So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

For the first years of my adult life, I was self-conscious, anxious, and selfish. I lacked confidence in my own decisions and opinions, I cared way too much about what other people thought of me and I thought mostly about how situations would affect me. Perhaps that’s how everyone feels as they grow up and find their footing in the real world.

I’m not a “young adult” anymore. I’m a REAL adult and this thought kind of terrifies me. My 28th birthday is rapidly approaching and the big 3-0 is looming in the not-too-distant future. Lately I’ve been reflecting on who I’ve become and how I’ve changed in the last 10 years. I feel stronger and more confident, comfortable with who I am. I know my personality and the strengths and flaws that come with it. I will continue to grow and develop into the woman God designed me to be.

My journey is far from over, but here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way:

Challenges and conflict have made me a stronger person.
I would love to live my life without a care in the world. No stress, no confrontation, no friction. That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Of course it is an unreasonable expectation – we all face hardship and struggles. I used to shy away from conflict, avoiding it at all costs. I was scared to receive criticism, even if it was tactful or constructive.
In the last five years, I’ve experienced the hardest times of my life. I have witnessed how scary and unpredictable life can be. But I have also seen God at work in my life and I trust Him now more than ever. When my brother was diagnosed with cancer, when my son was hospitalized with a near-fatal illness, when multiple family members experienced infertility or infant loss, the only solace I had was in prayer and Scripture. I have come to realize that life will never be easy or perfect, and trusting in God’s sovereignty and love is the only way I will get through difficulties. 

I can’t make everyone happy.
Last year we went on a trip with my family, and one day I became so worried because an ice cream shop we had told them would be open was actually closed. (Yes, I do realize how silly this sounds in hindsight.) I felt so stressed until I realized that I was not actually responsible for everyone else’s happiness. Most likely my family wouldn’t care about ice cream. Even if they did, well, there was nothing I could do about it anyway. I temper this perspective with Romans 12:18: “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” I’m not going around making people upset on purpose, but I understand that someone else’s reaction to my actions is not my responsibility. 

My personality is an explanation but not an excuse. 
Three years ago I took a Myers-Briggs personality test and found so much encouragement in my results. It was truly freeing to realize that there were other people who thought and felt the same way I did. 

Learning about my personality type has helped me to understand myself, sure, but I have also had to address my flaws. I am a very introverted person and I process most of my experiences in my head, without sharing those thoughts with others. That made me very shy and quiet as a young person, and it has caused communication issues in my marriage. I have had to learn how to talk to my husband about things that are bothering me or causing me to be frustrated. 

Comparing myself to others is a waste of energy. 
I’ve spent countless hours comparing my life, my appearance, and my work to everyone else around me. Just yesterday I had to stop and tell myself that it doesn’t matter. There will always be people who are better or have more, but that’s not important. I need to be focused on serving God in my daily life, whether that’s through loving my husband and kids, serving my family and friends, or my professional work.

Comparing myself to others will not make me a better woman. I have to recognize that I am already valuable to Christ—nothing I could do would make me more precious to Him. I have found peace in that knowledge and when I find myself feeling insecure or inferior, I remind myself that I am “rooted and grounded in love.” (Ephesians 3:17)

Caring about people and issues is hard but important. 
The older I get, the harder it is to read or hear about the atrocities occurring daily around the world. It hurts my heart to read about another kidnapping, another shooting, another genocide. That could be my child, my husband, my family. It’s too much to think about. But if I don’t care, who will? 

I wish I could snap my fingers Mary Poppins-style and fix everything that’s wrong in the world. I can’t do that, but I can pray for people who are in a position to bring hope to those who are hurting, I can educate myself about issues, and I can be a voice for people who need justice. I can teach my kids to love God and respect others, and I can care for the people around me.

I am far from perfect, as anyone in my family could tell you, but I am grateful to be where I am today. While I still face anxiety, doubt, and fear, I am at peace with who I am and who I am becoming. Over the past 10 years I have learned so much about myself and about who God is. I’m still not super excited to be turning 30 soon, (let’s face it, is anyone excited to turn 30?) but I hope that in another 10 years’ time I will be an even stronger and better woman, full of love and grace, and serving God with everything I have. 

Rachel Gnagy

Rachel Gnagy is a wife, mother, photographer, coffee lover, and book nerd. She and her husband, Samuel, have four precious children, two boys and two girls. Rachel is a work-from-home-mom, running a small photography and graphic design business. She has been writing for Her View From Home since 2012 and loves the opportunity to communicate with other women. http://www.inscribedphotography.com/ https://www.facebook.com/InscribedPhotography

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime