carpe diem!

some mornings, when I wake up, I do some exercise. sometimes running, sometimes biking, usually some pushups, squats, situps and other ab stuff. obviously running and biking are most efficient when you go fast; but sometimes it bothers me that most of the other exercises mentioned above work best when you go slow. it is a fight for me to slow down. my tendency is to go as fast as I can: get this thing done and move onto the next. but I realized that when I do that, I miss out. I’m not fully there.

the other night I was lying in bed reading a story to a young child. as habit would go, I was going as fast as I could (while still making the words understandable and sort of maintaining a ‘bed-time-ish-atmosphere’), in an effort to finish this task and get on to the ones at hand. but then it struck me. this moment ain’t gonna be here forever. she’ll be grown someday – soon even passing the time for bedtime stories – and that might not be part of my life anymore. whatever happened to the here & now? living in this moment?

PEOPLE, WHEN YOU LIVE FAST, YOU DO NOT LIVE NOW. (I believe there are exceptions to that statement, like if you are running a marathon, or you’re in any kind of race, or playing most sports, etc, but in general that is true.) when you live fast, to get the most things done, you lose out on all those things. we can’t have both quantity and quality: what will you pick?

this year, The Nester, and Blair over at Wild and Precious are both choosing SLOW as their word for 2014, and the more I’ve been thinking about it, the more I see that we really want the same thing. sure, we chose two different ways of saying it, but what we really want is to live fully, to be fully present in this moment. we don’t want to be rushing through our days trying to do as many meaningless things as possible: we want to give as much meaning as possible to our days. do less, be more. (that doesn’t work when you’re going fast.)  (While this is how it appears to me, sorry to Myquillyn and/or Blair if I have attached meaning to their word other than they have intended!)

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I want every breath to proclaim the glory of my God and King! you miss the little things when you’re going fast; so take a deep breath, slow down, and enjoy that story you’re reading to a young one. or that meal you’re making. don’t be in such a hurry to go wherever you’re going that you miss the gorgeous sunset that God put there – JUST FOR US! open your eyes to each moment and thank God for it!

blessings upon your day!~em

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2014: one word

Happy New Years!! :)

I’d heard about this one word new years resolution thingy for a while, from a few places and decided to do it this year. soooo….

mine is a bit more than one word… but here it is:

2014: the year of Here & Now. to live in this moment. right where I am. I can’t get any of this back [none of us can, you know], and I want to make the most of each second, of each moment, hour, day, week, month. the only way to really do that is to be present, here and now.

also three other small(ish) things:

confidence in the LORD. so many of my favourite verses lately have had that word confidence in them. it’s like those words lavish, and abundance. it’s not “just” we think, or we know, or we hope, WE HAVE CONFIDENCE! {it’s like a complete hope, which also ties into….}

the LORD is all I need. (possibly my new soundtrack) satisfy me LORD this year (and always), be my desire, fill me up! contentment

…and last but by no means least…

gratitude. gotta keep on counting those blessings, being thankful for each and every moment I’m in (Here & Now folks, Here & Now!), that the LORD will fill me… for everything.

may God richly bless you in this new and beautiful year!
em

with my head and not my heart

*sigh*

this week I’ve attempted any number of times to make a post. I think and think about something to write about, and then I start it. usually I have a whole bunch of half formed ideas rolling around in my head on that subject, and when I try and spit them out, they end up all jumbled and messy and not really what I think I’m trying to say. so I just left all of them to be finished at a later date when those thoughts become more fully formed.

I wasn’t exactly sure why I was having this problem, but as I was talking to my dear friend last night, I was saying that my walk with God (and much of how I’ve been going through life lately) felt very much right now like I was doing it with my head and not my heart. I’ve been faithful at reading the Bible, and mostly faithful at praying, I have lovely blogs that I follow, I’ve been going to church, I have praise music on almost all the time, so it’s not like I’ve ‘taken a break’ from any of those activities. I just feel like it’s all so ‘half-there’. it’s so much easier for me to just read my chapter or two of the Bible for the day then it is to journal, and even praying feels sort of fake. I’ve tried crying out to God, asking Him to let this be more real again, let me feel it. and nothing happens. this isn’t a case of my not believing anything about Him, I truly believe that He is there, and He loves us, and “all that”. I just don’t feel it. I’m sure that it’s something going on on my side (after all He’s not left me, or anything, He’s still where He was), but I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF IT!!

but then I was thinking about it. and I realized that it’s what we do when we don’t feel like it, that’s what makes us grow. it’s easy to follow Christ when you feel like it, when there’s depth in your relationship, when everything is going good. but it’s when it’s not so easy to follow Him that we show what we’re made of, and how strong is that grace that saved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39

I can’t wait until I start moving through life with God with my heart again! but right now I’m going to be faithfully walking with my head. if you are going through a similar experience, keep plugging away! if we all waited until we felt like it to do anything, we wouldn’t do anything! rather, at some point, the feelings will follow the actions. prayin for y’all!

love Em

preparation

“Every experience God give us is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see.” Thus saith Corrie ten Boom in her book, The Hiding Place; where, as you journey through the lives of the ten Boom family, you cannot help but see that this is true. There are many lessons to be learned in this wonderful book but it seems to me that this is the thread that ties them all together.

In any book, whether it is fiction or a true story, it becomes clear to the reader throughout the account, but especially at the end, that all of the events fit together in such a way so that the characters end up where they are supposed to be. The same is true with our lives. Each of our lives here on earth has an endpoint, and only God knows when and where that is, and what it holds. We can only see the events in our lives as we go through them, and then as we look back upon them. As we look back on our lives, often we can begin to see how certain circumstances will fit together, leading us to where we are today. This is valuable; but think that as finite humans, how limited our view of all that is in comparison to our infinite God. He can see the whole of our story, and not just that but everyone in the history of the universe’s story – those in the past, present, and the future – and how they all fit gloriously together to point to the greatness of our God. Life is like a tapestry, from the bottom we can see nothing orderly, nothing beautiful; only tangled up threads. But from God’s vantage point, He can see how it all fits gloriously together into an image, as Corrie once said “Only heaven will reveal the top side of God’s tapestry.”

Pain hurts. But pain with a purpose can allow us to hope. Oftentimes when we are going through a hard situation, when we are feeling hurt, it feels as if it is pointless.  But the Bible promises that this is not so! In Romans chapter five verses three and four Paul writes: “Not only so, but let us also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Another similar passage is James 1:2-3, which says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” Clearly, suffering and pain is not meaningless. We will grow through our hard times, making us more mature and prepared for what God has planned for us down the road…which will then prepare us more yet again for what comes after. Corrie also says “Our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things too. Don’t run out ahead of Him.”

We cannot see the future – but God does. We cannot possibly know what we will need when we get there, or even how we will get there, but He does. That encourages me a great deal, knowing that if I am walking in God’s will for my life that He will give me everything that I will need in the future.  Even if it means going through hard times; if it is where He wants me to be, then that is where I want to be, because “when a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” (Corrie ten Boom) God is the engineer. Even when life doesn’t go the way that I think it should, I can rest assured that God knows where I need to be going and He will get me there. There is nothing that can happen to me that He does not allow, and He will use all of it to prepare me for what He has in store for my life, to bring Him glory.

Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. (Eph 6:23-24)
Blessings!
~em

life is beautiful

this song? on repeat this week. over and over again. and then again.

listen to it. slow.

life is beautiful. it’s all those little things. realize it: you have it all. don’t take it for granted because while you may have some of it tomorrow, rest assured you won’t have all of it, starting with today itself.

take it slow today, look for all those things. those 1000gifts.

blessings on your day!
~em

whatever you do

I do not even know how many times this song has been played at my house the last few weeks. (of course, it helps that the music video is borderline creepy the first few times you watch it (come on, yes? and that part where there is three of him?) although it just gets funny after that) I just love. this. song. it is catchy, and it has an extremely important and encouraging message that I think applies to, well, everyone.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~1 Corinthians 10:31
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~Colossians 3:23-24

it also reminds me of what Emily at Chatting at the Sky has been talking about recently. whatever you do, it all matters. whatever you do, it is art. whatever you do, do it for the LORD. WHATEVER!! when you are feeling down about whatever it is that you do; whether you are a SAHM, or a doctor in the emergency room, or a student, who someone who works at Dollarama – it all matters when you do it to the glory of God! how does this work, you may say? does God really care about what I do? is it even worth it? the answer is YES! so give it your all, God gave all for you, shouldn’t we give him our all in all things too? on top of that, when we believe that we are doing doesn’t matter, we are not giving God the chance to work through us (not that He can’t, because He can (and He will sometimes) but that is a different post for a different day ;)) in that situation. Satan really truly wants us to believe that what we do matters little or not at all. please tell me if you know where in the Bible it says that little things don’t count?

in conclusion; be encouraged. there is nothing you can do (except for sin) that does not bring God glory when you do it. you were created for it! strive for excellence! it matters! you are working for God, and not for another man.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
~em

connections

the more I learn, the more I see that everything is seriously connected.

right now, I am really dealing with contentment. (favourite blogs writing about contentment for 31 Days in Oct: Sarah Writes  and Cassidy Robinson :)) don’t we all say to ourselves – ‘I’ll be content when _______’ (fill in the blank for yourself), but I know for a fact that when I get there I will then be saying ‘I’ll be content when ______’ about the next step in my life, and this will keep going until I die unless somewhere along the line I learn to be content right where I am. so why not start now?

I am seeing that the key to being content is 3ish things, all of which are connected.

God’s presence. His character. who He is. dwelling on this y’all. Our God is the God of love, He is just, He is sovereign, He is good, He is best, besides a million other things that I don’t have the brainpower or time to list this morning. when we think, really think, when we soak in who our AMAZING God is – how are we not content? He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross so that we could have life??? *mindblown* our God truly is good, which leads me to my next point:

His promises. (favourite blog about His glorious goodness this Oct: With Love, From Here). there are many, many promises in the Bible (just googled it quickly and results varied from 1500-3000). when we know who our God is, and that He will not let us down, His promises have a lot of worth. we can hope in them, trust in them, and we can be content.

gratitude. (Ann Voskamp’s blog A Holy Experience has truly spoken God’s words to me during hard times in my life) I truly believe this is key to contentment. discontent stems from thanklessness. when we are not thankful for what we have, where and who we are, then what we don’t have looks better than what we do have, and this is discontent. when we give thanks for all things, we are accepting God’s plan for our lives. we are showing Him that we truly believe that He does not make mistakes and that He really does know best. when we neglect to give thanks we are telling God that we know better than Him what we need right now. and ummm, I’m sorry, but we don’t. contentment in each moment stems from gratitude in each moment. I could go on and on about giving thanks but considering this is just supposed to be an overview of some of the things that I feel are related to contentment I will save all that for another post ;).

other things related to contentment:

hope. (Sweetwater blog) sometimes I have trouble with this one because I feel like when I’m hoping for something, that makes me less content with where I am/what I have. but I think that when that happens to me, I am not hoping in the true sense of the word. hope should encourage us that God is good and what He has for us is good. we can hope for specific things and that is not wrong, but we can take it in the wrong direction and become discontent when we feel that God is not moving fast enough.

yearning and desire. right now one of my prayers is that the LORD would be my first desire. admission, often, He is not. :( and this makes me sad.

trust. in order for any of this to be of any worth to me I need to trust in God’s character, His promises, hope etc.

sometimes it is necessary for us to ‘fake it til we make it‘: go through the motions even when we don’t feel like it, and the feeling will follow along. maybe not for a long time; but it will. I promise. if we waited for the right feeling to be content/joyful/thankful/hopeful, it would never happen – at least not really and not for the long term. we need to choose contentment.

I don’t want to make any promises about what I’m going to post on next, but right now I have this idea of maybe going a little deeper into each of those sections that I’ve mentioned above. we’ll see if it lasts long enough to actually make the posts ;)

May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace. (Num. 6:24-26)

love em