Be real with me

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Do you believe what you see, or do you see what you already believe?

I had a really bad day yesterday, but I am not sure if it was actually a bad day, or did I already believe it was a bad day so all I saw were bad things?  Maybe I already had it in my head that it was going to be a bad day.  So, as things added up they seemed to be bad.  Things kept turning out to be against me.  Things kept falling apart.  And then there was a moment of wonder, of maybe this is all simply how I am choosing to see it.

I was at a Younglife camp the other day doing program.  I was with a friend running from the dining hall towards club because we were going back on stage in four minutes.  I barely had enough time to think, let alone stop and look at something.  But my friend pointed towards the ground and said check it out.  We stopped, I looked at him and asked what?  Check out what?  And he pointed to the ground where the lights from camp made color and designs you wouldn’t believe.  The lights from the building had collided with the water from the rain and made a myriad of prisms and Van Gogh like swirls.

All weekend I was focused on the tasks at hand.  The next club, the next game, the next event, and I missed so many beautiful moments.  My attention was on the “important” things.  When all around me were pieces of heaven.  All around me were conversations with angels.  All around me was the essence of Jesus.  If only I had time and the mindset to see it.  After that moment I decided to stop believing I was stressed and busy, and started to see all the abundance around me.

What happens when you focus on everyone around you getting engaged and or married?  What happens when you see everyone around you buying new clothes or getting new cars?  What happens when you focus on everyone’s exaggerated bragging posts on social media?  About the trips their on, the meals their eating, and the parties they go to?  What happens when you focus on everyone else’s green gr ass?

I’ll tell you what happens.

You murder all the good in your life right now.  You destroy the people in front of you.  You mistake those closest to you as hindrances instead of joy.  You start to only focus on what you do not have, and depreciate what you do.  You may even start to think God doesn’t care.  Maybe He isn’t listening?  Maybe He is a jerk because He is giving everyone else the very thing you want?

I’m starting to live my life and my life is full.  My life has great people in it.  My life is being lived out on my timeline that God has for me.  It might not add up to others.  It may not look like others.  It may not be as glamourous or the way I believe it should be going, but it is my life.  My life goes to the gym when I don’t want to.  My life is full of incredible conversations, incredible opportunities, and it is mine.  Where I choose to focus is where my heart and joy will be.

What if we saw the truth?  What if we tried to see what is really happening, and not what we believe to be happening?  How different would today be if you lived in appreciation and not in believing we deserve different?

Jesus states that this world is yours and everything in it.  Everything in it is yours.  Everything.  Fullness is at hand for you today.  I think it lays hidden in gratitude.  It waits dormant in us.  May my identity be defined by gratitude.  May my life be full of appreciation and dedicated to seeing what I have as enough.  Maybe things are not as they seem?  Maybe there is something good out of a bad day?  Maybe what we think should be or should happen isn’t what is best for us after all?

Bless

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Letter to myself part 2

imgresNo matter the sin

No matter what you did

No matter the mindset you have right NOW

 

You are getting better

Well… if you want to get well that is…

 

Your mind is changing, and the way you think is growing in a direction that is positive and full of life.  These are the things I want for you.

 

I want you to know that you have what it takes (No matter how many times you fail).  I want you to know that you are beautiful (even if you feel weird about that sentence).  I want you to know you are on a journey (enjoy the process).  I want you to know you have great friends (even if they don’t do what you expect of them all the time, because your expectations are audacious and they don’t know you expect that of them…).  I want you to know however many steps backwards you take, at least you are trying to move forward (though the backward steps suck).  Trevor you are a work in progress, there is more time in this life, and it doesn’t all have to change right now, right away.

 

You once lived in an identity full of guilt, shame, and fear.  But, like the universe, you are constantly growing and expanding.  The universe has never been the same, ever.  We can’t go back, and growing takes time, but time moves forward.  And so there is a new identity to believe in.  The truth is it’s impossible to continue to live in who you were, or once were.  You will always be more than you once were.  You will, and you are expanding, learning, changing, and it is good.  The guilt you lived in comes and goes.  It waxes and wanes.  Some moments of guilt are ok when they lead to a change towards good, but you can’t live life in guilt.  You are not the guilty one.  And the God of this Universe sees you as a beloved Son of the Father.  Your shame doesn’t define you.  As much as you once sat in your shame, you can’t sit there anymore.  Why?  Because it’s gone.  You can’t sit in something that doesn’t exist.  So, keep taking one step.  I believe fear will always be in your life, but it will change.  Right now your fear is different from where you will be in a few years, but fear can be good.  Fear can drive you to the feet of Jesus.  Fear can be an outcome of the faith you have, and the logic that resides in you, but faith will win.  It can’t fail.  The fear of the Lord brings wisdom.

 

So this leaves you with only one option.  Live out of your new identity.  You are different today.  You are different than a month ago.  You are far greater then you were two years ago.  Live in this new understanding and truth.  You’ve grown, you’ve fought, you’ve learned, and this is a good identity.

 

I’m not sure why we live as new wine in old wine skins?  I’m not sure why we like to maintain, go back, or return to the old way of life?  But remembering who you are NOW will greatly change your outlook.  Life is waiting for you to take a step as your new self.  Resurrect today.  Be new today.  Be who you are now, not the old self, but the new self.  And every day there is a new self yet to be!

 

Take heart for you have come a long way.
Take soul for you have what it takes.
Take mind of where you want to go, and know you are doing a good job.

 

Trevor

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Does God want what I want?

imagesWhere is your heart?
Who has your heart?
Where is your treasure?

One of the most terrifying things you can do is take time to feel where your  heart is.  You might find that it is with someone.  You might find that your heart is in the future somewhere.   I tend to believe my heart lives full and whole in a time not yet.  And so my treasures are…
Non existent
A fantasy
A time coming
Conversations in my head
Overthought emotions
There seems to be a calculated voice in my head I listen to and it instructs me on what will make me happy.  It makes me believe there is a time coming when I will feel full and fully alive.  And until I get what I want I will be un-satisfied, and left feeling empty.

 

“Where your treasure is there your heart will be”

“God will give you the desires of your heart”

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

“God gives good gifts”
These are all things people say, think, and what I try to believe, but these are not easy statements to understand.  Sometimes it makes me think of God as if He is some wise old coot waiting for me to want what He wants so He can finally give it to me.  Some days I see God as a generous Father who if his son asks for a fish will he not give him a fish?  But what if the son’s fish he is asking for is too big?  What if the fish I am asking for is too beautiful?  What if the fish I am asking for is the fish I want, but not the fish I need???

 

And then I remember who Jesus really is.  I remember how He sees me.  I remember the embrace, the hug, the dance, and my joy is restored.  My faith is affirmed, and who I am doesn’t matter because I am with Him, and He matters.  When I spend time contemplating Jesus my heart is quiet, my soul is eased, and any pain I have from wonder, wanting, and desires fade slowly in His presence.  He points out the clouds and whispers “be still, I have you right where I want you.”.  He shows me the sunset He painted and gently nudges me and says, “I know, I know, what you are wanting, the things you desire, your heart, Trevor I know your heart, and it is good.  Trust me.  Give me time, I won’t disappoint” Then I understand.  For a brief moment I understand.  For a split second all is right in the world.  I feel as if I have been heard.  And all it took was for me to open my heart to God, let Him see my desires, let Him see my wants and sit back and listen.  Because what I want and desire may truly not be what I want or desire and what I need might be the best thing for me.  What I need is Him.  What I need is more time to be quiet and still.  What I need is to see myself for who I am to Him.

Where do you find your value and self-worth?  Who or what tells you who you are? Do you believe if you ask for bread that God will give you a stone?

I read this quote this week and it’s been stuck in my brain, but ““God is always trying to give good things to us, but our hands are too full to receive them.” — Augustine

-Trevor

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Running out

imagesMy time is coming to a close                                                                                                             With it I feel a new season coming, and a passing of an old                                                      But it also feels like I am loosing the battle with no help and no guidance

When I talk to those ahead of me in life they tend to say the same thing.  “I don’t know Trevor?  I don’t get it either.”

My relationship to time is fundamental in how I think, act, and live. I’m not sure how it started but I’ve realized the majority of my relationship is fear based.  Do you ever believe it’s going to run out?  Do you feel as if time is scarce?  For the most part I believe time is passing me by.  But there needs to be a but.

I think my understanding of time is being shapped by watching others.  I have been judging my life by the only thing I can.  I watch those around me.  And I don’t seem to fit the mold.  I don’t have a normal job.  I don’t own two point five kids.  I have no spouse, and I feel like time is up.  I also judge my life based on my parents life at my age.  It is dangerous, and I understand it isn’t real, or good, but I do.  Maybe you do too?

This has been my hope lately.  I am me.  There isn’t anything wrong with me.  There isn’t anything wrong with other people.  No one has been me before, and there is no book I can read about being where I am in the stage of life I am in.  Plus those books probably wouldn’t help because I would then be judging myself based on that author’s life… so, enjoy the season I am in.  Enjoy this unknown and be ok with what I have.  My life is beautiful and exploding with amazing conversations and friendships.  Stop comparing my life to other people, or expectations.  I need to stop expecting people to act or do anything, and be surprised when they do.  God doesn’t make junk, I am not junk, and there is so much more time to life.  There is so much time.  It isn’t running out.  It is full, today is full, there is so much time today to be here.  To be present, to enjoy the people around you, to enjoy the binge watching of tv shows, and books you get to read alone.  Enjoy the mid day power naps for one day we will wake and realize we can’t afford them anymore.

Wanting something that is not yet and wondering when it will happen to me kills any positive self love momentum.  Believing I deserve to be at a different place in life murders the current place of life I am in.  It is somehow God’s plan.  I get to learn what it means to be me more than anyone ever will.  This is my story, and I don’t want my story to look like  your story anyhow.  My story is different.  It’s unique and it is happening.   It is.   It’s going on right now and I can’t afford to miss this opportunity to be me today because I’m comparing my life to the people I don’t know around me.

Maybe I can stop fearing time, and enjoy it?  Maybe I can realize how much time I spend on obsessing over what my life should be, on who I should be with, on the house I should live in, or instead try and take advantage of the life I have in front of me right now.   Maybe?

Easier to write than to believe or live out of.

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The nature of Nature

IMG_5077.JPGI’ve never been in this place before

It’s like navigating the moon

No guides

No knowing

No gear

No way to feel

 

Each day has been a new adventure.  Some new corner to turn.  Some new road to go down, and not all have been good.  Some fun, some hard, some full, and some empty.  I haven’t been able to think about much.  I haven’t been able to process a lot.  And in it I have leaned into something real.  This is all vague, I’m not sure I want to go into more detail, but maybe in my ambiguity you can see your story.

Going through the darkness has had its blanket moments.  Blanket moments are moments where I have felt as if something is with me.  Moments where I feel peace when there should be no peace.  Moments of a text at the right time, and a friend who can look after me when I am blind.

I went on a hike this weekend with some friends, and I took some time to be alone.  I walked around to a quite side of the lake, and I laid down in the shade.  I watched jet contrails cross over the tree line, block the sun, and disappear into the atmosphere.  I watched the trees move and dance to a rhythm only known to them.  I tried to close my eyes, but then there were flies.  Lots of flies and bees.  And grasshoppers.  I started getting upset.  I got so frustrated, and angry I yelled profanities… All I wanted was quiet…. All I wanted was stillness… All I wanted was to not be bothered… so I moved, which there were still all the bugs.

So

I sat and watched the trees dance, the sky rotate, and waited in the stillness.  I didn’t hear anything.  I didn’t want to.  So, I was.  I was there.  On a rock, looking up, and I was.  I was there.  I was me, and I was enough.   I thought about life.  I thought about how I want to control, and I thought about my desires.  Desires for my family to get well.  Desires for my future.  Desires for my friends, and I began to realize how life comes with mess.

Just as nature comes with bugs, so life comes with mess.  You can’t have nature without nature (bugs).  You can’t have life, without life(mess).  We will all have it, we cannot avoid it, and yet somehow in the mess there is beauty.  I have had the sweetest conversations.  I have been encouraged more than I can handle.  My friends listen well, and they listen to my life better than I know how.  It is not easy.  The darkness can seem forever long and exhausting, and that is ok.  It is supposed to feel this way.

Be blessed

That’s all I got right now.  No answer, no happy wrap up, but that is ok.  I am trying to lean into this time, lean into my friends, and simply be.  I hope you can find hope in this.  I am trying, and it feels close.  If anything, let’s hope for hope.

Trevor

 

 

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Letter to Myself

IMG_4500Trevor,

Life is hard.

Doing life right is painful.  It will not be easy, and you are going to make mistakes.  Big mistakes that hurt others.  You can’t please everyone.  You are going to want to run away, hide, take an easy route and lay down.  You are going to have days you don’t want to get out of bed.  You are going to have days where you wish you could take it all back. You will have more words come out of your mouth you wish never had than you have words you like come out.  You are going to grow, but that also comes with pain.  You are going to be stretched, but it will sting.  You are going to be kicked, bruised, put down, looked over, overwhelmed, shamed, tempted, tried, treated like sh*t, but you know what?

As much as you don’t believe it

As much as you don’t want to hear it

As much as you believe the lies that go on in your head.  You are not those lies.  You are not those harsh words, and you need to start believing truth.

 

Trevor,

Life is worth it.

Doing life right is worth more than you will ever fully understand.  Don’t settle.  Do not run away, and do not go hide.  Getting out of bed will be worth it.  And make sure you enjoy it.  Enjoy hard conversations and do not take them for granted.  Enjoy those God has given you.  Enjoy movies, laughter, eating, cards, and most of all, be grateful.  For you only have today.  For you have always only had today.  And more importantly I need you to believe one strong truth.

You are not your mistakes.  You are good.  No matter what you believe, no matter what others may think, act, or say, you are good.  Jesus is proud of you.  Not because of anything you have done or not done, but simply because you are alive and He made you.  He designed you to be the way you are, and do you understand how Jesus doesn’t make mistakes?  He doesn’t create what He does not love.  As much as you don’t understand Love.  As much as Love has always had strings attached and you feel as you need to earn others love, Jesus doesn’t care.  You cannot earn His love.  He is going to Love you beyond any love that you could afford to give back.  He is going to watch you fall, break, and be there to pick you up.  He is going to comfort you when you don’t want His comfort.  Jesus is going to fill you with His Love even when you do not believe you deserve or ever will be able to accept it.  Whether or not you make the right moves, impress the right people, say the right words or not, Jesus is fond of you.  Trevor, this truth is bigger than you will ever know.  This truth transcends all knowledge.  It breaks truth open and brings with it joy and peace.  You have been made right.  All things have been put together, for you, and on your behalf.  Do you know that?  Do you believe it?  Life is hard, but it is worth it.  Following Jesus is greater than anything else you may want or desire.  Being filled by Jesus is more full of life then you will realize.  Seek Him, for He is seeking you.  Listen to Him, He listens to you.  Try and accept His Love, there is no love greater, no love wider, no love deeper, and you will find you have always known it was what you were looking for.

 

I love you

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Abraham and Diabetes

IMG_3158(I took this photo)(the others I usually steal from the internet…)

Yesterday I thought I had diabetes.  Almost took myself to the doctor… Truly.  My heart rate was high all day, I went to the bathroom fifteen hundred times, and I felt as if my blood sugar was at an all-time low.  Signs for Diabetes are frequent urination, constant thirst, weight loss/gain, and I had thought I had it all day.

I fully understand there is a mystery in the world.  This mystery, be it Spirit, God, energy, or the deep soul inside us, but this mystery is real.  And this mystery keeps flicking my head.  At first it seems quiet, subdued, and even not discernible.  It’s like a older sibling holding you down and tapping your head.  It doesn’t hurt at first, you shake it off, but then it gets loud.

Abraham was told over and over again how He would be the Father of Nations, but Abraham was OLD.  Abraham was reminded about the promise a lot.  God kept reminding him.  And yet He did obey, but He also didn’t.  Which is why it is so beautiful.  You find a God who is a God of promises, a God of enormity, but also a God of the unknown showing up in a human’s life who doesn’t always believe.  This human is asked to have a child, but this human is 99 years old.  He is told He will be the father of Nations, but He tries it his own way sometimes… So, why is this story coming up over and over and over again in my life?

I can’t tell you why, but I can tell you what my mind does.

I hear a still small voice speaking to me, and I want it to happen now.  I began the new year off wanting to become emotional healthy, and spiritually healthy.  I read some blogs, I read a few books, and I wanted mental health.  Not that I was completely off my rocker, but I wanted health, and I wanted it immediately.  Every piece of media we see/watch/digest is now.  Every get in shape article is now.  I realized how I am going to need time.  A lot of time.  Maybe more time then I want to admit.  But my mechanical brain believes I can get healthy mentally right now.  BUT, it is going to take time.

This journey has felt like taking two steps forward and fifteen back.  When I start to feel some momentum, when I start to feel like I am being vulnerable and open, when I begin to feel some traction, I stutter step and fall.  I hit a wall.  I learn something new about myself, and it feels like I am digging a hole in sand.  There is almost nothing more frustrating than digging a hole in the sand.  The deeper you dig, the more sand fills in the hole…  I. just. Can’t. keep. Digging.  It is killing me.

I am going to give you the questions I ask myself constantly.  Because I believe we all do, and I have hope in the “me too”.  I’ve written some blogs that hit home with others, and maybe you can feel as if you are not alone, and you are with me.  So…

Will God fulfill his promises to me?  Did I actually hear God’s voice, or was it my own imagination?  It seems so far-fetched and like a fairy tale, but did I hear what I heard?  Why am I so afraid?  Why do others seem to prosper while I dig this stupid hole in the sand?  Is it worth it?  Why can’t I just numb the pain, and sulk in my pity party?  They are fun, and my ego loves to party with my pity.

I guess I will wait.  I guess I will start to believe in hope.  I will try to trust in God’s promise to me in my life.  I will try to trust God’s  faithfulness.  I will try to trust Him to do what he has said He will do.  And it will take time.  It won’t happen today, or tomorrow, or even in a few months.

I am still not sure about the diabetes, but some days are hard, some days are full, and time helps us all.  I did have two big cups of coffee, a crazy juice smoothie, and lots of water yesterday, so…  I want to stop freaking out about small insignificant things, and worry about trusting God.  That is what I want.  I want to stop caring about what I can not change and worry about trusting God.

You too?

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