My Fall Manifesto: Turning Over a HUGE New Leaf

Weekend Highlights from a sleep deprived dreamer:

Over a cup of coffee and and in an empty house… finally…a chance to attain a little bit of clarity. Weekends around here are more than busy; I just never realize how many things we are involved in until they all seem to “bloom” at the same time. Yesterday was one of those days where it seemed like I was in a play with way too many scenes.
IMG_0565Scene 1: 8am- scrambling out to my car wearing all black and dark gray- disheveled hair, no makeup, 2 overly excited children, an overflowing camera bag and my PhotoCorps badge around my neck.  We were off to the 8:45 am church service to photograph 2 baptisms at the start of the service and then jump back into the car, head back home and switch costumes for the next scene.

Scene 2: Hook the camera to my computer and unload the photos taken in scene 1- then shower and put on my church “costume” and makeup.  Jump back into the car, this time with husband and children- headed back to the church for service #2.  Just a little side note: I volunteer for the PhotoCorps at our church and Alli (my daughter) volunteers in the Kindergartner’s Sunday School class.  She also volunteers through the youth group, which will be addressed in a future scene.

Scene 3:  We are at the church and headed our separate ways to do our thangs we do right before the service begins.  My dear friend and new accountability partner is volunteering also.  Man, we are just everywhere! She is at the entrance with her little girl, passing out the programs for the service we are attending.  I follow my husband into the venue as he leads me to the second row- front and center.  Nice.  I am sure my hair is messed up in the back from lack of time…now I just have to sit  down and pray my bra strap isn’t showing for ALL the people behind us to see.

At this point it is probably painfully obvious- I am a mess.  You see, the night before, we had the opportunity to see into our future with a teenager.  The full explanation is a post in it’s own, so I will leave it at this: I didn’t really sleep much.  No sleep for me is bad. Period.

Scene 3, Part 2:  Sitting in what felt like a direct spotlight, taking sermon notes and doodling, deep in my own thoughts and suddenly I feel a tug at my right arm.  It is the sweetest little 4 year old girl EVER and she specifically wanted to sit by me. This is definitely a God-send because she completely made that dark cloud lift off my shoulders for the remainder of the service.image

Scene 4:  Can we just skip a few scenes- they are becoming monotonous as I feel like I am now experiencing the stress of it as I recant it all;)

Scene 7 or 8 (not sure):  Sunday evening at The Volunteer Appreciation Party- at church. My daughter volunteered to work at this event- I had no plans of attending, myself.  The volunteer “work” I perform is way too much fun for me to consider it the kind of thing to be honored for.  It’s an honor they let me volunteer with my camera! Seriously!

Taking photos of baptisms, to me, is a huge honor and it is a great learning experience since I tend to gravitate to photographing the outdoors- not people…indoors..with extreme stage lighting and lots of action.

GMH_20_SEPT_2015_SCC_VIP_PARTY-5465My dear precious friend, who I mentioned earlier, had asked me to attend this event with her…She looked at me with these huge puppy-dog eyes and said, “please?!”  So I went. Since it was the billionth “costume change” and billionth time parking and running into this church, I was definitely beyond my sanity level at this point.

Picture this- a little blonde lady (soooooo young-looking and cute;) with a huge pink camera bag/purse, in super cute jeans (which were falling off since she hadn’t remembered they were the belt kind) in high heels, running to make it through the doors (because she’s ALWAYS late) with her beautiful friend standing and waving her in with a sheer “get in here, I can’t believe you almost made us miss this..but, I can’t stay mad at you because you’re just so cute…” look on her face.

So we are in, I am supposed to be relaxing and not taking pictures for once- BUT I am not capable of relaxing, so I did have my camera.  We were ushered in and up into the balcony section where the late people sit…I know this kind of area well. Seated in the most amazing spot: front and center and above the crowd!  THE PERFECT spot for photographing the action!!! YAY!

GMH_20_SEPT_2015_SCC_VIP_PARTY-5388Scene 9?  The lights go down and the stage lights up.  We were given envelopes on the way in- precious gal I’m with starts digging through her envelope as I am adjusting my camera…glow sticks! No way, now this is a party!  She cracks hers open as the whole arena morphs into a sea of glow sticks.  The band is rocking out as the crowd builds in neon-spiked excitement.

GMH_20_SEPT_2015_SCC_VIP_PARTY-5406I glance up from my camera- a large ball with a light inside is flying towards my face and I duck just in time.  Then the lady behind me tells me I have cash under my seat and I must have dropped it…nope, I wished it was my $40! The energy in this place is amazing and the heavy dark cloud was again lifting from my shoulders. (Note: I didn’t KEEP the $- It wasn’t mine.)
Entertainment, videos of the past 8 months of service and a sermon. What was the purpose of this event, I wondered?

At first I didn’t want to go because I thought it was just a party (a social event) for volunteers.  When I first got there, I still wished to be one of the helpers and not one of the attendees.

Mystery solved: By the time the service ended, I felt so very blessed and honored- NOT as an honor to myself, but so very honored to be able to witness the beauty of God’s people coming together to celebrate their service work; TO MAKE PROMISES TO CARRY OUT THE PLANS OF THE FUTURE OF GOD’S GLORY.

GMH_20_SEPT_2015_RS_VIP_CELEB-5410


Scene 10:  Headed back home with my daughter- it’s late.  I am holding back the greatest mixture of sob-style tears. Emotions all churning like a hurricane in my soul.  A beacon of clarity amidst all the swirling clouds was beginning to emerge.

Scene 10 Billion…:  Sleep was desperately needed, however, not coming on easily.  So much on my mind and so many pictures to review. Again, I haven’t gotten my needed sleep.

A NEW DAY:  It is Monday, now and I am on scene 4 or 5 right now.  Going through my email this morning, I ran across an article at GodSizedDreams.com which has inspired the writing of this “scene play” you’re reading now.  Over all, I need a lot more organization in my life and my thoughts.  Running from one event (one scene) to the next is exhausting both mentally and physically. I need goals- written goals- so here is a rough draft for this fall season:

THE FALL MANIFESTO…

This fall I need a shift. This shift takes exclusive help and guidance from GOD. 

PRAY MORE SPECIFIC PRAYERS

GET ORGANIZED: Children, declutter, schedules, computer files, etc.

GET [WAY] MORE SLEEP

READ MORE BOOKS

FIND A JOB- it’s time, the kiddos don’t need me at their schools so much anymore.

FIND PEACE IN MY POSITION (this one is bit encrypted- unless you know me personally)

HAVE THE DARK CLOUD LIFTED FROM MY SHOULDERS (it feels like it’s been sitting on me for a while)

FOCUS ON THE PROMISE: TO LEAVE THIS PLACE IN BETTER SHAPE THAN HOW I FOUND IT.

It’s clearly time for an “intermission” and a fresh cup of coffee. I welcome your ideas for a fall manifesto, as well! There’s nothing better than brilliant collaborations!

Blessings until the next scene,

Greta

GMH_20_SEPT_2015_SCC_VIP_PARTY-5389NOTE:  After writing this weekend recap, I realized this post contains both of the components of my two outstanding assignments from last week in Writing101!  This post contains: A link and response to an article I read & this is an update- over a cup (or two) of coffee.  Perfect- now on to week 3!  Cheers!

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  1. Wow! You have written this in a very interesting way! Thank you for the effort to share this to us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tabitha59reachingout September 21, 2015 — 8:38 PM

    p.s. I am always thrilled too when a little child spontaneously wants to come and hug me, sit with me, or just say hello. I love it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • …they are so pure in their motives at that age- melts my heart instantly! This little girl has MAJOR charm, too- she was writing on her little paper as though she was taking notes along side me and then she gave her “notes” to me at the end. Yes, my heart was melted…

      Liked by 1 person

      • tabitha59reachingout September 22, 2015 — 12:37 PM

        Oh, that is SO cute! Our church has loads of children in it and it is so delightful when one of them comes running up to me right out of the blue or in the middle of worship wants to come and sit on my lap. It is so precious. I think that God sends them because He knows how much I miss my grandchildren. He is building a church FAMIILY for me and I value that so much. Anyways, I can tell you love children too and I believe they sense that as well. Big hug to you, dear friend. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. tabitha59reachingout September 21, 2015 — 8:36 PM

    I seriously think you should BOOK a massage for yourself – say, how about once a month! You need it! And if I may share what our pastor recently taught us in our small group – find out what is important and not, and what is urgent and not, and don’t allow the urgent to steal from the important. ON THE OTHER HAND, you may not need any of this advice. This may have just been ONE day in your life. Perhaps not ALL of your days are like this???? I want to give you a big hug because you obviously have a BIG heart. I hope that someone and some things are pouring into you too, so you can continue to pour out towards others. God bless you, you beautiful soul! xo Hugs, Debbie 🙂

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    • One night with a dramatic little girl (I wonder where she gets it?…) and then a crazy day with very little sleep- leading to another night with little sleep- the list goes on with little things. I DO need advise from the wise! The kind of advise which brings the truth about our purpose for God back into perspective. Your words are beautiful and do pour into my heart. Tonight, I will sleep well. As for massages- I am terrible with them! I get really wiggly and restless and I am extremely ticklish- I end up giggling half the time. The same goes for getting my nails done…so, I have normal, non-glamourous nails and really tense shoulders…lol! So much for girly pampering! You are precious to me, Debbie!
      HUGS, Greta

      Liked by 1 person

      • tabitha59reachingout September 22, 2015 — 12:44 PM

        You are precious to me too, Greta. You made me laugh when you wrote about being ticklish and squirmy during a massage. Well, how about a long bubble bath then? I’ll bet you’re too tired to have a bubble bath after a long day with all those kids. I had my first massage when I turned 50. It was a gift from my husband and I soooooo enjoyed it! When I got burnt out, he treated me to many such blessings, but now I rarely have them. I get it that they are not for you if you get so ticklish. That is funny! Not me. I just MELT into them and have to fight to stay awake. lol. I admire the energy you have and may God continue to pour it into you as you will need it! Once they grow up, you’ll have weddings, showers and grandchildren. Unless they move away afterwards. I hope that doesn’t happen for you because you would (I am sure) be a wonderful grandmother. xo Hugs to you too, Debbie 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh thank you!!! I wish I could send you the floating balance of 10+ massages I’ve built up at massage envy! They make it so difficult to pass along- just a lot of restrictions. I purchased them through a membership a few years ago as a result of my over-extending and I never used them for lack of time and fear of being tickled. Lol silly. Our pastor was talking about getting older and he pointed out a brilliant fact: the older we get, the closer we are to heaven!!! Amen to that!!!
        Hugs, sweet Debbie!
        Greta (my husband’s parents got into town last night and will be over to our home soon! Alli has her first Orchestra concert this evening…so I’m cleaning and getting ready for more action! I think it’s just a wave of busyness and it’ll pass soon…I pray.)

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  4. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Your day has only so many hours to it. It is knowing what is priority and what only seems like a good thing. Circumcision in the bible is about the pruning of a tree (though often a little tree). Your heart is the tree that grows wild needing to be pruned from time to time to be dedicated to a single purpose. But even church is not the answer all the time. Find what it is you want to be. Find your goal and trim away all that is not related to the growing of this fruit. Your light depends upon the quality of the oil of the lamp. Yours is not becoming a sweet smelling savor but burnt in imperfections of under processed dedication. If you feel overwhelmed you are and you are robbing you and your loved ones of the best of you. Refine the sweetness and delicate what you can. The rest will simply have to be pruned and cast into the fire. This is my hope for you, to find peace in balance with God, family, your goals and life. So trend to your tree of life that it may grow the fruits that serve God best with your sacrifices without killing you along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balance is a word and thought which is at the front of my mind. Your studies and writing have led me to much greater conviction in the way my thoughts are even processed. I fight change intrinsically and it’s like being crazy and seeing the crazy, which then creates a panic and then it’s a vicious cycle if it’s not brought to center. I am seeing need for some major pruning and rather than freeze up in fear, I need to remember that God is waiting for my presence in full and He will not let me crash and burn. Instead, He will rescue me as He did for David every time he ended up in his self-created distractions. I appreciate you being honest in your reply to my state of being (more than appreciate.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One thing I always remind myself of….one day at a time, one step at a time! I have some similar goals on my “list” (I’m admittedly not a list person-more like mental notes). I still haven’t gotten to all of them; like getting more sleep! If it weren’t for making peace with the “one day at a time” mantra, I’d feel so overwhelmed and like a failure. Each day has enough worries of it’s own! Get some sleep and continue on the wonderful path you’ve been given!

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    • Teresa, One day at a time is a beautiful remembrance which is also very easy to think once reminded! I think part of what God uses to propel me is this one aspect of being a “people pleaser”- I think deep down I have a fear, which is becoming less and less, of letting people down somehow. My desire to share my current overwhelming lack of control is starting to make sense- as I know what I should be doing, yet I still have a tendency to push back against fully yielding to God. I also know I have amazing people who are led by His Spirit who remind me where the lighted path is and how to find it once again. Your words are a blessing and I thank you for the reminder and for your encouragement. xo Greta

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  6. I’m wore out just from reading. I’d add “Learn the art of doing NOTHING” in your manifesto somewhere–somewhere toward the top. 😊
    Shalom, my friend. You need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can hear my daughter talking through your narrative! She goes to a church apparently a lot like yours. I’m not a church goer, but (when I’m in town visiting her) love going to her church. How can anyone be down when surrounded with all that UP energy?? Get some sleep, girl!
    https://minick1943.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/writing-101-11-writing-and-not-writing/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Gina! It is a much bigger church than I ever thought I’d be comfortable attending. I have that crowd-phobia and we generally operate more so in a small group atmosphere, so this event definitely got my energy UP! Way UP! I WILL SLEEP TONIGHT:) That is some very sound instruction!xo Greta

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  8. Love these photos, thanks for the recap.

    Liked by 1 person

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