Ashley Nicole Photography | Columbia SC Newborn and Family Photographer » Ashley Nicole Photography is an on location, natural light photography studio specializing in family, child and newborn photography based in Columbia South Carolina.

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I am tired… worn out… feeling pretty low.  When I feel this way I usually know I am doing too much, taking on too much and pushing myself too far.  Lately, my (almost) 5 year old breaks out in tears at the drop of a hat.  This isn’t too unusual as she is a very feeling and sensitive person, but it has been more than usual.  Today, as I was driving to the first of many days of mini sessions, I broke down in tears as I felt the weight of my own neglect of my daughter, my other children, my husband, my God… a weight that I have felt heavy on my heart for some time, but neglected ignored.  It took my daughters’ tears today, once again crying at the “nothing” in particular, and a song as I was driving, to bring me to the breaking point.  I’ve included the lyrics below, but the main line that got me was:

Who was I and where was I going
What kind of fruit were my actions growing
Staring at the pages
He’ll be staring at the pages of my life
Was my passion just to know Him
Did I really let it out and show Him
Staring at the pages
He’ll be staring at the pages of my life

I have realized that I have taken on more, in my business life, than I give in my personal life and that has to stop.  I am a child of God first, a wife second, a mother third, and a photographer after all that.  So, after some reflection, I have come to the conclusion that my work life needs to take on a better “schedule” and I need to give myself more grace to take “time off” to play and love my kids NOW, not later… let’s face it, later never comes… NOW is the time.

You may ask, “Ok, Ashley, how does this affect us?”  From now on, I will only edit during nap times… that is 2.5 hours uninterrupted in my afternoons… no more mornings, afternoons, and evenings.  Because of this, I need you to be patient as you wait for your galleries.  I will work hard to get them to you as quick as I can, without sacrificing my family, but instead of taking up to 3 weeks, it may take up to 5 or 6… NOT likely, but I need to give myself that wiggle room.  I will also ONLY book 2 sessions a week, no more.  Because I book up months in advance, you may want to book early (seriously, like even 6 months or more in advance) to ensure you get a spot.  I never thought I would have a business that people wanted to be a part of so badly and I am humbled by your loyalty and your support.  I love all my clients and look forward to meeting many more people along the way!  I love what I do, but I do not want to be defined by it any longer… I hope you understand.

Thank you for your patience, your support, your devotion to Joyful Images… I appreciate each and every one of you!

Pages, by Leeland

When I stand before God’s throne
Nothing hidden, nothing unknown
Dead to my body, my old life He took
God will hold in His hands my days in a book

When I kneel down that day
Looking upon His holy face
I will remember with trembling
Every single moment, every memory

Who was I and where was I going
What kind of fruit were my actions growing
Staring at the pages
He’ll be staring at the pages of my life
Was my passion just to know Him
Did I really let it out and show Him
Staring at the pages
He’ll be staring at the pages of my life

This house I’m building every day
Silver and gold, straw and the hay
Tried by fire
Will it stand when the flame gets higher
Or will it burn away

In Your presence I belong
And without You, I am lost
Come and change me from the inside
In my weakness, You are strong
By the power of the cross
Come and change me from the inside

Who am I and where am I going
What kind of fruit are my actions growing
Staring at the pages
You are staring at the pages of my life
Is my passion just to know You
Am I living this life to show You
Staring at the pages
You are staring at the pages of my life

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  • Kristen Brink - Just had to send you a big hug and some prayers. I completely understand how you feel, with one child, not four. I went through this exactly when I decided to leave work. I used to do hair at Wisteria in Sandhills and am asked constantly to do people at home. I’ve been yanked on the arm in stores, tapped on the shoulder in church, you name it. I’m happy for you and your the future with your family and business. You are such an amazing person and I hardly know you. And, it’s ok to sneak a nap in yourself at naptime if you need one!
    KristenReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you, Kristen!! Your words mean a lot to me!!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica W. - I’m so touched by your overflowing honesty and your ability to follow thru with your heart! I was getting the kids ready for bed tonight, when a song I sang as a kid popped into my head. “God’s not dead, no he is alive!” So, go be that child of the Living Savior, wife to your husband and mother of your beautiful children! May God richly bless you!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you, Jessica! Such a great song and message!!!ReplyCancel

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