Thursday, August 04, 2016

I Was Never Broken

For a long time I have referred to some of the struggles in my life as ‘brokenness’.  I don’t say this anymore.  I am not broken.  The bible says we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14).   Do this mean we won’t struggle?  No.  We will struggle.  What we do to cope with this struggle can be labeled as brokenness.

So I have been learning to reframe brokenness as ways of getting along that I perhaps no longer need.  Either I have new tools, or the assumptions about what I need are no longer valid.  My so-called brokenness is not brokenness at all.  It is strength.  It got me through a difficult time when I had no other tools available to me.  My previous self wasn’t broken.  She was courageous and strong.

If you stop looking at yourself from a framework of brokenness, it gives you power.  You suddenly realize that, with God beside you, you can handle way more than you think.  By not starting from a place of deficiency, you fight for yourself and what you know will work for you.

So I invite you to retell your narrative with me.  You are strong.  God loves you and has always believed in you.  I believe in you too.

Sunday, January 03, 2016


I have given up on keeping a gratitude journal about 10 times.  I would try.  Stick with coming up with 3 things I was grateful for every day for a month.  Then I would stop.  It never really made me feel better.  The only thing it accomplished was to check off another ‘should’ from my list.

Honestly keeping a gratitude journal just gave me a reason to feel bad about myself.  I would think:

“Why is it so hard to come up with my three things?’
“How long before I actually feel grateful for this stuff?’
“Why am I so ungrateful for the gifts that God has given me?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“I am a bad person.”

Okay that is a bit dramatic but I do know that actually trying to keep a gratitude journal and having it fail did make me feel bad.  So I stopped trying years ago.  The issue was that people I respect would say that gratitude is a requirement for living a fulfilled life.  I believed them.  It makes a lot of sense.  It just didn’t work for me.

Fast forward to this fall.  I started trying to pay more intention to my feelings.  Namely, I was trying to figure out exactly what was causing ‘negative’ feelings.  In noticing my feelings, I was surprised to notice that there were a number of things that made me feel good.  At the end of the day, I started writing out some of the most memorable moments of the day.  A number of them were heartwarming.

When I started writing out my good and bad moments, I started feeling better.  I realized that by honoring the small good things, I was practicing gratitude.  The key for me in a practice of gratitude is that it is really a practice of living thoughtfully.  I don’t have to ignore the yucky parts of my day in order to notice the good ones.  In fact creating space to acknowledge the less awesome things in the day gave me freedom to appreciate the good even more.

This is a practice of gratitude that works for me.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Jillian Michaels - Maximize Your Life

I was really excited when I heard Jillian Michaels was coming to Winnipeg.  If you don't know who Jillian Michaels she is the trainer that is known for being on the Biggest Loser.  Jillian's contestants are often the winners of the Biggest Loser (as was the case this year with a contestant who had everything against her in the beginning.)  The reason I like Jillian is not because of her training skills.  It is because she has an ability to get to the heart of a contestant and figure out what it is that is getting in the way of their goals.

When she came on stage see was instantly endearing.  She swapped her high heels for flip flops saying that she felt like she had done her duty by coming out in them.  She broke down what she was going to talk about - nutrition, working out, mind.  She was real about the fact that many of the people who came to see her, wanted to know how to lose weight so she spent the first hour talking about it.  The second hour was all about how to meet your goals (whether it be weight loss or anything else.)

I took away two things that I have been thinking about since.  The first is the concept of clean eating.  I have heard about this for the past couple of years.  I have to admit that I have been quite skeptical.  But Jillian's simple, straight forward, method of explaining it, along with her approachability made me reconsider.  Perhaps there is something to this -- particularly for someone with a significant amount of weight to lose.

The second, probably most important, part is 'find your 'why''.  Find that thing that drives you to your goal.  Related is to find the things that hold you back, parts of your identity that you need to discard.  I didn't find my 'why' at the event.  But I started to want to find it.  I am hoping that the Faith and Fitness Conference will help me do that.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

More Than The Hem

A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure.Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. Luke 8:43-44, NLT

The story of the bleeding woman has been my favourite story about Jesus since I came across it.  Last night I was thinking about the story and all of a sudden I heard, “I want more for you than to keep touching the hem of my robe.”  I have been reeling ever since.

Yes the story is about the great faith of the bleeding woman.  The reason it is my favourite story is because Jesus stops and validates her action by saying:

"Daughter," he said to her, "your faith has made you well. Go in peace." Luke 8:48, NLT

I always thought that Jesus did that because he knew that, given the culture, she would spend the rest of her life wondering if she had defiled Him.  He needed to validate what she did.  So He stopped in the middle of what He was doing and validated her.

I think that’s true but maybe it’s more than that.  Maybe He wanted her to have more than the hem of his garment.  I am also not meant to hide, stay low, and brush against the hem.  It’s time for the full embrace and rest in His presence.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Re-Thinking Resolutions

Today is a day to think about resolutions.  I know I definitely had some plans this time last year.  I thought that I would weigh less, be more physically fit, contribute more to those around me…  It seems like so much more than a year ago that I ran the resolution run.  I said that was the first of many 5k’s.  It was the only 5k I ran last year.

The plans I had seemed like a good, logical next step in my life.  The thing is, I don’t think I asked God what He wanted for my life.  This year, I have no idea what to resolve to do because I really can’t figure out what my next step is.  I have been living day to day.  I have been blessed and found provision. 

 I think that resolutions have had a place for the past couple of years.  This year I need to be okay with not making any.  So I guess my only resolution this year is to ask God what’s next today and to go where He leads.