I'm just now pulling out of a two week pity-party.
So fun, right? Wrong. Totally terrible, lonely, frustrating, and entirely miserable.
The entire time, I knew it was a pity-party and I knew it wouldn't last forever, but I wasn't sure how long until I'd pull out of it. I'm still battling the burden of what caused the spiral into such a party, but...I don't currently feel like my whole world is downcast due to it. And I don't currently feel like an entire failure.
To be honest, it has been awhile since I have struggled so deeply, wading through immense insecurity, unhappiness, and downright darkness. Every piece of my life was affected, I was battling bitterness and depression. I felt insecure in my writing, in my commenting, in my real-life conversations, in my mothering, in my photography, in my wifeing, in every piece of what the last few weeks held.
On top of what I'm calling the Friday Fiasco, this season of Loren not making money while he is a student teacher with night class is hard. It demands faith on faith, trusting Jesus will provide every single day. We are living day to day here, and I'm tempted to grow bitter towards my husband for not working a night shift job (I did this once...night shift full time and school full time: it is actually horrible and I wouldn't want my husband to do this).
It's also tempting to be ashamed that we have found ourselves living off of the support of others, again.
I thought once we said goodbye to church planting, we said goodbye to living off of other people's support. False. We are right back there, and I am lucky to say we have a community and family who has rallied and continues to rally around us in support.
It's tempting to be mad that instead of focusing solely on my toddlers, I feel the burden of paying the bulk of our bills AND be a stay at home mom. It's tempting to kick and scream that I feel like I am missing out on much of their little lives because I am either working or thinking about all the things I'm behind on or ways I need to bring in just a bit more income.
But sometimes I am able to stop and pull myself out of my own head and see what a privilege it is that I even have the ability to work from home while Loren finishes his Master's degree.
For the last ten days or so, I couldn't do anything right and it felt like everything was falling apart: I could make a list, but really, I don't need to drag you through it all here.
These are the days they—those with grown kids—all talk about, and to the bottom of myself, I do not want to forsake them or fill them with bitterness. I don't want to have sadness and feelings of unfairness shadowing the immense joy it is to be these boys's mama and this man's wife.
These three boys are my whole world.
I don't want to miss my whole world because I'm mad I have to pay my bills or be an adult. I don't want to miss my whole world—which is right in front of my eyes—because my husband is pursuing a dream and ideal way to provide for our family.
He has always only been supportive of me and my dream of writing, even though it's never been easy for our family. It's been a sacrifice for us all, and I want to be the beautiful soul I was created to be and excitedly support my husband through his new journey.
These are the days they all talk about, the days we should cherish and soak in, because they fly right by. And I believe them. I believe them that we must slow down enough to enjoy the days and the moments, and be present through them. If there's something I've learned, it's to listen to those who have gone before me.
I will never forget asking my Great Grandma what she would share with me, as her last words. With her wrinkly hand, she took mine, and told me to not waste my time or energy filling my life up with things...to spend my time and energy and cares on the people I love most. "Love people," she said, "because I feel I didn't love enough."
These are the days they all talk about.
As I pull myself up and out of this dreadful pity-party, I will do my best to be present in each moment handed to me. These boys are growing so fast, rapidly developing and learning, and I desperately want my heart to be full and my eyes to be clear.
It does no one good to be worrying about what I did in the past or what I need to do in the future.
It only does us good to be here, right now, in the moment.
I never want to forget how deeply I craved these very days and these long nights.
These are the days.
Being a photographer, I love creating safe spaces for people to feel beautiful. I love documenting humans and helping to create heirlooms. I also want this for our family. Lucky for me, I have dear friends who are also very gifted photographers — we get to do trades! Here are a few of my favorite fall family photos, by Bethany Chamberlin Photography: