Can I be in your Shelfie?

Straight up, I have a lot of books. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to many of you. At Christmas, most of my presents are fresh printer-and-ink-smelling rectangles in tacky Christmas wrap, simply because I make it easy for my husband to guess what I want by constantly adding a pile of Marissa Meyer, Veronica Roth, Marie Lu, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Quinn, and Kiera Cass volumes to my Amazon Wishlist, along with the random other authors I decide to obsess over. And don’t even get me started on my Bill Johnson collection.

With technology and self-checkout robots dominating society, I’m relieved that real books with paper pages are still a thing. Gone are the days where Christmas shopping was as easy as purchasing a CD, or a DVD that you knew someone liked. Now with Spotify and Netflix, who needs stuff like that?

And now here comes Kindles and e-books, rising up from the guts of the literary world with its robot tentacles to scoop up as many of us as they can. Some people love reading on a Kindle or their phone, and I’m sure that’s where the future is headed. But it’s just not my thing.

Don’t go dying on me book-lovers. We need our libraries to live on!

In the midst of the buzzing technology that runs this world, I find my happiest place is still sitting by the window in a plush chair, with a cup of something only slightly less hot than burn-your-mouth temperature, with all the other sounds turned off, holding open a book and getting lost in a great story. And since moments of rest are sort of God’s thing, something He holds high on the list of valuable things for your life, I hope some day I can be responsible for the story that brings someone else into a place of peace.

Because, really. After all these years of raising babies, it’s about time I kick-start my writing career, wouldn’t you say? I’ve been telling stories since I was a little girl, and now that I have kids of my own I want them to go on adventures and live a life with all the magic of getting carried away into other worlds. So please pray for me, friends! Shoot one into the air right now if you can. I need all the faith-fuel I can get as I start to send proposals to literary agencies. And you can bet your buttocks I’ll keep you in the loop as much as I can!

Now tell me, what kind of story would you want to read about?

  1. Parallel universes on the brink of war with a psychologically unstable (but hilarious) female lead that has totally fallen head-over-heels for a guy who hates her guts.
  2. A chilly Christmas tale that forces an uncoordinated faithless female protagonist to face off with villains from old Christmas legends.
  3. A fairy-tale retelling with a twist that pits two sisters against each other in a dangerous competition to hunt down the greatest threats their historians have ever recorded.

Let me know! I’m sharpening my pencils to take notes…

 

 

Catching the Fire of Revival – Part III

Today is the second day that I have been praying for a revival to break out in Canada. Far-fetched, you think? It’s not as unrealistic of a prayer as you realize.

In 1904, a revival took place in Wales. A man named Evan Roberts had prayed for ten years that the people of Wales would come to know Jesus, and even when years went by and there were no results, he kept praying for his country, because why not?

When the revival broke out, it was characterized by prayer, praise, joy and victory, as the people of Wales re-discovered the Holy Spirit. In six months 100,000 people came to Jesus. Yes, I did say 100,000, not 100, or 1000, but ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND people of Wales came to know Jesus as their savior and dedicated their lives to living for His Kingdom.

Evan Roberts, just a man who prayed for his country.

At any point Evan Roberts could have deemed his prayers useless or bent to the lie that his country was not going to turn from their beliefs and come home to their Father. But every day, he prayed, no matter how he felt. And 100,000 people was the prize for not giving up.

When I learn about things like this, my immediate thought is, I want that for Canada! But then I think about it more and I say to myself, “Well, Canada is a lot bigger than Wales. And with all the different cultures, there are so many language barriers. And these days our government doesn’t care a whole lot about God. Our situation is much different, it’s unlikely that a revival would happen here.”

Wrong. All wrong. Actually, this is EXACTLY where a revival should happen.

If you have read any of my past Catching the Fire of Revival posts, you already know that a revival doesn’t take place on “green grass” or in an area that already has it all together. A revival needs something to revive. A revival occurs so that the dead grass comes back to life. When the people in the grittiest battles finally decide to lay down their weapons and surrender. A revival comes when things are not all good.

All over this country I have heard of churches closing down, denominations dying out, schools that once thrived in sharing the love of Jesus becoming a place where the name of Jesus is only used as a cuss word, and Christians everywhere battling depression, disunity, and destroyed relationships in their own homes and families. But this is not God’s plan for this country. It is never God’s wish that His people live under a cloud, depressed and quiet. My prayer is that this revival happens first with the Christians laying down their battle uniforms and no longer picking sides, and coming together as one congregation under God’s leading, and getting on their knees in a quiet place instead of raising their voices in public. I don’t believe that a revival happens where there isn’t first surrender, and confession. As a result of personal cleansing, love pours out from all the people involved, spilling out into their atmosphere, affecting those in their circles and communities, drawing in crowds and changing other hearts.

(And trust me, our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has more of a history of encountering the Holy Spirit in his own life than you think. Pray that he remembers those moments from his past.)

Let’s just be real for a moment. I can think of many much more strenuous things I would do in order to see a revival come to this country, and see thousands come to know the Lord, than pray for my country for a couple of years. That seems like a no-brainer to me. All I’m asking is that you would pray with me, whenever you remember. Put a post-it note on your mirror in the bathroom so that you remember to say a thirty-second prayer in the morning while you get ready for your day.

This is not a long blog post, and I know I haven’t written for a while, but this is present on my heart and totally applicable to what the Lord is doing right now. In my former Catching the Fire of Revival posts, I have referenced the book The Calvary Road by Roy Hession, and I have based the previous posts on that incredible little book. I still recommend that you read this book if you want to know what revival is and how to get it in your heart. And trust me, it’s not a “bad time” for you, nor are you “not in the right head space” to experience a revival. It really doesn’t matter if you haven’t talked to God in a while either.

Thank you, God, that your love is unconditional. We suck.

As I have said before, God is on the move. Let’s get in on the action.

Catching the Fire of Revival Part I
Catching the Fire of Revival Part II

Life Speakers and Bad Breath Breathers

Isn’t it funny how a breath mint can be the difference between a moment with someone being sentimental and precious vs. terrible and nasty?

There are times when I’ve been in close quarters with someone and all I can think about is how little I can breathe from the fog-cloud they are creating between us and how much I’d like to throw a breath mint in their mouth while they are talking. I hate to say it, but I have noticed that this problem seems to rage to special heights in churches. Who’s idea was it to serve everyone coffee before social time? What a ministry.

Maybe our true church ministry should be providing breath mints to the needy.

I love coffee. So I’ve often found myself in this awkward position of having just inhaled a cup or two during a service and then realized that the Lord is putting it on my heart to go and pray for someone. So then there’s the mad “gum scramble”, during which we have about fifteen seconds to ask everyone in our row if they remembered to come prepared. Usually they haven’t. And so the apologies to the one seeking prayer begin.

In a way the coffee-breath ministry can be easily related to our words, and ultimately our hearts, because the Bible says that our words are a reflection of what we have inside. I think it’s probably wise for each of us to ask ourselves every once in a while, “What is coming out of my mouth?”

God has made it abundantly clear to me and my husband during this season of our lives that He is going to battle for us. It’s cool to think about, but only for a second or two. Because after He confirmed that to us, we quickly realized that meant we had been put on the sidelines. Yes, we are out of the game. We have given the Lord permission to go to bat for us, but that means we aren’t going to bat at all.

On the plus side, God has never lost a game.

On the down side…It means we need to constantly check ourselves so that we make sure we aren’t picking up any spare sports equipment to try and jump into the game. If I rush out there the ref will blow the whistle for having too many players on the field and I’m either going to take a penalty and get suspended from the game, or worse, the whole season. This is something I have learned a lot about these past few years, that when God tells us to trust Him, we have to. There is no alternative. There is no “Maybe I’ll just do this one thing,” or “Things would be better if I just spoke up and told my side of the story.”

Stop it, you. Just stop. When God says to trust Him, then TRUST HIM.

Ugh, the agony. No one likes to sit on the sidelines. But I have begun to realize how peaceful it is over here.

Distrust in God always has way more consequences than trusting Him.

That is a statement I should tattoo to my own forehead. Because the person who took the biggest hit from my distrust last season was me. It’s been a long break between seasons and God has revealed so much to me about those times, and taught me so many things about my own life as I have been on this break. He called a penalty on me and I was forced back onto the sidelines for a while. Even writing blogs was out of the question for a time, as I learned to “trust myself to trust God”. Distrust has consequences. But even more than that, it carries baggage. My heart has always been to minister to the broken-hearted, and to share His unrestrained love to those who feel hopeless. If that’s truly my heart, then God will give me those opportunities. I don’t need to try and find them myself.

The strange part about this new season is how much more prepared I am going into it. Learning, even if it’s by mistakes, is invaluable. At first it seemed like punishment, God calling me to stay at home and be involved in less in every area of my life, but over time I realized that He wasn’t mad. He was just equipping me to get back out there, patting the dirt off my jersey and giving me a Coach’s speech so that when I did re-enter the game I would be ready for it this time.

I think that God brings us through the same tests that we have failed in the past, so that we have another chance to pass them. This season is different in some ways, yet there are many similarities to what we as a family are experiencing. It would be easy to default to my former self, the one who would have felt the need to plead my case and speak up to defend myself when people are getting the wrong idea about what is happening. But the biggest difference between this season and the last one, is me. God is pulling on his batting gloves and scanning the field. Something major is about to happen and I don’t want to ruin it by jumping in and giving my team a penalty. And if I can wait, and trust in Him, we might just walk away with a trophy or two.

One thing that the Lord has been majorly pressing into us is that right now He is watching and waiting. During the stretches of desert that we seemed to be trudging through as we were trying for a baby, and wondering what God’s plans were for what is now our home in Shingletown, He told us over and over again that His timing was perfect, and He sees all things. Rushing wasn’t on His agenda, so we had to take it off ours. We couldn’t push God’s timing, or there would be consequences. We couldn’t make a move without His leading, or kick open the doors that He hadn’t opened yet. HIS timing is perfect. And He sees ALL things.

Here, take some of His peace. You can have it. It’s free. *Hand thrust forward* 

Trust really is its own therapy, once we finally give in and let it be our way. I’m sure this is the way God intended us to live as Christians, to love everyone, address every person with respect, and forgive no matter what. The hardest people to forgive are the ones who need it the most, and are probably suffering from something themselves. When we love and pray for those that make things harder on us, we are releasing Heaven into the atmosphere and breaking chains that the enemy has tried to place over us.

Jesus is the King of Love, and He dishes it out in handfuls. It’s easy to love others when we remember just how much He loves us, and what He’s willing to do for us (which is everything, even dying). So I’m sitting out for this season, until the Lord hands me a catcher’s glove and sends me out onto the field. His timing is perfect. He sees all things. And right now, He’s watching, He’s studying the game and all of the players, and He’s waiting…

God has called all of us to be speakers of life into every situation, and to contribute to the trust we are supposed to have in Him. He has called us to be unified before His throne and to keep our eyes on the things of Heaven. I don’t want to be a bad-breath-breather. I would rather muzzle myself than speak negativity into the situations around me. Instead I think I will let God bring everything into being, since that’s sort of His thing, and watch in amazement as the incredible begins to happen.

Thank you Jesus for everything. Every accomplishment and moment of glory goes straight up to you.

So there you have it. Now let’s all go buy a whopping bag of breath mints for Sunday. Bring enough to share.

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Wilderness People

Pregnancy is weird.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. But even though there is an Olympic-level soccer athlete inside my tummy trying to kick its way out, it seems to only be a slice of what I’m focused on right now. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean it like I asked for a slice in my life and God handed me a whole cake.

It just shocks me that a year ago things were so different. I found myself in a place of waiting for everything. It was tough, praying every night before we went to sleep that we would get pregnant and not seeing it happen, praying for the Lord’s army to rush in and spring forward the timeline for the house we had just decided to build. Waiting, waiting, waiting. God was teaching us so much back then and we knew it, but it didn’t make it any easier. The message He made so clear to us was that His timing was perfect.

“Your timing is perfect. And you see all things.”

That was how we ended all of our prayers.

Not a lot of people know that I actually had a miscarriage this year, after seven months of trying to get pregnant and not succeeding. I know seven months isn’t a long time to try for a baby, many people have to try for much longer. And I know that miscarriages are extremely common. But it still stung.

I remember driving to the hospital at 3am the night that I woke up with minor contractions and I won’t even begin to tell you about what else was happening to my body. We had JUST found out we were pregnant too. I was so heartbroken that through my sobs I sang the bridge of a song by Elevation Worship that I had led recently as part of the worship team at my church, “By your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat, the resurrecting King, is resurrecting me. In your name I come alive, to declare your victory. The resurrecting King, is resurrecting me.” I sang this because I was trying to bring my baby back to life. I knew that I was losing it and I was trying to bring it back. I was doing the only thing that I was able as my body rejected it; I was worshipping. Jesus, the One who raises the dead back to life, because He was my first and last resort.

The thing was that it finally seemed like we were experiencing some breakthrough. We had finally gotten pregnant. We had finally started to see some forward movement with the property we were purchasing to build a house. But God’s timing really is perfect, even when it doesn’t seem that way. And He sees ALL things. Every corner of our hearts and what we are feeling. He knows every word we speak and every word spoken against us. He knows everything.

Well it was a few weeks after the miscarriage that I started feeling pretty ill. I thought it was just a regular old sickness of some kind. I started falling asleep everywhere too, which really isn’t like me. And then at a family gathering my sister, whom I believe said this by the nudging of the Lord even though she may not have known it, suggested the possibility of me being pregnant. The thing was that I had just gone through the whole miscarriage thing and I didn’t think it was possible for me to be pregnant that fast. But since she said it, I couldn’t just let the thought slide, not after everything. And I’m so grateful that she had the courage to ask the question even though it was probably hard to ask, because it was that same day I buckled and went in to buy a pregnancy test. Oh pregnancy tests. How I loathed them by this point. But as it turned out, I was pregnant after all. And I was already several weeks into the pregnancy.

What?!

Everything was a bit behind schedule, even my first Dr. appointment which is supposed to be around 9 weeks didn’t happen until 12 weeks because before I saw the doctor I had to have an ultrasound to see how far along I was before I could book my first appointment. Then, because of how behind that all was, I missed the ultrasound deadline for screening, which isn’t imperative or anything but still, it was something to chuckle about considering how slow everything seemed to be moving in my life before. Suddenly everything was full throttle, and when my first trimester hit it was a sudden uncoordinated mess of sleeping all the time or barfing all the time. It seemed like in a flash I was right out of the game altogether and couldn’t even function at regular life.

Now instead of everything moving at the speed of a slug, time was getting away from me. I was halfway through my pregnancy before I had even registered completely that I was actually going to have a baby. And a GIRL no less! Suddenly I was sitting on my bed in a state of shock, with all kinds of bizarre thoughts going through my head, “A girl…? Really? I don’t know how to take care of a girl! I only have experience with a boy! I don’t even have any girl clothes, or pink things, or pretty stuff. How am I suppose to raise a girl?”

Well if there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that God DOES know how to take care of our children. And our homes. And our good old well being. This has been such an incredible time of growing (spiritually and literally) for me. We have kept to this prayer, “Your timing is perfect, and You see all things” because it has gotten us through the dry parts of the wilderness. The walk was long, hot, dry, and sometimes uncomfortable, but we knew that if we were faithful and trusted in the Lord, He really was going to bring us into the promised land, the place that we just couldn’t see over the dry hills until we crossed them.

But it wasn’t just the baby. Like I said, that is just a slice. An itty-bitty four pound home-slice, to be exact. There was more. There was the house. The home. The place the Lord was preparing for us. God has a funny way of hiding the opportunities until the time is right, even when we are praying for them. Sometimes when we are in the wilderness we look around and don’t see much of anything, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something just behind that next hill, or the next one. Don’t let doubt make you stop walking. You will lose your way and it won’t look good on you. Keep your trust and keep your head on straight, eyes up to Heaven. Or you will quickly start to look like a wild wilderness monster, and you will probably sound like one too.

Worship is something that is very close to my heart, especially since I first found out I was pregnant with Chase, our first child. Over him I prayed for a Heart of Worship during my whole pregnancy, and that he would be anchored in the Father’s Heart. I also prayed that he would be a joyful child and tagged on that it would be really cool if he would sleep well through the night. Boy did I get that. But now a girl is coming. A sweet little princess…at least I think that’s the right thing to say about upcoming girls. I wasn’t a sweet little princess growing up. More like a sneaky, misbehaving, dirt-faced, toad who would put war paint across my face and run through the trees after squirrels. So it begs the question, what am I going to pray over this little girl?

Many ideas swarmed my mind at first. I thought I would pray for a little missionary, or more specifically, a trailblazer, who would head into uncharted territory with the gospel! But that didn’t feel right. Then I thought maybe she was more the dreaming type, and I would pray for big dreams and maybe even add on a prayer for the gift of dream interpretation, along with wild visions as a prophetic painter! But that didn’t feel right either. Teaching/Pastoral? A leader? Walking in the prophetic? Filled with words of knowledge? Wisdom and Creativity? No, I don’t think so. I mean I would love for her to have all these things but there wasn’t one thing in particular that stood out. Nothing seemed right to me until the image of mountains came into my mind. Mountains. Mover of mountains.

Yes. That was it.

Instantly I knew that what I was going to be praying over this child was for supernatural faith. The kind of faith that will see the mountains moved. Our little mountain mover. Prayers flooded my mind for unshakeable faith, someone who would go to war until the mountains before her started to tremble. Yes, this was definitely it. A prayer warrior in my own home? Yes, please! There were a few other things too, like patience, which may have just been a result of dealing with Chase and his business for the past two years and hoping for a child that might end up being a little more relaxed (ha!) I’m so excited for this baby, to look into her little eyes and tell her how much I love her. I’m so excited to paint gold mountains on the walls of her bedroom, so that she always remembers what she is capable of. I’m so excited to see what she grows up to be like.

Thank you, Jesus, for bringing us through the wilderness, and thank you that we didn’t lose sight of your plans, your perfect timing, and your wisdom when it would have been easy to do so.

Sorry this got so long, but it’s been a while and I guess I had a lot to tell. This walk through the wilderness has been a long one. But I believe it’s God’s heart that everyone makes it to the promised land. So hang in there.

Peace.

 

The Big Comeback

worshnight7

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!

Christmas in July?

IMG_00000929_edit

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.