To say being Eliana's mom has changed me is a huge understatement, and one any parent can relate to.

Never before has someone weaved themselves so thoroughly into every crevice of my heart & mind.

It's so different with your spouse.

You love them.

But there's a sense of independence even amongst the oneness you share.
Two adults.
An adult & child.

Just different.

One of the things I really truly have enjoyed the most is seeing how wrong I was.
That probably sounds like I'm lying- but take it for what it's worth.

At every stage of being Ellie's mom I've had previous notions completely shattered.  The majority of my "working years" were spent with children and their parents.  So I had opinions on the matter.

I don't have opinions on the matter anymore.

I kid, I kid.

But no really.  I have had probably 15.3 million different "Oh" moments.  Moments where I go-

Ohhhhhh so that's why parents always acted this way.

Ohhhh so that's why moms look like that.

Ohh so that's why their houses look like this.

It's been humbling & enlightening.

I've reached my year point of keeping Ellie alive so apparently I'm an expert now (lies!) and the more I learn her and my role as her mother the more I'm convinced that we both just need a heck of a lot of grace.  Grace, love, some laughter, and that a walk to the park always does everyone a lot of good.

She makes me want to be better.  In every aspect of my life.  Things you wouldn't think a child would impact- they do. I look at her and I want to not be a hypocrite more than ever before.  To walk the line that I preach.  To be a women of character.  A women she can depend on.  A women she can trust.

Obviously I suck at this because I'm a sinner.

Which is why I said previously that we just need a heaping spoonful of grace by the hour over here.

The Lord has taught me a lot through other mothers this last year, and for that I am so grateful.  Moms have the ability to be very discouraging or very encouraging.  It's a hard enough battle without the condescending looks from other moms.  Without the snarky comments.  Without the judgments.

I'm so thankful for the moms at Target who aren't shooting me daggers with their eyes because my kid is fussing.  I'm thankful for the parents who try to help you.  That offer a helping hand when you're flying alone, or trying to load up your groceries.  I know there a lot of mean moms out there- but I think the nice moms are winning.  I know a lot of them personally and they just look at me with compassionate eyes as my kid steals my straw out of my cup & I drop my soda all over the floor.

The older I get, the less sure I am about a lot of things.  I suppose it's part of growing up.  You realize your strong opinions that you hold as an adolescent were really pretty silly.  That you didn't know as much as you thought you did.  And I'm so thankful for this because it's greatly improved my relationship with others. (Lord help me when my daughter becomes a know it all!)

I feel like lately I hold my opinions more loosely.  More quietly.  Not everyone needs to know what I think about every topic on motherhood.  Because honestly I'm just winging it.  With God's Word as my foundation & His Holy Spirit as my guide- we are literally learning as we go.  Sure I still have opinions.  Convictions.  But I don't need to flash them around or shove them in people's faces.  There's so much going on behind closed doors- so much to the story that we don't see.

The last few nights I've been reading parenting books into the early morning hours because I am just lost on some stuff.  Calling other friends who are moms and asking them every question I can think of.

None of us have it together.  It's scary to admit it at first, but then it's just super liberating.

I wish I could keep her little forever- but then I would miss out on all the new discoveries she's making and I wouldn't want that.  I'm thankful for this year in ways I'll never be able to express in words.  She's  changed me inside out & upside down.  I had no idea my heart could open up this big & love this much.