Nuggets of Inspiration, Uncategorized

Christmas: A Season of Thanksgiving

I love Christmas. For me, it is a time of reflection since this season marks the end of another year. I reflect on my growth throughout the months past, and consider goals for the future. This experience invites a spirit of gratitude into my heart, as I often discovery extraordinary blessings I might otherwise not notice.

Help from Heaven, Family, and Friends

This year I have much to give thanks for. My heart is full of gratitude for the challenges I overcame through help from heaven, family and friends. At the start of 2017, I was full of trepidation because I knew I would be returning home to an empty house — away from my husband, parents and family… I dreaded having to tough it out alone with a newborn.

But what I discovered is a wonderful truth — I was never alone. Help was always available when I needed it most.

There were friends near and far who helped me along the way, with acts of kindness great and small. To them, I must say thanks. Thanks for giving like only you could.

My Darling Daughter and Milestones

Another wonderful blessing that made 2017 extra special is my darling daughter Niya. I cannot tell you how much my heart has grown since she came into my life. I learn so much from her each day.

I know the tenderness that comes from a child’s loving glance. The joy of seeing her meet each new milestone as she laughed, rolled, clapped and walked for the first time. This is what motherhood is about. I have never felt so driven with purpose because I know I am doing the most important work.

In November, Niya turned one. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to celebrate this milestone. My daughter and I spent the day at the hospital with my husband who, due to a home improvement project gone wrong, almost lost a few fingers 😩

Thankfully, his recovery went better than I expected. (Thanks to my friend Dr. Robyn Stephenson, who gave me sound advice and help in a very scary time.

The Number One Lesson of 2017

There is something extraordinary I learned this year. I learned how to be at peace with my circumstances, whatever they may be. To trust that no matter the challenge or trial, I can gain something positive from the experience.

I never intended to spend only 6 weeks with my husband this year, but that is what happened. I learned to be happy anyway.

A Challenge for You this Christmas

This Christmas, whether you spend it alone or with family, remember to take the time to give thanks. You have so much to be grateful for. If you will look, you will see the hand of God in your life. You will recognise divine providence — the blessings that have come your way in 2017 were no accident.

Trust that God is there and will always be there. If you reach out to Him, you will come to know Him. And what a blessed Christmas that would be. To not only give and receive gifts, but to know Christ, the Son of God — the very reason for the season.

If you take the time this reason to reflect and give thanks, to look to your Heavenly Father and seek to know His son — you will have the most extraordinary Christmas. That is my promise to you!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Love always from your friend,

Tricia.

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An Unexpected Reunion

Two weeks ago I had an amazing experience. Helene, my friend from Sweden (I like to call her my Swedish Mom) visited me in Jamaica. The trip was not supposed to happen. Or at least, neither of us expected it. But circumstances aligned themselves and before long, her cruise ship docked in Freeport, Montego Bay and we were hugging and chatting while I tried to brush up on my Swedish.

At Doctor’s Cave Beach, we spoke a bit about how we met. It was back in 2010 when I was an exchange student. HelĂ©ne was the first person to chat with me that Sunday when I visited church in Sweden for the first time. She had a warm smile. She made me feel welcomed. Months later, I spend a few weeks in her home and got to know her even better.

Recently, while talking to my sister about my reunion with Heléne, she said,

“Tricia, you’re always meeting great people!”

It’s true. I’ve been blessed to meet amazing people and make wonderful friends. HelĂ©ne, is definitely one of them.

But I don’t think I am anything special (though I must admit, I’m naturally friendly). Really, we can all make connections and build friendships as we reach out a little bit more, and like HelĂ©ne, smile!

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Sis Barrett, A Legacy of Love

Tonight I want to pay a tribute to a dear sister of mine — a church sister. Her name is Millicent Barrett. But most people will think of her as Mother, Friend, a Hand that was always there, or a Smile never to be forgotten.

Her memory is tender to me. She was at my wedding, made my bouquet. She made sure all the decorations (and even her skirt) was lavender on my special day! Sis Barrett was my Young Woman President when I first joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I remember she gave me my first talk on modesty soon after I started visiting church.

She was gentle and kind — a woman who worked hard and did not complain. A woman with boundless energy who was always doing good.

When I returned to Jamaica with baby Niya in a time of stress and transition, she was one of two church sisters who came by to clean my house. You can’t imagine how happy I was for her service.

So when I heard the news I was devastated. On August 7, a day after she’d dropped me to the bus stop after church — I heard she’d been shot. About an hour later I got another call. She was dead.

I want to take this time to pay tribute to Sis Barrett. I want to take the time to talk about her legacy of love.

I also want to share how important it is for all of us to take the time to serve and never take one day for granted. I know we hear this message often with the death of a loved one.

But we are living in serious times. Let us all be prepared to live full lives despite the turmoils in the world around us. Let our hearts be full of love. Let’s add light to a world that often seems so dark with political, spiritual and ever-present conflict.

What acts of kindness will you give to those around you. I know I want to be more loving and giving because of the life Millicent Barrett lived.

Love,

Tricia.

 

 

Nuggets of Inspiration, Uncategorized

The Simple Things That Matter

What do you do when negative thoughts come your way? I choose not to entertain them. I have enough on my plate already, thank you.

It’s that simple.

Or at least that’s what I do when I can — on days like this when I’m simply grateful I put Niya to bed. And managed to cook. Work for client. Wash Niya’s whites. Clean. Organise. Study. Eat.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that matter — like being able to focus on the small things you did on days when you wish you could have done more.

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How I’ve Come to Know the Prince of Peace

In Jamaica, you know it’s Easter time when supermarkets start stocking up on Easter bun and cheese. Today I bought some myself, but telling you how good it was is not why I’m writing this post. I wanted to talk a little about Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we commemorate during this time of the year. I know many of us have heard of Him but I’d like to share how it feels to know Him personally.

Continue reading “How I’ve Come to Know the Prince of Peace”

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My Heart Is Full

I have come to a point in my life where I can say my heart is full. Today while I was sitting in church, I just felt this joy filling me up.

A lot of this joy has to do with Niya. I dressed her up in this cute outfit and was extremely excited to show her off.

But so much of my joy is centred on more than my present circumstance. Yes, I love being a mother and I feel she has expanded all that is good in me. But as I sat in church I really just felt at peace.

I wasn’t worrying. I wasn’t thinking of yesterday or tomorrow. I was living in the present, counting my blessings. It is the most wonderful feeling, having a full heart.

 

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Co-Sleeping Advice from a (Sometimes) Lonely Mama

When Niya was born, I remember getting tons of advice from the nurses in the hospital. These include one nurse sharing a scary story about a mom who was co-sleeping with her newborn and ended up smothering the baby (or crushing her… I can’t quite remember exactly). The nurse said, “Whatever you do, make sure you DO NOT fall asleep in bed with your baby. If you feel sleepy, put her in her crib, then go to bed.” Trouble was Niya came into the world a few weeks earlier than I expected — I didn’t even get the chance to set up the crib before being discharged from the hospital!

We co-slept for the first two weeks — there were problems with setting up the crib and I eventually was able to borrow a crib from my sister who lived nearby. After that, co-sleeping would occur quite by accident on those exhausting nights when I’d end up falling asleep while breastfeeding Niya.

She’d find a perfect position atop my sometimes naked chest, root for the nipple, latch… I’d look at her face with half-asleep eyes, not knowing when I drifted off to sleep. Then the morning light would seep through my window or I’d wake at the sound of Niya’s whimperings.

Co-sleeping has worked miracles though I must admit my ambivalence towards it didn’t change until my return to Jamaica. One of the benefits is the beautiful 5+ hours sleep that began about 2 weeks after Niya’s birth.

Thankfully, I’ve never experienced the kind of sleep-deprivation many other new mommies talk about. Nowadays at 3.5 months, Niya sleeps throughout the night for at least 10 hours… The fact that she’s right beside me makes it easy to simply pop my nipple in her mouth when she cries out in her sleep. She often feeds at least once in the night. We are both half-asleep during the process.

Of course, one of the main reasons I decided to officially accept co-sleeping — at least for now — is because it soothes the loneliness. Being away from her Daddy is tough. In the past year, we’ve spent a total of 7 months apart.

I love having her near me at nights, feeling her warmth when she turns and snuggles against me. (I told her Daddy a few nights ago how she sleeps just like me because when he’s home I often cuddle up to him and he ends up close to the edge of the bed. He used to say how I bruised his arms with all my snuggling. Haha! Poor soul.)

The best part of co-sleeping with Niya is waking up to see her smiling face (No, she actually grins… unlike her mommy who is definitely not a morning person).

If you are a new mother, don’t feel guilty for doing what works best for you! You have the right as mother of your baby to follow your gut and not be afraid. Of course, it’s best to follow wise counsel and to research your options but remember you carried that baby inside you for 9 months… Your hormones have coursed through her, your blood nourished her… You have that instinct to do what’s right for your baby and family.

Don’t be afraid! And good luck!

Love,

Tricia.