So I've never had a guest author and wanted my first one to be someone that my readers would enjoy. The idea has always been floating around in my head, I just never met the right author/topic until recently. As most of you probably have seen we recently got some family portraits done. They are my favorite things ever. The part most didn't know, is that our photographer, Hannah Moody, contacted me about the shoot and then told me she wanted to do it completely free of charge. Of course, I said yes. And if that wasn't enough, she also helped me coordinate outfits since I am horrible in that area.
Recently, I saw where see also runs a blog. So I clicked and checked it out. Turns out not only is she a fantastic photographer and all around wonderful human being, but also an extremely gifted writer. (Her latest post where she interviews her mom made me laugh out loud) So I messaged her about guest authoring and was ecstatic when she agreed. She gave me a choice of topics to write about and I chose the one you are about to read.
I also encourage everyone to check out her blog "Abrupt Joy"here & her Facebook Page
So ladies and gentlemen for the first time ever, I present my guest author Hannah!
I’ll start my post with my favorite Megow quote from my spirit animal, Nature Neela,
“High expectations. Hmm... Is that like when you climb a high mountain and you expect someone to climb it with you?”
I met Seth just a little while ago. We clicked over both being single parents and making Chick-Fil-A an essential food group, and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to throw ideas at him and interacting with his awesome kids. When Seth asked me to be a guest writer, I felt like I just got asked to scrub-in with Dr. McDreamy as an intern. For those non-Grey’s fanatics (if those exist), that’s a huge deal.
I’m Hannah Moody. I am a single-mom to my Noa, aspiring teacher, photographer, Jesus loving, occasionally funny 22-year old. I also recently started a blog, Abrupt Joy, which is why Seth found me semi-qualified to write something.
Noa and I spend a lot of our time watching Disney movies. We have lots of “things,” but Disney Princesses are our favorite. My favorite part of every movie is when the girl gets the guy.
Anna accidentally punches Kristoff then they kiss. Rapunzel almost tips the boat over then sings a love song to Flynn Rider under a ton of floating lanterns. Cinderella beats out all the other girls, ditches her shoe, and ends up marrying the Prince.
For a single mom, or any single woman, this is the dream, but as a single mom it is even more glorified and tempting because after sweeping all day being swept off my feet doesn’t sound too shabby.
But this post isn’t about that type of love.
I think we have love so confused. So, I’ll give a short history lesson.
The Greeks had a theory that there are 4 types of love: eros, philia, storge, and agape.
Eros love is the “self” love. It’s the princess kissing the prince and everyone is dancing and there’s a wedding and “oh gee I’m so in love” type of love. It evokes strong physical and romantic feelings. Eros is important in the beginning, but once one person is not “in love” anymore, it dies.
Philia love is a chosen and committed love. It’s the love found in an everyday friendship.
Storge love is a natural love. It’s the love found between your family. It’s the reason that even though your sister is wearing the brand new shirt you just bought and spills Coke on it, you freak out but get over it because you love her.
There’s Agape love. I could talk for days on end about agape love because it’s a perfect, unconditional love. It’s rare and profound. It can’t be found under floating lanterns, by kissing frogs, or losing shoes. It’s the love that makes us feel fulfilled and abundantly satisfied.
When I had Noa, I had complications afterwards that meant spending a few extra days in the hospital. I remember waking up on my “go home” day, taking a shower, packing up, and I even managed to put a brush through my hair (truly a miracle), when my doctor walked in to inform me that I wouldn’t be going home.
There’s a saying somewhere about how an unhappy mama is an unhappy house. Switch out house and replace it with hospital because this mommy was ticked.
I kicked everyone out of the room and sulked.
I wanted real food.
I wanted my shower.
In the midst of my tears and rants, I propped my Noa on my knees and traced her little features with my finger. This was the first time it was just me and her. She was always so aware and alert of what was going on. Her big blue eyes wandered the room. She flinched as she caught glances of the fluorescent lights. She had decorated her little face with scratches with her fingernails.
In that moment, it all hit me.
I made a life. I carried life. I brought life into this world and now I’m going to raise this little life.
No matter what decisions this little life makes, I’m going to love this little life because this is my greatest craft. Noa is my best creation.
In that moment, I saw more of God then I ever had. I imagine him tracing out what I think are my flaws and imperfections, whispering corny jokes that I could use for later in my ear, and saying, “I made a life. I’m bringing this life into the world. I’m going to guide this little life. No matter what decisions this little life makes, I’m going to love this little life because this is my greatest craft.”
Being a single mom has been the hardest job that I never imagined myself taking. I had my entire life planned out by the time I was 18, and being a single mom was never written in there. Not even in the fine print.
Loving another being turned out to be so much more than feeding, burping, changing, rocking, repeating.
-It’s laying in a toddler bed singing Cinderella songs until you hear little snores, then starting over when the door speaking wakes her up.
-It’s staying up until 2 AM on Christmas building a dollhouse that’s taller than you just so you can see that beam of excitement the next morning.
-It’s saying “no, I can’t” to your friends every single time, even when they are all being young and 22, because being mommy is so much better.
-It’s watching Hocus Pocus after Halloween because “Mommy that lady eats that spider and that cat talks and they fly” (AKA the obvious Christmas movie choice. Duh, Mom.)
-It’s finishing school a year quicker and taking 19 hour semesters plus summers.
-It’s kissing all the invisible boo-boos.
-It’s watching your child glow from excitement when a group of Brazilian students on vacation to Disney World chant “NOA! NOA! NOA!” on a bus back to the hotel. (True story, I think Noa is some kind of celebrity in South America.)
-It’s petting the goats at the petting zoo, even though they freaking stink.
-It’s not getting angry when your child pees on your electric blanket.
-It’s a lot of abrupt.
It’s an abundance of joy.
It’s an unconditional love, in receiving I don’t deserve. It’s an unconditional love, in giving that I can’t explain. It’s one of the purest forms of Agape love that we can find on this Earth. And I get to experience it each day.
It’s not always easy. A lot of my personal life gets put on hold so I can do what’s best for Noa. I’m missing out on a lot of “regular” 20 year old things and had to grow up quickly. But boy, is it worth it.
Thanks Seth for letting me ramble, and thank you for reading.