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January 2016 Archive

Making Things Happen 2016

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MTH Group 2015

Hey friends! Making Things Happen is happening again, and I’m so grateful to be a part of it. Before I give my recap of my last MTH, you can grab your early bird seat here before January 29th and save $1000. Just saying’ – JUMP ON IT.

This past MTH was such a unique experience for me. It was the gut-check I needed since becoming a mama, because the last time I went through MTH I was quite pregnant.

MTH March 2016

To be honest, I was expecting some huge, momentous, life-changing emotion to hit me now that I have a daughter. I was thinking to myself, “I did it! I made it happen. I’m a mama now, so let’s see what I get out of this MTH that will be different from all the others.” Honestly, I shouldn’t have had any expectations. That’s what I tell everyone who goes through MTH : LEAVE your expectations BEHIND and let God say what He wants to say. Period.

MTH Speakers

So after writing and digging and searching and processing, I came away with this: yes, I’m a mama now. I love my daughter so much, and it’s so fun to dream bigger since she’s part of our lives. But more than that, I’m still me. I’m still a daughter of God first, a wife, a mama, a friend, a business owner. My identity has grown to encompass “mama,” but it hasn’t changed. I’m still who I am.

MTH Workbooks

Can I be real for a second? MTH was challenging this time around because I’m a mama. It is much more difficult to wake up early and have my morning routine, my workout schedule, to check things off my list like I always have. It’s hard to do that stuff now because of this tiny person that I love who grows every day and demands so much of my attention. But MTH made me ask myself again: WHAT do I want to make happen?

MTH Nancy Ray

Do I want to make a checklist or a business or a half marathon or ______ happen MORE than I want to make family happen? Heck no. Here are some new things I want to make happen after my last MTH experience:

1. I want to make family memories happen. Camping, visiting Milly’s great grandparents, July 4th in Beaufort, weekly family dinners, days of rest. I want Milly to remember those things – not just “mommy working” all the time.
2. I want to make a healthy lifestyle happen. This takes planning and self discipline. I promise – a healthy lifestyle does not just “happen” for me.
3. I want to make a strong business happen. Nancy Ray Photography is a calling on my life, and I want see growth in my team, growth in my work, growth in the finances of NRP, growth in our mission.
4. I want to make real ministry happen. Since MTH I have joined a women’s small group at my church, and we minister to one another weekly.
5. I want to make time with the Lord happen. Real, get on my knees prayer life. Time reading scripture. Time worshiping him at church and in my home. I want to truly abide with Him daily.

And with that, I felt a huge release at this MTH to simply prioritize. To do what I can with my best effort. Then, to be free. My identity isn’t in what I accomplish – my identity is in the Lord. Everything falls under that umbrella! Yes, Nancy Ray is a speaker, photographer, wife, runner, blogger, mama, etc. But Nancy Ray is first the Lord’s. Period.

MTH 2015 Nancy Ray

I know some of you may be reading and wondering why I’m so Jesus-y, especially since this is a photography blog for crying out loud. All I can say to that is, this is me. My heart has always aimed to give you transparency and truth in the middle of this business, and I hope you see that. And for me, being transparent means sharing Jesus with you, because He is my everything.

Back to MTH… it’s actually not a Christian conference! Ha! It’s a conference created to help you dig deep and create action steps towards what matters most to YOU. Click here and read about it to find out more. It’s changed my life in so many ways, I can’t wait to hear what the spring has in store!

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Making Things Happen

This post originally appeared on The PK Posse.

MTH Fall 2015

In early November of 2015, I had the privilege of attending the Making Things Happen conference in Chapel Hill, NC. Here is a bit of paraphrasing from the event description, because I can’t really say it much better.

This two-day conference, led by Lara Casey, author of Make it Happen, is designed to fire you up and set you on a powerful path. During the conference, led by Lara Casey, attendees dig deep, establish priorities, uncover a purposeful vision for their life and business, set goals, and discover how to make what matters most happen. Making Things Happen was founded on the idea that you have the choice to change your life. It was designed to fire people up to make bold decisions towards their best lives and empower them to step into their fears instead of away from them. Even those who have gone through the Making Things Happen experience have a hard time articulating it, but that’s okay – alums are encouraged to let their actions explain the powerful changes they’ve experienced! 

MTH Lara Casey

The conference was enlightening for me. It helped me figure things out in both my personal and professional life in ways I didn’t even think I needed. It helped me uncover what really matters to me, what matters most. And it gave me the wisdom and clarity to make “it” happen. “It” is something different and personal for everyone. For me, “it” became balance.

I’ve had a little over two months to digest everything I learned, and while I don’t plan to do a big long post about the conference, I do plan to incorporate bits and pieces into my posts here and there.

MTH Breakout Groups

I went to Chapel Hill feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted. I left feeling purposeful and encouraged. I thought I went to figure out what to do in my career. I work from home full-time as a graphic designer and social media strategist for a government contractor out out the NoVA/DC area, which has never been my dream job but has provided a stable income for my family for the past four years. Since giving birth to Preston a year ago, I had come to resent my job for taking time away from Preston. I recently learned that I’ll more than likely be losing my job in the next 6 months or so because the contract I work on was not renewed with the government. It left me terrified and scared about not being able to contribute to our family’s income. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, but after I failed at my first freelance attempt several years ago and went into a bad depression, I’ve been scared to try again. I felt overwhelmed with what to do next. Everything has been piling up — chores, housework, work, fights with Joshua. At the conference, Lara shared a story about one morning when she yelled at her young daughter because she was so stressed out with work, and that was the first point in the conference when I broke down. I’ve done this, I’ve done this more than once. I’ve yelled at my sweet, sweet baby boy, for no reason other than being too stressed to handle whatever the situation was in a positive and intentional way. He never deserved that from me. I’m crying as I type this, because I hate that I’ve done it. I hate that I filled my tank with so much of what doesn’t matter that it took over what does matter.

::deep breath::

I know now that work and business are not my first priority. It’s my family. It’s my husband and my baby. They are my reasons for it all, and I want to make balance happen. I’ve been working on it everyday since leaving the conference, and I’ve already messed up several times. But as I also learned, sometimes your mess becomes your message. And my mess is becoming my message. Somehow, after setting my priority as family and giving myself permission to keep them at #1, everything else has been falling into place. I don’t understand it, and it’s crazy and messy and not totally how I pictured it, but it’s all happening.

Making Things Happen Speakers
I am so grateful to Lara Casey, to my breakout session leaders, and to the new friends I made in those two days for changing my life and giving me perspective and purpose.

Photos by Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography

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