One Year

It was exactly one year ago today that this little blog came to fruition.   It is really hard to believe that I have been doing this faithfully for a full year.  There were so many people that doubted me, poked fun at me, and thought it was just a phase I was going through. I think some people thought it would be short lived, and that I would move on to something else soon enough.  While something else did come into my life during this past year, I remained faithful to this blog and continued to share my life and passions with you day after day.  I won’t deny that I doubted myself on more than one occasion over the past year, but I didn’t let it stop me. There have even been days that I have woken up and have not wanted to write, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I even get writer’s block and have no clue what I am going to write when I sit down in front of my computer, but somehow the words always manage to find their way onto the page.  It is not easy sharing your faults and struggles with the world, but I believe it is making me a better person. I cannot tell you how much this blog has blessed my life in the past year.  I love that it forces me to think outside the box and step out of my comfort zone day after day.  It has also forced me to evaluate my behaviors closely and come to some realizations about myself that I have in turn used to make changes in my life.  Whether I have one reader or 1,000 readers doesn’t matter to me because it is filling my cup up every single day.  What I am getting out of it far outweighs any of the negatives, and I feel truly blessed by it. 

My goal for starting the blog was not only for my own personal self-discovery and growth, but it was to also help empower other women to become the best version of themselves that they can be.  I hope that I have been able to do just that.  Whether it is through feeling more comfortable with how you look and present yourself, how you organize your home and life, or becoming more confident in who you are as person, I want you to feel empowered. I want you to know that you matter and that you are not alone.  No one is perfect, but we can all strive to be the person that God calls us to be.  I am certainly not an example of perfection, but I hope that I can be an example of someone who owns her faults and struggles and puts in the work to become a better version of myself.  We all deserve that.  We deserve to live our best lives.  We should never stop learning, growing, and changing.  If my crazy life can help you to do that, then I am going to keep on writing. 

Shirt/Earrings/Necklace

Before I started writing today, I actually went back and read my very first post from a year ago. I sure hope that I have become a better writer in the past year, because that post seemed too juvenile to me.  Ha ha! Seriously, though, I look back at the person who wrote that first post, and I think about how much I have grown in the last year. I am not that same girl, and that is a good thing.  That girl was lost and struggling. My dreams and goals are much bigger now than they were then, and I am more in touch with who I am and who I want to be.  I pray that I will continue to grow and come to know myself even better in the next year.  I also pray that my words will resonate with you and that you will desire to grow and change along with me. Life is a journey, and it is a journey that can lead to so much good and happiness.  It is all about perspective and attitude.  That is the biggest thing that I have learned in the past year.  I used to look at everything negatively, and now I have tried to change my mindset into a more positive one.  Of course it is still a struggle, and I am certainly a work in progress.  I just hope that something I have written has blessed you as much as it has blessed me to share it all with you. Thank you for coming on this journey with me over the past year, and I pray that you will stick around for many more. 

Anchored,

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6,933 Days of Imperfection

In just 6 days, my husband and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary. In some ways it feels like a lifetime ago and in other ways it seems like a few weeks ago.  I am not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you that it has been 19 years of wedded bliss.  I can’t say that, and I believe that anyone that does is either lying to themselves or to you.  No marriage is absolutely perfect.  No marriage is without arguments and struggles.  While I cannot say that the past 19 years have been absolutely perfect, I can say that I would do it all over again, including all the heartache and struggles.  Those things have made me who I am now, and I am sure that my husband would say the same thing.  I think we could both say of each other that we are very different people than we were 19 years ago.  I know I was a young, naïve, skinny little thing who had no clue what military life was all about.   I had dreams about the perfect little family with the perfect house.  I had dreams that I was going to change the world as a beloved teacher who was making a difference in the lives of children with special needs.  The perfect life. While I did get the family and the house, and I think I made a difference in the lives of many kids, none of it was perfect.  None of it was without struggle.  My image of perfect didn’t really exist.  It wasn’t realistic.  I am not telling you that I have had a bad life or a bad marriage by any means.  In fact, I would say that my marriage is pretty darn good. It’s just not picture perfect all the time, and I no longer want it to be.  

Marriage is hard in general, but throw in military life and it is even harder. Military life adds a whole aspect to your marriage that those that aren’t military would never understand.  I can assure you, your husband’s traveling doesn’t compare! You can never fully understand unless you have lived it, and I don’t even think I could adequately explain it. If I were to add up all of the days that my husband has been deployed, I would not be exaggerating to say that he has been gone for at least half of our marriage. He has missed so many things, and I know that weighs heavily on him.  It has changed us both.  People tell me all the time, that I am so strong and that they don’t know how I do it. I am strong when I have to be, but all those people didn’t see what happened when I was in my room all those nights feeling a deep loneliness and the weight of the world crushing my shoulders knowing that I had to get up the next morning and brave it all again alone. It was hard, and no amount of strength could have made it any easier for either of us.  One of the hardest days of my life and my husband’s was a day when we should have both been rejoicing.  It was the day our youngest daughter was born.  He wasn’t there.  He was deployed and unable to come home.  By some miracle, he happened to be pulled into a port that day, so he did get to talk to me on the phone that day and knew that she had been born and she and I were fine. He literally went back to sea minutes after she was born, and we didn’t have any communication with him again for 6 weeks.  I can only imagine what torment that was for him.  I know how hard it was for me, but I know it was even worse for him.  He didn’t get to meet our daughter until she was 3 months old.  I know that is something that will haunt him for the rest of his life.   Another struggle that military life brought was having to learn to live with and share life with each other over and over again. There was always a learning curve adjusting to life together and apart every single time he left and every single time he came home. It wasn’t easy.  I can go on and on about the struggles of military life, but that isn’t what is important.  What is important is that it was hard.  It did affect our marriage and who we were as individuals and together.  

Yes, I could say that I would have rather not have experienced any of that, but that’s not entirely true.  I proved to myself that I could do hard things. I had strength that I never knew existed inside me. It forced me to step way out of my comfort zone over and over again. It shaped me into the person that I am now.  That person is someone that I am proud of, someone I want my girls to look up to. That young, naïve girl from 19 years ago is gone. In her place is a woman who loves her husband more than anything in the world, knows that life isn’t perfect, has strength beyond measure, has fought her way through the tough times, and has dreams that are far bigger than anything she could have imagined years ago. No my marriage isn’t perfect. We fight, we argue, and we even dislike each other sometimes; but none of that matters.  At the end of the day he is my person and I am his. We love each other beyond comprehension, and we will continue to grow and change together through whatever life throws us until we are both no longer here on this Earth.  Then we will spend eternity together in heaven where we will walk hand in hand along those golden roads. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true.  We joined together as one that day 19 years ago, and we will stay that way forever.  As I look back over the years, I see lots of struggles and hard days, but I also see so many days of happiness, love, and pure joy. I don’t want to erase any of them.  I want to hold them all tightly in my heart.  There is plenty of space left for all the days that are to come, and I can’t wait to see what they hold for us.  I have said before that I am perfectly imperfect, and I can totally say the same thing about my marriage.  The past 6,933 days have been perfectly imperfect. Here’s to many, many more! 

Anchored in love,