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Tuesday
Jan072014

Roots Run Deep

I entered 2014 with an expectation that my life needed to change and I needed to change my attitude. In November I sat down with my pastor Isabel and chatted through the importance of dealing with anger. I never saw myself as an angry person but this last year has brought up all my “stuffed” anger and it was time to start dealing with it.

Isabel taught me that its just as important to physically get the emotions of anger out as it is to deal with the roots through forgiveness and letting go. When I get angry I just want to scream and cry. I would hold it in thinking I can’t express anger that way, it’s not good. WRONG! I was wrong. hahahaha… so I have learned that when I am dealing with the emotions and I feel like screaming, I go to my pillow and muffle my screams but let them out, I have a good cry and then I am usually good to start forgiving and releasing and allowing God to heal this tender and hurt part of my heart. God is not intimidated by anger or hurt, and He loves you too much to leave you in it.

 

Heavy Rain, a Young Adults Conference at Catch the Fire Toronto is where this revelation, freedom and healing all began for me this past week. I knew going into it I was going to be different but I didn’t know what God was going to do. He said to me “This bitterness has built a wall and the wall has kept you from your destiny and my doors opening up for you and has most importantly kept you from Me.” I hadn’t really realized how much through anger, bitterness crept in. I became very selfish and prideful. It took root and it seemed that the roots went deep. I began to feel entitled to the promises God has for me. I felt like it was my right to have a relationship, trying to convince myself that I was good enough and that God needed to make this happen, and soon. It is in fact only my great privilege and honour that He would lavish me with His promises and kindness and greatest gifts. How arrogant and selfish of me. My lovely Jesus has given His life for me and here I was demanding and commanding in my time these things come to pass. When God showed me this I melted into a puddle of repentance; I feel free from bitterness, anger and pride and it no longer taints my view or my heart. Last week and last year it tainted everything. I allowed it to create a wall between me and God. I distanced myself from him, selfishness clouded my eyes to see all of His mercy and kindness.

 

I looked back over 2013 and see that God’s amazing grace and love did open so many doors for me and my destiny but there were other areas that I am PASSIONATE about where the doors have been closed for months. Public speaking is one of them, blogging another. I repented for my attitude, heart posture and the very next day a speaking opportunity opened up and a few more possibilities to come. Hahahaha God is so GOOD and so KIND! I know that so many more doors will continue to open and that there will be more freedom and walking out my new revelations in the coming months. I am blessed and Jesus is my all in all, my pearl of great price. He’s my first love.

 

I can’t wait to share more with you in the coming months and the other lovely ladies will be also. So many blessings, tears, joy, sorrow, repentance, revelation, peace, guidance and love has flowed through each of our lives in this last year.

Lisa

 

Sunday
Jan052014

Happy New Year- A look back at Lisa's 2013

I want to take a minute and say WE’RE BACK! Its been quite awhile since any of us have written a blog and there are many reasons for that. We have all been dealing with different life situations and events and have thought about all of you that read this blog along the way.

I (Lisa) am feeling a push for me to write again. I’ll explain some revelations I’ve gotten along the way in the upcoming blog entries. Feels good to be back.

Update on me, Lisa:

Wow, since April there have been a LOT of “happenings” in my life. I landed the job of a lifetime. I am working at a Montessori School as the Administrative Support (aka I’m the receptionist). I LOVE my job! I started it in June and I love it more today than I did when I started. I have the perfect mix of Admin and Kids, they are so precious, each of them! I love being apart of this great community and find such joy in going to work everyday, it’s AMAZING.

I moved into a new city, London Ontario. I attend a great church called Forest City Destiny Church, I have started training to lead a prophetic team at my church and like I said before started an incredible job. I’ve moved into an apartment 2 blocks from work and LOVE my home. In june I attended a great friends wedding (you know her too, but I’ll let her tell you all about it). In August I ran my first 5km colour run, so proud of myself and in the meantime lost 25 lbs. I then turned 32. I started online dating, which sadly didn’t produce any dates at all. 5 friends became preggers, 2 babies (they are so precious, Dominica and Micah) have been born and 3 more are on their way. I watched another wonderful friend whom you also know start dating this fantastic guy. I have had the great pleasure in hanging out with new friends and spend quality time with my awesome family. It has also produced many hardships. Its not always easy moving away from wonderful community in BC and starting again in a new place. As my friend Cathy Harris once said it takes time, yes it does. I have also been “stuck” without a car this year which isn’t a problem getting to work but is when wanting to do anything else social (praying in a car).

In these last few months though I had grown increasingly bitter, angry and frustrated (I will elaborate on that later) as I am still single. I have learned a lot and so thankful that God loves us too much to leave us in out state of blah. 

I must admit 2013 wasn’t my best year, BUT 2014 is going to be a GREAT YEAR!!! God has changed my perspective and I will post more about that in the coming few days.

**In the comments below tell me about your joys and hardships in 2013. 

Happy New Year Blog Family, MANY blessings to you in 2014!

Lisa


 

Tuesday
Apr302013

Love Just Got a Little More Vulnerable…

 These last weeks have felt like some of the most vulnerable moments of my life on two very different fronts.  To begin with, for the first time in my life, I initiated a relationship with a guy.  I know for some that could sound like not a big deal, even laughable.  But for me it was a grave challenge, one that required all of my most outstanding abilities and qualities.  In some ways it was a radical break from my own "rules," (of wanting the man to initiate), a major paradigm shift and definitely a giant step out of my own happy, little comfort zone.  It was part of a long, epic battle, a certain jousting within myself about whether I would share my feelings openly in the light or leave them buried in a deep, dark corner of my soul. 

The week before my bounding leap, friends, mentors, and family all gave me their well-meaning but conflicting advice about how I should advance in my relationship with him.  "Drop him,"  "wait for him to lead," "tell him how you feel," they said.  It could have been quite confusing.  In my heart, though, I knew something had to change.  I concluded that it was a win-win decision to disclose my feelings to him.  Either way was not going to break me. Thankfully, God has led me to a level place where finally I know who I am.  I am a woman who is worthy of a great man. And so if this man wasn't interested, it would not speak to me of any of my own shortcomings- not being beautiful enough, good enough, or smart enough.  Quite simply he would not be the one for me, and I would simply be free to move on.  On the other hand, it could be the beginning of a great and sweeping romance.lol.   So why hide in darkness? 

When the moment of truth came, I thought it would be a big, earth-shattering moment, but I can't say that I was terribly eloquent, witty or audacious in my approach.   It was simple, straight to the point and a rather weak outburst,  "I have a confession, I like you!!!"  So, I'd also like to tell you everything became clear in that moment, but all I can say to end my first story is that my love story is still being written.  My bold jump was one step towards greater understanding, but there is still a journey to be traversed.  I can, however, stand confidently knowing that I have won a great personal victory, and my love life is very secure in God's hands.  I do wish He would hurry things up, though! 

But if my first story seems somewhat trivial, my second is not.  Something happened that forced me to feel the depth of how vulnerable life and love really are.  My sister and her husband were at the Boston marathon during the recent bombing.  My brother-in-law Ryan had planned this expedition for months in advance.  He had previously won the local Abbotsford "Run For Water" for the past two years.  Running the Boston marathon had seemed like the next challenge for him to undergo and overcome.  My sister Sophia also was enthusiastic to escape the mundane of Abbotsford life and see something new and exciting in the famous American city.  On the morning of April the 15th, I was busy managing twenty high-energy second graders.  It seemed just a typical day of teaching.  As I was strolling back after lunch to a peaceful afternoon with the kids, the PE teacher who I hardly knew stopped me and asked if I had heard about explosions at the Boston marathon.  My heart dropped as I stared at him in wide-eyed confusion and disbelief.  How was that even possible?  Surely, he must have made a mistake, but as I considered it more, no one could make that kind of error.  

I probably should have stopped quickly to text my sister to see if they were safe, but I tend towards over responsibility for my work. Who really knows how to respond in those moments either?  I chose instead to gather my students from outside and try to teach a regular lesson.  Bad idea.  The thoughts that bombarded my head over those final two hours of teaching sought to unnerve me.  I tried to focus on helping the students cut out beautiful spring flowers.  Spring flowers!  That should have kept me feeling cheery and looking on the bright, positive side of life.  Instead worst-case scenarios played over in my head, as we pinned their pretty pictures up on the class bulletin board.  I could only think of my own little nephew and niece and their parents whose lives may have been forever altered on that day.  As soon as my students had safely joined their parents, I raced back to the classroom and called my parents to see if they had received any news.  I breathed a sigh of relief as  I heard that Ryan and Sophia were safe, hiding away in their hotel (even if it was in Watertown).  As the story continued to unfurl, I discovered he had finished the race only an hour before the bombs had exploded. (Thank God that Ryan is a fast runner. Talk about running for your life?)  I became even more acutely aware of how close a call it was when later that night, I watched the news.  I saw the cloud of smoke arising, the people screaming and even falling at the very same finish line where Sophia had cheered so proudly for her husband only six minutes earlier.   

Even now, it is hard for me to process what has really happened. How can we process these tragedies?  Random thoughts but perhaps there is some life in them.  Time to to slow down.  Time to be thankful.   Time to turn our hearts to God.  Time to love those who have been broken and wounded.  Time to protect that which remains.  Time to hope for something better.  

I will end with a C.S. Lewis quote I began my previous blog with:  

To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.  Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in the casket safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  To love is to be vulnerable.  C.S. Lewis 4 Loves.

My prayer is that areas where my heart has been locked away and dead, the casket door would swing open.  That God would somehow redeem my life and story to burst forth healing through the sorrows but also the joys! 

 

Saturday
Apr202013

The secret to love...

The secret to Love- Thoughts by Tedd Dekker

I came across this today and it brought a new light to Love and I can't stop thinking about it. I thought I'd share!

Have you ever noticed that when you "fall in love" for the short time when you are 'swept-away' the one toward whom your affection is directed can do no wrong? Your judgement of them is blind, you see only beauty, and you feel like you're in heaven... Maybe it's a beautiful gift from our Father, a slice of heaven hard wired into us as a reminder. Maybe its the closest thing to heaven we can feel in these bodies. 

Some trivialize this state and call it "infatuation" as if those first feelings are substandard to "real love." 

What if we have it backwards? What if during that early non-judgmental period we are have a glimpse of what following Jesus teaching not to judge really is like? What if that's how God feels about you? Or try this: Imagine falling in love with everyone you meet... I mean, really... seeing them beyond all judgement. You would be one happy camper, wouldn't you? I'm not talking about romance as such, but crazy, can do no wrong affection. Perhaps the kingdom of heaven among us is such a place, here and now. 

Who here wants to fall in love over and over and over and forever? 

Thoughts by Lisa:

I know thats how Jesus loves us, and what stops us from doing the same, or at least make an effort of living this way. Looking at those around and not seeing thier flaws first but seeing love through non-judgemental eyes. I need to start living like this, I know how been challanged and will choose not to be the same again.

LOVE COVERS ALL!!!

 

Monday
Apr012013

A few things I am learning....

These past few weeks I have learned so much. Thought I might share just a few insights I have discovered.... let's title it "The Dos before I Dos...." or maybe something like "A few things this Christian girl is learning as she becomes a wife..." or maybe even just "Some things to think about before looking at Pintrest". Any of these titles could be appropriate!

1. There is a PANDORAS box of wedding ideas, thoughts, suggestions, lists, services available to you. Before you open the box, STOP. Decide with your Man what you want your wedding to be about- who is it about. For us, we decided that this really is all about celebrating an amazing miracle done by God (the miracle of love for one another). Our number one guest is Jesus. So everything we would decide to do that day would honor Him. It was from that place that we then could make decisions on the how, what, where and how much!

 

2. Be engaged. The season before marriage is precious. This is your last time in your whole life that you are going to be a 'fiance'. Enjoy the middle land and learn the thing that you are to learn in order to be prepared for this great new adventure. Spend time with your girlfriends. Clean out your boxes of the past things you won't need any more. Take time to be just you and God. I have found that during this time of longing to just start my life with him I can sometimes forget the beauty in that longing. When I can capture what it is that I am longing for, and name the pain of the wait, I somehow find myself being more thankful for all that is coming.

3. Keep it pure. Long-distance has certainly helped us with physical boundaries, but what about my thoughts? Walking down the aisle toward my Husband to be I don't want to just be a physical 'virgin', I want to know that with the grace and strength of the Lord, I walk toward him pure in my heart. This is no easy task! Finding the man you have been waiting for is incredible! And let me just say, it takes me getting my eyes onto the bigger picture to see that watching how I think about him will be honoring for him in our marriage.

4. Beware of Pintrest!! If you have any creative bone in your bridal body you are going to LOVE the ideas on Pintrest! There is everything on there! But when your roommate finds you sitting in the dark with nothing but the glow of the computer screen to illuminate your half-opened 2AM eyes, it's time to shut that pinning down! Take a breath! I found that 'all the ideas' suddenly started making any idea seem not quite enough. I had to go on a pintrest fast! I decided I would pray before pinning; that I would go to God with ideas and wait to hear what He had to say first. This lead to WAY more peace and far more sleep!

5. When you find your dress, stop looking at other dresses. You are going to be beautiful on your special day, regardless of what you are wearing. There are a lot of pretty dresses, an hundreds that will look great on you. Find one that gives your heart bubbles of peace. Then stop looking at other ones and comparing. I am not sure I know of many situations where comparing has helped get more peace.

6. Honor your family. This is a big deal for them too. Be careful with their hearts and be creative to navigate how to make the important people feel special. Be open and honest about how you feel about them. Love and communicate.

7. Take time to just be with your fiance, not talking about wedding agendas or decisions that need to be made. There is still so much to know about him- you will have a lifetime of getting to know him! Enjoy this season with him. And when you're making decisions about invitations, guest lists, color schemes... talk it out with him. Maybe more guys want to have input into what their wedding day than we give them credit for. Respect him by hearing his perspective too.

8. well... to be announced I guess. 

There is only 9 weeks left until I get married and still I know there will be much to learn. As I write this list I think of telling myself all of these things. What a glorious season it has and is to be engaged!