Therapy Tuesday – San Marco, Florida

Today after dropping the kids off at school I needed to find something to do with myself for an hour or so before an appointment so I grabbed my camera as we headed out the door for school thinking I would go and explore San Marco a bit.  I have shot there a few times for clients but wanted to explore a little more.

I had no idea I was walking into a rest and a peace God had waiting for me.  There was something so serene about shooting for my own pleasure.  I think as photographers we sometimes forget how important that is.  I know I do.  We strive for the perfect shot, great composition and something that will please others.  But today it was all about me.

So here’s a trip to San Marco, Florida for you non-Floridians…

I love this house.   It has quite the story behind it as told to me by a neighbor today.  But seeing how I don’t know if it’s true, nor do I know who lives there, let’s leave it at VERY IN-TER-ES-TING!!! (insert Sesame Street Vampire voice)

Here is a close up.

Hmmmmm.  The texture!  I especially love the entryway.  This is one of the few houses that has fallen into disrepair.  Good bones though.  Good bones.  And from the front stoop you have this view-

Driving a few blocks down the street brought me to this beauty- (I love shooting here).

There is a well in the middle of the park across the street from this house with the most scrumptious brick sidewalk.  I’m still trying to decide if this is one last name or an initial and a last name –

Around the well I found a lone flower with it’s face raised towards Heaven.  Me and that flower, we were on the same page today!!

I drover further down the block, turned a corner and found this beauty.  I’m definitely knocking on this door for my next photo session.  I wanted to park the car and swing for a bit, but I settled on snapping a couple of shots instead.

I love everything about this house, especially the shutters.  LOVE!!!

San Marco is a wonderful place to dream –

And in doing so I discovered another well…..

Here is that same well from across the street –

I watched squirrels play and chase one another over acorns which are still green here!  EVERYTHING is green in Florida.  Can you find the squirrel?

I stopped for a bit of history…

And I found this sweet “fortress” for sale for a cool five million boasting 12,000 sq ft and 8 full baths!

Next was this sweet one car bridge over the canal.  I could just imagine the clomping of horses hooves as I walked across it…

This was my view from the bridge and between the concrete pillars.  While down on the ground trying to remain inconspicuous I found a bit of spanish moss beginning to grow.  It’s everywhere here, especially near the water.

Oh the colors!!!

I ended up here:

Which was really the oddest little spot.  One circle around this giant acorn (ICE AGE) and three parking spaces in a semi-cul-de-sac!  Yet, it is called Celebration Park.  Not quite a park.

However, this made me giggle.  I wish I had gotten the entire shark fin on top.  It was really cute and situated right by the river.

This was the sewer cover near the “park”.  Quite historical looking I thought.

As I looked out over the water I wondered what this woman was reading and what life is like living on the river.  A client told me that manatees often migrate through here.  I want to pet a manatee.  There is a serenity about San Marco because you can see the hustle and bustle of the city that is right across the bridge yet San Marco itself is remarkably quiet and quaint.

I loved all the textures and sounds.  I watched the mailman walking door to door delivering mail like we once had when we lived in Hopkinsville, KY.  I remember how I loved hearing the slot open and the mail drop onto the hardwood floors of our house.  I stood by one of the wells as grandparents left from visiting grandkids and listened as the recycle truck drove through dumping rectangular blue bins of paper and plastic.  I saw a man sitting on a bench.  I wanted to take his photo (like HONY – Facebook:  Humans of New York:  just a side note, if you do not follow them on Facebook it’s a FB must!  I think he’s my hero.  If you find his story and how HONY began it’s a good ‘un), but I digress.  I chickened out.  Several men were fishing.  The lady walking her dog told me about the first house you saw and it’s strange criminal history that made me want to knock on the door.  Maybe I will one of these days.

I got to experience life today just a little removed from it, as if I had taken one step back.  I observed other people’s lives in a remarkable hour of worship, thankfulness and quiet.  I had no idea my soul had been so restless until I felt the Hand of God usher me into this rest today.  I shot until my battery died.  No worries about smiles or closed eyes or blinks.  Just me, God and a cool Florida morning with shorts and a sweatshirt.

I was a happy and better person after being here today.

Thanks San Marco!  I will visit you again soon!




Where does summer go?

First, let me get a protest out of the way.  Summer homework is for the birds.  ‘nuf said!

My protest leads me into the ever-quickening pace of our summers.

As a child they seemed to last indefinitely.  I don’t remember summer projects assigned by teachers.  I remember making hammocks out of mom’s sheets, lemonade stands, the pool, learning to drive the riding lawn mower and catching fire flies.

There are no fire flies in Jacksonville!  There are, however, summer projects along with a host of other wonderful blessing like tons of frogs (which I love catching).

It seems summer barely begins and then we’re in the heat of midsummer.  I turn around, maybe twice, and school is upon us again.

When the bible talks about this life being fleeting in the face of eternity it’s truth is never more evident as an adult with children.  One moment you hold your newborn and the next you are learning how to let go and allow them to be mini-adults.

It’s sad for this mommy.  It’s also rewarding, frustrating, glorious and crazy – all wrapped up in one!

When they were little I kept them safe from climbing steps, falling on the cement and my husband and I kissed boo-boos and passed onto them out love of campfires.

Babysitters helped them make visors that were actually proud to wear!  And while my photography skills have increased my babies are growing up……

Taking care of the “bare necessities” of life were quite uncomplicated compared to our new found role as parents to teens, tweens and an almost tween.  Hoping they live their lives for God, make good choices, choose their friends wisely, don’t speed, be respectful……and all that jazz!

All of that is much harder than wrapping them in warm jackets and finding their favorite shoes.

Sometimes I wish we could flash freeze moments as to return and look at them with eyes full of wisdom from the future.  A multi-dimensional stop in time to appreciate all that was in that moment.  The baby voice, the tiny shoes, the cries of protest, the trusting child, the Barney songs, the little hand in ours and even the smelly diapers that are just too quickly gone.

I think we need more summers.  Not the break from school summer, but the “let’s go have fun and leave our worries behind” summers.  God knew how badly I needed a husband who has a summer outlook on life.  He pulls me out of me seriousness and says, “Let’s go have fun.”  He tries new food, catapults from airplanes and dares to live life on the edge as I sit with my feet firmly planted on the ground.   “For it is safe here young padawan!”

I need more summer.  More of an ability to trust the Father and swing high from the branches of His tree.  To squeal like a little girl and to run with wild abandon.  To rest.  To listen.  To be quiet.

Homeschooling, although crazy as it got at times, allowed more summer into our lives.  With all the children in school there is less summer.  As they grow into their responsibilities as young adults days spent riding big wheels in the drive way and picnics in the gazebo come less often.  Schedules fill up.  Time to “just be” falls away.

I believe my goal for the coming academic year (non summer) is to schedule one day of summer into each month.  A day or a night where the whole family does something…..anything just to pause, have fun and enjoy the sunshine, the lemonade and the homemade hammock.

And I have just the man to do it with!  Hold me accountable baby!!!



I remember as a child that summers lasted forever.  As an adult it’s quite a different story.  This summer has whizzed by like a rocket ship bound for other planets!!

Sometimes I’d love to grab hold of time and make it stand still for just a day, like those stop motion camera shots you see on TV.

I’d like to sit and exam my life.  Step outside of it and stand there with God and say, “What do I need to change?”  “Where am I wasting time?”  “What needs my attention?”

Are you happy with your life?  Do the days whiz by in a blur?  Some days I feel like the day controls me instead of me controlling my day.

I say to my soul, “Peace.  Be still.”

And I wish my brain and body would follow.  To bask in the stillness of who God is… soak up His love and mercies, to KNOW that He alone is God, to cast all my cares upon Him who loves me so, to leave all that I am in His hands to shape and to mold.”

Share with me.  What do you do to stop the pace of life.  Where is your peaceful place?  How do you find rest in the midst of life.

I’m looking for some answers here!


When do we, as moms, rest?

What does it look like?

This morning I dropped one off at school and am sitting on the back porch with two of my other kids.  It’s 76 in Florida.  The wind is blowing.  I hear the neighbor’s wind chimes.  It’s peaceful.  But I have a million things running through my heart, soul and brain that I “have to do”.  Why can’t I stop and soak in the morning?  When did I forget to rest in the moment…the one where Jesus lives….the now, the I AM??

My third-born lost two teeth last night.  So we’re sitting here looking up what teeth are made of.  We’re talking about enamel and dentine.  We’re homeschooling the way  I want to homeschool……checking out the things we are interested in.  Today it is teeth.  Tomorrow it may be poop, who knows!!!!

After talking with my good friend “The Scooper” I chose to rest in the day.  Math can wait.  Language can wait.  Teeth are the topic of the moment.

Now we talked about “belonging to” instead of just “believing in” God.

And now we’re off to brush teeth, eat breakfast and begin our day.

But this morning’s breeze is balm to my soul.  The Holy Spirit’s breath on my exhausted soul and body.  Love from the Father.  Birds chirping remind me that He is the Creator of all things, the author and perfecter, the finisher.  My striving means nothing…….  for it is in repentance and rest my salvation is found and it is in quietness and trust I find my strength.   (Isaiah 30:15)

Rest today sisters.  Rest today dear husband.  Rest today dear Scooper.  REST.

Day 21 – Rest


What does that mean to you?

For me it means SLEEP.  It also means resting in today and God’s provision for today.

It means taking time off of life to take care me.  In today’s society that is not an easy thing.  We are all so busy.  This year our school year has looked quite different.  I have one in school and three at home.  We make daily trips to LearningRx.  I gas up the car so much more than I did last year.  We go from here to there and the days of school at home seem long gone.  But it is our life this year.  It is what our days look like.  But among the busyness there is a peace because I know it’s God’s plan for us right now.

I waited, fretted, cried and sweated over what this year would look like.  I feel like I went around the mountain to find the path God had laid before us for this year.  And I think the journey is partly the reason for the peace.   It’s often the journey that reminds me what it feels like to be in the middle of God’s plan for our lives.

How people go through life without knowing there is someone else looking out for them is a mystery to me.  I remember the days when I had the illusion of control over my own life.  I determined my days, my weeks.  But in those times there was very little peace.  There was always a searching.  The God sized hole he puts in each of us can only be filled by him.

Then the journey of giving up daily control of our lives begins.  And when I arrive at the place that I realize HE is GOOD and HE has my best interests at heart I can rest in whatever is going on in my life.  I can remember “this too shall pass” or I can rejoice in the small things when the days look dark.  The days right now feel full of sunshine.  And I know there will be another mountain to climb but I am so thankful for the rest.

Life is definitely hard.  But God is definitely good!!!  Enjoy your day!   Rest.

Day 13 – Real Life

In my dreams of bloggy land I was determined to blog for 31 days but I’m doing something more important the next 3 days.  Remember the rest we spoke about earlier?

I’m driving to SC to see friends and to spend a weekend with my hubbie , go to a high school football game, see my favorite chiropractor, and get farm fresh eggs.  Not in that order, of course but close.

Our house in SC is waiting for a new loving family.  I pray God will bless the neighborhood and the family who lives there.

So…..even thought I MIGHT blog over the next three days, I just might not.  So if you don’t hear a peep out of me we’re having fun and I’ll see you on Monday.

Have a great weekend.  Go vacuum your garage!!