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!

I think our relationship with God operates the same way. People always want to hear from God. People usually want to see God work and know that He cares. But how often are people responding to the call from God – He wants to hear from you too and see you work to know that you care. It seems like our expectations from Jesus are very one sided.

2 Chronicles 15:15, “The people sought Him earnestly and He let them find Him.”

If someone were to treat you the same way you treat Christ, would you still want to be their friend? It’s a question that has really challenged me! No one likes a friend that sucks at listening – When all they do is talk about themselves, your interest level in spending more time with that person will tank significantly. What about the friend that is always telling you what to do and incredibly demanding? We tend to cut those people out of our life pretty fast. Our relationship with Jesus is more than reading your Bible, having a regular attendance at church and praying before a meal.

I was reading 1 Samuel the other day – I love the classic story of David defeating Goliath (1 Samuel chapter 17). It’s incredibly motivating for us to go out and tackle the giants standing in our way! Reading the chapter this time around, I started thinking more about what gave David the confidence to go out and take on an undefeated warrior. If I were in his shoes I would’ve stayed in the field taking care of dumb sheep – That seems a lot less stressful than going out to the battle line to check up on my siblings.

1 Samuel 17: 31 – 37,
“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”
“Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”
But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” So Saul finally consented.

When David was growing up he spent most of his time in the fields caring for his Father’s flock. David is known for all of his poetry that is recorded in the book of Psalms in the Bible. Taking care of sheep would not only be long and boring, but it would also give someone the opportunity to get really good at whatever they decided to kill time with. In David’s case it was his relationship with his Lord. I think God also put the desire in David’s heart to practice his sling shot skills so that when the time came for him to fight, it would be his first instinct to trust God and grab his sling. David spent and immeasurable amount of time with God while he looked after the sheep. I believe that is what gave David the foundation in his life to become a Man After God’s Own Heart. It made me realize that in order to have a strong relationship with anyone, you need to invest time. To create closeness you need to learn about the other person. David wanted to know God, learn more about God and be a friend with God.

I want this for my life also – I want to create closeness with God and with other people in my life. I want to seek God earnestly and maybe He will let me find Him.

– Stay Satisfied

UPDATE: I’m Not One for New Year’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.


I wanted to share how I’ve been doing so far – Not to pat myself on the back, but to encourage you guys that might still be sitting on the fence about some goals you’ve been wanting to tackle in your life. Or maybe you had started some New Year’s Resolutions the same time I did, and you’re starting to fall behind – It’s ok; pick yourself up and keep going! I’m sharing my progress because I hope it encourages you to press on and strive towards your goals!!

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:14

I had previously shared how setting big goals are important, but setting too big of goals is reckless. I had read about New Year’s Resolutions and the best ways to achieve your goals and keep your motivation all through out the year; one recommendation that was stressed in order to accomplish goals was to break down your goals. Let’s say you want to healthily lose/ gain weight this year: What are you going to do each month in order to achieve that? What are you going to do each week, to reach success in those areas every month? Etc. After praying about 2018 and coming to these four goals, I broke them down into lists of what is realistic for me each month to accomplish them. To say the least: it has been incredibly encouraging, uplifting and motivating to feel myself grow and to see results!
In January, I wanted to:

GROW SPIRITUALLY

• Read the complete Bible in one year
• Read everyday in my devotional book
• Write a prayer journal
• Volunteer in my church regularly
• Get connected in a church group and be consistent
• Be open to mentor ship

UPDATE: I have found this area probably the most encouraging after pursing it for months, but also the most difficult to create habits. It’s hard to make time for God everyday. The Devil makes sure that this is not an easy task for us to complete. But I’ve found that the harder you work for it and the higher the priority you make it in your life; God rewards you for it! I know that the Word of God is alive because of how it continually changes a person’s heart the more time they spend in it continually. Not only has it been rewarding to strengthen my personal relationship with Jesus, but also spending time with other Believers both volunteering in the youth program in my church and being more committed to our young adults group. It is so cool to feel God working in and through His Body the way He intended for it to work! Obviously people are not perfect, but when we’re all working together for God’s glory, it’s amazing how the slip ups are easily fixed.

“Serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts If you seek Him, He will let you find Him” – 1 Chronicles 28:9

DEVELOP PHYSICALLY

• Take better care of my skin
• Take better care of my teeth
• No screens after 10:00 pm
• Do three cardio work outs a week
• Drink the recommended water amount daily
• Do not snack after 7:00 pm

UPDATE: I think developing physically is one of the easier tasks only because there is already so much the world has to offer in this area. It’s actually kind of sad when you think about how self absorbed we are about physical appearance. Yes, I totally get that there is a healthy balance of taking care of the bodies Christ has given us, but then there’s a line where it can become too much… But because the world has so much information on dieting, work out plans, skin care, hygiene care, etc. nearly everywhere for free, it makes this area of development more motivational than others because you see results faster! For example, I wanted to take better care of my teeth: Crest has that 3D White stuff where you literally notice a significant difference within 3 days! When you see results right away, it makes you more inclined to keep going, you know?

On the other hand, I started going to spin class 3-4 times a week. This was a slow-gain process and it’s taken months for me to see results in my body. Each class is pretty vigorous and I always leave the workout feeling disgustingly sweaty and satisfied that I gave it my all. I have noticed a positive difference in my stamina, better sleeping, and mentally I feel sharper! My motivation for the 3 cardio work outs a week resolution, was motivated back in December 2017, when I went to a Body World’s Exhibit that taught about so many different diseases, muscles, bones, mental health, etc. Next to each display they had list of a “How to Prevent” what ever negative bodily situation. Obviously these were not 100% guaranteed, but the #1 How to Prevent tip was: Exercise 30 minutes A WEEK. That seemed so easy… but then how many of us do even that minimal amount? It feels incredible to work out in the morning and consistently throughout the week!

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8

 

EXPAND MY SKILLS

• Publish a blog post once a week
• Read one book a month
• Accomplish one task on my Bucket List a month
• Take risks in my career to grow & learn
• Learn to cook more full meals
• Spend more time doing activities that do not involve screens

UPDATE: This resolution has been the most fun to work on! I’ve loved sharing my life more consistently on the blog instead of bumming around the house. I’ve loved sitting in a big comfy chair reading a book instead of wasting time on my phone. I’ve loved planning and researching new adventures to check tasks off my Bucket List and make memories with friends and family! I’ve loved feeling growth at work and I’m looking forward to more growth in University! All in all, I just feel like I’m using my time more wisely and thinking through my days instead of just wondering where the months have gone. My Day Planner has been awesome for this because I log everything into it as if it were my diary.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11

 

CULTIVATE MY FINANCES

• Set up budgets in all of my spending categories and stick to them
• Record my income and spending weekly
• Give generously
• Think before spending
• Grow my savings

UPDATE: Finances are tricky. You don’t want to become a money obsessed jerk that is too cheap to do anything, but you also don’t want to go out every night and have more month left at the end of the pay cheque… It’s also important to balance what you spend, what you save and what you give. This is a lesson I’m currently learning. It’s not about how big your bank account is by the time you retire and it’s not about trying to make six digits in a year. I’m learning that financial goals are a slow and steady process. It’s good to work yourself out of debt, to have a savings fund for a rainy day – because when it rains it will most definitely pour and to be generous. Recording my spending each week has totally opened my eyes to see how much I’m actually spending on eating out, or going to the movies. After the first couple weeks, I was quite shocked at how much I was spending because 5 bucks here and there adds up fast!

Every month I’ve tried to set small “financial goals” for myself like: Spend less than $x eating out this month, spend less than $x on gas, and spend less than $x on shopping, etc. What’s been cool, is that in these months I’ve noticed that when I am actively working towards each goal. When I want to spend less eating out; I do better at prepping my meals at home, which then domino’s into helping me make better eating choices! When I was to spend less on gas; I do better at walking more places or planning more organized Errand Days to maximize my productivity while driving. And when I know I need to shop less I do better at reusing things instead of just going out and picking up another/ new one.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” – Malachi 3:10

 

Thanks for encouraging my guys – I’m looking forward to seeing how the second half of 2018 plays out – God is so good and I’m excited to see what He will continue to do in this glorious new year! 🙂 I’m sharing my progress because I hope it encourages you to press on and strive towards your goals!! 2018 is not gone – You can still do this and make progress in your goals!

– Stay Satisfied

It’s Official I’m Finishing My Bachelors

Not going to lie; I’m pretty excited. It’s official: I’m finishing my Bachelor of Interior Design starting this Fall through Yorkville University. For those of you that don’t know, I’ll catch you up to speed. In 2014, I was accepted into Lakeland College’s Interior Design program. So I moved out to Vermilion, Alberta for two years to complete my Interior Design Diploma. It was fabulous – I absolutely LOVED it. Since graduating from Lakeland in 2016, I have been working as an Interior Design consultant at Floors by Design here in Regina, Saskatchewan. The thing that I’ve grown to love about being in this industry is that you are always learning and ideas should always be evolving, whether you’re in school or in a career. As awesome as it’s been working with SO many incredibly talented trades people, designers, contractors, suppliers, etc. I will definitely admit that I have missed the life of school. An opportunity was established a couple months ago between Lakeland College and Yorkville University for all Interior Design graduates to complete their Bachelors through Yorkville; receiving a complete transfer of all their credits previously earned from Lakeland. The beautiful thing about this opportunity is that they are offering the program online – So I can both work and study while earning my degree. Hats off to those with no life… I will soon be joining you 😉

I had already been exploring the idea of continuing my education and finishing what I started. About a year ago I began praying that God would open the door for me to get my degree if that is where He needed me. I knew I wanted it, but I only wanted to pursue it if I knew God would bless my path. I believe in the balance of education and experience. I also believe that God gives us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4). A person shouldn’t gain all their knowledge from textbooks nor from the streets – I think the smartest people learn from both and learn to apply written knowledge and lived knowledge. I’m excited to learn more in the field of Interior Design from Yorkville. I had two years to learn from Lakeland, two more years to learn in the field and I’m looking forward to another two years of learning at school!

There are many things we can learn about ourselves when we change our place of learning.

Ultimately, I love interior design because it is an outlet to help others while expressing my creativity. I look forward to projects that allow me to help make homes more functional, solve problems often not seen until solved and alter spaces to be their highest potential. I enjoy collaborating with clients and other professionals in the industry because collaboration and teamwork is how a design goes from good to amazing and how ideas transform into reality. I am excited by what I have learned and look forward to ongoing learning. I don’t know where life will take me – But I’m just going to keep walking where I know God is making the ground dry ahead of me!

Thanks again to all of you guys that have been cheering me on – I can’t wait to share this journey with you!

– 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 ❤

– 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

What if “Feeding the 5,000” Didn’t Happen that Way?

I’ve recently been reading in the New Testament book of Mark in my Bible. The other day I read the classic story of when Jesus feeds the 5,000 men + women and children with only five loaves of bread and two fish.

MARK 6: 30-44,

“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone. But many people recognized them and saw them leaving, and people from many towns ran ahead along the shore and got there ahead of them. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Late in the afternoon his disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the nearby farms and villages and buy something to eat.”
But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!”
“How much bread do you have?” he asked. “Go and find out.”
They came back and reported, “We have five loaves of bread and two fish.”
Then Jesus told the disciples to have the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred.
Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. He also divided the fish for everyone to share. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. A total of 5,000 men and their families were fed.”

I have heard and read this passage at least 100+ times in my life. But this time I had a new thought: What if the person that brought the five loaves and two fish didn’t share? What if they kept their food to themselves? I’m not saying that had the person not brought or shared their food, Jesus wouldn’t have been able to perform the miracle. However, Jesus was able to perform this miracle of feeding 5,000 men + women and children with only five loaves of bread and two fish because others were willing. A) The disciples were willing to search the crowd to see if there was food – I can only imagine how long that would’ve taken! B) Someone was willing to share the food they brought for themselves. C) Jesus was willing to trust that His Father in heaven would provide.

Imagine how this moment in history would have gone had the disciples not been willing to search the crowd for food. If someone had not been willing to share the food they brought for themselves. Imagine what isn’t happening in your life because you are not willing to trust your Father in heaven…? It made me think. Obviously we can’t look back at our lives and see what would’ve happened had we done this or that and we can’t see the future. But I think God opened my eyes to see His miracle differently this time around. I want to be willing. I want to be willing to search for opportunities and I want to be willing to let go in order for opportunities to arise. I’m changing my thought pattern to “I want to” to “I AM“.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Actions beat Words.

I have always been a person that pays more attention to someone’s actions more than their words. A couple weeks ago, I got to attend the Christian Youth Workers Conference (CYWC) in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a couple other youth volunteer workers along with our church Youth Pastor. It was an eye opening weekend to say the least.

This year I made several New Years Resolutions as I’m sure you’ve heard me tell you over and over. One of the many was that I would be more intentional with my time with Jesus and cultivate growth in my Faith. I want to be used by God. I want to trust God in every aspect of my life. One of the speakers at CYWC said, “You have to take steps of faith in the real world to allow your faith to grow! You have to trust that He has a plan for you, your future, and His mission for you in His Kingdom!” It is SO flipping easy to stay where we are comfortable. But we were challenged by this speaker to ask ourselves often:

AM I BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS?

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.” – Colossians 1:15-23 (NASB)

Focus on that last part: “… He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation…” I know this can be such a “feel good passage” but I truly believe this is God showing us with both His actions and His words how seriously He wants us to take our faith. Yes, we can TALK the “good Christian” talk, but it means nothing if you aren’t representing Jesus with your ACTIONS. If you can’t prove what you profess, your words are empty.

“A disciple validates commitment to Jesus by persevering, continuing and nurturing a growing and sustainable faith.”

I want to encourage you to step up in your faith. Do not allow sin to fester in your life. Lay it at the feet of Jesus and establish yourself in Him. TALK to the Lord about it, and then ASK for His help to ACT on it. We need to focus on becoming more like Jesus everyday and that will not happen if we hold onto sin in our life or chose to not deal with sin. If we are entertaining wrong and thinking that Christ will take you deeper in your relationship with Him – You are tricking yourself. God WANTS to help us ACT. We just read in Colossians that God has already done the work and reconciled us to Him. Jesus has given us the power to overcome any sin in our lives and be free from it. Take hold of that promise from Christ that He is with you and wants to help you. Those thoughts have given me so much peace and hope right now, and I’m clinging to it.

 

 

– Stay Satidfied