Welcome to the new year. New beginnings. New reasons to smile. New goals. New failures. New adventures.
I love winter. I love the snow. I love the pace. I love the time I have to get organized for the new year. That’s quite a process, mind you. I’m still staring at one of my decorated, unlit Christmas trees.
January has always been a time for reflection, organization, cleaning, etc. But the events of last year’s first month changed my future Januaries forever.
Like many who own their own business, large or small, I felt liked I worked non-stop. There was no separation between home life and work life. As a mother to 3, I constantly felt the pull on my heart as the pull to my office sucked me in, day after day and night after night. I was feeling extremely convicted over this for the past few years. I couldn’t even justify to myself why I was working so hard on a business that I didn’t even need to have. I just…loved it. Still do. But something changed. I finally listened to that voice beckoning me to slow down and restructure. The voice that told me over and over to check my priorities. But it took a horrible accident to make me listen.
January 18, 2014. As many of you already know, our son (then age 6) took a terrible fall over our banister from our top floor, landing head first on hardwood floor an entire level down. It was the single, most scary point I have ever had in my life. I didn’t even realize the magnitude of his injuries until we were under the lights in the ER. I can’t even look back at the pictures without crying. He had incurred multiple orbital fractures, that kept his face black and blue for MONTHS.
I will forever praise God that he didn’t sustain any brain damage, not even a slight concussion. No surgery was needed. And he slowly, slowly healed on his own. There is not one ounce of lasting damage. He’s as sharp and creative as ever!
But…it changed me.
January 28, 2014. Our nightmare with our little guy doesn’t even compare to the nightmare my dear friend has lived since this horrible day. Her son, Justin Back, a 2013 high school graduate (and one of my super cool senior clients) was senselessly murdered. This changed our small community. It shook us. And it still does.
Priorities. Mine got a complete makeover.
I announced last spring that JPBP was transitioning to seniors and weddings only. I knew I couldn’t and shouldn’t keep up the same scattered pace that I was. This transition is now almost complete. I am still working to finish some of my adorable little clients living out their first year of life. I am so thankful for the sweet clients and families I’ve gotten to know over the years. By no means does this transition diminish my level of dedication. I’m 100% dedicated to making sure I create images and art that our clients will treasure forever. I do love this job.
I always knew that each day we get with our families is a gift, but knowing it and LIVING it are two different things. Now, I live it. I’m so thankful to my Savior for creating in me a new heart and showing me that life isn’t about being successful in career, but loving others.
If you want to know more about Justin Back and how you can help honor his legacy, visit my friend, Sandy’s blog at www.rememberingjustin.net.
And here’s a photo of our little guy, Carson. Months after his accident and the bruising had finally disappeared.