Right now, I am saying no to pleasing everyone and doing things the worldly way. Right now, I choose to glorify God and use my talents well to operate my business. Right now, I choose kindness and joy and not achievement or becoming “known.” Right now, I don’t want to add on full-time team members to my business, and this is a very intentional decision. Right now, I am focused on serving my current and future couples and clients wholeheartedly. Right now, I am saying yes to my marriage and to a full life outside of work. Right now, I choose a job that I love and that serves my little family well in this season. Right now, I am saying yes to what truly matters and to the plans that the Lord has for me. Right now, I am choosing to live an intentional, full life. Right now, I am embracing contentment and lasting joy.
Over the last year or two, I’ve definitely felt a subtle change in my mindset and my priorities, and these subtle shifts have, of course, aligned timing-wise with dating and marrying Rob. Having a husband can really do that to you! When we met, I has just wrapped up a months-long extraneous social media project with a local wedding company, which I had been devoting many, many hours a day to. So when we started dating, I was already in the process of adding much more balance into my life, instead of working 8 hours a day on my wedding planning and design business, in addition to 4-6 hours a day on this other business’ work. I also realized, once I had a boyfriend who worked typical a standard 8-5 schedule, that I had no desire to work once he was off work and we could be spending time together!
You see, I think seasons come and go in our lives: seasons of hustle, seasons of contentment, seasons of growth, seasons of patience and trust, seasons of waiting, etc. And looking back, I can so clearly see how God was refining my heart and my business during specific seasons. When I first moved to Raleigh, I had just taken my business full-time and moved to a new state. I felt like I needed to prove myself, to make a name for myself, to get myself out there, to meet every vendor and connect with them all, to book new clients and do more and more styled shoots and do all the things. I didn’t say no for many months, and I was always working. But I was also single, so it didn’t matter as much when I worked late into the night. I loved my work and truly had so much fun doing so much, but I also felt constantly pulled in every direction and had an absolutely packed calendar. Did you know that I went on 80+ “coffee dates” within four months of moving here? Wonderful… but exhausting.
So when Rob entered my life and our relationship continued to take off and develop, it was timed so well with when I felt a need to say no to more things and to focus on what was most important in my life. What’s truly, deeply most important to you – and not just now, but in five, twenty, and fifty years – will impact your current decisions so much. For me, relationships are the most important thing and something that I prioritize the most. Marriage, family, friendships, my close community, my relationship with the Lord – all of these relationships are what truly matters in this life for me. I’m so grateful that my husband entered my life when he did, and our relationship helped me align how I spent my time and energy with what my true priorities were.
I did not want to hustle all day, every day anymore. It’s not a sustainable lifestyle, and it simply can cause us to burn out, become worse or harried versions of ourselves, and spend our life focused on the wrong things. Don’t get me wrong: I definitely believe there are seasons of hustle, especially as life, work, and circumstances change and continue to evolve. But hustle should not be something to be coveted or placed on a pedestal (been there, done that), and it’s not a sustainable, long term lifestyle that will bring deep joy and contentment. I’ve realized this more and more over the last year or two, especially as our love story continued to grow, my priorities shifted, and I also felt like my business was in a stable, happy place. I wanted a profitable, sustainable, love-centered business where I served my clients wholly and selflessly – but not all day and night long and certainly not at any cost. Having and maintaining a work-life balance is crucial for me and what I’ve intentionally determined my priorities to be, as it allows me to serve my clients, couples, and work during my business hours, but it also protects my marriage, my mental health, and the rest of my life by having clear, set boundaries. Making these conscious decisions – and following them – has helped me so much and been absolutely vital to both my business and to my marriage, friendships, family, and those oh-so-important relationships. When I turn off my computer at the end of my work day when Rob gets home from his job, I know that I have spent the earlier part of my day working very, very hard and with focus and determination to be the best wedding planner I can be. And the rest of the night, I’m completely focused on our marriage and on our friends, small group, evening activities, taking care of myself, etc. For me, I have deliberately chosen to say no to many things so that I can, I believe, live my best life now. I have a business that I love, clients that I adore, and I come to work each morning refreshed and excited to dive in. But I also know that for me, loving my husband well, not being distracted in the evenings by emails or work, and getting to protect our time together is what I want the most and how I can serve our marriage and our life well.
So yes, right now, I am embracing contentment and lasting joy. Who’s with me?
all photos by the incomparable Ally and Bobby from our wedding