Warts and all….

Some times I feel like this gourd.  Well, lots of times.  On first impression the gourd is warty, funky colored, not ideal.  I feel like that, too.  Seems I have always been the ugly friend, the “wingman” , the less refined, the socially inept, the chubby one, the one that had a lot of dreams but fears got in the way.  The B+, not the A.  The too needy, like a dog begging for attention or a child wishing for affirmation.  Yes, this is what I think about in the shower, during yoga, while laying in bed at night, while driving my car, while doing things with my kids-I am just not good enough.  But, this gourd is.  He, I will assume “he” as it is sexless, grows from a vine, and when complete, he is cut and sold.  As is, for seasonal decoration, then discarded.   On the brighter side of this, I took the picture because I liked his warts, his coloring, his overall funkiness.  I’m not sure, but I will venture someone else does too.

 

It was recently said, that in order to shine a light into the world, you have to start by shining a light in yourself.  So, do not think I am some self loathing individual,  I am just shedding some light inside to the corners and finding things that have been living there.  They seem to be blocking some major arteries of life for me and I just need to figure out how to flush the system clean.

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Spring 2012

Week 12 of the photo challenge’s theme was “spring”.  I have to admit, I took 3 pics, did not like any of them, but decided to go with this one:

It was cropped and tweeked with some focal work.  Like I said, its not great by any means.  But I have noticed that the level of greatness is either by chance or by effort.  There was no effort put in.  Next weeks theme is a bit more interesting and I think I will be putting a bit more into it!  Stay tuned!

Peeling Away the Bark.

This past weekend I was given the opportunity to experience an outreach in Pontiac, MI.  Pontiac is a blue collar area in a predominantly white collar Oakland County, the wealthiest county in Michigan.  At the heart, Pontiac has always been about factory jobs.  Those are now gone and poverty and hard living have taken over the area, sucking a lot of hope with it.  Sometimes people just need a break.

This is where Dave Shuman and Kensington Community Church come in.  Although its not a new idea, its not one that was happening in Pontiac.  Dave, the leader of the Middle School group at the Lake Orion church campus, organizes a free cookout at a local park for anyone who shows up.  He does this every 3rd Saturday of the month.  And people come.

All that join him in his efforts bring food, sweets, fruits, veggies, meat…the works.  Food always encourages conversations.  And conversations always encourage relationships.  And relationships bridge gaps and gives hope.

Food can create friendships.

 

It can bring out the crazy in people.

It always brings out smiles!

 

They eat, they smile and they leave with a little more light than when they showed up.

 

There is this giant majestic tree that stands off center of the park.

Its bark peels off to reveal new bark underneath.  It makes for beautiful patterns on its branches and seems to invite us to peel back more bark to reveal the fresh newness of whats underneath.  To let the light on the fresh bark so it can absorb its goodness and grow.  Much like what Dave has started doing here.

I loved seeing the kids load up their pockets with fruit and going back for just one more cookie.  The idea of complete strangers tossing a football around or just talking about the tastiness of the little brownie cupcakes-which were all gone before I got one-gave it a common place.  And that’s where everything begins, at a common place.  Dave tells me that this happens every Saturday in Detroit.  People bring more than food, they bring clothes to give away.  What so many of us take for granted and toss away is so treasured and needed by our own neighbors.  It is humbling to think of so many so close in such need, but so uplifting knowing there are people so willing to take action to help those same people.  Thanks, Dave, for allowing me to document a little of what you think you do and a lot of what you are doing for others!

Grandma’s Rosary

Week 11!  The theme for this past week was Heirloom.   My first thought was tomatoes.  Not quite in season yet for them and then throughout the week, I forgot about it.  So at the last minute I pulled my Grandma’s Rosary out.  Not the most impassioned photograph, but this challenge is not always about the end result, but sometimes its about the process, the reminder and creating discipline.

James 1: 26-27

The theme for Week 10 of the photo challenge was “Quotes”.  I really would have preferred to find a quote in action, so to speak, but never got it.  So after some reflection on how I was feeling throughout the week, I came to these two verses in the Bible.  No, I am not so in tune with the the Bible that an old memory verse came to mind, but rather I saw it somewhere else and had a recollection of it.  It pretty much summed up what I had been feeling and thinking the whole week.

Blessings.