Chelsea Johnson

I'm in a field. I'm surrounded by nothing but the warm breeze blowing through my hair and the soft grass padding my feet. I'm so zen...

"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! Waaaahhh! Waaaaaaaaaahhh!"

I'm not in a field. I'm definitely not Zen. The reality is that it's 6:30 AM and I'm supposed to  be the only one awake, but instead I'm chugging coffee like it's water from the fountain of youth and blaring some old Alabama tunes to drown out the incessant whining and crying of the most beautiful 15-month-old angel-baby girl ever. At least my husband is doing the dishes (he totally gets my needs). 

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I am a 24-year-old mother of one who use to be WAAAAAYYYY chiller, until I had my most beautiful baby girl, Miss Olivia (see picture above), and suddenly the world became one huge ouchy-machine/stress-ball/basin-of-burning-hot-coals-you-have-to-walk-across-and-will-undoubtedly-make-you-scream-in-anguish (deep breath) beautiful mess. 

What can I say, I'm angst-y. Most days I am wound. I am stressed. I am wondering when it is going to get easier. But then, at the perfect moment, my sweet daughter scampers over and grasps my hand, gently pulling me to the couch, book clasped tight in the other hand. And my breath is taken away. I'm surrounded by nothing but wild, wild beauty.

I'm so zen...

Carlee Marlow

Everyone is watching me. My every move, every “like” and “comment” on social media is monitored.  Because my husband is deployed, I must be standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon of emotional breakdowns at every second. If I like a blog post about being stressed, everyone will worry that I can’t do this, they will doubt me. I’ll be a failure.

Psst.. hey there, um, actually guys… I’m doing pretty well. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m thriving in this. I serve an incredibly caring and steadfast God, He has not left my side.  I’m in love with my best friend, my husband, my biggest encourager, he reminds me all the time that we got this. I really have all I need!

I’m a 20 year old, freshly married military spouse, with crazy dreams, and an appetite for exploration that this world barely satisfies.  If you need me, I’ll either be on some mountaintop breathing in the alpine air… or I’ll be binge watching Supernatural, in my pajamas, for the 3rd day straight. There is no in between. Don’t worry though, both are completely normal and healthy for me! It’s a balance. 

My life is a balance with one impatient monkey (me) and one stampeding elephant (life) both trying to cross a bridge at the same time… guess who normally wins, and who ends up in the water? Bingo! Wet monkey. 

I’m learning though, I’m learning to swim. The jumps into the water, to avoid the stampede, are becoming refreshing and exciting, I’m starting to look forward to the changes in plans and surprises. It’s a new perspective and if you look at it, it really is Wildly Beautiful. 

 

 

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Heather Cummings

"Why doesn't my husband have a better paying job? Cause I am beyond ready to be in a bigger house with our own backyard...Why haven't we moved closer to my family yet? Because there's NO WAY I will be able to function much longer without being close to them...This whole stay-at-home mom thing is WAY harder than I thought it would be. I'm TOTALLY failing as a wife and mom. I didn't get anything done on my list of things to do today, I can't stand being in this messy house, and am I REALLY the one doing the dishes right now?!..."

This was me last week (and will likely be me next week). Those thoughts were coursing through my head like radiation in a microwave. And the aftermath of my emotions was like the over-zapped, exploded food mess...The urge to scream and the tears were REAL. 

You know what else was real? The experience of taking a deep breath and realizing that the anger I was feeling really wasn't anger at all, and was by no means an excuse to be ungrateful. The chance to sit down with my husband (David), crying as I told him my burdening thoughts. His loving reminder that God has me where I am for a purpose, and my son's huge, toothless, tongue-hanging-out grin were REAL.  

At 24 years of age, a young married woman with a three-month old son (Isaac), life feels challenging a lot of the time. The challenge is so beautiful though. It carries with it an unending source of humility, redemption, and reminders to embrace gratitude. 

While life can sometimes feel like an inedible microwave mess, the outcome of that mess is a delicious home cooked meal. I may not have a lot of money, and I may not be the most "put together," but I have an incredibly respectful and God-honoring husband, a darn good looking baby boy, an amazing support team of family, and a God of goodness and grace. And I finally find myself in a place where I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and love the person I see, not even remotely dependent on whether or not her hair is done, her makeup applied, or her stomach flat. 

My life is wildly beautiful, and so am I.