What Makes Me Who I Am?
I grew up in a tiny town that was home to a little over 1,000 people. I attended a pre-k through 12th grade school where I graduated in a class of less than 30. Those statistics are just to prove that your small town probably isn’t as small as mine so there is no need to compare:)
I was the only child to a very loving and selfless couple who did everything in their power to help me succeed. We didn’t have much money, but my parents always made sure that I didn’t go without. They taught me to be resourceful and to make things happen for myself instead of waiting for someone else to do it for me. They also taught to me to never give up, love people, and seek God over anything else. I couldn’t be more thankful for that!
Slipping Into the Trenches
In high school I had a boyfriend that I dated for about 2 years. I was a Christian and I had a good head on my shoulders for a teenager, but I was still a teenager with poor judgement and I became pregnant at the age of 16. My parents were disappointed and shocked, but they supported me and lifted me up.
I heard many terrible things said about myself and my child during this time. I was told by some to abort because I was too young. Some said that my child didn’t deserve life because his mother was a/an insert slur here. People said that I definitely wasn’t a Christian…I guess this is because my sin was more obvious than theirs. I also heard that I would never amount to anything, I would always be on welfare, and my kids would hate me. My church kicked me out of the youth group and provided little comfort or guidance for me at my lowest. I was very confused and I felt very alone with the exception of my parents and a few close friends.
Coming Out of the Depths
I continued with the pregnancy despite the “advice” that I had received. I had my beautiful baby boy and became a single mother a short 3 months later. The next year I graduated in the top of my class and I continued on to the University of Tennessee where I earned a Bachelors of Science degree in 3 years while working two
jobs and raising my son. I don’t share any this for pity or for a pat on the back. I share this to let other women know that their circumstances can be overcome no matter how bad they seem and no matter how cruel people are.
Finding My Person
While I was in college I became close friends with a goofy, loud, and very thoughtful guy. I was always impressed with the elaborate way in which he informed girls that he was interested. I even helped him ask one sweet girl out. He obtained permission from her mom to go into her apartment, set up candles, her favorite candy in the shape of a heart, and a super sweet hand written card. After she entered the apartment and read the card he stepped out and asked her to be his in sign language (that was where I helped out) because she was a sign language interpreter. This was the stuff of dreams for a college girl.
I remember telling my mom how much I wish a guy would do something so thoughtful for me and she asked why I didn’t just date this guy. I laughed. He was a great friend, but I couldn’t date him. Well…God has this funny way of making you eat your words. This friend came to my house for a Bible study one Tuesday night. The study was over Proverbs 31 & Job 31–> the virtuous wife and the ideal man. The discussion between the group lasted until 2 AM. Neither of us can explain it now where it makes any sense, but on that night everything changed. It became very clear that God had created us for one another and that the past 3 years of friendship had been God preparing us for a marriage that would mirror Christ’s love for the church.
We were engaged 2 weeks later and married within the year. This man not only shared his last name with me, but he gave his name to my son as well when he adopted him.
We had our first daughter in 2014. I desperately wanted to stay home with my children so that I could focus on leading them and taking care of our home. It didn’t seem like there was any way for this possible. We crunched numbers and we prayed hard for God to show us what to do. We took a leap of faith and I quit my job before my maternity leave was over. We sold our house and farm, bought a smaller place, paid off our debt, and I am now so blessed to be a stay at home mom of my 2 kids with number 3 coming in August. We raise honey bees,horses, pigs, goats, and chickens (the last three are on hold this year) and I teach my kids at home. We are happier now than we have ever been and I am so grateful to the Author of my life!
Bless your heart if you read through all of that. I don’t do the “long story short” thing very well. My hope is to use my story and the knowledge that I have gained to encourage other mamas. I want you all to know that you CAN achieve your dreams. You don’t have to be in debt, you don’t have to work outside of the home if you don’t want to, you can prove the nay-sayers in your life wrong, you don’t have to live in the shameful shadow of your past, and you most definitely have God writing your story whether you can see the words clearly or not.
I hope that you can glean something useful from this blog whether it is a financial tip, a freezer recipe to save you time in the afternoon, a fun craft or homestead tutorial, or simply some mom-to-mom encouragement. See y’all around!