The clouds were light and wispy.
We were high up in the mountains.
It was nearing sunset.
What an incredible photo that would make! Can you imagine it?
The sun setting behind the mountains lighting up those clouds in a gorgeous brilliance of color?
Well, saying that you want to get a good photo of the sunset in the mountains and actually getting to a place where you can take said photo of a sunset in the mountains are two completely different things! Yet, I really had this desire to find a spot to take this photo that I could see in my mind’s eye.
So, we all piled into our van and we took off driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped and enjoyed the westerly view at one overlook, got some great photos, then decided to keep driving to get a different perspective.
Then the craziest thing happened: All the overlooks we passed were looking east or north! The views were absolutely stunning, but I had my heart set on that sunset view with the sun sinking behind the mountains that could only be seen by looking west!
So we kept driving…and we started to go down into a series of three gaps in the mountains. Our high up view was getting lower and lower and still no westward overlook was in sight…
As my husband kept driving, I realized how hard he was working to help me get this photo. How he was helping me look for the right angles and how he was doing everything within his power to make this wish of mine, this dream of mine, this goal of mine come true. He and I were working together to get to that spot – before the sun went down completely! – to accomplish the goal of taking that beautiful sunset photo.
Working together. Pursuing a common goal. There is nothing more beautiful than that feeling of striving together as a team.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt that sweet spot of knowing that you weren’t the only one working towards a goal? Where you feel like you’re a part of a team, not just the only one pushing, pulling, striving, and straining towards a goal and dragging your team along with you? Where you really, truly felt a part of a team that is in step and striving together?
There’s this crazy thing that happens with teams of horses. When you hitch one horse to a wagon, that horse is very strong and can pull a huge load, typically about 8,000 pounds. When you hitch two horses to a wagon, you would think that the amount that they can pull would simply double, right? Wrong!
When you have two horses. working together pulling a load they can pull up to 32,000 pounds! That is four times as much as one horse on it’s own can pull! The camaraderie, the teamwork, the combined power that they experience allows them to pull an exponential amount more than they could each on their own.
Have you experienced that? Have you experienced working hard to accomplish something? (Pulling your load, shall we say?) It gets hard all alone, doesn’t it?
What about when someone comes alongside you to help?
Someone with the same goal, going for the same thing…
Maybe it’s your husband, maybe a good friend, maybe a parent or a loved one…
The person striving in step with you may change for each goal, but the fact remains that you were pulling all by yourself, working hard with everything you had to give and all of a sudden, your load feels exponentially lighter. All of a sudden, you realize that you’re not alone in this striving. You’re not the only one who has to make this happen, but you are a part of a team that is working together.
Have you ever felt that, my Friend? Oh, I hope that you have!
Who are those people in your life that come alongside you, who pull with you, who are working towards the same goals as you?
Treasure those people.
Invest your time and energy into those people, those friends, those relationships.
Oh, and one other thing that I’ve found immensely helpful? Share your goals with them! If you keep all your goals to yourself, no one is able to help you get to where you want to go because they have no idea where you’re going! If you share where you want to go and what you want to do, be it a physical task or a goal, you invite others into the opportunity of working with you to accomplish what you are hoping to accomplish. In other words, by sharing your goals you invite the opportunity and make it possible for teamwork to happen.
Don’t forget, this goes both ways! This isn’t all about what you want to accomplish and your goals and dreams. You see, while your goals and dreams and desires are very important and you should work towards them, you also need to keep your eyes open and watch for opportunities where you can help others. Times when you can come alongside them to help them and encourage them in accomplishing their goals and dreams just like they come alongside you to help you in your pursuit of your goals and dreams.
Well, we never found that perfect overlook, but we did find a bridge that faced west! So, we got that beautiful sunset shot that we wanted. As I lined up the shot and moved around on the bridge (even standing on the bridge at one point), I realized that my husband was behind me standing in the road. At first it didn’t dawn on me what he was doing, and then I realized that he was listening for cars coming down the road. He was making sure that as I was becoming more and more focused on the sunset, that I was safe the entire time. When I realized what he was doing, how he was working with me, it allowed me to focus more on the sunset and my camera, knowing that if a car was going to come down the road, he was right there protecting me, working alongside me, keeping me safe.
The best part of it all? By the time we got to actually see the sun dip behind the mountains, it didn’t feel like this was something just for me. Somewhere along the road, it turned from my desire, my goal into our desire, our goal and we both got to see it become a reality.
Disclaimer: I don’t want you to think for a second that I am a professional photographer! I love taking photos as a hobby and I like to think that a lot of my photos come out well (even though a lot of them are flops!). But the fact remains that taking photos brings me a lot of joy, so I’m going to keep doing it and be very grateful for digital cameras in the process!
If you want to see some truly amazing photos, check out my incredible friend Vanessa at VanassaPhotography.com or on Instagram @simplyyoubranding by @vanassa_photography. If you’re looking for a breathtaking photographer, look no further! In fact, many of the photos that make this blog so appealing are her handiwork.
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Elizabeth Tatham, founder of Inspiration in the Everyday, is a homeschooling momma of 5 who loves helping other homeschooling mommas create a unique homeschooling adventure your kids will love…without the overwhelm! Join in on the journey with 7 simple steps to make your homeschooling day go faster, easier, and with less tears here.