It has been a little over two and half months since I separated from the Air Force, and this past Friday I headed back onto base to attend the dual retirement of one of the senior ranking officers in my old squadron and her husband. The ceremony was wonderfully done and it was so nice to be able to bump into and reconnect with old coworkers. Over the last two years on active duty, I was blessed to serve alongside some incredible, caring, and talented people. After handshakes or hugs were exchanged, the first question my old coworkers and friends generally asked that afternoon was “So…what have you been up to?”
To be honest, though it was always led with a smile and genuine interest, I had been dreading this particular question from these particular people. I felt this internal pressure that I needed to have a good, societally-acceptable answer – whatever that’s supposed to mean – or to explain myself. I felt this need to be able to answer that I was working full time at such-and-such a job, staying super busy and a bit stressed, and so on. Because that was my norm before. And I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. I’ve wrestled with defining my identity before, but I am grateful to have a God who is patient with me and willing to remind me of the truth when I need it. I know this to be true, because in the very moment when the question was first asked of me that day, I felt this perfect sense of release wash over me. Release in God’s grace to just be me, to be comfortable and confident in where I’m at and what I’m doing. God made me exactly who I am and – until He directs me otherwise – I know I am exactly where he wants me to be. I was surprised that my answer came so easily. “Well,” I beamed, “I’ve been doing all the things I’ve always wanted to, but never before had the time!” And I love it. I’ve had more time to pursue photography, cook and bake, blog and rehab furniture (though it’s often too hot these days to do much work in the garage), spend more quality time with friends and with the Lord, and care for my husband and my home. What a wonderful feeling! I thank God that he’s allowing me the opportunity to do so right now.
A tangent to that line of thought…I purchased my first DSLR camera – a Canon Rebel T2i – a few months ago, and have been thoroughly enjoying myself as I explore the art of photography now that I have the right tools in hand. I’m the crazy lady who stood on a chair in the middle of my garden a few mornings ago just so I could photograph the same sunflower repeatedly as I familiarized myself with all of my camera’s manual settings. Thankfully, our sunflowers, our dog, the adorable kiddos at our church’s Vacation Bible School last week, and so many more have all been gracious and obliging subjects. : )
Here are few photos I’ve taken over the past few weeks…