I have calmed and quieted my soul

The Summer is Over

I wonder if I’m the only one to say (besides teachers) that I was NOT ready for school to start. Well, let me rephrase that. I wasn’t ready for school to start until the last week of the summer holidays. My kids bickered non-stop, and, regardless of my best efforts, they were bored out of their minds. Their constant demands to entertain them were starting to wear thin. I was starting to feel it in my soul. Despite that last week though, we had an amazing summer!

I’ve been a member of the National Trust of Scotland and Historic Scotland for almost a year now. These memberships (#notsponsored) allow you to go into pretty much any historical site without paying the admission fee, which is amazing – especially if you have kids that love sightseeing! They LOVE visiting old buildings and will often try to get me to explore the whole thing AGAIN even as we are literally walking through the door to the castle, building, church, whatever it may be. They’re odd but it’s great that they love their Scottish heritage.

Over the summer though, I realised that many of the things I was trying to accomplish in my normal ‘school time’ life simply had to stop…for now. I still kept up my running because my body won’t train for a half marathon by itself and I kept making donuts because, well, why wouldn’t I?! (In case you didn’t know, I sell donuts.) However, some of the other things I worked towards like consistent blogging or my business just had to be moved to the side for a few weeks to allow other things in.

I knew that if I tried to focus on everything all at once with the same amount of gusto as before that I would burn out. “Jack of all trades. Master of none.”…as the saying goes. For this point in my life (even for that short amount of time like the summer holidays) I knew that these words by the biblical King David were the most important: “I have calmed and quieted my soul.” (Psalm 131:2)

Getting burnt out easily is a problem I struggle with. I hate admitting that but it’s something I’ve recognised about myself. I’m a perfectionist and a very self-driven person. If you put those two things together you end up with someone who constantly feels like they’ve failed if they aren’t always achieving – I wouldn’t change this attribute completely because I genuinely love striving to accomplish but I would love to learn how to pace myself. Something I am just working on now.

Busy-ness is not a badge of honour

Busy-ness is not a badge of honour. In fact, it’s the worst kind of badge because it often means that your soul is not quiet and calm. It’s the complete opposite! When I’m busy I am stressed; I leave people in the dust; I am out of control.

I’m learning to recognise the symptoms of an overloaded schedule so that when my soul starts feeling fit to burst I can choose to set things aside for that season. That season might just be a day or a week or longer. Seasons sometimes change quickly.

The past couple of weeks we all thought that autumn had settled into north-east Scotland. There’s been a slight chill in the air; we’ve alternated short-sleeve shirts with hoodies; my general outlook on life has been upbeat because I really love fall. Really, really love it. But then a heatwave struck and the past couple of days have felt like summer. The weather is never consistent and life is just the same.

Over the summer I chose to focus on time with my kids partly because I wanted to spend time with them and also partly because I didn’t want to waste my investment on those membership cards! But mostly to spend time with my kids. We went to a lot of amazing places and did a lot of amazing things. However, it did mean that I had to take time off from other things. Sometimes you just have to. You have to say no in order to say yes to something better. But now that the kids are back to school I can let those other things right back in.

Maybe that speaks right to your heart. What makes your soul calm and quiet might look completely different to what makes mine. That verse never said LIFE would be calm and quiet…sometimes I wish that were the case. It says your SOUL will be calm and quiet. What do you need to do or take time away from to make sure that deep down YOU feel calm and quiet in a world that completely screams otherwise?

Then just do it. You not saying goodbye forever – just see you later.

Real Women Portraits – Paula

I loved my time with Paula! She’s been my go to makeup artist for a while now for a bunch of Real Women Portraits (stay tuned for some exciting news about this!). She always talked about how uncomfortable and unphotogenic she was in front of the camera. In fact, she hates photos of herself! She’s beautiful so how could that be true? However, I do understand that the majority of women don’t know how to pose themselves in flattering and natural ways so we end up hating how we look in photos. Totally get it. So when I put a model call out for some real women for my portrait projects I was surprised and delighted that Paula volunteered!

I love her portraits and she loves them too. When someone tells you that they finally get to see themselves how others see them and that they never thought they’d see themselves this way, it’s the highest compliment I can receive. I want women to see how truly beautiful they are. I can’t wait to work with many more women!

If you are interested in your our portraits click the link here.


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