Out of Shadows

One morning, I sat waiting for my older son to begin his running practice.  Suddenly, I looked up and noticed the clouds.  (Okay, it was prompted by my younger son yanking on my arm, exclaiming, “Mom, look at the clouds!”)  I didn’t have my ‘real’ camera so my cell phone came to my rescue again.  I did a mini photo session of him in various poses (he is such a ham) and several of the scenery.

I was drawn to the tree’s shadow.  Sure, shadows are where scary things hide, especially at night, but shadows can also be harmless- even friendly, like shade on a sunny day.  Depending on where the light source is, a shadow can be short or long- or not visible at all.

Metaphorically speaking, shadows conceal the hurts, worries, fears, let-downs and insecurities that I don’t want to represent me.  The problem is that when my environment shifts, my shadows grow longer and the weak parts of my personality seem bigger.

I get bogged down by things that aren’t getting done.  I forgot to check my younger son’s homework, I’m days late reading blogs, I worry that my rushed response to someone came off harsher than I intended.  Then, I find myself in the shadow of these things, instead of taking in the peace and happiness that I want to fill me.

This past week, some uncertainty has been shifted.  Hubby started a new job, but it’s less pay and longer hours, which brings a new set of challenges.  Right now, it’s an income.  Whether it’s a viable long-term option remains to be seen.  I could linger in the familiar shadows, but I don’t want the darkness to become me.  I want to look up, lift my hands and embrace the source of all light.

No shadows

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4)

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.  (Psalms 55:22)

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27 thoughts on “Out of Shadows

  1. Rachael September 22, 2012 / 6:24 PM

    Excellent advice you’ve given-I think all of us need to stop dwelling in the shadows once in awhile, even if only for a few minutes, and embrace the light.

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:34 PM

      Sometimes it’s easier to linger in the shadows, but I think stepping out can be fulfilling. Thanks for stopping by, Rachael 🙂

  2. suzicate September 22, 2012 / 7:08 PM

    What a fantastic photo!
    I know that feeling when my weak parts seem so much larger than the rest of me…that’s when I know I need to shift my focus.

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:36 PM

      Thanks, Suzicate. I thought it came out pretty well for being a cell phone camera. I’m glad you could relate to the feeling as well. I’m trying to shift focus, but sometimes it’s like truck tires spinning in the mud. A lot of noise, but not much movement. I’m praying I can shake these shadows soon.

  3. pattyabr September 22, 2012 / 7:46 PM

    thanks for your inspiring words and pictures. I needed it today.
    I really like your picture with the tree shadow and the really cool clouds.

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:39 PM

      I’m glad my words helped you, Patty. That makes me feel good 🙂 I hope you are able to embrace the light this week.

  4. Widdershins September 22, 2012 / 9:26 PM

    beautiful pics! … without our shadows, how would we understand the differences?

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:39 PM

      True enough, Widdershins. Shadows do have a place, but I want to be mindful enough to not get to cozy resting in them 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the pictures. The clouds really were unique that day.

  5. Tahlitha Chadwick September 22, 2012 / 9:30 PM

    “This past week, some uncertainty has been shifted.” I know that feeling. Thanks for sharing Janna.

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:43 PM

      I appreciate you reading, and I’m glad you stopped by, Tahlitha. I’m sorry you are experiencing uncertainty as well. Uncertainty can be difficult to endure.

      • Tahlitha Chadwick September 24, 2012 / 7:52 PM

        It only lasts a little while, and we’re better for it when we stay connected to our Savior.

        • jannatwrites September 24, 2012 / 9:06 PM

          You are so right, Tahlitha!

  6. nrhatch September 23, 2012 / 6:34 AM

    Awesome clouds . . . glad you’re seeing the light amid the shadows.

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:43 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. It takes a conscious effort, but I’m working at it 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:45 PM

      It’s funny, I’ve “met” several clould-lovers here in the blog world. Clouds are so fascinating because they are ever-changing. Thanks for stopping by, Newwhitebear!

  7. pattisj September 23, 2012 / 1:05 PM

    Great analogy, Janna. Even my hubby remarks about the sky now, sending me for the camera. Glad to hear your hubby has found work.

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:48 PM

      We’re happy to have an income right now as well. There are still unresolved issues with his old employer but I’m not sure when that will be wrapped up.

      It’s funny- my husband has told me of several picture opportunities as well. Sometimes, I’m sure he regrets it because I take too long photographing at different angles. His approach is more like jeans shopping: find what you need, grab it and go! Thanks for reading, Patti.

  8. Debbie September 23, 2012 / 5:06 PM

    Congrats to your hubby on finding employment — that’s not easy these days! It might not be completely what he wanted (or deserved), but it’s a start. Lovely cloud photos!

    • jannatwrites September 23, 2012 / 9:49 PM

      Yeah, the job search was tough. It is definitely less than he is capable of, but he’s handling it well so far. I’m glad you liked the cloud pics, Debbie. I appreciate you taking time to check them out 🙂

  9. Imelda September 24, 2012 / 9:43 AM

    I’ve been meaning to comment since this post came out – but life always gets in the way. 🙂 Your pictures are nice. I am glad about the good news you have here – maybe this job is a good waiting place for your husband.
    Rest assured that you are not alone in being easily rattled by ‘shadows’. I am one of those who easily go out of kilter when things don’t happen as I expected them to be.
    I wish you and your family well. God bless you. 🙂

  10. Sandra September 26, 2012 / 9:25 PM

    Congrats on the new job! I’m glad things are turning up for your family. Literally speaking, shadows are a great place–for me. I’m always seeking shade on a sunny day. But I know the metaphorical shadow you speak of, and I don’t think you will allow darkness to swallow you. I hope you have lots of light on your path ahead, Janna!

    • jannatwrites September 27, 2012 / 10:04 PM

      I love literal shadows as well, Sandra. Without them, I’d burn to a crisp! I feel the sun a little more this week, so I’m hoping the shadows have receded for now. I’m glad you stopped by, Sandra!

  11. philosophermouseofthehedge September 27, 2012 / 11:35 AM

    The thing about shadows? They always move. You can chase them, but can’t run them down. Important to remember, shadows are actually poor reflections/duplications of reality. Shadows lurk around, but a little light reduces them and they disappear. They return but you can deal with shadows if you recognize what they are and their nature.
    New job sounds great – hang in there…without shadows, light wouldn’t be so bright or so appreciated.

    • jannatwrites September 27, 2012 / 10:17 PM

      I like your statement that shadows are poor reflections of reality. This is so true. Those shadows stretch and shrink and hide.

      I appreciate you stopping by, Phil. I am grateful for the shadows, though I prefer not to linger in them 🙂

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