Monday, March 26, 2012

Not my idea

Bob and I have been leading a grief support group at church since January.  This is our second time leading such a group.

The 13-week sessions always bring much encouragement as we intentionally reflect on God's Truth and how He gently and graciously carried us through the past 5 years of intense sorrow.

It also brings many tears as we meet new friends who are just starting this difficult journey and learning to adjust to an "incomplete" life.

This year's group shares a commonality of tragedy -- cancer, drownings while on vacation, suicide, car accidents, murder.  So much sadness.

Yet, as a group, we are looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith and continuing to trust Him through it all.

One sweet couple approached Bob and I a few weeks ago and expressed their gratitude for this grief ministry. He is a photographer at a local studio and wanted to offer us a gift.  Their studio, he explained, would be showcasing live ducks for the Easter season, and he offered to give us a portrait session for the kids.

I was very grateful for their kind offer.  He gave me instructions on setting up the appointment, and, as I turned to leave, he said, "And how many kids do you have?"

Umm...  Yes, that may have been one of those questions he should have asked prior to the offer.

We have not had a photo session of the entire brood yet.  For obvious reasons.

But I was ready to try!

The night before, I picked out some coordinating outfits, curled Eveley's hair, and gave everyone a bath.   That day, I tried to prepare them for the little live ducks.  "Mama will be so proud of you," I said with a giant cheesy smile on my face, "if you can sit still and smile for the camera."

We walked into the studio and were met by the photographer and his wife.  They had prepared a room with a park scene, they said.  The older two would sit on the bridge and the twins could sit on the sides of the path.  Once everyone was settled, they would bring in the ducks and let them scatter down the path.

It would be lovely.  In theory.

They led us down the hall and into the room for the photo.  As soon as I entered, I audibly yelled, "UH OH!"  The entire creek path was covered with little rocks.

If you remember this post, my sweet (and sour) Caleb LOVES rocks.  I knew we were headed for a disaster.

And mama knows best.

They tried to position the children and then brought the ducks in.

I have succesfully blocked out most of the next 20 minutes.  My faint memory is filled with Ryan screaming uncontrollably and Caleb picking up rock after rock and trying to peg the ducks.  Even a scolding from the assistant photographer didn't do the trick.  But my little Jack never stopped smiling.

This life-time, successful, acclaimed photographer had met his match.

Our time was up and I tried to quickly herd my flock to the car.

"Surely we got something we can use," the photographer said.  "And, if not, I can always try Photo S*hop."

The pictures came, and they aren't too bad.  Really, they're perfect.  Perfectly real.

It was a very sweet gesture.  We have a fun memory.  And no child {or duck} was harmed in the process.



merlin said...

If I didn't know the story, I would think this is an adorable photo of the 4 kiddos with REAL duckies (omg), and it is precious, so maybe you can erase the trauma and just enjoy the photo of your beautiful brood/gaggle/kids :)

I am really touched that you lead a grief group, that is inspiring, such a testimony to God's Grace.

Kelly said...

Lauren that is a lovely picture of the kiddos.

Care said...

Hilarious. Glad the picture turned out well, though! I laughed so hard that I cried as I pictured Caleb pegging the ducks!

Beka McCay said...

oh Lauren! I would have been a nervous wreck! But really cute picture! (and memory!)