Post New Zealand 

I have debated writing a blog post about coming back to Canada and sharing my thoughts and feelings about the whole thing and I finally feel it is the right time. When Nate first told me he wanted to come back to Canada, I was in shock. I couldn’t argue with his logic but it shattered my picture of what our New Zealand adventure would look like. Once I had adjusted to the idea and we started making plans to return, I wrestled with the ‘why’ or purpose of God bringing us to New Zealand. What could possibly be the purpose of selling everything and giving up everything to go to New Zealand for Nate to work at the ski hill back in Canada?? It just didn’t make sense to me and then when every opportunity Nate pursed didn’t work, I felt terribly lost and confused. This was the driving reason we didn’t tell very many people we were returning to Canada because it was too painful and confusing to talk about. Now 5 weeks later, looking back I see that Nate working at the ski hill was never the plan. Slowly, over the next few weeks a new opportunity presented it self. Nate returned to Canada 9 days before me and was feeling discouraged at the prospect of returning to nursing. As we discussed what the future held, we once again returned to the idea of opening our own gym. It has been something we have tossed around for 1.5-2 years but the timing was never right. Now, once again we toyed with the idea. The more I considered it and prayed about it, the more it felt right and gave the whole New Zealand experience a new meaning and it didn’t feel like a waste. It pushed us to sell our house and pay off our car, it taught us how to live humbly and changed our expectation of what we ‘need’ and made us exponentially more grateful for all we have. It also took away the  crippling fear we had previously held about opening a business. When you compare selling everything and moving to A far away country and opening a business in your home town were if it all falls apart you can return to a previous career, the latter becomes significantly less scary. 

So here we are three weeks after returning home, setting up our gym and pursuing our dream. We have continued to workout at Kamloops CrossFit. I imagined this is confusing for some because wouldn’t we be the competition? The best part of CrossFit is the community, whether that’s in the gym or the community at large. Marshall (Kamloops CrossFit owner) has made us welcome and we felt the best way to make that authentic on our side and not just lip service, was to continue to be a part of the community. I am excited to see Kamloops have a genuine CrossFit community where the gyms can get together and have friendly competitions or do fundraisers together ect. 

My final thought  is a brief story of how the blessings we have received from others, allowed us to bless others in New Zealand. Now, I am not stupid or naive, I know money makes life way easier and solves many problems but I don’t believe in finding my security in it either. In the last three years, after Nate got sober and we turned our life around, I have witnessed so many miracles with regards to money and provision that I can safely say God has always provided for us. So when we left NZ, we decided to give away everything we owned. We could have tried to sell it and get some money but we chose instead to use it to help others. Let me tell you, this was far more rewarding then the money we may have earned. There are two stories that were particulary special. The first, was with regards to Kalani’s bike. We were in Queenstown and getting close to returning home, so we asked the CrossFit gym owner if there was someone who would benefit from receiving it. The man he suggested had a son about 5 yrs old and he worked three jobs, from early in the morning to very late at night and never complained and would probably really benefit from the bike. So Nate quietly took him outside and gave him the bike. The man didn’t say much but the next day he pulled Nate aside and told him how excited his son was to have the bike. In a time where I felt lost and confused these moments encouraged me that God ‘s plan was right on track. The experience that confirmed it for me is my next story. 

In Queenstown, there is a place called YWAM. I went to a YWAM in Australia and they are wonderful people who love God and do everything in their power to serve the community they are in. So we decided to donate our car to them. The missionaries at YWAM’s do not earn an income and must have sponsors to support them, so I know money is always very tight for them. The girl who received our car, told us she had been praying for a car for several months without any prospects and nothing she had done to fund raise was working. When she received the car, she told us it was such a miracle and blessing and confirmation she was in the right place and for us it confirmed we were on the right track. 

So that concludes the NZ adventures. 

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Are we crazy ?

I wonder what people will think when they read this blog post. Will they think we are crazy? Reckless? Stupid? Brave? Faithful? 

We have decided to move to a place called Wanaka, down on the South Island. We don’t have jobs or a place to live, all we know is that it feels like home there. We have come to see lately that it isn’t New Zealand that we dislike, it’s Auckland. It’s the feeling of claustrophobia because there are people crammed on top of people. I constantly have anxiety that someone will hit us because the roads are so busy and congested. There is no where for Kalani to ride his bike because you have to worry about traffic and we realized we don’t really love living near the ocean. This is huge for us, for as long a I can remember we thought we wanted to live near the ocean and some where warm but we actually like living near mountains and lakes. 

Not too long ago, Nate asked God to reveal his purpose to him because he realized nursing held no passion for him. He realized Nursing is basically the same no matter where you are and we wondered what God would reveal. So while we were in Queenstown skiing (which was a miracle in itself) Nate had this very powerful vision/revelation and remembered his long buried dream of working on the ski hill. He said it was as powerful and moving as when he became a Christian 3 years ago. Coincidently, the reason we weregoing to move to New Zealand 7 years ago, when we got our licenses was so he could work at a ski hill. During his revelation, he was actually quite moved and felt this may be the answer to his prayer for purpose. This would have never been an option in Kamloops because I would never have supported him in switching to a patrol job but here, there isn’t any reason not to try. While we were away in Queenstown, we really came to see that Auckland holds no purpose for us. We don’t feel called to anything there, on the contrary it has felt very oppressive. Nothing has seemed to work out, so what have we got to lose by leaving and trying something else. 

When we returned to Auckland after our trip and Nate’s revelation, we spent a lot of time praying for direction and guidance. I sought out the opinion of two friends, who I really trust. One suggested that maybe we were rushing and trying to force things. She spoke about some times we have to be in The desert before our hopes are realized. This was something that had occurred to me but it wasn’t until later in the day that I felt God showed me that Nate has been abiding in the desert for years, doing a job he has no passion for and ignoring the way he relates to people, which is through doing activities with them. When I shared this with Nate, he told me he came to New Zealand for me, to support me and he was trying to be selfless. It was why he agreed to come to Auckland, a place completely removed from the things he loves and the complete opposite of why we originally chose New Zealand. Finally, before I left Canada I distinctly heard God tell me that my job was to support Nate, at the time, he just brushed it off but now looking back I am starting to see a new path. The scripture that has been my rock for this entire journey has been ” trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

At this time neither one of us has a job or even an offer of a job. You could say we are moving on a hope and a prayer but isn’t that what faith is? Believing for what we don’t see or understand? Both of us would rather try and potentially fail and have to go back to Canada then ‘tough’ it out in Auckland because it is safe. We are already poor here and have gotten uses to living very humbling compared to Canada, so why not live and experience the New Zealand we came here to see. We will be very sad to leave our friends, our CrossFit and our church though but we are so thankful that God put those people in our life for our time in Auckland. 

Coromandel coast

We decided to get away for a few days to the Coromandel coast, specifically Hot water beach. We stayed at the holiday park, in a cute A frame cabin. The first evening we arrived around 3:30 and quickly stopped by the beach. It is a beautiful white sand beach with blue green water. 

Following check in, we went to the only place open to eat: called Puriangi winery. It was a rustic, local eatery that served a delisious wood fire pizza. We also played a game of Jenga and Kalani pet the very fat cat. There was another cat that Kalani described as having “angry” eyes but it turned out it was very old and had weepy eyes. It did look like it had “angry” eyes. That evening we watch kiwi TV for the first time and about 2 hours of news. We have not  watched the news since arriving and basically have no idea what is going on in the country. Sad I know. 

On the second day, we went to the only other place to eat for breakfast. Afterwards, we headed over with our shoves to the hot water beach. It took us a bit to figure out where it was but once the tide got low enough we started digging. Nate dug a nice sized hole near the top of the beach. The water was so hot sometimes that it would burn your skin. We layed in our pool for about an hour and a half. Other people started to come by and were eye Ing up our hole, enviously. It was really quite amazing to be relaxing in a nature hot pool within metres of the ocean. Nate and I even went swimming a few times when we got too hot. Now remember people, it is the middle of winter here and this morning we awoke to our car being totally frosted up. 

After lunch, we headed over to Cathedral cove. A famous cove for its exquisite beauty. Now the walk says its 35 min but of course we ran the entire way down and back. Kalani also decided he wanted to do sprint intervals on the way back. We are weird and impatient. The cove was very beautiful and picturesque. I have includes some pictures on facebook but they just do not do it justice. 

Our last day we spent most of the morning and lunch time at Hot Water beach. I had a very weird experience while we were there. I got such bad cramps that I actually had to stop walking and couldn’t move because they were so painful. There was a point were I felt like I might black out from pain or throw up. I have been fortunate in my life and not had much physical pain but I felt like I was in labour again. This was coupled with a cold I caught the day we left. I made it much worse though by getting so chilled today  walking in a bathing suit to and from the car. It sounds crazy but I could barely walk my body hurt so badly from being so cold. I obviously had a fever and I just got sicker following that. I can easily say that it is the sickest I have ever been as an adult. My body was on fire but I still felt cold, not exactly how I wanted to finish my time there. It also did a number on my mental state. We are all feeling a bit home sick and feeling terrible didn’t help. 

Caring for those sensitive types 

Most of us have likely encountered some one who we would classify as being ‘overly sensitive’ or maybe ’emotionally needy’. These people can be very draining and some time require a lot of support. I should know, I am one. I have known for a few years that I am considered an empath, but I really had a light go on while reading a parenting magazine. The article talked about sensitive children and how they need help to deal with all the stimulus they experience in a day and how overwhelming dealing with other people’s emotional energy can be. As I read it, I thought, this is me. It explains why I find certain people overwhelming, like my son, but was never quite able to pin point what the reason was. I felt like a horrible parent because I do need breaks from him, with his constant talking and moving. It helped me understand why I found my job so draining and seemed to need more down time then other people. 

I have always felt things very deeply and can seemingly “feel” another person’s pain. To many people, that may sound weird but when I meet another empath, they know exactly what I mean. I found this quote that described an empath “empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything, sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world”  by Judith Orloff M.D. Or this description ” you either are an empath or you aren’t. It isn’t a trait that is learned. You are always open, so to speak, to process other people’s feelings and energy, which means that you really feel, and in many cases take on the emotions of others”. I think empath’s were created to be intimately in tune to our bodies, our environment and fellow human beings. 

Both of these descriptions capture fairly accurately, how it feels to feel, so intensely and to “feel” another’s emotional energy. This usually manifests itself by me crying for someone or being able to discern subtle changes in another’s emotional energy. I am that person who cries at every church service or in any touching commercial. I uses to hate it but now I just let myself cry. I have avoided giving my testimony at church though because I would cry too much.I also believe it is part of the reason why I go through periods of being very flat and feeling somewhat numb. It’s almost like my mind/body is giving me a break from ‘feeling’ so intensely, that I go through periods of being numb. 

 I often don’t stand up for myself, out of concern for the other person and how my actions/words might make them feel or look to others. This is something I struggle with because it leaves me feeling powerless. I have had to learn to have better boundaries because I want to help people but at the detriment to myself. 

So how do you care or support someone who is sensitive? 

1. Be there to listen and support, sometimes a lot. Since we have moved, I have had ups and downs.  Nate listens and encourages me. He let’s me have little melt downs because sometimes it just gets to be too much for me to contain. Some days, I think I must be draining for him to constantly encourage and I ask myself why am I not emotionally tougher. But I believe that by possessing the gifts of being an empath, I must also live with the negative side of feeling so intensely. That being said, it doesn’t mean I can’t learn to control my emotions better or that I am not trying to. It is always a work in progress to be more conscious of my thoughts, feelings and my power to change them. 

2. Give them space and don’t take it personally. I find I need alone time to regroup, especially if I have just worked a lot or spent a lot of time with people. Also, some times when I walk into a room or the gym, I feel overwhelmed and need a moment to organize myself before I go visit with people. I can see how this might be perceived as being snobby or bitchy but that’s not the reason. 

3. Encourage healthy coping mechanisms. It is a lot of work to deal with your own emotions, then add on trying to deal with the emotional energy of other people as well. As a teenager, I would use food to cope with the overwhelmingly, intense feelings I was experiencing which I didn’t know how to cope with. It gradually developed into an binge eating disorder, which took me years to overcome and move past from. A few years ago, I did a 12 step program called Freedom Sessions. It is for any one finding they are having trouble with life. It taught me healthy ways to cope, forgive and live in general. I highly recommend it to everyone, as it has something for everyone. 

One month

A month has gone by. We are settled in for the most part now. I have been taking this time to really try to suss out what God want or has for me and us here. There are a few avenues that I have been interested in for awhile but I just never had the time back in Canada to explore them. The first is expanding my Crossfit coaching abilities and eventually going for my level 2 and 3 certifications. For now, I am focusing on just being a part of the community and being consistent in my training. My log book is full of long periods where my training has been interrupted due to various reasons. I am looking forward to having a solid chunk of time where I train consistently and compete in a couple local competitions. There is “heaps” of opportunities for local competitions here. The second is having a dedicated website for my blog. I am in the process of building it right now, so watch for that soon. I have checked out the “website building” for dummies book and well on my way. I am hoping to release it before my old age security pension kicks In. My final venture is becoming a wellness advocate for doTERRA essential oils. As many of you know I love trying new and natural things and using essential oils has been one of my favourites. This is something I wanted to do back in Canada but it just never worked out. It also fulfills another interest I have had for a long time, which is to have a personal business. You can check out the products through my doTERRA website http://www.mydoterra.com/ablessedlife/#. The best way to purchase product is to enrol as a Wellness Advocate because it enables you to get wholesale prices and only costs you 39$ a year. If you purchase an enrolment kit the membership fee is waived and if you set up a regular monthly order of 100pv or more you increase your overall discount the longer you have a regular monthly order. 

  
The reason I choice to go with doTERRA is the high standard of quality and level of purity required for their products. Essential oils have replaced most of my personal hygiene regime. They can be used for cooking, cleaning, aromatherapy, minor physical ailments and about 100+ other reason but they are not all created equal. Most essential oils are filled with fillers and chemical contaminants and SHOULD NOT BE INGESTED! If you think about herbs and plants that we use everyday in cooking and medicine it seems obvious that you would only want 100% of that plant or herb! Not 70% plus other chemical and filters. I often think about this concept when I read food labels and the sandwich meat says its 60% pork. Um what is the other 40%? The doTERRA products undergo rigorous purity testing before they are released. This is a link if anyone would like more information about their testing. http://www.doterra.com/#/en/ourProducts/why. The last reason I love them is they are very very concentrated! A little goes a long way and in my opinion that saves me money, especially if I calculate the cost of the bottle per drop or In comparison to a trip to the pharmacy. 

Okay..enough about that. 

In other news around the Jones home, Kalani has finished term 2 and has two weeks off to hang out. He dove head first into school so far and is really enjoying it. We have met a nice family who also lives near by and the kids go to the same school and like to hangout after church. They have a tramp as well, so Kalani is extra pumped to play smashing games with the older boy. Kalani informed us, in his most authoritative voice, that dogs talk too but by barfing at each other. As you can imagine Nate and I immediately began imitating what this might look like, to Kalani’s annoyance. You have to bug them when you can, seriously people. 

In regards to driving I have not accidentally hit the wipers while trying to use the signal, in quite some time. This was usually followed by Kalani telling me in a very exasperated voice ” mom you put the wipers on Again!” Oh really did I? I hadn’t noticed between the wipers going at full blast and trying to shove my arm out the window to use hand signals. Okay that never happened..maybe only once. Although if I look at an empty street I can’t remember which side I should be on, luckily they have many signs and arrows indicating which side or where to drive. I also spend less time with a blank look on my face trying to decipher what was just said to me. Sometimes the kiwi accent and slang takes me a moment to understand. 

We continue to eat a lot of rice and potatoes. Nate and I joke about how many different ways can you make them. It just may be my next blog post.  I am also still drinking my two giant cups of plunger coffee and have not switch to the tiny ones. I have found that NZ has a lot of gluten free products which is great but they use corn instead. I have a bad corn allergy and spent about three days in pain last week  until I had a cup of bone broth. It was literally amazing. I had been pain all day and immediately after had no more pain. I was so thankful. Side note – if you haven’t checked out the benefits of bone broth head to one of the paleo or autoimmune paleo website for a full explanation. http://balancedbites.com/2011/04/easy-recipe-mineral-rich-bone-broth.html

Well folks that about does it for this post. If any of you is interested in essential oils send me an email and we can chat. They are great for use in gyms, spas, massage therapy clinics or any type of health or wellness business or just for personal use. I am also interested to hear what people might like to see on my website. 

Hello all from New Zealand. It has been sunny and cool here, which is fine with me. I can handle cold dry weather like a champ, it’s the rain that gets me. I am thankful for the sunny weather though because my emotions have been up and down. This is not unexpected, there is a fairly predictable emotional response to moving and change but it has still been a bit of a roller coaster up and down. Moving here we gave up a lot of material comforts and luxuries which hasn’t  bothered me at all, in fact I have enjoyed not having a new car that I feel the need to clean all the time and worry about denting and scratching.  I have what I need with out any excess.. Mostly because there isn’t room for excess! That being said, I have found it very hard adjusting to food prices and my expectations around the quality of food I can afford. For a long time now, my life has revolved around food, changing food habits and learning to cook real, unprocessed, whole food. I spent a very long time having pain, stomach aches and stomach upset because of the foods I ate and finally found relief with a paleo style diet but the foods and supplies I had become accustom to in Canada are very expensive and limited in their availability here. I have spent a lot of time and effort educating myself about the affects of foods on our body and it is very hard for me not to have the best quality or same quality of foods that I used in Canada. I can be a bit all or nothing sometimes so finding a middle ground can be challenging for me.  I salute the cafes and people here who eat all organic, free range ect ect but I just can’t do it and still do other things. In my ignorance, I believed that with Nate working full time and having fewer bill we would have more money but we don’t so I will adjust.  It is kind of ironic that for so long all I wanted was the time to be free to cook and bake and now that i do I don’t have the equipment( no stove, food processor, ect) or supples.  Oh well, these are not problems with solutions they are just tensions to be managed because I can’t change the cost of food here and we still have to eat. So I am working to adjust my expectations and keep moving forwards. 

This is not the first time I have moved away and I know that there would be times where I felt sad and others when I felt happy and excited about our new life. At this point I don’t miss home, I know that stage will come later though. We are so lucky that from the moment we got here we had a church and Crossfit gym to go to. It is like an instant community. I have even had two deep conversations that went beyond the surface level “hi how are you” type thing. I LOVE meaningful and deep conversation. It energizes me and gives me a senses of fulfillment in life. I am excited to hear more people’s stories and struggles because ever since I did freedom session I am ruined for small talk. But with being new there is a lot of small talk, which can’t be helped. 

I am feeling more settled this week so I have spent a lot of time praying and asking God, “why did you bring us here? ” ” what is our purpose?” ” what am I supposed to be doing?”. I have not had any lighting bolts of inspiration or burning bushes of direction yet though. This verse helps me feel more patient and settled

” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight” Proverbs 3:5-6.

While in Canada I considered pursuing coaching Crossfit more but that’s easier said then done while on the other side of the world. So I wait and enjoy my time away from work and do mom stuff like pack lunches, pick and drop off Kalani, do homework, gulp copious amounts of coffee and hang out at Crossfit. Some days when I feel like it I go and explore new areas and eat yummy food or go walk by the ocean. So well I feel frustrated with things here I try to go do something I couldn’t have done back home and it helps remind me of what I have here. I am trying to help Kalani with these concepts as well because at times he is struggling with the differences in how things used to be and how they are now as well. Although some things are just life lessons, like when he tells me he has yet to make a friend at school and he feels lonely. This of course breaks my heart but we all have been the new kid at some point and we all have to learn to push through and how to deal with our feelings in healthy ways. For us, we have spent time praying with him for friends and for God to help him be himself and continue to be friendly and cheerful even when other children aren’t. 

To end this post I have picked a few things that are different to share with my Canadian friends

1. They use 24 hr clocks for everything. Love this. There is no mixing up am and pm on your alarm clock.

2. They call the trunk of your car the boot and shopping carts are called trolleys.

3. They have many unique and one of a kind stores here. There is not a lot of chains or franchise type stores here so it means your supporting a local business or family when you purchase from them. 

4. Morning tea is like snack time. It’s a good thing my mom informed me of this because I can be very literal sometimes and probably would have sent Kalani with a thermos of tea. Duh I guess I am still blonde no matter where we are  

           

Adventures in shopping

Well it’s been five days since we arrived in New Zealand. This post is mostly about shopping and the price of certain things because that’s the bulk of what I have been doing and yes some of it will come across as complaining but I like to think of it as more of lamenting with a touch of humour and most of what I say is meant to be entertaining. 

 I am slowly acclimatizing to the chilly damp air and I am only freezing about 60% of the time. I have purchased a wool duvet which is heavenly and warm. While searching for the perfect warm blanket, I discovered that cotton anything, especially sheets seems to be like gold except rarer and more expensive. I luckily found some for like 90% of the original 130$ price tag. Our place is mostly setup now. I had forgotten how expensive it is to set up a home and have mourned the loss of nice cook utensils. We bought one of those all in one boxes of kitchen utensils which came with some knives. Well Nate broke the blade off the handle while pulling one of the knives out of the block so we upgraded to some better quality. After that, I was feeling so impressed with my new, very sharp knives that I promptly sliced my finger really good while trying to cut carrots. This also taught me the importance of a good cutting board In the prevention of injury. It was about this time I realized I have no idea what number to call for emergency help and FYI it’s 111 just in case your in NZ and have an emergency.

Kalani will be starting school on Monday at an English school near our house. We had originally planned for him to do French but decided against it for a couple reasons. First, he would only be doing preschool until next February and according to the school system here he is already behind. The children do kindergarten when they are 4 and start school when they are 5. Secondly, I felt if he did French he would spend the first several months just focused on trying to learn French and not the other parts of school like learning to read. His class would have been totally French and most other kids already spoke fluent French. The French school here is not French immersion like in Canada but just a French speaking classroom. If in the future we really want him to do French we could look into late immersion in Canada which I have heard is actually a better way for children to learn a second language. So with that decision made we enrolled him in school and paid for his very expensive uniform. I am hoping there is some mom group I can join with second hand uniforms because just Kalani’s polar fleece was 60$. He will need special shoes as well and from what I can tell they all look like those hideous geriatric Velcro/leather style shoes. Barf in my mouth. 

In other recents events I caved and ate a delicious caramel square. It was amazing but then my stomach hurt for an hour after. Kiwi’s love their baked goods and very tiny coffees. There is no such thing as a vente, I may have to track down a Starbucks and have a likely 8$ coffee because I like to gulp my coffee and not sip it. 

Kalani did his first Crossfit kids class which he thoroughly enjoyed. He ran around for about an hour and then promptly continued on with our wod of hill sprints, KB swings and dips but he only did hill sprints for the entire 22 mins. He has charmed some of the ladies at the gym with his gymnastics abilities and crazy antics. 

My final comments is on the used goods site called Trade Me. NOT A FAN. I am sure someone will be upset with me for saying that but Everything is sold auction style and in my opinion sells for way too much. Just have a set price people! Also I am not sure what happens if you buy something and then see it and decide it is not worth the price or not what the picture showed. 

That’s all for now but I am sure in a few weeks the things I am writing about now will be normal and I will have learned to sip coffe instead of gulp it and be a super savy uniform shopper and discovered that I am paying too much for many things at the wrong places because I just don’t know any better 🙂