Are you living in or out of the box?

The prompt for photography class is outside the box. hmmm

Nothing came to mind. Only questions. How do I do that in a still life class? Does she mean shoot something not still life? Do I get literal and silly and take a photo of something outside of a box? Oh, how I can complicate the simplest of instructions.

I want more information. Tell me exactly what you mean, what you want. I want to get this right.

Right and wrong determines much of our life. To make it through school in we need to get more answers right than wrong. I lived in the good student box. Not the gifted, but good.

I’ve spent years living in the people pleasing box. That’s how you get things right isn’t it? Do what you’re told, be the good kid, good student, good daughter, good wife, good mom, good person.

Some boxes were already made. All I had to do was move in. Other boxes I’ve made for myself. Then there are boxes I’ve tried to tear to bits.

I’ve fashioned some myself with an eye cast toward others afraid my box won’t measure up or wanting it to be “as good as” theirs. I’ve made boxes inside of boxes.

I sit down with the paint brush willing myself to paint free form but I can’t seem to let go. I need a reference point, a pattern. I’ve drawn the lines of my box tight and learned early to color inside the lines.

In photography my comfort zone is light and simple. Photos with plenty of white space feel good to me. But I’ve been pressed to shoot dark and moody, to look at ordinary things in new ways and make them work. Some of the results have been visually pleasing but still not the ‘Ah’ that the brighter shots bring. That’s why it’s called comfort.

But we’re called to live bigger than that. To move outside our comfort zone, outside the boxes.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. Matt. 5:14-16 Message

What do you think it will look like without your box? Can you see the God-colors?

Dare to wander outside the box with me?

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

6 thoughts on “Are you living in or out of the box?

  1. Annie Rim

    Love these reflections! I like knowing exactly what is expected and the desired outcomes. It’s hard just going with the flow or imagining outside a box. Every morning I write out my priorities & expectations for the day. This practice started from feeling like I wasn’t getting anything done and it has helped me focus my days. BUT! It also keeps me in a box and makes me feel like a failure when life happens and those boxes don’t get checked. Such a tension….


    1. Debby Hudson

      I definitely know that tension, Annie. My box has largely been guilt with obligation. Self-made ones at that! I’m starting to think balance maybe isn’t meant for every moment 😉


  2. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk

    These photos are so intriguing and I love how you presented them! (Sounds like a great class you’re taking!) It’s so hard to think differently about things we’ve grown accustomed to but a new perspective breathes life into what we thought was one-dimensional. Enjoyed this post! xo


    1. Debby Hudson

      Thanks Valerie. It is a great class. Yes, it’s hard to think differently from the familiar. Maybe that’s why I appreciate
      knowing people who aren’t just like me.


  3. sarahgirl3

    I like to follow the rules and stay in my comfort zone. But I need to push myself and grow into who God says I am!


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