What anchors you?

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“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:19

What anchors you?

One thing is certain, we need an anchor.

Life is so uncertain.  One moment life is figured out and definite; the next moment you are stumbling in the dark.

What is your anchor?

I have lived my life without an anchor.  Well I should back up a bit.  I have been raised knowing God as my Lord and Saviour.  My faith was sure.  I knew who I was and where I was going.  I had an anchor in my life, The Anchor.

But then rough waters came.  I was in college and I no longer wanted an anchor.  I wanted freedom.  Freedom from rules, freedom from the restrictions my anchor gave me.  I hated being tied down.  I had been raised knowing the security of my Anchor.  But I did not want to be the good girl anymore.  I wanted to be the fun girl.  I wanted to live life on my own terms. No more rules.  No more restrictions.

I look back with such clarity on this moment.  I made a decision.  This was not a slow fade away from my faith.  This was an “I am done with my faith” moment.   I cut the rope that attached me to my anchor, the anchor being Christ.

I told God I was done.  If this was Christian living, I wanted no part of it.  I was sitting in my office when I made the decision.  But in my mind, I envision myself on a boat that is anchored.  And I take a knife and I cut the rope and I leave the anchor behind.  I immediately start to drift away, and I smile because I think I am free.

In that moment, I picture the face of Jesus.  He is sad.  But He lets me go; because Jesus never forces us to love Him or choose Him.  It is our choice.  He desires a relationship with us, but we have to choose that.

Cutting free of my anchor was the worst decision I ever made.  I drifted out to deep sea and faced the roughest waters. My life spiraled downward.  I made such poor decisions.  And before I knew it, I felt like I was drowning; drowning in regret and shame and lies. My journey which had started so hopeful was now dark and lonely and hopelessly lost.  My addiction to bulimia led me to lie to everyone I knew and hide from the ones I trusted and loved because I lived in shame.   I coped with my loneliness by partying.  But when the music faded and the party was over, I was still alone and lost, drifting in open waters.

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I finally saw my life for what it was.  I saw where my decision had led me.  I was not freeIt was a lie.  I was addicted to a life I hated and I needed help.  I needed my Anchor.

On my knees, alone I asked Jesus to help me. 

It was the first time I had prayed in over a year and a half.

I experienced God’s grace and forgiveness in a way I had never before.  I did not deserve it.  I chose to leave.  I chose to do life my own way.  I chose the decisions that made me happy, instead of what I knew to be right and wrong.  And even with all of that, God forgave me.  The feeling was like nothing I had ever experienced before.  My life was burdened with so much regret.  When I asked God to forgive me, with a heart that was in anguish, I felt the heavy weight of so much regret and shame lift and I was free.

Freedom was not leaving the anchor.  Freedom was choosing the Anchor.

So my deep love and respect for anchors continues.  It is my reminder that Christ is my Anchor.  He anchors my life, my marriage, my parenting.  He anchors my decisions.  When I start to drift, my anchor stops me and I do not drift out to open waters, but I remain firmly attached to the God who loves me deeply and strongly.

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Dare to dream again

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Dare to dream again

Once upon a time we were all dreamers. 

From childhood we have been created to dream.  We dream of being astronauts, firefighters, scientists and ballet dancers.  We dream of being superheroes, world changers and race car drivers.

Our dreams were big, larger than life but vivid and to our childhood selves, attainable.

Dreams are beautiful, our soul is inspired, imagination and creativity are ignited.  Passion to achieve our dreams drives us onward.

As I walk around my messy house, stepping over abandoned toys, books and papers left by my children, a large part of me feels that dreams and creativity died a long time ago.  My days seem filled with tasks, chores and quite honestly, there isn’t a lot of energy left to spend on the pursuit of dreams. 

I was recently reading a book directed to mothers, and it asked “What are your dreams?”  And it challenged the reader to write down 3 or 4 dreams on paper.

I must have dreams, this should be fun.

So I thought about it.

And I thought about it.

And I thought about it and blank!

Nothing. 

I could not even think of one.  Not one.

Does watching Netflix and eating a peaceful snack at the end of an exhausting day count as a dream?!…because then maybe I had one.

Or maybe have my children clean up after themselves, then I would have two dreams.

But in all seriousness, this really shook me.

When did my dreams die?  Did my creativity die too?

I used to be such a carefree soul.  I wholeheartedly believed any dream was achievable.

Did the craziness and business of motherhood do this?

Maybe the very act of becoming a mother, of learning to ‘day in and day out’  selflessly serve your family and the very constant needs of little ones,  causes our dreams to fade away.

Maybe it’s the fact that motherhood, or adulthood changes us so much that we put the notion of perusing dreams away, dismiss it as ridiculous and no longer practical.

In a lot of ways I hardly recognize my 22-year old self and can almost laugh at her dreams. Ten years later, I dare say I am much wiser and stable.  Jetting off to a new country on a whim in pursuit of adventure is not as important to me as it once seemed.  Maybe maintaining a stable, thriving environment for my family is my dream?  I just do not always recognize the beauty in the mundane.

My God and my family are hands-down my absolute priority and I never want that to change.

But, I want to carve out space to dream again.

In my own life, in my day to day, I want to incorporate creativity, aspirations and dreaming.

I want to bring creative energy into friendships and relationships.  I want to be surrounded by people who encourage and inspire and support dreams, alongside with accountability to speak up when maybe a dream is misguided.

So, I took a journal and a pen (old fashioned here, I love putting ink on paper), and over the course of 2 weeks, I thought, pondered, searched, scribbled out and re-wrote down some dreams of mine.

So I will pass on the same question to you, what are your dreams?

I encourage you to write on paper, your top 3 dreams.

We come alive when we are creative.

I challenge you to find some creativity in yourself.

We are capable of so much more then we think we are.  Sometimes we need to be reminded, encouraged or perhaps given permission to dream big.

I bought myself a coffee mug with the words “dream big” on it. It is to be my reminder in my day to day to incorporate life, colour, creativity and dreams into my beloved chaos.

I wrote this two years ago on my previous blog.

Balancing

I love handstands and headstands. I’m fascinated by them. They constantly challenge me. There is this element of strength and precision that I am always striving to improve on.

My goal is to handstand tall, aligned and balanced. But if I do not make constant corrections–shifting my weight, flexing my abs, pointing my toes, broadening my hand grips–I will fall over. This is Christian living. If I do not constantly refocus on Christ daily, I lose balance and I fall. This is a lesson I have been learning in my own life.

My intentions start good, great even! They are strong. But I tend to drift and if I’m not careful, my good intentions become blurry and out of focus. This is where I realize that I took my eyes off Jesus.

So I get back to my Bible and journal and I pray and I read and I refocus and strive for balance

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Have you ever run a race? I have. I have run a few 10K races. Running to finish the race is hard, tedious work. If your eyes are not fixed on a goal, you will quit. If you do not have a strong focus, the exhaustion will become the loudest voice you hear. This is the same with life.

There is a reason Paul tells us to fix our eyes on Jesus! It’s hard work. If you do not set your focus, you will wonder off course and lose your way.

Handstands and running races both require constant, intentional effort and exertion. Same with following Jesus. The moment you take your eyes off the goal, is when you lose balance and fall.

Set your focus!