Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Looking Ahead {Allen, TX Photographer}{Mt. Pleasant, MI Wedding Photographer}

At the end of last year my family and I went to an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet after church.  Great Wall Super Buffet has a great selection of food, and I especially love their fresh sushi.  It is evident they have put a great deal of effort into providing lots of healthy options, which I really appreciate.  While I loved the food, my favorite part of the outing had nothing to do with anything that was edible.

It was tucked inside a fortune cookie!

Those of you who know me well, know that I am not one to follow my horoscope or take stock in a Chinese fortune.  But, I do believe that God cares about me intimately and that he delights in finding little ways of communicating his truths to me in tangible ways.

It just so happens that this time around he chose a fortune cookie - and who am I to stop Him from using an age-old Chinese tradition!

Coincidentally, my fortune turned out to be the exact motto and goal I had already settled on for the upcoming year.  It quickly found a new home taped to the inside of my wallet - where I will see it often.

Take a look!

Like most people, the end of one year and the beginning of the next is full of goal setting and personal reflection.  I'm doing that in my personal life and with my business as well.  Looking back at the last few years of business, I can honestly say the decisions I regret most are those times I chose work over family. And, regrettably, I have made that choice many times over.

I'm willing to bet that many people who own and operate their own business struggle similarly.

Even before cracking open that fortune cookie, God had been working on my heart.  He was working overtime calling me to re-evaluate my priorities; calling me back to intimate fellowship with him and a renewed commitment to those closest to me - my family.

Sometimes a little visual is all we need!

This is one occasion where I WILL take stock in a Chinese Fortune - knowing in my heart of hearts it was divinely appointed for me see - by my God who loves me infinitely!

Along with family and personal goals (like drinking more water, watching less television, and running more often), I've been re-evaluating my business as well.  Thanks to a free seminar on Creative Live with Jasmine Star, I'm getting some clear direction as to what the future of my business looks like and how to get there.  I'm attending The Joy of Marketing's reFOCUS event online as well - thrilled at the opportunity to hear from one of my past Texas School mentors again, Julia Woods. Later this Spring I'm off to AfterDark - a workshop where I plan to blow the lid off my creative potential.

It's important to continue growing: personally, physically, emotionally, professionally, spiritually...You name it!

I'm all about total well being and finding a healthy balance for my life.

But, even as I listen to the workshops and begin making plans for TLP in 2013, I continue to hear louder and louder, more distinctly and more clearly, God's call for my life:

Family First!

In the smallest of decisions I now find myself asking, "How will this impact my family life?"  I want my business to grow and to thrive.  Yes!  But, I want my relationship with my children and husband to surpass that growth by leaps and bounds!

I know my children and my husband are proud of me in all that I do. And, I'm so thankful for that! But, I want to make sure that I invest the time IN THEM so that they, too, know (without a doubt) that I AM PROUD OF THEM!

So, in addition to scheduling time to implement my business goals and to secure work for the coming months, I'll be scheduling time for lots of family fun: snuggling up with Alden to read her favorite new book, playing a game of Yahtzee with Stephen Jr. (and continuing to encourage him to add up his own score), listening to my husband perform the latest song he's learning on his new guitars, going on a family run/bike outing, memorizing scripture and reading God's word together...

These are the things that have lasting value!

Yes, my clients deserve my attention - and they will continue to get that from me.  I am 100% dedicated to serving them with the finest attention to detail and with the whole-hearted thoughtfulness I am known for. That won't change.  It's simply time I start treating my family with the same love, affection and respect.

I'll end with a picture from this past weekend's wedding.  Stephanie and Neil were married in a beautiful ceremony in Mt. Pleasant, MI.  Stephanie and I are old college room-mates, so I know her well and love her dearly.  Stephanie, like me, is on a journey toward wholeness and wellness.  I admire her passion and zest for life.  Her commitment to Neil is inspiring - as is his to her.

If I had to describe my perfect client.  They would be it!

Relaxed.  Honest.  Committed.  Real. Trusting of what I do and how I do it.  Focused on what's really important.  Impeccable priorities in life.  Creative.  Beautiful - from the inside out.  Faithful.  Fun! Joy-filled. Truly Happy!  Generous!

Congratulations, Neil and Stephanie!

May God bless you in YOUR plans for 2013!

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