In this latest Women of Grace series, you’ll meet Audrey S. She was one of the first ladies I met upon moving to Tulsa, OK and has since moved on to Colorado. Everyone here in Oklahoma misses Audrey, because she really exhibits grace every time you meet with her. From day one I could see her love of her faith and the lasting impression she would have on a person like me.
So, without further ado… Meet Audrey.
Who is Audrey S.?
I grew up in a great family and a cradle catholic. I really met Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church, most especially in the Eucharist during my freshman year of high school. I love the catholic community – that can be found in any catholic church across the world! I have been actively involved in my faith (some seasons more than others) over the last 18 ish years. My faith has morphed, most especially with children now in the picture (Ben is 2.5 and Mary Jo is almost 4 months). Recently I have rediscovered my love for the Rosary. It’s like bringing all my problems to the Blessed Virgin Mary and letting her handle them. She takes care of business like only moms can. I started praying a daily rosary with @Manyhailmarysatatime on Instagram in October of 2018, right before our 20 week ultrasound with our daughter, Mary Jo. She has a rare form of dwarfism, and I can already see how it is making my family better. We’re learning the new world of having a child with special needs – it’s been hard, humbling and awesome.
What are the difficulties of being a stay at home mom? What are the joys?
Since Mary Jo’s birth has been my first experience as a SAHM. I worked full or part time since nursing school graduation in 2010 and also after Ben was born. The hardest part is probably that your work is invisible. No one sees it, and it’s really not optional – kids gotta eat, potty and sleep! The Rosary has helped me start off my day with more patience and focus on all my tasks. I find I’m less irritated if my day starts with this meditation. The Blessed Virgin is a mother to me, and I rely on her prayers! I love the simplicity of being home all the time, but it is also totally chaotic sometimes. In the last couple months we moved states, put our house on the market, began toddler tantrums, had lots of specialty appointments in two states, etc). I plan to go back to work, but thankfully I’ve had more time at home with MJ since she has required many appointments and extra equipment. I’m grateful for the time to see where God leads me to work in this next chapter.
How would you describe yourself as a person (individual, wife, mother, all three)?
Maybe you should ask my husband this one! Ha. I’d like to say I’m friendly and loving. It’s cliché, but being a nurse has always come naturally, because I love to help – maybe too much sometimes. I think my little gift from God that I’ve always enjoyed using is hospitality. Hospitality is the beginning point for loving people.
As a wife, Cody and I work well as a team – some times better than others. I *think* every married couple goes through the times of keeping score (tally on chores, diapers, hours of sleep, etc)… when we don’t keep score, we’re awesome. We enjoy food and hosting friends, and miss all the great foodie places in Tulsa very much already! I’m still learning how to be a good wife, what that looks like, and I’m pretty sure I’ll always be learning how to be giving of self. Marriage is hard, but so good and a commitment worth making. I am very grateful for the man God gave me.
I have high hopes for my motherhood that my kids will look back and know how loved they are, even when they drive me crazy.
Tell us something you value in others, in life, or just generally.
I value the ability to be truthful and charitable together. With these two things, you can’t go wrong in really any situation/confrontation that life throws at you.
What is the outcome you wish for your children and how to you attempt to achieve that?
I want them to desire Heaven and be willing to devote their life to getting there. Whatever that looks like, my job as a parent it to instill in my kids confidence in God and themselves, and a deep love for others. I want them to really experience life, not through a screen, but to slow down and live life. We are moving up to the mountains at the end of the summer and I’m excited for us all to disconnect a little bit.
Is there one thing you wish you would have done differently from the start of your marriage/parenthood?
I wish we were better at sticking to our commitments to individual prayer, mutual prayer, family prayer, good habits, and I wish we would’ve traveled more before kids (in retirement right?!). BUT, the good news is we can get up and start anew every day we’re given.
What is one piece of advice you’ve received and you always use?
When making a big decision, I like to weigh the options with, “What will I regret more?” This was especially useful in our last big decision as a family to move to Colorado for Cody’s once-in-a-lifetime job. We would always wonder what it would’ve been like, so we had to go for it, knowing we could always move back if needed. I’m not sure who gave me this advice, but if you’re reading this, thank you!
Who do you look up to in your life?
This is really hard to nail down. In this current season, I really look up to those moms and dads who are a few steps ahead of our family in size and years. They are exponentially helpful in their advice, prayers and encouragement. There are a lot, and I probably stalk you on Instagram for ideas. Thank you!
What have you learned along the way that others may also benefit from knowing?
Worrying is suffering twice. As much as I worry, it usually turns out okay in the end. Life won’t be without some suffering and we all have our crosses. I really try to enjoy the good times and prepare for the hard times… because they will come.
What do you feel are the hard parts of being a wife and mother?
To me – the blessing and curse of being a wife and mom is that you are always needed. Most of the time a child needs you from dawn until dusk … and it doesn’t leave much tenderness for your husband. I’m working on trying to be more joyful and present to him after the long days of unseen diapers and bottles. It’s also hard to ask for help, and delegate… but it must be done.
Tell us three fun or interesting facts about you.
1. I love beautiful things like art, music, relevant fashion, makeup, home renovating and decorating, and gardening… but I’m pretty terrible at most of it! I appreciate those that have the gifts.
2. I’ve worked as a NICU nurse for the last 8 years. I love deliveries and the adrenaline of the unknown. I may be leaning toward the L&D side for the next job applications, we’ll see. It’s not so scary after being a mom yourself.
3. In a different life, I would’ve loved to be an overseas missionary.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?
I firmly believe there’s no better way to get to know someone than by sharing a meal with them. If you’re struggling with community or making friends, invite someone over for a meal, or invite yourself over (politely). Everyone loves to be asked about themselves – so start asking questions.
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Acts 2:42