A Change of Plans

Written by: Christianne Williams

“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” Proverbs 16:9

How wonderful to know that God has a direction for us, a specific plan, and if we are willing to listen and change our plans, His will for our life will be accomplished! I can remember being a child and dreaming about what my future would look like. So many desires in my heart, so many ‘career’ options. I remember preaching my first ever sermon to my stuffies who were gathered under my Christmas tree, my toboggan served as my pulpit. I was doing an awesome job, if I do say so myself, until my pulpit slipped from my grip and fell into said tree, crushing it and my audience. I also remember that my job as a bicycle repair person was short lived, as was the life of my bicycle.

One thing I never got away from, though, was being a mom. That desire never left. Nor did my love for my husband, I spent many hours as a 12 year old begging God to “please, let me marry him someday!” I look at my four beautiful kids and my loving husband and think how blessed I am, but the road wasn’t easy. It all fell into place but not right away, and it would’ve went much more smoothly had I learned at an early age to trust God and His timing with my life plans.

My 14 year old son, who is now taller than me, is an answer to prayer. I wanted children so bad, six of them by the way, that was my life goal. A houseful of babies. But after four years, there were no baby cries, only cries from my aching heart. I was getting bitter, frustrated, and unable to even look at a newborn without a stabbing feeling in my chest. I was a wreck. I had focused so much on something I wanted so badly that it was literally stealing my life. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want to see people, I just wanted to stay home and focus on how unfair it was that I couldn’t have something I wanted so badly.

One day, while I was doing my devotions, God spoke to my heart. Was I putting my plans before His will? Did I trust Him to give me what was best for me? Had I made an idol of this desire? I knew He could heal my heart if it wasn’t in His plan for me to be a mother, but I had to be willing to let go of what I so desperately wanted. I had to trust that He had the best plans for me, ones that would prosper me and not harm me. One that would give me a future and hope. It was funny because one month later I found out we were expecting. I was so shocked that I used four tests. My husband wasn’t home, so I called him and told him he had to come home right away. While he was on his way God showed him what I was I was going to tell him. I don’t know, would it have happened anyway, or was it because God was teaching me a lesson through it all, that I needed to be obedient no matter the cost.

I believe it was the latter because I’ve had to call on that experience many times through my faith walk, in all of them surrendering without knowing what the end result would be. It’s still tough sometimes. Have you ever felt like that? There was something you wanted or felt you needed so desperately that you were sure that you couldn’t go on living if you didn’t get it. Did you ever feel like God was with holding the best things from you? I can assure you He never does. He always has a plan, one that outshines any that you or I could come up with for ourselves. The only thing we have to be is willing. Willing to let go of our own plans and willing to accept His.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “’For My thought are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways’, says the Lord, ‘for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”

How secure we can feel knowing that He has wonderful things planned for our lives if we can open our fist and be willing to change our plans.

Worth Dying For

Written by: Conny Varga

You may have heard of the Boomers, Gen Xers, or Millennials, but have you heard of Generation Z? Did you know that many of this generation, born approximately between 1993 and 2012, are leaving the Christian faith at alarming rates?

Among other things, recent studies have found that Generation Z does not see a connection between Christianity and their lives. To them, the church has become irrelevant. But why? The answer is simple, yet crushing – they don’t see our lives matching the teachings of Jesus. They see lives of relative ease and comfort, focused primarily on just being morally good, safe, and politically correct people. Ouch!

Is Christianity about simply following a moral code of “do’s & don’ts”? Are we just disinfecting ourselves from the world and staying within the safety of the four walls of our churches? Jesus clearly taught – and showed by example – that we are to deny ourselves, go into the world, lay down our lives for others, protect the weak and outcast, have compassion for the poor and needy, and spread the gospel to all the world. That doesn’t sound much like the Christian country clubs that we have created!

“Nothing is worth living for until it becomes worth dying for.”

That’s what Generation Z needs to see in us! That’s what the world needs to see! If early Christians, living in the corrupt, sinful Roman empire, could turn the world upside down, then so can we. If those Christians could speak boldly about Christ and the gospel, even in the face of death, then so can we. If they, while suffering terrible persecution, could rescue abandoned, unwanted Roman babies, raising them as their own, then so can we. If they could go into pestilence-infested areas to care for the sick and dying – not regarding their own lives – then so can we! Why? Because it’s the gospel that compels us, and it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that propels us. We care about the lives of unborn babies, starving children, oppressed women, trafficked slaves, souls ravaged by disease or sin, because ALL HUMANS bear the imprint of God’s image. ALL HUMANS are of incredible worth to Him, and God wants ALL to be saved.

Getting involved is inconvenient and unpleasant, often downright risky and sometimes even dangerous. It’s tempting to look at the world through rose-coloured glasses and just focus on living inside our safe little bubble. But that’s not what God sees nor what He expects.

Proverbs 24:11-12 says:” Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?” In other words, God will hold us accountable even if we plead ignorance.

Have we been shielding our eyes from certain injustices? Have we been ignoring the plight of the vulnerable because of the burden and cost of involvement? Generation Z is right – we will continue to be irrelevant, until we dare to leave our safety and comfort behind and start living lives of radical, counter-cultural, reckless abandon for the cause of Christ.

“If anyone has material possessions and sees a fellow human in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” 1 John 3:17

My Spirit, My Responsibility

Written by: Angela Mercer

We live in a time when emotions seem to trump everything. Truth doesn’t hold a candle to how one feels about a situation— I know I can be the same way. If something scares me, like the Leviathan rollercoaster at Canada’s Wonderland, it doesn’t matter how many times it has run safely. It doesn’t matter. I am scared to death and therefore I will not get on it!

A few years ago, God was challenging us to trust Him and have faith to purchase a particular home in an area we didn’t think we could ever afford. We were in a season of transition and we were already feeling stretched beyond our gifting’s and trusting God financially as well. Was God really asking us to trust Him with one more thing? Didn’t one more thing break the camel’s back?

It would be an understatement to say that we were overwhelmed and nervous and a little scared. Marriage can be challenging during these times but God made us partners and so He will often build up one’s faith so they can help carry the other. At least this is what we have found. In this case, God had shown his grace to me with an incredible, supernatural faith. I just knew we were about to see God do a miracle. He was about to move a mountain right in front of us.

Our situation looked impossible. And we felt pretty fearful, to be honest. What we learned through that time though, was something we will carry with us the rest of our lives. What we see and what we feel is not necessarily an indication of what God is doing. In fact, many times, it is not. That’s why it’s called faith.

I once heard Brian Houston from Hillsong Church preach a message called “My Spirit, My Responsibility”. I have quoted that to myself and to others so many times I have lost count. We don’t have to live by our feelings. We don’t have to be controlled by our emotions. Proverbs 25:28 says “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down without walls”. Brian preaches that “walls are for protection. If broken, we are vulnerable, we are open to attacks: poor choices, emotional roller coasters, vulnerable to anxiety and all kinds of negativity that want to rule our spirit”.

I am sure you can think of a time that you were an emotional roller coaster and experiencing anxiety or negativity. I have been prone to anxiety in my life, where I can actually feel my blood pressure rising. There were moments of some pretty severe anxiety and fear in that season. But I would quote this line to myself, over and over again: My spirit, MY responsibility. It is no one else’s responsibility to keep my peace of mind or my joy or anything else for that matter. It is my responsibility.

So, how do we do this? Here are three things you can do when you are overwhelmed:

  1. Pause and pray. Bring your emotions to God and ask for His peace to rule in your heart. Col 3:15
  2. Recount His faithfulness. Remember a time when you needed God to come through and He did. He is always faithful and He is always with you and He will be faithful again.
  3. Cultivate a grateful heart. Thank Him for what He is doing. Thank Him for always providing. Thank Him for never leaving you. Allow thankfulness to flood your situation and then watch how God changes your spirit.

I know there are times when things are beyond our control and we need to seek professional help. But I also believe there are many times when we are simply not taking our emotions to God and allowing Him to settle our spirits. So, this is what I am trying to do more of – My spirit. My responsibility. I want all God’s peace and comfort and strength and calm He can give me.

Jesus, let your love and peace rule in my heart. Amen.

Can I Call You Back In Five Years?

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10a)
Have you ever noticed that when the phone rings at your house E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E has a question, a request and needs your immediate attention? Some days you live for that phone to ring…..a voice from the outside; a voice of sanity; something other than utter chaos. An adult voice that sounds of maturity and speaks truth in the form of outside perspective.
Just when you hear that phone ring, you run for the receiver knowing you can’t get to that voice on the other end quick enough……and as you pick up your house suddenly erupts into a complete and absolute three-ringed circus.
My “circus rings” are now ages 8, 7, 5 and 2. On any normal day my house is anything but quiet. Trust me, sisters, it is always loud at my house! (Most days I love every moment of the chaos!) But there are some days I truly just need a couple moments to sit down and be still; share a few stories with a good friend; laugh out loud, and maybe even cry a little to shed off self-pity and my perceived defeat.
I have been thinking about this very thing and wonder if we sometimes treat God the same way when He calls… When our lives are busy and loud, He calls, and suddenly we have every excuse to get louder and more busy! I was challenged today by a wise friend to just rest and enjoy the quiet moments; to be still and really listen for God’s voice.
Life with kids can sometimes appear impossible to find a quiet enough time to really listen for the voice of God. (I so get that!!!) I do believe, however, that it is such an important thing to pursue. Hearing the voice of God, truly listening for His voice is an incredible privilege that we have as His children.
I love how this verse ends with a promise. “Be still, and know that I am God.” If you take time to be still, He will reveal Himself to you. Please don’t deny yourself this incredible privilege.
Be still, and KNOW!
Father God, thank you so much for my kids. I love that my house is so full of life. Please keep me mindful of the blessings that they are and equip me with patience and encouragement as I endeavour to pour love into them from the overflow of the love I have received from You. We so need You and your daily presence in our lives and desire to seek that as a more natural part of my life. Please guide us as we try and decide what time best works for us to truly sit and be still in Your presence. I pray this in Your precious and holy name, Jesus, amen.

My First Ticket

Written by: Sarah Walker

After sixteen years of driving, I received my first traffic ticket ever that day. It was not a great day, to say the least! My daughter, who was home sick from school and was in the car with me, thought it was great! She loved telling everybody, “Mommy got her first ticket ever today!”

The worst part is that I was two minutes from my house; I was in my own neighborhood!

Now for those of you who know me well, you may find this funny. I am constantly complaining about the drivers in my neighborhood. Everyone drives incredibly fast. People are always talking on their phones or texting. We have no sidewalks in our area, and I am often infuriated when people whip past us when we have our young kids out for a wagon ride or when they are riding their bikes in the driveway.

There have even been a handful of times where I have been jogging in my neighborhood and have had someone speeding right towards me, only to swerve away from me at the last minute because they had been texting and not paying attention to the road.

I, on the other hand, would never be so reckless. Especially when my kids are the in car with me, I always drive the speed limit, taking my time with everything.

That day, I drove up to an intersection with stop signs, where the posted speed limit is 10km/h, so you know I was already going incredibly slow. The corner was completely empty with no signs of life. I slowed right down to an almost stop and turned the corner, only to find a policeman on the next street, just waiting for people like me, with his lights already flashing, standing in the middle of the street and waving me over to the side of the road to receive my punishment.

My ticket says, “Disobey stop sign- failure to stop.” Had I slowed down a little bit more, I could have saved myself $110.

To be honest, at the time I thought it was a bit harsh. I was not happy. There are way more unsafe people out there than me! But, as I thought about my “rolling stop” throughout the day, I had to admit that I had indeed broken the law, even if it was a smaller offence. I did it! In my grumbling, it was really easy to justify why there are so many other drivers out there that day that deserved a ticket WAY more than I did!

I can so easily do this with my sin. I can think that my sin doesn’t really count compared to someone else’s. “I would never do that!” I think to myself. Sometimes when looking at another’s sin, my secret struggles seem like nothing by my comparison!

Even though my ticket seemed silly compared to other “more serious” traffic offensives, I still broke the law. Like it or not, I deserved my ticket.

Even though I considered my traffic offence minor, it didn’t count as any less of an offence, and even though I may count many of my sins minor, it still doesn’t make them any less sin.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

My sin, whether small or great, gives me grounds to be separated from God forever, but because of Jesus’ glorious sacrifice of dying on the cross for me, I no longer receive that ticket I deserve, but instead I receive a wonderful pass to everlasting life.

What I thought was a trivial ticket, the police officer saw as a very real offense. He was just as concerned with a minor driving error as he was concerned with the big ones. All of it is unsafe for myself and others on the road. God is the same, He sees my sin the same as he does everyone else’s. All sin is unsafe, and is dangerous for me and others – which is why a loving God tells me to avoid it!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

The good news is that, even in my sins and offences, God has wiped my sins and offences out! My ticket has been ripped up, and everything I’ve done, big and small, has been forgiven. My experience this week brought me new understanding into how I look at myself, and how I look at sin, and has made me even more grateful for what Jesus has done for me!

Understanding God’s Will

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Recently I was asked by a young person, “How do I know what God’s will is for my life?” I remember asking that same question in my teen and young adult years. It always seemed such a mystery, something far off and unreachable. So much emphasis was put on knowing God’s will for our lives that it became the more grown up version of the childhood question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I remember spending hours at the altar seeking to know “His will” only to go home not much farther ahead than when I started. It was a very frustrating and confusing time in my life.

It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I really began to UNDERSTAND God’s will for my life after hearing a couple of excellent messages on the subject and searching the scriptures in my quiet times with Jesus. One scripture that spurned me on to really get to the bottom of this conundrum I found myself in was Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” If I was going to truly begin to UNDERSTAND God’s will for my life, and follow His direction, I had to immerse myself in His sacred writings.

As you read on Daughters, keep in mind that knowing and UNDERSTANDING are two very different things! There lies a HUGE difference between these two concepts. You see, I can know something as a fact and be able to rhyme that fact off over and over, but to UNDERSTAND is to comprehend what that fact is saying to me. Comprehension is a much deeper process that burrows into the very center of my cognition and eventually takes root in my convictions.

To boil it down, I can know that 2+2=4. That is a fact; one I learned very young by memorization; one I can recite over and over again without even thinking. But, to UNDERSTAND what this equation really means is to break it into smaller parts to yield greater comprehension, learning and application. Written like this, OO+OO=OOOO, the answer has far more meaning to me and I can stand on the fact with conviction.

So, began my journey into God’s Word to discover His will for me and to fully UNDERSTAND it. I soon realized that God’s will for me was so much greater and richer than simply knowing who I was to marry or what I was to become as a professional or whether I should have children or not. It really had less to do with the outcomes in my life and more to do with my spiritual wellbeing, character building and actions towards others.

I realized that God already knew every day of my life before each one was lived; therefore, He already knew how my life was to unfold. I simply had to serve Him, cultivate the fruits of His Spirit within me and watch with great anticipation as to how it all played out. This shift in my perspective made life so much more enjoyable to live with each day being a complete adventure!

Banner scriptures concerning God’s will for me began to fly off the pages of my Bible. My excitement continued to blossom and grow!

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

1 Thessalonians 4:3, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified…”

1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

1 Peter 2:15, “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

These are just a few of many scriptures regarding God’s will found in His Word. Ephesians 5:17 ties up perfectly this blog on UNDERSTANDING God’s will for us, “Therefore, do not be foolish, but UNDERSTAND what the will of the Lord is.”

Inspiring Justice: Living out God’s call to His Church

Written by: Emily Pelley

Proverbs 31:8, 9 has profoundly impacted my heart:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.

This passage has become a “life-verse” for me; one that I am seeking God in every day for His direction. I have grown up in the church, and have seen programs come and go. But what remains constant is the mandate on the church to care for the poor and to stand up for justice in our communities. I believe this is constant because it is in line with the character of our Amazing God to bring restoration and hope to a lost and broken world.

Over the years, God has impressed on my heart a passion for social justice. One issue that has grabbed my attention is human trafficking. The majority of my research in my career thus far has been focused on children in armed conflict and the impact of human trafficking in their lives and their communities. It was a startling realization for me when I learned of the extent to which human trafficking exists here in Canada, not to mention in my home city of Halifax.

Global estimates range from 10-30million victims of human trafficking- which is essentially modern-day slavery. The sex trade, forced labour and domestic service, child soldiering, organ trade- all of these make up this overwhelming number. The RCMP estimates that there are approximately 800-1200 people who are trafficked in Canada every year- a significant number of those victims are themselves Canadians. As our law enforcement and policy makers work to combat this crime, there is a role for us all to play in prevention. Helping to raise awareness about this problem, identifying what makes people vulnerable to being trafficked, and discovering how we as community members can do our part to fight human trafficking.

I read an awesome quote recently by Francis Chan:

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.”
I am challenged by this as I am so often tempted to figure things out on my own; waiting for God to come through is not my natural response to a challenge. One of the main lessons I have learned recently is that God has been actively working in my life even in moments that seem ordinary, or opportunities that seem random. Looking back over my work, my volunteering, and even my relationships, I can see God’s hand guiding me through to the place He has me today. This challenges me to trust Him because He is a faithful God!

I am learning that if I want to walk in the fullness that God has promised me- if I want to see social injustices end, see healing in my city, see brokenness transformed into a glorious destiny- then I need to leave my comfortable way of thinking and living. When people disappoint, God never disappoints. If His faithful promises are our armour and protection (Ps91:4) then all we have to do is find our strength and purpose in Him, and our faith will be secure.

Focus

Written by: Christianne Williams

I always believed I was a person who lacked the ability to focus. My mind would wander from one thing to another, I would seldom finish things that I started and this left me feeling overwhelmed.

My husband is my opposite, they do say it happens that way. He is driven. If he starts something, he will most certainly finish it and do it well. Sometimes this has caused conflict because he comes behind me, seeing the dishwasher half emptied or the dustpan still containing dirt, and he takes it upon himself to help me out and finish the job. This in turn makes me feel as though he’s shining a light on my undone tasks and I get irritated. At any rate, I’ve recently discovered that its not my inability to focus that’s the problem, but in fact, my ability to focus entirely on the wrong things.

In the example of my husband finishing up my chores, I don’t look at the heart behind the help, I concentrate on the message that I am not doing enough, I’m dropping the ball. That’s just an example of how when we focus on the wrong things, we lose sight of what it truly important. I’ve seen it many times at our kitchen table as well. Siblings sitting together, all working on different lessons but all working toward the goal of getting things done for the day so they can have free time.

One will lose focus and start making noises, soon to be followed by their neighbor and before you know it, I’m telling them to ‘focus on what you’re supposed to be doing!’ I don’t feel qualified to tell them that but I’m the parent/teacher so what can I do?

When we were in the hospital during each of our daughter’s three open heart surgeries, we had struggles with where our focus would lie. In the midst of all of the beeping monitors, medication pumps, and the story the numbers would tell the doctors, it became hard at times to focus on the One who calms our storms. Fear would creep in, and in being honest, I would become focused on what could possibly go wrong instead of what God could do in the middle of that desperate situation.

And things did get desperate. We were in need of miracles most days, I could compile a long list of times when we were told ‘there is no hope’ and how we would need to refocus on the truth that God can work things out for our good in any situation.

The truth is often silent. We can’t confuse it with the facts. The facts are often contrary to the truth, which is what God says. Sometimes our circumstances say there’s no possible way that anything good can come out of this, yet God works well with impossibility. They say that numbers don’t lie but God neither does God and He can make a way for your financial miracle, a way that you could never dream up on your own. The medical report may speak of death and hopelessness, but God is the One who gives hope, He restores sight to the blind and heals all of our infirmities.

The question is, where does our focus lie? In the bad reports? Or in the One who meets all of our needs?

In Numbers 13, Moses sent some men to explore the land of Canaan, the land they were supposed to inherit. When they returned, they spoke of the goodness of the land, but they spent more time discussing the size and power of the people they would have to overthrow to take the land. They were concerned that the greatness of the people would prevent them from receiving the Promised Land. Joshua and Caleb, however, were certain they could do it. The men argued with them, they gave them the reasons they felt it would be a death mission, but they remained confident that it was a battle that had already been awarded them.

They were focused on two different things. The majority on the greatness of the enemy, and the minority on the greatness of God. Focusing on the right thing gave Joshua and Caleb the confidence to be bold in the face of a great enemy, and in a circumstance that by our natural eyes seemed would surely go against them.

Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.”

My ability to focus was not the issue, where my focus was directed was. Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him in all things, even when the facts tempt you to believe otherwise.

God Grit

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I have an enemy. In this season of change, loss and grief, he constantly tells me, my callings are worthless; I am worthless.

For our summer vacation, we visit the Outer Banks, North Carolina. After our long, 2-day drive, once parked at our beach house, we RUN to see who can make it to the ocean first.

I deeply inhale the salty air, take in the vast horizon and with eyes closed hear the crashing waves. The ocean welcomes me like a long-time friend and a part of me is once, again home, even for a short time.

On the shoreline, is where our love-relationship ends though. I let my feet and legs soak but to go past the ever-changing few metres of waves reaching towards me takes real commitment.

I know what it’s like to battle them. I’ve gotten caught in their relentlessness.

Few times I have been brave enough to plunge through them. Conquer wave after wave; either jumping over them or swimming underneath them.

The ocean rests calm on the other side of this turbulence.

‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1 Peter 5:8

During this season, I am weak and weary. And it takes alertness to realize the battle I am in.
Unlike, fighting the waves in my own strength and power, this battle will not be won in my own effort.

It will take grit but not my own.

‘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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ 2 Corinthians 12:9

The victory is had by choosing to believe differently. That change when lead by God is and will be awe-inspiring. That loss and grief is because we love so well.

It’s only in Him, that I am strong! And as He carries me through the turbulence, I rest in His ever-calming Presence.

Boldly and Confidently

Written by: Angela Mercer

Thursday morning is one of my favourite times of the week. This is the day I facilitate our ladies bible study at church. One of my other favourite things is the mixing of generations. I love the conversation that happens each week. I love how the older ladies love on the young mom’s who need some support and encouragement and I love how the younger mom’s look up to and respect the older ones. I love hearing their stories about how God speaks to them or what He is showing them lately. I love hearing another woman’s perspective on life and faith.

One morning as we were cleaning up, our conversation landed on the topic of confidence. More specifically, growing in confidence as we age. A dear woman whom I greatly admire shared that she has always loved the colour purple but she didn’t really like standing out in a crowd. She would purposefully wear beige, grey and black until the day she realized she LOVES purple. So, she started wearing purple.

Don’t we just do that sometimes? Maybe you can relate? I know I can. I have always said “I just like to fly under the radar”. I have always loved fashion and following trends, but at times I prefer to just wear what everyone else is wearing so that I don’t stand out.

A few years ago when we bought a new house I was determined for the first time to make it mine. Which means, be brave enough to do what I really want to do. Flying under the radar as I usually do seeped into my home décor as well. I would use beige, wood, nothing too trendy, a little more traditional approach. So, when we moved in I painted one wall a dark teal. I love the colour teal and I thought it would look so great. I actually did it! I also love yellow so I spray painted a few things yellow and painted a little side table yellow too. I was having so much fun I started not thinking at all about what people might think and started to only think about what I liked. It was so liberating!

Do you ever wish you could tell your younger self something? Well, I would tell my younger self “do it anyway, there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like it. If you like it– that’s all that matters”!

Oh how I wish I had learned this when I was younger. God created me with certain talents, likes/dislikes, desires and passions and they are all unique to me. When we try to please everyone around us by “flying under the radar” we really just become very unhappy people.

If we are not careful we can take this same approach to other areas of our lives. It is very easy in our culture of social media and connectivity to concern ourselves with what the masses are doing and not enough about what we are doing. We ask why everyone else is fine with this or that. We start to wonder if anyone noticed something we did. If we aren’t careful, we will be so wrapped up in what everyone else thinks, far from who we are, and forget about what our Heavenly Father thinks.

Just as we need to be more confident in who we are and be ourselves, our focus needs to remain on God and doing what pleases Him. I think what truly pleases Him is being exactly who He created us to be. With all your flair and colour! After all, He is the only One that really matters.

“I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” Galatians 1:10