I've read that opinions are like assholes ... everybody's got one. Here's mine. ( Ahem, my Opinions! Not booty!)

Lindsay

Lindsay | 29 | Stay-at-home-mom, Homeschool teacher

What has been the toughest lesson you’ve learned?

People don't always have to understand you. Generally speaking, my intentions are good beneath my dry sarcasm. I hate for someone to think I have motives that are less than scrupulous- towards them, anyone, or anything, really. I mean, I can just plain OBSESS about it. I have that deep-rooted first child trait of wanting to please others, especially my family. A few years ago, my husband made a huge decision for our family, and I supported him completely. A lot of people had a lot to say about this decision, and it was eating me up. It came to a point where I had to just stop- stop worrying that people did not understand the why. I had to stop looking to others to validate what was between me, my husband, and God. It was hard, and it felt really unnatural ... until one day, it didn't anymore. There are people who I love dearly that, to this day, I know no longer "get" me. It hurts, but I've had to let it go. In the time since then, meeting so many new people through our journey out of our comfort zone, I was once again reminded that not everyone will fully understand you, things will get lost in translation. It just has to be okay, and at the end of the day, you have to have peace with your decisions, all on your own. 

What insecurity has plagued your life the most?

I was a mother at 18, and looked about 15. I knew all too well what that stereotype meant, and I fought it like hell. I didn't want it to be a factor in my son's life. I know how doctors and caretakers can often treat young mothers- I will never forget the time we rushed Bay, then 4 months, to the ER because he was having difficulty breathing through a respiratory infection, and I could tell the doctor wasn't listening to me. She would literally cut me off, shaking her head and saying, "You all (my husband and I) are SO young." It killed me that I was not being heard due to my age.

I can assure you that the minute I heard his tiny, assertive heartbeat that very much announced his presence, I was no longer 18. I had moments where I attempted to still BE my age, and it felt like borrowing someone else's life - it never fit again. I'll be 30 this year, and I laugh at the panic this induces in a lot of women - I feel like my number is finally catching up to my life. I committed to being the best mother I knew how to be; I did not take it lightly. I made mistakes, but don't all new mothers? I did my best, because no matter what stage in my life this happened, I was a mother. He was this precious gift, and he needed me to be an adult. And so adult I became...as much as any of us do, I suppose. But, this doctor, the older couple in the grocery store, these people couldn't see this.  So I made sure, at every possible opportunity, that they knew I was articulate, that I was well-read, that both parents were living, married, in the same home and that this child was taken care of with all the love and enthusiasm anyone could possess. I know how bad that sounds, but I also know for certain that it's a real stream of thought that society has, and by God, for him I was going to swim against it. I probably (definitely) overcompensated, and I was probably much more transparent than I'd hoped, but man did I try to shake that stigma for him. That voice was there for years. 

When do you feel vulnerable? 

When I'm with my husband. We have been together since we were so young, and no one knows me like he does. No one has seen my flaws like he has, and yet he still adores me, and makes me feel beautiful. It softens me, humbles me, that someone I hold in such high regard can see my mess and still love me. He is my best friend in the world, and there is nothing I would ever have to hide from him - he is always my safe spot. He is my home. 

What do you fear the most?

Dying before I get to raise my babies. It's completely irrational, but I guess it's just about the chance of something so precious being taken from me. 

If you could change one thing in everybody’s mind – what would it be?

This is hard, because I don't necessarily want to assume ALL people think a certain way, but ... Christianity, on two facets: One, I would like fellow Christians to focus a little more on the "least of these". I'm not saying that we shouldn't have beliefs on specific subjects, but I think if we were busy truly being God's "hands and feet", then we wouldn't have time for legalism and the pain it brings to so many. There is nothing about that mindset that is drawing anyone closer to the beauty of Christ.

The second part of this is that I would like it if it weren't assumed that my faith instantly means I'm going to pass judgment. Give me a chance- I'm eager to give you one as well.  

What are you thankful for?

My relationships - my relationship with God, my family, my friends. These are life-giving exchanges, and they are the most beautiful thing on earth. Even when they are tested, they are everything. It doesn't matter what you have in this world if you don't have people to share it with. 

What are you (as an individual – children and marriage aside) most proud of?

I have a knack for building people up. I love it, it comes with a high that just makes you smile. Words can be wielded a number of ways, and I'm proud to use mine for good ... most of the time. I'm also proud that I managed to hold on to my childish curiosity and love of learning, even without the dangling carrot of a degree or paycheck. 

What is, has, or will stop you from pursuing your dreams?

I may be a little guilty of preferring the path of least resistance - I lack self-discipline. 

What keeps you motivated to keep going – when the going gets tough?

My faith, and at this point, going through enough to realize that even the most difficult seasons are just that - seasons. There will be happier, easier seasons to come if I can just get through what's in front of me. 

Describe what love feels like to you.

Love is little hands, soft and warm from the bath, that slip into yours without even realizing they're doing it.

Love is forgiving what seems impossible.

Love is fully accepting the whole person you see before you.

Love is freckles and red hair and a smile that truly radiates.

Love is three months of nothing but letters because you know what he's capable of, and you want to see him realize it.

Love is the "hello" after the "see you soon".

Love is tears that roll down your cheek for wrongs you desperately want to help right, sometimes for people you have never even met, because God placed them upon your heart. 

Love is a tiny dancer up on her tiptoes, scanning the crowd for one face: yours.

Love is UNO cards because you're too broke for anything else, and yet there's nowhere you'd rather be. 

What is something about yourself that you’ve always tried to hide?

How selfish I can be. It's truly embarrassing and I have to check myself often. 

If you could share one piece of advice with the world, what would it be?

Lose yourself in your love for others. Let it make an absolute fool of you.

What is your heaviest burden?

Being born into so much privilege. Don't get me wrong - we are not wealthy by American standards, but if you look around the world, even my one-income family has so much it's nearly vulgar. I don't know how to reconcile that with the suffering I see, I don't know when I'll ever feel I'm giving enough, or if I'm being a good steward of my position. 

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Taylor

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