5 Ways to Pick Up a Mom….

Becoming a mom is the craziest life transition most of us women will ever go through. I LOVE being a mom. But the truth is, it turns your world upside down. It completely and totally changes most of everything we know, and because of that there are so many seasons that can feel so lonely.

Isolation during motherhood can make an already hard job seem impossible. With no one to vent to, seek advice from or even just drink coffee with, we can be left most days feeling like we are doing everything wrong. Sometimes, on my worst days, I just need to hear from another mom friend that they feel like they are screwing it all up too.

But, making friends with moms can be incredibly intimidating! In some ways, its can feel even harder than dating! It can take a lot to put yourself out there, and some of you new moms may not even know where to begin….

Here are 5 different ways that I have found to make new mom friends:

5 Ways to Make Friends As A Mom| Meaghanmorris.com

1. Crash a local Mom Group: Okay, I know that it can be nerve wracking to go outside your comfort zone and show up to a local mom group where you don’t know anyone, but most groups are very inviting. You will have your occasional run in with those groups that can seem cliquey, but for the most part your walking into a room full of women who feel exactly like you. Use the group as starting point for building friendships and go from there. Mom groups are pretty easy to find, and you can start by using Facebook or Google to search. MOPs is a great organization that hosts moms groups in various locations around the world, and would be good place to start!

2. Local Online Mom Groups: Speaking of searching Facebook, there are a lot of local groups online specifically for moms in that area. Join a group, and try to stay active in some of the conversations, getting to know some of the other moms. Eventually, when you feel comfortable enough, try to arrange a play date with a few of the moms. These online groups are great for those moms who are less out going, but try not to get stuck in the rut of only communicating online.

3. Attend Kids Events in your Area: Story – times, toddler jump times, free play time at the library, open play groups – any kid – centered activity is a great way to meet some new mama friends. Take advantage of any local kid geared activities as a time to both get out of the house and to meet some new women who are right where you are.

4. Check out Churches in your area: In my experience, some of my closest relationships have come through the people that I have met through our church. Many local churches host groups for moms, play groups or women’s bible studies that are really amazing ways to develop some new relationships. Most don’t require that you attend the church itself in order to join in on the activities! If you are in the Rochester Area, you can find our church and playgroup here.

5. Download the newly launched MomCo App: So this is an exciting, and new way to make mom friends! An app just for moms has just launched and is a great (and safe!!) way for you to find moms in your area. You can chat with other moms and get to know them right through the app, post questions in the forum and even find and schedule play dates! Another added benefit is you can find services and businesses in your area that cater specifically to moms in your area all in one place. All you have to do is download it from the app store, and its free! You can download the app here!

5 Ways to Pick Up A Mom | meaghanmorris.com

The one thing in common with all of these is that we need to get outside of comfort zones and allow ourselves to make new friends in this season of life. It takes effort to build relationships, but we all need a tribe. Motherhood is a not a road that we should try to navigate alone. We need other women in the trenches with us, laughing with us, crying with us and lifting us up when it all seems too hard.

So mama…

Go put yourself out there! Crash a play group, attend a story time, download the app and make some new friends! I promise you that you won’t regret it!

Have Courage and Be Kind

Cinderella Glass Slipper

(Image from Disney Images)

There is a blog article floating around the internet today filled with reasons why it may not be a good idea to take our daughters to see the new Cinderella. When I first read the article, I found myself nodding in agreement with a few of her points. We have a blended family, I don’t like to sensationalize bad attitudes and I shy away from things that may lead my daughters to begin to express some kind of body image issues. But, I wasn’t convinced that this particular movie fell into those categories, and after hearing this mom admit that her opinion was based solely on the preview, and talking with a few other moms who had made the choice to take their daughters to see the actual movie, we went ahead with our plans.

And I am so glad that we did. The movie was fantastic, and here is my rebuttal to those original 7 ideas….

1.In a world where Disney Channel characters seem to be void of parents completely, Cinderella’s relationship with her parents in the early scenes of the film was heart warming. She adores both her mother and her father, strives to please them and takes their advice to heart long after their death. And while, yes, their deaths are both somewhat sudden and sad, the relationships she had with them and the way she overcame the tragedy of losing them both in different ways shapes a lot of her personality. Our world is filled with things that happen outside of our control. These things can hurt us in various ways, and we wish that they wouldn’t happen, but they do. It didn’t hurt my girls in anyway to witness this happening to a character they loved so much before we even arrived in the theater, but was an example of overcoming hardships and the importance of making each moment count. And while this lesson was far above the heads of my two middle children, it didn’t cause them any distress or change their view on life and death, and the display of emotions and grief was age appropriate and a wonderful example for my almost 9 year old.

2. Are the step sisters mean? Of course they are! But the meanness displayed by the stepsisters in the movie is far more subtle that even I expected. The writers did a fantastic job in showcasing their entire self centered personalities in the movie, instead of just having them sling names and inflict hurt on Cinderella. Their behavior doesn’t serve to teach young girls how to be mean, or even what to expect from others, but instead it stands to contrast the behavior of our beloved Cinderella. The stepsisters are arguably as beautiful as Lily James’ Cinderella, but by the end of the movie they are ugly by comparison because of their actions, which I believe can speak volumes to our girls.

3. I don’t know that this movie can serve to be a representation of all step or blended families. We are a blended family, complete with step parents. Never once have my daughters compared our situation to the animated Cinderella in all the years of our blending, and I don’t anticipate that Cate Blanchett’s role will inflict any harm on the relationships in our family after seeing this version. Cinderella’s step mother isn’t mean because she is a step mother, but because she is a hurting woman who has experienced hardships of her own and is jealous of Cinderella. Her role is again set to serve as a stark comparison to Cinderella’s nature, showcasing her ability to forgive and be kind in all situations, and that she is not defined by the opinions of others. Furthermore, Cinderella’s stepmothers actions are thwarted in the end and don’t end up hurting anyone but herself. And while this realization is far beyond the grasp of my almost 4 year old, Cinderella’s step mother is a character of no comparison to any of our family mothers, nor is she of comparison to any other moms that we know.

4. Passivity may be a character quality of Cinderella, but it certainly doesn’t define her. In fact, Disney does an excellent job in displaying how many choices she makes for herself and her reasoning behind them. She isn’t waiting to be rescued, but sticks it out in the home that her parents loved so much because she does it in remembrance of her parents. In this live action version, the writers are able to build out her story far more to showcase how she chooses to care for the house instead of letting it fall in ruins. Overtime, her stepfamily begins to expect her to do the cooking, cleaning and care taking because she assumed the role so seamlessly upon the death of her father, eventually treating her the way that one with their selfish attitude would treat a house staff member. And while we can’t argue that she is overworked, she doesn’t seem to be particularly forced into staying and caring for her stepmother and stepsisters. She wants to be in the home where her parents lived and make sure that their memory stays vibrant within those walls, until she meets the prince and begins to see the possibility of a different future. Her quiet determination, courage and kindness are character qualities that radiate from her, and qualities that I would love my daughters to exude.

5. Okay – so Lily James’ waistline may be slightly smaller than what might be considered realistic. But, this is a Disney movie. If, physical appearance is a major concern, there is a scene in which the stepsisters are shown getting ready, and the corsets are shown, as well as the amount of strength that it takes to get a corset tied as tight as needed to get a waist that small. For an older girl, where body image may come into play, what a wonderful world of discussion of dress in earlier time periods this would open up. Corsets were real things that women were expected to wear, and there is an entire history lesson on the topic you could find by just opening google. But, body image and physical beauty is discussed far less in the movie than inward beauty. By the end of the movie, the viewer is left convinced that Cinderella is far more beautiful because of her kindness and ability to forgive, than by any measure of outward beauty.

6. The sheer fact that there are real people in the movie lends itself to being a slightly more mature movie, but not so mature that my two middle children didn’t enjoy it, and not so mature that I would shield them from it. The mice are present, though they do not sing, but they showcase Cinderella’s appreciation for even the smallest of creatures. Her ability to communicate so directly with animals is not because she can audibly understand them, but because she cares deeply for them and observes their needs. The subject matter is still the same, the costuming, as well as the dancing at the ball, are both modest in nature and Cinderella doesn’t even kiss her love interest until they are married.

7. While I agree that I don’t necessarily want my girls to expect that a woman might meet her forever love and marry him a few days later, I am not bothered by the idea of prince charming. In a time period where courting and arranged marriages were expected, Cinderella and her Prince meet and spend time together on more than one occasion where they can get to know each other. They are clear about being drawn to each other’s nature and personality, and the romantic notion that he waited for her for a few months and searched for her is a notion that I am okay with. I want my girls to grow up believing that there is a special man out there for them, that they will become intrigued with his nature and personality, that they should expect him to wait for her, fight for her and take care of her. Princes look different these days, but I don’t believe that my girls need to believe that dating numerous men or getting to know someone for years is necessary. In a culture where living together is more commonplace than getting married, I am perfectly fine with my young daughters daydreaming and waiting for their own version of a prince.

All in all, I am very glad that we took our girls to see this version of Cinderella. I thought that the writers did a fantastic job at creating a movie than can be intriguing and wonderful to girls of all ages. If you are considering taking your daughter to see this, I would say go for it. If you are still uncertain mama, then I would suggest you see it yourself first but I don’t think that you will be disappointed.

Weekly Wednesday Devotionals

So I have been going back and forth with this idea for some time now. God has been revealing so much to me, and I have been keeping a little journal going of devotional content that I had been originally planning to release all at once.

But this past week, I felt God really opening my heart to the idea of sharing it with you piece by piece.

This is for 2 reasons…

1. There may be something that someone needs to hear NOW.

2. I could use some feedback. So…

Answer the questions. Comment. Start a discussion.

Devotionals|meaghanmorris.com

Week One: The Waiting Period….

“However, after a long time (nearly forty years) the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God. And God heard their sighing and groaning and [earnestly] remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites and took knowledge of them and concerned Himself about them [knowing all, understanding, remembering all].” Exodus 2:23-25

Despite the long period of time, the Israelites never stopped crying out to God. What they didn’t know at the time was that God was purposeful in making them wait. Scripture doesn’t say “and God forgot all about them until after 40 years…”, it says God “took knowledge of them and CONCERNED Himself about them…” God never forgot His covenant, but the waiting was necessary. He grew the people in numbers during that time, but more importantly, their faith, strength and desire to be free grew as well! Without the waiting period, the Israelites may not have had the physical, mental or emotional strength to face Pharaoh, follow Moses or leave Egypt for the promised land!

Some truth???

I have the HARDEST time in waiting periods. I don’t like the work it takes to get myself from the idea to the end result. I am impatient, and at times over zealous. But, like the Israelites in Egypt, I need to remember that in every struggle, dark season or period of waiting – God is growing me. I may not like it all the time. I may cry out to God to make it stop, to free me from the struggle, deliver me from the depression or remove the obstacle in my way, but I have to trust that He knows what is necessary. God knows my true limit, and He knows yours too. Like the Israelites, He will always deliver you when the time is right.

Are you going through a period of waiting right now? Is there something that you are crying out to God to change, fix or heal? Ask God to help you to see the process. Look back at where you started and where you are now, and ask him to open your eyes to the growth within you that is taking place.

God, continue to strengthen me in the waiting periods. Remind me of your love for me constantly, so that I will remember that you have not forgotten me. I know that you have great plans for my life, and I want to see them come to fruition. I long to continue to grow into the woman you desire me to be. Thank you for knowing my limits so that I can find comfort in knowing that you will never give me more than I can handle. 

MomCo App Feature!

I meant to post this yesterday, since I normally post new posts on Monday, but winter break has me all confused on what day of the week it is!!

Instead of posting something new, I am sending you all over to momcoapp.com to view an article about me in their blog! The article brings to light a lot about what we are working on, and its pretty exciting.

While you are there don’t forget to sign up for the app – an app designed at connecting moms with other moms locally in their area! I just started using it myself, and will be doing a post on it soon to let you know what I think.

So head on over today and view the article from yesterday!! (You can view the article here.)

Hope you are having a fantastic winter break!

A radical life…

Whenever I hear someone mention a person who lived a radical life for Christ, I always imagine a missionary in a dangerous country or someone who became a martyr for their faith, or a man in prison away from his family because he was teaching people about Jesus.

In fact, a lot of images come to mind when I think of a radical life.

But, what doesn’t come to mind is me.

A stay at home mom, with 4 kids, a husband, a messy house and who desperately needs a shower.

But I am learning something, that I want to share with you….

A Radical Life - Living for God in the Everyday | meaghanmorris.com

“A radical life for Christ is not always visible to outside eyes.”

We can live radical lives where we are everyday.  I know, its crazy right? But hear me out…

What makes a regular life radical?

I don’t think that I was wrong in assuming that it meant leaving everything behind to follow Christ, but what was wrong in my thinking was HOW we leave everything behind to follow Christ.

Serving God and living a radical life doesn’t only mean selling my house and packing up my family to move to a far off mission field.

It means embracing the mission field that God has placed me in right now.

It means putting aside worldly desires and wants and figuring out what God wants for me.

It means attacking each of my sins and struggles head on and allowing myself to grow in Christ.

It means praising God in the darkest of seasons, trusting that He will use it for good because He promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us.

It means praying for my husband daily, taking care of him and ensuring that he feels respected, loved and supported.

It means ministering to my littles just as a missionary would share with the people he met along the way in his mission field. It means teaching them diligently about who Jesus is and showing them his love. It means praying for their little hearts and souls daily, and praying with them for all of their daily hurts and needs, showing them that Jesus cares about everything from their little stubbed toe, to their homework struggle, to their broken arm.

It means praying for the mama I met at the grocery store that seemed worn out, or inviting a new friend to church, or praying with the mom from play group who poured her heart out to a stranger turned friend.

It means waking up each day and looking at all the opportunities I have right in front of me to serve the Lord.

Sometimes as moms we get so caught up in dreams put on hold for our kids, or with feeling purposeless. I know that I have caught myself referring to myself as the maid, housekeeper, cook, nurse or chauffeur, but never once have I found myself referring to myself as the caretaker, teacher, nourisher, healer, prayer warrior, or master booboo kisser that God has called me to be.

So the bottomline is this…

My life doesn’t have to change for it to become radical.

I do.

Because radical lives are not confined to specific places or certain actions.

Radical lives begin and end in the heart of the one living it.

So, if you are reading this I want you to know something:

God sees everything you are doing. He knows you are serving Him, even when no one can see. He hears your whispered prayers in the car on the way to school drop off, he pays attention to your heart as you prepare nutritious food for your family, he sees you wash their favorite clothes for school the next day, even when staying up to put them in the dryer seems like an insurmountable task because you are exhausted. He watches you get up in the middle of the night to rock your little back to sleep, or to hug away a nightmare. He watches you put everyone before yourself, and he is grateful that you are his servant. He is proud of you and loves you and trusts you to raise up little kids that will come running to Him.

Motherhood is radical, so own it and go and live for Christ right in your own kitchen…

I am linking up with Christian Mommy Blogger, and a bunch of other awesome blogs. Check out their links here.

Hey There Mama…

Hey Mama - guess what? You are perfect.| meaghanmorris.com

Today has been a whirlwind.

It started with no sleep last night. 2 of my kids were up all night and that meant that so was I. I started the day exhausted and behind….

I fed my kids waffles in the car so that my oldest got to school on time.

I brought my baby to play group in the pajamas that she went to bed in.

I cancelled going to yoga because my middle child came down with a fever suddenly.

My husband is sick. He has been for days.

I had to deal with some negative criticism today for my blog – which is hard for me.

The dishes from Monday night (and all the meals that followed) are still in the sink.

That laundry pile from last week is only half put away.

Sick husband. Sick kids. Messy house. Missed workouts. Put downs.

I have a lot of reasons to feel like I failed today. I have a lot of reasons that I could feel bad about myself today.

But I don’t.

I was lucky enough to get to hear a woman speak candidly about self love as a woman on Tuesday and she spoke words that my heart so desperately needed to hear.

Why do we put ourselves down?

Why do we let the circumstances of our day become responsible for our self worth?

Why do we forget the incredible women that God created us to be?

The truth is….

The house will always need to be cleaned.

The laundry will always need to be washed.

We will always think that we need to lose weight/be healthier.

Someone somewhere will always dislike what we are doing.

We will always wonder if we are good enough or if we could be doing more.

But we don’t have to…

Because right now, at this very moment, you are perfect.

Did you hear me?

You are perfect.

Its true.

The season might not be, your day might not be, but you are.

When everything around you seems to not be going the way want it to be, it doesn’t mean that you are not exactly where you are supposed to be, perfectly perfect in the season of life that you are in.

Things will be hard. We will fail at things before we succeed. We will wonder if we are good moms, wives, daughters, Christians, women….

We will stress over things that don’t matter.

And we will get up the next day and try it all over again.

Because its life that isn’t perfect, not you.

 ***I link up with these awesome blogs!**

To the man who created the billboard my daughter just saw on the expressway…

I understand that marketing is important when you are opening a new business. I understand that you want an ad the excites your target audience and entices them to come and check out your latest venture. I respect the fact that all ads have an end goal to sell something – a product or an experience – and that they are necessary in order for you, said owner, to make money.

But – while your billboard was supposed to be selling food, what my daughter saw was something completely different. She didn’t notice the address, the name of the restaurant or the chicken wings on the plate. All she saw were the three scantily clad women, whom I assume were supposed to be waitresses. As we drove by your billboard, I could see her honing in on each of these women in your billboard, their images being seared into her vulnerable little mind. I knew she was thinking something, but it wasn’t until she spoke up that I realized what exactly was bothering her. The questions just poured out of her little heart…

Mommy, will I have to look like that to be pretty when I get older?

No. Of course not. You were made beautifully inside and out and that is what truly makes you pretty.

But will other people think I am pretty if I don’t look like that?

Of course they will.

Do boys only like girls who dress like that?

No. The person who created that ad is trying to attract a certain type of person to his restaurant. The type of boys you need to be concerned about would never expect you to dress that way.

And the questions continued. No matter what I said, this image that she saw for only a few moments was taking up so much space in her little mind.

And a few days later, as we went to the store looking for new swimsuits, she fought me for awhile about what kind of swim suit we would let her wear.

She tied her shirt for practice a little higher than the week before.

She asked to wear makeup to church.

My stomach sank as I knew that she was already realizing the pressures placed on women to maintain a certain image in order to be deemed beautiful in our society.

And it isn’t just your billboard, but the images surrounding our girls every where they turn that create this pressure. No matter how hard we try as moms to instill values of self love, respect, modesty and integrity in our girls, they are still suffering the results of a culture that puts its ever changing image of outward beauty at the top of its list of expectations from our young girls.

As a mom, I feel compelled to protect my children’s vulnerable hearts and fragile self worth and ask you one question…

The next time you want to advertise your restaurant..

Why don’t you focus your ads on something else, and save the objectification of women for the patrons who show up.

I’m Coming Clean…

I have a confession.

laundry

(This is my laundry room folding table…)

My house is not always clean. I know that you probably thought it was, but it’s not.

Truth: I rarely have people over unexpectedly. My mom and mother in law are probably the only two people on the planet who get to see my house in its everyday state, and its because they have stopped over unplanned.

When I know someone is coming, I clean house – or at least I throw everything into a room, close the door and pretend to have an always clean house.

And it is stressful. Needing things to be clean is just how my desire to appear to have it all together all the time manifests itself. It causes me to stay up way too late, get up way too early and sometimes, unfortunately, to get way too mad at my kids.

And it also causes me to worry a lot about how I am perceived as woman, wife and mother. I don’t think we realize that the facade we create to appear to have it all together puts a lot of pressure on other moms to “have it all together.”

So here is another fact: I don’t have it all together. My house is a mess, I am wearing clothes from yesterday, my kids are still in their pajamas, I am tired and I still need to brush my teeth.

But, we are having fun.

God is doing some work in me lately, and He is teaching me (once again! seriously – I am not a quick learner apparently…) that I need to let go of control. In order to be happy, I need to embrace the chaos of this season of motherhood. I need to understand that living life with kids doesn’t look like clean houses and a shoe rack with shoes arranged in order by size….

It looks like pillows and blankets on the floor from snuggling to watch a movie.

It looks like dishes in the sink from dinner last night that we ate together around the dinner table.

It looks like a dirty laundry pile in the corner of the living room because excited children can’t always keep their paint on the paper.

And it looks like having a pile of clean laundry waiting to be put in drawers, because I was needed more for snuggles on the couch this week than I was needed in the laundry room.

So…

Don’t be surprised if next time you come over, I invite you into my mess, and wipe off a corner of the table so you don’t stick to it while drinking your coffee because my life is messy.

And embracing it means not pretending that it isn’t.

On the days I don’t want to be a mom…

Its ironic how I had a whole entire post planned for today on how we were tackling the sass problem in our house. With 4 girls attitudes can escalade quickly, but with a new plan in place yesterday went amazing!

And then today happened.

I am not sure why, but each of the girls woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. You know, the one where they are angry at the world and I am the scapegoat? That one.

I don’t know what in the world a two and a three year old could have to be upset about, but they were determined to make sure that Mom wasn’t going to get her way today. Emerson didn’t want to nap when she normally does, eat when she normally does or play when she normally does.

And Gabbi? Well 8 year olds can have it out for you in the best way. And by best I mean worst.

Each girl had me in tears before lunch and it isn’t even that time of the month. I spent most of the day alternating between blubbering mess and angry sailor (complete with the vocabulary and everything…).

With each incident of disobedience, each argument, time out, unfinished chore, demand and crying episode my resolve began to plummet, along with my self worth and my anxiety began to rise.

Today was going to be over and I was going to have nothing to show for it. No completed chore or project, no preschool lesson taught, or milestone achieved, no new clothes on anyone – not even me and I was going to have to go to bed realizing that I had failed.

Why does this happen so often? Maybe if I had some other job, calling, title then my days would go smoother. Why did this job choose me? Why did I choose to be a mom??? Why did I choose to be JUST a mom??

See, I have this problem. I am Mom so much that I forget sometimes that I am ANYTHING else. I can’t separate Meaghan from Mom, and because of that I can’t separate a bad day from a bad me.

The pressure, responsibility, busyness, and work that comes with raising these little girls is more than I bargained for at times. But, I have to remember that while I am a key part of the plan for their life, they are a key part of mine. God created ME. Meaghan. He has a plan, purpose, desire and path for ME.

Being a mom is PART of this plan. Yes, I am raising these amazing little souls. Yes, I love it 99.99999% of the time and it makes up more of who I am than I ever thought possible….

But when it begins to define me more than being a daughter of Christ, that is when is ceases being part of my calling and begins becoming part of my value.

God never intended for our value to be defined by what we do or don’t do, by whether we succeed or fail, are happy or depressed, are multitaskers or focused, fat, thin, tall, short, or anything in between. He created us to be who He sees us as, to fulfill his purpose, to receive his love and to love him in return.

When we define ourselves by His grace, we can never come up short.

So on the days like today when I don’t want to be a mom. When I want to throw in the towel, crawl back in bed, hide under the covers and wait until tomorrow, I have to remind myself to only define myself by what really matters.

Even when my kids don’t like me, I am created by a king who loves and adores me every second of every day and the only thing that he desires from me is that I love him back.

Moving Forward…

I will be totally honest.

I have NEVER been more ready to say good bye to a year in my entire life, and I have had some pretty rough ones. I think that the fact that the postpartum depression and anxiety affected so many people outside of just myself though is what made it the worst. It was scary, overwhelming and has changed a lot of who I am indefinitely.

But instead of wallowing in the lost time, the events that I don’t remember or the fact that I spent much of this year in fear of myself, I am determined to forge ahead and make the best of an experience that I never asked for but am realizing that I was truly blessed to experience. I am moving forward and I want to let you in a little bit about what I have learned…

Tunnel 2

I have spent much of my Christian walk hearing about how God can really do anything, how He can turn anything into good and how He is with everyone in the midst of struggle, even when he appears to be silent. I have spent time in prayer for others and I have watched the lives of people close to me turn completely around as a result of giving their problems, concerns and desires of their heart over to the Lord. And to be honest, I thought that I had too…

And then I woke up one day and my entire world had been turned upside down. Instead of turning to the Lord, letting go and riding the waves, I threw my anchor overboard and tried to stop the storm on my own. Instead of moving along in the way the Lord desired for me to go, I tried so desperately to push against the wind and the waves, attempting to reign everything into my control.

The result wasn’t the storm ceasing, but instead my life turning into a crumbly, broken mess with a million pieces to pick up. It was overwhelming to say the least. But the Lord never stopped trying to get me to see the light. He put it on the hearts of those closest to me to rally around me, to show me His love through them. He strengthened my friendships and breathed new life into my marriage. He brought new women into my life that made me take a look at my role as a wife, mother and daughter of God and allowed to me ask the tough questions about who I really wanted to be. And then, when I was ready to listen, He used his life giving word to speak to me the truths about Him and His love for me that I know He had waited so long for me to hear.

For the first time in my life as a Christian, I felt the love of Christ I had been so longing to feel. I understood His desire to have me walk with Him, what He gave up so that I could have life and the depth of His devastation when I turn my back on His help.

Hand in hand with my Savior, I faced each piece of my postpartum depression head on and battled through each issue with my warrior at my side.

Am I healed completely? No

Am I still struggling to get off of medications that I don’t believe I need to be on anymore, as well as struggling with the fact that certain medications may be required to keep me stable for awhile still? Yes

Do I still have to remind myself DAILY that I don’t need to control everything, that certain things are not meant to be within my control, certain feelings that I have don’t deserve the power that I give them and that at my strongest, I am still a woman struggling with my own sin issues even though I am responsible for lives outside of my own as a mom? Of course

Is all of this still overwhelming?? Each and every day….

But, by God allowing my default reactions to be stripped away, I have learned to look for Him at the end of the tunnel.

And the rewards are far greater than what I could have ever imagined. I realize more than ever what an amazing, important and difficult role I have been given in being a mom to these girls. I look at my husband as my rock, partner and the leader that God always intended for me to have. I look to God first, both in prayer and in His word, to the answers to my struggles, worries and temptations.

And I feel the hope, excitement and longing for the calling that God has for me. I am so enamored with the idea of sharing my story and testimony. I get giddy with excitement when faced with the opportunity to share with other women and help them get through their own struggles, whether it be postpartum depression, anxiety, loneliness, lack of confidence or desire for a relationship with this incredible king who calls us His own.

I have already been asked to speak at two events in 2015 on postpartum depression and my journey over these last 13 months.  I am attending a conference in the summer with some incredible women who want to be just as outspoken as I do on what it truly means to be a warrior mom. I am pouring my heart and soul into a book that I want to share with the world on the quiet struggles we face as moms.

But the most important thing is that I never knew what it felt to be content, happy and in love with Jesus. I thought I did, but I didn’t…..

Because I have never felt the way that I feel now and while I don’t wish my personal struggle on any new mom, I wouldn’t trade these past 13 months for anything…

And I am never going back.

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