Right Where You Are

This week I had a phone date with my “NC BFF,” who I am so blessed to still have in my life 11 years and 500 miles later. She’s known me since my early teen years and been by my side through a lot of pain and joy.

She remembers who I was before the life I have now, and as we chatted recently she mentioned how this *gestures broadly* was my dream.

18 year old Alyssa didn’t know if she could have kids. She didn’t think she could be a mom because of her upbringing.

She had grand ideas of producing movies and being a bestselling author, living a wild life to numb the pain she carried, never getting married because boys hurt her, but underneath it all was the dream to be a wife and mother.

I didn’t know how I’d ever achieve this dream, of a husband who loved me and kids and a home and joy.

Lo and behold… here I am with everything I prayed for and didn’t believe possible. A sweet husband, three beautiful girls, and a house I get to make into a cozy home.

I was thrilled. Those early years had their fair share of hardship, but it was everything I wanted. I’ll never forget the morning after my husband, baby, and I moved into our “big” apartment. I woke to sunlight streamed in, hitting our new yellow quilt and a smiley baby. For the first time I felt absolute contentment.

This was it! Hashtag wife life! Starting the day feeding my girlie oatmeal and fruit. The faraway dream was finally reality.

And yet, somewhere along the way something whispered to me. A lie crept in and deceived my heart.

This lie told me it just wasn’t enough. I was just a mom. I wasn’t there yet.

It stole some of my joy, and striving took it’s place.

If I do this then I’ll matter. If I do that, or serve here, or work there, or get a degree, or do ______ THEN it will be enough. When I finally get a house, when I work a “real” job, when we can afford _______.

I know moms aren’t alone in being fed this destructive lie. Women from all walks of life experience this!

I have ________ but I still need to get married and then I’ll be happier. I have the dream job but I still need to visit _________ or do ________ and then I will be accomplished. I need to take that class or have this certification and then things will fall into place.

I should be doing more. I can do it all. If I can’t do it all, there’s something wrong with me.

Let’s break that off right now. May I be bold?

You are enough right where you are.

You can still have goals, you can still walk the steps to get there! But listen to me right now: you matter, you are worthy, you are enough in this season. Before you get to the next one.

Don’t let the “hustle” lies tell you otherwise.

Whether you are a mom, or work at Subway, or are in law school or anywhere in between!

You are enough.

Comparison and striving steals our joy from the right-now moments.

You can have dreams, you don’t need to step into all of them right now. You deserve joy before you get there, on the way there, and when you arrive.

If you are an intern in this season of life, you get to be the best intern you can be. You have purpose. You can have joy!

If you are a mom in this season of life, you get to be the best mom you can be. You have purpose. You can have joy!

The same goes for pastors, counselors, students, graphic designers, artists, and farmers.

You don’t have to be married to be whole. Wanting a partner to do life with is absolutely valid, but you’re a still a whole person on your own.

Traveling the world is amazing! It’s okay if you start small and get to know the city you’re working in til you can afford bigger.

Wanting to be in ministry is an incredible goal! It’s okay if you can’t right now because your family is your first ministry and needs your time more.

Culture sells us “more” but so often we lose hold of what we already carry to grab hold of it. Where you are right now deserves your attention.

This past year has brought me back. 2020 was difficult on so many levels, but it forced me to slow down and reevaluate. To rewire some thinking and take charge in my mental health, boundaries, and growth.

I think the Lord set me free from that deception. The weight of that burden being gone… It makes me feel light as air sometimes (when life drama doesn’t remind me there other weighty things haha).

This picture I have framed on my hutch gave me pause as I perused Pinterest one day.

The little girls, the baby wearing mom with coffee in hand, fresh bread and a cooling pie. The windows open to show off a gorgeous sunset.

A little moment of my dream captured in folk art.

Of all the things inspiring me lately, giving me joy, helping me fall in love with life again… This little painting has stood out time and time again.

It’s the background on my phone now too, because it centers me to my most-importants. It reminds me of what used to be my dream, what I have now that’s so important.

Right here is pretty stinking awesome. I could live only looking forward, dissatisfied with what I’m missing, and pining for the future… but I’d really be missing out.

My season of life can be hard, but it’s still good. It’s where I am. I still have goals and dreams! But I am no less of a person whether I’m “just a mom” or an author too. This goes for you too, my friend.

Dreams are good. God gives us dreams! He has a calling for every one of us. But sometimes we try to rush future dreams into the right now. We can invest in the future and still hold space for what’s valuable right now.

If you can’t breathe because you’re so busy, if you have no time for rest because you’ve taken too much on, if you’re finding yourself unhappy and overburdened… Some things might need to shift.

Plan out your goals, that’s not unimportant, but live in the present. Give yourself room to breathe and time to rest here. Don’t pack it all in to get their faster, because burnout is REAL.

You don’t have to get there before you’re real or valid.

You already are.

Live in that freedom, friend. You are loved and important in every stage.

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