31 May 2013

the amount I have

A few morning ago as I was heading to work, I was thinking about blogging and stats, numbers and faces.

I realized something that I'd never even considered before.

If I led a ministry in a church, and each day, 65 people came to participate, I'd be satisfied.

     In fact, I might even go so far as calling that a success.

Why do I, because it's online, house expectations of grand and huge numbers?
I truly don't know.
Right now, my call is to steward my readership well.

If there does come a day when hundreds and thousands show up , I'll just put on more coffee and set up a few more chairs.

The message will never change.

Because the message is that Jesus died for sinners.

So for now, I can set up the chairs for those I know are coming, prepare my words, and thank Jesus for my pretty group that is exactly the size it's meant to be.

How about you? In your blog, ministry, church, or whatever you're leading, how do you steward well? How do you fight the tension between authenticity and growth? Share!

30 May 2013

{a walk through} psalm 44

One thing that I know is that my sin issues are different than yours.

My areas of belief and disbelief in the Gospel (or maybe a better way of saying that is my areas of following and not following the Gospel) are different than yours.

But God remains the same.
And the command remains the same.

Love God.
Love others.

If you have a few minutes, take some time to read through Psalm 44 today. I didn't necessarily (actually I did not) like it, but that doesn't take away the fact that the emotions spoken of it are still ones that the writer felt.

So I see this day in the Psalms as a day of increased compassion for me, for the ones I meet who I just don't understand their angst and hurt.

Our God is the same.

What have you read in the Bible lately that just didn't sit with you right? You can take that question however you'd like.

As well, I really recommend a comprehensive study of the Psalms. I share just a minuscule amount about what I'm reading, what I'm learning, and just the different things that come up. The past 5 months (wow 5 months of Psalms) have been so good for me and for my sanctification in Christ.

29 May 2013



From around August of 2010 up until December of this last year, I worked part-time for an out-of-school care program. I loved my kids. They were crazy, they were fun, and they were themselves.

I remember one day, walking into work and seeing this picture hanging on the wall. While the organization itself wasn't outrightly Christian, some of our kids were Christian.

The words are simple.
And spelt in the most awful ways.
Yet also the very best.

28 May 2013

{a walk through} psalm 43

Interestingly enough, the last verse in Psalm 42 and Psalm 43 are the same. I had snagged the verse in Psalm 42 and was going to use it last week, but then I read Psalm 43 and saw the same verse. Hm, interesting. It's almost as if the writer was going through a hard season and saying the same prayers over and over again.

Now that, I can relate to.

I can relate to somebody feeling downcast, not wanting to feel downcast, and turning to God amidst a hard season. I get that person. I'm often that person. Anytime I'm downcast, I want to be out. I want to be the cheerful self I know.

One thing I've have learned is that I absolutely must tell myself the Gospel. When I find myself getting overwhelmed by circumstance, I can remind myself that my identity is in Christ. In the seasons where God's will seems foreign, I can be assured that God is faithful and consistent.

So no matter what you're walking through today, I really hope that you can hear these words:

God is for you.

27 May 2013

vlog, what, cool.

Just taking a typing break for the day. Enjoy my awkward self.

25 May 2013

a quick note

It feels a bit funny to write this in a blog post, but, if you follow my blog via google friend connect, I'm planning on deleting that app in the next day or so. So if you'd like to keep getting notifications about my blog, please follow via bloglovin' or your preferred reader.

Okay yay.

24 May 2013

because God is control

You know that moment when you find out about something, and everybody looks at you like you're crazy for not knowing? That's the way I'm picturing you looking me right about . . . now.

Because I just listened to OCEANS by Hillsong for the first time on Tuesday, and man oh man, I was so blown away. Not at the beginning, not at the middle, but at the bridge. Upon a second and third listen, I now love every part of the song.

So if you like me, have been living under a rock, welcome to the new world where this song exists. And if you've heard it a thousand times, well than, here's another listen for you.


As I've listened to this song, over and over and over and over, this week, different waves have come over me.

Waves of peace that God is in control, and that I can confidently walk forward in whatever He calls me to because He is with me.

Waves of fear because God is in control, which means that I get to follow. I like leading. I like taking control. Following is harder for me. Quieting my heart to listen to His will is harder for me.

Waves of joy because God is in control. He is good. He is worthy of all of me. So I can joyously follow.

Waves of much more, all focusing on God being in control. He is good. I do love Him. And He does love me.

So I will sing these words over and over and over and over.

22 May 2013

a set of views

an old view.

I used to journal a lot. Nowadays I don't make as much time for that. I used to journal all my thoughts, a lot of my prayers, and a lot of songs. One of my current someday goals is to implement more handwritten writing into my life again.

Above left is a prayer. You can't read it because that's how I used to pray. I'd write Jesus at the top of the page and then just write out all my thoughts, over and over, on top and on top some more, keeping going until the prayer was done.

Above right is a song I wrote about 5 or so years ago. I pulled it out this week and was amazed that I could still remember it.

a new view.

I had a nice and long chit chat with a really dear friend on Monday. I left the conversation inspired to get a little more intentional around here. I'm not quite sure how that will look like, but I've pulled out a new journal, am working on a mission statement of sorts, and am thinking through a new design. I'll eventually start sharing some more about these thoughts filling my mind and journal.

Above left is said journal.

Above right is some prints and flowers. Pretty things inspire me, and there is no flower like a tulip to make me smile.

an overabundant view.

It really is fun to get to hang out with this little princess all the time.

a silly view.

This is from Mother's Day. It was fun, it was silly, and I loved it.

17 May 2013

And then I'll sing them again

It's always the most fun Sunday of my month when I get to play on the worship team. Currently we have three services, so basically I get to do my favourite thing (worship Jesus) ALL morning. I love it. It's such a joy.

This song, one we happened to sing on Sunday, is one I've heard before many times, and one that I've always thought is beautiful. Yet after hearing the sermon, my heart was in such a place of seeking Jesus. I needed Him to provide the comfort I haven't been finding in my endeavours.

And of course, He did.

So tonight, Sunday night as I write these words, I sing these words:

Your statutes are my heritage forever
My heart is set on keeping Your decrees
Please still my anxious urge toward rebellion
Let Love keep my will upon its knees

And I'll sing these words, words that almost always bring me to tears when I consider them:

I will seek You in the morning
I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

I'll keep singing them until I mean them with all my heart.
And then I'll sing them again. 

15 May 2013

relentless love

As someone who was raised in a Christian home, stopped believing, and was ultimately saved by Jesus a few years ago, this post is one of the most relevant and accurate articles I have read.

If you love Jesus and happen to love anybody who doesn't love Jesus, this is a great piece.

Here's a snippet which actually quite describes the reason I walked away from Jesus:

"At first I pretended that my reasoning was high-minded and philosophical. But really I just wanted to drink gallons of cheap sangria and sleep around. Four years of this and I was strung out, stupefied and generally pretty low. Especially when I was sober or alone."

Those words resonate with me. The reason I walked away from God had NOTHING to do with belief. It had to do with what I wanted. I wanted to serve myself.

So I did.

And God was relentless.
Absolutely relentless.

Picture me, about four years ago today, drunk as a skunk (whatever that means), sitting at a bus stop with a boy I'd met in a club telling him that we couldn't have sex because I was a Christian. And him honouring that.

That was the relentless love of Jesus in my life.
Saving me from my own stupid sin.
Protecting me from my selfish ambitions.

And there were consequences and hurts, pains that required a lot of grace to heal.

But that grace also came.
Of course that grace came.

And there were key people in that season of my life that both made it better (aka pointed me to Jesus) and who made it worse (aka didn't point me to Christ).

My parents were the very best. They didn't hide the fact that they did not agree with me, but they also were kind and gracious. They never stopped loving me, and they were always ready for me to start living for Jesus again. I know that they prayed for me.

I had friends who stopped talking to me because I wasn't living for God anymore. That didn't point me to Christ. That pointed me to the friends who would accept me as I was - namely the friends who didn't love Jesus.

I had one friend, who though she didn't hang out with me as much, told me that she prayed for me everyday. I knew that she was my friend through each moment, and that really impacted me.

I remember being angry at God.
Because He kept protecting me.

I was still going to church sometimes, typically hungover from the night before. I'd quit my youth leader position because it was too hypocritical, and I'd figured out ways to hide how much alcohol I was consuming from my parents - namely I just wouldn't go home at night.

So eventually I just got to a point of being frustrated.
I decided that I would move wherever God put me and I would start living for Him again.
Because I was tired of feeling pulled between the two.
I knew I had to make a choice.

I chose grace.

It took me a while to start living for God again.

I moved cities, found the church I'm at now, and tried to get my stuff together.

It was just a typical Sunday at Westside Church, my current church, when I heard the Gospel for the first time.

The pastor talked about how there was no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, and I went up and asked him about that.

It was that truth that saved me.

The truth that God loved me and accepted me led me to love and accept Him.

It took a long time for my heart to grasp it.
To believe that there really was no condemnation.

But eventually, really slowly, I realized that Jesus loved me right that very minute.
And the next minute.
And even ten minutes before.

The love of Jesus wasn't leaving me.
And it hasn't left me.

What's your story? I'd love to hear it.

14 May 2013

{a walk through} psalm 39

Last night after work, my friend Emily came over for a quick visit. We're in different yet similar life situations. We talked heart, home, work, school, friends, and all the things.

As she walked out the door at the end, we both laughed because we know that God is good, sovereign, and we get to give Him glory.

My hope is in God.
And oh ma goooodness! He is the best.

13 May 2013

even on the loneliest of nights

I go through seasons of singleness where I'm content, not content, joyous, sorrowful, and right smack in the middle. I vary from day to day, week to week, month to month. They're seasons so they're often changing.

After hosting a bridal shower Saturday, for a friend who I am SO excited to see married, two of the girls stayed for a while and we just talked girl stuff. Some of my heart issues came out into the light, and after they left, I wept with Jesus for a while.

I'm so grateful that Jesus does satisfy.
Even on the loneliest of nights, Jesus is the only One I want holding me.

How is Jesus satisfying you today? Where are you turning to other things instead of Him? I feel you if you are, but instead of going to those things that aren't glorying out God, let's turn away from them right now, walk to the cross, repent of our wandering hearts, and be met by grace. Wow. Yes. Let's do that.

10 May 2013

for whatever reason

Approximately ten times or so, I've opened a draft to write a post like this one. I always get scared though, for whatever reason, and end up deleting my words and deciding that this isn't worth sharing. That it's unimportant, that it's silly, and that it won't resonate.

So today I'm buckling up my big girl belt, leaning down to type the words, and getting over my silly fears that one blog post will ruin my life.

It's actually pretty silly that this one is the one that scares me since it's actually kinda fun.

I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to all the people who stop in here. I really can't explain how encouraged I am by the comments, by the emails, and by the precious prayer requests that you all hand me.

Sometimes it's overwhelming for me when you come to me with big things, especially when they're so much bigger than me. Yet I serve the Jesus who came to deal with the big things, so yay, we're all in good hands.

I think my fear in not wanting to post this, is that sometimes I feel funny about the word "blog" and being a "blogger" because it's not something that people in my life do. It's my online thing, and it's very separate from my offline life. I don't necessarily mind the separation, but it's odd for me to acknowledge my blog in real life - which somehow translates it hard for me to write about my blog on my blog.

It's been just about a year since I started taking blogging seriously (and I know this because I got my bill for the domain this week), if that's what you cal what I do now, and it's been such a fruitful year for me. It's been one wrought with life struggles, hurts, and pains, but also filled to the brim with joy, big laughter, and much much much peace.

I blogged for years before I became serious, but this year has caused me to write with dedication. Writing here has brought healing to my lack of devotional life because now I have to look to Jesus. I wrote this over on Moriah's blog on Monday, but it kind of bears repeating:
I blog because it requires me to be disciplined. Not only in writing each day, but also to consistently be filling myself up with truth. If my desire is to point to Jesus in my writing, I have to be going to Jesus all the time in my everyday life. I love that my blog forces me to do just that.

A recent commenter told me that I have a blog that is sharing truth and life. She commented on my honesty, and I wrote this in reply to her:
It's sometimes scary to be this honest in such an open space (the internet), yet when I'm honest, it always resonates with others. We've all sinned and fallen short - that is the Gospel we believe, and we're freed in Jesus - the best part of the Gospel - so for me to act like I don't have a past is just silly.
Then, on Wednesday night at community group, a friend also commented on how I have an authentic vulnerability that shines through in everything I do.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about that, since I'm not usually trying to be authentic (I guess I just am), but it was cool to hear that in both my online and offline life.

Anyway, awkward blog post aside, I'm truly grateful to have this space. I find it encouraging for my soul to write here because writing brings my heart to a place of worship.

Do you have a blog? Sometimes I get bummed when people comment but don't leave any way for me to contact them (outside of email which is okay too), so if you are a regular (funny word for a blog) around here, leave me a little note today sharing where you're coming from. I'd love to pop over to wherever you call home on the internet, and if you are one of my non-internet readers, well hi there too - please comment (it'll make me smile).

YAY! Okay awkward post finished!

09 May 2013

{a walk through} psalm 38

I shared on Tuesday how I'd opened the draft on Sunday and seen the verse that I had picked weeks ago, and how it had been really just excellent for the moment I was walking.

And so it goes again today. I wrote this last night after coming home from community group, and it was just so good last night! Fruitful and honest conversations about what Jesus has done, is doing, where we're not seeing Him, where we're not measuring up, where we're seeing Him pour out grace and mercy, and just good and beautiful dialogue. It's what community is for.

So I popped home after and walked over to this computer of mine and opened this document and prayed oh Jesus, let this be a good one.

And look at that verse! It's incredible.

Because there are two best parts of the Gospel, in my opinion.

The first best part is that all have fallen short of the glory of God.
I kind of sigh a big relief sigh when I remember that, because there is a sense of comradery in it.
That I'm not the only one who sins.
That I'm not the only one who falls short.
That I'm not the only one in absolutely desperate need of help.

And then the other best part, the really very truly best part of the Gospel.
That Christ died a sinner's death so that those who call upon His name don't have to anymore


Now that, that is good news.

In the quick drive from community group to home, I asked Jesus some questions, about pride and humility, issues I often struggle with - mostly in finding the balance - and during community group I had confessed some sins to the group that I was walking through.

And you know what Jesus said to me, and what He is saying to you?

You are forgiven.
You are a new creation.
Walk in the newness of life.
My freedom, I give to you.

grace upon grace upon . . . grace. 

When we call upon Jesus, we answers us.

Friend, I don't know your story. I don't know where you are today. But I do know that Jesus loves you, and desires to be in community with you.

08 May 2013

Your love is strong

I don't want to waste time with my own words today. Enjoy this sweet song.

Heavenly Father
You always amaze me
Let your kingdom come
In my world and in my life
You give me the food I need
To live through the day
And forgive me as I forgive
The people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window
The birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune
Or out of place
I look at the meadow
And stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl
On her wedding day

So why do I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens
Is now advancing
Invade my heart
Invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens
Is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself
To buy the one you've found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes, you love me

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us wicked sinners
Lead us far away from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

07 May 2013

{a walk through} psalm 37

As I write these words, it's Sunday evening. I made all the graphics for Psalm 30-40 a few weeks ago, so when I pop online to add my thoughts, it's usually the night before or the weekend before.

I opened it just now and let out HEH, Which probably doesn't sound attractive, but it was actually the beginning of some worship.

I needed these words this minute. I just spend some time calling out to Jesus, asking Him to act in my living situation. I just sang the words all of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship and I mean them will all of my heart.

I needed to take a step back from the pleading and simply worship Him for who He is.

On church we sang that song, desert song, and it was absolutely incredible. Because I felt freedom, and I felt the church feel freedom. There is power in praising God regardless of our circumstance. This video below is of the two ladies (and a dude right at the end of the video) who sing the song at Hillsong. I really really encourage you to take the few minutes to watch it. I'd seen it before but seeing it again Sunday night was just powerful for my heart. And it made me cry.

The way is unknown if I try to plot it out myself. 
If I trust in God, the way is known, because the way is His. I know Him well.

Commit your way. Check. however cautiously based on my sinful inability to fully commit to Him.
Trust in Him. Check. however tentativally since sometimes I forget that He's God and that I'm actually not God.
He will act. Obviously. 


06 May 2013

best friends are to sunny days

I interrupt your Monday in hopes that you are doing well, and finding joy in whatever kind of day you find yourself facing.

I shared a couple weeks ago that I've tentatively been raising my hand asking Jesus for more suffering, knowing that suffering leads to hope.

Well, He has been faithful in answering my prayer. While my feet have felt a little unsteady amidst the season I'm walking, I also have noticed that my trust in God isn't wavering. This isn't because I'm super great at trusting God. It's that He's been sifting my heart of control.

I met up with my mentor on Saturday and just talked about the word trust. It's one she really challenged me on during this past year because she knew I was claiming that I trusted God yet was also really holding onto control. I told her that I'm so thankful for this past year, and for her challenges, because now when I use the word trust, it holds so much more meaning to my heart.

Last night I went for a walk with my best friend Christy. I got ice cream, she got coffee, we sat and chatted, then we walked and chatted, then we sat on swings and chatted, and then walked and chatted some more. It was a perfect little evening.

She mentioned that my blog seems to be filled with hope lately. That really excited me, because I am filled with hope.

P.S. I'm hanging out over on my very lovely friend Moriah's blog today. Check it out!

03 May 2013

just a few of my friends

Here are three of my favourite posts by friends from this past week. Read them. I bet you'll be encouraged by them.

Mackenzie shared about the reason why she writes, and how God made her absolutely the right way. She caught my heart when she said:

The things we lack create space for Jesus to show His faithfulness and power - and when we know that we are lacking, we see that Jesus has all we need. 
Lindsey shared about keeping her second pregnancy quiet for a while. There was something in the sweet honesty of her words that really captured me.

That if something does go wrong, He is sovereign.  I'm thankful that I can cast my cares on Him because He cares for me.

Jessi shared that her brave button is broken. My heart can relate to that.

One thing you should know about me is I absolutely do not approach any situation with confidence. I can put on a mask of "can do", but my greatest fear in America is being found out.

02 May 2013

{a walk through} psalm 36

I love the end of this verse, where it says that in your light do we see light.

Because that makes absolute sense to me.

I look to Jesus because He is the light of the world. He is perfect light.

There is no other light. All else is darkness, or dimmed out fake lights. 

I've eluded to random things that are hard in life right now. It's only when I turn my face away from the light that I get overwhelmed by them. If I keep my eyes forward, toward the light, toward the fountain of life, I remain confident.

A confidence not in myself. A confidence in Christ. 

It's a perfect confidence.

01 May 2013

The next big thing

Last night my friend Ariana was over for dinner. We sat on my comfy couch and talked life. Mostly we talked about how everybody we know is either getting engaged, married, or having babies.

At one point I said something along the lines of sometimes I wish people would stop asking "what's next?" and simply ask "what's now?".

I've never really voiced that thought before, but it has crossed my mind.

It can be hard as a single girl to constantly feel like everybody is waiting for me to fall in love, myself especially included.
For the engagement.
For the marriage.
For the babies.
For the promotion.
For the grand-children.
For the next big thing.

For the whatever it is everybody is waiting for you to do.

It gets tiring.

So I'm letting yourself and myself off the hook today.

Let's simply be content in whatever season we're in right now, okay.

I'll try if you try.