Hey you guys! It’s been a bit since I updated you on life after sharing about our new house, which is still amazing! I’ve done another load of laundry and need to cut the grass again with my push mower, we still don’t have furniture, but nothing else new besides that thus far. 😉
I have had a change since I last wrote though – I had a birthday! I turned 31 on Monday and felt extra loved all day with text messages, phone calls, Facebook posts, some cards and just a light, joyful spirit that God gave me that day. Mikey and I had a great workout together; here’s a snippet of the ending:
And I made us take a selfie afterwards and Mikey didn’t even fight it, because, #birthday.
And I enjoyed training my clients, who always work hard and are generally just pretty awesome. 😉 The in between clients I’d planned to get a pedicure, but one of my clients beat me to the salon and pre-paid for my pedicure! Can you believe that? It was such a gift and I felt so pretty afterward!
After work we had our final business networking group meeting before we break for summer and went out to BLANCO Cantina on 17th Ave in Calgary and I enjoyed two margaritas, a half order of the chicken burrito, some guac (a must at Mexican!) and some salad – it was delicious after I hadn’t had much food that day!
BLANCO was great; I’d always wanted to go so while it was technically for our last meeting (which is always more of a celebration than a typical meeting), I felt very loved with birthday greetings and the chance to hang out with some awesome people whom I look up to as entrepreneurs and good friends!
(thanks for the pic, Amber!)
We had a great time catching up and lingered for a while, which was nice (I’m always thinking about my early mornings with clients but I just relaxed and enjoyed the bright sky and long nights we’re having as summer is here) and around 9 pm we parted ways. But what was missing on my birthday? Some ice cream! So Mikey and I hit up another local favorite spot, Village Ice Cream, for a tasty night cap:
Later on, Mikey gave me a gift card for eyelash extensions (I mentioned them a few weeks ago for our summer trips – thought it would be fun since I’m always make-up free on them) and I can’t wait to get them! Any tips for me if you’ve had them before? We are also going on a mini-adventure this Friday (where we go out after work, hike up a mountain, sleep there, and then come down back to the city before lunch time Saturday!) and he has planned out a fun location that is top secret. A great way to celebrate!
In other news, I’m re-certified as a CPR provider (although I sure hope I never have to use it!) and had a pretty relaxing weekend besides my course and some housework.
I also went to church on Sunday while Mikey was working (he taught a digital story-telling workshop for two days) and I was so encouraged by the message. As I turn another year older, too, I’m a bit more reflective, so join me in thinking a bit about who we are – our identity. Our pastor began a new series called “Perspectives” based on Jesus’ Beatitudes, and in the first week of this series he referenced where Jesus speaks about two groups of people: those who have NOTHING and those who have EVERYTHING. Well-versed in the Bible or not, you are probably somewhat familiar with the passage of Scripture from Luke 6:20-26:
Then he [Jesus] looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you[a] on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
Jesus does it again – being so counter-cultural and saying that it’s not those who have food and are well-fed (think: comfortable in life), are wealthy (think: secure) and are laughing (think: sneering at others as per the translation), but those who are the exact opposite of that! Jesus attaches blessings and woes to both sets of people, which is interesting because our culture loves to look for success stories – the “started from the bottom now we here” kind of story.
We love stories about people rising from the ashes, coming from nothing, or overcoming a challenged or rough upbringing and then succeeding. The wealthy, the comfortable, the winners – those who are powerful and accepted – those are the ones we look up to! But Jesus flips this idea on it’s head and says it’s really the other way around. Why? Because those who have nothing depend on Jesus, look to him for their source of security, for their value, for their identity, not their lifestyle around them. In other words, when Jesus is all you have, Jesus is all you need. I don’t need to be worried about disaster striking, cancer coming back into our life, Donald Trump becoming president, or something happening to my family or to my business – because my hope does not lie in those things.
Now…don’t think that because you have a nice car or a retirement plan that you’re “out,” or that if you’re a college kid living on top ramen with $20 in the bank that you’re “in!” What matters is where your identity lies – do the external things of your life make you feel secure or is it in Jesus? It’s a hard question to ask, and a tough one to truly be honest about – we can say we’re not identifying with the things around us, but what about when they are taken away?
“Your identity establishes your lifestyle” – that’s one of the things that Pastor James said on Sunday and is worth dwelling on, especially as I turn another year older. I’m reminded that when comfort, satisfaction, and STUFF become what we live for, they define us, and ultimately disappoint us. With recently moving and de-cluttering, living with less but simultaneously being entrusted with more, and desiring to set my heart upon Jesus more and more with each passing year, I am reminded that I need to continually lay down the trappings of my identity daily before God. If he chooses to take everything away, what is left of me? If grief comes and I am no longer laughing but mourning; if I am hurt and can no longer work as a personal trainer to others or train my own body and my health fails; if poverty strikes and we are down to one income or must forfeit what we own; if my trust and identity are in Jesus I will be fine because HE defines me and not these things. What a great reminder on my birthday! And I hope it is a good reminder for you, too, wherever this word of conviction, curiosity or encouragement finds you.
So… Three questions for you:
- Have you experienced a timely reminder lately in your life?
- Have you ever struggled with or thought about your own identity in the way that I am above?
- …and if you could eat anything on your birthday, what would it be?! (Mexican and ice cream of some sort for me – which is what I had!)
See you around the inter webs this week… 😉 Live well & be well,