I am a little over a week a way from turning 28. I’ll be honest, I’m super excited for 30. Do I sound like a millennial? Excited for the future and forgetting to enjoy the present. I am really trying to finish out 27 strong. It’s been quite the year for me personally, and also for my family! So much has happened within me and in our little journey together.
Personally, becoming a mom has been a metamorphosis. I feel like I died and came back with wings. Birth is beautiful, and I think that was the easiest part of the journey. Those months following were the hardest. The coming out “of the cocoon” so to speak and learning to fly. I was re-reading my journal, and it was filled with words written through tears, dark thoughts and lots of pain. Once 3 and 4 months PP came, I turned the corner; I could finally step forward and be okay with the vulnerability of being human again. I gained more confidence, I think because I realized I have nothing to lose. There are have been lots of tough lessons, and I could write many blog posts. I’ll attempt to summarize some of them below:
My physical appearance was really hard post-pregnancy. Losing weight didn’t come easy for me, and it never has because of my hashimoto’s and thyroid issues. Weight has always been a tough topic in my life. I have found losing weight the right way works for me, but it takes lots of effort of eating right and working out often. Those weren’t getting the pounds off this time around because a medication I was taking was no longer needed! My thyroid issues and been healed through the process of pregnancy and childbirth. One of my doctors told me a woman’s body resets after giving birth. It took a while for me to wean off of the meds, and I got the shakes and felt sick (it gave me a glimpse into what drug rehab is like!). I was so glad when that was over. That took two months, and then I could finally lose the weight from pregnancy. I learned to enjoy the process and embrace the jiggles. It was a lesson to learn all over again. Thankfully a sweet baby distracted me from thinking about my self 24/7! I also learned to be content with what I have, be kind to my body, and embrace what God had given me and praise Him for it. Not always easy in this culture of Instagram and Pinterest pics. I went on some social media fasts and that helped so much.
I learned I have way too high of expectations for myself (that probably didn’t help the issue above either) and for my family. I had to quickly learn to let things go. That the dishes will always be there, and that’s okay. That my son is upset so if the outing is canceled, it’s canceled. To not let the baby’s crying effect my whole day. Oliver would cry and cry when we drove anywhere, and I just had to sing and talk to him and then let it go when we got to our destination. It was hard because it was depressing to drive places and hear your child scream sometimes for 30-45 min! We tried everything to sooth him, and none of it worked. My instincts wanted to stop everything and pull over and help him. Most days didn’t go smoothly or what seemed to be “normal” in other families, and that was okay! It took me a while to figure that out.
God provides. Always. We decided that I would stay home with Oliver, instead of me going back to work and finding a daycare for him. This wasn’t my first choice, but once I had my son, I knew I couldn’t leave him with someone else. We reviewed our budget, let go of lots of expenses that weren’t truly needed, and we made the plunge. We have moments of, “Should I go back to work?” We re-examine our budget and adjust again and again. I realized what’s truly important. It hasn’t been easy for me and my love of working, but it has been easier financially than I thought. We realize we spend to much on things that don’t matter. We cut out any extras. Yes we go out to eat time to time, and yes we get coffee (sometimes too much and then we have to scale WAY back! Haha), but we were able to zoom in on what’s truly important to us: The best care for our son. We are blessed we can do one income. I know it doesn’t work for all.
I do struggle with not working, I miss the feeling of being productive, accomplishing things, and being busy! But this has been a great opportunity to learn to be quiet, listen to God’s voice, and sacrifice for my son. He will only be home for a few years, and then I will be back at it! I also realized how much my identity was in my job and role, even when I “know” in my head that who I am is who God calls me and sees me, the way I was raised and with my personality, performance often becomes what defines me. It’s a slow and slippery slope! I think staying home keeps me humble, helps me realize my image in Christ is all that matters, and that right now I’m a stay at home mom and it won’t be forever, and I can find joy in that and use this time to prep for what is to come! It helps me continue to have trust in God’s guidance over my life and wanting what He desires for me. No, it’s not wrong to goto work as a mother. No, it’s not wrong to have desires for creativity and productivity outside the home, but for me that isn’t priority right now, and I can learn to find satisfaction in those through other means for the time being. My desires have become what God desires for me right now. This can look different for everyone!
I learned I can do anything through Christ. I know this verse, I learned it very young, but it has been really cool to see God demonstrate it in my life. While I was pregnant, I helped start a mentoring ministry at our church in Phoenix that is now doing quite well and growing (GLORY to GOD!). Post-partum, I met with the senior pastor at the church and some key leaders, and designed a women’s monthly event called Women’s Dessert. The goal was to create an opportunity where women feel valued, establish community, and they can cultivate meaningful conversations that are life-changing and rewarding. After a couple months, it was launched and is continuing on to this day. Again, GLORY to GOD! God has used this fruit in my life to humble me and cause deeper yearning to be near Him. I am grateful I could be a small tool in these forms that will bless, encourage, and challenge women in Phoenix. I continue to pray for these areas. I am excited to see how God uses me in VA at the church we’re attending. I know He will use me, and I am honored and pray to keep my focus on Him.
I learned to be careful who I trust. I blogged some about that here, but that was a major lesson I had to go through that was painful but a huge growing point for me. The book Uninvited was a god-send and treasure chest of gold. I will use that book in many instances to come!
Reading the Circle Maker grew my praying muscle and helped me learn to dream. I wrote about that in this post and continued here. Every day is a continuation of that journey. Future post on updating our prayer circle!
A big lesson we learned in 2 and going on 3 opportunities is: Just because something looks “good” and it seems like an open door, doesn’t mean it’s the right move. That is when praying and being close to God’s heart are extremely important. I know I’ve missed out on these tests in the past by not pressing in harder and making sure the decision is exactly what God wants. We have had decisions back fire because we thought God wanted us going down a path and it wasn’t right. Even in a decision that we feel is green to go, praying through and praising through are extremely important (another nugget from Circle Maker).
27 was a great year but it also kicked my butt a bit in many ways! I am really grateful for this year, and I know I’ll look back and see what all these lessons were meant for. I pray they will be stored away and used for when I need them again. I don’t want to learn these ones again!
I’m setting goals and dreaming dreams for 28, but desperately wanting to live day to day, moment by moment, and that can be challenging! My 13 month-old keeps me in line. 😉 I want to be filled with the Spirit and fruitful with all that flows from a life in God’s presence. I want to be humble and remain in a meek place. Not a fun prayer to ask! I know it can be painful some days if I don’t willing choose to get on my knees, but my heart truly knows that’s the best posture for my soul. I’m ready for you, 28!