Friday, May 25, 2012


One of the things I love about a good book is how the close of one chapter emotionally connects me to the next, enticing me to continue reading. Life is like that too, isn't it? All of our chapters connect to form the overall story of our life.

This past weekend, my husband graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He received a Masters of Divinity and will become an ordained pastor in August. His graduation marks the end of a 4-year long chapter in our lives. As I look back on that chapter, I can see it was marked by growth in so many ways: my husband read, studied and learned every day, we added a new member to our family (my sweet little boy, Jonah), we developed many new and wonderful friendships, I discovered a new hobby and passion for photography and we learned to live in a small apartment with one bathroom for five people. But most significantly for me, it was a time when I grew to be content with my life and come to know and understand who I was as a woman, as a mom, as a wife.

Although the ending of this chapter causes me to feel a bit sad, I know I can't stay in it forever. And it is propelling me (and my family, of course) into the next chapter. A chapter that I'm sure will be a page-turner!

Are you at the beginning or end of a particular chapter in your life? Terri's beautiful post earlier this week shared about being in the "empty nest" era of her life. I know many of you are watching your children complete their current grade in school and anticipating the start of another next fall. Perhaps you are beginning a new job or have just retired. Maybe you have had a new baby or a new grandchild. Whatever it is, share your "chapter" and your story with us!

And don't forget to continue to post your "sky's the limit" photos to the flickr pool. The month is almost over and we want to see all of your beautiful shots!

About my shot:
lens: 50mm 1.4
settings: f2.8, 1/40, 2000
lighting: canon speedlite 580 EXII external flash
editing: corrected white balance in adobe camera raw; RadLab (Lights On 39%, Oh Snap 49%,  Warm It Up Kris 30%, Sugar Rush 58%, Clarify 31%)


Dotti said...

I love how even the children look proud! It makes life's accomplishment even sweeter when our kids enjoy them with us, doesn't it? Kudos to Mr. Stephanie and warmest congratulations to you all. I was the wife of a seminary graduate, oh, my, 37 years ago. Eeek! (I was a child bride - hee-hee!)The ministry chapter of our lives closed a long time ago, but it was a good chapter, with many good friends ... and a network from the friends that my husband was surprised to rediscover earlier this week. So you are right ... chapters don't really close ... they just keep connecting.


AFishGirl said...

I love the chapter metaphor, Stephanie. I'm not sure what chapter I'm in. Maybe I'm mid-chapter. I use a bookmark and do not dog-ear the pages (grin). I am relieved when the hard chapters close. I enjoy the rolicking fun chapters. As I age (cough) however, it's the peaceful chapters that ease my soul. Not much happens in these chapters. A shower, a cup of tea, a nice meal, chasing a few fish... the quietness of life. Yes, thought provoking post. And hats off to your husband and you for the journey you've had in this chapter.

terriporter said...

Congratulations to you and your family on the successful completion of this chapter in your lives! I agree with Pam that the chapter metaphor is a perfect way to describe how life seems to play out like a book with good chapters and not so good ones. I look back on the chapters of my life and there are ones I would love to go back and reread and others I would just as soon not see again! With our son graduating from law school this past weekend our chapter of having a student in the family (and the huge tuition bills!) is over. It will be fun to watch him start this new chapter in his life. I am also enjoying being a grandparent and spending as much time with them as I can, watching their little lives unfold. I think the trick is to enjoy the chapter I'm in and not read ahead!

Rabelers said...

Congrats on completing this chapter of your life and entering a new one! I know you and your family will continue to be blessed - so happy for you!! -Hilary

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

This is a fantastic shot of your families accomplishment. Congrats to ALL of you. You are so right about chapters and them propelling us to the next. You have a very nice flow with your story telling and you are very compelling.

Keep capturing the moments (but dont miss hopping in the photo too! VERY important)


Deborah Tisch said...


Being married to a pastor, I understand what an accomplishment this is for your husband and your family. Just wanted to send you my deepest, heartfelt blessings.

Carol said...

Hi Stephanie -

Beautiful post, and so heartfelt. I also love the way everyone looks like they hit the goal - because that's what family is all about - working together. I'm sure the kids had to be quiet many nights as Dad studied and I'm sure you had to take over some things. It's a group effort - Takes a village for real. Congratulations to you all. As to Fishie saying not much happens later? That's only if you count by errands and rides crossed off, and years completed. I've had a few years here with the kids away. I still work alot, so I'm not retired, but I have a quiet house at night and time to read and study the things I enjoy and to travel a little. I feel like alot is happening - but it's internal and not quantifiable. I finally have time for the joys of contemplating, and learning - time to continue the book of my life' meaning! You are such a contemplative soul - I know you'll love this stage too!

kelly said...

lovely post stephanie. congratulations to you and your husband. and i so agree with your metaphor as well. it's hard for me sometimes to close a chapter, especially when i loved it so much. but that's the beauty of photography - we get to preserve those memories and reread those chapters whenever we wish. best of luck on your new chapter!

Linda said...

Congratulations to you all! Such an achievement! I like how you compare chapters of a book leading you into the next just like life. It is like that isn't it. Even when the next chapter feels bittersweet, you know there is so much more to it. Good luck with your future! I'm sure it will be filled with love and adventure!


Anonymous said...

What a huge moment for your family! Congrats to him and all of you for closing a chapter on one journey and beginning another. I can't wait to see what the next chapter has in store for you all!

Cheryl Wamer said...

I remember when you guys left Trinity in Spring, TX. Congrats to him! I too have started a whole new book/chapter one in my life, the last chapter ended with my divorce and now my new book begins... My new journey begins with a wonderful husband, only one child at home now-not much peace and but I love it, too soon, I will an empty nester wondering where all of those wonderful years went!!! I too will graduate in May of 2013 and once again start a new chapter in my life... Such a wonderful life God blessed with now!

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