Oh, the journey this blog has documented.
To think I started blogging almost 6 years ago (and to reflect on the person I was) is almost surreal. I thought this would be a fitness blog and NaMammaSte was the first name. Then, the more I documented our growing family, the more I fell deeply in love with soulfully capturing all the moments I couldn’t otherwise share with others.
The photographer was born.
Words just weren’t enough.
When I started blogging, I was a first-time mom of a 3 month old baby boy and a freshly-proclaimed “SAHM”. I had decided to do what I always suspected I might: forfeit the corporate IT career I had poured so much time and energy into up to that point. I wanted to put 100% of my energy into raising my children. Or, well, singular baby at that point and really 100% of my time second guessing how I was raising my child. I always knew I wanted multiple kids. At least 2 and ideally more. I always knew the time was fleeting and I’d want to soak it all in. I never realized what a struggle my decision would be for me and my identity. Or how long I’d struggle with that.
The corporate world tends to keep you too busy to second guess the use of your time and offers enough rewards to keep you feeling valuable. There are breaks and opportunities for advancement. There are somewhat uncomplicated relationships and clear objectives. Motherhood, regardless of the path taken, doesn’t work like that. It’s not really a “career” and yet it’s the hardest job ever.
No really. EVER. Best and hardest.
I spent most of my life dreaming about my future. I was that strange kid who never really enjoyed being a kid. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have more control over my life.
Control? I had no idea.
Let’s soak that in for a minute… while looking at my still favorite picture of my now middle child, Wyatt, which I took more than 2 years ago in our last house. I had no idea when I took it, that this would be the perfect portrait. I was just practicing framing and using shapes.
It’s my observation, that life is an exercise in letting go. Especially with kids who love to explore and push boundaries… Everything about my life up to this point, including my faith, has taught me: we don’t have control over much. We have choices and those choices ultimately steer our course, but we only have so much foresight. Or none.
Have you ever looked back at your life and your disappointments and thought about how good they were ultimately? Even when they seemed completely hopeless at the time? I have more times than I can honestly count.
My life has been a total disaster before. The messiest of messes. To say it’s ever been clean would be a lie, but I’ve absolutely been to emotional, my-life-doesn’t-matter, people-would-be-better-without-me rock bottom. I’ve made absolutely awful, unforgivable choices and, by what can only be described as God’s grace (over and over and over again), I came out better than I had any right to. That’s the cornerstone of my faith. I’ve seen the mounds of forgiveness when I didn’t deserve any of it.
I’m just going to admit, I’m a pretty introspective person. I’m also a little “out there” for some people. I value deep conversations and relationships built on more than just small talk. Probably because of that, I tend to feel alone. More frequently than I should based on the kind of support I have in my life. Our society doesn’t really make it easy to connect on that level. We all present what we want people to see online and then hesitate to really let anyone into the mess that we have hidden somewhere.
Because, well, we all have a mess hiding in some, real or metaphorical, closet. I have a lot of both kinds of messes.
I miss the door that writing opened. I miss putting myself out there and how it helped connect people. It was scary, but it was always worth it.
Almost exactly two years ago, we moved back to Colorado. We had been living in NJ for a few years (the state I’m actually from) after having left Colorado (where we started our marriage and family) and we were struggling. We were struggling financially, in the day-to-day lifestyle of the area, and with some relationships. It was hard. And yet, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive than I did then. I was all-in with God. I was so dependent on his provision and so ready to do anything. In the two years since we’ve been back, I’ve inadvertantly allowed myself to become a little numb. I’ve gotten too comfortable.
This is not my home. As Christians, we’re meant to feel like foreigners here and when we embrace that, that’s when we find the most at peace. Peace beyond our understanding. Peace from the cross.
For a while now, I’ve been feeling God’s prompting to share on here again. Probably because I can more fully share what I believe on here than I’m able to do in day-to-day conversation.
Not so surprisingly, I’ve been feeling alone lately, despite knowing I’m not. Feelings mislead, but Proverbs31 Ministries current study recently reminded me that feelings should be acknowledged. I’m reclaiming this blog. Every time I write here for the sake of sharing, I’m reminded of how cathartic it is to release all that built-up introspection into the world, regardless of who reads it. The only encouragement and acceptance I need is from my Father in Heaven, but it’s my hope that we can walk alongside each other on here a bit, too.
Words aren’t always enough, but images aren’t always either. Here, I can put my words and my expression through art together and I pray His glory would shine through.