Outer Banks North Carolina - My Pursuit Retreat Takeaways


It has been a whirlwind for us these last few weeks, to say the least! Stephen went to a convention in Minnesota, came home and then we hosted the Vivify Workshop in the Bay Area. From there we went to a marriage retreat in Chico, then that night we packed up for our destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. After returning home for a few days, I jumped onto another airplane off to the East Coast for the annual Pursuit Retreat in North Carolina. While sometimes back to back travel can be exhausting, we are so thankful for this job that allows us to travel not only for work but amazing retreats and getaways like I was able to do last week.

I'm still very much in the processing phase about the retreat and hope to be sharing more in the future about what God did and the direction I feel like we're moving our business. This was my fourth Pursuit Retreat Conference and every year I'm blown away by the deep friendships and connections that are always made in the creative industry. Pursuit Community is a global community of Entrepreneur women following after God to build profitable businesses and purpose-filled homes. Karen, the founder is one of our good friends and I so appreciate her heart for creating this amazing space and place for women to connect annually. We have connected with her and her amazing family a few years ago when we documented the Pursuit Conference back in Rome Georgia, and then later captured her own personal Pursuit story in Oregon.

This year's conference took place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and we rented a huge beach house that fit over 60 women right next to the ocean. My breakfast view every morning was the waves crashing up against the sand. It was breathtaking! If I'm being totally honest, right before I left for the conference, I was super hesitant. We had just been traveling SO much and I was getting over feeling sick. I honestly just wanted to stay home and stay in bed for a week. But once I got there, I was so thankful I chose into this trip! I roomed with my good friend and past bride Brittney. She lives in Minnesota so our time together is few and far between. Her and her hubby are also a husband and wife photo and video team and also the friends we had travel out with us to Panama to shoot Stephen's sister's wedding! We joke that we're such a rare breed of people who choose to juggle both photo and video professions side by side, so we have to stick together haha! In all seriousness, we had some amazing roomie talk and I'm so thankful for people like her and Caleb that get what life looks like on a day to day basis.

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm still processing my takeaways but here are four things I know I took away this past week.

  1. Reset - Mary Marantz a top-notch photographer in our industry asked us to pause and ask God a word for our week. The word that immediately came to mind for me was rest and re-set. After a very full, amazing 2017 wedding season, I feel like we are now heading into a season of resetting, resting and refocusing. I feel like more than ever we have big goals and dreams for 2018 and I'm excited to start implementing them.
  2. Busy Work vs. Kingdom Work - We truly believe that our business is built on the foundation of loving and serving people. In our everyday routine, I often lose sight of that. I'll believe the lie that what we're doing doesn't matter and that I'm not enough. God reminded me this week that what we do matters and whenever I hear that lie I need to fight it.
  3. Discipline - This week I realized I need to be more disciplined with my time. Our time is our most powerful possession and I need to steward mine well. I often get distracted or choose really great "fun" things over the work I really need to get done. Because I'm so task-oriented, I'll let those fun things get in the way when really I need to be disciplined to finish my work first and then partake in the fun events. This will help me experience more freedom during our non-work hours because I know I've gotten done what I need to. The result of good discipline is short-term pain for a long-term gain!
  4. Always Choose Retreats - This could be an entirely different blog post that I plan on expanding on in the future, but for now I can't stress enough the importance of investing for your personal well-being and professional success. Attending retreats and conferences in person is one of the best ways you can fast track this. It's true that online courses and community is amazing. I'm so thankful how social media connects people digitally, but I've seen over and over again the power of face to face interatction and taking the step to go somewhere and force yourself to be surrounded with those who are in it just like you are. There is something so powerful about creating space even in your business life to get away and learn alongside others in your industry. I truly believe investing in workshops and retreats at least once a year is vital for a thriving business! This week I had so many one on one conversations and met amazing women that I'm excited to keep cheering on.

A few iPhone photos of some sweet friends I spent time with this week!