choose your focus

I’ve been teaching Mary photography and it’s an absolute pleasure.

Yes, she’s been following me on photoshoots since she was five years old but now I’m teaching her the ins and outs of ISO, aperture and exposure. “Choose your focus carefully,” I told her, “even a messy room looks beautiful when you focus on the laughing baby.”

Focus matters.

A beautiful photo draws you in, not because you can see everything, but because you can see what is most important. A shift in focus changes everything.

What you focus on determines your life, and when you focus on the good, you create more of it. I know this is true. When I started focusing on the beauty of raising a big family, I began seeing abundance in every mess, lessons in every mistake, laughter in our everyday foibles.

Thank you, thank you, to everyone who answered my survey a few posts back. I took it down because I’ve reached the maximum amount of replies I can gather (w/o paying $99 a month which is the whole mess I’m trying to avoid). If you still want to share your thoughts I’ll type the questions at the end of this post and I’d love to hear from you by email.

You offered so many good ideas. I filled pages of a notebook with topics and questions and future projects.

To be honest, the answers were all over the place. Some want me to go back to the golden era of blogging and sharing our life, some want me to make this site fully about parenting advice; some want me to stop talking about religion, some want me to talk about it more, etc. I’m once again learning the lesson that I can’t please everyone.

So, I’ll simply share what I love, create what feels authentic and meaningful. I’m not very good at being anyone but myself.

I promise to share the good and the bad, but probably more of the good. I have to be careful when I’m talking about older kids. I’m sure you understand from experience with your own children; older kids’ struggles are not like sharing potty training woes and bedtime battles.

That’s been a hard part about selling our parenting course. All the marketing experts insisted we describe every old fight, every sad story, every hard-won lesson. Supposedly, that’s the way you establish yourself as an expert. In truth, we don’t fight very much because what we teach WORKS. Our kids felt frustrated with the rehashing of old battles, “Hey, we have a really happy family, why are you trying to make us look bad?”

Rest assured, we have our problems. EVERYONE has problems. We’ve all heard the idea that if we stacked up our problems next to anyone else’s we’d still choose our own. I know I’d choose mine because they are all wrapped up with the people I love.

And I get it. It’s easy to feel like there are people without normal difficulties. I made a friend on Instagram lately who has one of those over the top home decor/designer clothes/luxury travel accounts. Her life appears ridiculously perfect and people ADORE her. And yet, I know I’d choose my troubles over hers. And YOU would choose your problems over mine.

Sorry, rambling there a bit. I’m trying to say– of course we have problems, and I’ll continue to share what I can. But if the blog sometimes appears too sunshiny and optimistic, please remember, I’m focusing on what I want to grow.

Focus is a gift open to each of us– there will always be mess and chaos, hurt and ugliness; and in the same moment you can breathe life into hope and beauty; let them unfurl into a live you love.

October 21, 2020



  1. Lauren juju

    October 27, 2020

    My almost 14-year-old really wants a camera for Christmas—she has a new interest in photography, and I’d like to help foster this interest, as she has put all indoor sports/activities on hold until spring because of COVID. Is there a certain camera you would recommend for her? Thank you in advance!


      October 30, 2020

      I really love Canon cameras because you also get a beautiful video camera with many of their models. The Rebel T7 gives you a LOT of camera for your money and has enough features to learn amazing skills.

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