Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 2011 Faithbooking Lesson

With my limited blogging/computer knowledge, I've struggled with the best way to share the monthly faithbooking lessons. The old way... well, just seems so OLD! Once I have a few more under my belt, I'll bind them together somehow and make them available to anyone interested. For now, I'll just share them fully in a regular blog post with tips at the end for incorporating the ideas into your own album. If you have any questions or technical tips to offer, send them my way by email to acvega at frontiernet dot net.

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Gain a new perspective.
Faithbooking Devotion #39 ~ Stones of Remembrance
Creating Rock-Solid Reminders of God’s Presence
© 2011 Tina Vega

Although we may not have control over our circumstances, we do have a say in the way we choose to view those circumstances. Our perspective can dramatically affect the way we endure life’s past, present, and future difficulties. In fact, adopting a healthy perspective can prove to be LIFE CHANGING by allowing us to reframe challenging situations in a whole new way.

The angle at which we approach life – our perspective of God at work in our lives – can sometimes be skewed. We often have a tendency to look at things one way, limiting ourselves and thoughts to only one possibility. Here are some things I try to keep in mind when life simply does not make sense:

1. Who is God? What do I know about His character? What does the bible say about His character? What have my experiences taught me about the Lord?
2. He is in charge. He is in charge. He is in charge. He is in charge. He is in charge.
3. With all of this in mind… knowing He is FOR ME – good, kind, loving, fair, just, all-powerful, all-knowing, honorable, righteous, faithful, LOVE => What other perspective could I take regarding my situation? What other approach could I use to look at the situation?

When my hopes and dreams were crushed by circumstances, I chose to view God biblically. Despite my feelings, I chose to believe He was FOR ME when it seemed the world was against me. Perhaps the season of loss was preparing me for bigger things ahead, by drawing me to very near to Him. Perhaps it led me to appreciate the everyday, seemingly boring things of life. He made the unnoticeable, very noticeable. Perhaps He allowed the experience to show me the true meaning of peace. Whatever the reason, I have chosen to trust His decision and get on with the business of living.

♥ Take a moment to think about a situation you are currently facing. Think specifically about the perspective you have been taking, whether negative or positive. Try to look at the situation from a new approach: What good thing(s) could possibly come out of this spot?
♥ Take a look at a photograph and journal about it from a new perspective. For example, instead of journaling about what you SEE try journaling instead about the FEELINGS or THOUGHTS the image elicits.
♥ Back it up even further and try photographing your subject from a new perspective by zooming in on otherwise missed details.

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. And entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.
– Psalm 39:4-5

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Ideas and tips:

1. Create a page spread about one day in your life. Document the day with photographs - challenge yourself to snap at least 50 images throughout the day. Focus on details you might otherwise miss: photograph a clock at significant times during the day (i.e. morning, lunchtime, middle of the night feedings, etc.), pay attention to facial expressions (good and bad), look for things that make you smile (a cup of coffee in the morning, reminders of your children, colors, the sunshine). Let the images tell the story of one day in your life.
2. Take it a step further and photograph things that irk you - pet peeves & other assorted irritations. Include journaling that explores the way you feel. Perhaps there is a story behind why something jabs you the way that it does. Try to look at the irritation from another perspective, perhaps even seeing something "good" within it. For example, we live in the dustiest house I know - it's been like that ever since we moved in eight years ago. While the dust certainly increased during the time of our basement remodel, my children's response to it remained the same:


They have a habit of turning the dirt in our home and vehicles into works of art. And that ALWAYS makes me smile.

3. Go even deeper by creating a scrapbook page regarding difficult circumstances (past or present). [Working through challenges and difficulties by way of our albums can offer encouragement and wisdom to others long after we are gone.] If it is a private situation, tuck the journaling into a pocket or envelope marked as such - this allows for freedom of expression while maintaining boundaries (some things I share are for the future or for family alone). Try to reframe the situation by using God's word as a filter for your experience. For example, while working through the grief of pregnancy loss I came across several verses that were particularly meaningful for me. I began looking at my situation in a whole new light, finding beauty and hope in the midst of one the most trying times in my life.

I love the verse at the end of the lesson, Psalm 39:4-5:

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away. My life is no longer than the width of my hand. And entire lifetime is just a moment to you; human existence is but a breath.

How much more differently would we live our lives if we took these words to heart?

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