Last year I shot over 100 sessions in 6 months, not including weddings. I was trying to make up for my 2018 year where I "paused" to have a baby. Financially having a baby and owning a small business is really tough. This business and so many others are a "work or don't get paid" gig, so what do we do? We work.
Once you've been poor, that mentality and slight fear never fully leave you. You are very aware of your income; this to me has never felt like a lack of faith or self doubt, it's just an awareness. So, in 2019, I was very aware that I needed to make up for the previous year and work twice as hard to build our savings back up while preparing for Katie's senior year and all the things I want to do in regards to that.
I started saying yes again like it was 2015 (the year of the nervous break down).
Last year I worked in the morning on my classes I was taking and teaching. I would only pause to work on house work and then during Cole's nap time, I would edit. When he woke up, I would feed him lunch and head out to get the girls. I would bring them home in time to head out to shoot for the evening hours, most often not making it home for dinner. This was a 5 day a week routine and followed by a weekend filled with a wedding or a weekend tournament. We rarely had time for church, family games, or movie night.
I've been tired; very tired. This tired though is driven from a good place. This tired was driven by a desire to do more, provide more, teach more, and reach more. My good intentions justified me being too busy for God.
That's hard to type. I am a prayerful person. I believe deeply in God. I teach my children to do the same. I read my Bible and send my kids to Christian school. Again, good things leading me to justify my behavior.
I, however, have been too busy for connection lately and I know I'm not the only one. Moving at an "American Pace" (I'll coin that term) often prevents us from noticing so many things we will never get back. You can't get back tomorrow the connections that were meant for today.
These are things I KNOW but just kept going.
In January, I told Katie, "The world would have to come to a stop before I would take off a week from work." Fast forward and that's exactly what is happening.
I do not believe that God put this upon us. I do not believe this is some grand punishment. But I do believe there is a lesson to be learned in the midst of it.
We, as a society, have to SLOW THE CRAP DOWN. We cannot continue to sign our kids up for every sport and every tournament and every fair just to prove WHAT? We as adults can't pretend that we're ok working, cleaning, cooking, driving, watching, cheering, helping, texting, scrolling, and filling every single day with busy.
God tells us, "Be Still." Why don't we take that as seriously as when the government tells us that?
Riddle me that ya'll.
God has always told us "Be Still" and what do we do? Move, Run, Volunteer, MORE - MORE - MORE.
This is a personal lesson that I am sharing because I feel maybe some of you can connect.
In one week I've played spoons, watched Frozen II, stayed up late with my husband, read my Bible (and stopped to process it), watched two hours of life giving church on my phone, listened to stories. This is more than I did with intention and connection in all of 2019. My distractions were ripped from my life, as I am sure many of yours and we are all being forced to prioritize.
I'm not going to pretend like it's all be fun and games because that is not the case, but slowly God is repairing things I didn't realize were broken and for that I am thankful.