11.23.2016

What is Your Calling


As early as I could remember people were always asking me what I wanted to do with my life? First off, can we just say that this question is so unfair and so loaded. I had no idea.

I can distinctly remember in grade eight picking whether I wanted to do academic courses or applied for high school. My teacher said if you want to go to university you must take academic courses or else you can't get it. I had no idea what I wanted to be, let alone what university was, let alone if I wanted to go there. It was all so confusing.

In high school I continued to struggle. Part of me wanted to go into business, part of me wanted to be a news anchor but I was never passionate about any one career path. There is half a course in high school to think about careers and as I would take those personality tests they would all come up with different responses. I had no specific path and always felt something was wrong with me. I often asked God "could you please just tell me? What do you want me to do with my life?" I never got a specific response.

Everyone went to university so I followed along. It didn't take me long to realize that I hated it. I was so stressed and did not learn well in a lecture style classroom along with hundreds of other students. It was easy to know that I didn't want to do theory in university but still had no idea what I wanted. Once I turned twenty I felt even more pressure. I knew I was spending thousands of dollars and for what? Thankfully, I was able to live at home (after first year and Africa), fast track my program and work every weekend to not get into too much debt, but still the question loomed even with a university degree - what am I doing with my life?

This has gone on for years but as my faith and relationship with the Lord grows I've slowly been getting clarity on purpose/calling. I was listening to a podcast (I forget which one) and they were talking about calling. The gist was that if you are a Christian you are called to make disciples (Matthew 28:19). That is such a big calling with lots to unwrap but it really is as simple as that. As I was listening doing the dishes I felt the Holy Spirit so strongly remind me of this. "Maddie, it doesn't matter what job you do, your calling remains the same." I feel like I can breathe so much easier hearing and resting in that.

So...

If you are a mom - your calling is to make disciples
If you work at a fast food chain - your calling is to make disciples
If you are a dentist - your calling is to make disciples
If you are a doctor -your calling is to make disciples
If you are a teacher, nurse, personal assistant, wedding planner and the list goes on forever - your calling is to make disciples

Our jobs and careers aren't where we find our calling. They don't define us. Christ does. 


Sure, I believe 100% that God speaks specifics. If He has asked you to be a teacher, than absolutely be a teacher. But please hear me out. If God hasn't given you a specific please don't spend years of your life like I did praying for that specific. God has placed you where you are, right now, to make disciples.

As you are walking in close communion with the Lord, He will tell you whether to move, relocate, switch jobs, move to another country etc. Trust in Him that since you are walking with Him you will be able to hear and discern His voice when He speaks those things. But until He speaks, trust that He has you where he wants you. Trust that you have a calling right where you are. People need Jesus in every job, every career, every volunteer position. No matter where you are serving Christ has you there to be a light, to shine bright for Him.

Walk fully knowing you are called. 

People still ask me what I want to do with my life. I can confidently respond now when people ask "I am called to make disciples." I can do that as a server at a restaurant, working as the children's director, or starting a wedding planning business  (all my jobs currently). I can do all of those things for the glory of God.

I hope this encourages someone who is putting way too much pressure on themselves to figure out their specific job. I hope you can breathe easier and trust God that He has good works prepared for you to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

Take it from me, who has had this question lurking in the back of my mind since middle school trying to figure out what I should do with my life, terrified that I'll get to heaven and God would tell me - "Maddie you were suppose to be an accountant and you weren't and now you've wasted your life." It's silly typing it out now, but I believed that for way too long. That my job defined my calling. 

God has put you on earth, in this generation to bring glory to Him and make disciples. I pray you are encouraged no matter what occupation you are in that you can bring hope where you are.

Let's also remember it is God working in us and through us and that anything we do on our own strength is useless and ineffective. We can breathe easy and rest in His strength, knowing He speaks through us.

If God has been teaching you anything in the past couple weeks I would love to hear. Please send me an email and let's get in touch!

11.18.2016

Dear Jackson // Six Months




Dear Jackson,

We had gotten to know you for six amazing months! So long and so short all at once. You are such a joy and we still can't believe you are ours and we get to be your parents. Every day I still verbally say out loud how blessed I am that you are my baby. That I get to be your momma.

Each month you continue to grow and each month you are turning more into a toddler and less like a baby yet you are still tiny compared to all the other babies your age.


At five and a half months you weighed 13 pounds 14 ounces. You were in the lowest 8th percentile of babies but no one was worried. You are just tiny. I was small and so was your Dad so nothing to worry about. At five months we started food with you too! I am still breastfeeding every 2.5-3 hours but after I feed you milk we try "people food." Your first food was apples and you loved it. Then we tried pears and you also loved it, then bananas and you screamed. You hated the taste and you would not swallow or eat bananas. It amazes me that you have taste buds and know what you like and don't like at five months. It's just hard for me to believe.


We are doing a different food introduction and kind of not following the normal family doctor guidelines, which I am okay with for now. I have a nutriontist who I love/respect, so we are trying this way! Part of this nutrition plan is that we are only doing fruits and breast milk until you are nine months. Then I add different oils, vitamin d and other things into your fruit in order for you to all your nutrients but we are staying away from grains for a little bit. It may not work, but am happy to try this way until it doesn't work - then I will just try a new way. Who knows what I will be typing out for the next kiddo! I'm sure it could all be different. Anyways these are the fruits you've had until this point: apples, pears, bananas, mangos, blueberries, peaches. You are a good eater and right now you eat about a jar of baby food every time we sit down to eat. You are eating three jars a day. Some days when we are out and about you don't eat as much because I just don't have time to take food with me, and on those days you eat food twice and don't seem to mind.


Another HUGE accomplishment along with food  is that you started to crawl!!!! (I am writing this a week into six months) but on November 15 you made your first attempt and you haven't looked back since. You just suddenly started wiggling across the floor. My mom was over and we were in disbelief. Then you kept doing it. Then Mark came home from work and you continued. Then the next morning I set you down and you immediately started moving across the floor. It's now Nov 18 and this morning you moved from the tv room into the hallway and all the way into the other room. I just had this permanent smile across my face. You my sweet boy are growing up so big and so fast. It is remarkable getting to experience all your milestones. You are so proud of yourself and just love exploring.  I am a bit sad that I now need to baby proof the entire house and can no longer leave you in one spot but am so thankful you are growing and learning new things. It's still a shuffle. You can get on all fours and rock but you are not fully moving. It's the army crawl, but you do get your bum up in the air to propel you further. It is just the cutest thing and we are so smitten with you!


Along with eating and crawling you have started napping better!!! You would only sleep 20-30 minutes every 2 or so hours and it was driving me insane. I couldn't take it anymore and I was getting nothing done. I really wanted to get sleeping at night down before I started sleep training for naps but now I wish I would have tried it all at once. Anyways you put yourself to sleep great in the evenings but I was still rocking you to sleep during the day and then setting you in the crib. But always, consistently after 30 minutes you would wake up. We did the cry it out method for you with bedtime and it worked so I thought I should finally try it for naps. First day was awful you just cried for an hour and then I picked you up and we just continued on our day, though you were super grumpy and no one was happy. Second day, same thing. Third day, if I stayed sitting beside your crib you would put yourself to sleep by yourself. If I were to leave your room you would cry on the top of your lungs.

So I would sit there for hours wasting my whole day until you would finally fall asleep. But after six days you started sleeping for 1.5 hours!!!!! You can put yourself to sleep now and that is so great! This has been major for me. I can get the dishes done, cook supper, shower, get ready for the day, study for my wedding planning exam and just have some time to myself. By the time I put you to sleep at night I am so tired that I often don't do anything for me. It is normal to tidy the house, do dishes, spend time with Mark and sleep by 10pm.

Something you didn't do well with was the time change. I wasn't sure what to expect but I didn't think it would have thrown your schedule off as much as it has. We were pretty much getting to sleep by 7:30, feed around midnight, feed again around 5-6am and then awake for the day around 7:30-8am. So you were getting 12 hours with 2 feeds. Then the time change happened.

Right now you are going to bed around 7:30, waking up around midnight, wake up around 3am, 4am, 5am and ready for the day at 6am. It's dreadful. I got good sleep and now its regressed. I don't want to blame it on the time change, but really that is when you pattern started to change. I know you are teething (there are bumps on your gums but nothing has poked through yet) but I'm not sure that should radically change your sleep pattern for so long. It's been a week and a half of this and I'm not sure if I need to go back to the cry it out method and re train you to sleep.


Ok enough about all the logistics of the momma things I want to remember. When I feed you in the middle of the night and you drift back to sleep I often get emotional looking at you as you fall back asleep on me. My heart explodes and tears flood my eyes and I just stare at you. Jackson, I can't explain how much I love you, how perfect you are. I never thought my heart had this much room to love you but it just keeps growing. I can't fathom loving your brother or sister this much, but I know my heart will make that room it is just so hard to comprehend. I hold you in my arms, and thank the Lord for you. Each night/morning whisper God's promises over your life. What blows me away is all the love I have for you doesn't even scratch the surface your heavenly Father has for you. O Jackson, how he loves you, cherishes you and has such purpose in your life. My baby boy, you were put on this earth for a reason, a purpose. I pray that you would know God's love, you would experience it from such a young age as soon as you can understand. I pray that in all my sin and failures that you would see your momma trying to love you like Jesus and point you to Him. He is all you need, more than enough. So I think all these thoughts and pray them over you, kiss your sweet forehead and place you back in your crib. I wipe the tears off my cheeks and head back into my bed, heart full of love and thanking Jesus for His unending love for you and me. O Jackson, we have such a good good Father.



Keep growing my sweet sweet Jackson. I love you so much.

Your momma
xo

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