I heard her talking about me. She didn’t know I was in the bathroom stall behind her. I was stuck…glued to a breast pump because I was working and had a new baby at home. I remember the grit in her voice and the words that pierced my heart like literal daggers. “I mean…her pictures aren’t even that good.” *Enter the initial stabbing wound. “My friend said she was awful to work with…what a disaster.” *Go ahead and hurriedly remove that serrated edge from my literal gut, ma’am. ” And her husband is a pharmacist…its not like she NEEDS the money anyway. She’s just being greedy with her pricing…what a joke.” *This is the part where fire and fury and the actual Holy Spirit came in because she deserved all my wrath but the Lord let me take too long detaching that pump that by the I opened the stall door she was walking out. We were in a big, beautiful hotel lobby for a bridal show and I couldn’t just sit in my feelings, I had brides to talk to. But y’all….I was gutted. I remember walking slowly back into that stall, picturing her face because I knew who she was, and falling into a puddle of tears right on that cold, hard floor. It hurt. It was a brutal beatdown that consisted of less than 50 words and 4 minutes but I will never forget it. I spent years….and I mean YEARS trying to shake those words from my head but they spent years…and I mean YEARS pounding me over and over and over again. I let those words steal from me over and over again. They stole my time by requiring me say yes to every weekend, weeknight, and holiday that someone wanted to hire me because that was the only way to prove myself successful…but it cost me saying no to my family. They stole my self-esteem because if I was a better photographer I’d be making as much as my husband and he wouldn’t have to worry about me “pulling my weight around here.” And like a leaky faucet that you hear getting louder and louder and louder the longer its there, those words stole my confidence and my identity because I put my self-worth in the hands of my clients and was devastated every time anyone chose someone else over me. What a mess that stupid January day made of my heart. But years later…I’ve recovered. I took 2017 to prepare to lay down my career as a wedding photographer so that when I was finished with the last beautiful couple on my calendar 9one year ago today actually!), I would know I gave it every thing I had in me and I had done so in a way that was pleasing to the Lord. When I decided to only shoot portraits, I did so on a schedule that fit both my clients AND my family…and I should have never been surprised that my people care about me too so the appreciation for my TIME has been the most precious gift I could have received. When I started my business with Young Living I was literally blown away by the amount of people who trusted me and helped me rebuild my identity as a SOMEONE…instead of just a SOMETHING. The members on my team have breathed life into areas in my business minded brain that I thought were long gone. I’ve been able to combat the words of that fiery red head that echoed in the walls of that bathroom, with words that uplift and encourage and motivate and remind women over and over and over again that the work of their hands is VALUABLE…no matter what it is. I have women on my team who are paying their mortgage with their oils business. I have women on my team who wanted to join a tribe who would appreciate them and remind them that they can change the whole world. I have women who are finding freedom in their wellness journey because nothing else has worked until now. I have been able to lean into my ever loving husband who has fought me for years over how I see myself. This man is the biggest champion for women I know and when I’m too tired to fight for me…he fights for me. So friend, what are you fighting for today…and how can I help?