Our next installment of the monthlong "Love in Motherhood" is today! Read along, check out the hosts, and link-up if you desire. We'd love to see how love rewrote your story.

THE HOSTESSES:

  1. Anna Kate of Home Away from Home
  2. Jen of Defining My Happy
  3. Jess of Sadie Sky Boutique
  4. Jenna & Mary ofย A Mama Collective

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Being a mum is where my heart's always been. I am the second oldest of fourteen children and growing up I never got tired of the news, "We're going to have another baby!" I would beg my mom to let me lay out all the tiny clothes and then I would get the sheets freshly washed and set up in the bassinet... counting the days till my new brother or sister arrived. Nuturing came like fresh air to my soul, and I couldn't wait to have children of my own someday.

That little girl grew up, got married, and had four babies in three years, with one in the arms of Jesus. And I remember clearly the day my biggest struggle in motherhood settled into my heart. We had an adorable, chubby-faced six-month-old at the time, we were still newly married and living in a 2-bedroom apartment, and I found out I was expecting our second. All of a sudden, 800 square feet would not suffice and the first sprouts of discontentment began to grow in my life. I began planning and dreaming and soon after we bought our first house - a fixer upper that needed a lot of work just to become livable.

The problem was, this was no ordinary fixer upper. We found ourselves in the first week, knee deep in the living room crawl space when the floor could not be salvaged, wondering what on earth we had gotten ourselves into. What followed was 1.5 years of insane construction that left us drained of our finances, exhausted, and feeling so sick of that house that I couldn't wait to move. All the while, the root of discontentment growing deeper and deeper.

We did move. To Oklahoma. I remember stepping off of that plane at 8 months pregnant, holding the hands of my 2-year-old- and 1-year-old like it was yesterday. We surveyed the brown expanse and the industrial buildings and I didn't quite know what to make of our new home. I only knew that it was different than anything I had ever seen or experienced on the east coast and a little seed of discontentment planted right there in the airport terminal.

I was sure we would only last a year here, so we embraced Oklahoma living and went to rodeos, visited farms, and drove out on Sunday afternoons to enjoy the plains. "We would move next year," I told myself, and I dreamed of getting back on the coast again. By now, I should have learned that nothing ever goes quite according to plan. That life has a habit of coming in ebbs and flows and I would do well to give up my ideas and hand them back over to an all-knowing God. But I didn't.

We talked about moving every summer when the heat would set in and bake these plains so dry, I thought I couldn't take it anymore. We talked about it at birthdays and holidays when we were separated from our families by 15 hours of driving. We talked about it every time we wanted to go on a trip, just the two of us, and babysitters were hard to come by. But it never seemed to be for the right reasons and it wasn't long before our conversations led to the raw discovery that the real issue was my discontentment. There was never enough room in our house, never enough space for the kids, never enough cool things to take the kids to go do, never enough culture, never enough... and I would always find something to fill in the blank.

I had always considered myself a flexible, go-with-the-flow kind of girl, so discontentment was hard for me to admit. And really hard to face. But I began to notice that if I was to fully live, right where I was, then I had to embrace, right where I was. And much like a child, I crawled to Jesus and asked Him to forgive me for my foolishness, asking Him to show me how to love where I was. For as long as He had me here.

And just like our loving Father does so well, He forgave me. He forgave me for my bitterness, my martyrdom, and my wasted words. And in the place of discontentment, He planted a new seed...

...that of eyes that see beauty. Whenever, and wherever I am.

Annapolis and Co.