Bucket List: Dye My Hair Pink

I finally did it! I coloured all of my hair pink. I am ecstatic! This has been something that I’ve had in the works for a couple years now – Of course only a few people knew this was something that I was ever actually planning on doing – Which made it all the more fun to show up to work and church the next day and get to see people’s surprised looks all day! Originally I was planning on colouring my hair pink at the same time I had cut it off into my pixie. But in the moment I felt one extreme change was enough. Roughly a year ago I told my hairdresser; Kara, what I wanted to do and she was totally in! “YES. I think you definitely need to do this! But we’ll work you up to it.” She explained, “It’s not healthy for your hair to do all at once. What we’ll do is over the next couple of months, is slowly weave more highlights into your head and lighten it one level at a time. Then when your ready and your hair has gotten light enough we’ll throw the pink in!” The idea even a year ago made me beyond excited!

It’s been years since I wanted to colour my whole head pink and as the trends came and went from ombre-ing a non-natural colour in, to having a couple streaks or dip dyeing the ends – I knew the whole time that I wanted to cover my entire head with the glorious, happy colour. What slowly adding highlights did was allow my hair to take the toner without becoming weak, dry and brittle. It allowed me to take care of my hair between 3 month treatments to maintain the strength, shine and overall hair health. I’ll be honest, for the past while I’ve been doing natural Do-It-Yourself hair masks using just a couple kitchen ingredients. One of my favourites has been 1 or 2 raw eggs, a tablespoon of honey, another tablespoon of aloe vera and sometimes I’d add a scoop of my own extra strength conditioner. I’d whisk it together and smother the goop in my hair and leave it in a shower cap for 20 minutes. Afterwards, I’d rinse it out with cool water. Seriously, the Saskatchewan dryness is the worst….

Anyways, after months Kara had gotten my hair to a light tone to take on the pink! I booked my hair appointment immediately after work and once I showed up she worked her magic! Kara had done research herself for the best brands and colouring agents. She ended up mixing four different bottles of colours to achieve the perfect ash-pink. I had told her that it would be my worst nightmare come true to have flamingo/ bubble gum pink hair…. Kara completely agreed.

As she weaved my hair and worked it into foils my stomach was doing summer-salts. I couldn’t contain how thrilled I was that this was finally happening! Obviously my sister knew what was going down and all day my Mom had been grilling her with questions about how she thought I was up to something with Kara. As the time went by in the hair dressing chair the more anxious I was getting! I have to confess that I absolutely love getting my hair washed by other people – the head massage is simply incredible. Kara added the pink toners and conditioners and I knew I was SO close to seeing what I have hoped for, for years!

I took off my glasses right at the start because I’m as blind as a bat and wanted the finished reveal to be a surprise. As we walked from the chair to the sink I avoided looking in all of the mirrors – I refuse to let my curiosity get the better of myself!Sure enough, at the end Kara gave me he grand reveal and she just crushed it. The colouring was everything I had hoped it to be! The best part was that she had ordered extra product for me to maintain the colour myself at home. You’ll be seeing the pink locks for a little while now ❤ I want to encourage you guys to keep chasing those dreams and taking the risks! You will never regret it – even if things don’t always turn out the way we hope them to. I know I’d rather try and know instead of always wondering and wish I did 🙂

– 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

Harrington Mews Project

Working in the home building industry is quite fun; you meet so many incredibly talented individuals and get to see dreams become reality. I am so lucky I get to work in such a rewarding industry! For the past year or so, I had the opportunity to work with two lovely clients who were working through Alair Homes to create their dream home – This family put thought into every detail and the house has become a total master piece! Everyone involved: trades-men, installers, designers and contractors put an immeasurable amount of time and energy into this stunning home. I’m so thankful I got the chance to contribute to this couple’s dream home and work with the team. I wanted to share a couple photos with you guys of the finished house after I got to go on site and see all of the incredible work the trades have done over the past year. I wanted to tell everyone that was involved in the Harrington Mews Project – Well Done! This is easily one of my favourite projects that I have gotten to be a part of so far 🙂

Front Entry | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Kitchen | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Family Room | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Formal Dining Room | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Fireplace | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Main Bathroom | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Main Bathroom | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Laundry |Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Laundry | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Laundry | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Kid’s Room | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Bedroom Details | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Kid’s Bathroom | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Kid’s Bathroom | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Kid’s Bathroom | Payton Ramstead Photos

Master Bedroom | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Maser Ensuite | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Master Ensuite | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Master Ensuite | Payton Ramstead Photos

 

Basement Wine Cellar | Laurie Johnson Photography

 

Below I’ve listed some of the suppliers of the materials in this home:
• Hardwood + Tile: Floors by Design
• Lighting: Richardson Lighting
• Custom Cabinetry: Rick’s Custom Cabinets
• Contractor/ Builder: Alair Homes
• Some of these photos were taken by: Laurie Johnson Photography

I’m looking forward to the next wonderful project full of talent people!

 

– Stay Satisfied

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

Well Hello Las Vegas

Flying outI had never been to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA before. So when I found out that we would be going to Las Vegas and staying for a week to catch all of the design shows for our class trip; I was ecstatic! I knew there would be so much to do and see – so my friends and I immediately started planning and looking for things we all wanted to do and places we wanted to see in our free time.

One of the first places we went to was the Frank Gehry Building in downtown Vegas. Frank Gehry is a famous architect and interior designer from Canada! This building is known as the, “Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health” Frank Gehry’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, so this project became very personal to him. He designed the building as a metaphor to show what happens to the brain as it ages.

Frank Gerhy Building 3

The interior of the building looks just as warped at the exterior. There are 199 uniquely different exterior windows.

Frank Gerhy Building 2

All of the walls were constructed to reflect sounds perfectly and were coated in an incredibly delicate finish that would enhance the sound even more.

Frank Gerhy Building 1

Frank Gehry also designed all of the furniture in the structure. It was phenomenal to stand in this space and feel so tiny.

IMG_8776

We went to the 2016 IBS [International Builder’s Show] and saw so many incredible things!

IBS Sign

After grabbing much needed coffees we were off exploring the show!

Red Carpet

There was a pink oven and I died a little *Heart Eyes*

Pink Oven

A group of us ran into Mike Holmes at the show! Mike is one of my design hero’s – I love how his focus is about helping others when they cannot help themselves. Not only does he come in and repair the damage on their house, but he shows others how to prevent the same problem from happening to them! I hope when I’m the design field I can be helping and inspiring people just like he inspired me.

Mike Holmes

While exploring the furniture in the show we came across Vispring Luxury beds! This bed is the exact bed that Queen Victoria sleeps on, worth $40,000 USD *Scoop jaw off ground* Soooo you can imagine that I definitely laid in this bed for literally as long as possible. Wow…

Queen's Bed

After a couple design shows; learning about construction, surfaces, finishes and furniture we decided to explore the Strip!

New York, Las Vegas

The scale and proportion of everything was ridiculous…. I’m not kidding…

The Strip

The Mall

Of course we had to stop at the famous Vegas Sign and get a picture with it… it’s the rule…

The Vegas Sign

Another day we explored the Red Rock Canyon just outside of Las Vegas. I think this was definitely one of my highlights from the trip – I was wishing we had a full day here to simply hike and enjoy being outside the city where fresh air is actually existent…

Red Rock Canyon

Going to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef was on the top of my To-Do list though – I had never been to an aquarium before, and this did not disappoint. I literally could have stood at the glass watching for hours.

Shark Aquarium

Of course there was more to see than just the dozens and dozens of sharks *wink* There was this guy! We’ll call him Leo the Lionfish

Lionfish

In the gift shop at the end of the shark aquarium, they had a bucket of sharks teeth from the sharks in their tanks!

Shark Teeth

I was able to check several things off my Bucket List while in Vegas, but one of the most exciting things to check off, was that I finally got to try Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses at the massive Hershey Store on the Strip!!!

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss

Zip Lining was another thing I got to check off my Bucket List! My friends and I zipped the old strip [Fremont Street] We went ten stories up and  were harnessed to a zip line at the Slotzilla platform from our back and soared a mile above the crowds below! Have you ever seen Divergent? Yeah – we zip lined like that *Happy Dance*

Zip Line

I will admit, I saw many beautiful things while in Las Vegas, but the famous Bellagio Fountains surpassed it all. These fountains took my breath away. I was so lucky to see them several times throughout our trip. I took this shot from the top of the Eiffel Tower in the Paris, Las Vegas hotel. From 460 feet above the Strip, it’s amazing

Bellagio Fountains

After all the craziness that happened each day – we were thankful to go back to a nice hotel and crash.

What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas

I could honestly show you a bazillion photos from Vegas. I enjoyed my time while I was there and who knows, I might end up there again one day.

Passport

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

A Prairie Home

One of my favorite assignments this year has been the sustainable house project we had in December. A young artsy couple was wanting to build their own custom home and we were the ones to design it. The couple wanted their new home to be as sustainable and as environmentally friendly as possible. They loved mid-century modern design and wanted a space where they could each be alone to paint, read, write, film, etc. The couple also loved hosting and having friends over. Both enjoyed being outside and having lots of natural light in the house. I wanted to design a house for them that was functional, beautiful, and sustainable with a small carbon footprint. I wanted them to have a space that allowed them to perfectly enjoy all of their favorite activities. They wanted the structure built by the lake in Alberta, Canada; so climate would definitely be an important factor. So I went out to the location to study the site. Sorry cows.

Location

In class we had been studying a lot about building orientation and how the sun might affect the structure. Passive solar design was something that would be important to implement into the house. Another thing to consider would be window locations. As I was writing this all down, I started to picture myself in this new home. What views would I like to see? Where is the sunrise and sunset exactly? I knew she loved the morning sun and watching the sunsets was important to her. After taking lots of photos of the location and writing jot notes as thoughts would pop into my mind I decided that I should probably come back later that evening to see where the sun would set. When I came back a couple hours later, I watched the sunset and found the perfect spot for the house. I wouldn’t have to rip out any trees, we would be able to construct around the existing vegetation. It would be perfectly sheltered by strong winds and still get the best views of both the sunrise and the sunsets. *Happy Dance* From here, I now had to start sketching, specifying certain products and materials. I already knew what view I wanted to draw for the clients. There was no way I going to leave that sunset unmentioned.

This is the material board I put together to represent the colours and textures for the overall space. For the flooring I decided to use a light grey poured concrete because it would be long lasting and would require very little maintenance. The roof would have FSC [Forest Stewardship Counsel] certified natural bamboo planks to bring a lighter feel to the space. The walls would all be finished with a 0 VOC white  paint from Benjamin Moore. The accent table tops would use a quartz material with grey veining. The Floating fireplace is made of recycled blackened steel that would burn bio-fuels [Gas that does not smell or smoke]. I wanted to focus on natural materials and organic textures which is why I chose to use Slatish Tiles. Slatish is a biodegradable material that is made to look like slate. I loved the rough look of the thin tile strips. The designer lamp and chair add sophistication to the space and the cow hide rug brings it back down to reality. Balance between perfection and imperfection was important because nothing in nature is perfect however, when we look at it as a whole; it appears perfect.

Material Board

The next step was to start working on the 1/4″ scale model. I rendered the floor plan that way it would be easier to read the spaces from above.

Floor Plan Rendering

  After the main floor, garden, and second story were rendered, it was time to construct the model.

House Collage

My favorite part was working on the rendering which would show off their new Living Room and the incredible views.

The pencil sketch was first – it is always important to decide where your shadows will be before you start your rendering. There is a lot to developing a rendering! Where is your light source coming from? What direction does the natural light come from? How does the light affect the room textures and furniture?

Pencil Sketch

Once you have developed your sketch and figured out what are where your light source affects the space: you can have at er and draw. *Happy Dance*

Final Rendering

In the end I was very excited with hose this project turned out. I had to deliver a detailed floor plan, mechanical plan, elevations and specifications. A material board, colour rendering, site orientation, concept statement and present it as a whole. It was a lot of work, but when your are happy with your finished product, it makes it all worth it.

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”   – Luke 16:10 NLT

Guys always, always put your best into everything you do even if you do not think it’ll be worth it. It you can put your best into a small project – you will definitely put your best into a large project. If you give up on small goals, why would you go for large goals? Besides, you never know who is watching you…

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Go Ahead, Laugh!

LatteI was reminded of two very important things this week on living a happy life. I’m not kidding – this isn’t some garbage on breathing in and out and releasing “positive vibes”or whatever. God legitimately reminded me that laughter is one key to happiness in our short life but so is a consistent communication with Him. I mean, those two things aside from coffee. Coffee comes first. Obviously. *Wink* Speaking of, my coffee pot just beeped at me. Meaning it’s done brewing. Meaning go grab coffee and then continue reading cause I swear everything is better with coffee.

The only way to true happiness is to have a real and raw, genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. Something amazing happens when we put all of our cares in His hands. Don’t picture it as a parent demanding the magnifying glass because you’ve been burning too many bugs and leaves. God is not this invisible person that wants to take away the things you enjoy. I heard a story once that put into perspective the way God wants to improve our lives – but only if we let Him. There was a little girl who had received a bracelet of pretty plastic pearls. To her, those artificial pearls were the real deal and more beautiful than anything she had ever seen. She wore them with every outfit, was diligent not to take them in the bathtub so they wouldn’t get wrecked; she even slept with them every night. Those beads never left her sight. Her Dad saw how much she adored those pearls and he decided that he would buy her a new bracelet made with real pearls. “I’m going to give these to her, but only when she is willing to give up the ones she has now” he told himself. He went out and bought the most beautiful pearls he could find. That night he asked his daughter, “Honey, can I have your pearls?” “Oh no Daddy, you can look at them but I must hold them.” So he looked, tucked her into bed and kissed her goodnight. For weeks he asked her every night before tucking her in, if he could have her pearls. Every night she responded the same way. Until one night she finally let her Daddy take her pearls, “Daddy, you always ask for my pearls. You must love them more than I do. So here, you can wear them.” He smiled and took her bracelet, got up and left the room. He returned with the real pearl bracelet he bought and watched her eyes light up. I see God the same way, He has something so much better to give us if we are willing to let go of the thing that we are so dearly holding onto. We need to be holding onto the Lord and only the Lord in order to have a happy life because when we are solely focused on living our life for God; everything else fades to the back.

I was talking with a couple friends the other day – I don’t know how we got on the topic but at one point in the conversation we were talking about keeping our eyes focused on Christ no matter what goes on in our lives. Whether it’s something as small and dumb as red cups or as horrifying as terrorist bombings; we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. “People keep focusing on the wrong things!” My friend started, “we keep looking at other people and what’s wrong with that person’s life. We get all caught up on the gong show going on in the rest of the world and we don’t realize that we are slowly becoming part of the gong show ourselves. It’s like, ok, think of a new driver. They are driving on the highway in the winter for the first time and everyone is telling them not to hit the ditch. The new driver is so focused on not hitting the ditch, that they’re going to hit the ditch because that is the thing they are constantly thinking about and looking over at.” I just sat there, kind of shocked at the simplicity of his metaphor that TOTALLY nailed the idea of keeping our eyes on Jesus. Think about Peter. Why did Peter sink?

“Jesus said, “Come!” and Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and went toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened and began to sink.” – Matthew 14: 29 & 30

Peter sank when he focused on the wind and waves. A driver will hit the ditch when they take their eyes off the road. We will sin and live a dull life for Christ when we take our eyes off Jesus. It’s as simple as that. The only way to keep our eyes focused on Christ in every situation is to be in continual communication with the Lord. I’m not kidding. When we are putting Jesus at the front of our mind I guarantee you will notice things in your day that you didn’t notice before. God looks after you. He does it in the smallest ways that you would normally brush over. I want to challenge you to start shooting small prayers to God. For one day thank Him for all the little positive things. Did you wake up feeling rested? “Thank you Jesus for a restful night and allowing me to feel refreshed this morning. Please help me today to be a light for you.” Did you get to work or school safe? “Thank you Jesus for protecting me when I go throughout my day; it is something that I take for granted. Please open my eyes to see the little things today.” Shoot God those small prayers all continually as you go throughout your day. You would send a quick text to your friend if you saw something that reminded you of them, so why not send God a quick message too? Even when difficult and frustrating things happen. Talk to God. For example, the other day a dude cut me off while I was driving. I was ticked and decided to tail gate him. As I rode his bumper I prayed, “Thank you Jesus for protecting me from an accident; that guy could’ve actually hit me instead of merely cutting me off.” (Ps, the irony is SO strong in this story because I’m dumb) Then God immediately told me to top tail gating him. I was slightly irritated. Ok God, I thanked you for allowing the truck to  cut me off in stead of hitting me, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be nice in return. “Fall back now.” God said again. So I did and as I fell back the truck slammed on his brakes for a pedestrian walking across the street. I would’ve slid into his bumper if I had not listened to God.

Pumpkin 1The other day I was reading in my devotional book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, “You can live as close to Me as you chose. I set up no barriers between us; neither do I tear down any barriers that you put up. Seek to please Me above ll else As you journey through your day, there will be many choice points along your way. Most of the day’s decisions will be small ones you have to make quickly. You need some rule of thumb to help you make good choices. Many people’s decisions are a combination of their habitual responses and their desire to please themselves or others. This is not MY way for you. Strive to please Me in everything, not just in major decisions. This is possible only to the extent when you are living in close communication with Me. When My presence is your deepest delight, you know almost instinctively  what will please Me. Keeping your focus on Me is all you need to make the right choice.” I’ve also come to realize that when your focus is truly on the Lord and you want to live life for Him and with Him, you will find joy in all of the little things. I think that when we are trying to walk with God we will see the beauty in this world and appreciate the small things God has done – I also think we will be able to have true joy and laugh. Laugh at yourself. When that truck abruptly stopped and I stopped behind him; I laughed. I laughed at my own stupidity thinking that tail gating was a great idea to get back at the guy. People get so wound up and focused about “being taken seriously” that is sucks the fun out of life. That would be the second challenge to you; laugh more. Stop being so defensive. You’re quirky. They’re quirky. We’re all quirky and we are all going to laugh at and with other people for multiple reasons. So relax. The world is not going to end because you thought there was another stair and someone saw you take a ridiculously large step for nothing. Calm down. You’re life is not going to fall apart because someone caught you making a inexplicably stupid face for a snapchat. Laugh at yourself because you know full well that you’d be laughing at someone if the situation was reversed. Actually, super funny story, for Halloween a friend and I were carving pumpkins. I saw this super cute idea off pinterest. It was a pumpkin carved into a carousel. I thought to myself, “That is such a cute idea – I’m going to try it.” We started carving our pumpkins. His pumpkin was the fabulous classic face and mine was…. starting to lean. As he finished up his pumpkin I continued to hack mine. I told myself that it had to get worse before it got better; like cleaning a closet! He finished his pumpkin and it was so awesome! By this point my pumpkin was full of BBQ skewers to keep it from completely falling apart. “Payton, your pumpkin looks like a pintrosity…” I sat back, looked at the original photo I was trying to recreate and then at my…. mess. He began to laugh and then my other friends came to see what he was killing himself laughing at. They too began to laugh. My pumpkin was now leaning hard left and has serious issues. In that moment I could have gone into a sulk and refused to laugh at my failure or, to join in and laugh at myself. As I continued to stare at the poor, obliterated pumpkin I realized… it was too funny not to laugh at, and I would be laughing it were anyone else.

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I’m excited for all that God will do and open your eyes to when you chose to put Him first and continue choosing him and when we all learn to chill out and laugh. When we are with God through out our day in prayer and when we let those crazy sounds come out when we are laughing hard; I believe those two things…. a great coffee… those three things bring true happiness. Nuff said.

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied