I haven’t always been a humbled homemaker.
Growing up, I succeeded at pretty much everything I tried. Academics? A shoe in. And how my heart swelled with pride to deliver that high school valedictorian speech and wear the “Most Outstanding Female Graduate” medal at my college graduation in 2003.
I was the president of more clubs and organizations than I can even remember, and I was on the editorial team of my college literary magazine and editor-in-chief of the newspaper. I knew what I excelled at, so that’s what I stuck to. Success and achievement were my norm.
And then, in June 2008, after a grueling 16 1/2-hour labor, I became a mom. I wept as I held that squirming, red-faced bundle of joy that came out of me. I loved her deeply, but I felt totally clueless.
Nothing stretched me like motherhood. Here I was–this former valedictorian-honor-graduate-overachiever-at-everything-in-life person…feeling pretty much just as weak as I had ever felt.
I couldn’t keep on top of the laundry.
I couldn’t soothe my colicky baby.
Sometimes I could barely get dinner on the table.
And long before I stopped drowning in overwhelm God blessed us with two more precious little girls. I loved our growing family, but all too often I was too tired and overwhelmed to show them that love in the way I wanted to. The phrase “I’m not cut out for motherhood” would taunt me almost every day.
To add to our stress, our family was struggling financially. We could barely make ends meet each month–a reality that eventually drove us to apply for temporary government aid. In 2012, we hit rock bottom when we were forced to foreclose on our home (we were renting in another state at the time).
I was humbled beyond what I could’ve imagined.
But I can say without reserve that God redeems the most broken of situations–and people–and He brought so much light to a dark tunnel that seemed to have no end.
I put all of my failures–and past successes–at His feet. His strength was made perfect in my weakness, (2 Corinthians 12:9) and I became more as a wife, mother, and homemaker with Him than I could ever be on my own. God’s grace freed me to give grace to myself, whether in mothering, making healthy changes for my family, or navigating the tricky waters of food allergies.
In many ways, this blog has documented my journey. I started The Humbled Homemaker as a hobby blog in 2011, but I had no idea how integral it would be to my transformation as a homemaker. As I learned and wrote about cloth diapers, natural remedies, and homemade cleaners, God was working on my heart behind the scenes.
Eventually we were able to recover financially with the income generated from this blog–even to buy a house and send our girls to the school of our prayers. I share more of my family’s financial journey in my book, More Than Just Making It, but suffice it to say, it’s a story only God could ordain!
God has given me a platform to encourage more women than I could ever meet in person. The community surrounding this site, whether on Facebook or in our email newsletter circle, is now thousands strong! I’m constantly blessed by the encouragement and knowledge we share with each on our journeys to grace-filled, healthy homes.
Motherhood still isn’t easy, and now that we’ve welcomed a new baby boy into our home I sometimes feel like I’m reliving some of my past struggles (or discovering new ones)!
But you know what?
I can look back on my story and remember that being humbled isn’t a bad thing. I’m reminded that I will always need–and there will always be–more grace.
And grace brings growth.
In February 2017, we added a wonderful surprise little boy to our family. Motherhood has taken on a whole new journey with being a boy mom. I’m excited about being able to share that process with you all, as I grow and learn by mothering this little boy.
P.S. Want to know what some of my favorite things are? I listed 35 in this post, just for fun!