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.

That Tricky Tricky Comfort Zone…Time to Break Out

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The comfort zone. It’s a beautiful place, isn’t it? You feel great, there’s minimal or no pain, you know what to expect, you breathe easy. But the problem is it’s also the place where you don’t grow. You don’t become any better and truth be told – it can get a little boring if we’re being honest.

That constant tug of war: I want to be comfortable (it’s nice, it’s cozy, I feel safe) but at the same time I don’t want to get too comfortable (because I know I won’t become the best that I can be). It’s a tricky battle this one. On some level you long for the security and constant of the comfort zone, but on another level you know you want excitement, challenge and adventure – which means you have to break out of your comfort bubble. Nothing exciting happens in there. Nothing. You know exactly what happens in there, which means there’s no risk, which means it’s not exciting.

There real truth of it is we’re not ever supposed to feel that comfortable here. This (the earth – wherever you happen to live on it) is not home. It’s temporary; it won’t last. Heaven is our home and until we’re there, we’ll never fit in perfectly and we’ll never be perfectly comfortable.

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…”

~Philippians 3:20~

I have to remind myself of this truth sometimes when I’m feeling overwhelmed and longing for steadiness; a constant; my comfort zone. The only constant is change – cliche or not it’s just the truth. And wouldn’t your life be pretty boring without it? I know deep down that I have the amazing life I do because at each step of the way I found a way to embrace change. To roll with it. To adapt. And when I did that? – I grew. I learned and I became better in some way.

Most of the time change is not easy. It’s a natural human tendency to run for that comfort zone and hunker down, but if you can resist the urge and force yourself to step out into the unknown you open yourself up for whole lot of amazing experiences. You also open yourself up for hurt, I’m not overlooking that. But even in those situations you’re still growing; you’re still learning and becoming better. You can’t avoid hurt even in your comfort zone, but you will lose out on the possible joy that is just outside of that bubble if you give into your ‘hunker down’ human self.

I feel like I’m out of my comfort zone in most areas of my life right now…

I have to send my little boy to school every day and trust other people to keep him safe and trust that he will do well.

I have to leave my second little boy at home in the care of someone else (who is amazing, but who is not me). 

I have to constantly be learning and changing and adapting the way I do things at work; looking for what works best.

I am pushing myself to get healthier – waking up before sunrise to get my workouts in (which believe me is WAY outside of my comfort zone!)

I am stretching myself as I get back into studying and finishing my school after about 6 years of no school – it’s an adjustment for sure! 

I am always trying to stretch and grow myself as a wife and as a mom so I can be the best I can at each of those roles without sacrificing the other. 

As challenging as some of those things are for me, I’m choosing to do them because I know they make me better. Now, don’t ask me how I feel about it at 5:50 am when my alarm goes off to workout. 😛

Hope you have a very uncomfortable day 😉

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.
~ ~ ~

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.

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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