As you’ve noticed, I haven’t blogged nearly as much as I normally do. It’s not because I don’t want to, I love my little blog here, I just have changed my focus and direction over the past year and I’m seeking simplicity in my life. I’ll tell you what has most recently changed my perspective:
This past December, a precious woman at my church gave the testimony of her journey with her Auto Immune Disorder. Sweet Timesia has been through so much over the past few years and her story is one of triumph, strength, beating the odds and giving God glory. She told us tales of perseverance when everyone around her said there was no hope. I remember her proudly recanting a time when her doctor told her that her prognosis was poor. She quickly retorted, “Well, obviously you don’t understand, I don’t serve a poor God.” Talk about a bold witness! She told numerous stories like that, stories of sharing the gospel and people she came in contact with coming to know the Lord, times when tests came back with results the drs told her was never possible. But the one that stood out to me the most, the one I’m sure God wanted me to tune in to was this one:
Timesia told us about her career before getting sick. She served in the Army and then had a business career in Bentonville. She said she was very busy, that she could remember so many nights of shuffling from work, to pick up her daughter from school to the various activities at church and elsewhere. It was quite a change to be laid up at home once she was ill. One night, she was apologizing to her young daughter for not being able to do more with her and her daughter looked at her and said, “I’m not, since you’ve been sick, I’ve gotten the best of you.”
Tell me that doesn’t stop you in your tracks. Here is a mother, aching from illness and aching from wanting to do more for and with her daughter and her daughter is telling her, I’m not sorry! I have the best of you! We aren’t too busy, we aren’t constantly running from here to there, I have the best of you.
Now, hearing this in December was especially poignant because I had just finished a very full and busy family photo season. God has blessed my photography business in ways I never thought possible. Unfortunately, the price of a thriving business is more time. Fall is definitely my busiest time, but I’m steady year round. Add that to serving at church, church activities 3 days a week, running a home and writing for a blog and I’m depleted. I’m pretty sure the #1 phrase my boys heard last fall was, “Just a minute.” Do you ever feel this way? It’s probably just me.
That day, God spoke to me. “You can’t be all things to all people.” And trust me, I try to and He called me out on it. I have this desire in me to do 50 different things at the same time and do them all to the fullest. And, let’s be honest, that’s impossible. So, this year I’m trying to say no to the good things and yes to the best things. I’m trying, each day, to say, “Lord, how do YOU want me to spend my day.” Because it’s all His and my purpose is to serve Him.” I don’t want my boys to grow up and say, “Well, my Mom was always busy with something else to do xyz with us.” That can’t be part of my legacy as a mother. I am the only mother they have, the only wife to my husband (well, I better be!) and I have to be present with them. I love the quote from Ann Voskamp, “Wherever you are, be all there.” Have you read the book 1000 Gifts? If not, I highly recommend it, it’ll change your life.
Please hear my heart on this, this is not to make you feel guilty for the things you do, whether it be work or pleasure, I’m simply sharing how God is changing my heart. I still have my photography business, I still serve at church, I still go with friends to do things, those things are important to retain autonomy as a person. But, I don’t have to do everything, every time. Take for example, my Big Red Pot blog. I still plan to write, share recipes and life events but I don’t feel like I have to. Before, I had to get things done no matter what, but now, God has shown me the freedom in sometimes saying no or not right now. I have some exciting things planned for this blog this year, one being sharing my testimony, something God has prompted me to do for a long time, so don’t give up on me yet.
So, if you don’t see me on here, no worries, I’ll be back with a recipe soon. I’m probably just outside collecting lady bugs with my boys.