| tread |

I remember sinking in an ocean that was too deep.


It was around the same time that the ones beside me pulled the life raft out from under me, and left me alone. 

The darkness was unending. Miles of deep blue. Leaving me abandoned and alone.


I searched and wondered if anyone would come. Could they hear my call? A cry for help, in the deepest waters that I had ever treaded. 

When I looked around there was nobody there to help. Only a few in the distance who watched and did nothing. 

As I treaded on, and called out to You, sure that you had forsaken me, there You were. 

In the distance I could see you. Approaching me in the darkest of nights. 

At first it was unclear, but the more exhausted I became, the brighter You began to shine. 

You were there the whole time. Watching on, as I became stronger, and held on a bit longer. 

I gasped for air, sure that this would be my last breath, and you reached out, pulling me into safety. 

Why did you wait so long to help me? Did you not see my struggle?

It is in that moment that I wonder if I am worthy. 
Am I loved? 
Why would you wait? 
Why watch the struggle? 

He pushes us to greatness. 
Further than we thought we could go. 
Longer than we thought we could last. 
He pulls the strength out of us, that which we didn't even know was there. 

That is when it becomes clear. He is always there.
Watching and waiting. 
Ready and able. 
Strong and mighty to save. 

And all of us have treaded these waters. Reaching out for someone to help us. Searching in the distance for one that would rescue us. 

After we have suffered a little while. 
Treaded on. 
Gasped for one more breath. 
Conquered exhaustion. 

He himself will restore.

He himself will rescue you from those deep waters, and place you on a firm foundation. 

| 1 Peter 5: 10 |


Be Still My Anxious Heart.

Four months in and it was crippling. 

Unable to leave the house. 
The inability to find words for a simple conversation. 
Overheating in an instant. 

It was clear that something was wrong, and I felt trapped in my own body. Unable to fix everything that felt so wrong. 

Days and days passed, and there was no will to move. To function. To enjoy the life that has been so graciously given to me. 

It appeared that motherhood had exposed a whole new level of anxiety that I had yet to experience. 

For years I have been a person who has battled with anxiety. 

How will it all come together? 
What is the plan? 
What do they think of me? 
What should I say? 
Am I good enough? 

The list of anxious thoughts is endless and it circled through my head daily. And, for years I was able to self medicate with easing up on my coffee intake, and reciting a list of positive phrases over and over. 

By Christmas it was almost unbearable. 

I can't do this. 
Why did I have a baby? 
I am not strong enough.
I don't have enough money. 
I am stuck. 
This is unbearable. 

It's a heart wrenching thing when you love the child in front of you, but feel incapable of loving it enough. 

One trip to Ontario, and a trip to the Dominican were great. They were a break. A welcome breath of fresh air. But they were temporary and a distraction. 

I remember getting home from my trip to the Dominican and countless amounts of people saying "Wow. You left your baby? That must have been so hard…" No. Not really. 

It was a cold Saskatchewan day when I was laying in bed with the covers over my head and sobbing when Matt texted me and said "Would you be mad if I told you that I think you have post partum depression?" I replied with "No. I know I do." 

What is it inside of us that causes us to fight until the very end, even when we know that we cannot do it?

A day later I was sitting in my doctor's office. Greasy hair. Unwashed face. Unbrushed teeth. Bottom lip quivering. 

Doctor: "What's going on?"
Me: Big tears "I didn't even miss my baby when I was in the Dominican! I haven't brushed my teeth in two days and I am a dental hygienist!!!! There is something wrong…" 

I am thankful for a great doctor who took time to listen to me, and my concerns. Who didn't give me a textbook answer, but has walked beside me to this day.

That day I left with my very own prescription for an anti-anxiety medication. A moment in my life where the walls of pride came crashing down. 

It was a great relief to learn that help and medication did not mean that I was weak. A lie I had believed for so long. 

My doctor had concluded that I  had anxiety that was heightened post partum, and was probably causing a bit of depression. 

I had never felt so relieved. 
I wasn't crazy. 
There was hope. 

It was like that day a weight was lifted off my shoulders. The days following were like freedom I had never know. 

I don't remember ever feeling this healthy. 
There is so much joy in a heart that feels at peace.

Free. Calm. 

I write all this now because tomorrow I am embarking on something that I would have NEVER done 6 months ago. I am flying, alone, with a 10 month old. I have a few concerns, but I can honestly say that I haven't really thought about it much. I am excited, at peace, and almost carefree about the whole experience. 

This is a whole new me! I even surprised myself with this one. 

I am enjoying my son like never before. 
The little things that use to get me worked up, are now just little things that aren't worth worrying about.
My friendships are getting stronger, because I have stopped caring about what they think of me, and just learned to enjoy the times together. 

If you are going through something similar please know: 

You are not weak 
You are not alone
You are not crazy. 
In my conversations with people, it turns out, you are actually quite normal. 

You could be just a step away from enjoying your life the way it is intended to be. 

Take the step. 


| lessons from a dreamer: part one |

From the time I was a little I have always been a girl with big dreams. I was convinced for years that I was going to be a famous singer. I would sing in my room with hairbrush in hand, staring at myself in the mirror while belting out Bette Midler tunes. I especially favoured "The Rose".

You can't deny my stage presence... 
  Later in life I started vicariously dreaming for other people, especially my husband, and now for my son (cheese string ministry). And, even if we aren't related, I tend to put dreams into place for other people, too... not mentioning any names, ahem, Carly Morris, and your future pediatric dental practice. .

Tonight as I sat around with Matt, discussing practical plans for the future, as well as the dreams that we have for our life together, I was reminded of Joseph. The dreamer.

''Joseph, when he was seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age, and he made him a [distinctive] long tunic with sleeves. Now Joseph had a dream and he told it to his brothers, and they hated him still more. And he said to them, Listen now and hear, I pray you, this dream that I have dreamed: We [brothers] were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright, and behold, your sheaves stood round about my sheaf and bowed down! His brothers said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us? Or are you going to have us as your subjects and dominate us? And they hated him all the more for his dreams and for what he said. But Joseph dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers'' Genesis 37 
I love this story because it encourages me when I think that my own dreams are merely creative brain waves. It reminds me:

Age is not an issue. Unfortunately, we have a tendancy to in our society to believe that "life really begins" when we get older. And, for most people, we are always waiting for the next stage to persue what is on our hearts. I love that the Bible points out that Joesph was 17 years old, faithfully working where he was planted. When you have a dream, age is not an issue, whether old or young. 

Haters are gonna hate. Whenever you have a dream, and share it with people, the chances are you're going to have some haters. Meaning, when it's not their dream, and they aren't in the process of dreaming their OWN dream, you can count on some jealousy probs. Dreams aren't about size or significance. Your dream and call may be fulfilling the longings of your heart, and when you compare it with someone else's you can be convinced that it is insignificant. If you aren't yet dreaming dreams, don't be a hater for those that are. And if you are living your dream right now, don't compare it to anyone else's. Yours is "big" enough, and it's good enough.

Keep on dreaming: Joseph's brothers hated him "all the more" after he shared his dream with them, but he "dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers." Don't let the thoughts and opinions of others stop you from dreaming. Don't let what one person says to you, or about you, stop you. I have a tendency to let the actions or words that people say to me completely change my outlook on a situation, or dream that I have in motion. Don't shut down just because you have some opposition. Sometimes your opposition is just pushing you into the next level of your dream. 

I probably won't ever be centre stage singing "The Rose" to a stadium of people. And to be honest, I'm happy about that. But there are plenty of new dreams that I am dreaming for myself, my family, and maybe even you... Creepy? I'm looking at YOU, Carly Morris.

Your dreams are worthy. 
Your age is not an issue. 
Dream another dream. 

What you may perceive to be a small dream could end up being a part of a greater story.  


| #hashtags. |

Bennett. #HappiestMoment


| high five for friday |

1. Bennett and his crack. Mum Mums. Thankful for the ability to stop a baby from whining... for a few minutes. It may be "bribery", but it works. Don't judge me. 

2. This is our new thing. Morning breakfast dates. In between first nap and second nap.

3. Thankful that we are just a quick trip to visit Dad on days when we need to get out of the house. It's cheap entertainment!

4. Started watching The Hills series for the... thousandth time this week. Never gets old.

5. There is simply no place like home! Made this and put it up in our house this week. Yes, that is the province of Saskatchewan.



| dark exhaustion |

I'm not sure if it is the endless darkness, or the fact that I am a new mom, but lately I am exhausted. That- can't get out of bed-just five more minutes-fall asleep on the couch while watching your baby and gripping your coffee cup- kind of exhaustion.

Around here, at this time of year, it is dark at 5 pm, and it doesn't get light until around 9 am. You basically go to work in the darkness, and go home in the darkness.

When you are constantly living in darkness it begins wear on your soul. 

Cabin fever.
Seasonal depression.

"the Lord my God lightens my darkness." - Psalm 38:29

When the depths of darkness start to takeover, and there seems to be no end, He will bring even the deepest darkness to light. He will lift the heaviness of depression, that suffocates the lungs. He will bring rest, in the midts of a deep exhaustion.

The great thing about Northern Canada, is that when the summer comes, the light is unending. We wake up in the light, and fall asleep in the light. 

Sooner or later the darkness will break.

Energy will be restored. A light will shine.

But every season has it's purpose, and God is too good to push us beyond what we can bare.

For if we didn't know the deepest moments of darkness, we would not be able to understand the greatness of His good light.

Lord be the light of our souls, when our whole being is crippled by the weight of darkness. Remind us of your good light, when we cannot see past the night. Be my energy when I am overcome with exhaustion. 

You are the Lord, my God, who lightens my darkness. 


| whole |

This is a blog post that I wrote for my friend Nicole's blog. You can check her out here

Often times I find myself asking God why He uses the people that He does. Why does one gain fame? Another "become" rich? Why do some people have the ability to talk to anyone at anytime? How do the most unlikely people rise from the worst of circumstances, and become great?

Since the beginning of the year I haven't been able to get the word whole out of my mind. The last few days it has been rolling around in my heart, and I feel like it has become my "word of the year". I don't know about you, but I have a lot of "things on the go". Always started, never completed. I have parts of me that I feel have come a long way, and other parts that I feel are a frazzled mess.

I desire to be full in heart, deep in character, and to complete everything that I take on whole-heartedly.

The other day I was reading my daily devotional from #SheReadsTruth (an AWESOME online site that I highly recommend), and it brought me to this verse:
"But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall posses it..." Numbers 14:24 (ESV)

BACK STORY: The Israelites escaped from the Egyptians and a life of slavery. Caleb and some other men went and scoped out the land that God had promised to them. When they approached it they saw that the inhabitants were very strong, and they told their people that they would not be strong enough to take over the land. But Caleb --- he believed that they were fully capable of taking it. Regardless, the Israelites continued to complain and turn against God. The didn't enter the Promise Land at that time, and continued to wander around the desert for 40 years.

Growing up in church, I have heard this story hundreds of times. I know that the Israelites were whiney. I know how it ends, etc... but I had never read the part about Caleb like I did this time. After questioning God so many times about why He uses the people that He does, it was so clear.

"because he has a different spirit, and has followed me fully."
fully. whole heartedly. different. willing. trusting. hopeful.

There is no mention of Caleb's talent, or dynamic verbal skills. It doesn't say he was above average in intellect. He wasn't bigger or stronger. He wasn't supernaturally gifted. He had a different spirit, and he followed God with a full heart and the belief that he could do what God had called him to do.
I was so intrigued by Caleb that I HAD to look up what his name meant on babynames.com (its an obsession that i have, because i think that names are so important and i like when people reflect the name that they have been given) and here is what it said:

whole. hearted.

This year, even though I have resolved to have no resolutions, I am striving to live whole hearted in everything that I do. As a wife, mom, friend, dental hygienist, leader, etc. I am going to stop asking God what he requires of me so that I can become great, and just do what he has already called me to do --- fully.

i will
work on the talents He has already given me.
love unconditionally.
trust fully.
reach beyond my comfort zone.
listen for His still small voice.
be bold enough to be different.
live everyday knowing that it's a stepping stone to a greater path that I am being led down.

Caleb was 40 when he first saw the Promised Land, and he didn't enter it until he was 85. He was only 1 of 2 men from the first generation of Israelites that entered the land that they were searching for.

a whole hearted person:
remembers the promise, even when it seems to be broken.
remains hopeful during disappointments.
recognizes that just because it hasn't happened, it doesn't mean it's lost.
remains on the path, when the detour is tempting.

Whatever you are facing, or going to face this year, do it whole heartedly. You may not know the destination, or the reasons why you are on the journey, but if you can go down the path fully trusting the one who leads you - I promise that the reward is great.

God is looking for the one who sees things differently, and will follow him fully.
Those are the ones that He uses.
Those are the ones that He makes great.


| the jealousy game & making a name |

For a long time I have had issues being happy for other people. I can remember being furiously jealous in high school, later in ministry, and even still to this day. I have to talk myself out of the downward spiral of jealousy on a daily basis. 

In a world where everyone wants to be famous, have their 15 minutes of fame, make a name for themselves, glorifying those that we deem "important" --- it is so easy to get caught up in the web of frustrating jealousy.  

Jealousy says: "You're not good enough to have what they have". When in reality, you are worthy of having your own story. 

Whether or not most of us want to admit it, it is the innate desire to make a name for ourselves that often fuels our jealousy. Great dresser. Awesome speaker. Talented musician. Wonderful person. Successful in ministry. All around good-gal! And when you start viewing others to have attained more than you, that's when the seed starts to take root.

I am attempting to read the whole bible this year, not out of a resolution, or religious practice but as a way to open my eyes beyond the 5 verses I know. Tonight I was reading the story of the Tower of Babel, and there was one verse that jumped off the page for me:

"Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves..." Genesis 11:3 (ESV)

If you don't know this story here is the quick version: The people on earth at that time only spoke one language. They got together, started to plan this tower to reach the heavens, God saw that there was nothing they wouldn't be able to do, so He confused them by giving them all different languages. 

I know. Crazy.

From the beginning of time fame has been the desire of the human heart. 

It temporarily fulfills our need to feel worthy. 

It feeds our addiction for the approval of others. 

It falsely satisfies the longing for success.

When you get your eyes fixated on making a name for yourself, God will confuse you to the point of frustration. 

Why not me? What makes them better? Haven't I worked just as hard? Am I not worth it? The list goes on and on. The more time that I spend on these questions, the more he frustrates me, because there is no logical answer.

Yes, we are all talented in different areas. Our longings and interests are vast, but the God that is the giver of them all does not hand them out on the basis of favourtism.

God does not play favourites.

He is no "respecter of persons". Meaning, He sees you and the person you are most irrationally jealous of through the same eyes. Love. 

It's time to stop trying to live out another person's story, and live your own.


Realizing that comparison is just a distraction to keep you from being YOU.

Understanding life is not a competition.  

Knowing that being called to do something different, isn't a lesser call.

Taking the step towards being who you are, and moving away from the standpoint of jealousy.

Moving past the desire to make a name for yourself, and living to glorify His.

He's already given you  a name, now start being who He's asked you to be.


Mom Gig: New Mom In An Opinionated World

Everyday I am bombarded with countless articles, statuses' and links that circle around the issue of parenting. It's ok... don't leave! i assure this isn't another one of those very things. 

I often wonder what it would be like to be a new parent in the 80's. When formula was all the rage, and car seats were picking up steam. I would have loved it. I Googled "when did car seats become mandatory", and most people born before 1980 only remember sitting on their parent's lap, or coming home in the form of a shoe box.

Breast fed or bottle fed. Crib or co sleeper. The introduction of food. Being a mom returning to the work field. These are just a few of the controversial topics that circulate around my social media on a daily. If it weren't for my family and close friends in other parts of the world, I would do away with Facebook, because I can't cope. Twitter. Instagram. They're really where it's at.

As a person who is probably considered to be mean and old school... I am often highly irritated when it comes to the opinion of others on these very topics. My baby drinks formula, sleeps in his own crib, gets his milestone vaccinations, went to the chiropractor, has been introduced to foods, sometimes I make him cry himself to sleep and occasionally (daily) he is exposed to the t.v. He thinks Judge Judy is his Grannie - I kid.

It's not that I believe that I am right, and you are wrong... it's that although some things may be better, it doesn't mean their alternative is wrong. And well, when you treat me like it is, I get moody. 

Here's the thing. If you have been a parent for 5 seconds you know how hard and glorious it is all in the same breath. Once the initial adrenaline rush of being a new mom wears off, reality sets in, then the weight of your new role sinks in - and sometimes that reality isn't pretty.

So the question is - if you know it's hard, and I know it's hard, why are we so hard on each other? And I am only 6 months in. I can't WAIT to see what it's like when he has a toddler meltdown at church, or encounters school politics.

I would have loved to have breastfed my baby for more then a week (real talk) ... but well, there are these things called complications, and sometimes all doesn't go as planned. If I had a month of support post delivery, and a live in doula, I am sure that I would have conquered my breast feeding woes, but that just didn't happen. After three days of public health insisting I feed Bennett by way of syringe and tube, you could say I was on the verge of a postpartum meltdown. So, if you could cease from giving me a condescending eye when I whip out my kid's bottle full of formula, that would be great. 

We all have a story. We have expectations, and dreams, and sometimes they come crashing down, because reality has this way of setting in.

I am not better than you. You are not better than me. Sometimes it's important to step away from the place of your stubborn stance and look at a situation from another angle. I assure you I am preaching to myself, as well.

What works for you and your family?
Are you and your baby happy?
Do the people that question you really affect your life?
I run through this list of questions over and over again.

I know for me there are some things that I am passionate about, and they may not be the same for you, but that's what makes us all who we are. There are things that I question on a daily, and other things that I know without a doubt. But really, if another person's choices aren't hurting you, does it really do any good to let them know your opinion? Especially if they don't ask? There are a lot of modern practices that I am not keen on. I rarely shed my opinion on them, because I doubt my opinion matters.  

I don't have to live your life, and you don't have to live mine.  Amen to that, amirite?

If you haven't had a baby yet, but are considering it, please know that you will have dreams and ideas about what being a parent is like - and from the moment you tell people you are pregnant, they will crush them. It's what people do, and it's really annoying. Most people mean well, but just remember that dreaming is a part of the process, and when YOUR reality hits, some of those things will be just like you had imagined, and others will not. And it's ok to make decisions based on that alone.  

Your reality. Your life. 

I am not probing for a debate, or a declaration of "I am right and you are wrong". That would defeat the point of my post. I am sick of the right and wrong thing.  

I am just asking that as parents we go easy on each other, because we are all in this together. 

Help, and not judge.
Ask, and not assume.
Walk side by side, and not compete.

Take the tidbits of wisdom that help, and brush off the things that don't.
Find someone that you trust, who will stand beside you and assure you that you are not failing.
Live YOUR life, and do what works for you.

 I was terrified that I would lose any form of bond with Bennett when I switched him to a bottle. Turns out he loves me just the same, and he looks at me a million times a day like I am the coolest person in the world. These are the moments that matter to me.