Gifts abound!!!!! An amazing surprise occurred through Kim Klassen's e-c0urse Beyond Layers...and a brand spanking new course by Kim and Xanthe inspirational e-course on blogging! Starting on June 26, the class, Behind the Scenes - Reflection of You, began. And now I am ready to share!!!
So, how did I get to this point...to wanting to share my self, my journey, my faith, and my photography publicly on a blog and spend money on an e-course, to boot? This is the timeline of my creative journey that brought me to this point:
I had no idea when I bought my first DSLR as a "congratulations" gift to myself for getting my dream job that it would be a ticket to an incredible journey. Two months' after starting my "dream job," my father was diagnosed with glioblastoma, for which there is no cure, and died six months later...the day before my wedding...which I had planned to be a bigger affair so folks could see my father one last time. Suffice it to say, I was in a world of hurt in grief, losing my dad...who had been available every day of my life, who was my connection to my mother, and who was always strong and never vulnerable.
By next summer, I picked up that DSLR and decided I would learn to use it beyond point and shoot. Well, the bug bit! And just to make it bite even harder...I joined Flickr! Wow...what a wonderful community of photographers and creative artists! Inspiration deluxe... I started seeing some wonderful "art"-like photos...using textures... Note to self: must investigate. After experimenting with some freebies...and looking at others' work...a name kept surfacing..."Kim Klassen." So...I checked her out.
I've always been creative...drawing stick figures at 18 months and able to draw Fred and Wilma Flintstone in Kindergarten (in 1962...wow). Able to write stories and poems...evolved into fashion sewing...quilting...needlework...home decorating...but as a young adult, I had to focus on what would make a living. Okay...back to the timeline...I digress.
I could feel myself beginning to change with every click of my camera...seeing things I had never seen, because I did not stop to see...I had never taken the time to look...and with this focus, a sense of healing began to take place.
I signed up for Texture Tuesday (free textures to play with!) and then took some free tutorials. I invested some cash to take The Essentials to get a more structured approach to learning Photoshop (although I had learned SO much already on my own). But still, although my photographic journey was expanding my creative self and bringing about a healing, there was still something lacking.
Since my father died, I had what in my mental health profession speak of as attenuation of affect...I did not feel bad - I did not feel good - I felt nothing. Life had lost its zing!! Other than my photography, I had lost my passion for everything.
While on vacation October 2011, the second anniversary of my father's death, I discovered a treasure and a new way of living in Ann Voskamp's book "One Thousand Gifts".
Though I had accepted Christ and have followed Him for 30 years, I was definitely in a dry desert of grief during the past two. I read Ann's book aloud each day to my wonderful husband. You'll have to read the book for yourself to fully understand...but the concept is to focus on the incredibly amazing gifts God gives us every day...that we fail to see because we fail to look! And my ongoing quest to live a life of gratitude began and it has been transforming!
The combination of using my camera "to see" and to look for God's gifts to capture...was the recipe necessary to heal. And I could not keep quiet about it. I wanted to share it with everyone.
After weeks returning from our trip, a new e-course was announced, Beyond Layers - A Year of Art Full inspiration. This was more than about photography or techniques, although that has been a part of it; it has focused on inspiration, on our creative life, and on our inner life, embracing the way God has made us. And I am only at the halfway point...it's exciting to anticipate where the next six months takes me.
Now, I felt ready to "put myself out there" and start a blog combining God's gifts, my photography, my life, and all that God shows me day after day. And then another announcement as mentioned earlier...a class with many others around the world like me ...which brings me to here.
From that day in Best Buy selecting my congratulatory Nikon DSLR to now...I see the hand of God gently guiding and gifting through it all...including the dark, dry, desert days and can proclaim that truly All is Grace!