Beware: this post has been stewing for a while. It’s me cracking my heart wide open and trying to learn a lesson in being transparent. It’s not an easy blog post to write. Part of me wonders if I’m sharing too much but then part of me knows if I don’t share it I won’t heal, I won’t be able to grow, and I won’t ever learn that it’s ok to just let down my guard and share my heart.
I’ve been on hiatus from this blog for about a year (maybe more). I used to blog often. I was a goal setter with big dreams and crazy big motivation. I’m not sure exactly what happened but somewhere along the way I lost sight of me. I suddenly stopped focusing on what I really wanted out of life and of what I was called to be. I told a friend just a few weeks ago that it’s funny how you own your own business so that you can have clarity and a life but if you are not careful it can be the very thing in life that strips all of that away. The last two weeks have brought about so much revelation that I now realize I can’t blame my business for what I’ve been through, it’s my own fault. I’ve just used work as a crutch for far too long to avoid dealing with things, too busy to fix what’s really wrong. In my blogging absence I’ve been off trying to figure things out. I’ve been working really hard to get over the crappy things in life that have happened to me over the last year and taking a few more blows along the way. I slipped into a really lonely place in my life. I became a cold hard person. For a year, I worked really hard to keep people away so they wouldn’t find out how dark of a place I was really in, trying to convince myself I wasn’t lonely, hurting or in need of help from others. I’ve been doing some soul searching down some really dark and lonely roads for several months now but I’m happy to say I’ve made some really powerful discoveries and I’m finding my way back to the light.
Call it what you will, a mid life crisis or self discovery. I’m working really hard to crack myself back open. I’m finding new inspiration and returning to the old me, only stronger, more secure and even better than before! I don’t want you to think my whole life recently has been all bad, it hasn’t. Within the past year I’ve had a lot of wonderful things happen, the discovery that both of my sister in-laws are pregnant and due six weeks apart, the launch of a new business, a new nephew born just a week and a half ago, and another one due within the next five weeks, plus I’m losing weight! However, I have been through some of life’s greatest trials in the past year. I discovered how quickly people can change and how hard it is to see someone you care about betray your trust. I also lost a dear friend, I watched her battle cancer and I watched her die. I stood by her side on May 13th as she took her last breath, then one hour later I packed up my suitcase and left her there. I wasn’t sure where to go from there, how to pick up the pieces, how to act like nothing happened, how to live like everything was ok. I left that hospital cold and numb. Life suddenly felt really strange and emotional (understatement of the year). I lost a beautiful friend that day, I also gained perspective. I have never experienced so many emotions in such a short amount of time, from extreme sadness, to peace, then anger and loneliness. I was grieving, I just didn’t know what to call it until my Mother pointed it out in conversation about a month ago when I was expressing how I felt about some things.
While going through this I took a break from social media for the most part. Much less checking in, many less posts. I’ve got some incredibly amazing people that the Lord has placed in my life. They’ve seen me through the past year. They’ve said some hard things for me to swallow, things I needed to hear. They’ve texted me encouragement, lent me a shoulder to cry on, listened to me pour my heart out. They have planted seeds that the Lord has used to soften my heart. Many times the things they’ve said haven’t solicited a response from me at all but I heard them loud and clear and somehow they made their way into my heart. I won’t say I’ve arrived and I know I’ve got many more lessons to learn but I’m feeling much more opened to them and I’m reminded that although life isn’t always fair, it really is beautiful and I’m beginning to see that beauty again.
I don’t write any of this for anyone to pity where I’ve been. I’m not sad about it at all. I’ve had some amazing revelations, grown deeper in my faith and I’ve come out stronger than before but with more humility, passion, and compassion for life. I think I’m better for it!
Funny thing is that at the beginning of 2013, I chose my one word: Present. Little did I know then what that word would bring about. Being “present” to deal with the things I needed to confront has been my saving grace over the last few months. At the beginning of the year I wrote this: It’s about living in the now, the period of time between now and the future. Not living for what is tomorrow or worried about what happened yesterday but knowing that everything I have today is enough. I must be present to see Him move in my life and to recognize His provision. Present to embrace, love, care for and appreciate those He has placed in my life. Present to hear His voice and recognize what He is doing in the now. Present to marvel in His goodness and the life I have been given.
Now it’s time for me to be present here, so I am happy to say you’ll be seeing more of me here, more of my family, more of my life, more of my thoughts. I’m making my mind stop and slow down to soak in the now. Because what I have today, right now is enough. It’s better than enough!
One thing I’m doing to bring some joy back into my life is to create a list of fun things to do. Now I’ll be pulling from this list weekly and doing whatever I pull each week for a bit! Here are some other things on my agenda in the near future to help me live out my one word:
– More journaling
– A lot more laughing, dreaming, and joking
– Finding enjoyment in the small things
– Living in a constant state of gratitude
– Taking more time to let people know how much they mean to me
– A trip to the arcade
– A game of paintball
What are you planning to do this year to live in the Present?
Last year around this time we made friends with an amazing woman named Farmer Faye. She invited us out to her farm, Old McFaye’s, to meet her newly born lambs and take Amanda & Brent’s maternity photos. I loved all of the animals, so shortly after, we returned to the farm so that my nephew, Gavin, could experience the fun. Recently Faye told me they had new lambs born and she thought of us and the maternity shoot we did almost a year ago. Genevieve LOVES animals and the lambs were only six days old, so we knew this would be the perfect opportunity to capture her 9 month portraits. We headed out to the farm, this time with friends in tow to experience the fun. Thank you Faye for always being such a gracious host and allowing us to visit, we love you!
I love this family and I have for years and years! I’ve watched these girls grow up, photographed Lauren & Michael’s wedding, and now I’ve seen Mike & Melissa become grandparents for the first time!
Chances are if you’ve followed the MHP team for any amount of time, you know Lindsey. She’s been working with our teams for years in many different roles, from image editor to album designer, and most recently she and Claire became an MHP photography team!
One rainy morning while the thunder was rolling in the distance we braved the clouds and threatening rain to meet up in the park for some family photos. It was time for one big family photo of the entire Edwards Clan including their newest addition, Lindsey’s nephew, Aiden!
Yesterday Vie turned 5 months old so I took the opportunity to photograph her on my all white bedding, I’ve been wanting to do this shoot for a while. She is one happy baby, not to mention she is cute as a button. With eyes that cut their way right into your heart and a smile that’s infectious. She sure brings a lot of joy to our lives, here is hoping she will bring a lot of joy to you today as well!
Vie, I love the way you grab your toes and they go straight to your mouth. My favorite thing to watch you do is laugh, your expressions always make me giggle, and when you look at me with those big eyes, the answer is yes, you can have anything in the world you want. Happy 5 month birthday baby girl!
Five years ago today, my life changed forever and my heart grew to hold a love I never though possible. Happy Birthday to the little boy who changed my life the day he was born! I love you Gavin and I always will!