September 26, 2021
One of my FAVORITE parts of Minnesota in the fall is the North country. Anybody who lives in this state (or near enough to travel to it fast enough not to miss “peak season”) understands what I’m talking about. Most years, the colors are so vibrant that we often stop to wonder if it is real.
Every year. It’s like we forget.
Purples, reds, yellows, oranges, and bright greens: the mix is STUNNING.
The other day, my son said to me, “Mom, I know why the trees change colors. I bet you know, too.”
I do know, but I let him tell me anyway. I’m just glad he’s learning something in school.
Why do they change color? The leaves lose something to gain something.
It’s that simple.
When I was enjoying this GORGEOUS night with this beautiful family in Breezy Point (seriously, I was eyeing the places to stay along the way because I’d love to treat my husband to a getaway), I took some time mid-session while the family was changing clothes. I opted to snap a few beautiful pieces of the breathtaking scenery. It was so amazing how close these birds were sitting and how beautiful they looked on the rippling water. I got closer and kept shooting. I couldn’t believe how still they were!!
Just LOOK at them!
Do you see it too? Yep. They’re fake.
It actually made me jump!! I couldn’t believe myself! Here I was (with nobody around, thankfully) taking pictures of these birds when the entire time what I THOUGHT was beautiful…was plastic.
WHY did I spend all of that time trying to frame up and take an image of something that didn’t matter?
When I had a moment with Amanda to do her individual portraits, we had a conversation about a very real problem: WHY do we, as women, worry the most about what we look like in pictures? I hear it all the time from nearly EVERY woman in my sessions.
“Sarah, these photos are BEAUTIFUL! I just wish that I was…”
Me, too. That’s why I have very few pictures of ME.
Moms, wives, ladies, listen to me: did you ever notice that we are the FIRST person we look at when we get that gallery from a photographer? It’s the one person that stands out to us. We often care more about what SHE looks like than how the kids are doing or if the husband looks happy.
Then, the questions.
“Do I look fat?”
“What about the clothes? Do they fit the way I felt they did?”
“Look at those wrinkles.”
“Ooh, my hair is thinning. My legs are getting thick. Those eyebrows.”
“I should have done something about that.”
We spend so much time looking at what isn’t real and we forget about what IS real. It’s so easy to forget that we need to lose something, too, to gain something.
AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL.
Then why does it feel so icky?
“Did God really say?”
That voice. Satan has been lying to us from the very beginning. He knows how to get under our skin and in our heads. His voices sounds like ours, so we listen to it. He says these things today, and it hurts.
Why? Because we still believe it, after THOUSANDS of years.
“Did God really say that it’s normal for your body to look that way, to walk that way, to slouch that way, to sag that way?”
Well, maybe no. God never said anything about what our bodies themselves should look like, other than the fact that we are to care for it. But, He DID make a way for our broken, imperfect bodies to disintegrate so that we don’t have to live forever hating ourselves. In fact, He made a way for our bodies to be absolutely PERFECT. But, death comes first.
Like the leaves.
But, today is NOT that day. Mostly likely. His Perfect is not our “perfect.” God’s timing is not our timing. His spirit’s presence in our hearts is not dependent on smooth skin, full hair, slim thighs, and Disney Princess shapes. It isn’t our job right now to match whatever description of worth this planet has scripted all over this place.
We have far more important things to do.
Like parenting, teaching, disciple-making, praying, loving, worshiping, and following Him.
One of my favorite and most depended-on promises of His is this: God promises that in the End we will be made whole, healthy, sinless, painless, rested, peaceful, and WITH HIM.
We have SO much to lose and SO much to gain.
So, get out enjoy those gorgeous colors like Ryan and Amanda did. I don’t think they know that I needed this trip to remember something very important about myself: to look up and over the plastic.
THANK YOU, Ryan and Amanda, for giving me the opportunity to meet your precious, and I mean PERFECT children. Amanda, your spirit speaks to my spirit and I need to visit the North just to sit with you and talk about God things. Ryan, your bravery in leading your family to this wonderful place is already providing them with a stomping ground of memories and fulfillment.
YOU guys are so precious. Chase that Light!
“And the One seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” | Revelation 21:5 (NIV)
Location | Breezy Point Resort, Breezy Point MN