Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bigger Picture Moment: Mirror

Welcome to Bigger Picture Moments, a weekly writing meme where we breathe in the moments that paint a picture of the grander scheme. All moments are welcome in this space -- small or large, as community is just as important as the grander awareness brought on by searching for a bigger picture every week.

Bigger Picture Moment

Melissa is hosting our link up this week, so be sure to check out all the other moments by visiting her. And next week, I'll be hosting, so please come back and share.

It's 10:30 at night, and I'm staring in the mirror, trying to adjust the focus on my camera to capture my wedding ring as the main subject of the photo, wishing I could totally figure out how to blur the rest of my torso and my face in the background.

I really want the picture of the ring for a visual in a future post, and I'm also counting it as my picture of the day for the 365 project {because I've procrastinated and put it off until right before bed}.

As I try to to get the camera to blur my face and my body, I become increasingly irritated with my inability to figure it out.

I don't want others to see the tiredness under my eyes or messiness of my hair or frumpiness of an old blue pajama shirt --the part of me that's kind of messy and unkept.

I finally capture the ring in my shot.

But the picture doesn't turn out how I had hoped.

I wake up to find a message from my very best friend, who has been living in Italy for the past few years.

I miss the quiet way she hears the intent beneath the words I'm speaking.

I miss the way we go from talking about chai tea obsessions to the feelings and thoughts and longings and anxieties buried in the deepest places of our hearts, our souls.

There's been a month lag in our correspondence.

We do that sometimes.

We get busy, and one drops the ball on replying.

We can't easily coordinate talking via Skype with the great time difference and my schedule with the boys and her schedule with work and ... well, life.

But her message is clear.

She, too, is missing the ease, the comfort, the familiarity of our friendship ... the depth of connection that comes from knowing someone for more than a decade .. the kind of intimacy found in a friendship where two acquaintances decided to share the parts of life that are so very shiny and the parts that are so very messy, unkept.


I'm sitting in a room full of women at our Mothers of Preschoolers meeting.

I am among strangers and friends, but mostly the women at my table are my friends.

We talk comfortably about our little ones. I share a new brand of cloth diaper detergent that works like a dream with hard water, and we also talk about how each of us handle sword fighting issues with our sons.

And it's good. It's so very good. And I'm so thankful for these friendships.


I kind of feel like I'm standing in front of the mirror again with my camera trying only to showcase the shiny thing and blur the rest.

Because even though my heart is stirring inside my chest, longing for another friendship or two like the one I have with my long-time best friend, I don't know if I'm ready to show the parts of me that aren't as pretty or neat.

I'm not sure if I'm ready to be that known by anyone else.

It takes courage to go deeper, to focus on the entire person -- the heart, with its good and bad -- instead of blurring it all into the background.

And it's scary to be vulnerable enough to dive into the deep, into the unknown waters of someone else's heart, someone else's core and let them inside yours.

But I've been feeling the alternate is far worse... to be alone in the crowd, pieces of me seen by many but never really known by anyone.


Even Jesus had three heart-deep friends, three close confidants in His circle of many in which He confided and wept and celebrated, my husband reminds me after I spill my heart about craving a few friendships that go deeper than the basics.

Even Jesus, huh ...

I make a small, short but meaningful list of women with whom I'm going to be intentional about getting to know better ... because Rome wasn't built of a whim, and I know, I remember neither are relationships.

I add my best friend to that list.

These relationships might be grow and flourish or fizzle and fade, but I have to at least give it a shot, right?


It's night time again. I'm standing in front of the mirror.

I didn't mean to wait this long to take today's picture. Really. An emergency trip to the doctor for Baby E. pushed shooting a photo off of my priority list.

As the baby slumbers in his bedroom, I finally have a few minutes to myself.

I contemplate trying to get the original shot of my ring that I wanted to capture so badly yesterday.

But I remember that I wasn't really happy with the composition of the picture anyway.

So I push aside the inhibitions, bring the background into focus, adjust the light meter and press the button.

And this capture, though not perfect by any means, clearly becomes in my mind a shot worth taking.


  1. You are beautiful inside and out. Share yourself with others so that they may enjoy your beauty. You have so much to offer and will receive so much in return.

  2. I recently wrote to my best friend telling her how much I missed the ease of our relationship. I lamented the difficulties I'm experiencing in newer, not-fully-tested relationships - some that I feel are in the process of fizzling out while others deepen and grow stronger.

    You've captured how I've felt about my friendships recently so perfectly. And like you, I feel that even though there are bound to be challenging times, it will definitely be a "shot worth taking".

  3. Yes. I feel like I could've written this. I definitely am reluctant to let people (especially other mothers) in. Afraid of rejection? Making differences too big of a deal? Preferring online "friends" since I can control the image? Yes.

    love your last picture.

  4. Awww, now you reminded me of my friend I haven't talked to in 3 years. I've known her since she was 14 and she became a sister to me. Then she moved to China, we each had kids (she almost 3X as many as me!)and we found it difficult to stay in touch. But she's just moved back for a year! And I've got to make the best of her time here!

    So glad you made that list! The vulnerability is worth it! A couple years from now, you'll look back and be so thankful!

  5. awwwwww brother brother <3 <3

  6. I'm not good with words, but all I can say is that this post is perfect. These words hit so true to home. As with all of your posts, they are my daily cup of food for the soul. And I thank you for that.
    By the way, love the last picture :-)

  7. oh how i love this.

    i'm still composing my post, too, which is a little about MOPS as well, strangely.

    to be known is a difficult thing! keep putting yourself out there:)

  8. I've spent several years alone in a crowd, it sucks {sorry, but I need that to be blunt}.

    You know what captured my eye in the first photo, your lips.

    You have such a beautiful soul!

  9. I love this. you have captured the longing of my heart for a close friend. Something I have missed for many years. Sometimes life gets in the way of our needs. You have reminded me that maybe it is time for me to step up and step out and risk again.

  10. Wow. What a post. And as you know, very timely for me. I don't have that "one best friend" but instead, three. Each of them I can be a part of myself with and as a whole, this little network fulfills me. Maybe I should add a 4th, my bloggy friends :-) Unfortunately, each of them reside thousands of miles away from me. I have made a decision recently that this little network, 3/4 of which I see about once/year can sustain me. I am no longer trying, in vain, to find that one friend who also meets the proximity requirement. Perhaps it's because we don't stay in the same place long enough. But I love that you made a list and are reaching out. And as for the photos, #2 does it for me. You're beautiful Hy.

  11. Your pictures are beautiful and you have a wonderful smile. I totally understand about having just a few close friends. It's hard to find people you can really trust sometimes, but on the other hand, there are so many beautiful moments to be had, even if that person eventually fades from your life. I understand it's scary to let people in. But sometimes I think it's the things we are most afraid of doing that we are most meant to do. Does that make sense?

  12. It is so hard to form those new, close relationships. But they're so important for us girls aren't they? It's funny how much better I feel after spending time with girlfriends. I'm nicer to my husband, and my kids.

  13. Stepping out of comfort zones is always a risk worth taking. Well almost always and I love your comparison to Jesus. Which just shows another side of you. A side that is vulnerable and strong at the very same time. This post (and the picture) is perfect. I love how you tie it all together. Somehow I wish you were closer so I could step out of my comfort zone (I have 4 friends that know everything about me, too) and get to know you.

    But that is what this blog is for.

    Thanks for posting this lovely unkept post. :)

  14. Wow. This post touches me in so many ways...I can't even begin to express. Thank you.

  15. You have written the essence of my heart today, H. Longing to have someone to be vulnerable with, but scared to death to be vulnerable. What a struggle. And a beautiful photo.

  16. this is a beautiful post.
    and i so relate......
    to the tired eyes and being known by an old friend who isn't close by and wishing for something a little closer.

  17. this is a beautiful post.
    and i so relate......
    to the tired eyes and being known by an old friend who isn't close by and wishing for something a little closer.

  18. this is a beautiful post.
    and i so relate......
    to the tired eyes and being known by an old friend who isn't close by and wishing for something a little closer.

  19. Oh honey! This was so refreshing to read. I've been thinking a lot about how many of the relationships I've had with women have fizzled out - partly the drinking thing... and how I need to be open to a few that are right in front of me that are at the beginning. And to make them last...
    Hugs, lady.

  20. oh, yes. i know. and it isn't just the courage of revealing yourself to other people -- you have to find the people who WANT to know you that well. that second part is the part that makes me feel lonely. how do we find the kindred spirits out there in the world? the ones who want to make a new friend, the ones you can trust, who want to trust you, who want to know you? you're beautiful mama. don't hide in the blur.

  21. Good brief and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Gratefulness you for your information.


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