Thursday, 23 March 2017

Welcome to Planet Earth

I sit here wondering, 'How do I even start to write?' Its been a four year journey having three beautiful children with my amazing husband. I feel like now, after Mr Three, that I have returned to my home planet and have commenced the slow journey of touch down! The past four years has been an incredible, exciting and challenging adventure almost as if I had taken off into the unknown space above us, discovering new life and overcoming challenges I never thought I would have ever faced.

As I reflect on this Sci-Fi imagery I am reminded of the early days when Miss One was a newborn and we were learning on the job about feeding and sleeping through the night. It took us at least an hour minimum to have her fed, burped and changed before putting her back down and it was the original Star Trek series hubby and I watched at each feed that got us through the tiresome three hourly life style. Now we have Mr Three and we are some what feeding and sleeping pros as the confidence has grown and the ability to allow the children a short time of protest no longer phases us or pulls on the heart strings. Seems old James T Kirk is neglected at this parental growth.

Today I felt the urge to come back to the blog life, something I enjoy, and start to share the journey of life with others or simply help me to process what has happened in my world and make sense of it all.

I don't know what this beginning journey of family building is like for most people but for me it has been a time of great joy, mass amount of love growth, marriage making but also isolation, and loneliness bought on by depression and anxiety. Some days life is about simply surviving until my number one gets home from work or being able to form some sort of a smile to a friendly stranger. There has been days where I have wanted to jump in the car and run, stay in the bed under the covers or cry all day for no real reason. I've had friendships sail to a greater distance away due to lack of understanding and my faith has been shaken as trying to read or even pray becomes to much for my brain to process. But through the battle of ugly I have won and come out the other side to land in a beautiful world that has transformed and flourished underneath the fight above. Now its the exploration part, I step out of the ship that has felt like my place of holding for four years to explore the new and beautiful mother, wife and woman that I am.

Although when I look back I see darkness there has been an abundance of Sun shining hot and bright melting the troubles away. A lot of these moments are to do with my family, yes this might be the time where I start to seem like I am bragging or being biased, but if I did not have my children or my husband to wake up for every day, I know there were times where I wouldn't have. As well as my family I know that my faith in God is also the only place I could draw true strength and peace often seeing where God has intervened by the right person at the right time, being able to pick up the phone, send a text or just remind me in a simple breeze that he is there and I will be OK. He helped me to laugh with my kids, love them abundantly and to lean into my husband instead of to run. I know I have heard his soft and gently voice prompting me, guiding me and encouraging me. Most importantly he allows me to connect with him where I am at with no pressure or unrealistic expectation to give what I don't have.

The journey is what it is, sometimes its easy and sometimes its not. But its the village that supports and loves you and the hope you hold onto that gets you through it.

Having children turned my world upside down. What I thought I knew about myself I had to relearn. I had to be vulnerable to people and discover new friendships not to mention getting to know what young parenting looks like! But we made the beginning journey in one piece and have the blessing of a family and now greater excitement is on the other side of the door to my ship and its time for me to step out and close that door behind me taking everything I have learned, and the beautiful moments of fun, laughter and joy forward with me. I hope that my journey can be an encouragement, I know I have been encouraged by many who have shared with me.

Welcome back to planet earth!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Spreading the Love

I don't know about you, but there are some days that I just do not feel like sharing anything with anyone. Those days that seem to have started from getting out of the wrong side of bed, the munchkins are pushing the boundaries and you've got a list of things to get through. We all have one of those days or one of those weeks however that looks. 
Now in saying this, I recently felt the pinch of challenge against my attitude. You see I sometimes find I can get stuck in the self focused thinking and no room for thinking of others. Almost like I start feeling sorry for myself for the tough day I am having and want some pity sent this way. I was having a conversation with a friend and she was sharing how she had heard this message at her church and it was simple - can you love...just one more time? 
Pondering on this thought made me think about how often I get so caught up in me I can easily forget to show love to someone else just one more time regardless. It's not that what I am going through isn't important but when I started to remember to slow down and let genuine love flow to every person I was encountering all of a sudden my day got better, I felt lighter and all of those things I was feeling down or worried about didn't seem so stressful anymore. Not everyday is one of those days but taking a moment to challenge myself, can I show some love just one more time makes a huge difference to how I interact with people. Changing from making the shop teller see I'm stressed and hurry up to wanting to know how their day is going.
So this is just a little quote to ponder and hopefully inspire some love spreading in your worlds because we all know our world needs loving!

Monday, 29 February 2016

Boldness in Faith

Those who know me well, know that have been a Christian my whole life. When I was younger it was a part of me that I openly shared without much care of reaction. Nowadays I found sharing that part of me to be a difficult task. I have been asking myself why I seem to clam up and go silent at the slightest hint of sharing faith and all I can come back to is the fear that holds me tight. Sharing my faith and telling stories of what my life has been like having God in it should be an exciting, empowering and joyful experience for those who listen but unfortunately I have let so many of those opportunities slip by because the care of how people may respond or think of me has been to greater burden to even utter a tiny squeak.

I didn't want to become one of those friends seen as a 'shove the Bible down your throat, if you don't listen to me about Jesus today you'll be damned' type of person. Sometimes I hear the Christian language that comes out of my mouth and I think, if I wasn't a Christian I would think I was crazy talking. I didn't want to offend any body or upset people or end up in a heated debate where I feel like I'm arguing more than having a pleasant conversation. Id even avoid thinking about sharing what my life with God was about.

However with all this fear and worry keeping me quiet I have forgotten the power of revelation, of truth, the power of my own personal experience that cannot be argued with. I'm allowing myself to be intimidated. I know I'm not a crazy person, I know sometimes the Christian language is a bit strange but I also know that I have some amazing stories to tell that might just help a few people better yet I even know the good news about Jesus Christ and how hearing and believing this historical event can save a life for eternity.

So the solution, stop holding onto fear and step out in boldness. To trust, love and share. And if my language doesn't make any sense just ask me what I mean and we can talk it through.

I have some stories to tell, I believe they will change a life, I believe they will save a life so its time to have some boldness in faith.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Making it known

I was wondering what I might post about this week and not much came to mind as my mind has been having a lovely holiday these past few days. We have recently had a long weekend and with the blessing of my husband (meaning he was happy to solo parent for three days) I read the entire Hunger Games series.

That's right three books in three days. This again reflects the intensity of my personality, I must finish each book because I must know every detail today! 

So I wondered if there was anything I could take from these books other than I might need to watch a few Bear Grylls and get survival savy as there is no way I would survive and come out with a only few scratches. Much to my surprise I did have a revelation or a light bulb moment.

Sitting and verbally digesting one of my biggest frustrations in the book with my husband bought about this eye opening moment. I had been explaining to hubby how much it annoyed me that Katniss would never acknowledge to Peeta how much she appreciated him, although when she does it's almost to late. I went on about how much I liked the character of Peeta, how all he ever wanted to do was protect, provide and love her and why couldn't she just let him sometimes. Then as I'm getting really into this discussion about fake people I see an interesting look on my husbands face. Could it be that I was raving on about a fake Peeta and how great his character was? That is a little weird if you think about, but I said to my man "Babe you know I'm so blessed because all of those qualities I see in that character are things you are and more." Then the light bulb went! Often I snap at my husband because his nature is to help me, my nature is to be independent and achieve things on my own which is a great quality to have however I suddenly realized that I was a little bit Katniss with my husband! I didn't fully appreciate his willingness to want to help, protect, provide and love me. Could this be why he had a funny expression, was he remembering all the times I snapped at him and told him off for interfering! 

I know my husband knows that I love him, but does he know that I appreciate him but also that although I'm very capable to look after myself just as Katniss was, I actually need him. Which Katniss eventually realized about Peeta. The great thing about my situation is I'm not in a tropical jungle trying to avoid death, I live in a lovely home with an amazing family and I have a great husband that if I was honest with myself I wasn't fully appreciating the true character of him.

So this is what I did, I decided that instead of telling him off in frustration when he was trying to get involved with something I was doing, first I thanked him for wanting to help me but it's OK I've got this and if I can't figure it out can I then ask for help. The first time I did this he had an awkward laugh and this huge smile on his face. After a few more times speaking to him this way and letting him know I appreciate his desire to help I noticed that inside I felt so much calmer, and joyful. I even said to him, talking to you this way makes me feel so much nicer. He said he actually has appreciated me taking the time to explain situations to him, he said it makes him feel valued instead of being cut down and pushed away almost like he was a pain in the but!

I had know idea that the way I had been speaking or reacting to him had made him feel negatively about himself and our relationship but I am thankful that taking the time to see a lesson from the Hunger Games has helped me to make it known to him how much I appreciate him not just love him.
At the end of the day we all want to know that we are valued, appreciated, loved and respected and it's so easy to get self focused we forget to make it known to others their importance. We just need to slow down a minute, remember what's important about life and let those who need to know, that they are valued and appreciated. 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

The Importance of You

Originally I was going to title this post 'The Importance of Mum' however, after pondering the idea around this post I have since come to realize 'The Importance of You' is much more fitting as it is not only Mothers that can struggle with this idea.

What I am getting at? Basically it is as simple as the title suggests, understanding the importance of you and prioritizing your needs for yourself in your weekly timetable. I guess the reason I originally started to tailor this post to the mother zone is because being a mother is a big part of my world now but it is not the only part.

Being a mother means that my world is full, the more children we add to our mighty team the fuller it becomes as I am not just a mother but a wife, a dance teacher, a friend, a daughter, sister, valued team member in Church ministries and most importantly I am a unique individual. Each one of these aspects and responsibilities in my life all require valuable time for them to be nourished and grow into successful jobs and relationships.

I have been thinking about funerals lately not because I am morbid but because I have a beautiful Nana who one day we will be saying our final good byes too. I was thinking about who would be at her funeral and it would most likely be her family that adore her and the lovely staff that have cared for her for so many years in the home she lives in. Unfortunately my Nana has been living with Alzheimer's disease from what I would say a young age, so the years she has had left to impact the world are not as many as we would have hoped. It causes me to think about who would be at my funeral and I would hope that with being a healthy person and the many years I have left I would be able to impact a whole world full of people. I want to live a fuller life than I already have so that I can encourage and inspire others to live the best lives they can live. I guess that is how I see funerals, not only are they a final farewell but also a snap shot into the person you are and the people you encountered not just because of how many people attend but the stories they tell.

So with that side note I come back to the importance of you, the importance of me. For me to live a full and successful life I need to prioritize myself and my needs first. Not in a selfish way but in way that I am looking after and loving myself so that I can give all that I can to those around me. Lets look at a water jug for a moment; you sit it under the tap and turn it on leaving it to full the jug to just under the brim and then you tip the water out of the jug into cups filling them up, but then the jug runs out and you have to fill it up again or leave it sitting in the sink empty.
I have tried giving that way where you feel really refreshed and ready to give, you give all that you have and then your exhausted and it takes a while to fill that giving jug back up again. In the meantime while your trying to refill you have to deal with tiredness, emotions out of control, frustration, insecurities. But now I want to try sitting under the tap and leaving it on so I don't just get full but I become overflowing, spilling out everywhere with more than enough to give to others and plenty of goodness for myself.

We all have different 'Tap' sources so to speak, I think that is the struggle, discovering what that overflowing source of goodness that keeps us going in our full lives is. For me my life source is my relationship with God, talking with him, soaking up His word and being inspired by His teaching. Not only is my relationship with God my life source but space does wonders for my soul. I am introverted at heart so having regular time each week where I have space to myself is so important to help me sustain the ability to give to those around me. Space for me is not always the same sometimes its just sitting and not thinking, sometimes its being creative and expressing myself, sometimes its reading, I like to mix it up so its not routine and boring. What it is it doesn't really matter as long as I get sometime to do something alone I am a happy woman. Lastly quality time with my husband and other special friends fills my heart with laughter and joy. I have one friend who is such a delight to my world, we do not always have the privileged to spend time weekly together as we both have full lives and families but we catch up regularly and when we do we laugh, yes we have some serious conversations as well and support one another with our journeys but mostly we have a good laugh and any problems that I am struggling to let go of are lifted from me, being reminded about how fun life should be.

Others like my husband love to have regular time with hobbies. My husband loves to play board games and he is a dedicated football fan. Football is seasonal but when he is in that season of playing every weekend, if he was the type of guy that would skip through life singing that is what he'd be doing. But because its seasonal he plays a lot of board games and has a group of friends where the meet weekly to play there complicated and very competitive games. No matter what his week has been like doing these things for him fill him with joy and excitement for life.

What I would love you to be inspired with today is that whatever you do and however your life looks its so important to prioritize you. You are important and if you cant take care of yourself and give yourself the good stuff you need then how can you effectively and consistently give to others from a healthy, joyful and loving space. Give yourself permission to think about yourself and your needs first this week. Before you start giving to everything and everyone you love or are responsible for schedule in what is important for you first and make sure you stick to it.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Let's get started!

The start of a New Year is always a good time to take stock of your life and make changes to how we do things. I know this year there are some exciting things ahead for me but they require some changes to how I already live life. Now that I am back from holiday and reality is right in front of me the challenges have said hello also! So I find this quote extremely encouraging, it compels me to simply start!

Bring on 2016!!!!!!

(Quote: Francis of Assisi)

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Losing Yourself

For the past three years I have been on the exciting journey of motherhood, however if I’m honest with you it hasn't always been exciting, unfortunately for me walking with post natal depression was a reality after both children. 

No one can actually prepare you for what you step into that moment baby arrives. I believe that’s because no one person is the same, we all see and cope with life in different ways. Each pregnancy, labor and child is different therefore how can you possibly be adequately prepared for what your about to face. Sure you can get physically prepared to a point because even physically no matter how fit you are it's still a huge shock! You can get all the right equipment needed, you can even organize extra help for when the time comes, but no one can predict how your going to respond or cope with the situation once those emotions go out of control! 

Thankfully your body bounces back and you eventually learn the voice of your ‘mothers instincts,'  this is the voice that will continue to guide you through all those amazing moments of parenting up ahead, as long as we don't allow those crazy emotions to take control.
Post natal depression even has an end! Although that was incomprehensible in the middle of that tornado! With all of that said what I found the hardest to regain was... ‘who am I?’

You maybe looking at this image and thinking 'Whoa! How can she think that having cute little babies and embarking on this fabulous journey of motherhood be a mess!!'
It wasn't my cuties or being a mum that I saw was a mess and it wasn't even my lack of housework, it was the way I saw and felt about who I was and my purpose in life that seemed like it was turning into a huge mess. So when I saw this image and took a brief look back to who I was then, this sums up the silent cry's of my heart at that time.

I didn’t realize that I had lost my mojo so to speak until recently, through a weekly small group I attend. We were asking personal questions that caused me to stop, step out of the duties of life for a moment (talking 1 min max here! you learn how to process quick with a toddler and a baby) and take a self evaluation on how I viewed myself. The question that stopped me in my tracks was 'Do you know who you are?'. Easy - I'm a mother! Hang on a minute, is that really who I am? ... I'm a wife! Nope that’s still not who I am, these are things I do for the people I love but the quality of these acts comes from who I am. Hold up just one more minute! 
Who the heck am I!
It seems so long ago when I lived in a space where I confidently walked every day knowing who I was. What has happened to that girl? Unfortunately I then spent a week comparing who I was now to who I was then. The now me felt emotionally and spiritually worn, the confidence and the boldness I ran with seems like a distant dream. My voice which was once so powerful and sure was quieter than a mouse. Doubt about anything and everything was a constant reaction. This girl that I used to know seemed like she had stumbled upon an old, dark forest distracting her from where she was heading and was soon to be at a stand still wondering how on Earth she got there. This is when I released I was loosing myself.

Not to worry I didn’t camp out in this zone. Like I said before I have a toddler and a baby who are absolutely amazing and full of life! And although I have realized a few truths about where I was in myself, it was not to late to make a change. My oldest is a beautiful, determined, fearless little lady and when I look at her, motivation kicks in. This princess of mine needs to have a mother who is so sure of who she is, a mother who knows how to rest, to be still but also knows how to carry on running with all I've got. She needs a mother who is not afraid to take stock of where she is at and give her self a jump start. She needs a mighty woman of faith to follow and be inspired by!

Thankfully, I have discovered that when God shines a light on an area needing some attention; One, He does it when he knows you are ready for it. Two, He already has all the answers and tools before you and Three, He can turn it around in a matter of days if not hours when you are surrendered to the process. Praise the Lord that this journey was a quick smart 180 turn. I was asked the question, why is your identity important? I had an easy answer. When you know your identity, what your destined for that’s what keeps you grounded in the storm. Walking through post natal depression the second time was evidence of this answer. Even though the tornado of crazy was spinning out of control, it was those reminders, scriptures, pictures that showed me I can walk this, I can get to the other side.

Loosing yourself is such an easy thing to do when we loose focus. I can speak from an experience of having children because that’s my reality, but anyone can face this same realization and I think it happens when our circumstances become so overwhelming for what we think we can handle.
I don’t ever want to get to a point again where I felt I was loosing the essence of who I was, its not a happy place. So for me now that I have discovered this part of the journey I want to do all I can to keep the fire of who I am alive every single day.

Because I am a practical person, I wanted to share a few of the things I do to always remind myself of who I am regularly. Keep in mind that some of them do have a God focus as I walk a journey with Faith, but I still believe that those of you who don't will be encouraged.

1. Write down who you are. Scriptures or Quotes that empower you. Prayers that encourage you into a journal that you can easily refer back to.
2. Speak out in the tough moments reminders of who you are. Do it in the mirror. Learn how to give yourself a kick up the behind. Speaking these things out to yourself aloud, causes you to hear it again and immediately you'll notice a shift. Don't leave that mirror until you feel confident you can walk the day knowing who you are.
3. Pray Pray and Pray. Thank God for all he has done, doing and will do for you. Praise him for who he is to you.
4. Keep your eyes fixed on God. Making time for him even if its reading one verse, or saying simple prayers.
5. Make sure you are open and honest with friends that you trust and surround yourself with people who encourage and uplift. We are meant to do life with one another, not on our own.
6. Be planted in a church or regular group where you have the opportunity to serve others, fellowship and grow.
7. Don’t sweat the trip ups, deal with it and move on.
8. Laugh through the day.

This is how I see my life now. Walking along a clear path of purpose through this beautiful life I have been given, knowing who I am, being  guided by the light of Christ who is always directing my feet.