What first struck me about Martha @marthayunalay was the quote she puts first on her IG bio "Faith can move mountains". Mori has printed this quote on our notebook refill covers since our early days. Martha is a mother with a toddler son based in Australia. She is passionate about fashion, daily affirmations and Jesus. And she journals too - something close at heart to us at Mori! 

Martha shares about how faith got her through her darkest days, and her take on personal journaling, as well as her heart for son Brax in learning how to navigate through emotions as he grows up. - R

R: Hi Martha! Please share with our Mori community about yourself and your transition to a stay-at-home mom. :-)

Martha: Hi everyone! I am Martha. I am a stay-at-home wife and mother to my son who just turned 14 months old last October. I am not really sure what life was like before I had him in my arms but I used to work in marketing at Asia Pulp and Paper company back then before I moved to Australia. Since I moved to Australia, I've been working in hospitality. However, my husband and I agreed that when we have our first born baby, I'll take a career break and look after our precious child.

This transition from working as a busy bee to a full time mother really is something new for me. I am so grateful for this opportunity, a new calling to be a mother but some days it can be lonely and repetitive. So I am glad even though I have quit my job, I have been able to use my creativity and my communication skills to work with brands that I love through the Instagram platform. At this stage, I love what I am doing while I am nursing my baby at home. I just can't wait to see what the future might bring. 

Motherhood totally changed my entire life. This new journey takes me to a new level where my perspective about life has shifted into a new understanding of what really matters in life. There is no experience such as this. My calling as a mother has grounded me and shaped me to be a better version of myself.
I have always been passionate to share about fashion, daily affirmations and Jesus. So, I'll stay in my lane and probably share a little more snippets now about my journey as a mama.

R: You love the quote "faith can move mountains" and have selected this quote for our refill notebook cover for our Pursebook! ;-) What made you resonate with this so much and how would you encourage Mori community in having faith especially in this pandemic?

Martha: Matthew 17:20 is my favourite verse that holds my life together.

I think if my life was not anchored in faith, I wouldn't still be here. I've been through a lot of times of desperation and frustration back then when life tried to push me to the edge many times. I've tried to end my life a couple of times but God's grace saved me, Jesus turned my life upside down. 

And it all started from one step, having faith. I said to myself at my darkest time, I'll get up and BELIEVE that God has a greater plan. I don't know which one is the worst, feeling lost in finding purpose in life or  facing a reality where my parents are going through a divorce. I think as the first child in the family, that time was the hardest season I've ever had. 

While I am trying to finish my thesis for college, I also need to take a stand and look after my family. I think my family is everything. They are the only ones that I've got so I kneel down before God, asking for His mercy, His miracle upon my family.

To cut the story short, My parents are back together. Praise be to God! Since then, faith is the only thing that I will carry wherever I go. I always believe God is in control. He is never late. We all just need to believe and let him be God. 
Another story that is still just recent and always makes me burst in tears...It is about how faith has saved my dad. Last August, I went through another storm in my life when I saw my dad was in a hospital bed fighting for Coronavirus and  eventually battled for colon cancer too at the same time. I tried everything that I can from here to support my family. 

I prayed, I sobbed and kneeled down and begged God for another chance for my dad to be alive. 

But I think God takes me to a new level this time about "faith can move mountains". He might have another plan for my dad and my family. But even though he is not healed physically, he was saved spiritually. I've been praying for 10 years, to be able to witness my dad receiving Jesus as his saviour and Lord. And God heard my plea even though the situation isn't what I expected but we know that God has a plan. My dad passed away on 15th August 2021 after a month of battling the sickness. 
The pain is more than words can write. I was upset and disappointed at the first time when I did not understand why "nothing shall be impossible" with having faith doesn't work this time. 
God reminds me that faith is not only believing that He can do the impossible of what we wanted to happen but also believing that He will do what he thinks is best to happen according to His plan. 
At the end of the day, He is the creator of this universe and all of us. My dad is His not mine. It is a miracle to be able to spend a month of praying together, two of us face to face through video call and watching his expression when the prayer team is praying for him. I can talk to him, pray for him in Jesus name. I think that's a miracle. I know he is in a better place now and he is not in pain anymore. Faith keeps me standing strong and able to move on... 



R: Thank you for sharing your heart, Martha! Praise God! Someone once shared with me recently when I was grieving "how beautiful it is to see God's hands upon where we have no control over". 

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You seem like a reflective person from your Instagram posts and you've let us in on your love for journaling. Could you share with us what do you journal about and how it has been helpful for you? 

Martha: I've always been a typical person who likes to express my feelings through words. I have loved writing a diary since I was in high school.

I think writing a journal is so much simpler than talking with anyone who may or may not understand your point of view. Writing a journal helps me to be honest to myself and the best part is whenever I want to re-read what I've been through in the last few years, all I need to do is turn the page.

I remember my mentor at church back then told me that reading devotional everyday will make your day different. To make it even better, write down the reflection that you can take away from what you read on that day. Since then, I put what he said into practice. Before I go to bed at night, I always write down the reflection from my devotional of the day. After I read it in the morning, I like to keep it in my mind and think about how it speaks or resonates with my situation. I'll make it to a few main important points as something I learned on that day.

I also love to write positive affirmations and maybe some verses that uplift me that day. Writing a journal is something personal. It is about writing down your feelings, thoughts and most important of all, the highlight of your day. You can just start from what you have learned from today? Write it down every single day in your journal. You'll be amazed how much things you can learn from your everyday life if you notice and listen.




R:  Would you encourage Brax to journal too? ;-D Do you also explore the topic of emotions with Brax - is this important to you?

Martha:  I personally will not suggest that he needs to write a journal unless he wants to but I would encourage him to be honest when it comes to expressing his feelings.

I believe the best thing I can do for him at this stage is being there for him to reconnect. Trying to understand the reason behind his meltdowns and allowing myself to respond to his emotions appropriately. I know it is hard since he is unable to talk yet but I am trying to learn from his facial expression and gestures. The hugs and saying "Mummy is here, I love you" is the only way now for me to help him in regulating his emotions. I strongly believe that when our child feels loved, he will feel he is in a safe place and make him confident in doing things in life.

So yes, identifying and expressing emotions are so important and I'd definitely talk about this topic more deeply with Brax as he grows up. My hope is that when he deals with his feelings when interacting with others, he can learn how to navigate himself to respond to his emotions independently. 

R: It seems being honest with our feelings is always a good first step! :-) Thank you Martha for sharing what having faith looks like and your take on journaling. We hope our Pursebook and Kids Portable Doodle Bag serve you and Brax well!

Martha: I personally want to thank you, Rachel, for having me for this opportunity and having the beautiful Pursebook plus functional doodle bag. I personally love it and use it daily. 



Martha is using Mori's Terrazzo Olive Pursebook with choice of "Faith can move mountains" and "Beautiful things have dents and scratches too" refill notebooks. Mori's World's 1st Pursebook combines the function of a purse with notebooks. See what Martha says about our Pursebook!
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I personally love to write my devotional of the day and some important notes in my journal. Usually that includes my to do list, meal plan of the week and shopping list. Well, I was wondering if I can only keep them all in one binder or book to make my life easier so I can carry them all with me. And I guess I find just what I needed.¬†@mori.official_¬†pursebook has helped me to stay organised to keep everything in one place. The pockets inside the purse comes very handy when I need to store my membership cards, phone and let‚Äôs say some beauty products that I must always carry in my purse! No more worries in forgetting carrying some things with me. How good is that! ūüėČūüĎĆūüŹĽ"
You can browse all designs of our Pursebook here. Our pursebooks are handmade by urban poor mothers for sustainable livelihoods while taking care of their children. #shopforgood

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