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Living Picture by Picture
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By Trish West

I love to take pictures. You'll often see me with a camera in hand, lost in a moment while trying to capture a butterfly resting on a flower, a baby's first smile or one of God's amazing sunsets. Over the last few years, life has been busy and I found that I was only pulling the camera out during birthdays, holidays or sunny vacation trips. As I look back at the kid's birthday parties - I wonder where the time goes. I try to get a decent picture of the kids in front of the tree and will compare how much they've grown since the last Christmas card. Looking through photos from a trip filled palm trees and sandcastles... I start to think of ways to escape the cold again next year.

Other than these moments - the camera sits in a closet and time passes by with little or no recognition. How often do you wish you had remembered the camera when your child scores their first goal or while watching a beautiful sunset? When a family member moves or passes away - you wish you had more pictures and cherish the few you have. Knowing how quickly things can change - I made a decision on my 39th birthday, to take a photo a day for a year.

It is a challenge similar to what many put in motion on New Year's Eve— stating you'll go to the gym more, drink less coffee or read the bible every day. I figured a challenge for the last year of my 30's sounded like a good plan. I'm currently on day 67 and have to admit there are days this no longer feels like 'a good plan'. Finding I have no motivation or desire to take more pictures of bare trees in the mist of winter... I want spring to hurry up. This isn't the first time I've wanted things to hurry up — "I can hardly wait until the baby's sleeping through the night" or to "grow out of this miserable teenage stage."

One day I realized what I was doing - wishing the next few months to pass without any recognition today even existed — missing out on moments God has given us in between because I'm focused on getting to tomorrow. Before I know it — I'll find myself wishing the reverse - desperate to slow life down and savor those last few minutes on the beach, the feeling of a baby in your arms or the embrace of a loved one who's dying.

Instead of worrying about how quickly I can get through today's challenges and move onto the future... I'm going to take it one day at a time. Enjoy all that God has to share... Picture by picture.