This (No Photo) Post Has Been A Long Time Coming

As a matter of fact, it has been coming for as long as I have been blogging – and that is almost ten years. 

Every now and then, after posting a family get-together or reunion – like last night – I hear things like:

  • “I love your family.”
  • “You have a wonderful family.”
  • “I wish our family liked each other.”

However, the writer only knows us by photos on my posts.

I want to assure you that we are a normal family just like yours with our own set of pain and problems – in our small family as well as in our extended families. I never want to give you the impression that we are perfect or problem-free. 

I am not a blogger who writes a lot of deep spiritual or life lessons. There are many others who do that – and do it quite well. That is not my passion. I choose to use photos rather than words. This is one of only a few times in my years of blogging that I am not adding even one photo.

My spiritual gift is encouragement and I love photography, so the passion behind my blog is to encourage my readers with posts that include photos of:

  • Challenging Bible verses
  • Pretty, nature pictures
  • Life in our family
  • Travel highlights
  • TFC ministry events
  • Daily happenings of things that challenge or bless me.

As a rule I hear from people who are blessed and encouraged – especially by the Bible verses and pretty travel or nature pictures.

  • One person told me that she is housebound and my blog helps her get out of the house.

It may be obvious to my readers that I have a passion for those who have not chosen to follow Christ.

However, you may not know that my greatest passion is for Christians who are miserable and missing out on the delight and peace there is in doing things God’s way – even during pain, misunderstandings, and problems. I am saddened and burdened for bitter, unforgiving, disobedient Christians because of the spiritual and physical issues those things deliver.

My goal in blogging is to daily remind myself and others that it is best to do things God’s way: to obey Him and delight in his creation of nature and people.

There is probably nothing more painful to me then when someone misunderstands my passion and tells me that I misrepresent the truth by only airing the fun and delightful things in my life and family.

  • Personally, I don’t feel like it is my job to air our family’s pain or problems on the internet, unless I choose to air my own struggles – and if you read my blog, you know I usually only air my struggles after I have again gotten a grip on life. 🙂
  • At times, after receiving words of criticism concerning my blog or pictures, I am tempted to stop blogging – and that happens a time or two a year – but each time I get close to quitting, God reminds me of the passion He gave me to encourage my blog friends. (He did that again through a sermon at our church several weeks ago.)

This seems like the right time to assure you that Satan is just as busy in our family – immediate and extended – as he is in yours.

  • Each of us have made wrong choices – some public sins and others that are more private, like stubbornness, selfishness, complaining, or gossip.

We are very human.

  • Some family members are gracious and kind to those with whom they disagree, while others are intolerant and judgmental.
  • Not everyone likes each other.
  • Some are reclusive and stay to themselves when the family is together.
  • Others are chatty and talk too much.
  • There are health issues and worries that plague each family.
  • There are job concerns – some work too hard, others not so much.
  • Some of the children are good students – others struggle in school.
  • We are careful in our discussion of Christianity, religion, or politics because we range from very conservative to very liberal – especially in the extended families.

I could go on and on with examples of how we qualify as a normal family, but I think you get the point.

~~~

My life-chapter is Psalm 37.

  • My life-verse is the 4th one in that chapter: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (English Standard Version)

I intend to keep on delighting in the Lord and his creation of nature and people – and showing you pictures of those delights – knowing that God is in the process of giving me the desires of my heart.

But, please remember neither I nor my family have a perfect, problem-free life.

26 thoughts on “This (No Photo) Post Has Been A Long Time Coming

  1. I don’t have any better words to express how I feel about your blog in general and this one in particular, except, “AMEN, sister!!” You have certainly been a blessing to me all these years!

  2. Keep on blogging friend!! I look forward to your posts and encouragement through them. I haven’t been posting much lately but I do read other posts each day. My life right now is wrapped up in meeting my mother’s needs as she is in a nursing home, confined to either her bed or a mobile chair because of a hip fracture three months ago and the anesthesia of two surgeries has made her dementia so much worse. As her primary cafe giver I’ve had to close up her apartment and find “homes” for her belongings and go through pictures and cards she has saved for many years! It’s all working out and life is beginning to slow down a bit for me so hopefully I’ll get back to blogging soon. Keep those pictures, Bible verses, and wonderful thoughts coming! God is good ALL the time.

  3. This was great, Doris! I had to laugh out loud at your “we are human” list. Most of us could write that same list! But like you, I do not think it would be appropriate or loving for me to embarrass my family in public.

    So I guess you and I must have started blogging around the same time. My first post was October 5,2005, I believe.

  4. Doris, I enjoy your blog too. Thanks for writing this. I understand. I feel strongly facebook & blogs are no place for all the problems in our lives to just air with no respect for others. I like that you are normal!! Keep on being a blessing in what you do!

  5. Imagine if you had to send all those pictures to me just for the time we can not be there!
    I love you for doing it and always look for you encouragement even if I do not always comment. Thank you!

  6. You are such an encouragement to me too. I’m thankful that all my children know the Lord, but some of them struggle with various issues. Some of the spouses are not yet saved. and some of the grandchildren have walked away from God. Like you, I don’t share everything, especially not on Facebook! I love seeing your beautiful pictures, of nature, animals, and family. Oh, and trucks too. I think I told you that my favorite is the one of the children with the deer and groundhog in the cherry blossoms. Keep up the good work. (Is that the modern version of “Be not weary in well-doing”?)

  7. I always enjoy your blog for the joy it conveys. In any family (even any group) of 100 people there are strife, grouping of those with common interests, some who are reclusive and others who are not, and some with health and other issues. That is natural, and part of the story of a family that most of us do not discuss outside the realm of the family (or the larger group). By not discussing those issues, what is left are the happy times, the beautiful photos of nature and events, and the attitudes portrayed in those events. It is not important, nor even appropriate, to change your blog to include the strife — and what makes your blog so enjoyable is the positivity and the encouragement portrayed in your posts! I always enjoy reading them, even when I don’t comment — please don’t change what you do!

  8. I may be the only male posting in these comments up to this point, but I have been following your blog on an almost-daily basis for 10 years now. It has been a pleasure for me to watch your grandchildren grow, and to follow your passion for bringing people to Christ through TFC. You are a gracious lady who treats the world and your family with love and respect, and I appreciate your posts with their beautiful photographs very much. I would hope that you’d not let the critics diminish your enthusiasm, but continue to post from your heart what you feel is appropriate. I think you do a wonderful job at it. My best wishes to you and your great (and human) clan.

  9. Doris, This was so well written and it meant so much to me because the last few days I have felt very discouraged in my own blogging. I am glad to know that you are passionate about blogging and the reasons you blog helped me to remember the reasons that I blog, too. I respect you and thank you for sharing your heart. I am so thankful — for you, your passions and that we are family in Christ!

  10. I say to the people who are criticizing you, “stop reading it if you don’t like what she is writing, no one is forcing you to read it” Doris to you I say keep up doing what you feel God has led you to do. I for one enjoy your blog.

  11. I don’t know you, but again want to encourage you to continue your posts just as God allows you to. I am greatly encouraged by them and thank you for giving others a “peek” at your life. Love your photos!

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