Monday, August 28, 2017

We are...

This post is a simple reminder of who we are as God's children.  

We are stunning beings modeled after the Creator of the Universe.

We are people who were thought of before the stars were placed in the sky.

We are perfectly whole through Him who loved us.

We are justified through the blood of our Saviour.

We are free to live without chains of bondage.

We are affirmed by God the Father.

We are safe in the knowledge of knowing that He is able to guard what we have entrusted to Him until that day.

We are each given a unique purpose.

We are called to be different.

We are forgiven; daily, freely, again and again, and again.

And we are loved. So, so loved; infinitely, boundlessly, freely and eternally.

We matter. We matter. We matter.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

who we are

Who we are ≠ what we do. 


Who we are is very simple - what we do is complicated. (Don't misunderstand me ... what we do is beautiful, needed, unique, creative, passionate, important, life-giving ... but complicated.)

Who we are - our identity - is loved. Good. Made holy by the grace of God alone. Forgiven. Full of light. 

But it is not the same thing as what we do. Who we are does not change whether we scale creative highs or get stuck in the slumps. Who we are is not the author, the dreamer, the artist, the failure, the winner, the published novelist, the girl who can't get past the first chapter, the sick, the better-than, the healed, or the lost. 

This is something that is hard for me. I like to stack up my winnings and my failures in two neat lists, and if the first line is longer than the second, then I am good. I am doing things right. I am worth something. I am A Good Person. You might even feel a little intimidated by me, and you should, because I am awesome (just look at my list!)
But if the second line is longer than the first, instantly, I adopt those failings as my identity. Who I am is the girl who didn't get 100% on her assignment. Who I am becomes the number on the page, the 75% or the 57%, with wide-open gaps in all the places I failed to succeed. Who I am quickly becomes the girl who has a dusty Bible on her nightstand. I am the closed laptop and the list with all the boxes unchecked. I am the alarm that blares when you least want to hear it and I am the energy I don't have to make breakfast in the morning.

And so I live in this flip flop where what I do determines who I am, and I spend a lot of time seasick, stuck somewhere in the center of it all, riding the waves as I wait to see whether the odds will end up in my favour today.
I am only just starting to learn that this is not the way it is supposed to work. I am bad bad bad at taking gifts without giving something in return, but I'm just beginning to figure out that I don't have to do anything to change my identity. I don't have to do anything to be good. I don't have to earn the right to hold my head up high - that is a privilege that has been freely given to me. Who I am - my identity, my life, my story has value and worth because it is a story of holiness that has been dropped on me like a blanket by Jesus. 

My story matters not because I have done great things, or helped lots of people, or because I don't swear or do go to church or check off any other number of so-called "list items". My story matters because Jesus says I matter; not because of what I've done, but because of who I am. 

And I want you to know that no matter who you are, or what you have or haven't done, or what kind of marks you get back on your assignments ... your story matters too. Not because of what you do, but because of who you are. 

Your story matters ... and we can't wait to hear it.

What's your story? Do you ever feel tempted to equate what you do with who you are? What raps you on the head and reminds you that you are holy because God made you holy?

Olivia (s)
Sunday, August 20, 2017

you are not a machine

you, like me, are probably tired.

i see your darkened eyes, your brittling bones, your wry smile that
spreads thinner and thinner.

i see your hungry heart, your hollowed ribcage, and the deep puddle that
you're about to collapse into.

i know your skipping heartbeat, the pain that jolts up your arm as you pound it
against the wooden desk to try again and again and again

i know your adrenaline going to waste because you're sitting through lectures,
taking those exams, working behind the counter, to no avail

i recognize your soul bursting because you're locked inside and you are
overworking yourself

but you will deny it because you, like me, still feel the desire to get things done
because you, like me, will not be contented with enough
because you, like me, would rather go down because you're tired than rest and rise again

but you aren't a machine, and that is the problem.

you are here and you are with me
we are flesh and blood and bone and belief and we still have life
we still have it inside us, curled up like a ball, and it won't let go

we are not rust and steel and cement and rot and death
we are not programmed to work day and night
we are not built of never ending grit

we are more than clockwork, more than rigorous timetables and schedules
we are breathing and sad and happy and mad at all the wrong and right times but that's fine

you, like me, probably need a break

so go for it.

then get back up again.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Darling, you are safe.

You are not lost. You are not alone. You are not abandoned. And you are not drowning.

Darling, you are safe.

You are safe because no one can take you from you. You can never leave you, and you have the freedom to love, comfort, and cherish yourself. You have the ability to be your best friend instead of your arch nemesis. Use that ability; it will give you life you never thought you'd experience.

Darling, you are safe.

You are in the arms of a Papa Who sacrificed everything for you to know what true love looks like. No one can take you from Him.

Darling, you are safe.

Your beauty is unchangeable. No one can alter it with their words, actions, or thoughts. It can only grow and mature. You are a part of Beauty itself.

Darling, you are safe.

Love is the essence of who you are as God designed you. That love cannot be broken, bruised, cut, or killed, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. That love in you is a shining shield, a light protecting you from the illusion of darkness.

Darling, you are safe.

Even if your life up to this point has been dark and empty, there is never a point at which that life cannot be changed, reshaped, and filled with light. Emily Dickinson once said, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” But that bird never flies away.

Darling, you are safe.

Hannah W.