When I first became a Mom I remember feeling like I had just been transported into this alternate universe. This place where showers were irregular and social outings involved enough cargo for a small village. Ava was colicky and I was short on patience. I remember thinking.. THIS is not what I signed up for. All I had ever dreamed of was being a Mother. I waited my whole life to be in a place where I could be a stay at home Mom, and here I was… frustrated. The crying seemed never-ending and it didn’t take long before I started looking for some outlet to feel like myself again. What I found, was a deep deep passion for photography.. and telling people’s stories. I started taking pictures of our sweet Ava and then before I knew it, we had a full blown business. And I quickly got in over my head. I was shooting 17 weddings in 12 weeks and I certainly wasn’t the “stay at home Mom” I had dreamed of being. I was a work at home Mom who let my kids watch way too much tv while I finished a project. And then I got upset when they would need something because they were “getting in the way” of my work.
This cycle went on longer than I care to admit… somewhere along the way I lost site of what was important. Of what truly mattered. I became more concerned about what others thought than what my own husband and children thought. Bookings became more important than reading books to squishy toddlers. Spending time figuring out the needs of my clients surpassed hearing the heart cry of my children’s hearts. And I missed the whole point.
I’m not saying I was a terrible mother.. I’m not. I did my fair share of finger-painting and cookie baking. But what I’m saying is, looking back, I don’t feel my whole heart was invested in them. They had to share it. With people who don’t even remember my name. And it breaks my heart.
A few years ago I stepped back and felt the deep sadness of my choices. I stared into little faces that just wanted their Mama and I melted. Beat myself up for a little bit and then realized… I have been given TODAY. And Today I can make new choices. Choices to slow down.. remove a bit of busy and soak up the sparkle in their little eyes. Choices to let them flip the pancakes and make the kitchen table into a blanket fort even though both will result in giant messes. Looking back I am so grateful for that day. But I’m even more grateful for the 3 years since then. For the disco ball bedroom dances and spontaneous lady bug wheat field scavenger hunts. I am thankful for the choice that I made to choose them. And to continue choosing them… hour after hour.. day after day.
My heart has since lit on fire to help other women choose them. To help them navigate the crazy waters of mommy hood and pursuing your own dreams. Shortly after this mind shift I attended Making Things Happen in Maui with Lara Casey, Emily Ley and Gina Ziedler. And life as I had known it forever changed. I showed up with a whisper in my heart to start something. Something bigger than me. Something that would help the hearts of Mama’s in my same boat. A little something we have come to call Pursuit 31. And these three women gave me the strength to take the first step. They challenged me to feel the fear and do it anyway. And because of them and their faithfulness to the call…. lives they’ve never met have been transformed. These women will never know the full effects they’ve had on my life… but if they want a taste, all they need to do is look into the thousands of faces that now call Pursuit 31 their home. For the ripples of greatness from their obedience can probably never be measured. I am so so grateful to call these ladies friends. I am even more grateful that they constantly challenge me to stay true to my heart and choose what really matters.
It is with great honor that I get to return to Making Things Happen in just a few weeks and spend time with (and speak alongside) these incredible women, plus new friends and speakers Nancy Ray, Amber Housley, and Rhiannon Bosse who I have yet to meet but am OH SO EXCITED ABOUT! My heart is ablaze with just trying to imagine what is going to happen in those few days in Raleigh. The greatest part about it is knowing, but not knowing. I know that God will move, but I have no idea how. I KNOW amazingness is about to ensue… but to what capacity? And what direction?
What I do know though, is that at the core… Making Things Happen is about making time for what matters. Centering yourself and your business around family, and for me God, and all the things that make this life worthy of living. I don’t know why I felt the urge to write this today… but when the muse hits I have learned I have to stop and be obedient to record it. I want to encourage you that if you’re a Mama who has become too busy for Mommyhood… there’s still hope. Today is a new day. Today you will face new choices. And Today you have the power to completely change the atmosphere of your home, your marriage, and the lives of your kids. It’s not too late. Don’t beat yourself up. Jesus doesn’t do that. Just move on. Forgive yourself. Pick up your feet and take the next step. Make the next right choice. And get back to the YOU you used to know. The one who was passionate about the life (and little lives) right in front of her. You will never regret a day investing in What Matters Most.
Love you sweet sister… I know you can do it.