Worthless Housewife

I am in one of the most interesting chapters of my life. One I never thought I would find myself in, but am now very grateful I did. My husband got work in Ireland in February. It was a wonderful opportunity, knowing that we might have only this season in our lives to travel - just the two of us - with no real commitments. Not going just wasn't an option. But what I never realised was what I would have leave behind, let go of, and then what I would find. My chapter begins.

Before coming to Ireland my identity was an entrepreneur, a business women who thought I could do anything I wanted. Business was in my genes. I was passionate and totally in love with my small business and the entire team that made it up. I was goal orientated, and always tried to find a leadership position in everything I did. Failure wasn't an option. Being entirely dependant on anyone wasn't either.

Four months before coming to Ireland, my passion for my business slowly changed. I think God was slowly weaning me from my business, and it was hard letting go. I got a clear message that I should bless it to the manager who certainly had put her hard work into, and deserved it. It made sense when we were moving here why I had to let it go, to hang on would have stopped the journey I was about to embark on.

I landed in Ireland with a list of goals I would have achieved by the following Friday. I would have found us a home, got settled in, found my running route to train for a marathon in Dublin that I had searched for as a goal, and found a job. I thought it would be easy.

I found us a lovely home and settled in, an awesome farm running route, but not a job. And the struggle with my identity began. In the begining I would repeat a line I am ashamed to say I had before told other unemployed friends, "if you don't have a job, you spend 8 hours a day finding a job as your job". I applied it and put that pressure on myself. The immigration officer finally confirmed to me that no foriegners were allowed to to be employed in the recession. No more work permits were being issued. My pride still kept me applying. Until I asked myself why... I realised that I was afraid of what people back home would think when they heard I wasn't working. 25 years old, totally capable, and at home just spending her husbands money. I thought my family would be ashamed of me and of who my husband chose as a wife.(This being very unfair to my family who I know love me, but being filled with self doubt, I doubted them too). My last attempt at achieving something was to train for my marathon race. At least I could tell the voices in my head that I was achieving something. I kid you not, two weeks later I fell running in the rain and tore the ligaments in my right ankle. I could do nothing!!

I eventually got to a place where I had convinced myself that it was okay, I had silenced the self critical voices in my head. I think I may have even silenced them long enough to start feeling happy. Until I experienced a very defining moment. I had befriended a lovely professional working women, who may not have known my internal struggle. After having a lunch with her and a lawyer friend, we were walking down the street, and not in an offensive way (I think she actually meant it as a compliment) she said "It is strange I get along with you so well. You don't have any of the accolades of the studied professional lawyer, yet we get along so well"...

I tried to take it as a compliment, but deep deep down in my heart it broke me! I felt it confirmed the voices.
I figured the only way I would ever be of worth was if I finally finished a degree, because only then it seems you are valued, no matter how normal you are. If I got a degree maybe I wouldn't be looked down on, I would finally find the affirmation I needed to feel like I belonged, would be employable even though I cannot get a work permit, and deserve the husband I love. I began with my list of goals again. I realised I was lost, totally totally lost. I was likely at my lowest point. I was drowning in self doubt. I was convinced I was a failure, anything I had ever achieved was pointless, not even God needed me. I was worthless... a worthless housewife.

Well, I tell you, Thank heavens for that moment! It took me on a journey that has given me the greatest gift! Knowing that my value isn't found in a job, affirmation from anyone, or a sense of belonging. I have nothing to my name 11 months later, not a marathon medal, not a degree. I volunteer at a coffee shop, I love it there, we laugh. I have found such joy in just encouraging, spending time and growing with the people I meet.
I have no accolades to my name and I am in my happiest place. I have come to know the truth that my husband loves me for who I am, just the way I am. Nothing more matters. Thats incredible! My family accepts me, I don't have prove myself, what my profession is doesn't matter, time with us matters. And coming to the place where I know for sure that the only qualification that matters is the qualification of the kingdom of heaven. In that place I find my greatest joy and purpose.

God never did not need me. He was just waiting for me to let go of my pride, so that I could find my real joy, self acceptance, and where my true value lies... in the One who made me. I know God has a mission and a plan for me. I know it in my heart. But I also am very grateful to know that he stopped me trying to achieve it in my own strength, to achieve it for the sake a being successful, and finding worth in that success. There would be no joy or honour in that. I wouldn't want that either.

Thank you Lord that we are fearfully, wonderfully made and that we are worth everything to you, without any 'extras', but worthy just because we belong to you and were made by you in love.

Twilight Reflections

I have just finished reading the final book in Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series - 'Breaking The Dawn'. It was the best of the four books in the series in my opinion. The author finished strong. Much like the Harry Potter craze, Twilight has a similar teenage following. I really appreciated how Stephanie Meyer addressed many teenagers’ struggles in a form of fantasy but with a high moral standard. I know you thinking... "hello it's a vampire story - they drink blood for pete sake!" It is so rare that anything our youth see or read these days can have a positive impact on how they should cope or act in certain situations. 

Here follow my reflections on Twilight...

  1. Jacob. Shame, nothing seems to go right for this poor werewolf in the majority of the story. It seems like he is never going to get the girl or have his plans work out. I am sure at some stage in our lives we can all identify with Jacob - no matter how hard we try or how much effort we put into something we want to achieve, it never seems to work out for us. We start to lose hope. Well, the lesson to be learnt from Jacob is that it was all part of the plan. Nothing Jacob had planned or hoped for was ever meant to work out, because there was something else for Jacob, something more, and something better - a perfect plan for Jacob's life. But Jacob had to go through all the 'things not working out phase' in order to be in exactly the right place for things to work out perfectly and for it all make sense and 'get the girl' so to speak. 
  2. I love how the author addresses the teenager's sexual desires and how strong they can be. But also how important it is to have set boundaries for themselves in the beginning of the relationship, then to have someone in the relationship that is being responsible and in control not to cross the boundaries. I love and really appreciate how high Stephanie Meyer set the moral standing here… that she gave Edward (the gorgeous vampire) old school traditional morals of wanting to be married first - because he considers his human girlfriend's soul first, over and above his desires. I don't think many teenagers hear or even see that in the world anymore, and here Stephanie addresses it and sets boundaries in a vampire story - that’s incredible! 
  3. Bella and Edward get married and Bella falls pregnant. You have to read the book to understand the implications of this pregnancy. Stephanie Meyer again approaches a teenagers struggle with an unwanted pregnancy - everyone wants her abort the child because it is the safest, easiest option. They are scared. We are torn between her love for the child and risking losing everything including her life. Abortion is not the best option - abortion is acting in fear. Bella's love for her child, and her insistence in making the right choices are the reason everything works out perfectly. 
  4. Bella never really fits in. In her human form she is a misfit, always feels like she doesn't belong, and that her talents are not purposeful. But once she takes on her vampire form she finds a place she belongs perfectly. All of her imperfections are made perfect. The reasons for her strange talents become apparent once she is a vampire. She belongs to something more than herself, and for the first time she feels confident, has an identity and a purpose. To me this is so much like when we become christians. We belong. We have a new identity because we know we belong to someone and something bigger than ourselves. God makes the ordinary extraordinary. And we see that we all have talents God can use - which gives a sense of purpose and belonging. Like with Bella - Our weaknesses often become our strengths and our struggles from our past are often the reasons we are so effective in Gods purpose for our lives.
  5. The Cullens. Born into the vampire world, they have the same desires for human blood and the hunt that goes with it. Yet, they have chosen a different way of life. They call it a ‘vegetarian lifestyle’. To the rest of the vampires in the world this is foolishness – they cannot understand how this lifestyle would be possible or even look attractive. The truth is that the Cullens made a choice to live a different way of life. They still have to struggle against their cravings and desires for human blood as that is in their nature. But their choice and commitment to be different so they can belong to the Cullen family is what gives them the strength and ability to resist. The benefit of their family, to them, is far more attractive than any that human blood could ever satisfy. I find this similar to being a part of the christian family – it is a choice. To many it doesn’t seem attractive or even possible. Yet it is. 

Shake It Off

In many cartoons I watched as a child, they would illustrate two inner voices we have in our heads with a little angel on one shoulder, encouraging us to do good, and a little red, bad devil on the other – both whispering thoughts on how to handle different situations the animated character is dealing with. They use these two images to illustrate our inner voices or self–talk. We have a constant conversation going on in our heads 24/7… but which voice do we listen to the most?

I believe that staying confident, faithful and positive is a key to being successful in every situation as well as to our calling for our lives (Our purpose). Yet it seems that this confident ‘good’ voice is a lot softer in many situations we face. It is at the very moment we start trying to achieve something, that we hear the voice – “I can’t do it; nothing ever works out for me; who would love me; I am not special; I don’t have a purpose for my life because I am not special; I always mess everything up; I have no idea what I am doing - I am such a fake; no one wants to be around me; I am meant to be lonely.” – This voice’s main purpose is to break your confidence. This voice tries to keep you in a negative mindset, in a state of discouragement and often self-pity and worthlessness. - I believe to give you an excuse to never try succeeding or rising above the expectation you have of yourself.

An inspiring story about a farmer’s donkey that fell into a dry well, the animal cried pitifully for hours while the farmer tried to figure out what to do for this poor old donkey. Finally, the farmer concluded that the well is too deep; it needed to be covered up anyway. The donkey was really old and, well it would be a big mission to get him out anyway. So he gathered the other farmers and together they grabbed their shovels and started filling the well with sand. The donkey immediately realised what was happening and began to bray in distress. Similar to a response we would have, like the donkey, crying out and moaning would be our normal response to any difficult situation.
But then, the donkey got really quiet! A few more shovels of dirt and then the farmer looked down into the well and was astonished at what he saw. The donkey would shake off every heap of dirt that hit his back and take a step up above the dirt. As the farmers continued to shovel the dirt on top of the animal he continued to step up. Pretty soon the donkey shook of the last bit of dirt and stepped right out of the well. 
We can learn from this donkey - he had two choices. The donkey could’ve said to himself, “I am old; no one needs me; I deserve this for falling into the well in the first place; I will never get out of this; its over - I give up!”. Listening to that voice the donkey would have buried himself in the dirt and achieved nothing more. But he chose not to - he rose above the situation, shook off the ‘dirt’ and trampled it beneath him. He chose to try and succeed.

You have the same two choices. One, you can listen to the negative voices and they will define your choices. It is likely then that you will never rise above your situation or allow yourself to believe that you have a purpose. Or, two, you can choose that every time a negative thought (a shovel of dirt) gets thrown your way or comes into your head you will shake it off, stomp it into the ground, and replace it with a positive affirmation, rise above it and succeed! 
A wise quote “Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude”.

‘ For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:11

Stepping Out

A Short Introduction to this Girl Talk Blog: Simply I had two options, one was to believe that one day my dream of 'Girl Talk' would materialise by me just waking up and all the opportunity would be there for me to share my specific passion with you all. I would be fully prepared and have all the experience I required. I would have it all figured out, gained the knowledge and confidence to just go out there and do it, achieving my dream. Well, option two is more of a reality. If I ever wanted to see my dream and passion for 'Girl Talk' being effective I would have to start somewhere. In sharing and struggling through my message - get it figured out. In making mistakes and being constructively criticised and encouraged - gain confidence. My Girl Talk blog is the first step into making this dream a reality.

My Mission - Inspiring girls/women to embrace their Uniqueness and Beauty for a Lifetime of Self Esteem and Respect.

Women are bombarded daily with messages from the media and images of ‘ideals’ that are unattainable. An ‘ideal’ that dictates what we need to look like and be like in order to be 'normal'. These images are used to sell us products to create the 'ideal' women - anti wrinkle cream, lifting and slimming products, blemish-free, shinier hair, taller, shorter, whatever you name it. And slowly but surely we become dissatisfied with ourselves. Inevitably these images become our 'normal'. We begin to compare ourselves and fall short because when it comes to the illusion of physical perfection, women long and try to achieve it, no matter how unattainable. We convince ourselves that happiness and success are awarded exclusively to those who attain ‘beauty’. Believing this lie is where we lose our self worth and self esteem.

It is this very lie – that attaining 'beauty' will cure our emotional emptiness, our self-dissatisfaction – that we need to expose. We need to discover the truth – that we all have a unique beauty to unveil and embrace. A beauty that is pure, captivating and perfectly designed. I pray this blog will encourage you to discover the princess inside you, and restore the relationship you have with yourself! I pray you will see your worth – a priceless treasure.