I believe that God gives us these things. He gives us many things that bring us joy - our children and grandchildren, our family, our friends, our church, the place we live. Sometimes the gifts are hard - you have to work at them - like holding a crying baby with colic or knowing how to choose the right aperture and change the focus point on your camera or working on a lesson plan. But the work is part of the joy - the feeling of knowing that the work paid off. I see this in my children and the kind and good, God-loving adults they have become. I see it when I look in the back of the camera and see that I got the setting right. I see it in my classroom when my students discuss things at a deep level and are engaged in the learning.
Sometimes the gift of joy God gives comes through others. Like this weekend when Thomas got up with me before sunrise to go to Greenbriar to take pictures in early morning light - And waited - while I took endless shots, carrying the tripod or some other equipment, handing me the filters when I wanted them, helping me get up off the ground, and when I just wanted to walk down one more "Quiet Walkway" on Newfound Gap Road. I am grateful for these gifts God gives. I am grateful for Thomas who give me the opportunity to go shooting. I know that I don't deserve these gifts and that God gives them anyway.
I pray my pictures and my words share some of the joy that God brings me through my camera. I thought about this verse and was reminded again that God is the God of light - what every photographer is trying to understand and capture to share with others that view their art.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
Here are some of my pictures from this weekend - the program crops them so click on them to see the full image.