Georgia Travel

Shifting the Rocks!

Shifting the Rocks!

Just a few from last weekend…nothing fancy and no heavy thoughts.

I just took a few minutes to enjoy the kids inbetween cooking various meals, hiking and swiming at Red Top Mountain.  Of course to me enjoyment also includes looking for a lovely ray of light or expression…

It is wonderful to see the kids enjoy the long summer days, not get upset with the heat, thunderstorm interuption, and tight sleeping quarters.  it made me smile.

I hope you too get a moment to enjoy the loved ones in your life.

-ehw

Oh the joy of a juicebox!

Oh the joy of a juicebox!

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Sixteen Years and Two Big Lessons

     I married my wonderful wife sixteen years ago on June 27, 1998.  We changed careers four times total, had eight places we called home, learned to pull out of life’s valleys, and overcame health challenges both to ourselves an our seven children.

     Yes I said seven children.  See we have four with us, and three who passed in miscarriages.  I believe those three are in the embrace of God as I write this.  My wife chose the photo above to remember each one of them this past April.

     In this voyage between 15 and 16 years of marriage losing a child at nine weeks of pregnancy delivered us the worst emotional pain we’ve endured as a married couple.   The reason this became the worst pain stemmed from three major factors.  First we know we are nearing the end of our time to bring children into the world.  Second we never grieved properly for the first two lost children many years ago.  Finally our spiritual growth growth over the last several years of homeschooling made us more aware of God’s calling to participate in creation by raising children to know and love the Lord.

     As painful as the time was, I know God’s care for us surrounded us in a hundred ways.  We met two women who had four and five miscarrages before having two children make it to birth describe the joy they had when they held their new arrivals.  We had family and friends pray so hard for us, that when I started to collapse on hearing the bad news I could literally feel them holding me up in prayer.  Melanie Levergood responded to a prayer request with “Absolutely! Storming Heaven.  What do you need?”  It was amazing to get notes from the His Light team: Nick Coury, Jim Begley and Bill Fortney out of the blue filled with prayer hours just after the bad news.  My wife received good health care, and she is doing as well as ever thanks to a good doctor and his team.  I also had supportive bosses at work, in the midst of a few critical incidents, let me run to my wife’s side to care for her and the children.

     Equally important to us was the fact that two clergy from church provided blessings and sacraments to us with love and compassion.  Over the last few years my family gained a greater understanding of the form and meanings of prayer and sacraments.  As a result, we were fully open to receiving the graces they offered in our times of need.  For all the bad press people hurl at our Catholic clergy, I wish they could see the millions of good people beyond the few bad apples. Without those two men (Father Mario and Deacon Joe) ministering to this family, I know my family would still harbor damaging grief and pain.  They follow in the tradition of my good and faithful friends who minister with love and kindness (yes I’m looking at our wedding priest/friends Father Mark Spring, Father Ed Kacena, and my Army Ukrainian Orthodox friend Father Peter Dubinin).

     So after sixteen years of marriage I will offer the two greatest lessons I’ve learned.  The first is that both parents must make our first priority for the house to stand with the Lord in heart, mind and action.  This creates a foundation for love to grow between each family member and God.  The second lesson is that when we travel through life we need to be attentive to the messages God sends us.  God sent us those women, friends, doctors, my job to pay the bills, and clergy to help us get through the pain.  By choosing to embrace the goodness God sent our way, we left bitterness behind and rejoined the community of life he wants us to travel in.  Now we are ready to help someone else at God’s beaconing.  

    Oh…and I do love my wife Carrie Anne Baker Wojtkun more now than ever.   

-ehw

June 28, 1998

June 28, 1998

Missing two front teeth..

Missing two front teeth

Missing two front teeth

Most of us started out in photography to record the wonderful moments of our family lives.  I am no different.  So amdist the deeply contemplative shots and thoughts are photos like this one of no less importantance.  My boy who just lost his second tooth in three days holding his minon namesake with his customary happy grin (minus the two front teeth).

I guess the moral of the story is to never get so lost in work or the hobby that you fail to enjoy this once in a lifetime moment between you and your family.  For as with the rest of life it will be gone in a blink of an eye and never come back.

-ehw

The Forrest

Morning Light

Morning Light

It is one of those trying times for me right now….challenges, challenges and more challenges.  

As I processed this photo it pretty much matched my mood.  A dark forest being slowly being lit by the morning sun after a rainy night.  The morning haze showing off the rays of light and mist.  i see a lot of darkness, but I can still feel the light of the Lord guiding me step by step through the woods.

As a newer artist I still find it extraodinary when emotion guides your artistic decisions and direction.  I think that is what makes the whole adventure enjoyable and thought provoking.  Yet I cannot help myself from asking if anyone else sees my vision the same way…or will it merely become whatever they want it to be?  If someone does not see what you intended are you a success or a failure?  

To answer my question, I think it would be silly to think everyone will look at the photo the way you intended.  We all have different thoughts, perspectives and references.  Success and failure of a piece really depends on whether or not the image gets you to simply stop and think about your photo as they apply their thoughts to it.  

-ehw

P.S. X-E1 with 18-55 shot while cooking eggs and sausage.