It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Monday, January 28, 2013

Releasing Perfect for BIG!

It was just over a year ago when the "letter" came.
We were transferred to Houston Texas.
A place my man vowed to NEVER live.

Things fell into place so beautifully.
Time line was perfect.
We had friends from long ago that currently lived in Texas.
Found a great house in a great neighborhood.
Schools were fantastic.
The children were able to step out of life in Alberta and into life in Texas without a hitch.
Found a great church that just planted (started).

I knew deep in my heart I was just where my Maker wanted me and great things were going to unfold here.  I was sure I had been called to something BIG even as much as my heart ached leaving my angels, my Tas Philas, my very best friends, the ones who knew my heart so intimately, behind.

And so life began in Texas….
My man began his new job.
My children started new activities and new schools.
I started serving in new capacities.

My soul was on fire and my heart was happy and I was expecting BIG things to happen here!

I began mentoring and serving at a school in Houston.
My heart overflowed with JOY!

I began serving with the RISE ministry at the new church.
I gave thanks for the opportunities and the women that I was serving and serving with.

I began serving in the children's ministry at the new church.
An opportunity to use my gifts!

I began exploring other options in areas of service….
I was busy….

I found a new passion…
Listening to Dr. Tony Evans on the Radio EVERY morning Monday thru Friday!
His message…
The same message that was being spoken to me and my Tas Philas in Alberta (just a different messenger).  A message about marriage and my calling to my home.  Another piece of beauty during a season of change.

I threw myself into full servant hood and immersed myself in messages from Dr. Evans….....

When I walked into that place my soul was on fire.  
My heart was overflowing with joy  
I am sure they thought I was crazy as all I could do was sit there with the biggest smile on my face saying thank you Jesus.  
Thank you that they invited me into their home to teach them about You. 
Thank you that they are offering hospitality…
And the house mom, Lois…JOY she brought such joy to my heart….
I felt like I was right were I was supposed to be.…

The HOPE ministry at the new church…..
Single moms and their children….
My journal was full of ideas and my heart was beating 
and I was praying and seeking how to reach these mommas and their children….
Pages of ideas and visions, Words.

I felt on top of the world….
This could not be more perfect.
Exactly what makes my heart beat!

But this nagging in my heart, in my soul began.

I continued to pursue these new endeavors…
Gracewood and HOPE.
I was so moved by the goodness that these ministries would bring to the women they serve.
I was eager and excited.

This nagging kept scratching at my soul.
As each day passed this nagging became more intense.
I kept seeking and searching, trying to figure out what this nagging in my soul was. 

Each day I felt less alive.  
I felt like I was climbing a mountain to reach JOY but each step I took I slipped on a rock.
I kept going.
Kept climbing.
Seeking and Searching.
And it became more challenging.

I became scared to take another step.
The nagging was so strong….
Captive to fear.  Afraid to be me.....

The message came loud and clear. The messenger….Dr. Tony Evans……
God is to be my focus, my husband and children, my home, was where I was to invest my time.

I felt the call to let go, release the very opportunities that ignited my heart.
How could this be?
Wasn't I called to serve in these areas?
Serving women and children ignite the depths of my being.
This is what makes my heart beat and my soul feel alive.

I thought if I only hold on a bit longer maybe I was hearing wrong….The feeling became overwhelming to release it….Release the opportunity of HOPE and release the goodness of Gracewood.

I knew that if I didn't heed the call to release and let go, if I wasn't obedient, I would not receive the goodness that was waiting for me......  The BIG that I BELIEVED in.

I toiled and pleaded, sought and searched,  from May to Late August…….

I released my ideas and visions that I had recorded for HOPE.

But Gracewoood…I couldn't  It was so perfect it was what stirred my soul….
MY fist was tight around Gracewood….
And yet…I was to release it…..lay it down!?!
Fist clenched tight around Gracewood I continued to plan what my time with those ladies would be like.

And I  continued to toil.

And I was sad and I was angry….
Confused and numb.......
I did not understand why!  
My heart was in anguish….

Let go….

In early September I answered that email….
I released my service at Gracewood.  
My heart felt empty.  
How could release what I felt called to do?
What I thought was perfect!
It should not feel this way!

And in November the call to…
Let go of serving in the children's ministry at the church…
And my heart was wrenching.  
But this was only to be for a while. 
And so I clung to that.
Just let go for a while.

All the while the attacks came.
I wrestled with thoughts…negative self defeating thoughts…awful thoughts….lies….
Thoughts that I was worthless.
Thoughts that I wasn't perfect enough.
Thoughts that I wasn't smart enough.
What were these people who did not know my heart thinking of me?
Thoughts that they believed I was an impostor.

And when I finally began seeking TRUTH...
TRUTHS Richness and Delight….
Truth about who I am…
Truth about my gifts….
Truth about my calling…
When the Light began to shine in the darkness and I began to give thanks for all rather than dance with the lies in my head, I began to see what was happening…
The lies lost power over me!

Although I still don't fully understand I must BELIEVE the Truth….
The Way is not always my way!
The plans for my life are to prosper me for good not for evil….
The Truth that all things work together for good even when I can't see it….

The Truth that I was created for good works….

And now I will be still because I BELIEVE that something BIG is still happening here.  Even if I can't see it and even though I don't understand.  I will wait with great expectancy!  Because my BIG is not BIG at all......My Makers BIG is so BIG and I can't wait to see how BIG  BIG really is!  

Saturday, January 12, 2013


be·lieve [bih-leevverb, be·lieved, be·liev·ing.
verb (used without object) have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully.

verb (used with object) have confidence or faith in the truth of (a positive assertion, story, etc.); give credence to. have confidence in the assertions of (a person). have a conviction that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action or involved in a given situation: suppose or assume; understand (usually followed by a noun clause): 

This week as I chose to  BELIEVE it has been amazing to see the wonders unfolding so brilliantly around me.

~I BELIEVE and chose to communicate with an artist who was on her way to Manila with Full Circle Exchange.  A complete stranger but a calling in my heart.  I BELIEVED my words were valuable and I used them to encourage her and lift her up as she journeyed toward this moment of pouring out LOVE on these women who were/are in bondage to slavery…. NO expectations, just words to give….and she gave me words back. 

Expectations kill relationships.  
Without expectations what can topple the surprising wonder of the moment?  
~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

And what a wonderful moment this exchange of words was!

~I BELEIVE and chose to communicate with an author/social justice seeker AKA Culture Rebel who pursues rebelling against the status quo to defeat poverty and injustice.  She answered my question and a brief conversation ensued.  A conversation about things that really matter.
When I am open so much good comes rushing in and my soul is stirred.
When I am closed I leave little room for Beauty to enter.

~I BELIEVE in a project that I feel called to.  I am working with another sweet friend who is forging a path for change.  Because of this role I  have to BELEIVE that I have what it takes and that my words and desires matter.  This week my task was to seek people who could help answer some questions in regards to how to move forward with the project.
I risked.  
I Dared Greatly. 
I was courageous. 
I made the contacts and I was left astounded at the responses I received back.

~In the mail we received a package….

In it….treasures….each of my Alberta Tas Philas favorite things given to me….
precious and uplifting, encouraging.  
BELIEVE friendships.  
BELIEVE I belong.

And my 3rd born….
he was playing with his best friend ever….
because relationships matter…
we matter….

~A little boy…terminal…days to live the doctors say…LIVING and raising his arm, skin and bones, tubes and tape…in worship….to Jehova Rophe..BELIEVING that those days have passed and death will be defeated. Christians Fight being fought and each little step is a step of HOPE a step toward LIFE.

~BELIEVE beauty in the broken as I speak to women on the phone.  Encouraging them to join our Bible study at Second Mile Mission Center.
BELIEVE they matter!

~Gave a sweet, tender teen girl time.  Entered into a conversation with her encouraging her by telling her she was a kind, sweet,well mannered girl.  She allowed herself to be vulnerable and share her story with me. A story of rejection, brokeness, seeking, searching, hoping!  I shared with her.
BELIEVE stories are necessary.
BELIEVE grace.  
BELIEVE healing.  
BELIEVE vulnerable is strong.

I embraced this week seeing with clarity, veils pulled back.  
This week as I chose to BELIEVE… 
Seeing Freedom.  
My soul awakened to so much more.  
BELIEVING the desires of my heart and moving toward those desires.

What did you BELIEVE in order to see with veils pulled back this week?  
What amazing wonders unfolded brilliantly for you?

Photo courtesy of Jodene Shaw Mixed Media Art &Photography
To Believe is to Trust…
To Trust is to see Clearly….

**Please click on the brown throughout the post to link and read more***

Monday, January 7, 2013


As 2012 rolls out and 2013 rolls in many people choose to make resolutions.  Resolutions have never been my choice to ring in a new year.  I always anticipated a new year but expected nothing more than a few inevitable changes that may or may not impact me.  Each year rolled on,  some being more exciting and full of adventure than others but for the most part no intention was pondered as the New Year arrived.

3 years ago a new idea came to me.  
A word.  
A word for the year. 
Living out the word daily. 
Seeing each day through the lens of my Word.

  Although just today as I was reading words penned by others many words put together,  I learned that this idea of a Word for the year is not new. 

Many, many people choose a Word over a resolution.

3 years ago however the idea of a word for me came when I was fulfilling my practicum placement  at a residential treatment facility for teens who had experienced trauma.
It was my first day.  
The day team building was happening.  
We gathered in the art therapy studio. 
 There we were given instructions by the clinician.
  He would be giving us a word.  
This word would be a word that the children would come to know and live. 

We would be creating a piece of art on canvas with oil paint that would showcase the word and this piece would be hung in the house for the children to see and meditate on.  I was feeling nervous!  
I had never met my colleagues and now I had to risk. 
 I was being asked to be real, transparent, vulnerable. 
 I was uncomfortable.  

The WORD….  
Diligence…what did that mean.  
How could I create a piece that would speak to the children, 
speak to me, 
speak to my colleagues, 
speak to families that entered their children's home away from home?

And thus my Word journey began….I rekindled a old flame.  I was on fire for Words…
My heart was longing and expecting...

Diligently I created a masterpiece.  I diligently walked intentionally daily to understand what it meant to practice diligence.

And the next year came….
No resolution.  No BIG sudden change…
Just a Word…
A year to learn more about Love…
Reading, collecting, journaling all I could about Love..

And this year…
As 2012 closes and 2013 begins 
My heart speaks, the Word is everywhere……

Speaking to me.
Telling me to Believe.
Believe there is more for me.

40 years of wandering, searching, seeking while held 
captive to fear
captive to unbelief
captive to shame

Desiring more.  
Searching for what my heart screams for.
  Seeking diligently and never feeling full...never satisfied.  

That chapter finished, a new one begins. 

Now as clear as pristine waters of a white sand beach I know what I need to fill me…
To Believe!

Photo courtesy of Jodene Shaw Art and Photography

Believe the desires in my heart are real and alive and known
Believe in change
Believe in my passion
Believe Promises
Believe Truth
Believe I am worthy
Believe my gifts are to be used for greatness
Believe mistakes are OK
Believe vulnerable is strong
Believe I am called to do great things
Believe that my ideas are valuable
Believe what I feel inside
Believe I have what it takes
Believe that it is not the critic that counts
Believe I belong
Believe I am an artist
Believe I am an author
Believe healing
Believe Love
Believe my voice
Believe wholeheartedness
Believe I will have a positive life changing impact in the lives of others
Believe friendships
Believe grace 
Believe beauty in the broken
Believe stories are necessary
Believe authentic
Believe in we
Believe community
Believe the Way the Truth the Light!

Believe that I have travelled this road….
Trials, tribulations, joy, floods of happiness, confusion, pain, let downs, disappointment, grace, elation…..For a purpose set out long before….

A cleansing of my soul.
Toxins flushed out.
40 years of eyes seeing blurred.
Seeking to Believe.
A soul with a junk hangover.
Each blurred step, a step toward detox.
Toward clarity.
Toward Freedom.
Toward Truth.
Walking one step at a time in the Way.
Walking toward Life.

Each step with an insatiable hunger.
A longing.
Each step a bite of Manna to feed me.
A bite of Beauty to chew on and savor.
Each step seeking...
Longing to be captivated by Beauty…

Beauty surrounding me.
A Blue Jay in my tree.
An innocent smile from my 3rd born.
My mans determination.
Compassion of the 2nd born.
Faith of a mother whose child is terminal.
My first borns longing to Love fully.
Ocean waves crashing on rocks.
Her 8 year old creativeness shared.
The broken crying for healing.
Friends that Love unconditionally
Conversing with poor
Community together in the wake of tragedy

Believe Beauty is for me.
Believe Freedom is for me.
Believe the endless voice calling me to peel of the veils and truly see.  
Believe Transcendence.

2013 I will Believe.
I will Believe so I may see.

Anything is possible if a person Believes.
Mark 9:23