#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”

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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 my faith, 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 as I began to think I had to figure it all out. 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, a little more everyday.

Getting settled into my classes, I knew I wanted to become part of not only a new church, but some sort of “club”. 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.

Funny enough, eventually I learned that this “club” really wasn’t a good fit for me after all, but I had enjoyed the time spent there. If anything, it reminded me that it was the answer to what I had prayed for in that moment, and that moment alone. It was a stepping stone to the path I was meant to continue on, and I’m so happy that I stopped at that “pond” and dipped my toes in slightly.  Being apart of something, even though it wasn’t right for me, was the best thing I had done that semester.

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

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

 

 

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

 

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