Thursday, March 08, 2012

the changes on the horizon

About a week ago everything in life was going on at a normal pace, with normal activities and day to day tasks. Then our lives got shaken around a bit, rearranged and just changed altogether. The changes that have come our way are very good changes and welcome changes. Although these changes are coming about much sooner than we had planned we rest in the fact that our lives are not our own and that God has His plans and His timing. We were told on Friday of last week that we need to vacate our rental home by April 1st or sign a new 12 month lease with a price increase. Panic set it. Where would we live? Would we have to put everything in storage and find someone to put up with us for a month...or more? What were we going to do? Back story: We had put an offer on a house the turned out to be a short sale...and if you know anything about short sales they are anything but short. We asked our landlords if we could get out of our rent a month early if need be, or rent month to month after our lease was up if need be. They misunderstood this and thought we bought a house and just wanted to stay one month longer, so they secured a renter for when our lease was up. There's more to what went on but it doesn't really matter so I'm not going to get into it. We decided in February to continue looking at houses in case the short sale did not come out in our favor. We found one or two that we thought would work for our family. One would be perfect for me to have a studio with a seperate entrance and the other would be a great home for our family but without much room for my business. When we found out that we needed to vacate our rental home by April 1st we had some serious discussions. One of those discussions lead us to put an offer on the home that would be great for our family but without a lot of room for my business. The offer was countered and we accepted. Part of the offer was that we would be able to occupy by March 30th and that was accepted as well. Praise God that He has lead us this whole way and that His timing is perfect. On Thursday night while attending Financial Peace University at our church I had many thoughts running through my mind. "What can I sell? What kind of job could I get to help supplement the family's income? My business is stressing me out and not going anywhere." When I got home that evening we had the discussion about which home we could/should buy since we knew we needed to make a decision quickly. When it came time to talk about my business and my offering to get a waitressing job a couple of nights a week it all came out. I no longer wanted to deal with the stress of trying to re-start/run my own business. No longer did I want to have the pressure of finding the right clients who understood my passion and desire for great photography. No longer did I want to feel the pressure of having to make sure I made enough money each month to help put my children in private school. Trying to raise three small children and raise a business was getting to be too much for me. I just couldn't handle it. When the time to talk came the tears came as well. I wanted to be free of the stress from running a business but I never wanted to stop capturing priceless memories for my friends and clients alike. I know that right now I can't handle the business side anymore so I've decided to hang up my JT Photography shoes. At least for a while. The statistics of new photographers starting out and how quickly they fail came into my mind and I felt like another statistic. I felt like I've failed at my dream. I felt like I would be labeled. But I remembered that I have been working part-time as a photographer for over 10 years. I remembered my dream of being a mother, my dream of being a stay at home mom. I remembered my dream of doing something I love because I LOVE it and not because I need to help put my kids in private school. I know that I'm not a failure. I know that this is a season in life and that while I may feel I'm giving up my dream I'm really just putting it on hold. I will not be putting my camera away. I will still be photographing my family and my friends' families. I just will not be persuing new clients. I will shoot limited sessions when family time allows. This website will remain online. I have the domain name and I'm not going to loose it. I have just renewed my website too, so I'll re-evaluate keeping it or not when the time to renew comes up again. I am not sure what I will do with my facebook page...I'm still praying about that one. On my personal facebook page I had "liked" so many photography related businesses to enter contests and giveaways and I'm pretty sure that I have "unliked" most of them so that I am not constantly reminded of the business. I still have my few favorite photographers whose pages I will always like and that won't change. This is painful for me and makes me cry just thinking about it. But the stress relief that I feel from not having to produce big bucks for my family is a HUGE weight off my shoulders. The relief that I won't have to spend time a ton of time editing late into the evenings, that I will be more present in the moment with my kids and not worried about how I'll get my next session booked is a HUGE relief. I look forward to when photography becomes new to me again and not just something that has to be done in order to make money. I know I still have a lot to learn about photography and I will use the time away from persuing my business to learn and learn and learn. I will be looking for a part-time waitressing job (like I stated earlier) in order to help with the family finances. I actually enjoy waitressing and feel that a couple nights a week of waitressing will not be stressful to me but will be a time to let Greg hang out with the kids, let me meet some new people and earn some money for the family. And that's the kind of job that I can leave there. No work to take home. No photos to edit, sales to make etc. But I do look forward to still having my camera handy, and photographing my loved ones. I hope to start regularly blogging again soon too...but probably not until we have made the move at the end of this month to our new home!!!! Lots of changes. But we know that one thing remains the same and that is Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today and forever!!!

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