Unless you follow us on Instagram, you may not know that I recently shared a personal update on my new season of life. My new era, if you will.

Specifically, last Wednesday, I left my job of 17 yrs and chosen profession of the last 19 yrs to pursue the work that Miranda and I are doing with Harmonie House Images full time. I’ve never wanted to do something so badly and been so terrified to do it at the same time.

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…”

-Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

(Apologizing now for the length of this post. I apparently had A LOT of words and feels about it…)

How Did I Get Here?

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a goal setter, a planner, and a to-do-list-checker-offer. I’m a Type A, structure and routine-loving control-freak. Terms like “spontaneous”, and “go with the flow,” and “let’s just see what happens” are not really in my vocabulary. And yet, time and time again, I am called to release control and move through life with an open-handed posture.

My life is filled with a things that I decided to do, made a plan to do them, and then did them. I did them because I could or because I said I was would. Many times I accomplished these goals without stopping consider whether I might actually like to do them or whether they were actually a good fit for my gifts, personality, or inline with what I truly desired. When I make a goal, I am laser focused on that goal. Sometimes that is a good thing that reaps rewards and fulfillment. Sometimes, though, I lose sight of the big picture in the process simply in the name of completing the goal.

In short, my M.O. is typically to make my own plans then ask God to bless them after the fact.

My academic career is certainly one of these examples. My years at Ole Miss were some of the best years of my life. But, in hindsight, I can see that my choice of majors and course work put my creative side in the back seat in the pursuit of a “more stable” or “lucrative” career path. Here’s the rundown of how that went:

  • Freshman year – Entered as an accounting major but minoring in music/voice despite my love for it and scholarship opportunities. My long-term plan was as follows: Masters in 5 yrs, then Law School, then practice as tax attorney (#inserteyerollhere – I read The Firm by John Grisham my senior year of high school).
  • Sophomore year – I gave into creative longings and switched to music/voice major (all the while plagued with the question- “How am I going to make money with this?”)
  • Junior year – Learned that I could become a speech pathologist and specialize in the treatment of voice disorders while working along side a laryngologist. I just had to earn a Master’s degree in speech pathology.

This was the answer to that question that plagued me! I could parlay my musical/voice training into a stable, predictable, steady paycheck-providing medical career. It was the best of both worlds – a marriage of art and science! So…new plan:

  • Master’s degree in speech pathology – Check!
  • Pass boards- Check!
  • Sought-after voice/upper airway disorders fellowship – Check!
  • Land job in a premiere clinic in major city – Check!

The Struggle

Goal accomplished, career launched! I initially enjoyed the clinical work. I enjoyed helping people and the impact I had in my patients’ lives. I enjoyed growing our program. And I loved that I was doing what I said I was going to do.

Here’s the problem, though, and I made that decision at 20 yo. I don’t know about you, but I DID NOT know myself as well as I thought I did 20 yrs ago. I understand things about myself now – my emotional needs, my longings, my limitations – that 20 yo me would have rolled her eyes at and considered to be “in the way” of a “greater” pursuit.

In a nutshell, there are two critical things I’ve learned about myself in the last 10 or so years:

  • I’m an Enneagram 8 (Learn more about the Enneagram here. The descriptions of 8’s is, honestly, such an accurate picture of my motivations, strengths, and weaknesses that I’m shocked to not see a picture of my face included on the web page.)
  • I’m an introvert

As an Enneagram 8, at my best I can “have a resourceful, ‘can-do’ attitude as well as a steady inner drive” allowing me to “take the initiative and make things happen.” My toxic trait though? It’s the flip side of that – the tendency to push myself too hard to the point of severe stress, ignoring my own emotional needs, physical problems, and limitations. I fixate on what I “can do” because I’m strong enough and self-reliant enough to do it. Go big or go home! But, as I continue to learn, just because I can do it doesn’t mean I should do it.

Add introversion (ie getting my energy from being alone, doing quiet things, and having plenty of down time) to that and you can see where we are going here, right?

Personality type with a tendency to push itself too hard ignoring its own needs


Introversion requiring high amounts alone time


Job where someone new needs you to care for them every 30-60 min x 40 hrs/week



And that’s what happened. I burned out. I burned out hard…to the point that it started to take a toll on my physical and mental health, my marriage, and my friendships.

So in February 2020, I transitioned from full-time to part-time, which helped a lot. Then the world shut down, which helped more. During lockdown in early 2020, my husband repeatedly commented that I was more joyful than he had seen in years. I could breathe again. I was refreshed and rejuvenated. I started to dream and think creatively again. It was during that time that Miranda and I were talking while hiking and the idea of Harmonie House Images was born.

(Fun fact, it was the need for a creative outlet, outside of my clinical world and the demands of life as an adult with job trying to do all the things, that actually led me to pick up a camera 14 yrs ago.)

What I Did Not Expect

When Harmonie House launched in July 2022, I knew that I would ultimately leave my “day job” to focus on this and cultivate the pace of life I craved. I just didn’t know when that would be. For some reason, I also did not expect that the decision about when to leave would be a difficult one.

My heart wanted it more than anything. My husband and I financially prepared for it. Miranda and I were growing something beautiful. We had more dreams and ideas than we did time. Despite all this, the decision to actually leave was so hard. I needed the change. I wanted the slower pace. I craved a creatively fulfilling life. I was simply terrified to volitionally give up the stability and predicability of what I had always known. I assumed that when the time came, I’d be able to easily say good-bye to this career. But, when it came time to pull the trigger, I found:

  • nostalgia for colleagues I would leave behind and patients I enjoyed working with
  • so much fear of the unknown, even though the “known” was slowly crushing me
  • loss of identity wrapped up in a part I had simply gotten used to playing
  • guilt over “wasting” a Master’s degree I worked hard for (never mind the fact I spent almost 20 yrs putting it to use)
  • imposter syndrome – what business do I have starting a new career in my mid-40’s?

My struggle over closing this chapter was filled with tears, stomach aches, sleepless nights, and lots of prayer. Questions constantly swirled in my mind:

  • When is the right time?
  • What if we don’t have enough clients?
  • What if something happens to my husband/his job?
  • Who am I if I’m not this medical professional I’ve worked hard to be?

Yet in the midst of all this angst, the Lord was gentle, kind, and patient with me. He answered my cries in a myriad of ways.

There were encouraging, but not necessarily spiritual, words from both friends and strangers on The ‘Gram…

this framed quote from Lara Casey on my own desk…


…and just “happening” to re-find a note Heather gave me on my 40th birthday. There she reminded me that Julia Child didn’t even learn to cook until she was in her 40’s.

I filled my journal with quotes I heard on podcasts or blogs I read for some other purpose. And, of course, there was actual scripture that kept coming to me from reading, sermons, podcasts, and music. Psalm 16:11, Psalm 84:11, 1 Timothy 6:6-10, and Matthew 7:9-11 are just the tip of the iceberg…

My questions began to make me feel like the main character in that old joke about the drowning man. While waiting for God to save him from a flood, he refused rides from a row boat, a motor boat, and a helicopter as the waters rose higher and higher. He ultimately drowned. When he got to Heaven he asked God why He didn’t rescue him. To which God replied “What do you mean? I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?”

These messages repeatedly asked me to trust Him – with my heart and desires, with my future, and with my provision. He kept saying to me “Keep your eyes on me. I will take care of you.” And one day in September, I just knew it was time. I turned in my resignation the next day. It was time to “pluck up what had been planted.”

It is strange to voluntarily let go of something you worked really hard to achieve…something you set a goal to do in your junior year of undergrad and then did that exact thing. Not many people get to say that they did that. But, for everything there is a season and it was time for this particular season to come to an end.

“To everything there is a season and God is faithful in all of them. Letting go is not easy, but when He says it’s time, you get to exercise faith. We can put everything in His hands and trust His plans, even when we can’t see what’s ahead and even when there are risks and unknowns.”

-Lara casey

Lara Casey has been one of my favorite follows for MANY years. The company she founded, Cultivate What Matters, creates the Powersheets Goal Planner than I have used for years to establish intentional goals for myself and achieve them. Through a hard-fought and prayer-filled struggle, Lara sold that company last year. She reflected on What It Is Like to Sell a Company That You Love in a recent blog post. There she wrote, “Choosing a new path, or making a choice that requires great faith, is almost never easy. Maybe it’s hard to imagine living differently in your current circumstances. Maybe it’s the new pursuit you’ve considered or a season of life that needs closing…Whatever it is specifically for you, what if doing the hard thing, taking a risk, or stepping into the unknown will change everything? What if giving something up will open space for something else…As we’ve long known and explored together, something has to die before something new can grow.”

What This Means for the Future

So what does this mean for the future? For Harmonie House, it means that Miranda and I now collectively have the time to grow this business the way we want to. We can take on more shoots, but have the bandwidth to ensure they are the right shoots for us. It means that we can pursue those projects and collaborations that, until now, have remained dreams sketched out in notebooks and planner pages. It means we can find better rhythms with our schedule and our workflows. It means that working both in our business and on our business no longer have to be crammed into the same two days each week.

For me personally, it means I’m in my New Era. I’m in my era of pursuing what I love and enjoy while also embracing my need for a slower pace and the need for “white space” in my life. Mostly, though, it means daily choosing to trust Him and His plans and with the desires of my heart. It means daily opening my hands and relaxing the fists I’ve clenched around the known path. It means daily surrendering and saying “Lord, I have this desire. Do with it what You will…”

And it means more days at work with my dearest friend, looking like this: