Sunday, July 20, 2014

Run the Race

I recently ran a 5km race and beat my personal best time by 4 minutes! Half of it was because it was pretty flat ground, but a really cool thing happened half way through the race. Whenever I do my races, I put on Songza and play the "Christian Hits" playlist for some inspiring up-beat tunes. It happened when I ran the Around the Bay, and it happened again this time as well...
The PERFECT song came on when I wanted to give up, when I wanted to just stop and walk.
The song this time was about not stopping even though you feel like giving up, run the race and don't stop, it's not over yet. 

Something along those lines.

It was the perfect motivation and God "push" I needed to motivate me to keep going... pushing past the pain and into doing what I never knew my body was capable of doing.

But I realized. The motivation I was given from that song was just that... motivation. It didn't get rid of the pain, it didn't pick me up and move me further along without effort, it actually made me put in even MORE effort, more pain... but it got me through. It made me feel like someone was with me, cheering me on, wanting me to succeed.

There are situations, seasons, circumstances in our lives that are painful. God may not take the pain away, or take you out of that uncomfortable situation... but He is there to keep you motivated to move forward. 

I am in a season right now that can get pretty lonely. 
I expected this may be the case moving into an apartment by myself and switching churches, my friends are getting married and I'm single... soooo that all adding up - weekends may consist of me sitting in my yoga pants watching Netflix with a jar of Nutella.... Don't judge.

This weekend was kind of tough.
But what I know, is what I knew in that race. That this pain is temporary. That this is just a season. That this current circumstance means im on the way to something better. 

Breakthrough is coming, but I might need to endure a little pain before I get there.

The motivation? That I trust the one who has created the path I am running. There may be more uphill climbs than other peoples journey right now, but that only means stronger muscles in the end. 

I'm okay with being strong.

And when I feel weak, its okay... because His word says that when I am weak, that is when His strength is made perfect.
I can lean on Him in the hard seasons, in the uphill climb, when I can't breathe - He will get me through.

I don't know what the future has for me, but I know it's going to be worth it whatever is it, or whoever it will be with. I trust the one that holds my future in His hand... and I trust his timing.

For right now, I will embrace the "now". Which means hard work, pushing through, trusting, leaning on Him, and getting out of my comfort zone and praying... a lot.

I'm okay with that.

xo sc

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Be Careful What You Pray For

It's funny how meeting new people brings up a list of insecurities you didn't know you had... until that moment. A friend once told me that relationships are like holding a giant mirror to your face. You can't help but notice your flaws and insecurities.

I recently did a dumb thing...

I hate weekends. It means being home alone and doing everything in my power to stay busy and occupied so I don't get stuck in my own head for too long. Being disconnected from my church, not in a relationship, and living on my own - things can seem lonely.

I was walking through the door and reflecting on how bored I have been socially. So... I simply asked God.
I said "I don't need a relationship. I'm okay to wait for that. I just want to go on a date. Just have someone take me out for coffee, meet someone new. Thats all"

See.... it was dumb because I know the power of prayer. I know He listens.
... and now I am going out for coffee this morning with a new friend...
I had gone running down to the bridge pier last week and met a nice guy. We walked back the same way and it was just easy to talk. So we are meeting up again.

It doesn't surprise me... Because God has shown me in other ways that He hears me. He hears my desperate pleas, my prayers, even when I think I'm just talking to a wall. And something so simple as this, he is using to show me that He is still there... even when I don't think He is.

And I feel that way a lot.

I don't think this meeting for coffee will turn into anything. Actually I'm almost positive it won't. It was that "date" I had prayed for in that moment of boredom. BUT I'm suddenly feeling a flood of insecurities on my part. What do I wear? What do I say? What do I eat? What if it's awkward? When do I leave?

I am realizing I'm okay with my comfortable weekends.........

Anyway... Here goes nothing.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Goodbye Roberto the Turtle

Have you ever lost something sentimental?

Recently, I took my car to get the interiors cleaned for the first time. I was so excited! Except when I got back in the car and started driving, I realized the little Mexican turtle I lovingly named “Roberto” was gone! My mind could only imagine the way he was removed from his home. A clean sweep of a dirty washcloth catapulted him out the window…. Or perhaps he was sucked up by the scary and powerful vacuum?! Either way, I am forced to part ways with my little friend who was always the main compliment of any person I drove around.

When I was around 13, I went with my family on a vacation to Mexico. We went into town, and I still remember to this day where I was and what it all looked like. I bought this little turtle, among about 5 others for some friends. His little head bobbed up and down and thought he was very cute! You could tell he was hand-made and hand-painted, but I immediately fell in love. Silly right?

When I got my first car at 17, a dark purple dodge shadow, my dad used a small piece of duct tape and put this little guy on the dash. Now, I had long forgotten about him but my dad came across him and thought it would be a funny thing to do. When I moved into my next car at around 19/20, a green Pontiac Sunfire, the turtle appeared again on the dash. In full bobble-head fashion, he would never fail to make me smile. It was clearly my dad who put him there again, but it seemed as if he just came on his own. Silly… I know. Last year, at age 25, I finally bought my beautiful white Mazda 3 and of course, it didn’t feel at home until there was a few touches of pink and little Roberto the turtle. My dad, again, ensured he moved over before we scrapped the Pontiac.

This was my first time taking my car to the auto spa. I saved up for it, a way of bringing in the summer! Now I regret such a decision. Without Roberto bobbing away on my dashboard, I feel I have to close a chapter that I wasn’t ready to close! I promptly looked only – eBay only sells a family of 10 or 20 and the shipping alone is $10. Not worth it. I then quickly called my mom who was at the cottage. Mom: “Hello?” Me: “We need to go to Mexico!!!!” Mom: “….Why?” When I told her how Roberto was gone, she felt as sad as I did. It means a lot that something that can seem so stupid from the outside resonated with her as much as it did with me.
Whenever I would pick up or drive my friends, they never failed to tap the little turtle’s head to make him bobble more OR would make note of how he seemed to bobble to the music. He was an object that you wouldn’t think twice of, but he had value.

Sentimental value. The turtle itself probably cost no more than $3, but the sentimental value alone was priceless. The item in and of itself is nothing. Im pretty sure it was made of scrap material! But the memories attached to him are what I value. The family vacation, my dad trying to make me smile by putting him in there in the first place, and my friends smiling because of him. Objects and products and stuff isn’t the thing that gives our lives value – but instead the memory and emotion associated with it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I'm a WIP...

I am realizing I am a WIP.

At work, when we are working on a file, we have to title it "WIP" in the system to notify others that the file is a "Work in Progress" and should not be archived (kept forever safe), or deleted.
It is not useless, but it's not at it's full potential to be kept forever yet... it's at it's most active state.

I think commonly about the little mistakes or flaws I have daily and I wonder... when will I stop?

Checking my texts at red lights.
Eating too much sugar.
Not being disciplined in reading my bible.
Allowing the criticism of others to penetrate my soul.
Anxiety about not experiencing everything this life has to offer... Fear of Missing Out

I struggle with all of these and A LOT more. How great would it be to recognize a "flaw" in us, and just flip a switch so it isn't an issue anymore. But we keep doing these things over and over knowing the consequences of it. Why?

I know that if I only eat sugar all day, I will feel awful and not have energy later.
I know that if I participate in gossip, my perception of that person is tainted.
I know that if I don't fill my life with truth, lies will be able to creep in very easily.

I've prayed many times for God to help me recognize the areas in my life I need to work on. Guaranteed if you ask him that, he will be more than happy to point them out to you. But where do we go from there?

I'm slowly starting to realize, most of this (even the small stuff) cannot be done on my own strength. 
I strive and strive for this perfection, for this better version of myself, and I end up losing energy. Losing motivation.

The power lies within prayer, fellowship, and most importantly in the word of God. There is so much TRUTH in the Bible that refocuses your perspective onto what is good.
I was having a small anxiety attack (Something I've dealt with since University). Do you ever go on Facebook and feel your life seems so sad in comparison???? I quickly texted three of my friends and just said "Dealing with anxiety, I need truth!!!" Promptly, they send me scripture that, like a fast acting medication, relieved my anxieties and redirected my focus onto the bigger picture.

I am blessed.
I am loved.
I am important.
I have a purpose.
I have an adventurous future.
Great things are just around the corner!

I wouldn't of been able to get past that anxiety so quickly had I not reached out for help from God, or from friends. Salvation, and God's love, is a gift. He is standing there holding out this gift, free, for you right now but it is still your choice to recieve the gift and take it into your hands.

We can't always think "Why is my life this way" when we don't do our part. Im learning to speak to God more about the things I only keep in my mind. My insecurities, my hopes, my dreams, my desires, my worries... all of these I try to submit to God. He has never failed to show me encouragement, direction, or granted me wisdom in these situations.

I still make mistakes. I still mess up. But I know that whenever I do, there is grace and He is always there, with his hands held out with an offer to get back on your feet. I am only "In Progress" because I choose to chase after Jesus, and I am trying to let God lead me through my flaws and mistakes. 

Lets be honest, I will always be a WIP. 
Until I am made complete the day I meet Jesus face to face (archived!) haha

You were as I, tempted and tried. Human. 
The word became flesh, Bore my sin and death,
Now you're risen.
Everything I once held dear, I count it all as loss.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

26 Goals for My 26th Year

So it's been a while since I last wrote. I moved back home (yes, it was the right decision), my church has gone through some major changes with a lot of the Pastors leaving, I am single (again) and loving it, back dancing, lost my Grampy (love you), and had some progression in my job. Also... I'm another year older!

My incredible friends threw a surprise party for me, which made up for me having the flu during my actual birthday. I felt so overwhelmingly loved, appreciated, and hearing their kind words made me realize that I do not see myself the same way others may. 
One of my friends challenged me to make 26 specific goals for this year, and I thought what better way to document it than on my blog!

So here it goes, my 26 goals for 2014:

1. Post a blog once a month

2. Read my bible every morning during the week.

3. Share my testimony at some point

4. Go see the Ballet in Toronto

5. Visit Friends in NYC

6. Watch the sunset in Sauble

7. Visit the Colosseum in Rome

8. Go in the Eiffel Tower in Paris

9. Do more segments in front of the camera

10. Go sky diving or white water rafting

11. Run a 5km without stopping

12. Do the Ride for Refuge in the fall - 50km

13. Learn an instrument (guitar)

14. Take Tuck on a walk once a week.

15. Stick to ballet - at least one class a week

16. Travel overseas

17. Dance at Maria's wedding

18. See Jenn and Duncan share their first kiss as a married couple

19. Save $10,000  by the end of the year

20. Take an online course to help my career

21. Go on a date

22. Learn Portuguese

23. Take Jay to the zoo

24. Visit the aquarium in Toronto with a friend

25. Learn one recipe each month

26. Fall in Love 

xoxo S.