Don’t forget to breath…

“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” – Job 33:4

It’s been a while… but that’s ok. I feel like everyone goes through those highs and lows in their relationship with God. I know God hasn’t left me, He never has, nor ever will. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will never leave you or forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6. There are times when I know I should be doing “better” in my walk with the Lord, if that makes sense. It’s funny, I always know when I am not spending enough time with Him, because He talks to me more – telling me to spend more time with Him. Those times when life gets a little out of whack and you aren’t spending enough time in prayer and aren’t submerging yourself in His Word as much as you should be? I don’t know how the Devil does it, he’s sneaky, one thing leads to another and all of a sudden I’m trying to think back to the last time I brought out my bible and just sat in the presence of Jesus. As discouraging as this can sound, I personally find it encouraging. Through it all, Jesus is always still waiting there to spend time with me; to talk to me, to read with me, to listen to me. In my imagination, I picture Jesus sitting at an outdoor cafe in Paris in the summer time. Everything is colourful and full of life, He’s drinking an espresso and has an extra chair across from Him at a bright yellow wrought iron table. He’ll make eye contact with me, take a sip from a glass espresso mug and wave me over to be with Him. Always. It doesn’t change. He is always welcoming, always loving. Why is it so easy to drift away from this???

cafeThe other day I was reading in my devotional book. It has been the first time in longer than I’d like to admit. My devotional book is written in first person, as God speaking directly to the reader, “Seek My Face [God’s] and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible. “Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life” – Philippians 4:7 MSG. Let Me displace worry at the center of your being. I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering peace into the pool of your mind. My nature is to bless, and your nature is to receive with thanksgiving. This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world. Glorify My be receiving My blessings gratefully! I am the goal of all your searching. When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied. When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life. I am still there, watching and waiting but you function as if you were alone. Actually, My light shines on every situation you will ever face. Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for Me!”

“When You said, ‘Seek My face” my heart said to You, “Your face Lord, I will seek.” – Psalm 27:8

I continued to look at the book. I reread the words and felt so loved. This was the most gentle “I Told You So” and I realized how badly I had needed it. I closed my eyes and imagined Jesus at the bright yellow table in Paris. “I love you Payton. I will always love you, but I want you to love Me back in the same way.” He spoke softly and sipped His espresso.

“You will seek Me and you will find Me, when you seek Me with all of your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

The next day, God continued to show me His patience and love. My devotional said, “Come to Me with a thankful heart, so that you can enjoy My presence. This is the day that I have made. I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow. Search for all that I have prepared for you, anticipating abundant blessings and accepting difficulties as they come. I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on Me. Come to Me with all of your needs, knowing that My glorious riches are a more-than-adequate supply. Stay in continual communication with Me, so that you can live above your circumstances even while you are in the midst of them. Present you requests to Me with thanksgiving, and My peace, which surpasses all understanding, this will guard your heart and mind.” I felt like God was walking with me, and reached down to grab my hand as we would walk together.

“The Sovereign Lord is my strength, He makes my feet like the feet of the deer and helps me to climb the high places.” – Habakkuk 3:19

It is ultra cliche, but the importance of reading my Bible everyday has been refreshed in me. Staying in God’s Word and continually reading His love letter to us is vital to our walk with Him. I want to have feet that are able to climb the high places God may send me – but that will only happen if I spend time with God and allow Him to teach me and mould me so that when the time comes to climb high, I will be able to! If you’ve been feeling like you’re in a similar slump, I want to encourage you to grab your Bible and a coffee and go sit in a quiet room with lots of sunshine. Spend time with Jesus because He is already there waiting for you. God is patient and kind and softly nudges us to continue seeking Him. We are not perfect and the Lord knows that – so seek Him with all that your heart is able to!

 

 

 

 

-Stay Satisfied

Kenzie + Austin

Super Exciting: This past summer, I had the honour of doing the flowers for one of my friends weddings; Kenzie, the lovely bride, was such a joy to work with. Her vision for her and Austin’s big day was very exciting, and I am so blessed to have been able to play a part in their beautiful day!

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Austin had gone into the forest and hand picked trees to chop down and build their own arch while Kenzie had me design flowers to go on top and add colour to their ceremony

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Kenzie had every detail of her wedding planned and organized ❤ She wanted fresh flowers down the isle, on the arch, registry table, reception tables, on the backs of all her guests chairs…. oh my goodness… she was incredible to work with!

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This couple was simply glowing all day!!

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The peach and white flowers went beautifully with the ice blue dresses

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I adored being a part of your day Austin and Kenzie – you were both so much fun to work with!

Praying for you lots in your new life together! God bless

The photos were all done by Laina Brown Photography – she did an incredible job capturing Kenzie + Austin’s Wedding Day!

Who knew a book would go so far…

I recently went through all of the photos I collected while I was in Rio during the summer. I’ll confess that I’m totally a photo album person. When I was little, I would print out photos, cut them into shapes and collage them into books with really cool stickers and fun paper; the whole shebang. Buuuuut now I go online and create books because they turn out way nicer than the ones I used to make… anyways, my photo album is ordered and on it’s way to me *Happy Dance* While going through all the pictures, I was reminded of more stories and miracles that happened in Rio! I hope you don’t mind yet another post 😉

1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. “

On our first day on the streets of Rio, my sister Andra and I got the opportunity to talk with several young adults that were from all over the U.K. one girl was from England, two guys were from Ireland, another two from Germany and Scotland. It was super cool having so many countries standing in one conversation in Brazil! Anyways, this group was the first group my sister and I encountered; we were nervous and didn’t really know what to say. I’ve realized that before the first conversation you have about Jesus is always the one Devil puts up his greatest fight – because if you survive the first, the second and third come easier. Before you know it, you forget what you were originally afraid of! As we approached them I prayed that God would simply give Andra and I the courage to be real, the peace to be calm and the strength to be honest. Have you ever heard of the bread crumb theory? In a conversation, make a comment about God; going to church, your faith – whatever, say something in reference to Christ. If the person you are talking to comments or asks about it, make another small comment. When they ask and the conversation grows talk more and more about Jesus – not shoving the entire loaf of bread down someone’s throat; one slice at a time. You know?

Rio 1We told the group that we were from Canada and we were handing out these booklets to the people we met. “You came all the way from Canada to hand these out? Why??” the guy from Germany asked.

“We came with a group from our church to hand them out to the people we meet from all over the world!” First bread crumb.

“Why would you two come all the way from Canada to give us this? Which church are you from?” They ate it.

“‘We are here with 50+ other Christians from all over the world here in Rio to share Jesus to the people we get to talk to! It’s been so cool to see how many countries are represented here in Rio!” Second bread crumb.

“Why would you want to travel so far to tell people about God and hand out these books?” They ate it again.

So Andra and I began to explain our relationship with Jesus. We told them the story of creation and when sin first entered the world. “God sent His Son Jesus Christ to save the world He created from sin that will lead to death. For us to be saved from death, we must trust Jesus and live our life for Him instead of for ourselves…” As we continued to explain the gospel and salvation the group was listening and asking questions that allowed me to process why I was here. It was as if God was interviewing my sister and I through these young adults’ questions: Payton why are you here? Why do you want to tell others about ME? Why do they need ME? What have I done in your life? I had so much peace as I poured my life to these people. Andra shared her story about how Jesus has helped her in her depression. My sister and I shared about how all of us have sinned and need God, we shared about heaven and hell, about Jesus grace and mercy; after talking for nearly half an hour, one of them said, “You know, I think it’s cool how you both came all this way to share your faith. But just because Jesus works for you, doesn’t mean He will work for me. I think you telling me how Jesus has helped you in specific areas of your life – like depression and stress, helps me to connect with you and wants me to learn more about God. But when you come to me telling me that I’m sinful and going to Hell; I don’t want to listen to you. You should share more about how Jesus Christ helped you instead of Hell.” And with that, we split ways.

If you think of it, please pray for these young adults we talked to! God gave Andra and I 30 minutes to share Him and who knows where they ended up, but God can work through the booklet we gave them, and the conversation we had. Words can ring for years if they spoke to you. It was discouraging watching them walk away but my heart was encouraged because I saw how God used our encounter with that group to lift our spirits to press on and continue to share Him! With our first conversation on the streets being to grounding, I was excited to watch and see how God’s Hand would move during the rest of our time in Rio!

Rio 3A couple days later, another group from our missions team was at Copacabana Beach. Soldiers were everywhere in Rio. Almost every 20 feet were four soldiers with loaded machine guns. Being from Canada; where firearms are thankfully illegal, it was a bit unnerving to see so many firearms. As the team spread the gospel and handed out booklets to every one on the boardwalk they had opportunities to talk about the gospel, creation and salvation with people. After one conversation, my friend noticed that the guard he was near kept watching him after his conversation with someone else on the boardwalk. We had been told before going out not to approach the soldiers because they were on high alert and a stranger with a big backpack would not be the brightest idea. As my friend went about the boardwalk, this guard kept watching him! A few minutes later, the soldier left his post and approached my friend. He motioned for a book, said thank you, and returned to his post. My friend was in shock. Moments later, the guard went up to him again and asked for three more booklets for the other guards at his post; they all wanted one, but didn’t want to leave their post to get it! It was incredible to watch the power of God work in areas we could not!

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One last story! When my team and I were at Copacabana Beach, it was hot and beautiful and packed with people! I don’t think I had ever seen so many bodies in one place at once! I realized what immigrants in Canada were saying when they said there is so much space back home! Anyways, it had been a long and exhausting day, my team and I were running out of books when suddenly a woman ran up to one of the guys on our team, “Here! I don’t need this” she said, as she handed a booklet back to him. It was discouraging to see her going to the effort of returning the book. As he tried to encourage her to hold on to the book and maybe pass it on to a friend or family member, she said, “No! Someone gave me this book yesterday. I went home and I read it. I became a Christian!! This book saved my life! I want to give it back to you so that God can save another life!” I was dumbfounded. Sometimes we underestimate the power of God’s Word. He does not need our words. God uses us to get His Word to those He has hand picked for His kingdom!!

Praise God with me for the work God did in Rio, is continuing to do in Rio and all that is still to happen in Rio! I will be the first to confess that I was one of those people to not believe that tracks and bible booklets were effective for Christ’s kingdom. But God opened my eyes to humble me; having that lady come back and share her story made me remember and realize the reality of Ephesians 3:21-22, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” I am thankful for the time I had in Rio and the opportunity the Lord gave me to be used and watch His work unfold! God is still moving people! Stay close to Him and He will show you and open your eyes to see!

 

– Stay Satisfied

I AM is with Us Where Ever We Go!

I have been home from Rio for over a month now – I am so sorry for not posting this sooner! It’s sad how the devil can distract us with other shiny things on the side to prevent us from sharing God’s glory and all that He has done! There’s so much I am excited to tell about my time in Rio; for this post I’m going to focus on what God taught me in Rio and how it’s changed my life since coming home! God enforced one lesson in my life and taught me a new lesson to focus on. He enforced stopping to smell the roses in the world Christ has created and He taught me how to be bold and transparent about my faith in Jesus. I was incredibly excited to experience another part of the world for the Lord.

BooksI love to travel and I want to travel as much of the world as I can, so traveling with a purpose other than fulfilling my own desires was incredibly satisfying and made the trip more valuable. I want to continue to travel with a purpose for Christ everywhere I go in the world! While we were there, other missionaries encouraged us to “stop and smell the roses” – to enjoy Rio while we served the Lord. I loved the reassurance that gave me: God wants our work for Him to be joyful and uplifting, not a chore or something we dread! On our travels there, I was at war with myself, “How was I going to be able to be a witness for Christ and be completely focused on doing this for God and not being distracted with the people, places and things of Rio?!” But the Lord gave me so much peace. “I have made this world for my glory Payton – and I want you to find a balance between enjoying what I have created for you and being my light. Remember I want you to be IN this world – not OF it.” It was exciting to explore the streets of Rio while sharing the gospel with everyone we encountered and tell other people my story with Jesus. There were 14 people on our witnessing team: 12 of us were from my church and then we had 2 wonderful missionary translators that were looking forward to not only guiding us through the city but giving us the opportunities to experience Rio; the people, the tourist points, the food – they wanted to share their culture with us and I was ecstatic! I loved getting to meet people and hear their story.

Prayer

“Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”    -Mark 16:15

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The greatest challenge for me, was the language barrier; it was more of a factor than I thought it would be. However, I truly believe that what the devil meant for bad, the Lord planned for good! Speaking only English forced me to be creative with how I shared my faith with the people there. Not knowing Portuguese also gave God so much room for His Hand to work and I got to watch it all happen! I knew that nothing was from what I said or did – because I could say or do much! I know I had asked for prayer in this area, but it was humbling learning that I am merely a vessel and that the Lord does not need me; He WANTS to use me and include me in His glorious plan. I was encouraged by my pastor that even though we may not get that exciting conversation every day; God’s Word speaks so much more than our own word. His Word is passed on and read and reread vs. our word floats away in the wind. I was reminded that God defends and spreads His word and that as long as I am getting it into the hands of the people – God will use it! One day, when my sister Andra and I were at the Olympic Boulevard handing out the gospel and making ourselves available to be used by Christ with our team we met a Brazilian lady named Sonia. She had just a touch of English; the three of us ended up playing a 45 minute game of charades to try and have a conversation. As we talked.. or acted.. Sonia told us how lonely she had been because she has no family near her and her husband travels a lot for work. As she conveyed her sadness my heart was pounding in my chest – Sonia NEEDS to hear about Jesus!!! I prayed asking God to send out translator back our way for that just maybe we could tell her about the love and grace she could have in Jesus! As our game of charades continued, our translator; Cynthia came along!! Andra quick explained our situation and how we have been trying to tell Sonia about Jesus’ love. So Cynthia talked to Sonia in Portuguese for us and told her about Jesus for Andra and I. A moment later, Sonia’s face lit up with excitement, “I KNOW JESUS!!” I was shocked. We talked more, turns out that Sonia is also a missionary for Jesus and her husband goes back to raise support for their missions work while she holds down the fort at home in Brazil! I could not believe it. Sonia then explained that she just felt the Lord telling her to come and talk to my sister and I. We prayed together, exchanged contact information. God had all of us there to encourage each other to stay strong and to continue spreading God’s seed. My heart was so full that not only was God looking out for His lost sheep, but also encouraging His sheep to press on.

Streets 1Since coming back from Rio, the Lord has shown me that I have no excuses here in Canada: I can speak the language, I understand the culture, I know the city, etc. While in Rio I learned how blessed I am to not be bound by language, culture, currency, etc. I have the freedom and knowledge in Canada to share the gospel and Jesus’ name far and wide! Being home now, I am challenged to continue to be bold about my faith and be open and willing to share and create opportunities to share Christ – not wait for them to land on my lap! Since coming back home I have had several situations where I was able to share my faith and pass on extra English booklets that I took home from the Olympics! The first weekend I was home, my family and I put on a garage sale. As people came and went through out the day, there was one man that came by that I felt the Lord putting on my heart. As I talked to him he told me that he was from originally from Chile and had moved to Canada a couple years ago – as we talked more we found out that we were both in Rio during the Olympics!! He told me the events he went to and asked which once I saw… Immediately I heard God encourage me, “Be bold Payton!” So I told the man all about sharing Jesus on the streets and gave him one of the extra booklets that I had brought back from Rio. I have no idea what God will do, all I know is that Jesus gave me ground to scatter seed. I am so blessed to share my experiences with other followers of Jesus and encourage them to also be bold and spread the good news. We are to be farmers for Jesus scattering seed everywhere we go – no worrying about the ground it falls on. I am excited that God is continuing to use me and I can’t wait to watch and see how His Holy Spirit continues to work in my home town!

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Oi! Oi! Oi!   Eh! Eh! Eh!

I’m in Brazil! My passport has finally been stamped outside of North America *major happy dance* that one has been on the bucket list for far too long! Thank you, thank you, thank you friends for praying! And I thank you ahead of time for continuing to pray!!! All 12 members of our team have successfully and safely made it to Rio de Janeiro without getting sick or loosing any of our gear! God is so good! His Hand of guidance and protection have been incredibly evident already. The first day was a long day of traveling to get here – roughly 36 hours later, us Canadians made it to Brazil. Even on our journey here, my team and I have been able to have great conversations with others in the airports about Jesus and the reasons why we are going to Rio to share Him with others. It’s amazing what the Lord will do when we simply say yes, and make ourselves available to be used by Him. After flying into Rio Sunday evening, we were taken to our base where all of the other street ministry missionaries and translators are staying. Since our group of over 100 was coming from all over the world, it took a couple days for all of us to arrive. Our Canadian team arrived earlier than needed, so on Monday some members of our team explored parts of Rio while a few others recovered from our day(s) of travel. It was great spending time as a group and getting to know other people that would be doing street ministry with us. Pastor Gene; our group leader had a devotional on Jeremiah chapter 1 that really struck a couple cords with me. We focused on verses 4 through 9 which read, “Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD. Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” Verse 6 was the one that really stuck out to me. I know personally, I don’t feel “prepared” for sharing my faith with complete strangers. Now that I’m here, I feel like I should’ve memorize books of the Old Testament and learned the Portuguese language somewhat fluently, maybe I should’ve been reading more books about sharing the gospel. I don’t know. But when my pastor started explain that verse, it made me realize that I am never going to be “ready” I must only be willing – and God will use me however He needs. You know that quote, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called” That statement has never been so encouraging as of now. Going back and rereading hose verses, I am encouraged because God doesn’t expected us to be well oiled and ready to go – He simply wants us to be ready to go. Other people in my group shared their insecurities about not knowing what to say, or answering questions and explaining the gospel simply, etc. I believe that God will go ahead of our team. I believe God has been preparing for us the whole time; putting our hearts in the perfect place to know and understand that it is God going ahead of us and God doing the works. Not us. And that is exciting to me!  
Tuesday was the big day to receive the low down and game play of our mission for the streets of Rio. That morning our team had another devotional led by one fellow in our group. He told us to flip over to Matthew 13:3-9 which talks about the Sower and the Seed. As he read I kind of sat back because, well to be honest, I felt like I had heard this passage a thousand times before. As he finished, he began to explain that it doesn’t matter what we say, or do, or give out today. I sat forward. “God has chosen each and everyone of us to scatter seed in these next few weeks. We are here to share the gospel. In Matthew we read about all these different kinds of soil – but the farmer still scattered. We read about the soil with weeds, the rocky soil and the good soil – the farmer scattered the same over all the soil. As he explained, I listened with new ears because I had never looked at that passage with those eyes before. He continued to talk about how we are meant to make sure seed falls everywhere – what happens with it and how it grows is completely out of our control. It’s God’s responsibility not ours. My heart was so encouraged. He’s right. God was helping us to understand that what happens over this short time during the Olympics is not our doing but the Lord’s. We are merely here to be His vessel and Jesus’ light. 

    

That gave me a new energy to go out! We would head out around 11:00 that morning and come back to the base around 5:00. Our Canadian team loaded up our backpacks with gospel booklets in several languages and were placed at the White Arches of Lapa in Rio de Janerio to share the gospel with everyone we might encounter. Guys – it was an incredible day!!! We handed out booklets and talked to the people that came across our path. I’m excited to see what God will do over the next couple weeks because the people we encountered today encouraged my spirit.

  
Please continue to pray for everyone in Rio – for soft hearts and open ears. Please pray for our team – for boldness of heart and confidence in God’s Word. Thank you again for all of the prayers I know you have been sending our way! They truly mean a lot. I want to encourage you, where ever you are, be bold for Jesus. Step out of your comfort zone and pray for that person, encourage that person, tell that person about Jesus. My eyes have been opened to a new way of living out my faith and I want you guys to catch this flame with me! 
 – Stay Satisfied 

I’m flying to Rio tomorrow!

Tomorrow morning I fly to Rio de Janario for the 2016 Summer Olympics with my church. Four years ago I remember sitting and listening to the stories from the group that went to the London 2012 Games; it was then that God put it on my heart that I would be going to Rio. To think that after four years of praying into this trip is finally here, leaves my speechless. I don’t know what to say. I’m beyond excited. I’m incredibly nervous. I’ve surpassed “roller coaster” emotions at this point. Even though I knew I’d be going to Rio to share my faith in August 2012, God spoke to me more a couple years after that and I posted about it back in March, 2015 [ https://hersatisfiedsoul.com/2015/03/15/beyond-what-we-see-looks-awesome/ ] If you wanted to read that post to get a better idea of my call and desire for this mission, it might bring clarity to this post more. This post is a prayer request:

Payton + AndraMy sister and I will be flying with a group from Faith Baptist Church to Rio de Janario. We are there to do street ministry during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games! All of our funds have been raised and our flights have been booked – but we need your prayers. Please pray. Our team from our church will be meeting up with roughly 100 others in Rio. Together, we are working with the Rio 2016 Outreach to evangelize and distribute specially prepared Gospel literature. The booklets have been translated into English, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, French, Japanese, German, Chinese, Russian, and other languages for us to hand out while we are on the streets of Rio. At each Olympics this ministry [ http://rio16outreach.com/ ] has taken a very diverse group of people from the USA, Canada, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and others to share God’s Word and be a light for Jesus on the streets. Missionaries, pastors, lawyers, medical people, professors, students, retired folks and others will work together towards one goal. We have been praying for Christ’s strength and becoming united as a team that will be a force for God on the streets of Rio.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” -Matthew 28:19.

You see, people from roughly 207 countries will be gathering in Rio to celebrate the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, so it’s the perfect opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people from all the nations! And that is why my sister and I have joined the team. While Christians are out on the streets talking with people who are there, we will have backpacks full of these booklets in many different languages. The Olympics is the only time a country is completely open for people to come and share their faith freely. As we share the gospel and hand out the booklets to the people we encounter, there is a special follow-up program that has been set up to help new believers to find Churches, contact other Christians from where they live and receive Bibles, etc. I am excited that this ministry does not leave new believers hanging – but continues to help them grow in their new faith. When someone comes to know Christ at the Olympics, their contact information can be sent forward to a missionary that lives from what ever country they are originally from. Those missionaries will contact these new Christians and help them grow to know Jesus more.

We are asking you to pray with us and for us as our team prepares and goes to Rio. Pray specifically that God will prepare hearts from people all over the world to receive the message of Christ and salvation. Our world has been preparing for these games for 4 years but God has been planning for these hearts for so much longer! Pray with us that God would go ahead to soften hearts and open ears. Please pray for our team that our hearts would be ready and willing to be bold for Christ and that we would be willing to do whatever Christ may ask us to do while we are there for Him. Cover the Olympic Games in your prayers for safety. Specifically,

Prayer for Payton:

  • To be relaxed and not stressed out by lack of schedule(s) + trusting that God will work out the days perfectly
  • To be bold about approaching strangers + to be transparent about my faith and all that Jesus has done for me
  • Remember that I am the vessel Christ is using; it isn’t my words or works – whatever happens will be God’s plan
  • Praise the Lord with me for this amazing opportunity to share the gospel with others, and to grow in my own faith!

Prayer for Andra:

  • To be bold about approaching strangers + to not be afraid of knowing what to say or do
  • For good health: I often feel sick when I am in new places + I don’t want that to hold me back from sharing my faith
  • To be calm in mind and spirit + not overthink and make situations more complicated than they actually are

“God wants to use us when we are not ready, that way we are forced to trust Him and for God to empower us to do what we need to do to tell the world about Him. Trust that God knows what He is able and will do through us” – Pastor Bryce

Thank you for praying with me for Rio. For the people. For our missions team. For travels. For the Holy Spirit to move swiftly through the nations and that people would see Jesus in the next couple weeks.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Dents in my Fender + Rips in My Jeans…

Growing up, one of my favorite songs was, “Free to be Me” by Francesca Battistelli. She was my first concert. I remember my tween self freaking out when the first chords were played to hit single. I died:

 

At twenty years of age
I’m still looking for a dream
A war’s already waged
For my destiny
But you’ve already won the battle
And you’ve got great plans for me
Though I can’t always see

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

When I was just a girl
I thought I had it figured out
My life would turn out right
And I’d make it here somehow
But things don’t always come that easy
And sometimes I would doubt

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

And you’re free to be you

Sometimes I believe
That I can do anything
Yet other times I think
I’ve got nothing good to bring
But you look at my heart and you tell me
That I’ve got all you seek
And it’s easy to believe
Even though

‘Cause I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
On my own I’m so clumsy
But on your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

 

 

Rips and dentsTo be honest, I think most of us thought we had it all figured out growing up; when we’re grown up I’ll be a firefighter or mechanic, I’m gunna have kids and be a Mom, we’re gunna do what we love and always assume success will follow us no matter where we go. I just turned 22 the other day, and as crazy as it may seem, I’m not a millionaire doing super, awesome things on T.V. I know, crazy right? I’m also guessing you’re not in that place either…. but that’s just a guess… Social media has a funny way of making us feel disappointed with our lives. It seems like everyone around us is dating, getting married, having kids, going on vacations, finishing school, getting promoted at work, buying a new car, building a new house, the list could honestly go on forever. Whatever we desire – someone else has. Our friends around us and the people we follow on social media platforms always seem to have their life together. Comparison is the #1 thief of joy people. Fransesca’s song always encouraged me that I was never meant to be perfect. God does not expect me to be flawless. The reason we can’t be perfect and flawless is because that would mean we don’t need Jesus. Even with Jesus, I am not perfect. But because of Jesus I know I don’t have to have my life together. With Jesus I can embrace my ripped jeans and dented car. I can embrace my current jobless situation. Believe me – I may only be in my early twenties, but I’ve had my fair share of struggles, disappointments, failures and heartbreaks. I scrolled across a quote the other day that challenged, “So what? You had a bad semester. You gained some weight. So what? You’re single again. You lost your job. So what? What now? You live. You try again. You move on. That’s what.” It struck a chord with me. We are told in 2 Chronicles 15:7, “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.” Guys, we cannot be the people that fail once, twice, and give up! I’ve been learning that we need to be able to embrace our failures and discouragements. We need to embrace our imperfect, beautiful selves and seek Christ whole-heartedly. I’ve been wearing the same jeans since grade 7 and I just recently got into a fender bender with my buggy. Don’t get me wrong, I wish I had nice, new clothes for everything and I have cried over my winking car lots but…. So what? My goal on earth is not to have a bazillion friends, perfect Instagram feed, lots of followers on the blog, or hundreds of likes on my Facebook. So what? Our image shouldn’t be the most important thing to us – our legacy should be. What do people think when they hear your name? How do people feel when they see a photo of you? If someone had to describe you, using only 5 words, what would they say? Would they say you’re gentle or rough, rude or humorous, witty, sassy, harsh, stubborn, kind, loving, etc. I want to encourage you guys not to compare yourself to the next person. Don’t wish you had this or wish you could do that. Work for it, wait for it, and plan for it. Stay satisfied and content with who you are in Christ Jesus and trust that He will continue to work in your life and mould you into the beautiful, imperfect person He always intended you to be.

“Wait a second, Why should you care, / what they think of you / When you’re all alone, by yourself / Do you like you?” – Colbie Caillat, “TRY

 

– Stay Satisfied