A Story Paints a Picture
I have a lot of family-picture-guilt and regret.
When my first baby came home from the hospital, life was overwhelming. I was almost 18 hours away from family. My husband was unhappy in his new job and his health was not good. We had no friends and money was tight. One month of that year it rained hard, every day, for three and a half weeks. Our yard was a swamp. I took a lot of pictures of my sweet baby at home, but emotionally, I couldn’t manage getting out of the house for professional portraits.
One family member kept at me about it — reminding, lamenting, questioning — criticizing and comparing me to other new moms.
Then, baby number two arrived when his father was deployed in Japan. For almost two months, I was mostly alone with my colicky newborn and clingy toddler. We had moved closer, so family visited and offered help. But I was helpless.
In fact, I was a wreck most of my son’s first year, especially since part of that time we were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Shortly after Katrina, my husband deployed overseas for the second time in two years. Not long after that, I moved to a new city, all alone with a one and three-year old. Again, I had no time and no heart to get professional portraits made.
There was more clucking and head-shaking from the same disapproving family member; this felt like a cheese grater rubbing against my wounded heart. The guilt over professional portraits, and the sense that I had failed in my mothering, stayed with me for many years.
Pictures Tell a Story
Finally, I made two baby books, one for each kiddo, with the help of an online photography site. I added captions to both books to narrate each child’s first year. This was as close to scrapbooking that I would ever get. Now, I look back at those baby books and hear the pain and insecurity in my captions. Though I had collected and displayed the cutest pictures, the stress of those first years was impossible to mask.
I curated the pictures in those baby books, but had struggled to find good during those painful years. Clearly, there’s a pattern that I keep repeating: when the pressure grows, the good slips through the fingers of my memory. I need to practice finding and remembering the good.
We all need practice, curating the good.
I’m learning that Curating the Good — collecting, selecting, organizing, arranging, displaying, and presenting it — is good for me. I took the Write31Days challenge this year and dedicated my time to Curating the Good.
Whether we notice or not, God is good, He makes good, He gives good gifts, and He makes us good. The good is right there, but sometimes I just miss it. You know?
For Write31Days, I published 31 posts in 32 days about God’s goodness (I almost made it!). But if you want to know about God’s goodness, the best way is to read His Word. Below, there’s a list of scriptures I used for this series, you can click the link to read them on Biblegateway.com. Under each set of scriptures are the posts about them — each title is also a clickable link — read any, all, or none. But whatever you do, let’s keep on curating the good, every day!
Week 1: He is Good
Week 2: He Makes Good
Week 3: He Gives Good
Week 4: He Makes Us Good