This year I saw the world, earned my master’s degree, and completely paid off all of my debt…student loans included.
Just kidding. I did none of those things. But as I was feeling down about not having the most social media friendly 2018 I realized I kind of DID accomplish all of those things. Hear me out.
1. Saw the world
We didn’t travel much at all. Going to one income after Charlie was born kind of halted a lot of things that require money – and having a baby made everything 100 times harder anyway. But in some ways I did see the best things there are to see. I saw my son take his very first steps. I saw him turn 1 while surrounded by family and friends who love him. I heard him say Mom for the first time. And I saw another year of marriage where we tried each other’s patience, sacrificed, forgave, and ultimately grew so much closer.
2. Earned a Master’s Degree
I didn’t formally get any education (or go further in debt!), but I read SO many books and listened to even more podcasts. I learned so much from other people’s stories and perspectives. From their trials and their triumphs. I learned A LOT about sacrifice while raising a 1 yr old. I learned about patience. I learned lessons about friendship and marriage and motherhood. I genuinely feel like my son has forced me to slow down a bit, be present more often, and be more patient. And those are kind of the best lessons to learn.
3. Paid off all my debt
This would have been really nice…unfortunately we went backwards slightly on this one. After I quit working we literally lost just over half of our income, making every month a challenge and a stretch. At the beginning (even while pregnant) I worried so much about how we would make it. After Charlie was born I stressed about every dollar being spent and was anxious about our dwindling savings account. I still have those moments…but through a lot of prayer and trust I’ve let go of a lot of financial stress. I genuinely trust that God will provide and take care of us. Somehow we’ve survived this long (with help from others, for sure!)…and He will continue to provide for us. I’ve learned to go without some of the simple pleasures we use to not even think about, but I’ve come to terms with it – I feel good about it – and genuinely see what an abundant life we have.
So 2018 was a good year. I’m in the season of motherhood where it’s physically all consuming. I don’t have a lot of time for myself during the day, and we don’t have a lot of money to ease the demand. But I’ve learned more this year than any other of my adult life, and I feel a happiness and pride in that. I’ve grown closer to God and feel that reward deep in my bones. A peace that transcends all understanding.
I can only hope that 2019 is as successful, rewarding, and full of love. Happy New Year’s Eve!
Trust: Lately, I’m really trying to trust my body. Trying to remind myself that pregnancy is normal and that billions of women have been pregnant and survived. I love this quote from Ina May Gaskin:
“Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic….Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
Gratitude: This week I’m feeling grateful for my Mom. Mother’s Day is Sunday, and because she’s in WI and I’m in TX we never get to spend it together – but it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking of her. She’s always willing to listen to my problems or complaints, and still babies me a bit by feeling sorry for me – which, come on, everyone needs that sometimes. Also, now that I’m 7 months pregnant I have a whole new appreciation for her (and all moms)…and I’m sure that appreciation and gratitude will only continue to expand over the coming years.
Inspiration: This podcast episode. “The best self help is self compassion.”
Faith: I recently came across the work of a man named Richard Rohr. He’s a Catholic Franciscan priest with some really interesting and fresh perspectives on Christianity and religion. Recently, he was interviewed on a great podcast called “On Being.” If you have an hour I highly recommend you listen. He and the podcast host, Krista Tippett, talk about a wide range of topics such as dualistic vs. non-dualistic thinking (specifically in Christianity/religion but also in our general culture), how Jesus was the first non-dualistic religious thinker of the West, how life has changed for the current generation vs. pre-1968, a concept Rohr dubbed “father hunger” and the implications of raising men in today’s society, the wonder and awe of nature and how that ties into our spiritual experience, among many other things.
I was mostly interested in the portion on dualistic vs. non-dualistic thinking because I think dualistic thinking is such a sickness in our culture and current political and religious climate. It was refreshing to hear my own recent thoughts articulated well by someone else, and to know that there are other young people who are interested and exploring this concept of non-dualism (not that Rohr is young, he’s 73, but he talks about a recent retreat he held for millennials). Regardless of how you identify (religious or not, liberal or conservative, etc.) – I think this podcast will speak to you in some way or another. There’s an edited and unedited version – of course I recommend the unedited (and yes, I listened to both – I’ve never claimed to be cool).
That’s it! Hope you all have a great weekend. And Happy Mother’s Day ❤
Hey guys. How’s your week going? Mine has been pretty uneventful and relaxing so far. Juuuustt the way I like it. I’ve been able to do some work on the nursery, cook a healthy dinner, and get lots of reading in. The digital detox is going well. I definitely haven’t been super strict, but I’ve mostly stayed off my phone and haven’t been on Instagram at all (except for like 30 seconds on Monday?). And you know…it’s been kind of awesome. I feel like that brain space has been so needed. I also feel like when I’m not checking it at all, I really couldn’t care less about what people are doing (sorry, friends). I mean, I care. But I’m not comparing, or wondering anything, or feeling like I’m not doing enough…and that has been pretty great. I’m more focused on my life, the present, and what the people in front of me need. I’m hoping to continue beyond this week.
Last weekend I was able to get the nursery wall painted. It turned out better than I thought it would and only took a couple of hours. I’m so happy with it. I also got some shelves up on the wall and got a new rug for the room. Yesterday, we put together a crib. It’s all starting to feel a little more real; which is both exciting and terrifying. Here’s the nursery wall ❤
I hope the rest of the week treats you all well. Brent and I are taking a half day on Friday and heading out to a 10 acre ranch in a small town south of Austin. We’re going to stay in a trailer/camper and then hike around on Saturday. I’m looking forward to getting away, even just for the night. 🙂
p.s. Top image is a drawing I did a while back, it’s currently for sale in my Etsy shop.