live life in community

For many years, I have felt on the outside looking in… maybe you too can relate.

There have been seasons where I was missing having close sisters. That feeling where you long for family beyond the blessings you already have, Where my heart felt lonely despite a loving hubby, great kids, friends & family.

Heart sisters.

And I remember one day praying to Him, and ripping this longing from my heart & offering it to Him.

We were never meant to walk alone.

We are designed for community.

Community for me means walking along side those who share your passion & calling, who will give you a hand up on the hard days, and encourage you to unfurl the dreams yet to fly deep within.

live life in community (1)

We were meant to live life in community, just as our Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit do!

There are three elements of community which God has been revealing to me of late.

1. Come.

If you don’t show up, it isn’t community. Community gathers regardless of feelings, because it knows we are better together than on our own. Where we answer the invitation God offers to us all, to come and be. Be fully present, as you are.

2. Commune.

Also known as family. Living real lives together. Accepting us each as works in progress, on a journey towards wholeness:

  • Encouraging one another as we need it
  • Reminding one another to draw closer to Him and our loved ones
  • Giving our best at all times
  • Using our gifts for His glory
  • Praying over & for each other when needs arise
  • Being helping hands when we can meet another’s need
  • Crying together, sharing our brokenness
  • Offering one another a safe place to rest and be refreshed when we are weary

3. Unity.

When we gather with common purpose, somehow our unity makes us stronger, and greater than when we stand alone. I believe this is the secret to how God is which we gloss over in its complexity: God is three, yet one. Each fully their own person, yet united as One.

In community, we become the one He intended us to be.

Will community always be amazing? Nope. There will be hard times when our individuality rears its voice and cries out for attention, when we allow our unhealed places & pain to speak first.

Is community worth it? Always. There will be blessings you cannot yet imagine when we press in and dig deep together.

For me, community involves sisterhood. I have been so blessed with several heart sisters to live daily life with in the community I live in, here in Ontario. I don’t want to imagine life without them. They bless me more than they know.

But there was still an empty space left in my heart, a longing for more which was yet to come…which I believe we all have deep within.

God led our family to a new home church, and once we worked through our grief of missing where we had been, we found ourselves enveloped in the community He planned for us. Our family, as both a unit & individually, is the stronger & healthier because of it. Our church is intentional about loving God and loving people, and becoming family. Family is always welcome, warts and all.

He led me to Remade, and Beth Kinder. Beth & I connected, and before I knew it, I had the close sisters my heart had been longing for through their online community. Crossing country borders, denomination, age, race & status. Ministering, laughing, crying, writing, equipping, challenging, living life together despite the mileage that separates us. And that last longing was put to rest when I was welcomed in, and asked to join this community. Although Remade has morphed into a new season, I am still heart connected with the lovely sisters I met through that time of ministering together.

As I have followed His leading, He has blessed me with new friendships, and reawakened a few dreams through growing deeper in the communities He is planting me in.

Covid led to me putting a few former learned skill back into action, as I began to lead an online women’s Facebook group, helping sisters stay & feel connected despite lockdowns, through worship, bible study, prayer and sharing both the laughter & tears as we get to know each other.

God can unite us beyond our expectations when we follow His lead.

Community is His idea, the expression of how He lives life together as three in one.

Come, commune with Him & become one. This is the core of community, connected & grounded to God first.

Ask Him to draw you closer to the community He has for you here on earth.

Your best ‘you’ comes to life in the community where He waits to make it possible.

If you are intrigued by the concept of an online community, ask God to lead you to the One He has for you. Feel free to visit my connect page for ways to connect with my online community, for there is always room for one more!

If you too live in Canada, and long to meet with other Christians in the larger church community, Gather Women is crossing Canada and meeting provincially.

If you too have been lonely for the deeper authenticity and support of community, don’t allow your lack to drive you. Invite Holy Spirit to open your eyes to where He wants you to gather, connect and live in community.

everywhere

As a former Starbucks barista, the colour of the cups never influenced me to follow hard after God.

The kindness which my customers (especially the Christians) showed me during the harder times while I work there and in the non chain coffee shop afterwards caused me to drop to my knees in grateful thanks for their words of encouragement, which always came when I needed them most.

God speaking through His kids has more influence when they go where the people who need to hear the Good News are.

Everywhere.

I now work for one of those very clients who saw past the outer wrappings of the company & saw the potential in each staff which served him at Starbucks.

He helped call into the light that which God spoke to him about me.

God used him to encourage me to step into the fullness of what He has for me to fulfill my purpose.

Each of us can be that same influence everywhere we go.

Because the same Holy Spirit who helped shape us lives within each of His children. and He longs for us to step out into the very purpose He has shaped for us.

Now what He has for me may be very different from what He has prepared for you, but that isn’t the point.

If we don’t speak what we hear everywhere we go. the God who is wih us everywhere we go won’t be seen or heard or felt through us.

Everywhere we go, He is not only there by He joins us there. as He is always with us.

There are so many lonely, abandoned, broken and wounded hearts everywhere we go that are yearning from their very depths to know they matter. To hear they are wanted. To sense they are loved. To be met where they are at.

And God within us wants us to share the Good News that He is with us everywhere we go.

Whether the person knows Him or not everywhere you go.

I have been equally blessed by believers and unbelievers alike who followed His promptings.

Everywhere I go.

We need to become the people He wants us to be everywhere we go, to reach all those He is longing to bring into His embrace.

Which is everywhere on this earth.

For everyone matters to Him.

Everywhere we go.

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lean into Hope

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His timing is perfect.

The Max Lucado quote above jumped out at me last Sunday night, again yesterday morning, and won’t leave me be.

This morning, I awoke to the beginnings of a migraine. and this quote jumped back out to me, yet again.

I choose to believe it’s God reminding me of the truth it contains.

Lean into Hope.

God knows we need a shoulder to lean on and strong arms to hold us. That’s His job. Ours is to learn in at all times, trusting He is there for us. No matter what.

Heed the call of heaven.

We can’t find our path through the storms without His light showing us the way through. We may not be able to see our way, but if we are listening for His voice, we can hear His direction guiding us onwards.

Press into the Promises.

Our God is the God of Promise. What He says will happen, will.
What He says He will do, He will.
The precious promises He has wrapped throughout the Bible are there for us to wrap our hearts about when things are bumpy, painful or seemingly exhausted of hope.

These three short sentences all have something in common, besides all being penned by the same man.

They are all calls to action.

We need to choose to do these three steps in order to keep our equilibrium during the storms.

Because God is waiting for us to lean, heed and press in to Him.

He can’t do those steps for us.

He can be with us when we accept His reminders and invitations to come…

Lean on the arms which never tire, heed His loving voice speaking hope and life, press in to our ever present never shaken Rock.

He is the strength we need.
He is the love we crave.
He is the foundation we long for.

You do remember He adores you? Always has, always will?
No matter what?

Choose Hope, Beloved.

Every day, every time, every season.

For He alone will never fail to rekindle our hope when we put our faith and trust in Him.

to do continues…

Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace.
– 2 Cor 13:11

I don’t know about you, but when I see a list like this in the Scriptures, I am reminded of my daily to-do list.

We are to show our joy, our maturity, our love for one another through encouragement, and harmonious peaceful living.

His to-do list.

On the days when I can’t see that being possible, God always reminds me that I was never meant to do any of this life on my own. He is with me, in me and guiding me through each moment.

My job? To let Him live His to-do list through me!

Lord, i am ready to do the living You have for me today, as You live it through my words, actions and thoughts. May time with You head up my to-do list every day, and may all I do flow out of where You are leading me, for Your Kingdom & Your glory, always.

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meant to say

I have a confession to make.

I leave words unspoken more than I like to admit.

Important words…

I love you.

I’m sorry.

No.

Forgive me.

Help.

Miss you.

Yes.

I need You.

Moments pass when the words could have been spoken, and I didn’t speak them…

Sometimes out of fear the person I speak them to will not receive them, or somehow reject me.

Taking my mind off of reality and venturing into the world of “What its” has me speaking all the parts in my head, and not out loud where they need to be said.

Or I don’t seize the moment when it presents itself as I am distracted by something else.

We don’t always have another moment.

Life can pass us by in the blink of an eye if we are not careful.

Don’t miss the moment you are meant to live out of fear.

Bring your fear to the One who shows us who He is, and how to make the fear leave by filling up with His love.

For perfect love casts out fear.

Say the words you are meant to say when you are meant to say them.

We are all called to bless and build up those around us, not to cower away and leave things unspoken.

If we are paying close attention to the ones we love, and the One who knows all things, we shouldn’t miss His cue to speak:

What can I do?

I love you.

Great job.

Thank you.

Need a hand?

Let’s grab a cup of coffee and talk.

“So encourage one another and build each other up….” I Thessalonians 5:11

When necessary, use words.

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My prayer for you, for me: we will all hear His prompting whisper to speak the words needed to build one another up and show our love with both our words & our actions.

To live each moment to its fullest, leaving nothing we were meant to say unspoken.