I absolutely love this photo. It so beautifully captures a precious moment in our family’s history when we welcomed and celebrated our seventh and final child after a very long period of infertility and “advanced maternal age.” It encapsulates all of the love and deep gratitude we felt at finally having the blessing for which we had prayed for nearly a decade. We look so clean and fresh and lovely. It is a beautiful and peaceful moment of profound love and delight.
I will confess right now, though, that most of the time motherhood looks nothing like this. The truth is that motherhood is messy. There is always something more to clean up, fix, prepare, straighten out, listen to, and heal. My efforts are many times clumsy, painfully imperfect, and never quite feel like they are enough to meet the demand. Yet, I love it and have chosen to embrace it fully every single day as a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t always love it; in fact, at one time I felt that what was expected of mothers was to carry the burden of society. I longed for the day when I would be free. I have certainly changed my mindset and learned a great deal over the last 25 years of marriage and motherhood that I hope to share on this blog.
When I first started out as a mother, I was also working as a registered dietitian, helping to support my family while my husband was finishing his bachelor’s degree and then MBA. I felt that my role in life was to feed the hungry, as I did as a clinical dietitian in a hospital setting. I particularly enjoyed working with the critically ill, as it seemed I was making the most difference for them. When I left my career and began to embrace my role as mother, I began to understand that there are many ways for a person to feel hunger–and my mission to feed hungry souls began to form. I learned that the home is the best place to feed hungry souls and that this was exactly what I was to do every day, beginning with myself.
It was my daughter Katelyn’s idea to launch this blog. She insisted that there was something important for me to do with all that I had learned and continue to learn every day–that the messages needed to go out to the world. My initial response was, “Okay, but I have three kids waiting to talk to me, two more loads of laundry to fold and put away, a baby to bathe, nurse, and put to bed, and by then I’ll be way too tired to even think about writing.” There are nine of us living at home right now, seven kids ranging in age from 22 years to 18 months. I knew my daughter was right, but how could I have time to write all that I have felt and come to know?
That conversation and many others deepened a conflict already inside me and for several weeks I stewed about it. Finally, we agreed that the only way that this project would work is if we did it together, and so we are. I love her for her inspiration, insight, and willingness to sacrifice so that we can create something beautiful together.
Hungry Souls to Feed is a place where YOU are invited to come to nourish your mind and soul. We hope that it will be a place where women of all ages and seasons of life can come to connect and help each other in beautiful ways. We hope that it will be a source of light and pure knowledge that you can then take and share with those whom you serve and love. We hope that it will be a way to spread joy and goodness through the world.