Umbrella: Revisiting An Old Journal Entry

Written by Gregory Byerline on June 8, 2015 at 9:43 pm
Filed under Inspiration • Tags: , , , , ,

Today it rained. As I walked across the parking lot, memories of another rainy day back in Fall 2001 returned with the wind. Those were pre-blog days, yet the urge to write consumed me, and here’s what I wrote that day. Later that year, I printed a mini-poster for family and friends (pictured below; click to enlarge).

Revisiting it tonight feels like it happened just yesterday. Or today, even. Good to know some things never change. Just thought I’d share again here. Perhaps you too will find a helpful reminder.

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Umbrella by Gregory ByerlineOutside a trendy natural food market (Wild Oats Market, for those who remember the pre-Whole Foods days), I munch on an organic lunch that satisfies the palette and somewhat reaffirms the idea of eating well. These reflections hearken back to an hour or so before this healthy helping. I started my car only to remember that I, rather absent-mindedly, forgot my reading materials for today’s solitary satiating. The sky is blue. I find myself in my car again…mere minutes later…with reading material in hand and raindrops speckling my Old Navy-special shirt. Sky still blue, but now it’s raining. How odd.

Fast forward to this moment. Seated at a patio table with a panoramic view of parking lots filled with every car imaginable…from a rusty blue VW bus to a sleek, black Lexus SUV…I dive into my massive slice of “healthy” pizza and a recyclable cup of soup du jour. The sky grays then soaks this panorama with rain. Shoppers scurry across the pavement wondering why they could possibly need an umbrella on a sunny, blue-sky day. It’s rather amusing. “Geez. It’s only water,” I chuckle. Sure, that’s easy for me to say, tucked nicely under a covered patio, sheltered from the elements.

Something about today’s rain stirred my soul to move the pen. Is it the years of repressed reflections running over? Is it my natural smugness to the nouveauriche as they run in the rain? Only God knows. At times I wish I knew my heart so well, but then again, maybe I’d be frightened out of my mind.

Hey, lady, the rain stopped; put down your umbrella.

In this brief moment in time, rain clouds cooled the air and washed it clean, producing that familiar aroma after a steady Spring rain.

Such diversity of people is rarely seen in this upper-middle-class, vanilla part of town. In a sweeping glance, you can see white collar and blue collar, soccer moms and earth mommas, teens and seniors, bathed and un-bathed, western and eastern, straight and non-straight, bearded and clean-shaven, just and unjust. And the rain is falling (again) on all of them, er, us. I’m in there somewhere.

In church lingo, we say that God “pours” His blessings on us….that He “showers” us with His love. Much like this rain that waters the earth that grows the grain that feeds the just and the unjust. Sadly, though, there’s life-giving water soaking the lifeless streets and parking lots where man and auto trample it with no regard. There’s so much water to make it “OK,” I guess. Even more sad.

Yet that’s how we treat God’s blessings and love. We are so inundated with God’s blessing and love that we’ve become familiar. This familiarity has bred contempt. Made to wonder, we’re prone to wander. Yes, we. All of us. You. Me. Them. The Just. And the Unjust. Only a God as big as Jehovah God would generate such grace and love and blessing as this–even when He knows we’ll likely disregard it. Only Jehovah God would shower the world with boundless love even though He knows we’ll walk through life under an umbrella of self.

I’ll remember this the next time I see an umbrella blown outward by a strong, swirling wind. Maybe that’s God’s way of breaking through our self, as if to say “I’m gonna love you and bless you whether you want Me to or not!” Only Jehovah God.

My soup is gone, and the pizza is now cold. What a lunch.

Hey, lady! It’s raining again; put down your umbrella!

 

 

Leading Me Farther On

Written by Gregory Byerline on May 28, 2015 at 9:07 am
Filed under Inspiration,Life In Our World • Tags: , , , , ,

“I believe in brilliant song lyrics. Beautiful words matter to me, even when they are written by others.”

That sentence appears in my Perspective page highlighting inspirational elements of muse. Yesterday, I re-heard a beloved song for the umpteenth time, and the lyrics resonated deeply (again).

So much that I had to share them here because, well, life is hard sometimes, and sometimes “I’m a frightened, angry boy in grown-up’s clothes…I long to learn, but I’m so slow at being taught.”

Now that I have a son (welcome to the world, Miles!) in addition to his two older sisters, fatherhood means even more than it already did. Life has a musical soundtrack. Mine includes this gem…hints of who I am and why I do what I do. Cheers to a wonderful day in your world as we all move farther on.

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“Farther On” by Russ Taff from The Way Home

I hear you have a soft spot
For fools and little children
And I’m glad ’cause I’ve been both of those
I shook my fist up toward the sky
And at most of those who love me
A frightened angry boy in grown-up’s clothes

chorus:
But a father’s eye can always see right through
And a father’s heart can tell when tears are true
Now I’m standing on this road
Your hand has brought me to
Your faithful love will lead me farther on

Life sure has its choices
You left those choices to me
And I’m glad but sometimes I feel caught
It’s hard to know which bridge to cross
And which bridge I should be burning
I long to learn but I’m so slow at being taught

About the Most Important Portrait of Your Life

I believe bridal portraits are the most important portrait of a woman’s lifetime. Watch here to see and hear more about my perspective and why I do what I do. Let’s make yours.

Cheers to you!

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Celebrating the Sparkle in Your Eye and the Star in the Sky

Holiday Card 2014It’s that time of year again! Time to unveil one of my favorite personal shoots of the year…the annual holiday card photo shoot just for you!

These shoots started a few years back to showcase Nashville’s fine collection of talent with a passion for bridal fashion. From bridal gown designer/boutique to hair and make up stylists to set design to lighting production and everyone in between–the Who’s Who of Nashville’s bridal fashion–our mission is to show that brides access to the high end magazine look for their bridal portraiture right here in Music City.

I believe bridal portraits are the most important portraits of a woman’s lifetime, meant to portray her at a pinnacle of her style and elegance. I also believe that the wedding dress is the most important–and often the most decadent–dress a woman will ever wear.

And making the most important portrait of your life in the most important dress of your life is pretty much what we love most. This is your time to shine!

So here’s to you this holiday season as we celebrate the sparkle in your eye and the star in the sky. Cheers to another stellar year!

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P.S. Big thanks to these talented professionals for their marvelous work on this shoot. Make sure they’re a part of your wedding day plans.
The Bride Room / Bridal boutique (gorgeous Jenny Packham gown)
Modern Trousseau / Bridal boutique (lovely feather stole)
Amy Lynn Larwig / Hair and make-up stylist
Bright Event Productions / Set and lighting production
Salome Steinmann / Model

 

 

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