How God Speaks To Us

Growing up I’ve always been in awe of people who have seen the Lord or heard from him. I believe that God speaks to everyone and its up to the person to be willing to listen. I have had encounters where I just KNEW that God had sent it to me. Sometimes it was a feeling, other times it was something I was reading but I knew it was God placing it in front of me. Tom and I have had a lot of life changing decisions over the last year. All of these things happened all at once, and came to a head all at once. Now that we are at the end of a lot of these things I feel excited but also scared. It takes practice to trust God and to listen to what he’s telling you. I’ve realized that a lot of times we ignore “gut feelings”. We label them as just emotions and nothing more. But I believe that this is just another way that God speaks to us. I used to think there was nothing behind these feelings until recently and now I pay a lot more attention to what they could mean. God doesn’t just speak to people audibly and visually, he uses all of our senses. We have to become more sensitive to the ways He speaks to us.

Today is a big day for us. We have been praying about it for over a year. I have been working on strengthening my faith and being sensitive to God speaking to me, whatever way he chooses. It has been HARD to curb my thinking, and like any bad habit it takes time to break. I don’t know what the outcome of this day will bring, but I know that God spoke directly me today. I don’t want to get into details about the situation, but we have been dealing with some legal issues for a while. Tom and I have worked together on all the decisions regarding these issues, and today we trusted God to lead us where we needed to go. Although I felt peaceful in the morning, as the day went on doubt started to creep in. I started to worry more (which we know does NO good) so I decided to refocus my energy on reading. Lately when I feel doubt I always bring up “Trusting God Day by Day” written by Joyce Meyer. Well at this time I was praying to God to speak to me about how I could push this doubt out of my mind and replace it with peace. I typed a search for “fear” in my book (on my iphone) to see what there was regarding this emotion. I didn’t choose the first result or even the second, my fingers were led to the one God had for me.

My last thought was “God please protect us through this”, and to this God answered You Have Nothing to Worry About“. As soon as I read those words I was settled. I KNEW they were for me. It was an amazing moment for me that I just HAD to share. I took a screen shot to show you:

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I think God has really used Joyce Meyer and her ministries to speak to his children. We don’t know how God will use us to bless others but Joyce Meyer has been a blessing to me by writing this devotional. I hope any of you who need a little ‘pick me up’ will read this and be encouraged that God IS speaking, we just have to practice listening.

Welcome To The Family Chanel GST

YES ITS TRUE! I BOUGHT A CHANEL GST! I don’t go to the spa or buy tons of shoes……… ok enough justification lol. I bought another handbag to join my family. This is my “early Christmas gift”. I have been having a hard time finding the right bag to carry lately. My Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM has been getting a lot of use, but I wanted something a little nicer with lots of room too. I ended up going through tons of pictures on pinterest and I just loved the look of the Chanel GST. I had tried it on in Chanel before and I thought I didn’t like the boxy-ness of it, but I just loved how it looked on other people. I am a Chanel lover and it just felt like it would fit right in. I was really liking the beige, but I decided to buy the same color I always do……black. Well actually I have one navy Chanel bag, but you can hardly tell its blue because it’s so dark. Plus I plan to get A LOT of use out of this tote, so it needs to be a color that I can abuse. This bag is going for $2900 + tax. I think once it’s worn it this bag will be my “go to” handbag.

Cle De Peau Concealer Review

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Is this a nice concealer?

– Yes I think this is a really nice concealer. I liked the packaging. It felt sturdy and luxurious. The coverage was great. I did experience the normal amount of creasing in certain areas on my face. It is a more dry concealer so it takes a little more heat from the fingers to blend. The color choices are very limited which was disappointing.

Is it worth the cost?

– No. Not in my opinion. This concealer was not a miracle concealer unfortunately. It was good, but I actually prefer my Japonesque conealer. They are both dry but the Japonesque has better staying power and coverage. This product is outrageously expensive and I have a hard time paying that much for something that doesn’t work miracles.

Would I purchase it again?

– No

Happy Birthday Tom!

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Tom turned 45 this Saturday. We went to a late dinner with some friends at a place in Denver called Rioja. The food was great! We had a great time at dinner. It was pretty booked so we settled for a REALLY late dinner at 9pm. After dinner we wanted to go some place with a dance floor to burn some calories off. We ended up going to Epernay Lounge. Luckily it was pretty close to the restaurant because it became pretty chilly that night. We finally found it after my friend kept calling it “Evernay” haha! Luckily there was no cover charge (awesome!) and it wasn’t crazy crowded. We had a super fun time dancing with everyone. It was just the right amount of ‘pep’ for a great night out. Unfortunately everything in Downtown Denver seems to close at 2am. They started kicking everyone out at 1:30am. We knew we had a busy day helping a friend move so we needed to get to bed. It was a really fun night and I’m so glad we got to share it with a great group of friends.

Panajachel, Antigua, And HOME!

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After Tikal we met our group in Antigua. The next day we drove to Panajachel in our chicken bus. Now let me tell you, these bus divers are C-R-A-Z-Y! There was at least a dozen times where I though “We are going to roll over!” or “Ahhhh we will never fit through there”. But every time we made it through safely. This bus driver would maneuver the bus in and out of the smallest places. These roads aren’t nearly as wide as the ones in the USA and he still managed to keep us all safe. Surviving the chicken bus was probably where the most ‘excitement’ was for a lot of people.

Panajachel is a lake town surrounded by 3 volcanos. It’s a very good spot for tourists to come see. We bought all of our tourist-y take homes from here. I saw all of these women wearing their children with a type of side sling wrap. It was so cool seeing it because I wore Audrey and you don’t see that too often in the States. I bought 2 wraps while I was there and they were each around $20. Of course Audrey wont let me near her, but maybe my next little one will………. Tom picked out a local painting of the lake with the volcano behind it. I also got a small painting of a lady carrying a basket of watermelons on her head. I had seen that painting the first night we arrived in Panajachel, but I didn’t think that I would get to have it. Of course you have to be great at bartering to get the prices lower, that is what I am good at. We also got Audrey another maraca for her collection. We bought her one in Nicaragua, Mexico, and now Guatemala. While we were here the group had 4 days to see patients. The bus would pick everyone up at 7:30am and they wouldn’t get back until 5pm. The mornings were nice and sunny, but at around 1pm it would get rainy.

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May 9 we left Panajachel for Antigua. The ride in the bus was particularly draining this time. We had the option to hike a local volcano on Saturday. This volcano had erupted 8 weeks before so it was very exciting that we would get to see an active volcano. I don’t enjoy hiking but I have to admit that it was worth it. Once we got to the top it was a wasteland of lava rock and smoke. They let us walk on the lava rock and you could feel the heat radiating out. It was pretty amazing. Volcanos are just so incredibly powerful, it was hard for me to realize that I WAS ON AN ACTIVE VOLCANO! There was a tiny hut there where they sold handmade jewelry with lava in it. The money went to a local educational charity. The men working there had videos of the last eruption to show everyone. Apparently they were standing on a high point as they watched the lava flow burn their first hut down. We bought Tom’s mom a Mothers Day gift and I got a ring, bracelet and earrings. I have to say, seeing the volcano and getting to experience a sliver of it’s heat was the highlight of my trip.

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Here is a picture of us in the Cocoa Museum in Antigua. We also stopped at the Jade Museum. I guess Guatemala is also famous for their harder Jade. Other countries have Jade but they say that Guatemala has the strongest Jade in existence. It was tempting to buy some Jade, but they were SO expensive. If they were sparkly like diamonds it would have been a different story.

Sunday we flew back to snowy conditions in Colorado. It was Mother’s Day so I was eager to see my monster baby. We were able to hop on an earlier flight to get home in time to get hugs from Audrey. She saw Tom first and she just ran to him. It was adorable. She grew so much while we were gone. I can’t believe how quick babies grow. They change so fast in the first 4 years. It was a nice trip, but I was definitely glad to be home. It’s just so nice sleeping in my bed and having all the luxuries that we have in the USA. We really are lucky here.

Decorating PEEPS!

It’s the day after the pageant and half of the house is down with the stomach flu. I am even starting to feel it. But I wanted to decorate some PEEPS today! I thought it would be really fun for the kids to decorate them and hand them out to their friends on Monday. I love Easter because of what the day TRULY MEANS and the pastels!!!!

All you need is some melting chocolate, Peeps, and sprinkles. You melt the chocolate in coffee cups and dip the peeps in them. Set the dipped peeps on wax paper and put your sprinkles on them. Then just let them harden. Everything was purchased at Walmart.

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Amazing Article!

Hey everyone! I just read this amazing article that put to words how I feel about being a SAHM. It’s really worth the read. I know this day will come for me too, but until then I am going to squeeze my little one and take as many pictures and videos as I can!

http://www.mamamia.com.au/parenting/best-years-life-just-arent/

The elderly woman wrapped a warm thin hand around my forearm and leant in close. At first I thought she had stopped to steady herself as she shuffled down the long aisle at Broadway Coles. But with a smile on her lips, she leaned in so our faces nearly touched and said: “These are the best years of your life. They will go quickly. Cherish them. Don’t have regrets.”

She gently patted the sling that held the 12-week-old bundle snugged softly against my sore, leaking breasts, nodded firmly and walked away.

It was the first of many times over the following decade that I would be stopped by a stranger and given the same advice. But I’ll never forget that first old lady, because at the time her warning bemused me. “The best years of my life.” Seriously?

I was 21 years old and had found myself 1,000 kilometres away from family and friends, unexpectedly navigating parenthood, university study and work. I wanted to arrogantly scoff “I’m educated, I have ambition, I haven’t slept in two months, I sing nursery rhymes 18 hours a day and I accidentally left the house in my pyjama bottoms this morning – surely this is not as good as it gets!”

But time makes fools of us all. Flip forward 13 years and I’ve just sat down at my desk after seeing my fourth, and last, child off to her first day of school. It’s the end of an era; a great big chunk of my 33 years of living ends today. And the old lady at Coles was goddamn right.

In the years between then and now, I carried four wonderful people, nurtured them, saw their characters develop, independence blossom, talents emerge, vulnerability morph into resilience and ideas become beliefs and opinions.

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“Those little things slip through our consciousness and become tiny memory fragments we will never feel, hear or smell again.”

There have also been countless career opportunities passed up. Jobs I’ve stepped away from so my husband could step up to his, without removing both parents from the household from 7am to 7pm. Press releases written with newborns at my breast and toddlers under my desk.

Brainstorms punctuated by nappy changes and playtime. Potential clients turned down because there simply weren’t the hours in the day to give them, and my family, the attention they deserved. And I wondered, hoped, prayed I wouldn’t come out of that period with regrets.

Years later, and the little bundle that lay in the sling that morning at Coles will become a teenager this year, and begin high school next year. I try to conjure her voice at age two; the pitch, the tone, the divine mispronunciations. Those little things slip through our consciousness and become tiny memory fragments we will never feel, hear or smell again.

And so today, no regrets. Sure, I could have earned a bit more money. Could have chased bigger fish. But the times when I tasted that life – missed class presentations, half-cooked meals at 8pm, holidays spent stressing over poor internet connection and missed emails, fights with the husband and kids who fell asleep on the hardwood office floor at night, waiting for me to finish work so I could spend time with them, made me realise I didn’t want what came with it. So like many other women, I down-scaled my career just as it was taking off. Because I knew I could never go back and do this ‘mother’ thing again.

When I was a teenager, schoolbags were plastered with bumper stickers that said “girls can do anything”. Career counselling consisted of lectures about law, medicine, physiotherapy, stockbroking and journalism. Home economics was removed from the curriculum. It would have been considered downright sexist to point out the paradox. Some careers can accommodate the needs of a family better than others; those choices – whether we like it or not – exist. We can do anything. But if we want healthy, happy, satisfying lives – we can’t do it all simultaneously. Man or woman, there are choices, sacrifices and losses down either path.

We do not raise boys or girls to think like this. We don’t educate them to jobshare, downscale, work from home. We raise them to take every opportunity, rise to the occasion, get a bigger office, build a more impressive client list, fulfil their potential. No one mentions what we have to surrender, on the professional or personal front, to do this.

Earlier this month, the girls and I stood by the bed of their deceased 92-year-old great grandmother. As her body lay surrounded by family members, the room was filled with love and gravity. It didn’t matter how much of the planet she had traversed, who she had impressed or how many degrees adorned her office wall.  She had raised sons, grandsons, nursed a dying husband and buried a son.  She had been a community member, friend, devoted great-grandmother, card writer, tennis player, book lover and never forgot a birthday. And in that moment of death, that is all that mattered, that’s all that remained, treasured.

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“I can promise you one thing. You will never regret the sacrifices you make for them now.”

Our children are the warmth that we leave in the world long after our own fires are extinguished. The gravity of those early years is hard to imagine when we dream of writing headlines, performing surgery, drafting legislation or publishing books, as opposed to changing nappies, mediating Lego disputes and doing the bedtime routine – but it’s profound.

Once kids start school, they enter a vortex from which they never return to be fully, totally ours again; time with them is negotiated around a timetable of school days, weekends, social lives, activities, term dates and holidays.

And they emerge young adults, with dreams, plans and all those forks in their own roads to navigate. Much of their journey will be done without us. We will never stand by their side as we do in those first five years.

So for those of you fidgeting at home today with a restless baby at the breast, for those who have been interrupted by a toddler 20 times while you read this, I can promise you one thing. You will never regret the sacrifices you make for them now.

It may not be possible to fully appreciate the beauty of this time while you are in the midst of it. But one day, sooner than you can imagine, you will be standing on the other side of this chapter, trying to remember how their skin smelt, how their body felt sitting on your hip, head on your shoulder – and you will be filled with gladness for every moment, good and bad, that you experienced with them.