i am enough, you are enough, enough is enough 

I never knew that the deep issue I needed to tackle most in my life had to do with self-worth. To be honest with myself and have clarity about this massive area for growth has transformed my life recently. How sad is it to think that just being me isn’t enough?! That in order to feel more worthy, I actively (and unconsciously), strove to do more. I thought working tirelessly day after day to be the best mom, wife, friend, woman, daughter, and more would fulfill this void I never knew existed. 

Sadly, the more women I speak to, the more I discover I’m not alone. It was not until after one of my, “I’m tired of giving, tired of the daily grind,” moments that my friend recommended that I read the book, Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist, that I finally decided to change. Up until that point, I was striving. I was doing things because I thought I “should,” because that’s what a perfect (insert a role from above) ought to do. My heart wasn’t fully invested or if it was, I was not at capacity to do it but still took it on. I had all these unrealistic  ideas and expectations of what I should be doing and should be as a person. Sometimes it was self-imposed, while other times it was the messages I received from others. Man oh man, this way of thinking and living was tiring. But I knew no different. Since I was school-age, I was encouraged and pressured to be an overachiever and productivity made me feel accomplished. That’s how I received recognition, awards, and praise. My worth came from others and not myself or from God, the One who made me, loves me unconditionally, and thinks I’m beautiful just as I am, without any accolades. 

The realization that I can just be me and not strive to prove my worth has consequently created more quiet in my mind and physical space, encourage me to be present, love others more generously, make less judgments, and connect with others and God more deeply. I’ve courageously asked for help where I need it and feel less guilt and actively seek out self-care. I’m teaching our kids that relaxing and doing nothing except enjoy eachothers’ company is enough. As a result, we stay home more and just enjoy our space and play. I’m finding this new way of living is bringing me much happiness and peace. Of course I have moments of regression, but I have to remind myself that I don’t need to prove anything and that God knows me and loves me. That is enough. With that said, this new way of thinking, acting, and loving will be the best start as I enter 2017!

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the two year mark 

In my last job, I noticed after being in my role for nearly two years, I was finally starting to get comfortable. Professionals in the field were starting to call me for educational programs and others sought to collaborate with me. It was a great result after feeling like I had to be on overdrive to get my name out in the field and prove that the work we did was quality and that I was quality. Then I left to go on maternity leave and never returned… 

   I liken that experience to our move here. For two years I was on overdrive; I was trying to make friends, create a community, find a church, support Daniel as he started his own business, have a baby, set up house, and the list goes on. The two years that passed were busy, stressful, and filled with many changes to say the least. It was an emotional rollercoaster that left me questioning when I would feel more like myself again. I was not fully myself and clouded at times with decision making and emotions. We would wonder when we would have a break because it seemed like we were either sick, very stressed, or just missing something or someone. (I know what we went through was normal, but many times we felt alone going through the journey).  Then we reached the two year mark…  and it was as if the clouds parted. I found emotional stability through my new Christian mentor and discovered some areas for growth. I committed to being a better friend to new and old friends.. . focus more on the kiddos knowing time with them is running out before they go to school… found a side job that fulfils me but still puts my family and marriage first… and acted on loving on people more. Although life at home still feels busy, I describe it as “good busy.” I’m not busy for the sake of being busy. My time is spent with intention and each intention makes me very happy. Of course it’s always a work in progress as I am one who gets distracted. :) 

   So I write all this to share that we are in a good and happy place. We feel like we have persevered through the two years of ups and downs with settling and are hoping that we are entering into a more fruitful, mellow season in the years to come. Cheers and thanks be to God that two years have passed! We have so much to be thankful for.  

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i struggle, you struggle, we all struggle

I find it quite interesting that people think I have it all together. That my family is perfect and cute, that I’m super organized, have loads of friends, and in general, have it all. It is a great compliment I guess, but more so, I’m concerned that someone can truly believe that of me. I understand that my Facebook posts and pictures, along with my friendly ways and love for dressing up doesn’t scream out, “Hey, I’m struggling!” But truth be told, I do struggle!! I’m just as human as everyone else. I cry, feel alone at times, have self-doubt, areas of insecurities, and more! The family I have, which is driven by Daniel and my love for and commitment to one another takes hard work. There’s little complacency, loads of communication, compromise, and continually trying to outlove one another. However, even with this in place, our greatest struggle these days is sleep. We definitely need more of it, and less sick days. When we get hit with one or both villains, our household clutches to survive that day. Add the fact that Daniel is working hard growing and maintaining his business and stress levels increase in both of us. It seems as though every other week we are in survival mode. As a couple and family unit, this season has been the hardest for us. Even with the preparation and physical move abroad being a massive one, I’d say this season hurts us more. Daily we are challenged to be more patient with the kids, think clearly when our brain is mush, have hope that it’ll get better, lean on God’s will and ways, and persevere. Of course there’s been blessings hidden in every moment and corner, and we have taken notice to them more. As I write that sleep deprivation, sicknesses, and work demands are our biggest challenges right now, I do feel a bit silly when others are struggling more. But I’m also challenging myself to not compare or discount my experience. Of course it could be worst, I’ve lived through worst in my life, but this current struggle in our lives is real and powerful. To honor it and walk through this storm is necessary and part of our story.

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She's 11 months!

    So why do I write this post? It’s been on my heart lately to remind us all that we are humans. I struggle, you struggle, we all struggle. No one is living the perfect life void of troubles. We each carry our challenges differently through varying ways of showcasing it and communicating it. Just because I may look like I have it all together doesn’t mean I’m trying to hide my pain. All it would take to learn about my struggle, and possibly someone else’s challenges is asking the right questions and being there. Open-ended questions, genuine interest in their well-being, no judgement, and desire to learn about their story. When I have done this, I have discovered amazing things about people, especially their personal strength and triumphs through life’s pain. I hope this post encourages you to share more of who you are to others, especially what you’re going through, and also to discover someone’s heart when engaging with them. Thank you to the ones who have been there for us during this time. Xx
  

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