Brittany Arnold
moms@nrtoday.com

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January 7, 2013
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Brittany Arnold: The right fit (and joy right where you are)

There I was, fresh out of glossy magazine work in New York City, San Francisco and Portland.

My day consisted of the beep, beep of my Blackberry, fashion shows, concerts, openings, restaurants and martinis, when along came my prince.

With my black dress and heels and his suspenders and dirty fingernails, we may not have looked like the right fit, but I knew we were. The real question was if rural Douglas County was going to be the right fit.

It could have been a reality television show. My logger had a double-wide on a farm and there I show up with my bleach blonde hair, large suitcases, high heels and a small purse-dog who was quickly renamed to "rat-dog."

I spent time roaming the outside pastures and driving around; not so much to enjoy the scenery, but to find cell phone reception.

I was in a whole new world. I was used to traffic, coffee shop hangouts, take-out, celebrity gossip and a buzzing nightlife, and was now swimming in a sea of plaid-wearing, conservative, tobacco-chewing, gun-toting loggers.

The only place you find traffic is at the Wal-Mart, and a buzzing nightlife consists of watching the cops visit our neighbors.
But by faith and with the growing friendships around me, my trips to Portland got fewer and I started calling this place "home."

I prayed to find joy right where I was instead of trying every which way to crawl out.

And joy really began to take root when our daughter was born one year after moving to Roseburg. But my battle was not won.

My husband and I decided that I would dedicate myself to being a stay-at-home mom and wife.

Me, stay at home?

I burn cookies, use instant mashed potatoes, I don't recycle, I don't buy organic, and I believe in B-I-Y (buy-it-yourself) not D-I-Y. Already world's worst mother.

I stressed that my cup wouldn't be filled staying at home. I was born to be a career woman, so I thought. I lived to be busy. I rush, I forget things, I lose things, but I felt accomplished, meaningful.

I soon began to learn that it wasn't about my cup. God wanted me here. God brought me to this rugged, foreign place and opened my eyes to life. It was about filling His cup.

More joy took root.

I quickly realized that being a stay-at-home mom and wife is the hardest job I've ever had but also the most rewarding.
And while I did not feel like I had the criteria to fit the position, God continued to shape me and teach me.

It can only be by God's grace that I can now bake.

And this joy taken root in my heart is real; it is sturdy. Not some temporary happiness that has me fleeing from one thing to the next.

My life may not be as glamorous, but it is blessed, comfortable and blanketed with love.

I watch our 2-year-old click around in her play high-heels. Pretend curling iron in hand, she takes out her mirror and applies some lip gloss.

Looks like a bit of the city girl will live on - of course, we'll teach her how to hunt as well.

Brittany Arnold is married with a daughter and another child on the way. Read her Wednesdays on Douglas County Moms.

With my black dress and heels and his suspenders and dirty fingernails, we may not have looked like the right fit, but I knew we were.


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The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:31PM Published Jan 17, 2013 08:18AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.