beautiful-simplicity-daily-habits

Morning or night person,

routine-driven or spontaneous person,

melancholy or sanguine person;

we all have a unique blend of characteristics that shape how we live out our days. Whichever of these we are, whatever it is we do, it’s important to take stock and reflect if what we’re doing is working for us.

Every now and then I begin a new habit, sometimes to replace an old one and sometimes to add to my current ones. Being intentional about my habits helps me to spend my days the way I want to spend my life.

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value-mum-friends

When you become a mum, you get to join a highly populated community of seemingly isolated people.

Hear me out. It’s a good thing.

Motherhood is a crazy, intense mixture of being opened up to a wonderful society of women who have given birth and are available for support, advice and encouragement… while simultaneously beginning a journey that is actually just about you and your child, slogging out the everyday together as you learn how to function as a new family unit.

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case-self-care

Self-care has become an idol for many of us. Don’t get me wrong: we absolutely need to care for ourselves. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. Neglecting that temple would be wrong. So yes, we need to care for it. But more than that, we need to pour ourselves out in love and honor the call of the Holy Spirit.

I am the first to take time to binge watch on Netflix in the name of self-care. Make-up is a passion of mine. I can spend hours pouring over a book while my kitchen sits dirty. Neglecting myself is not something I’m likely to do. Neglecting those around me is.

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two-sides-vulnerable

There has been a lot of talk lately on being vulnerable in motherhood. Admitting the struggles, being honest about feelings, asking for help. I think it’s a great “movement”; it’s time for us to get real about the fact that even though this journey is more than amazing, it’s also extremely tough. It can be very lonely, immensely confronting at times and let’s be honest: downright scary every now and again.

As great as vulnerability is for our own mental health, we often forget about the other spin-off; the positive effect it has on the people around us. I don’t know about you, but most people I know have a deep desire to make a difference, albeit seemingly small, in other lives.  If you are brave enough to open yourself up and become vulnerable, you can create a wonderful two-way street where you receive support and the person you are leaning on walks around with a sense of purpose.

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redemption-shalom-birth

Image credit: Amelia Hambrook Photography

Do you like birth stories? I do.

At first I loved them because I needed to hear how labor and birth could be – for others, all normal and beautiful and full of love and connection.Redemption and Shalom: More than a birth story

My first birth experience was quite the trauma, and I went to see a therapist when my first baby was 4.5 months. I realized it was probably not normal to still be in tears every day, think it’s okay to leave my baby by herself in her bouncy chair thing, and notice her stop smiling.

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second-pregnancy-different

Next year our three becomes four. We are elated… and a tad terrified. During my first pregnancy I remember reading and researching, pondering the changes in my body and the growth of the baby inside, leisurely perusing the literature and rubbing my belly. This time around has already been a very different experience. I’d love to share with you five ways my second pregnancy is different from my first.

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mothering-hindsight

In so many ways hindsight is a wonderful thing.  She can help us to re-assess and make changes.  Good adjustments that help us do things better in the future, but from where I sit today, looking at my grown up children, hindsight is not my friend.  She can fill my heart with regret.  I can quickly go down the road of the could’ve, the should’ve, the would’ve but didn’t.  She can make my heart sink and take me to a place where I don’t want to be.

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reclaim-loss-motherhood

It all started with a banana in my handbag. A squishy, “ready for banana bread” kinda banana. Packed as an emergency snack and then forgotten. To add insult to injury, I also found two stinky socks, deep in the recesses of said handbag. This all led to a mini mum meltdown. I felt like throwing myself on the floor, screaming. Was even my handbag not mine anymore? Was there anything left that I hadn’t given up, sacrificed or left on the back burner just because I decided to have children?

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lessons-toddler-play

I watch my boy at play: one clumsy little foot flies out in the vicinity of a falling football. He giggles wildly at the gap between intention and reality, the ball propelled not by feet as was the aim, but by wayward arms with flailing legs lagging behind. When life is good, it is grand – and the whole world is a playground. He is not embarrassed. Mistakes are simply serendipitous pathways to hilarious alternative games, equally as valid as the original. Oh, the sweetness of trying again and again without success!

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rock-aunt-hood

I have enjoyed the privilege of becoming an aunt again twice in the past few months. A sweet little baby boy and baby girl have filled their lungs with air and made their voices known to the world. And our family is rejoicing.

As I gaze on these little lives, I want to take my role as aunt seriously. I want to be intentional about the time I have with them and about the privilege God has gifted me. So I search the scriptures and try to find examples of how non-mothers effected the lives of little ones.

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