Sharing our faith can be hard sometimes. We want to do it in love, but sometimes we just straight up offend people. It's a hard balance! We never want to be shy about our faith, but we also want to do it in a way that makes other people feel loved.
Here's a few thoughts and experiences I've had at successfully sharing what I believe with honesty, while valuing and honoring other's perspectives.
Listen in above.
I'm here with another podcast episode.....finally!
We took a month off to get us through the summer and some of the speaking engagements we had, and now we're back on track with a FRESH new name. So since most of our podcast is focused on family, we renamed it to Antos in Love. This was our wedding hashtag, and so we thought it'd be fun to refurbish it. Our podcasts will feature Ryan a whole lot more, our family, and our travels as we raise Amelia.
For this episode, I loved chatting with my brother Dillon. He is 22 and a man of many talents. He currently lives in a 400sf apartment in downtown San Francisco, and is freelancer in videography, photography, & audio engineering. He is a nomadic minimilist who's traveled extensively, loves meeting new people, and has a knack for the art of conversation. He's had some crazy experiences (one may or may not have been working for the government. ;)
Take a listen to hear us chat about being afraid and taking risks anyway, why being a good conversationalist is so important to loving people, and some inspiration from his travels! This episode was recorded a little wonky, so forgive some of the sound issues. We're hoping your ears have lots and lots of grace. ;) <3
Follow Dillon at www.instagram.com/dillonwehde
No, but honestly, Amelia was so awesome. We were so excited to take her on our 2 week speaking tour of California. At 2.5 months old, she earned her first wings, taught us a lot, and honestly was such a good traveler. We loved getting the opportunity to travel and fly with a baby. The world is so new and precious when you watch your baby experience it for the first time. :)
Check out our podcast below to hear some of our stories from the trip and our best tips for traveling with a babe. Or read on if you're more of a reader. ;)
1. Pack light
We tried to fit everything we needed in one checked bag and a carry one. Somehow, we did it! (and if you travel a lot, you know this is hard!) :)
Our packing list for Amelia looked like this:
5 onesies (variation of long sleeve/short sleeve)
A couple pants
1 pair of bloomers
1 nursing wrap doubling as a blanket
*I wish we brought a pillow to lay her on for plane rides, but I stole my mom's ;)
Babies are resilient and don't need much other then love and cuddles. We just re-washed her clothes wherever we went and made do. It was SO nice not having so much stuff!
2. Have margin
Let's be honest, it WILL be different traveling with a baby. So plan ahead that things will take longer and give yourself margin. There is NOTHING worse then running around frantically, worried you'll be late to your flight, heavy bags in tow, with a screaming baby. Get places early, leave early, and know that you have to account for feedings, poop explosions, and extra cuddles.
For instance, we had to nurse Amelia quite a lot when we drove into Yosemite because of the elevation change and ears popping. This meant we had to pull over to nurse often. We could have been frustrated because it was taking twice as long, but we chose to leave early so we could enjoy the scenery and not feel rushed.
3. Check your car seat/stroller
This was a LIFESAVER for us. Some facts about bringing a car seat and stroller that I didn't know:
- It's free to gate check both and doesn't count against your luggage count.
- Airport staff are usually SUPER helpful if they see you with a baby and stroller.
- With a small babe, you can usually board the plane earlier to get situated.
- You don't have to bring that strange clicky-booster seat type thing that your car seat clicks into at home. I was freaking out about that, but realized you can JUST bring the car seat and seatbelt it into any car.
- They have AWESOME little stroller and car seat covers at Walmart & Target for gate checking. This ensures it doesn't get gross or banged up. Check them out here.
- If you can't travel with a swing (which is most of us), the car seat was an awesome alternative to lay her in when we were out and about, hanging in the living room, or outside. She could watch us all and I could manually rock it to put her to sleep. More work, yes. But great alternative to not have to bring a 10lb swing.
- Getting a resiliant stroller was AWESOME because we took it all through out Yosemite and Marin Headlands. Helped give our backs a break!
Renting a car seat is always an option, but they can be around $10 a day, which would have been considerably more expensive. We loved having our's to provide her a consistent safe place that smelled like home and helped her sleep!
4. Flying tips
- Babies can be lap infants until 2 years old. We did not add Amelia to our reservation mistakenly and many of the airport staff told us we should have (we didn't see a spot for it). They let us through, but make sure to do this upfront! It doesn't cost you, but ensures they know you have an infant.
- For domestic flights (at least for us), you don't need proof of identity for baby. We brought her birth certificate just in case, but we were never asked for it. For our international flight in the fall, she did need a passport.
- As mentioned above, mommas with small babes can often board sooner. Ask the desk when you go to gate check your stroller and car seat
- If you're traveling with your babe as a lap infant, bring a pillow for the flight. Not having one was hard, but then we borrowed my mom's and she could lay right across Ryan and my laps comfortably. This was so much easier!
- Nurse during take off and landing to help soothe and create natural ear popping
- Babies love bright colors (especially red) so Auntie Cassidy watched the Lion King with her and she loved it. :)
5. Have an extra outfit and diaper on you at all times
This is in case of big poop explosions! Amelia happened to have one when we landed in L.A. It was a DOOZY! Poop smeared all up Ryan's arms and hands. We had to sit in the plane with said poop all over us as people got off. It was actually pretty funny. The bathrooms were all full in our terminal, so we ended up changing her on our hard top suitcase. We had diapers, but I realized that the extra outfit I packed was newborn size and she didn't fit into it anymore. So we had to wrap her in our nursing wrap/blanket and bring her to the airbnb as a little nakey babe. Oh well! Lesson learned. ;)
6. Travel with friends + family
We had most of our family with us and they made it SO much easier. When she had that poop explosion, they helped grab diapers and wipes. When we had to run to the store, they watched her for us. Extra hands that love your babe are so reassuring and helpful for your peace of mind. So, if you're making your baby's first big trip, we definitely recommend going with some people that love you and your baby! (and people don't mind screaming every now and then. ;)
7. Be chill
A couple rules for traveling with a baby that you have to live by.
- Things aren’t the end of the world. A poop explosion won't kill you or her. Find ways to laugh about it.
- Don't care what people think. Babies cry and most people have had one before. Apologize and be polite when needed, and then just let your kiddo do their thing. Don't be embarrassed. Most of the time, other people have been where you've been and feel for you!
- Babies are resilient. They've been surviving for thousands of years in so many different environments. This doesn't mean be stupid, but don't be fearful of everything. Yes, bad stuff happens, but bad stuff happens at home too. And A LOT more good happens. For me, I'd rather be out traveling with my baby and living life, then worrying at home that something will happen. As long as you're paying attention to their well being, feeding, changing, and helping them sleep (and giving them lots of affection), they are generally A okay!!
Happy Traveling, friends!
Check out my new podcast on Finding Balance below! Or, if you're more of a reader, read the blog post. :)
I’m so excited you’re here today because we’re chatting about something super important to me....and that thing is BALANCE.
In prior seasons, I had no idea how important balance really was. I thought because “I was juggling well,” it meant I was balancing well. But balancing and juggling are different.
Juggling is chaotic and stressful. You may be keeping the balls in the air, but you have to do a lot of external movement to get them up and off the ground. Balance is peaceful. The external movement is much less, and thus eliminates the chaos from your life.
Anyone else want less chaos in their life?? For sure!
If you’ve listened to my past podcasts, you know where that lifestyle led me. It led me to being a workaholic who was anxious and drowning in feelings and emotions that controlled me. NO THANKS.
Currently, I help run the operations of my company, Trades of Hope. I am home a couple days a week working WHILE taking care of my babe. I run my Instagram, photography, blog, and podcast for fun. I did much of the above mentioned while finishing school a few years ago. At this moment in my life, I am so fulfilled, mostly because I've learned the art of balance.
When I was dealing with some hard stuff, God kept bringing the word SHALOM to my mind. A word commonly used by the Jewish people, it is a thread that runs through the Bible in so many ways. And it is the core of how God operates...a peace that brings completion and wholeness.
That became my word for my life (I know it’s probably cliché, but it helps me). Because I want to be whole. When you’re whole, you don’t lean to extremes. You don’t rest TOO much that you lose your purpose and drive. And you don’t work too much where you lose your sense of community and balance. Whole. Nothing missing. Balancing each facet of life in a way that is not too much and not too little. Now, we’re never going to be perfect. But If I realize that God wants this SHALOM for me, I can walk in balance.
So in thinking about this topic, I identified 5 areas that really helped me shed the old mindset of juggling and adopt this mindset of BALANCE.
The first one was:
1. PRIORITIZE VALUES
I talk about this a lot, but values drive us as individuals. And we all have different ones. I could come here and tell you “do this or do that…” but if that THING does not bring you joy, it won’t work.
Before being balanced, you need to know what your values are. What are the FIVE things you have time for in your week? Unfortunately, it’s not everything. But you can do everything YOU value, because we make time for what we value.
We’re only on this earth for a short time, so I’m not going to waste it by doing something that sucks my soul dry. I’m going to spend my life doing things that make me come alive!
Just to give you an example – here are my priorities and the things I make time for each week:
Community & Friends
Work & Aspirational Goals
Spiritual Life & Downtime
Ryan & Amelia
You can’t do it all. But you have enough in your week to do the right things. Make them the things you love.
2. MAKE A PLAN. HAVE DISCIPLINE TO STICK TO IT.
I’ll be honest with you. In love, some of ya’ll just need more discipline in your life and some of your problems will be answered.
Making a plan for the week is ESSENTIAL to making sure I get the right amount of time with the 5 priorities in my life.
Some people will say to me ‘well I’m just spontaneous” or “I don’t like to be overly planned.” But when you're intentional in your day, you actually have TIME to be spontaneous.
Dream setting has its place, work has its place, rest has its place, and spontaneity has its placed.
So once a week, a sit down with my project management app and I plan my week. I use the app basecamp. I block out each day, and plan what I WANT to do at each time. It doesn’t always happen exactly that way, but it gets pretty close and I get to accomplish what I want, spend time with my baby and loved ones, and end the day on a restful note.
When you plan, you can compartmentalize. When you compartmentalize, you can work when you need to work. And then you can spend time with your family without stressing about other things.
Planning gives you the ability to compartmentalize.... which in turn gives you the freedom to live present again.
Making decisions for short term happiness leads to long term regret. Set your values and plan your days according to your values. The beginning will be painful and require a lot of discipline. But in the long term, you will realize that it gets easier and easier to balance, stay committed, and live the life you dreamed.
3. ELIMINATE TIME WASTERS
To make a plan and stick to it, you have to eliminate the things you’re doing that cause what I call ‘spill-over’ into other areas life.
Social media scrolling – anyone? Ever started scrolling through your insta feed and look up and see that an hour has gone by. Yeah, me too. It’s not a good feeling. That is a spillover activity.
Put a time limit on it. I block out a 20 minutes at the end and beginning of the day to scroll, post, and engage in my friend’s posts. Another thing that is a time waster is allowing others to dictate your day. Waiting for people to comment on your photos on social media, waiting for emails to come in, waiting for someone to come talk to you at the water cooler, chatting it up in the office with whoever can talk.
None of these are bad things, and we need relational time in our life, but too much leads to you meeting everyone else’s need, wants, or tasks, and not moving any of your tasks forward. You’ll end the day feeling like none of your goals progressed.
Don't work out of the pressure of whatever is right in front of you.
Work out of pressure = low capacity. If you work on everyone else’s time table, you will always be a low capacity person.
Stop freaking out about disappointing everyone & have grace for yourself
In order to eliminate time wasters, we need boundaries. To have boundaries, we have to disappoint some people. And then we have to have GRACE for ourselves.
I used to feel SO guilty when I would say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that.” Or “Not this week” or “Can we schedule a meeting at 1pm instead of chatting now?”
But now that I see how it’s revolutionized my life, how much more intentional I am, how much I can get done WHILE still having time for people….I don’t feel guilty anymore.
You see, being intentional has actually given me MORE time with my family and friends.
But you have to be okay disappointing some of them up front. Explain kindly that you’re trying to be more disciplined with your time and that you’d like to have some time on X date (and then actually, intentionally set aside time for that person.)
And most of all – have grace for yourself! You can’t do it all. Honestly you cant. The people that seem like they can are making sacrifices not to do certain things. The difference between you and them is that they are probably sacrificing the things they don’t value to do the things they DO value.
And you may be saying YES to the things you don’t value and sacrificing what you DO value.
5. CHANGE YOUR LANGUAGE
I'm going to be honest for a second here. It's a pet peeve when people tell me that they are just ‘so stressed and so busy.’
Look, some people really are, especially in certain seasons. Seasons of illness, childbirth, overwhelm, etc. And that’s okay. But if you’re touting your busyness as a badge of honor because you’ll feel LESS than others if you don’t say you’re busy, that’s silly.
I find that busyness makes us feel good. But it’s empty. So stop using busyness as an excuse. People make time for the things they value. If you value watching endless amounts of Netflix on the couch, then do it. But if you don’t value it, don’t do it. And for goodness gracious, stop telling everyone you’re so busy doing things that don’t even make you happy!
What you speak, you become. If you speak juggling, stress, and chaos over your life, your life will feel like that. If you speak wholeness, peace, and intentionality over your life, that is the fruit you will produce.
Remember friends, we don’t have to juggle. Juggling is chaos. We can balance. Balance is not an extreme in either direction, rather it is a way to have a little bit of everything we love, allowing us to feel whole and complete.
Check out our most recent podcast for the FIVE things you didn't know about us! Some of them are pretty goofy.
(One of them may or may not include Ryan singing country music. ;)
This podcast is very near to my heart and was incredibly hard to share. For so long, I've been afraid to even speak of this season of my life that I struggled with panic and anxiety. I was fearful that by even speaking the names of these things, they would be triggered to return.
But I truly know that I am healed and that stories of healing are meant to be shared. Have grace with this podcast. I am rambly and a little disorganized, but it's because I'm emotional and it's all so personal.
I believe that by putting biblical and logical concepts of discipline in place, we can manage anxiety and find peace. But my 4th point is the most crucial and life changing for me. I believe that by the power of Jesus and his Holy Spirit, I found the true and absolute healing I was looking for.
Please listen if you or someone you know deals with anxiety and have grace for my bumbling words. I pray something in here resonates with you and helps you understand concepts that could help you.
During this time, I wrote the below words as a way to remind myself that there was healing from all the pain. I wrote a lot during that time, and never shared most of it, so I might little by little post it here. Kind of scary to me, but it's also healing.
I’d always grown up believing the best of the world, seeing it with rose colored glasses.
But darkness scraped off my childishness, removing my skin, rendering it ashes.
I had a choice
To sit, to remember, to anger, to condemn
Or I could re-grow that skin, painfully stronger than it had been.
So you know what I did?
My skin grew back, tough and more rosey than ever before.
I have a power inside of me that spoke to the darkness ‘no more.’
‘You do not have to be broken to be real.
You don’t have to be broken to feel.
You are mighty in your wholeness.
Strong and growing and healed.
And your rose-colored glasses are glasses no longer,
but have become the way you see what is stronger.
the darkness only wins if we sit in our anger
but in healing, that childlike-rosey light is now your anchor.’
Morning (and night) routines are one of the most important things in my life. I was really struggling emotionally during a certain period of my life and I found that by setting healthy boundaries and routines (even in the midst of crazy traveling), my well being and joy increased dramatically.
I don't prescribe anything as being a fix-it-all solution. But I do think that we have trained ourselves to stop listening to our bodies. Learning to shut off social media and distractions to really listen to what we need will tell us so much. God designed our bodies to have boundaries, and if we are not respecting how we were created, we will be trapped by the broken emotions that come with being out of touch with this fleshly vessel we call home.
Here's just a few things that have worked for me in my morning routine:
1. Phone = OFF and OUT OF SITE
At night, I put my phone in the kitchen and turn it off. When I wake up, it is not near my bed and is not the first thing I go on.
I used to 'use' my phone as an alarm (alarms are $12 at Target, people). So everytime it dinged, flashed, or vibrated, I'd roll over and check to see who was liking, emailing, commenting, etc. As soon as I woke up, I'd convince myself I needed to 'relax' for a few minutes before getting up. Even when I turned my notifications off, the constant awareness that it was always there was too tempting.
I used to have a lot of trouble sleeping too and when I'd have nights of restlessness, I enjoyed having my phone to keep me company. You know though, as soon as I put my phone away, my brain started realizing that I didn't have to be "on" all the time, I actually learned how to sleep so much better!
I was also convinced that I needed to be accessible. I ran a growing company and if something happened, I needed to be available. I have loads of siblings I adore. What if something happened and they needed me?
All of these feelings naturally put in us a state of anxiety, because there is an expectation of what's to come. And we wonder why anxiety seems to constantly haunt us.
We also wonder why we feel feelings of worthlessness, comparison, or jealousy so often. Perhaps it's because before the hour of 8am, we've already read three news articles, looked at hundreds of curated photos, and read every new detail about our friend's lives. We can't blame social media for this. We have the power within us to put social media away. There's nothing wrong with others for wanting to post pretty photos, create art, and share their life's details. It's that you weren't meant to see it 24/7, late in the night, early in the morning, and at your most vulnerable times.
People will be okay without you being 'on' every second. You can buy an alarm and wake up the old fashioned way. And your brain will learn, over time, to rest and not feel that anxious expectation of missing out. Leave your phone for AFTER you've completed your morning routine.
2. Make your bed
I admit, I still struggle with this. But making my bed has this weirdly glorious effect on me. It gives me this internal idea that, from the very beginning of the day, my life is in order. A simple task completed well that no one else sees helps me feel ready. And it sets me up to be well disciplined through out the day.
Also, it feels so good to get home and see a made bed, just beckoning for me to open the comforter and snuggle inside. It helps with my nightly routine too, as it lends to a sense of calm and peace right before bed.
3. Eat Breakfast
As for breakfast, I really mean just make something and/or anything. Even drinking a smoothie, sipping a cup of coffee, or chopping up some fruit helps me feel more prepared. It has nothing to do with the food, but that little act of willpower changes my mindset. (especially when I could easily run out the door with my bed a mess, an empty tummy, and the feeling that I'm already behind.) Making yourself breakfast reiterates to yourself that you have to put yourself first and sets your day up for good self care.
3. Pray, Journal, Meditate...
Before I pick up my phone, or hop on my computer, I take time to do something for me to mentally prepare for the day. As someone of faith, I pray every morning. Usually while in bed still. As soon as I wake up, I thank God for all he's given me. I pray about how I'd like the day to look and ask for joy and determination. I always pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to move in me that day and give me power over my own desires and struggles. I've found that praying for this has helped me through some of the darkest things. It's essential that I set my heart on heaven every morning with gratitude and put in the guardrails during the day my heart will abide by.
Sometimes I'll get up and stretch while I pray. Sometimes I sit on a blanket and face the sun, feeling it on my face and thanking him for his goodness. Often times I pair reading my Bible with this or I journal.
It doesn't have to look the same everyday, but a routine that allows you to take a moment and readjust your focus on what is most important to you will help your brain be able to handle all that you will need to do and see that day. And, I find that if I'm doing this everyday, when I hop on social media I'm not confronted with comparisons or the overwhelming anxiety of the news. My heart has been checked and put in it's place and I feel peace.
5. Make a list of what to accomplish that day
This is my fifth and final thing. It's easy for me to finish the above and then immediately hop on my computer and start answering emails. But then I start to live life by REACTION. I want to move with intention and not react to things. So before I start my work day, I make a list of the top things to accomplish that day. I use an online list maker and move things around in my day/week until I feel that I have a clear vision of how to get each thing done. Then and only then do I dive into my work/social media.
These are just a few things I do, but they have helped me get through many challenging periods of life. Little acts of discipline can seem fruitless sometimes, but discipline done over and over can have such positive long term effects. So try some of these things out (even as simple as they seem) for 30 days and see how you feel!
I have had a lot of people ask me "how do you afford to travel so much?" And it's normal that the first thought that pops into someone's mind when they see photos of airplanes and mountains and far off lands is "money." That's what you needed to travel once. But from my personal experience, I know that this is changing. We live in a day and age where money does not have to be associated with travel, where freedom does not need to be associated with 'rich.'
Listen in on my podcast to hear about traveling the world on a budget.
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3