the love we don’t think we deserve

I’m more convinced than ever, that part of learning to love ourselves is accepting the love we don’t think we deserve, from those who ask us for nothing in return.

May we learn to love ourselves more when we receive the unexpected gifts, the unplanned “how are you really?” conversations, the phone calls from long distance friends despite our inconsistencies, the encouragement cards, the surprise of completed chores, and the countless other ways people tell us that we are seen, and known, and valued.

May this settle into a deep knowing that we are worthy of being loved.

And may that spill over not just into gratitude for those who love us, but into offering the kind of love others feel undeserving of.

And may we see the beauty in all of it.

I’d never cried on a hike before, but I realized hiking is a beautiful metaphor for life as I reached the summit Sunday and I felt the emotions of it. Here’s that raw moment (and an unprompted photo in contrast to the first).

In that moment just after reaching the summit I thought about how much of life is learning how to get past doubt, and through the feelings of “I can’t,” and choosing to keep on moving in the moments when you think you’re at the top but there’s actually another couple hundred metres to go… life is full of obstacles, and yet when we push through, we can find ourselves in the most beautiful places we’d never have been in, with perspective we’d never have had, if we didn’t.

||Keep on persevering. And when you do, I hope you celebrate. Even if celebrating looks like having a little cry at the top of your mountain.||

When we need spiritual CPR in the storm

This past week I had a chance to share in our weekly staff meeting. I’d been trying to find the words for this season for a long time, and yet I’m still sharing from a place of being in the middle of learning to walk this out, not having mastered it. Below is the text version  that is the same-ish as my talk. 

This past year I’ve been wrestling with some of those real life seasons I call ‘stormy seasons’. You know the stormy seasons too don’t you? They’re the dry seasons  when you’re thirsty for a resolution. The seasons when you no longer know how to put your thirst aside. You used to be able to hide it, but it’s spilling over into one big mess that spells out “why God?” And you try to bring that thirst for answers to God, but you’re so darn thirsty the words just won’t come out. And in the thickness of your silence is a raw, dry, mixture of grief, and anger, and loneliness and desire to trust. And that desire to trust is real but it’s partnered with a feeling of hopelessness that makes you even doubt that you want to trust.

Maybe you have a few choice words for these stormy seasons. Maybe you’re in a storm, or you know them well. I don’t have all the answers; I have a cutesy acronym and a story of God in one of my stormy seasons. And I’ll offer it, and hope you’ll find something in it wherever you are.
Continue reading “When we need spiritual CPR in the storm”

On Growing Up

brittany

There’s a few things I wanted to do when I grew up, namely: I wanted to be a taxi-driving-pediatrician and I wanted to write. I have yet to figure out how to do the first one, and the second I forgot about somewhere along the way.

I think a lot of us forget our childhood dreams on our way to being adults with life figured out. We surrender dreams to the space between vision and practicality, losing sight of the fact that those old dreams are invitations to explore what we’ve known about ourselves for a long time. Continue reading “On Growing Up”

Flight

cropped-eb-header5-01.png

I was 22, standing on a beach in Ghana, West Africa, commenting how conflicted my heart felt as I prepared to travel home to Calgary, Canada. All these years later the details of this conversation have glazed over in my mind, with the exception of what was said next.

“We have this saying,” the man said softly. “Even birds must return to land.” I’m not sure what, if anything, I said back. I seem to remember him smiling. Continue reading “Flight”