Surfing Somewhere Over the Rainbow

When I was in elementary school myself and a couple other friends played around the front of the school at break. Jump rope, notes to our copious amount of boyfriends (we each had a list), and talking about our upcoming birthday parties filled our young lives. You know, the conversations that went something like, “You’re not coming to my birthday party if you don’t…”

Then as lunch time would draw to a close the high school girls would walk back from ‘downtown’ and we would run, I mean RUN, into their arms and give them a big hug. We wanted to be like them someday. As I think on it, I was probably more ‘along for the ride’, but I sure wanted to be someone amazing – and they were in my sights. As time tends to do with a little thing called maturity, my vision changed.

It made me think about how we tend to want to become what we set our sights on – what is beholding our vision.

Classic example … I’ve seen the famous Wizard of Oz on stage, on the screen, and laughed at the performance of Wicked last winter in west London. My little secret that hasn’t made it to the bucketlist yet – is that I want to someday grace a darkened stage as the spotlight follows me and my voice connects to an audience of one, or 500, as I sing “Somewhere over the rainbow….” I know I know, lofty dream. But for some reason, I want to sing it loud and strong and with all my heart. When no one is around at home and my hands are wrist-deep in suds at the kitchen sink, I practise. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone.  If Dorothy can, why can’t I?

Have you seen the movie Chasing Mavericks? Bring the tissue.  I watched it a couple weeks ago and suddenly I longed to be a bohemian Californian taking on the waves of the Pacific. Ahem. If not a surfer, then I was so inspired to live each moment to the fullest.

What we fill our vision with will either inspire us or deter us from what God has really promised for us.

So today, I am asking myself…. Lani, what are you filling your sights with? Who are you watching and surrounding yourself with? And is it God’s best for you?

I’ve been loving my new iPhone5 and thought I’d share with you a few things that were in my sights this past week …

1. Yes, I am ‘one of those people’ who welcome Christmas in November. No apologies.
2. A little something I’m working on …
3. My nephews and I went to Wreck-It Ralph this week. I think I laughed more than they did!
4. I arranged to skype with my sponsor baby and his mom who live in the slums in Nairobi, Kenya. Traffic and technology didn’t allow for it, but we sent each other videos and it MADE MY DAY!! Isn’t he adorable?
5. Uncovered my great-grandmother’s hats to put on display. My head is too big for the fashionable 20’s era!

1. A verse that stood out for me again this week. “Unforced rythyms of grace…”
2. I’ve had these pants for months, but just this week I realized the inscription on the inside ‘You are beautiful.” Made my day 🙂

Happy friday ya’ll!

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A tip-toe back to bed and a step towards a dream

I had been caught in a thick early morning dream that told me I had suddenly returned to England. It was one of those deep dreams that was hard to wake up out of. But as I rolled over to see the snowy hazed daylight shining in my window, I knew I was definitely in a Canadian winter. I breathed a happy sigh because waking up when it was daylight meant it was a day off.

I tiptoed down to the Keurig and made my French Roast with a shot of hazelnut cream – just the way I like it. I cut a couple pieces of paper to paste on my ‘saving jars’ and tip toed back up stairs, plot and pleasure in hand.

The tradition of crawling back into bed with morning coffee to read my Bible started when I was living in England. I’d fall asleep with my hot water bottle, but by the time the morning knocked on my door, I didn’t want to crawl out from under the covers. I like cozy. So in England, I would make my coffee and breakfast and return to the refuge of warmth.

The tradition has continued for me, even on workdays, back home in Alberta. But I digress from comfy bed traditions to this Friday’s post about taking action towards a dream.

See these kids? These are my kids. The girl, Ami, lives in Burkina Faso (western Africa) and she has been my sponsor child for seven years now through Compassion Canada. I got her when she was 8 years old and I was in College. For a few months, a girls group that I led sponsored her. When our group disbanded after College was done, Ami became mine.

The other day I sat down to write her a letter online and then send her a Christmas card, and again I had that aching desire to meet her. She lives with her parents and five siblings in a small western Africa village. I know that because of my monthly support, she has been able to get an education rather than just work to support her family. I know that Ami learns about Jesus and has a community of friends. For me, education is SO important because it helps to end the cycle of poverty, provides a platform on which she can dream from, and as a girl, reduces the chances of her falling into prostitution by a drastic percentage. Ami, is my girl.

Then there is Leon who was just born in April and I started supporting through Home of Hope. He and his Mom, Margaret, live in Kenya, in the slums of Nairobi.  She had Leon out of prostitution and because of the work of Home of Hope near the dump, she’s been able to keep her baby and find new life herself. Leon will some day get an education and learn about Jesus, and have his mother in his life. I couldn’t be happier to know that a simple $40 a month created that hope.

My dream is to go to Africa, and it has been for a while. I have been taking other trips to other places for years, but today, I made a step. I started my Africa fund. To go to Rwanda, Kenya, and Burkina Faso will cost over $5000, but I’ve started to make steps.

I should add to last week’s bucketlist: Meet my sponsor kids.

What small step can you take towards a dream today?

It’s a pyjama and dreaming day for me…  Until next time – Keep dreaming.

Sweaterhead and new Stamps

We all have a recollection of who we were as a child. Mine? Sweet, shy and a dreamer. I had a great imagination, loved dress-up, and got my feelings hurt really easily.

When I was about four years old I had really short hair – a mousy brown bob that I could tuck behind my little girl ears. To go along with my dress-up phase, for some reason, I always wanted long hair. Even though I chopped my birthday Barbie’s hair to a bob (perhaps I just wanted to make her like me?), I still longed for something to flow over my shoulders. This would be the appropriate time to throw your head back and laugh. Okay, now that that’s done. 😉

I was a little girl in a dream world, not realizing how cute I was, just as I was.

I don’t mind make believe. Dress up. Every girl wants to be a princess! But somehow that “wanting what I didn’t have” followed me into my adult years, and only more in recent times have I realized it.

There is more to me than the hair and attire, aspirations and achievements – there’s just me.

For all of you that may relate to my little tidbit of vulnerability let me just say – when you know Jesus, you realize all you DO have rather than long for what you don’t. It’s a process, but the journey God takes us on of completing and satisfying ourselves in Him, is the best trip I could ever ask for.

Like a new stamp in an old passport – God is stamping my life with Himself. And I’m enjoying the ride!

Starlight Moonlight

There is something ethereal about a winter night. I was driving out of town after work this week and it was as if the world was a snowglobe, shaken softly by God’s love, the road glazed like a butterscotch donut, and the night train passing opposite as I drove home.

A tear, or rather a gulp of a cry, caught in my throat and no sound came out, but the gasp caught, I squirmed, and just asked God in my heart, “what am I doing?!”. Overwhelmed by the dream and task ahead…
I’ve stepped out and will be leaving for England in five weeks. Much like Peter walking on water, I find myself following what I believe is Christ’s call for this next season, though instead of sinking, I’m finding God walking with me. I sold my car this weekend, people are excited and rallying behind my dream, and though there are many details yet to be dealt, I know God is in it.
I’ve discovered that there is a great burden in carrying a promise or a dream, and only until you try do you realize the importance of what you carry. Its not an “I want to”, it’s an “I must”.
So I continue. To trust. To stand. To do the work. For only when I step out on the limb do I find the fruit God is so eager to meet me with.