You can only mold mud…

This past month God has been saying the same statement to me over and over. Every time I am praying – whether I’m asking for something, praying for someone or thanking Him for something else; He always says this single phrase that silences me. For example, the other day I was praying about an exam that I had that morning. It was a three hour exam that would be submitted to the NKBA design competition in October. They do it every year for students across Canada and the United States. The NKBA creates a kitchen design problem and students have three hours to come up with a design solution and draw a floor plan of their design. In their design they must include kitchen appliances made by the current sponsor of the competition. Students must fully dimension and note their floor plan and write a list of specifications that make their kitchen unique (like flooring, counter tops, style, etc.) and they have to either draw a perspective of the kitchen or draft an elevation of one of the kitchen walls. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s a lot of work to manage in three hours – they go by fast! Anyways, I was praying and asking the Lord to give me peace and calmness during the exam and that He would give me a design right away for the space. “Payton, Look how far I have brought you.” I stopped. Here I was, preparing to write a three hour exam where I would design, dimension and spec a kitchen I had never seen before. “Two years ago, it took you three hours to sketch a picture of an existing kitchen. Look how far I have brought you, where you are not only going to design a kitchen from scratch, but you are also going to draw and render that kitchen in three short hours. Do you believe that I have looked out for you all this time and will continue to look out for you now?” Yes God.

“Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.”

– Luke 8:39

I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with clay, or if you were the world’s best mud sculptor like I was when I was four… but you can only mold mud. You can’t mold clay when it is wet and soggy and too moist; it doesn’t old it’s form. You also cannot mold clay when it is rock solid, nor can you mold dirt. You can only mold mud because it has a perfect, thick consistency; it’s soft enough to alter and hard enough to hold it’s form. I learned that lesson the hard way when I had taken a pottery class a couple years ago. I wanted to make a mug – a coffee mug, obviously. Something easy and classic. The teacher told us to always keep our clay wet so that it wouldn’t dry out early, because once clay is dry there’s no going back. So I grabbed a bowl of water and had it next to me while I formed my mug. Wetting it down like, every thirty seconds…. you can probably see where this is going. At the end of the class I wasn’t quite done, so I spritzed it – just to make absolutely sure it wouldn’t dry out, put a bag over it and left. The next class I came back and my mug had morphed into this massive bowl that was too big to use even for soup. My mug was so wet it just kept spreading outward. It was ridiculous. My teacher laughed as she picked up my creation – literally dripping clay ooze from her fingers she carried my hard work to the side and left it there. “Grab another cube girl!” So I grabbed another block of clay and vowed to myself that I wouldn’t over water it… like I do with all of my plants… anyways… do you know what happened? It dried out. I came back the next day and my half done clay creation literally had cracks the Sahara Desert would find impressive! I sucked at this pottery thing… Recently, my failure in pottery made me think about how God works in our own life. We have to be mud and mold-able. Not too wet where we think we have all the answers and can do everything for ourselves but also not to dry where we don’t want God’s help and want to run our lives our own way. We need to have a balance of wet and dry. Wet enough for God to mold and thick enough that we can hold the form that God makes us.

Buggy 1This past month has been a bit of a wake up call for me to see how much molding God has done in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have totally been too wet and too dry at different times in my life – I won’t tell you that I’m perfect and have it all together. But when God was telling me the other day, to look and see how far He has brought me, it made me smile. Guys there is SO much in our life that goes unnoticed. All those little things the Lord lines up for us, the things He protects us from, I could go on and on – but I think it is so important to look back and be able to say, “Wow God. I used to be there.” Que Drake: Started from the bottom now we’re here… ♩ ♪ ♫  As I went into my design exam that morning; after God showing me that He has fully equipped me with the abilities to crush this exam I had so much joy and an indescribable peace. It was unreal. Recently I’ve been hooked on listening to the Inception soundtrack song: Time. It’s beautiful and there’s a ten hour loop of the song on YouTube – I won’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the full ten hour loop, because it’s a little embarrassing. Anyways – I listened to this fabulous ten hour loop for my entire exam and it was so cool to listen how God used it. When the song is quiet and it’s mainly the strings playing or very soft piano God spoke to me and gave me inspiration. When the piano kicks up and the horns are in the background God steadied my hand and gave me speed to draft, draw and dimension. It was crazy. If you’ve ever seen the movie, I felt like Cobb at the end when they are getting off the plane and he’s looking around and everyone feels so boss and awesome. Throughout the exam God seemed to work with the music and motivated me. But the entire time I was working I can honestly tell you that I was not nervous. I was not stressed. In the moments where I was drawing blank, I shot up a quick prayer asking the Lord to guide me and then the music kicked up and He guided me. I’m actually listening to the loop right now and it’s incredible. Gah. All in all, the three hours ended and I can honestly tell you that I don’t know how I finished as much as I did, to the detail I did, in that time. When I would practice I always ran out of time, forgot simple things or wasn’t completely satisfied with my work when the timer went off. This one time – when it actually mattered; I finished, I was confident in my work and I was satisfied knowing that I did not complete that task on my own.

Buggy 2Guys, I don’t know what you’re going through right now. Maybe you are struggling to finish school. Look how far God has brought you. You are on the home stretch with finals! Go hard. Trust Him and finish strong! Maybe you are struggling at a job wondering if you’re in the right career? Look how far God has brought you. You are being challenged with something that a lot of other people right now WISHED they could be challenged with. Trust Him and power through! Maybe you are struggling in a relationship. Look how far God has brought you. There are so many things you can learn in a relationship with another person, but know that challenges in a relationship are not always a bad thing – sure they are not easy in the moment but they cause you and the person you’re with to come together and work it out and in doing so you become closer and stronger than you were before! Don’t back away from something difficult – because something great is on the other side. Maybe you are struggling because you are not in a relationship and wanting to be. Look haw far God has brought you. Just like there are many things you learn in a relationship, there are just as many – if not more things that a person learns by being single. Hold out for something great and believe that the Lord has someone in store for you! And while you are waiting, focus on being the person you are trying to find and develop yourself in areas you need to be strengthened. Maybe you are in pain physically. I don’t know what kind of pain you could be facing right now and I won’t tell you to suck it up but I will tell you that you are a Child of our God and He does not like to see you in pain either. Maybe the pain is from an accident where you could have died, or it could be the result of someone else – sometimes, looking back at how far God has brought us already can courage us to look forward and realize how much further our Father wants to bring us. Power on. Because He is most definitely with each and everyone of us.

 

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

 

Chopping the Mane!

Today marks exactly one year since I cut nearly all my hair off and got the pixie cut I’ve wanted for years. So I figured an accurate Throw Back Thursday was appropriate *wink* I totally remember this day. Do you have any of those memories where you can see a picture and it brings you right back into that moment? Looking back at these photos completely brought me back to the excitement of feeling the buzzers on my neck for the first time! I had long blonde hair, pretty much my entire life. The sun bleached it out ever summer making it lighter and lighter without me even realizing it. One random night I was flipping through my Bucket List – I do this when I have free time, just in case there is a possibility for me to check something off. I started my Bucket List when I was 15 and has continued to grow ever since. Currently, I have something like 248 things on it. However, I have done 176 things already and moved them to a “Crushed It” list. Anyways, I was flipping through my Bucket List; looking for something that I might be able to do. “Pull a successful April Fool’s Prank” was one of them. As I kept scrolling I realized that April Fool’s was literally one week away – I could try to check this off the list and I have a week to organize something. My eyes fell on, “Get a Pixie Cut” and it was as if the light bulb went off above my head. I should cut my hair into a pixie for April Fool’s without telling anyone. Since I’m living in Alberta and most of the people I know live in Saskatchewan, I could simply post a photo to Facebook with a caption saying, “Happy April Fool’s” and see what people do! The more I thought about it – the more excited I got!

Long Hair

The next day at school I asked my friend if she could hook me up with her hairdresser in town – because I obviously didn’t have one. A couple hours later the appointment was booked and I was ecstatic! I didn’t tell anyone except for my friends that demanded to come with me so that I wouldn’t back out and my sister. “YEEESSSSSSS DO IT!” I remember my sister encouraging me over the phone when I told her. “I won’t tell anyone – you should just come home for the Easter weekend and see what people’s reaction is!” Brilliant.

Before Hair Cut

I did end up caving and telling my Dad over the phone on March 31, 2015 just before I left to go get it cut because I was so excited. “Mmmmk, well I guess do what you want – it’s just hair….. Have you told your Mom?” I laughed, “No I haven’t told Mom – she’s the one that doesn’t want me to get it cut off the most!” I said. “No, no, no – you have to call her and tell her! Because, if you get it cut and just come home without saying anything; she’s going to see you and pretend to love it. Then, when we are going to bed that night she’ll ask me if I knew about this and I’ll have to say yes!” So in order to keep my Dad out of the dog house, I called my Mom on the drive to the hair dresser, “Mom…..” “What…?” “I have a hair appointment booked.” “NO! No! No! Don’t do it!” I laughed and told her that it was too late- I was excited and on my way there.

Cutting the Braid

When I got to the hairdresser, she took one look at me and refused to cut my hair. “No way woman! I’m not cutting all your hair off! I am not dealing with you crying in my chair 10 minutes from now!” “But this is what I want! Trust me!” I remember telling her. “Nope – I’ve been caught in this situation before and last time it was horrible. I’m not doing it.” “Well then give me the scissors and let me cut it off and then you’ll have to fix it.” After saying that, she realized that I legitimately wanted a pixie cut. She sat me down in the chair. “Are you sure?” Yes. She put the cape around me and pulled my hair back into a long thick braid. “Are you sure?” Yes. She held the scissors open next to my braid. “Are you sure you are sure???” Cut it. Stat. She started to clip. I could feel the hair being cut away and my face lit up. I am so happy!

Hair's Off

She was laughing, my friends were in shock that I actually followed through with this and I was beaming. After cutting off a 16 inch braid she buzzed and clipped the rest of my head into the pixie I always wanted *Happy Dance* My head felt so light. I was so weird to shake my head and not feel my hair whip to the left or right. I had a bare neck….

Getting Up

What was awesome, is that after she finished cutting my hair she squirt the gel in my hand and showed me how to style my own hair right there in the salon! I had been watching YouTube videos all week about how to style a pixie but this was fantastic! I loved my new hair!

Finished

To be honest, it’s crazy to think that this was only a year ago – sometimes I see photos of myself with long hair and I don’t recognize myself. April Fool’s was wonderful the next day. My friends didn’t say a word – I showed up to classes the next morning and enjoyed seeing everyone’s faces drop and hearing everyone’s reaction. I posted a photo on social media’s and my phone blew up. I was so excited. With that, I had checked off three things on my Bucket List. I successfully pulled an April Fool’s day prank – no one knew whether I was serious or not until the next day I posted a second photo confirming that I had gotten my pixie cut and donated 16 inches of my hair to cancer patients. Guys, there are a lot of things in life that God has given us the freedom to do simply out of joy. I want to encourage you to live your life on a limb. Have fun with God and do things you’ve always wanted to do – God gave us this life to be lived in the fullest through Him. Don’t hold back and be free!

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

I don’t know if it’s right – but it doesn’t feel wrong…

VW Bus BackSitting alone with God is such a wonderful thing. Actually taking those cliche moments to listen to the winds blowing through trees, to watch the colours in the sky change as the sun set or like last night; I was about to crash and noticed a bright green flicker from my bedroom window. I love the northern lights. It was actually on my bucket list to see them at one point. I may live in a classic, cute little down – but the view or the northern lights makes it unreal. I remember the most extraordinary time I saw the northern lights here; it was almost exactly a year ago – my friend and I decided we’d drive out of town into a random farmers field and sit in her car drinking coffee and watch this fantastic natural light show. It was one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever had in my life. Breathtaking. They were so bright; literally casting shadows beneath us when we stood outside the car. Everywhere we looked was glowing green. The lights were directly above us in that field – I could see the beams overhead; shooting straight up and I could see each time they flickered and moved. They were so close I felt as if they were swirling around us at one point. I just remember not having words to say; pure amazement. I don’t know if it’s wrong to think this, but in those moments I believe God is displaying His beauty and creativity for me alone. I believe that while I was watching the northern lights from my window last night – God telling me that He loves me. He took the moment I couldn’t sleep to show me His simple greatness and beauty. I like those small gestures like a written note or a thinking of you text, or whatever – those little things that say hey “I enjoy you”. When I’m driving and God gives me a crazy awesome pink sunset, I like to think He made it specially for me. When I’m anxious and He lights up the sky with phenomenal moving lights, I like to think He’s giving me a moment to refocus on Him instead of what’s stressing me out. I hope you have moments like that too.

VW Bus SideIt’s so encouraging when you realize that God’s you Father and He wants to brighten your day simply because He can! My Dad has always done those little things to show our family he loves us whether it’s washing my car or watching cartoons with us, buying cellphone car gadgets and extra chargers cause he knows we lose them and break them. The next time you see something and it makes you look twice,  stop and enjoy it and believe that God did that specifically for you and you alone to enjoy in that moment. Maybe listening to birds sing together on a walk or that short cool breeze at the end of your run or that cloud to block the sun while you drive with the sunroof open. He cares about you because you are His and He wants to show you through the little things that He cares for you – not always just the big things that we continually pray for. I’ve been thinking a lot about graduating school and moving back to Saskatchewan; not gunna lie it’s a huge bitter sweet deal. There are several things that I am excited about and equally as many things that I am dreading. However, moments where God gives me peace in the simple things; I know that I purely need to trust in Him and know that if He cares enough about me to give me a sunset or northern lights; He most definitely cares even more about the bigger things going on. Whatever you’ve got on your mind right now, know that it’s ok to relax and allow your Father to take care of it. Rest in Him and take it one step at a time taking joy in the little things that He sends your way.

 

 

– Stay Satisfied

Jumping into darkness…

Red Rock StandI have no idea where I will be in my life in six months. I can’t decide whether or not I should love this feeling or dread it. I am a person that has always had a rough idea; a plan A and a backup plan B. For years I have always had a hunch on what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and how I wanted to go about doing something. I knew that when I finished high school I would go to Bible school on an island in BC. I knew that when I finished Bible school, my boss had a job for me to jump back into and I would work for a year. I knew after my gap year I would move away and go to school where I would study Interior Design. I know that when I finish school I am to go on a missions trip with my church to Brazil that God told me I would go on four years ago. As of now, I have less than two months left of school and there are 152 days until I fly to Brazil to share the gospel with the people there. So in roughly 175 days I’m clueless. Mmmmk I know I’m being dramatic about this – but still. After a student graduates, they are supposed to be grown up and ready to join the rest of the world and be responsible. That scares me.

I know I’m not the only one that feels this way in life. I know there are millions of people that have been in this situation too at some point in their life. Actually, at church the other day a friend of mine was speaking. She was a full time missionary to Africa; after living there for 39 years, the Lord called her to retire because He has new work for her here in Canada. Anyways, she was sharing about her experience in Africa and leaving for good, “You know those trapeze people in a circus? They are super high up on a small platform, they jump out into the darkness where they know a bar will swing just in time for them to grab onto and take them to the next platform. I feel like one of those people right now.  I feel like I have just jumped off my platform where I knew it was safe and what I was doing. Now I am flying in midair hoping for that bar to come my way. I have no idea what the bar looks like and I have no idea where it will take me. But I know it’s coming – and like the trapeze artist; I have to be ready and watching for it.” She took the words and feeling out of my body – that’s exactly how I feel right now. I feel like I’m bracing myself to jump into the darkness.

Red RockI’ve obviously been thinking about this for a little while now. I know this because God gave me a “Stop panicking letter” Seriously. He did. It was in my mailbox at church. A small note that read, “Psalm 32:8, ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.'” Two minutes before I read His note, I was literally venting to a friend at church about my “problem”. I also had to laugh because I felt this note was God’s way of telling me to shut up. My devotional book the other day said something similar, “KEEP YOUR EYES ON ME! As your circumstances consume more and more of your attention, you are losing sight of Me. Yet I am with you always, holding you by your right hand. I am fully aware of your situation. Your gravest danger is worrying about tomorrow. If you try to carry tomorrow’s burdens today, you will stagger under the load and eventually fall flat! You must discipline yourself to live within the boundaries of today. It is in the present moment that I walk close to you; helping you carry your burdens.Keep your focus on My Presence in the present. Let the future unfold and worry about itself.”

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.”    – Psalm 73:23

Guys, I have not figured out what will happen in a couple months… but I’m getting the feeling that God is wanting me to simply lean back and ride the river. I want to encourage you to do the same. School is coming to an end and maybe you’re in the same place as I am. Or things at work could be completely changing, or maybe you have to move and you have no idea who you will even be able to call “friends”. God says that He knows each and every one of our situations and He cares. He knows how they will pan out. Don’t stress. I’m going to try my best to let go and see what happens. Quite often, God has something much better planned than anything we could work up.

Red Rock Edge

 

– Stay Satisfied

Spurs: The College Bar

Last week I completed probably the biggest assignment I’ve been given all year. It was a group project *Thank Goodness* My school had approached our interior design class to redesign the college bar: Spurs. They explained that Spurs was in need of a major redesign because they were losing money and the space wasn’t being used by the students as they hoped it would be. I was excited; here was a real design problem that I would get to work on – and hopefully solve! Long story short: the college bar was built a couple years ago to replace the old bar. It was supposed to be a fabulous new activity center for the students to enjoy and a place where they could relax, forget school, and chill out. However, their new building was a bust and the students began going other places to hang out; hence asking our class to redesign the space, giving the students the chance to get what they wanted. My friends and I quickly assembled our group and began brainstorming.

Spurs Brainstorming Collage Continue reading

Half Past

It’s official: I love computer graphics. I love seeing people get excited about my designs. However, one of the only ways most people understand my designs is through computer graphics and digital 3D models. Most people can’t read technical drawings when they first see them – which makes sense, because most people do not know how to read them with out explanations. Anyways, in school we have been learning a program that allows us to draw our designs, concepts, and ideas in 3D formations therefore making it easier to show others what we are thinking. So, to put our 3D graphic skills to the test, my teacher told us to come up with a design for a small airport kiosk no bigger than 200 square feet. I had a couple ideas come to mind, but the design I got the most excited about was about watches.

Half Past 1 Continue reading

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. Continue reading