A few days ago, I realized I am not the person I was four years ago (when I got married). I have changed much more than I ever thought I would. I loved college and matured a lot during that time, as well, but the last four years have changed me. I was about to write “nothing dramatic has happened”, but I would have to recant that statement. In less than four years, I got married and had two children. That would constitute a dramatic change, especially if you would have seen my schedule in college (i.e. sleep a lot!).
I was a Christian when I got married, but my faith has deepened. I married the most incredible man of God, and his example/words/prayers/etc have contributed to my growth. God has completely shifted my paradigm and worldview. My children have, of course, given me a deeper understanding of the love of God. I love what God has done in my heart. I am definitely not where I want to be, but I am so thankful for how far I have come. I am excited to continue my journey with Jesus.
The other big thing I have noticed a change in is myself as a wife and a friend. I have many amazing friends, but two (Allison and Melissa), in particular, have taught me what it looks like to be a friend and a wife. Allison is my neighbor, who reached out to me as a first time mom. I knew very few moms, so this was very timely. She, in turn, introduced me to Melissa. Both have unique giftings, but both are really hospitable. I jokingly (but truthfully) call myself their taker friend, because I feel like I just take from them. I really did not know how to create a home when I got married. I had a wonderful upbringing and have a fantastic mom, but I never learned how to make a house a home….or how to cook….or decorate. When I first met Allison, I remember mentioning how she planned to update her home a bit (she has since moved, but we had the exact same house…just flip flopped). I thought to myself that my house looked fine just the way it is. Through these two friendships, though, I learned how to tastefully decorate, which makes a house feel like a home. I did not update my house out of peer pressure, but by the example of seeing how a few changes create warmth.
Before knowing Allison and Melissa, I had a hard time inviting people over. Even though I love socializing, I am really insecure about my cooking abilities, and it makes me hesitant to entertain. Though they definitely are better at it than me, I have gained the confidence to have friends over.
Hospitality is really important to me, and I feel so fortunate to have friends who inspire me towards greatness. I love that I feel confident creating a home that Brett enjoys coming home to and that my kids feel safe in. My house is definitely not going to win any decor awards, but I feel at home. And that is what I value.
While I am on my sentimental wagon (which, by the way, I am really tired, so this may not be making much sense), I also have two friends (in addition to Al and Mel) that have really been irreplaceable in my motherhood journey. My two friends, Carol and Ty, do not live near me, but they have been the best go-to friends for questions/concerns/frustrations/etc as a mom. I admire their parenting, and their advice is always so timely. Carol is also the most fashionable person I know, and she has helped me in that area.
I have a lot of other awesome friends that have been so wonderful to me as a mom. Lizz is a mom of three young kids who excites me about having more kids (she makes it look so fun). Anytime I feel like the worst mom in the world (which, really, with all the weirdos out there, do I really believe that?), she reassures me that she has been there and understands. Michaela and I have kids the same ages (our boys are 6 weeks apart and our girls are 8 months apart), and her friendship has been so great. It is so fun watching our kids grow up together and serve the Lord together at church. Jen was my first friend who had a child in KC. Seeing her make the transition to motherhood helped me do the same.
When I graduated from Florida State and moved all the way to Kansas, it was really hard for me. I was so excited to be married and live with Brett, but I had (and have) the greatest friends in college. We have the funniest and best memories from our days in Tallahassee. Though I am still very close with those friends and they are definitely irreplaceable, God has enriched my life with new friends.
I am the type of person who has a few really close friends and immensely value those relationships. It was not until a few days ago that it dawned on me how much each friend (in college until now) how positively impacted my life in so many ways. I am not who I was four years ago, but I am glad for that. I have changed, developed, grown. Even my college friends and I have gotten closer as the years go on. Distance has not changed that. We laugh about how lame we were in college.
I think back to how I decorated my house when I was first married. My budget was much greater then because Brett played football, but I was still so cheap. I laugh when I think back to the tacky things I thought looked good. I also laugh when I think how terribly I used to dress. I have really worked hard in about the last year of trying to dress better. I am still not a fashionista, but I definitely am an improvement over the t-shirts and tennis shoes I used to wear everyday.
I am forever grateful for the friends God has hand picked to be a part of my life. Each has blessed me so much. It is so fun to adopt the traits/habits/etc in people that I admire and make them my own. I am a better wife, mom, friend, host because of the impact people have made in my life.
For those of you who read my blog and were mentioned in this post, I want to thank you for your friendship.