living with joy.

Yesterday was one of those long, running-from-one-thing-to-the-next and yet very FUN Monday's.
I had a photography mentor session with a really sweet girl, Ginny,
met up with two of my workshop attendees - Elizabeth & Sadie since I was in their area,
and then a session with an awesome senior in the evening. 
So by the end of the day I was fried..and put myself to bed early as I wasn't really able to function anymore by 9 pm, haha!
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But yesterday I was reminded of something really important, and that is to laugh.
Right now is a really busy season for me with multiple shoots every week and a million other things inbetween,
and yet one of my favorite memories from yesterday was laughing with friends.
And I didn't realize how much I needed that, and what it would do for my soul.

I know for me personally that I tend to put so much pressure on myself and try to say 'yes' to so many things,
but then I can't keep up with everything and slowly watch my editing mountain build 
and wonder how it will all get done.. 
[insert mental image of overwhelmed photographer trying to conquer the day - hair in a top knot, 
who hasn't showered yet and it's 2 pm. hey, we all have those days. :) ]
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But it's now when we need to slow down and embrace living joyfully.
Not just plowing through our Tuesday, but stopping to laugh and smile in life.

I don't know about you, but in 'busy' seasons or weeks I tend to turn into this working robot that isn't always as fun 
to be around because I have so much on my mind.
You may be in college full time, in homeschool right now, a stay at home daughter helping her family and pursuing entrepreneurial interests like me, a mom who is very busy with her littles, and the list goes on.
Yet we can choose to let our daily life drive us and circumstances control our attitude,
 or go through life looking for the rays of sunlight Jesus gives and wrapping our thoughts around those.

This summer I had a brief encounter with a friend I hadn't seen in years, and I'll never forget how she commented 
"life is meant to be lived with joy and not with stress."

"Then I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor (trouble) as a door of hope. 
And she will sing there.."
I have been reading in Hosea recently and this phrase hit me last week - "she will sing there."
Wherever we are at in life right now is our "there," and are we singing "there"?
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[ ^^ my beautiful new sister, Kari! planning to blog their wedding later this month..get excited!!] :)

Yes, there will be very challenging and stressful situations in life -- I'm not denying that or undermining it.
Life is hard...we all have problems, let's be real.
But can we slow ourselves down and focus on living in joy and laughter?
That's really what we all need more of, and where His light will flow through the most!!

what helps you in a 'busy season' to live intentionally?
hope you all are having a beautiful Tuesday!!

Hannah Elise
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  1. Hannah,
    Thank you for this post. Right now I am getting ready to leave on a 2 1/2 week missions trip and I've been so busy with that that I haven't been enjoying the small moments or laughing very much. I really needed it.
    Ruby James

  2. Some very good thoughts, Hannah!

  3. Laughter with you + Sadie was such a highlight for me, too!! It was so great to see you again. :) Thank you so much for sharing this needed reminder, friend, to be joyful through each season of life. #convicting Ahh, you are SUCH a great example of this, Hannah!! Your enthusiasm + joy + passion for the Lord and life continually inspire and bless all around you!! [And I have a feeling that Cowboy + his wife would second that, haha ;) ;)] Also, how awesome is it to write the caption of that photo "my beautiful new SISTER"?! Ahh, super exciting! Love ya and thanks again for your inspiration + joyful patience even when I wasn't super outgoing/joyful yesterday. Have a blessed week, friend! ❤️


please leave a comment -- I would love to hear your thoughts on this post!! :)