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Monday, May 26, 2014

12 Years Ago Today...

So for the past twelve years, this has been a special day for me.  It was the day that God showed up in my life, took the reigns from my life and said, "Here child, I'm going to take over for awhile.  I'm going to sit you down, all you have to do is trust Me and I WILL make this better."  And He did.  Granted, the methods by which He used would not have been MY first choice of sitting in the corner, but then again, He'd granted me so many different opportunities not to sit in that particular corner it was as if I was saying, no I want to sit THERE!  So He let me, but I was never alone, and have never been alone. 

And my life now, well, compared to twelve years ago I'm living in a mighty heavenly place!  I have a beautiful wife who loves me for me (and I love her with all that my little heart can!) and God continues to show me, on a daily basis, just how truly amazing He is.  Not that I don't go through struggles, I do, but compared to the life and death struggle from 12 years ago, these struggles are, well, manageable. 

The biggest struggle right now is the merger the company I work for is going through.  God has been with me every step of the way and continues to be.  We've had to fill out new applications, which means new background checks, etc. and that means my past gets looked at again.  But just like the old company, in my interview with the new one(they came in to "get to know us" and we got to sit individually with them) I was straight up about my past.  And that honesty got me this job in the first place.   Funny, my wife told me right before the interview, just be honest.  My Dad sends me an email, just be honest, and if they have a problem with your past you don't want to work for them anyway.  My Mom sends me an email of encouragement, and Ginger's family prays for me.  Lots of prayer warriors on my side.  And in cases your wondering, I was going to go in there and be honest, but the encouragement and confirmation from everyone was amazing, it was as if God was there saying, "I'm with you, go ahead, your not alone."  We'll know their decision when the merger takes place (between June 24th and July 15th).  Am I nervous?  I have my moments.  But then I have anniversary days like today, where I can look back and say this particular struggle is not as big as the struggle 12 years ago.  That was life and death.  As far as jobs I have always said God will put me where He needs me.  I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to stay where I'm at, but God's will be done.

Ginger and I are approaching 5 years of marriage.  Blissful marriage.  And we are still in our honeymoon phase (fyi, we will probably be 80 and still in that phase...).  We've had struggles we've had to overcome with Ginger's bipolar, but I've become an expert on her bipolar, OCD, mood and basically her!  And the struggles with living with an introverted artist who can be depressive, Ginger has done admirably on!  Let's face it, I'm a guy, guy's don't always say the right things, and guy's learn the value of saying I'm sorry....and chocolate.  Now that is not to say that I know everything about women.  Nope.  Not even close.  And even though I know Ginger very well, she can still throw me a curve ball every now and then! 

And I've overcome one of the big hurdles in my own thought life.  Basically allowing myself the fact that I deserve a good life.  All the bad that has happened I felt I deserved because of my addiction.  Didn't think I deserved to be happy, to be successful.  I've learned that when someone gives a helping hand that is usually God helping me with a need and pride, well, I believe God accepts a humble heart much more than a prideful one, but that is my opinion.  I have dreams and ambitions. I think everyone knows I love photography, and having come out of a depression where I thought I'd lost that mojo (and went back through those photos and learned from my mistakes), it is back stronger than before.  Spent most of the weekend going through my photos on my desktop, categorizing them and putting some on Flickr.  God puts people in my life to help me along this path.  I have a ways to go, but there is a saying, "God isn't done with me yet!"

So this Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for me as well, on another level.  I'm thankful for God, for family and friends, for my wife, for those that continue to pray for me daily.  I'm not perfect, but today, well, today I'm sober and God gets the glory for that.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day! Pictures and Projects

So this weekend I was purusing the photography magazines at Barnes and Nobles and Hastings when I came across a picture that I wanted to do.  This one specifically was merging two pictures together into one in-camera (A cherry blossom tree and a side portrait).  My camera does not do that in-camera so I set out to figure out how to replicate the picture with Photoshop Elements.  (The picture in question is in the new issue of Popular Photography which I bought).  So when I got home, grabbed my camera and took a couple of pictures for my project and got to work, work that was fun!  Below are my finished pieces.

This was the one I finally put the finishing touches on this morning:

And this is the one I did after using more efficient techniques.

I had loads of fun learning about layer masks, selections, and merging.  Oh yes, I have the photography bug bad!

This afternoon I set out to take some pictures of some roses by our home.  It was Ginger's idea to put some water on them!  Here are the favorites:

Fitting I'd be taking pictures of roses on Mother's Day!  Speaking of which I am trying to get this post done so that I can text my Mom and tell her she has a post to look at!  I have the best Mom in the world to me!  (Had to put to me, because for Ginger her Mom is the best and so on)   So lets just say that for me God could not have chosen a better Mom to raise me and could not have given me a better Mom to encourage me on my journey through life.    I'm thankful for my Mum!  Enjoy the pictures!