Good Evening! I wanted to share my latest short film “One Blank Wall”. We’ll be posting a little life update in a few days, but as you can tell we’ve moved into a new apartment and set aside some space for some special photos.
If you’re wondering these are photos printed on metal from Printique, and in-person they are stunning! A few weeks before we moved I was poking around on the Printique site and got a notification that if I signed up to their email list I could get a free metal print. I ordered one and was blown away by the quality and the impression it left on me.
When we were hanging our art on the walls, I knew that I wanted to get some big metal prints for our living room wall. I chose two special photos. The first is a photo I took in South Lake Tahoe, on our anniversary this year. In the last few years, money has been very tight and we had no room in the budget for “extra” stuff. I know that for many people, 2020 was a difficult year, and in some ways, for us it was. However, this year we also saw some fulfilment of the promises of God. Looking back now, I know that God moved us to where we were at the start of 2020 for specific reasons.
I’m in an industry that was able to continue operations during the pandemic, we were blessed by our Indian tribe and my video business added several new clients. Even the timing of our move into our apartment has some amazing “God-timing” aspects that we’ll share one day.
When you come to the other side of a difficult season, and look back, it’s hard not to feel foolish when you consider the doubting thoughts, and things you said in desperation to God in your times of prayer. Looking back you can see the path, and you realize “Oh, that’s why I went through that” or “That’s why the answer to my prayer wasn’t ‘yes’ at that time.”
When you’re in “The Valley” it’s hard to get perspective, but once you ascend “The Mountain” you can look and see your path. In these “Ah-ha” moments, it’s important to think about the next difficult season and set reminders for yourself. To make you remember how you felt during the last difficult season when you didn’t believe that you would make it out, and to remember the feeling when you ultimately did.
Jacob does this in Genesis 28, he receives several promises from God in a dream and when he wakes, he stacks the stone he was using as a pillow and calls the place “Bethel”. It becomes a landmark, a reminder of God’s promises. For our living room, we chose to do the same.
I chose these two photos for specific reasons. Last november, Allison and I were able to send OJ & MJ off to my parents house for a sleep over and we snuck away to South Lake Tahoe. I had never been and it had been awhile for Allison as well. I booked us a nice hotel and we spent Saturday exploring (This was right before the “Regional Stay at Home” order had been issued). In Heavenly Village there is this Gondola, it’s a half hour ride to the top of the mountain with a vista spot halfway up.
It was pretty pricey at $60 per person, in years past, we would have just skipped it (We also wouldn’t have been able to afford the trip in general but that’s besides the point). However, this year, we had been blessed with some extra money that made the trip and the gondola ride possible. Let me tell you something, it was worth it! The view was stunning and the lake looked incredible. I snapped several pictures, but this was one of my favorites.
The second photo is of the Sacramento Tower Bridge. It’s an iconic landmark in Sacramento. It’s also one of my favorite spots to photograph. I think years down the road I’ll put together a series of photos I’ve taken there as a timeline of my progress as a photographer.
Sacramento is an important city to me. My earliest memories are here, and until 2010 it was the longest I’d lived in one place. When we moved from Sacramento in December 1998, I wanted nothing more than to move back. I was 9 years old and missed my friends, and didn’t understand why we had to move. Years later when I met Allison, we connected over the fact that she was from Sacramento. A few more years down the road, my parents ended up back in the area as well. This made holidays a lot easier because we could drive to one place and see both sides of our family.
I loved living in Los Angeles, but my heart was still secretly wishing we could raise our kids in Sacramento. In 2018, my heart got its wish, and I finally returned.
You’ll notice a blue letter “C” for Clements. Even this simple wall decoration has importance to me. See, I got this from my mom in my stocking on Christmas Morning the year Allison and I got married. If you know me, my love language is Gifts and I also don’t usually appreciate “cheesy gifts”. I pulled the letter from my stocking, looked at the Raiders beanie Taylor had gotten, and the scarf my wife had gotten, looked at the wooden letter C and said, “Oh, it’s a C…like for Clements”.
My mom immediately busted out laughing, saying “I knew you wouldn’t like it, its more for Allison anyways.” To which I replied, “Then give it to her, not me!”
I don’t know why, but I kept that letter C, at the time we lived in a small studio apartment, and then later that year we moved into the apartment we would live in for 5 1/2 years. At some point, I decided to put together a little collage of photos in the dinning room area. As a joke, I put the letter C in the middle.
The next time my parents came to visit, we all laughed at my funny joke. My mom said “See! (Pun intended) I knew you’d eventually like it!”
Now it lives in on our reminder wall, you might be thinking, “He’s dangerously committed to this bit!” And you’d be partially right. As I was thinking about it, it too is a reminder.
Let me explain, overshadowing that Christmas, (Our first as a married couple) was the beginning of an extremely difficult season for my parents. You can read about that on my Mom’s blog. I won’t go too far into it because it’s not my story to tell, but it was a very hard, very long season for them. Throughout they remained faithful and held on to hope that God would be faithful to them. They are currently thriving in their work and their life, and it is so encouraging to see.
A few times Allison and I have done this thing, where we play video games, (Me on my Xbox, her on her phone) and we listen to sermons. We were listening to one by Stephen Furtick called Borrowed Confidence. In the sermon, he talks about how Paul “borrowed” the confidence of the Phillipian Church and how we can do the same. When we’re in a time where we can’t see through the challenge in front of us, we can borrow the faith that God will see us through from others who have gone through similar things.
Hanging the letter C started as a joke, but now it’s become an even more potent reminder of God’s faithfulness, and is there in case we need to borrow some confidence.
I really hope you enjoyed this short film. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe to our channel for more stuff like it.