Change.

The leaves are falling like rain outside my window. My baby boy, who is three months old already, sits across the room from me sound asleep in his swing. His little feet poke up over the end because, though I’ve told him to stop, he just keeps growing and changing as if he doesn’t need my permission to do so. I was hoping he would be my sweet snuggly baby forever but he insists on growing up as fast as he can.

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Yesterday I made the mistake of looking through pictures from when he was born. When I realized how much he’s already changed I panicked a little and asked Darren if we could have another baby; you should have seen his face :]

When I think about my life just one year ago, I can’t believe how much it’s changed. It was just me and Darren and our life was all about work and travel and building a home. We still work and talk about travel and are still building the same stupid home but how different life is now with the this little guy along for the ride.

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I’ve never been one to resist change, actually, I think I crave it. I like adventure and I like trying new things. But I’ve noticed this year that change is fast becoming one of my least favorite things. I didn’t want it to be fall because that meant summer was over. And I don’t want the leaves to go because that means we will soon be swept away into winter.

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Over the last few weeks as I’ve walked around the neighborhood with Roman in his stroller, I’ve looked up at the leaves painted proudly in orange and red and gold. I’ve felt the air grow crisp around me and noticed the way the whole world smells like a big cup of hot tea with all the dry leaves. Then last week when I was walking around, I noticed I wasn’t looking up at the trees anymore but at the ground where all the fallen leaves now pool in colorful piles along the way. It made my heart ache a little to think even fall will soon be done and gone as well.

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I gathered a handful of leaves for Roman’s baby book…a little memory of his first year in this brand new world when he changed me and brightened my world as much as the painted leaves have changed and brightened the world around us.

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Babies are art; they are paint brushes who color and change everything they touch. I will never be the same after having him, nor do I want to be. I only want time to slow down—so I can hold my baby a little longer and not have my heart-broken by him growing up so very, very fast.

On Becoming a Mother: It’s Okay to Change

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The thing that scares me the most about having a baby is the idea of change. There are things about my life I love and don’t want to change—and it scares me to think that they will.

The other day I thought about writing myself a letter as a way of looking back after the baby is born and reminding myself of who I was before I became a mom. I wanted to remind myself of who I am and what I value. I was afraid of getting swallowed up in motherhood and losing myself completely. I wanted that letter to remind me who I was so I could make sure I hadn’t changed.

But I didn’t write that letter.

Because I realized instead that it’s okay to change.

Even though I don’t want to lose myself when I become a mother, I also don’t want to fight and resist the changes that can and should be born in me during this time.

Pregnancy is changing me; it’s changing my heart and my soul and my body—and that’s okay. How could I possibly bring another life into this world—through my own body—without being transformed in the process?

What I realized when I thought about writing that letter is this:

Change is okay.

Change is good.

Change is not something to fight or resist or run away from.

All the best things that have happened in my life have required that change be born in me. If I were to hold onto who I am, to who I was—I would still be a child, immature and incapable. Change moves me forward and helps me grow into who I am able to be.

So yes, becoming a mother still scares me and I still wonder in what ways I will be different on the other side of this journey. I still don’t want to lose myself completely along the way. But I’m not afraid to change. I’m not afraid to grow. I’m ready to let pregnancy and motherhood birth new life not only in the child I’m carrying, but also in me—in my own soul and spirit as it stretches, grows, and changes right along with my body.

There is this story in the Bible, a parable used to illustrate a bigger idea, about how a seed must be buried, torn open, and essentially—die—before new life can sprout up out of that seed {John 12:24}. The seed is useless if it stays the same, if it doesn’t give itself up and allow new life to spring from it. And I think right now I’m that seed. New life can only be born from me if I’m willing to be buried, torn open, and die to myself a little bit. It sounds really bad for the seed, but think of the blossoms and the life that springs from that giving up and giving out of oneself. It’s really quite beautiful and spiritual.

So it’s true—I will not be the girl I am today when I reach the other side of this journey. I will be a mother. I will have brought life into this world. New life will have been born in me. And everything will be different after that.

And that’s okay.

Be Like the Bird

Sometimes I’m afraid to embrace change. Even if I’m not happy with the way things are, I’m afraid a change might leave me even more unhappy so I just leave things alone instead. But change and discomfort is often the road to growth and renewal. Sometimes we have to release our iron grasp on what we have to open our hands up, empty and ready, to something different and new.

I look back at my life, at the times when I let go of one thing and took hold of another, and I see how those times of risk and change helped me grow and move forward. And I think too that even if something hadn’t worked out the way I hoped, I still would likely have regretted not taking the chance more than I would have regretted the potential failure.

Right now I find myself in a holding pattern, afraid to move, afraid to try, afraid to speak—and it isn’t like me to be so paralyzed by fear. Why am I so afraid to move forward, to change, to speak? I don’t know.

I find this blog stands before me a frightful blank canvas and I’m so cautious to put up words, to speak my heart and open my soul in this space as I once did. I’m trying to face the fear, to say the words, to put myself out here once again.

I’ve hidden behind pictures and fluff but I thank you for your patience as I find my way back to the words, to the heart and soul of this space.

“Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings.” Victor Hugo