A good gift

A birthday present received.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about family. It’s been weighing on my heart heavily, to be honest it always has.  With all the free time we’ve had lately, my mind has been thinking more and more about it.  

I spent a lot of time missing family that have passed away, but I’ve spent more time sad and crying and really heartbroken just missing family. Every family has relationships that become strained or estranged.  I honestly think having riffs and estranged family is even more heartbreaking than losing a family member to death. That’s just my opinion though, from my experience.

We all have items or things that remind us of our loved ones. Sometimes that’s an animal, or an object or a food that brings back memories. Maybe you have something that’s coming to mind right now, that triggers your memory back to somebody special.

On my birthday every year, my mind goes  to thinking about my family and my family roots. I don’t know if that’s something that only happens to people who’ve lost their family members, or if this is something others do who still have their parents and grandparents.  For me there’s been items, usually food related, they bring me back to remembering family.

I was at the grocery store earlier in the day. When I walked by the flower section, I stopped in to take a look. I found myself wondering, if my parents were still alive, would my mom buy me flowers? Wondering this sounded kind of silly to me, because this isn’t something I ever think about. So I looked through the flowers and thought to myself which one would they pick? I even contemplated buying some for myself, but I decided not to. 

As I walked through the grocery store the thought of picking up some pretzels kept coming into my mind. I eat gluten free food and gluten free pretzels can be anywhere from 6$ to 9$ a bag. So I decided not to buy them, and instead I picked up a 3$ bag of nacho chips.  

I’ve been thinking lately of my Grandma and Grandpa, on my dad side. My Grandpa passed away on Christmas when I was eight years old, and my Grandma passed away when I was 19 right before we were going to visit her out west. When I was young we’d go up to the cottage, not too far from where they lived. Sometimes my sister and I would go to their house and spend the night with them.  My Grandpa was quite intimidating, I don’t think he liked children much, he would be one to say something like “children should be seen and not heard.”  This is something recently I read in an Anna Green Gable‘s book.  My Grandma on the other hand was so sweet and kind, she wasn’t perfect, but she was this big German woman who had a heart of gold. When I slept over at their place I would always sleep in her bed with her. She would stay up late doing a devotional, and reading her Bible. Her and Grandpa would be awake in the morning before I would be. When I would go downstairs I still remember the kitchen, how it looked and where they sat. Grandma would be in the kitchen making breakfast. Usually she would make pancakes when I was there. And Grandpa would be sitting at the table eating his breakfast.  He liked to have an orange for breakfast. I used to watch how he would use this small knife to peel his orange in one long piece. Sometimes I would be brave enough to ask him if I could have an orange, or a piece of his. He used to leave so much of the white stuff on it, I once asked him if he could cut the white off for me. He told me it was good for me, to just eat it.  I miss those visits with them, I miss those moments with family.

My husband’s favourite candy are these gummy‘s, from a store down the road from us. Every time I go in there to pick up a few things and ask him if he wants anything. He almost always asks for those. One time when I was in that store, might’ve been the first time actually. I was with his dad, my father in law, and he had picked up those candies. My favourite colours are red and black.  The black ones taste like black licorice, and the red like red licorice.  

One of the last times we were able to hang out with my in-laws, we were outside with the kids and Grandma had pulled out some Mentos out of her pocket and shared them with the kids. The kids loved them.  Candies and grandparents are like a right of passage to spoil your grandkids with sweets.  Getting to see family hasn’t always been possible with all the lockdowns.

My husband‘s family on his mom side are Dutch.  So my husband grew up eating chocolate sprinkles on bread with butter. I hope I’m describing that right. I think anybody who is Dutch has heard of this.  Our kids have had it a couple of times. When each one of them were born we got the coloured sprinkles and these thick crackers that you put butter on and then put the sprinkles on. Jeff’s Oma and Opa brought those sprinkles to us when our first baby was born and we continued to do it for the other two children. Something to do to include tradition for another generation.  

The reason I share all of this. 

On the night of my birthday I was putting my youngest to bed when the door bell rang.  My husband went to answer and found a open box of items on the front step with a card addressed to me.  I came down to open it and saw it was from a friend down the street.  It was a birthday card and some treats.  I texted her to thanks her.  She mentioned that she asked Holy Spirit for guidance on what treats to pick up and hoped we like them.  I took a second look at the box, and asked Holy Spirit  about the items.  Then it hit me.  

Earlier I had wanted flowers and pretzels at the grocery store.  Then slowly as I looked at the other items, I realized they represented some family members that were heavy on my heart.  There were two oranges, a bag of gummies, some mentos, and a box of chocolate Dutch sprinkles.  

It hit me while looking at all the items, in that open box, that God knows my heart and he cares.  He heard my prayers that I had been praying for my family.   He knew this day, my birthday, brings up all the feelings of my past relationships with loved ones and my roots of my family tree.  I realized that I am seen, I am heard and He cares. I felt that God so cares about my family. God knew and saw those moments with those family members. He saw because He sees everything. He cares about us so much that the eyes of His heart are always on us. Wow.

I share this story with you, to say the same is true for you.  God hears your prayers, and sees you and He cares for you, and He cares for your family too.

That moment in your past, that you still feel, He saw it, you weren’t alone. God cares, He loves you. He has love He wants to pour into that moment, that memory, or that hurt.

God loves you.  You are never alone.  

This is one example of a sign that makes us wonder.  An example of the love of a good good God, He’s a perfect Father.

The greatest gift 🎁 is the gift of the Father’s love.  

Thank you for reading.

~Jen

I want some good stories of my own in this year.

Don’t you? 

Anybody else looking to this new year and find yourself thinking,

“I just really want 2021 to be a good year, and have better things in it.”

 Ultimately we want a year that’s better than 2020 was.  Right???

For me what’s good is usually something way better than I would’ve thought of on my own.  My opinion of what makes a GOoD story good is that it comes from one source, Jesus.  My own experiences tend to be fairly average if they just involve myself.  

Even if we find ourselves going through a tough time, some challenges, it’s not necessarily the situation that makes the experience good, sometimes it’s our response to what’s happening that make the difference.  I think it’s easy to say when we’re feeling crappy, we want to feel better, so we look to something to make ourselves feel better. It could be food, drinking, smoking, drugs, or maybe some thing else to make us feel better.  It is possible that to look to a person as our source of comfort, instead of something. What about starting this new year off by turning to the one who knows everything about you, loves you no matter what and has all the answers. No I’m not talking about your mom or your mother-in-law, LOL

I’m talking about Jesus.  
Stay with me for a second.  

In John 1 it says he created the heavens and the earth and that he made us, that Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.  His purpose for coming to the earth was multi fold, but it included reconnecting us back to the father in heaven through the gift of Holy Spirit. So your connection, to God is always open.  (See the book of the bible John 1:1-18)

So how do we go from experiencing average to GOoD?

  1. It’s in the who we look to.  If we look to our situation, circumstance or people that is all we’ll see.   If we want GOoD then we keep our focus on God, which is in who Jesus is. 
  2. It’s in what we say.   When we speak, we’re speaking from our heart.  If we focus on praising God then we’re opening up opportunities for good things to happen in our lives.  We can actually fill our hearts with gratitude and that’s what let’s God’s love in us.  
  3. It’s in what we do.  Even in times when we feel like we’re locked into schedules, having to do our daily routines, we sometimes lose sight of the freedoms we actually have. While doing all of that daily stuff, there are moments that we choose how to fill those times.  Taking a few minutes daily to spend time with God is super impactful.  The more we do this, the more we will want to do it. It won’t be out of obligation it will be out of a desire.

A great free phone app I like to use is called First15, if you don’t have something I’d recommend that.  It’s only 15 minutes a day and teaches growing in hearing God for ourselves.   

I hope this helps you, if anything that one point lingers in your heart throughout your day.   It’s not a checklist, but rather God’s invitation for us to sit at His table this year and be with Him.  Good things are possible with God, for God is good.

I look forward to hearing some of your GOoD Stories from 2021.  
Please do share.   

Bless you.

~Jen




When the Lights go out…

I was feeling like I was to do another post, but I haven’t felt like there was a specific thing to write about. Although I have a list of topics I could write about, I’ll only write if it feels like God has put it on my heart.  I don’t write these blogs for attention, or for getting likes. I had said to God a few minutes before this, that I’ll write if he shows me something he wants me to write, otherwise I won’t just write anything randomly.  

Here’s the backstory first. Today has felt like a long day.  I was getting frustrated at our kids.  Behaviours at an all time high, the mess down stairs (visible, no door to close) water in lego bin, lego everywhere, pillows from the whole house in a pile with all the blankets, all the toy bins were dumped.  I was on a phone call earlier  to a family member and they took advantage while I was distracted.   They were jumping off furniture and just crazy.  I had reached my limit by 5pm.  I had a horrible headache all day I couldn’t shake, the one that shuts you down but as a mom you can’t take the day off.   I had tried meds, a nap, a walk outside for fresh air to no avail. 

We told the kids they had to clean up the room before supper.  Supper was ready and they weren’t done cleaning.  I tried helping them and they sat down refusing to clean up.  I felt done with trying so then I went to the table to eat.

Feeling frustrated but grateful for supper especially the quiet of the moment at the table I wanted to thank God.  To be honest I forget most days.  I’m usually so busy making plates of food and end up being the last one to sit down and eat.  Saying grace slips my mind or comes half way through the meal. 

But today I was the second one to sit down, it was just Jeff and I.   In the quiet I remembered to thank God.  

As soon as I started the first word; “Thank” the power went out, by the time I was done the last word in the prayer the power was back on.  

“Th..(lights out) ank you God for this food”(lights back on)

Jeff said “Did that really just happen?”

This startled both of us.  I’ve never experienced this happening before.  It was a sign and a wonder, a sign that made us wonder.  

I asked God just quietly inside of myself, “what are trying to tell me through this?  

I heard inside a question. “Are you proud of how you’re responding to them?” (Referring to my kids)

I said, “no, I’m not.”

It felt like I wasn’t treated my kids with grace.  Treating them with the love and kindness that God gives even when we don’t deserve it and we couldn’t earn it even if we tried.  It felt like I should call them to supper.  Jeff and talked about calling them up for supper and to finish cleaning up when supper is done.  So that is what we did.

When our oldest  came up to the table he asked with the lights went out during grace.   Even he noticed what had happened.  I told him, that prayer is powerful, God is listening.  Even I forget this in my busyness.  

I felt like God did this sign to restart our focus to be on him even when it comes to parenting.  He wanted to remind us that he with us and that he is with you.  When we talk to him, he jumped at the attention we give him, he cares that much that he’s just waiting for us…more then we wait for him.  He jumps at the attention you give him too. He fluctuated the power to show that prayer (talking WITH him, not just to Him) is powerful!!!  Please don’t forget that, I’m going to try to remember this too.  God is with us.  

As I’m writing this I recall something similar that happened.  When I was 19, my Grandma passed away.  We were at her funeral in the funeral home.  My Grandma had moved out west her last couple of years but was brought back for burial.  The pastor (I didn’t know him and he didn’t know my Grandma) was going to say a closing prayer with the family before we leave.  We stood together holding each other.  As soon as he started the first word, rain slowly started to fall on the roof (sounded like tin roof), as the prayer continued the rain got so loud and strong, as the prayer ended the rain led up and then ended on the last word.  The pastor looked up and came to my sister and I.  He quietly asked us if we noticed what happened with the rain.  We said yes we noticed.  He asked if she was a believer, was she a Christian?  We answered, Yes she was.  This was a sign that made us wonder.  The pastor felt what it meant, to him what God was saying to him.  This was such a beautiful moment.  The rain brought me comfort.  God showing tears when we we were sad.  As we walked out of the building the sun was out and shinning which brought a smile to my face and no rain in sight.  We knew where Grandma was now.  She was home with Jesus. 

When we feel powerless, God is our source of endless power.  He is our power source that we get to be connected to all the time.  We don’t need to look for signs, we get to look to him for connection and yes sometimes the signs happen but they don’t have to happen to confirm.  

I hope this blog post encouraged you, and met you where you’re at. I pray that as we enter this season and holiday, that you would experience a deepening relationship with Jesus and be overwhelmed with his love for you.  

Merry Christmas. 

~Jen 

Sometimes it takes one light to go out for another one to turn on. 💡

When Sinking…


I grew up by the water.  We’d go to the cottage most weekends and all summer.  I’ve always had a strong love and yet respect for water but never felt fear towards it.  I never thought about what would happen if I started to sink.  

It’s weird that my experience drowning had nothing to do with water but yet felt like water.  My favourite thing to do turned against me and plagued me with fear.  

This next good story opens up the door about not so fun anxiety attacks, drowning depression and racing thoughts.  This doesn’t sound good, does it?   I promise it’s a really good story, stick with it till the end to see why. 

I think it would be hard to find a family that did not have mental health issues with at least one family member. My family is definitely not an exception to this. For my family I don’t think I know of one family member who hasn’t had an issue with some form or some degree of mental health issues.  

Throughout this year, with all the stresses that it has brought on people, anxiety and depression is at an all-time high. People are self-medicating with drugs and alcohol which is at an all-time high, or they’re in need of anxiety meds prescribed by their doctor.  I don’t think anyone would be surprised by this, we hear about it all over the news.

I am by no means an expert when it comes to anxiety and depression, I don’t claim to be an expert or to advise people on what to do. This story is just my own personal experience of a breakthrough that I had about three years ago. To this day, this story has helped me. 

I’ll give a it of a back story of my experiences.  I’ve had many anxiety attacks or panic attacks that either come on slowly or fast and feel like they’re from nowhere.  Sometimes they’ve been so bad that I go to hospital as it can feel like a heart attack, or if it results in a weird migraine, and vomiting etc.  

Now that was a lot to share and kind of personal.  I feel the need to share that I have gone to see specialists in the medical field for mental health, I have a Counselor to talk with.  My triggers for anxiety and depression are usually my own thoughts or worries about relationships (that I can’t fix).  So for me counselling helps me work through my feelings, and to accept what can not be changed.  

Now that you have a bit of a backstory I’ll move onto the good story.  

It is about three years ago, I was going about my day and trying to get things done around the house.  I can’t remember what was on my mind, I’m not sure what started it or where it came from. This one felt like it was slowly coming on throughout the morning, to the point when it got to be unbearable. I just remember standing in my room at the edge of my bed, and I felt like I was drowning in water. I felt like I was unable to breathe, I wanted to yell out to my husband but no words came out.  I thought of going downstairs to try a prescribed anxiety pill, but I didn’t think I could make it downstairs and I didn’t feel like I would make 15 more minutes of drowning before the pill started to work.  

I sat down on the edge of the bed and I just remember feeling my whole body was underwater and breathing wasn’t working. This was a horrible feeling, because I love swimming and I love water. But the joy of swimming and my love of water was completely removed and replaced with this traumatic feeling of not being in control of my own body.

That’s when I heard inside of myself, 

(I heard in my spirit) these words. 

“You’ve never called on Him” 

with this came an implying 

“when this is happening.”

I was confused by this question, because I didn’t know who the “Him” was, I knew this question was not my own thought, because it didn’t entirely make sense to me.

I responded with a question. 

“Jesus???”

As soon as I said that the answer to my question came in the most unlikely way. I instantly felt a ring, a circular shape starting at the top of my head, and it drew down my head opening up as it went down my whole body. It felt like I was being lifted out of this drowning water.  

At the point that the ring reached my stomach and was going around to my back, I asked what is happening?

God answered me by placing a Bible verse in my mind.  He showed me that when Peter, who was one of Jesus’s disciples, looked away from Jesus for a moment, Peter slipped under the water. Peter called out to Jesus and Jesus lifted Peter up out of the water.  (See Matthew 14:22-33)


I didn’t know that Jesus would or could pull someone out of an anxiety attack.  

It was true, I had never called on him to help me in an anxiety attack, because I was believing that he would never help me or that he couldn’t help me, or that I didn’t deserve his help.  I was acting out of my own understanding and my own belief system that I wasn’t even aware of.

It says in Scripture that Jesus healed every person he came into contact with.  It’s not an earning or deserving thing.  

The thing I love the most, is that we come into contact with Jesus just by saying his name. Even if it is in an imperfect way where we just say; “Jesus?”

Here’s some verses. 

Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. 

Luke 9:11 But when the multitudes knew it, they followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing.

Luke 9:1 Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Thanks for following me as I journey through sharing the good God stories.  

If you like this story, please feel free to go to the menu and read previous blog posts. If you want to hear more click on following to get an email when I post a new blog. If you know someone who could benefit from this story as they have need for healing, please feel free to share this with them.

Thanks,

Jen 

The painting above was a gift I painted for someone of Jesus pulling Peter out of the water, it’s my own rendition of Yongsung Kim’s painting “Hand of god save me”.

A different kind of appointment

This story still blows my mind. I have learned so much through this experience, that I want to pass this story along. It is definitely a really good story.

This story takes place in very unlikely place, my doctors office.  You see our family doctor had retired and a new doctor took on the practice.  The number of patients were too many for one doctor, so they had to hire a second doctor. 

Just after having our third baby, we got a letter in the mail that a second doctor would be taking on some of the patients including our family. We were to go in and meet him to see if it would be a fit. Jeff and I have been discussing moving west of London, to be closer to his work. So we decided not to go in and meet the doctor, we would cancel the appointment.  Something inside of me felt like we were not to cancel the appointment, that we should go in and meet this doctor. I delayed cancelling the appointment until the morning of.  Then I realized I had to still go in, so I didn’t get charged a cancellation fee. I explained to Jeff that something inside of me was really pressing that we aren’t to cancel the appointment.  

So when I arrive to this appointment, I had asked God to show me if we were to keep him as a doctor, or if we are to look for a new doctor. I have to admit I don’t always ask God for help in making decisions, sometimes I just go with what I want to do, sometimes I feel stopped in my tracks, that he wants something different and better for us.  So sitting in that appointment I asked God to show me what to do. As I was going through and answering his questions, I found myself curious about where he had moved from? He had a very thick accent, and it times it was hard to understand what he was saying, I didn’t recognize his accent and I had no clue.  I remember saying inside my head “I wonder where he’s from? “. Then I heard very clearly inside of myself and I even saw the word “Uganda”. Hearing and seeing this instantly startled me, because I had no idea anything about Uganda, I didn’t even know how to spell it until I saw the word. I really wanted to know if this was true, I felt like I was to ask him if he was from Uganda? But I’m not really bold like that, so instead I casually asked him in conversation, while he was asking about where I’m from, I asked to know a bit more about him, I wondered where he was from.  That’s when he explained his journey to Southern Ontario. He explained how they had moved a couple of times in Canada, but that him and his wife and children are from Uganda.

In that moment, it was enough of a confirmation to do a second appointment. I was stunned, it hit me that God knows where this doctor is from. God knows every detail about us.  I was convinced God had answered my question, now if the answer was wrong then I would assume it was my own crazy mind playing tricks on me. But because the answer was right, I was overwhelmed inside with this a static, electric energy and excitement knowing that it was God who whispered.

God whispers to us, because he is that close to us. He need only to speak in a whisper.

Now I’m pretty sure I could just end the story here, I think that was enough of a good story, but I’m going to go to the second appointment because this good story gets even better.

The next appointment was a few weeks later, it was an immunization appointment for our youngest. The receptionist called us in to the medical room, she walked us part of the way and then pointed to the second room for us to go ourselves. Now in all the years I’ve been going to that clinic, I have never had them Just point to the room. Normally they go in first and sit at the desk, I sit down and they ask questions about the appointment and type it in pro the computer for the doctor to have some notes. But this time she must’ve had something to do that was really important. So I pushed the stroller towards the room.

As I walked into the open door to the room, my senses were instantly awakened, I felt so overwhelmed. This instantly surprised and shocked me. I literally let go the stroller for a minute and I started to look around the room. I was trying to figure out what was in the room? What was I experiencing? I found that there was nothing different in the room. I even checked to see if there was a scent that I had picked up on. I can honestly say I have never experienced anything like this.  I noticed some music quietly playing on the computer and I tried to listen carefully to see if I recognized the song. I didn’t recognize the song, it sounded like it was even in a different language.

My curiosity was literally killing me. So I asked God what is in this room? And I heard quietly inside (I refer to this as my spirit hearing) 

“He was worshipping me.” 

The answer I got, at the time did not clear anything up. It was weird to me that God didn’t, in my opinion, answer my question. I wanted to know what was in the room that I was feeling. I didn’t ask what was my doctor doing in the room. I have to admit I was a little bit slow in this moment (I’m learning like we all are) the connections were not made instantly, it did take some time.

Maybe two minutes later the doctor came into the room. He came and greeted me, sat down and asked what are you in for today? So I answered his questions, he updated the notes as the receptionist had not been in to do it.  I tried to wait as long as I could, then I asked him the question. 

I said “ I’m sorry, this is probably going to sound like a really weird question to ask, I’m wondering, before my appointment, were you in here worshipping God?”

He went from looking at his computer, to pushing his rolly chair away from his desk, and just stopped everything and looked at me. He said, are you a Christian? 

I said “yes I am,”

He asked “how did you know what I was doing?”

I was honest with him and told him, that I didn’t know what he was doing. I explained to him what had happened when I walked into the room, and that I asked God what is in the room. I also explained to him how in my opinion God didn’t actually answer my question. LOL

My doctor did explain to me that he was worshipping God when he was in the office right before I came in. I had the second appointment of the morning, this was a Monday morning right after he was at church on Sunday.

This second appointment, and the events that happened in my opinion made me even more curious and we decided to keep him as our family doctor.

About a year after this appointment, I found reading and some talks that explained to me what happens when we worship and praise Jesus. I didn’t realize that when we worship God we’re actually inviting his presence into ourselves as well as the environment around us.  I learned that when my doctor was worshipping God in his office, he was filling his place of work with God’s Holy Spirit that is an overwhelming peace, and love. So when I walked into that room it overwhelmed me beautifully.  This is a story I won’t soon forget.

Thank you for joining me on this journey of sharing this GOoD Story.  If you want to hear more stories like this, please check out the menu and the previous blog post, LIKE the story if you enjoyed it, SHARE it if you have someone that comes to mind that would enjoy hearing the story, FOLLOW this blog page if you want to hear more next time. 

“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭9:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

~Jen 

Just a dream?

Have you ever had a reoccurring dream?  Maybe having a dream twice or more?  Reoccurring dreams are weird as the weight of potential importance rises with each dream. 

I had this one dream I can recall at least three times in my childhood. At the time of having it I had no understanding of what it meant. I remember during the third time, feeling inside while it happened “oh it’s happening again!”  Each time it felt like I was on a wild ride, there was no stopping the dream as it happened.  

The first home my family lived (briefly) was on a street called Church Street, and in the dream it started on that street.  Walking down that street and up to a neighbor’s house. I opened the door to go in and then all of a sudden it was a different building. As I explored this building the same way I would find myself back on the second floor and then in what looked like a square bathtub.  While I stood in a space that looked like a shower or square bathtub I looked out a open window.  The space filled up with water, and the water came to life.  It picked me up like it was a hand and lifted me out the square window and into a church. The water started to flow like a wave carrying me through the aisle and out the back of a church onto a street.  

I’m sure you can agree that this dream (most dreams seem weird) kind of makes no sense. It wasn’t until I went to University, age 19 which was about 15 hours away from Church Street, that I ended up in that same building where my dream took place.  I didn’t notice right away that I was in that church. It wasn’t until the overhead projector screen was raised up for a baptism, when I saw the square window.  All of a sudden that dream came flooding back to me. You see I hadn’t used the main entrance door where the dream started and ended.  There was a new addition to the church and that’s the side we always entered and exited in from the back parking lot. 

 
Stain glass window, First Baptist Church. Thunder Bay, ON. Photo by Rose McGratten.

It hit me during that baptism that in the dream I had been baptized in the living water. Now I didn’t know scripture really well to realize what the living water was representing. So the next time that Church offered baptism I signed up for the full immersion baptism. My family had baptized me as an infant, but this time it was my choice. I didn’t know how much God really cared about baptism until I realized that’s what my dream was about. 

I thought the meaning of the dream had been fulfilled and it was over. It wasn’t until I was 33, about three years ago, while listening to a sermon online, that it hit me there’s more to the dream. The pastor was reading the scripture found in Ezekiel 47.  The pastor was reading this scripture verse and as he read the dream came back to me, as though he read he was describing what I experienced.

The next two books I read after first hearing Ezekiel 47 read, both of these books explained what that verse meant. Ironically I didn’t choose these two books to find out what the dream meant, but I had been asking God to show me what the verse meant.

The living water in the dream represented God’s Holy Spirit and the spirit of prophecy which is a testament of Jesus and the heart of God leaving the church and out into the streets.


Ezekiel 47, digital art. By Jen Schiller.

What’s really beautiful is that God is doing this right now in this season of COVID-19. The church, which is God’s spirit and his people, have now left the building and are now out on the streets meeting the people where they are at. God is doing a new thing and he has prepared his people for this.  

In a lot of ways what the church was doing before this can’t be carried into this next season.  God is so creative and he is not repetitive and not boring. His very nature is so creative and loving. He wants to put his spirit into his church (which isn’t a building, it’s people).   In this case a-do over is needed. So it’s like he’s restarting the heartbeat of his people to be in-line with his heart.

You might be asking yourself, how is this dream a GOoD dream? If you are asking yourself that my answer would be this dream is an example of how God speaks to us about his future, of how the Bible is still relevant to us today, of how God is alive and so is his word (His word is both Jesus and the bible).  

I almost shared this dream as part of my testimony but the pastor asked that I didn’t.  He said that the story might make some members uncomfortable.  I respected the pastor’s request and omitted the dream from what I shared.  I’ve noticed that christians more often then non believers get uncomfortable with stories or examples of God moving.  Sometimes we are uncomfortable when we are looking in the wrong place for comfort.  Maybe looking to religion instead of relationship or trying to please over just being.  

This story, yes I’m in it, but it isn’t about me, it’s too big to be just about me.  This story is about God.  If this story evokes feelings and emotions I’d encourage you to let those up to the surface and see what God does with them.  

I love how God speaks to us all in very unique ways, it’s not always the same way for every person. Not one way is better than another. God doesn’t have favourites.  I believe that God is giving us all the same potential to hear him, but in different ways. (This is so beautiful!!!) During this time it’s becoming more evident that we need to hear God, we need community and to share GOoD stories that grow our faith.

Do you have a take-a-way that you had from this GOoD story?  Please consider sharing your take-a-way below.   Do you have a dream that you are interested in uncovering the potential meaning, I would love to walk through the process of uncovering what God could be saying to you through your dream.  

If this story struck a cord inside please Like and subscribe to this page.   If you’re new to the Blog, the backstory behind this Blog can be found in the previous posts.  

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you have a great weekend.   

26 years ago today

It’s crazy to think that this next GOoD story is 26 years old!! I have only shared it with a select few and those who were there. 

This story starts out on one of the saddest days and might at first seem like a sad story but bare with me as it does get better.  

Have you had a tragic or sad situation happen that then turned into either a good or beautiful story?  Maybe you have a story of your own that comes to mind.

I haven’t shared this story much mostly because it’s odd and a bit sensitive and it has always raised many questions for me.  

So the back story first.  26 years ago my mom passed away when I was 10.  My dad had mentioned to us a few times of the importance of burying the deceased toward the east for them to rise on the third day the same way Jesus rose.  We had lost a few (many) family members by the time I was 10, so funerals were not new to me.  

So on the day of my moms funeral we had the usual funeral procession but then a two hour drive to the church for the service, lunch, then to the cemetery.  I felt numb most of the day and confused as I wasn’t expecting my mom to die and it felt so sudden to me.  

When it came time to say our last goodbye, I was at a loss for what to do.  So I looked to my older sister and watched her movements.  She walked up to the casket, picked up a rose and placed it on the head of the casket, then kissed her fingers and placed them on top. 

 I figured that seemed easy enough and I’d just copy her.  So after putting the flower on, I kissed my fingers and touched the casket.  When my hand touched the casket I saw with my eyes what felt like a flash of an image of my mom’s bare feet as well as the white silk surrounding her feet.  I instantly felt startled that my mom didn’t have socks and shoes for heaven.  I went right to my dad and asked why mom didn’t have socks and shoes on.  (There’s a backstory why she had to have shoes but that’s another story) He asked me how I knew that and I explained what I saw when I touched her casket.  During the wake part of the funeral the bottom half of the casket was closed so I didn’t see she hadn’t shoes on.  My dad quickly walked away and approached the funeral staff and talked with them.  I thought my dad would drive the 15 minutes to get her socks and shoes from our cottage nearby.  Instead the funeral staff walked around checking the casket.  My dad came back to me and I asked him about getting her shoes as we watched the staff turn the casket around.  The funeral director came up to us and apologized for having it backwards and they wondered how I knew.  We didn’t really know how to explain what I saw.  That experience was new to us and we had so many questions ourselves with no answers. My dad seemed relieved that she was now facing the right direction.

I thought, looking back now 26 years later, that it’s interesting when my dad heard what I said he took the message and knew what to do with it.  It’s funny to me that I interpreted it so differently then he did.  

I can also see that God used my child innocence to show my dad how much God loved him and cared for him in such a hard time.  

I think God was wanting to show my dad, that He cared for my dad and that God knows what matters to my dad.  I don’t think God always cares bout the same stuff that we do but that we matter to God and He shows we matter through His carrying about our cares. Does that make sense?

It blows my mind the extent God goes to to show how much He loves us.  That is what this story reminds me of…that God sees and that He cares about us.  He can even work through a little child to show His love.  I know I’ve felt Gods love through the sweet and unconditional love of my kids and it just blows my mind.  

Thanks for joining me on this journey of sharing this 26 year old story from the depths of my childhood journal.  Feel free to share your sad to beautiful stories below or journal them if you haven’t yet.

If this story touched you at all please like, share or subscribe. Also check out my previous blogs if you liked this story.  Happy Saturday.  

Where it started

I’ve been thinking back over the years and wondering where to start in sharing of a GOoD story. The earliest I can remember happens to be one of my warmest memories.

The earliest memory that I had was at some point soon after I was born.  I don’t remember much except for a bright almost yellow/white light surrounding me and my first thought was:

“Thank God, I’m alive!” 


 I remember feeling filled with joy and happiness.  

Untitled, Digital art by Jen Schiller


To be honest during hard times I’ve wondered, “why was I so excited to be alive as a new baby?”  I had these thoughts during the hardest years and when I lost many loved ones.

As soon as I could speak I tried to share this first memory of being alive, to my sister and my mom in particular.  At that time I didn’t want to forget that feeling, and so often I almost had forgotten.

Maybe you have a first good memory or thought that comes to mind? What is your first good memory?

When I was older my mom explained to me that she had complications during her pregnancy with me and that she almost lost me. I’m not sure if my appreciation for life came from almost being lost or not.  I always wondered about how I thanked God as a newborn and if babies know God more then we realize.

I think in many ways this first story has fuelled me to ask questions and to seek God more.  I think He likes our questions but mostly that we look to Him for the answers.

When I think about that first memory, what I realize now looking back is that, I can feel and see God’s goodness. In many ways I’ve been oblivious to His goodness over the years. But as a little baby, I paid attention and noticed His goodness.  

I think in recalling and writing down our own stories we become either more aware of those examples or more hungry for them.  So weather these stories encourage you to start journaling your own examples or to ask Him for your own experiences, I’m excited for you and your journey.  

If you have any questions that have come up while hearing this story or maybe about your earliest story, I encourage you to write out your question and ask Him.  


Thanks for joining me on this journey. Please feel free to comment, like and subscribe by going up to menu, then scrolling down to click on subscribe so you won’t miss a post. If you haven’t read the first two explaining the back story, you can see the link below. Happy Wednesday.

I‘m really passionate about sharing stories of waking in faith.

👆🏻 I also love to go for nature walks

_____________________

I have always enjoyed hearing others share their stories either by a camp fire, or meeting up for coffee. These stories are the ones that move our hearts and cause us to think differently.

We are going through a time right now where our focus can be on what isn’t going well and can cause us to loose hope. I know I have struggled by focusing on fear that felt consuming at times. My hope in doing this blog is to take a pause from fear and hopelessness that overwhelms us, and to center ourselves on what is good and true.

You might wonder why would I do this?

  • Because sharing stories/ testimonies builds faith.
  • When people hear stories they feel more comfortable sharing their own.

My hope is that in a year from now I’ll be able to look back and notice my own growth through this process. It is a huge step for me to give myself permission to share these stories and to give them space to be shared. I also hope to hear from others as they begin to share their stories.

Thank you for joining me on this journey as process and discover together. If you haven’t already checked out my previous Blog please do so as I explain why the title.

Sharing the good and God stories

About a year ago it hit me that I was unknowingly doing something without  realizing it.  I heard something inside myself that wasn’t my own thought, 

“I don’t need you to prove that I’m a good God.” and I felt that He was implying that He is good weather or not I prove it so I should just stop trying to prove it.  
I wasn’t even aware that I had been trying to prove His goodness.  I didn’t feel guilty or shamed but a loving conviction that moved my heart.  At that moment I apologized and thanked God that His goodness is not determined by my ability to ”prove it” to others.  It felt like a weight had been lifted off of me and I felt relieved.  

I really think that the heart behind something is so important.  So that is why I wanted to share the back story behind this blog.  I’m not trying to prove God’s goodness, He doesn’t need me to do that.   I share these stories as I’ve experienced them in my relationship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  It has taken me years to realize God is good and no one could prove that to me except God himself along with my searching.   

These stories are not meant to be bragging, or boasting but rather faith building examples of a small bit of what is available in Jesus.  By no means are these the only examples, there are so many expressions He speaks through.

I hope these examples move in your heart and speak to you in someway, wherever you are at.      

check out my next Blog as I share my love of stories and why.

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