how not to do it all.

* Note: I was a bit concerned about posting this because I don’t want to come off arrogant or ungrateful for what I have.  It is simply documentation of how God is changing our lives and my desire to contribute.  I do not know what is best for anyone but myself.  And even then only God knows my path in life.

There are times when I’m tired of being a photographer, tired of running a business and responding to emails and worrying about how many weddings to book for the upcoming year. I feel guilty about that.

Just a few years ago I was practically begging for more clients. More clients to expand my portfolio and more clients to supplement our income.

I’m at the point where I no longer need to advertise but this business seems to be weighing me down.

I know that God has blessed me with the talent and drive to take photographs. I don’t want to waste that.

God has also blessed me with two wonderful children who need raised.  I definitely don’t want to miss that opportunity.

I keep thinking that juggling motherhood and a business is too difficult. That something has to give and one day I’m a terrible business owner and the next a terrible mother.

People do this all the time, right? They work and raise kids and live good lives. But I’m beginning to think I need to stop comparing myself to others.

This winter the rhythm of life has been good. Really good.

I’m taking the time to make things again. To bake bread. To paint. To simply lay on the couch with my babies.

It feels nice. It feels right.

I’m worried that once my busy season starts to pick up again (in oh, about a week or so) that this relaxed and simple pace of life will vanish. That I will resort to eating convenience foods and spending naptimes editing just trying to “make it through”.

Is is worth it?

I don’t know. I’m beginning to think it’s not.

I want my place to be home. I want my job to be providing for my family. I want to waste less and spend less and produce more. That in itself is a big job.

What if…what if I could save us nearly as much as I earn a year?

Producing goods is rewarding and fulfilling. Producing money so we can consume more becomes stressful.

We’re turning our front yard into a garden. I vow to learn how to can our extras. I made a couple gallons of liquid soap from a bar that cost a dollar or two. Once our shampoo runs out I am going to try the baking soda and vinegar no ‘poo method.

I’m beginning to see just how much these small changes add up.

 “ But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,  so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

The enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from making my own things and earning my keep is truly unbeatable. Taking flour, yeast and water and turning it into a warm, crusty loaf of bread has become such a pleasure.

The Joy Project is giving me an opportunity to do photography the way I love it (photojournalism) and at the same time promote joy and kindness in the world. Win, win?

It’s so hard to go against the grain of our culture. To tell myself that it’s OK to be a homemaker. To put my business on hold for a bit in order to garden, bake and teach.

I know that life is not always enjoyable. There will always be things that we have to do that we do not want to do. But I do know that life is full of seasons and perhaps this is my season to slow down, raise children and consume less.