It’s been a few months since I’ve written and with good reason, those little things called the holidays. We are always super busy during the holiday season (who isn’t?) and so the thing that ended up getting neglected was this blog as we worked, served, baked, cooked, and hosted. I apologize. Anyways, being that it’s January and I’m a little behind on all those fun New Year’s resolutions and reflection of 2013, I thought, now is as good a time as any. One of my goals for this year is to write at least twice each week, but more on those goals in another post.
As I reflect on what 2013 brought, the biggest thing is change. A change in myself, my family dynamic, and my marriage. These are all good changes, changes that NEEDED to happen for my sanity and the sanity of those around me.
At the beginning of last year, it was brought to my attention that I had no idea who I was (yup, you read that right). I was putting my hope, joy, and happiness into things that were of THIS earth. If you knew me before I had a baby, you probably saw the change (for those that remained in my life) and for those who knew me after, you probably thought I was just a quiet, typically negative person. I lost complete sense of who I was when I had Jack and after admitting that I had postpartum depression, it occurred to me that what I lost was myself. So a lot of 2013 was devoted to finding myself again and learning who God says I am.
I learned what it meant to take time for me. I learned that I need to eat healthy and exercise in order to have a good day. I learned that I am deeply and wholly loved by the Creator of this world. I learned that I deserve friendships. I learned that I need to work in order to be a better mother. I learned that I am important. And the biggest thing I learned was that I AM ENOUGH. I spent a lot of time in prayer, journaling, and reading God’s Word this last year, things that I will continue into this year. I NEED my time with God in order to get through each day. I need to hear Him speak truth into my life so that I don’t go to Negative Town. It’s a real place, guys and I was taking daily trips. I discovered that change is not only a necessary part of life, but that change helps us to grow and become better people. Some of the changes that occurred last year were my getting a job (and then quitting that job to go back to teaching part-time), starting to serve, and learning how to be married.
We’ll start with the first. Something that really helped me last year was getting a job. I was able to be home with Baby J for the first year of his life without working. That first year of his life was rough and I was horribly depressed and lonely. So, getting a job was a great solution to help me along with that. I began working at a local cloth diaper store as a salesgirl and it was fun. I made new friends and got to talk poop, pee and cloth diapers alllllll day with mommies. I also got to hold new babies and talk birth stories. Seriously, for a mom, it was the BEST job. I loved it there and I will always support their business because the owners are fantastic people. The job was more than just a job for me. It was a way for me to have time for me. It was a way for me to interact with other people. The reason I ended up leaving that job was because my desire for teaching was sparked and I missed it. I missed the kids, the lessons, all of it, but especially the kids. I also wanted a little more flexibility. The holidays in retail almost killed me, and well substitute teaching really allows for quite a bit of flexibility in schedule. 🙂
Another big change was the fact that Mr. Wonderful and I began to serve. I started first in Children’s Ministry at our church, and then I started serving with Young Lives. After I came back from camp, Mr. Wonderful really felt like he was called to serve as well. We began to look at what that was going to look like for our family and we both jumped into serving with Young Life (in addition to my still serving in other ministries) and that change was one that was a rough adjustment, but has really bonded us and brought us together. We’ve also managed to really bond with our team and the other leaders really are some of my favorite people to hang out with. They love our son, we love HS kids together, and it’s an awesome place to be. After committing to Young Lives and Young Life, my role at our church got a little bit bigger… I became our Special Needs Coordinator, which also gave me some much needed community and friendship all while serving the kids with special needs in our church. Another really welcomed change.
My marriage also changed a lot over the last year. It’s no secret that Mr. Wonderful and I have had issues. Issues that made both of us question what on earth we were doing when we got married. Issues that grew us and bonded us and helped us to become better people. Our marriage has really changed over the last year. We had Baby J fairly quickly into being married and never really adjusted. I wouldn’t change anything that happened, but I would have handled it differently. Two months into marriage, I was extremely sick and pregnant, and a year in, we had a new baby and we were suffering postpartum depression. It was an adjustment for sure. But we survived it. Heck, we ARE surviving it. After all the marital advice and pastoring we’ve been given, we have learned that we need to stop being selfish, communicate, and enjoy each other. Yup. That’s what’s working for us. I’m learning to “allow” my husband to do more when he wants, and he’s “allowing” me to be who I am, which drives him nuts at 11 pm and I’m being a complete goofball. We’re going on a lot of dates, being thankful for one another, and offering grace when needed. I’m excited to see what 2014 holds for our marriage since 2011 was great, 2012 was challenging and 2013 was a learning year.
Change isn’t bad. It’s not something that I always welcomed with open arms, but it has been good. From now on, I’ll welcome changes because they seem to be the way that God grows us and works through us. God is good and change is part of His great plans for us.