the fauxtography project: our raw + real selves

I crave authenticity and honesty and beauty. And just when I think I'm beginning to see a glimmer of it in my life, just when I see shards of Light shining through, the dark clouds of pride and showers of pretending rush in.
( Romans 12:3 ) I strain to see the Rainbow, the promise that He is with me, the reminder of a new beginning, a fresh start. Then I am encouraged and reminded that the glory is His. That's the Christian life, isn't it?

I said that I crave beauty and, as I mentioned in my blog description, that isn't really surprising since I was made to crave The Beauty, the One who makes everything beautiful. The light and the dark spots of life. All of it. Finding beauty in the everyday is part of who I was made to be. Out of this re-realization came a desire to challenge myself, to make this reality even more real to me.

I'm calling it The Fauxtography Project: Our Raw + Real Selves because I wish to capture the essence of this project through the lens of my camera, Mister Nikon, as I call him. Each month I want to feature a photo, or possibly a collection of photos, that will represent a process of change or wanted change in my life. I'm going to be very honest and quite candid about the process of change because I believe that it is so important ( Romans 6 speaks to righteous living and Romans 8 speaks of life in the spirit-- both passages were influential in my thoughts towards this project ). And here's how the word fauxtography will come into play: I want the pictures to be real. No edits. My goal is to become a serious student of my camera over the next several months while this project is ongoing.

I'll be posting on The Fauxtography Project once each month-- when the month and the day are the same. Today is 6.6 and the first posting for the project. My second post will take place on 7.7 and following posts will appear on 8.8, 9.9, 10.10, 11,11 and a final post on 12.12.

I'd love your company along the way and have created a side button of sorts as well as made it possible for you to link your Fauxtography Project here.
( I'll make the side button more legitimate as soon as I have the patience for it. ha! ) I'll leave this link open and available until the second posting on July 7th. Feel free to link your post anytime during the next month. I would thoroughly enjoy seeing how this project takes root in your own heart, whether this project takes you to working on laundry piles, DIY projects, Bible memory, cooking lessons, or whatever. The possibilities are endless. My reason for posting about this project once a month as opposed to every week is that I want each post to be something that comes straight from my heart with much thought put into it, not simply something to throw up each week.

With that said, this ^ is my first Fauxtography Project picture. The settings on my camera were 35mm lens, 1/80 at F 1.8 with ISO 200. This picture represents something so needful for my life: studying God's word. I've been frustrated for a very long time in my pursuit of meeting God in His word. Romans 12: 3 says, "Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us". So, honesty. Well, perhaps my faith has been so weak for years because I haven't asked for it. Or if I did, I didn't have the faith that God would give it to me. I didn't have the faith that God would give me faith! Ironic. 

My husband encouraged me frequently to just choose a book and begin reading. And I would. And a few days later, I would fall behind and become so discouraged. Because that's my personality. I hate to fall behind and so I would call it quits. Several weeks ago, I found myself almost at a breaking point concerning Bible study and knowing God. I talked to Steve about it and he again encouraged me to pray about a book and to just, for crying out loud, read. ( But he was really nice about it! ) I prayed that day that God would bring to mind a book and He gave me the idea for the book of Romans. Along with settling on the book of Romans, I decided to make a collage each day-- to record what God was saying to me through His word. It was amazing. I felt like a new person. The picture above gives you a little insight into what my collages look like. They usually carry one or more main thoughts with several smaller lines of recorded thoughts. The book of Romans has been so thrilling for me and I am sad that I'll be finishing the book this week. I might decide to read it through again before going on to another passage.

Here's the most important thing about this entirely too long post: I am so thankful for the prayers of friends and of my mom. Two ladies, specifically, agreed to pray that God would restore my desire to read God's word. I don't even have to ask my mom because I know she has ben praying. Moms just know these things. More importantly, I'm thankful for a God who answers prayer. If this is the only thing that I gain from this Fauxtography Project, it is complete.

Thank you for reading. Read part two here, part three here, and part four here.
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  1. This post is, perhaps, the most beautiful and encouraging posts I've ever read. Praise God! Much love to you, Friend!!

  2. hello beautiful friend--
    I am so thankful for your prayers. Thank you for praising God with me :)

  3. Anonymous7:01 PM

    Please don't be discouraged. Just read. I have teens now, and I remember crying about not being able to read my Bible when the boys were small. Don't have a rigid schedule, don't try to keep up with some artificial guide, don't try to read a certain number of minutes or a certain anything. Just read! Whenever, whatever, wherever. It's a relationship, so just spend time daily. Sometimes I still try to make such a cool system that I can't operate it! But, I never do that with people, only God. In a few years, it will get better again, and you'll be able to do some of the neat systems or things that you probably did before children.

  4. Hi! I pop in here from time to time via "une bonne vie". Just wanted you to know that this post is beautiful. Because of your words, because of God's work in your heart, because of women praying for you (especially your mom), and because of that photograph. It means everything. Oh! and I have to agree, "just READ!" :) Thank you for this encouragement.

  5. oh dear, I fear that I may have given the impression that I am currently discouraged, but on the contrary, I am really, *really* encouraged.

    Anonymous, I wish I knew who you were, because I could maybe explain myself better, but nonetheless, I'll try to explain in this comment: I agree that it is best to just read-- anytime-- for as long or short as time permits. I definitely see the danger of creating a "cool" system, but the collage that I do each day is put together as I read. The smaller statements are my notes on the passage, the large and bold words are what really speaks to me from the passage. I do want to be careful that I love the Person more than the process. God has given me a love for writing and for calligraphy, and art in general; this collage "thing" is a way for me to "own" or to personalize the time that I have to read, if that makes sense. ( I hope it does! :) I've come to a place in my life where reading daily is not as important to me as knowing Christ daily, although I think that reading daily is best. Paul Miller's book on prayer shook me to my core and challenged me in my thinking towards "devotions" and my prayer life. All of this to say, please know that I am definitely *not* discouraged-- although I have been recently for sure! I'm thankful for the place that God has me right now!

  6. Anonymous4:45 PM

    Hello, again. SO sorry that we had a miscommunication. I rarely comment on blogs, and I even more rarely put my name online -- and I don't have any account that I can sign in under-- BUT.. I did understand that you weren't still discouraged. I didn't think your collage was a system that would eventually get you down again. I think it's really cool. In fact, I recently started a little journal to just write favorite verses I came upon. I think all these kinds of things really help us pay attention. They aren't a system to me like those daily calendar schedules that I almost always get behind in, too. So, I'm sorry you I made you feel like you had to defend yourself. I guess I was just trying to empathize and give you a little support that it really can be much harder when you have little ones. Written words are hard because you can't hear the tone. I do apologize and really seriously just meant to give more encouragement to you as you raise your darling boys. My main point in commenting last night was just to say, it does get better and easier!

  7. Anonymous,
    thank you so much for taking the time to write-- I totally understand and am thankful to hear that it does get easier with time.

    And, I know, right?-- that's the not fun thing aout a blog-- that you can't hear the tone of the writer/commenter and things can get lost in translation!

    But thank you again for writing and encouraging me to keep going!

  8. I love that you are being real with all of us. It is such a difficult thing to do. With reality comes vulnerability and indescribable freedom ... freedom in Christ.

    I love the way you are getting to know God better through His Word. Such creativity! It is beautiful.

    After seeing your journal, I couldn't help but think of a sweet friend from college. I love her "Scriptural illustrations." You might be interested in looking at them:

  9. Rachel,
    thank you so much. I'm headed now to look at your friend's illustrations. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Loved reading this, thank you for your honesty. I have struggled a lot lately with my spirituality and it's so good to know I am not the only one. Of course we go to church every Sunday but I felt like that real 'relationship' was missing. Bible reading was something I didn't prioritize and I have a lot of guilt about it. I would start reading, then stop. I always started in Proverbs because I liked that book but it was the same cycle every time. Anyway, I am rambling but several weeks ago, my husband and I started a class at church called Experiencing God. The book for the class is by Henry Blackaby. I don't know if you're familiar with it but it is SO eye opening. Being accountable to the others in the class has given me a reason to study my Bible and know God more. It's so hard to re-train my thinking but it is a very good study if you ever have the opportunity to do it!

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Thank you so much for reading here and sharing life with me!