Living a Full Life

Guys, to be completely honest, blogging three times a week is ridiculously hard. I have been blogging Monday, Wednesday, Friday since my website launch in early February and I’ve put in a lot of late hours. Sometimes I struggle with the balance because I do see fruit from blogging consistently but I also want to be present in my life here in Charlottesville. I yearn to see my business grow but I also don’t want to sacrifice relationships and my faith for that to happen.

I have had blog posts stored up in my drafts for a couple months now so whenever I didn’t have something to write, I’d pull from there but today…. I have nothing — nothing but my tired heart and a desire to keep up this routine. I had no idea when I started my business what I was getting myself into. I had to learn very quickly how to budget, pay taxes, say no, manage my clients, edit in a reasonable time, respond to emails in a timely manner, fix blog/website glitches, create an online presence, find second shooters, design albums, etc. all while balancing life. I’m not the type of person who enjoys being overly busy so this year, especially, has been a big change for me. I have more weddings than ever, I’m living on my own, traveling, trying to get involved with church, and also wanting to find time to spend alone with the Lord. It sounds easy but when your business follows you, it’s way harder than it seems.

After the Pursuit conference I just got back from, I realized how I had stopped spending time with the Lord and although I was still spending my days talking to God, I wasn’t reading Scripture and walking with Him the way I wanted to be. One of the precious women at the conference shared about how she started digging deep into the Word about ten years ago and how it had absolutely changed her life. As believers, a lot of times we talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. It’s so easy to give “Christian” advice or to say you’re praying for someone but if we’re not spending quality time with Jesus in the book He gave to us so we could get to know Him, we’re missing out.

So a couple days ago, I tried to figure out what my biggest distractions or fears were and why I wasn’t opening my Bible like I used to. I discovered that at night, I was too tired and in the morning, the first thing I would do is check my phone, which would lead to emails, which would lead to me angrily getting out of bed and heading to my computer to start my day. There was no time to relax and just be. The night before last I knew I needed to change something. I turned my phone on airplane mode and went to bed so that when I woke up, I wouldn’t open my phone to notifications, emails, and texts. I could leave it on my bedside table and instead, open my Bible. GAME CHANGER.

I absolutely hate having work hanging over me and as a business owner, you ALWAYS have work hanging over you. You never leave it. It’s sitting in your bedroom and on your phone, waiting for you and you always think if you just respond to this one email at 11PM, then you can relax. That’s not how it works. You have to set boundaries and realize that taking an extra twelve hours to respond is fine. Spending time to yourself is fine. Not doing work is fine. You’re not going to lose it all.

I know this is a constant struggle for business owners and I just want to encourage you to do the thing that you’ve been missing out on. Is it hanging out with your kids, spending time with a friend who needs you, going to church, going for a run?? Do it. You will be better off having lived a full life with the people surrounding you than chasing money and “fame.”

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  1. Annaliese

    April 15th, 2016 at 2:10 PM

    Beautiful post with beautiful words Meredith!! Love the idea about sleeping with your phone in airplane mode. This past year I’ve started sleeping with my phone charging at the opposite part of my room, so when it is bedtime I can’t stay up late on my phone. It’s been so great!

    xoxo A

  2. Tori Watson

    April 15th, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    love this, and love your heart! working on getting back to better balance in this area, myself. <3

  3. Barbara Marcella

    April 15th, 2016 at 4:15 PM

    Beautifully said Meredith! Loved meeting you at Pursuit❤️

  4. Carolyn

    April 15th, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    I love this post, Meredith! You’ve challenged me to get into God’s word more, thank you for sharing what has been on your heart!!

  5. Hosanna

    April 21st, 2016 at 4:12 PM

    I’ve been feeling the same way lately. I love photography and I’m just now becoming a real photographer. I love both art and people, and it’s fun (I really do love it), but business can really be a burden, just for all the texts and emails and sessions to edit. And when you don’t have work piled up, you have to go out and practice and keep up your online presence. This is harder than I thought. Wanting a life suddenly meant that photography is my life, and I’m not sure that’s right. The Lord does come first. I’m just not sure how to put Him first in my business.

  6. Tyla Price

    September 24th, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Amen! Im currently pursing my photography career and LOVE the idea that I will be doing what I love, but have been very fearful as I enter into late nights of working after my full time job and trying to juggle learning what it takes to start up a business in small town Oklahoma. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Megan Kelsey

    January 26th, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    That airplane mode idea is GENIUS. Omg. Starting that tomorrow

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