This weekend, Brady and I laid in bed looking back through years of old photos and videos.  This of course, brings up so many memories and emotions.  I posted this picture on instagram and I remember so perfectly when that photo was taken, and exactly what I was feeling.  I couldn’t have believed if you would tell me I still felt that level of happiness 5 years later, pregnant with my fourth precious baby.  In those years, happiness was so new and so fresh to my life.  I laid in bed nearly every night with tears streaming as I prayed.  I couldn’t believe how God had changed my life so much in those couple of years I had been married to Brady.

Of course, I also dealt with a fair share of insecurity.  I was a very young mother.  I delivered Harlo just before my 20th birthday and Stella soon after my 21st.  My husband of just two years – by the time we welcomed our second baby- was still in his first years of business and money was unbelievably tight.  I worried that I wasn’t giving them enough.  I worried that I wasn’t good enough to be their mother.  In fact, I was certain I wasn’t good enough to be their mother.  Just 3 years earlier, I was a completely lost teen, getting out of a really bad relationship, with no friends or support system in my life.  I had really taken some dark paths back in those days, but somehow or another, I had found my way out.  I wasn’t sure how, but I knew God was helping me every single day.  Still though, I knew I wasn’t worthy of being a mother to these precious souls He had trusted me with.

As I looked back in those photos and videos though, all I see is a sweet and loving and determined mother.  My girls were happy, and put together in their hand-me-downs and clearance rack clothing that we could afford, their hair in bows I had made myself.  Our home was bright and cozy with thrift store finds, hand-me-down furniture and some of my own crafting.  I was learning how to cook for my family with groceries bought sometimes with food cards.  My little girls and I stayed home much of the time and enjoyed each other with backyard picnics, walks around the block, and plenty of creative (free) games we could think up. Motherhood was so new to me then, and I worried if I wasn’t doing good enough.  As I look back, I see that I was.  My heart was overwhelmed with pride for myself.  That young, lost-but-recently-found girl was busy and diligently creating a beautiful life for her family.

I remember dreaming of days just like I’m living now.  Where we would own our own home, have a steady income, be able to afford cute dresses for the girls, and hopefully have more children.  Looking back at those videos, I wish I could tell that sweet mother that those days are just ahead.  To keep enjoying every single day, because even brighter days were coming.  I wish I could tell her she was doing enough, and doing a great job.  I wish I could tell her that in 5 years, she would look back and be proud of herself.  She could have really used that in those days.

It made me wonder in 5 more years where we’ll be, and what I’ll be thinking as I look back to the sweet days I’m living now.  I hope I will take my own advice to enjoy every single day, because even brighter days are coming.

So to you mothers reading this, especially you precious young mothers that are feeling like you’re doing everything you can to stay afloat, keep doing what you’re doing.  You are doing better than you think.  These days will be some of the best days of your life. Believe in yourself and love those precious babies – that is enough.