This weekend I went to an all-day women’s conference at our church, and it was powerful. If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts, you know I work full time in addition to photography. While adding photography means I sometimes get less time with my people, it’s taught me efficiency in my workflow, what’s truly important in life, and made our time together extremely special. But, I struggle at times feeling like even though life is a constant balancing act, I wrestle with the thoughts of I’m JUST a wife and a mom and an accountant and a photographer. JUST. Nothing more.
I’ll be honest – I was prepared with every excuse under the sun to avoid going to the conference. Weekends are my time to decompress, to love on my guys, to sleep in and not miss a single cuddle, and if it isn’t work-related, my son is with me. To leave for an entire day just wasn’t going to happen if I had my way, and like anything else in life, I learned MY way is not the best way unless it aligns with HIS way. Many things hit me like a ton of bricks, but I’m going to focus on a few takeaways that I cannot get out of my head.
I usually use lots of words to portray my heart; it’s my style and it’s just in general how I relay my thoughts. I’ve heard my husband tell me countless times over our relationship to “get to the point”… aka remove the detail and give the short version. Apparently 20 minutes of stage setting for my stories is a little much for his attention span (and is also a key difference in men versus women, haha!). But in this case, I’m going to get right to it because if you’re going through a similar season, this is going to hit you just as hard whether 7 words or 700 – I promise.
First, you don’t have to be called to something extravagant to have a purpose- being saved by grace means you have a calling as a child of God. It doesn’t take being called to be a missionary in Africa (or in my case, the most popular and well-known wedding photographer in the universe) to have purpose, rather, your mission field is between your two feet. Being a wife, a mom, an accountant, and a photographer and just doing all of that well. Right where I’m at. A lot of times we get hung up on the fact that what we’re doing has little impact, but we must remember that God didn’t ask us to move mountains to reach people, and oftentimes we overcomplicate it all. I’m guilty of this. I am not JUST any of these things, I was called to each of them and whether I’m reaching 4 hearts or 4,000, I should approach it intentionally and know that even in the simple, God is using me for greatness.
Second, and off the heels of the first point, I spend a lot of time meticulously trying to ensure that I am successful in all that I do. I’ve written a blog post before that defines, in my own words, what I feel like success is and how it drives my work ethic. But, in my quest of being perfect at all the things (hello- this is impossible), I metaphorically almost kill myself trying to perfectly plan and execute my goals. I am guilty of twisting my purpose to align with my desires, and instead of trusting that God will always provide, I unintentionally approach Him with my own plans for my life, asking that he just bless it, but don’t mess with it.
I get up on Mondays and wish I didn’t have to work. I wish I could be home with my son, and I seriously despise the debt that forces me to entrust him to someone else’s care all week. My sisters all stay home either full time or part time and it intensifies the mom guilt feeling like one day my son will grow up and wonder why I didn't do the same. And I sit at my job some days and just feel like I'm missing out on so much, like Im behind on living the dream of my sisters and I raising an army of cousins together. So I take on more work, and I obsess over the cash flow and spend a ton of energy trying to get myself where I want to be, and I forget to reflect on how I even got where I’m at. I literally walked into my current job unqualified for it. I remember feeling like I must’ve been sleeping when I read the job description and applied because after revisiting it, I couldn’t possibly get an interview. I remember when I first launched my photography business and how far my work and my pricing and my purpose has evolved. How I’ve always had enough work- no more, no less. How I’ve been fully booked, by my own definition, for almost three years. How my bills are paid, and then some. How I have a home to sleep in, food to eat, a wonderful husband, the sweetest little boy, the most amazing childcare, and the list goes on. Do I really think I can do this better than He can?
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Y’all. There were tears, A LOT OF TEARS. I am confident the group of women at my discussion table thought I was and am emotionally unstable, but I walked away feeling refreshed, a confirmation of my purpose regardless of how big or small it feels at times, renewed, excited, and recommitted to making sure I never forget to use my mission field to point back to the one who gave it to me. To make sure I stop comparing myself to others to define success because I have to remember that it's not up to me whether this is successful or not. But also to never stop loving my clients and showing them that I am so thankful because they were hand-picked for me. To never let this feel like it isn’t a calling, and to always treat it as one by pouring my entire self into it. One of my favorite quotes of the weekend that I feel like I’ve internally chanted since Saturday perfectly ends this post, that I hope you find just as encouraging as I did. In your own journey to being successful at whatever it is you’ve been called to do…
Go where you’re sent, stay where you’re put, and give everything you’ve got until you’re done.
Thanks for following along on this dream of mine. If you have time, catch up on some of my previous blog posts below!