The ‘Eat’ in Defeat

I’m sitting here now after a day full of activities on Mothers Day, celebrating my sweet mom and go figure…. (selfishly) all I can think about right now is how many days I’ve gone without showering.

Before you get all grossed out and plug your nose, it hasn’t actually been THAT long alright? But I sit here and I rewind to the amount of crap I have put into my body over the last few weeks. The amount of sugar, caffeine and (a little too many) carbs that have filled me up to the point of feeling nauseous and bloated, makes me feel nauseous and bloated. I sit here and am once again trying to put off getting into the shower. Another day of wanting to avoid seeing how my body has responded to… def(eat).

“He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte

Truthfully, it’s been a full two weeks since I actually continued writing on this post. Since Mothers Day Sunday, a few of us went with my sister and her fiancé to look at a potential wedding venue and HUZAHHH ding ding! We found a winner! And the weekend ended happily ever after 🙂 …

…. yeah right. Though the venue was beautiful and the meal (at the time) was wonderful, the next day I felt a little wonky heading into church. My stomach by the end of the night just had this awful feeling. Waves of nausea were crashing on by every few minutes. Not sure what the heck was wrong or what this night held for me, but believe me when I say it was not pretty.

Let’s just say, any of you that have experienced food poisoning… totally catch my drift. Beginning Sunday and just ending now on the following Friday, my week was just short of a nightmare. The point being and point of me adding this lovely story onto this post is because this week seriously showed me how much I let food control my body.

I couldn’t keep any food down at all, therefore I was barely eating. I lost around 5 pounds in 5 days and though feeling pretty disgusting and weak, I started to neglect food even when I did start to feel better. I liked that I was losing weight and it was almost an excuse not to eat.

Rewind back to when I was sitting on my bed after Mothers Day, not wanting to “look in the mirror”… I remember this feeling oh so well while I was upchucking what felt like all of my insides the following Sunday. I remember looking in the mirror, pale as a ghost and being legit scared of what was looking back at me. Now, it doesn’t help that I had started watching the show Scream on Netflix and it was late at night, but STILL. The feeling of not only disgust, but fear completely shook my body.

Trying to stick to foods that I know will fill me up but won’t fill me out are just such a concern to me that I obsess over it day in and day out. On a regular (non-sick) work week, I end up not eating enough during the day and then binge eat until the bloated feeling comes back. Being sick this week has shown me the “bloated” feeling in a whole new light and I don’t seem to like its company very much.

Defeat happens in so many different forms whether it be an overload of food or little to none at all. What I thought made me bloated and worthless, sure, still does make me feel that way sometimes. But when I don’t have enough of what I thought made me “bloat out”? Holy guacamole! It’s a whole new ball game. I’ve never truly experienced the lack of control until this week.

Maybe this food poisoning was a good way to not only clear (you know…), but to clear what’s going on in my head as well. The insane control I let food have over my life. Eating should never feel defeating.

Man am I learning this slowly. If you know me well, you know that I’ve struggled with this issue for many many years. Weight gain, weight loss… whatever it is… food is for nourishment and eating to LIVE is where my mind should be at.

If you’ve ever felt like this before, raise a dang chicken wang in the air!!

My posts on this definitely don’t end here and this is probably one of the more “informal” posts I’ve written, but I figured that I just need to start talking about it. Even if no one reads this!

Bye for now.

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A Hole in the Exhaust Pipe

Jeremiah 31:25 says, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

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Exhausted.

The word I have been using, describing and stretching for countless weeks now. As I may have written about before, I lost my job (well… there was no work for my co-workers and I) just over one month ago and a huge stress swept over me during that time. I had big plans in mind for transferring Universities come September, set out a budget so I was able to afford it and wasn’t necessarily the most willing to take just “any other job”. I needed full time until September and they just couldn’t offer it at my convenience. Which, by the way, was completely not their fault! It’s a business and changes are inevitable in any life stage; business or personal.

I like to use metaphors if you hadn’t caught that drift yet (I think half of my blog posts are metaphorical). In the title, when I say “Hole in the Exhaust Pipe”… this was the hole that I felt like I was falling into. Exhaust pipes on vehicles are carefully designed to carry toxic gasses away from the driver. I felt like the toxins (in this case, the devil), were seeping into my mind and slowly corrupting all my motivation to keep going, unlike a perfectly fine exhaust pipe (God) that would enable a car to keep going.

Personally, I drive a truck to work everyday. If you haven’t had your ear blasted by a trucks exhaust, well… you probably wouldn’t know that a trucks exhaust pipe is very visible (and obviously very audible as well). It’s funny because the first month at my new job felt like my exhaustion was just as visible to everyone around me… and just as loud. The “you look so tired today!” started becoming an everyday thing and to give them credit, that’s 100% how I felt too.

I guess I didn’t beat around the bush too much. I ended up getting a new job – woohoo.  However, the exhaustion really shifted gears and it took me awhile to get used to this new routine.

5:00am… 5:25am… okay 6:15am is when I ideally wake up. My workplace is about a 20 minute drive away from my home and most days (okay, all days) I rush out of bed, brush my teeth, grab a pre made coffee from my dad (such a kind soul) and start my engine. As I sit in the drivers seat, I brace myself for transport trucks and slow drivers and pray that God gets me there on time. I am so thankful for this job I have been given, but I don’t think I was prepared for what has been coming from it (and honestly, what I decided to do about it for the summer..).

I don’t mean prepared in the way of getting to know co-workers, a different job scene or a different time schedule, but prepared for the distance it created (and honestly is still creating) with God. Coming home tired everyday is a normality. Most people are tired coming home from work and I understand that completely. Everybody’s going through something in their day that exhausts them. Some days I can’t wrap my head around the thought of people getting up this early just for the heck of it. But what also came across my mind was a lot of the people I know that do wake up early, spend this quiet and peaceful time with God to start their day. Refreshed sounds more like it.

Unfortunately, I’ve just used exhaustion as an excuse for far too long and I want to admit to that today, get it out in writing and grow from it.

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

The early mornings are definitely not my forte in the slightest, but why do I feel weary from it? This time… this time God has planned for me… is the proper time to reap a harvest if I do not give up. If I could circle and underline those four words I would. About 100 times.

Not only does this job give me an income, but it gives me the opportunity to talk freely about my faith. Many people that I work with know that I am a believer and to my surprise, the more questions they ask, the more I realize I don’t know as much as I thought about the God I believe in. My faith was beginning to become lukewarm before starting this new job and this, I believe, is Gods way of reminding me that He is there through the exhaustion and is ready to patch up that hole so I can get on my merry way come September. When I have grown and have stopped ignoring His signals.

Often in trucks there is a silencer that is surrounded by a perforated metal sheath to avoid anyone getting burnt by touching the hot silencer. If I continue to believe in the devils manipulation and breath in his toxic lies, I will get burned and will no longer be surrounded by Gods protection (the metal sheath). A job is the metal sheath right now and I need to be embracing the protection here. The fact that I have the strength to get up and get through a work week still blows my mind. To learn what hard work is and to share with others how I have this strength to keep moving forward and pursue future dreams gets my adrenaline pumping

I am only a few months into this new job, but as I become aware of what is really exhausting me, I become more aware of what and WHO is really there to protect me. To blow the toxins in the other direction. To protect me from the burning hot silence I have been feeling in my heart.

I just want you to know that even blips like this in your life can help you to grow. You have a means to get there and an Almighty God to protect you from the toxic lies in your head and the heat rising through your exhaustion. At this point, I don’t know how long God will have me placed here. Whatever His plan is for me, I know I can work through it with Him even if it disappoints or offends people during the process. He knows what is best for me and my situation.

Though many things happen outside of your workplace that are the true culprits of your exhaustion, take a minute to be refreshed and satisfied in His word, early mornings or not. You and I both, friends, deal with exhaustion in different ways. Sometimes we’re going to be burnt out. Sometimes we’re going to ugly cry.

Other days, however, when the sky is bright and the birds are chirping, we’re going to rejoice and feel refreshed. We’re going to have life to look forward to… all because of how He protects us, not if… but when we are feeling burnt out.

Ask Him to patch that hole in the exhaust. It’ll get you moving and it’ll keep you on the right path.

PS. Today is Good Friday. I was looking forward to today (pancake breakfast) all week and I’m about to go for a hike with one of my best friends, a refreshing soul she is!

Thank you Jesus for your resurrection!

Lizzie

Incoming: Hurricane Doubt…

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Welp. I’ve managed to avoid writing for this long, I figured it was time to get something down on this thing. Even if what I write about today is one of my biggest struggles.

I was staring at the title of this blog for a very long time after I came up with it. I thought, “what does a hurricane of doubt look like… through my eyes?” I imagine looking up to the sky as dark clouds creep closer. The fluffy white marshmallows begin to suffocate with  grey smog and cough out loud thunder. What once looked bright and beautiful will turn dusky and mysterious. The wind will pick up, forcing the waves to move rapidly towards my comfort and my home. My stomach will start to clench. My hair will bluster with the wind and cover my eyes. The feeling of uncertainty, lack of conviction and even fear will then completely engulf my mind. The coughing will grow louder and so will my heart beat.

As prepared as you think you are, an incoming hurricane of doubt takes over before you can run for cover. The rain will trickle down and drench you completely, leaving you with soaked clothes and a rush of indifference.

Now that we’re all feeling some type of way, I decided to reach back into my brain to my good ol’ grade nine geography class, scanning the ‘haven’t used since who knows when’ folder and wipe off the dust. Hurricanes were always a popular research project and thankfully provide me with a fantastic analogy for you today.

No, I’m not writing this to give you a geography lesson, but rather to talk about hurricanes of doubt that I can guarantee almost everyone has experienced at one point in their lives.

A tropical storm, cyclone, tropical depression, hurricane… derives its energy from a source. This source is what fuels the heavy rain, high waves, devastating damage… doubt.

Last year, I did in fact, go through a hurricane of doubt. I broke up with my first boyfriend, had no job and no motivation to get one. I woke up everyday staring at the ceiling wondering what my purpose was. Having daily pity parties started to become habit and I cried. A lot. Throughout that relationship, I wanted so badly to just get going with school and try my hardest “preparing” to be a wife. How do you even prepare for that? ESPECIALLY in a hurricane of doubt? At this point, I was already struggling to stay afloat the doubts stained in my heart. Not specifically about the relationship, but about my own abilities and my life. I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be a good wife (rather a lazy one) because I didn’t have a stable job, a stable income and had no idea what I wanted to go to school for. On top of everything, I focused my happiness on this long distance relationship. I eventually began to doubt his abilities when he failed to meet the completely unrealistic expectations I set up because of my doubts.

Okay… let’s jump back to hurricanes for a second here. Weighing the pros and cons, inevitably, hurricanes are awful and destructive. There really are no encouraging pros. However, though heavy rains cause flooding inland, there is possibility that the once dusky and mysterious sky will relieve drought conditions and grow greener grass on the other side.

Remember that source I mentioned previously? Well, it is also said that these storms typically weaken over land where they are cut off from their energy source. I wonder what that hurricane would look like in your life just before it hits the green grass. Eh? You’re minutes, maybe seconds away from it. Hold on!

Alright, back to last years reality. The relationship I was talking about ended over a year ago. The month before actually landing a job in that year was one of the worst months I’ve ever gone through. BUT, moral of the story is that I did end up finding a job. A pretty darn great one.

I always liked to turn to this scripture during that time (and still today):

“The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

– Nahum 1:3

Hurricanes are known for their eye of the storm. The weather in the eye is normally calm and free of clouds, although the sea may be extremely violent beneath it. The nice lesson I’ve given on hurricanes is definitely surface level and not very in depth. The complexity, ever changing speeds and intensity of a storm is unknown, but sometimes, so is the source of our doubt.

Fast forward to today, I find myself in a scarcely similar position as the one I  mentioned before. No, I am not in a relationship currently, but I am jobless once again. I can see hurricane doubt brewing in the distance. Fortunately, I’ve been there. I’ve witnessed the damage. Even so, this is a new storm, stemming from a new source. It’s unpredictable, but there is a point at which it weakens. I’m patiently waiting, praying and honestly… pretty excited for what’s to come.

I very much felt like this was such a cliche thing to write about today, but I hope that over time, the storm that you may be struggling through will weaken as it approaches opportunities that cut off the energy source of your doubt.

I don’t have a challenge for you this week, because I know how difficult it can be to seek out that source holding you back. However, I encourage you to have faith.

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

– Matthew 8:26

I’d rather be brewing some coffee, but that’s not in my control…

You are made to do GREAT things, even through this stormy season.

Lizzie

#10ReasonsWhy: New Years Resolutions Should Be Taken Seriously (for the most part)

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Our New Years Resolutions should be something to look forward to, a chance to renew our minds and a chance to trim the fat (lol get it.. cause everyone wants to lose some weight this time around.. AHEM.. sorry.. ok..).

This post, I’m hoping, will be put up on January 1st… if not sooner! Exactly a month after my first #10ReasonsWhy post. My excitement to actually accomplish this is so REAL… only because I tend to slack off when it comes to monthly posts (hence why it says in my first #10ReasonsWhy that I may or may not post once a month) and also, truthfully, just posts in general. It would be pretty cool if I kept myself accountable for even a small thing like this.

—-Disclaimer: Written on Christmas Eve (December 24th) 

Again, in no order, here are some of the many reasons why I believe that New Years Resolutions should be taken seriously – for the most part.

1. Much like an anniversary, New Years Resolutions inevitably happen EVERY year.

This one is super obvious, but you just can’t avoid them. The New Year is HUGE. It’s too big of a deal to just ignore, so why not partake? Each year, as cliche as it sounds, is a new opportunity not to ‘start fresh’, but to humbly build yourself up, take responsibility and reflect on the previous year(s) that  you’ve lived through and learned from.

2. New Years Resolutions aren’t supposed to magnify your failures.

A lot of the time, resolutions can make people feel extremely disappointed in themselves. Some believe that this long list just magnifies their failures in the past, attempting to go another year to try and succeed at them once again. A well-known and high up on the list example is losing weight. You usually see more people at the gym the first few months of the New Year, but again, those same people (most of them, at least) also tend to quit and mark this resolution as another failed attempt, hoping the next year will be more or less,  different. It’s a vicious cycle that TRULY needs resolving, not in the next New Year, but in the very same year. Just because you’ve failed after a few successful months, doesn’t mean that the entire year is going to be a let down. Don’t let it happen!

This leads me into my next point.

3. A New Year can in fact, mean a new you.

Not what you possess, or how successful you’ve been/ will be, but your new attitude going into a New Year. Not only does a positive attitude in our entire life create a happier and healthier you, but making a small change in your attitude to a specific area in your life often spreads throughout the other areas in your life. It can be tough to find joy in all circumstances, but whatever this New Year brings, a positive attitude can make your resolutions seem a whole lot more attainable.

4. We learn to set and obtain goals by making resolutions.

Personally, I feel a tad hypocritical writing about this point. I find it very difficult to set and obtain goals in my life even when I’ve made resolutions. For many, like myself, we like the idea of a resolution to say we have one to follow through with. Much of the time, our goal(s) are too big to really fit our head around. We never really set a specific goal… therefore… we can’t obtain it.

BUT! Creating smaller goals that stem off of this big goal can actually help quite a bit. Each small goal, that in our mind seems more attainable, creates healthy habits each time we conquer them. Each small goal that is stemmed from the big goal gets less scary every time we tackle them and by the end of the year, we are surrounded by so many positive habits that we are ready to face another year. A New Year. A year that this once “big” and “scary” goal we saw as impossible, is now broken down and CAN be attainable. Sometimes resolutions can’t be completely solved in a years time. It’s so important to understand that with each healthy habit maintained from previous years, healthy solutions to our next “big” thing can be set and obtained using our method from the years before.

Does that make sense?

“Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time.”

– Psychologist Lynn Bufka

5. Talk about it… ask for support!

Most of the time, family and friends are in the same boat as you. The stress of resolutions happen to the best of us. The good thing is, we are all in different stages of life and can offer advice to those that feel unsure of where to start. Encouragement is everywhere you go, whether it be joining a support group, a workout class or learning something completely out of your comfort zone. Resolutions are not supposed to be a stressful thing, but an encouragement in itself to better ourselves and to create a positive outlook on life with each New Year.

With that, resolutions should be taken seriously for this very reason. When we make them and strive to achieve (for the most part) them, we grow. With growing, we slowly walk into different stages of life – learning from past behaviours and reevaluating how to handle future situations whether it be in our own lives or not.

6. Make a list.

For me, I would consider myself a list maker. From grocery lists to music lists to 10 year goal lists to #10ReasonsWhy lists… I’m guilty. I’m human for heavens sake! But sometimes lists can create unnecessary stress. angus-phil

Write the list, check it twice, but don’t expect it to all be completed in the first few months (or to be nice!). You, in your head, start from January 1st and take a look at the 12 months remaining. Lists are much like trying to lose weight. You look at what you need to do, you know what you need to do, but you say “I’ll do it on Monday” or “I’ll start it after this weekend”. Which, unfortunately, seems to come faster than you’d hoped.

For resolutions, that “Monday” feeling will probably never go away. Why aim to “start” on January 1st, when you know it needs to happen now? Lists are a great way to just outline your goals. Start one before the New Year so you can brainstorm ways to actually slowly start before that dreaded “Monday” feeling takes over (and creates a vicious cycle).

7. Don’t make the same resolution year after year.

Been there, done that. Not only does the same goal you’ve “failed” time and time again make you feel bad, but it takes away from the resolutions that could really benefit you.

For as long as I can remember, every year, much like many others, I surrounded my resolutions with how I looked – how I wanted to be in better shape and to eat better. With each year that “failed”, my attitude failed. I became bitter and jealous of those that were successful with their goals, even if they weren’t appearance based.

That is why this year will be different for me. I am choosing kindness and balance. I’ve always had difficulty managing my time and money appropriately, which results in bad habits and bad attitudes. By choosing kindness and balance, no matter my weight or what I look like, I pray that it not only heals me, but others as well. Kindness is what gives others hope and balance is what keeps one sane in order to be kind… am I right?

8. When others see you striving towards your goals, they too have the potential to strive for their own.

Throughout our lives, we’ve heard so many different opinions on resolutions – bogus or a blessing? This can lead to disregarding our own thoughts and feelings on this form of renewal, whether we think so or not.

This post by no means is to conform anyone against resolutions to suddenly become a believer in them, but those who struggle with or feel stuck in life can either really benefit from someone else’s perspective or can really be damaged by it. It’s proven that as humans, when we see others striving or struggling… we reflect.

In some form or another, we all need to reflect on the previous year. Why not reflect by making resolutions to better ourselves in order to better others that need encouragement?

 9. Whoever you are leading by example will also be lead by your way of systematically handling things.

11-10-child-looking-upFor example, if you have children – they watch your every move! By building yourself up now, whatever point in life, children and those who you lead by example will greatly benefit. Teaching yourself to celebrate success with grace and how important it is to see yourself as a (humble) winner will, throughout time, encourage those who look up to you.

10. Ultimately, God has a plan for your upcoming year.

Prayer. The utmost important factor to a successful year. Through each and every disappointment or achievement, be thankful. He is and will be teaching you in ways that is beyond what you can fathom.

Here are #10Verses to uplift your spirit this New Year:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

“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.” Philippians 3:13

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

“Therefore depend and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them…” Ezekiel 11:19

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4

“You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance.” Psalm 65:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Final Thoughts…

I pray that as you enter into this New Year, you will be fortified with His strength – list or no list. I encourage you to pray when your motivation begins to fail and that you find joy in whatever comes your way.

See you next year… 😉

Lizzie

The 3 Stages of Exam Season

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For many of us students, myself included, there are 3 stages we tend to go through (or at least what I went through) during the exam season. This semester was my very first as a University student and the pressure was truly on. I sort of forgot how to manage my study time and it really didn’t help that my exams were scheduled so closely knit together.

Disclaimer at the end*

Here are the 3 very exciting stages that I came up with…

Stage 1: The Relaxed Stage

This stage usually develops after your last class before the following week off to study for our scary exams. I remember getting so excited leaving my International Development exam review, looking forward to sleeping in the next day and having the time to relax and just study at my own pace. I felt so free and told myself I had TONS of time to look over those notes from the entire semester. It wouldn’t be that hard.

Little did I know that this relaxation would turn into…

Stage 2: The Panic Stage

Ahhh… what a University NOOB.

Sure, a couple of mornings could be utilized to catch up on lost sleep, but when you realize that half of your week has been spent watching Grey’s Anatomy and napping – you become a little more panicked that you know more about how to remove an appendix than all of your courses combined. Don’t get me wrong, I did in fact open up my notebook and prepare some notes to study – but I seemed to neglect actually absorbing what was on the notes. I’m not sure I left my house that entire week to be quite honest – not my finest time.

Not only does that panic you, but the night before an exam usually doesn’t help much either. It doesn’t involve much sleep. You toss and turn, going through the equation in your head for what you need on the exam to pass the course and the content that you hope stays fresh in your mind by the morning.

Even worse, though you plan on waking up early to test yourself one last time, you realize that you forgot to set your alarm the night before and wake up 20 minutes before your exam. This happened to me. PANIC would be an understatement.

Stage 3: The Light in the Tunnel Stage

Each exam that comes and goes gets you a little closer to that light. You treat yourself to a coffee (that you ACTUALLY savour) or really frothy drink from Tims or even Starbucks if you’re feeling extra good about what you just wrote. The light gets brighter each exam that doesn’t seem so stressful now that you’re done. At this point, you’ve either accepted the fact that you may have just failed that exam OR you’ve given yourself a pat on the back for getting through this stressful season.

By the time we finish all of our exams, our back seems to be a little straighter and our smiles become more genuine (rather than the “I’m smiling but crying on the inside” look).

Final Thoughts…

I applaud all University students who have gone through these stages! This was only for fun and I hope you enjoyed reading them. Though exams can be stressful, once you are done, you can begin to relax. You have worked so hard – regardless of the outcome. You showed up. You wrote it. I have learned even in this short first semester that this University experience does not define ME. I came here to learn – not to prove that I am “worthy” of my degree.

Best of all, God is there with you every step of the way – talk to Him. He’s always listening and He’ll be there if these exams don’t turn out as nicely as you imagined. Rest in Him.

The following video is an encouragement and a reminder to those that bubbling in answers on a multiple choice test will never define your creativity and determine your success. Every gift deserves an equal chance and a school program shouldn’t control your dreams.

ENJOY your holiday season with friends, family and JOY!

#10ReasonsWhy: We Find our Testimonies SOOO Hard to Share and How to Change That

If I’m being COMPLETELY honest, I have kept this post in my drafts box for some time now, along with many others..

Over the past month, throughout midterms, trying to stretch myself in social aspects, family and work, I constantly left posts on the back burner. Usually I like to write down ideas (mostly to keep my sanity in check) when something fresh comes to mind, but lately when the fire starts to light up, one of those four excuses seem to effortlessly blow it out.

AND THAT IS WHY!

I have somehow mustered up the courage to have a monthly (or bi-monthly… who knows) post called #10ReasonsWhy and nipping those WHY answers in the butt with not just some biblical truths, but personal ones as well.  I hope you can enjoy it ALMOST as much as candy cane ice-cream.

Let’s Begin…

If you ever grew up babysitting or with younger siblings, you probably heard the question “why?” more than you ever… ever wanted to. The constant curiosity sometimes killed the cat (a.k.a. your patience), yet we still ended up frustratingly responding finally with “I DON’T KNOW OKAY!?”. Sound familiar? If you said no, maybe it was just me. I don’t have younger siblings, but I definitely babysat. Does that make me a spaz? Anyways, if you think about it, sometime’s those kids are just like us, as we like to call ourselves… “mature and knowledgable adults”. That why question seems to just.. follow us around every time we think about the importance of sharing our testimonies. Here are #10ReasonsWhy I believe our testimonies, though challenging to work through, are never ending and easily the greatest story we can write ourselves.

In no order, read away!

1. No matter how many variations we use to try and explain it, we come up with the excuse that our testimony is and always will be too difficult to put into words.

This is usually the number one excuse I tell myself and hear from others. I always believed that my story wasn’t “good” enough because compared to other people’s tragedies, mine weren’t as devastating or life altering enough. It begins with the typical, “I grew up in a loving christian home and my life has been pretty good so far – not trying to toot my own horn or anything…” end of story. We think that because God blessed us with a great family and has kept us safe from some pretty awful things, our story isn’t worth sharing.Which leads to my next point…

2. We haven’t put our full trust in God. 

If you are one of these people, let me just tell you this – we as Christiansimages, individually have the greatest personal relationship with God. Who has the right to say or assume, based on this ideal up bringing, that your story is boring? It has been up
to you to, whether you grew up in a Christian home or not, to sustain this relationship and to keep moving forward, trusting that God’s got your back through and through. Can I get an amen?

3. We believe that to non-Christians, we’d be speaking a foreign language, therefore it wouldn’t make sense.

When we speak to anyone, Christian or non-Christian about our faith, it is inevitable that many won’t understand our point of view. Like I said before, our personal relationship with God is our own and our testimonies are in no way a story to tell people specifically the troubles in your life, but rather why you believe in the one true God and the amazing works you’ve seen Him do in your life through those troubles. Whatever language you are using, keep in mind that where there are critiques, there are always those seeking the hope you are sharing within you. So don’t let this stop you.

4. There is never a right or wrong time to share our testimony.

Before I was baptized, I would constantly tell myself that my story doesn’t have enough to it yet- that there wasn’t enough meat. There is no better day then today, tomorrow, the next day and so on. What I mean by a “right and a wrong” time is when we tell ourselves that the fat is too thick to cut through. Sometimes we feel like we need to experience more to really share more and make an impact. We know that trimming the fat gets us to the good part of the meat, so we’re not trying to chew our way through that gross jelly-like substance. Sorry to all the vegetarians/ vegans out there – it’s just such a good analogy I couldn’t help it. Anyways, the title speaks for itself. Listen to God’s voice and what your heart is telling you.

“For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him.”

Ecclesiastes 8:6 NIV

5. Sharing our testimony doesn’t mean it has to be in front of a multitude of people.

Whoever, wherever and however you share your testimony is up to you. Half of the time, sharing our testimony doesn’t even start with “I grew up in a Christian home”, but rather simply sharing and honouring the Lord by bearing witness to others about His work in your own life… conversations lead to your story ALL the time without even knowing it and can really encourage those who you’re sharing with to step out in faith in their own lives.

“We urge you, brothers, to admonish those who are idle, cheer up those who are discouraged, and help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”

1 Thessalonians 5:14 NIV

Continue reading “#10ReasonsWhy: We Find our Testimonies SOOO Hard to Share and How to Change That”

Coughin’, Slothin’ and Life Plottin’

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Well hello there!

I thought that I would start my blog today by letting out a few complaints, to tell you the snotty truth.

UUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHH… I’m thinking as I sit here writing this. These past few weeks have been very sloth like – slow and steady, not ever quite winning the race. Mix that with some snot and a few dozen (ok, a few thousand) kleenex boxes and BAM, you’ve earned yourself some dang good bellyaching rights and maybe even a brownie, if you can taste it of course. It was almost inevitable that sickness would say hello and overstay it’s welcome, but I’ve asked for it to take it’s kleenex box and hit the garbage can.

Harsh, but it got the hint 😉

A few posts ago, I mentioned how I was just starting my first year at University and I realized I haven’t really updated any of you readers, if any out there, about how it’s been going. Not going to lie, it’s been a rough couple of weeks getting serious about the ins and outs of school, but between my professors and the one and only God, I am more and more amazed each day.

When I first accepted my offer in August, I immediately thought of going to staples to buy one of those buttons that overly confidently says, “that was easy”. Really, it all happened so quickly and so simply that I almost convinced myself that it would be easy. With just 7 weeks in, it registered in my brain that, boy, this was not easy. Heck, it was far from that.

Never, I repeat, NEVER… stop praying after what you think you’ve been waiting for has been answered. The entire process of school felt like it had been handed to me and in a way, technically, it had. My acceptance into this University was very, very strange. I hardly call what happened “applying” because I quite literally wrote on a piece of paper that I accepted the offer to go to this school. The timing was perfect – course selection was open for one more day, I saved a boatload on tuition and I received the amazing gift of starting at the University I always walked by and admired.

Though I looked forward to my year ahead, I knew I had to take it slow. Every day was going to be a battle in my head – trying to figure it all out but also trusting God with each moment. I found it difficult to walk into this place: new people, trying to find quiet spots on a busy campus, having the worst possibly timed brain farts and still trying to find the time to love yourself the way God loves you, a little more everyday.

Getting settled into my classes, I knew I wanted to become part of not only a new church, but a christian group at school. First year university, in my eyes, so I thought… could happen in three ways.

  1. Figure it out. Find anyone who will be your friend.
  2. Don’t make ANY friends – JUST GET THE WORK DONE!
  3. Let God take control, He is the one that got you here, is He not?

You’d think “okay Lizzie… obviously it’s the third one”… laugh out loud… I thought it was that obvious too! Unfortunately, I walked in with the second mindset. I thanked God for turning the page, even though I felt I needed to re-read the last few pages before starting a new chapter to fully understand, but I stopped praying.

Walking into Power to Change one Friday night (more like ran – I was an hour late), I began to feel the workload dissipate. I’m not just talking paper, books and brain farts, but the workload of life. I looked back at how right THIS moment was for me to start school, even though I felt like an old geezer starting my first year. I began to realize how my prayer life needed a refresher and it needed to be unlimited – no prayer is too little and there is never a time where we need to stop because we believe we’re in a good spot.

Lately, I’ve been inspired by the quote that reads,

“In my deepest, darkest moments, what really got me through was a prayer. Sometimes my prayer was ‘Help me.’ Sometimes a prayer was ‘Thank you.’ What I’ve discovered is that intimate connection and communication with my creator will always get me through because I know my support, my help, is just a prayer away.”

– Iyanla Vanzant

It reminds me that even when you get sick, overly confident, unmotivated and lonely, much like a best friend, God is just a prayer away. My challenge for you this week, whatever moment, is to take a minute to look around you and pray. The prayer life never ends!

Have a wonderful week,

Lizzie