Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Clone Brush


I began my day editing photos I took last weekend. My boys were playing with family friends who were in town for a visit. At four and six years old, Riley and Addie, adore my teenage sons. The feeling is mutual. I started a scrapbook for the girls when they moved away a few years ago, and took the opportunity at the pool to snap a few pictures – well more than a few.

Addie, Riley, Andrew and Peter
Pool pictures on a sunny day are the best. The colors were phenomenal and my Sony digital can capture tiny water droplets in the air. This was beneficial because my son Andrew spent a good deal of time harassing all of us with a squirt gun. I got some really good pictures. Unfortunately, no matter how loud and obnoxious our little gathering  became, (The life guard on duty at the time was Peter’s best friend, Mark), one family remained at the baby pool and seemed to consistently appear in the background of my photos. The photo’s gorgeous background - hues of sunlit blue - were marred by a few parents lounging in the pool. Ugh. 

Enter the clone brush. It is a fantastic little tool in my Creative Memories Digital Scrapbook program. I haven’t perfected it yet, but I did manage to obliterate said family from my photos. Don’t examine them too intently, the pool edge isn’t as defined as I would have liked and the water isn’t flawless, but as a background it works.

Addie's Revenge!
Life would be so much easier if it came equipped with a clone brush.      

              
Something to blot out those obstacles, blur the harsh lines etched by the consequences of poor choices, to help us forget circumstances too painful to carry. Often my prayer intentions are not so much an attempt to grow closer to God, but rather a petition for circumstantial cloning. “God, please erase this from my life. I can’t deal with it. I don’t want to see it anymore. It hurts. God please bring healing, or change, or whatever is necessary to get this circumstance out of the picture.”

God knew that our lives without Him would be cluttered and our landscapes often filled with unwanted debris. Human nature, the existence of sin – we just can’t seem to tidy things up on our own. For some reason, we need to experience these trials and keep perspective on the mess surrounding us. And He gave us the one prayer we would need the most from the lips of a young girl whose life on earth would also be filled with hardship and tremendous grief, 'And Mary said, “. . .  may it be done to me according to your word.”' Luke 1:38

 I am grateful for my friends and family who help me to see God’s presence, even when my life’s backdrop becomes murky and uncomfortable. Just when I was beginning to really feel the chill of the empty nest encroaching, Addie and Riley came into town and I was back playing with my boys at the pool. An afternoon of laughter and sunshine was a blessing that reminded of the joy God weaves through the landscape of my journey. I have an abundance of memories to cherish: the relative few I strive to clone out pale in comparison.
Sans sunbathing Mom and her Starbucks


Riley and Addie preparing for battle
 


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