**Warning** this could very well be a lengthy post as I’m known to get a bit wordy and throw in millions of details…at least since you’re reading it you can’t hear how fast I talk : ) Where to start…..I really will try to sum up to some degree. Here we go…..

Over the past year or so, I’ve been really struggling with where to go with this photography business. I truly do love taking photographs and I was really struggling with how to balance life as a mom and wife and also juggle a small business. Anyone that works from home knows that it’s not as easy as it sounds…especially if you own your own business and have no employees….then you become the owner, photographer, editor, graphic designer, website designer, customer service person, tax person, accountant, office manager, etc. etc. I felt like I was being pulled in a million different directions towards many different roles and I wasn’t doing any of them well….just good enough to stay afloat. On top of that, I kept questioning the purpose of this business. Yes, it helps us out financially as we can always use the extra money, especially with having two kids and hoping for more in the future. However, I could do other things to make some money on the side….things that would be a lot simpler than running my own business and being so stressed out all of the time. So then I really started to look deeper into the purpose for this business. Was it for my own glory? Am I trying to make something of myself? I don’t know. I see myself trying to get better and better, but for what purpose? What would I do if I was the best of the best? Then what? I don’t know. How am I glorifying the Lord through this and making much of God, not myself? I don’t know. I felt the Lord asking me to quit. To lay everything down at His feet and literally quit, no strings attached. Walk away, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and trust Him. I will say that I did not obey. Not for a while at least. I was too scared to do it…..scared financially, scared of loosing control, scared of “loosing,” scared of being a “quitter,” and scared of not knowing who I was without this business. (I know, that’s awful) When life finally got to a point where I could hardly stand under the pressure, and I felt the Lord VERY strongly impressing upon me the need to lay this business aside, I did it. I called my husband and told him the Lord wanted me to take a break for a while–indefinitely, and he trusted me even though he wasn’t sure himself.

The next day our beloved pastor and friend was admitted to the hospital in critical condition and his wife, and very precious friend of mine, asked us to watch their two kids while she stayed at the hospital to be with her husband as he (and she) fought for his life. Two days later he went to be with Jesus. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that the Lord pushed me that hard to step away from photography when I did. The reasons are endless… and much will make sense as this story unfolds. However, after those three days, our lives were flipped upside down. Life–and death started to take on a new meaning….a new reality. Through this man, the Lord had changed our lives and our marriage, and the way we viewed God…..and through his death the Lord has transformed us all the more, and has opened our eyes to the shortness of life and the urgency with which we are to live. This passage from a short book I am reading really hit home:

“God is moving in His people, reawakening us to put our faith into action and show the hope that we have to a broken and hurting world. He is calling us to an authentic faith that looks a lot more like the life of Jesus than how many of us have been living. God wants us to play an active role in making known His power, His love, and His goodness to the world. He specifically calls His people to go out and care for orphans and fatherless children in their distress. There is a lot of pain and despair in this world, but there is hope.” **this is Part I of what looks like is turning out to be a novel ; )**

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