Even hidden in the brokenness you can find beauty.
If you have 5 minutes and 8 seconds, I challenge you to listen to this and see what it does to your heart.
"When I finally reach the end, I’ll say, You are worth it all…"
When you hear those words…really hear them… there’s a part of you that pines for Him. The part of you that recognizes the truth in those words, that you were created for that very purpose. It fuels a desire to find yourself in that place, where you can look at everything the Lord is asking you to relinquish and say, “Jesus, you are worth it all.” There’s nothing that He is asking you to give up that He can’t return 100 fold. And there is not a single thing the world can offer, that holds the kind of value Jesus can give you.
Oh to one day be able to say, with everything I have, “Jesus, you are worth it all.”
Summer is coming to an end….. can you believe it? Some say it’s over….I’m choosing to live in denial for a little while longer. haha
I know I haven’t sent out an update since the summer began, but I promise there is good reason! We’ve been busy running great programs, watching the Lord move in the most amazing ways and just doing summer life, which seems to move slower but still result in a lot of “busy”.
I have to say, the past couple months was nothing like I expected it to be. There were moments I found really challenging and there were times when I ….. well, I just threw a temper tantrum with the Lord thinking, “Seriously?! How is this fair?!”
But the good faaaaar outweighed the crappy moments. God gave me an abundance of new experiences, some just for fun, and some that were lessons. Really good lessons that I am incredibly grateful for. I got to witness some amazing changes in people’s lives as they stood and made the decision to work through the issues that were causing them pain. I met some incredible new friends and witnessed old friendships get stronger.
I’m looking forward to everything that is coming up with the approaching season, but will be a little sad to see this one go. So to reminisce a little bit, here are some pictures…a little window inside why my smile is so big as I write this letter….
The summer started with Family Camp! We had a house FULL of families and it was a blast! Outdoor Twister, a watermelon war, movies on the lawn, Mission Impossible, great bible stories, family devotions and incredible food…. it was a week of pure joy and no sleep. This is a picture of the infamous cardboard boat races.
During Family Week was my initiation into Wakeboarding….a sport that quickly became a bit of an addiction. There is something about the combination of being out on a boat, the beauty of the lake and pure speed that makes all the wipe-outs and face plants worth it. It was not uncommon for me to come up from a fall laughing as I rubbed whatever part of me had hit the water first. haha!
One of the gifts I was given this summer is a little garden on the property. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was to grow my own veggies! And when the first little seedling started to pop up….I danced all day I was so happy! I think cucumbers were my favourite this year because they surprised me! One day, all I see are these big ol’ picky leaves and the next day, giant cucumbers! I also really enjoyed sharing what the Lord had blessed me with…. (although mostly so I could say, “I hope you enjoy the Kale and beans from my garden!) haha
One of the lessons I mentioned earlier, came when the Lord proved he could restore anything. Amanda had been one of my best friends through High School in Nova Scotia, but the last couple years, I had pulled away. This past year, I remember thinking over and over that I wish I could get back in contact but how could I send more than a “How are you?” text, when there was so much that needed to be said?How do you explain 3 years of life’s rollercoaster ride in an email? I knew I wasn’t going to make it to Halifax anytime soon and I had finally just decided I would let go when I get a message from Amanda saying she was going to be visiting the area! I was shocked! “Lord,” I thought “what are you doing?” So I drove to meet her a few weeks later. We got caught up on everything that had gone on in both of our lives and I got to meet her son, little Benjamin. I drove away later that afternoon in tears. I couldn’t believe what had happened. The Lord had really done it!
I learned how to make fresh Raspberry Jam, took one of my favourite little girls shopping for her birthday in the “Big City”, swung from an extremely high swing in the woods (and lost my voice from the screaming that involuntarily came outta me) squished all kinds of kittens and even collected chicken eggs for the first time. Let me tell you, that was an experience and a half!!!
I just want to say thank you again, to all of you who pray for me on a daily basis. I am so blessed to have you on my side. I know the prayers keep me going more than anything else. As I walk into this next season, you can be praying for new ideas, courage to face the changes God wants me to make, and that I wouldn’t miss any opportunities or blessings He desires to show me because I am too shy to ask or even just say yes.
The last few months have been quite the roller coaster. There have been some breathtaking moments and great memories made…
life hurdles finally cleared…
but along with the highs came deep pain. Confusion. Sadness.
This last two weeks….breakthrough.
Understanding came and clarity soon followed. I found myself thinking, “Yes! I’ve made it!” Celebrating a lesson learned quicker than my past history of learning.
And then today came the rug, pulled so swiftly I almost didn’t feel it.
And now, I sit here on the floor, wondering…. What did I miss?
The silver lining? There’s no melancholy, no dark hole, no fast fall into a hopeless stupor… because I know.
I know that I know that I know.
He’s still here. And I am loved.
To understand all that I love is merely a mirror pointing me upward, frees me to let those things go. I don’t have to have them. I have to have the One who made them. And the pleasure and reward his presence offers far surpasses any drug or buzz I could get. Crazy huh?
It’s me again!
I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the beginnings of what I hope to be a long and gloriously hot summer. (I’m one of the few fans of scorching heat, haha)
There’s so much to tell you! But I will try to keep it relatively short with lots of pictures!
One of the coolest things the Lord is teaching me about these days is worship. And what the root of worship really is. The journey started one morning during devotions as we read through Revelations. We came to the 4 beings that were created solely to worship God. My instant reaction was anger! Before I could stop myself, I heard myself saying that God was narcissistic and how angry it made me that he just decided to create these beings who’s ONLY purpose was to worship Him. He had another thing coming if he thought I was just gonna sit around all day and tell Him how great He is. At the same time, I had just begun to lead worship here at the centre during events. You can see why my attitude about worship could be a problem.
I had to really sit and pray about why my reaction was so crappy. Why did I feel so yucky thinking that I was created to Worship and that worship was where I would feel most fulfilled? I realized that my reaction was stemming out of past relationships and my own brokenness. So I asked God to break down the lies I believed about worship and teach me what it meant to really worship Him. And boy was He up for the challenge!
Over the next week, every time I walked outside, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of nature. I would just stand in awe, unable to move, watching the wind blow through the trees…listening to the birds sing their pretty songs or the stars sparkle in the velvet sky. That was their worship. Every living thing was created to worship, and this was their offering. When dawn breaks, the birds don’t open their eyes and think, “Oh darn…I gotta sing again?” They just do. And how incredible is their song? How much more blessed are we, that we were created to worship and that we have a choice in the matter? How much sweeter is that?
On the more serious side, He is teaching me that worship is a strategic key for the things we are going to face in the days to come. That there is a power behind worship that we have yet to fully understand. Our focal point, those things that consume our energy? That’s what gets our worship. “That which you worship will manifest itself.” When God says that he will give us the desires of our hearts, he meant it. But what if the desires of your heart don’t line up with his plans? How scary is that?
When you sing on Sunday morning…do you hear what you are saying? There is authority in our words and a danger in speaking a vow and not following through. A vast majority of the songs we sing on Sundays have no mention of Jesus or His atoning sacrifice. So then…who are we worshiping?
God has given me an amazing opportunity in being part of a team that leads worship. Only now, I’m realizing that it comes with a great responsibility. The enemy was a part of worship before he fell. So he is going to attack praise and worship with a sneaky strategy.
This is only the beginning of my journey into Worship, but so far, it’s been pretty exciting!
I am blessed to have a friend who is an incredibly talented photographer. She gave me the opportunity to model in one of her styled shoots and these are a few of the pictures that have come out of it so far.
This is Strawberry! Our neighbours own quite a few horses down the lane but she is my favourite. She’s beautiful! And also very stubborn….kindred spirits? haha
She woke up today.
Made her coffee dark and strong.
And stood at the window, watching the rain, silently falling.
Everything still quiet and grey.
She imagined the world as a mirror. Reflecting her heart.
Letting the hidden take over
She grabbed her leather jacket
And the cigarettes.
They reminded her of the pieces she didn’t want to forget.
The irony not lost.
And wandered into a world
Only half strung in reality.
She could feel the rain
Washing away humanities ignorance
The hope of change
And she breathed it in
As if her very breath was the key.
I miss the skyline…
Running by as the sun comes up. Watching the sun set with brilliant reflections off windows set in beautiful buildings, concrete artwork. Sitting on a bench in the dark, as the stars sparkle above.
I miss the rush of people living busy lives, the passion, the colour. To be allowed anonymity if I so chose. And if not, opportunity for conversation with a stranger is always welcome. From art to politics to the graffiti on the wall as the B-Line flew by.
I love to travel. I love the challenge of creating a life in a new city. I love meeting new people and having my perspective changed. New cultures, new flavours, new ideas… it adds to the beauty of life. Humbles you.
But sometimes? I just really miss that skyline.
So today I will make better choices. Knowing that I am being given the opportunity today, to create the person I hope to be tomorrow.
If by chance I fall, or the weaknesses that pull at me win today’s battle, I gain strength in knowing there is nothing He can not redeem. He will pick me up and tomorrow….I will try again.
Because there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.
The violin is beaten up, the strings look ancient…..the box has most likely travelled the world and didn’t take it well… the flowers? Clearly dead.
Yet if you look closer, there is such a beauty.
Where has that violin played? The beautiful sounds that may have come from it, the passion exuding from the player, the scratchy beginnings of a love for music.
What has that box seen? Reunited families, the willingness of a soul to fight for someone unable to fight for themselves?
The flowers, though dead, were once alive and beautiful….the colours most likely radiant… but less so than the smile of the one receiving them. Maybe from a loved one, from the possibility of a future, as a symbol that love can overcome anything if it stems from somewhere deeper than we can ever fully understand.
It’s not in the brokenness itself that we find beauty, but in the possibilities, the chance to create something, the notion of what may have been.
Words. Our day, our week, our entire lives. Everything is just words. They can build, break, create, destroy, inspire, rejoice, help, teach, encourage, entertain…..but they can also make something once beautiful….very, very ugly.
Words are a natural thing for most humans. We’re careless with them. Throwing them out anywhere for any reason. Rarely does one stop to think about the power behind each word uttered. Such a formative, intense human capacity, thrown around like a beach ball.
How often do we stop to consider that words are some of the only things we can never take back? Ever. You can soothe them, cover them, fix them…but never can you completely erase the memory of having said them.
There is something beautiful about a scar. It’s a mark holding a powerful, painful, happy….some kind of story. A scar means the hurt is over, the wound has closed and healed and serves to remind of the hard lesson learned.