Whole30 – One Week Down!

Hello Everyone!

As some of you might know I decided to try the Whole30 again for this month as I felt my eating habits had become out of control and I just had no discipline anymore. I have finished 7 days now and… I’m still alive! 😛 It’s not been easy but I am already starting to see some benefits which encourage me to continue to the end.

I have to admit I have been VERY tired for most of this first week. I have been trying very hard to go to bed earlier and to drink lots of water – which for the most part I have been doing well. I think it’s the only reason I’ve been able to push through the fatigue.

Julius and I have been going for walks for the last 4 mornings. We wake up at 5:50am (I know, it’s crazy!) and walk from about 6-6:30 or 6:40am. This is so I can still get home in time to get myself and Ezra ready so I can drop him at school for 7:40 am and then head into the office. While I still HATE getting up that early and it’s a struggle, I do feel better after making myself do it. There’s something about being outside, getting fresh air that early in the morning, before things get too busy. I also like getting it out of the way. I’m hoping to add in some more exercise a few evenings a week, but I’ve been too tired so far and have just been focusing on getting enough sleep. I’ve been getting to bed before 10pm so I can wake up to walk in the mornings.

While I will admit there are times I just feel like snacking or eating something sweet or salty – I am not really very hungry. I’m eating 3 full meals and maybe one snack a day and I find them quite filling. It is difficult preparing dinner for my family and then at least part of it separately for myself, but we’re managing.

My favourite Whole30 foods so far are avocado (which I already loved, but now love even more), sweet potato (which I never ate much of before, but really like now), ghee (I cook everything in it and quite like it), and coconut milk (which I am finding so many ways to use). I fear food boredom will set in eventually, but I am trying to do my best to eat a variety of foods, to try new recipes and just to pace myself. Even if I ate the same thing for next 23 days — the truth is I would survive. 😉 So that’s what I keep telling myself. I can do anything for 30 days.

I also found a way to drink my coffee on Whole30 which I actually quite like. (I tried to do no coffee, but the fatigue won…then I tried to do coffee black and while I can drink it – more like down it like medicine- I don’t enjoy it black). So this morning I blended black coffee, coconut milk and two table spoons of my all natural protein mix vanilla with ice, then drank it over ice as well as an iced coffee. 🙂

All in all I am heading into week 2 still enthusiastic and excited to see more of the benefits that Whole30 has to offer.

6 Months Later…

I remembered today that I have a blog…which I haven’t written anything on for almost  months now! I didn’t think it had been that long. Honestly it’s been a very full six months – full of family, travel, new friends, work, more travel, some heartache and lots of laughs.

Our time in Canada was full :). But we’re grateful that our schedule was full and we were able to meet so many great people and to share our hearts about the work that God has called us to. We’re also grateful for God’s provision and protection during our time in Canada. He is so good to us.

We left Canada exactly 3 weeks ago today and we arrived back in Mwanza on August, 20th. I’m not going to lie the jet lag struggle was SO real this time! It took a good week to feel human again, and poor Hubby was off again after one week as he traveled to Zambia for VOH Africa Meetings. It also probably didn’t help that I had two wisdom teeth pulled two days before we left Canada–but we all survived and Julius is coming back home to Tanzania today, so I am one happy wifey. 🙂

Five days before we left Canada my Grandpa had a major brain bleed and subsequent stroke. We were told the bleed in his brain was massive and inoperable and he wouldn’t recover. It was quite a blow and very unexpected as he was very healthy. The Doctors said there is no way to predict these things; they are totally random. Grandpa always used to joke that he was ready and that he wasn’t long for this world – which we all hated, but it’s like he somehow knew. He was only 71 when he passed away a week later while we were in the air somewhere between Turkey and Tanzania.


I really miss him. It’s been hard for me to process. I am very glad that I was able to see him in the hospital and to say “see you later” and to be with my family for those few days before we left. But everything still seems very surreal to me. I can’t believe he’s in Heaven already. This is the hard part about living overseas (one of them). I feel as though it won’t really seem real to me until the next time we’re back in Canada and he’s not there, which won’t be for a couple years and I feel like it might hit me all over again. It’s also hard to be away from family during the time of a family death. But in all of this I thank God for His grace and strength and peace – to continue to do what He has called me to do. I know my Grandpa would be proud of that. He was one of our biggest supporters in every way, financially, praying for us and even visiting  – he came to visit us twice in Tanzania. I will cherish those memories and many more forever.



I am grateful that the boys saw Grandpa this past summer and were able to have some time with him. Ezra went fishing with Grandpa at Family Camp and had a great time. I know he won’t remember much about Grandpa when he’s older, but we will tell him the stories. It was challenging for me to try to explain to Ezra what had happened. It’s really the first time we have had to talk to him about death. He is five so we just tried to keep it simple and explain about Heaven best we could. Since then Ezra has questions almost every night about Heaven. He has really been thinking about it a lot. Some questions are funny and others are so insightful I am taken aback. And he also prays for Grandpa nearly every night – that he is with Jesus in Heaven and that he is healed. It’s all I can do not to cry every time. At first Ezra told me he didn’t want to go to Heaven because he would miss everyone here. But then one night, he told me, “but if my friends are like me and know Jesus they will be in Heaven with me too, right?” “You’re absolutely right, Ezra.” I told him, my heart full. My kids teach me so much about having a relationship with God. And about how God sees me as His Child, now that I’m a parent. It’s such a special thing to be able to see the world through a child’s eyes and also to catch a glimpse of how much God loves me, knowing how much I love my boys.

Heartache comes. We can’t ignore it or run from it or avoid it. There is a season for everything and it’s trusting God through each and every season that gets you through it all. Is my heart aching a little? Yes, some days more than others, but at the same time my heart is so very full and grateful for this wonderfully amazing life God has allowed me to live – and for the amazing people who are a part of it.

I hope I will write again before another six months goes by but sometimes there’s just a lot of life to live and that’s OK too.


Moments Matter

I decided to change things up this week and walk with Ezra to school in the mornings, then come back home and get ready and go to work. If I’ve arranged for our gardener to walk down and get him in the afternoon when he finishes it means I don’t really need to be at the office at 8am which is what happens when I drive him and go straight into work like I normally do. I thought, this way I get 30 min of extra walking in total and also some special time with Ezra, just me and him which doesn’t happen too much. Let me tell you – it was a great way to start my Monday morning. The fresh air was refreshing and chatting with my little man was so much fun. He has endless questions – to which I don’t always have the answers, but I try. Everything is a competition with Ezra, so it’s – how big he is, how far he can jump, how fast he can walk, etc. It’s so fun watching him grow into this sweet, sensitive, funny little boy. He’s caring and is easily concerned about others. He’s still a little bit shy and reserved while at the same time fiercely competitive, like his Daddy. He’s my beautiful first-born who is not-so-little anymore.

It dawned on me again; time is so precious. He’s growing so fast. Moments mean everything. It hardly takes any effort on my part to decide to take an extra 30 minutes and walk with him to school each day, but I’m sure it’s something he will remember. Time alone with Mommy. I don’t want to overlook the seemingly small moments. Life is a sum of all these small moments – but when added together over time they are what make life beautiful and memorable. I want to take the time. I don’t want to get so caught up in the disease of being busy that I miss these moments. Moments, I’m realising more and more – are everything. Taking some extra one-on-one time with my boy each morning might not seem like anything amazing – but to him it is. It almost makes me cry when I think about how excited he was when I told him I was walking with him to school this morning.  I thought, I need to do more of this. This is the stuff that matters.  He won’t be small for long. In a few years he might not want to walk anywhere with me! 😉 So I better store up as many moments together as I can.


It’s the start of another new week – a fresh slate – a blank canvas. I know there is a lot to do; there always is.  Believe me, my to do list is never ending, but taking time out for a few moments is worth it. Taking time for relationships – to be with people – whether it be family or friends – is important. All the other stuff you “have” to do will still be there; it’s not going anywhere…but the people in your life are – time is always moving; people are moving and growing and changing.  Taking the time and creating memories is always worth it. I challenge you to take some time this week. Don’t let moments pass. Linger a little longer, laugh a little harder, enjoy just ‘being’ together with those you love. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and even more than that – I’m sure some of those small moments will be the highlights of your week. Moments matter.

Happy memory making!

Where On Earth Did February Go?

February is the shortest month – even with an extra day this year…but boy did it seem to really fly by this time! It’s like I blinked and February was gone. I can hardly believe tomorrow is March already!

We have so much on our plates right now – it can be really easy to just get lost in it all – in the fog of the many tasks I have to do. But I’m trying really hard not to get lost. I’m trying really  hard to be present in each moment – and to take it moment by moment. Of course I need to look at the big picture – and planning ahead is good (and I love it) but I also need to remind myself even amongst the craziness there is still time to reflect. Time to be still and time to breathe. The time is there – I just need to make the most of it.

So with another month behind us again, I look ahead to March, knowing it will be very busy, but also knowing there will still be enough time to pause every now and then. There will be enough time because I will make time. I will be intentional about getting quiet sometimes, reflecting, soaking in the little moments with my boys.

Everyone is busy. Sometimes it’s like we even turn it into a competition – who’s busier than who? We can complain (which believe me, I do sometimes) or we can embrace it. The fact it – I’m busy (for the most part) with things I love. I need to be grateful for this. And some of my busy-ness is self created – I need to take responsibility for this. I need to know my boundaries – but more than that – I need to stick to them. Let my yes be yes and my no be no – and be OK with that! I’m such a big work in progress. But I’m getting there.

So bring it on March! I will have 3 extra days than I did this month – so I’m already off to great start 😉

Hoping you have a great start to another month – a new chance to be all that you can be, to reach new goals, to build new relationships, to take time to breathe.

Here we go!

PS. The words of this song are sticking with my since yesterday in Church….Especially that  second verse…

Hide me now
Under Your wings
Cover me
Within Your mighty hand

When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still, know You are God

Find rest my soul
In Christ alone
Know His power
In quietness and trust

Another Year, A Grateful Heart

I am celebrating another birthday today. 28 years. The years go by faster all the time it seems. This past year was a full one with so many ups and downs, so many new things and new people which seemed to make it fly by even faster. As I celebrate the blessing of another year here on earth my heart is so full. I have so many amazing things to be thankful for.  I have a beautiful family who loves me and whom I adore, I am healthy and so is my family. Our needs are met and then some so we can help others. I am working where I have been called and there is so much peace in that. I have made amazing new friends this year and I have managed to keep in touch with many more amazing friends from around the globe. I am part of something bigger than just me. I see God working all the time. I am blessed to have had so many rich experiences and to have met so many different people from all over the world. We have an awesome support team behind us back in Canada. We have people praying for us every day. I am incredibly blessed. I know this next year will have its own challenges and hurdles to overcome, but I also know that God goes before me and He has never given me a reason to doubt Him. In my life He is strong. And so on this day, another birthday, a year older, hopefully a year wiser — I am so thankful. Every day is a blessing and a gift and I want to live a life that reflects that that – taking nothing for granted and realising I am still here, on this earth, for a God-given purpose. There’s more I can do for His Kingdom; to make a difference in this hurting world. I am truly excited to see what this, my 29th year will hold.

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