Hi friends,

Last you guys heard from my heart on the blog, we were announcing my Maternity Leave with NRP – something that is in full swing right now! After reading that, some of you may have wondered what’s next for me.

Hold on tight, this is a long one.

After several months of prayer, conversation with family, and taking a good look at how my life is about to change with two babies on the way, it is both with a heavy heart and a very real peace that I let you guys know that I’ll be stepping away from NRP permanently.

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There are a few things I want to tell you about my journey to this decision, but I’ll just say really quickly – Robert and I are blown away by the timeliness of events surrounding this pregnancy. Some job updates for both of us preceded our news and, in a way, set us up to be prepared for more change, though we didn’t exactly know what that would look like. Our hearts were already primed and ready, and looking back, God was clearly moving long before we ever found out we were pregnant back in May.

That being said, let me tell you some things that you might know already, that you may have assumed, and that you probably didn’t know at all.

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Nancy, Callie and Olivia have been a massive part of my life for the past 5 years… they are such dear friends. We’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve pushed each other to be better in every aspect of life, and we’ve encouraged each other along the way. I love these ladies a lot, and if you’ve followed us for any period of time, that does not come as a surprise to you.

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Walking into the Studio to tell the girls that I was pregnant with twins will forever be a life-highlight for me. I got in the car after my doctor’s appointment towards the end of the first trimester, and made a b-line for the Studio, knowing that the three of them would be there. I was literally giddy on the way! These girls have prayed over me, loved on me, and spoken words of life over me, and I couldn’t wait to prance right into that studio with my most recent ultrasound pictures in hand! While the moments that followed were full of the happiest tears with my dear friends, they also marked the very beginning of a new quiet whisper in my heart of a change that might be coming.

I’ll say this – even before those quiet whispers of change, I already knew I wouldn’t be at NRP forever simply because that’s not usually how life works. God gives us seasons, and those seasons usually have “bookends” that help us determine their beginning and end. With that in mind, about mid-way through the summer Robert and I began to pray. We prayed, and we talked a lot about life and how it was changing and what was to come: his growing business, my new full-time job that I really enjoyed, two babies at home… I found myself thinking of the future and wondering realistically if I could do all the things. Can I play every role to the best of my ability, with a good attitude, continuing to serve and show grace to the people in my life in each area? As my pregnancy progressed and I began to juggle baby preparations along with everything else, I realized that the honest and fair answer to that question was a resounding no: it’s a nice thought, but I actually can’t do all the things.

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Not gonna lie… what followed after that realization was a big fat fight in my heart. No part of me would commit to leaving NRP, even though there was plenty of clarity there. It felt really bizarre to be in that place. I prayed as if the Lord were a magic 8 ball, and that he might change His mind or give me a different course, give me a peace to stay and try to do it all if I just kept asking.

Sometime in September Nancy approached me and just wanted to know where I was with the idea of Maternity Leave… what I wanted, what I needed, and just to tell me that she was praying for me and just wanted to know how she could best serve my family. Goodness I love that girl. I love her commitment to serving her team, and I love her unwavering friendship over the years. Though I was still very uncommitted to leaving then, that conversation was a game-changer for me because it settled on my heart that if God were prepping me to leave NRP, He would prep Nancy’s heart to hear it. I just needed to trust Him.

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Towards the end of October, I knew we were coming down to the wire and God had not given me a new course like I had asked (read: borderline demanded with my refusal to commit). Nancy and I met on a Monday night in early November. I walked in just in time to see her pulling chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. I saw the cookies and I knew that she knew… I remember from our college days that Nancy is a firm believer that freshly baked cookies make everything better (truth). We sat together on that big couch, plate of cookies between us, looked at each other, and the formality of a conversation wasn’t really even necessary. Of course, we did chat; and as I suspected, the Lord just covered our conversation in grace and peace and affirmed our hearts.

So there you have it, friends. Hard stuff. But the Lord is so, so good to provide His peace and a clear and direct path so evidently in such a crazy and transitional time of life! He gives us what we need, doesn’t He?

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I want you guys to know that I will miss you! Though it’s difficult for me to detach myself from NRP Families, I’m beyond excited to be beginning a whole new season. It’s the very season I’ve documented for you guys for the past 5 years, and it’s the very one that Robert and I have been praying for for quite some time. It’s motherhood, family life, chaos… the good stuff that life is made out of. I promise to not be a stranger, and I hope you guys feel the same. Continue to follow me on Facebook and Instagram if you’d like and know that I’d love to hear from you any time.

I love you all!

Elizabeth

•••

A few words from Nancy…

I cried when Elizabeth told me, I cried at our Christmas dinner, and I cried again reading this blogpost. Goodness, are we going to miss you Elizabeth. You already know this, but we ADORE you. You have been the steady, loyal, hilarious member of this team that has kept us grounded. You are laid back, and you put our NRP Families at ease. You will be missed by us, the little NRP Team, but I know our NRP families are going to miss you as well. But in all of this missing and sadness as we say goodbye, we are just SO SO SO STINKING HAPPY FOR YOU! Because any day now, TWO babies are going to fill up your arms and your hearts, and this new season is better than anything else. We are praying for you, we love you, and you will forever be part of the #NRPteam. We love you.

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COMMENTS

What a beautiful journey and account of your story. I have loved following your NRP Families images and they have been an inspiration to me as an artist as well! Congratulations on your growing family and may God lavish his graces on you during all of these transitions!

What a beautiful post, Elizabeth! You will be so missed!

Wow! Such beauty in this post. Praying over these precious babes and your growing family. Ben and I are forever grateful for the way in which you captured such a sweet season for us. We look forward to seeing your new, sweet season— and anticipate all the ways in which the Lord will continue to use you (and your talents) to further His Kingdom! xo

Goodness this post gave me chills – so honest and heartfelt. It is never easy to make a decision like this. Elizabeth I loved that you used the term “bookends” – this makes so much sense to me. My job was outsourced back in 2004 after 20 wonderful years with a company I loved and while my time there was winding down, I remember being overcome with an immense sadness. We can’t help feeling that way when so much of ourselves is put into a job we love. For me, that “bookend” lead to a new job, and a relationship that turned into family for me (my hubby!). It was not the end but the beginning of so much goodness (I can see that now looking back). God was so faithful thru it all. I know the NRP team will never be the same. But what wonderful memories you have made together – priceless!

Elizabeth I wish you joy on this new journey of motherhood!

God Bless,
Diane

Will miss you so!!!!!

Elizabeth, this is such a beautiful post. I know that the entire NRP will miss you so much. Sending love and prayers your way as you prepare to welcome your two little miracles. God’s plan is ALWAYS the right one and He has amazing things in store for you, Robert, and your babies. XOXO

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