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This is one of my best friends’ babies. In her hands is a custom order from someone who’s friend lost her son to suicide last week. A son who was this age once. A son who was fiercely loved and valued and squeezed tight. A son who will always be their baby. My heart cannot fathom the overwhelming grief. Our only hope? To lift our eyes to the One who is our help in every season and situation. Jesus, come quickly.
It seems the Lord is teaching me a deeper (more experiential) meaning of what Paul talks about when he describes servants of God as “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10a). • You see, there is so much good happening. So much joy, provision, and depth of community. So many doors opening. So many opportunities to minister and be ministered to. So much love and humility and grace and kindness and care that it has made me—quite literally—cry into a plate of chicken and waffles from the mercy of it all. • These scattered beams can only be explained by the Lord, who is dropping joy bombs and grace explosions all around. • But it’s not all chicken and waffles. • (Link to blog post in profile ❤️)
“All in all, it was a never-to-be forgotten summer—one of those summers which comes seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going—one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.” -L.M. Montgomery
“[It is] as if [David] had said, Separated from God I am nothing, and all that I attempt to do ends in nothing; but when I come to Him, I find an abundant supply of strength. It is highly necessary for us to consider what we are without God; for no man will cast himself wholly upon God, but he who feels himself in a fainting condition, and who despairs of the sufficiency of his own powers. We will seek nothing from God but what we are conscious of wanting in ourselves. ...the reason why God is represented as a portion is, because He alone is abundantly sufficient for us, and because in Him the perfection of our happiness consists.” -John Calvin, on Psalm 73:26

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Missing what’s in front of me

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In the Oxford Botanic Gardens, where J. R. R. Tolkien would go to write. Be still my heart.

I’m a journalist. I document things.

It’s my job. I went to school for it. I love it. I do it when I don’t have to.

My daily life consists of taking photos, filling journals, compiling stories, transcribing meetings and interviews, writing lists and making observations.

During our recent trip to England, the documentation game was strong. I wanted to (surprise) document everything (is that a leaf? Is that an old hot dog wrapper that’s been trampled? WE MUST PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING). But from time to time, Haley would make me stop and look without taking photos and you know what? The world kept spinning.

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My tendency is to try and preserve every moment, but sometimes in doing so I lose the actual moment. In effort to save I lose (see also: Matthew 16:25). 

The quest for documenting every moment can quench the need to just be in the moment.

When’s the last time you just let yourself be? (Sophie, I’m talking to you.) Can you recall the last time you simply sat in a moment and savored the seconds therein? Here’s the thing about me, I can sit in a moment and then want to take a photo of it to tell everyone I’m sitting in the moment. Uh, hello. #ridiculous

We easily buy into worldly thinking that claims our identity comes from what we do instead of what God has done. We have wrongly believed that we’re human doings instead of human beings. -Jeff Vanderstelt

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In our world of Instagram and Twitter and Snapchat and all media that claims to be social, I’ve found it’s easy to live through a screen. But at the end of our short little lives, won’t we find that was no life at all?

Dear heart, life is more than a well-lit photo or a perfectly articulated sentence. Life is meant to be lived. Breathed. Explored. Adventured. Tasted. Enjoyed in real time, not on a Facebook timeline. 

I’m currently sitting in Panera watching a couple at the booth in front of me (creeper status, I know) and in the 20 minutes they’ve been here, they’ve said maybe 15 words to each other. They’re currently staring at their phones, one is eating an apple, one is picking at a sandwich. They’re lost in their own separate worlds.

Are we so connected that we’ve lost true connection?

Am I the only one that struggles with this documentation syndrome? Maybe so. Regardless, my prayer is that we spend our lives with our senses and hearts engaged (which reminds me, you should read this stellar blog on being engaged), viewing our days through the lens of the Gospel not just the lens of a camera.

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“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”
-Ephesians 5:15-16

4 comments on “Missing what’s in front of me

  1. Sophie, yes! I needed to read this, you are literally my role model!

    1. Lucyyyyy, you are precious and make my heart happy. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment—you’re always so encouraging. Love you lots. ❤

  2. Love. I’ve been learning this lesson too.

  3. So challenging. So necessary. Thankful for you!

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