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Thursday, February 3, 2011
Not every household celebrates Valentines Day with the same vigor as we do. At our house it’s a major holiday.

And I actually had every intention of making the run-up to V-day a major event on my blog as well, but frankly everywhere I turn in the marriage blogosphere these days is a give-away, a contest, a daily countdown or a list of suggestions on how to make the day something special. (Of course there are also plenty who think the day is little more than a crass and commercial event to be avoided altogether.)

There seems to be so much stuff out there, a lot of it good stuff too, that I don’t think I have much to add to the mix this year. So although you can rest assured that the day will be celebrated with full revelry at our house, you aren’t going to see much from me on the topic of Valentines Day this year. Sorry if that disappoints.

So much for the holiday of hearts.  Now onto the next mundane matter…my header image.

I received a comment yesterday that someone found the image in the blog header (the one up where the title is) “dark, somber…so cheerless and threatening.” Now normally I’m not one to care much what other people think in matters like these, but the comment got me thinking about why I chose this image in the first place. I figured I’d explain in case others have had a similar reaction.

Now I understand that most marriage blogs have a “happy” header: bright colors, flowers, a smiling couple, sometimes the author with or without their spouse. Not my blog. Call me a non-conformist if you will. It’s my nature.

My header image is actually a photo I took atop a fell (like a tall hill or low mountain) in the Lake District of England. I chose it because to me it represents the fact that God’s design for marriage is a sole bright light that stands in stark contrast to the a dismal, dysfunctional and divorce-ridden marriage paradigm that seems so pervasive in our society today. In the picture my eyes are drawn to the streaming light, which to me represents the counter-cultural truth of biblical marriage. The fact that the light stands in the distance portends the journey that every married couple is on toward discovering God’s design and applying it to their own marriage relationship.

But maybe that’s not what other people see in that picture. Maybe that’s all too esoteric. Maybe I should go with the happy, smiling couple. Or maybe not.

I definitely like the idea of using an original photograph of my own, so I began digging around on my hard disk for suitable alternatives. I came across these and made an attempt to re-cast my header with them.(Click on the image to get a full size view.)

Stepping Stones

These are the actual stepping stones from Wordsworth’s famous poem. We stayed at a fabulous Lake District B&B by the same name, which was originally a Wordsworth family home. I love what these stone across the stream say about the nature of the marriage journey.

Stone Walls

This photo was taken in the same beautiful area of the Lake District as my current header. I like the couple walking the path at the far right of the picture. To me the stone fences represent the framework that is God’s design for marriage.

Alaska Trail

I took this photo on an island off the Alaskan coast. I like the contrast of the solid, level path amidst the wild beauty that surrounds it. The journey is clearly implied by the path.


Here’s my attempt at being a conformist – the smiling couple shot. It is my wife and I on a walk to Ambleside in the Lake District of England.

What do you think? Which one gets your vote? Which one do you think portrays the essence of “The Journey to Surrender?” Or shall I stick with the current header photo? 

Indicate your choice and why you made it in the comments below.


Lori Lowe said...

My first vote would be for the stepping stones, as it is a unique lovely image that implies progress and steps to be taken. Second vote would be the Lake District shot. Beautiful photos. Cheers and enjoy your Valentine's Day celebration.

Unknown said...

My first vote would be for the Stone walls, because it represent the framework that is God’s design for marriage. (just as you said) but there is also space for our own creativity and freedom within Gods borders. I do like your idea about the Alaska trail, but there is no space for creativity!
second vote would be for the stepping stones! The stones represents Jesus the Rock on which we stand (and go)!!!
greetings Anja

Anonymous said...

1) 'Stepping stones' get my vote from your selection.However, it would be more effective with the white animal on left removed.
2) I am the person who brought up the issue of the 'somber' header. If the light coming thru the clouds were more distinct as some are in certain atmospheric conditions, then it could be more meaningful, albeit possibly still too esoteric. Headers are an element that catches ones eye quickly, not something we sit and dissect to grasp its esoteric or etherial value.
3) 'Stone walls' has a symbolism of separation ( walls separate ).
4) Scott, I am a photographer too. I have found that while I may have had an emotionally excited time at the time of the photographic session, which makes the photo very meaningful to me personally, our challenge is to convey that emotion to our photo viewer. You enjoyed the the Lake District and being in a Wordsworth house, but we the viewer do not know that and that info is of no value to the us. The header has to stand on its own merits. Scott, I am not trying to trash you but to be helpful.
5) Otherwise, keep up your good work. You and I have a very similar heart towards strengthening marriages and YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. Keep it up.
-Myron Slabaugh

Kathleen Quiring | Project M said...

I think a more cheerful-looking header would be an improvement, too. Thus, my vote also goes for the stepping stones. Not so much for its symbolism but because it just looks really attractive.

Paul Byerly said...

Actually I have always liked the header image you have. To me it is quite, private, peaceful and reflective.

andrea frazer said...

I agree with Anon. who says the image you currently have is too dark. If I had a choice, I'd go with the stepping stones. But even better,I'd show a handsome shirtless man serving a grateful wife a cup of Yuban while he balances the bills and a baby on his arm, letting her sleep in utter security and peace. Ahhhhhhh.....

Scott said...

Thanks, Andrea, but I think I'll stick with reality.

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