Thursday, January 1, 2015

Thursday Thoughts // On Being Ready...

I mentioned in my last post, this idea of "Being Ready" for something. For marriage, for a baby, for life in general...

Life is an interesting thing. Because here you are, making your way through life, trying to navigate through this crazy world, and life just kind of throws things at you, doesn't it?

I was 19 years old and trying to figure myself out when I met H, and all of a sudden I was in love. And was I ready for that? Absolutely not-- I had never traveled the world like I had planned; I had never been in a serious relationship before, I wasn't completely sure who I was or what I wanted out of life... but there he was, and I knew that I was supposed to marry him. So 3 weeks into being 20 years old, that's exactly what I did. And here I am at 22 years old, 2 years into marriage, trying to decide if I'm "ready" to bring a child into this world. But does it really matter if I decide that I'm ready? Because what if God decides that I'm not ready?

I read a friend's blog post the other day. She is newly pregnant with twins, after struggling with infertility for 4 years. She wrote about how for the past 3 years, she was so ready to be pregnant. But maybe she really wasn't ready... If you can ever really be ready... Because maybe there was a reason that it didn't work out during those 4 years. Maybe God knew what He was doing. Maybe for some reason that she didn't know, the timing just wasn't right and she really wasn't "ready." I may never know what her struggle felt like, and my heart hurts for all of the women out there who struggle in that way. I use her scenario as an example... to say that we all have something that we are struggling with. And there are many times where we've said "Okay God, I'm ready for this." And most of the time it doesn't happen right away... sometimes it doesn't ever happen... But there is a reason for it, whether or not we know. But God knows, and that gives me comfort.

I have a lot of friends -- real life and Instagram -- that I see traveling the world, and having fabulous experiences, and living the "perfect lives." At times I forget all that I have to be grateful for, and wish that I had what they have. It's so easy to get caught up in being jealous of others and to wonder why life didn't hand you the cards that they handed that perfect-girl-with-the-perfect-hair-and-the-perfect-clothes-and-the-perfect-baby... Because, honestly... I could be really good at that! I could be really good at being the girl with the perfect everything who never has to worry about anything. I promise, life, I'm ready for that! 

In all honesty... If I could change a lot of things about myself and my life, I would. (I mean, shoot... I'd love to be able to afford to live in New York, and I'd love it if I looked perfect all the time and if I could get my future children to look perfect all the time. Heck, I'd settle for just being able to get the perfect Instagram photo! The struggle is real, ladies!) But maybe those things just aren't for me. Maybe that's not how God wants my life to turn out, even if He wants that for someone else. Maybe I wouldn't be able to handle those things, even though I daydream about how "ready" I am for them. Because maybe, just maybe, along with all of those wonderful things, there would come some other trial or struggle. And maybe it's one that I'm not supposed to experience; maybe it's one I wouldn't be able to handle.

I guess the point of all of my ranting is this: When I really think about it... Every single one of those moments when I "wasn't quite ready" in life? Those are the ones that I wouldn't change for anything. Those are the ones that ended up being the greatest blessings in my life.

Like when I "wasn't ready" to stop going to Utah State, but came home after 2 semesters? (That's when I met H, and really figured out what I wanted out of life.) Or when I "wasn't ready" to fall in love and settle down? (Best decision of my life.) Or when I "wasn't ready" to move back to Arizona this year? (Found the best job and moved into the best apartment in the best location.) I think God really knows what he's doing, even when you don't. Especially when you don't. And the things that God and life push you into? There are reasons for it. And one day, we'll know the reasons why.


Although this post wasn't entirely about pregnancy, that is something that has been consuming my thoughts lately, so I guess I'll end with this:

It's not that I don't want kids or that I worry I won't be a good mother. It's more that I wonder if I've experienced life enough. Because really, I'm only 22 years old. And I haven't ever traveled-- and my bucket list (along with countless articles/posts out there) says that I'm supposed to. Plus, H and I enjoy going out to eat and going on dates whenever we want to. We like having our freedom... Not ever having to worry about if the baby is sleeping when we want to go out, or scrambling to find a sitter. We like only having to be responsible for ourselves. Is that selfish? We like being selfish.

In a conversation with my sister-in-law last week, she said something that really spoke to my heart. After expressing some of my concerns about all of the changes that a baby would bring, and asking if she missed anything about pre-baby life, she said: "Is life about traveling and luxuries? No. And can you travel and have luxuries when you have kids? Yes... Being spontaneous is harder, I guess. And sleeping in, I miss that. But then I bring her in the bed and she's talking to herself so cute and she looks in my eyes and I feel God's love so strongly. And I don't care anymore. I think having children is what you make it. You can make it a limiting experience of 'We never go out anymore' and 'Our life is boring', or you just adapt and make the baby part of your old life."

And while I'm sure there will be times down the road when I look back and miss the simplicity of life before having children, and a house to put those children in, and wiping sticky fingerprints off of every surface in said house...maybe that's okay. Because even today, as I write this post, very happily married to the love of my life... sometimes I miss the simplicity of life before marriage. Sometimes I envy my single friends who don't have anything to tie them down or to hold them back. They have so much freedom still. I never got the chance to experience what being single in my 20s is. And that was a choice that I very happily made, because I knew without a doubt that I was supposed to marry H. And while I wouldn't trade him or our marriage for anything, I still sometimes think about what it would like if I was single. And isn't that okay? I imagine it's the same for many of you... and it will be the same once children are in the picture as well. While you wouldn't trade those precious babes for anything, I'm sure there will be times when you think about -- and maybe even miss -- your life before they came along. And maybe you even envy your friends who don't have kids yet, because of the freedom they still have, and maybe that's okay. Because even while you are daydreaming about what it might be like, you still know that you wouldn't trade those precious children for anything in the world, and that you are happier than you ever have been before.

So yes. Having a baby scares me. Life scares me. The unknown scares me. 

And while I don't think I'll ever be ready for anything that life throws my way, I know that I will be a better person because of the experiences that I go through. All I can do for now is prepare myself. While I may never be "ready" to have a baby and to be a parent, I do know that I can prepare to be the best version of myself that I want my future children to know. And I suppose that goes for everything that we go through. Don't try to be ready... Simply try to prepare yourself.

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  1. I really needed to see this today...thank you so much for posting this!!


  2. I love reading your writing, and I wish you the best with your decisions.

    You can still travel after kids; Lizzie went to 25 states (including Hawaii) and the Bahamas before her second birthday. Maggie will hit 19 states (including Alaska) and Canada before she turns two. Lizzie will be up to 33 states before she turns four. We just make travel a priority. We don't have smart phones or car payments, so we spend our money on trips.

    If you're less than 24 weeks pregnant, you should come on a cruise with me and Kevin next November (the girls are staying home)! We leave from New Orleans, then spend a week in Caribbean stopping at Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. It's going to be awesome.

  3. Love this post and love you! :)

  4. I love this! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who feels these things! Thank you so much for sharing!



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