Friday, July 15, 2011

Teach Me To Number My Days, Part 1

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 NIV

These words are what inspired Revive band to write the song, "Blink," that inspired the name of my blog, and inspired me to take a step of faith to do more with my passion for photography. If you haven't listened to the song yet, please scroll down to the bottom of my blog and listen!

I remember driving to work one morning last December, listening to this song for maybe the 20th time, and it was as if my brain was really hearing it for the first time. I was stressed about my short deadline for my SOAR application video, and I didn't have a firm plan for how it would go. I had my two kiddos in the car, taking them to day care, so that someone else could raise them for me. After dropping them off, I would go to my office to work for someone else's mission and vision for anywhere between 8 and 10 hours, go home and microwave some dinner, pretend to have quality time with my family, escape my reality by reading fiction, watch The Daily Show, pass out, then rinse and repeat.

As I let the words of the song wash over me that morning, I realized for the first time in a long time how unhappy I was.

Teach me to number my days
And count every moment
Before it slips away
Take in all the colors
Before they fade to gray

I don't want to miss
Even just a second
More of this

It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life?

It happens in a blink
It happens in a blink

When it's all said and done
No one remembers
How far we have run
The only thing that matters
Is how we have loved

It happens in a blink (x4)

Slow down
Slow down
Before today becomes our yesterday...

I was missing so much! Most of all, missing my children. There is no way to regain the time I've already lost with them. Cameron is 6, going on 10, and Spencer is now 4, but should still be 2. Here's one I took of of them from last fall, at the Markley Family Farm.

Where has the time gone?! And what in the world am I doing in my career? Do I even really have a career, or am I just working? How did I get to where I am right now? Am I happy? I don't know anymore. But I am generally a happy person! I firmly believe in waking up in the morning and choosing your attitude - a good attitude! And invoking grace in the face of others' bad behavior. You know, killing 'em with kindness. Maybe even trying out what my sister suggested, "faking 'til I feel it."

But there were so many things not going right, not feeling right. I've asked myself - is it just that the grass is greener elsewhere? Or is there something better out there for me? Is it worth the risk to find it? My answer was and is absolutely yes, there is something better out there, and yes, it is worth the risk. But how big of a risk? And at what ultimate cost? What is my vision for my life? For my children's lives?

Not really being that big a fan of risk-taking without allowing myself an out, and definitely being an over-achiever, I set out in January to find my happiness and define my new vision while still holding down the fort (full-time job, mom of the year, serving in two ministry teams at my church, being the friend to others that I want and need to have myself, multiple Bible studies and small groups). What I think I've worked myself into is a new shade of crazy, with matching earrings. I'm sure as my friends and family, you've seen several shades of crazy on me, but this one... it's special. You would think I learned after ending up in the hospital last October, not to burn my candle at both ends, but I guess it's hard to break old habits. Anyway, I'm not sure that this crazy is a bad crazy - only time will tell.

And time is what I've been given. Lots of time. Four weeks ago, my father-in-law came to me and gave me the offer of a lifetime (so far, at least): take 6 months off, on him. Enjoy the boys, rest, relax, figure out what my next step is. He told me several things that I'd like to remember.

"Life is both too short and too long to be unhappy. And if you're staying in a job that makes you unhappy because of money, I'd like to help you with that. I'm not a rich man, but I'm a blessed man. You're my family, and we take care of our family. This will be your inheritance anyway one day, and I'd rather be able to see you enjoy it while I'm alive! Figure out what your next step is! If it's photography, and you need a financial backer, you know who to come ask. If you need more time, let me know. Honor me, and accept this."

Would you say no? I didn't. I took that ball and ran it into the end zone, did my happy dance, pointed up to heaven and thanked the Lord for blessing me. Even though I love what I do at work, love working with the vast majority of my 500+ co-workers and LOVE serving my community, I was unhappy at work. Let's just call it personality issues. So, the next week, I turned in my two-weeks' notice with an option for more time to wrap up projects. We agreed to five weeks. I have two weeks left. It is such a bittersweet parting. There are so many people who I've spent the past 6 years and I'll miss living my life with.

But I am very excited to see what is next for me, and to get to spend more time with my awesome children. I'll be keeping Spencer at home with me and walking Cameron to and from school every day. I'll be able to spend time with friends during the day, take a class or two, build my photography business (maybe?), finish projects I've started, start new projects, and find what makes me happy.

I'm not sure that what I'm planning on doing is really slowing down - as the song instructs - but I think it's a step in the right direction.

I plan to write more on learning to number my days, later on, hence the "Part 1" of the title. I plan to post the results of an overdue photography exercise this weekend. Thanks for reading.

Love, Heather


  1. Love this and love you. Girl... I believe In you. God had good plans for you. Proverbs 3:5-8. Amp.

  2. "Life is both too short and too long to be unhappy." Such wise words! I'm so happy for you & Matt and the boys.