Friday, February 13, 2015

My Self Discovery Through Scrapbooking

Where does God put His signature on each of us, His design? I like to think it is in the gifts that He gives to each of us. Those abilities we have that give us satisfying enjoyment and places we know we succeed. But what about those times we don't know the signature? What about the moments we question whether we really have it or not.

I have been in and out of doubt with my God given signatures. One minute I cannot contain the excitement I feel when really excelling at something and the next I am complaining that I am not doing it well enough. That I am just not as good as the next person at doing it. Or other times I get real snub about my abilities and end up falling flat on my face. This is where I just need a little kick in the pants or some nudging by my heavenly Father. I just have it all wrong.

I have been meaning to do something with my photography. I have played the snub card, fallen flat on my face, hated it, LOVED it, and held on for dear life. I have a relationship with the gift God gave me that is like having a friend that doesn't leave, no matter how fickle I am. That is what a signature does to you. Anyways, I started to acquire some Project Life supplies in order to print out my photos and put them in an album for safe keeping.

Once I made the prints and sat down on the floor to start the overwhelming task of getting these photos in the book, I started to experience several new perspectives.

1. Experiencing Feelings I Only Had for Childhood Photos: When I was a kid I would go through the photos my mom had in albums and look at how small my brother and I were. I would stare at the pictures of my parents before we existed, like they were other people. I would take in the moments in each picture of my relatives and how they hugged me. I enjoyed the smiling faces and love. I liked the happiness I saw, even though I knew that life isn't or wasn't easy. There is something different about holding a photo in your hand or seeing it in an album versus on a computer screen. An album of photos is the medium I grew up with. I suddenly had an attachment to the moments in the photos, not just the people.

2. Experiencing Excitement in Photographing Future Children: We have so many pictures of our neices that I just cannot put down. Getting them all organized and placed in an album made me realize how much I have actually documented their everyday life. More than anyone elses' at this point in time. It gives me joy seeing the natural flow of innocence and happiness in each image. I never knew that I was capturing how children really were until I had them in my hand. I think that I will have lots of fun with it in the future, like I do now.

3. Experiencing Satisfaction, Enough to Keep the Album Simple: Feeling satisfied with your own work is an awesome feeling. No matter at what point you are in the journey, if you are satisfied with what you produce through images, it makes the scrapbooking and printing process that much more enjoyable. I unfortunately didn't realize this until AFTER I printed my images. I was some what happy, but not till I had those images in my hands did I realize what I had. In turn it made it easy for me to realize that I didn't have to buy a bunch of stickers if I didn't want to (nothing wrong with stickers by the way), I could just let the pictures speak for themselves. I am a whole lot better at taking a picture than figuring out all the awesome crafty stuff that people come up with for albums. I embraced my abilities and let go of the expectations.

In the end the whole process has made me really appreciate my work and see that God has given me something special that I can share with others. Trying new things can help us discover what God has given to us. Oddly enough, something as simple as scrapbooking has taught me to just be me and enjoy what I have been given. I don't need to do what other people do, I just have to enjoy what I am good at.

I hope that whatever hobby or activity you try, enhances your insight into what you were ultimately designed to do and be satisfied. 

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