Browsing Category: Motherhood

You are valued.

There is no quick answer…culturally we always comment and flatter females for how they look, very rarely acknowledging their work and efforts.

Two years ago I was down to 178 lbs, weigh lifting for 30 minutes 7 days a week, walking 3 miles 7 days a week, watching everything I ate, and it showed.

I had NEVER been that in shape in my LIFE…EVER! And it was fantastic! It was fantastic to hear how great I looked, how toned my arms were, how great my butt looked. It was like a first hit of a drug.

But it was unsustainable. The physical, the eating, the constant craving for affirmation that I looked good, was desirable, and was VALUED because of it.

Out of 38 years in my life during only 1 of them have I felt valued and seen and appreciated by society. That year.

2020 I’m 25 lbs heavier, I don’t weight lift at all, walking doesn’t do anything for my pant size or weight, and I’m constantly going back and forth between eating right and eating what feels good.

I berate myself that I let myself go, that I put all that work in, had promised myself to NEVER go back there (I even got rid of “those clothes”) …and I did. I “failed” myself.

This year should be a lesson to all of us that we all fail, we all struggle, that things are freakin’ hard on the regular for most of us.

But the takeaway from that lesson is that we need to do better at valuing those around us for who they are, not just what they look like, and I don’t mean just empty platitudes, but actual intentional words of affirmation.

Ten Years in the Making

It has been a year! A decade even.

We started 2010 with the birth of our first child a month before…four years of waiting and wondering if anything we were putting ourselves through would result in being parents.

Ten years later…we have 5 kids. Didn’t see that one coming! Whenever anyone asked about how many children we would have (WHY DO PEOPLE ASK THOSE QUESTIONS?!) my response was “we will take them one at a time” *face palm* We know how that one turned out.

Ten years ago I was a VERY different person.

How could I have NOT changed in the past decade?! No matter what as time marches on things happen and we change with them. In all honesty, I don’t remember much of the past ten years, they’ve all blurred together in a wash, rinse, repeat cycle of babies and bills

I don’t remember what I was even like ten years ago. I was, in some ways still very full of hope and optimism for everything, despite having realized how hard life can hit us and how much it can hurt (hello…infertility and a husband that was sidelined for two years due to severe back pain, and then back surgery).

I still didn’t know what our family would look like, and didn’t really dare to dream. I still saw homeschooling in our future, and definitely not public school. Matthew was still working for my parents and there was nothing in our minds as to that ending.

If anything I have realized the importance of being able to stand on my own two feet. In someways I have become jaded and hardened about the world, and I don’t think of that as a bad thing. I have realized that while I want friends and family around me,  I need to be able to distance myself and do what needs to be done for myself, and not in a selfish way.

I have seen too much to be content to sit with my blinders on, unaware of what is going on around me. I have seen too many families pulled apart, women left scrabbling to provide for their children, too many women sacrificing themselves and who God created them to be, for the idealization of some image as a wife and mother.

For myself, I have made it a priority to grow, to distance myself from the relationships, ideas, and things that are harming me. It isn’t easy: People especially don’t like it when you refuse to play their game by their rules, and there have been a lot of players in my life.

What does the decade of 2020 look like for me?

I have not a clue. The past year has taught me that. I’m sure some would advise that I “vision cast” and write my “5 Year Plan”, but I can’t. All I can do is move forward on whatever path I choose at that moment.

Maybe I’ll finish my Master’s, maybe I won’t. Maybe we’ll move a few towns or states away, maybe we’ll stay right where we are. Maybe I’ll be working full time as a librarian, maybe I’ll be homeschooling a handful of my kids. 

Whatever pathway I’m on I can promise you this; there will be books, there will be quilts, there will be food, there will be my children growing up and out, there will be traveling, there will be making and meeting new {online} friends. There will be struggle, and heartache, and tears, but there will also be growth, and joy, and love.

In 10 years I will be almost 50…I can’t wrap my head around that.

For now though, I wish you all a wonderful New Year, and I will see you in 2020.