Thursday, March 10, 2016

life and love and long trips

 I have tried approximately six times to start this blog post and I just can't do it.

Okay, with that out of my system and the post officially started, now on to business! I guess it hasn't been that long since my last post, but I feel like it's been forever! Guys, exciting news. I am SO SO CLOSE to being done my book!!! YIKES!!! I am very excited to share with you when this happens. 
In other news, God is teaching me cool stuff! (mostly at work, when I'm supposed to be guarding people's lives, but that's just God, you know? not always convenient, but totally awesome all the same.) I practically sprinted to the guard office for my break and jammed all of my thoughts on to paper a few days ago, and I am now excited to share them with you!

mar. 08/16 
I’ve been sitting on the guard chair at work, and my mind has just been exploding today. Over the past six months, God has been teaching me about love – right back to the basics. I’ve been re-learning and understanding for the first time that God loves me (whaaat?) and what that means, and how earthshattering it is, and how beautifully broken it makes me. Anyway, after four months of struggling with this concept, I feel like I finally have a handle on it – and now God has dropped 'step 2' into my lap.
 Love others. Once I’m straight with God on the whole “vertical love” thing (He loves me, I love him,) I need to take that and not hold it inside of me, but give it away to others. God has been using the concept of “horizontal love” to show me that I’m actually a very selfish person (I would rather take ALL OF THE LOVE and give exactly none of it away)… I’m trying to be more conscious of how I interact with other people – instead of needing them to make me feel a certain way, I’m starting to take ownership of my own feelings. You are not responsible for how I feel, for my happiness on any given day I am. And I’m owning that! I've been realizing that just as God’s love lives in me and (hopefully) flows through me to others, God’s love lives inside other Christians in the same way. Instead of looking at them as just people, looking at their outsides and their actions, I need to direct my eyes deeper and realize two things. 

1) God loves them with the same earthshattering love that He has for me. He loves them so strongly it could break all of us to pieces, but it doesn’t. It’s like looking at the Niagara Falls, maybe getting your face wet from the spray, hearing the thundering roar in your ears and thumping through your pulse. You can experience it with all of your senses, understand the strength and the power and be amazed by it, but you can never realize it fully – to do so would kill you. But you understand enough to realize that it is strong enough to break you apart… even though you’ve never actually stood beneath the weight of it. 

2) In other Christians, God’s love doesn’t stay frozen in them, just like it doesn’t stay frozen in me. Every Christian has the love of God bubbling through them and exploding in a thousand ways, pouring down their skin, and that is so crazy and beautiful that I wonder how I missed seeing it before. Not only can I experience God’s love in an outward way – pouring through me and then into others – but I can see it and know that it is directed inward to me in the same way. 

This changes the way I look at people. Those lip-pierced, cuss-word-dropping high school students on the bus may be filled with darkness, but they are surrounded by light, because even if they don’t want to claim the love of God, it still exists. The people at the pool who complain all the time about literally EVERY SINGLE THING - God’s love for them is so strong that it could break me apart. When I can’t even stand to look at them, the complete power of his love for them still goes beyond anything I can imagine. He knows them, just as He knows me. And how could I care what people think of me after knowing this? We aren’t just people, we don’t just belong to ourselves or to this world, no matter what we believe or what we’d like to think. We are all vessels, we all have the breath of God filling our lungs and coursing through our veins. We are not just people. It seems like such a disrespect to glance at people after realizing this and pass them by. It feels wrong to look at people and stop at the surface, not to peel their earthly self aside and realize that they are more than what you see, and they are deeply, purely, hotly loved by God. All of this has been pounding through my head, and I have been sitting on the guard chair trying to focus on the pool and thinking, God, stop! Slow down! I am going to blow up if you put one more thought inside my head right now – like pulling aside the curtain a little too far, I will be blind if you don’t stop. I still feel like I haven’t explained it all, like my words have barely scratched the surface of what this means, how this could change my life. I don’t think I even realize in my head what I’m talking about yet. But I’m excited… !

Imagine me sighing and gasping for air and generally looking flustered, because it's been a flustered kind of week so far! God is crazy and I am loving it.
My final piece of news is that I am going on a trip (I have decided to be mysterious and frustrating and NOT TELL YOU WHERE) but this means I will also be away from my blog for about two weeks. I am super duper excited to get home again and dump pictures on your heads and share all about my experience!

Life is exciting, can I get an 'amen?' What is going on for you this March Break? (if you don't live in Canada, do you even have a holiday going on right now?) Does it look like Spring yet where you are?

loving you all a lot,


  1. AHHH. I really needed this. God's love. It is there regardless whether they acknowledge it or not. Amen, amen. Let the bluebirds sing.

    p.s. WHAT HOLIDAY ARE YOU CELEBRATING. the next Holiday here is Easter and then whoever is in school gets Spring Break. that's about it.

    1. God's love is crazing me out so hard right now I can't even!! It is so cool. :)

      Ps it's our March break (for elementary schools)!! Because I'm not in school technically I don't get a break, but I took some time off work for my trip :)

  2. Wow, this is beautiful; like the I-have-no-words-isn't-God-amazing kind of beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing; I really like the way you put the things God's showed you into words, and the descriptions of God's, it's so amazing. I really liked your comparison to Niagara Falls too.

    Also: congratulations on being almost finished your book, that must be such a good feeling! Those photos are really nice, and have a great trip! :)

  3. Great post! I hope you have a wonderful trip. :)

  4. FKJDFKLJDSK YOU'RE ALMOST DONE WITH YOUR BOOK?? THIS CALLS FOR ALL THE WAFFLES. *throws confetti and things* gah, I know how exciting this feeling is and I'm sooo happy for you, Olivia!! :)

    "...but you can never realize it fully – to do so would kill you." < wowowowow. this is so deep and beautiful and basically I just need to read it over and over again and meditate on these words. ♥ I was thinking about this the other day too -- loving others. I made it my intention that day to just love unconditionally everyone around me, no matter what they said or did. It's hard, but it's a freeing feeling to even just try. :) Your thoughts are flooring me, they are absolutely beautiful. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS, basically. And keep running, running, running with everything you're being given by Jesus -- because it just keeps getting better and better and better.


  5. That's so exciting! Will you tell us where you went when you get back?


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