Closer Means to Invest Time

Relationships aren’t easy. They need time, effort and sacrifice whether it’s a relationship with people, pets or God. They’re always worth it, but you have to put in in order to take away. I think we often forget that. I was talking with a friend the other day; they were sharing how they feel lonely and wish they had more people in their life they were close with. This friend then began to talk about how introverted they are and how much they enjoy recharging by themselves and being a hermit. I laughed because I totally relate – In fact I think most of society relates to that mentality! Netflix is the new party and staying in is the new going out. It’s funny how much effort it takes to plan a night out with friends or even a simple coffee date to catch up with someone! We have to check our schedules, see if we’ll be in the mental space to actually want to go out that day next week and plan accordingly. I’m totally one of those people that could say no to every opportunity to go out – My hermit skills are almost resume worthy. However, once I’m out with people; I’m always glad I went out, or had them over! Continue reading

UPDATE: Iโ€™m Not One for New Yearโ€™s Resolutions

It’s crazy to think that June marks the half way point in a year! It never feels like it – All the classes, activities, etc. coming to an end almost make it feel like the year is only starting with a fresh, summer start! For those of you that have been following my 2018 year, you’ll know that in January I decided to grab the bull of New Year’s Resolutions by the horns and make a couple for myself. If you haven’t, you can read my fresh start in January HERE. I know it’s only been six months, but it’s crazy how much you learn when you set goals for yourself. You learn your strengths and your weaknesses quite fast! Even though I set four primary goals for myself this year – I’m learning way more than just “improving” myself in those four things. Continue reading

Hey! Really Good Job Walking!

I’ve been on this motivating Encouragement Train lately. Last week I wrote about how we tend to view our lives pessimistically or can often portray them that way. This week I’m encouraged. I’m happy. There are so many good things in this world people!!! Last week I hope I challenged you to change your outlook on your world – Or at least open your eyes to see the silver lining. I know it was a bit of a wake up call for myself ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m continuing that thought and continuing that vibe and I hope you catch it!

A while ago, a friend of mine posted a photo of her son Moses on Instagram – I screen shot it because first of all he’s absolutely adorable and second because the story behind the photo filled my heart: Read the caption.
Seriously. He is the cutest, most thoughtful little kid. His compliment made me sit back – I’m sure he said it because he hasn’t been walking all that long and realizes that it takes some time to learn, but when I thought of it (granted I don’t know exactly how old this older woman was) there are a lot of elderly people that have lost their ability to walk! We take so many things for granted. It filled my heart to see that Moses took note of and appreciated functional legs. I’ve often gotten the simple compliment at work about how my printing is flawless. Until now, I’ve always laughed it off blaming it on my crazy drafting teacher for being so strict and redirecting the compliment. What if tomorrow I couldn’t write? Guys we are so blessed – Even if you are having a hard time finding the silver lining right now.

I think of Job from the Bible. Job was a man that you could say had everything in his life taken away by the Devil and then had it all given back to him from God; his home, his health, wealth, family, etc. I’m sure a lot of people use Job out of context, but when Job was sitting and mourning with the few friends that hadn’t died I’m struck with a two thoughts. 1. He still had those few friends to keep him company and 2. He was not sitting in Antarctica. Those may be two very thin silver linings in the midst of an unbearable situation, nonetheless those two things remain true. Job himself says in Job 27: 1-6, “Job continued speaking: โ€œI vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who as embittered my soul. As long as I live, while I have breath from God, my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies. I will never concede that you [one of his friends] are right; I will defend my integrity until I die. I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.โ€”

Obviously Job is the extreme case – But I want to encourage you guys to continue seeking for the positive thing in a day and sharing that positive thing with others. Ask the Lord to help you shift your view to the way He sees your life. I want to also challenge you to speak up and share encouragement with others just like Moses did! Who knows how far those kind words will go in another person’s life ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

We Can’t Look at the Glass Half Empty Anymore.

I feel like we are too hard on ourselves. The past couple weeks, I’ve noticed how people tend to share about negative experiences before their positive ones – I’ve caught myself doing this. But it got me thinking – Why do we do that? Why do people have to almost have a competition about who’s day was worse? It seems odd because we’re trying to do exactly the opposite on our Instagram feeds… I think we do this because we’ve been trained to share about our lives this way. When we’re with people, we have this awkward balance of wanting to share about our lives without coming across self-absorbed or narcissistic. So we over-correct by sharing what’s “awful” about our lives before telling about what’s awesome. (Sometimes we don’t even get to the part of telling about what’s awesome!) This way, we think we’re safe from people accusing us of trying to be perfect or having it all together and being a snob about it. (Why do we even care what they think?) It’s sad. True friends will be happy for you! People can and should be happy for good things in someone’s life without being jealous. We also shouldn’t have to live with this fear of our “success” being judged by others.

“In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid What can mere man do to me?” – Psalm 56:4

One of my favourite mugs that I use at home has a quote on the front that says, “The cup is always half full”. I personally think it’s an ironic quote to put on a mug because there will be more times when it’s empty instead of half full… but whatever, it’s optimistic. There are many things in our day that might happen and we could view them optimistically or pessimistically. Maybe it’s work, our family, or our body, our friends, our hobbies, or possibly our pets. The same goes for how we share about our life to others whether it’s on social media or in person: We could tell a story with an optimistic point of view or we can chose to hone in on the pessimistic view point.

I want to encourage you to see everything that happens in your day optimistically! I want to encourage you to share about your life from a happy point of view! I want to help you see the silver lining that happens in each and every situation. It could be a soft, subtle silver lining that you really have to search for, or it could be screaming obvious! Maybe it’s work, our family, or our body, our friends, our hobbies, or possibly our pets but but however you see the silver lining in these things – Hone in on it. I saw a video clip on Facebook the other day of a bird singing – It was so cute. This bird was beautiful and sang beautifully. I confess I watched it a couple times. Admittedly, as I listened to this bird singing for the third time, I realized that this could be annoying to other people. It made me sad to think that some people could hate birds singing in the house altogether. This thought started to snowball. I thought about everything I’m thankful for and thought about what it was that made me love those things. Then I flipped my mentality: What if I had the exact opposite of everything I love? What if all that bird did was screech instead of sing? It hit me how much I take for granted; all the little silver linings. Guys, don’t focus on how ugly, inconvenient, boring, or irritating something is. The cup is always half full. If all that bird did was screech, it was still a beautiful bird to look at. I found a quote the other day about seeing our bodies in a new light:

Have this mentality in everything โค

– Stay Satisfied

Cataclysmic Changes

Change can mean a lot of things. It could mean starting something new, letting go of something familiar, going somewhere you’ve never been. I was reading my devotional book the other day, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young which read, “This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go; of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My [God’s] Presence, where you are complete. Take time to bask in the Light of My Love. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.
You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes. I am the same yesterday, today and forever. As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand. Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.”

“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, O Lord.” -Psalm 89:15

Sometimes change is welcomed and looked forward to – I think those people are crazy: I’m a person that hates change… but maybe that’s why God has me go through big changes regularly. It’s a way to remind me of my reliance on Christ. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” -Hebrews 13:8. As the big changes continue to come, I can trust and remember that God never lets go of my hand. That doesn’t mean the adjusting and uncomfortable feeling of change won’t go away, but I can trust that going through them with Jesus it will get easier.

“For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear – I will help you.” -Isaiah 41:13

I want to encourage you guys (and I’m saying this more to myself) that as we experience change big + small, we can go through each event as fast or slow as we need to, but no matter the speed we push through life altering situations – God is here for us and He cares. God wants us to pursue Him and talk to Him with each step. So do that. Talk to God, share your thoughts, explain your feelings and know that He cares for you. This ugly feeling of growth could be us pushing out of our cocoons and transforming into something stronger, smarter and more capable of taking us to something/ someone/ somewhere greater.

– Stay Satisfied

We are all Josephs

We all know the story of Joseph and his famous coat of many colours. It’s a classic in any Children’s Story Bible. If you don’t know the story of Joseph, it’s found in the first Old Testament book of Bible: Genesis, chapter 35 (birth) to chapter 50 (death). To give you a Spark Notes version: (spoiler alert) At a young age, Joseph is treated unfairly by his brothers and wrongly sold into slavery. As Joseph works as a slave in Egypt, he excels due to his trust in God. We are told in Genesis 39: 2, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.” As Joseph moves up the status ladder, once again he is wrongly accused (verses 19-21), “Now when his [Joseph’s] master heard the words of his wife… ‘This is what your slave did to me,’ his anger burned. So Joseph’s master took him and put him in jail…” Joseph stayed in prison for 2 years for something he didn’t do.

Genesis 39: 2, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.

I want to hone in on how Joseph seemed to get the butt end over and over when he didn’t deserve it. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much they planned a way to get rid of him. PLANNED A WAY TO GET RID OF HIM. After being a slave, he is wrongly accused by his master’s wife and he is thrown into prison for years. IN PRISON FOR YEARS. Now, I know that not all of us have it has bad as Joseph had it. In fact most of us probably don’t have it anywhere close to as bad as he did, but we all have our own challenges. “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him…” Genesis 39:21. As we read the story of Joseph, we see that he acted with integrity no matter what situation he was in: as a young boy tending his father’s flock, as a young man a slave in a foreign country and even as an innocent prisoner. That is what God has been laying on my heart. Am I acting with integrity no matter what situation I am in? Joseph knew that the Lord was with always him, and he clung to that. Even when his situation improved later in chapter 41, “Joseph then answered Pharaoh, “It is not me; God will give Pharaoh a favourable answer…

Genesis 39:21, “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him…

As Joseph’s life went on, the Lord continued to bless him. In the end Joseph became the second most important person in Egypt just under Pharaoh himself! God wants us to live with integrity, every situation in our life – Not just when things are good. How do I live my life when I’m content with where I am? How do I live my life when I want what I do not have? Being satisfied with where God has you at every stage of your life should be the goal for all of us. If we have trusted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, God is with us just like he was with Joseph. At the very end of the book of Genesis, before Joseph died he said to the same brothers who sold him into slavery, “God will surely take care of you.” After all that is said and done I want to live my life the way Joseph lived his – Trusting in God at every point in his life knowing that his story was not yet finished. Knowing, “What was meant for evil, God used for good.” Genesis 50:20. My story is not yet done and neither is yours! We are all “Joseph’s” in the sense that we are treated unfairly at times. However, we need to strive to have the same attitude and focus on God like Joseph did despite everything that happened.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied