Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Christianity Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1, I'm tired of Christianity being something I so easily glossed over and took for granted. I want to wake up, to dig deep and to find more then surface level Christianity.
I wrote about rituals other religions have -meditation, specific prayers... - and I wondered about Christianity. I thought about how I, and I'm sure other people too, just took Christianity for granted. I knew God was always going to be there, I knew He knew what I was thinking so I didn't have to put it into words, I knew He loved me. But I wasn't putting anything in to this relationship. I was letting it become one sided.
In Church on Sunday, we had Communion. I do Communion every time our church does it, and I have even had some realizations sitting there holding the cracker, or the cup. But this time was different. It was actually me paying attention, actually realizing that, "Wow, I want every day to be like this, every minute to be a reminder of what Jesus did for me."
I want to be continually aware. I want to dig deep and become more then just fine in my relationship with God. I want it to be more then a passing thought.
These little tiny thoughts began floating through my head... What is I began reading the Bible more? What if I began actually being available and listening to hear God's voice?Maybe those other religions don't have it all wrong. I'm not saying their views on how to get to heaven and on God are correct, but maybe they know something we don't.
They sit for quite possibly hours at a time, just being still. They worship daily, reciting Scriptures and reading them aloud.
What would my life be like if I began doing that? What would it be like if I stopped rushing around, stopped taking for granted the wonderful relationship I have with God, and was still? What would happen if I took those few minutes out of my day to read a Bible passage, or to memorize a Scripture, or to just sit in silence and listen for God's voice?
There's so many thoughts I have on this topic right now, and I don't have time to unpack them all, but this is just a little bit of what I've been thinking.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Christianity Part 1

I'm reading a book that is challenging views I had on Christianity, and in a good way. The book I'm reading isn't written by a Christian speaker, Bible teacher or pastor. The book I'm reading is one woman's journey in search of herself, and God. The part I'm at now is the place where she finds God at a Buddhist temple in India. And yet, I am finding so many things I over looked in my own faith hidden within the pages of this woman's novel.
At the beginning of the book, it starts out when the main character is laying on her bathroom floor, and she talks to God for the first time. I was struck by the simplicity of her prayer, the way she called out to God and talked to Him like a friend.
"God? It's me, Liz."
Is it possible that we, as Christians, become wrapped up in fancy prayers with words like "Thou Art" and all these big fancy words that we forget the simplicity that I found as I read Liz's first prayer to God, the relationship?
And in the walls of the temple in India, as Liz prayed, and meditated and did whatever it is she did at that temple, I wondered if sometimes we take for granted our faith. As Christians, we go to church on Sunday and then we go about the rest of our lives, sometimes shrugging Jesus off like a coat, sometimes taking for granted the fact that we have access to Jesus and become so wrapped up in knowing He's there, and that He knows our thoughts, that we forget to work on the relationship.
Maybe I'm totally off here, but it got me thinking. Most other religions and faiths that I know of have a routine or a ritual. Meditation, hours devoted to pray or Bible readings, reciting Scriptures, whatever.
I'm just tired of people - myself included- becoming so complacent about Christianity and their faith, and just taking for granted we have a God who knows everything, who is everywhere, who made us all these wonderful promises and who loves us so incredibly.
Maybe this is only my view on things, and maybe it's not really like this. Maybe it's just my life, and the way I've been taking my faith for granted over this past little while. Living in Canada, I have so many privileges. I have the privilege to be able to choose my faith and to practice that.
When did it become just another part of my day? When did I start taking for granted that the Creator of the Universe wants me?!? When did I become so satisfied with the simple way things were I no longer wanted to dig deeper? When did Christianity just become something I thought about in the brief moments when I said a prayer before I fell asleep at night, or when I was sitting in Church for 2 hours on a Sunday morning?
I want to wake up, and become aware. I want more of a relationship, more of the God I love. I want to be active in my faith, letting it become more then a passing thought at the end of each day or week.
I want more.

Friday, July 27, 2012

7 Quick Takes ~ Volume 9

1. I haven't posted regularly for a long time, and I miss it. I miss having conversations with you beautiful people at my kitchen table, even though we really may be hours apart. I don't know when I'm going to be back to blogging regularly. Until then, please feel free to enjoy me in tiny bursts when I do decide to get my butt over here and blog something :)

2. I guess one of the more important things I should mention is that I totally changed my diet. A friend recommended this to me at the end of June, as she had already started on this new diet change and it was working well for her and she thought maybe it would help me as I had been having really bad stomach pain. I was skeptical, but after finding some recipes online that fit with this new diet, I made the switch. It's been almost 2 weeks and I feel great!

3. So, as for the diet change, I made the switch to NO white flours or refined sugars. I'm also limiting the amounts of gluten in my diet. I've defiantly been noticing the changes. For one, my stomach pain has been cut in half! It is less frequent, and I haven't had any severe pain episodes. (YAY!!!!) Also, I've noticed I have had a lot more energy (No longer needing a rest in the afternoons and actually feeling rested when I get up in the mornings) I also haven't found myself missing junk foods that much, as I am in love with finding new ways to make my every day diet taste great.

4. I was stuck at number 4. And I wrote this big long thing, quoting the words of Taylor Swift and people, and then decided I didn't like it so I erased it all. :)

5. So, July is almost over, which makes me sad. Even though this summer hasn't really felt like summer, it's nice to not have any school. I am excited for August though. August brings Vegas, and the GSD convention (Read something yesterday that I loved: GSD stands for Got Super Determination. Isn't that right?) This summer has been more work then I intended, more figuring things out, more trying to figure out where I'm going, more healing and journeying and stumbling and waiting.

6. For those of you who didn't know, for school in September, I'm doing half and half. (Am I the only one who thinks that makes me sound like a cup of coffee?) For one of my math classes (I'm doing two) and my chem and physics, I am going to the Catholic School in Sexsmith, where my siblings go. And for the rest of my classes, I'll be doing online. This next year is going to be a big year for me. It's grade 11, the year before my last one. It's when I'm actually old enough to start thinking about careers and going to college (WHAT?!?! I can't be that old already!) And it's scary, trying to figure out what you might want to be for the rest of your life, and having all this pressure on you to be good enough. But you know what? I'm learning it's ok if I don't always see the path I'm going to take, sometimes it's ok if I just see the next step.

7. I was going to write about something here, but there's this tiny butterfly outside my window who is distracting me. It's reminding me of change, and that one day the caterpillar wakes up and becomes a butterfly, that when a caterpillar thinks his life is over, he becomes a butterfly, and that to become a butterfly, you must want to fly so much you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.
Change is sometimes a good thing... and one of these days I'm going to break out of this cocoon and fly

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Purple Eye Shadow

On Sunday, I went for the dramatic look. I wore this purple eye shadow that actually looked really good. But one of the first things my family (Mainly my dad and my brother) said when I came up that morning, "Wow, where'd you get the black eye?"
I was reminded of that today, when Natalie Lloyd wrote her blog post, about pink lipstick and black eyes.
Sometimes the best thing to do when life throws you a curve ball is to put on that dramatic eye shadow, or that pink lipstick.
Like last night, it was a night for me when I was just feeling everything. I was watching private practice when I got frustrated at my hair. It just really bothered me, and I wanted nothing more then to grab scissors and give myself a haircut (Would have regretted that!) Instead, I spent half an hour sitting in front of the mirror getting my hair to look like Audrey Hepburn (Or so I say)
I remember my friend Paula's daughter saying once that if you're having a bad day you just need to put on some lipstick.
But isn't that sometimes the best thing to do? Put on some lipstick and get over it? Be creative, go for the bold, artsy look with your eye shadow, style your hair like a 50's and 60's icon?
Yeah, bad days are going to come. I'm going to spill on my shirt and my eye liner is going to attack my eye and I'm going to find out my classes for school start at 9:00am.
I'm going to get crazy medical reports and I can't untangle myself from yesterday's mistakes and I fall flat on my face.
But sometimes the best thing to do is get back up, and get back out there. Be girly, be crazy, be artsy and bold and passionate and creative and totally me... Because God still loves me.
His love for me is crazy, and I'm only now starting to realize it.
I've been thinking about God's love for me a lot lately, and I can't help but smile to myself sometimes. It's great to be moved by God's love.
So if you're brave enough to walk out that front door, to wear dramatic eye shadow, to have a modeling shoot in your basement even though you're not the most graceful person out there, to tell the guy you like how you feel, to be loud and outspoken and proud... there are going to be times when it hurts. But God's love doesn't change. Rest in His love, in His comfort, in His peace and promises.
Then go put on that lipstick and get back out there!


Sunday, July 22, 2012


I am blessed. I've been trying to think of a word that describes how I'm feeling right now, but the only word that fits is Blessed.
I wonder if I can describe the incidents that led up to my heart being so full, or if I should even try.
This morning was church.
For the first time in what seems like forever (Probably only a month or so) I sat with my friends. I sat next to one of my friend's, who is pretty tall. I'm pretty tiny. So whenever I sit next to him I feel extraordinarily small. There are two different outcomes that can come with a situation like this, either I will feel super self concious about my height, or I'll feel protected. Today, it was the second. Sitting there, I did feel tiny, but I also felt safe, and protected, and comfortable.
The sermon today was on getting out of that spiritual armchair. It was about trusting God, even when you can't see the next step. It was about prayer, fasting and fellowship.
One of the examples used is when Jesus prayed, before He was taken away to be crucified. In a moment when He was totally man and totally God, seeing the future and not wanting to be there if there was any other way. He prayed, and asked God that if there was any way He didn't have to do this, that it would be shown to Him. He didn't want to be there, He knew it was going to be filled with pain and hurt, and yet He surrendered to God's will and followed.
Isn't that where I'm at? Isn't that where I'm standing, asking God is there is any other way, because I know the road ahead is going to be filled with pain and sturggle? And yet, God said no. God said, "I want you here for a reason." And so, my answer is, "Ok. I trust you."
After the service was over, I met with one of my favorite people. She worked with the youth this last year, she's in my parent's small group, and she's going to have a baby in September. She also gives the best hugs, so I always look forward to seeing her.
She asked about our holidays, and school next year, and then she asked how my doctor's appointment went at the beginning of this month.
It's been something I haven't told a lot of people about. I didn't even tell anyone we were going until the morning before, when I emailed a friend of mine to let her know, and asked her to pray. I've only told a few people about the appointment, as I said, and never out loud. It was always by email, or text message. So saying the words out loud, saying where I'm at, it was healing for me.
And when I said the words out loud, a small bit of their power slid away. Yes, like Jesus prayed in the garden, I don't want to be in this place because I know the road ahead, and yet the words don't hold any power over me. They don't define who I am, or what my life is going to look like. I've already chosen who holds the power in my life.
It's these kinds of moments I think I could miss if I blink in the wrong instant, these moments I would never have gotten if I wasn't walking the road I am.
I am so incredibly blessed, and right now there is no place else I'd rather be.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sara's Story

Today, I was introduced to Sara's Story.I cried the whole way through, because my prayer is that someday I can be the kind of woman that Sara was. I can only hope my life inspires others the way that Sara's did, that my journey will encourage other people out there. I want to live like that, to love people so deeply.
I want to choose joy, even when my world isn't great. I want to make people feel important, because my Jesus loved people.
Though I don't know where my life is headed right now, I want to trust God. I know the plans He has for me are good, and they will bring glory to Him.

Take a minute and watch Sara's story. I know it's 30 minutes, but I can tell you it is totally worth it.

Heaven will mean finally being complete...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The beginning

I'm finding the only way I can write these days is in my novel. I journal, and send the odd random text or email  to a friend, but whenever I try to write on the blog, I come up short. I end up staring at a blank page for a long time, wondering if I'll ever be able to find a way to say what I feel. Anyway, here's another bit of that novel I've been writing.

Wednesday, August 3
It was the most bizarre feeling, as there had been no tests done to confirm that there was anything wrong, and as I had just been to the doctor’s that morning. There hadn’t been anything to indicate that anything was awry.
But as I lay in bed that night, I wept. I begged God for this not to be the case, for Him to miraculously heal me. It was the first time I’d ever prayed for healing, remembering how, in the Bible, Jesus had healed the blind and the lame, the leper and raised the dead back to life. In that moment, I hoped for no less for myself.
I felt Him say “no.”
My rational brain tried to tell me I was crazy, but I knew. Not in that moment, but soon after, I began to praise the One who gives, and takes away.
And He saw me…
On that lonely July evening, He came and met with me. And He remained there… and remains there still. His peace wrapped around me like a blanket on a cool November night. These days are imprinted on my memory, as a reminder of the Father’s faithfulness. Despite the loneliness that plagues me, there isn’t a moment when I’m alone.
Who I was before, who I am now, the waiting, and the knowing, it is a treasure to me, something more valuable then healthiness itself.
He is here, close by my side, and there is something beautiful in the knowledge that I am not walking this road alone.
I’m wondering if God’s timing, and His revelation, has anything to do with a redemption for me? I’m wondering if it is His way of bringing back the one He loves.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I haven't felt like blogging much.
I've been writing up a storm... but not here.
I started a novel less then a week ago, and am almost at 15,000 words.
I never planned to write a novel, or I did, but not this one.
And yet, this is the story that so easily flows out of me
It's honest & makes me stop for a minute and figure out who I really am
It's a good book & it's helping me through these times when it feels like there's not enough air for me to breathe
There's so much pain on this earth & my heart is longing for heaven
Maybe someday soon I'll share some of the pieces of this novel, cause it really is beautiful
For today, though, here's a little taste of what I've been working on...

Saturday, August 6

I love you, Lord.
 I believe you when you say nothing can separate us. Though my soul lacks words to pray, I believe you see me here. You see my broken body as it crumples down to the floor. You see my frustration at my inability to fix this situation- and to take away pain.
A while ago, I prayed you would use me, and who am I to take back that offer now? I don’t want my faith to change with the tides, because if it does it simply isn’t good enough.
He’s here, and He see’s every tear I cry and every time a smile crosses my face. He calls me His own, and is fiercely protective of me.
 Just as I am protective of my tiny secret, of my body, He is protective of me. And for a moment I almost have to pause and wonder why, but then His quiet whisper fills me ears, “Because you are mine.”
He loves me with a love that is greater then something I can understand, and even as I walk through this waiting vigil, He wraps His arms around me.
One thing I’ve learned, as I’ve waited and longed, is that the love God has for me is beyond what I can perceive. The plans He has for me are better than I could ever imagine. His plan for me is here still. And I trust Him so completely that there is nowhere else I’d rather be.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I want to... part 2

I want to jump in a lake and swim to the bottom where it is the coldest and stay there until i feel like my lungs will explode

I want to curl up under a pile of blankets- even though we're in the middle of a July heatwave - and sit on the couch, which has become my companion these last few days, and just sit, maybe reading, maybe watching some 'bad' TV, maybe eating, but mostly sitting... and thinking

I want to call up one of my friend's on the phone, and just listen to them breathe

I want to fall asleep listening to Scottish Music (My new love!)

I want to eat things that make me feel good: some changes are just harder to make

I want to wear long flowy dresses without caring how practical they are - if only i could get out of these darn PJ's

I want to be on the missions trip again, where I was this time last year, when everything was more certain and I felt Him there, where i fell in love

I want to talk to Spencer, cause it's his birthday on the 12th. I want to congratulate him, but there's no congratulations to be had. So instead I want to celebrate the life he had, the special gift he was to me - and to everyone he met - and to wish we all got to have one more conversation with the guy that impacted us so greatly

I want to write until my fingers ache and until there's no words left pouring out of my soul. they might not make sense, but at least it's something

I want to read blog entries about things that stirr my heart and make me feel something I can relate to

I want to hide away from the world, sitting on my couch with a cup of tea under a pile of blankets and watch grey's anatomy until my eyes burn... and then i want someone to come and rescue me

i want to stop writing wanting posts, 'cause i think they might be becoming my new thing, and we already know i have enough of those.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


1. To bring or transport to the proper place or recipient
2. To surrender (someone or something) to another; hand over
3. To secure (something promised or desired)
a. To give birth to: She delivered a baby boy this morning.

8. To give forth or produce
9. To set free, as from misery, peril, or evil: deliver a captive from slavery. See Synonyms at save1.
1. To produce or achieve what is desired or expected; make good

I don't wanna write.
I want to curl up in bed and watch movies and drink tea.
But this morning, a friend called me as I had agreed to help her with some information she needed from her book. The first thing out of her mouth wasn't one of the questions we had already agreed on, but it was the honest question, "How are you?"
I wanted to cry.
I told her I'm ok, cause I am.
She'd entered in with me to this place, letting me talk when I wanted or not talk when I couldn't.
It reminded me of a time last summer, of borrowing strength.

It doesn't matter how long I've been wandering around in the wilderness. God always keeps His promises, even when you think morning is never going to come. His promise to deliver me, He kept it.
And when God promises a peace that passes all understanding, He really does mean it.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Push for your tush walk ~ a girl with GSD who wants to cure cancer

I did something today I thought I'd never do... I walked a 5K
It was only supposed to be a 1K, but once I got going, I felt like I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't at least try to make it all the way
So I walked, and walked, and nearly an hour later I crossed the finish line, gasping for air with my head held high
I recorded a message in my phone after we'd finished the race, and I said to myself "You will not believe how proud you are of yourself in this moment."
And I was so proud of myself...
It was a 5K to raise money for Colon Cancer. That was what my grandma passed away from, 4 years ago today. It started out as a family walk, something we were all going to do together.
But our little dysfunctional family isn't all so speedy, so we all split up, some crossing the line first and some of us limping along at the back of the pack
But as I began walking, it wasn't just about raising money for Colon Cancer.
It was about my grandma, and my friend Spencer, and my friend Emily, and for everyone who doesn't get to be a person here on earth anymore
It was about all of my friend's who are spending today in hospital beds or in wheelchairs, and who would give almost anything to be able to walk around for a day
It was about my friend Crystal and my friend Dre - who have had cancer, and who are fighting cancer, and who are surviving
It was about me, and spending my life defying the odds, and living outside of those lines and pushing myself and not giving up
When I crossed that finish line, the sense of pride and accomplishment that was there was amazing. I felt like I had done something that I didn't think I could do. Yeah, I'm sick and I was exhausted and didn't feel the greatest and it was hot... but I can.
I can walk and I can fight for a cure, so that other people don't have to go through a battle with cancer. I can fight for everyone who has cancer, so that they can fight for themselves and they can survive. I can walk for everyone who doesn't get to be a person anymore.
I walked a 5K today, because I can.
I defied the odds, I crossed the line, I tried and I made it
If I could have captured that feeling in a picture - the feeling i had as i crossed the line - the picture would be worth a million dollars. It would be a picture of pride, of accomplishment, of success.
But above all of those things, it would be the picture of a fighter... and a survivor

Saturday, July 7, 2012

my life is a mystery ~ full of wants and wishes

Pinned Image
I want to write about awesomeness...
I want to write about the awesome guy at the zoo wearing a kilt with long hair tied back into a ponytail, and earrings and these awesome boots.
I want to write about going to Cora's for breakfast this morning (restaurant, not a person's house) and trying this pork pate thing, because there's nothing I don't want to try once
I want to write about buying the new Maroon 5 album this morning at Starbucks, while I sipped my morning latte
I want to write about this guy I saw on the L.R.T coming back to the hotel from the Stampede, and how even though I was kind of staring like a crazy lady, I couldn't look away because there's something you see when you look at somebody else, that kind of connection that can't be explained, where you wonder what their story is, and you wonder if you look like that to other people
I want to write about sitting in the rain at the Stampede, and throwing my head back in laughter and feeling the rain on my skin and wondering if this is what being alive feels like
I want to write about reading this book for the millionth time because it feels like coming home, and it feels safe and secure when everything around me isn't
I want to write about all these questions going round and round inside my head, questions with no answers, or the answers leading to even more questions
I want to write about love, and those people...
I want to do things because I can and to live dangerously, outside the lines. I want to say what I think and to mean what I say and to have confidence and boldness and passion.
I don't want to live my life inside the lines, but outside of them, crossing them.
I want to write stories, and novels, and art
I want to write about all these fears and hopes and all these emotions inside of me that don't belong to anyone else, but sometimes i wish they did
I want to tell stories, my own story, and other people's, and I want to hear other people's stories about what makes them laugh, and cry, and hurt, and love
I want to stop writing a post starting with the words 'I want' because if I went on writing about everything I wanted right now in this very moment this post would be long...
I want to travel, and to fall in love, and to find something I'm passionate about, and to know what i want, and to live a life full of courage and bravery and strength, full of hope and vibrancy and maybe a little bit of magic. I want to say all those things I don't say but wish I did, and to be honest more, and to spend my days wandering through book stores and coffee shops wearing dresses.
I want to live fully, completely, 100%. I am afraid of the un-lived life.
I want to live fully, or not at all...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Flickering to life

Today I was at my friend Cairo's. In the afternoon, she had a fiddle gig, so I spent the afternoon hanging out with her amazing family.
I played some piano, even though I have no idea how to play those fancy chords!
And then her mama came home, and she sat down in front of the piano...
I watched her, the way her shoulders were leaning down, as if she was trying to protect this brilliant piece of music that she was birthing.
This, I remember thinking, is what feeling sounds like
And maybe you do have to come back to the beginning before you can start all over again
As the notes echoed out across the house, I thought of this place where beauty is birthed from trial and hope cries out to be noticed from its place among the thorns
I was filled with hope, as I listened
I was struck by the beauty and the passion
I was reminded of the strength that was hiding deep within me
Maybe it was still there. I hope it is
Sitting there, in that room beside this wonderful musician, I felt my heart flicker back to life

Lean into the music, and let it go. Let the pain you've been carrying for so long slide off your shoulders. You've got it in you to make it, to get through this, to awaken this summer that is crouching in the shadows of your soul and scare off this winter. Let your heart feel again, remember what it's like to live bravely, passionately, beautifully.

I wish I could perfectly describe what I felt in those moments: the feeling of my heart flickering back to life, the feeling of feeling something again, the feeling of beauty rising up and of the pain of life being transferred into a song.

This is what feeling sounds like, I whispered to myself. It was the same feeling I got last summer, as I listened to one of my friends playing guitar, the words he sang as if they were being whispered just for me, as hope and strength showered down over my heart and i was flickering back to life. Both of these moments, I was honored to be a part of.
It was the vulnerability and passion I saw wrapped up in these moments, the stirring of my heart.
So I let the sound float down over me, wrapping me in its gentle embrace.
It made my heart flicker back to life, made me remember my very heartbeat is a symphony. There is still life here, still passion and strength and hope hiding out in this heart.

Like a bird singing in the depths of winter, reminding you not to give up, that there is more coming still. Like a candle in the night, reminding you that brighter days are coming, that there is still hope dwelling here because it's not completely dark. Like a flower blooming on the first day of spring, reminding you that life is still alive and hasn't died under the chilling cold of winter. Like the lion's roar sending out a message of strength.

I want to make a mess of a story.
Make a mess of a song.
I want to do whatever it takes to get it out of me.
I want to lean into the lyrics again
and whisper over the words I'm most afraid of.
I want to find my way back.
and sing my way through.
I'll let these words be my map to someplace good.
That's all they've wanted to be all along, I think.