It’s Your Proud Moment – Take the Picture

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In less than two weeks, I will be joining 700 other women at the RISE Conference in Los Angeles. “RISE is a two-day conference designed, curated, and produced by Rachel Hollis. Rise is a cultivated space where women from every walk of life can come together to be inspired, supported and envoloped in a community.”

Yesterday, attendees were asked to send in a picture of a moment when we were proud of ourselves. Examples included giving birth, running a race, taking an amazing vacation, graduating from college or starting your own business. I starting thinking about all of the things I am proud of in my adult life.

I’ve got over 20 years of adult moments to be proud of. I’ve recovered from back surgery. Gotten married. I’ve given birth to 5 children. I’ve completed half-marathons and won metals in other races. I’ve spoken in front of hundres of students. At women’s retreats and marriage conferences. I preached at our church. I’ve shared Jesus. Taught dance. Published a blog. I’ve created. Encouraged. Decorated. Restored a 100 year old home. I’ve been a friend. And probably hundreds of other things I can’t think of.

In all of my adult years of proud moments, I couldn’t find one picture. Not one. I know there was a picture when I finished my first half-marathon. It must be lost someone is cyberspace. There has be a decent picture somewhere of me preaching. I know I have pictures of me with my brand new babies, but that might be about it.

What I do have, are pictures of my children in so many proud moments. Awards at school. Gymnastics competitions. Dance recitials. Solos at church. Theater performances. Baseball, softball, soccer games. First steps. First words. First days of school.

I was behind the camera in all of these proud moments.

I love that there are so many proud moments of my kids. And I was so proud!

I just wish I would recognized that I have just as many proud moments.

Moms. Women. Let me tell you one thing. Step out from behind the camera. Have someone take a picture of you in your proud moments. And, be proud! Shine! Rise up to your amazing, God-given potential and shine!

It’s your proud moment.

Take the picture!

A Thousand Words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a photo Christmas card worth? The first commercial Christmas card was produced in London in 1843. Since then, the greeting card industry has boomed. Even with the creation of internet cards, Christmas cards are still holding strong. Christmas cards were appearing in stores in September. September!!! When Shawn and I were first married, we send out traditional Christmas cards. After we had our first child Elise, we jumped into photo Christmas cards. These were a big hit since we lived across the country from our family. Every year since then, a new picture has been taken (some photo sessions included tears), personal messages were written (sometimes letter that only half of the recipients read), Christmas stamps were purchased and the cards were sent out.

We shared joys and triumphs from the past year. Every other Christmas, our family grew by another member. Last year, our Christmas cards showed our three girls on the beach with “#4” written in the sand. This year, #4 will be in our picture. I enjoy looking back at our past cards and remembering where we were and what was going on in our lives.

This year, I was given the opportunity to write a blog about photo Christmas cards and help promote www.shutterfly.com. Not a problem! Our photo Christmas cards came from Shutterfly last year. They are one of my favorites. So, whether you like using a photo (http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery) or not photo (http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-cards or http://www.shutterfly.com/greetings/index.jsp ), maybe you should check out www.shutterfly.com and see how you can spread some holiday cheer this year. This was my plug.

So, like years past, I will find a time to corral the whole family into a slightly staged grouping. Set the camera up, and try (without getting frustrated or someone bursting into tears – that happened one year) to get one picture where we are all looking in the same direction. Maybe like this one, but with Ellasyn’s eyes open.