Hi friends. ❤️
First, I hope you are well. I hope you are well physically. And, I hope you are taking care of yourself and your families mentally and emotionally. This is a time. I can’t even bring myself to say “this is a hard time, difficult time, challenging time” because none of those words do this season of life any justice. They don’t even come close. I have been through the gamut of emotions over the past few weeks. My husband is in the trenches. As a medical professional whom is consumed with facts, he has been absorbing and reading and sitting in on meetings and conversations regarding our environments and what needs to happen next. This morning, I had to just stop listening for a bit. I couldn’t hold back tears and I didn’t want to sit in that space right now. I needed a mental health break. This is scary.
I’ve watched your posts, seen your answers to stories across Instagram, read your emails, and have tried to respond to each of your DMs and Facebook private messages. We are all struggling to the height of our ability right now- and, for a thousand different reasons.
I feel graced by the position that I am in. But, the same position that has blessed me and my family for over 15 years is both a blessing and one of my greatest challenges today. I have been so fortunate to live in a space where my contacts, friends, clients, and communication are vastly spread out in direction and need. I am a wedding photographer. In this space, many of you that I am touched by are young, engaged couples focused on wedding planning, your career, and your four-legged babies. I am a family and newborn photographer. Here, I serve families of all sizes and backgrounds with children that are newborns up through the college age and even grandparents wanting to capture images of their extended family during a reunion. I am a mentor and have the gifts of a loving and large tribe of photographers and small business owners whom everyday navigate the challenges of running a small business, juggling small business with family and self needs, and understanding our place and gifts in this every competitive world. And, I am a mom with a health and fitness background whom homeschooled before our move to Knoxville. My friends and followers in this space are focused on healthy families with children, getting food on the table and doing the best they can for themselves and their children.
Over the past week and as our normal routines and feelings of safety came crashing down around us, I have felt entirely useless to anyone outside of my immediate family. I have come to this computer 100 times to reach out to each of you, to let you know that I am here in whatever capacity I can be, and to let you know that I am praying for the health and safety of each of you. But, each time I began to write I felt like it wasn’t enough. I feel like I can do more than just pray. But, I have not been certain what I could possible do- at a distance.
Last night I prayed hard, to tears I prayed for some answers to how I could be part of the solution for so many of you across different seasons on your life. And, transparently, I still don’t know the bigger picture here. But, I know I can start somewhere. So, here is where I am:
In between our family and homeschooling moments (please be patient with me, family is first here… and, I hope it can be for you as well.) I will be sending out newsletters and changing my style of blog posts to include resources for ::
- my wedding couples that are in the midst of postponing weddings
- our homeschool processes, scheduling, and resources for each of you that are now faced with working at home with school aged children that need your attention
- recipes, arts & crafts, cleaning tips, and home resources for each of you that are spending more time in the home and kitchen than you ever thought possible
- and, I will be attempting a YouTube channel filled with family and adult level workouts that can be done without equipment right in your home
I do not have on rose-colored goggles. I do not have the mentality or belief that this is an ok time in our lives. It is not. It is and will continue to be devastating. But, what I do know is that we each have the opportunity to spin our focus and faith in a way of positivity, compassion, caring, and joy. We may have to look harder to find it, but we can power through the thoughts in our heads to find the peace that will mold this piece of history and give our children the strength to battle with the unexpected.
I was gifted a moment yesterday. It was a huge turning point for me. Keenan Crew Seven, only three years old, reminding me that we can help, we do not have to sit helpless. No matter the magnitude of our action, any movement toward the love of another is an action toward the solution. If you have not had the chance to see my social media post from yesterday::
A little back story on this image. It isn’t my typical type of post. And, in all transparency I’ve been anxious to post anything over the last few days. But, today as we spoke in our home openly about the current situation, the reasons our children were not allowed to have play dates or go to the park, and our genuine fears as we look into the upcoming days, our youngest began to cry. As any parent would do, we asked her what brought her to her tears in an effort to calm her sweet Spirit. She simply took my hand and said, “I’m just sad Mommy. I’m sad for all of the children and the mommies and the daddies. I want them to be healthy again.” Here, in her words, I found compassion- not fear. From the heart of a three year old, I was floored. We chose to pray together. And, she wanted to hold the earth. 💚
This is a difficult and devastating time for our neighbors, our country, our worldly community. The environment is fluid and changing moment to moment. Nobody can see what lies ahead. It is scary. There are no two ways about that. But, we do have the ability to “hold the world.” We do have the power to focus our thoughts, to love hard, to act responsibly, to show kindness and compassion. These major changes will be a part of our children for the remainder of their lives. We now have the ability to teach our children, not by words, but by actions. Be strong friends. Do good. Be good. And, look for joy. .
We are all in this together. We are loving you and praying for our communities large and small.
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If you are not subscribed to my newsletters and would like to receive them, please subscribe here. You can unsubscribe at any time. And, if you have recipes or family quarantine activities or crafts to share or are a small business offering help or resource to others in this time of need please email me. I would love to include as much help for small business and families in these newsletters and posts as possible.
I have used the hashtags #wevegotthis and #togetherisbetter for years. I had no idea the magnitude of this until this week. I am here for you. Please let me know how I can help you.
With Grit & Grace~
Sarah Keenan, photographer