The Bigger Picture

I am putting out this editor’s letter as all of our lives are starting to kick back into full speed. Getting back to the day-to-day bustle is going to be exciting as well as overwhelming for many.

The majority of our models, contributors, photographers, graphic designers, and editors are facing major life-altering events such as death in the family, moving, starting new jobs, having babies, etc. I am personally going into a second wrist surgery and lengthy recovery, and because of this, we have collectively decided to take a fall-winter hiatus. While we will be putting out several articles online, the magazine itself will not be printed.

When I first suggested a hiatus, the collective reaction was disbelief, then relief. One of the models asked, “Will that hurt the magazine?” and I responded without really thinking, “Putting people first should never take a backseat.” It was only after I said it that I realized I deeply meant it in a way I hadn’t before April. Not just for other’s sake, but for myself as well. Before April (which was when my husband went into emergency surgery and was in the hospital) I likely wouldn’t have made that choice. I would’ve stressed about deadlines, found fill-ins, and worked through to meet the goal. But something shifted in me during my husband’s hospitalization and recovery. It prepared me for facing the rest of the year, this decision, facing another surgery and recovery for myself, and putting people ahead of deadlines or revenue.

In this time of re-grouping, my hope is that we remember to stay focused on people. We and family members, of course, but also strangers we encounter. Many people are tackling struggles they’ve never had before; some are still struggling with the same issues, but in a bigger way. While we typically can’t truly solve issues for other people, we can keep in mind that a kind word can soothe the soul. A sweet gesture, such as paying for someone’s gas, can sometimes be the difference between them having money for food or not. It is so easy to get caught in our own issues that we lose sight of the bigger picture. I was the poster woman for such a thing, but not anymore.

The picture I chose to include for this editor’s letter is of me trying to find a good position against this tree. I likely would’ve been smiling and it would’ve been great, except for the fact that I couldn’t find a solid place to stand that didn’t include lots of bugs. Alexis took these of me, and this shoot ended up in us laughing at how silly it was the length we’d go to just to get that perfect picture. We abandoned that particular location soon after. However, in fun, and in following with the emotion of this letter, I am giving myself a break. I didn’t need the best, most perfect picture for this letter. I think this one says it all.

While responsibilities are important, and deadlines are there for a reason, grace and mercy are also. Everything doesn’t always have to be perfectly in place. My wish is that we all lead with grace and mercy during this major season of change. (This copy is unedited, so show mercy to me first 😉

God bless.

As seen in Modern Grace Magazine