brain farts, Uncategorized

Dear me…

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Dear Me,
I’m future you! Fancy that. I want to tell you a few things that these years have shown me and taught me…they won’t change you in the past, but they can help you as the years roll on.

You are beautiful. You already are. You actually always were and it bums me out that you never accepted that. Your clothing size – doesn’t matter. Your university qualifications – not where you find your worth. Your job – not what makes you who you are. Having said all that, I want you to know that being a mother also doesn’t define you…you will love your new role as Little E’s mum and you will learn crazy-amounts about yourself, your husband, your family and your friendships…but it doesn’t make you who you are.

Dear past-me…enjoy life where you are because this version of you and the things you’re doing won’t exist soon. God is shaping and changing you with each new experience. Learn to love the you that you are today and lean in to the changes and the challenges. Don’t try so hard to cling to the past, to the things that you used to know…they served you well and were important for a time, but God is leading you down paths that you can’t even imagine! Adventures await, and if you hold on too tightly, you’ll miss them.

Don’t get so caught up in people-pleasing, following the crowd, doing things you think people expect you to do and trying to fit in…future you knows that those things don’t matter! Future you knows that your time and heart will be too full of better things to worry about the trivial. Stand out! Stand out and stand up – be an example to the daughter who is watching you so intently.

Don’t compare your journey with those around you…there isn’t another you and there isn’t a story the same – so why bother? Focus on where God is taking you, your family, your world and go there! Look up, look forward…

Read more.
Watch less.
Cook more.
Walk more.
Try new things.
Say ‘I love you’ all the time.
Hug more.
High five more.
Laugh more and be silly more…what do you have to lose?

That saying ‘dance like no one is watching’…? Yeh, actually do that, would you? Dance with Little E because one day, she’ll probably ask you to drop her off a block from her friend’s house and give you a nod while her headphones are glued to her ears instead.

Past-me, I liked you. But future-you will be even better because of Who created you. Who you are comes from Someone greater, so you know it’s good! Past-me, I hope you know I appreciate what you did for future-me…you’ve helped me as the years have rolled on.

(image courtesy of pinterest)

baby J

Screaming

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She screams, I scream, we all scream…but there’s no ice cream involved. It might be 2:45am, it might be 11:15am or it might be 7pm – the time doesn’t matter, she’s hungry or hot or cold or has a wet nappy and she NEEDS our attention and she needs it NOW!

Adjusting to life with a little one is like nothing else. You can read all the books, all the blogs; watch all the clips, pin all the pins & have thousands of conversations…and still, nothing truly makes you feel ‘ready’ for caring for 110% of another human being’s needs.

So much has to change now that duckie is in our world – everything from when we eat and sleep to when we can go out of the house or even simply check the mailbox. Neither of us was oblivious to these huge shifts, but of course when reality is actually upon you it still feels surreal.

This week, there were two major stand-outs in my adjustment to our new journey:

1) I have a long way to travel in developing my patience. If I can’t fix her needs, I get frustrated too quickly. If I can’t stop the cries or settle her down, my initial reaction is to pull the plug and pass her over to my other half who (somehow!) has endless patience and a repertoire of songs to sing as he works out what she’s trying to tell us. Thank you God for that man – he keeps me sane, helps me breath & is somewhat of a baby-whisperer!

2) I have to learn how to be a different kind of friend. I can’t hold the friendships I have in the same way as I did before. My priority has to be my family unit & the daughter who relies on us for everything. This means that yes, catch-ups will be different, attending events will be different & generally being ‘around’ will be different. However, instead of wallowing in this shift & feeling guilty, remembering that change is the only constant in our lives is important. If friendships were strong before duckie arrived, they’ll be different – but they’ll be strong with her addition to them too.

There are moments when I feel like throwing in the towel, but if I can pause…take a breath…and look at her little hands and lion’s eyes, I can know that God wouldn’t bring us TO this if He wasn’t going to walk with us THROUGH it too.

baby J

More lessons from the bump

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I use ‘bump’ loosely…when in reality it’s like an oversized basketball concreted to my front! 😉

Anyway, this music legend just about sums up where I am right now in terms of welcoming Baby J into this outside world super soon…it’s the overarching feeling I have that on a general day, outweighs the nerves and the unknowns.

So I thought in light of these flutters of excitement intermingled with jolts of nervousness and anticipation, I’d share a few more lessons I’ve been learning with the bump 🙂

#1 – Flip flops are my friend. I am quite literally down to a pair of flip flops as the only shoes that fit and given that we’re still in winter here, that’s not ncessarily ideal…! My feet are so swollen by the end of each day it’s a wonder I can actually walk! 😉 I’d heard about swollen feet and ankles in pregnancy, but until you experience it for yourself it’s a bit of an enigma!

#2 – I’m ok with strech marks…seriously! It took nearly this whole time for me to see any evidence of these and to be honest, I’d been hanging out for them! I wanted to see that Baby J was growing and therefore my skin was streching. This said to me that Baby J was a size that he/she should be and was doing what he/she should be doing in there. These are my stripes. These are the stripes that I’ve earned during this period and it’s pretty amazing that the human body is able to strech out this much to house a small other human!

#3 – Pregnancy books are b-o-r-i-n-g! I thought I’d enjoy reading them – I thought I’d like to soak up the knowledge and highlight and sticky-note and fold down pages…but in all honesty, I find them to be a real bore! And it’s no particular author or book – it’s just kind of the topic and structure of them in general…don’t get me wrong, the information is important and useful but man it’s a slog for me to get through a chapter or two!

#4 – Swimming is the beeeest! Well, I already knew I loved swimming – I’d swim every day if I had the chance – but swimming while pregnant is awesome! I’m weightless. I’m mobile. I’m flexible. I’m comfortable. I can float on my back and swim on my front and my skin isn’t itchy! It’s ridiculously refreshing and calming and oh man I can’t rave about it enough! Haha swim swim swim…! 😀

#5 – Pickles…I love them. Now, I’ve read the stories about pregnant women wanting ice-cream with pickles at like, 3am – but it wasn’t until I felt like a toasted cheese sandwich with sliced pickles that I realised the gravity of this precious vegetable. They’re sweet. They’re sour. They’re delicious…not with ice-cream, but BOY are they good with melted cheese on toast! If I were to order a cheeseburger right now, I’d ask for extra pickles. If I need a midnight snack tonight, I know what I’ll be having. I’f I need an afternoon snack, I know what it’ll be. It’s not a ‘craving’ per se, but it sure is what my toasty machine sees a lot of these days…! hehe

But I think the most important thing I’ve been learning is #6 – God’s timing is sovereign. 100% – in every situation – in every life stage, His timing over-rules my own, despite how brilliant I think I am 😉 This isn’t always easy to comprehend or even accept…a lot of the time, I don’t even really consider that God truly knows what He is doing, I just sort of take it for granted. I whinge, I complain, I get annoyed at what God is doing…but in reality, He has me exactly where I should be and sometimes it takes a great whack to the system for me to realise it fully. But when I do, I’m thankful for His timing. I’m thankful for His patience and I’m thankful for His ongoing love.

I’m sure I could list so much more than I’ve been learning during this part of my life, but I’ll leave some sleeping dogs where they lie…!

What are you learning?

baby J

What I’m learning…

  
Being pregnant is tough.

Ok, ok…it’s not as tough as a lot of other things in this world, but it sure isn’t a walk in the park (though I went for one of those yesterday). There are so many moments where I just wish I could throw in the towel, sit down in the middle of the floor and drink a glass of wine with some soft cheese on crackers. Then of course, I wouldn’t be about to receive one of the greatest gifts I think I’ll ever have the pleasure of unwrapping. So, while I wait this nine months out, trying desperately to keep it together and cling to the promises of my Creator, what have I been learning? 

1. I can’t do everything I used to do. Even when I COULD see my feet still, I was so sick I was barely able to get from the lounge to the bathroom and back again. Now that the sickness has mostly passed (praise the lord!) the aches and pains and swelling and bloating and stiffness has kicked in and my abilities are once again hindered. I can’t run – I can barely walk quickly! I can’t bend in the middle. I can’t sit for a long time, I can’t stand for a long time. I can’t lie on my back and I struggle to get up from the floor. Sounds delightful doesn’t it? But in these limitations, I am – slowly – learning that if I can slow down and accept help NOW I can slow down and accept help when Baby J is here. I can relish the time with our little one because my need for speed and urgency won’t exist as it has in the past. I can smile and say thank you from a genuine place in my soul for the meals cooked and the babysitting offered.

2. Heartburn is a beast! I’ve had heartburn before – we all have, yes? These days I get it several times a day and it’s like a volcano erupting inside my throat! So far, the remedies I’ve tried haven’t worked all that well, though eating an apple helped settle it a little…if you have anything that has worked a treat, please do let me know!

3. My husband is my biggest supporter. It must be so surreal and odd to be having a baby – about to be a parent – but not actually physically a part of this time. He doesn’t really know what it feels like and I’m sure that must be hard…but I have come to know quite quickly that he is the biggest supporter of anything that I need or want during this time. He’s cooked random meals, done housework, booked appointments, come with with me to them, ordered books, tied my shoes, run me baths, brewed me tea and all kinds of other things! But amongst all these acts of love, he has prayed for me and whispered words of encouragement when my spirit has been low and my eyes misty with tears. He has always got a word of strength and a prayer to offer and this means the world to me, especially during this time.

4. I don’t actually mind people touching my stomach. I thought I would! I thought I’d hate it with a passionate fire and need one of those ‘hands off!’ tshirts to wear, but in all honesty, I don’t mind it. It makes me feel like that my friends and family can be a part of this and it shows me just how much Baby J will be loved….though don’t get me wrong, if a random stranger tries to do it, I might set aside my aches and pains and deliver some hefty karate chops! 😉

5. Don’t compare, don’t compare, don’t compare…”comparison is the thief of joy” and in this case, it’s very true for me. Sometimes, well-meaning comments from those around me or too long scrolling through mama-blog after mama-blog of pregnancy, birth and parenting experiences set my grey matter going – “am I supposed to be bigger like her? Am I supposed to be fitter like she is? Was I supposed to do that too? What if my baby isn’t like theirs?” The list goes on…comparison strangles my ability to relish the good moments, seek God in the tough moments and prepare in my own way for what lies ahead. Every woman, every pregnancy, every baby, every relationship is different and if I let the comparison set in, then I lose sight of my divinely created individuality and I discount my own experiences. 

These are just some of the bigger things that I am learning on this journey to parenthood, but by no means the end of the list! Each day comes with new trials, new triumphs and fresh chances to experience where God has called me to be in the now…what I’m learning the most though, through all my mini lessons, is that if I am trying to please the people around me rather than my God, I’m not living authentically. I’m not properly experiencing this time for myself. I’m not perfect, my pregnancy isn’t perfect and my child won’t be perfect either. But I’m learning that to be honest about how I feel, is to be real and to be real means that my ownership of this period of my life still remains.

What are you learning…?

  
(Images courtesy of Pinterest)

baby J

breaking walls

Has something ever scared you so much that you were afraid to even think about it in case it might actually happen? Yep. 🎶story of my life🎶 when it comes to having a baby and being a parent. I know, I know…sounds utterly ridiculous right? How can that scare me so much I’m actually afraid of it happening?! Well, that’s been my battle for quite some time. Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. I’ll babysit! I’ll do Sunday school, no worries! But babies and having my own…nah, let’s not cross that bridge!

However, at the beginning of 2014 I went with some lovely ladies to the Hillsong Colour Conference which was AWESOME! During that weekend, I felt that I needed to stop passively listening to God and actively listen to His voice and leading in my life. So I purposefully set aside the first 6 months of last year to stop, listen, read and be humbled in terms of my ‘fear’…because if we’re honest, it’s selfish of me. I’m married to just the best man who would make an amazing Dad, and my attitude and behaviour to it all cuts him off at the knees. And let’s get really real here for a moment – do I reeeaaalllyyy not want kids ever? No. I do. So I spent an intentional 6 months in the Word, reading verses, studying stories, praying, getting angry, having revelations and being broken. I told God how I felt and I asked for new leading…I needed my heart softened and my walls broken. I needed to be open and willing to God’s plans even if parenting wasn’t going to be in them after all.

My 6 months ended in August, and I’ll be honest again – I expected to feel very little had changed. I expected that I’d feel peaceful about seeking the Lord in it all, but that I’d still not be in a place of desire for babies or being a parent.

Boy was I wrong!

It was the day after my 6 months ended and something happened like never before! Not even joking! I broke down in tears – tears of relief and peace – and had a ridiculously overwhelming sense of ‘newness’ in my journey. An overwhelming sense of “I want this and I can do this – what are we waiting for?!” 😮 shock-horror all around! I could not believe the way God worked in me…I shouldn’t have been quite so surprised I know I know, but I truly was! It blew my miiiiiiind!!

So 2015 holds many new adventures – most prominently the following:



Yep! THIS is how far I came purely in the grace, love & power of God. There was no other way I was going to get to this place in my life without His strength…is there something in your life that you’re afraid of or that is holding you back? Is there something that you could intentionally seek God’s leading on? You might be surprised with how He works to break down your walls ☺️

brain farts

Blogs, adventures, sailing & service

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Whose been on a cruise?
Hands up if you get seasick?
Ever travelled to a foreign land you never thought you’d get to?

I can tick off each of those, technically! For 3 months from 2010-2011 I spent time serving the Lord with other like-minded, passionate people onboard the Logos Hope ship. We sailed from through the Middle East, visiting cities and countries I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d see with my own eyes.

The Logos Hope is an incredible missions ship run through OM. It’s essentially a huge floating bookstore. They bring hope, healing and acts of service to places around the globe and some of my fondest memories are from my adventures onboard that floating home. You can read more about Logos Hope and OM here and discover the magic for yourself 🙂

A good friend of mine is embarking on her own adventure with OM in just a few short weeks. Se starts the amazing journey by heading to Africa before she boards the Logos Hope. If you’d like to read more about her travels, head over to her blog and say hi. Kathryn I’m sending you some readers hopefully 😉 I hope your trips are just out of this world, I can NOT wait to read about everything you get up to! God is up to some intense stuff!!!

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(Photos are actually mine!)

brain farts

Work at it

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Do you have hopes? Dreams? Desires? Unplanned adventures lying semi-dormant in your imagination…?

Do you wake up some mornings with a sigh and think I wish I was living that dream or adventure…?

Do you make amazing plans and fill up on what you think is complete motivation, but find later on that it’s all drained away and your plans are collecting dust in the corner?

I can answer yes to all of the above…I have so many dreams and hopes that I probably can’t list them all anymore! Some are more practical and straight forward than others, but they’re still dreams nonetheless. At first, I kept getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of my dreams – no joke, I told myself to stop living in a fantasy world! Then I felt like I should only dream dreams that are somewhat achievable…as in, I could actually live that dream if I got to a certain point in my life where it would fit in.

…but then I thought, why? Why do I have to wait to get to a certain point in my journey to live out a dream or a see a desire realised or a hope fulfilled? God has given me these desires and dreams and hopes for a reason – and He completely knows them! My journey is filled with twists and turns and leaps and bounds and highs and lows – and God is guiding me through each, allowing me to feel the things I feel. But if I sit back, coast along and just get by with the bare minimum I will never see these dreams come to any kind of realisation.

Nothing worth having comes easy

Your hopes, desires and dreams are so worth having, pursuing and fighting for because they are important to God, but you and I – we need to do our part.

The more I think on this, the more my motivation to see my dreams come to reality rises…I need to put in the hard yards because it will be so worth it!