very well. My tween days began with a Kodak Instamatic camera that took 110 film.

DCF 1.0

In high school, I graduated to my dad’s Pentax manual SLR and thought I’d hit the big leagues. I used it all through college and beyond.

Pentax

A few years after Entrepreneur and I got married, I bought my own Minolta SLR…still a film camera and completely manual. It took me to Hawaii, Mexico, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Routinely I had to take it in to have the sand cleaned out of it! And this workhorse of a camera documented every major and minor event in both our daughter’s lives.

minoltax570sm

In 2008 Entrepreneur bought me the Canon Rebel in anticipation of the birth of Peanut later that year. I guess he knew I’d be taking mega-amounts of photos and was tired of me constantly buying film! He was correct and I entered the digital world.

Canon

But my Canon is tired. Oh so tired after being an extension of my hand for 6 years. The pop-up flash doesn’t pop anymore….I have to pull it up when needed; which is doable and I don’t really mind that part. The part I do mind is the frequency that I get a shot like this:

camera error

Notice the lovely pink color bar overlaid at the bottom of the photo? Yeah, me too. Not suppose to be there. Can’t tell you how many otherwise good captures I’ve had to delete because of this special treatment.

And that’s a deal breaker.

Soooooo, I’m camera shopping. And I never thought I’d say this, but I’m seriously looking at (horrors of horrors) one that is not an SLR! But before you think me a traitor, hear me out.

I’m considering the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS40 30X Super Zoom. It’s an 18 megapixal camera with a 30x zoom. That means it captures close, wide-angle stills and HD video from 24mm – 720mm. Pretty sweet if you ask me.

Lumix 30x copy

But one of the best perks is that it’s very portable. And other members of the family (aka Entrepreneur) could actually use it as well….which means there may be a few more pics of me on our family vacays.

But here’s the dilemma. I’ve pretty much grown up with SLRs. I’m wired to believe they are the best type of camera for quality shots. I just don’t know if I can completely walk away from having an SLR. But I can’t afford both a new Canon Rebel AND this one. I love the idea of not packing multiple lenses when traveling. And I like the idea of slipping it in my purse or pocket.

I just don’t know………..it’s definitely a paradigm shift in thinking. Should I or shouldn’t I? That is the question. I’m open to any advice or opinions one way or the other! :-)


8 Comments

Summer's Schizophrenia

mandevilla droplet
Texture by Kim Klassen: Cora 50% soft light.

We’ve had a strange summer so far. Just when I think the stereotypical middle Missouri summer is here…hot, humid and drought dry with triple digit temps….I find I’m turning off the A/C and opening the windows. I’m not really complaining, but we did purchase a pool membership this year for the grandbabykins and I’m sure we’ve lost money on it so far.

Twix has been enjoying her mid-morning bottle on the patio almost every day. Usually, my patio pots are looking pretty sad by the middle of July. But this year, they’re thriving. I must remember this combination: mandevillas, daisies and portulaca. The lawn is normally struggling by mid-summer, despite the sprinkler system but this year, it feels like a carpet under our bare feet.

flower pot

Temps are expected to fall into the 70sF for the next few days; with nights in the 50sF. The fur balls that spend their time outside are luvin’ it. I believe we might also be above average for rain as well.

Last week we experienced quite the summer storm, knocking out the power at our house for 6 hours. Some neighborhoods went three days without power. Estimated 60-70mph straight-line winds broke trees, and our neighbor lost the top of a 40-foot Sugar Maple tree when it snapped off about halfway up the trunk. We had a few limbs downed but, thankfully, nothing major.

portulaca

The one thing that is having mixed reviews is the veggie garden. I’ve picked about three five-gallon buckets of green beans so far and the tomato and pepper plants are heavy with green fruit….but nothing has turned red enough to pick! The okra is refusing to grow since we’ve not had any super hot weather. And the corn is probably ready, but to venture into the garden now is to sink up to mid-calf in the mud. But for fresh corn, I’m more than willing to make that sacrifice.

daisy droplets

All in all, a very strange, inconsistent summer so far. How is your summer going? Are you hotter or cooler than normal?

Linking up with  Texture Tuesday, Texture Twist and LTTL
Texture Tuesday texture-twist Life through lens


16 Comments

When we least expect it

yelo daylily72

When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
~Paulo Coelho

Are you at a crossroads in life? Maybe you’re there for the second, third or tenth time. And the only thing certain is whatever path you choose, your life will be seriously altered.

Crossroad moments are opportunities. Do we stay the course and make radical adjustments and veer off in a completely different direction? Either choice involves a level of fear and anxiety. We’re uncomfortable making adjustments within ourselves in order to make our current course smoother; yet we look at a change in direction and wonder if what lies down that road is a better alternative. Do we choose to make changes in our current situation or charge into the abyss of uncertainty?

Some people approach crossroads in life from a left-brain position, making a balance sheet of pros and cons. Some people go with their gut and let emotions drive their decision. Either way involves a level of reliance on an internal GPS system.

One thing is for certain, trying to find balance in the middle of the chaos can be difficult.

What if our choice causes failure?

They say failure make a person stronger. And I tend to agree. Failures force us to look at alternatives. They are life’s way of offering do-overs. Sometimes with the choice we make at these crossroad opportunities, we emerge battle-weary….but stronger and more courageous because of it.

Why the daylily you ask? They really don’t have anything to do with crossroads, but I look at these flowers and think they may be a lot like life. Each blossom does its very best every day…because that’s all the time it has. One day. One day to shine; make a beautiful difference; be the best it can be.

Linking up with Friday Finds
fridayfindsbutton2


13 Comments

Z is for Zacharias

ZachariasYou’re joking, right? Says Zacharias with a hearty laugh.

Now, you may think he is responding to a joke….but it’s anything but a joke. Zacharias is one of the temple priests in Jerusalem. As one of 7,000 priests, he travels to Jerusalem a few times a year and takes his turn living in the temple, carrying out his priestly duties.

One day, as he is burning incense in the inner chamber, the archangel, Gabriel appears beside the alter. Not really a common occurrence while serving in the temple, so Zacharias is caught a bit off-guard.

Gabriel had a message from God for Zacharias and his wife, Elizabeth. They have longed for children but life had not been kind to them in this area. Now they are older….well past child bearing years. Gabriel’s speaks and tells Zacharias they will have a son.

So now you can understand why Zach LOLed at Gabriel’s message. He has forgotten the story of Abraham and Sarah; forgotten that God tends to come in when everything looks hopeless; forgotten that God always makes good on His promises one way or another.

For a temple priest, this behavior is simply not acceptable. Because of his very vocal doubt, Gabriel strikes him deaf and mute, unable to hear and speak until after the baby is born. And that is a promise God keeps as well.

After Zacharias returns home, Elizabeth does conceive just as Gabriel said she would. Elizabeth and Mary, Jesus’s mother, are cousins and when the two pregger women get together to compare nursery room themes, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb jumps when in the presence of Mary’s unborn son.

Three months later a baby boy is born to Elizabeth and Zacharias, and Liz decides (with Gabriel’s prompting) to name him……John.

John? The neighbors and relatives are confused. John isn’t a recorded name in their family. What is she thinking? This son should be named after his father. Puzzled, they look to Zacharias for answers, who immediately grabs his writing tablet and tells everyone, His name is John. The meaning behind the name John is, the Lord is gracious.

Immediately, upon completion of the prophesied baby’s birth and dedication, Zacharias’ voice and hearing is restored.

We know this baby as John the Baptist…a cousin of Jesus who lived in the wilderness and prophesied about the coming Messiah.

Now back to Zacharias. Zach was obviously a man of God. He prayed and tried his best to be a good Jewish  man. With his and Elizabeth’s inability to have a child, he brought their petition to God. He continued to pray even as they aged and the idea of having a son began to look completely hopeless. In his heart, he may have simply given up…thinking God simply didn’t care or want him to have a son. His faith had been weakened by year after year of disappointment. This is when Gabriel shows up…to prove that nothing is impossible with God. That in the face of impossible and improbably odds, great things can happen.

But our situations are different, right?
Our situations are impossible to fix.
Our disappointments are too much to overcome.
Our lives are too messy to be straightened out.

Right?

Linking up with ABC Wednesday
ABCWed14

And with this entry, my ABC-bible style collection is completed.
Click HERE to read my other posts.

 

 

 


9 Comments

A light in the darkness

butterlfy on window72
Texture by Kim Klassen; Way, 100% multiply

Faith shines brightest in the dark.
~Unknown

It’s no secret we all have dark days. Days, weeks and even months of disappointments, frustration and broken dreams.

Why are some people able to shine through the darkness while others get consumed by the black abyss? Truly, it’s a question of who can survive and who cannot. It’s a survival of the fittest….and many times, that depends on a person’s spiritual fitness.

If you’re a believer, you know that just because you have faith doesn’t guarantee you a life of butterflies and roses. Our lives are not free from struggles. And, as odd as it may seem, that is by design.

God uses our trials, pain and disappointments to mold and develop our character. It’s through these dark times that he is most at work in our lives….if we allow him to accomplish what he’s intended for us. And most of the time, that plan is contrary to what we have planned for our lives.

Prayer, obedience and repentance are the response we need to live a life filled with shining moments. When faced with dark times, our focus is re-directed and we learn to rely on the strength of the One who can see us through….regardless of the outcome….trusting that what we’re going through is nothing we can’t overcome with His help.

But many times we aren’t willing to allow that to happen, are we? Many times we simply will not trust that his plan is to allow struggles in order help us shine through life’s storms. We choose to retreat and live in the shadows…forever destined to drift on the seas of misery, depression, bitterness and resentment.

Dark times and adversity only last as long as it takes to teach us the lesson we’re suppose to be learning. Unfortunately, sometimes that takes a reeeeeally long time. Resisting, rebelling and insisting our way is better only prolongs the agony.

Nana, come quick! I neeeeeed you!

I dropped everything thinking the worst. Blood? Broken bones? Was a trip to the doctor in our schedule?

But her urgency was only to show me a moth that was on the window one sunny morning. Her observation and fascination of the light shining through its transparent wings was reason enough to summon me away from my work…and consuming obsessing over recent dark struggles and challenges in life.

And sometimes, it’s just that simple.

May light shine through your darkness today and always.

Linking up with Life Through the Lens, Texture Twist and Texture Tuesday
Life through lens  texture-twist
Texture Tuesday

Ruth72


5 Comments

Friday Finds Five Months

0-5 months72

It’s been five months and Peanut hasn’t wanted to give her back yet. We consider this a plus. Twix is now officially five months old. Starting out at three weeks premature, she has come a long way in these short five months. And I, for one, cannot believe how quickly it’s gone….and how much life has changed.

One grand girl and Entrepreneur and I considered ourselves fortunate. Two grand girls and we’re definitely counting our blessings. To have them both under our roof, watching them grow and change is more than we ever hoped for. And to be able to imprint on their hearts and minds will help to solidify a close relationship with them forever. And that thrills me beyond words.

Most couples our age are empty nesters. We tried that for a couple of years, and while it does have it’s perks, it’s very quiet. Almost too quiet. Maybe when I’m 70, I’ll be ready for an empty nest?! My guess is we will always live close to at least one of our daughters….somewhere.

Peanut told me today she wants Mama, Josie and her to live here a long, long time.

Doesn’t look like our nest will be empty anytime soon.

Linking up with Friday Finds
fridayfindsbutton2

photo source: http://dymission.com/?p=1565


9 Comments

Y is for YOU!

In the beginning….God spoke to mankind. He used the pronoun YOU in his first communication with his human creation. He made it personal.

So sets the tone for how the relationship between God and us is suppose to be. Personal.

Likewise, the New Testament ends with mankind’s communication with God with the plea, Amen. Come Lord Jesus.

Between the first and last pages of the Christian bible are poetry, stories, history and parables about YOU…about me…and our personal relationship with God. It’s the story of US! With the first word that spoke the world into existence to the predictions of the end of the age, the words of the bible are carefully chosen, God-inspired messages to us. Messages to remind YOU…and me that our lives are designed for something bigger than ourselves.

Sometimes it may seem like God’s a gazillion miles away and not vested in our happiness. But that is never the case. Most of the time if we feel God is far away from us, it’s because we’ve moved away from him.

We’ve made it impersonal.

The truth is, God is crazy about YOU. It’s not a concept that is truly understood on our end. Who really understands unconditional love and forgiveness? By most of our actions, we certainly don’t. But over and over in the bible are examples of God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness for his creation…for me….for YOU.

From JC’s parables about lost sheep, to lost coins, to the prodigal son, God’s message is clear. His love for YOU…and me is extravagant, unexplainable and almost impossible to understand.

For him, it’s personal.

Linking up with ABC Wednesday
ABCWed14

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 54 other followers