Welcome to my blog! I'm thrilled to be able to share with you my favorite images from weddings, engagements, maternity, and more! Grab a cup of coffee and get snuggly cuz this blog will give you all the feels!
I’ve been pretty vulnerable these past few months with where I’m at in life. I’ve spent many an instagram post talking about the challenges I’ve been facing. This season of life feels like the most tumultuous and trying that I have gone through since adolescence. How do I come to terms with a life that has almost completely changed, grief, fear, joy, marriage, love, and responsibility all thrown at me at once? I wish this were the blog post where I told you I found the answers. It’s not.
These past few months I’ve thrown myself into figuring out “what I’ve been doing wrong,” mostly in my business. I wasn’t putting enough “me” into my blogging (I don’t have that problem anymore), I wasn’t putting up enough social media, I wasn’t networking enough with the right people, I wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t. When I got down on myself too much or felt out of control I would read a blog post or a book on goal planning, getting it together, making it work. I came up with organizational plans, invested in the right software, made efforts to meet new people and create relationships. I hustled like I had never hustled before. All of it felt futile, in fact some of it still does, I didn’t see any results for months. I’m just now starting to see the fruits of my labor. So we get to happy dance here and there and in between.
In my personal life, I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel of emotions. I keep thinking they’ll calm down a bit, but they just keep going and going and going! Just last night after a midnight feeding of kittens (more on that soon) I found myself trying not to wake Daniel as I cried in bed. He, of course, heard me and asked what was up. “I’m just tired of people being sick” I stammered and then just sobbed for a good 10 minutes before I fell asleep. Watching those you love get sick without answers or even with answers hasn’t been easy. It’s not often I feel useless and It’s not a good feeling at all.
When I stand back and evaluate the last few months, there has been a lot of hard work and hard life thrown at us. Just since my birthday I’ve felt pushed almost past what I can handle. And the only thing keeping me together (other than Daniel) is the knowledge that this is just a season. Time always moves on and these moments of difficulty will soon pass, replaced by something (hopefully) more joyful. God always takes these tough moments in life and uses them to enrich the beautiful ones, to make them more substantial and sweet. I wouldn’t be who I am today if God hadn’t used moments I never thought I’d get past. Now I am fulfilled in ways I never even comprehended.
I don’t have a lot of answers to the questions that have flooded through my brain, I don’t necessarily see an end in sight yet to some of my situations, but I do still have hope and for that I am ever thankful.
Most of this was because I just needed to get it out…process…but also because I’ve crashed and burned in the blogging department lately. I had such high hopes for April…ah well. We keep moving, we keep doing, we keep loving.
For those of you who are wondering why I’ve been away from social media so much lately, I’ve got 3 little furry reasons why. They’ve been a much bigger challenge than Daniel & I anticipated. They’re lucky they’re so stinking cute! Seriously tho, anyone who has tried to save and raise orphaned newborn animals I tip my hat to you. It is no joke and takes complete devotion. In two weeks, we’v gone back and forth with their health several times. We’re currently on a down swing. So we’re praying that they make it through this bout of sickness. They’re fighters tho, so I anticipate a full recovery.
Wedding season is about to kick in full swing and I’m taking these next couple of weeks as sort of mental health time. I don’t like feeling out of control, but there is only so much one can do, so I’m going to pause the hustle a little bit, do what I can to feel ready to go, and then dive into my happy place of wedding photography. Thanks for reading through all of the mess hopefully it made a little bit of sense), saying a prayer or two, and continuing to love me even though I don’t have it all together.
I’m sitting here on my cozy comfy bed, citrus bliss & peppermint diffusing to ensure I don’t get distracted and start another project…(my email inbox is whispering it’s sirens song to me.) but I have blog in my head for once and I gotta get it out before it completely slips away. I feel like I have the potential to be a decent writer, if only I had the ambition to do it. Most of the time it’s a struggle for me to even write about my Love Stories that I capture (even though they practically write themselves)! It all comes down to my need for inspiration to blog…well lets face it, for EVERYTHING! Why is that? Man, I get in my own way a lot.
This morning I was perusing several websites & blogs. One lead to another, which lead to another, and so on. Most of these blogs were design or brand oriented. I’m planning another website redesign and this got my brain’s steam engine pumping. Chug, chug, CHOO CHOO! What I started to see was a consistency in branding from website to website. They were all white, clean, with a dash of flare in the font & photo design. Some were soft and romantic while others added a pop of contrast, but the over arching theme was the same. Now you might be drawn to this sort of thing, but when “Mabyn the creative” discovers 5 websites that essentially have the same design she immediately revolts! “Gadzooks, my brand looks like this too! I must change ALL OF THE THINGS IMMEDIATELY!”Alarms are going off in my brain and I’m thrust into a a mini panic where that chugging train starts barreling down the track! I just have this innate thing in me that has to be different and I don’t know why.
So after I regained control of my “choo choo”, I proceed to step back and think about that question WHY? If anything all of these ladies/companies had their *ish together. Each and every website that I saw was gorgeous. If anything they have a far more concise brand with more follow through. This of course lead to the thoughts of “dang, I need to reassess and get it together.” Which lead to all sorts of self deprecating thoughts. “Way to go Eyore, you’ve done it again!”
This lead to thoughts of the past two years since I’ve moved to NC. A hot wave of frustration and pity hit me. If an outsider looked at my life right now, goodness it wouldn’t stack up! 31 living out of a friends home with a struggling business. People had so much faith in my move here and I felt like I had let them all down. I wanted to just tuck my head under my covers and go back to bed.
But I didn’t do that, I reminded myself that this was a year of health and wholeness and part of that journey was figuring this stuff out. To take that giant steamer trunk of junk that I had been dragging around and hand it over to God so He can help me sort through it all. I started a new devotional this morning from the ladies at Pursuit 31. It’s called “Seek: A 21 Day Devotional on prayer and fasting.” On the very first page I read there was an awesome prayer:
“Father God, thank You for your Spirit. Thank You for your promises that when I seek You, I will find You. Lord I ask that in these next 3 weeks that You will help me to stay focused on You. That you would give me eyes to se the things that are interfering with my relationship with You and the wisdom to know what to do with them. I ask that you would invade my heart and show me more of who You are and how You see me. I ask for clarity, renewed vision, passion, and a revelation of purpose You have created me for. Show me more of Your heart and more of Your vision for my life. Help me to love and serve like You would. Amen.”
(Photo by Kristine Neeley, image found HERE. As soon as I get the hard copy of this devotional I’ll replace this image.)
So many things that stuck out to me in that prayer. I need to see the things that are interfering with my relationship with Jesus, I need clarity, renewed vision, and a revelation of the purpose he has created me for. So when that pity party started to rear it’s ugly head I just stopped. Then, that amazing God who really does give you what you ask for, told me this: “You’re getting in your own way.”
Shooooooooot girl! Shoot! It was like the heavens themselves opened up to me! Seriously, it was a big fat #I’mgonnasmackyouonthebackofthehead moment! I had been approaching everything I attempted for the past two years with a scarcity mentality. Business building, money, travel, friends, dating, even my prayer time. Everything was seen through the lens of “there isn’t enough” or “I’m not enough.” If I had spent half the time I used stressing over “not enough” and put forth enthusiasm towards the new challenges facing me, I might have had a different memory of the past two years.
I will say that God has really been teaching me trust over the past two years. Trust that He’ll provide and that He’s in control of every situation. So the real question for 2015 is “can I trust God and get out of my own way?” For reals, how often do I need to control the situation? How often is my “not enough” really “I don’t trust You enough.”
The reality of the past two years is that God HAS provided and more abundantly that I thought. (My annual tax journey is proving that to me.) That the adventures I’ve experienced have allowed me to do things that I never thought possible. The past two years weren’t really difficult at all, they were actually AMAZING and so rich with loving patience and grace. So this year I want to continually remind myself that even when things look hard or they aren’t in my control, that He is and He’s got my back. Step out of the way Mabyn, and let God show you how beautiful every situation can be.
P.S. I know the drink looks scary…don’t worry my laptop is safe! 😉 I’M LIVIN’ ON THE EDGE PEOPLE!