Full Disclosure Friday

Hello there Friends!

So with the start of a new year I’m excited to announce the start of something new that I’ll be beginning this year right here on my little ol’ Blog.  May I present you with:

This has always been in the back of my mind from the beginning of my blogging process, but it wasn’t something that I was ready to jump right into at the launching point as I needed more time to let the idea brew and cultivate within.

So what exactly is Full Disclosure Friday (which henceforth I’ll refer to as {FDF})?  Well, really it’s just an extension of a branch of The Candid Life…as you know, this blog is all about encouraging us to to embrace who we are by being real with ourselves and those around us…so I thought, ‘what better way to celebrate that than by highlighting aspects of my life once a week?’…not just the parts that look shiny and instaworthy (although I will likely post some of those as everything needs balance) but also those days when nothing seems to go right and the laundry load is stacked up a mile high.  We’ve all been there guys…but the funny thing is…when we’re there life has a way of convincing us that we’re alone in it…and then of course comparison, self-pity, and shame comes in when we compare our weak moments to others’ glory moments on Facebook, Instagram, or whatever your outlet may be.

These posts are not intended to be lengthy and deep…(although that’s not to say that inspiration won’t hit sometime and I end up in the depths of soul-baring honesty…ahem…moving on…), rather they will be light, fun full-disclosure snippets of my real-life…simply to encourage you that you’re not alone in your realities and to remind you that we can’t all be stellar photographers, cooks, bakers, fashionistas, or interior designers…but we sure as heck can be the best version of ourselves…and that’s what really matters!

Enjoy, have fun, and stay tuned every Friday for Full Disclosure Friday.

PS: Guys, feel free to use the tag #FullDisclosureFriday for all of your full disclosure moments and be sure to tag me at #thecandidlifeblog

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When Light Breaks Through

So I was going to make this blog post rather short and sweet as a simple “Merry Christmas from my Family to Yours” – type post, but as I was reflecting upon a few verses that we tend to hear around Christmas time it began to stir up something within me that I just had to get out…so here it is…after all…what would a simple “Merry Christmas” post be from me without leaving you with some form of encouragement…so consider this my gift to you. 😉

So I was thinking about this verse here:

“…there the people who sat in darkness have seen a great Light; they sat in the land of death, and the Light broke through upon them.” ~ Matthew 4:15-16

and this one:

“I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness.” ~ John 12:46

These verses were referring to the birth and arrival of Jesus on the scene as a wee babe.  And here’s what I was thinking about…the Light of Christmas…which is Christ…but…I was thinking about the relevancy of that in our lives.  How many times do we find ourselves wandering around in darkness, stumbling and searching for answers, for light, for hope, yet we neglect to turn to the One Person who is Light and who came to end our aimless wandering?  The answer, would be far too often.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the darkness that is prevalent in our society…just take one look at the media…at the heartbreaking atrocities taking place right now in Syria…it would seem that the darkness is winning.

Perhaps in your personal life, or the lives of those you love you can see nothing but darkness…what about in your own heart…when you look within yourself….sometimes…speaking for myself at least…it can feel as though there’s nothing good within my heart…selfishness, arrogance, pride, judgement, jealousy…the darkness can creep in so slowly until it feels as though it’s swallowing me whole.  And when that happens when we get to that point…what do we do?  What do I do?  Well…we hide….we hide our situations, our problems, our issues…we turn a blind eye to the darkness we see on a large scale…because really…we’re ashamed…and looking at that kind of darkness isn’t something that brings us warm fuzzy feelings…we don’t like to admit the truth…maybe because it’s inconvenient, maybe because it hurts…but I think mostly because we’re afraid…we’re afraid of what might happen if we bring it into the light…we’re afraid of rejection, of being a disappointment, of not measuring up, of the responsibility that will be expected of us.

There is good news though, and here it is:

“His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.”~ John 1:5

You see, no matter how deep the darkness, the bottom line is that darkness never extinguishes light…no, rather it is the light that extinguishes the dark.  So what does this mean to us?  Here it is friends: If the very purpose of the Light of Christ coming to the earth was to end our wandering in the dark…that tells me that He’s not afraid of the dark.  He’s not afraid of the darkness around us or the darkness within us…He’s not afraid of the dark, ugly spots on our souls…He’s not afraid of the mess that we can find ourselves in, of the mess that our family might be in…of the mess that our world is in.  In fact…His purpose has never changed…He still comes to us today to end our wandering, to light our path, and to bring us hope for newness.

The Light of Christ came for darkness, which means He's not afraid of the dark. Click To Tweet

So be encouraged today, that though it may look and feel as though the darkness is winning…the truth is that it never will have the final word…it will never extinguish the light…and although it may seem like the night is long…in this world, in your family, in your life, in your heart…the truth…is that the night will end and a new day will dawn….and the Light will break through upon us once again. My challenge to you this Christmas, and for this New Year…is to step into it…though your darkness may tremble at the Light, the Light of Christ never trembles at your darkness…rather it runs full force…searching out the darkness…to envelope it in love, in light, in hope, and in life.

May the Light of Christ be yours this season and always.  Merry Christmas & All the Best for the New Year, from my Family to Yours.

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When Christmas Doesn’t Feel like Christmas

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Well Friends, it’s finally here…the most wonderful time of the year…I’ve been waiting and ready for it in my heart since the last week of October…patiently restraining myself as the anticipation built, and exercising moderate self-control as the deals began rolling in.  And now it’s here…it’s finally here…(well December…and as far as I’m concerned…that means Christmas with a booked-solid calendar and endless eating affairs)…the stocking’s are hung, the gifts are in hiding (for the most part), I fear my husband is already border-line sick of my Christmas playlist, and the tree adorned with lights and balls, shining in all her glory.  So why, I’m asking myself, am I left with this empty feeling of “blah” in the pit of my soul?

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Lest We Forget – The Way of Love

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Well friends, I had something entirely different planned and written for today, but in light of recent events and the ridiculous amount of hatred floating around, I felt it was necessary to stop and reflect on Remembrance Day – lest we forget.

As I was reflecting on Remembrance Day this week, the scripture in John 15:13 came to mind, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  As I think about the character traits of the men and women who have served this Great Nation both in the past and still today, love is usually not at the forefront of my mind.  Courage, sacrifice, honor, respect, dignity – all of these readily fill my thoughts, but love…not so much.

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The Illusion of Strength

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Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip… Yay…last week’s Thursday adventure!  Not really.  So here’s the lowdown; last week my son came running in to the house crying, as young adventurous boy’s often do, however this time, it was more than the typical trampoline bump or bicycle crash.  My son had unfortunately been on the receiving end of a rather nasty dog bite.  After a quick examination at home we could tell that he would need to see a Dr. and would likely need stitches, and seeing as my husband was unable to take him…and of course because I was in full swing Supermom mode… I volunteered to take him to the Hospital.

Now I had been handling it rather well, all things considered, and was even able to keep the waterworks at bay on the drive there as he asked fearful questions through tear-filled eyes.  During our time in the emergency waiting room I continued to check on the wound and calm his fears (and mine) as we chatted with the other questioning patients as best we could.  And then the time came to finally see the Dr.  I anticipated the typical discussion about stitches, but what I didn’t anticipate was my reaction to said discussion.

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What Can’t Be Found on Google

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Guys, this question may seem ridiculous, but I’m going to ask it anyways.  Have you ever been in a situation where there was literally nothing you could do to fix it?  (If you answer no to that then please feel free to contact me and solve all of my problems)  Well, that’s where I found myself over the last few weeks/month.

Remember back at Thanksgiving when I mentioned about our little health dilemma?  If you’re out of the loop, long story short, one of my beautiful, happy, healthy kids happened to pick up a not-so-beautiful, not-so-happy little “friend” from the cesspool of germs that we like to call “school”.  Honestly guys, before having children I thought the worst possible things for kids to bring home were head lice (and, thank you Jesus we haven’t had to deal with that one…yet…or hopefully ever), and puking…and while I’d rather go through labor again than have to clean up from either of those messes…believe it or not, there are others out there that are just as bad.

So, all of that to say, that it was one of those types of things that required thorough cleaning on an every-other-day basis of floors, bedding, towels, and clothing for two weeks, along with the proper medication for all of course.  I should mention before I send all of the parents out there into panic-mode that this wasn’t anything serious to our health by any means…rather one that was a huge nuisance and treatable.  Anyways, after following the proper two-week course of action, and a second dosage of follow-up treatment to take care of anything that was missed the first time, (followed by 2 more weeks of strict cleaning – just to be safe), I found myself last week feeling very paranoid, and anxiety ridden, wondering if this was finally behind us (after nearly a month), or if I should still be concerned and go for a third treatment for everyone (even though all symptoms were pointing to “no”…even after a call to Telehealth)

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You Are Not Enough

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So how about that weather?  (I know…a title like that and I’m talking about the weather…risky business indeed but yeah I went there and you’ll see why soon enough)  It’s Fall here in Canada, but this week it felt like a touch of Summer; and it would seem that the change of seasons has thrown not only the temperature gauge into confusion, but also my skin.  Between the acne breakout and the dark bags under my eyes, my body isn’t sure whether it’s a teenager or a tired grown woman…and after all of the Thanksgiving indulges and the Pre-Halloween candy lying around, let’s not even discuss my waistline…or lack thereof.  And then there’s the matter of my hair which is in serious need of a change but the jury’s still out on “to chop or not to chop”…feel free to cast a vote…I made an appointment for next week in blind faith.

So needless to say, it was a top-bun, avoid-the-mirror-at-all-costs kind of day.  I’m sure you can relate…that struggle of…”enough”.  Not young enough, pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, muscular enough, short enough, thin enough, stylish enough, rich enough, kind enough, patient enough, loving enough, enough of a mother/father, husband/wife, brother/sister, friend, son/daughter and the list goes on and on and on…but the bottom line…spoken or not…hidden in over-achievement, or silently hushed in defeat…is that old familiar voice that says “you are not enough”.

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Give Thanks in … All things?

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Hey hey!!  First off, a great big Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours this weekend!!!  I’ll be straight with you right now…this post is not near as deep as the last one…but I promise you I’ll (try) to bring it home with a power punch at the end regardless.

So you know how I mentioned that last week was a difficult week…weeeeell….the heart things got worked out but man oh man did life just keep on pulling out the stops.  I’ll give you the inside scoop.

Almost two weeks ago we discovered that two of our children picked up a nasty little case of ….ummm…let’s say a parasitic type bug….yes  yes…I know I’m supposed to be candid but I’ve gotta maintain some bit of dignity! Ha hah.  Anyways, this little “bug” was one of those lovely one’s that requires laundering almost every stinking item in the house every other day for the duration of at least two weeks…(and because I get border line paranoid/OCD when it comes to sickness…I’ll probably continue in this manner for two more weeks…just to be safe)…anyways…on with the story.  So along with laundering, mad-cleaning, and taking appropriate medication we ended up having yet another challenge in the house amidst all of the bug fun.

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You Oughta {Not} Be Ashamed of Yourself

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Ever had one of those days that just turned into one of those weeks?  That was pretty much my week last week…fortunately so far so good this week. 😉  It was one of those weeks that was full of migraines and bad news which consequently resulted in non-stop housecleaning, mental exhaustion, and overall weariness.

Anyways, part way through the week amidst all of those other good things I had an encounter with a good friend regarding how my behavior had affected her…around here we like to call those times KYLO moments (“Keep Your Love On”…in reference to the book by Danny Silk, which if you haven’t read it yet…I would highly recommend).  Although she handled everything with complete honesty, grace, forgiveness, love and in no way was trying to cause me to feel bad, my initial reaction to this encounter was guilt and shame over my unintentional behavior that had hurt her.

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Cheers to New Beginnings

Well guys, this is it…the moment I’ve been waiting for (and you unknowingly) for 9 months.  My baby’s here…meet The Candid Life.  When I first set out on this journey I was kind of thinking it would be a few weeks of preparation and then bang – in business!  But life happens, computer’s break down, passion’s wane and sometimes things even come to a halt altogether.

It’s definitely been a process and learning curve moving from the Blogger platform to WordPress, and seeing as I still feel very amateur about it all I’d like to make absolutely clear that this is not a blog post about the “how-to’s” of setting up a blog or of moving from one platform to another in any way, shape, or form.  Rather I’d like this to be a welcome to you and a celebration of new seasons.

Guys, to be entirely honest, when I began this process I was so much more excited to write and felt like I was brimming with new topics all the time.  It’s crazy that at the point of launching now…almost exactly a year to the month since I’ve published a blog post of any sort…I’m at a loss for words and doubting that I even have something of significance to say…but carry on I shall and as I do, I’ll trust that God will fill my mouth with the words (via my keystrokes). 😉

Maybe you guys can relate to this.  Have you ever set out to start something but ran into snag after snag in the process, and then that drove you into guilt and shame over not being where you thought you should be by now?  Perhaps you’re in that place today; wondering why you’re not where you thought you’d be at this point in the game and maybe even feeling like a failure or disappointment because of it.  I can tell you…over the course of the last 9 months I was there many times…and each time I’d have to make a choice to either stay there or to continue moving forward, trusting God in the process.

The season of waiting can be a tough place, but also one of much value and growth if we allow it. Click To Tweet The season of waiting can be a tough place to be in, but it can also be one of much value and growth if we allow it.  Sometime’s things happen quickly in life, but other times we need time to grow…and in my experience thus far, it’s been those thing’s that have been a long growth process that have been the most worthwhile.

Or maybe like I felt this week, you’re at a place where you’re now standing at the edge of what you’ve been waiting for and the temptation to turn and run the opposite direction is overwhelming you, the fear of failure and the questions of “what if?” are breathing down your back.  Maybe you’re feeling similar to what I mentioned earlier…am I even capable of doing this thing now that I’m here?  Well friend, I have good news for you; God wouldn’t have brought you (and I) to this point to set you up for failure.  It’s been said that if our dreams don’t scare us then we’re not dreaming big enough, I’d like to add to that, if we could do it on our own than why would we need faith in God, and really…what fun would that be in the end…or how eternal of an impact would it have? Whether it’s a big dream, or stepping out of our comfort zone to encourage or pray for another, God trusts us with it…He, the God of the Universe, trusts you.  Seriously guys, sometimes we just have to get over ourselves and our insecurities and just do it…in fact…I think the time for playing it safe is old news…it’s time.  And you know what…we might completely flop on our face…not just once…not just twice..but on a regular basis for awhile…but if we are secure in the love of God for us, we can trust that even in our biggest failures, He’s right there with us to pick us up, dust us off, and send us on our way cheering us along and ready to help us the next time.  Isn’t that amazing news?  So with that tidbit of hope, let’s Celebrate the season that we’re in and enjoy every moment of experiencing God’s Presence in it.

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Shoutout to Clementine Creative at www.clementinecreative.co.za for the awesome Free Confetti Pattern shown above! Be sure to check out her lovely site. 

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