Why Green August?

Green August…strange name for a blog is a common reaction. No one has said those exact words, they don’t have to, their face says it. I don’t blame them, I understand their reaction. Then you have the people who know my last name is Green and assume that’s where I got the Green but can’t figure out the August. A simple answer would be my last name is Green, we got married in August and I like the way they sound together. That would be just the beginning though, there’s so much more behind Green August than that simple answer.

There are 3 reasons I choose the name Green August.

1. The first is the straight forward and simple answer. We were married in August. A new beginning, new life with a new last name, Green.

2. The next has a little more meaning behind it. A year and a half ago, in August, our family of 4 were all baptized together. Another new beginning, new life in Christ.

3. The final reason is a little deeper, a little thought provoking. We live on the edge of northwest Ohio, where it meets with midwest Ohio. If you’re from here or have been here in August then you know, there is not much green left on the ground. Green in August is not something usually seen here. Summer is starting to end, the dry heat has or is sucking the life from the plants, grass, and fields. There is not much green but there is a lot of brown. The crops are starting to dry up for harvest and unless you water your yard, it’s beginning to turn brown also.  What appears to be dead really isn’t though. With the drying crops, they are harvested and become something that gives back life as seeds for more crops, food for animals, or food for us. With the grass, given time, water, and cooler temperatures it turns green again. Given a little work and time things come back to life, are given new life or turn green again. Life comes back to what appeared to be dead. I have had similar dry spells in in my life, where it seems as if everything is turning brown, drying up, dying. I’ve learned with a little time and most importantly, with faith and trust in God, life is brought back. Things turn green again. Where death seemed eminent, Jesus Christ won and there is eternal life, new life.

At various times over my almost 40 years of life things have appeared to be what August in Ohio is, dry, brown, and dying.  My life, my marriage, my hope to be a mom, they have all seemed to be dead or on the verge of death at certain  junctures. Some of that is my own doing, I made choices that like the summer heat, caused the damage that was causing the death. Other times, just like in nature, things happen that we have no control over that bring about damage that again causes life to drain away, to begin dying.  Like the crops, grass, and plants that are turning dry and brown though, each area that appeared to be dead or dying for me was given new life and that life was given by the one and only Savior, Jesus Christ.

Without salvation through Jesus Christ my life is over, I am dead. Not physically but spiritually. I was heading down a path in life that was leading to a dead end. There was nothing but dry, brown lifeless days ahead of me until I learned what true repentance and salvation through Jesus was. Through him I have ever lasting life.  John 11:25 (NIV) Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

The same is true of my marriage and dreams of motherhood. Both looked to be dead and we’re given new life through God. What was brown and lifeless, became green and given new life.

So, now you know the simple reason, the meaningful reason, and the deeper thought provoking reason behind the name Green August.

In life we all face times where we feel like the end has come. We feel there is death of some sort that has happened or is happening. Whatever you’re facing today, no matter how bad the situation looks, there is still life there waiting for you. Just like those summer August days seems to be brown and lifeless but we know there is hope of greenness and life that comes back. There is hope and life for you and your situation. That hope and life is found in God’s son Jesus. He died and rose again to life that you should never die but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

I found new life in Jesus, he gave me a Green August.

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52 of You

I like photography. I like to take photos but, I wouldn’t call myself a photographer, more a hobbyist. I did photography for awhile as a business and someday I may again. For now it is something I love to do for myself. Another outlet for my creativity.

I see photographers and other hobbyist doing 365 projects, a photo a day for an entire year, and they fascinate me. However, I’m realistic with myself and the probability of me not completing a 365 project. More than likely with the crazy awesome life I live with 2 kids in school, basketball, piano, dance, etc, I’d remember I didn’t take a photo for the day as I crawled exhausted into bed. That thought doesn’t entice me into trying a 365 project. I also want to photograph something with meaning, not some random item or moment from my day or from a prompt list a photography website has posted.

The desire is there though. The desire to pick up my camera more. The desire to photograph with purpose and direction. To photograph a subject with meaning. To see growth through the photos themselves.

That desire along with the love for my children and seeing how fast they’re growing and changing has led me to my own photography project for the year. My kids are 9(almost 10) and 11. They’re on the edge of where being a little kid is slipping away and the tween years are beginning. I want to capture through photographs this time, to see the change and growth in a year and to savor each moment. My way of doing this is going to be by taking a photograph a week of each of them. I explained it to them and said “there will be 52 of you”, hence the title of this and the title for my project. I’m sure this isn’t unique, I’m sure it’s been done before. I’m excited though. To see the growth of not only my kids but, also my photography over the year. I’m sure there will be Saturday nights where they’re getting ready for bed and I realize I don’t have their photo for the week but that’s ok. I’ll photograph them as they brush their teeth, snuggle under the covers, say their prayers, or kiss me goodnight. Those too are the fleeting moments I don’t want to forget and those are the moments that are part of our life right now.  I’ll try to share the photos as I go but I know some weeks will be busy and I won’t get to edit and post them. Some weeks I’ll catch you up with multiple weeks’ photos at once. I plan and hope to use my DSLR camera for all of these but I’m not forbidding myself the use of my iPhone if I need to.

With that, let me introduce you to my kids with photos from week 1’s 52 of You.

Wyatt is our oldest. He’s our sweet tender hearted boy. Thankfully he will still cuddle up on the couch with me and kiss me goodnight. He’s smart, things come easy to him. He loves music and has natural musical talents and abilities. He plays piano and trumpet and wants to learn guitar and drums. He loves God and knows God has called him for a purpose(I don’t feel it’s my place to share what that purpose is because it’s his). He is God’s little warrior and God used him to bring healing to this mama’s heart.

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Selah is our youngest. She’s a little bit of grit and grace. She’s a beautiful perfect storm. She’s a little all over the place but loves fiercely. She was the answer to many prayers and now is the subject of many prayers. As she says, dance is her thing.  I see her loose and find herself all at the same time with dance. She has a fire in her that is going to set this world ablaze. Her name means to pause and to reflect, she causes me to to do just that frequently.

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You’ve just been introduced to 2 big pieces of my heart. I really can’t believe these kids I prayed so long and hard for are already this big. Time is moving a little too fast. I hope to slow it down a little with this photography project.

I’m looking forward to seeing all 52 photos of them when the year is over. To see how they’ve changed, not just in looks but in who they are.  I plan to make a photo book for each of them with the photos from every week. Who knows, maybe this will be the start of something I take on every year with them. As with my writing I’m starting, I’m excited to see where this too leads me.

 

A Door Waiting to Be Opened

In my first post, Brave Enough to Walk Through the Door, I wrote how I asked myself some questions about God calling me to write. One of those was, what if I don’t have anything to write….insert a comment here from my husband about me never being short on words, lol. I’ll admit that’s pretty true though. I like words, I like to talk.  So I’m excited that right now I’m bursting with ideas for blog post.

If you’re following me on this journey you’re waiting to hear on two subjects I mentioned in that first post, why I choose Green August as a name and 52 of You. I’ll get to both, I promise, but first I feel I need to expand on being brave enough to walk through the door. I consider this a part two, a follow up of sorts to my first post.

It’s taken me awhile, truthfully a little to long, to walk through the door and I’ve learned some things along the way. In that time I did a lot of praying, asking God what am I supposed to do with my life. Asking what is my calling, what gifts has He given me and how or what do I do with them. Some things were easy and clear. First I’m a wife, second I’m a mom.  I love being a wife and a mom, it’s my most important job on this earth but, I felt there was more He wanted me to do and I was asking God to show me, to open the door for me.

Thing was He was showing me the door but He needed me to move, to take action. Our pastor frequently says if you’re feeling distant from God he didn’t move, you did.  God is always with us and many times when we feel He’s distant it’s because we’ve stepped back. We’ve spent less time in His Word, in prayer, in worship, etc. I wasn’t feeling distant, I hadn’t taken any steps back but I wasn’t moving forward either. We have to continually grow in our relationship with God, to move forward. After months of praying I knew what God was asking me to do. To be truthful though, as I wrote in that first post, I’ve known for awhile…but I wanted the door opened for me. God showed me the door, He unlocked it for me but I had to be brave enough to open it and be brave enough to walk through it. The Bible talks about faith without action, or works, well I had the faith but I wasn’t acting on it.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also is faith apart from works is dead.             James 2:26(ESV)

For months I had been praying, asking, searching for the what, the where, the how. I was wanted a clear answer from God. He wanted to me to take a step of faith. He wanted me to move, to act in faith, trusting He would be there when I did. Even though it was intimidating, I had to to take a step. That step required me not to walk through an already open door but to open the closed door AND take a step through.  Can I just say it’s easier to walk through an open inviting door than it is to open a closed door and take a step into the unknown. That door can look pretty scary.  It can look uninviting and hard to open, but have faith that sometimes the best things are hidden behind the least likely door.

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So let me ask you the question I asked myself, what if God is waiting for you to move? What if He’s showing you the door is there, it’s unlocked, but you have to move, to act, to do the work. You have to be brave enough not just to walk through it but, to open it and take a step through. What is the opportunity waiting for you, what does God have for you that He needs you to act in faith on? If God shows you the door, no matter how scary it is, take a step of faith, open the door and walk through. It’s amazing what is on the other side.

 

Brave Enough to Walk Through the Door

We’ve all heard the saying, “when God shuts a door, He opens a window.” What if God opens the door though? Are you brave enough to walk through the door?

That’s where I’m at….I need to walk through the door.

I’ve felt the call to write for so long but always make excuses.  Many times others have told me, “you should write.” I just smile and say, “thank you” but never act on it. I can’t do that anymore, I have to be brave enough to walk through the door God has opened.

So here I am taking the first step through the door by writing a blog.  Scary. Intimidating. Daunting.  Just a few words that describe this step. I’ve asked myself so many questions about doing this. Where do I start? How do I start? What if I don’t know what to write? What if my grammar is horrible? What if no one reads what I write? The most haunting question though….what if I fail?

Aren’t I failing though if I don’t do anything at all?

So here I am,  trusting Him to equip me for what He has called me to do, to write. With a new journal from my Husband for encouragement to write and a new blog to fill with post I’m walking through the door He has opened.

This is a short and sweet post, a kind of get my feet wet post. I hope you’ll come back to read more. To learn the meaning behind calling my blog Green August(I’ll give you a hint, there’s more than one reason why). To read about my personal project for the year, “Fifty-two of You”.  To see where I go with writing.

I’m excited to see where God leads me and how He equips me now that I’ve been brave enough to walk through the door.

equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen. Hebrews 13:21(ESV)