I have been thinking about seasons a lot lately. Not just in the physical sense of winter, spring, summer, fall; but mostly in the metaphorical sense of the word seasons, mainly life’s seasons and business seasons.
The last two years have been quite a “season” for our family and for my business. The quietness on the blog and really any of my sporadic online sharing and community building is a good indication as to what life has really been like behind the scenes. In this season I have struggled to get content – my thoughts and photos out there/here – and really engage with others because of the time challenges I have faced. Four small kiddos, a business still in it’s growing stages, a big move and so much more has made this season of my life and business feel plain old exhausting.
Although this season has been tiring and challenging, I am learning so much from and through it and that is what I want to share and hopefully encourage you with today. It is my hope that my thoughts might help you to see differently and appreciate more the seasons you find yourself a part of.
Grace & Intention: Every season has it’s unique challenges. Whether you you are a couple thick in the throws of planning a meaningful wedding; or you are a brand new mama learning the new routines of an amazing, but slightly terrifying, little one; or you are a small business owner trying to figure out how to survive busy season – all of these seasons are tough. I am learning that I can only truly flourish in each season when I embrace it and extend myself grace as I am experiencing it. Offering and accepting grace to work and grow within the boundaries of a season is so freeing. It allows you to become intentional with the time and resources that you have and to make decisions about how you will use these boundaries to help you continue to grow instead of allowing them to limit you. Abundantly giving yourself grace daily (or even hourly on particular days) allows you to find the joy in even the most challenging seasons and helps make the lessons and experiences you are learning and having become ones you don’t ever want to forget.
Beauty and Length: Staying inspired is one significant way that helps me more easily embrace the challenging aspects of the season I am in. The parallel’s between the natural seasons and the harvest season remind me of so many truths. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesistes 3: 1. The promise of new life, bounty, harvest and then periods of quiet are helping me reference where my life, family and business are at and help me find the beauty that is present in each season. As a mother of littles and small business owner it is so easy to get lost and discouraged in the busyness and immediate challenges of each day, or the middle of my current season. Screaming babies, homework, piles of laundry, emails, editing, post office runs, etc. can quickly create a mountain that feels insurmountable. However, when stepping back and remembering that “the days are long, but the years are short” helps put into perspective that there will be an end to this all – children do grow, client work gets completed and life does go on.
In remembering “that the days are long, but the years are short” we can find and really see the beauty that each season presents. New growth – a baby’s first words and a couple’s happiness with their engagement photos; bounty – a house turned upside down as the tickle monster creates ripples of laughter and a wedding day that has gone as perfectly as the couple plans; harvest – an extra long snuggle and sweet whisper “I love you Mom” and a beautiful box of prints that tell the story of a beginning of a family; replenishment – a quiet house upon becoming empty nesters and a sweet thank you card received in the mail. There is beauty in each part and season, it is up to me to find and dwell on it.
I’m so excited to share with you a special project that one of my amazing 2015 couples and I (with a little extra help ~ see disclaimer below) worked on over the course of their engagement period. Johnathan and Natalie were so sweet and had me photograph their love story in each of the four seasons at the same location to really capture the beauty and changes present in each one.
I truly hope that these photos will not only be cherished by them and their family for many years to come, but more importantly that they would serve as a tangible reminder to give themselves grace through their life seasons, embrace each season with intentionality, help them to remember that the days might feel long at times but the years are so short, and to always search for the beauty that can be found in each of life’s and their love’s seasons.
A big thank you to my amazing friend Karina for taking the winter photos from this series. I was soo pregnant with the twins that I wasn’t able to capture this part of their love story and Karina graciously helped us out!