Meet your Newest Craft Guru + 3 Tips of Encouragement

You can now call me the master of crafts and circle time! This has been a crazy time with changing up schedules and losing childcare options. I have now stepped into full time teacher, entertainer, craft guru, while still managing the normal workflow. I know that I am not alone in this as I have been getting calls, texts and seeing many posts all over social media with the same “new schedule”.

Before I move on, I would like you to admire my craft wall my kids and I have created.

OK, thank you for that moment! Now I will give myself a pat on the back, continue to take deep breaths every other hour and navigate another week of creativity. (Thank goodness for google and good friends. What did mothers do before the internet??)

With all that said, I wanted to show up today to continue to encourage all of you, both mothers and fathers, who are navigating home and work life balance during this uncertain time. First, know you are not alone and know that there is no such thing as perfect parents. So, if you are seeing all the well curated posts with pictures displaying the perfect home-school room, well behaved kids and beautiful well thought out activities – PLEASE do not compare yourself to those pictures. I guarantee you on the other side of that perfect picture is a mama getting impatient with her kiddos not posing exactly how she wants, or better yet, a pile of clutter sitting behind her that accumulated 5 seconds before the picture so she could have the room look beautifully organized.

OR maybe not, but I am going to go with yes – the picture is not displaying the whole story, so stop comparing and know your children love you no matter if you make a noodle necklace, draw stick figures on a paper or run in circles all day. THEY STILL LOVE YOU.

We are all perfectly imperfect, so embrace that and know you are doing great!

Now, before I waddle (34 weeks pregnant here) to my kiddos, I have 3 tips to leave you with today in the midst of this pandemic.

1. See the good
We can choose to be inundated by the bad and negative especially in regard to everything going on around us, but strive to see the silver lining and see the good of today. You have an intentional choice to make. You can find the negative and heartache of the world and continue to complain about the new routines or see the good in the midst of it all. Find gratitude and learn to welcome it into your heart.

2. Give yourself Grace
This is a time that is not our normal and we have to start to give ourselves a lot of grace in every little moment. Allow yourself to feel your emotions and not to just push them away. I have found that many of my friends are on a roller coaster with their emotions. One moment they are feeling great and in an instant, they feel overwhelmed with what is actually happening in the world. Let your emotions go, and know again, you are not in this alone. Trust me on this one.

3. Love Deeply
This is a time where we can show up as mother, wife (father, husband), friend, and neighbor. Although we have to be at a distant and we are all navigating this new, temporary way of living – let us still show up for one another.
We are in this together.

From one mama to another – taking it one day at a time,

Loving Deep Through the Unknown

In the last couple of days I have found myself thinking a bit longer at night and waking up in the morning truly wondering what the day will bring. I am used to a bit more routine – not necessarily in my physical schedule, but mentally, internally. I find that one moment I am, “okay – we got this” and another moment, I am wondering, “what is happening? and how is what I am doing right now significant?”

Sometimes when there is so much unknown that is thrown at us in every direction, it seems as if everything else seems a bit obsolete and of no importance in the moment, but that headspace is not good to stay in. It is toxic and sadly, I think many of us are struggling with falling in and out of this space. We are having extreme highs and lows as we are all trying to navigate what is happening in the world. As we figure out new routines of being at home, distancing and just creating a new normal of balance – we still have a bit of uncertainty and this sense of loss in our souls.

We have lost independence, we have lost freedoms, we have lost the ease and convenience of minimal tasks, and we have lost a bit of our sanity and consistent structure. The truth is, that is probably the reality of most of you reading this, but I want to shed light on what is for the rest of the world.

The idea of distancing is nearly impossible when you have a family of ten and live in a slum where a curtain separates you from the next family. The idea of staying behind closed doors in the safety of your home is not ideal when if there is no work for that day then there is absolutely no food coming home to your family. Many communities around the world are actually not afraid of catching the virus itself, they are afraid of going hungry.

So, as I sat on my back steps last night, I overlooked the Indian ocean and for the first time in a long time watched the sun set over the horizon. I closed my eyes, took deep breaths and did what all I had strength to do – I prayed.

What do we do for our community in a situation like this? How do we come alongside the people we love so much? How do we love big, wide and deep in a situation that is beyond our knowledge, control or understanding?

I do not have those answers, but what I do know is that I will continue to show up, press in and speak up for those who are afraid to.

I will continue to advocate for what is needed and continue to love as deep as I can even when it is scary.

To all of you who feel insignificant or lost today, know you are not alone and truly, take it day by day.

We are in this together and together we are only stronger, so let us pick up our heads and walk forward being as fully present as we can.

Taking it day by day,

Also, if you made it this far.. I want to acknowledge the elephant in the room and be real with you. These are times unlike any we’ve ever seen before — which also gives us the opportunity to come alongside each other in powerful new ways, embracing one another from a far.

As the founder of Imani Collective, I know that I need you. Our collective needs you. And we are only better together.

I would love for you to watch the video below and see how you can be more involved with loving deep.
Know that by giving today, you are helping us walk with our artisans and their families and for that,
we are forever grateful.

Stay safe my friends. This time shall pass and when we get to the other side of this, I can’t wait to look back and stand in awe of the beautiful picture we created of coming together as a global community. We are in this together.

For more information on where to give to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, visit:
https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/covid-19-relief-for-106-artisans-in-kenya/