I expect non-believers to be vicious. Vicious CHRISTIANS though? What a sad testament we give, what terrible representatives of Christ we become.
The (bad) input I have received about my photographs have been that they are inappropriate, immodest, or too revealing of private, sacred institutions. Interspersed throughout this post are some of the "culprits" that have brought upon me a sound verbal lashing.
Those vicious ones usually never got a response back from me, they didn't really deserve one. To those few who spoke in love and true concern, I happily discussed and defended my position in private. I figured now is a most wonderful time to bring up the subject openly, here on my blog, since very soon there will be a new little one getting all sorts of photographic attention and some of it will bound to stir up strife.
My blog is a record of our life together and is my (unfortunately, at present) my only record as I haven't printed/scrapbooked or albumed photos since my film camera days. It is a place where I record the joys and beauties of every day in hopes that my children, as they grow, will too discover the true beauty of life in the little bits of living. I want them to know I was a joy seeker, a beauty finder~and I want them to be the same way.
Some of the most beautiful things in life that God has gifted us with is marriage and motherhood. Sadly, this is NOT beauty to todays' culture. They seek beauty elsewhere and despise what is truly good.
I have opened this blog up publicly, to shout from this dusty little corner of the web, that true beauty can be found anywhere-in any predicament-and the culture that we live in does not define it. Not for me. And I pray, not for my children. There is a younger culture out there who are being fed lies through every media venue available, and parents are beginning to buy into it too. What a shame it is that we Christians don't do more to speak up to the glory of God's way.
I do post photographs of love and marriage because this is one of the most beautiful gifts of my life. Feet entangled in a wedding ring quilt-topped bed may be inappropriate to some because of the "hint" of intimacy, but my intent is to convey, through my photographs the great, unabashed intimacy within MARRIAGE. That wedding-ring quilt WAS purposely used in the photograph.
A photograph of neck kisses from your husband may seem inappropriate to some in revealing too much, but the photograph to me represents the deep passion of two people who have saved themselves for one another---and how amazingly wonderful these moments can be. Intimacy within marriage is a beautiful, blessed thing and in my humble opinion, ought to be portrayed as such rather than letting the world maim the beauty of intimacy through trashy novellas and sitcoms. I heard once on television that it is unrealistic for men to remain pure for their spouses "these days" and unfair for women to expect that. I will gladly challenge that theory-that passion can still remain in a monogamous, God-ordained marriage, until my very last breath here on earth-and will do so with a clean and pure conscious. These are bits of the true beauty God has saved for some blessed few and it is about time people recognized them as such.
Naked babies are apparently taboo, as well, for Christians to portray in photographs. At a time when our culture screams that babies can be ripped to shreds or burned to death, or just avoided altogether by pills and surgeries, isn't NOW the time that we Christians start showing the world what it means to cherish these wee darlings? Is there anything so beautiful as the pearly soft skin of a newborn? The smell of a new baby? Are the teeny toes not a miraculous thing to tickle? The ecstasy of a little person, just pulled from within you, warming on your breast~ is this not the epitome of joy?
Motherhood is a most beautiful gift. It is only given to some. It is avoided by many. It is embraced by few. If I can portray just a small bit of this beauty in a way that I deem modest, than I will. For my children to see firsthand what I valued in life. For those who visit here to realize that there is something very beautiful and sacred in the things that the counter-culture loves to despise. And for myself~to draw me into thanksgiving to God. HE is the giver of all these moments of beauty.
I am five days away from a due date to deliver my fourth child~which in my mind really means ANY day (read: should have been YESTERDAY!) . I thought now an appropriate time to discuss these things openly here and to give ample forewarning about what is to come.
I do not, obviously, consider any of my photographs to be immodest. If I did, I would not publish them here--or even take them in the first place. My conscious is clear in regards to my photographs and my intent in sharing them publicly is to be a small voice in a much-too-loud counter-culture, proclaiming the beauty of God's way.
I respect and appreciate the ideals of my fellow believers and their own familial standards of modesty and decency. I also know that I may or may not share them. I value modesty and am teaching my children to value it as well, but may or may not agree with your particular standard. And that is okay. I truly believe that God has put us in different mindsets on this earth so that we might learn to love one another and commune with one another despite our differences. It can be a wonderful training in humility and long-suffering, patience and unconditional love.
All this to say: when Smooch *finally* arrives, there will be plenty of naked baby photographs. There will likely be photographs that portray the joys of motherhood, nursing, bathtimes, and baby parts that I deem to be modest. I would not post them if they weren't. If, for some reason, you consider them immodest or inappropriate I invite you to not offend yourself by coming here.
For as long as this blog is around, I will use my words and my photographs to convey the true beauty of a life lived with eyes open to God's glorious and abounding grace. Totally undeserved. Absolutely mesmorizing. And wonderfully appropriate.
A very FEW::
Intimate gifts of marriage, 8 blissful years this week~
#503 :: hands resting on your husbands silently rising and falling chest
#504 :: hearing your loves heartbeat, as you snuggle on the couch
#505 :: eye sparkles
#506 :: gentle teasing
#507 :: rough housing and laughing so hard you cry
#508 :: him "letting" you tackle him, and win
#509 :: neck kisses
#510 :: impromptu backrubs
#511 :: feet entangled
#512 :: a haven in strong arms
#513 :: a person to share your soul with
#514 :: a man who strokes your head when you are crying so hard it throbs
#515 :: sharing secret words, and not being laughed at
#516 :: being reunited
#517 :: soft lips
#518 :: vanilla perfume, sprayed on my pillow
#519 :: caresses
#520 :: triumphs shared, mourning made strong again
and beautiful bits of motherhood, 7 years ago next week it all began~
#521 :: baby breathes
#522 :: bums hiked up the air while sleeping
#523 :: needing a hug, and always being able to find one
#524 :: contagious laughter
#525 :: naked babies running around the house before bathtime
#526 :: the smell of Johnson and Johnsons on wispy hair
#527 :: fluffy down heads that turn into braids and ringlets in the humidity
#528 :: constant noise
#529 :: never being alone
#530 :: adoration in small eyes, staring back at you
#531 :: stretching yourself to be more Christ-like
#532 :: denying yourself, a most worthy pursuit
#533 :: absolute joy
#503 ~ #533 bits of my amazingly beautiful life. Thank you, Father.