Father’s Day Thoughts

I gave my dad a few great flicks today and wrote him this note: I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes a life significant. I bought you some movies because some favourite childhood memories are cuddling up next to ya on the couch watching a good-for-the-hear, laugh-out-loud movie. I always knew you enjoyed me around (Good thing too because I was was always trailing behind!) The sense of comfort, love and friendship a Father can give a kid is invaluable. I recognize more all the time that what makes a life significant is knowing the love of Father God and making it known to others. Thank you for the ways that you consistently live that out. May we all continue to know the love, joy, peace and comfort that comes from living close to Father God – and making it known to others”

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

Telling Taglines

Telling Taglines

Bring on exam season! School and university hallways are thick with pressure and people wanting to acheive! Final marks will soon be rolled out and much is on the line. I posed the question to students this week “How do you feel when you receive negative feedback from a coach, parent or teacher?” Most said they feel badly about themselves and it puts a damper on their day. It’s de-motivating. I can relate. It is rare to find people who can attach negative feedback to the task that they do – and not to the person they are – but research shows this is the key to success and to long lasting joy.

Shane Snow, after researching hundreds of success stories, identified important patters in the lives of those who were able to do incredible things in short periods of time. He suggests that we all should seek #fastfeedback. For him, this is a life tagline. If we get feedback fast, don’t take it personally, and adapt and improve before veering too far off course – we will be most successful!

“In a recent study, research showed that experts – people who were masters at a trade – vastly preferred negative feedback to positive. It spurred the most improvement. That was because criticism is generally more actionable than compliments. Crucially, experts tended to be able to turn off the part of their egos that took legitimate feedback personally when it came to their craft, and they were confident enough to parse helpful feedback from incorrect feedback. Meanwhile novices needed encouragement and feared failure.” – https://www.nateliason.com/lessons/smartcuts-shane-snow/ 

Debates around the topic of feedback and assessment in the classroom continue to swirl in the world of education. What is most effective?

Ultimately, feedback effectiveness depends more on the attitude of the person receiving it than the particulars of the feedback itself. Is that person able to apply the feedback to the task? Or is it taken as a personal blow, inhibiting motivation and confidence? In school and life, it is important not only to be a fact learner – but also to learn to learn – and to get #fastfeedback and apply it without fear of feeling like a failure.

But we all know we feel better when we succeed – so what is they key to staying motivated to improve in the face of disappointing feedback?

There are certainly tactics and ploys to honing a mindset ready for growth and learning. However, as long as our value is dependant on our performance – this mindset cannot be maintained. However, when we find a sense of worth from the perfect source of Christ and his full acceptance of people through the cross – we know we are free to enjoy lives of learning, adventure, failures and feedback while maintaining a deep-rooted confidence in Christ. The first missionary Paul found the keys to this confidence saying,… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:11-13

One woman who knows and lives this kind of confidence is the Zoe Network Coordinator, Leanne McAlister. The ZOE Network exists to empower, activate and mobilize women to live out their God-given commission on earth. Leanne works with several teams and on various projects locally, nationally and globally to push Kingdom power forward and bring flourishing to earth one life at a time. It sounds glorious, and at times, it is. At other times, it’s downright tough. She told me between laughter and stories this week that a popular tagline on her team is this: #wetrythings. She sees that successful teams take risks, strategize new ideas and step out of comfort zones – and when results are not glorious – they step back, collect feedback and confidently continue forward with the bold, fun and free montra – #wetrythings. Shane Snow would likely add, #wegetfastfeedback #weattachittothetask and #wetryagain.

So in the midst of pressure times or heavy study seasons, remember that the life taglines playing on repeat in your brain are remarkably important. it’s worth taking the time to set them well and be set free.

For more details about ZOE Network and the empowering work they do, check out http://www.zoenetwork.ca!




It’s Worth It

Welcome my friend Jocelyn Ens as she tells about her courageous journey to choose a vulnerable life instead of a self-protective one. She explains how God is shattering walls that have kept people at a distance. Vulnerability is bringing vitality and joy into her life in exciting ways. May you be encouraged today by her empowered story, as I have been…

It’s Worth It

Vulnerability // the quality or state of being open to the possibility of being attacked or harmed. Vulnerability can also be translated as being exposed, sensitive, passive, unguarded.
A long list of things I do my best to avoid.

  • I want to stay hidden.
  • I want to be in control. ALL. THE. TIME.
  • I want to be blunt and tell people what I really think.
  • I want to be perfect and have it all together.
  • I want to not only have a plan A and B, but a C, D, E and F (just in case)

The idea of vulnerability makes me uncomfortable.

Exposing the good, bad, and the ugly pieces of myself to others terrifies me. What if they don’t like me?
What if they betray me?
What if they disappoint me?
What if… (you fill in the blank).

I do my best to selectively choose who I will trust and open up too. (And trust me, there are a lot of hoops to jump through to get there).

God’s word says something different though.

2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “For my grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in weakness.”

My imperfections and weaknesses are no surprise to God. It doesn’t make him love me any more or any less. His love is constant, unconditional, and unchanging. In fact, my weaknesses give God space to reveal His great power.

2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

I don’t need to be afraid of exposing my weaknesses to others. Being open and authentic with those around me allows the light of Jesus to shine through me.

By now you’re probably thinking, yeah that sounds great but don’t you know how hard that is. Believe me, I know it’s easier said than done.

I struggle with the idea of not being perfect. I struggle to trust others. I struggle when I don’t have a clear plan.

What I am realizing is, I am missing out.

I forfeit joyful laughter with friends, encouragement from others when I need it most, and giving and receiving genuine love in my relationships.

Will no one ever disappoint me again? No. Will everything work out exactly the way I want? No.

The beauty of vulnerability is being willing to risk it anyway.

The pros far outweigh the cons.

The best part is you don’t have to do it alone. When others let you down, disappoint you, or betray you, there is a loving heavenly Father waiting to comfort you with arms wide open.

So be encouraged.

When it seems easier to retreat. When it seems easier to pretend everything is fine. When it seems easier to put up a wall no one can get through. Remember…

It’s worth it.

-Jocelyn Ens


About Jocelyn: You will usually find Jocelyn studying at school, working, or volunteering. She is a second year nursing student at the University of Saskatchewan. She has a passion to work in health care and hopes to apply to the College of Medicine one day.  She also work as a Swimming Instructor and Lifeguard. Jocelyn is spreading her passion to live joyfully, courageously and vulnerably by helping others to do the same. She serves on the LEAD team for Mirror Mirror YXE – a non-profit community group that exists to place value on girls and women. They do this by providing tools and education that foster a strong sense of identity, belonging and purpose and to inspire girls and women to make a difference in their world! Check out their work at http://www.mirrormirroryxe.com