“Hello, again.”

tumblr_oe6a6armoz1r3pmtuo1_540

Last night, I met Grace again.

I was thinking upon how prone I am to screwing things up, and I was super sad about it. All I could do is apologize. I don’t even know how many times I apologized. I just wanted to express how sorry I was, you know? I knew it wouldn’t change the fact that I messed up, but I felt like the best thing I could do to make it up was to apologize a bajillion times. And even after I was done, I still felt awful.

But that’s where Love met me. He said that I was worth it & that He loved me. He’d go through that pain again & again if that meant I’d come back. Like, whoa.

Grace is such a hard thing to understand, because we like to believe that we can earn things. We work a job, we get paid. We’re happy because we get paid for what we deserve. We’re forgiven for something we don’t deserve forgiveness for, and we don’t know what to do. Instead, we insist on being punished because we know we deserve it.

What funny to me is that I like forgiving people when they’ve done me wrong. I think extending forgiveness to people is so important. But honestly, it’s extremely hard for me to forgive myself, because I know what I deserve. If I deserve anything at all, it’s not this. It’s hard to accept anything else. Who else is with me?

“It could be that nothing around you gets better. But He is there, extending grace within the swirling mess of a hostile world. It could be that people around you don’t change. But He is there, growing you to change when others do not. It could be that you get stuck at that obstacle once more. But He is there, having already removed every obstacle between you and Him at the cross, empowering you for so much better than you think.” -J.S. Park, What The Church Won’t Talk About
As much as I don’t understand it, grace draws me into Jesus, and anyone else who extends it. There’s nothing better than knowing what you’ve done to God & having Him say, “Let’s try this again.” It makes me feel like He’s not yet through with me. Truthfully, He’ll never cast me out, because doing so would make Him a hypocrite to His character, and He’s not a hypocrite. He loves me & encourages me to forgive myself. I don’t know if I can, but all I can do is try.
Advertisements

My Favorite Autumn Things

tumblr_odyumo7dwi1r3pmtuo1_540

From what I see all over my instagram, twitter, & tumblr, autumn is apparently here! For some reason, Canada hasn’t tasted autumn yet; there is a lack of pumpkins in shop, pumpkin spice flavored things, the sky is still brightly shining, and there’s NO WAY the leaves can turn orange in one day. But I desperately want autumn & chilly weather, so what have I been doing? Piling on layers, drink cups of spiced tea & hot coffee at a time, waiting for gloomy weather, and creating an autumn-y playlist. The list goes on.

Autumn is my favorite time of year, because it’s not deathly cold like our Canadian winters, but it’s still cold enough to wear sweaters & carry hot drinks everywhere. And it always looks so beautiful outside! There’s nothing better than sitting outside in the quiet with your drink, and looking out into the overcast light of the day. I love autumn for all kinds of reasons, like:

  • Apple Picking. It was one of my favorite things to do with family as a kid. Getting lost in the corn mazes (and the orchard itself), spending time in company with friends & family, dreaming of the pies that will be made with all those apples, and taking in all the gorgeous nature. And don’t even get me started on pumpkin pie. Pie is probably my love language.
  • Nanowrimo, aka National Novel Writing Month. November is one of my favorite months because I get to spend a lot of it writing, trying to reach my goal of 50,000 words. It’s a little difficult for me to reach that goal considering I don’t write novels- I’m more of a poet. I still try to fill up a single notebook by the time December comes around. My goal is to type more, because it’s faster than writing by hand. I’ll have tons of material to edit in December, and I’m excited for it!
  • Thanksgiving. I try to be in a grateful mood as much as I can; it’s good to reflect on the things which you’re thankful for. I love eating food, especially thanksgiving food, because it reminds me of family traditions. I’m hoping to gather with some friends for Friendsgiving this year. There’s something about gathering with friends for a big meal, and we’ve all been big on that for a long time.
  • The weather. I love when it begins to get cold outside, which is ironic because I’m always freezing and I hate it. But I really enjoy the feeling of being wrapped in layers and blankets in a cozy house that smells good. And looking outside and seeing the leaves, and pondering about the fragility of life…autumn puts me in a great writing mood, okay?
  • Pumpkin carving. It’s so fun! I do it every year. I love the feeling of the insides as I scoop it all out. And my favorite part- baking the seeds & putting salt on them. Best.
  • Halloween. I don’t do much to prep for the holiday like I used to. I used to love the atmosphere of the countdown to Halloween. The creepiness that fills the air. The decorations and candy in the store. It’s all lovely. I don’t think I’ll go out this year,rather, I’ll get some tea, put on a creepy playlist, read a horror story, then watch a scary movie.

As you can tell, I’m very excited for October, when the weather will get colder, the leaves will (hopefully) start to fall, and it will finally being to feel like autumn. I can’t wait, and it’s going to be wonderful. What kinds of things do you look forward to in autumn?

In Spirit & In Truth

tumblr_odi9297zqq1r3pmtuo1_540

Last night, a few of us from the Fancy Schmancy crew went to the Hillsong Y&F concert, and it was awesome! There was this really incredible & fun energy that kept giving us glimpses of what heaven is going to be like. Worshiping Jesus forever is going to be amazing, and entering into worship in either a small group or big group makes me stoked for the day that I’ll get to experience that with all my friends who love Him.

There was a song whose words stuck out to me in the beginning of the concert. Let’s get right into it, and I’ll tell you what I took away from this song, and why I felt it was so important. A link is provided at the end if you want to listen to the song!

“This is no performance, Lord I pray it’s worship- empty words I can’t afford. I’m not chasing feelings, that’s not why I’m singing- You’re the reason for my song.”

I think this is the attitude we should have when we begin worshiping. It’s not about impressing others around us, it’s about focusing on the glory and magnificence of Jesus. It’s also important for us to remember that if we go into worship because we feel good in the moment, it’s going to be even harder for us to enter into the presence of Jesus when we don’t feel good. We should remember how essential it is to worship Jesus because of who He is. He’s the reason we sing, why we do anything. If it weren’t for Him, we wouldn’t be here, and we are here because He loves us dearly & truly.

“I only wanna sing, if I sing with everything, if I sing for you my King. I can’t imagine why I would do this all for hype, ’cause it’s all to lift You high.”

I kept looking into the crowd, and seeing everyone with their hands up in worship made me so happy. Even in the middle of the sweet lights & smoke, it was clear that it was all so genuine and passionate. I love that. We should always be stoked to be in the presence of Jesus. It’s a privilege that we shouldn’t get, but for some reason He allows us to be near Him. I really like these lyrics because it reminded me of how excited & hyped we all were for this concert. But hype fades away after a while, so that shouldn’t be what we go after; it should always be the heart of Jesus that we’re after.

“You don’t want perfection, just my soul’s attention- all I have is what I’ll give. More than a song that lasts a moment, I’ll live a life full of honest worship, if I’m here to sing then I’ll sing with purpose- all the praise, Lord, You deserve it now.”

He’s deserving of it all; He’s given us so much more than we could have ever asked for or deserved. Jesus is so precious beyond anything else we know. As mere humans who are flawed in every way, it’s embarrassing to realize that we don’t have anything else to offer but ourselves. But the fact that He only wants that is humbling, isn’t it? He deserves all our worship, in the truest form. He would never ask us for something He knew we couldn’t give- that would be cruel, and He is nothing of the sort.

Here’s what I took away from the concert last night: It’s okay to be excited about Jesus, and it’s not embarrassing, but freeing. It’s fine to be off-key, He’s got a heart for the imperfect. It’s alright to be excited for a night of worship with fancy lights & music. We shouldn’t have to worry about dancing, because that’s all we’re going to want to do in heaven, and I’m excited for it! Are you?

My Life Plans

tumblr_od01woWqL81r3pmtuo1_540

In church over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking about dreams. More specifically, dreams that have either died, or not worked out for us. I thought of multiple dreams I’ve had that were in the middle of not working out. The timing wouldn’t be right, or I wasn’t ready to carry out the plan I originally had. I was thinking about all the things I had planned for my life, and everything I thought I would have checked off of my checklist. But there was still a few questions bugging me, and they’ve been bugging me for a long time.

How often do I include God in my plans?

Definitely not as often as I would like. It’s not so easy to ask God to show me His ideas for my life, because they might not be what I have in mind. His ways are higher than my ways. It’s a matter of trusting God that His plan is better than mine. I like knowing what’s going to happen, so it’s easy for me to doubt Him sometimes. It’s not so easy to trust someone with your life. It takes guts to trust in God’s plan for your life, because it takes away your control. Trusting anyone that much is scary.

Do I even want to include Him in my plans?

I do. Knowing that God knows everything about me, including my entire life, should be enough for me to want to give up control of the ideas I have for myself; If I try to take matters into my own hands without looking for wisdom from God, my plans will very likely not succeed. Compared to God who knows all things, I know nothing, and I need Him to help guide me in my life. I want to include Him in my plans, but it’s easier said than done.

What happens when I include God in my plans?

There will still be problems, because I will still have choices to make, and I might not always make the right decision. However, if I have God to help guide me make proper choices, the plans He has in mind for me would be even better than what I’d originally had in mind for myself. I believe He has my best interest at heart, and if I can’t say “God, I need You to guide my steps so that I can make choices that will make You happy with the way I live my life”, then I might have a pretty good life, just not as good as it could be.

I’ve thought a lot about the things that I’ve envisioned my life to be. Writer with a passion to reach others through her work? Check. Published? Working on it. Employed with some kind of job? Also working on it. Married? Not quite. Mother? Not yet. I need to remember that even though I’m not going at the pace I want, that God can still help me get to where I want to be. I hope to get there soon, but I hope to trust Him more with my life first. Then we’ll see where it goes from there.