This Is Not My Own

  • A Reminder

Well I had a different post on the “blogging calendar” for today. For some, it may have been more exciting than what I’m about to share but I know deep down that this is more important. I mean, if I CHANGE the blogging calendar, you KNOW it’s for a good reason because that doesn’t happen often! :) So Michael and I are in Santa Barbara, CA for the UNITED conference and it’s just amazing. Amazing people, amazing food, amazing views, amazing classes… but what is TRULY amazing to me is how God uses relationships and connections to change people’s lives.

For those that are reading and are thinking “Oh no, Katelyn’s about to PREACH”. I’m not. The goal of this post isn’t to give you a sermon…. it’s simply a post to explain that my business is not my own. I have been reminded of that more this week than ever before.  We’re doing some awesome things over here on the west coast. Today I get to speak to a bunch of friends from ALL over the country and next week I’m speaking at WPPI …. These are amazing things… things that I never expected… things that I actually never asked for. I’ll be the first to admit that speaking and teaching and sharing wasn’t on my radar when I first started this business. Shooting over 40 weddings a year wasn’t on my radar when I started either. I just simply wanted to be creative and I wanted to be my own boss….. and what has come from those two small desires is absolutely ridiculous…. and it’s not because of me.

I have prayed for 6 years that God would use me and use this business for His purpose.  And if I’m going to be REALLY vulnerable… I have to admit that it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I really started to understand what that meant. Asking God to have His way with your business is probably one of the most humbling and terrifying thing a business owner can do. As an entrepreneur, I like having control…and telling the God of the Universe that my business is His and he can do what he wants with it is SCARY. Saying that means that I have to be ok if God closes doors and never opens any others. Handing my plans and my goals and my ideas over to God means that some of them may not happen….. but let me say this. I want MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE to be running a business that God is using…. because a business that God ISN’T using is simply that… a BUSINESS. Nothing else.

So as scary as it is to daily hand over our lives to our Lord…. it’s also the most freeing aspect of our lives. Michael and I are so thankful for what God is doing in our business… and we want more than anything for those who are watching us to see that this business isn’t ours. I mean, we run it, we’re the “face” of it and we click the shutter and take pretty pictures but this business is God’s… and it always has been. He determines our steps and what’s next for us. I know it sounds crazy but we don’t have a business plan for the next 5-10 years. Sure, we like to dream and we set some goals but ultimately, our future is up to Him!  As we do these exciting things the next two weeks, we’re reminding ourselves of this constantly…. and for some reason, I felt like I needed to tell all of you as well! I don’t know what you believe or what you’re living for… but I do know this, God desires to have a place in your life. He desires to give you peace and clarity and purpose … and everyone deserves to know that. :)

So I hope all of you have an amazing day. Go live with purpose and passion!! I’m off to practice my talk! AH! Wish me luck!!!

xoxo, Katelyn
57 Comments Personal
  1. Kristina W. reply

    I love that family photo! It looks great!

  2. Mary Marantz reply

    You rock my world. It is an HONOR to walk beside you. From the first time I heard you speak on this at pursuit it has changed OUR business and our lives. I have never felt fuller in the work that we’re doing since we started handing all of it over to Him. And for SO much of that and so many other things, I have YOU to thank for that. I am SO grateful that you & your cute boots showed up at Spread the Love that one day. I know without a doubt that was God bringing you into MY life for this reason! You are going to ROCK it today!! xo M:)

  3. elizabeth reply

    very nice post — and your are so right. I have to sometimes remind myself we work for the lord we need to please him above all. good luck today!!

  4. Tangie reply

    Beautiful, beautiful post! I am so glad that in a world where everyone wants to live for “the world,” you are bold enough to live for, work for and show the world your love for Jesus! This post truly blessed me and I pray that The Lord blesses your business and you continue to succeed in everything you do!

  5. Christa reply

    Love this post. It’s something I’ve been praying about for my own business recently. I know I’m falling short in so many areas but I’m trying to let go and let God. And I’ll just have to see where it goes from here :)

  6. ashley link reply

    ahhh! another post that has moved me to tears. wow! i love you guys and your heart for God. i love how in all of this success, y’all still keep Him at the center. y’all are the real deal and for that i am thankful. thank you for being such a great example of God. i can only hope to share His love with people, like y’all do! thank you for, once again, being so inspiring and giving. y’all are the best! Jesus loves y’all and you will do great with your talk!!!! :)

  7. Kat reply

    GIRL. God IS amazing because I needed to read this today. I had a big, ugly cry about my business last night. I literally just had to lay it all at the feet of the cross and now that GOD’s got it. HIS plan is greater than ours, always. And it’s SO HARD for me to let that go. But THANK YOU THANK YOU for reminding me I’m not alone, God has an amazing plan and my business will NEVER glorify Him unless I let it. Ahh. Amen.

  8. Heather Creed reply

    Wow, I’ve been praying for him to use Me and this business for his purpose…so no doubt he is using you katelyn to speak to others on this topic!!! He wanted me to see this today!

  9. Jill Powers reply

    SO, so good to remember! Thanks for sharing this Katelyn!! Praying for your talk!! xo

  10. Nikki Santerre reply

    I needed this today, Katelyn! I am in a season of waiting and having a hard time being patient. I know that everything happens in His time with His purpose. Thank you for sharing this today!

  11. Stephanie Messick reply

    You are so inspirational Katelyn! So glad God brought you into my life a year and a half ago! I could not be HAPPIER for you, Michael and for your business! I know you are going to blow everyone out of the water today! xoxo

  12. Beverly Lilly reply

    truth. love your heart.

  13. Terri Baskin reply

    I love your faith, your passion and your willingness to serve others! Thank you for being you!!!

  14. Ashley reply

    Such a timely post – love it!

  15. JAMES STOKES reply

    This is so refreshing to read! May GOD continue to use you for his purposes and keep ‘preaching’
    Peace, The Stokes

  16. Elisabeth Carol reply

    Love this! Exactly what I needed to hear today.

  17. maria reply

    I love this! I have thought the same thing but haven’t been able to put it so eloquently. Thank you for sharing, and being true to yourself and to the Lord.

  18. Kristi S. reply

    I love everything you stand for and what an example you are! Keep Going Girl and Stand Strong! Sending lots of love and encouragement your way! :)

  19. jennifer reply

    THANK YOU! My husband and I were just talking about this tonight! I found you and Mary Marantz by chance, and I cannot tell you what an inspiration it has been to know that the same God is leading your work. It is so refreshing and such a testimony to the world, especially to other photographers like me who look up to you for guidance. PLEASE continue to to strong and courageous. This only guides and encourages the rest of us to do the same!

  20. Derrick Moore reply

    I want to let you guys know that while reading this post, I was almost driven to tears. Jesus is the love of my life but I don’t think I’ve ever submitted my business to him. I’m really encouraged to release it to him & allow the doors that he opens & closes be final. Thank you guys and keep being a blessing.

  21. Elizabeth reply

    You are such an inspiration!!! Thank you for being so open about your faith and being so willing to share all of this! I definitely needed this reminder as I am starting out in the wedding photography industry and it can be scary. So again, thank you. It is such a comfort to know that He is in control and everything that happens is all part of His master plan for our lives!

  22. Lindsey reply

    I’m glad you changed your blogging calendar…this is truly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  23. Laura reply

    This is so where my heart is right now, but I unfortunately need reminders SO often. I am trying to hold my hands out and open and say, “God, give and take exactly what you want.” <3

    We really missed being with everyone at United but can't wait to see you next month at CONNECT!

  24. Ashley Scobey reply

    You are speaking right to my heart sweet friend. This has been on my mind so much lately. I have been so convicted that, even though I plan, I need to understand that my life (and my family and my business) are His and that means not being in control… which is so hard for me, but so important. Thank you for letting Him use you. I am blessed by your friendship. xo

  25. Rachel K! reply

    You are such a blessing Katelyn!! You’re gonna rock your talk out of the park! thanks for sharing with us! P.S, What a cute family portrait! beautiful!! :)

  26. Jeanine reply

    Thank you so much for this! You have seriously just moved something inside of me, and there you go, doing God’s work.

  27. Stacey Hammarberg reply

    Such an awesome post! Thank you for your so openly sharing your faith and it is so obvious how you desire to serve God through your business. It is so hard to release total control but when you do God never fails to pour blessings over you! Thank you for sharing your heart and I know God will continue to bless your business and ministry!

  28. Lindsay reply

    I am so encouraged by this. our pastor preached a sermon on using our talents for god and keeping your baskets full of “good fruit” for his purposes. Since then, i have been praying for this very thing. since last Sunday, I have been reaffirmed in this THREE times now. It’s incredible to see just how wonderful HE truly is. Many congratulations on Letting Go and Letting God; and all of the successes past and future.

  29. -s reply

    Katelyn- I loved reading this post, it isanazing to see what God does when we place things in his hands. He always goes above and beyond. thank you so much for sharing your heart. You are truly an inspiration to those in yor sphere of influence. I am glad to “know” you even if it is through yhe web. god truly has his hand on your business and it is so evident in the photos you produce and the words you speak and life you live. So thankful for your post today. Hopefully someday our paths with cross :) God bless you in your business and in all you do. (Eph. 3:16-20)

  30. JoAnna Dee Weddings reply

    What a beautiful blog post. Sometimes God speaks to us through others… How ironic is it right as I am writing this my husband just picked up the guitar and started playing “Here I am Lord.” :) Thank you for this post… touched my heart today.

  31. Ariella Langley reply

    I am so blessed by you speaking about God and His plans for you and your business. You are an inspiration to me on my own photography journey. Thank you for being willing to share your heart and for the reminder today of who is in control!

  32. Katie reply

    Katelyn, I have only recently come across your blog and to my joy I read that you are a Photographer who is living for Jesus. Almost relieved was I in discovering this because it meant there are other photographers that have the same passion and mission in what they do that I yearn for too. I am no where near beginning my own business in photography, but desire to someday, however an even greater desire is to photograph with purpose. I want what I do to be all for the glory of God. I don’t know what that looks like but am so encouraged by this blog post and by your boldness and testimony. Thank you for sharing and being transparent. I am thankful to have come to find you and your blog.

  33. Amanda reply

    Thank you for sharing and being honest, i appreciate your posts, encouragement and perspective. It is good to be reminded to live with passion rather then get bogged down in daily cares.

  34. Zai Pascua reply

    Dear Katelyn, you have no idea how much impact you have in my life. I could write pages of how God has used and is using you to inspire me and set a dream in my heart. Continue to totally surrender your business to God and i am sure He will use it in many more magnificent ways! All glory to the King! ;) So much love from the PHILIPPINES.

  35. Tamara I. reply

    Thank you for opening up your heart. I needed to read these words. May God continues to bless you.

  36. admin reply

    Thank you ALL for the encouraging comments:) They are always so appreciated!

  37. Jordan Demos reply

    I love you, Michael, and everything about this post. God loves people who give with a cheerful heart and THAT’S why He blesses you. Amy and I are so proud to call you friends.

  38. Robyn reply


  39. Tara Peddicord reply

    When you spoke on this at P31 last year, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I try to remember it DAILY. It is not just from him but all FOR him. So thankful for your heart and thankful for how God is using you, even in my little life here in MD. :)

  40. Angel reply

    Thank you for this message! This is something I pray for and think about every single day. There is nothing that I can do without The Lord by my side. It is always wonderful to hear other successful people who follow this business model, as matter of fact it feels like a message reassuring me that I am doing the right thing by putting my life in His hands. Thanks again and God Bless!

  41. Amy Clifton Keely reply

    Preach on, girl!! Sweet and simply said, and a wonderful reminder to trust God’s direction for my life AND my business. Thank you!

  42. Valerie Duvick reply

    Katelyn, You’re the best. God is so using your business and I am so blessed by your example! Thank you for being so giving, open and joyful! :)

  43. Kristen Burtch reply

    The whole drive home from UNITED the four of us gals chatted about your class and the importance of treating our clients with the ‘wow factor’ and the impact of quickness. We appreciate you sharing your heart and I can’t wait to hear you again at wppi next week!

  44. Amanda Veronee (Anthomanic) reply

    I have goosebumps from reading this! I have been praying and praying that God use me to do his work – so I know what you mean! What life are we living if it isn’t serving Him or others?! It’s scary taking the leap of faith and letting Him just guide us as we let him take the wheel instead of following our own ‘earthly plans’ we create for ourselves. You’ll do awesome!

  45. Lydia reply

    Katelyn, I just want to let you know that sitting in your breakout session yesterday, I had one of those light bulb moments. The kind that makes you realize that “This is why I’m here!” and “This is the little change I’m needing to make in my business!” So thank you for following God’s leading in your life and willingness to be used by Him!

  46. Katie reply

    This post could not have come at a better time… who knew yesterday would be such a big day for so many of us, all thanks to you and to God. I am so proud and honored and excited that you came into my life when you did Katelyn… it was meant to be! XOXOXOXOXOXO

  47. Lindsey Bonnice reply

    Katelyn, this was such an awesome post, I just loved it! I want these same things for my own business but too often get caught up in myself and trying to do the best and make the right decisions and forget to give it to God, what a wonderful reminder this was to pray more and give it all to him! I am so thankful that you shared this to inspire so many to remember and focus on what matters most! It is also a relief to be reminded that we don’t have to handle everything alone but that we can give it to God! Thank you again for sharing your heart! Lindsey

  48. Susanne Ashby reply

    It was such an honor to meet you yesterday! Hearing you speak at United was the number one reason why I wanted to attend and I’m so glad I went! What a week this has been! I totally agree that our businesses are in the hands of God and I’m grateful that He knows what I need so much better than I do!

  49. Sarah Goodwin reply

    Yes, Yes, Yes Yes! That is the main thing that I got from P31 – a reminder of who is truly running my life and everything that flows from it. thank you for sharing, being vulnerable and being such an amazing light in this world. xoxo

  50. Charlotte reply

    Katelyn, Thank you so much for posting this. This post is so encouraging and I can not wait until I finally meet the man of my dreams and I can have you photograph my wedding. Not only do I love your pictures and your blog, but your heart is amazing and I just love how humble you are.

  51. Lisa Cour reply

    It goes against how things work in the world, but it really IS the most freeing thing to hand our lives over to God. Its not about us, its about HIM and that takes the burden off of us!

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  53. Monica T Smith reply

    I needed to read this right at this moment. I was just questioning whether I am meant to do what my soul longs to do for the lord. your post was a resounding yes!

    Thanks for your boldness, courage and obedience!

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  55. Kimber Wassenberg reply

    And this post is one of the main reasons you’re one of my favorite photographers. :) What a blessing to see you guys actually living out how a Christian is supposed to live!!!

  56. Kelly Hopkins reply

    Thank you Katelyn for the encouragement. I’m a control freak so it’s hard to let go but It’s what I feel God has been telling me to do for quite some time. It’s a pretty freeing experience when I don’t let the fear creep in. wish I was traveling to WPPI but not this year. United was amazing! Sending you lots of love, Kelly

  57. Mindy reply

    I always love reading your blogs!!! And this one was so refreshing to hear such a accomplished business lady talk about her faith and use her gifts for The Lord! Thanks katelyn for being such a good example to us:) and is it weird to miss a couple that you only met twice? Lol! Cuz we do! You guys are great:D

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