The Toddler Diaries

I feel like my life has been consumed by one healthy growing toddler, my daughter! The days of challenging me in public have begun. The days of 2 to 2 1/2 hour naps seem to be slipping away. She is asserting her independence. It’s a milestone for sure, but I’m not ready to accept that she is entering into this phase of growth. My baby is growing up! As I watch her  grow, I realize how blessed I am.

My baby posing!

My baby posing!

She’s still so young and moldable. As she comes into her own, I want her to be a woman of integrity and character. I want her to be known for the love of Christ that emanates from her. It seems like those things are quite a ways away, but I know that teaching her and showing her, even at this age, how to love people like Jesus does, is not in vain. I believe that she knows Jesus; she remembers Him from her time in heaven.  My prayer is that she chooses Him every day for the rest of her life.

What’s so crazy is that God loves me more than I love my daughter. I love her more than I thought I could ever love her, BUT He loves me more. What a crazy good love story!

Ode to Moms with a Toddler

My daughter broke my phone yesterday. She dropped it.  So this post is an ode to the life of a mom with a toddler.

One (1) thing I think should be introduced to the world: Mobile phone companies should offer special coverage for parents with kids under the age of two. :)

Three (3) things my toddler does that I think are kind of yucky:

1) Sneezes in my face 2) Eats vaseline 3) Poop explosions

Five (5) things my toddler does that I think are kind of wonderful:

1) Puts her head on my shoulder and wraps her little arms around me when I ask for a hug

2) She throws out her own diapers

3) She gives kisses with enthusiasm

4) She eats almost anything

5) She’s only smacked me in the face once

Two (2) things I pray over my toddler everyday: *I could have listed so many more…

1) That she discovers and desires a relationship with Jesus at a young age

2) That she fulfills her God-given purpose, not her mom or dad preferred purpose

To all the moms of toddlers out there, I think you’re amazing. On those tough days, remember that God’s grace is sufficient. On those great days, thank Him for His goodness. Enjoy the journey…

Giavana a couple weeks after she was born! She is 16 months old today! It's crazy!

Giavana a couple weeks after she was born! She is 16 months old today! It’s crazy!

It’s not a dream deferred. It’s a dream in progress.

I’m not really a poetry person, but there are some poems that have stayed with me over the years and this is one of them. It’s also one of my favourites:   A Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

What does this have to do with my discovery month? Everything. Poetry is a type of art that allows for subjective opinion. So this can mean one thing to me and another thing to you.What this meant to me 10 years ago is very different to what it means to me now.

As I prepared to graduate from university(approx. 10 yrs ago), this poem did its job. It lit a fire under me to make sure that I burst out of the post-secondary education scene with purpose and drive. I didn’t want to experience what this poem describes as a dream deferred. As a fresh graduate, I was full of dreams for the future. Little did I know that sometimes, in most cases, dreams are not immediately realized. It’s the daily experiences, the major decisions, and even some seemingly small decisions, that effect the fruition of my dreams. I’ve been learning ever since.

At this stage in my life, this poem represents hope. The passion that burns inside of me isn’t dying, it’s only burning brighter. The dreams birthed in my at a young age are still at the forefront of my mind. It’s not a dream deferred. It’s a dream in progress. I will live it and pursue it until the day I die. Notice I said “live it” first. I live my dream daily, because I see pieces of it everyday. It may not be the fullness of it yet, but I’m getting there.

Get off Autopilot!

My month of discovery is coming to an end, even though discovery itself never stops. :)

My discovery over the last couple weeks is a reminder of how very present Holy Spirit is in my daily life. It’s not that I forget; it’s that I should talk to Him some more. It’s interesting, because I know He’s there, I know He cares about even the little things, but yet I sometimes I put Him in a box. I pray and ask for answers. I ask him questions and expect Him to respond, and He does. But sometimes without even knowing it, it’s so easy to default to certain behaviours. Teaching ourselves to believe that we have to hear Him a certain way or be in a certain environment to receive from Him in any way. We don’t do it on purpose. Purposeful or not, an autopilot Christian is not living in the fullness of who God has called us to be, in this time and in this season. We have to change our thinking!

Living in autopilot spiritually, physically, mentally or emotionally isn’t healthy!!! It’s time to break out of the norm and experience the extraordinary! We have to imagine life without boundaries! We can’t box in the Holy Spirit! We can’t box in ourselves!

Discovery #(who knows), the Holy Spirit is ever present and so willing to do life with me. Let’s do this…

My daughter & her friends discovering the joys of sand. :)

My daughter & her friends discovering the joys of sand. :)

Laser Focus

Just a recap: Talking about discovery of what God has for me in this season…here we go!

Discovery #(I don’t know)…there have been so many already! I know I can say with certainty that I’m discovering the value of focus. God has been challenging me to trim my focus and concentrate on what’s most important in each season; learning what’s important to shed as I leave one season and enter another, and also what’s vital to gain as I walk through the unknown of a new season. I think that we have a tendency bring things from previous seasons into where we are currently and God is telling us to let it go, to drop it at the finish line.

For me, the things I put definite and distinct focus on in my previous season are not the same things I believe I should focus on now. It’s amazing how difficult those transitions can be. I believe that at times we attach ourselves to the things we do. We get comfortable doing what we’ve always done, hanging out with the people we’ve always known and being frustrated with the things that have always frustrated us. No more! New things, new people, new frustrations! (Hopefully, not too many new frustrations) New season!

It’s on! I’m ready!Let’s do this! My family has finally hit our rhythm, so I feel like I’m finally getting some things in order. I never thought time management was an issue, but as I look at my life now, I remember something that was once said to me, “You think you’re disciplined now? You think you’re great with time management now? Wait until you have kids. Having kids will help you realize how undisciplined and how much more time management you need.” I hear those words in the back of my mind everyday. lol I have had to become more disciplined and I have to manage my time in a much greater way than I did before having a child.

So bringing it back around, I’m narrowing my focus to what’s most important right now. I’m amazing at how clear and precise things can be when I ask Him what His focus is for me this year. I know it’s going to be a good year. I can feel it.

Crashing into the New Year

So in my last post I talked about starting the new year off with a blank slate. Great idea. Great concept. Makes complete sense. As I entered into the new year with high expectations of what’s to come, my whole family got sick with that awful flu that’s going around. We get better. Then my daughter catches a cold, stuffy nose and all. As a mom, you hope that you’re resilient enough to fight of those yucky germs. Somehow they manage to attach themselves to your pillow, your clothes, and the sweet little lips of your child who wants to give you kisses. Unfortunately for me, those yucky germs attached themselves and have yet to let go. I caught my daughter’s cold and as she recovered, it got worse for me. I lost my voice. Can it get any worse? Of course it can. Thankfully for me, it didn’t and it hasn’t. In the middle of it, with a very real frustration, I’m thankful that all I’m fighting is a cold. I’m thankful for my health, despite this brief setback. I’m thankful that this new year is mine to explore.

This cute baby gave me her germs! Love her though! :)

This cute baby gave me her germs! Love her though! :)

I’ve declared that January is the month of discovery for me. What does that mean exactly? I’m purposefully challenging myself to discover some of the exact things God has for me this year. It’s great to go into a year expecting wonderful things to happen, but I want more than that this year. I want the wonderful God things to happen because I made wonderful God choices! I’m no perfectionist, nor do I live a life of perfection, so I will no doubt fall short in some way shape or form this year. However, I’m reminded of that verse that goes a little something like this…”And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

I especially love the last sentence. “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I’m only strong because of Him. In my weakness, He’s strong, which means that I’m strong, because He lives in me. How awesome and thrilling is that? Takes the pressure off. Lol

2014, here I come…

A Blank Slate

It’s 2014! Wow! What am I most excited about as we embark upon a new year? I guess I’m really glad that I committed to and successfully completed #dressember. That was a personal challenge for me. What’s so interesting is that I discovered that wearing dresses wasn’t so bad. :) Yes, that was my epiphany. I learned to embrace some of the girly and frilly things that came with dress wearing and I think I’m going to continue in a small way, one dress a week! Hopefully, it will serve as a reminder of this cause that should stay at the forefront of our minds anyway.

Secondly, I’m excited about the spiritual and personal growth I know I’m going to experience this year. I’ve got four books on my “life” book list for the year. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but I’m a new mom, so any kind of reading time I get is precious.  I’m always looking for good clean fiction, so any suggestions, please let me know!

Lastly, 2014 is my blank slate. There’s something that is so final about the end of one year and the introduction to another. It’s strange because we have the ability to start over every day if we want to, because His mercies are new each morning. Yes, I grab onto those new mercies every day. I embrace my blank slate knowing that I give Him permission to write my story, filled with pictures of hope and His strength to endure any challenges I may face. 2014 is here and I’m ready.

Let’s get this chapter started…

#stophumantrafficking #thriverescuehome #internationaljusticemission #dressember