It’s Your Breath In Our Lungs…

I want to love Jesus.

I want Him to be enough for me.

I want to know it in my head and feel it in my heart.

And yet, sometimes I go through these periods where I feel so far from Jesus. Where it is such a struggle for me to believe that Jesus really sees me, and knows me, and loves me. And then sometimes I have these moments where Jesus is so real to me. I have to admit that these moments where Jesus feels so near that I could reach out and touch him, these moments don’t happen as often. I know that Jesus is present with me always, but when I get to have these rare moments of closeness with Him, I feel so overwhelmed with thankfulness.

I had one of these moments a few nights ago. I was at a worship concert with All Songs & Daughters. I sang one line of a song and it was the end of me. It might not seem profound to you but in that moment it broke me. The line is simply this: “It’s your breath in our lungs so we pour out our praise to You.” It’s that simple. But here’s the thing…

It’s His breath that I breathe into my lungs. This life is not mine. It was given to me as a gift and it can be taken away. It’s not my right to breathe. It isn’t my right to have this life. It’s all His. And with His breath that I breathe into my lungs, will I praise Him?

I’ve been reminded in the last few weeks how fragile this life can be and how things can change so fast. I don’t want to spend my days forgetting or neglecting that it’s HIS breath that I breathe and that this life is not mine.

As I sang out these words I just wanted more of Jesus. Nothing else mattered, just Him. I wish that I could say that I feel this desire all of the time. I wish that I could tell you that Jesus always comes before the things that I want from life. I want it to be true, but I can’t say that it always is. But as I sang out those words to my Father, as I poured out everything I had in that moment, I experienced, even for a short time, what it was like to just want Him.

I think these moments are glimpses of heaven. I think they are sweet gifts that Jesus gives us in these rare and unexpected times, just when we need them the most. Just when we need to be reminded that He sees us, and He knows us, and that He loves us so very much. I think the line of that song will be my new anthem. I want to remember that this life is not my right but a gift; each breath that I breathe into my lungs, all a gift.

The full version of the song is above, I hope it will bless you like it has and is continuing to bless me. And may you remember that it’s His breath in your lungs.

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A New Kind of Season: A Guest Post by Diana Wiebe…

September. It’s a season of newness. Crisp morning air and northern winds bring about changing leaves and the accelerating stride of routine… alarm clock buzzers, sharpened pencils, squeaky running shoes on newly buffed hallways, photocopied worksheets, back to school banners and the early morning drone of the yellow school bus engine on it’s route. Today on my errand runs, I encountered a couple different stops and crossings as kiddos travelled from home to school and back again; each student with a spring in their step to be a full grade ahead.
 
But this September, for me, is different.
Ever since I was 5 and I toted that purple barbie lunchbox to the bus stop, September has involved learning, growth, and structure. Each September to follow has involved me being a small town/big city schoolgirl, then to college, and then an elementary school teacher.
Unlike most of my years to date though, this September involves no strapping on of backpacks and early morning bus rides. There have been no college orientations to attend, classrooms to decorate or lessons to plan.
 
Instead of making new friends with a lab partner, collecting syllabuses, or setting up get-to-know-you activities for my kids, my fall has consisted of wide open spaces. Spaces that I have found myself filling with activities that are very unlike my traditional school routine, such as quilting with my grandma, training for a 5k (you’ve got to start somewhere), extended hours travelling on foreign highways to visit long lost friends, volunteering, spontaneously baking new recipes that I stumble upon on pinterest, and pulling out dusty books from my bedroom shelf to read over again.
 
All of which I’ve been doing and enjoying very much, but I have to be honest…
these days, when people ask me what I’ve been up to, a pang of embarrassment loves to creep in. Because in a sea of emerging 30-year olds with successful careers and growing families, I am primitive. Living in my parent’s basement, no cell phone, and a work week consisting of a fraction of the standard 40 hours. I feel like a twig caught between the bulrushes in a river current.
 
As soon as I start to size myself up with those around me, it isn’t long until I begin to wish this season of stillness away… I start to question what purpose or value I have. I feel guilty that I’m only treading water rather than swimming at breakneck speeds like the rest, and I want anything but this.
 
What I’ve been learning more and more these days is the fact that comparison truly is the thief of joy. That no matter how much you fight avoidance, it creeps itself into the core of contentment, and even the tiniest dose can be fatal.
 
The Bible urges us in galatians 5:26 not to become conceited, comparing or envying of one another, but rather to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 thessalonians 5:16-18).
As it is written, the only way out of comparison is thinking above and beyond it to God’s goodness. In it’s simplest form, gratitude is the cure, and that is what I have been trying to centre myself around lately – to dwell on these days as they were intended to be: a gift.
 
Someday, my grandma isn’t going to be able to teach me how to quilt. Someday, my morning routine won’t be able to afford a half-hour jog and visits with passerbys along the way. Someday, I won’t be able to take off random weekdays when I can visit and re-kindle old friendships from afar. Someday, cooking daily meals will be mandatory, and I might as well start practicing…
 
So in this day I have before me, and in however many more I have to come, I want to be fully engaged and thankful. I don’t want to burdened with a heaviness of dismay that my life doesn’t match up perfectly with a colleague from high school. Rather, I want to awaken with joy and possibility for what the Lord has for me here and now.
 
Most of you reading this probably have much more of a crammed-full life than I do, but as one standing on the sidelines in a season of watching and waiting, these are the words I’d like you to hear. Friends, it is my prayer that you, whatever season you may find yourself in, may be able to view your place and time as a gift, and steward it well for the Kingdom. That you wouldn’t be dismayed that your life doesn’t parallel your next door neighbour or former college roommate (because it probably doesn’t). That the thief of comparison who wants to steal your joy would come up empty-handed in a heart full of gratitude, and that you would be able to embrace the ‘sweet spot’ that the Lord has you in.
 
May you live a life praise toward the Giver of all good gifts.
 
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Visit Diana’s blog at www.embracing-hope.blogspot.ca. 

Frump Girl.

I went through most of high school feeling like I was “frump girl”. I was overweight, well, more overweight than I am now, I wore stretch pants all the time; you know the kind with the elastic waist, the ones that come in every colour.

Yes, I was that girl.

I wore my hair straight, about shoulder length, wore a bit of bluish-white eye shadow, the kind that has just a bit of shimmer and to finish off my hot look, I rocked the skater shoes. For some reason I thought the skater shoes made me look cool, as if the stretch pants and oversized t-shirts didn’t do that for me already.

I had glasses, braces and a double chin to boot. To this day there are pictures from high school that haunt me, pictures of me trying to indiscreetly hide my double chin all the while also attempting to hide my seemingly ugly body behind my good looking friends. For some people high school represents the best days of their lives, “the glory years” as they call them. For me high school represents the frump years, and if given a choice there’s no way I’d go back.

The reason I wouldn’t go back is not just because I was frump girl, it’s become so much more than that. It’s because that nervous girl from high school, the one who walked the halls struggling just to fit in…

I don’t know who that girl is anymore.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This blog is about just that…

It’s about the random and quirky moments that have made me who I am. It’s about the people who I’ve encountered that have changed me. It’s about me getting angry, crying it out, falling down and somehow getting back up again. It’s about the things that I have observed that create the most fulfilling life. It’s about me learning to be the best me, the one God created me to be.

It’s the bits and pieces of my story, that are still in process and just maybe you’ll find a part of your story in my story.

It’s my hope that you do.

So goodbye frump girl, I hope we never meet again.

A New Place for This, That, & Some Other Stuff Too…

ImageI started blogging about 7 years ago. I was young, much younger than I am now. I thought it would be “cool” to have some place to write. So I blogged on and off about this and that. I would blog in spurts and then not blog for longer spurts. I debated deleting my blog for about a year because for a period of time I didn’t like the idea of people knowing my deepest thoughts. And yet, somehow I could never bring myself to click the delete button; to erase the lines and pages that represented very real moments of my life. Moments that I go back and read and cringe with embarrassment at the thought that I posted this for anyone to read. Still, I leave those posts there because they reveal where I was then and where I am now. They remind me that I am a work in progress and that change is inevitable, and more than that, desirable. Blogging has slowly become something that I love, something that connects me with people from such unique places, even people that I’ve yet to meet. It’s become the space where my shame and fear hit the page to unleash a freedom that can only come with bringing truth to light, and with owning the person that I am. 

Over the summer I’ve been inspired to keep writing, to keep connecting, and to keep inviting others to share their journey. So welcome to my new space, similar to before and yet just enough different. Here I’ll find space to write about being a twenty-something trying to find my way in the world, trying to love Jesus more, and trying to become just a little bit more comfortable in my own skin. You may see a little of this (thoughts on the church and culture), and a little of that (thoughts on singleness, dating, marriage and celibacy), and you might even see a tiny bit of other stuff (Jesus, theology, relevant issues, creating stuff, photography, etc). And you’re gonna see some posts from some pretty cool guest bloggers too, which I’m pretty stoked about. 

So stop by every once in a while and leave me a comment, or just be a silent observer if that’s your thing. I hope you will find some points of connection somewhere in the “this”, and in the “that”, and in the “other stuff” too. 

Looking forward to the journey with you. 

Yours Truly, 

Darcie, The Kindred Spirit