Java with Joe: The Cost of Investment.


Good MONDAY evening to all you blogger junkies that on occasion stop by to visit our blog site. I am always thankful to get this first work day of the week (for most of us) in the books. Four days until FRIDAY!

For some time I haven’t had much of a voice on the Tonic Design Blog, but my beautiful wife is in bed sick and down for the count, so I thought I would make a hot cup of coffee and drain my brain of some thoughts that have been on my mind this day.

When my father died in 2001, the only earthly possession that he left behind in the way of a heirloom was a wooden jewelery box. I loved this wooden box because my father would come home daily from work and place his wallet, loose coin, and watch inside the box.

On one occasion my father had spilled an open bottle of Polo cologne, quickly filling the inside green felt with it’s fragrance. For months , every time the wooden box was open the luxurious fragrance would fill the room as a result of my fathers carelessness.

This jewelery box had been given to my Father as a gift for many years of faithful service within his profession and when he passed I could only think of what he had sacrificed in the giving of his time, talent, and ultimately his health in order to provide a living for his family.

When my father passed at age 54 the final words that he spoke to me were words of affection. He said “I love you.” How I longed my entire adult life to hear my father speak these words of affection to me. Sometime later, my mother gave me a picture of my father holding me as a 2 month old infant asleep in his large arms. Looking at this image I could feel the strength and security of my proud father. As I looked at the picture I felt in the quiet of my heart the Lord speak to me saying “Joe, your father loved you the best that he knew how and I love you. I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you. Abide in my love.” Hearing these words, I began to weep as I was overcome with a sense of the Fathers love and faithfulness over my life.

Everyday that I open this wooden box I can still smell the scent of that spilled bottle of Polo cologne and I am overcome with emotion and the memories of my father. But, even more precious to me is this portrait of my father loving me as a child that has been branded like a hot iron into my spirit.

Recently I was approached by a client who was having difficulty up- grading herself from one of our fine art prints to a larger 16X20 canvas portrait. There was a significant increase in the cost of her investment, and when I shared my experience with her she was able to understand the powerful importance of not only leaving an heirloom for her children, but also the spirit of leaving a legacy that was deeply shared between she and her family through photography.

Thus, the “true cost” was not about what she was going to monetarily invest, but rather the daily investment of what she was daily pouring into her family…her time. Her time captured by us, time capsuled through photography. And this is truly the most fragrant investment that we can make that yields the greatest impact and heals us from the inside out. Blogger junkies…love much,forgive much.

Till our next cup of Java~




2 Responses to Java with Joe: The Cost of Investment.

  1. sailnw says:

    Hi Joe,
    I was quite touched by your story of your relationship with your father. The way we feel about our Heavenly Father starts with how we relate to our earthy father. What a special memory to see a photo of your father showing the love he feels through a photo.
    Thanks for sharing,
    Judy… I am taking the digital photo class at SVCC

  2. tonicstudio says:


    Thank you for stopping by our blog and taking the time to leave a comment. Being rooted in the fathers love and allowing that love to filter into all the broken areas of our lives is paramount in these times that we live in. When I wrote this blog post, my hope was that someone reading it would also be able to draw strength in their times of difficulty. I added the photo to the blog last night if you want to take a peak. Thanks for stopping by.


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