Fresh Flowers

Fresh FlowersI’ve been going through a hard season lately. The kind of season where you constantly overwhelmed, tired, and stressed. You feel guilty that you can’t seem to find time to do the laundry, or pick up your house, or meet that friend for coffee. The things pile up and you crave your bed and honestly a “day off” – but what does that even mean?! Sleeping in feels like falling short (Oh! All the things I could have gotten done in that hour!) I joke about how I’m having a midlife crisis – I’m sluggish, stressed, and defeated by everything even though I honestly have no reason to be (which my sweet husband has to keep gently reminding me of because I forget every freaking time):

  • I feel like my Instagram game is floundering yet I have more followers than I ever have.
  • I re-edit (and take a million) picturesย just trying to figure out how to get my “signature style” and I work myself into a frenzy when I feel like non of my pictures have a consistent theme but looking at older posts I can see how far I’ve come.
  • People ask what I am going to do when I get to blog full time and I don’t have an answer for them even though I have a heart busting full of dreams & ideas.

I’ve been saying this season is one of waiting. Of that middle ground. Which it totally is but it is also more than I want to admit – a season of steady, of relearning to Trust, of imperfection. I can’t perfect my photography style over night. I can’t perfect blogging before I make it my full time job. I can’t control all the things and make all the money right away. For so long this place was a place for dreaming. A place for creating and sharing silly moments. A place to be a creative outlet for me- where I could learn, grow, try new things, and experiment. But now – now that I’ve set up things up (and quit my job) to blog full time I feel completely in over my head. I feel the pressure to know it all, be it all, share it all, and push out the consistent perfect content because it is my JOB now not just my HOBBY.

I think that is the biggest thing. I feel this huge pressure to provide for myself. I freaking accidentally started my own business and now I am solely in charge of my salary. Soon (Saturday) the days of clocking in & out and biweekly paychecks with benefits & 501Ks will be in my past. It’s a beautiful & exciting thing yet terrifying all at the same time. I’m learning that I hold on SO VERY TIGHTLY to my standard of living & provision. I’m piling weights on my shoulders and wagging my finger in my face telling me to provide. I say that I Trust the Lord but my body posture and general attitude are showing just the opposite.

You know those lessons you feel like you’ve learned and then BAM, your back at square one learning it all again. The situation is different but your heart is the same. I’m relearning Trust. The Lord has gone before me and lined up so many things. This jump into full-time blogging was made with so many prayers, tears, and conversations. Doors we thought we’re closed opened, debts we thought we would have forever were paid off, and the Lord gave us so much peace. But now, now is the hard part! The jump, the trust. I’m holding onto these last paychecks and looking at my blog asking what I just got myself into.ย It’s all kind of dramatic but so very real in my heart, my mind, and my life. But the Lord is so sweet and all kinds of gracious. He knows there are lessons we need to learn again and again and He won’t give up on us.

Maybe you are going through a similar season – probably not theย same details as what I’m walking though, but maybe you can still relate to relearning a lesson. Maybe you can relate to the pressures to perform, to provide, to perfect. I shared my verse of the year in January and I find myself back here again, holding onto His promises now in May.

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish! – Philippians 1:6

And so I slowed down. I picked fresh lilacs from the bush in my front yard and I brought them inside. I edited and stressed over these silly pictures too long so I just let them be and posted them with a raw confession of my heart. Because sometimes these cathartic writing sprees are good for the soul. And so are fresh flowers. And new mercies.

Fresh FlowersFresh Flowers Fresh Flowers Fresh Flowers Fresh Flowers Fresh Flowers

xoxo, elizabeth

Author: Oak & Oats

  • Sending a hug your way! I feel what you’re going through – in different ways. It’s a type of growing pain and trying to find trust in the midst of so much uncertainty. I’ve been through it so many times and each time I grow frustrated, “Haven’t I learned this yet?” But God has more to teach me. Anyway, I am so excited to see how you grow this place and what big things you are dreaming up! Don’t get discouraged and never tire of doing what is right! I love this space that you have cultivated and now you’ve got me yearning for some lilacs to brighten up this hotel room. Have a blessed week!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you thank you! And that hug is magic! You are such an encouragement to me! I think some of the reason I even wrote this all and posted it was just to show myself that blogging doesn’t need to be perfect all the time!

  • Oh Beth, I can sense the pressure you are feeling in your voice! Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. It is refreshing! You are incredibly talented, authentic and creative. I hope the Lord breathes new life into you as you make this transition.

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so much Laura! Your words brought tears to my eyes! You are a blessing!

  • i can only imagine how overwhelming it can feel to have something go from a “hobby” to your only job… and you alone hold all the responsibility of this new job. i mean, that is super stressful so it is normal for you to be stressing right now – plus, you’re still at your old job this week i think? so that isn’t finished yet and just adds more stress to what you are already feeling. BUT God opened these doors for you and opened the way so that you could do this…. and if that’s all you have, then that is enough! i know it is easy to say “of course i trust God” but then, do we really deep in our heart of hearts trust him if our plans don’t go the way we envisioned at first? it is a tough question to struggle with…. but God made human emotion and he is not surprised by it when you confess these things to him! ๐Ÿ™‚ that is what i keep telling myself because i’ve got similar feelings as you do…. it’s been “easier” to trust him up until now… but when i actually work my last day and then no longer get paychecks…. that is a whole new level of trust!

    • Oak & Oats

      Yep! It is challenging and good all at the same time! Thanks for walking though this with me! It is fun not to quit alone ๐Ÿ˜‰ but for real! You’ve been such an encouragement through this season!

  • I completely understand how you are feeling. Sometimes we all have a bad day… but I feel like I’ve had a bad month. No matter how hard you try, the day just feels so overwhelming. I have found that unplugging (even through I feel I need to spend more time on my blog) has really helped me relax and recenter. June is going to be a new month for both of us! I can feel it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! Unplugging is so good! And giving yourself grace for deadlines (the ones that can have grace; ) )

  • this part right here:
    “I say that I Trust the Lord but my body posture and general attitude are showing just the opposite.

    You know those lessons you feel like youโ€™ve learned and then BAM, your back at square one learning it all again. The situation is different but your heart is the same.”
    YES MA’AM.
    so much yes to this.
    i feel your struggle – and you’er right, a lot of the pressure is coming from yourself – not the pressure of the Lord.
    i’m always reminding myself (and others) that the Lord goes before you – He is walking the path and being a guiding light of hope, discernment, and challenge.
    it’s a hard path, but such a rewarding one.
    you’ve got this beth – and i’m so excited to sit down, face to face, and hear all about these dreams and goals and how the Lord is moving in your own heart.

    and you’re right, these ramblings are good for the soul – and these images, beautiful my friend! it all takes time – and the hardest part of time? the patience it takes to walk within it. <3 you friend.

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much Amy! You are always such an encouragement!

  • It’s good to just write and get everything off your chest. It’s amazing that you’ve made such a leap of faith to begin blogging full time, that’s amazing! I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed and wanting to sleep all day, yet feeling guilty over wanting to do it. That happened to me when I made the big move from PA to TX, I fell into a slump and it took a lot of soul-searching, great friends, and the constant love and support of my fiancรฉ to get me out of it. I know that you can make this work for you and I love these photos! They are gorgeous and full of emotion.

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so so so so much Jess! And thanks about the photos!!! I’m still learning (hens dramatic blog post about it all) but it is fun seeing how I am improving!

  • First of all, you’re gorgeous! I love these photos of you ๐Ÿ™‚ Second of all, I can totally relate to you on feeling like you’re stuck on the middle ground just waiting. I’ve been in this season for several months now and while it can teach us things, it doesn’t mean its any fun! Sending you hugs and prayers Beth!

    Email me if you want to vent or chat more <3 So excited to watch this new journey and chapter of your life unfold!

    • Oak & Oats

      Ah! Thank you so much! You are so sweet and encouraging!!! And we’ll stay in touch! I love talking to you!!!

  • Beth – I know you can do this! Trust that you’re doing the right thing, and that no matter what happens you have people (more than you know) that love and support you!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you thank you!! Ah! This is so very sweet and encouraging!

  • I love posts like these–they’re so real and so relatable!!!!! I also love the way you relate all these pressures and struggles back to God, and you leave us with a reminder to trust fully in him. Thank you for this post, Beth!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much Julie!!!

  • Totally get this! I’ve stopped carrying around my dslr for a little bit and just used my phone. I’m tired of having to “capture” everything.

    • Oak & Oats

      It is good to give your self breaks and distance. I’ve totally taken a couple days off instagram and left my phone at home just to get away!

  • You’re so amazing, girlie! I love hearing your heart and can’t wait to see how the Lord’s going to use you in the next season! <3<3<3<3

    • Oak & Oats

      Ahhhh! Thanks so very much Susannah!

  • I don’t share your same beliefs in God but it is so good to hear how your faith in Him is helping you to live a life with faith and filling it with what makes you happy. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself in this blog post and I can really relate. It is so so difficult to let go of what we can’t control, but I imagine it must be a relief for you to know that God is guiding and supporting you in your journey.
    I love the photos of your lilacs and I think the rawness in the photographs touch me in a way I can’t quite express yet. It’s like you’re letting us see an unguarded piece of yourself which makes it so easy to empathise with you.
    I’m sending positive wishes your way!

    Nicky xx | http://www.curious-journeying.com

  • Praying for you during this time! And so many business owner hugs are being sent your way! I felt similar to what you’ve expressed here when I quit my job to move to a new state, knowing that in that new state I wouldn’t be applying for a new job, I’d be pouring all of my time in to my business to make it grow and (hopefully) flourish. Even knowing that my husband was going to have a job that would continue providing for our needs, and seeing the success I’d already had with my business, it was really scary. It still is scary sometimes. But I know with full certainty that it is where the Lord has put me. He’s been opening amazing doors, several of them different than the ones I initially thought I would walk through. It’s a journey. When we moved and I settled in to work (which I consider the day we finally got internet) it felt like everything and nothing had changed, because in most ways that’s true. You will still write amazing content on this blog. You will still encourage people with your open and encouraging heart. You will still continue getting better at photography. You will still progress and grow and trust just like you have before this became a full time adventure. Only now it’s all the time. Now it might be a bit more of a struggle to be disciplined some days. Now you might start needing people more because of the hours working alone. Now you will come across new decisions. But those things are good and you are as prepared as you can be. The Lord has faithfully brought you to this point; He will not leave you now. xoxo

  • The photos are beautiful, first of all! And thank you for posting this! Being vulnerable is the best thing you can do, it makes others not feel so alone!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you thank you! You are so very sweet and encouraging!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your vulnerability. I quit my full-time job a couple of months ago, not knowing where I was headed and without a concrete plan. I just knew that the Lord wanted me to do something different and use my life for his glory…rather than being miserable day in and day out at a place where I couldn’t use all of the creative ideas that kept flowing into my head. My husband and I have been fortunate enough to make this “break” happen, and I can even see myself blogging full-time. The thing is, it’s scary and I’m not sure I know how to make it work. You are already very much ahead of me in this department! I think the key thing to remember is that God’s in control, and He’ll lead us where He wants us. I have to remember to focus on enjoying this season of life, especially when the world is constantly hounding me about getting a “real” job. No one knows your calling and what moves your heart like you and the Lord, so keep trusting in Him. I know you’ve got this. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jennifer

      P.S. I love this verse…it keeps popping into my mind and seems appropriate for times like these. ๐Ÿ™‚

      “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” (Hebrews 11:8)

      • Oak & Oats

        Thank you so so much! And I love that verse too! Gosh girl! You are such an encouragement to me!

  • Change is scary! I’m in the middle of a similar season– I’m getting married, moving, switching jobs, and adjusting to the military lifestyle– all at once! But I think God uses change to strengthen us. I’ll be praying for you!

    • Oak & Oats

      Oh yes! So much going on at once! Praying for you during this transition!

  • “Because sometimes these cathartic writing sprees are good for the soul. And so are fresh flowers. And new mercies.”
    Loved reading your thoughts and seeing your images. I love vulnerable posts like this! Thank you for sharing!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so much for reading!

  • Thank you for being so raw and honest. I feel ya! My soul is too in a world away. Life is pulling me in so many directions. Today as I drove to work I thought – Sometimes Life Is Not Easy. Living Is Not Easy. But, then I was immediately reminded of a fellow Mommy who just lost her three year old and I felt selfish and thought, “I can’t think these thoughts.” But the truth is these thoughts exist.

    Thank you for sharing. I know you have amazing things ahead.

    http://www.backwardsnhighheels.com

    • Oak & Oats

      Totally! Life is hard sometimes and that’s okay! But there is so much good too if we open our eyes to see it!

  • Megan Denton

    Nothing is better for the soul then picking some fresh flowers. I’m so jealous you have lilacs in your garden!!! See,just when you think you haven’t got it all you get reminded that you certainly have (I don’t even have a garden and that little jar of flowers you making me jealous).

    Onwards and upwards right?!

    Megan || Denton & Lou

    • Oak & Oats

      hahah! Yes! Thanks so much – I do love them! They are ALL over Colorado in the Spring!

  • Beth,
    I admire not only your faith for stepping out to pursue this full time, but all so your honesty and authenticity. It is so refreshing to see someone talk about the things they struggle with in life, as well as the positive parts of life. Thank you for sharing your heart and for sharing about how God is working on your life. You are truly an inspiration to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so so so much Shiloh! These words are so sweet to hear because that is what I strive to be! There is always joy and hope in this world but that doesn’t mean there isn’t pain and struggle. My life isn’t perfect but that is okay! The Lord is faithful!!!

  • Oh my goodness YES *praise hands emoji* I keep saying I need a day off from work but then I never feel productive enough and once I get back to work I feel behind there, it is a never ending cycle.
    Also on the IG front I have been doing the 100 day challenge and chose to take a DSLR photo each day and then want to post in chronological order on IG, it is hard when you don’t have a computer or wifi at all times – however I’m sure I’m the only one to notice this and stress over it when there is no need … oh the struggles of 2016 right?! haha
    PS your lilacs are beautiful, I wish those blooms would last longer – now onto peony season and all the heart eyes!

    • Oak & Oats

      hahah! Yes! I can totally relate!