Tuesday, 19 November 2013

with my head and not my heart


this week I've attempted any number of times to make a post. I think and think about something to write about, and then I start it. usually I have a whole bunch of half formed ideas rolling around in my head on that subject, and when I try and spit them out, they end up all jumbled and messy and not really what I think I'm trying to say. so I just left all of them to be finished at a later date when those thoughts become more fully formed.

I wasn't exactly sure why I was having this problem, but as I was talking to my dear friend last night, I was saying that my walk with God (and much of how I've been going through life lately) felt very much right now like I was doing it with my head and not my heart. I've been faithful at reading the Bible, and mostly faithful at praying, I have lovely blogs that I follow, I've been going to church, I have praise music on almost all the time, so it's not like I've 'taken a break' from any of those activities. I just feel like it's all so 'half-there'. it's so much easier for me to just read my chapter or two of the Bible for the day then it is to journal, and even praying feels sort of fake. I've tried crying out to God, asking Him to let this be more real again, let me feel it. and nothing happens. this isn't a case of my not believing anything about Him, I truly believe that He is there, and He loves us, and "all that". I just don't feel it. I'm sure that it's something going on on my side (after all He's not left me, or anything, He's still where He was), but I DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT OF IT!!

but then I was thinking about it. and I realized that it's what we do when we don't feel like it, that's what makes us grow. it's easy to follow Christ when you feel like it, when there's depth in your relationship, when everything is going good. but it's when it's not so easy to follow Him that we show what we're made of, and how strong is that grace that saved us.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39

I can't wait until I start moving through life with God with my heart again! but right now I'm going to be faithfully walking with my head. if you are going through a similar experience, keep plugging away! if we all waited until we felt like it to do anything, we wouldn't do anything! rather, at some point, the feelings will follow the actions. prayin for y'all!

love Em

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


"Every experience God give us is the perfect preparation for a future only He can see." Thus saith Corrie ten Boom in her book, The Hiding Place; where, as you journey through the lives of the ten Boom family, you cannot help but see that this is true. There are many lessons to be learned in this wonderful book but it seems to me that this is the thread that ties them all together.

In any book, whether it is fiction or a true story, it becomes clear to the reader throughout the account, but especially at the end, that all of the events fit together in such a way so that the characters end up where they are supposed to be. The same is true with our lives. Each of our lives here on earth has an endpoint, and only God knows when and where that is, and what it holds. We can only see the events in our lives as we go through them, and then as we look back upon them. As we look back on our lives, often we can begin to see how certain circumstances will fit together, leading us to where we are today. This is valuable; but think that as finite humans, how limited our view of all that is in comparison to our infinite God. He can see the whole of our story, and not just that but everyone in the history of the universe's story - those in the past, present, and the future - and how they all fit gloriously together to point to the greatness of our God. Life is like a tapestry, from the bottom we can see nothing orderly, nothing beautiful; only tangled up threads. But from God's vantage point, He can see how it all fits gloriously together into an image, as Corrie once said "Only heaven will reveal the top side of God's tapestry."

Pain hurts. But pain with a purpose can allow us to hope. Oftentimes when we are going through a hard situation, when we are feeling hurt, it feels as if it is pointless.  But the Bible promises that this is not so! In Romans chapter five verses three and four Paul writes: "Not only so, but let us also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Another similar passage is James 1:2-3, which says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." Clearly, suffering and pain is not meaningless. We will grow through our hard times, making us more mature and prepared for what God has planned for us down the road...which will then prepare us more yet again for what comes after. Corrie also says “Our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things too. Don't run out ahead of Him.”

We cannot see the future - but God does. We cannot possibly know what we will need when we get there, or even how we will get there, but He does. That encourages me a great deal, knowing that if I am walking in God's will for my life that He will give me everything that I will need in the future.  Even if it means going through hard times; if it is where He wants me to be, then that is where I want to be, because "when a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” (Corrie ten Boom) God is the engineer. Even when life doesn't go the way that I think it should, I can rest assured that God knows where I need to be going and He will get me there. There is nothing that can happen to me that He does not allow, and He will use all of it to prepare me for what He has in store for my life, to bring Him glory.

Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. (Eph 6:23-24)Blessings!

Friday, 1 November 2013

life is beautiful


this song? on repeat this week. over and over again. and then again.

listen to it. slow.

life is beautiful. it's all those little things. realize it: you have it all. don't take it for granted because while you may have some of it tomorrow, rest assured you won't have all of it, starting with today itself.

take it slow today, look for all those things. those 1000gifts.

blessings on your day!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

whatever you do


I do not even know how many times this song has been played at my house the last few weeks. (of course, it helps that the music video is borderline creepy the first few times you watch it (come on, yes? and that part where there is three of him?) although it just gets funny after that) I just love. this. song. it is catchy, and it has an extremely important and encouraging message that I think applies to, well, everyone.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. ~1 Corinthians 10:31
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. ~Colossians 3:23-24

it also reminds me of what Emily at Chatting at the Sky has been talking about recently. whatever you do, it all matters. whatever you do, it is art. whatever you do, do it for the LORD. WHATEVER!! when you are feeling down about whatever it is that you do; whether you are a SAHM, or a doctor in the emergency room, or a student, who someone who works at Dollarama - it all matters when you do it to the glory of God! how does this work, you may say? does God really care about what I do? is it even worth it? the answer is YES! so give it your all, God gave all for you, shouldn't we give him our all in all things too? on top of that, when we believe that we are doing doesn't matter, we are not giving God the chance to work through us (not that He can't, because He can (and He will sometimes) but that is a different post for a different day ;)) in that situation. Satan really truly wants us to believe that what we do matters little or not at all. please tell me if you know where in the Bible it says that little things don't count?

in conclusion; be encouraged. there is nothing you can do (except for sin) that does not bring God glory when you do it. you were created for it! strive for excellence! it matters! you are working for God, and not for another man.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

Saturday, 26 October 2013


the more I learn, the more I see that everything is seriously connected.

right now, I am really dealing with contentment. (favourite blogs writing about contentment for 31 Days in Oct: Sarah Writes  and Cassidy Robinson :)) don't we all say to ourselves - 'I'll be content when _______' (fill in the blank for yourself), but I know for a fact that when I get there I will then be saying 'I'll be content when ______' about the next step in my life, and this will keep going until I die unless somewhere along the line I learn to be content right where I am. so why not start now?

I am seeing that the key to being content is 3ish things, all of which are connected.

God's presence. His character. who He is. dwelling on this y'all. Our God is the God of love, He is just, He is sovereign, He is good, He is best, besides a million other things that I don't have the brainpower or time to list this morning. when we think, really think, when we soak in who our AMAZING God is - how are we not content? He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross so that we could have life??? *mindblown* our God truly is good, which leads me to my next point:

His promises. (favourite blog about His glorious goodness this Oct: With Love, From Here). there are many, many promises in the Bible (just googled it quickly and results varied from 1500-3000). when we know who our God is, and that He will not let us down, His promises have a lot of worth. we can hope in them, trust in them, and we can be content.

gratitude. (Ann Voskamp's blog A Holy Experience has truly spoken God's words to me during hard times in my life) I truly believe this is key to contentment. discontent stems from thanklessness. when we are not thankful for what we have, where and who we are, then what we don't have looks better than what we do have, and this is discontent. when we give thanks for all things, we are accepting God's plan for our lives. we are showing Him that we truly believe that He does not make mistakes and that He really does know best. when we neglect to give thanks we are telling God that we know better than Him what we need right now. and ummm, I'm sorry, but we don't. contentment in each moment stems from gratitude in each moment. I could go on and on about giving thanks but considering this is just supposed to be an overview of some of the things that I feel are related to contentment I will save all that for another post ;).

other things related to contentment:

hope. (Sweetwater blog) sometimes I have trouble with this one because I feel like when I'm hoping for something, that makes me less content with where I am/what I have. but I think that when that happens to me, I am not hoping in the true sense of the word. hope should encourage us that God is good and what He has for us is good. we can hope for specific things and that is not wrong, but we can take it in the wrong direction and become discontent when we feel that God is not moving fast enough.

yearning and desire. right now one of my prayers is that the LORD would be my first desire. admission, often, He is not. :( and this makes me sad.

trust. in order for any of this to be of any worth to me I need to trust in God's character, His promises, hope etc.

sometimes it is necessary for us to 'fake it til we make it': go through the motions even when we don't feel like it, and the feeling will follow along. maybe not for a long time; but it will. I promise. if we waited for the right feeling to be content/joyful/thankful/hopeful, it would never happen - at least not really and not for the long term. we need to choose contentment.

I don't want to make any promises about what I'm going to post on next, but right now I have this idea of maybe going a little deeper into each of those sections that I've mentioned above. we'll see if it lasts long enough to actually make the posts ;)

May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace. (Num. 6:24-26)

love em

Sunday, 20 October 2013

welcome :)

welcome to my little space :) here I hope to share the ponderings of my heart. I pray that God may use this space as a place where He will be glorified and honoured. some things that I anticipate sharing about are:

desiring the LORD, contentment (this is a biggie for me right now!!), waiting on the LORD, living in each moment (after all, that's all we ever have, right?), giving thanks, and godly womanhood among others :)

please feel free to follow along, I'd love to have you on my journey. I really really love getting comments, fyi ;)

may God bless you richly!


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Psalm 25

The last week and a half or so, this Psalm has been one of my favourites. In it there are a lot of cries out to God and a few promises. I stumbled upon it one day and I think Cassidy and I agreed to memorize it. Care to join us?

Psalm 25
(bold added by me)
In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.
I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,

but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.

Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.
Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
    and teaches them his way.

10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
    toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
    forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
    He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
    and their descendants will inherit the land.

14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
    he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
    for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart
    and free me from my anguish.

18 Look on my affliction and my distress
    and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies
    and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me,
    because my hope, Lord, is in you.
22 Deliver Israel, O God,
    from all their troubles!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

To-Do Lists and What to Do

Still in the middle of a super busy week where we are trying to pack for a vacation, organize for school, clean house, and can food (mostly 3 bushels of peaches but there is more too); I can say without a doubt that there is lots to do! I am a list-maker, that is my preferred way of working. The lists do. not. end.

But in the middle of all this busyness, there's something else you gotta remember, too. Life is short, and relationship is what counts. It's sort of like that Bible passage on love:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3)

"If I finish everything on my to-do list, but have not been purposeful about spending time with people, I fail. If I always have my school done, and my house is immaculately clean, and supper is always on time, but I have not been intentional about relationships, I had my priorities skewed."

On one of those days where the baby is cranky and clingy and just wants to be carried around all day, which makes it at least twice as hard to do many tasks; remember the baby won't be a baby for a lot longer now and soon enough won't even want to be carried at all... so treasure this time while you have it. Instead of mopping the floors right away (after all, they've made it this long without being mopped - they can take another week, can't they? ;)), play a game with the kids. 

It's important to work; to clean, to be good stewards of the things God has given us in this life. I am not at all telling you to be lazy; to not work or just leave the work. There is lots of work to be done, and we are the ones to do it. What I am saying is that we need to get our priorities straight! We complain that there is not enough time to get all our daily tasks done, let alone spend some time reading to the kids - but how long do you spend on the computer (or such devices) each day? (etc etc) There is always enough time, what there is enough time for depends on you.

There will always be work to do, but children will not always be little and people will not be around forever and if the world ended tomorrow would you wish you had cleaned the bathroom more or spent more time with the wee ones (& big people) in your life?  

Today:... pause for 5 minutes, before you fold that basket of laundry, and play a game with the kids... and then have them join you with the laundry and have a folding game! 

Life is sweet, don't miss it!

God bless y'all today!!

(This post was partially inspired by this.)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Morning Prayer

Bless this day, LORD. Help me to do what You will. Give me strength and patience and endurance. Open my eyes to the many many blessings that surround me; may I be a blessing to others, too. Let me feel your presence close today, God. All we ever have is now; help me to ever be present in this moment. LORD, you are awe-inspiring, and I praise you! Amen!

take a moment this morning, before you jump into the endless rushing, pause, be still, and talk to God. let His presence surround you, feel it.

blessings on your day!! :)

Videos in Feedburner

Just a note to say that when posts have videos (as a lot of them seem to do!), they don't show up in feedburner, you have to actually go to the blog. Having only realized that now, I will try to include a link to the video in the post; but you may want to just go directly to the blog post.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Like a Ship in the Night

It's been a while folks!! At the beginning of the school year I said I thought I would have more time to post throughout the summer... I guess not. :( haha! I do miss it but routine just isn't there (well, it's a summer routine anyways!) and while I love doing this it is not one of my summer habits... this year anyways.... :P

But I wanted to share this beautiful song with you (I know! More music.... it seems like so many of my latest posts have been music related!). It's called So Far Gone by Thousand Foot Krutch for those of you who don't know it.

I think my favourite part is the bridge (??), where it goes
I wanna be lost in You / like a ship in the night / I wanna be lost in You / underneath Your sky

Right now this song is my prayer, and I pray that as you listen to it that you will become so far gone in Him too!

I hope y'all like it!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

"Nothing formed against me shall stand, You hold the whole world in Your Hands, I'm holding on to your promises, You are faithful, You are faithful"

Monday, 22 July 2013

For When You are Rushing Through Life

This has become one of my favourite praise songs... and so I thought I would share :)

One of my favourite lines is 'hand on my heart, this much is true, there's no life apart from You'... it is one of those things I wish I remembered every moment of every day!!

This summer has been soo busy and when I get busy, and I even stop reading my Bible consistently (*gasp*), I try to live life on my own. I just start cruising along trying to get through each day, and sometimes I feel like I am having a blast...other times not-so-much... but even when it feels like it's all great, when I live life on my own it feels like something is missing. Because there is no life apart from God! When I'm not connecting with God, it's like life is only 2-dimensional instead of 3. Even when I'm having a great time doing whatever, I'm still not enjoying this (or listening to what God would have me do) to my fullest potential.

I'm really trying to get back into better habits for the rest of this summer, and I want my every heartbeat to proclaim it to me, and everyone else, that 'there is no life apart from You', so would you pray for me? :)

I also realize that it may be that this line also has another meaning... also true. For there is no life at all without God.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,  encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thess 2:16-17)
love Emma

Monday, 24 June 2013

Amazing Grace

On Saturday, we spent the day at Canada's Wonderland, for WonderJAM, a day of fun at the park with some shows by Christian artists and speakers. This year Hawk Nelson, KJ52, Manic Drive, Third Day and Chris Tomlin were there. It was a blast!! I love love love Roller Coasters.... I went on the Leviathan twice,  the Behemoth once, the Windseeker, as well as a bunch of other smaller awesome rides! :)

I'm still not sure what my favourite part of the day is yet (I always have a really hard time doing that), but one of the highlights was when Chris Tomlin was doing 'Amazing Grace'. Or rather, you know, Chris Tomlin was pretty much leading the whole crowd in worship. It was pretty amazing!

So we were singing Amazing Grace, with his chorus right, and the words go:

My chains are gone! I've been set free
My God, my Saviour has ransomed me
and like a flood, His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace

And I've sung that song hundreds of times before, and that night, we got to the part, 'I've been set free' and I'm thinking to myself, this is surely true, I know it! I know it! but how often do I live like it? How often do I live like I've just been set free? The God of the universe just set me free, broke my chains, but I still choose to live like I'm not free. I live chained by fear of not fitting in, of people not liking me, not being accepted and what they'll think of me, I live bound by the idea that I need to be better, on my own, I live like I'm enslaved by lots of things. But I shouldn't be! So we were singing that chorus, Chris Tomlin, the giant crowd, and I, and I tell myself I need to live free! I am rejecting the full power of the cross when I don't live free - because that is what Jesus came to do!

I challenge you all today, to live free! God made you, He loves you, He accepts you, He has already paid the price! You just need to believe that every moment of your life! You need to live and breathe that truth! You are free!!

And the second thing that God showed me on Saturday as we were singing this song, was the third line of the chorus, 'and like a flood, His mercy reigns'. The first thing that came to mind was this, and that one line to this song. (<links) Because if grace is an ocean, and mercy is a flood, and we are loved, and free, then what more do we need? And I was thinking flood, ....flood... and my mind went to the recent flooding in Alberta. I've seen videos of that, the water rushing along, taking with it whatever it comes in contact with, whole houses rushing down the water, everyone flooded, the water just seeps in everywhere. But what if that was mercy? What if mercy rushed along, and everything it came into contact with became part of the flow, and you couldn't escape it, what if it seeped into your heart and your soul? Why do we so often voluntarily evacuate when there is a mercy floods?

 And so I lifted my hands, and sang that chorus without abandon, thanking my God for breaking my chains so I am free, and for flooding me with amazing grace! I just wanted to share with you what God taught taught (retaught?) me through that song on Saturday. I pray that maybe He will show you too.

Also, I've heard that the McCardles are home (thank the LORD!) but there are still many things to continue praying for, so please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Have a lovely lovely day!!
love Emma

Friday, 21 June 2013

God's Presence

When you look in the Bible, it seems to me that the greatest promise that God has to offer us is that He will be with us. If the God who created the universe simply by speaking it, who saves nations from ruin, who conquered death, - if His greatest promise is that He will be with us - it has to be nothing short of the most super amazing totally awe-inspiring thing ever! I think sometimes, that we tend to shortchange this promise - I know that I do.

I found this whole list of comforting verses and I can think of even a few more off the top of my head. If you read those verses, most of them say something along the lines of 'do not fear for God is with you.' That is a promise!

There is this song.

And this one.

(sorry if there's a lot of music on this blog, but it is one way that I can really feel God speak to me)

 For me, when I am in the middle of trouble, of a peace-less time, I will petition God for something, whatever it is I feel like I need. But what I really should be doing is simply thanking Him for being with me - for He is; His promises say so, and He will keep His promises! What else do I need besides that, really? It's not wrong to ask God to do something to save me, but it shouldn't be my first priority.

If the absolute best thing He can offer us in times of strife is that He will be with us - how awesome can that be? His presence is worth than we give it credit for many times. 

I've heard many times, the idea of how the story of this whole world is like a tapestry, and God can see it from the top, and we can only see it from the bottom, and even then only a limited, very small section. From our vantage point, it looks ugly, and we might ask why? But from God's vantage point - where He can see all of the top - it is an extremely beautiful tapestry, all to His glory!

Everything on this earth happens for a reason, sometimes for several, but the reason overall is to bring God glory. And I know it's easy to say this, sitting on a comfortable chair, in my nice house, wearing nice clothes with a full stomach, but I would like to think that I could get through anything to bring my God glory! Especially if He is with me - which He is.

It is really easy (for me anyways) to lose sight of the fact that God - the Creator of the universe - is right here with me!  It is something I need to remind myself over and over again!

I feel like I'm starting to go around in circles, as I can't really think of any other points or ways to explain it... I know I've said it before, but honestly, if the greatest thing He has to offer us is His presence - then know that it is great! It is enough!

Isaiah 43:1-3
But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  For I am the Lord your God,  the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Our God is great, He is in control, and He is with us!!

May God bless y'all today and may you feel His awesome presence!
love Emma

Monday, 17 June 2013

eeeeksss :P

Hello all!!

I just wanted to pop in and let y'all know that I haven't forgotten about this!! Right now we are just in that crazy-busy transition between school-year and summer, and I really hope that I can get back to writing more regularly again very very soon!

Thank you all for reading this blog, I feel so honoured that God might use me in this! :)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Walk on the Water

I have always loved the story of Jesus and Peter walking on the water, but yesterday as I was reading it again, I discovered a few more things about it and now I love it even more! I just thought I would share them :)

Matthew 14:22-33
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Some of the things I noticed:

This story happens during the night. During the dark. It clearly says 'shortly before dawn'. This reminds me of this song and all those things we say about it being the darkest before the dawn. It was also storming (okay maybe not a storm, but at least very windy and wavy). 
 This story is applicable during the dark, during life's storms, during hard times. Jesus and Peter were walkin' on the water in the middle of the storm, in the dark. Not on a calm, beautiful sunny day. 

Something that I have always seen, but thought I would put down again, is that they were all afraid. In v 27 Jesus tells them 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' It is I. Why don't I listen to those words in my own life? When I am crippled by fear, why don't I look over to Jesus and wait for him to say those words?

Then Peter responds to Him, saying, 'LORD, if it's you, tell me to come to you, on the water.' I guess Peter still had a little bit of doubt going on. So He called to Jesus to show Himself, prove it was Him. He said, LORD, if it's you, let me walk on the water. Jesus tells him 'come'.

So Peter gets out of the boat, and starts walking on the water towards Jesus. In the middle of this dark night, in this storm, Peter is part of a miracle. He has let go of his fear, He is trusting in Jesus, and look at the amazing things that are happening! But then Peter took his eyes off Jesus. He saw the wind, and he became afraid, and began to sink. 

What storms am I going through in my life right now? Where is it dark, right before the dawn? And I'm afraid; I just want to stay where I think it's secure (even thought it's really not, even). Jesus tells me, He says to me, 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' But I don't listen. Sometimes, not often. But He's saying them! Peter, then still struggling with a little doubt, as I'm sure I would be, calls to Jesus. LORD, if it's you, give me a miracle. Throw me a lifeline - show me! And Jesus says, come. That's it. Come. Not 'come when you feel secure' not 'come when you have a better job' or 'come when you grow up' or when you have a bigger house, or when your kids grow up or anything. Just 'come.' And it takes faith to step out there. Peter did - and look what happened! He was walking on the water! Walking on water people! I think sometimes, as Christians we've heard this story (and so many others) so many times that while they are still miracles we forget to revel in the miracle in it. So I will say it one more time - People, He was walking on the water! But then Peter got caught up in the wind around him and he became distracted, and fearful, and he wasn't sure if he could do this anymore. We forget to focus on Jesus and the storm (mentioned above) begins to make us fearful again. And we begin to sink. But Jesus is greater than the wind. Once they got back into the boat, He calmed it.

Why? Why? Why do we do that? We've got it all! We're trusting Jesus, we're walking on water, in the middle of life's storm nonetheless. But we let our circumstances influence us, send us back to fear all crippling and maiming. It's not really that hard. Okay, maybe it is. But it's not really that complicated, there's no 10 page instruction manual for how to walk on water. You simply have to have faith. 

I pray that I, and that all of us, would be able to fix our eyes on Jesus, that even in the dark, in the middle of the storm, that we would trust, and that we would come, and that we would walk on the water. I pray that while we are walking, that we would not be tempted to look around us, and think about the storm - because Jesus is greater! 

What is crippling you today? Where do you need to hear Jesus' words, and step out and join Him on the water? 

May you all have a lovely lovely day!! :)

P.S. there is a really awesome song; Walk on the Water by Britt Nicole which you might also enjoy listening to :)


Tuesday, 28 May 2013

to Love to Pray

When I went to bed last night, I was lying there, and thinking, or not-so-much thinking, more just letting my mind wander, until it had wandered to a place which made me more alert, because it involved something I really wanted to work out. Instantly, ya know, I thought, well this is something I need to pray about, that if God wants it to work out, then He will work it out, because right now it's a little too complicated for my little brain. So I start to pray, ya know; I always start by thanking Him for the day and for whatever blessings I can remember, then move on to prayer requests, for friends and family, for church and missions etc, and personal ones. Maybe it was because I was really tired, but my mind just kept wandering. I kept trying to bring it back to praying but it was really a struggle.

But somehow through my tired-mind-wandering-state, I did come up with these coherent thoughts. I think that as Christians, as followers of Jesus, we should love to pray. We should love to pray like you love to have a good conversation with a great friend. It shouldn't just be 'duty' or 'obligation' or us wanting something that makes us pray (although I do think that sometimes those are helpful things for when we aren't feeling like we'd love to pray, but need to pray anyways), we should really love to talk to our LORD.

A few weeks ago, I really did feel like I was maybe sort of starting to love to pray. Most afternoons, right after lunch I will take the little girls out for a walk for them to have a nap. For a long time, I would always listen to music while I was walking, ya know, join the earphone people all walking down the street. Then one day I consciously made the decision to leave my iPod at home, and go walking without music. At first it was hard, so I decided that it might be a good time to get some prayer time in (note at this point I did not 'love to pray' but decided to use it to help me). So off I went, praying the little girls in the stroller, for my 'list' of prayer requests, for the people I passed on the street, and whatever came to mind. As time went on, I really began to enjoy my 'prayer-walks', and I think I began to 'love to pray'.

Then it started to not go so-well. I'm not sure what it was, but for some reason one day when I was walking, I didn't pray, I just let my mind wander. I was thinking about a bunch of things, I don't really remember what; and I didn't pray. Okay, whatever, you say, that was just one walk. And it was, but it turned into two, then three, then four. Then I would think about it, and it would occur to me that the girls always went to sleep faster when I was praying, so I would start to pray that God would give them peace, that He would help them to relax and settle and fall asleep. I would pray that they would come to know God's love for them as they grew each day. I would pray a bunch of things for them, but really my motives were to help them fall asleep.

I don't think that it is wrong for us to pray when we have something to as God for, but I believe that shouldn't be the ultimate reason we talk to Him for. Wouldn't you think it was a bit weird if every time your friend called you, it was just so she could ask you a favour?  It says in Philippians 4:6 to ask God for all your requests (through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, so that you will not be anxious). Many times throughout the Bible we are told to come with faith and ask God for what we need. But I don't think we should only pray when we have a prayer request, or something we want God to do for us. I believe those are very valid things to pray for, but that our 'end goal' should be that we love to pray. That we would love to talk to God.

And like I said, this is something that I most definitely need to work on myself.

Prayin for y'all today folks! ;)

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Enjoy it, Because it is a Gift!

The other day I was talking to a wise friend of mine (um, well actually it was Cassidy). She asked me how my day was, I said, 'tiring, but good; it was a good day.' I asked her how hers was, this is what she says; she says: 'It got better :) every single day is a day God has made and I am refusing His gift by not living right now enjoying it'. 

not sure about the 'dearie'... I think I was feeling British at the time lol...
Think about this now. Every single day is a day God has made and we refuse His gift by not living right now enjoying it. God made today, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. I will never never ever have the chance to re-live this day. I will never be able to watch the sun rise on this morning again, I can never go back and spend more time with my family, or watching the little kids do silly things. 

God gave it to me, to you, to us all, as a gift. A gift needs to be used, and it needs to be enjoyed.

When I think about all the days I spend/have spent very unproductively, it makes me sad (now I'm not saying that we need to work all the time!) because God gave me the day and I squandered it. Each day He also gives us work to do, something to further His kingdom. To those who are ready for a little He gives a little and to those who are ready for much, He gives much. We, as humans, members of the fallen race, cannot, in this life, see how God works. It may be that the little conversation that you had with the dude beside you on the bus affected him, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but God used you to work in his heart, and years from now, he may not even remember the conversation but God used something you said, and it changed his life. 

But God also gives us this gift of time, each day, to be enjoyed. There are a lot of things if only we just see them. Yesterday it rained here (and thundered!! yay!! ;)), and after supper some of the sibs wanted to go for a walk to do some puddle jumping, so I agreed to take them, I admit, a little begrudgingly. I'm not sure exactly what I wanted to do instead, but there must have been something, but I went, thinking to myself about the times when I had wanted to go puddle jumping and couldn't, when I was little. We had a marvelous time! I let go and decided to enjoy myself instead of wishing I was at home. We chicken-danced down the sidewalk (I hear this is a completely foreign idea in Redwood lol! In Ontario you are only slightly crazy if you dance down the street, and it's best if it's done in the rain! ;)), jumped in puddles. Livvy (8) and Bella-Boo (3) ran ahead while I walked slower with Eden (1 1/2), who was really cute trying to run and catch up with them. One of them had shorts that were a little too big on, and had to hold them up while they ran... it was sooo funny!!! 

Sorry about that, I was just having a little too much fun reliving that. :) 

My point here this morning, is pretty much just what Cassidy said. "Every single day is a day God has made and I am refusing His gift by not living right now enjoying it"  So I challenge you today, to enjoy it! To find the little job that God has for you today and to do it, and to live in each moment, laugh long, loud, clear. With somebody. Each breath is a gift from God, don't take today for granted. 

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

May God bless you today!!
love Emma

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

1 Peter 2

First off, your link for today:
How to Live Through the Really Hard Storms, from Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience. This is profound people!! Wow! 
...and some quotes...
"And yet — is thanking God for everything… thanking Him for evil?"
"To thank God in all is to give God glory in all. Is this not our chief end?"
"Giving thanks is only this: making the canyon of pain into a megaphone to proclaim the ultimate goodness of God."
"But this is the hardest of all: That which I refuse to thank Christ for, I refuse to believe Christ can redeem."
wow. please read it. :)

And now, our continuation of 1 Peter. Last Tuesday I started with 1 Peter 1, which you can read here.

1 Peter 2

v. 1
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
guess I've still got a long way to go. Thanks be that we don't need to have it all together on our own, that Jesus paid the price! Through His power, I can indeed do this!

v. 3
 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.


 v. 6 (which is also Isaiah 28:16)
For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
    a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
    will never be put to shame.”

The one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame. What a promise!! ...and then, I'm thinking about this now, and ya know, Jesus himself said, you will endure trouble, rejection, hatred, all because of me, the cornerstone... hmmm... I still like this verse, anybody have any idea how to interpret it?? Because, I think, we will be put to shame, but the first time (and probably the second and third too), I felt like saying amen, and it is a promise, and God always keeps His promises so it is true, it's just a question of 'how'. help, anybody??

v. 9
 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

If you ever have any doubt about your calling, what God wants you to do in your life, here it is: declare the praises of Him [...]. Whatever else you may be, doctor, lawyer, bricklayer, first and foremost your calling is to declare His praises! 

v. 11
 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.

when Satan speaks the lie that the sinful thing you desire won't really hurt anybody,  God's word tells you that's a lie. Right here it says that they wage war against your soul. Makes ya think a little.

vs. 16-17
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Don't know if any of you have ever heard of the 'license to sin' saying, but it seems to me that v 16 talks about that... v. 17. yep.

vs. 23-24
 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Wow. This is what He did for me. What I am I doing for Him? 

May God bless you and use you today!
love Emma

Saturday, 18 May 2013

For Your Weekend... He is with you!

May you feel His presence in a very real way this weekend. May every decision that you make rest upon the fact that He is with you. May every fear fall away as you dwell on His presence. May He be the One you depend upon when all others forsake you, because He won't. Nothing in this world or beyond it can separate us from Him. Cast your cares upon the One who is always with you, for He loves you. May you know this truth this weekend, from your head to your heart and everywhere in between. :)

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Matthew 28:20b
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. 

Isaiah 41:10
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.  

John 14:16-17 
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

love Emma :)


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Delight in the LORD folks! ;)

Psalm 37:4
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

When I was younger, I always thought that this verse meant that if I delighted in the LORD then God would give me what I wanted, He would make all my dreams come true. I thought, I like this verse! It's like the key for making my life turn out the way I want it.

Fast forward.... now I am closer to God than ever, delighting in Him more than I ever have before (and I've still a long ways to go!), and I see that this verse has a different meaning. ...sort of.

It still means that you should delight in the LORD, it still means that He will give you the desires of your heart, but there is a little part that I was missing all those years. When you are really, truly, finding delight (I need a synonym here!) in the LORD, then what you desire will be what God wants for you. And I don't mean always, I mean, I can't speak for later in my life, or in yours, but for right now, I still have the desire to sin, and obviously that is not from the LORD. But what I desire in my heart when I am delighting in the LORD is to have His will fulfilled in my life because I know that it is a million times better than my dreams were anyways. And you never know - once you decide to give up your dreams (still dream them! but be open to where God would have you go) then perhaps God will give them right back to you - made over and better than you could have imagined!

And I think that is just so cool! :) 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

1 Peter 1

Yesterday I was trying to think of what to write and I couldn't really think of anything... This morning I was reading my Bible, in 1 Peter, which is one of my most favourite books of the Bible. I ended up deciding that I would just kinda talk about 1 Peter 1. 

....So yah...

1 Peter 1

Just look at vs. 3-4
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,

Read it slowly. Soak it in. Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, through His conquering of death, God, in His great mercy has given us new birth and a living hope! How many of us are searching for new birth, somewhere to start over, to be made new, to have something else to live for? A living hope? Not just any hope people, but a living hope! If you need hope in your life, here is where to find it! And we haven't even finished the verses; we also have an inheritance that is kept in heaven, which can not; not will not, not might not, but can not ever perish, spoil or fade. What promises!! 

vs. 6-7
 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

We ought to rejoice about this! And greatly! For those of us who have ever wondered why we go through hard times, through trials, well here is one answer. We have them so that our faith (which is worth more than gold!) may be proven genuine, and bring praise, glory, and honour to our Saviour when He is revealed. To me, that is worth suffering for. 

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

How to get joy?

vs. 13-16
 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Here is where we are supposed to set our hope - on the grace brought to us when Jesus Christ is revealed. Sometimes, ya know, I wish I didn't have as strong a conscience...but here we go... do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance (aka did not know the rules, the law, did not have a working conscience). alright then! But He calls us to be holy! How often do I choose to be angry, to stay in a funk because I feel like I deserve it? He calls us to be holy, holy in all we do. Today I challenge myself, and you all, to be holy. When you are faced with a decision, think about whether it is a holy choice you are making. It will not be easy but it will be worth it!

 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

Ponder this. 

v. 21
Through him [Jesus] you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Summary time.

vs. 22-23
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Love one another deeply, from the heart. From the root of yourself, from the One who dwells within you, love one another deeply. Even when you don't feel like it. (except for the fact that this is a fallen world, and therefore world peace is currently (as in not until Jesus returns) not possible, I believe that real, unconditional, self-less love is the key.) Here we get to the re-birth thing, and it elaborates. We have not been born of just any seed, but imperishable seed through the living and enduring word of God. What hope!! 
May you set your hope on what is above, being holy today. May you feel encouraged!
love emma

p.s. if y'all liked this I may continue all through 1 Peter? ...cause I really really like that book?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

For Your Weekend...

May we live each moment fully alive, fully aware, fully thankful. May every thought, every word, every action reflect our Saviour.

The power of the cross is redemption. It is freedom. It is strength. It is forgiveness. It is love. It is justice. It is powerful. May we let everything we do this weekend rest on this power. May it affect everything about our lives, driving us to be radical in the name of Jesus!

God bless you today!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Love & Serving

I always think it is just the coolest thing when God tells you a whole bunch of things that are all connected! This happened to me this weekend! 

Over the weekend I read Ernest Gordon's 'Through the Valley of the Kwai'. (amazing book! I would highly recommend reading it! (warning, there are a few horrible parts.) in the middle it will make you cry because it is horrible and just past that it will make you cry because it is so beautiful!). At church on Sunday, we were learning about being a servant. Then, on Monday morning, I was just reading Julie's post, which is about love.

All throughout the Bible it talks about doing good. Taking care of people. Serving. Isaiah 58 talks about what sort of things God wants us to do. All throughout the Bible we are called to serve others. Even Jesus came to serve.
Mark 10:45
'For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'

The two greatest commandments ever given to mankind were this: to love the LORD, and then to love our brother. 1 John 3 tells us how we can do that. All of the laws are summed up into this little verse, which tells us to treat each other as ourselves. Jesus says, whatever you do to the least of these, you do it for me.

1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

2 John 1:6
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 

Clearly loving others is loving God. Love is an action. Serving. In some ways I think that loving and serving should be synonyms. To show our love for God we need to do what He commands us to do. Yes, the 10 commandments but Jesus said that most importantly we are to love God and love others. When you love God, you will begin to see people through His eyes and loving them is just a natural expression of loving Him. When you love someone, it's not about what you can get out of it, it's not even so much about how you feel (because you will feel let down, you will feel frustrated, hurt, maybe even angry), but it's about what you can do for the other person, how we can build them up and love them - serve them. 

Today I would challenge you to find one person, just one, and find some way to love/serve them. It doesn't have to be big, even little things show love, but find just some way to tell/show them that you love them. God will be smiling down at you :)

May we let Jesus shine through us today!

(I hope I didn't jump around too much here... and it all makes sense :P) 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Year in Review

Being that today is my birthday, and I am beginning a new year in my life, I decided that yesterday was a good day to kinda 'take stock' of the old one; look at what I've done, and what God has been teaching me.

When I look back at where I was last year, well, I'm not sure exactly what I think. I was just nearing the end of a rough year of homeschooling (I wanted to go to school so badly!). In general, my life was good, I just had bad days sometimes (I would get the Monday blues for the first time in my life... I had always loved Mondays!). I went to church and youth group and I did read my Bible, just not consistently.

The summer was both weird and great at the same time. Yep.

School started up again and in my longing I tried to make it as much like school as possible - which made me hate it even more. We were still looking for houses, living with half our stuff in a storage unit...

A few years ago I read Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts, and I follow her blog. She sent out this 100 Days thing to help you make good habits. On September 10, 2012 I started, my three habits to make being to read my Bible, count my gifts (see Ann's book), and to exercise. Life was good. I was still a little down. I started to rise out of it. I discovered that in my longing for school, I was trying to fit homeschooling into the same shape and it wasn't working. Once I decided to embrace homeschooling I started to enjoy it. If I were given the choice I think I might still go to school, but I am happy where God has me.

I think there are several things that God has been (trying to) teach(ing) me this year.
1. give thanks. all the time, and for all things. when was the last time you thanked God for the sound of birds chirping outside for window? (for more on the giving thanks thing, see Ann Voskamp's book, or her blog. life changing!)
2. don't fear. Like I said here, I have been looking at all the fear-nots in the Bible. what I am learning is just. so. cool.
3. trust God. this one is overlapping of both of the others and is so much more. we cannot fathom all that He is. all He does. just rest in Him.

I think this song really sums up where I am right now. Especially the bridge: 'I don't know, I don't know, what tomorrow may hold; but I know, but I know, that You're holding it all, so no matter what may come....'


This song has also meant a lot to me this past year.


I was looking through my little notebook and found some verses/passages that I had written down as important to me, since September. (btw if I didn't put the passage there is a link)

Job 37

John 16:33
I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.

Isaiah 43:1-3
But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God,  the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

Jeremiah 32:27 

2 Thessalonians 3:3 

Isaiah 40:28-31 

Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Psalm 81:10

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Lamentations 3:21-25
 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail.23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.

Three amazing books I would recommend reading:

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis (wow. what an inspiring story with amazing lessons to be discovered as you journey along with Katie. couldn't put it down.)

Heaven by Randy Alcorn (while learning about Heaven I learned so much more about God too. what an awesome Saviour we have people!)

1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp (see the rest of this post. this is where my journey began and keeps going.)

If you are in tough spot, I would encourage you to hope. I would encourage you first and foremost to read your Bible, even in the days you don't feel like it, because it will be worth it. If you wait until a day when you feel better you will never start. If you start today you will feel better. Read Ann's book, make a gratitude list. Live in every moment. Trust God, be still, and soak in who He is. I just want to encourage you. I'm not trying to make last year look really bad, because to be honest, it wasn't all bad. But I do know that last year, I was in a bit of a low spot, and this year, I have risen out of it! With God's grace, you can too!

love Em

wow. that was long. ;)