NaNoWriMo

Yes, it’s been a little while since we’ve talked. But I have good reasons, well, at least I think they are pretty good.

After the Set Free Worship Conference I needed to take a big exhale and just let everything come back to me before I shared some of the amazing stuff that God did. I don’t like to jump ahead and blab before I know for sure.

But then next came NaNoWriMo, or in long version is better known as “National Novel Writing Month”, during which writers (or novelists I suppose) take on the challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November. Obviously I got sucked into the idea, because I’m a sucker. I was sick for the first week and a half of November so I didn’t think I would be able to catch up for the lost time, especially being at home with a kid that pretty much demands all of my attention during his waking hours. But somehow I buckled down and started to write a novel to add to my pile. Thus far I’m at just under 47,000 words. And it’s a bit of a miracle. I only have a few days left but I think I can polish off a solid 3000 words, God willing, of this only slightly gritty, Sci-Fi, Young Adult story.

So that’s where I’ve been. I can’t wait to share more about the Set Free Worship Conference and how God moved there.

Peace.

The Big Comeback

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In June I started writing a magical Christmas novel and for some bizarre reason I’ve stayed fully dunked into the Christmas zone for months. Yes, I was in some other sparkling snowy world all summer. Doesn’t seem very Canadian of me, acting like those precious hot months of summer weren’t really there. I’m probably insane. I’m sure there are people in my life who think so.

Thankfully, I don’t give a flying fart in the winter wind what they think.

My mind has been bubbling over with creativity, so much so that I really can’t keep up with it. There isn’t time for all of these “gold minds”! My “mind-field” is at full capacity. Yet, still the unexpected colourful explosions come. And this is both a chaotic scramble and an enormous relief, because for a while I thought maybe I had lost every creative bone in my body. Except for my funny bone, of course. Somehow that one managed to stay. Which was a comic relief. A relaxing clean break. Just side-splintering, as a matter of fracture.

I’m fairly certain that what brought forth the change was all the time I spent in the presence of Jesus, basking in the fiery glow of love that He has for me, getting fuelled and recharged. Music started pouring out of my soul. It was my own personal revival; my dry bones waking up to dance, my aching voice coming out of captivity for the first time in years, and my stomach being filled with fire. Stories are being intricately woven together in my mind. My head is so full.

And what crazy timing. In about two weeks my friend Jess and I are putting a worship conference on at our church called Set Free. I haven’t talked about it much on here. In fact, I haven’t written often at all in the months that we have been praying for this conference, but now I’m going to tell you why you need to be there.

God is doing something miraculous. In the past few weeks He has been pouring out, and every week it’s growing into more. I’ve never planned a conference where I’ve had so little to do. God took care of everything.

This is how my God works. Praise Him!

See you in the tidal wave.

Peace.

Hunt Your Dragons before You Come

It only makes sense. As children of a Holy King we are fully equipped to be dragon slayers.

One of the hard things I’ve had to learn in my twinkling twenties is that dragging around baggage into areas where the love of Jesus is supposed to shine is inappropriate, un-classy, and just plain bothersome. In order to walk in freedom we need to release those things into the hands of our all-powerful Commander of Angel Armies.

I am the first name on this “guilty” list. I have done this too many times, especially when I was just starting to fine tune my spiritual ears to hear the voice of God, because before my twenties I didn’t even really understanding what listening was. I was what I like to call, a “RUSHER”. Everything must be done instantly. The moment I got a vision, I believed it was only going to work if it happened overnight.

Well that doesn’t leave God any time to move, now does it?

I have learned a couple of times over that God prefers to drag things out, not to torture those of us who are impatient, but so He can teach us things along the way. There are hidden treasures in this, worthy of discovering. Things that will change our lives. Things that will turn out to be the solutions to other unrelated problems if we let God work. Things we will take with us for the rest of our days so we are stronger and can do more. These little gems are what I believe Heaven’s storehouses are bulging with. And if we are patiently looking for them we will find them. If we are not then we are no different than crazy children running around and grabbing candy at Halloween. After we consume it all we will probably feel sick.

I don’t think there’s a Christian on the planet who isn’t guilty of bag-dragging. It’s really hard not to bring our inner conflict with us everywhere, our negative mind-dialogue, and our limb-flailing fears. But God’s plan isn’t for us to walk while pulling seven or eight hefty bags behind us through the dirt, rather, it’s His plan that we walk freely. It’s His plan that we trust in Him for what we need, because if we need it He will provide it, and if He doesn’t provide it, it’s probably because we are delusional about what we need.

In every situation, whether you are on your way to church or on your way to work or on your way to a family gathering, its best to spend five minutes (it literally doesn’t take more than that) by yourself and say to God, “I give you all of these things.” If you know what your dragons are, speak them out, hand them over and take away their power. If you don’t know why you are feeling like garbage and want to pound on the walls, you are probably PMS-ing. Just kidding. You’re probably dealing with something deeper than surface level issues. But I promise you that even if you can’t exactly pin point what your problem is, God knows what it is. Ask Him to take it. Then invite the love of Jesus to come in and fill you. Trust me, if you head out of your house this way you will have a much better time and all the people who you want to karate chop off a cliff will suddenly be much less horrifying.

The love of Jesus conquers all. Every time.

No dragon is bigger than the Holy Army Commander. So take that mighty sword and chop off that ugly dragon’s head. Hiya!!!

This might seem obvious and simple, but I went a long time before coming to this conclusion. And now it’s my go-to. Even on good days I try to remember to do this, because it makes my heart so much bulgier. And everyone wants a bulgy heart.

That’s what I wanted to share today. Bless you all!

Try Not to Eat the Menu

My kid eats paper. It’s weird.

Recently he ate part of the back cover of one of my friend’s books. He thinks this is hilarious and I really can’t figure out why.

A little while ago he got his hands on a pizza menu and had consumed a hefty corner of it before we realized. He thought it was funny as we panicked and tried to fish the cardboard out of his mouth. I would love to some day understand what goes through that little head of his on a daily basis. Seriously. There are so many yummier things than paper.

Lately God has been helping me to understand a few things as I pray in preparation for the worship conference that is going to be taking place at my church. I am so ready for the Lord to deliver people from sickness, physical pain, mental problems, strongholds, outstanding debts, whatever. But there was an instance recently where I prayed for someone and they weren’t healed. I found this to be discouraging at first, and continued to pray throughout the week, “God, please, please heal this person!” I couldn’t figure out what had happened. I had released the healing power of Jesus into this person’s body, the healing power that also resides in me. This person should have been healed.

I think this is something that happens often, and sometimes we leave feeling confused and question God about what happened. After all, there is enough of the Holy Spirit for everyone to be healed. Always. It doesn’t run out or run dry.

Well God has been pressing a few Biblical accounts into my heart lately and for some reason I didn’t make the connection until this week. I feel almost foolish for missing the point He was making, because as I look back I realize how obvious it was. God wasn’t asking me to go into this with a method. He was asking me to go in with obedience.

I’ve always considered myself to be someone who didn’t use formulas, and didn’t go in with any preconceived ideas about how something was supposed to look. I didn’t want to put God into a box and try to tell Him how to heal someone or what He should do. I wanted to look around the room and ask God what He was doing, and only move when He told me what He was going to do. I must have been living on another planet because this is actually what I thought I was already doing.

The truth is, God doesn’t need my help to heal the sick, to deliver someone from depression, or to restore a relationship. And if I am living under some delusion that I can go in and fix these things, I’m wrong. My job isn’t to seek out the problem and fix it. It’s to ask God where to go and go in the direction that He leads regardless of what I think should be happening, or how it makes me look, and regardless of whether or not I understand what He’s doing. God is almost always doing more than what we realize in the moment. This is humbling. Because over and over again we are constantly reminded that we know basically nothing and are proven wrong if we think we do know things. It’s even slightly comical, really.

How in the world does God not get exhausted from watching us do the things we do? We should probably be more embarrassed by our constant human driven logical thinking. God is enormous, powerful, holy, and mysterious. He is an intricate masterpiece, not a solid one-colour painting. And we are specs of dust in comparison.

Yet we walk into situations where God is moving and think we have the answers. What is wrong with us?

Jesus didn’t approach everyone the same way, and use a perfectly mastered formula to heal each sick person. He said, “I only do what I see my Father doing.” And when He walked up to a blind man, he spit in the dirt, rubbed it between His fingers, which is gross by the way, and smeared it on the man’s face. This probably looked really bizarre. I would have made an odd face if I had watched this happen in person, because I’m not the greatest at remembering to compose my facial expressions. But because of Jesus’s obedience this man got to be healed.

No, there was no pre-planned set of steps that Jesus was going over in His head as He approached this blind man. There was just Him asking the Father what He wanted. God wanted Him to spit in dirt, pick it up, and poke people with it. So strange as it seemed, that was what Jesus did.

All throughout the Bible the followers of God were doing odd things like this. It makes me wonder that if God asked me to do something equally as insane, would I do it or would I think it was too weird? I hope I would do it. I wonder what would happen if I did. Maybe I ought to chuck my “ways to bring healing” menu out the window and just ask God what He wants to do whenever I enter a room. Everything from the past that I am trying to recreate is irrelevant, because today God might want to do something different.

You lead, I’ll follow.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you…”

This brings me back to the menu that my son decided to eat for lunch. Can you imagine walking into a restaurant and sitting down to have a meal, but instead of waiting for the delicious feast that was to come, you decided to start mowing down on the menu because you couldn’t see beyond it? Maybe you forgot that there was something better beyond the menu? I have to wonder if maybe I am eating up the menu in my life, eating up the rules and formulas to try and get to the food, instead of waiting for the incredible gifts that God is about to pour out? I think its time to toss the menu aside and say, “Surprise me, God!”

Peace.

Christmas in July?

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Sure. Why the heck not?

I’ve had something brewing the last little while like a hot cup of slightly overcooked, grind infested java. Okay, minus the grind infested because apart from being mildly over analyzed, this idea doesn’t have major grinds.

Yes. Call me a weirdo. Everyone else probably does. But I’ve been dilly dallying here and there putting sparkly, vibrant, and vastly absurd ideas into a story.

About Christmas.

What?

….Yes, I said Christmas. And I didn’t stutter. That’s impossible on here.

I know its not typically where our minds go this time of year, but for whatever reason I was inspired; enough so that I got up off of my butt and just did it. Now my novel is complete, slapped together from the scraps my brain spewed, and I’m rather fond of the thing. Sometimes I write novels and I deem them equivalent to garbage, so I never try to make anything of them until years later when I rediscover their magic and redirect the course of the story to make them something exciting. Other ones I’ve written are a bizarre combination of my nerves prancing into existence because I took some odd risks, and my pride beaming out of my face because I think its probably the best thing I’ve ever created.

It’s probably not. But I always think it is at first.

This is somewhere around my thirty fifth novel that I’ve written just for kicks (this is not a brag, its more of an embarrassment actually because I have that many in existence and I’ve never truly set out to do anything with them), but I think it took me that many to get to a place where I feel I can write moderately better than rotten garbage.

Anyway, literary agents take half of eternity to get back to us hopeful beggars, so you aren’t going to get any juicy news about this for a long time. Sorry. Pray for me. I probably need it and stuff.

Thanks, people I know and random others I don’t. I hope the peace of God finds you today. Remember that loving God and knowing Him will get you further than anything else in this life.

Kropf out.

The War Ship

It really is like a ship, spearing through the darkest oceans, going to war on behalf of its Captain. I’m talking about worship. Which cleverly, sounds a lot like “War Ship”.

How perfect.

Worship was never meant to be just singing songs for the sake of singing songs. Goodness, how bored I would be. I’ve only seen people fall asleep in church a few times and I’ll admit that every time it was basically hilarious, especially when they grunt a little while they wake up, but I can’t imagine being able to stay awake myself if I went into worship without the intent of really giving glory to the King of Kings and embracing the presence of my Creator.

If I was the Captain of a ship, which I dare say would be just fancy, I don’t think I would want to simply glide along on a sailboat. Too easy. Too dull. And this isn’t because I find sailing to be dull. But if I was a Captain with all the potential to take my vessel on wild adventures sanctioned by the King and wage wars against the most frightening enemies, and all I did was glide along…man. The King of my country would be disappointed in me. I would be disappointed in myself.

Worship can be so much more than we commonly let it be in our lives. Not only is it a way to step into an atmosphere of the Holy Spirit while He is moving and give honour to the one who loves us beyond measure, but it is also a battle cry.

Life sucks? Okay. Go worship.

Terrified of something? Okay. Go worship.

Suffering from pain? Go worship.

Fell empty? Lonely? Tired? Overworked? Jealous? Hurt? Worship.

There are a lot of tragedies in this world. Unfortunately that’s probably not going to change. But when we rise from our circumstances regardless of what they are and start to sing a chorus of “Hallelujahs” unto the King, something starts to shift in the spiritual realm and strongholds begin to break.

This is what God has been showing me. That I am to praise Him in whatever state of mind, health or emotion that I’m in. And what happens is a change of heart and an opening of my eyes.

Wow. His glory. Wow.

There is a record of history in the Bible about David, who was heading out to war. He could have stuck his most chiseled, scruffy, ruthless war heroes at the front of his army to intimidate his enemies. But instead he sent the choir, in full hallelujah-swing, ahead of his army. He was striking at the darkness, not with spears and swords, but with worship.

And yes, David was infinitely known for crushing his enemies. His passion to pursue and understand God’s heart was invaluable to his reign as King. Just a harpist, a worshipper, stepped forwards and killed a giant when he was a boy that everyone else was living in fear of. His worship was what also chased away the darkness that was tormenting King Saul.

My weapon of choice, is worship.

The enemy can’t stand up to worship.

Our God is a great God. I’m so happy that he is taking me on this adventure, charging my ship to sail into war against the darkness. He has been showing me so much about love, compassion, and boldness in these times of simply praising him.

I hope that you try this – to respond to any hardships by praising the King. Because He is still faithful in the good times and in the bad.

Peace out.

A Glimpse of Rome Through Geeky Glasses

Dreams. Dreamy dreams. Dreaming of dreamy dreams.

We all have that one dream, the one that never goes away, even if life provides a heaping pile of lofty distractions. Occasionally something reminds us of it and we pause to go back to dreamland for a moment. We let out a long dramatic sigh and for a split second that thing we want the most is so close we can almost taste it.

Nice, isn’t it? To experience it for just a moment? If only everything were possible and we had unlimited amounts of money and each of us possessed our favourite super power.

Really, there is only one conclusion. Dreams suck. Yep. It’s official. We always take it too far by adding on new branches to our dream tree and suddenly what started as a small dream turns into a completely ridiculous impossible venture.

Go us.

I happen to be incredibly guilty of being a ‘brain-wanderer’ (yes I made that term up which is why it’s lame) which leaves me staring off at nothing for long periods of time, getting lost in non-existent worlds or situations. I can sure dream up some funky dreams. Some of them are probably attainable. But I’ll be honest, most of them aren’t.

My biggest dream though is one that doesn’t seem to want to scamper off, even when I try to ignore it, forget about it, or even beat it down. Realistically there is no reason for me to want to get rid of it, except for personal insecurities, but there are always loads of excuses to. For example, I’m a mamma now. Most of my time is already spoken for by a little stump of a creature who doesn’t even know he’s needy. I love him to death quite frankly. Which presents a problem when the opportunity comes around for me to be selfish and take some time for myself. All I want to do with my time is help him, make sure he’s full, gotten his sleep, isn’t afraid, doesn’t feel alone, has clothes to wear, has food to eat and sing adorable songs to gently put him to sleep. It sure makes it hard for me to want to take off and live out my dreams when I care for him so stinking much. He rules my world. What a little punk. It’s like he’s already got me all figured out.

I’ve always wanted to get published and write novels full time as my career. I have many dreams, some you would laugh at because they are so far fetched, but this one trumps them all. I picture myself sitting in some little hole-in-the wall apartment in Rome, Italy, finishing off an epic sci-fi novel that will leave the world with their jaws hanging open in anticipation of what happens next.

This might sound strange. I don’t exactly come off as the well-spoken type. I’m one of those people that can write something that sounds pretty, but the moment I open my mouth I sound like I’ve stuffed my vocabulary into a blender and failed English seventeen times.

No, I don’t want to live in Rome. But some day I would love to travel there and sit with an unhealthy-sized cup of coffee and write an action packed book with just enough romance that all the saps out there buy into the story too. I would wear geeky glasses and everything, just to make it all feel legit.

Pffffft. Ridiculous. Who has the money for that? Or even the time? Seems like a lot of work to make this dream come true. I’m probably better off to stuff it into my “maybe later” box and never think of it again.

If I’m being honest though, I don’t think God gives us dreams for no reason. His reasons though, are likely not always what we think. Maybe He just wants to see if we are willing to give them up to follow Him. Now whether we are willing to give up our dreams for Him, that is the biggest test. It really doesn’t matter where they come from, God or us, we aren’t called to chase after fantasies, even if it would be incredible to wind up in history-splattered Rome with my nerd-glasses and an armful of notebooks with endless ideas.

We just need to praise Him, no matter what we are doing with our lives currently. I think the praises that come directly from the surrendered most abandoned hearts in those face-in-the-mud moments are the most touching to Him. Even if the songs aren’t that greatly written, sung or played. He just wants our true feelings, our true love, scribbled down on a cola stained napkin, and expressed to Him our very best.

I think the little drummer boy had it right.

Peace out.