There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.      Ecclesiastes 3:1
     I’m not a good photographer.  Although I know that the light source is supposed to be behind me, rather than the subject(s) I’m photographing, I continue to break this rule.  The result is overexposure:  there is so much light that all color, all vibrancy, is washed out of my pictures.
     My Zack loves his little sister Jocelyn.  He intuitively knows what she needs and how to make her happy.  He is the first one to respond if she needs help.  He watches over her, and can play beautifully with her for hours.  Consequently, Jocelyn looks up to Zack as if he were a superhero.  When people witness their interactions, their hearts melt.  There is nothing sweeter than a loving and doting older brother, and a little girl who is smitten with her big brother.
     But lately Zack has been incredibly impatient with Jocelyn, and, at times, downright unkind.  I’ve been dumbfounded!  It seems to have come out of left field, like his very character has taken a 180 degree turn.  Where before I spent my time trying to eaves drop on their conversations, my heart swelling with pride at their kindness to each other, I now can’t help avoid the yelling and bickering between them.  My time is now spent refereeing, ironing things out between them, punishing Zack, and scratching my head, wondering when and why the change happened.
     I finally figured it out:  it’s overexposure.  Summer is the culprit.  Too much time together wears patience thin.  Although all the fun time we’ve been spending in the sunshine is a wonderful gift, it also has bleached out the color and vibrancy in their relationship.  Both kids are seeing each other in a new light, a light that seems to be more focused on the other’s annoying traits, versus their gifts.  It happens in all relationships; siblings are no exception.  (I’m sure most of us moms are feeling exactly the same way about our kids at this point in the summer too!)
     Although they do have to learn to accept each other’s flaws, right along with the good, it’s my job to shake things up a bit.  Like Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for everything; that includes time spent together and time spent apart.  Kahlil Gibran talks about “space in togetherness.”  I need to create more opportunities for Zack and Jocelyn to be apart from each other, make space between them, give them some distance from each other so their hearts can grow fonder again.  They’re relationship is too precious to not intervene.
     I’m trying hard to work on my photography skills.  Although my subjects get annoyed when I ask them to change places with me so that the light isn’t behind them, the effort and bother is worth it.  My pictures are getting better: the colors are richer, more vibrant because of the change.  Likewise, I know the effort and bother it will take to create space between Zack and Jocelyn will be worth it too:  restoring the love and admiration they share for each other, bringing that vibrant color of love back into my household.

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