Friday, October 10, 2014

Life.

Lately God has been convicting me about my schedule.  My way of life.  Who I have always been.

You see, way back in late-spring when we hired our new minister, he sent me a list of sermon topics that he was going to speak on.  For our fall kickoff, however, he asked for some suggestions of what we needed.  I spoke with our worship planning team at ACC and we kept coming back to the idea of balance, busyness, and being overwhelmed with the "stuff" of life.  Out of this conversation, came the series title for our fall kickoff in September..."Overload".

Brother Matt had three sermons that absolutely spoke to me.  

The thing that stuck with me the most was when he said that we should focus on the jobs that ONLY we can do.  For example, me being a wife to Matthew.  I'm the only person who can fulfill that role.  Being my girls' mom.  I'm the only one.  It's just me.

We all have roles like this.  The ones that only we can fill.

And yet, what do we do?  We push those important roles off to the side in the name of people-pleasing...involvement...caring for others, outside of our family circles.

When we found out we were expecting Mattie, I made the decision to step back from my photography business.  In doing that, I was able to reevaluate how my home, my classroom, and my business were being run.

I was able to think.  A lot.

And I came up with some conclusions.

Having a clean and organized house is good for you.

I'll be the first to admit that we really struggle with keeping our house neat and tidy.  However, this summer, when we implemented chore charts for the older two girls, the house stayed clean, they played well together, and we all lived a less stressful, more peaceful life.  It was incredible.

We all felt better, knowing what was expected of who.  We worked together to keep the house picked up and it was actually (gasp) enjoyable.

Supper on the table at night and clean laundry to put on in the morning was icing on the cake.

A business doesn't have to be everything to everybody.

I was at a spot with my photography business that I was taking pictures every waking moment and spending lots of evenings and through the night to edit those photos and get them to people.  

It was ridiculous.  

It was unfair to my family and unfair to myself.  It was even unfair to my clients.  I felt rushed in editing and wasn't able to spend the time I wanted to spend on my work.

So when I decided to make some changes, I blogged about the changes and received wonderful support.  

What I didn't anticipate is how much I would miss taking pictures.  Or the hospital bills that would follow Mattie's birth.  :)

So I decided to take some sessions.  But only a few.  And only the ones that I felt I was able to do well.

It has been so freeing.

My teaching job is a huge part of my ministry.

I knew from a very young age that God created me to teach.  In fact, when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I don't remember an answer other than "teacher".  I don't think I even went through the veteranarian phase that so many kids go through.   

I knew that I was MADE for this.

Now...photography is definitely a passion of mine and something I enjoy, but when I was so overwhelmed with photography sessions and edits and orders, I know I was doing a disservice to my students by not being able to focus as much on my fulltime career as I would have liked.

In taking a break from photography, and stepping back significantly when I did come back, I've been able to be a better teacher to my babies.

I am constantly learning.

Life doesn't come with a manual.

Every situation doesn't have a cookie-cutter answer.

And that's okay.  I'm 30 years old and I'm still trying to find what works for me.

Thanks for going along on this journey with me, friends.


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