I’m feeling like a plant trying to grow up through a crack in the sidewalk during the middle of a storm. Growing through concrete is extremely painful and difficult, and people can step on plants growing in the sidewalk. The storm is scary, terrifying, cold, uncomfortable and the rain it brings provides nourishment to grow.
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: September 8, 2020
Ben and Abigail peeling and grating potatoes for potato salad that Gideon requested for his birthday meal. I was so overwhelmed and didn’t feel capable of making potato salad and wanted to be able to make what Gideon requested. Ben told me he would do it, so I just helped with it and felt less pressure and overwhelm not having to do it alone. I was very thankful for Ben and Abigail’s help and that our family ended up enjoying working on this together.
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: September 7, 2020
Laying in the grass at sunset, at the edge of the yard where it meets the corn field looking up at the beautiful sky. I listened to the corn blowing in the breeze, heard the loud insects buzzing all around me, felt the breeze blowing across my skin and the pressure of the solid ground under me, the cushion of the grass on my back and bugs biting at my ankles. I tried to absorb it all, take it all in among the anxiety raging in my body and mind. I tried to enjoy the moment instead of worrying I’d totally missed the shot by missing focus and not having the convenience of checking the image on the back of my camera—film doesn’t work that way. Even if I totally messed up this shot it can still remind me of this beautiful moment in God’s creation.
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: September 6, 2020
This probably isn’t what most people think of for traces of covid. People in masks and markers for “social distancing” are very common. Something that seems to be less commonly mentioned is the toll covid is taking on our mental health. I already had intense mental health struggles before covid and now it’s even more complex. My depression and anxiety have become different and intensified as I’ve had things taken away from me—weekly, in-person therapy appointments, not being able to go with my husband to the checkups that haven’t been canceled (his health was fragile before covid and he’s at high risk), being isolated from people even more than I was before, fearing for my husband’s health when I go to the grocery store to get necessities, having normalcy ripped away…..just to name a few things. I often feel so anxious or like I’m not really here, paralyzed with fear, alone, like pure chaos, extremely sad and want to die. This is the best way I could think of to show that in a photo. I’m guessing I’m not alone in this. If you can relate to any of this…I see you.
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: September 5, 2020
Ben preparing to put ylang ylang essential oil combined with carrier oil on me. This has become part of my daily routine—every 2 hours while I’m awake we apply essential oil to me in order to help with my trauma response and mental health symptoms. The symptoms are so intense and debilitating and can become life threatening. While essential oils don’t completely take the symptoms away or “cure” me they do help me to be able to cope. I’m so thankful this has become a part of my routine as it is helpful and familiar so it helps to create a sense of safety. I am thankful for Ben’s willingness and persistence in making sure he helps to care for me by reminding me to use essential oils throughout each day and helping with the process—left to myself I’d probably decide I’m not worth it and skip the oils—I’m thankful for Ben’s support in this.
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: September 3, 2020
In bed holding my NewSpring Bible. It was an incredibly meaningful gift for my birthday in August. In a way it symbolizes a starting over. A realization that I’m more interested in the truth of the Bible and what God says and thinks than pleasing church culture. I’ve always had this in me but more recently I’ve really realized how damaging church culture can be for me and I don’t want to be a part of that. I still love and trust God, am still His child. But due to the effects of church culture it’s extremely hard for me to read the Bible—having it so often taken out of context and sometimes used against me. And I find this painfully sad and frustrating. My husband surprised me by ordering this Bible from NewSpring store, from the only church I’m able to listen to right now (the church we attended when we lived near it). Because the leadership and church body are led by and focused on God, there is such a healthy balance of grace and truth that is so refreshing and life-giving. I am still struggling but have not given up. Even though it’s very challenging I still open this Bible each morning before getting out of bed and read a Psalm from it. It’s not much but it’s my practice of sticking with it, showing God I have not turned away from Him, listening and hopefully growing.
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: September 1, 2020
My husband and children—they were the first thing I thought of that I want to remember. I am thankful for them and that they were all willing to sit together in one spot so I could get them all in one photo (which is no small task).
#amonthonfilm is a photo project with prompts hosted by two photographers on Instagram Photo taken: June 30, 2020