i'm a planner, i love a good to do list, game plan, road map for what's ahead. but, when my sweet friend mallory sent me these photographs she took, i was reminded that no plan i could ever make, or hope for or try to will into existence could ever have made something i love as much as the three (!!) i get to do life with. every major detail in these photographs, funny enough, is actually outside of what i had planned or imagined. i've written about how unexpected ryan was in terms of what i'd pictured in a husband -- not to mention becoming a military spouse and the wild, beautiful adventure these years with him have been. for some reason, i had always pictured having sons -- so not just one, but two, brave & kind girls to raise is a fact i'm still wrapping my mind around. i would have never guessed we would have lived for four years in the same military town, building a community, putting down roots, bringing our daughters to a home that is foundational to our family.
what i'm about to write isn't original or profound, my guess is most of you reading can find threads of it in your own life, but looking at these photographs certainly has made me pause and realize that my twenties were a lot about me learning to let go and hold on, all at once. for me this is a matter of faith, of letting go of so much of that control i crave. that sense that i can make things or fix things or check that box or complete that task; all while learning to cling to what is given to me. to hold these people dear, to show up in the season of life i'm given, to wake each morning trying to be both a bit braver & kinder. these photographs have been hard forged -- they've required a tremendous amount of worthy work -- our covenant of marriage; pregnancies that have pushed me to the limit of what i feel capable of; the humbling, daily practice of motherhood. i fail all the time. i fall short over and over again. but when i look at these images, i see abundant provision, and my heart is so, so full.
p.s. photos from during my pregnancy with ellie are right here!
mal, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy, full life to capture our family at this moment -- we will cherish these photographs & your tremendous patience with us that afternoon ;)