Let it go

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My head needs to explode. I needed to sit down tonight and verbal diarrhea onto this computer all my thoughts, just so I can start unraveling the mess that is currently my mind.

After the girls had gone to bed, Matt asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him. But I just couldn’t. My head was spinning in circles so much that I just needed to sit and be still. I closed my eyes and I just envisioned Christ wrapping his loving arms around me. I had a vision of him touching my forehead, he slowly started to pull his hand away and as he did, the entangled “string” of my mind that was so knotted and messed up, started unravelling. A peace washed over me, and it wasn’t long before I got enough energy to get the courage and up to come and sit down here at the computer and write this blog post. I am so thankful for His love and that I can turn to Him when all hope seems lost. He gives me the strength to continue on through whatever life throws at me, and the grace to handle it all, even when I don’t want to.

One thought I wanted to get out was something that I had an epiphany about just today. It stems from relationships in your life that are just not quite right. You know the ones – that you dwell over, worry about, get anxious thoughts over, and cry endless hours about. When someone hurts you SO much, repeatedly over and over, and you just cant understand why. It might take you literally years to realise, but when you do, it just clicks – YOU care so much about that relationship and that person, but they just DO NOT reciprocate it at all. Their head and heart is in a complete other world of almost selfishness.

Now, in my experience, I have grieved over these relationships. SO much. And yes, it is ok to grieve about them as grieving is an important part of you letting go of something that you held so close and that meant SO much to you.

BUT…what struck me today was that once you have grieved, it is time to let it go. That relationship DOES NOT DESERVE YOUR TEARS OR YOUR HEART ANYMORE. It is time to let it go.

I am a very emotional person. I love with my WHOLE heart and I wear it on my sleeve. I am very strong (on the outside) and it doesn’t take much to shake me at all. But one thing that I absolutely cannot deal with is seeing others getting hurt.

Family comes an absolute FIRST for me. I want my children and husband (and I) to be living a productive life – giving to others and enriching those around us by showing them God’s love. If I could have my extended family living nearby, it would be an ultimate dream.  Money and possessions take a back seat. Time and time again I have said to Matt, I would much rather be living in a caravan, with nothing but the clothes on our back, and be happy, than be chasing “the dream”. Because at the end of the day – I have seen what “chasing that dream” has done to so many that I love. It isn’t pretty,and it is not what life is about.

Life is short, unpredictable. We don’t know how long we have here, so we need to use every single day as a gift. Cherish every single moment we have with our loved ones and those that DESERVE our time and energy. Kids forget about the expensive toys they receive – but if you ask them what their favourite part of their day was – it would be, digging in the garden and making mud pies, or dancing around the lounge room with daddy. They are moments and memories worth making. Wealth takes a back seat.

And if your children are now grown, those memories come in the form of hanging out with them when you can. Making the time to catch up with them and find out what is happening in their lives….being a part of it. And if grandchildren are involved, then you are BLESSED to be able to relive those memory making experiences all over again – by doting on them as you did with your own children. Not by buying them everything under the sun, but by spending time with them when you can. For some, this is near impossible – but thankfully technology is AMAZING and we have things like SKYPE etc to use at our fingertips!

THIS is life….this is what it was intended for. Yes, we need to work to earn money to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table – but remind yourself to keep it in check – what am I doing this for? Who am I doing this for? Do I even know them anymore or have I lost sight of that? Is living a glamorous life more important to you or enjoying your last days on this earth with those you love?

I am thankful that today I have come to the realisation to let go of these relationships that just are not fruitful to my life. I am a giver, and as a giver, it is very easy to deplete myself quickly. I will hold on as long as I possibly can, and love someone unconditionally, but, slowly it starts to eat away at you until there is little to nothing left to give to that person that has hurt you so much. You don’t have to hate them….I am not one to hate many things at all. Hate is a strong, strong word, and not what I was built on. But it is ok to let them go, and just be civil going forward where you can. Don’t give them your heart-strings to keep pulling, be strong enough to tie those loose ends and keep your heart strong.

Don’t forget just how important you are. You are worth more. Far more than rubies and diamonds. You are strong, strong enough to get through this. I promise you – you will come out the other side a stronger more refined person – free from the baggage that was weighing you down!

I pray for all of those that are reading this and going through similar situations, that you too may realise your worth. That you might realise what is important to you at this point in your life, and that you would cherish your own heart and protect it before it gets pulled apart by someone who doesn’t deserve to have the keys to your heart.

x

 

 

Chains be broken

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Hands up if you have ever felt completely overwhelmed before, trying to sort out every little aspect of your life and perhaps the lives of those you love? You dwell on it every second of the day, you research different options, it plagues your mind and steals your sleep. You worry to the point of feeling sick wondering how you are possibly going to make it work.

This is me.

What if I were to tell you, you don’t have to figure everything out? What if I were to say to you, to just stop….there is someone else who has got it under control and already has it all planned out? You don’t need to solve every little aspect of your life. It doesn’t have to control you anymore.

This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way, time and time again. I become a slave to my mind and it at times consumes me. I worry over work, finances, schooling, parenting, relationships. One of my favorite verses which I always come back to is this in Matthew 6:25-34:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
It literally takes me to the point where I am exhausted, physically and emotionally drained, and when I am at my lowest, it is then that I remember His truths. It is then that I think, why am I even worrying and trying to sort out all these things? God tells us to cast our cares upon him and he will sustain us. He will look after us. He will provide. No, that doesn’t necessarily mean that a money tree will be sent from Heaven and planted in your yard to solve all your problems…but what it does mean is that if you trust in Him, and in His timing and His plan, He will provide. You may not recognize His provision at first as it can be disguised simply by the closing of doors – options that you thought were for certain suddenly don’t work out. Other times it is simply where an opportunity arises that you think will never work out, but time and time again it keeps presenting itself to you. He may bring people into your life that speak to you, or he may whisper His truths to you when you still your heart and listen.
He is waiting for you. He doesn’t want to see you suffer under the weight of your worry and stress. He wants to set you free from your mind – so that you can begin to live in the grace and peace that He has so chosen to give you. Take time to still your heart and mind – walk away from everything that is causing you to worry, and listen to what he is trying to tell you and show you. You don’t need to be a slave anymore.
Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
x

Cherish yourself to save your family

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Noise.

It is one of the things that I just cannot handle in excess. You know when you just have things that rub you the wrong way? Well for me, loud noises and confined spaces one of those. Whether it be a gathering that is crowded and lots of people talking, too many ‘devices’ competing over one another, or a loud screaming child…it is usually enough to send me over the edge of insanity.

When Peach was a bit younger, she had some sensory issues that were really quite prevalent. She struggled with loud noises, and also different sensations (the wind blowing her hair and the feel of certain clothes). I never really understood, as I guess I hadn’t really even put much thought into my own sensory issues, but now I know just how she must have felt going through those situations.

It is like nails on the chalkboard type stuff for me. And the hardest part is, it is a daily battle for me because….Sunshine is LOUD. I’m not just talking your typical 2 year old screams every now and then. Her actual voice is LOUD and RAMBUNCTIOUS and OVER THE TOP. It is who she is and how she speaks…constantly….24 hours a day! She came out of my womb screaming and has been giggling and talking and singing LOUDLY and PROUDLY ever since!

I love her with a fierce love. I love her passion for life. I love that she throws herself into situations 110%. I love that she has little fear and much love to give. She feels strong emotions, and often cries when she hears ‘sad’ music or watches a sad movie. But….the sheer volume of her is SO overwhelming for me. I have been struggling to want to spend time with her as she is just non stop, constantly loud, constantly in your face and rarely settles down or sits still. I know these qualities are amazing – she is going to be a very outgoing young lady as she grows and she will have no problem making friends or settling into new situations, which is a blessing. But as a mum, how does one deal with this when it is something that you so struggle to process?

Yes, she is only 2, but I guess, if we were to compare her to Peach (who was full on in her own rights), Sunshine just takes the cake! And for someone who struggles with noise anyway, it just adds to my stress levels immensely. I already struggle to switch my mind off. I am constantly processing thoughts, thinking ahead to the future, dreaming, desiring, planning, worrying….add to that the usual household/family chores and demands, plus a cat and a puppy – my mind is in constant overdrive 24/7. I look forward to getting out of the house child free just for a breather. I love being able to drop the kids and run to the shops to get the groceries….as even though that is a ‘chore’ it is not as intense as it is in my house! It sounds awful, but it can get to the point that I just resent even being a mum. People often have said ‘oh, you are such an amazing mum’, and in the past, yes I feel I used to do so much with the girls and for the girls, but lately, I don’t feel so amazing. I feel like a cranky ogre who is constantly scorning the girls about every little thing, and it drives me to a place where I will find almost anything to do so I don’t have to spend time with them. I will clean and cook and be ‘busy’ because that is easier than me having to sit down and play with them or umpire their fights. Not easy to admit that.

I am coming to realise just how important it is to look after myself. As we have been in the midst of a big move interstate and we are still settling, I haven’t really yet found the time to look after myself yet. But hopefully, in the coming weeks as we move into another property a little bit more long term, I will be able to get myself into a better routine of down-time, quiet time, and doing things that de-stress my mind, body and soul. I am keen to get back some fitness and am hoping to give yoga and pilates a go, in an effort to hopefully get back some of the flexibility that I once had. I have also taken some huge steps of courage and faith in making time to meet some new friends, and cultivate some friendships – which has been quite daunting, but important and regaining that balance between being a mum and being myself!

This blog was created in an attempt for me to discover who I am, not just as a person, but who Christ intended me to be. I am nearly 30 but still trying to find out what my purpose in life is, and what I want to be when I grow up! When you are a mum, you tend to put yourself last…all the time. And you can feel alot of guilt when you try to step out and do things that are just solely for you. But if you don’t do it, you lose sight of what your purpose is. You can grow to resent your life (or your children – sounds terrible to say, but it is true) and you just become miserable! And when you are miserable, your family suffers for it to. Your marriage can suffer, and your kids sense that you are not happy. You are the glue that keeps your family together, the gears that keep your family ticking together, harmoniously. That is a pretty huge responsibility, isn’t it? And quite daunting. Why should we be responsible for such a heavy burden?

Being a mum is such a responsibility as there is so much pressure to have it all together. Not only do you have to be super mum who keeps the children happy, healthy, well-rounded, nutritiously fed, involved in all the latest sporting activities,etc. You also have to be some sexual goddess who has the time and energy for their husband. You also need to have your walk with Christ in tact so you can teach your children about the love of God and nurture their faith. You also need to be able to keep up appearances with school mums and friends, because if you don’t you will lose them pretty quickly. And then somewhere in there, you hope there is some time left to be able to pull yourself together and cherish your own soul and hopes and dreams, but by this stage, you are usually too exhausted to even think about yourself. What does it really matter, anyway?

It is bloody hard to do all of the above. And I think that is the pressure that mums feel daily. Can I just say, to all you beautiful mamas out there – it is ok to not have it together all of the time! It is OK to fail at some or all of the above. Yes, we need to be there for our family, but if you can’t look after yourself….what is that teaching your children and your husband about your worth? And how can you expect your family to be working together harmoniously if you are unhappy?

Dream with me for a minute about what your life would be like if you took even 10 minutes out of your day, to sit down and take a breather, collect your thoughts and start dreaming again? Or 30 minutes out of your day to spend your time delving into God’s word? What about an hour out of your day to go for a long walk or a jog? What if you went and pampered yourself with a hair cut or an eyebrow wax, or even just had a shower and blow dried your hair and put makeup on? What if you joined an art class to finally learn how to paint or crochet? What would that do to your soul? Would it not refresh you to be able to come home and be able to smile again and deal with the ‘noises’ and chalkboard nail issues in your life? Wouldn’t you be happier? Refreshed? More ready to tackle the seemingly mundane (yet extremely valuable and important) tasks of family life?

Investing time in yourself IS OK. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is CRUCIAL. You put yourself last too much. Don’t let your relationship with your family suffer anymore. If you want to be happy, and enjoy your children and your husband, you first need to make sure you are looking after yourself.

I am going to take a dose of my own medicine and really focus on investing some time in myself over the coming weeks. It will probably feel a little naughty at first, but I am willing to give it a try if it means I can enjoy my family more in the process. After all, we only have ONE chance at this life. I want to be able to enjoy every single minute with my family as it is such a blessing. And I want them to be able to look back and say that their mum was always happy and full of laughter and smiles.

Got to go, my “me time” is up as my noise machine has just awoken!🙂

Much love

x

 

The gift of Kindness

Following on from our “fruits of the spirit” that we have been learning about over the past few months, I decided to trial putting Kindness into action this week with the girls.

A page I follow on Facebook (Teaching 2 and 3 year olds) posted an activity from Learn with Play at Home where they made gingerbread men with the children, and wrote Christmas letters for various people in their community, then handed them out in a way to teach their children about being kind to others.

I thought it was a fantastic idea, and a great way to physically show my girls kindness in action, being grateful for those who look after us in the community (bin man, post man, etc), and to teach them how to give selflessly without want for anything in return.

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We set aside one day to make and decorate the gingerbread men. This activity took almost the whole day to do, amongst other things. I for one am terrible when it comes to “crafting” with the girls as I really don’t like mess and I am such a perfectionist, I am not good at letting go of the reigns very much! But, they put all the ingredients in and mixed the gingerbread dough up for me. They started helping me cut out the shapes and then they got bored too quickly as there was “too many to do, mum!” Once the cookies had been baked and cooled, I set them up at the dining table with the smarties and icing sugar, I iced the dots for the buttons and they stuck them into place. I am PRETTY sure it was a ratio of one smartie on the cookie, 5 in the mouth!

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While her little sister napped, I sat down with Peach and helped her design a Christmas card to go with the cookies. Instead of individually writing a card for every single person they would gift the biscuits to, we did a generic one that would be good for everyone. I drew dots which she connected together to form a Christmas tree with a star on top, and she drew the decorations to go on the tree. Then I marked out the words “Merry Christmas” which she traced. I then scanned these pages into the computer and printed them in wallet size, double sided to make little Christmas tags. They looked adorable!

We discussed who we thought would enjoy a gingerbread cookie from us. I talked about people in our community who do lovely things for us: like the bin man and postman. I also mentioned the checkout lady at the shops and the policeman. We then talked about how we could give them to anyone around town we thought looked like they needed a little kindness and Christmas cheer. We had at least 30 biscuits to hand out! I wasn’t quite sure how well it would be received by everyone, but if my girls at least came out knowing the joy you feel to give to others, especially those who are less fortunate than you, or who do jobs that don’t get much recognition, then this would be a lesson well learnt.

The first people they decided to gift their gingerbread men to were the children next door. Where we live, the fences between houses are see-through (ie. like chicken wire), so the girls can talk to the children next door through the fence. They ran outside that afternoon and took 3 little cookies and cards for the 2 little boys and girl next door. As they handed them through, saying “Merry Christmas”, the girl told them to hold on a minute whilst she ran upstairs to get something for the girls. She came back swiftly with a card and 2 loom band rings, one each for the girls! How sweet is that! The girls weren’t expecting anything in return, but were blessed with kindness.

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Waiting for the bin man, in the rain!

I knew the bin man would be coming first thing the next morning, so whilst the girls were getting ready for the day, I left the front door open to listen out for his truck coming around the street. The second we heard it we raced out the front in the rain to wait for him. We watched him come down our street, but on the opposite side of the road, and the girls waved at him as he went past. Then as he came to us, the girls continued waving to signal him to stop. At first, I think he thought they were just there to watch the rubbish being taken! But when he realised we weren’t going anywhere, he opened his window to say hello. The girls were SO excited. Peach was shaking with nervous excitement as they both squealed “Merry Christmas”and handed him his gift. He was really touched and thankful and said “Merry Christmas” back to the girls. As he drove away and we went back inside, I asked how that made them feel. “Happy mum, he even said Merry Christmas back to me!”

I made a last minute dash to the main shopping centre with the girls this afternoon (crazy idea, but I kind of had no choice) and decided I would take a bag of the Christmas cookies and cards with me. On the drive to the shops we spoke again about who we might be able to give them to. We went into a jewllery shop and whilst I was talking to the sales assistant, Peach asked if she could give the lady a gingerbread cookie. I let her hand one to the lady who was absolutely blown away with their kindness. She thanked them and said how she was looking forward to enjoying it with her coffee this afternoon. She then went off to get the girls a candy cane each and a balloon with a picture of Santa on it. Well, they were just over the moon weren’t they!

I was SO thankful for those balloons as they kept the girls entertained and happy for a fair bit of the trip. The shops were packed and they can either be super well behaved in the pram, or really mischievous. And all was going swimmingly, until as I was making my way out of a particular shop, Sunshine’s balloon burst with a really loud BANG which made me jump out of my skin! I stopped in the entrance to the shop and knelt down in front of the pram and consoled her as she was really upset that she had lost her balloon. I talked with her big sister and said how it might be nice for her to share her balloon with her little sister until we found another one. Just as I was kneeling there in front of the pram, can you believe who came up right behind me to help with the girls? None other than one of the local children entertainers and balloon artists in town… “Hyper the Clown”!!!! I was gobsmacked! I couldn’t believe that she was there!  It was like an angel had literally come out of heaven right at that moment, just to help me. What are the chances of a balloon artist being there right at the moment your child’s balloon bursts? I am pretty sure she wasn’t even working that day as she didn’t look dressed in character, yet she had her little bag of balloons on her! Without so much as a word, she whipped 2 little deflated balloons out of her bum bag pouch and blew the girls a little pink loveheart balloon each. They giggled with delight as she blew up each one – and in that moment, all the sadness over the burst balloon was gone.  She also handed me another one in case I needed a spare! What a sweetheart! The girls handed her a gingerbread cookie with a card as their way of saying thankyou.

I wish I could say the rest of the shop went smoothly also. It didn’t. That is kids for you though! I had to pull them swiftly out of one shop for a stern talking to for kicking and hitting each other over the heads with their loveheart balloons. It is not always peaches and roses. But they did find a few more people to bless with biscuits and cards.

We still have about another 20 odd to hand out. Hopefully we can catch the postman before Christmas, and perhaps bless a few more people at the local shopping centre when we go.

Kindness is a beautiful gift. It doesn’t cost much to give, yet you will ALWAYS be blessed in return – not necessarily in the physical, but the gift you receive back will be knowing that you have made an impact in someone’s life by giving them a little piece of the joy that you have!

Much love
x

Life

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Photo of my carefree girl and her bunny – captured by the talented Stephanie – The Capture Project

It just is.

Everyone goes through it. Some seem to flutter through it with such grace and poise and ease. Never seeming to face a fault, or fear, or tragedy. Fortune favors them. Life favors them.

Then there are others. Others who seem to stumble and fall head over heels down a spiraling pathway that seems only destined for more diversity and tests and trials. One thing happens after another. Life seems unkind to them.

Out of the latter, there are those that handle their seemingly tainted lives with a sort of cheer. They know they struggle, but they know it is for a reason. Good comes out of every bad situation. Life has meaning.

And then there are those who don’t handle it well at all. They delve further into the darkness of their own minds, taunting them with lies that they deserve everything bad that comes their way. It is somehow their fault. They feel their life has no meaning other than to torture them.

Everyone is fighting a battle. No one is exempt. Whether that battle be in the flesh, with cancers and illness taking hold of their bodies. Or in the mind, with dark thoughts luring them deeper into a sense of worthlessness, or telling them that they are too fat, not pretty enough, not good enough. Some fight it financially, struggling to make ends meet. Some struggle with relationships falling apart, or never even really coming together. Some are alone. Some want to be left alone. Some hate the limelight, others want to be noticed.

We are all fighting our own battles.

Compassion.

compassion
kəmˈpaʃ(ə)n/
noun
1. sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.

It can be very easy to forget to have a compassionate heart towards others, because we are selfish beings. We like to think only of ourselves and what is best for us. We all want to be loved. Just reflect on that for a moment:

We ALL want to be loved.

That is what is at the core of our being. We want to be loved, cherished and adored. We want someone to really see us, not just in the flesh, but to see our hearts and feel what we feel. We want understanding. We want love and we want to love.

So often this love is mistaken for material things. Buying beautiful gifts for our lovers so they know they are thought of. Having the best of everything: clothes, house, car, holidays. Surely that must mean I am loved?

No. Love is far far more.

Love is unselfishly putting others before yourself, without want for anything in return – no recognition, no audience, no gift, and sometimes even, no love.

Love is genuine. It comes from a place of truly wanting to see the best for someone else.

I could go on defining it myself – but there is already an amazing definition of it in the bible. It is talked about often, but when you take the time to really break it down, and reflect on every aspect of it in its simplicity, you can see why it is so beautiful, yet can be so hard to do:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Just as it is easy to forget to show others compassion, it is very hard to remember to honestly practice love in this way. It would require a total shift of thought pattern and practices to how we have behaved in the past. Some people have been so hurt by what they thought was love in the past, they feel they no longer know how to love. But love is not something you need to know how to do – love is simply acknowledging that you are worthy of receiving it. For when you know how to received love, you will freely be able to give love.

Everyone is fighting a battle. Everyone is in need of compassion. Everyone is in need of love. If you see someone who is displaying emotions of rage, or despair, or anger, loneliness or depression, try to think of why. Put yourself in their shoes. And even if you don’t understand or know the cause of it, you can do something powerful. You can show them the compassion and love they deserve. Ask them how they are doing. Something as simple as this opens up a plethora of options to show them love. Put your own needs aside for a moment and love them.

If you come away from this with one lesson, let it be this: try to really show everyone that comes into your world tomorrow, compassion and love. Whether it be your mum and dad when you are sitting at the table having breakfast with them in the morning, or your boss at work. Whether it be the lonely looking person sitting next to you on the train, or the person begging for money at the bus shelter. Whether it be the snobby sales attendant at the shop, or the one-sided “friend” you are about to meet for coffee. Whoever you bump into tomorrow, show compassion and love. This absolutely does not mean to show them love with material things – love is best shown through actions – in ‘doing’. Be selfless. Expect nothing in return. Don’t go and post about it on facebook about how you showed a selfless act of love to someone. Keep it private between you and that person. Because then, and truly only then, does it become genuine love.

And remember when you go through a rough patch in your life, you will want others to show you compassion, love and understanding also. Don’t think you are better than anyone – don’t look down on others who are less fortunate or struggling with life more than you are. Everyone gets their turn. So be humble. Don’t be proud and boastful saying “oh she is such a whinger, I wish she would stop and just get on with it”. Instead think of how you could serve them. Do unto others as YOU would want done to you.

LOVE AND COMPASSION.

We are all capable of giving it. We are all worthy to receive it ourselves. I pray that you feel compassion and love wherever you are in your journey of “life” at the moment. There is always good that will come out of it. Always. Even when it feels hopeless. Life is short, but it is meant to be lived beautifully. Whether it be with all the riches in the world, or nothing but the $10 note in your back pocket. Life is worth living. Everyone’s life is worth living.

Much love
x

 

 

When they stand their ground…stand yours!

As the girls get older, aspects of parenting them get easier, and then other aspects get much, much harder. It almost seems as though my role as mum takes on a whole lot more responsibility as I teach them values and try to guide them into respectful, gracious, kind little beings.
Quick trips to the shops are no longer quick and easy, and often involve me having to really guide the girls through behavioral traits they are struggling with. Oftentimes, it can be really embarrassing standing in a crowded post office and having to separate the girls from each other just to keep the peace between each other and to stop them walking all over me!
Huge kudos to everyone nearby who lets me do my thing whilst I’m trying my best to teach my girls values. No, I am not being a mean parent or harsh parent, I am simply trying to instil better values in my children at a young age, which might come across in a harsh way – I get it. But as they grow into beautiful young ladies, I promise you will thank me down the track!
So instead of rolling your eyes, scowling, or shaking your head – a little understanding goes a long way! If you see some parents having a rough time with their kids out and about in public, can I challenge you this:
  1. Offer a simple understanding smile, it goes a long way.
  2. Remind them that they are doing a fantastic job, and to hang in there…it will get better.
  3. If you think they would appreciate you offering advice direct to the kids in question – try it! I know some people wouldn’t welcome this but HECK i would! Hearing from a stranger ” Hey girls, it is not ok to talk to your mum like that, be kind and respect her decision” might just be what they need!

I was in Coles just the other day, with my eldest who was testing my patience by pestering for a chocolate. I reminded her that we don’t get treats everytime we come to the shops, but as she had just had her needles that day, I had promised her a treat after we had finished our shopping. I reminded her that if she could behave whilst I did the grocery shopping, and not pester me for a treat, I would get one when we were done. As i went down the next aisle, she started again – “But muuuuuuuuuuuum, I really want this chocolate – can I get it noooooooowwwwwwwww”. A salesperson was stocking shelves and he had a quiet little chuckle to himself and glanced over with a grin. I smiled back at him and he said “My 6 year old is exactly the same – she doesn’t give in!” I said to him I was glad I wasn’t alone on this subject and went on my way!

It is so nice to be reassured that you are doing the right thing, you aren’t the only one with a strong willed child, others have blazed the path before you and others are along for the ride with you. It is all normal, it is all ok, and you are doing just fine. Stick with it.  We rolled into the next aisle and she continued on pestering for that treat and I just kept repeating myself!

There have been plenty of times I have given into the girls, just to ‘save face’ in public – but the times that I have been strong enough to not give them what they are asking for, particularly if their behaviour has been really disrespectful, they quickly learn that hey, mum means business!

The shops are a crazy war zone at the moment with Christmas fast approaching. To all the mums and dads out there that have to brave them alone with their little ones in tow….I sympathise with you! Be strong….stick to your guns….don’t give in to their pesters and whines for treats and the like just to keep them quiet. If you need to leave your full trolley and bolt for the car to teach them that that behaviour won’t be tolerated – do it!  Or if you need to let them have a mini meltdown in the middle of the shop floor, do it. Then when they have calmed down, bring them to the side and talk to them about their behaviour, why it is not ok, and help them understand what they can do to fix it. They will thank you for it in the long run!

Try to plan your shopping trips to allow for plenty of time to get what you need, but to also deal with any arising issues that you may need. It can take a little longer, but I believe the outcomes in time will far outweigh the extra effort put in! Plan them for days when you are feeling strong, and if it all ends in an epic fail – right off the afternoon, have a strong cuppa coffee (or wine, your choice!) and start again the next day!
So cheers to all the parent’s out there reliving a terrible ground hog day, day after day after day…I promise you – it will get better😉

xxx

a friend who sticks closer than a brother

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I think everyone suffers from loneliness in their life at some point or another and in some form or another. Some people can hide it really well, filling their life with material “things”, going on extravagant adventures, keeping a well groomed and glamorous social media profile. But usually, what lurks beneath all of that, is a sense of unfulfillment, trying to fill a hole in their life they aren’t quite sure of. Loneliness.

I have never been one to have hoards of friends. In fact, I have never really had a friend I have felt able to open up with about all the little things in life that you should  be able to do so with a good friend.

Life changes with such a fast pace too, that friend circles can change very quickly. I think back to our wedding, 8 years ago now, and the friends we had attend our wedding. Some of which we never see, or speak to any more. Then when kids come along too, it brings a whole new aspect to friendships. Friends who are yet to have kids, or get married find it hard to connect with you on the levels you once could,so those friendships can fade into the distance.

When kids comes along, some mums find it easy to get out and make new friend circles with their freshly born babes. Others struggle to keep their head above water, let alone get out of the house to meet new mums at playgroups and parks, and can suffer in silence. And that silence, can be deafening, and extremely lonely.

I have been there.  I was one of those mums who really struggled to make new friends. I still do.  It is not just due to my circumstance, but it is also just a part of who I am. I can be very insecure meeting new people and find it hard to know how to hold a conversation sometimes, so I can come across quite awkward or stuck up, when in actual fact, I don’t actually know what to say or where to look. If I were to delve into the psyche of it all, it probably stems back to my early tween years and finding it hard to fit in with friend circles at school. I never really knew the right thing to say back then to come across as ‘cool’ or part of the ‘in-crowd’. And you know what, I am ok with that now. It has shaped me into the person I am today. One who has more compassion for those who have been through or are going through similar things to what I have.

Last night I was reflecting on loneliness and how sometimes I can feel really lonely. I see people going out on outings with their girlfriends, or having catchups with their families, and I can quietly wish I had those things. The days can be really long when you don’t have someone to share them and laugh alongside with at all the silly things your kids do, and how they secretly drive you crazy. I know in time, I will make my own circle of friends – especially when we settle into a church home, and when the girls start going to school. But what really hit me was, that I don’t need to feel lonely at all. In fact, I am so far from that. Not only am I blessed with an amazing husband who truly is my soul mate, as well as my beautiful girls. I am also so blessed to have a best friend who will never leave me. He listens to all my concerns, guides me, gives me advice, and simply loves me just as I am. He made me. He knows my quirks and insecurities and yet he still stays beside me. Despite all my shortcomings and failings, he fills my soul with joy.

I then thought of all those who are not in my position, who are lonely, and truly don’t know the love of Christ in their lives. Because I know, that if I didn’t have that,  I would honestly feel empty. It is hard enough to feel alone in this world let alone not ever knowing or feeling the love of the one who created you. Nothing compares. Nothing even comes close. No mortal on this earth can fill you with more companionship or love than the love of the Father. It will truly set you free and give you hope. It will give you peace. You won’t feel the desire or need to seek out things to fill your life…to fill that once gaping hole. You will just be.

Much love
x

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

Cast your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

…and surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Matthew 28:20