I picked up Lara Casey's book Make It Happen in Barnes and Noble while I was studying for my Praxis test in March. I only needed to read the first few pages before I knew I wanted to purchase this baby. And that I didn't want to be studying--I'd rather being reading Lara! More major studying had to happen before I could really dive head first into this incredible book. Graduation came and went and I finally found the time to squeeze in leisure time to read--by the pool, at night, on a plane and even in the car. People--THAT'S how good this book is. I usually get car sick, and somehow, I didn't! I give all the credit to this book.
There were three main themes that I personally took from the book. These were three main points that I either felt convicted on, encouraged by or related to.
2. Connectivity [internet versus relational]
All of which I've either been confused by or struggled with in these past two years of my business. I decided to blog about these three areas and reflect on them with quotes from Lara. I know if these are areas of struggle for me, then they may be similar areas for others.
To start this three-part series reflection on Make It Happen, I thought I'd start with the area that I felt I gained the most inspiration and felt the most conviction.
If you know me, you know I'm pretty content to be busy. I'm a go-go-getter and am typically happier when I'm busy with a task. However, these past two years gave me a run for my money and challenged me in ways and areas I didn't need to wander. I bit off more than I could chew. I pursued a photography business while attending graduate school. I tried to be a friend and a wife. I liked the idea of being healthy and entertained more ideas of having quiet times with my Bible than had them. My priorities seemed to float around in my head, though I didn't have the time to straighten them out--I thought.
At times I'd snap out of it, but it truly didn't take until post graduation that I was able to see through a different lens. A more clear, Jesus-centered, relaxed, meaningful lens. I started reading my Bible before my planner in the morning. All the while, I was reading this book Make It Happen. Vacation was the best time to finish it, because I was at my ultimate point of relaxation and was seeing through those incredibly relaxed lenses.
It was a good thing.
The timing was good.
In hindsight, even though I'm tempted to say, "nope, no way could I have been less busy juggling everything these past two years", the truth is, I could have. I could have said "no" to more things that I could, in turn, say "yes" to. My "busy" life could have looked and felt a lot differently.
Lara Casey says that "busy is the enemy of peace". There's total truth to that for me. "Busy takes us away from our purpose. Busy is not truly productive in the big picture. Busy means life's joys and surprises can't find a way into our lives because we're moving too fast to see and experience them."
Did you catch that?
"Busy means life's joys and surprises can't find a way into our lives, because we're moving too fast to see and experience them."
Our recent vacation was completely opposite from that. Can I just say that I really needed it? And I wasn't perfect. I definitely still answered emails and edited at times. But my friends and Jordan encouraged me otherwise--thankfully. I was so deep in that I couldn't hardly imagine not "working" (I still don't feel like what I do is work).
But I can learn from my mistakes. Lara stated that "our failures are gifts, allowing us to learn, grow, redirect, and take new--and potentially better--paths". Even though I worry about diving into a full-time SLP job while continuing to pursue photography, I'm reminded that busyness doesn't have to define me. And regardless, "worrying is like praying for what you don't want", Lara Casey. I can still choose purpose over my planner in the mornings. I can still arrange my photography schedule accordingly. I can still take control of my life.
All three of the topics I chose to blog about intertwine so beautifully. As you'll see, my realization of my failing connectivity, my struggle with busyness and my blurred vision of my purpose are like a piece of the same puzzle. I'm excited to share with you what I was so blinded to with my connectivity--on the web, with friends and my husband. And with my purpose--how it's blurry when busyness is taking the driver's seat of the ride.
I don't want to be successfully going toward something that doesn't matter.
After discovering my heartbeat for wedding photography, this quote clicked so well with me: "when the purpose for your work is aimed at God's heart, it makes you want to work a whole lot harder. The payoff for us is much bigger than paycheck." -Lara Casey
While this is true, God didn't design me for extremes. He didn't call me to be lazy, but on the other end of the spectrum, he didn't call me to be extremely busy. He designed "good work coupled with good rest". The Bible even says to work heartily for the Lord in Colossians 3:23. Whatever you do--whether it's speech pathology, photography, mothering, or nursing, do it heartily for the Lord and not men.
Surrendering Our Schedules
"When we surrender our schedules and trade busy for bold faith, real life opens up." --Lara Casey
Mmmmm. Savor that. Read it again. Okay, one more time. What does that mean to you?
To me, it means reading my Bible before opening my planner. To me, it's still attempting to not scroll through Instagram right when I wake up. To me, it's relaxing when I let go of control of my schedule and let random happen. To me, it's a restart button on the majority of my past two years.
But you know, I wouldn't see life or my photography purpose through this new, refined and sharpened lens if I hadn't struggled along the way. If I hadn't failed. Time after time. Thankfully, my muddied lens is made clean and new through not only Lara straightening my vision, but through Jesus--through my repenting of my busyness and idolatry of it. I would appreciate the prayers as I dive into this next stage in life--serving and loving on my photography clients as well as my speech pathology kiddos. I have such a love for both and both deserve the best Lindsay. A rested Lindsay.
And by rest, I mean a Lindsay whose purpose is over her planner. ;-)
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither an you, unless you abide in Me." John 15:4
I cannot serve my clients or kiddos the way I'm meant to if I'm not making time for Him, my quiet times and the purpose of it all!
I was definitely made to use this energy of mine--just also made to utilize it with purpose, in boundaries and glorifying Him.
"Following God doesn't mean the path will be easy; it means it will be meaningful."--Lara Casey.
My next post may be hard to write up, because I still completely see my struggle with connectivity and social media...though, I know it's a definite point of conviction which Lara and a friend of mine helped me through.
Until the next post...