it wasn’t supposed to happen the way it did. this week, that is. i had planned it out completely differently in my mind. having my employment situation up in the air, i couldn’t risk any unnecessary expenses. and i didn’t have a babysitter. and i didn’t want to drive that distance alone. the excuses went on.
but like all my plans lately, God has a way of working things out according to His plan and not my own. in a much better way than i could have imagined.
pursuit 31 began because of the dream of one woman. one woman who had reached the end of herself and was ready to quit her business as a photographer because of the demands that were taking her away from what mattered most.
what started out as a small group of women who were connected online just in time to meet in person at wppi back in february has grown to be a group of hundreds spread out across the u.s.. a group of women with a passion for photography, their families, and Jesus.
and with the growth of the group has come an expansion of her vision. i first met karen stott back in february before the group really formed. as we chatted over dinner with other ladies, she shared her passion for encouraging women that were on a similar path as she was – overwhelmed, exhausted, and needing something called balance.
and thanks to the willingness to go where God has led her, karen started pursuit 31 (after the proverbs 31 woman). a pursuit to be the woman, wife, mother, and friend that God has called her to be – and to encourage other ladies to pursue the same.
with the development of the group that regularly shares with each other through a facebook community, she started workshops to expand on the opportunity to share what she has learned while giving others the opportunity to learn and build friendships in the field of photography.
earlier this week i had the opportunity to attend one of these workshops in san francisco. i hadn’t planned to go. i saw information about it and couldn’t figure out in my mind how it could possibly work. my husband was the driving force behind me making the final decision. he was determined that i be there and was willing to do whatever necessary to make it happen – including taking 2 days off from his extremely busy work week to drive down with me and watch our daughter while i was gone all day.
i am so thankful for his leading. i am so thankful for the opportunity and the challenge to be a better wife and mother even while juggling a full time job as a teacher and a part time photographer.
(everybody needs a starbucks to get going in the morning, right? i was good…mine was decaf)
during the first day i was challenged to evaluate if my present reality is my ideal. and what would i do if i knew without a doubt that i would not fail. what would happen if i really succeeded and did what God wanted me to do? what kind of a wife would i be? what kind of a mother? daughter? sister? friend? how do i pursue what i am passionate about and still be a blessing to my family? how do i chase my dreams without sacrificing the people that are most important to me?
karen shared from her heart some things she was guilty of that truly convicted me. my daughter, not yet two, has come up to me while i’m working from my laptop on the couch as she plays on the floor and closed my screen. i’ve been present in the room with her, but i haven’t given her all the attention she needs and deserves when i’ve put my business first. in those times i’ve told her that i’m not really there. i don’t ever want to tell my husband or children that my job is more important than they are. i don’t want to teach my children that it’s ok to chase their dreams at the expense of ignoring everyone around them.
and if i got nothing else from the workshop, that would have been enough for me. while it’s not a regular occurrence, it happens much more often than i’d care to admit and i needed the reality check to get proper boundaries in place before we welcome another child into the world in just a few months.
that doesn’t mean i’m giving up photography. and i’m not at a place where i’m ready to give up teaching. but i will be planning out my time better and focusing my attention more on where i believe God wants me to be instead of spread so thin as i have allowed in the past.
there was more..so much more to our time together. and, of course, what’s a photography workshop without some photography? keep an eye out for part 2 of this post to see more of this…
to learn more about pursuit 31 or the upcoming workshops, visit the website!