Hello faithful reader!
We just finished our 2014 season and although we had our challenges it was an absolutely amazing and inspiring year. We literally get the best Clients and we are so thankful for every step of the journey The Lord has had us on this year. Here are some of our thoughts from 2014 that have inspired vision for 2015.
Several months ago Ashleigh and I began feeling stirred up to begin seeing things change in our business. We didn’t know it at the time but looking back we can see it was God beginning to shape the direction for where we were going. Except I don’t know about you but when I don’t have the answers to something- when I don’t have completion- I begin to freak out.
It was about two to four months of freaking out before realizing a key theme that God has really changed my life with: God allows a tension, an anxiety, a discomfort to push us away from the comfortable and into Him and His plans for our lives. This isn’t where we want to go. We like to maintain control and be settled. But I was in a place where no matter what I tried I couldn’t satisfy the deep gnawing in my heart. I had lost the passion in my life for what I was doing and I didn’t know how to get it back. I began feeling really personally and artistically restless and anxious. What were our goals? What was our vision for not only our business but our personal lives? We were so busy telling other people’s stories that we weren’t living good stories ourselves. It was the beginning of our 2014 wedding season and it felt like the worst possible time to be having emotional issues. But it was in this place where God began planting small seeds in our hearts in how to follow Him.
I began feeling personally convicted that I was booking weddings out of the fear of what would happen if I didn’t book them. Instead of letting my love for film, people, and leaving a legacy drive me I allowed the fear of the unknown to be the driving motivator behind the business. I wasn’t leaving any time for us to simply breathe between booking, shooting, editing, delivering, emailing, new projects, etc. I was running us thin with no strategy except to keep booking and keep working.
It was those moments of conviction where He showed me how desperately I needed Him. The layers of false-idol worship around my heart were being exposed. Jesus is always after our hearts and He began doing a profound work in a very short period of time. He began showing me how deeply my performance and my identity were intertwined and how I needed to let go of my perfectionism and cling tightly to Him.
Through painful conversation I began letting Ashleigh have a voice in how many bookings we were taking and how far apart we were booking. At that time we booked almost everything. Now we were going to book only 20 weddings a year which is about 8-10 less than normal. We were also going to leave 10-14 days between weddings. We would also not book Sunday weddings unless it was a friend whose wedding we really wanted. We were going to trust The Lord that He would bring the right Clients to us that fit those specific criteria.
We had to turn away A LOT of Clients for 2015 and it was really painful for me. We are turning away guaranteed income, are we crazy? We are self-employed, shouldn’t we be trying to get as much work as we possibly can?
Underneath all of these questions was a larger question- is our God one who can be trusted? If He is everything He says He is, and His Word is final, whether we succeed or fail in this world, who can thwart His Will?
After a lot of conversation about our business we realized these things that we want to take into 2015:
God is generous so we can be generous:
God’s blessings aren’t only for His children; they are for everyone His children come into contact with. Our business is going to be a place where we desire to bless people with extraordinary generosity with our time, talent, and treasure. This includes giving away as much money as we can to organizations and people who are on the ground bringing the Kingdom of God into their spheres. We personally can’t be everywhere doing everything; but we can pour resources and be a sending agent to missionaries, to Christ-exalting churches, to non-profits who are bringing justice for the abused and neglected in Christ’s name, to church planters, etc.
Cut back our work load in order to make more time for creative space:
After cutting back our wedding work load I began feeling stirred towards passion projects. When was the last time I grabbed a camera and a group of people and created something awesome? I can’t even remember. 2015 will be a year of intentional rest where we spend time dreaming about the future and where the daily grind isn’t stealing time away from inspiration. Many of the visions for next year simply came from being still and asking God for His heart for this. We have a desire to collaborate with more artists; we want to learn their stories and see how we can help express their lives to another audience. We want to focus time into creative projects that tell stories about local artists. We also want to blog more in order to give behind the scenes thoughts and help build community around common struggles; you aren’t alone with whatever you are carrying.
Form strategies in order to do things that we have felt clear burdens for:
When I am not filming and editing and running our business I am thinking of how to develop disciples. How can I be a part of God’s plan to raise up Godly men who will cling to Jesus and desire to desperately know Him. I have felt more growth personally as a Christian as I’ve grappled with The Great Commission. We want to leave a legacy of men stronger than before our interactions. We want to see men love their wives, love their communities, love the Gospel, and be challenged and encouraged to put their sin to death and follow Christ.
It has been so scary and refreshing to see that God is moving us in a direction that is no longer in our hands. But we believe that our success is found in His “Well done, good and faithful servant,” and not in the perceptions of what makes a “successful business.” We hope you will join us for journey.