I've been using my camera a lot more lately.
A few years ago I took some self portraits where I felt very vulnerable and open.
And to be honest, I've felt sort of closed off lately, the opposite. But Ruby had me sitting and nursing and holding her all morning yesterday. It was a long morning, but I had my camera with me so I decided to snap some self portraits of the two of us during our most intimate time.
I am back to my heaviest weight ever, my face is swollen due to health issues. I just feel like a horrible parent lately, and like my walls are just creeping in on me as I struggle through some things. Ultimately, the Lord is still good and will see us through it all, though it may be painful and ugly. Things I'm learning are to open my clenched fist and stop holding on to MY idyllic situations and circumstances. I feel like I spend too much time thinking on how this and that should be and not living where I'm at. I hold on so tightly to what I believe things should look like that I can't even see what the Lord is trying to do in front of me. I can't see beyond the things I'm clenching so tightly to. Basically, I just said the same thing about ten different ways. Ell Oh Ell.
Seriously, though, letting go is a huge process. And it's so strange, because I actually thrive on change. I love it so much. The only time it's a little bothersome is when peeps try to change something that was actually working REALLY well and they simply wanted to reinvent the wheel and it just flopped. But that's another song and dance. ...I forget where I was going with this whole paragraph, because kids. So.
These photos. My face, it's swollen, but I am as weary and tired as I look. I keep envisioning myself in this room full of people lately. And it looks like a room full of people just doing their thang and worshiping the Lord full out with all of their being, myself included. Y'all, I am in the trenches. I'm in the trenches of motherhood, tiny babies, toddlers, preschoolers, adolescents, preteens, and teens. Trenches. Something unique but hard at every turn with all of these ages. And I want out sometimes, so darn bad. I don't love every second. I don't cherish every single moment. I won't miss every detail of these days. I do believe I will have moments I will miss and I will remember the good. But I long to not feel the weariness. So lately, I find myself just reaching, reaching for a way to let the Lord do more in my heart and in my home and in my mess, because, y'all... it is a mess up in this heart. And what I've discovered is that this room I'm envisioning, I want that within my home. I want my home to be a place where I can freely worship how I do. Sure, this mothering thing and this wife-ing thing and this homemaking thing are acts are worship, but that is not what I'm craving. I'm craving to crank up all the songs and say all the prayers and fling my head back and belt a million words and let the tears flow, all unfettered and without fear. I just want my whole being to be flung into His arms by way of song and movement and tears and a great pouring out of the heart. I want the Holy Spirit to speak on my behalf while I just give every last drop of breath and tear and being to full blown God glorifying worship. Selfishly, I want all of Him. But also, I want to give Him all of me. Not only do I want that for myself, but for my children, my guests. I'm very self conscious about things like this, but oh man, I'm working on it.
My daughter. She is a huge part of who I am as a mother at the moment because she is so often literally attached to me. And it's a beautiful thing and it's one of my favorite times during the early years, having a nursling. I adore it. She's currently going through a phase where she clings tight to me every morning and sits close and alternates between nursing and snuggling until her first nap, rarely moving from wherever we're sitting. So I caught some of our nursing session on film in a more creative, detailed way. I may not love my figure, or my swollen face, but I love her. I love us. And my thoughts were running wild and I just needed to capture this time on film. There are a lot of photos, but I love them all.