Bloom where you are planted

Being inspired to follow your dreams is easy these days. Seeing inspirational quotes and reading encouraging stories all over social media, makes my heart burn with passion to make a difference in the lives of those I love and ultimately the world.

The problem with me, not that there is only one, is that I have a passion for so many different things. My mind’s always racing with new ideas and projects that I would probably be semi-successful in. I find inspiration for new ideas from watching others succeed at what they do. I compare my own talents to theirs and it tends to either inspire me or to break me down. Each week I come up with a new idea of some sort of small business or class I could teach. I am sure my friends are secretly planning an intervention due to my never ending plan making and I am just waiting for the day that I come home from the park with my kids and all those that I love are in my living room waiting for me.

I also have an intense desire to raise my children in a certain way. I want to be a mom who brings adventure, love and fearlessness into my children’s lives. I want them to be kind and creative and compassionate. I want to show them how to have fun and work hard. It is so hard to look around and see other moms doing it “better”. Why must I always be comparing myself? It is always my first instinct. One of the things I want to teach my children is that everyone is unique and different and no one way is better than another. I want them to be able to meet a friend and appreciate them for who they are and not feel like either one of them needs to conform to the other. Why is this so hard for me to apply in my own life? Parenting can bring such great perspective to my own life.

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I have a lot of creative outlets. I am the kind of person who goes to a store to buy something and ends up leaving the store with all the things necessary to make it on my own. I am the person who sees a need and tries to find a way to fill it. I am the lady who listens to your story and immediately wants to help you solve your problem and if I can’t I am researching to find someone who can. I juggle my mom friends, single friends, married with no kids friends, family, and date nights with ease. I love chaos and I do not scare easy. No task ever seems impossible. These may seems like amazing qualities, and most of the time they really are. My issue lately is all these things,  I have a hard time finding what I am actually good at. I can not nail down exactly what it is I want to do with my life.

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My oldest son is going to kindergarten this fall and my daughter soon will be following after. My role as a stay at home mom is becoming less and less of a necessity and it is becoming more vital that I start to bring in an income. I have been doing child care for the past 4 years while staying home with my own children. But now my families are no longer needing care and my own situation is making it harder to balance child care and carpooling to school. What am I going to do? What do I want to do? My friends are all slowly getting back into their careers and settling into their new routines and I am stuck here wondering what it is I am supposed to do now?!

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I find that I get lost a lot when I am thinking about what I should be doing with my life. I forget what the big picture is. I forget why I am even here on earth. I forget what my role is in this thing called life. I am a visual and hands on learner. I need visual reminders in order to help me focus and function. I have inspirational quotes all over my house that help me remember the bigger picture. This life is not about me. This life is not about even my family. This life is about living it to worship God. The things I do don’t even matter, no matter how great or big they are. The only thing that matters is how I am Glorifying God while I do them. No matter what I pick, as long as I am lifting up His name and treating the world with His Love, then I am making a difference. As long as I am keeping my eyes on Him, than nothing else matters. Parenting, job, marriage, friendships, they all need God to be the center of them in order for me to be living the life I was meant to live.

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Remembering the goal helps to refocus the plan. So what I really need to do is sit out and plan my list backwards.

What can I do that will allow me to Glorify God on a daily basis? That makes this a whole planning thing a lot easier.

Bare with me friends and family as I search for what it is that I am supposed to be spending my time and energy doing. As I search, please pray. As I search, I will stop and listen. As I search, I will fail. As I search, I will ask for help.

Learning to Bloom where I am planted and learning to let God be God, because I am not. Such hard yet important lessons to learn. I will probably never be finished learning them. As long as I am moving forward I do not care how fast I am going.

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Lion

It's Give Away Time!!

We are back and we have an amazing Giveaway.

Made by a local shop called Jummies Threads Created by the Beautiful Monde!

 

Excited for one of our lucky followers who will walk home with this super cute hand made jumper in the size of your choice.

How do I enter?

  1. Follow us on Instagram @featherandmane and on facebook. Then follow Jummies Threads on facebook  (we have convinced her to join instagram starting in the fall, be prepared)
  2. Like This photo on Instagram (that is your entry)
  3. For extra love please share this on facebook and tag your friends on instagram.
  4. Check back with us on Friday July 29th to meet the mastermind crafter behind these adorable outfits and to find out who our WINNER is.

-Lion and Owl and Monde

Learning to Love Jesus all over again

Sometimes I miss being a teenager. You look back and remember sleeping in, being upset about 250 word assignments, skipping class to spend the day out in Vancouver, going to youth and being loved on with a great program and awesome leaders, basically not “adulting”. You always wanted to be older in a some way, but you didn’t actually have to be. So nice…


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to lead a group of 8 students from my youth group on a 10 day missions trip through MB Mission. Instead of spending 40,000 on a 1 week trip to mexico or wherever isn’t close. we spent 500 each to join an amazing short term missions trip program called “SOAR”. the trip consisted of staying in richmond in school classrooms, working alongside a church plant that is affiliated with Mennonite Brethren Denomination in Vancouver. Joining this program we got to have sessions and share the program with 3 other church youth groups, but we all had our own church plant we were working with.


Hands down best program i have ever been apart of. As a youth pastor i was able to walk alongside the youth and not have to run everything. i had so much support and they had incredible topics of active listening prayer and personal quiet time, sessions on letting God have it all and surrendering, as well as amazing team times of foot washings and communion.


being apart of this missions trip, I came in thinking “oh jeepers, 10 days away from the fam jam, husband is going to kill me, and kids are going to die without me!” as the first day unfolded i felt a sense of release from daily home life to really focus on my relationships with my awesome youth and God.

I have to admit, I have forgotten what it is like to have a spiritual high, to feel moved by something God inspired. I have never doubted my faith, nor brushed it aside, but to feel impact from a personal story, to be prayed over or even be in an incubator like setting to really hone in on why God, why missions, what does this all mean?! I LOVED IT


My youth team WOWED me, we established that we could try different forms of worship, prayer or even just trying to be more affirming in general from the first day. These students dived in, worshipping on there knees, praying for each other, affirming each other, and even being contagious and sharing it with the other youth groups. I fell in love with Jesus all over again by seeing the way my students burned and yearned to be closer to God.


God moved me, I cried on the daily just watching and participating in such close fellowship. I missed Him, I burn and yearn for Him and didn’t even realize I didn’t before. I have this new sense of wanting to put God in the forefront of my personal life. I can so easily just seek guidance from God on a Church ministry level, that I forgot to really add it to myself. Not to just pray for meals and for bedtime for my kids, but to show myself that I want to read my Bible, that I want to know and share stories with my neighbours.


Where is your relationship with God? do you seek him? when praying do you take on an active listening posture?(turning your face solely and allowing Him to answer in His timing) do you pray for others right when you say “i will pray for you”? when was the last time you read your Bible outside of church sermons or caregroup series?

 

-Owl

 

 

Hells Gate

This weekends Family Adventure was very last minute. To avoid sharing the whole long story of how and when our truck broke down and why we had to pick it up in Hope, B.C (which is an hour and half from our home) I will just start our adventure by saying we were in Hope for Business and decided to make the most of it. After we picked up our truck and the sun peaked out from behind clouds we made the choice to be tourists for the day and go and explore that amazing mighty river that passes through the glorious mountain ranges here in Beautiful British Columbia.

A great way to learn about some of B.C’s History when it comes to explorers and early settlers is to take in some tourist attractions. Hells Gate is wonderful for all of the above.

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The Airtram is super exciting and does not take very long to travel in. While you descend into the valley below the Airtram operator gives you a quick history and a few fun facts about the area below.  My husband is not one for heights so the quick ride was perfect for his nerves.13663643_10157109864880405_492288258_o

The bridge that goes over top of the river has grated steel floor so you are able to get the full effect of how might that river is below.13632876_10157109417385405_1971138558_o13663598_10157109533685405_1589158372_o13647124_10157109301105405_1767802246_o13647053_10157109788525405_1835064752_o

There is an option to hike from the top and take the Airtram up. The cost is minimal and if we didnt have our kids with us that would have been the route we would have taken. 13663360_10157109864780405_14181434_o13646793_10157109533755405_261996056_o

The train went by and it looked as if it was driving through the middle of the mountain.13621623_10157109690855405_278467366_o13663637_10157109690620405_1928542641_o13621333_10157109594680405_152798274_o

Not in this picture, but you can also river raft down these rapids. Another time we are definitely doing that!

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The little ones were not forgotten. at the bottom of the decent is plenty of activities for the children to learn and discover about what life used to be like way before iphones and laundry machines. Gold panning, Mining, The museum shows films on fishing and the life of salmon. There is an amazing restaurant that has the most delicious salmon chowder. (they give free samples.) They have a gift shop and picnic area. Best of all they have a fudge shop and sell ice cream.13663490_10157109350790405_1813030893_o13621651_10157109630915405_199908063_o

They have a room where the children can play if they are getting restless and mommy still wants to read all the museum facts.13639855_10157109747220405_650134069_o

Once you have explored all there is to explore and you have adventured across the bridge and back, you take the tram back to the top and call it a day.

When you buy a pass it lasts the whole year. You can bet we will be back.

-Lioness

They will never fully know how much I love them

I am (hopefully) at the end of 8 days of kids with the flu. The Carla before being a parent wouldn’t of been able for any amount of money clean blow out diahrea diapers or being puked on multiple times in a day. 


As I calmly say “let it out little man, it’s okay”. All the while having my fourth sweatpants outfit change and moving on to my husbands wardrobe because of all my clothes being in the wash. 

As I change I catch myself in the mirror, stretch marks, c-section scar, and growing up a little. I know everyone shares, you have two healthy kids.


This morning it actually got to me, I have so much love and have sacrificed my bikini wearing days and sans vericose vein legs for these two unreal kids. They will never fully know how much I love them. NEVER. I know my mom had four of us, and I remember her sometimes sharing what happened to her body after kids. But as a the kid, I could of cared less (so mean to think now that I have gone through it). 


I would do anything for these munchkins. I would sleep a couple hours a night so I can be there for my son as he sits on his porcelain thrown watching paw patrol on my phone. 


I would give up my scarless stomach for them all over again! 

I know that they will never know how much I love them. But I know how much I do

I am going to miss my babies as I am off on a missions trip today. But I know daddy loves them too. 

– Owl

Real Life Heroes

Tonight I sat in my messy kitchen trying to gain the strength and motivation to clean it before heading upstairs to join my sleeping family. I stood there looking at my overflowing sink and for the first time felt blessed by it. That sink meant I wasn’t home all day and when I was I was taking care of my baby.

Today could have gone two ways. I can clearly see the road the two paths that were laid out before me and how each day would have gone if I had chosen one over the other. I avoided so much hurt and struggle just by sending out one pleading text message to my real life Hero.

We woke up at 4 am to my sick little girl’s pleads for help as she scrambled for her “Bedside bucket”. Once again she filled it with the contents of her already empty body. Once again i held her hair back as I tried to count the hours since that last time we did this. 4 hours. It had only been 4 hours. What did she even have left to give?

I cleaned her up and she quickly let her exhausted body fall back asleep, only to be woken up again 20 minutes later with the same urge.

I crawled back in my warm bed and snuggled beside my husband and whispered “are you awake?”

We continued to talk about what we should do. It was only the flu but she is not keeping anything in. I told him how my hands could feel every rib while I rubbed her back and her chubby little toddler belly was nowhere to be seen. We agreed it was time to take her to the emergency room and the sooner the better.

Living in Canada, we receive amazing health care. But as a result the wait time can often be very long. So the earlier the better to avoid the “rush”. We showed up with perfect timing and were seen right away.

My husband and son went to collect some breakfast for the three healthy in the family while I stayed and held onto my sweet girl as we started hydrating her little body.

I will spare you the details of our hospital stay and get to the good part.

My son got dropped off at the half day church camp he has been attending all week by my husband while us ladies stayed in the hospital. My husband proceeded to go to work until he needed to be picked up. We were not sure how long our stay would be so we discussed what to do with our son when the time came to pick him up. My husband is in a very busy season on work and we are taking some vacation days coming up so missing a whole day of work was something we wanted to avoid. Having a healthy energetic 4 year old in a hospital all day with his tired mother and sick sister wasn’t ideal either.

Earlier that morning I sent out a prayer text to my sweet friend asking her to cover us in prayer as we searched for answers. She, like all good friends, offered her help and told me to ask if I needed it.

As we were discussing what to do with our son once kids camp was over I sat there in the hospital room with a choice to make. I am a strong Person. I am a person who likes to help others and loves to find ways to bless others day. I thrive in Chaos and know that I can survive any kind of craziness thrown my way. I can handle having tons of children in my care and I can last days with little sleep. I know I can do this. I know I can take care of my own family with out any help. I can handle two kids. I know I can. But, should I? Should I take this challenge on? I know I will survive. The question is, why would I not ask for help?

So I did.

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I sent my prayer warrior friend, the friend who has been by my side since I was 13 years old, a text message and asked if she was able to take my son for a few hours. I just wanted her to take him until we got discharged and then I would come pick him up.

Her answer was an immediate “Yes”. She drove 40 minutes to come get him and then 40 minutes back to her house where she played with him and watched his favorite show with him and even took him swimming (which is not easy because he is crazy) She fed him his favorite dinner and drove him home after. He was exhausted. He fell asleep on the 40 minute drive home, which means she even put him to bed for me.

Did I mention that she is 9 months pregnant and has an almost 2 year old?

She just didn’t make my day easier, she saved my sons day. She saved my relationship with my son just a little bit today by helping me avoid so much drama.

I didn’t yell at my son to stop running around the house so his sister could sleep. I didn’t have to ask him to be quiet in the hospital room. I didn’t have to make him wait for me to find him a snack from the cafeteria. I didn’t have to tell him to go play by himself because I needed to nap. I didn’t have to plead with him to leave me alone because I am so exhausted and just need a moment to myself. I didn’t stretch myself thin and therefore have no energy to be nice. I didn’t have to try and be a superhero only to fail and ultimately act more like a villain.

I called upon my best friend and she stepped it up. The best part of today is that she was not even my only option. I had a few other amazing friends offer the exact same thing. I had people stepping it up in my life to help me. Not just me. They were offering to help my family.

I realized once again just how blessed I am to have this village around me. I have people from all areas in my life offering to help and following through. I know this is a common practice in so many areas of the world. Where I live it is all about being self sufficient and being able to take care of your own family. This is a mentality I find hard to break free from. I do not mind helping others. I have a hard time accepting help.

Like most things in life it takes practice. Practice letting people help. It sounds so silly but really it is actually what I need to learn to do. Today was hard letting someone take care of one of my own. But after she told me how much fun they were having I felt so stupid. It would have been selfish to keep him with me all day. It would not have taught my children anything about living in community. Today I practiced what I preached. Today was horrible in some ways but so amazing in others.

Thank you Auntie Michelle. We love you from the Bottom of my heart and Today you are our Hero! Thank you also to my community who stepped up and offered your help not once or twice but three separate times. You know who you are. I love you.

-Lioness