Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ending the Picture Drought

Looking back on my blog, I noticed that it has been a while since I have posted any pictures. The reason being that in the busyness that is summer, I have not taken the time to pull my camera out and capture moments.
I know that phone pictures are blurry (especially when taken with my phone :), the quality is bad. But phones are so much more accessible and I have found it easy to whip it out and take pictures of the little things that would otherwise be only a memory.
So, today... if you would look through the pictures on my phone, you would see this.

Pictures of little brothers making silly face when they find your phone unattended.

Of baby smiles and squishy faces that brighten up my every day.

Of a few of my favourite things.

Of people that I love.

Of birthday gifts from brothers.

Of bale picking.

 Of the one on one moments I get to share with brother and sister, niece and nephew during the season of harvest.

And lastly, of the harvest.

Soon I will make the time to pull out the camera and take some pictures that are less imperfect. 
But for now... this will have to do. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Big Story

I have a confession.
I like to watch the TV series "The Waltons". Our whole family does.
Not only do we have every single one of the nine seasons, but we also have gone through them a minimum of two times. :)

Anyway the reason I am randomly sharing this detail of my life is because while I was watching an episode a couple of months ago, there was something that one of the characters said that had such an immediate impact on me that I immediately wrote it down. I had forgotten about it until yesterday as I was going through some of my notes while on the field, driving the grain cart.
It spoke to me again (Hey, God can use whatever He wants to grab your attention... even the Waltons! :). Hence, the birth of this blog post.

The quote is this.
"Don't waste your life searching for that one big story that you are going to write; write the little stories, who knows, the sum total of them might be the big one."
Have you ever been so focused on finding that big story that you ignore all of the little ones that you could be writing? I am talking God stories. Opportunities to make a difference in this world and be used by God.

There was a time in my life that I could not take my focus off of searching for the big thing that God might be calling me to do. So intent was I on finding it, that I missed out on the little things.

This is what God has been teaching me recently.

Living for your life Jesus, writing your story, does not necessarily mean that you have to be serving as a missionary in a foreign country, or be on the front lines in the battle to bring people to Jesus. The pen does not have to be scratching tales of making a big splash in the ocean of difference making. 
I used to become very worried that I wasn't doing the big thing. I wasn't writing that one thousand page book in one big downpour of inspiration. And in being so worried that I wasn't doing the big thing for God, even if it wasn't going across the world to tell people about Him, but just something that was visible to me, I was not being at all attentive to writing those short stories.

Sometimes God has called us to do the little things. Sharing a smile with a stranger that you pass at the grocery store, giving a hug, saying a prayer for a friend, giving a cup of water to a child, even just living a life that reflects the love of God. All those little things that may seem to be insignificant, could actually be working together to create the big story that God wants to write for you.

I am not saying that I don't desire to be part of a big story, but it may not be what God has called me to do, and I don't want the searching to consume me. So I am learning to focus on the sentences. To be all for God that I can be in the season that I am in.

Today, remember that you cannot see the big picture, but God can. It is up to you and me to live every single moment for Him and to look for ways to be His hands and feet... even in the little things.

Write those short stories, who knows... one day you may look back and see that the small insignificant drop has created a ripple effect that has changed lives.
All we have to do is to commit ourselves to be used by Him every day, and watch Him create a best seller out of our lives.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Crushing it

When my sisters and I were making the Q&A vlog, we were asked a couple of questions about crushes and how we deal with them. I helped give the quick answer on the vlog because of the time restraint that we had, but I would like to now dig deeper into this topic.

I am not talking about the movie star kind, or the "He/she is cute!" kind. I am talking the real life, "That person is awesome!" kind.

God designed boys to be attracted to girls, men to be attracted to women and vise versa. So naturally, there will be times when you have met a guy or girl and have a continuous stream of thoughts that lead to the conclusion "I like him/her!".

Before becoming eligible for marriage, I was introduced to the concept of courtship and therefore also developed the desire to not only save myself physically for my future spouse, but also to guard my emotions and to regard them as a sacred treasure.
This was easier to do before becoming "of age", but still it was the same battle that I continue to fight now.

Let me say first that I don't think that crushes are a bad thing to have. Shutting off those emotions every time you come across someone that you become attracted to is not the way to go about guarding them.

I think it is a lot like food.
You need to eat to survive, the same as every person needs to feel, and recognize feelings. It is a God given need.
Yet to much food is unhealthy and will cause problems for your future, the same with your emotions.
Until you are certain that he/she is "the one" allowing a guy/girl to consume your thoughts and become the beat of your heart is also unhealthy and could become something that you will regret in your future.

I used to be afraid of crossing that line and of giving to much of my time to thoughts of a certain someone. It took a couple of go-rounds (so to speak) to realize that I was coming through okay. And as I became older I came to know my heart's limits.
Also placing my future into God's hands has helped me to feel almost resilient in this regard. Because of the relationship I have with Jesus, I can come to him with all my dreams, fears, hopes, and feelings and come away with a sense of peace. The thing I challenge myself with whenever I have a "crush" is to throw myself closer to the heart of God and to focus on building my relationship with Him. Sometimes life as a single person can be confusing and just plain hard. But when you have a God that you can call Daddy, it is so much easier to face those feelings and really determine the healthy balance.

One thing that I do to keep my heart in check is I write to my future husband. Not every day, or even every month, but every time I feel especially lonely or even when I am "crushing" on a guy, I tell him about it. It helps me to see the big picture and put everything into perspective. Knowing that my future love is going to read about feelings that I have for this guy or that guy helps me to stay the course, and keeps me accountable.

I try also to make it a habit to pray for my future spouse.
Telling God all that you hope for the special someone in your future makes the desire to be all for that person greater, and lessens the time you would spend thinking needlessly about someone that may never be in your future.

As I already said, I am not advising anyone to flee their feelings. If it is your desire to get married someday, then you are going to need to take the risk of opening up your heart. Just remember to place yourself in the palm of God's hand, and ask Him to protect you as you walk the journey to finding love, and really seek Him, asking Him to guide and direct you.

I am excited for the day when I will finally be able to say "This is the one!" and break open the dam that is now only letting a trickle of emotion through. Because I know that the day that I can allow myself to love a man without reservation, is the day that I will really be thankful for all the hard work that I am doing now to save all that I can for the one who claims my heart.

Finally be reminded that our life here on this earth is about more than what will make us happy. If we keep God at the center of all that we think and feel, He will protect our hearts, mend all that is broken and show us His perfect will.

Then all of your dreams will come true because your desires will become what He desires for you.