February 13, 2013 by JesstheMess
Sometimes, something unexpected happens, it just jumps out and surprises you.
My choice to be a ‘stay-at-home Mum’ means that I also choose to go without some things that I otherwise might not think twice about. Along with that has been the desire to be more content with what I have. This summer that has been put to the test.
2012 was a year of growth for my photography. A heart growing, desiring to delight in God and learn more of Him through his word and His creation led to more time behind the lens of the camera. As I walk and notice the intricate details He has placed in this world I marvel and ponder how these further illustrate what He has revealed to us in His word. My trusty Fuji Finepix S2000HD has done the job well. It has been thrust in handbags, carried in a backpack and sat at the ready on the dining table. At times it would frustrate me when the light was low, indoors on a gloomy day (we have a few of those), late evening shots in the garden when the kids are in bed… But largely I avoided these situations and we got on well.
As summer approached, I took on a few projects both personal and for family where the issue with low light became a bigger problem. It was now compromising my ability to produce the clarity of shot I needed. At the same time competitions began appearing. The radio station, the newspaper, the news website… there were a number of competitions and the prizes were good. I began to wonder if there was opportunity for more, if a ‘stay-at-home Mum’ could maybe win a camera that would equip her to continue to marvel behind the lens without these restrictions. ‘Good in low light’, ‘sharp images’, ‘superb image quality with low noise and natural colour’… were descriptions that jumped out at me. It was getting harder to remain ‘content’.
Prayerfully, I entered the competitions. Submitting some of my favourite holiday shots. Quickly I had a photo published and with it entry into the draw for a camera. Content went out the window! Suddenly, I was researching cameras and seeing how the prizes stacked up. I had it sorted. Three out of four were better than mine, so I got to praying that if God wanted me to have a good camera I would let Him guide me to the best one (i.e. let me win it). Not winning any, well, I said that I would accept that as a very difficult call to contentment while I save my pennies. My heart was wrestling as we waited for the close of the competition. A second photo was published, a second entry. My prayers were mixed, “Lord, help me be content” and a minute later “Lord, I would love a better camera”.
The competitions ended. I was not a winner. The photo’s that won were great. A dear friend who I had encouraged to enter with a stunning photo she had, was among the winners. I was so excited for her, yet my heart was sad. All that wrestling, that struggling to be content, now a murky mess in my heart as I prayerfully tried to accept this as God’s answer and direction for now. My head needing to remind my heart that my camera is but a tool, it need not be perfect, or even great, to be a tool in worshipping our Lord.
Then the gift. First with an email, my friend tells me that as she is out of town, she is getting the prize delivered to my address and if it’s useful to me I can keep it as she is about to fly off halfway round the world. What! Really? Well, it has taken some weeks to arrive, and for the exact camera to be revealed, but I am now the owner of a very nice Canon EOS M. A gift I did not earn or deserve. I cannot boast of my great photo’s that won me this camera. Someone else won it with their efforts, then from the overflow of their heart chose to share that with me. What a gift!
I cannot ignore the irony of how this mirrors the gift of gifts. A free gift. It comes not at our expense, nor something we have earned or deserve. It is based on the work and generosity of another, who faced death that we might have life. It is God’s grace. The kind giver God himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
What a GIFT!
Here is one doubly grateful stay-at-home-mum who will seek to use this gift of undeserved blessing for His glory, ever grateful for the care of a Heavenly Father who delights to give good gifts and for His precious child who because of His work in Her life was set free from greed and boasting to love generously. May I not give up delighting, and may I not give up trusting that I have all I need in the GIFT of gifts, and that this camera is but a tool.
Thank you Father.
Thank you friend.