Breakdowns on the bathroom floor

This was a hard one to post. I definitely hesitated to push that “publish” button but sometimes being vulnerable is important and maybe, just maybe someone else out there will relate and be encouraged.
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That moment when you’re sitting on the bathroom floor, door locked, knees held to your chest trying to hold back the sobs (so you don’t make too much noise for the kids who are in bed and your husband who is in the living room) because you’ve done it again (lost your cool – the nice way of saying it) and you’re feeling like the absolute worst mother/wife/woman ever.

Never had a moment even remotely like that (doesn’t have to specifically be on the bathroom floor)? – Then you can just forget reading the rest of this – you must be the perfect mother/wife/woman. Ever.

I hate admitting it – but at the same time writing about it somehow helps and if it helps anyone else, than it’s worth it- but I am a messy mom. I don’t mean this in the literal sense (although some days that’s true too) but I mean I’m often messy emotionally as a mother. I have a feeling – and I REALLY hope it’s true – I’m not the only one. 😉

While there is comfort in knowing I’m not alone it’s still an awful feeling when you lose your cool and completely fall apart – in front of your kids and hubby and probably the neighbours who can hear you screaming.
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I had one of the above mentioned moments earlier tonight. (I like to write about it while it’s fresh and while I still have the guts to post it on the internet). We had just gotten home from a  great couple of days away as a family which was much needed as we have been incredibly busy lately and still have an incredibly busy time ahead of us in the coming month. We went to the Serengeti for the first time (even though we only live two hours away from the gate). It was a really great outing – we saw lots of animals, enjoyed time as a family and the kids held up surprisingly well with two very early mornings and loads of time in the car. By the time we reached home we were all really tired though and I wanted to get the kids fed, bathed and to bed in good time since Ezra has an introduction day at school tomorrow where he gets to go for the day and see how everything will go when he starts in September. (Maybe in hindsight this was a contributing factor to my breakdown – I can’t believe he’s starting school and I am definitely feeling that whole “my kid is growing up too fast” thing). ANYWAYS, I was edgy from the time we walked in the door. I was just tired and didn’t have the patience to answer all the questions Ezra had while Gabriel screamed every time I tried to put him down or get anything else done. I yelled at the kids a few times for things that were not their fault. Then Hubby stepped out for “ a minute” and wasn’t back almost an hour later as the kids were reaching peak over-tiredness and I was quickly losing it. I called him – he said he was coming. Fine.  I would wait a few more minutes so he could help me with the bath and bedtime routine. Twenty minutes later – still no hubby – I called again. He was just eating, he said; he would be right back. This would be the moment my ball of emotions started rolling down a very steep hill and I was passed the point of trying to stop it.  “Oh you’re eating” I said, “Don’t let me interrupt you – enjoy – I’ll just bathe the kids and put them to bed myself.” I said sarcastically and hung up on him.

Then I marched the kids upstairs while fighting back tears and started their bath. Hubby came in and started helping a few minutes later – I said enough for him to know I was upset (understatement) and then bit my lip and tried not to cry while we bathed the kids, dressed them and put them to bed.

Following this we came downstairs where I proceeded to yell at Hubby about how he was selfish and put his own needs first and left me and it wasn’t ok and blah, blah, blah – trying fairly unsuccessfully to make some kind of point out of my losing it. He said a few snarky remarks (which in his defence were probably warranted given my losing it – but still didn’t help him out much if you know what I mean).

Near the end of my yelling, Ezra called down from upstairs, “Mommy I want you to stop making noise.” My heart then ripped in half. I still “quietly yelled” a little because I just didn’t know how to stop at that point, Hubby apologised and chalked it up to us both being exhausted and that would be the moment when I went to the bathroom, locked the door behind me, sat down on the floor pulling my knees to my chest and completely lost it, sobbing for a few minutes, trying not to let anyone hear me. Thoughts running through my head, tearing through my heart –

“You’re a horrible mother and wife.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“The last thing your kids heard before falling asleep was you yelling and fighting with their Daddy.”
“You are not cut out for this.”
“You have no self control.”
“You’re such a mess!”

These moments don’t happen every day (thank goodness!) but come around every so often – I’d like to think to remind myself that I DO NOT have it all together. (As you can clearly see if you managed to read this far and aren’t one of those perfect moms 😉 ). I don’t even have half of it together. I’m a mess – and admitting that is sometimes the best therapy. It leads me back to the One who knows me – all of me including the really messy parts and still loves me. The One who takes me back every time I screw up. The One who sees my tears and understands. The One who forgives me and reminds me of who I am in Him. So while I completely hate those ‘bathroom floor moments’ – in a way I am thankful for them because they bring me back and show me afresh my absolute NEED for the One who created me for so much more.

So if you made it to the end of this post and have ever had your own version of that messy mother/wife/woman moment – we are in this together. I am here to tell you: you can get back up off the floor, wipe your tears, take a deep breathe and move forward. You’re not a horrible person – you’re human. Thankfully you have a Creator who knows your heart better than you know yourself and He still loves you like no one else ever will. Look to him and start again.


Be blessed mommy/wife/women friends…and know that falling apart every once and a while isn’t the end of the world, but a chance to start afresh with the One who holds it all together – so you don’t have to.
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Be so happy…

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I came across this quote the other day and it really stuck with me.

What an amazingly simple but powerful truth.

Without really much effort at all – I have the power to make someone smile – to brighten their day – to make them HAPPY.

WOW.

If we only realised the power we possess. It doesn’t take a lot. Attitude is contagious – we all know that. Which means a happy attitude – a cheerful heart is also contagious.

How many times instead do we spread discontentment, hurt, fear and just general grumpiness?

I wonder what would happen if we chose to focus on the GOOD. The things that make us happy and to spread some of that around. We might see the people around us become happier too.

I think it’s worth a try 😉

Today is a new day. I am blessed. I am loved. I am HAPPY. And my goal today is to make others happy too.

Have a great day and spread some joy around, will ya?

Trying to be less of a Sweetie

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Apparently I’m too much of a sweetie – according to my scale at least. 😉

This is an on-going journey for me – a long one with many ups and downs. In the last 14 months since I gave birth to my second baby, honestly I haven’t made the strides I thought I would have by now as far as my weight loss goals. At least I haven’t put more weight on after the pregnancy which is what happened with my first.

At the same time the flip side of not reaching my goals yet is to look at what I have accomplished in the last 14 months.

I have brought a new little person into the world.

I have become of a mother of two and have adjusted to taking care of two little boys.

I managed to survive 5 months of non-stop traveling and fund-raising in Canada with a 3 year old and a newborn along for the ride.

I managed to complete several training modules, lots of paperwork and personality tests and other meetings as part of becoming a long-term Global Worker with our organisation, the PAOC. (All while getting up an average of 3-4 times a night with my newborn).

I stood in BOTH of my sisters’ weddings and was able to celebrate with them which was really special.

I visited lots of friends and family and we made the most of our six-month stay in Canada.

I managed to pack up our lives (14 checked bags later), get on two different planes for a 26-ish hour journey with a toddler and a newborn (and my Hubby) and move our family across the world, again.

I have managed to adapt to a new city in a country that’s not my own while juggling parenting and learning a new job.

I continue to learn a new language and become comfortable in it.

I have met many new friends and have made a home here in Mwanza.

None of the above-mentioned things are small matters. It wasn’t easy – but I did it. When I look back – even though I haven’t reached my weight-loss goals yet – I can see that I have managed to do many things in the last year or so. Now that I feel a bit settled I have started to re-focus again and get back to my health goals. Day by day, I’ll get there. I don’t want to put a time-limit on it. It more than often doesn’t work for me and I am realising that this is my life-long journey. There’s no time-limit. I simply do my best each day and hopefully get better over time. It’s about striving for that balance in life that is so key. So while yes, I am definitely trying to be less of a sweetie in regards to what I eat – I can also recognise that there is so much more to my journey to be a whole and healthy person. I need to celebrate all the things I HAVE been able to accomplish at the same time that I continue to work towards what I haven’t yet accomplished.

When I look back over the last 14 months sometimes I can’t believe what I managed to do! It was A LOT! It makes me happy and proud of myself and that kind of positive thinking about myself can only spur me on to even greater accomplishments.

So – bring it on! I’m ready for what’s next and I’m excited to continue on this journey, becoming better each day. Remember to focus on what you have ALREADY accomplished – even if you’re not there yet – you need to celebrate along the way because no matter what, you’re farther than you were yesterday.

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All These Beautiful People

It’s a beautiful Monday morning here in Mwanza. I had a nice weekend with my boys and my Hubby got back into town this morning after a week away; so life is good. For some reason this morning I find myself reflecting on all the amazingly wonderful people I know. I feel so blessed to have so many beautiful people in my life. And when I say beautiful is has really nothing to do with what they look like at all; it has everything to do with what they give out and how they make me (and everyone else around them) feel.

The beauty of this world is only skin deep. It’s shallow and fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. If that’s the only kind of beauty you recognise or the only kind of beauty you strive for than I’d just like to say that I think you’re missing out on all the truly beautiful people around you.

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Sometimes with my human eyes I can miss seeing the beauty in people. We’re conditioned to look at the outside – to look at what is obvious and to judge based on what we can see.  But the thing is we can’t see someone’s heart and you can’t know someone’s true beauty until you spend time with them. Have you ever noticed people become more beautiful and attractive to you the more you get to know them? (Or sometimes visa versa). The more you spend time with someone the more you see their true character and you get to know their personality and it’s then when you can start to see their true beauty.

The thing is only God can see a person’s heart. Only He can see their intentions, who they are when no one else is around, their deepest desires. We can catch a glimpse of a person’s heart the longer we spend time with them, but we can never truly see it completely. It can make it hard in this world, not to judge and jump to conclusions about people, but if we could just resist that temptation I know we would be pleasantly surprised. Everyone deserves a chance to show you just how beautiful they are. Will you take the time to see it?

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

~ 1 Samuel 16:7 The Bible

My life is full of beautiful people. People full of joy, compassion, tenderness, love, patience, wisdom and respect. The things that make a person truly beautiful and admirable. I am blessed to know each of them and to have them continually pour into my life. They teach me how to see true beauty by the way they live their lives and by the way they love. This is the kind of beauty I want to strive for. I want to be known for how I love people not for how I look. I believe this is the true beauty; the kind that makes a difference and the kind that is remembered for years to come.

That Little Voice Inside Your Head

We all do it. Just go ahead and admit it. It doesn’t make you weird or crazy. Sometimes you talk to yourself. It’s normal –  I do it. Sometimes it’s positive –  a little pep talk to get yourself going; to motivate yourself to make good choices. “Come on, you can do this!” or “You’ll thank yourself later” or “Remember why you are doing this; don’t quit now.” etc. But other times we can get negative and down on ourselves; we can beat ourselves up a little bit, sometimes without even realising what we’re doing or realising just how damaging it can be.

That little voice inside your head is a powerful one. It can be used for good or for evil. It can lift you up and it can really bring you down if you’re not careful. This quote really strikes me:

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You are always listening – to YOU. You can try to ignore that little voice – but you will still hear it. You can’t get rid of it which is why it’s so important to make sure it’s a positive, reassuring voice and not a negative, self-depricating, self-loathing voice.

Some of us fall into this more easily than others, but I think everyone can relate on some level – where at some point they have been down on themselves and that little voice inside their head has made it worse. If you’re already the type of person who tends to be really critical of themselves than this can become a serious problem. Before you know it nothing you do is good enough. No matter what anyone else says you find a way to criticise yourself. Let’s not confuse this with being humble. We want to be humble people, but being humble does not equal being self-depricating. You can take a compliment by simply saying “Thank you” – this does not make you proud – it makes you thankful that someone noticed and appreciated you or something you did. It’s OK to be proud of your accomplishments; of where you’ve come from – maybe something you’ve worked really hard at achieving – it’s more than OK to celebrate those things. You can still be a humble person and celebrate the good in you.

If we’re not careful that little voice inside of us can tell us lies and worse – we can start to believe them.

“You’re a failure.”

“You can’t do that.”

“You will never be…smart, pretty, admirable, likeable, fun…”

The TRUTH is we all have a unique purpose. I truly believe God has a simply incredible reason for creating YOU. He doesn’t make mistakes – you are the way you are for a God-given purpose. This is the truth that should guide us. The one that should trump that little voice inside our head when it starts to get negative. We go back to the truth. I am beautiful. I am a creation of the All-Mighty God and I have an amazing purpose for this life and for eternity – and so I refuse to believe the lie that I’m not good enough. The creator of the whole universe created me, loves me and wants to know me. Think about that for a second and if that little voice inside your head is telling you anything different – politely, tell him to shut up. Like many mamas I know say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes we need to tell that little inner voice exactly that.

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