I began my journey as a mother in an unconventional way. I was 22 years old, I had just graduated from college, and I had an extreme case of wanderlust.
I had spent my whole life in the same mid-sized Southern town and I was dying to travel out west. So, as soon as I graduated with my elementary education degree, three other friends and I packed up our small cars with what we could and set out for the west. The plan was to spend 6 months in certain places we wanted to get to know better: Utah (for skiing), California, Washington State, Oregon, and who knows where else. First stop was Utah because we had heard of a new church plant of young believers who met in a city theater downtown. We were eager to be a part of this vibrant church group of young believers.
If you can picture me then: young, single, ready to take on the world, ready to live for Christ and eager to do His will. I had no idea what He wanted me to do and exactly where He would take me. But I was willing, and that is all He needed from me.
The first Sunday at the new church, there was a man behind me holding a beautiful, long-haired blonde little girl lovingly on his hip. She looked to me to be about three years old, and I was right. He was striking because of his dreadlocks, that at that time were so long, they went all the way down his back. I was immediately drawn to this pair and wanted to know their story. Little did I know I would soon become a part of it.
Spencer, my husband, was living in Utah at the time with my now oldest daughter. His first wife died tragically in a car accident when my oldest daughter was 2. I met them when she was 3, married Spencer when she had just turned 5, and at the young age of 23, in a whirlwind of events that happened in less than a year, I was a new wife, a new mother, and living in the mountains of Utah. I always think to myself: thank goodness I was open to do God's will and that I was young. I had both of those things in my favor.
I’m not going to lie. It was a hard time, adjusting to being a wife and a mother all at the same time. In less than 6 months after we married, my husband had accepted a job in New York City, and we were living on the Upper West Side in a tiny apartment. And this was only my second time going to New York City!
Living in a big city, caring for a 5 year old, and learning to be a wife all at the same time was very difficult for me. As I adjusted to my husband’s long hours, and worked on loving and nurturing my new daughter, I spent nights in my small bedroom, listening to the sounds of horns and sirens of the vibrant city, reading books like Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Mary Pride’s The Way Home, Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Whole Hearted Child, and Martha Peace’s book The Excellent Wife. I was very lonely, knowing no one, and these books gave me information and encouragement about the kind of mother I wanted to be. Although it was very difficult then, I now look back on those times with much thankfulness. God was preparing me and chiseling me into who He wanted me to be.
Fourteen years later and four children later, I am still learning about letting the Lord lead me and being ready and willing to do what He wants with me. I am still looking for encouragement and information about being the kind of mother I want to be. I have found that being a mother has satisfied all my wanderlust desires in a way I never thought possible. He has brought me through a unique journey, and I am eager to begin sharing it more with all of you!