31 July 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (this is what You do)

Welcome back to Tune-y Tuesday. How's your music been since last week? If you're loving any good worship music, be sure to comment so I can check 'em out! Yay.

This week is the song "This is what You do" by Bethel Music

I always love the music that Bethel puts out because it just draws my soul into a place of worship, excites me to want to dance, and just frees me before my Saviour. I think their stuff is great.

It's always like spring time with You
Making all things new
Your light is breaking through the dark
This love is sweeter is than wine
Bringing joy bringing life
Your hope is rising like the dawn

This is what You do
This is what You do
You make me come alive

It's like I'm living for the first time
Finally living for the first time

25 July 2012

Okay to (not) be

I was in a conversation a couple weeks ago with a friend who has such a sweet soul - like a Spirit given gift which allows people to feel peace around her.

She sat down beside me at we were exchanging pleasantries. She said something like,
"Oh, how's that thing going? . . ."
She didn't give me space to respond before saying . . .
"It's okay if it's not okay".
What a beautiful thing she did right there eh? She allowed me space to not be okay.

Though our culture (and I'm referring to Christian culture here) has taught us to put on a good face at all times in the name of being content, she gave me space to just put on my actual face.

I want to offer space for people to be both okay and not okay. I want to offer space for whatever is going on.

I was at a friends recently. I asked him how he was and he responded by saying, "can I be honest" yep. "Not good". As we chatted, I had opportunity to pray for him.

If he hadn't been honest, he wouldn't have received prayer and I wouldn't have known what to pray for him in the future. He could have put on a brave face, but why oh why should anybody need to do that?

Yes, we need to learn discretion and there are seasons where we do need to act stronger than we are, but we can't bottle our burdens in - because then they'll remain as burdens and never be lifted.

Seriously - where in scripture does it say lie to everyone and tell them that you are doing fine even if you are experiencing some of the hardest days of your life.

No! Scripture calls us to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice!

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
    Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
(Romans 12:9-18 ESV)
*Every time I read scripture and see the word "slothful", all I envision is this video.*

That video aside though, I love these verses. They speak truth to my soul.

Rejoice in hope.
Be patient in tribulation.
Be constant in prayer.
Rejoice with those who rejoice.
Weep with those who weep.
Give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

That's the life I want to live. Whether I'm okay or not, and whether you're okay or not - let's be genuine rather than fake. Let's be truthful rather than anything else. Let's be the type who can be honest with those who have given us room to be.

I want to live with much room around me to accommodate those who I'm graced to speak with. 

As well as sharing them with those around us, we need to lay them down before Jesus. Because He's the only One capable of carrying them at all.

    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

24 July 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (I wonder)

This past Friday, I drove with some of my girls from work out to Cultus Lake Waterpark. It was much fun, and the day housed much laughter and splashes! 

As I drove, I had my iPod mix on shuffle. It was mostly pop music with a few random Christian songs mixed in.

*Side note. I was thanking God on Friday for creating me in such a way that I LOVE pop music. I don't know how I would handle a lot of the car rides with these girls if I didn't find pop music so fun. I know all the words, dance along, and am a goof - I get to be authentically silly with them. As I prayed and thanked Him for the gift of finding fun in the songs these girls love, I noted how He didn't have to make me that way. He could have created me to really dislike top 40 sounds, but for some reason, this is how I am. I'm thankful. I think most of the time I wish I didn't have such a heart for pop, but for the first time in my life, it's almost a cool ministry tool for connecting.*

At one point along the drive, a song by Leeland came on called "I Wonder".

In typical Tune-y Tuesday fashion, I've attached the video below with the lyrics highlighted in the way they spoke to me. I started Tune-y Tuesday because scripture consistently calls us to sing "a new song" and to "praise God" always. This is just an easy way for me to keep listening to music that points me to Him and causes me to have to search out good music on a consistent basis.
On the way to church I drove a close friend and this song came on. I mentioned that I love it, and so we silently listened until I couldn't help but sing along. My sweet friend had tears rolling down her cheeks, and my heart was so affectionate towards my Saviour in that moment. It made for a perfect drive to church.

As we walked from the car into church, she commented something like "this is the type of song we're supposed to sing to Jesus. It's a simple love song. Words can't describe how we feel".

I hope you find much comfort as you listen, and that you are blessed by it. I find it completely incredible. It points my heart towards loving Jesus more.

At the stars in the night, I wonder
At Your lightning in the sky, I shudder
Your glory is a blanket that covers
Every living thing
I’m in awe at the majesty of who You are
Your love is a seal burnt inside my heart
All of the day I want to be where You are
Holy Father

And it feels like there’s not enough praise inside of me
With all these words, all my heart can sing is holy

You are holy

Jesus Christ
You bled Your love, laid down Yourself
And gave me life
In naked shame You hung and You were lifted high
Here I lay in awe and wonder
I am afraid
For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way

So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace
Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder

I’m in awe at the majesty of who You are
Your love is a seal burnt inside my heart
All of the day I want to be where You are
Holy Father

And it feels like there’s not enough praise inside of me
With all these words*, all my heart can sing is holy
You are holy 

Jesus Christ
You bled Your love, laid down Yourself
And gave me life
In naked shame You hung and You were lifted high
Here I lay in awe and wonder
I am afraid
For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way
So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace
Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder

And I wonder.

Jesus Christ
You bled Your love, laid down Yourself
And gave me life
In naked shame You hung and You were lifted high
Here I lay in awe and wonder
I am afraid
For no one’s ever sacrificed and loved me this way

So on my face I fall under Your heavy grace
Here I lay in awe and wonder
And I wonder

*Too often, my words have too much value to me. Yet I know so well that my words can never ever give God enough glory, praise, worth, value, ANYTHING enough. Wow*

For a long time, I listened to this song and always wondered what the writer was wondering about. It was this past week when my brain clued in that this far more magical, more mysterious. It's a wonder that desires to know Christ more.

22 July 2012

A Peaceful Answer

I wrote this paragraph months ago:
"I keep having to re-throne the Lord. Because every time I get hit with a wave, I realize how much more of Jesus I need. I realize how broken I am, not only because of all that has happened, but also because my sin is great. Yet my Maker is greater. His faithfulness is more endless than the horizon seems to stretch, and his love is unending."

The words are still true.

While what I wrote it about then is different now, the words still ring true. I'm still constantly, momentarily, daily, every other second, each hour, each time I forget - always having to re-throne Jesus.

I chatted with a pastor about a month ago about the anxiety that I had been struggling with at the time. Before he prayed for me, he reminded me of the sin that is linked with fear and with trying to take control. He encouraged me to repent of those sins and walk in the freedom that would come from that. Isn't that cool?

He reminded me that how often, as Christians, especially those who have been Christians for years, we have an easy tendency to be able to spot sin super well but often fail to confess them, repent of them, and turn from them.

. . .

I wrote these words as a draft about a month or so ago, months after reading that first paragraph. I pulled them out recently as I was doing a draft folder check to see if I'd written anything worth posting. I often write little notes down and save them for later. When I open them later, if they still ring true and seem to have a story to share I'll write more. Typically I read them and wonder what I was thinking that day and immediately hit delete.

As I read these words above I realized that God has so abundantly answered that prayer with peace. As soon as I repented and realized that my worry, fear, and consistent grasp for control was sin and needed to end, God granted immediate forgiveness, and day by day, those areas where I was living in worry and fear have ceased.  

He's provided refuge from that storm.

Praise Him!

God is faithful. 

21 July 2012

Open Hands

Praying with hands that are both physically and spiritually, emotionally and whatever-else-ly open has dramatically changed my prayer life.

I used to pray in a way that was self-centered and with merely a goal in mind for what I wanted to happen. I wouldn't check in with God to see how His day was going, or check in with Him to see what He had to say that day. I wouldn't ask Him if there were conversations I needed to have, and I would never have asked Him to give me words mid-conversation.

I started noticing though, that when I was grasping onto things or grasping for things, they consistently didn't go my way. When I started conversing with God rather than talking to Him, everything changed.

I've started (emphasis on started - it's only been this year) to chat with God rather than just too Him. I've made myself stop my words in a conversation and check in with Him before proceeding. Take today for instance, I was chatting with a friend. She started sharing a part of her heart and what's going on in life. As she talked, I listened, and whispered to Jesus got anything for me to say? In that conversation, He called me to silence. He called me to listen.

Whereas the other day, I was chatting with another friend. As I checked in with God, He gave me a question to ask. As I asked her the question, the conversation started going places it might not have gone without His influence.

I want to be influenced by Him! I talked about this over at Geeky + Sassy's blog the other day. I had a cool conversation occur in my life a few weeks back that I shared over at her blog. I also wrote a few weeks back over at be.loved about techniques (which sounds awful if you ask me - but I'm not sure what else to call it. Spiritual discipline take discipline, and getting to a place of consistency sometimes requires learning ways to be consistent) for making prayer a part of daily life.

I'm still learning how to do this. I'm still at the beginning of learning so many things- which is tremendously exciting.

I never get tired of saying that I'm a consistent sinner in need of a Saviour whose love never fails, gives up, or runs out. I find that grace in Jesus.

I know I've said it before, but I consistently house fear over anyone reading any of my words and sensing arrogance or pride. Believe me, if you sense it, it's there, but along with it is a heart that genuinely asks Jesus every single day to help me out. I hope He never tires of my prayer asking for help.

Anyways, just know that (as I've mentioned before), I always hope that in a day, week, month, year, season from now, that I'll look back and see error in my ways - I always want to be growing and learning more, becoming more like Christ - as much as He'll allow me to each day. I fail often but more often than I fail, His grace prevails.

Oh man - I love Jesus!

. . .

There's one major area of my life where I'm praying with open hands. I've never had so much peace over such a major thing in my life. I think it's because I'm starting to actually believe that God's will will be done. It's not a question of if. 

I see this in how Jesus prayed.
And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
(Matthew 26:39 ESV)
Jesus prayed God's will over a situation where Jesus clearly did not actually want God's will in his life. He wanted it in Spirit, but His flesh still fought it. He was faithful though and never sinner. He knew it had to happen and he was fully willing to live out whatever God did, but he did not hesitate to ask God to change what was to happen.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
    “Father, hallowed be your name.
    Your kingdom come.

    Give us each day our daily bread,
    and forgive us our sins,
        for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
    And lead us not into temptation.”
(Luke 11:1-4 ESV)
I don't even think I can begin to cover how beautiful this prayer is. Maybe I'll write more about it another day, but for now just to listen to this sermon (it's the one entitled "You Asked Jesus Answers: Prayer") that my church did on prayer a while ago. It honestly changed my prayer life. Jesus worked so much truth into that sermon that this girl needed to hear. There are so many beautiful and truth filled sermons on this passage.
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
(Luke 6:12 ESV)
The next portion of Luke 6 speaks of Jesus choosing His disciples. I see this as such a great example to follow before making large decisions - to go and pray much!

God is in control so I can let go of control. I can petition to Him and He will always hear. And because He is sovereign I can trust Him to work everything for His glory.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:26-28 ESV)
I never want to assume that you are like me but for me, when I read verses like that one above, I get overwhelmed. Grace overwhelms me and I have to go back to the top of that chapter in Romans and just read it all over again. Wow. The best part is that the "good" in those verses means God's glory. I want God's glory in every situation of my life and yours.

I can rest easy knowing that He knows all.

Oh what peace! Oh what joy! Oh what love!


20 July 2012

Summer Friday

As always, Kacia hosts the Friday photo link-up. Well, in fact I wrote this in hopes that she'll host it! I'll have to check back later to link up.

It'd been a couple weeks since I posted a Friday photo feature so I thought I'd join back in. Outside of work, I've made much time for tasty breakfasts, campfires, beach days, conversations, coffee, dance parties, laughter with more laughter, thrift-store adventures, bridal showers, weddings, and just silliness in general. Summer is a great time to get refreshed because the sunshine makes it so easy to be in a good mood! Come take a look at life lately!

I met a friend over at Nice Cafe to chat about a wedding I was MC'ing the next day. She offered lots of fun tips!

My roommate and I may or may not have been having a bit of a "words-off" on our roommate-love-note-pad. It was a fun fight to be in to see who could be kinder. I called her "great". She countered with "beautiful". I kind of think she won.
I was reading a blog today about struggling with beauty and just realized yet again that it seems like every female so struggles with beauty. Maybe one of these days I'll feel full peace about myself but until then, I'll rest in the peace that I don't understand that still consistently comes.

A couple of weeks ago I was (loosely) a part of a day camp occurring at a local church. On the last day, another volunteer handed me a book filled with the verses the kids had been learning about that week. This one struck a chord in my heart. God is so good.

Sweet Bethany from my work and I had a little post-work date the other day. We checked out a fun vintage/thrift-store and then had sushi! Fun and yum! Bethany has a bit of a love-affair with fanny packs which makes for some funny conversation. She managed to not buy one though - (is it bad that I almost just typed "praise the Lord" after that. Wow).

Kelsey (on the left) hosted a fun night with a bunch of friends that celebrated her birthday, Raurie's (on the right) and several other friends. It was fun to laugh much with sweet friends!

I was excited when Michelle (left) texted me a while ago asking me to host a bridal shower for a friend of ours! The friend is actually an incredible hair stylist - check out her page!
It was so fun to fill my home with friends, good food, and fun times!

There was a nice little spread which satisfied our female souls - chocolate, cupcakes, cheese, and wine! Yay!

The bride-to-be got her own special seat surrounded by rose petals.

Sometimes I get goofy. I love being silly. I love laughing, dancing like a goof and just being a silly little soul. One of my favourite aspects of my current summer job is the fact that the teenagers I work with appreciate me at my most silliest. There have been many dance parties in the kitchen at work!

I am beyond blessed to live with this beauty. She is seriously like the sweetest girl around. We've learnt that I'm a verbal processor and she's an internal processor.

A few minutes before we took these pictures the other day, we were sitting side by side at the table working on our computers. I had just finished, minutes before, talking about what was going on with me. We were typing to ourselves and I think I burst out "HOW DO YOU LIVE WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING"?!?! I can't even imagine doing that. I certainly process much with God and don't talk about everything, but I also most certainly talk of much! And even as I process with God, it's largely through verbal conversations.

Before Christie moved in, an old roommate Megs had bought me an "n" mug and herself an "m" mug. Once Christie moved in, I knew she needed a matching one. Though the photo is backwards and poorly lit, I think our mugs are super cute.

I bought a new Bible recently! I sort of feel as though I'm in a competition (with myself) to fill in all the white space as quickly as possible.

 The day after I bought it, I went through and just found all my favourite places (or at least some of them). I made stops in Proverbs 3, Psalm 25, 34, 139, Matthew 14, Romans 5, 6, 8 and more. It's fun to get to underline and read the words that rule over my life.

We went on a hike with work last week to Lynn Canyon. It's a fairly easy stroll and was a lot of fun.

God continually amazes me by the beauty of His creation.

I tend to gravitate towards the beach but it was fun to be more into nature. 

One night two weeks ago allowed for pants. I'm loving this summer heat. My youth I work with mocked me for my granny shoes but I didn't mind. I like 'em.

7/11 celebrated a birthday so I happily celebrated alongside with a free Slurpee.

I spent an afternoon with a friend over at Ambleside walking that part of the seawall. Again, God's glory in His creation consistently blows me away.

After our long walk, we finished up with nachos. YUM!

This photo actually is from the week before but also at Ambleside. That beach is a nice one to enjoy. I met up with a friend and conversed as her sons plays. I love getting to join families in normal life.

I probably used too many words and not enough pictures, but that's a quick glimpse into my life these days.

19 July 2012

Thursday - Thanks

This past weekend I was part of a wedding. I got to help with setting some stuff up, hanging out with the bridal party for the day, and then MC'ing the reception. 

For part of the morning, I ran a couple of errands with the bride and groom. It just so happened that we basically got every single red light possible.

I mentioned as I noticed red light after red light after red light something along the lines of, 

"Sometimes when I'm driving and get a lot of reds, I like to think that maybe God's protecting me from something".

Like - if we had gotten all the green lights that we wanted maybe we would have gotten in an accident, or caused one.

The same goes for slow cars, or things that come up as I drive that hinder me from getting where I'm going at the speed I'd prefer.

Really, it's true for all of my life. There's so much that goes on completely unseen.

I so often look towards the big things in my life where my plans failed and then I'll see God's hand in it.

So . . . why do I only take time to thank Him for the big things? 

I'll see, sometimes days, weeks, months, or years later that God was setting me on a different path. His protection is so grand. I'll suddenly figure out that God was working me in a path that gave Him more glory than the path I was heading in.

This is the same for everyday life.

For this Thursday - Thanks!, I'm aiming my heart in gratitude towards a God who is so big and powerful that He's working in ways that I'll never know.

I'll never know how many car accidents, severe illnesses, heartbreaks, etc., that I should have gotten in or how many other ways in my day that God provided safety even amidst my complete lack of awareness.

I've written about the season where I walked away from God. In that season, I made a lot of sinful errors. God still has to bring so much peace to my soul on almost a weekly basis for the shame I tend to gravitate towards. 

He graciously whispers grace upon grace upon grace upon grace married with mercy after mercy after mercy after mercy

He's a good God.

I was selfish and lived to satisfy myself. There was one big decision that I wrestled with for a while in that season which truly would have changed my life and I honestly think, looking back now, that it might have ruined me. 

Even though I was far far far off from God and living in no way for Him, He provided a way out. He made it so that there was no way that I could make the decision and satisfy myself. On the week when I would have gone forward with the decision (and yes I know I'm being vague about this decision - if you wanna know more about it, take me out for a coffee - I'll share it in person), I got really sick. So sick that I had to stay home and couldn't go out and do what I wanted to do.

God is so good. It's almost overwhelming to type this because I can't even imagine where my life would be if He hadn't welcomed me back into His fold of grace.

So this Thursday, I'm thankful for a God that does so much more for my well being than I will probably ever know.

From red lights to sicknesses, to whatever else I'm unaware of in the moment - I'm oh so grateful. I sure do love Jesus. His grace is incredible.

I'm thankful for the grace of Jesus that comes in a thousand forms on a daily basis.

What about you? What are you thankful for today?

18 July 2012

Learning to Walk

The other night I sat with two friends who have known me for years. Once since elementary school and the other since high school (though we also spent a week at summer camp together when we were young pups). I'd say for the three of us, we've become better friends since high school. We've had our adventures world traveling and summer camp living. We've been through much together whether together or apart.

We chatted about our adventures of late, summer jobs, the good and the bad, our faiths, our hearts, our families, our homes, our surroundings, and so much more.

It was amazing to sit with two girls who have known me for so long. We've walked much of life together, though nowadays we sometimes go months between hangouts. But there is something incredible about the fact that we can still have so much to talk about.

As we were talking about our faiths, we reflected much just on how God is still so fresh - and how we're still just barely learning how to walk. We all grew up in Jesus loving homes and yet sometimes (aka always) it's just like we've barely cracked the surface of who God is and what He's calling us to do with our days.

It was a fun night to share life together. It was totally spur of the moment (they were going to a concert that got cancelled) and was far too short and yet just right!

As we were saying goodbye, one shared that is seems as though I have a really great and solid group of people around me here in Vancouver. I answered in the affirmative:

"I do. For the first time in my life I feel as though I have friends who love me for me and not out of a sense of obligation"

My friend blessed my heart so much as she shared that she has never liked me out of obligation or because she felt sorry for me.

. . .

Sometimes I really wish I could go back to myself years ago and just do a combination hug and slap in the face! I was so unsure about myself and I wish I could go back and have confidence. I wish I had given people more credit. I honestly didn't believe people cared for me, and if they did, I figured they were probably lying (if not intentionally, simply to themselves).

Recently I was at my parents place and I read an old journal. I'll be sharing a bit of what happened then soon. I'm not sure when because it feels a bit like a flesh wound. As in I'm bleeding and broken and yet also completely fine.

Vulnerability mixed with boldness. Story of my life.

17 July 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (Give me Faith)

Similar to thankfulness, scriptures speak often about singing to God. We're called to worship all times.

Today I want to share a song that my heart is LOVING.

This song is by Elevation Worship and is called "Give Me Faith". 

I love it because as much as this video shows flashy backgrounds, the words (and the hearts of the leaders who are singing this - I think) share such a passion for Jesus and a desire to just live for Him.

My favourite line is "give me faith to trust what You say, that You're good and Your love is great". I need that line in so many moments of my day when all of a sudden my sinful heart gets loud and wonders if God is real or good or caring. I need it in the moments when my forgiven heart forgets and desires condemnation and shame. I need faith in each moment. Because God is good, His love is great, and His sayings are trustworthy.

I need You to soften my heart,
To break me apart.
I need You to open my eyes,
To see that You're shaping my life.
All I am, 
I surrender.

Give me faith to trust what You say,
That You're good and Your love is great.
I'm broken inside,
I give You my life.

I need You to soften my heart,
To break me apart. 
I need You pierce through the dark,
And cleanse every part of me.

All I am
I surrender.
Give me faith to trust what You say,
That You're good and Your love is great.
I'm broken inside, 
I give You my life.
I may be weak.
Your Spirit strong in me.
My flesh may fail.
My God you never will.
Give me faith to trust what You say,
That You're good and Your love is great.
I'm broken inside,
I give You my life.

. . .

Let me finish this post by bringing you back to the God we serve (just in case the song above didn't quite bring your heart to a point of worship).

    My heart is steadfast, O God,
        my heart is steadfast!
    I will sing and make melody!
        Awake, my glory!
    Awake, O harp and lyre!
        I will awake the dawn!
    I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
        I will sing praises to you among the nations.
    For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
        your faithfulness to the clouds.
    Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
        Let your glory be over all the earth!
(Psalm 57:7-11 ESV)


16 July 2012

Meet a Monday (Geeky and Sassy)

It's Monday! You know what that means!!!!!
Do you remember? If not - head over here for a refresher! 
Welcome back to Meet a Monday: 
On some Monday posts I'm going to introduce you to a blogger I'm currently appreciating. 
Whether I love their words, fashion, photos, songs, or a combination of other things, this is where I'm going to introduce you to them! 
Probably it's because they point me to Jesus.
Today I'm going to introduce you to Virginia. She writes over at Geeky and Sassy

She actually had me over just the other day for a piece. It's called abide. Here's a snippet:
"Jesus provides divine opportunities for us. We get to choose in those moments if we'll give an easy answer or a truth filled one."
Virginia, similar to Kacia from a couple weeks back, falls under a category of super great emailer! Her words are always returned in good speed and always filled with kindness.

On her blog, there's a bunch of words in her About Me section. My favourite come at the very bottom of the page:
"I love my husband, kids, friends, and am excited to see God work in all of our lives. I can tend to be anxious about things. If I’m anxious, that means I think I’m in control, and I’m not. This is one area God is working on me in. "
If you don't wanna know more about her after that, I don't know what to do! 
I was just (as in about an hour before I wrote this post) chatting with someone about blogging and how my goal is authenticity. I never want to act as though I've got this faith figured out because 
I'm daily learning, struggling, stumbling, 
and consistently being given grace upon grace and new mercy each morning.
I need Jesus SO MUCH!
My need for God grows daily. It never gets smaller.
I get the sense that Virginia is just the same and her answers below share her beautiful heart. You haven't read all her posts yet (but you will soon now that you've been introduced) but soon you'll know her heart and see how authentic she is. She's so honest about the areas of struggle. She's not trying to give off any sense of perfection - her heart is for Jesus.

Virginia is sweet and kind.
Also (just like Kacia), she has straight bangs. I said it last time, and I'll say it again - I think I have insta-respect for anyone with bangs! We're good people. Virginia even wrote about getting bangs.
So here goes. 
This is Virginia.

What are three words you'd use to describe yourself?

messy, passionate, and creative.  
I had to ask my husband curious as to what he'd say.  
He answered fun, faithful, and thoughtful.  Awww, I think I just blushed.  

What's your favourite time of day?

The morning.  My husband makes the best breakfasts and we all get to eat together.  (He works odd hours, so this is our "family" time.)

What's your coffee order?

Sugar Free, Fat Free, Decaf vanilla latte.  (I know, what's left that's any fun?)  I typically brew my own at home now.

When you go online, where do you typically go first?

When I open my computer I typically head to my twitter account and email.  I love connecting with people.  I'm working on not doing this too much.  

I can vouch - she's great at connecting!

How would you describe your blog?

My blog is a place where I write what about my not-so-perfect journey with my faith, family, life and home projects. I love to write and share what God has done and is continuing to do in my life. Sharing my struggles and finding joy in the small things let people know they're not alone.  Nobody is perfect and we shouldn't have that expectation.  I don't have all of the answers, but I like to share what I'm learning or working through.  

Take a look at her sweet family!

 What draws your closest to Jesus?

Opening and reading the Bible, and praying for others.

What's a verse that you're loving lately?

Luke 6:45  
"Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks"
This is crazy to think about but so true! When my heart is full of my geeky, sassy and selfish self I tend to nip at my kids and husband. I actually have a Naptime Diaries print I see every morning when I wake up.  

Some of my favourite posts from Geeky & Sassy are:

"What fruit am I producing right now? Where is my strength coming from? What is my heart full of? Am I being a breath of fresh air to others or am I taking the oxygen out of the air with my words?"

"But God comes to us in the midst of our chaos and sin, forgives and gives new life."

"If my openness can help you draw closer to God, then it's worth it."

"If I look to anything/anyone other than God I'm going to be let down."

. . . 

So this has been another installment of Meet a Monday! Yay!

I hope you had as much fun as I did getting to know Kacia. 

If you somehow managed to make it this far without clicking any links, be sure to check out her blog, twitter, facebook, pinterest, and whatever else you might find.


. . .

Be sure to pop back in next Monday in order to meet another great and lovely blogger!

. . .
If you would like to be featured, either comment here or send me a direct message on twitter @nadinewouldsay

. . .

You've made it this far. You might as well comment and say hello so I can come read your blog, follow you on twitter, or just have the knowledge that the people who come here have a voice.

While you're at it, if you'd like to snoop around a bit, you can learn a bit about me. Learn why my blog is called a Secondary Heartbeat, what God's been speaking to me lately, learn the moment I realized God's plan is on a different time zone than mine, get a glimpse into my perspective on worship, listen to a song I wrote, see my latest DIY project, and then if you'd like you can click that pretty little Google Friend Connect button and follow along here so I can come follow you too. I always think "following" people is an odd thing so let's just remember that it's Google Friend CONNECT. So let's connect. It's not about you following me or me following you or growing numbers - it's about connecting.

. . .

Happy Monday!

12 July 2012

Thursday - Thanks!

Today I'm thankful for a day filled with much laughter, smiles, successes, songs and salvation!

I'm thankful for sunshine.

I'm thankful for a sing-along with one of my youth. It was good practice for me on the guitar and a great time in general.

I'm thankful for two of my youth accomplishing goals today. I'm thankful I got to play a very small role in the process.

I'm thankful for a sister who is in the last week of her masters, pregnant, tired, and overwhelmed but still willing to write encouraging texts to me on the days when I'm overwhelmed as well.

I'm thankful for the fact that tonight I have worship practice.

I'm thankful for the fact that one of my sweet girls at work listened to me play guitar and sing pop songs. I'm extra thankful that she was singing along. I'm mostly just thankful for her. She's a bright light in my life.

I'm thankful for a co-worker who planned to have a quiet night in but instead decided to go for sushi with me after work. She's another bright light in my life.

Its a good day. I'm thankful for it.

I'm thankful for Jesus. He died and rose so that anyone who calls upon His name can be saved.

It's the Gospel I'm truly thankful for. 

I spent last night on a long drive kind of mourning the issues where I've been falling short. Jesus was quick to remind me that his grace is sufficient and that His grace is not a DIY project. It's a HE-DOES-IT-ALL project!

The other things are just fun things though. Things that point me to Jesus, remind me of His grace, and keep me going.

    Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
(James 5:13 ESV)

05 July 2012

Thursday - Thanks!

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
This week I'm thankful for much!

I'm sitting in an emotionally rough place simply due to the nature of working with the youth that I do. They are beautiful people and just like me, they're broken. This has been a week filled with tears and many many many shouts to Jesus in desperation. He has been faithful. These are the ways He's brought comfort this week.
  • Hugs. There was a moment this week where I knew a breakdown as going to happen and the timing couldn't have been worse. I managed to grab another leader (who I had met just days before). He saw me and just gave me a huge hug and let me sob as he prayed. In that moment, Jesus came in the form of a hug.
    I'm thankful. Oh so thankful.
  • Refreshing friends. Each day this week before my shift I've managed to hang out with great people. They refresh me. They each encourage and motivate, speak truth and love. They each allow me to do the same to them. These conversations in the morning before long afternoons and evenings have pulled me through the day. In each conversation, Jesus has been like a cool wind on a hot day.
    I'm thankful.
  • Beaches. Vancouver weather has brightened up this week. Before work yesterday I managed to fit in a beach hour and a half with a friend. Her four boys played as we chatted. She just listened as I talked about stuff going on, none of which had to do with the work week going on. I always find it best to talk about my heart issues with married friends. These women have beautiful wisdom. The sunshine refreshed my skin and her words refreshed my soul. Jesus was sunshine and conversation.
    I'm thankful.
  • Cookies. On Tuesday, when I arrived home after a shift that went over an hour longer than I had thought it would - which was fine because I had volunteered to stay late - I was exhausted. The day had weakened me. I walked into my home and found a note from my roommate that said "eat me" beside cookies. Jesus showed up in the form of chocolate chips.
    I'm thankful.
  • Prayer via texts. This week has led me to send numerous texts of desperation to friends seeking prayer in moments when I don't think I can go on. Jesus has shown up in answered prayers, in comfort filled texts, and so much more. Oh man, my God is good.
    I'm thankful.
Margaret at Floral and Frayed is also filled with gratitude this week. Check out her blog and let her and I know what you're thankful for!

03 July 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (Come to Me)

This song below is played so often in my apartment that my roommate has commented about its (overly) constant sound.

Whoops. Meh.

But I don't really feel bad. I'm just learning to turn down the volume :)

I've needed to listen to it and be reminded of who God is.

In scripture it says to "Be still and know that I AM God". Listening to this song is one way for me to know that He is God.

The loudest thing God has been telling me for ages is to quiet myself before Him.

This song is so very incredible and filled with much mch truth.

Truth changes hearts. Jesus is truth. God loves you. Listen to this.

Be encouraged today friend.

This song is so intimate. It will show you God.

I am the Lord your God,
I go before you now.
I stand beside you
I’m all around you
And though you feel I’m far away
I’m closer than your breath
I am with you
than you know

I am the Lord your peace

evil will conquer you Steady now your heart and mind
Come into my rest

And oh, let your faith arise
And lift up your weary head

I am with you

you go Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

I am your anchor, in the wind and the waves

And I am your steadfast, so don’t be afraid
Though your heart and flesh may fail you
I’m your faithful strength
And I am with you
Wherever you go

Come to me, I’m all you need

Come to me, I’m your everything
Come to me, I’m all you need
Come to me, I’m your everything

Don’t look to the right or to the left, keep your eyes on me

You will not be shaken, you will not be moved

I am the hand to hold
I am the truth
I am the way

Just come to me,
come to me
Cause I’m all that you need