Venturing on wider seas

I've never been a huge fan of winter. I love to watch the world change colors in the fall and to watch it wake up again in the spring, but the few months in between, when the landscape around me seems to fall into an endless slumber, always feel a little dull and disappointing. Don't get me wrong - I love scarf weather and warm fireplaces, snow days and hot apple cider, but even when I am enjoying Christmas music, New Year celebrations and Valentine's Day cards, I can't help but yearn for spring to arrive. I told someone yesterday that I can't wait for wedding season to get here. When asked why, my initial response is always to say, "Because I love weddings." Today, though, I realized there is another reason. At the end of last year, I shot 8 weddings in 7 weeks. It was an exhausting process, and I looked forward to the few months I would have to just take a deep breath and rest. As winter set in, though, I became restless. My life wasn't full of tasks anymore. I didn't have long to-do lists or an inbox full of emails to respond to. I realized that in the clutter and bustle of my busy schedule, my work had become my purpose. I went to bed at night thinking about lights, cameras and location scouting, and I woke up thinking about emails, contracts and accounts. I was hopelessly attached to my computer because I found my joy in building my business instead of just living, and when business slowed down I felt a little lost.

That's when I heard the voice of the Lord calling softly and tenderly to my heart. Beloved, it is for freedom that I set you free; therefore stand firm and do not be subject again to a yolk of slavery. Through Christ I have the ability to be set free from that all-encompassing desire to do and to please and to succeed. I can rest and be satisfied knowing that I am His, and that He is the source of my purpose. I can draw strength from Him, and through Him celebrate and serve my clients with more joy and humility than I have on my own. I can go about my daily tasks knowing that I do them not for the sake of crowding the hours of my day, but to serve the One who rescued me. I can be free.

The following is a prayer that was shared with me this summer. I thought it was cool when I first read it, but now I find myself connecting with it even more. I'm hoping you will be able to find courage in it as I have.

Disturb us, Lord, when We are too well pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we have dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wider seas Where storms will show your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back The horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future In strength, courage, hope, and love. - Sir Frances Drake (italics added by yours truly :) )

I love weddings, and I am excited for my wedding season to start, but this time  it's not because my work defines me. It's because I want to know and be like my Savior, and He has chosen this journey and this profession to shape me into His likeness. I can't wait to see what He has planned.