Thursday, March 31, 2016

He Will Make Your Paths Straight {Proverbs 3:5-6}

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

We must remind ourselves that God holds the bigger picture. 

I held tightly to this verse when I was faced with a decision to leave my place of employment. I knew what it meant to walk away from my pay-check. But I also knew I was not at peace there any longer. I read this word - "In all your ways, submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight." I knew that meant whatever decision I made, regardless if it was right or wrong, God had the power to get me back on track.

That situation you are worried about has already been resolved in his eyes. If we lean in our own understanding - we are robbed of the beauty of the journey. In choosing to trust God, we can rest in his peace knowing that his plans are greater, more magnificent, and more amazing than we can ever ask, dream or imagine. He is more powerful and loving than we can ever understand.

{so let go my soul and trust in Him the waves and wind still know his name}

"God, you hold the key to my heart. You know my anxious thoughts and not only what worries me today, but what I will face tomorrow. God help me to hold tightly to your grace, forgiveness and love. Help me to understand that your power is greater than the mountain I am facing today. Make my paths straight from my mistakes and help me to walk in your light, as I hold fast to your word oh God. Thank you for being a good Father. You are glorious, everlasting, and have showed me what love truly is.

In Jesus name,


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Obedience: Don't Let Others Distract You

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O b e d i e n c e. 

It asks us to push off distraction and focus in. 

Focus in on the One who holds our hearts. Those around us may not understand, or even support us, but no one can deny when God begins to move in something he has called you to.

"Lord, I hear you calling me to obedience. There is so much distracting me from hearing your voice today. Help me to push aside the noise, the pressure, and lend my ear to your still, small voice. God I desire to walk in the way you have set before me. I am done attempting to please man. Help me, step by step, as I lean on you for guidance. Thank you Lord for choosing me, and using me for your glory. As I learn to be more obedience, and learn your heart, I can't wait to see the incredible things you will reveal to me.

In Jesus name,


Friday, March 25, 2016

You Traded Heaven to Have Me Again

These lyrics from Hillsong United's 'Touch the Sky' get to me. 

How beautiful, magnificent, and holy is God's love for us? 

Like a loving father whose child runs away, He stopped at nothing to find us and paid the price to bring us home again. 

That is love.

Thank you Lord that you've shown me what true love is. That Love stops at nothing. Love is a choice, and calls for sacrifice and obedience. As we celebrate Easter this weekend, I will choose to hold in my heart the truth behind this season. Lord, you sent your Son Jesus to show us who you are. He died on the cross, carrying the weight of our sin on his shoulders. But the story doesn't end there. On the third day, your son was resurrected and was on earth for the next 40 days until his ascension and was seated at your right hand. This story, 2000 years ago, is still being told today. Your love is majestic Lord.



Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Shelter and Shield {Psalm 119:114}

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 S h e l t e r : my place of comfort, of rest, of refuge from the storm.

 S h i e l d : my protection, my defender, that which is close to me and resists enemies attacks.

 H o p e : On it's own may allow you to fall, but when paired with trust is unstoppable.

 W o r d : His promise, His guidance, His character and His power made known to us.

"Thank you Lord for your word. It gives us strength to face the day and hope for what is to come. We trust you Lord, for you are our shelter, offering refuge from the storm. You are our shield, protecting us from harm and the enemies schemes, we need only to lift you up! We put our hope in you Lord, because you are trustworthy and praiseworthy God. You guide, protect, and provide. How great you are God!

In Jesus name we pray,


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

God Will Meet All Your Needs {Philippians 4:19}

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When I think about what this verse means, I acknowledge It doesn't say "God will meet all your wants..."

When I dwell on what my needs are... shelter, protection, love, guidance, food in my belly, air in my lungs... this verse is true. God has fully met all of them. 

"Thank you God for being my protection, my provision, my provider. I can't fathom where I would be without your blessings in my life. I wish I could see a glimpse of all you've done for me because I know it is far more than what I see in front of me. Thank you Jesus for who you are, what you've done, and what you will do. My heart is thankful that I have a good, good Father. Give me the wisdom to see your presence in my everyday.. through the struggles and the successes Lord. 
In Jesus mighty name I pray,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Making Peace with the Process

No one is honest about the process.

We all have those people we follow on social media who seem to live the perfect life.
They have that job, marriage, children, house, or car we wish we had.
But we don't see the process it took to capture that moment in time.
No one was honest about the long nights that job requires, or the debt that car costed, or how many photos it took for the entire family to smile.
The process is messy.

I attend a church called Elevation Church GTA and Pastor Steven Furtick recently preached from his book "Unqualified" about making peace with the process.
I'm slowly learning what this means.

Running is the perfect metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put in.
There's a process.

When I ran this past weekend, my knee was hurting, I couldn't feel my face, I got blisters, I got a cramp in my side, I couldn't catch my breath and I was running against the wind. The process sucked. It was painful. It was uncomfortable.
It made me stronger.

When I got into my apartment elevator, we have very unflattering giant mirrors that you can't avoid and that's when I saw muscles in my legs I haven't seen in a while.
I'm getting stronger.

I'm making peace with the process of training.
It's making me stronger
I'm making peace with the process of pursuing my Masters degree.
It's making me wiser. 
I'm making peace with the process of my singleness.
It's making me see what I'm capable of and how to truly depend on God.
I'm making peace with the process.
Because I know it's working.

Whatever your process looks like - no matter how tough, frustrating or messy it is - you will come out stronger in the end. It's when we cross that finish line we look back to see that the tough days, the messy, painful days of training were 100% necessary.
He made you stronger.

Make peace with the process.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Your Life Reflects the Heart {Proverbs 27:19}

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When I think of what I want my heart to be, and my life to look like, I can't help but feel defeated. I know I have a lot of work to do. 

I'm so thankful I have someone to turn to as an example of grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, goodness, and all things beautiful. I'm so thankful that I can choose a life of faith over stress and frustration. I'm so thankful for my God, that He chose me and set me apart. That no matter how many times I screw up, He will never leave nor forsake. 

He sees my heart now and more importantly, the potential of my heart for the future. He's revealing to me day by day the woman He created me to be. And for that, I'm thankful.

"Thank you Lord that you've called me to something great. You're growing me every day to my full potential in you. God I hand over my dreams, goals and aspirations and trust in you to make beauty from ashes. Thank you Lord that your ways are greater than mine. Guide me Lord to live a life worthy of the call, worthy of the Gosepl of Jesus.

In your Son's name I pray,


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wanderlust #6: Palace Bike Ride

The following is a journal entry from my solo trip to Europe. I documented almost every day my experiences, my struggles, and what I learned about God and myself. I post a new travel journal entry every Wednesday!

Missed the previous posts? Take a look back:
Wanderlust #1
Wanderlust #2
Wanderlust #3
Wanderlust #4
Wanderlust #5

Versailles, France
May 28, 2015

I woke up early, today is the day I've been looking forward to for a very long time!
Versailles Bike Tour!

Sid came along which annoyed me a bit. I needed alone time. Anyway, we got lost trying to find the Bike place and ended up running... which on no sleep and no coffee was no idea. I avoided him for the rest of the trip mostly because I needed to be separate. I was truly enjoying the bike ride but his complaints fed into my experience. Makes me wonder how negativity in my life from others plays an influence in my day to day...

We biked through the palace yard and it was incredible! We first stopped at a market and I grabbed a bagget, cheese, grapes, and of course macaroons!
We stopped for our picnic and I prayed that God would send a little sunshine because it was getting cold and was spitting.
As soon as we sat down, the sky opened up and even the guide mentioned how awesome it was!
God's timing is perfect!
I loved the rest of the tour. Just experiencing nature and enjoying the beauty of the gardens. It was a dream I hope to one day relive.

Later we went into Versailles. I grabbed an audio guide and went in. It was PACKED! I loved seeing all the art and gold but I needed to get out of there. I kept telling myself to calm down otherwise claustrophobia would set in. I got out into the yard and got wonderfully lost.

They had these aisles of tall trees lined all uniformly along. I wandered and was completely alone. It was amazing. I wish I had more time in the gardens. I would paint there. I would write my prayers to God. I would read. That beautiful palace yard needs to be utilized for the peaceful, spiritual, creative events. I made my way home with no issues, and met my new roommate Jesse from Australia. We met Justin and his new friend Christian from Chicago at the bar downstairs. We then went for dinner at a french restaurant. It's amazing how perfect strangers can connect so easily! We grabbed wine and crepes and went back to the hostel.

It was getting late and I was getting tired so I hung out for a bit then hit the hay! After all, I had to be up early for the louvre tomorrow!

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's a Beautiful Day to Be Alive!

It's a beautiful day to be alive!

I sat down at my kitchen nook and looked outside. I told myself "if 10 people run by in the next 5 minutes, I'll go for a run"
A group of 26 runners then proceeded to run by which caused me to throw on my pink running shoes and head out the door!

I live in Burlington, the running capitol of Southern Ontario right on the beach strip - one of the most beautiful places to run! How could I not be a part of this incredible group of humans that put on bright coloured spandex to make them look like - and feel like - super humans and get out there?!

I'll take any excuse to wear bright pink!

I feel my muscles start to work, I feel my body being used how it's meant to! What a beautiful thing to be able to move the very body God blessed me with. To challenge it, push it, and see how the limitations are all in my mind!

Frosty 5km was just a week ago and I've already signed up for my next race. Less than a month away I will be running the Around the Bay - 5k of course! I haven't gotten to the point of running straight through BUT I am improving! I can feel my body working harder, faster and stronger every time I get out there.

I love working towards a goal - the progress is the story, not the medle at the end.
The reward is not about how you finished a race... its all about the journey!

Cheers to the journey


Friday, March 11, 2016

Morning Devo: Jesus Calms the Storm {Mark 4:35-41}

Recently, I led devotional time for my Masters New Testament theology class, so it was fitting for me to focus on a passage I didn't previously understand but now have a new view of. 

Jesus Calms the Storm
Mark 4:35-41(Amplified)
35 On that [same] day, when evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee]. 36 So leaving the crowd, they took Him with them, just as He was, in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 And a fierce windstorm began to blow, and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already being swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the stern, asleep [with His head] on the [sailor’s leather] cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?” 39 And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still!” And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness]. 40 Jesus said to them, Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith and confidence [in Me]? 41 They were filled with great fear, and said to each other, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Q: What is your current storm?
What is that circumstance that keeps overwhelming you? That situation that feels like it keeps flooding your boat or potentially drowning you? This can be something big, or small. It could be something you've had to face today.. over the past week or months, or even something you've been facing for years. What is your storm?

Q: Who is in your boat?
Who are the people you surround yourself with? Name 3-5 of the people you spend the most time with. Are you all travelling in the same direction (do they support you in your walk with Christ?) or are they arguing with you about how to steer the boat? (do they bring you down, are a bad influence on you, or lead you into a more negative outlook on life?).

Q: Is Jesus in your boat?
Are you spending time with the one who knows the waters? He knows the way, he owns the boat, he has the map. Are you asking him for guidance? Are you asking him to teach you how to control the boat in rough waters?
You can have all the right people in your boat - but if Jesus isn't in your boat, you won't be able to face the storms.

Q: How are you reacting to your storm?
*re-read Mark 4:38-40*
When the Disciples woke Jesus up, Jesus responded "Do you still have no faith?" At first this was jarring to me... doesn't He understand they are about to drown? But then I realized it wasn't because they woke Jesus up... it was how. They said "Do you not care?!"...

Our initial reaction to our storm might to blame God and assume he doesn't care about us but we need to remember that Jesus is in our boat. He is in the storm with us and we can approach him. We can ask Jesus for help through prayer. Jesus may calm the storm for us, or he may just help us ride the waves better until the storm passes. 
A calm sea never made a skilled sailor - we will have trouble in this world. Once this storm passes, we will face another one. It is better to learn how to sail through the storms so you are stronger and more skilled when you face the next one.

Q: Are you accessing Jesus' peace?
Are you demanding Jesus to end your struggle or are you asking him to help you navigate through it with a good heart attitude? In the midst of the storm, Jesus was modeling a position of rest. He was modeling peace! Jesus was in the midst of the storms right with the disciples but he was responding in a different way.
Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.] - John 14:27
We have access to this same peace Jesus was experiencing in the midst of our own storms because of the Holy Spirit.

Q: Do you know the captain?
In this context, the disciples still didn't fully know who Jesus was. Jesus was slowly revealing himself to them, and when they saw him rebuke the wind and waves, they were filled with fear. Reverent fear of the Lord, seeing his power at work in our lives, gives us a glimpse at how holy, powerful, and mighty He is. Are you taking note of his presence in your day to day? Are you seeing how he calms the wind and waves in your life? Are you thanking him and glorifying Him for all that He has done and continues to do out of His great love for you?
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. - Proverbs 9:10

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wanderlust #5: Exploring Paris with New Friends

The following is a journal entry from my solo trip to Europe. I documented almost every day my experiences, my struggles, and what I learned about God and myself. I post a new travel journal entry every Wednesday!

Missed the previous posts? Take a look back:
Wanderlust #1
Wanderlust #2
Wanderlust #3
Wanderlust #4

Paris, France

May 28, 2015 / 1am

I missed a day of writing because I got in late last night. I hope I can remember it all! Okay here goes... yesterday:

I ate breakfast in the morning and managed to Facetime mom. It was nice to hear her voice and see her. I then met a bunch of people out front for the free walking tour of Central Paris. we ended up having the same tour guide as Montmartre, which I was happy about because he is in film school and very passionate about the city. we saw quite a bit and learned about the kings, the revolution,
Napoleon, how the horse statues hoofs symbolize how the rider died in war, walked through the Louvre gardens (it was
SO BEAUTIFUL!) and got an overall history of Paris! Afterwards I hung out with these two nice guys - one being Sid from New York and the other Justin from Montreal (also in film studies). We went to Musee D'orsay and I had many moments of awe.

Degas. Van Gogh. It was crazy to see the paintings that have been in many of my memories growing up in ballet class. There was this moment at this giant clock which overlooked Paris... There have been quite a few "pinch me" moments, and this was one of them. After D'orsay, we had coffee at a french restaurant by the Seine River. We then made our way over to Notre Dame where mass was occurring so we couldn't go upstairs. I got a chance to share a bit about what I believe in contrast to what was occurring in Notre Dame, that was really cool. 

After heading back, Dee, her sister Nat, Sid and I went to the grocery store to grab cheese, bread and wine! We then took the bus to the Eiffel Tower!

We sat down, had our delicious picnic and watched the Tower sparkle! Every hour, on the hour at night it lights up! (we saw 10pm and 11pm). I hear they want to paint it pink next which only means I'll have to come back!

We then walked around to try and find food. Saw the tunnel where Lady Diana's car crashed, ended up eating at a restaurant by our hostel as a lot was closed! Had some pasta, but everyone was exhausted by the end of the night.

What I learned:
Every night in Paris, God has provided people to explore this beautiful city with. I loved the opportunity to share my faith, be honest about who I am and who I believe in. God is good and I am so thankful.