Days like today sometimes make us stop to reflect. It is important to pause and remember but also to look ahead. Most importantly, it is important to be aware of right where you are, to feel gratitude for the things in your life and be reminded to not take anything for-granted.
This has been quite a whirlwind year. And we aren't even close to the biggest change of all. We began this year on a mission. Our mission was to become missionaries. We will end this year as missionaries, just in a completely different context. Our mission has become our home, our family, our child. At the start of 2012 I felt ready for change and I was expectant of something big. Little did I know what God had planned for Alex and me.
So today I am a very different person. A different person than I was a year ago, two years ago, five years ago, and most certainly a different person than I was 11 years ago on that fateful day. So who am I today that makes me so different? Well I am a mother. I mean almost. But I think anyone would agree that you become a mother way before your child is actually born. This is a big and starring role in my life and one that will take much getting used to! This new role has changed my perspective, my passion, my motivation and my outlook. I feel an intense need to provide, prepare and protect. This is very different than 6 months ago when I was ready to leap, abandon and conquer.
Today I am more settled in my life than I have ever felt before. If I can think back even 11 years, I can remember always being very independent, an adventurer, and always ready to move and go. Until recently that has been my personality. But right now I feel so dependent. I am dependent on God. Dependent on Alex. On my church family and my friends. The idea of leaving all this behind is so scary to me. I need them, I need to be here. I no longer want to run to new places. I just want to experience this place in a whole new way.
The change I see is change for the better. I am so much more aware of how I act and react. Alex and I are constantly working together to make our marriage even stronger and better, before our baby girl arrives. We know the challenges that lay ahead and we want to be a united force, unwilling to separate when things become difficult. It means that I have to be more willing to give in, to accept when I am wrong, and to acknowledge our differences of opinion. I have to be less willing to fight, and more open to compromise. I struggle with pride and it keeps me from being more understanding and open-minded. These are weak areas I recognize in myself. Areas that I am willing to change to become a better wife, and a great mom.
Oh it's hard. I got mad at Alex just last weekend for eating the breakfast that I wanted out of the fridge. Yup, that's how stubborn I can be. But we are learning and changing. It won't be perfect, but it will be great.
Who I am today is a combination of past, present and future. What I have experienced, what is near to me in life right now, and what is to come. It all combines and creates me. Today I am thankful for who I am and what I have. I am thankful that in nearly two months I get to meet my baby girl; I am thankful that Alex is my husband and loves me unconditionally; I am thankful for an amazing career; I am thankful for our friends who support us even when we change our minds 18 times a year; and I am thankful that God is patient, merciful and full of grace! I am thankful!