interruptions

Have you ever had your plans change? I don’t mean appointments or coffee dates, I mean drastic life changes that happen in a heartbeat. I have, a few times and one of those was this summer.

I had my summer planned. I would work all summer as a nanny and back to work in the fall. I was excited about a trip to the Ark Encounter (https://arkencounter.com/), and to visit family. I was excited about meeting up with some of my Revelation Wellness (www.revelationwellness.org) family and to hang out with my own family, beach days, bbq’s, road trips, you name it.

That changed very quickly. My plans were brought to a screeching halt; we got some news that would change my summer drastically. I had to quit my job and be home. I wasn’t able to go on that trip to see the Ark, I wasn’t able to see my rev family, the beach days and road trips didn’t happen. Well, the road trips did, but for other reasons that weren’t as enjoyable. My plans were changed, but it makes me wonder, were they my plans or God’s plans? I don’t think they were His. I was just doing what seemed logical at the time.

This summer was hard, and challenging. There were times that I wanted to run from everything going on. I wanted to curl up in the lap of Jesus and cry, and many times I did exactly that. There were other times I gave into comforting myself with food. Life can change in an instant, I think we all know that to some extent but when it happens to you it seems life altering. I’ve had life change quickly before, when my dad passed away. This change was life altering but in a different way.

This change caused me to serve instead of being served. It caused me to see how stinkin’ blessed I am by the people around me. It caused me to slow down, a lot! I love to go, I don’t sit still for long but this summer I sat still for longer than normal. I pressed in and continue to press into the Lord, sometimes that looks like getting mad at Him, sometimes it looks like a child curling up in a Father’s lap. There were times when I would lie in my bed in the dark and just listen to the quiet because that was the only time I could shut off my brain, even though it still reminded me of every “to-do” on my list.

I’m saying all of this to say, interruption is ok. God knows what is best for us and He is always in control. It may feel like your life is in a downward spiral but one thing I’ve learned over the last 6 months is that He is in control and He is good. That last statement can be a hard one to grasp. You may be going through a divorce, death in the family, an unexpected diagnosis of you or a family member, whatever it may be, He is good. I wept the other night as I was surrounded by 50 teenagers and adults singing songs about how good God is. I know it in my heart but sometimes my head and my heart aren’t always in sync.

I want to encourage you, whatever you may be facing right now, turn to Him. Spend time with Him, He wants to hang out with you and love you…. let Him! If you need a podcast or something to listen to, to turn your brain off check out the Be Still & Be Loved podcast by Alisa Keeton, founder of Revelation Wellness (https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/revelation-wellness-healthy-whole/id671958238?mt=2).

As I was getting ready to hit “publish” on this post God reminded me of my word for the year, “wholehearted”. Back in January I had no idea what that meant for me this year, but I’ve seen Him reveal a little more to me the past few months of what wholehearted living looks like. According to the Webster’s Dictionary, “wholehearted” means “showing or characterized by complete sincerity or commitment”. I don’t share this to be prideful, I share it to say, He keeps His promises, and cares about us and He really does talk to us if we will listen. Like I said, I had no idea what this word for the year meant, and had never really had Him give me a word but this one I couldn’t get off my mind and He kept bringing it back to me. Whatever promise, prayer request, etc you are waiting for, don’t give up. He will answer it, but only in His time. Go spend some time with Him.

Press into Him.

P.S. I was reading through and was ready to publish this blog when I found out, plans changed again. I was supposed to go to an event in a couple of weeks but due to issues beyond their control had to cancel it. Deep down I know it’s for the better, but I don’t like it. We don’t have to like His plan, but we do need to trust Him and know He knows exactly what is best. For that event, He had a plan that was amazing and it pulled people up into leadership who may have shrunk back a little at the possibility otherwise. He is so good to His kids.

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Going Deep…

I was the little girl who sat on the shore at the beach in a kid sized lawn chair in a bathing suit with little white sandals on, a Minnie Mouse life jacket, a baseball hat, and sunglasses.  There was no way you were going to get me into the water, no matter how hard you tried. I was afraid. I’m not too sure why, but the fear was real. I’m still not a huge fan of swimming at the beach, but do enjoy going into the pool.

Are you someone who sits on the sidelines thinking, “oh someone else will ____________ (whatever that thing is that you may be avoiding)”. I was one of those people, just last night I heard a friend of mine say “God doesn’t need us to do the job, but He has chosen us for the job” ~ Amia Freeman. He handpicked us for the call He has given us. Sure, the person beside you could do it, but that person won’t be able to reach that one person that God was going to reach through you. It could just be one person, it could be thousands. You may never know this side of Heaven how God has used you, but isn’t it worth it for that one person?

Jesus thought it was. Check out Luke 15, the passage where Jesus left the 99 sheep to find the one lost one. We were worth it to Him. Don’t neglect doing what God has called you because of numbers, numbers don’t matter, eternity and obedience does. God has called us to jump into the deep end. Steven Curtis Chapman wrote a song called, “Dive”, the chorus goes like this:

I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, tossed in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in, yeah
I’m diving in, I’m diving in, yeah
I’m diving in, yeah, here I go
Come on let’s go

Some people have a very real fear about not being able to touch the ground when they are in the water. They may not be confident swimmers, or they may feel safer when they can feel the ground beneath them. When I think of going deeper with Jesus I see myself not being able to touch. Jumping off the diving board like the girl in the picture and feeling and knowing the freedom I have in Jesus, that He is there for me. I may not always do things perfectly, I may fail at something, but I can say with confidence that He has me.

I want to encourage you to jump! What is God calling you to that you aren’t too sure about? What is that thing that makes you feel uncomfortable? That thing that makes you want to throw up? Let’s be people that walk confidently even though we don’t know the outcome. Let’s be confident in the fact that Jesus calls us to places that we wouldn’t necessarily go in our own strength. Let’s go! Let’s go deep and know that if we sink or swim, God’s got us. Be obedient to His will and His calling. Friends, Let’s DIVE!

Warrior

Two months ago I started working on this post. It’s funny how God has been putting this on my heart to share but I never really got down to it. I knew some things He was wanting me to talk about but it wasn’t until today that He has been telling me to sit down and continue writing.

I asked on my Facebook page back in May, “When you hear the word “warrior” what comes to mind?” Here were some of the answers:
persistent in getting it done,
one who does not back down and when they get knocked down they get back up and ~ ~ keep going,
~ fierce,
~ never yielding,
~ strong in mind and body,
~ brave,
~ steadfast,
~ immovable,
~ conqueror,
~ overcomer,
~ courageous,
~ prayer warrior,
~ power and courage even in weakness

When I think of the word “warrior”, two and a half months ago I would have said:  ~ someone who is brave,
~ someone who plows through the difficult stuff and says, “it’s going to be fine, I’m doing great!” (when really they aren’t).

I know better. I know this is a facade. These last two months God has really revealed to me what it means to be a warrior. A warrior to me now, means:
~ someone who is real,
~ someone who can be okay with not being okay,
~ someone who cries in front of a trusted friend and feels their feelings but doesn’t dwell on it,
~ someone who serves without expecting anything in return,
~ someone who in the middle of absolute chaos is able to admit that life is difficult but that God is in control and is able to place their complete trust in the only one who knows the beginning and the end,
~ someone who turns to God first instead of friends and even when they don’t know what to pray, call out to the one who can change things.

What does the Bible say about being a warrior?

Proverbs 16:32 (TPT): Do you want to be a mighty warrior? It’s better to be known as one who is patient and slow to anger. Do you want to conquer a city? Rule over your temper before you attempt to rule a city.

Proverbs 21:22 (TPT): A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place and releases regional breakthrough, bringing down the strongholds of the mighty.

Proverbs 24:5 (TPT): Wisdom can make anyone into a mighty warrior, and revelation-knowledge increases strength.

Hebrews 11:32-24 (TPT): And what more could I say to convince you? For there is not enough time to tell you of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.  Through faith’s power they conquered kingdoms and established true justice. Their faith fastened onto their promises and pulled them into reality! It was faith that shut the mouth of lions, put out the power of raging fire, and caused many to escape certain death by the sword. In their weakness their faith imparted power to make them strong! Faith sparked courage within them and they became mighty warriors in battle, pulling armies from another realm into battle array.

If we pull the words from those passages this is what a warrior would look like:
~ patient,
~ slow to anger,
~ filled with wisdom,
~ revelation,
~ knowledge,
~ faith filled,
~ courageous.

I’m sure we could keep going. I think so often we feel like to be strong and to be a warrior we have to put on this brave face and act like everything is okay, but being a warrior is being real behind closed doors and out in public, being a warrior is living out your faith day to day, we are in a war and to be a warrior we need to know what we believe but ultimately we need to know where to turn, who we are, and WHOSE we are. We are nothing without Jesus. People that I consider to be warriors are people who draw close to God in every situation, good, bad, happy, hard, exciting, sad times, people who we often call “prayer warriors”, which I wouldn’t be here today without those saints who prayed for me and still continue to do so.

The Bible also talks about putting on the armour of God and being ready for battle. A young woman I know posted a picture of her in armour (she has given me permission to share it). As I saw this picture God gave me the Ephesians 6:10-17 (NIV) passage.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:10-17 NIV

Have you ever broken that down and looked at each piece of armour and really looked at the location of them? The belt of truth (Eph. 6:14a) holds everything together. The breastplate of righteousness (6:14b) protects our heart. Feet fitted with readiness (6:15) is knowing and understanding the truth about Jesus and being ready and able to share it with others. Take up the shield of faith (6:16) is our trust in the promises of Jesus, focusing on His faithfulness can block those temptations and doubts that the enemy will use to try and attack us. The helmet of salvation (6:17a) protects our thoughts. The sword of the spirit (6:17b) is the word of God and our weapon of attack.

I guess I want to encourage you to draw close to Him in everything, in every situation. Be a warrior, but be a warrior that reflects Him, daily put on your armour and find out what that looks like in your life.

Praying this blesses and encourages you.

Waiting

We do a lot of waiting in our lives. We wait for friends, spouses, kids, we wait for appointments, in line at the grocery store or clothing stores, we wait for meals; we wait. Sometimes in life we wait for bigger things, we wait to purchase a house, we wait for that certain someone, we wait for a specific job, we wait on God’s calling. Waiting isn’t easy, sometimes it gives us a chance to breathe between events, it allows us to take off one hat and put on another, but waiting can be a challenge.

The past few years I’ve been in a season of waiting. I’ve been waiting for God to bring the man He wants for me, and I’ve been waiting for my chance at the career He has called me to. These are two big things that are honestly, really hard to wait for. I see friends meeting people, getting married, getting established in their careers etc. I am so happy for them and cheer them on. In the last few months I’ve been waiting on other things such as when is it my time to start Revelation Wellness classes, waiting on God can feel like a hard thing.

A friend of mine shared a post a couple of days ago from Louie Giglio that said this, “To us, waiting is wasting. To God, waiting is working.” I have been learning that just because we are in a waiting period in our lives, it does not mean that we can stop what God has called us to. God has called us, or rather commissioned us to go, share the gospel, make disciples, and baptize (Matthew 28). I think sometimes when we are waiting we think that we don’t have to do what God has called us to, that we are exempt from that while we are in the waiting period. I know I have been guilty of that. I’m quickly learning that because we are waiting, God still wants us to seek Him, fulfill the great commission and He will bring whatever it is we are waiting for in His perfect time, not ours.

When you least expect it God will say “Go, let’s move”. When the time comes it may not look like anything you had envisioned, instead it’s God’s idea and His ideas are always good, not easy, but good. If it’s uncomfortable but God is calling you to it, I challenge you to go. Follow where He leads because I promise it will be good and it will bring more freedom.

I want to leave you with this, something a friend of mine shared on instagram. She was talking about seeds and how “they have to be planted in order to grow up into a crop of fruit trees that will bring life-giving food and provide a place of shade and shelter for the weary.” She goes on to say, “It may seem like it’s been a lot of waiting but trees take a long time to grow” Mark 4:31-32.

Be patient, waiting is part of life and God is continuing to mold and shape you during this time, continue to go after Him.

M.I.A. and for good reason too.

It’s been about a month since I last posted and to all of my readers, I’m sorry. It’s been a whirlwind month of sickness, traveling, and more sickness. I’m home, and feeling better, not 100% but getting there.

I had the opportunity to travel with a performing arts team through the local Youth for Christ branch. I was one of the leaders on their week long tour / missions trip. We went to the Canadian east coast, Quebec, New Brunswick, Cape Breton/Nova Scotia. It was an incredible week, busy and constantly on the go but an absolutely amazing trip! We even went to the university I attended for 3.5 years! I got to stay in my old dorm, and hang out with staff and professors. It was amazing!! The picture above is the one hour I was able to escape the kitchen (I looked after the meals for the week) and got to go to a mansion that the YFC in Cape Breton own for their ministry school, overlooks the ocean. I think I could stare at the ocean and or mountains and never take them for granted.

As I was standing here for just long enough to grab a few pictures I once again was reminded of how amazing God is! I see the ocean, mountains, sunsets, you name it and wonder how anyone can say, “there is no God.” My reaction when I see this is, “there is a God and He created this just for my enjoyment and to remind me how big, wide, long and deep is His love for me. This is just a short post, but they will be coming more regularly. I just wanted to share that I’m still alive and a glimpse into my hiatus.

Valentine’s Day as a Single Person

Every February 14, my mom would make us cupcakes to take to our school Valentine’s Day parties, and she still makes them for us with red or pink icing. It was always a special day, the day my parents showed us how much they loved us through little acts that we will remember forever. As a kid I thought Valentine’s Day was just a fun day to celebrate friendship and tell our family how much we loved them.  As I got older, I realized the meaning behind the day, which I feel is still the same as when I was a kid, but different, because our world has made it that way.

I am single, if the title didn’t give it away. I have had a boyfriend, but never on Valentine’s Day. I see the lines and displays of cards for your “sweetheart” or “the man/woman I love”. It’s hard to see that, knowing I’m alone. Over the years as this day comes up, I’m reminded every year that I don’t have “the one”. Before you start to feel sorry for me, hear me out. I’m okay with it. People say, “God is your Valentine.” As much as I love that picture it sounds kind of cheesy. I mean, absolutely He is and I’m so grateful for that; honestly He should be everyone’s FIRST and true Valentine but it goes so far beyond Valentine’s Day.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “valentine” as “a sweetheart chosen or complimented on Valentine ’s Day”. Why do we have one day every year where we focus on those we love. Shouldn’t we be doing that more frequently? I mean, I’m sure once I am in a relationship, I will love Valentine’s Day more than I do now. But shouldn’t we be doing those random acts without an official day telling us we have to? Maybe I like spontaneity, and surprises but I know when I was in a relationships, those random texts telling me he was thinking of me, or would take me out to dinner meant more than anything. I knew he wasn’t being prompted or forced to because of a holiday.

Before you get all crazy on me thinking I’m against Valentine’s Day, I’m not. I think it’s great! I just think we need to celebrate those we love more than once a year. When you think of God as your Valentine and we look at the Webster’s definition, it means we only compliment them one day a year. I don’t know about you, but if God only told me He loved me one day a year, I would have a hard time believing it. I also know I couldn’t tell God I loved Him once a year. I want to constantly tell Him how much I love Him and am grateful He picked me, He saved me. I want to daily praise Him for what He has done in my life.

For those of you that find yourself single on this day, know that you are not alone. This year I have chosen to pour out love on others, my family, friends, and the littles in my life (nieces and nephews). It’s an amazing feeling to see your nephew’s eyes light up when he gets a gift from you, even if it is small. There is joy in giving. Praying for you, that you would know and feel loved by family and most of all by our heavenly Dad.

My two cents about Valentine’s Day.

Signing off from the basement…

Made New

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

What does this mean? What does it look like?

This past year God has made me new and is continuing to make me new. The old is gone, meaning I don’t live the way I used to. You see, a little over a year ago, I was in a dark place. A place where I was questioning who I was, what I believed and why I believed it. I was ready to throw in the towel, so to speak. I wasn’t eating well, I didn’t care about what I ate, or how my body was reacting. I knew deep down it was telling me to stop, but I couldn’t, I didn’t. Days after Christmas 2016, I came across an ad for a 30 day faith, then food and fitness challenge. I was extremely hesitant because I had never worked out a day in my life. I was desperate, I knew I couldn’t go on living the way I was. I wanted to be healthier, I knew there was more to life but I was struggling. The challenge had a donation based cost to it, I gave what I could and joined. Days after starting that challenge, I was enjoying and actually looking forward to the workouts. I was eating healthier, drinking more water and being changed  from the inside out. The organization is called Revelation Wellness and through that challenge, God called me to become a Fitness Teacher Gospel Preacher.  I completed their group fitness training November 2017 and have been made new.

Being made new means pressing into God and walking in His direction because He has good things in store for us and is  making us new. So often we fall back into old habits, thinking and feelings but God is calling us out, out of those old patterns and into the new thing. I used to look at myself in the mirror and speak negatively about myself, “You’re fat, you’re ugly. No one will ever love you with that ‘thing’ on your face. You’re slow, you can’t keep up.” I heard it all, I heard it so often that I started speaking it over myself. God does not call us those things, instead, He calls us, “loved, cherished, enough, beautiful, royalty, His son/daughter, loved.” In being made new, I can look at myself in the mirror and speak what God sees, speak truth instead of lies. I can look at myself in the mirror and not shame my body, I can truly look at myself and say, “you’re beautiful.”

This isn’t an advertisement for Revelation Wellness, just something that God put on my heart to share. I had a blog years ago, but didn’t keep it up. This is one of the new things God is calling me to, to share my story through writing. I hope that God uses this to encourage you, challenge you, speak directly to your heart and spur you on to go after Him in a new and authentic way.

I encourage you to check out this video about being made new. https://www.revelationwellness.org/made-new/