Rainy Days

Rainy Days

When I was in Edmonton over the summer, I wrote this poem on a drive home, with torrential downpour… loving every second of it!

Now, its the Canadian thanksgiving weekend and it has just started to rain… sitting on the couch and being sick with a cold still can’t stop me from loving the peacefulness of the rain falling on the bright-leaved tree’s.. enjoy! – 

Rainy Days

I love the rain

Because it makes a comfy chair

And a warm cup of tea

That much more inviting

 

I love the rain

Because when it falls

It makes the rivers rise

And the fish happy

 

I love the rain

Because when the leaves stick to

the damp grass,

there’s a colourful trail

that leads me home

 

I love the rain

Because when I wear my coat

And my red rain boots

I never want to avoid the puddles

 

I love the rain

Mostly because

I know it’s not the last storm

 

So until next time

I’ll keep my boots handy

And fill up my kettle

Because I know when it rains

Whatever the weather

Life just gets better

 

 

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L.O.V.E

Hey, hey, hey!

I just recently arrived home after spending a month away; in new places, meeting new faces, hearing new stories and sowing the seeds of new memories. My best friend got married to a wonderful man; the same man that God called to look up in His perfect timing, to see his perfect wife. I love that they are so in love and love being in love and share a love for the God that created them to be in love! Heh.. need me to repeat that?

Today I just felt like writing about… YOU GUESSED IT… love. Get your pen ready or an extra set of fingers, because you’re going to love how many times I use the word love in this post and are going to want to keep a tally. No, there isn’t a prize, or a point at all as to why you should, but just have fun with it.

Let me start by saying, I’m not talking solely about love in relationships, but what YOU love. These past few weeks have been pretty crazy for me; accepted into University, getting a kitten, baking goodies for family, my sister getting engaged and buying oodles of books (being an English major – this part is inevitable). The only similarity within these events is that I joyfully love each and every one of them. Whether it be a hobby, a change of pace, a flip of a page in my life or a leisurely and relaxing activity, they’re things that make up who I am and what kind of person I want to be. Although when reading that list, it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb to every reader, but it’s obvious to me when looking at it because I am slowly figuring myself out – figuring out how to love myself within my daily habits and mannerisms I portray to people that I love.

Before I realized how much I enjoyed doing certain things, hosting for different family events or taking time for myself without my phone or the internet, I focused on trying to love what other people seemed to love or what they encouraged me to love. An epic part of me was lost trying to be like everyone else and waited for the world to shape me rather than making my dreams that I thought were cavernous, become tangible.

I wanted to love going to camp and spending a whole summer there, I wanted to spend too much cash on new products so I could love how I looked – I wanted to impress people with how much I knew about the skin, when really the only thing I knew how to do was spend too much money on it. Another huge thing was that I loved listening to everyone else’s advice other than my own. I was convinced that I should stroll down a safe path in life, unfortunately based around my weakest subject – science.

I was accepted into a Pre-Science program that I hoped would bridge me into a Practical Nursing course the next year. A definite job title seemed impressive, except when I began to panic – I imagined coming home everyday exhausted (mentally and physically), dreading to go to work the very next day and so on. In reality, this was not me and definitely not what I loved. One night, looking through the classes I was starting in the fall, I had a complete and utter meltdown.

SCIENCE?!” I said out loud..*que tears now*

I was becoming aware of the fact that I was completely ascribing to a life I knew I wouldn’t love. At this point my dad was sitting at the edge of my bed listening to me babble on about what I really did love to learn about. He kind of smiled and said “I don’t think you mentioned science once”. Isn’t it funny how our mind works? The moral of this story is that God is good. He knows what we need, when we need it and when to open that shiny red door… that just so happened to have a few yellow stripes on it. I suddenly shifted gears and was accepted to be a Gryphon (hence the red and yellow – those are the school colours) at the University of Guelph for English (ahhhh just hearing that word makes my heart at ease).

Now that I feel there is a little more direction with that part of my life, I want to be conscious of other things in my life. I am so thrilled for my newly wed friends, because they can share their love of life, hobbies and adventure with their spouses. But as I sat there, taking it all in, I wondered what was missing. What void was I trying to fill this entire time? It wasn’t to find a spouse, or to figure out what the heck I was going to do with a science diploma I never wanted, but to find what I love to do with this wonderful life I was given all at a steady and ‘whenever I’m ready’ pace. I felt at ease in that moment that God was piecing something pretty awesome together for me.

Whether you’re married, in a relationship, flying solo or still exploring what you love totally aside from any sort of relationship, just remember to stop and smell the roses. Stop and say “hey, I love coffee… I love listening to this song… I love driving along this road… I love taking pictures”, always remembering that you and what you love are unique. By that, I just mean that at the end of the day, you should want your exhaustion from a job, a long day or a huge project you’ve been working on to be an accomplishing feeling. It’s never too late or too early to take up a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try. Life is about embracing our quirks, our interests and having never ending dreams.

Or as C.S Lewis would say,

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream…”

A challenge for you today is to make a list of the things you love. It can be anything! People, places, random thangs and even chicken wangs. It’s important to remind yourself that no matter what, you have the ability to love your life, because over time, that list is going to grow and despite what anyone says, you’ll be growing too.

 

Take courage, friends.

Lizzie

 

 

The Thief of Joy

Comparison. A skinny, pretty girl on instagram or in the magazines. The ability to make the hairs on their arms rise when they hear his/her voice sing beautifully. The guy that seems to be great at every sport and is liked by every girl. The people who are constantly travelling and take amazing photo’s to prove it. The one’s we think are truly living life to the fullest – while we feel we are stuck. Stuck in a job, in a relationship, in trying to be like everyone else and to… feel normal. We’ve all done it and continue to do it. We compare and we believe that we are not as good, not as talented or not as adventurous.

Proverbs 14:30 says; “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Tranquil means peaceful, calming and undisturbed. While envy means jealousy, bitterness and discontent. A tranquil – or sound heart – spreads it’s kindness and unselfish influence throughout the entire body. Envy is described as a raging fever with no rest. When we feel sick, we feel powerless and physically incapable, throughout the entire body. What we have to understand is that it is no different when we are comparing ourselves to those arounds us. We feel exhausted and powerless!

Recently, I’ve really been struggling more with comparing myself to people in the world around me. At work and in my friend groups, a vicious cycle spins around in my mind. Doubting my abilities at first, then feeling satisfied if a certain person “likes” my photo or I have a good day at work, where I have made people laugh and leave feeling accomplished. But then that self-doubt starts to win again the next time I feel awkward or my jokes weren’t as funny as they were the day before. The doubt keeps rolling in and tells me I should just “stay quiet” for today – to start acting “normal” so I can get that satisfying feeling back. So they can like me again – who I am, how I act and what I say. This “normal” person I strive to be. I find it very sad that my mind works this way and that I compare myself to those who interact with others so easily and fluently.

Yes it SUCKS, but do you want the real truth? Comparisons will never go away. I’m pretty sure that in every single aspect of our life, there will be something or someone to compare to. Unfortunately, we cannot control that, but we can control our drive for success, passions in our everyday life and joy through all circumstances (and in this case, comparisons). Although sometimes we feel that comparing completely robs us of our joy, it doesn’t have to. It’s just a distraction. No job, no amount of money you make, people that like you, the clothes that you own, the trips you go on, etc. will make you stop comparing yourself to others. Instead of being envious of that person, uplift them. Not only does this lift their own spirits, those who are too comparing themselves to others, but lifts yourself up and begins to generate a tranquil heart the Bible tells us gives life to this very flesh we are comparing ourselves to.

The virus is always going to be out there, but you just have to inject the needle of gratitude and take care of yourself. The steps to make a healthier, happier and greater you. That may involve asking God to help you see the better in yourself, to help encourage you towards an undisturbed and peaceful heart.

Don’t let this thief run with your joy, okay? It’s worth a whole dang lot.

Lizzie

 

Finding Hope in Abandonment

To leave and never return to, to withdraw, to escape… we have all felt abandonment at some point in our life. This week I was located in British Columbia (Canada) and had such an amazing time there with my family and was thankful to see one of my older brothers baptized – purifying his soul with the joy of the Lord within him. Throughout my time out west, although there were some awesome adventures, some not-so-great stories trickled out in the news and in hometowns of my very own friends.

I am currently enjoying a book called “Captivating” written by John & Stasi Eldredge and unveils the mystery of a woman’s soul (a book for all you ladies out there that I highly encourage reading – the revised and expanded version) and the chapter that I read last night was called ‘A Special Hatred’, which zero’s in on the story of Adam & Eve. The chapter begins with Stasi’s beautiful garden – full of vibrant colours and clearly exudes the light and joy within her. One night, it starts to hail. And it hails hard. SO hard that Stasi’s garden, one that gives her so much joy and see’s it as beautiful, is now completely destroyed. Now, while I was away, the devastating news of Fort Mcmurray spread like wildfire – literally. The once beheld beauty and joy of this city, home to many, is being destroyed slowly and surely through every night and every day.

Not only is this an awful tragedy, but it is only one of so many other tragic destructions of beauty that holds one answer. The answer is Satan – once perfect in beauty, but not the main event. His heart was consumed with pride and fell because of his gorgeous exterior. Shockingly, he had enough room in his heart to make for a purpose. Not the kind of purpose you’d imagine for your own life, but a purpose to destroy and strike at all of life’s beauty given to us in our wholesome world. In the garden of Eden, Eve was tempted by Satan to eat the forbidden fruit. They lived in this beautiful garden and all was right, until the temptation was followed through and Eve took a bite into Satan’s true purpose.

With this being said, whatever feeling of abandonment you are feeling or have felt. Just know, you are a powerhouse! We were created to be God’s beautiful and powerful lovers and because of that we are despised by Satan and the realm of darkness.

So next time you feel abandoned in the midst of a wildfire in your own life and struggle to find the beauty and power you have deep in your soul, remember to read about God’s true heart in Jeremiah 30:16-17. As said in the book Captivating, “you really won’t understand your life as a woman or man until you understand this: You are passionately loved by the God of the universe and passionately hated by His enemy.”

You. Are. Passionately. Loved.

Lizzie

PS. This book I talk about is specified for women only, but today’s post is tailored towards each and every one of you. John writes a book for the men out there, that I guarantee is just as enjoyable as the book I am currently reading.

PPS. Please continue to pray for rain and support the events of Fort Mcmurray as there seems to be no sign of a decline in the fire.

 

Putting Life Into Drive

Throughout my whole life I’ve loved going on long drives down country roads and listening to feel-good, mood changing and ‘in the moment’ music. Am I the only one? Apparently not, says my favourite country station 106.7 – with your windows down, music playing and good company (in my case, my good companion – coffee from timmies) is one of many joyful pleasures people do when the weather gets more radiant.

I find that when I am on this joy ride, it isn’t necessarily pure joy, but rather a sense of fantastic and utter happiness because of a good circumstance I am currently embracing. My emotions get the best of me and I feel that this is the best way to disconnect from the world for a little while. Does this sound familiar to you?

Although these sound like great things, what happens when the joy ride is over? Do we connect back with the same old pattern of the world around us? I believe that sometimes these happy moments are actually perfect moments to renew our mind, whatever our emotions may be telling us in a state of happiness. As followers, we don’t live from the outside in, but rather we live from the inside out and that shines from our hearts and minds.

Okay… okay… are we still on the same page here? I’m sorry if I lost you in my ramble about a simple car ride, but it means so much more to me. It is said that the mind of Christ is a sound mind. But where do we begin? The mind – our thoughts, meditations and day dreams (not just on long drives). While reading my devotions, I read Romans 12:2 which says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying a drive down a dirt road will immediately renew your mind – any kind of change takes time!

Why do we need a renewed mind? It’s just like I mentioned in my first post, trimming the fat means keeping whats good and getting rid of the unnecessary.

Renewing our minds will bring JOY and not just the temporary happiness that the simple, soon to be over, car ride brings. How amazing would it be to feel that same happiness we feel on our drive every single day? He is the driver in our life that leads us into a place of deep fulfillment, purpose and peace. That continuous happiness and desire to “do more” we are able to grasp, is joy in disguise – whatever the circumstance. A big reminder I have to tell myself is that our minds become renewed when they line up with His. It’s still in the process for me, but the more I secure taking time to be with my thoughts and not relying on things of the world and the happiness it claims to offer, the more I realize I can only be satisfied by the renewal of God – our shepherd. What a wonderful feeling, huh?

A challenge for you this week is to try making a shift in gear. One thing I’ve been trying to do is head to bed earlier and wake up earlier so I can spend more time in the word and have something to encourage me throughout an unpredictable day. Just as a day can be held with mystery, so can our mind. You will be surprised what a renewing of your mind can do to your everyday adventures.

Safe drives… 😉

Lizzie

Ahh… Where To Begin?

Hello fellow coffee drinkers, curious minds and friends…

As some of you have now read over my profile page, you have gathered two sources of information. One, that I believe coffee is a gift sent from the heavens – mornings just don’t function without it. And two, I am a Jesus freak, lover, seeker and follower of the One who has made me, well, me – the next person in line that has hopped onto the blog writing bandwagon.

If you are joining me today with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and scrolling through this short post with the other, ahhh… sip on my friend and enjoy my first blog!

I just want to start by saying hey! Deciding to start a blog for those of you who are in the midst of seeking, followers who feel stuck and even some who may be trying to ‘trim the fat’ from your lives rattled around in my mind for awhile, but I finally came to the conclusion that the only real reason for writing down my scattered thoughts is well… why not? Not only am I writing this for those of you who fit the criteria above, but for myself. Someone who is along side many of you, constantly learning yet still so desperately hungry for more of His word, unsure how to find the rhythm in my day to day life that is able to satisfy that hunger.

I look forward to sharing parts of my journey with whoever may be reading this and challenge you today to write down ten things you are thankful for. A bonus for today will be to meditate on 1 Chronicles 22:19 – “Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God.” He will renew your mind if you are willing to open it!

Thanks for reading today, friends.

God bless (this cup of coffee),

Lizzie