This blog post has been writing itself in my heart for nearly a year, but sometimes it takes the prompting of the Holy Spirit and a friend to have the courage to sit down and let the words flow out. And today was that day.
It almost seems like there really isn’t an easy place to begin, with so many thoughts whirling deep within. It’s that feeling that you got as a child when your feet bravely stepped onto the merry go round, your friend at the side, ready to spin it wildly out of control. There was screaming, partially out of enjoyment and partially out of the fear that you might go flying off. Then came the dizziness, the laughter and finally, the realization that it was worth it.
In fact, as I think more about that merry go round analogy, I realize that it might be exactly what I’m looking for here.
You see, in this crazy world of busyness, many days are spent just like that: going round and round in circles wondering if there’s ever a moment to truly slow down and savor.
About a year ago, I found myself asking these types of questions. Was the ever growing demand to be better, do more, fill up my photography calendar and keep up my blog really that important? Could it be that my family would much rather me slow down from the spinning, so that I could sit and relish the gifts and The Giver? Might my children be growing up, while I try to spend countless hours mastering the perfect edit on a photograph? How would my life look with my husband, if I was more intentional to not just be available once a week on our date night, but to find quiet moments of retreat each day with him? Would my friendships flourish more if I could dedicate more time and energy into them by being physically present? What if instead of running to a computer to upload and share a current shoot, I would instead run to God’s Word to be filled up?
And so, with those deep rooted questions I took a pause.
A long pause.
I stopped blogging everything that I was creating. Sometimes I didn’t even post it on social media.
I rejected the notion that I needed to compare my work to everyone else’s; therefore resisting the urge to click on every new feature my photographer friends posted.
And it felt good – freeing even.
Did it mean that sometimes possible clients didn’t see my best work? Yes.
Did it mean that my SEO wasn’t always the most beneficial to my business? Yes.
Did it mean that there may have been professional opportunities that I lost to someone else? Yes.
But you know what else that pause meant?
It meant that instead of being in front of my computer screen at 2am, that I was cuddled up next to my husband.
It meant that instead of saying no to my children all of that time because a client was waiting, that I was able to say yes.
It meant that instead of feeling like every morning my first stop needed to be Photoshop, I could sit and really savor the truths of God’s Word without watching the clock.
It meant that when a friend was sick or hurting or needing encouragement that I physically had the time to go sit at a hospital or at their house or at a coffee shop with them.
It meant that I said no to the comparison game and determined to work with the strengths and gifts God gave me.
And it felt good – freeing.
So here I am, 12 months later, looking back over the things that God taught me when I stepped off the merry go round for a season.
And I am so thankful. So humbled. So blessed. So refreshed.
I’ve been able to create deeper, more meaningful moments with those I love the most and I’ve seen His hand of provision consistently.
For so long, I believed that in order to be successful as a Christ Follower, wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, leader and a photographer that I had to perfect the art of balancing.
But maybe that’s what this pause has taught me the most.
Those words from Christine Caine spoke deeply into that part of my heart where I had been all too focused on trying to figure out how to perfect each of my roles.
Trying to master and control the great balancing act was exhausting and that weariness was seeping into way too many places.
But surrender? So much better. So much more rewarding.
It felt good and friends, it has been freeing.
With a deeper understanding of who I am and with a more proper perspective about what it looks like to completely surrender every area, even my business, to Jesus I’m looking forward.
I’m eager to share with you, not just my sessions, but my life – my story.
Because if I give you the gift of memories, but never share with you The One who makes life worth living, The One whom I have willingly surrendered my life to, then I’ve missed the mark.
Today, this is my prayer: