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

Bucket List: Ice Fishing

I wish I had more opportunities to go fishing, hunting and camping. I love those things, but I rarely get to do them! It has always been on my bucket list to go fishing and to eat our catch that same day – the freshest fish ever possible. Although I did catch fish while ice fishing – we didn’t exactly eat “my catch” because I caught Tullibee instead of some Wall-Eye… but that’s a minor detail 🙂  A couple people from my church offered to lead an ice fishing day trip to a lake roughly an hour out of the city for who ever wanted to come. Without giving it a second thought I counted myself apart of the fishing party! My Dad and my little brother also went on the day trip. One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to check one thing off of my Bucket List every month – This was the perfect opportunity because not only were my odds good but the more people that fished, the more fish there would be to eat later!

It was a gorgeous morning! All month it’s been around 30 below zero + wind chill. Why do people live here where the air hurts our face and the snot freezes inside our noses when we breath? But today it was so nice: just below zero, no wind and full of sunshine! Dad, Addison and I hopped in the van, met up with the others at the church and were on our way to the lake.


Since we rarely go fishing, hunting or camping (and when I say rarely I mean like… not at all…) we obviously don’t have any gear. So us three stuck with Rolph; who is an ice fishing expert and had all the fancy equipment. Rolph let Addison and I drill our own holes in the ice and showed us the best way to feel through the fishing rod when someone was taking a nibble. After he got us all set up and he had drilled extra holes for his ice riggers, he tossed some buckets our way and said,

You haven’t ice fished until you’ve done it sitting on a bucket!


Before we knew it Addison had pulled up a fish and another had stolen my bait!


I prayed as I sat on my bucket and looked at my fishing rod, “Jesus, please allow Dad, Addison and I to catch at least one fish today! Thank you for already providing a fish for Addison – please also give one to Dad and I.”



I was beyond ecstatic to catch a fish! It seems like such a small success to others – but I was over the moon!


As the the day continued, Dad still had not caught a fish! Lunch approached and we filleted right there on the ice, battered and fired them up – Absolutely delicious! I could’ve ate that fresh fish all the way until supper!

Even though the excitement of Addison and I catching a fish right off the hop lasted longer into the day than we expected, it did dye off sooner than we had hoped. I was feeling bad for my Dad whole had been standing next to a hole in the lake for hours with nothing!

“You thought sitting at your office job was boring – What do ya think about sitting on a bucket on a frozen lake for hours?!”

I prayed again that God would give Dad a fish – also knowing that as soon as Dad got one, we’d be able to get home to warm baths 😉 After the fish had stolen his bait a couple times, 3:00pm rolled around and Dad finally got his revenge on the fish!!!

We all got our fish and I was so thankful for the opportunity to go with family and friends from my church! It was so much fun – I can’t wait to go again (and hopefully catch more than one)!

– Stay Satisfied

Be Teachable.

I’ve always found the month of January to be the month of evaluation. That might be considered “late” to some people, because I think most people make December their month of evaluation considering that it’s right before the new year actually begins… but I like Christmas too much to do that 🙂 One of my New Years Resolutions this year was to be consistent and read my Bible and devotional book everyday. It’s always been my goal to do so, but this year I’m wanting to read them intentionally; praying before hand that the Lord would open my heart and eyes to help me dive deeper into my faith during my time with Him. Not just read my Bible and devotionals for the sake of saying “yup I got em done…” and not just being able to put my hand up at church when the pastor asks who was able to read their bible every day that week. It’s only been a couple weeks, but I am so encouraged how quickly God asks when we commit ourselves to Him!

Come to Me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness. Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My Face with an open mind, knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind. As you focus your thoughts on Me, be aware that I am fully attentive to you. I see you with a steady eye, because My attention span is infinite. I know and understand you completely; My thoughts embrace you in everlasting love. I also know the plans I have for you: plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Give yourself fully to this adventure of increasing attentiveness to My presence.” – Jesus Calling.  by Sarah Young

Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Friends, 2018 is an untraveled adventure that God has already mapped out! He already knows of your success, your failures, your ideas and achievements, challenges and heartaches. God knows it all. This is a fresh start for Him to work in us and develop us into the people He intended us to be. I am so thankful for that. Society teaches us that we are the ones who chose our own path – I don’t believe that to be truth. “Think positive and positive things will happen” the world tells us. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all for thinking positive, but I don’t believe that Christ is confined to our “good vibes”… The Bible tells us in the book of Proverbs, chapter 16, verse 9, “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” As we go through life and both positive and negative events happen, I believe we need to remain soft heart-ed towards the Lord when things come to pass. We need to be open to the fact that God’s plan is far greater and more complex than we’ll ever know!

I think God watches to see how we react when events unfold. Success happens? Who do you give credit to? Do you become an air head? Or how about when failure happens? Do you get angry and throw a fit? Do you blame others? No matter what happens, there is always an area we can improve in our lives. And understanding this is the first step to allowing yourself to be teachable and moldable by Christ. Allow yourself to be open to Him changing you. No one is perfect, that’s why we need Jesus. All things that have happened in the past and will happen in the future is for a purpose chosen by God. God watches to see how we will handle everything that happens in our day and I believe He will either reward us or teach us based on our reactions.

I want to be teachable. I want to live my life with an open hand knowing that God can give and take as He pleases. I do not want to cling to old ways of life. Old habits. Old routines. I want to have a soft heart towards the Holy Spirit so that I can learn from Christ and over time, become more like my Saviour. New habits and new way of life! I want to be grounded in Christ so that when life happens, My foundation is always strong on Jesus. We cannot change ourselves – True changes happens through Jesus Christ and that is what I want for my life.

– Stay Satisfied

I’m Not One for New Year’s Resolutions

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year is my first year that I actually sat down and wrote a list of goals that I wanted to achieve and work towards this year. 2018 will be a year of development and growth for me! I took time to evaluate myself and pray about the changes that came to mind. Afterwards, I made a list of major goals I wanted to see positive growth in this year:


Setting big goals are important – Setting too big of goals is reckless. I was reading 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.

Philippians 3:12-15, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

I’m blogging about my resolutions as a reminder for myself. These goals are now public and I have you guys to help keep me accountable! That was another point that was stressed – Don’t be alone in these goals: Make your friends aware, get accountability partners and talk about your goals. Speaking things makes them a reality and not just a wish to yourself.

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

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

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

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

2018 will be a good year. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” I am so thankful we don’t have to walk into each year alone. Christ is with us, Christ has always been with us and Christ will continue to be with us.

– Stay Satisfied

[ Andra’s Graduation ]

This lady is one of my best friends.
I remember running around when we were little, pretending to be princesses together with plastic crowns and way too much glitter On her graduation day, I was able to click the moment where she truly was a princess. My sister graduated this Spring 2017 and I was so lucky to capture a couple moments of her big day of success and celebration!
You are such a beautiful woman – Inside and Out

 


Her dress was absolutely breath taking – There was no other dress like hers that day ❤




One last walk past those old, locker filled hallways…

Having our brother as her grad escort was so much fun!

Seriously though… the details in this dress… her head band… earrings… lipstick…. She’s perfect ❤

I’m cheering you on lady as you approach this next exciting chapter ahead and all that God has in store for you!
Thanks for letting me run around taking photos of you like a crazy woman!

 

[ May • 2017]