It's been a while. A year and 18 days since I have written or posted on my blog. Part of me feels disappointed when I think about that. I feel like I have failed in some way. Failed to keep up my end of the bargain as a business owner, or failed to feel like I have a business at all. But when I think back over the last year of my life, It makes a lot of sense. In the past year, my family has been riddled with tragedy, I have raised and kept two small humans alive (which is not for the faint of heart!), closed the door on photography and opened another into design, been through a job change with my husband, and began growing another small human. Whew! Someone get me a glass of water! I'm out of breath just typing all of that. Probably because I know the deep emotions and depths of specific situations that attach themselves to all of the things listed above. I mean, I could write an entire post just on the raising two tiny humans part. And the job change. And definitely the tragedies. But a quick list will suffice for now!
So when I reflect on all of what has happened in just one short year or so, there is also part of me that feels extremely proud. I start to look at who I am and who I have become because of those things, instead of putting my worth in what I have missed out on or how I have failed. I have overcome a lot in a year. So maybe I should reflect back with thankfulness instead of negativity and disappointment. So let me try this...
"In the past year, my family has experienced tragedy that has brought us closer to each other and opened our eyes to heal things of our past. Praise God! I HAVE RAISED AND KEPT TWO SMALL HUMANS ALIVE!!! Only by the grace of God, but I feel very proud to be Mom! I closed the door on photography, something that brought me great joy and experiences I am so thankful for. But another passion surfaced and I have begun doing design! I had the privilege of watching Justin walk through a job change that we had prayed would come for 5 years!! God heard those prayers! And we have begun our journey with our third precious child, Rhodes, who God blessed us with in incredible timing!"
Now, that sounds a lot better! As I sit here and write these things my heart wells up with thankfulness. Even amidst the past and ongoing struggles I am facing, I am immensely grateful for what God has brought me and my family through over the past year. I am finally, with a daily reminder, starting to be able to see how He works through all seasons and situations of our lives and how to be thankful for it all. I've been able to see how my worth is not in my successes as a business owner or a mom. Nor do the tragedies or hard times we face define us and how we should live our lives. Whoa, that last sentence really hits home hard. Even as I write those words, I am reminded over and over of how much I need that reminder moment by moment. Day by day.
Jesus is better.
I am not saying life is automatically easy because I have this new found perspective. It's not. Every day I get frustrated with my kids when they tell me "NO!" for the umpteenth time or when I look over at them sitting on the floor LICKING A SHOE! Yes. Licking the bottom of a shoe. (For those of you who aren't parents yet, these things actually happen. These types of situations, and worse, present themselves in every day life. Just a quick heads up!) Or when laundry piles up for days, or when the dishes are so backed up I pray for a second dishwasher (appliance or human variety) to magically appear. And it certainly isn't easy when you feel like you've lost your relationship with your mom due to a tragic event or when your dad tells you he has cancer. No. Those are the moments your heart sinks so low you almost feel nothing. Those are the moments that bleed into every area of your life. Into your every fiber of your being. But after some time passes, minutes, days, months or even years, you finally see and feel clearly again. Even if only for a moment. But in those moments, that is when I have had to remind myself of the more positive perspective. The one that motivates, frees and gives grace.
Jesus is better.
All of that to say that I finally feel like I am coming up for air. Which is funny, because we are about to have another baby in January! But I have begun to find joy in small things again. Even finding myself spending time with photography again, beginning new design projects and continuing to be a wife and mom to the people I love most. All things I feel like I was burnt out on in the past year or so. Last year, I felt like I had to choose between design and photography. I felt that I had to completely close the door on photography in order to begin my design business. But why? They both give me life and bring me joy in some way. So why do I have to choose? I enjoy having the freedom to take on as much or as little as I want. If that is four or five fall photography sessions instead of 15, great! If that is doing design projects or even just having a movie night with my kids, perfect! I just think we should all stop putting pressure on ourselves to meet some quota to have a successful business or have planned activities for our kids for the entire week. I want to be selective with how I spend my time working and with my family.
So to finally address the title of this post, I have recently done a few photos shoots, started a kitchen design for a new client, and been on a much needed vacation with my family. Also, my kids started school again (All the praise hands!) so I have been able to use that time away from them doing things that bring me creative energy and life. Like writing this post to whoever wants to read it. I just like to write.
(photos included for moments of relief from this extremely long post. At least you got to see some cute little people and what I've been working on lately. Thanks for reading)