My Train of Thought

tumblr_o6b6nyBRdb1r3pmtuo1_540

2:41pm– I have a cup of coffee in my hands, the second of the day. My Spotify tab is open, and out of it pours folksy tunes. It’s peaceful. I’ve tried to write this post three times. I’ll be writing my current thoughts over the next hour.

2:47pm– Lately I’ve been thinking long and hard about the passions that I have, about the things that spark joy in my soul. I long for community, because that where people with differences & oddities come together in peace. Coffee is an international language, and it gives us a chance to take a break & reflect. I long for worship, because that is where I can find peace from the storm of the week & see the face of the One my soul loves. Getting to know people on a deeper level is so important to me because we often forget that we’re all humans, and it’s nice to realize that we’re not alone in this lifelong journey. I long to hear the stories of others. What’s your story?

2:56pm– I’ve been praying more, and it’s been very good for my soul. I wonder why people often find it to be a difficult task. It’s just simple conversation between you & God. It’s refreshing, because He’s the only one who understands us fully. It always feels good to talk to someone who gets you. You feel me?

2:59pm– I’m very excited for Friday, because another youth group will be coming to hang out with us for the evening! I’m hoping to see lots of friendships made, coffee brewing, and worship. I don’t know exactly what will happen on Friday, but I definitely look forward to it. New friends make me happy.

3:04pm– I’ve been adding to my writing playlist for the past week, and it’s one of my favorite things right now. The music is calming and serves as inspiration for my poetry. I wrote a poem yesterday titled, “The Sojourner“. I think I’ll write a series on him. He sounds like the person I want to be.

3:08pm– Sometimes people are going to leave you. Friendships, family members, lovers. It’s okay if they do. You just need to find better people to surround yourself with. You don’t want to write melancholy poetry forever, do you?

3:10pm– Everything is a process. Over the last month, I’ve realized this. Life isn’t a race, and I can go as fast or slow as I want. People are different; we’re not all meant to go at the same pace.

3:14pm– When we extend grace, it allows the person to grow & become a better person. This world is missing this very important truth. Why isn’t this world more graceful? Surely it would make for a more peaceful environment, and we wouldn’t be so terrified all the time.

3:25pm– I wish I knew how to play the banjo. It sounds so pure.

3:30pm– We need to develop more passions. It would make living much more bearable.

3:34pm– It breaks my heart to know that so many people believe that they don’t have value because of who they are as a person. You are a human. Therefore you have worth. It doesn’t matter what you did in the past. You have value, and you deserve to be heard.

3:38pm– I think my Instagram niche is nature.

3:41pm-Choosing joy is not easy, but we should still do it more. I think I’m going to have coffee #3 now.

Advertisements

The Art of Losing Myself

tumblr_o5zyyjqtVj1r3pmtuo1_540

Yesterday I posted this photo to my instagram, and I wrote this as the caption:

“When you lose yourself in the presence of God, your focus is no longer on you, and I think that’s freeing.”

I was thinking about worship since Monday. I was thinking about how we act when we worship God, what we think about, etc. On Tuesday night I had practice with my worship team. It’s more practice than worship (as you would expect), but I still try to remember who I’m preparing my voice for, and I try to make the moment about God & I. Near the end, we were going over a song for the second time, and I closed my eyes to focus on Him. It was cool, because it was such a natural moment. I usually close my eyes when I worship, but there was literally nothing on my mind but God. I wasn’t thinking about sounding on point, nor was I worried about what the band was doing, or worried about my life in general. He was the only thing on my mind, which was so freeing.

It was freeing because I wasn’t focused on myself. I was focused on the One to whom I was singing & lifting praise.

I’ve been really stoked for our church’s worship night that takes place tomorrow. I hope we can all take time to really focus on who God is, and review our motives for worshiping Him. If you think about it, worship is quite selfless, because we’re not supposed to be focused on ourselves.

I’m gonna add this in: I used to think worship was this really intense & emotional thing, where I had to be crying every time. I would literally guilt myself during worship & focusing on how sinful I was, to the point where I would make myself cry. I recognize how wrong of me that was, because in that moment I was focusing on how horrible I was instead of focusing on how great God is. Worship doesn’t have to be this big intense thing with loud music & yelling- it can also be quiet and simple. It’s a way of communicating our gratitude in song, and it’s meant to be a vulnerable thing. Crying during worship isn’t bad whatsoever, especially if the Holy Spirit is tangible & moving. Like, cry by all means. But worship is to lift up God’s name & a time to praise Him & sing thankfulness for all He’s done. It’s not something to be sad about, it’s a time to rejoice!

I guess I wanted to write this because I want to encourage others to prepare their hearts for worship this weekend. Have a good one!

He Makes Us Better

13001282_608556795968575_5216208793637079030_n

A friend of mine shared a sermon last night and something he said sparked something in me, and it got me thinking.

“It’s kinda like, for me, my quest to be genuine and completely original and unique, sometimes can end up pushing God aside. Like, I’m pushing God out of my plan, even though my plan is that I want to be genuine with Him. Then that defeats the entire purpose of my plan because I pushed God out of something, when I’m trying to center my life on Christ. And I find it sad that it’s so easy to do so.” –Mick Germain

Many of us strive to be real. To be unashamedly ourselves, and to not live in fear. Living in fear dictates what our life will be like. If we lived in fear, we’d be too afraid to speak up, too afraid to change, too afraid to live the life we want to live. Many of us want to be open with others, so that they don’t have to feel alone. A lot of us are tired of putting up fronts & facades, and we just want to sit down with someone and say, “This is what I’m dealing with. Please hear me out & be my friend right now.” This is the generation I want to be a part of. This is the generation we want. We need it. Too many people are putting up walls, and we want to be the generation who brings people together, and breaks down the barriers.

But we need God to be at the forefront of our mind, our heart, all our being. If He’s not at the core of what we’re doing, why in the world are doing anything at all? Everything we do is in vain if we aren’t glorifying Jesus with it.

I think when we realize who exactly God is, it changes our mindset of how we do things. For example, He is the King of the universe. He has it all in His hand. He cares for each of us, even though we don’t deserve any kind of compassion, love, or mercy. He saves people, He restores joy, He is just. He has wrath for injustice. But at the same time, He is kind, He’s patient, He’s the one who saved the world. He has had a plan from the beginning of time. He’s able to take our life at any given moment, and yet He chooses to give us this moment, because He has put us here for bigger reasons than we know.

I can’t even describe everything He is. But He’s a lot of things.

But when we think of who God is, we want to worship better, practice to be perfect for Him. We want to smile more at people. We want to get to know people better, love people harder. For me, thinking of God and how awesome He is, makes me want to be so much better than I am.

I am constantly trying to put God at the beginning of it all, almost always failing. But He requires only my effort, and I’m always reminding myself of that- to just try my best. I think it’s so romantic & great how just thinking of Jesus makes me want to be a better whatever-I-am.

(I Promise I Don’t Complain All The Time)

tumblr_o5n0mdVpE81r3pmtuo1_540

Hi.

I appreciate enthusiasm a lot. I consider myself a generally happy person. I like to smile. I like exclamation marks just as much as the next generally happy person. I like saying hello enthusiastically to others. I like the occasional pop song (looking at you, “1989” lovers). I can appreciate upbeat attitudes. I can appreciate dancing. I deeply appreciate laughter.

But not today.

I don’t know what it is. It feels like a Monday. It’s halfway through National Poetry Month, and I can count my poems on my fingers. Every day this week has been a revision of the day before, so each photograph I take looks the same. I’ve slept in the same clothes from yesterday. My notebook is wide open in front of me, and the pages are empty. I only had one cup of coffee today. I hate money. I’m tired. The only black & white Polaroid I took defines my mood (it was raining that day). I don’t know what my problem is today. Today’s just a bad day. I’m just sad.

My soul needs company. I need to be with people. I need to be with people who can make me laugh. I need a hug, like, a long freaking hug. I need a thorough worship session. I need to change my clothes. I need to talk to people. I need to sit in peace & quiet. I need to take a nap. I probably just need company. It’s hard knowing that bad days are only considered a blink of an eye compared to life in eternity. I just need to hang in there. Doesn’t make it less hard to deal with.

I genuinely hope you’re having a wonderful day. If it’s sunny out, enjoy the sun. If it’s rainy, make some tea or coffee, and put a movie on. If you’re having a bad day, you’re not alone. We’ll get through it together.

 

Sit Down & Breathe

I’ve been so lonely lately.
Would you be my company?
You used to sit with me all the time.
Oh, why did I stop asking you to join me?
Please, sit and stay a while.
I know it’s been a long time since I last asked
For your company.
Would you come in for a bit?
I’ll make some coffee for us,
And I’ll rest against your chest, the sun shining on my face;
I’ll listen to your heart.
I’ve found myself wondering what exactly your heart sounds like.
Maybe your heartbeats sound similar to the birds’ songs,
Or maybe it sounds like the breeze that plays in the trees?
Does it sound like the laughter of an child,
When joy is at its precipice of containment?
If you can meet me here,
I might be able to get a glimpse of your heart,
We’ll sit a while in close company,
And I might be able to get to know you better.
Thank you for staying with me.

Thankfulness In Disappointment

tumblr_o5dvz9PHAI1r3pmtuo1_540

Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned. After a long positive streak, we can get used to it, so a negative happening can really bring us down. We’ll feel like everything is going wrong, and there’s nothing we can do to change it. We feel helpless and disappointed. As if everything is in shambles around us.

Sometimes we get so sad because we know that God is King, and He deserves our absolute best. So when we don’t feel like we’re giving our best, we feel like we’re failing God. But God doesn’t require perfection- He just requires our efforts, no matter how mere they may be.

Sometimes there are things we can’t control. We must remember that we need to take a breath, and know that God has a bigger picture. When we get so focused on that one thing that set us off, we forget that God knows all things. His purpose is bigger than anything we’ve ever known. Sometimes we just have to let mistakes happen, because that’s what authenticity is; the reality of the moment. Maybe we just need to let it happen, move on, and strive to be better so that God might be pleased with our greater efforts.

Sometimes things don’t go the way we originally wanted, and we need to shut ourselves in a quiet little room, and humbly worship on the floor. Sometimes we need to shut ourselves in that quiet little room and just talk to God as our Father. The only One who knows our hearts. Sometimes all we need is to tell God how sorry we are for not keeping our focus on Him, and for making our success our pursuit. Sometimes we just need to be thankful for His presence, because He doesn’t have to remain close to us, but He chooses to be.

Sometimes you just need to sit in silence for the majority of the day because you know you need to spend time with God. Sometimes we just gotta break out our bibles, and pray in the margins because speaking takes too much energy out of us. Sometimes we just have to be in the presence of God, and just sit with Him, you know? I think that’s what I’m gonna go do now.

How Are You Brave?

tumblr_o582s8zlCJ1r3pmtuo1_540


brav·er·y

 (brā′və-rē, brāv′rē)

n.pl. brav·er·ies

1. The condition or quality of being brave; courage.


I like to think I am brave. It makes me feel better about myself. I know that I’m not always as courageous as I’d like to be. I live in fear, and my fears have been directing my life, ever since I realized that I am in control of it. I have difficulty trusting in God sometimes, and it really sucks. Fear is a dictator, and it messes up your brain; it gives you unnecessary anxiety. I’m not too sure how I wanted to go about this post, but I know I don’t want it to be a downer. Here’s a list of some of the ways I have been brave- maybe it’ll inspire me to let go of fear, and kill it for good.

  • I had a falling out with one of my closest friends, and I always told him that I wanted to reconcile and restore our friendship. After about 2 years of not speaking, he contacted me, and we both apologized. I even saw him that following summer. It was a surprise. I was scared to greet him, because I wanted to catch up, but I didn’t know how he would react to seeing me again. I felt bare, and exposed. It was like I was saying, “look at me, look at who I’ve become“. But I did it. Hopefully one day, we’ll become friends again (This is a story for another day).
  • I’ve always wanted to write a book compiled of all the poems I’ve written. I’d pick the ones with the biggest significance, and just let the world read them. Many of my friends who are writers have been working on publishing their stuff, so I was hit with the realization that I can do it too! We’ll see where that takes us.
  • About a week ago, I went to the mall to buy some tea, and a new book. The girl at the counter recognized me. She told told me to come back  with a resume when I had come in months before, asking if she had any job openings. I didn’t have my resume with me when she saw me, but it gave me courage to want to go back with one, because hey, maybe I actually have a shot.
  • Every time I’m asked to share my testimony at youth group, I feel bravery running through my veins. I don’t know why, I just get excited to tell others about how Jesus changed me. It’s one of my favorite times to be vulnerable with people, because they get to know me better.

Being vulnerable at all is a pretty brave thing to do. Sharing testimonies, being open with anyone at all, allowing people to see the things that make us who we are. Life is crazy though. Anything can happen. I need to learn to be brave in other areas than sharing my life- I’ve had plenty of experience. In what ways are you brave?

I need to learn to trust in Jesus more. I think that’s the bravest, most courageous thing I could ever do.

My Spring 2016 Playlist

tumblr_o50tfd0uzi1r3pmtuo1_540

Here’s an update on life: I’m becoming a little bit braver with each day, meaning that hopefully soon I’ll be employed (if I’m able to step out of my comfort zone)! I’ve also developed a cold over the last few days, and I’m scheduled to lead worship with my team. I feel like this Sunday is gonna be radical, so I’m praying so hard that I’ll be well enough to sing (my voice has seen better days)! Though I must say that I’ve been feeling better than before, as well!

Spring is finally here in Canada, so to get into the spring spirit, I’ve created a playlist! If you know me personally, you’ll know I love to make playlists. I’ve different artists ranging from Sufjan Stevens (always a favorite), Bon Iver, Kaleo, and Dustin Tebbutt. It’s an acoustic playlist, which is super calming, and I feel like this is the perfect way to start the springtime!

What are your favorite springtime songs? Do you have a playlist made?