When Things Don’t Go As Planned

May 4, 2016 | Growing Your Faith | 2 comments

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

Being a photographer could easily categorize me as a bit “crazy”.  My husband would tell you I’m obsessed with taking pictures of our family.  He’s right.  I realize that my tiny babies will one day be driving away to college with their backseats stuffed full of clothes, and all I will have of their childhood are the pictures I took.  My fear is that I won’t have enough.  What if I forget their chubby cheeks and long eyelashes?  How will I remember their messy bed head?  Photographs remember the emotion that the mind easily forgets.

Every beach visit requires a session in the sand.  Our walls at home are adorned with a family picture from every summer we have traveled to St. Simons since the time our oldest daughter was 2 years old.  As all of you mothers know, coordinating the outfits are THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of these cherished family portraits.  Should we wear all white?  What about adding pops of color this year?  What flatters me the most? 🙂 We tend to take it a bit overboard to the point of adding stress to our already busy days, which ends with death threats made to the children if they don’t smile and behave.  I’m not saying I’ve never made my children cry and then presented the portrait like we are happier than rainbows and unicorns;)springbreak-2As we were planning our beach trip over spring break, I decided not to go through with the obligatory “beach pictures”.  That stress was not welcome in my happy space.  No ma’am! You can find someone else to bother.  I was going to relax and enjoy my family WITHOUT the drama of perfect portraits.

As God would have it, because his ways are always better than ours, he showed off one night with the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen over St. Simons.  Hues of pink, orange, purple, fuchsia, and aqua painted the sky.  Imagine all the shades of cotton candy swirled into one.  I suddenly got that “crazy” look in my eye that strikes fear in the soul of my picture-hating husband.  With little time to spare, I clawed through our suitcases for decently coordinated outfits.  The sun had already set, engaging the sand gnats to attack anyone who came near.

I told my family it would be painless, fun, and spontaneous.  It was.  Letting the girls run and play allowed me just enough time to adjust my camera settings.  Within five minutes of our toes touching the sand, I got it.  “IT” has to be my most beloved beach picture of my family ever taken.  When I wasn’t planning to take pictures, God was orchestrating something much better.  His ways are always higher than ours.  His thoughts are always greater than ours.  The secret to receiving those blessings that are much grander than we can ever imagine, is to be present.  Be alive in the moment.  Pay attention to the details.  You will hear his voice and see his goodness all the days of your life.

“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.” Proverbs 16:9


  1. Darren Thompson

    Kudos Paige…such a great image. Rule number one of capturing great images…alway, always have your camera at arms length. Even when you don’t think you need it. Hope you and your family are doing great. So fun to watch your journey and growth.

    • Paige Ewing

      Thank you Darren! The iPhone is great…but nothing beats the real thing !


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