30 June 2012

Snapshot of a life

Here's what's been happening around life lately!

Please take one little second to appreciate that I'm not a photographer nor do I have an excellent camera. Okay, breathe, and go!

I went shopping to Ikea with my lovely sister. You can't tell from this picture but she is pregnant! She's also beautiful - which you can tell from this picture.


We had our latest be.loved meeting! It's always fun to chat with these ladies, pray about our lives, pray for the blog ministry, and spend a bit of time laughing as well! I love these girls.


My roommate and I redecorated our apartment this afternoon! We still have more ideas and things that we plan on doing, but we got lots done.

I ordered this little bunny via modcloth a while ago. He's meant to be a ring holder but size wise he just looks much cuter on our kitchen table. I now have two different modcloth jewelry holders that I use as decorations rather than for jewelry. Meh - they're so cute!

  

I found this chalkboard at Ikea months ago! Once Christie moved in, we realized that she had one as well. Mine finally made it up into our front entry way today! Stocked with chalk, love notes, and paper for quick notes to each other - we're good to go!

  

All of these prints are made by the lovely Jessi of Naptime Diaries. If you ever need a good read, check out her blog, and if you'd like some sweet scriptures for your wall, check out her store

This first one from Philippians 4:8 is my favourite.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.


I love love love that our home is now filled with scripture.We've got scripture and/or worshipful lyrics in our entry way, hallway, dining room, and bedrooms. Surrounding our home with truth seems like an excellent use of decorating!


It was really important to me to order this print below. I saw the same scripture at a friends place on their wall in the kitchen and fell in love with it. When I saw this print in Jessi's store I knew I wanted it for my home. 
I know my picture quality isn't incredible, but just know - the first thing you see when you walk into our home is this verse:

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. 
(Joshua 24:15b)

It took me a while to decide on framing these different prints. I ended up putting all the ones that were scriptures in the black frames and these two song lyrics in the white. I love how they look. I couldn't figure out a way to take a good picture with my phone but we placed these two beside a yellow clock and fun pink frame and the four look fantastic together! Come over, I'll show you.




I LOVE my nail polish colour. I cashed in a coupon last week and had a spa day! It was so fun to spend a few hours not at work, online, or with people I knew! I just got to sit and rest.My nails are solidly chipped now but I still love looking at my fingers and seeing red! It's like a fun moment each time I notice them.


Some days are two coffee cup days! Yesterday morning was one of them.


My church had a ministry appreciation night. We got to watch baseball and eat food. Fun and yum. A friend of mine made this beautiful little sign! Yay sports!


Some guy friends hosted a big party at their place because they're moving to a new home. It was so fun to laugh and dance with friends. It truly was the last luau. Well, until next time.


AND THEN . . . just this morning - I dyed my hair blonde! EEK! I lightened in a few months ago in preparation for this day.

Hello there.


Getting my hair done is always an adventure because I have to take my glasses off for some of it. Every time, my stylist Eliza makes a comment right around when a normal seeing person would be making faces (happy ones of course) at their new hair "oh yeah, you can't see". I like to wait until it's almost done before I look so it's always a fun surprise! BLONDE!




I'm linking up with Kacia + Robot for Summer Friday - on Saturday - for this photo spectacular.

That was a quick snapshot into life lately.

28 June 2012

Moving Forward

I'm taking a bit of a break from "Thursday - Thanks!" today.

Part of me thinks that I should just scribble down a list of things I'm thankful for - for the sake of blogging consistency.

But a bigger part of me thinks that is crap. For the sake of blogging authenticity, I'm just going to share some words I wrote weeks ago but never hit publish here on the blog.

. . . 

Sometimes I look back on situation that in the moment felt as though God was taking away something that I wanted. Or other times when I desired to do one thing and it felt as though God wouldn't let me do what I desired. Almost without fail I look back and see that God took me out of something and placed me in something which gave (and gives) Him more glory, or that He forced me to move out of one thing into something new so that I would know Him more. It makes moving forward a lot easier.

. . . 

That's all.

There's so much to come that I'm so unsure of and yet so confident in because Christ is with me.

I really am thankful for much. I'm grateful and blessed, overwhelmed by grace and so many things that are good and from God. I just don't need to make a list today. 


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26 June 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (Oh! Great is Our God)

I am LOVING this song. It brings my heart to a point of praise!

Sung by the Sing Team out of Mars Hill Church, it's a great song.

Take a listen.


Oh! Great is our God! So we should worship greatly!!
No song is too loud! No orchestra too stately
To hail the majesty of our King
So lift your voices loud as we sing
Oh! Great is our God! So let our songs be endless!!
So awesome His ways, how could we comprehend them?

So we will make it known to our kids
And we will sing about the gracious gifts you give

We will sing Your praise and pour forth Your fame
We will bless Your name
Let every one give thanks, because our God is great!

Oh! Great is our God! And we cannot contain it!
We sing from our souls, affected by His greatness
His mercy covers all that Heʼs made
Showing His glory and His grace

25 June 2012

Rest and Wait

When I moved to Vancouver, after finding my sea (Jesus) legs, I dove into church. I dove into serving and learning, and completely gave myself back to Christ.

I decided that I would make an excellent community group leader.

So I told people that I wanted to lead. That I was capable and ready.

They told me to wait.

I waited.

I met with a pastor and discussed the options. This was about 8ish months later. This time my heart was a bit better. I still felt capable and ready, but I was willing to go through the apprenticeship process.

Note for you, in case you think I sound like an arrogant something - my heart was sinful. I desired power and wanted to lead people to Christ through me

He told me that I needed to wait. He set me up with a great couple who I mini-apprenticed with.

I didn't want to apprentice. I wanted to lead. But I decided that if I had to apprentice to lead, I would do so.

I started meeting with the lady leader in the group and we discussed life. We would hang out and be intentional about conversation. It was great. But my heart was still quite silly and deceitful.

They moved away to an exciting life adventure and I met with the pastor again.

You need to wait. You need to have a real apprenticeship now.

Okay. So I did. This past fall, I started apprentesing.

It was sweet. It started at a perfect time because the day before we first met, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. That led to some of the biggest work God's ever done on my heart thus far.

. . .

Sometimes I feel weird writing and talking about how God's done work in my life, as if either I think I'm great now, or that somehow my words will come off as arrogant.

I hope though, that through what I write and share, that I demonstrate a need for Jesus that grows each day and not the opposite which would be needing Jesus less. That'd be gross and stupid of me to ever think that.

Anyways, Jesus changes hearts. We shouldn't be ashamed of mentioning (aka talking often) about the fact that we once were buried in sin with no option out and with no chance for salvation, that God saved us on His accord (by grace He allowed us to have faith), and that we still sin and need Jesus. I still sin, daily, sometimes hourly, sometimes every second. Jesus saves me constantly. He is my redeemer, my refuge, my grace, and my hope. 

. . .

So. I started apprenticing. I started learning. I started being faithful to the plan that my church had decided was correct. I started reading my Bible more, praying more, and made more diligent efforts to live out the things I professed and believed.

Cue December. I met with that same pastor again. I shared that I felt more ready than ever, and that God had changed my heart (because I felt He had) and that it wasn't about myself anymore.

The conversation was epic. Mostly because Jesus used the pastor to speak hugely into my heart. Through discussion and me being honest about things, I realized that there were huge sin issues deep inside my heart. Sin issues that related back to bullying from elementary school, having a hugely judgmental perspective in high school, and not holding people accountable for being bad friends just so that they would like me. My fear of man, my pride issues, and my insecurities - they all were exposed for what they were - sin.

My heart was shocked. I remember sobbing in that meeting, not because I was angry that I'd been exposed, but because no one had ever told me those things. No one ever mentioned that the way I lived my life was actually showing sin issues that I wasn't working on.

He got me to stay as an apprentice for another season. I gladly accepted. In fact, I feel as though I stepped back from leading in many ways.

God spoke to my heart. He told me to be quiet more than I spoke (which was hard because I love talking). He told me to listen for more than words (which was hard because did I mention I love talking). He told me to sit in scripture for a lot more time than I did then (which was hard because if you've read my blog for awhile, you know that getting into the Bible routinely is one of my biggest struggles).

There were a lot of things God started speaking to my heart. None were easy, and all took away things I cared for. All of them however, were essential to living a life that is for Jesus.

When I say that God took away things I cared for, I mean that God gave me grace. He showed me that I had to stop being selfish in certain areas, to start using self-control, and many other things. He took away the sinful things I was holding to. I'm so thankful. 

Over the past two or so months, my heart legitimately has changed.

I say that with the hope that in another season, I'll look back and see a lot more change - in a good way.
 
So now what - what about leading a group? I'd still like to, and I'm totally willing. I'm excited if the opportunity arises. But I'm not quite so sure about when that will be. It might be the fall (just kidding, it won't be - more on that in a minute), next spring, the fall after, or five years down the road.

More so then when, I also don't know what my group will look like. I had a vision up until December of what my group would be like, and mostly the vision was Nadine gets to lead and talk about Jesus and be in charge.

I don't have a vision anymore.

If I've learnt anything in the past couple years, it's that I can't close my fist around anything. My spiritual hands have to be open. I need to keep my heart in a posture of worship toward Jesus.

. . .

Today I met with a pastor about what the fall looks like. I was honest about the fact that I'm unsure if, when, how, why, etc., God has a group for me. I'm just unsure now.

Guess what?

I get to wait longer.

And I'm so excited.

I think it's because I went into this meeting with open hands rather than grasping ones.

I went into this meeting ready to listen to Jesus speak instead of myself.

. . .

I got home and started making lunch. As I made my lunch, God gave me a new vision.

It's kinda funny to me.

It's of a big chili pot. Sitting.

That's all.

As I envisioned this chili pot, God reminded me:

When you make chili, you let it sit for hours.
You could eat it right away, and it would be okay.
But by letting it sit, and adding herbs and spices throughout, it gets to become a better dish.
And it tastes far more delicious in the end.

The same is for you Nadine.
Sit and wait.
Your time to be used will come.
I have plans for your life.

Rest and wait.
Rest and wait upon Me.
I'm still adding spices and herbs.
Rest and wait.

. . . 

So this is where I'm at.

For the first time, I'm excited to wait. I am legitimely excited for another season of apprenticeship.

That is not typical of me. Waiting is not typically my strong suit when it comes to my own life.

I want Jesus to keep readying me for His purpose.

Because His purpose is perfect, and is designed by Himself (aka WOW!!!).

Mine is flawed and designed by a girl who is a sinner.
I could be used now to lead. I probably wouldn't be terrible at it.
But now isn't the best time.

I want to live on God's timing because His timing is correct.

I want to be tasty chili.

. . .

If you're unsure about what apprenticeship is, it's basically something my church uses before someone leads a community group (which is just a fancy term for small group/Bible study - but with huge emphasis on missional living and a lot more other things). You get asked a lot of questions, paired with a set of leaders, and you learn from them. They speak into your life. It's great. It's beautiful. There's a lot more to it than what I shared here because it's also really hard - your sins are exposed and you have to be willing to let God radically change your life. There's even more than that, because in that exposing of sin, you also get to experience more grace than you thought possible. Whoa. There's even more, but this post is already too long.
Wanna know more - let's go for coffee.

23 June 2012

Snapshot into my heart

I've been singing a set of lyrics today quite a bit. 

"When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look, and see Him there
Who made an end to all my sin.

Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me"

(before the throne of God above lyrics)

Last night I wrote my next post for be.loved. It's always fun to write for that blog because it's geared for a specific audience, and the heartbeat of that blog is so cool - leading young women to Jesus! Yay!

Part of what I wrote about was how it's easy to sit in regret.

I've been reflecting on that a bit today. I've had numerous conversations with friends about how sometimes I (we) like to sit in condemnation. We probably wouldn't admit it to too many people, but at the end of the day, sometimes we like to sit in our regret and soak up sorrow for ourselves.

But Jesus doesn't let us do that. He gives us grace upon grace upon grace upon grace. He's so great! He forgives our sin and lets us walk in freedom. It's so beautiful.

I've been singing those lyrics because they're so true.

My despair over my sin is a sin in itself. I don't have to choose to despair my past. I choose to rest in Jesus - to look upwards to Him! He made an end to all of my sin. Because Jesus died, my soul, which is ridiculously sinful and sin driven, my soul is free!

God is just. He put all penalty on Jesus so that I could be pardoned.

Wow.

As I was chatting with this idea with a friend last week, we were talking about our desires for condemnation and how Jesus gives us full freedom.

She opened up a book she's recently read through and said, this is what you mean.
"Receiving God's forgiveness means receiving each part: both its condemnation of sin and its release from debt. To receive its just condemnation is to confess the sin it condemns - to agree with God about what we've done wrong - and then to repent, turning from the wrongdoings back to him by faith.
... Then - and this is essential - we believe God and rejoice. We rejoice that our debt has been canceled (Psalm 32; Col 2:15), that nothing can separate us from God's love, not even our own sin (Rom 8:38). We believe that our sin is not only forgiven but removed, taken away, as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12), that he remembers it no more. We rejoice that no one can condemn us any longer because he has set us free (Rom. 8:1, 34). "
Mike Wilkerson (Redemption) - emphasis mine.
Those words are true. We sorrow our sin and recognize that the things our heart desires and goes towards is ever sinful. Then we drop our sins at the foot of the cross, repent of them, and give them to Jesus.
Then Jesus takes them away.
And we're stoked about that. Because we're free.
We're free in Christ. Hooray!

21 June 2012

Thursday - Thanks!

As I explore the Bible I see so many calls to be thankful. Even in our prayers we're called to thankful (Philippians 4).

This week I'm thankful for:

  • Rest. I've spent much time this week just sitting with Jesus and letting Him fill up my soul. After a rough week last week, I needed Him to take over everything. I knew I needed rest when I was out with a dear childhood friend for dinner on Tuesday and was practically mixing up my words. Nadine, go sleep. So I did. I went to bed at like 8, and I asked Jesus to sleep with me and provide a long sleep. I woke up around midnight which was fine because there was a text I needed to read but then slept again until morning. I woke up feeling so very refreshed and restored.
    I'm thankful.
     
  • My friend Michelle. Michelle is lovely. We work together at one of my jobs and she is someone who just gets my heart so very well. She knows how to speak truth to me, speak discipline to me, speak love to me, and ultimately, she leads me to Jesus all the time. After my refreshing rest, I picked her up and we went for early morning coffee. Good conversation occurred.
    I'm thankful.
  • Le Marche St. George coffee shop! This coffee shop is just a block away from one of my jobs and it is lovely. The staff are so friendly, the food is tasty, and the coffee is incredible. They don't even offer any drip coffee - it's a good day! I typically run in on my way to work but I look forward to spending some time there some day. It's so cute and cozy.
    I'm thankful.


  • Strawberries! I spent a good portion of my shift this morning/afternoon picking strawberries! It was so fun. Fruit is so tasty, and strawberries don't get any better than when they're literally just picked! So yummy.
    I'm thankful. 
  • Sunshine! Today is so beautiful. I love it! I make adequate attempts each day to be joyful, but I've got to say - it's a LOT easier on a sunny day!
    I'm thankful.
  • People who let me join their families. Though my own family is wonderful, sometimes as a single, it can get lonely just hanging out with other singles all the time (though I do LOVE my friends - I'm thankful for them). There are several families who have let me join in on their lives here in Vancouver. I get to babysit their kids, enjoy meals with them, eat late night Mcflurries with them, and mostly get to loved on by them. It's the perfect combination of things. (Especially when they don't get mad at me when I make epic forts with every blanket and set of sheets in their entire home for their kids)
    I'm thankful.
  • Internet. Today as I picked berries and took pictures of berries and posted them online (because that's cool right?) I marveled at the fact that I could do all of that. Technology is incredible. It has its downfalls for sure, but it is also incredible. I'm so grateful to be able to connect via internet with my siblings across the country, my friends worldwide, and this interesting blogging community everywhere. Love it.
    I'm thankful.

That's my list today. There's so much more. These seem like such surface things, but they are the things that have made my days this past week or so.

What about you? What are you thankful for this Thursday?

19 June 2012

And I Wonder?

God's been doing a little stirring in my heart lately.

I've mentioned it here a bit, and I've chatted with some friends about it a bit, but mostly I've just kind of sat before Him and asked:

Really? Really? Seriously? This is what You would have me do? You want me to blog more? To change the name, and layout and have features and silly things like that?

'Cause You know my deceitful heart and my desperate desire for praise and the pride issues that plague me every minute. You know them, and You hear my cries for forgiviness each day, and You forgive me each day and You are amazing.

But seriously - God. Are You sure

Then I sit back and I let Him speak.

The other day He reminded me that I (Nadine) am not God. He is God.

That was helpful. It was. I think I had forgotten or something.

. . .

But can I be honest for a second? Well, I'm always honest here (or mostly - as often as I can be).

Blogging freaks me out.

. . .

I was messaging someone last week about these struggles of anxiety I've been floating through and and I replied to some encouragement from them with a text that said

"sinful and useless" (speaking of myself)

to which they replied with truth that led me to Jesus.

"redeemed" and "fruitful"
That's your identity. Don't forget it.

So today, I'm going to attempt to rest in the knowledge that my identity is in Christ, that I am redeemed, and fruitful.

And though I'm still not sure why He's using me, and I wonder at why people read this thing - I'll rest assured that He knows.

Tune-y Tuesday (this is home)

Wanna know why I decided to start "Tune-y Tuesday"? Check out this post over here. You might notice me say that there was something starting on Monday (which was yesterday). Life is a bit too hectic for that so I'm waiting at least another week until I start my Monday feature. It's coming though (eventually).

This song always brings me back to being in Africa and wrestling with life as I came home and tried to figure out who I was.

That time spent figuring out who I was led me to walk away from Jesus.

So much of me wishes and would go back in time to avoid that season of not living for Jesus.

Yet that season made Jesus come alive.

Now, two and a bit years after I came back to Jesus (or I should truly say - He grace carried me back home), and four years since this song played non-stop in my ears, I know - THIS is home.

This place where I live for Jesus, where I attempt in my feeble and incapable way to live out His love - this is home.

This is Home - by Switchfoot





I've got my memories
Always
Inside of me
But I can't go back
Back to how it was

I believe you now
I've come too far
No I can't go back
Back to how it was
Created for a place
I've never known


This is home
Now I'm finally
Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I've been searching
For a place of my own
Now I've found it

Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home

Belief over misery
I've seen the enemy
And I won't go back


Back to how it was
And I got my heart
Set on
What happens next
I got my eyes wide
It's not over yet
We are miracles
And we're not alone


This is home
Now I'm finally
Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I've been searching
For a place of my own
Now I've found it

Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home

And now 
after all
My searching
After all 
my questions
I'm gonna call it home

I got a brand new mindset
I can finally see
The sunset
I'm gonna call it home


This is home
Now I'm finally
Where I belong
Where I belong
Yeah, this is home
I've been searching
For a place of my own
Now I've found it

Maybe this is home
Yeah, this is home

Now I know
Yeah, this is home

I've come too far
And I won't go back
Yeah, this is home

17 June 2012

Worshipful Heart

Worship is many things. It's loving Jesus. It is not confined in music, but I love when I get an opportunity to lead others in musical worship. It's such an honour.

It's an honour and it's humbling to serve on a worship team. It's the most fun ever and also carries different weights which also makes it hard to do.

I don't know how to explain it. I wrote this entire post and came back to this part because I don't know how to explain the weight of it. I can never quite understand how worship can be such a mix of extreme joy and yet deep sorrow for me. I think it's partially because I see Jesus working and I see people reject Him all within the span of six songs. Jesus does the saving - so I can rest and trust His timing for the salvation of souls.

Time after time, God consistently speaks to my soul as I worship through song. I think He knows that I need Him to speak to me through melody and harmony. He lets me get lost in the words and sounds and then He speaks to me. Sometimes it'll come during the oddest lines in the songs.

Today it was during a line speaking about ambitions when Jesus just challenged me to rest and trust Him to move in an area where I've been grasping for control. It's time to seek Him alone.

There's other moments, and these ones are harder to do as a worship leader, when He tells me to stop singing and to pray. But Lord I'm supposed to sing right now but Nadine you're going to pray to me. Okay

It's amazing to see Him evidence Himself through those prayers.

God is so cool in music to me. There was one point today when I was playing a sweet song and just loving it, and was just lost in His Spirit. I love that He allows me, and those who call upon His name, to experience moments where the Holy Spirit is just so big and loud and huge and evident and amazing.

I pray that everyone knows His Spirit. I really do. I hate that there are so many who do not know His love. It hurts my soul that there are people walking all over this earth without the love of Jesus in them. 

I glanced at the Holy Spirit during that song and whispered, "God, you're so cool".

It's the coolest thing to get to watch people who love Jesus walk forward and receive Him each Sunday. It's beautiful to watch broken people suddenly find hope and those who feel sorrow suddenly experience joy.

God is so cool. I'm so grateful He lets this silly girl play any type of role in His kingdom. I'm not quite sure why He uses me - except that it gives Him glory. A good God using a desperately awful girl like me shows that He can do all things (or at least that's what I think about it).

This girl loves Jesus. I'm glad He loves me as well. It makes everything so much better.

15 June 2012

Resting

I have all evening to write tonight. Yesterday, all day while I worked, I thought up blog posts. I thought up so many ideas of things to write. 


This moment I have time - 
this moment the words are hard to come by.


Because each time I go to type, except for this time, I've felt distracted. 


Not by things, but by thoughts. I told my sister today that I feel like my thoughts lately have just been racing by - akin to a photo album being skipped through really quickly. 


I've been allowing myself to rest in anxiety. Isn't that awful? I agree. I had a slight reprieve last weekend when I was forced to be silent for a few hours during a day retreat with my church. 


In those couple hours of silence God spoke much peace to my soul.


I've allowed things to get loud again since then. I've let whispers of lies fill my ears and heart. Each time I've gone to Jesus to hand off my anxious thoughts He's quickly brought peace back to me.


I wonder sometimes if others have racing thoughts. I can only assume that they do (or that they don't). Anxiety is a new things for me - in fact I'm typically not even a worrier at all. I get stressed over circumstances sometimes but usually I can remain at least calm enough to deal with what's going on.


I've written before about my fear of man. I told someone about it the other day in passing and they thought I was afraid of men. Nope. Just everybody! Posts like this scare me and stretch me. Posts where I'm honest about the fact that this week was hard, that my tears have been dripping out more than usual, and that Jesus has had to carry me a lot more than I normally notice Him carry me.


So what does one do when lies are louder than truth, and fears are larger than trust? 


Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.
(Psalm 55:22 ESV)




This girl has been casting her cares away. I'm casting them away in each moment. The only times I'm not successful at casting them away is when I hold on to them. Gross.


I realized something beautiful this week one day as I was driving from job one to job two. When Jesus met some of the disciples, two of them dropped their nets and followed him. It made me think about what dropping nets would look like, and somehow got to thinking about casting away cares.


In the world we live in, fishing is probably most thought of as fly fishing (or what I envision - someone throwing/hoisting/aka-working-to-throw-their-fishing-rod into the water). However, in the times of Jesus, fishing looked like casting a net into the water - aka dropping a net into the water.


This realisation brought much peace to my soul as I realised that Jesus doesn't call me to hoist/throw/etc. my cares to Him. He calls me to drop them into the water. The water is living, it is life, and it is Him. The cares flow in His river of life. His loves surrounds my soul and brings peace.


Isn't that amazing? Wow. 


Did you think about it? I'm so accustomed to thinking about having to work to get things done that I somehow decided that it would take work for me to cast my cares away. Nope. I just need to drop them.


Rest in that with me tonight. Because I can't handle resting in anxiety anymore. I need to rest in Jesus.




Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV)






Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 ESV)


Resting in restlessness is silly. I'm done with that. I choose to rest in Jesus.

14 June 2012

Thursday - Thanks!

Next up for changes on the blog:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.
(James 5:13 ESV)

    If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
(Galatians 5:25-26 ESV)

As I explore the Bible I see so many calls to be thankful. Even in our prayers we're called to thankful (Philippians 4).

Thanksgiving is more than just a holiday. It's a habit that as Christians we're called to participate in.

Thus begins Thursday - Thanks!

I'm sure you'll catch on soon. 

  • Jesus.
    I can't say it enough. I love my Saviour and need Him much. He's guiding everything. As I was driving home from my morning shift today I was thinking about how often I'm drawn to sin. The temptation to fall into certain things is there but Jesus pulls me to Him. He never gives me more than I can bear (wow) and He always provides a way out. (If you need a direct example - check out this post from months back) Jesus is my God. I am eternally grateful for Him.
    I'm thankful.
  • Women of faith who know my heart.
    There are lots of things going on in my heart. I feel like the godly women in my life have been working overtime the past two weeks. Speaking wisdom into areas where I thought were fine. God's calling me to move in an area where I would have really liked to stay still. The faithfulness of these mentors and friends who are sending me texts, calling me, or in the case of my roommate - staying up until the wee hours of the night - is amazing.
    I'm thankful.
  • A job.
    This week has not been the most fun in my life in terms of working. There have been excellent moments and rough moments. I've had to work extra hours, do things I don't find joy in and have spent a couple hours minutes crying to Jesus about it. Jesus has been understanding and pointed me to Himself to find comfort - if He can endure the cross, I can endure a bad couple work days. I'm thankful for this job. I'm learning much, being stretched much and daily having to choose joy over grumbling. It's excellent for my soul. There are also a trillion incredible moments in my work day, like yesterday when I got to build a fort of blankets and play with a 3 year old. I'm so aware that there are many many many people who would love a job so I am thankful for mine - for the easy, hard, and in-between days.
    I'm thankful.
  • Home.
    Through my new job I'm realizing that having a home is a privilege. While all my friends typically share this privilege, many of the youth I work with aren't in the same state. They might have a house to stay the night, but a home is a bit harder to come by. I'm thankful for my apartment. While I don't think I've ever not been thankful for it (come on, it's beautiful) I'm becoming more and more thankful. I just ordered some verses from naptime diaries and I'm so excited to find frames and put up the scripture everywhere so I can be reminded of truth in each room!
    I'm thankful.
  • An intervening Holy Spirit.
        “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:8-12 ESV)
    I'm thankful.
Those are five things I'm thankful for today.

What about you? What are you thankful for?

12 June 2012

Tune-y Tuesday (My Beloved)

Let me introduce you to Tune-y Tuesday!

I love music. A lot. So much! Music, I think, has a beautiful way of leading us to Jesus or pulling us from Him (though it can also do many many other things). Over the past season of life, however long that has been, Jesus has been calling me to redeem some of the music I listen to.

See, I love my pop music. I love my Katy Perry and Justin Bieber, and even a bit of Flo Rider. (One of the youth I work with went through my iTunes music the other day and said I didn't take you as a Flo Rider type of girl . . . and . . . You like every kind of music don't you? Yes I do) I love them. I love catchy music.

That's not wrong. It's not wrong of me to love music and to let myself dance to it. But it is an issue when the words that float in my head aren't life giving.

Music sticks with us. It is powerful. I read an article recently on how our music (in churches) needs to be more theologically sound than our sermons since it's the songs we sing in church that resonate in our head for the rest of the day. (I think they said something along the lines of, 'do you ever catch yourself singing the sermon?') I think that's a bit harsh in the sense that our sermons had sure better be theologically (big word which to me mainly just means pointing us to Jesus and using Him as our springboard for truth) sound.

I still love love love pop music and listen to it. But I'm being a bit more consciencous about listening to music that points me to Jesus more often than I listen to the ones that just make me laugh and dance. (note - this doesn't mean I only listen to Christian music. I think a LOT of Christian music is awful - poorly written and far too often just speaks about changing our morals rather than turning our hearts over to Jesus - what I'm doing is listening to good music that point me to Jesus. Some of the time it means that I listen to music written by people who love Jesus - and have found a way to write good music - and some of the time it means I listen for Jesus in other songs. Either way I hear Jesus.)

So thus begins Tune-y Tuesday. It's not Music Monday (giggle giggle) - well, maybe it is just on a different day. But I have a plan for Monday's that should probably start next week so I needed music to go on Tuesday (hence the "tune"-y part. Get it? Oh no - shoot)

I want to share music that I find life-giving. The songs that bring me to Jesus and put truth on my lips and heart, mind and soul.

Okay - enough preamble, what's the song????.

Today's song is My Beloved by Kari Jobe. 

I love it! Take a listen. Seriously - let your heart hear the words that Jesus has for you today.


Read these lyrics as the song sings to you. The bold parts were my prayers as I listened to it today.


You're My Beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is My delight
Seriously?
Come away with Me My love
Okay, but only if you're sure.

You're Beautiful to Me
Really? Cause I'm not sure.
So beautiful to Me
Oh, you said it twice - okay I guess you mean it Jesus.

Under My mercy
Come and wait
Till we are standing face to face
I see no stain on you
There are too many stains to count. Jesus, thank you for not counting them.
My child

You're Beautiful to Me
So Beautiful to Me

I sing over you My song of peace
Well, that's good because you know how restless I get.
Cast all your care down at My feet
This I can do. Holding on to them gets me no where at all.
Come and find your rest in Me

At this point in the song, I was driving and trying not to cry.
These words are so beautiful.
So overwhelming.
Jesus is so good.

I'll breathe My life inside of you
Sweet.
I'll bear you up on eagle's wings
Are you sure?
And hide you in the shadow of My strength
Then that is where I will rest.
I'll take you to My quiet waters
I'll restore your soul
Well Jesus, if you're sure about this, I'm going to take you up on this.
Come rest in Me and be made whole

You're My beloved
You're My Bride
To sing over you is my delight
Come away with me my love
The fact that Jesus cares for me is incredible. I listened to this song three times in a row. The first time I was just singing along like normal, but I felt like Jesus told me to stop singing and just rest in it.
So I did. I'm so thankful.
On Saturday, a dear person pointed at the mountains and said something like,
"Look at those. God sees more beauty in us than in those".
Whoa.
Rest in that truth today.
God sees no stain.
God sees us in perfection.
Yes we sin and need Him.
Our need for Him and our going to Him leads us to this beautiful rest in Him.
Rest in Him.
He loves you something fierce.


Side note (which is why it's over here on this side)
I write for a lovely blog call the be.loved blog.
It's such an honour to get to write there.
If you haven't checked them out yet you certainly should.
Jesus is doing cool work there.
This song made me think about all the people who read that blog.
I pray that Jesus tells them in this very moment that they are His beloved.
Side note over. Yay!

10 June 2012

a Secondary Heartbeat - new blog name

What's in a name? A lot or a little? I can't quite decide. I have decided, however, to change the name of this blog.

When I moved to Vancouver just over two years ago, I came here to find God. I was sick of a double life and moved here to change my surroundings and I began a slow surrender to Jesus. It took me a while to find my Jesus feet again but eventually He found me!

At the beginning I mostly wrote about all the things I did but these days I write (and want to write more) about what God is teaching me. 

Thus begins
a Secondary Heartbeat. 

_________________________________________________________________

I've got two heartbeats in me. One is my own. The other is run by Jesus. He's working in me to live for Him. 

One is natural and beats just like any other 'ol heart. The other beats for Jesus. He's pushing that secondary heartbeat to beat different than culture, different than human nature, and to beat exactly the way He designed it to beat.

At my church, they talk often about "checking your heart". It's a beautiful reminder to make sure that your heart is aligned with your Saviour. It's typically said when checking motivation for why you might be doing something. I want Jesus to be checking my heart. 

As sinners, we gravitate to sin. By Jesus, we're pushed into grace.

I need Christ to be my secondary heartbeat.
_________________________________________________________________

I'm often told by people that they love my heart. I think I should assume they mean the way I demonstrate my love for Jesus (or at least I hope that's what I should assume since it might be odd if they actually love my physical heart).

To me, those compliments are both surprising and exciting - if only they saw the sickly sinful state of my heart! I sin often, need grace more than I think, and am constantly messing things up. Time for more grace. I have pride issues, fear issues, and more sins than I care to admit. The exciting part is that maybe just maybe Jesus is working in me! Okay, not maybe - Christ is working and demonstrating grace daily in me. Wow.

Jesus forgives my sins. 

Jesus is my hope. 

Jesus is my joy. 

Jesus fills my heart with peace and reminds me that He's not through with me yet.

There are two verses that I have called life verses, however cliche and awful the term "life verse" may sound like, for several years.

Proverbs 3:3 says:

 "Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
      bind them around your neck,
  write them on the tablet of your heart."

Matthew 14:14 says: 

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and      healed their sick."

These verses help me live out my secondary heartbeat. I attempt to live with love and with faithfulness bounded around me. I attempt to live with compassion for whomever I meet regardless of my personal circumstance or emotion. All these things are based out of a love for Jesus, only known because of all He did on the cross and by raising up from the dead. Oh praise Him!

Let's journey together.

Welcome to a Secondary Heartbeat.

On a strictly practical note, I changed the name because "from the sight of a city girl" is sooooooo long. I myself can barely remember it. I wanted things to be easier and to reflect my heart for Jesus. 

The new url is similar to my twitter name which I've been using for months to try it out and see if it fit. The url is www.nadinewouldsay.com because these are my words - and I say them. Easy peasy. So much better than before.

08 June 2012

Friday diy

I met with a lovely friend over coffee yesterday.

I shared the things I'm going through.

She spoke a lot of truth into my heart.

Something along the lines of:

Are you trying to fix yourself?

Made me realize something yesterday - something I've known for years but apparently forgot as of late.

Grace is not a DIY project. It's not a DO IT YOURSELF thing. In fact, it's nothing about "doing" or "self". It's about Jesus impacting our hearts. It's about Jesus taking our burdens and in His perfect time, working truth into our life so that we live in such a way that honours Him. Grace gives us what we don't deserve - salvation in Christ.

She reminded me that God loves who I am NOW not who I am once I fix everything.

I know that's so cliche. But lately God's bringing me back to the basics. Somewhere in the last few months, I got so caught up in the big stuff that I forgot about the core of my salvation.

That Jesus loves me.

Grace gets me every single stinking time.

This is what I picture when I think of myself trying to grace-ify myself:

Myself, holding a hammer, pushing nails into my head.

Useless.

Jesus does grace a far different way.

I'm oh so grateful.


Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:8-10 ESV)

This is my version of "giving up on good". I'm giving up doing it myself, because I never get anywhere when I do it myself. I just end up in tears, emotional, falling-apart, or even worse - self righteous in my heart. Gross!

Jesus is taking over this project, and loving me all the way through until the end. The end being - eternity WITH HIM!

03 June 2012

the Jesus Model

So did the blog title today make you wanna barf as much as I want to after writing it? Don't worry. This isn't a three hundred step guide to creating a Jesus. Or whatever else you thought it might be. It's just a conversation in print.


Last week I went for breakfast with a lovely friend Bethany. We enjoyed tasty benedicts, coffee, and conversation (a tasty conversation - yum)! We just recently started working together so it was fun to learn about where she's from and where she's going. It's always exciting to learn the passions of another and where God has placed their heartbeat.


We were talking about the ministry that we work in and the different joys and challenges that it brings. Oh non-profit life.


Do you ever have moments in conversation where you hear someones words and you realize that Jesus needs them to hear something? I call those Holy Spirit prompts. I love those moments. I'm also blown away by them because I'm not quite sure why God thinks I should be the one to share some truth.


Bethany was talking about the different people she models her life after and I just felt a little Holy Spirit prompt. I don't think I interupted her, because that would have been rude, but I did say something along the lines of,


We need to look to Jesus as our model because scripture shows us how it is we are meant to live in the life of Jesus. He served more than anyone. He cared for the poor and displaced more than anyone. He healed the broken, yet again, more than anyone. He also took time to rest. He got filled up and poured Himself out for everyone.


As I've been thinking about that conversation the past few days, I'm felt myself realize that there are a few people I need to stop modeling my life after.


I need to refocus my heart on Jesus and follow the Jesus model. It's not gross or cliche - it's true. Jesus is our model. We're called to be living in such a way that demonstrates our love for Him.


As much as there are many noble, honourable, and noteworthy people on earth, there is none like Jesus. He's the One! If we're looking anywhere but to Jesus as our model for how to live, we've largely missed the point of everything. He said "I AM the way".



02 June 2012

Good Growth

From the Sight of a City Girl is about to get some changes!


I am very excited. I've been both wishfully and prayerfully considering making some changes for a while and have decided to bite the bullet (what does that even mean???)!


Some of what's to arrive is:


Blog Series!
Featured Blogs!
Consistent Posting! (only by HIS grace)
Navigation Bar! (woot woot!)
a New Template
and probably a new name!


I'm not quite sure what God's plan is for this blog and why He's putting it on my heart to make it a bigger aspect of my life, but His response to most of my questions is basically just one answer lately.


God, I'm not quite sure why this is the plan.


I know you don't Nadine. But I do.


Are you as excited (read:nervous, scared, not quite sure what God is doing) as I am?