what a difference a year makes in a mother's life

One year ago I was enormous, exhausted, moody and clueless as to what was to come in the next year. May has always been a busy month for me with my birthday, Mother's Day, a number of family celebrations and the Memorial Day kick-off-to-summer trip. Last year's May was considerably busy awaiting Audrey's arrival.

I spent those last May days anxious, covered in anti-stretch mark cream and doing pretty much anything I could to go into labor, including mowing the lawn. My mood swings swung as much as the spring weather and my husband was replaced with a body pillow named George.

It is hard to imagine that was all a year ago and George just moved out — and thankfully, the stretch marks and baby weight have left as well. And in we welcomed a beautiful baby girl.

Though most of the physical battle scars of last spring have gone away, I am emotionally changed forever. In one year, I gained an entirely different view on life.

This month I turned 25, which caused this profound reflection. I remember being asked for my high school senior yearbook, “Where do you see yourself at 25?” “Journalism career, New York City, and a family,” I said without blinking.

Well if New York City is oil, then Roseburg is vinegar. Last May, I might not have been completely sold on a life in the country, but now I wouldn't leave it for anywhere. A few years ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I was going to be a full-time wife and mom, but now find myself incredibly lucky to have those roles.

My Roseburg friends applaud my somewhat-humbled self and my old friends seem baffled by it. “You've changed,” they grumble. Even though they seem displeased with it, I couldn't be happier when they notice.

I wasn't looking for change, it found me. The happiness I endure now being a woman of faith, a stay-at-home mom and a wife to a logger is inconceivable. Nothing has been given up, only gained.

Last May, at 8 months pregnant, I was baptized. I floated there like a huge whale dressed in a white robe. That was the start to a year of pain and persecution, but also a year of the most joy anyone could experience.

Hebrews 12:1 says, “…let us run with perseverance the race that is marked out for us,” (New International Version). This year, I finally found the race marked out for me, and I'm persevering to get better and stronger every day.

I decided to hit that race of mine hard at 25, literally. On my fifth mile, the smell of manure and fresh cut grass encompassed the air as I sprinted downhill, soaking up Roseburg's beauty and catching my breath.

Coldplay's “God Put a Smile on Your Face” started playing on my iPod. Right as I went to change the slow tune, a typical May spring rain started to pour down on me. I smiled, opened my mouth and let my tongue wag in the air trying to catch drops. “Life is good,” I thought. “Life is good.”


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