When I was 18, I wanted to be a marriage & family therapist. I don’t know why, exactly. I just knew I was passionate about people having healthy families. Healthy marriages promote healthy families. Healthy families promote healthy communities. And I saw our culture being torn apart by unhealthy communities & unhealthy families, so, naturally, like any other “healthy” 18 year old, I set out to save the world.
I have learned a lot since then. Mainly, that a single girl can’t exactly “save” the world. (Someone already did that, actually.) She can help, a lot. She can also hurt in the process of helping. And she definitely will be hurt in the process as well. No doubt about that! After a while, the thought of being a marriage and family therapist when I didn’t have a marriage or a family (with exception to my family of origin) began to feel silly. Especially after I started on that downward slope to 30 without any prospects of a husband (in retrospect, I now know that it was actually an upward slope, to a husband AND a family, but it didn’t seem that way at the time). I do still maintain that you don’t have to have these things to know anything about them. There is TRUTH that is, regardless of our circumstances. Experience is a great teacher, and knowledge goes far too.
Before I was married, I spent 3 1/2 years as an at-risk youth counselor. Basically, I was a marriage and family therapist, without the masters degree or the state certification. These families on the edge would come filing into my government agency office and we would begin to peel off the layers of why their once precious son or daughter was now a juvenile about to cross the line into delinquency. My goal was to keep them out of “the system” which was difficult at best and proved impossible at worst.
While these people sat in my office, I learned a LOT. A lot of what I knew was reinforced, and a lot of what I thought I knew was challenged and reformed. Healthy people do create healthy marriages, which create healthy families which create healthy communities. The reverse of all of these is true as well. And there are always exceptions, of course! The most important lesson I learned is that I don’t know a lot. And that, my friends, is an important life lesson we all need to learn. Sooner is better than later.
That being said, I have now been married for over 3 years and I’ve been a mom for a little over a year. I have been on the steepest learning curve of my life since becoming a mom. Marriage was is fun. Sure, there are some ups & downs, but overall, we have been having a blast. Parenthood, on the other hand has driven me to the brink of an edge I didn’t know existed within myself. I have never questioned myself more, experienced this deep of a depression or wrestled with my selfishness and my will more than I have in the last 15 months. Parenthood has also challenged my marriage more than anything, and it is strengthening it more than anything else has as well.
I don’t know why, but all of this makes me want to lay my heart bear to the whole wide world and talk about all of it. I want to talk about marriage, kids, life, faith & doubts. I want to celebrate the victories and mourn the losses. I yearn to write, to be heard, to discuss & to debate (ok, maybe not so much debate, because we all know that can get downright nasty here on the good ol’ www.) I want to share recipes, funny stories & hearts desires with a group of people who are going through their own stuff and maybe, just maybe, we could figure some stuff out together.
I am a young wife, a new mother, a fresh farmer, a woman, a cook, a writer, a student of gardening, a follower of Jesus. I have passions, convictions, ideas & experiences to share. I love life, even though it rocks me to the core sometimes. I have hope that life on earth is not all there is for us, and I want to share that with you too, eventually. I constantly don’t do things I should do, and writing is one of them. This entire post has been spontaneous while my daughter naps after a morning of grocery shopping and a doctor’s appointment. I have no idea exactly where this is going, but I know I am supposed to do it, so I’m jumping in! As my favorite Home Depot commercial encourages: “Let’s do this!!”