Make Sure Your Cup Is Half Full

A favorite photo of the day. Captured this guy just as he was coming in for a landing.

My second cousin, Nancy, shared some words of wisdom in a book she wrote. She encouraged the reader to “make sure your cup is half full.”  This slightly different take on an old saying really made an impression on me.  Instead of assessing how full, or empty, your cup is and accepting it, her words encouraged the reader to act.  If your cup is “half empty”, do what you can to fill it back up.  Maybe even take proactive action to keep yourself from being depleted.

Honestly, my cup has been feeling a bit empty lately. I imagine many feel the same way. Nancy’s words were the push I needed to go ahead and sign up for a local full day photography workshop, to put something back into my cup. I got the last available spot.  The workshop turned out to be fascinating on many levels.  I learned about photography, birds, people, and blessings.

I had no idea there were Pelicans in my area!

An introvert by nature, I was a bit concerned with spending an awkward day with strangers.  At the workshop they divided us into groups for the day.  After walking all morning, lunch was a welcome affair.  I found myself at a table enjoying the company of my group.  We were a diverse collection of people united in our common love of photography.  We ranged in age from our 30’s to our 70’s- two retired gentlemen who had just caught the photography bug, a professor from a local college, a martial arts blackbelt, a stay-at-home mom, and an engineer (me).  Kinda sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn’t it? 😊  Conversation came surprisingly easy over our shared bond.  After lunch we returned to the nature preserve to see what else we could find.  This post shares some of my favorite finds.

I think these are snow geese
I do not recall what the guide called this bird, but I thought he was beautiful
A highlight of the day! If you peer closely you can see the eagle in the nest. A farmer’s field separated us, we kept our distance.
This eagle was circling the nest. The best eagle photo I’ve captured so far.
Red Wing Blackbird
A moment of laughter. This frog was minding his own business, croaking away, unaware several photographers with long lenses were leaning against a farm gate taking his photo. He was a welcome relief from trying to catch birds in flight! I do wish he’d have turned around, though!
Sandhill Cranes

The workshop lasted 11 hours, ending at dusk looking for owls.  I did not capture an owl, but I did capture a beautiful, windy, Spring Day in the field with fellow photographers that encouraged my soul.  We walked for miles, practiced our skills, learned new skills, and learned more about the birds in our area.  I came home dusty, gritty, tired, and more than windblown, but my heart was happy!  My cup was also more than halfway full!  It was the best day, a true blessing, a beautiful day outside enjoying God’s creation.

“He restores my soul.”

A Psalm of David, Psalm 23:3a (ESV)

“Thank the Lord and sing His praise; tell ev’ryone what He has done.

Let all who seek the Lord rejoice and proudly bear His name.

He recalls His promises and leads His people forth in joy with shouts of thanksgiving.

Alleluia, alleluia.”

Lutheran Service Book, Divine Service I, Concordia Publishing House, 2006

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