My sweet friend Kendra recently asked, "where do you find joy?" and it got me to thinking.
I often find joy when looking through the lens of my camera. Sometimes the joy comes when I capture a really good photo ... one that's well lit and well composed, and just grabs your attention immediately. Often the joy comes when I am capturing special moments or people for others, whether it's a special occasion such as a wedding, or family portraits of a friend's 8 children. It might come when something has happened (such as a toddler dumping a whole box of Cheerios on the table instead of just filling the bowl), and I follow a friend's advice to "take pictures first, ask questions later." Or even just heading out with my camera to take pictures of whatever I can find, be it little lambs frolicking in the field, raindrops on a leaf, or those silly little Peeps in the springtime!
There's also the joy of the resulting photographs. You'll see lots of photos hanging on the walls of my house ... they make me smile every time I see them. I get a burst of joy when I go to our Parish (County) Fair and see a ribbon on one of my photographs – especially a blue one! And then there are the scrapbooks filled with photo chronicling just about every aspect of our lives. Photography and scrapbooking pretty much go hand in hand for me. I love seeing my sons with a scrapbook in front of them, or sitting with them and "remembering when ... "
I have long enjoyed photography, going back to high school years with a Pentax K-1000 35 mm in my hand. (I thought I was something big with a "real" camera and not just my little point-and-shoot. :) ) Through the years, I have mostly been a chronicler of events and life ... but in more recent years, I have found another facet to my photography.
A few years ago, my family was sitting in church, and the pastor said something that turned on a light in my head (I can almost picture one of those cartoons with the bright shining lightbulb above someone's head.) He said that God gives everyone a passion for something, and we can use that "something" to bless others and glorify God. I immediately thought, "that's my photography!" Since then, I have tried to use my photography to bless others and glorify God, whether shooting a wedding or using it in other ways – notecards with my pictures on the front, posters for our Sunday School room, whatever.
Now ... I think I'm going to go grab my camera and find some joy!