This past Tuesday I had a chance to attend the baptism of two very special people. Jen and her daughter Sydney were baptized out at the lake at a beautiful cottage. You may remember me mentioning Jen before, she is the photographer (check her blog out under my links) and she has been teaching me a lot about photography. She asked if I would take some pictures at the baptism and of course I said yes. I mean when a wonderful photographer like Jen asks an amateur to take some shots at such a special ceremony there was no way I was saying no! Here is a peek at some of the moments I had the chance to capture….
I have been inspired.
My inspiration has come from 3 words.
Yes, 3 simple words.
Are you ready for them? Here they are…
DON’T GIVE UP.
I’m sure you’ve heard these 3 short words a billion times before. I’m sure they’ve passed through your ears, rolled off your tongue and played through your mind again and again but maybe you’ve never taken the time to think about the power that can be unleashed in this phrase.
If I think back to the times and circumstances in which I’ve heard these words I think back to moments when all I wanted to do was give up…
- I was working on a high school math problem at my kitchen table….my Mom and I both in tears because we couldn’t solve what looked like a simple math problem.
- I was attempting to run the block and felt like I might pass out.
- I was away from home for a year working on a ministry team and all I wanted to drive home where everything was safe and familiar.
- I realized I threw my retainer out by accident and now that particular trash bag with my retainer in it was in the dumpster and I wasn’t sure I had what it took to dig through that trash.
- I watched (and was thrilled) for another friend who got engaged.
- I had what seemed like the worst shift of my life at work.
- I dropped the muffin pan in the oven, the pan had the muffins in them.
All of us face situations, whether humorous in retrospect or not, where all we feel like doing is giving up and throwing in the towel. Sometimes though there is someone or something inside us that pushes us to keep going. Something that tells us that we have to keep fighting, have to keep pushing on because whether it’s true or not we have to believe that what’s waiting for us will be worth it. We have to believe that the joy that comes after the struggle will be even sweeter because we had to struggle.
I am faced daily with the choice to give up or not to give up. I get to decide the stuff that I’m going to be made out of. And to be completely honest, often I don’t make the right choice. I get discouraged and far too easily fall prey to the mindset that I’m not good enough, nothing good will ever happen to me, there must be something wrong with me because I’m not where I think I should be at this point or I’m not where that person is, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not skinny enough, I’m not strong or disciplined enough or I’ll never get to where I want to be. These are the kind of thoughts that it’s really easy (and I know this personally) to get stuck in. These thoughts seem to be my cushion and by cushion I mean the place I fall back on. I think we all have a cushion, it’s like our default setting and we have to wrestle to keep going despite these thoughts that threaten to steal our joy.
I’m one of those lucky people that has an amazing friendship with my Mom. She’s the person I talk to about everything, she gets the bad, the ugly and the uglier and sadly she’s doesn’t get the good as much as she should. Amidst my ugly rants she will often say to me in her gentle and loving way “Darc, don’t give up”. There’s something in the way that she says it to me that always makes me feel hopeful. It’s like she knows something I don’t. It’s kind of like God….lol. I often tell God what I really think about things and sometimes there’s a part of me that really wonders if He’s got it figured out, if He really does have a plan for my life? But there’s the little awesome verse that answers that question…Jeremiah 29:11…For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
DON’T GIVE UP.
Because whatever it is, whether it’s a bully at school, uncertainty about your job, difficulty with school, tough stuff happening in your marriage, a lack of marriage, an illness, peer pressure, loneliness, grief, whatever your stuff is Don’t Give Up because God has plans to give you a hope and a future. So keep pressing on, you are not alone and maybe one day you’ll look back and understand.
These words should be my anthem because this is where I’m at and to believe this is my battle.
Tonight I’m going to choose not to give up, and tomorrow morning, well, I guess we’ll see what happens?
Sweet Dreams for you movers and shakers, may you be known for and marked as a person who never gives up and always hopes!
This past Saturday I went to a wedding. Two of my friends got hitched…..and I think everyone at that wedding would echo my sentiments in saying “it’s about time”! Derek and Sarah Sherk (that has a nice ring to it) were pretty much created to be together. Anyone whose grown up with them can say that when they weren’t dating we all knew that they should be dating and I don’t think any of us could ever really see one of them without the other. Derek knew this from the start, Sarah started out knowing it but forgot it for a while, but Derek waited patiently trusting that God would work it out and she would remember it again. Last summer all seemed right with the world when they declared publicly that they were officially dating and a few months later all of our hearts skipped a beat when Derek proposed to Sarah over the Christmas Holidays! Finally July 3rd came and we all cheered as they tied the knot. It was a beautiful day full of wonderful friends and whole lot of fun! Here’s a little taste of the day….