You have the power to “pause” and slow down

Precious moments

In this day of cell phones, electronics, and instantaneous communication we are always plugged in.  Too often, we are running, racing from point A to B, and by the end of the day we will frazzled, overwhelmed, and weak.   No energy left for anything or anyone.   Have you ever been there? 

You hear another beep on your phone….. Do you answer?

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha in the presence of Jesus?   Grace was in their presence, but Martha was too busy preparing.   Meanwhile, her sister Mary “paused”, she didn’t perform she took a breath and paused.

In this race we can be Martha, or pause and be Mary.   We have a choice, God has given us the power of choice.  

We can choose to slow, pause, and hold onto the moment.  

This can be difficult in a world that reveals to us that if we join the race we will be better off or meet their expectations.   But whose expectations do we really seek?

I seek to please Him.   You have to ask yourself today, where do my priorities lie?   Do they lie in the material things of this world, or do they lie in a bed full of roses where the smell is full of love?  And where love blossoms in every moment?

An essential step in ensuring we can be plugged into every moment is the ability to nurture our “self”.   In order to be functional beyond ourselves, this must come first.   Find a few moments a day even a half an hour where you can nurture and love yourself.  Treat yourself to a coffee, book, connect with God, take a walk or a relaxing bath so you can renew.  

The next step is establishing a core list of priorities that you can navigate your decisions for yourself and your family.  My priority list is:

1)      Nurture self  part of nurturing myself is ensuring that I connect in the morning, during the day and evening with my Father up above.

2)      Nurture my relationship with my number 1 supporter – my husband.

3)      Nurture my kiddo’s

4)      Nurture my relationships immediate family and close friends

Everything else in this life is just “stuff”.  The relationships and love are most important. 

When we make decisions and navigate on our core priorities, it is easier to establish boundaries and let go of the elements that are less important.

You have the power to choose to pause and smell the roses my friend.  You have the power to be Mary.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

Who do you choose to be my friend Martha or Mary? 

Take a breath and pause.

The power is in you!

 

Have you felt like Martha?  Or do you have strategies like Mary, in “pausing” and immersing yourself in the moment?

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Perserverance

sun-rays-coming-out-of-the-clouds-in-a-blue-sky-sustainable-use-of-light

Have you felt overwhelmed or overloaded?

Have you endured pain?

Do you physically and emotionally feel depleted?

Does it seem like one issue after another continues to happen?

Don’t give up.

There is always hope, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

Life can feel light…. All you have to do is Trust, and lift up your thoughts or worries to Him. 

The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis reveals how life can bring many struggles.   Joseph was treated poorly by his brothers, who later sell him into slavery. He encounters many trials in life.  But one things that stays constant is that Joseph never stops trusting in the Lord in all things.   He lifts up his life to Lord.    He leads by example in all interactions which lead to him one day becoming one of the highest regarded advisors in Egypt.   Many years of struggle did not lead Joseph down a path of resentment or feeling sorry for himself.  Instead, he relied and surrendered to the Lord.     The gifts he received were beyond his wildest dreams.    He shows us forgiveness in the pain, by forgiving his own brothers that handed him over into slavery.     We see through his experiences forgiveness, perseverance, and trust in God in all things.   He asks God to guide his days, and God blesses him beyond his wildest dreams.

In this life once Eve bit the apple, we entered into a life that would have struggle.  But the one thing that holds true is that God is there for us.  He will help us navigate through difficulty, through painful experiences.   We need to persevere and not give up.   Look to God to help you navigate, rely on Him.   He will lead you through.

God will give us strength to push through in the painful circumstances.

Forgiveness is always possible with help from God.

God will bring good out of all things and sometimes we have to endure suffering or pain in order to feel light.  God does not inflict pain or suffering on us, but sometimes, just like a parent, he takes a step back and sometimes we learn things the hard way.

We need believe that we were meant for a life of abundance, we are what we think and this is what God wants for us.

God brings light out of darkness, and knows our needs.   All we have to do is Trust.

May you be blessed my friend and thank-you for popping by! ~Ness

The strongest woman I know – my mother

429059_10151400264470987_2109690330_nOver the course of the past 8 months our lives have taken on another journey.   This journey has spanned across our entire family (both sides).  But through it all, we have been thankful.    As time goes on I begin to realize that life is really about all of the moments you are thankful for.   If one choses to focus on gratitude, there is no room for fear.  There have been situations that I thought I would never experience, that have spiced up my life over the past couple of years….I am grateful for the experiences, the love, the laughter, and most of all the people in my life that I adore.   Thank-you God for these experiences and the love; and for teaching me to be thankful each and every day.       I am sharing this picture with all of you – it was taken tonight.   In my previous worklife, I was a hairdresser, and tonight for the first time, my mom and I shared a new experience.   Good-bye old, and in with the new – you look beautiful mama.  I adore you.

A Letter to My Mom

As a babe, I look up at my mom and see her blue eyes.

They are beautiful and bright.

The love radiates and flows.

A love that cannot be explained, unconditional.

A bond that is everlasting and shared by two.

Over the years, the eyes change – brought by love, hope, heart ache and pain.

The lines and creases begin to show.

The lines define the moments in time where there was much happiness and sometimes tears.

She is strength, she is life, she is warm, she is a fighter and she defines love.

She has helped me most to grow.

She has helped me through my life and my “lows”.

She feels my pain when I hurt, and over time as I grow, I feel her hurts too.

We are one; the bond can never be undone.

She healed my wounds when they were deep, she has whispered sweet words as a child to me when I sleep.

We share a bond, that is so strong.

All through the years, I know this much is true,  I have become the woman I am today because of you.

You are my mother – a women of strength, determination, living with your heart and soul.

I adore you.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?! Do you find yourself falling into a comparison trap sometimes?  Asking yourself this same question?  Looking back in the mirror and feeling like you don’t measure up?

We are a culture of “norms”.  What is considered normal compared to abnormal or not fitting in.   If from day one the comparisons are engrained or programmed into what we believe, how can we then be surprised when we see the competition and comparisions that happens in our everyday lives?    We see it in the workplace, at school, down the block, it is everywhere.  “As preschoolers, boys and girls have already learned the lessons about physical appearance that our society teaches,” explain Thomas Cash, author of What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? “They know that lovely Cinderella gets the prince; her ugly and mean step sisters do not.   From childhood on…we judge our self-worth by the physical standards we’ve absorbed.”  Standards, competitiveness, judgment and we all are impacted as a result.  Don’t get me wrong, competitiveness can be good in certain situations with a “win-win” attitude, but not when it is at the expense of others.

Often when we compare, someone gets hurt.  Sometimes it can be ourselves.  I understand this very well as a young person I was bullied to from grade 2 grade 12.   Children would call me “dog” and bark at me in the halls.   I often looked in the mirror and wondered if the girl looking back was beautiful.   Self worth can be tied to what others think of us and then in turn that voice in our head that may tell us we are not measuring up.  It is interesting, as I have become a woman who values all people in her life, even the stranger walking down the street, I realize we all are truly perfect.  Each one of us has been created distinctly unique and beautiful.  It has taken me many years to realize this in myself and I am still learning.  Even the other day I caught myself falling back into the “mirror, mirror” struggle…

The morning started out perfect, my two little boys were behaving, eating well and getting along.  I was washing dishes and I thought, “This is just perfect”.  Everything was organized and ready, and everyone was happy.  I had an exam that day, and had the exam at top of mind.   But ten minutes before I was about to leave the house with the kids, everything started falling apart.   My youngest son started crying (he is going through a separation stage with his mama when ever I leave his side), and then my oldest wouldn’t put on his jacket.   I advised my oldest son that he better put on his jacket “or else” .  Then my youngest son fell, and the crying went into full gear!  I took a deep breath, reassured my youngest son and felt like I was talking in an entirely different pitch (like the Walmart greeter).  Then I went to grab my keys… But where were they now?  In my mad rush I had somehow lost my keys.   I began raising my voice  (I am sure I sounded like the wicked witch) at my children saying that if they would listen to me, and we all tried to have our best day – it wouldn’t turn into a mess… Perfect choice of words Vanessa what next (was the voice in my head with the hint of sarcasm).

After 5 minutes of searching, I found my keys in the most unlikely place.  I sat down on the bench and felt awful.   I realized that in my mad rush I lost patience.  I then asked my two searching boys to come inside so I could speak to them.  “Calm and collected” after having my own time out.  We were already late that wasn’t going to change.  It was time to “pause”.   I proceeded to tell my babies that we all need to be part of a team in the morning including mom…. And that listening, not yelling is important.  Me included….My eyes were tearing continually and I then told them that I love them very much and just hope for them to have a good day every day.   My oldest sensitive son then started crying and said that it was his fault the whole mess.   I proceeding in telling him that was not the case, and that none of it was his fault it all happened because of a series of issues.  However, he has to listen when I ask him to do something.  He got me a Kleenex.  And then I told my youngest son that if he doesn’t try harder not to cry when he goes to daycare, he will have to go more often.  This was hard to say but there has to be boundaries and adjustments are part of life.  We then all hugged (our family hug) and got into the vehicle.  I was exhausted and it was only 8:30am.

My mind then began to sort through all the issues, and I began blaming myself.   Words came into my head like “You are a bad mom, you should have never done that, you overreacted, you are not going to do well on the exam, your kids will probably have a complex now”… I felt like a failure mother… But compared to who?   Where are my standards and reference points coming from?  “Mirror, mirror on the wall the fairest mother of all is….”  Who??  We all go through time such as these, even the mothers that you “think” have it all together.

I am human and will make mistakes, and will own up to those mistakes in front of my children. Because everything I do is out of love for my children.  Situations like these are opportunities for all of us to learn from as a family/mother.    Why is it that we are always so hard on ourselves?  There are going to be more than enough people in our lives that will be hard on us, so why not give yourself grace in return?

The bible says, “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

This is such a perfect lesson for all of us.

* The is no perfect measuring stick, we are all made uniquely and should not fall into the “mirror mirror” trap.

* We should not compare what we have or who we are to others.

* We should look in the mirror and see the beautiful reflection looking back at us that is unique and one of a kind.

* Being content is much better than feeling like we have to be at 110% in all areas of our life.

* If we have our basic needs in life met, we are better off than a large portion of this world and should give thanks.

In closing, be kind to yourself, and give yourself grace.  Because life is short and is not about the “stuff” but simply about the people and moments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ (Amazing video about gratitude gives much perspective)