Transition Time (Again)

Sometimes it feels like my whole life is one big transition – meaning they’re just never ending. I keep thinking – once we get through this transition we’ll be able to settle a bit…NOPE. BAM another transition. I should just expect it at this point!

We are coming up on our one year anniversary in Mwanza. It has been a year of much change and transition to say the least. When we came our sons were 3.5 years and 5.5 months…now they are 4.5 (and about ready to start Kindergarden!) and 16 months (keeping us very busy!) We had to learn a whole new place, new roles for both of us at work, adjust to both working full time, and host crazy amounts of people in between all of that. But we made it. Coming up on the one year mark here I think I can safely say – while it has not been without its challenges – we have thoroughly enjoyed this transition. You see not every transition is bad. Most are difficult in some way – I’ll give you that, but not all bad. I have definitely had my moments of being overwhelmed in the last year trying to adjust to it all and keep some level of my sanity, but I have also had some of the best times of my life and surprisingly felt the most settled I’ve probably ever felt since we’ve been married.

So here I am ending one transition, our first year here and on the brink of several more…

In less than two weeks my baby boy (the first one) officially starts kindergarden. I can’t believe we’re here already. This will be a big transition for him but also for us and the beginning of a new phase as he starts his education journey.

We are also getting back to the books from next week. Julius has two courses to complete through Global Uni and I am starting to chip away at my degree again (two kids later). This will obviously change our routine and add more to our plates but at the same time we feel ready and settled and that there is no better time than NOW.

I am also getting back on track and continuing my journey to get healthier. One day at a time.

The truth is transition will always be there. Change is a part of life. If you’re waiting for it to slow down…you might be waiting a while! So why not embrace it, and see how God is working all of these changes around you to create something beautiful inside you.

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Happy Juggling 😉

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Counting My Blessings

Today there is no power at the office, so I stayed for a while, met with some guests, did what I could and when it was apparent that it’s probably not coming back today – I decided to come home and work from there for the afternoon. Thankfully there is power here – and as I’m settling down to get some work done I find myself in a reflective sort of mood. Thankful. At peace. Blessed.

It’s a really good practice – to count your blessings one by one. We say it a lot – but actually sit down and do it – even write them down. It’s a really easy way to re-prioiritize and get back to that thankful place. The truth is all of us have things to be thankful for. There’s always something. And all those little things really add up when you start counting them.

I started to count some of my blessings, big and small – these are the ones that popped into my head just now but there are so many.

An amazing and loving husband who is coming back home tonight!

My beautiful boys who mean the world to me

Work that I enjoy and that fulfils me – I truly get to do what I love 

The beautiful home we get to live in

Friends (that are always there no matter how far apart we are)

Being able to meet so many people from so many different walks of life

Sunshine

Peace

Lots of Joy

A supportive and loving extended family on both sides

A visit from my parents, grandpa, brother and brother’s girlfriend in less than two weeks! (SO excited about this one!)

Re-discovering hot chocolate with a mint tea bag  – ’cause it’s the little things! (Go try it right now!)

~

I am truly grateful for this life I have. What a gift. So give it a try – count those blessings and have a wonderful day! 🙂

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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New and Better Me – Take Two

Wow. What a crazy season it has been for us lately. Moving across the world, learning a new place, a new culture, a new job etc. I haven’t managed to keep blogging as regularly as I wanted to but that’s life sometimes. Our lives are very full at the moment – but I’m by no means complaining. We are so incredibly blessed and I am reminded of that every day. The downside is I don’t always have time to write about it all, but when I can – I will and that will have to be good enough! 🙂

I’m starting out (again) on my journey to get healthy. I can’t say it’s a new journey since I’ve been working on it for a while (with some major pit-stops along the way – i.e. having another baby). Now’s the time to start (again). My baby is 9 and a half months old! (Wow that flew by)! He is finally sleeping through the night most nights and letting me get some rest. We are settled into our new home and are feeling more and more comfortable in our roles at work. And so I basically have no more excuse to put off getting back to a healthier lifestyle.

I know I’m ready again. It won’t be easy. It wasn’t easy before, it won’t be now. In fact it might be harder. (I do have another child to worry about now, less time on my hands with working full time etc). But the truth is there will never be a “not busy” time to start. And I know that reaching my weight loss and health goals will only enrich my life and allow me to enjoy all my many blessings more and to the fullest.

I’ve got my food journal and exercise schedule started. I’m trying to cut way back on my sugar and carb intake and up my protein, fruits and veggies. It can’t be about will power – if it’s just that I’ll fail for sure. I need to make a conscious choice DAILY to do what I need to do to take care of myself and in so-doing give the best I can to my husband and kids. I’m doing this for them as much as for myself.

I don’t know how long this journey will take (I have my hopes) but I’m just going to take it one day at a time. Bite size pieces.

Words of encouragement are always welcome. And if you’re in the same boat as me and want to make a change for the better: Come on! We can do this. The time is NOW.

I’ll keep you posted. 😉

Thoughts on the Balancing Act

Oh the balancing act that is life…

I wish I was as good at balancing as this elephant, he just makes it look so easy… 😉  Sometimes balancing everything in my life is incredibly challenging. I’m almost positive I’m not the only one that faces this challenge.  The goal, of course is to be a well-balance person – have I made it there yet? – Not even close. Will I ever make it “there?” – Probably not. But I tend to think it’s more about the trying than the “getting there.”

It can be hard to keep up; especially so if you are measuring yourself against other people’s standards. But it’s a human problem. We like to compare. We like to compete. We judge ourselves based on how we’re doing compared to so-and-so and if we appear to be managing to keep things afloat “better” than them – we are successful. (Or at least we feel a bit better about ourselves).

I really like this quote:

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Wow. Just do me a favour and read that one more time. Yes, let it sink in.  I come back to this quote a lot. It is such a good reminder for me. I cannot be happy while constantly comparing myself (everything I do and everything I am) to someone else. I’m not that person. I’m not supposed to act exactly as they do. My purpose is not their purpose. It seems to be so easy to fall into this trap of comparison. But it doesn’t get you anywhere. The sooner you can embrace YOU – flaws and all – the happier you will be.  It might sound “cliche” but I have found it to be true.

I’ve come to realise that achieving a balanced lifestyle and accepting me for me often go hand in hand. The only standards I should be measuring myself against are God’s. When insecurity starts to creep in I need to remind myself who I belong to – who created me – and who doesn’t make mistakes. I am the way I am for an eternal reason that is bigger than I can ever comprehend. Balance needs to start with me looking to God on a daily basis; knowing His purpose for my life and making His standards my measuring stick instead of my neighbour’s.

It’s definitely much easier said than done, I’ll give you that. I admit it – I have a lot of balls in the air – my plate is full! And trying to balance being a wonderful wife and mother while at the same time working full time, living in a new culture, learning a new language, making healthier choices, investing in relationships (family and friends), and most importantly spending quality time with my God – can seem like an impossible task. But I do know it’s not impossible. It’s not impossible when I look to God first – because when I do that, He has this amazing way of helping everything else fall into place. It may not always be pretty, but I trust God with my heart. If it’s balance I seek I know I need to turn to my creator, who knows me better than I know myself.

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As I was thinking about the verse above and about achieving a balanced lifestyle…this reminder from God came to me (and maybe it will be a good one for you too).

Jade (or insert your name here)  – you are not the one holding everything together. It’s not up to you. It never was and it never will be. Stop trying to ‘do it all’ by yourself. It’s not how you were created and it will never work. Save yourself much pain and frustration and let me take care of you. I want to take care of you. Rest in me and watch everything else fall into its proper place. Trust me, I’ve got this. – God. 

*Sigh of relief*

NOW, I’m ready to tackle this day. 🙂

 

 

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