End of summer and so many memories!

sunset

Ladies and gentleman, it’s officially that day, September 1st…and that means the last day of the long weekend and the unofficial end to the summer. Kinda crazy to believe it’s all over. I mean, the weather is just starting to feel like summer! It feels like it should be the beginning of July, not the start of September. Not gonna lie, I’m a little sad summer is over. It’s one of my favourite times of year (summer and Christmas time) and I was really looking forward to this summer in particular. 

But it DEFINITELY lived up to my expectations. Probably played the most beach volleyball I’ve ever played in a summer which right there already makes it a win:)  Those late night chillages with friends, cottage weekends, celebrating my little brother’s 20th in Niagara Falls, Skillet road trip, the CNE and my first ever Country concert (Jason Aldean, which actually was the best concert of the year, sorry country haters!) were some of the highlights that made this summer seriously incredible. So many amazing memories with awesome people. 

Today I was thinking about the great times this summer. I think summer especially goes by so quickly because if you are working, you are looking forward to the weekend every week. Also, typically there are a lot of things to look forward to which I find makes time go by really fast. I think it’s a little ironic the more you look forward to something and want it to come, the faster it’s over. It’s so easy to get caught up trying to experience everything you can possible experience and a lot of times I think, people feel the more they experience, the more they have lived. But those legendary nights always end, no matter how much we don’t want them to. Monday always comes way too soon. I think that most people feel that there should be something more. It shouldn’t have to end, it shouldn’t have to be gone and just a memory. I think that feeling really shows how we are wired with the knowledge that there is something more, something bigger and better out there, something that is lasting. And there is, and that’s having a relationship with Jesus Christ. 

I know, as least for me, it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment, the craziness of summer, the weekends, and life  in general. But when I take a moment, and stop, spend some time reading the Bible, praying with Him, life just comes into perspective. It’s beautiful thing really. I don’t need to worry about that sad hollow feeling inside after something I was super excited for is over, because in Him, I never have that feeling. I have ultimate fulfilment in Him, it’s just reminding myself of that over and over. It’s living each day reminding myself that this earth is just my temporary home and Heaven is actually where I’ll spend most of my time. It really gives you a different perspective on what really matters. Anyways, just some end of summer thoughts running through my head:)

 

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Officially full-time! To eternity and beyond…

LargeWork

Wow it’s been a long time since my last post, you know how it is, summer craziness!  Planning on posting a little more regularly though:) So a lot’s happened this summer, but I have some exciting news…today I signed my contract at work so Monday is the first day of my full-time work life! Does that officially make me an adult? (kidding, you don’t actually grow up, you just get older!) God’s just been super awesome, blessing me with the internship which has lead to full-time work with amazing bosses, great coworkers and doing something that’s actually in my field!

With the whole job thing, it’s kinda funny because people keep asking me questions like “So are you going to move out?” “Steven are you going to get a place downtown close to work?” and I’m like “I like my family!”,  “downtown is really expensive” and a really important one “my mom makes amazing food”. It’s true, my mom makes the healthiest best food. EVER.

But on a more serious note, being done school and starting my work career has kinda got me thinking about the future. I mean 5 years from now, who knows where life will take me, a lot can happen in 5 years. So with this whole theme of thinking about the future floating around in my brain, this quote by C.S. Lewis really popped out at me. Not only in one place but two, first on Instagram, and then it was mentioned in a sermon I was listening to today. It goes like this:

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next”

That really resonated with me because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this world and my immediate future. And don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. I mean, making goals and planning for the future is just wise, but ultimately, all those goals and plans, everything will soon be gone and in the past (kinda like this summer, gone before you know it). I feel like the older you get, the faster life goes, and you realize that life is not that long, especially when compared to eternity. You gotta make it count, but ironically, by making it count, you aren’t focusing on this life, you are focusing on what is to come.  Living with Jesus at your center, reflecting Christ’s love, spreading that joy, that’s how to make the biggest impact in this life and to live a truly successful life. So what if I have a ridiculously successful career, make millions, drive a yellow Mustang, have an amazing wife, a house with a white picket fence and the cutest kids ever. That’s all great and those things are good, but they are temporary, they’ll all be gone in a blink of an eye. The C.S Lewis quote reminded me that I have to really adjust my mindset and think bigger. Living a life for Christ makes this life really count for the next life that will last for all eternity.  And with that in mind, I’ll end with one more C.S. Lewis quote because you really can’t say it better than C.S Lewis:

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

I need to constantly remind myself to think bigger and beyond this world, to infinity and beyond people!

Rest

sunset

Rest doesn’t come naturally to me. I like to always keep busy, be doing things all the time. I just got an internship downtown which has been a huge blessing, but has also made my schedule extremely insane. The internship is 9-5 Monday-Friday, so I leave my house at 7:30 and get home around 6:20. I also have a landscaping business with my brothers, so Monday and Thursday nights after work and a quick dinner I’ll cut grass till dark. Tuesday night I’ll stay downtown for my Bible study and Wednesday night I’ll go straight from work to the beach because I play in a beach volleyball league. As well, I’ll hit up the gym for 6am Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is basically go go go all week and the weekends usually fill up with social events. So as you can tell, there’s not a whole lot of downtime or rest for me.

But this past weekend I went up to Muskoka for a young professionals retreat with my Church and got to slow down and relax. My favorite talk of the weekend was actually the last talk by our associate pastor, called “Resting with one Another”. The talk was based off Mark 6:31 “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while”. It’s Jesus’ call to rest, a call to get away from the busyness of life. My pastor was saying that even when we aren’t working, we are still going. How many times do you check your emails, then check your Facebook, then back to your email? What’s the first thing you do in the morning? Pick up your phone and check for any messages? Life is just so fast paced for our society when people slow us down, we don’t have time for that and we snap. That’s an indication that our attitudes need to change. What I found that really hit home for me, was the question “do you have space in your day, is there space enough for God?”. And it’s not just the space, but the rest that comes when you make space in your life and spend time with Jesus Christ. My pastor was saying it’s the rest that we so desperately want, but something that this world cannot give, something only Jesus can give. When he fills us, we are prepared to face the day. We have more patience, more love that we can give to others because we are filled with Jesus.

It really struck me that I’m not regularly filling up with Jesus in the mornings. I can find time to go to the gym 3 times a week in the morning, but can’t wake up a little earlier to read my Bible and pray with Jesus. It was just what I needed to hear.

Yesterday I woke up at 5am and spend some quality time with God. It was crazy how amazing I felt throughout the day. Throughout the day at various points I would think about him, and just be thankful for the blessings he’s given me, my job, my health, and just Him being there next to me. That normally doesn’t happen. I’ll usually only think of God during my devotionals, or praying before I eat, but yesterday was different. I also had patience in a couple of situations where I normally probably would have snapped. All because I started my day off right with Jesus and I really think it made a big difference.

Time is precious these days for me which makes it even more important that I make space for Jesus. Say you are in a relationship with someone. Just because you are crazy busy, that’s not an excuse for you to not spend time with them, you make time, you set aside space for them. Same thing for Jesus, being busy is no excuse. I need to spend time with him, even if that means waking up ridiculously early at 5am. When I do spend that time with Him, he gives me strength to start my day right and be able to give to others and not burnout.

This weekend really taught me the importance of resting in Him and I plan on making sure I set aside some quality time with Him every morning and remember Him throughout my day so I can really show other’s His love.

 

Life Was Simple As A Kid

playground

A few days ago I was talking with my brother about how life was so simple when we were kids. I mean, when I was 10 years old, my biggest problem was finishing homework as fast as possible so I could go outside and play. Fast forward to today and I’ve finished my undergrad, I’m starting a new internship on Monday and beginning the next stage of my life. I mean, things are a little more intense now compared to then. There are so many more responsibilities, decisions, and not just decisions, drastic life changing decisions! I mean, at this point in life, the choices I made in the next few years will shape my future. So there’s a lot more pressure and sometimes, I think it’d be nice to be a kid for a day without a worry in the world.

Oddly enough, that topic came up in my Bible study group. My buddy brought up that exact point, how sometimes it’d be nice to be a kid and not have to worry about life because you don’t have any real problems and your parents take care of you. But he said that we still can still have that. He was saying when you are a kid you don’t worry about anything because you rely completely on your parents. My buddy was saying that if you think about that, God is our Heavenly Father who we can rely on completely. I never thought of it that way before. I mean, yes I know God has the best possible plan and loves me, but I never thought that parallel to having that care freeness of being a child because I can place my trust in God. It just really hit me that yes, that is so true and Jesus does say to have the faith of a child. A child is completely dependant on his or her parents and looks to them for everything. Having that childlike faith and trust in my heavenly Father, being completely dependant on Him means I don’t have to worry about things in my life because He has it all under control.

As well, when you are a kid, you don’t have a reputation, you boast about your parents, “My dad is the best dad ever”, “My dad has the coolest job”, “My mom makes the best food in the world”. The hymn we sang was “How Deep the Father’s Love for Me” and the lyrics jumped out

“I will not boast in anything No gifts, no power, no wisdom But I will boast in Jesus Christ His death and resurrection”

If we don’t boast and look to anything in this world, not gifts, not power, not wisdom, not relationships, not jobs, not money, not anything but Jesus, that’s when we truly can start living the way we were meant to live. We can live without fear, without worry, and can live life with childlike faith, joy and dependence on Jesus Christ. I find it’s always when I look to myself that I start messing up. When I boast in my abilities, and when I say boast, I mean take pride in my abilities and the things I’ve accomplished, that’s when the focus shifts off of Christ. When I lose focus of Him, I start trying to figure out everything, and then I get stressed and overwhelmed.

When I was a kid, I didn’t get stressed and overwhelmed because I completely trusted in my parents and was fully dependant on them. Now I’m an “adult”, I need to work on completely trusting my Heavenly Father and regaining that childlike trust and becoming fully dependant on Him. As amazing as my parents are, my Heavenly Father is even more amazing, even more loving. He’ll never let me down and always has my back. So in a sense, I can be 10 again, living life without worry, remembering to always place my trust in Jesus because He is always taking care of me, no matter what I’m going through.

Monday Morning Motivation: Switchfoot Awesomeness

Switchfoot is one of my all-time favorite bands…I’ve seen them 3 times in concert (they put on a fantastic show), they have so many great songs, and I personally think that their lead singer Jon Foreman is a lyrical and musical genius. So this week I rounded up a few of my favorite lyrics accompanied with the YouTube links to the songs starting with my favorite song by them, Dare You To Move.

Have a great week:)

1. Dare You To Move

Dare you to move

2. Always

always

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtlLRgOGEbQ

3. Meant To Live

meant to live

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=632skZgCTJU

4. Only Hope

only hope

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnMr9Zbw5Ao

5. The Shadow Proves The Sunshine

the shadow proves the sunshine

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VtjKvA8f1g

6. This is Your Life

This is your life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LJPHKfnmRk

7. Thrive

thrive

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3YfJX8QbDQ

8. Your Love Is A Song

Your love is a song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0rckZSB4_g

9. Restless

restless

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwqb3sRwAyw

10. Let That Be Enough

Let that be enough

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdWEgu7c3i0

 

 

Monday Morning Motivation: Mindblowing Love

1.john-3-16

Today is Easter, the day where we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and remember the greatest act of love the world has ever known. It still blows my mind to think that the God of the universe came down to became a man, die on a cross for the sins of the world to make a way for us to have a personal relationship with Him and truly experience what it is to live a life of joy and fulfillment in Him.

Celebrating his resurrection today, I wanted to focus on some verses that show how vast His love is.

Have a great week:)

2.heb 13 5

3.eph 2 2

4.1 John 4 19

5.rom 5 8

6.gal 2 20

7.eph 3 17-19

8.1 John 4 11

9.Zephaniah-3_17

10.ps 63 3