Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Contentment or Joy?

It's always hard to be a mom but some days it's almost impossible to will myself out of bed to shrill scream coming from the next room. It's not because I don't love my child it's because I'm exhausted. One hundred percent physically, and sometimes mentally, wiped out. It's not just taking care of the 12 pound,  eating, pooping, screaming being that exhausts me, it's life. There is more to being a mom than just feeding, cleaning and comforting (on repeat). There is still taking care of me … which has been redefined since baby, and there is also my husband. I have been thinking, struggling and praying a lot lately about how to be a joyful woman with what sometimes seems more than I can handle. 
I have found that it is much easier to "be content" than it is to be joyful. Contentment, for me and I would venture to guess for many,  is finding yourself in an unpleasant situation and not complaining. I feel as though that is probably how I have defined contentment in my life for a while, if not forever. Joy on the other hand makes you smile, you find pleasure in the mist of things that upset you. It does not mean those things become easy and it does not mean you must enjoy every aspect but choosing to not let your soul be dragged down by the devil, there I find joy. 
It is a constant battle and one I can not fight on my own. As the diapers pile up and for the 5th time the dog finds a way to sneak one and eat it, which not only makes me gag but also cry out of disgust. The dishes pile up, the laundry isn't folded, and the doorbell wakes the baby I just spent 2 hours getting down for a nap… I could continue this list for longer than I'd like to admit, but as I pick up my daughter and my back shoots with pain, a reminder that I gained a lot of weight and birthed a child I remember I made a person! I look at my imperfect body with scars, and skin and weight were it never use to be and I am reminded that this life is not forever, this body will serve my soul for as long as God choses to have me on this earth and I long for eternity. 

I chose joy because I know that this is all fleeting, the good with the bad. I will soak up the smiles and the tears. Because if these last 3 months are any indication of how quickly this little one will grow, it won't be long before she won't let me hold her as she cries. I will continue find ways to take care of myself, my husband and my daughter. Although the laundry may not get folded, the dishes may still be in the sink tomorrow I have hope for this life and eternity. I have a man who loves me more than words can explain and a baby girl who without knowing it yet is teaching me patience and love deeper than I ever knew before. She is pointing me to Jesus and I pray I do the same for her. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

3 Years

We should have celebrated our 3 year anniversary in July but instead here we are in January :) I'm so thankful for our 2 engagements: the bumps, bruises and how much we learned together through it all. These past 3 years have been amazing, hard, exhausting and so life giving. I couldn't have dreamed up a better man for me to explore and learn with. 

In the past 3 years these two crazy kids got the craziest dog the world has ever known. Moved 4 times, one of those moves being from the East to West coast 7 months pregnant. We've searched for churches, made friends, started new jobs, left jobs, lost jobs, cried, dreamed, learned. Baseball games, drives through the night for NFL playoff games in Mass, dinners, and laughter. We were surprised by pregnancy, wondered how we would pay bills, learned to trust God ... learned to trust  God again (realized how blessed we are that he doesn't give up on us). Learned to work in 2 different states and were so thankful when we were a family living in the same state again. Now we are a family of 4, if you include the dog ... he thinks he's human so we will include him. 
Peter Brandt you have my whole heart, you love me better every day. You are the most patient, loving, caring man .. and you're hot :) I love you. Thanks for the best 3 years of my life. Can't wait for what the next year and year after that and year after that .... have in store for our crazy lives.  

Some of my students last year had a few thoughts on marriage :) 

The Crazy Animal :) 

D.C and Boston sports ... can't wait till we can take Piper to games! 

Packing ... story of our lives :) 

Year 3. Big move from DC to California! 

More packing and leaving the city we called home for almost 3 years. 

Cross country road trip, swollen feet and legs and finally arriving in Cali, all together again :) 

Tattoos and travels. Exploring the West coast in large fashion ;) 

And then waiting ... waiting and waiting for the most stubborn baby ever!

2 is now 4. A little less put together, a little less rested, but so happy and blessed!