For the past month or so, I’ve been sharing with you my week(ish) in pictures. It’s been fun to show you which pictures I’ve snapped and what we’ve been up to. But lately I’ve noticed myself picking up the camera less frequently.
While I’d love to use that as an excuse for not getting my week in pictures posts done in a timely manner, there’s a reason for my lack of shutterbug moments.
I’ve been focusing on capturing moments in my mind’s eye rather than viewing life through a camera (or phone) lens. Although I like having pictures of my favorite people and places, I find that leaving the phone in my pocket allows me to immerse myself in sweet moments with friends and family. I am fully present to enjoy their laughter, share their tears, and return their hugs. That is worth far more than a photo.
I looked out the window this morning and noticed that from a certain angle, I could see a beautiful array of colors displayed on a row of trees and shrubs. The green blended into yellow which melted into to orange and then red. I had a complete palette of fall colors in one glance! Rather than trying to capture and caption the scene for Facebook, I simply stood and soaked it in.
Emma’s Christmas play is coming up soon. I’ll be there, front and center, early enough to get a seat with a great view of her side of the stage. I’ll have my camera, but I won’t be taking video of her performance. Sure, I’ll video her favorite song from the play (That’s our agreement.) and take a few pictures of her and her friends. But for the rest of the play, I’ll be soaking in the music, the excitement, the message. I’ll enjoy cheering her on as she uses her gifts to shine her light for Jesus. Videoing the play for YouTube just isn’t as important to me as being fully present for my daughter’s event.
I did this last spring when I didn’t video all of Emma’s dance recital. She was surprised when I told her I had videoed only one song from her performance. But when I explained that I wanted to enjoy every moment of her dancing rather than be watching from behind the camera, she beamed. She understood. Maybe without my realizing it, my choice to put my phone away communicated to her that I value her more than her performance.
As we gear up for the holiday season – and as we live our everyday lives – I encourage you to spend more time capturing heart pictures and less time trying to frame the best angle with your iPhone. Take some silly selfies, but stash the camera and be present, allowing your mind to snap every moment for you.