Be More You

I took this picture about 6:00am. I opened my deck for the day—opening the umbrella, putting down the porch swing from its out-of-the-rain position, putting up the gates so the dogs can’t get off the deck—and I looked down to see the sun shining through the flower petals. Instantly I was reminded of my very first “artsy” photo.

My family and I were on vacation in the Rocky Mountains when I was in junior high. We were on a hike and I had my trusty Kodak Instamatic camera ready to take a photo beautiful enough to hang on my wall. One evening previously we attended a program put on by the park ranger about photographing wildflowers in the park. I was inspired! Something in me sparked. I was determined to become a real photographer even if I was starting with the Instamatic camera I got for Christmas when I was nine.

Back to our hike—We walked along and there I saw the most vibrant orange wildflower with the sun shining through its petals. Immediately I stopped and knelt down like the ranger instructed us. Through the viewfinder I looked for the best angle. I pushed the button and took the picture. And then I waited a few weeks after we got home and my mom had time to take my film to get developed to see what my masterpiece looked like.

It looked pretty good—good enough to encourage me to keep on trying. Later when I had a part time job, I saved up my money and bought a 35mm camera (it used film) with lots of cool gear. I loved taking pictures on vacations and my friends and whatever.

Eventually I got married and had three daughters. Most of my photography was for special occasions with the family. Who had time to find a camera when the kids were doing who knows what?!

A few years ago I decided I was ready for another real camera. I bought a digital 35mm. I love it!

I often use my phone for photos that can’t wait for me to grab my camera from its ready position on the bookshelf. Either way, phone or camera, taking pictures feeds my soul. It’s part of who I am—like writing. I feel more me, more complete, when I snap a picture that is too cool to miss or when I jot down a thought, or what happened today. My photos and my written word records my life, makes it more real and more lasting.

So why did I write this longer-than-usual blog? To bring you to this question—What makes you feel more like you, more complete? What stirs your soul? What sparks in you?

If something came to mind, make it a priority in your life, even if you’re not that good at it. I’m not great, but it’s still fun.

If nothing came to mind, talk to God about what He put in you. Ask Him to show you and then take one step to pursue it.

You will never regret it.

You will be more you.

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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