I Never Thought I Would Have…

This morning I got out of bed and this was the scene I left behind…(I left my husband out of the picture to give him some semblance of privacy) :)

  
So I never thought I would be one of those parents who let their kids take over their bed. How all of us managed to fit in a queen sized bed and get any sleep is beyond me!

I’m amazed at how many things I’ve ended up doing that I thought I would never do…

1. I married a white skateboarder turned preacher! 💕

2. I moved back to the U.S. (after a brief stint in high school and college. I’m a Canadian girl at heart) 🇨🇦

3. I’m mothering and raising my children far from my family. (Thank God for social media & Skype) 💻

4. I’m serving and leading women in my church. They didn’t know me, but they trusted me (only by the grace of God). ⛪️

Let me tell you something, if your life is submitted to God, never say never. He has a way of turning your ‘nevers’ into reality. My life has become something I didn’t imagine and something wonderful all at the same time. 

There have been a lot of “never thought I would haves” and He keeps showing me that my arrogance is no match for His perfect will and purpose for my life. I’m not saying that I don’t reason, think about and make choices concerning my future, I’m just saying that He has a way of keeping it interesting if I submit my will to His will.

The verse that continually rings true is Isaiah 55:8-9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
 

 

Lost & Found (in His presence)

As I sit in this coffee shop, I’m suddenly hit with this overwhelming desire to weep before the Lord. I don’t know how to describe it except that the Holy Spirit totally showed up and spoke truth, ministered peace and recharged my internal battery, much needed after a busy week of story times, meetings and ministry.

photo

 

The true story of this moment is that while I sat in the coffee shop looking for a pen to write some things down, my hand got lost in the maze of baby diapers, bibs, wallets, lotion, church cards, etc. when I actually turned to look in my purse, I noticed a few pens sitting there set apart from the mess. I thought to myself, “This must be how God feels when He presents Himself to us in His Word, through the Word taught at church, through our brothers and sisters in Christ and we keep looking to other sources for guidance and wisdom. His truth sits right in front of us and whether intentional or not, we “miss” the signs.”  The Holy Spirit quite gently hijacked my coffee shop moment to remind me that He’s there…if I stop to listen.

 

 

I’m a Yoga Pant Wearing Mom

The other day I took my oldest to the park to play. What I discovered was truly shocking to my inner psyche. I’ve become the yoga pant wearing mom I thought I would never become! As I took in the moms around me, every single one of them had on a workout outfit, aka comfy clothes.
I looked at myself and discovered that I had on comfy black stretchy pants and a loose fitting top with my hair pulled back into a ponytail. Ummm…yeah.

While there’s nothing wrong with this attire, I had a moment of true contemplation. Before becoming a mom, there are some things I said I would never do and wearing comfy clothes on a daily basis was one of them. My pre-mom, know-it-all self thought that I would get up every morning, have a good length of time to spend with Jesus, take a nice long shower, and take my time to choose my outfit of choice for the day. (I can hear you laughing). Reality truly was a hard slap in the face. Lol!

Needless to say, I’ve become proud of being a yoga pant wearing mom.

My time with Jesus turns out to be regular conversation with Him every moment of my day. It’s not just limited to my private time and my kids get to see how to incorporate Jesus in the everyday.

Instead of taking my nice long shower, I get a quick shower and the opportunity to help get my babies get fed and ready for the day.

Instead of taking my time to get dressed for the day, I pick an outfit that allows me to lift and transport my double stroller at every pit stop. Practicality is my reality.

Invaded By Kids

My husband and I are in the throes of parenting, very involved in ministry and determined to pursue and accomplish our personal goals. As much as we love our kids, I have to admit that it sometimes feels like we were invaded by these small humans (who will soon become big humans). Key word: invaded. They consume our mornings, days and nights. They bring laughter and tears and frustration! They bring out the best in us and the worst in us. Still, in the middle of it all, they love us unconditionally and look at us with such trust in their eyes.

It’s changed my perspective on some things:

1. Organization. I thought I was pretty organized before having kids. I wasn’t. Having a child and then having another child has increased my need for organization and has helped define what it means to truly manage time. Do I have it down yet? No. If I did, my blog posts would be more consistent. :)

2. My Desires vs Their Needs. The struggle is real. The pull to do “my thing” is so strong sometimes that I feel like I have to give myself a reality check every so often. Lol. By “my thing” I mean the things I’ve dreamed of doing. The things that would require more of my time than I’m able and willing to commit to at this point. The things that I envisioned doing at this age and stage of my life. I’m doing some of it, but there’s more. How do I deal with it? I remind myself that I’m on God’s timetable. I believe that the decisions I’ve made to get to this point in my life are God decisions, and I trust that His timing is perfect. My children’s needs, as demanding as they seem right now, are what’s important. I don’t get these days back. As they grow older, their needs don’t necessarily diminish, but they do change. If I’m honest with myself, doing “my thing” has been redefined to “meeting their needs” for this season of my life. And I’m ok with that.

3. Motherhood. It is what I thought it would be, and so much more. It’s what I thought it would be because I expected the sleepless nights, the diminished amount of privacy and the joyous milestones. The “so much more” comes in with the very deep desire to see my children live passionately in their God-given purpose and become strong people who contribute to making the world a better place. Yes, this desire is normal; I just didn’t expect to feel it so strongly and so deeply.

We’ve been invaded by kids and we’re taking every bit of it in stride. We wouldn’t trade our lives for anything. Because of them, I feel like I understand the love of the Father so much more. And it’s great!

Short & Sweet

One of my posts went rogue last week. If you were a recipient of one of those posts, I apologize. I blame it on post-pregnancy hormone craziness. Because I can. :)

So I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m still trying to gain tread on this new year. The other day I mentioned to my husband that I feel like our new year is going to begin on February 1st. We’re still in organization mode, trying to get a handle on becoming parents of a toddler and a baby. We love it; I think we just forgot how tired we were when we had Gia. Tired has become a state of being, at least for now. :)

If anything, the slow start has only strengthened my resolve to get some things started. Things in the natural may be slow going, but my heart and my spirit are stirred up for what’s to come in 2015!

So in an effort to keep it short and sweet, if you’ve been slow going in your kick off to the new year, it’s ok! Tomorrow is only a few minutes away (if you’re on the West coast in North America) and it’s never too late to start a new thing! See you tomorrow!

His Call & My Answer

His words to me for 2015…

My fire is an all consuming fire. It won’t destroy you. It will refine you.

Hebrews 12:29 – “For our God is a consuming fire.”
Malachi 3:2 – “…For He is like a refiner’s fire…”

My prayer…

Make me a carrier of Your fire, so I’m hot to touch.
Hot with the fire of the Holy Spirit, flowing like lava with the love of Jesus.
Burn the unholy things and consume me with Your fire
So I’m not destroyed, but refined into a vessel for your use.

At The Core

Some of the best conversations are those that you overhear; they’re the most candid. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t go around eavesdropping on conversations. Today I sat on a park bench next to two ladies having a conversation. I tried to distract myself by scrolling through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, but you can only do that for so long. I had no choice but to overhear what they had to say. What fascinated me the most though is how similar their thoughts are to most women I encounter. Saved or not yet saved at the core of every woman are these three things (at minimum). :)

1. A desire to love
2. A desire to be loved
3. To not end up alone

These ladies discussed their desire to love someone even if the someone didn’t appreciate their expression of love. They talked about longing to have someone value them for who they are. The ladies expressed their dismay at still being alone at this stage in life.

As I listened to them, I thought about how thankful I am. As a believer, these three desires are met by God, and He’s gracious enough to bring people into our lives to fulfill these desires as well.

1. My desire to love: Galatians 5:13-14
2. My desire to be loved: John 3:16
3. To not end up alone: Hebrews 13:5

At my core, I know with confidence that my love, even if disregarded, is never wasted.
At my core, I know that His perfect love dispels any fear of missing out on love.
At my core, I know that He was very present in my past, He’s ordering the steps of my present and He will be the beacon of hope in my future.

His love never fails.

Catalogued and Recharged

I don’t know why people hate on New Years resolutions. I think they’re a great idea if they’re realistic. Who doesn’t hope for growth and change each year? I think that sometimes we get really optimistic about the new year and set goals that look good in our heads, but aren’t even remotely possible. That’s where we get into trouble! Because when or if we don’t accomplish the goals, we feel like we failed in some way.

I try not to let the excitement of the new year overshadow the reality of what it will take to move to another level in this new season. It’s going to take work and I have give myself a reality check about getting it done. Here’s my method. It might work for you or it might not. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to try something.

1. Review last year’s goals
Every year is different and there are so many unexpected events that can arise each year. The things we thought we would accomplish fall to the wayside and with that comes disappointment. Whether you accomplished all of your goals or none of your goals doesn’t matter now. Start again. Make it happen.

2. Pull up your catalog of dreams
“My dream is that one day I will…” Everyone has a list written down on paper or a list written in the heart of what we dream could be possible. Seriously, review all of the dreams in your heart, write them down and put them in order of importance. If there is anything I’ve learned, it’s that anything is possible, especially with God on my side.

3. Pray
Lift them up in prayer. Ask God for wisdom on which one to start with and ask for strategy on how to begin. *I didn’t say to ask for how to accomplish it because God seems to reveal His Plans in stages (at least in my life). However, He could quite possibly lay out the whole plan for you, but you won’t know His heart for you unless you ask.

4. Connect with the right people
The right people will feed your passion and help water your potential. Enough said.

5. Start doing something.
I don’t care if you start out by setting one target a week and grow from there. If you meet that target (even if it’s as small as making a phone call), confidence grows. You become consistent and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Last year is over. In a phrase from one of my favorite childhood movies, “tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.” Let’s make the most of it and get to it in 2015!

Why I Said Yes

When I met Shawn (my hubby), I wasn’t actually looking for a relationship. I was on vacation, taking a break from the whole relationship thing. I flew into California on a Wednesday, met Shawn on a Thursday and the rest is history. :)

People always ask how I knew that he was “the one”. First of all, I don’t believe in “the one”. I believe that there’s good, better and then there’s God’s best for you, but that’s another blog post. Maybe next week…lol.

Seriously though, during that week of meeting and getting to know Shawn, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was an actual divine encounter (the ones we pray about) and that my life was about to change drastically. I felt like my destiny met her partner in Shawn.

Here are five reasons I said “Yes”:

1. The pursuit
From the moment Shawn met me, he pursued me. There was no doubt in my mind and to those around me that he was interested.
I said yes because I felt cherished and valued.

2. My family
He honoured my family. I am very close to my family and the fact that he took the time to fly up to Canada and meet them made all the difference to me.
I said yes because he made the people closest to me comfortable with his pursuit of me.

3. Accountability
There are people in my life who have full access to ask about and challenge my decisions. These people kept me grounded in the middle of the emotional hype that happens when you first meet somebody. They asked the tough questions about purity in the relationship, guarding my heart, asking about his intentions, etc.
I said yes because I could answer all of their questions with clarity and confidence.

4. Prayer & Fasting
I sought the Lord in a big way. Shawn and I took some time to pray and fast. I needed God’s thoughts on this relationship as well. I had some questions and He answered each and every one of them with scripture confirmation.
I said yes because the Lord answered the concerns of my heart.

5. Love
I put love at the end because as important as it is, it’s not the primary reason I said yes. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband like crazy, it’s just that when we got married, we had only known each other for a year and a half and it was a long distance relationship. I saw his love for Jesus and that, coupled with his love for me, was the real deal.
I said yes because for Shawn, love is a verb, not just words.

#whyIsaidyes
#marriageHisway
#mandolimarriage
#shawnandcg