Find your fire. Then follow it.

You know, I think we dismiss our own potential too easily. Sometimes we examine life with financial eyes, which while important, aren’t the only tools in our Vision Portfolios. God has created each of us for a purpose, and I find that purpose sparks passion. So go ahead and examine your lives. Pay attention to the things you love, the things that make you come alive. In your passion, you just might find your purpose. Never dismiss the things that make you tick, my lovelies. They can all come together to create one marvelous path…

When I was in school, I was told that although I was good at “art and such”, I still needed to find a more profitable academic stream. So I did, but guess what? Here I am, years later: a writer. Sure, I write for an advertising agency, which has its own sort of ‘reliable income’ profitability. But it is still writing. Consistent, challenging, brain-juicing writing. And writing in this disciplined way has taught me how to be a better blogger, and how to express my thoughts and ideas more clearly. And the better my last blog post was, the more inspired I am in approaching my next post. And the sharper my posts, the clearer my own vision becomes to my own self. Case in point: despite writing “Dear Jude” posts since before his birth, accompanied by my many perspectives on life, love and licking carpets, it’s only now slowly occurring to me that I just might be one of those amazing creatures they call a Blogger! Who knew?

Now I feel like there are worlds opening up before me every single day. Because I feel this is a great chance for me to very deliberately and confidently talk about the things that concern and interest me. And yes, my views come through the filters of my mom-ness and my faith, but if I’m worried about my career, and my love handles and my pot roast being less spectacular than my mom’s and the fact that I really want a new car and hate mascara and can’t find good live music; that I question my college degree and am seeking more of God and I’m terrified by the reach media may have with my young son…well! I’m just an ordinary chica speaking to anyone who’ll listen. Maybe I’ll change a life. Or the flow of a day. Maybe I’ll make you think, or even answer some of my own questions. Maybe I’ll find friends or stumble upon other blogs that change my world. Or maybe I’ll discover this was another stepping stone in my path to…best sellers? Screenplays, perhaps? Who knows what can turn up next! All I know is that today, I’m a writer. A blogger. And it sparks every neuron in my body.

So what ignites your fires? What drives you? What secret joy do you find in those little things that rejuvenate and encourage your own sense of self and purpose? They just might turn out to be a major part of who you were always supposed to be. Isn’t it funny how that works out? What you love is what you were actually MEANT to do? God’s kinda good that way.

So, ONWARDS, achievers! WE have much awesomeness to accomplish 🙂

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Dear Jude: born amazing

Dear Jude, there may be many “Judes” out there, but there is only one YOU. Never live your life inside the boxes and categories that we humans create for each other. You, my darling son, were born to obliterate every obstacle in your way; you were born to be amazing. And you already are.

KidBits: I hear you, honey

When kids ‘think’ they’re talking to us, drop the air quotes, because they ARE talking to us. They may not be using ‘real’ words yet, but there are some real stories, and a sense of expression and a need to be heard there. So listen. Show them you’re interested in their voices. Show them what a face looks like as it listens to someone else. Exaggerate joy, surprise, etc. Respond to them. You don’t need to use babble, you can choose to expand vocabularies by ‘repeating’/creating what they said. (EG: “babble babble babble” “oh my goodness, you ran all that way?” etc) Their delight is in being taken seriously, and having successfully engaged Mommy or Daddy in conversation. Body language and facial expressions are part of conversing. Take the time to listen, and build their self-esteem, their confidence and their repertoire of conversational skills. Sometimes, you might even be surprised by how much you actually understand…

Dear Jude: I’m so thankful for you

Dear Jude, my heart is so full of wonder for the child you’re becoming, despite your mama’s catalog of blunders. You’re such a generous, sweet spirited, independent jewel of a man child. I love how you respond to the discomfort of others by repeatedly shouting or murmuring (as demanded by each case) a sympathetic “uh-oh…uh OH!”. I love how you noticed our 10 year old neighbour trip off his scooter and ran to ‘help’ him up with your tiny 18 month old body, cheerfully insisting “Uppy! Uppy!” as you clutched his arm. I love how you crept up to the bed while I was resting and gave me a big juicy kiss then crept back out. I love the way your eyes crinkle when you’re entertained, and how they widen when you’re surprised by life or a new sound or a new skill. I could spend everyday thinking about the million tiny things that make you ‘you’, and spend every night thanking God for them. As a matter of fact…I do.

Survival tips for the Not-So-Super Mom by a mom exactly like her

Overloaded Mommy
Overloaded Mommy (Photo credit: happyworker)

My friends have frequently teased me by referring to me as SuperMom. While I love the title, we all know it’s a joke because part of being a mom of any kind is the certainty that for every shining moment you can point to, there are about 50 blunders that took you there. The point is to be gracious and forgiving of ourselves, even as we multi-task our way through our lives, and the lives of our kids. And boy do I multi-task. I’m a creative director in an advertising agency, which has seen me at work until the sun rises in some instances. And that’s par for the course. I promised myself that once I got married and started having babies, none of that would ever happen to me again. That was so sweet of me. Naive and utterly ridiculous. But sweet. I have managed to draw my lines in the sand (and the lines keep shifting, but bless them, they’re THERE) to protect my availability to my family. And that’s going… not as impossibly as one might have feared. My chaos is organized, and my unavailability is well managed and pre-planned. But still, as a wife and mom, I’ve had to fight hard to manage my time so that my baby and my husband (and I guess my house) all feel like the priorities that they are.

Once, when we were between nannies right after I came off maternity leave, I took my 4 month old son to work with me every single day for 6 weeks until one of our 17 interviews panned out with the nanny we have now had for 14 months and counting. EVERY DAY. That meant juggling breastfeeding, tummy time, diaper changes, story time, songs-with-mummy and little walks in the sun WHILE commanding creative briefs, leading meetings, getting artwork approved, producing ads in studio and on TV sets and STILL squishing in dates with hubby. Looking at it on print I’m thinking “she’s either really a super-hero, or she’s a control freak b-word and either way I’m not sure I like her”. Well those may both be fair reactions, but the truth is that…well the truth is I definitely struggle with control freakism. But the OTHER truth is that I was motivated from the place of “I have to work to keep my salary and benefits, but my son must NEVER feel neglected in my presence. And neither must my husband”. So with all these individually respectable mandates in my life all functioning AT ONCE, it was make or break time for my “coping with a full life” mechanisms. I think those little cogs twisted and turned for all they were worth until I found a way (after several hiccups) to meet all the demands that any multi-tasking mom without paid help  in or outside the home might face. It involved trial and error, figuring out a routine that works with the natural or close-to-natural rhythms of your family and repetition until it stuck. But they got me through, so who knows…maybe they’ll help you. Here they are:

Continue reading “Survival tips for the Not-So-Super Mom by a mom exactly like her”

Dear Jude: I pray for you

Dear Jude, sometimes I dread the day you’ll ask me what I think about specific topics in our world. It’s not always comfortable challenging the status quo, even when you’ve long outgrown those ‘popular’ opinions. But for you I make this pledge: when you do ask me those tough questions, I will respond carefully, weeding out the knee jerks and the expired replies.  I will not give you ‘popularisms’, Christianisms, politicalisms, religionisms, culturisms or any other ready-made world views. I will give you my realest possible reply, filtered through God and His word. Just the humble- and I really do mean humble- opinions, that came from sweating and praying and wondering and crying and struggling until I found God’s heart and the answers that spoke clearest to my spirit. Then I’ll step back and let you formulate your own perspectives. That’s the best I can do, son. God watch over your sweet psyche in this hopped up world, my beloved. It’s really tricky out there.

Dear Jude: Do you

Dear Jude, as children your age develop attachments to soft cuddly toys and blankies to help soothe themselves to sleep, you my ever different darling boy want….your cars. Any car. Just a car. A hard plastic, noisy car, that you clutch with a death grip and sing ‘vroom vroom’ to as a lullaby. Still, if it works, it works. And right now it’s working. It’s uniquely you, after all, so how could I not love this? So night night, my darling, and vroom vroom to you too.

Dear Jude: Use words wisely

Dear Jude, oh how I hope to teach you that WHY you say something and HOW you say it are all just as important as WHAT you say. Please think carefully before speaking, my darling. The truth may set you free, but is it worth it just to put someone else into the bondage of some negative fallout? A single word can have a thousand interpretations and outcomes based on WHY and HOW it was said. Be gentle, be wise my darling. We are all a lot more fragile than we want to admit

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