Ah, Back to Ireland.

2013 was the last time I got the opportunity to visit Ireland. I have been twice for ministry opportunities.

Now, I have the opportunity to return this July.
I.Am.So.Excited.

Each time I go there, I fall more & more in love: with the place, the people, and spreading the Love of God across the ocean.

It’s another great opportunity to spread God’s love across the globe. My biggest passions meet in this: ministry, people, travel, and Ireland. 

So, as you found your way to this blog, please pray with me about ways to support: prayer is greatly appreciated. Of course.

But, if God moves your heart to donate (any help at all is so much appreciated), here are some ways you can do that, too:

  • A “gofundme” option is available.
  • I started an Etsy shop: TinyNepheshArts.  If you are looking to purchase some art, including custom orders, I have some pieces available for sale.

Prayer is always appreciated for sure.
Prayer that God would bring in the finances for the entire team.
That we would make connections, make an impact, and become more globally minded in our living.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: scentfilledsoul@gmail.com.

Thanks in advance for support and blessing.


I also enjoy the opportunity to pray for those who read my blog. So, as you are praying for my next adventure, let me know below what I can be in prayer for for you. Blessings!

 

Church that isn’t “Church”

Today, I visited a new church – in an art studio. Bringing the number of interesting places I’ve attended church services up by yet another. The list includes:

  • Churches
  • Night Club
  • Movie theater
  • Art studio
  • Grand Hotel Ballroom (Disney’s California Grand Hotel)
  • Homes
  • School Gyms
  • 100+ year old school house
  • Cafe’
  • Camp
  • Parks

And I love it!

I love visiting different places and seeing how God is moving and working. I enjoy seeing the needs, seeing things I can pray for & be a part of.

And, honestly, I love seeing how pastors of small church plants keep their hope despite hardships & opposition.

This church I visited today, in the community I grew up in, was small. Welcoming. And, encouraging.

The pastor & his wife, who I see around often, have clearly been called by God, and have bravely answered that call. They have seen some recent hardships, but have not let that dissuade them.

It’s amazing how when we step out into something God calls us to the enemy tries to keep us down. The enemy’s best friend is our comfort, fear, and

When I encounter people like these pastors, at this church, at the small churches in California I have been blessed to be a part of – pastors & ministers who step out in faith, whether with great support or little – I get excited & hope for that kind of bravery myself.

I’ve alluded to that desire to build my Tiny Home & travel doing creative youth ministry.

And, anyone who reads this blog knows that writing is a part of my passion…

But, my need for security often overcomes the bravery that I so wish for and pray to have.

So, I am so thankful God has placed so many of these brave souls in my life, as leaders, teachers, and friends. I am so thankful that, so far, many of them have wanted nothing more for me than to follow where God leads, even if the rest of the world thinks the vision is crazy. I am so thankful for the richness each of them has added to my life, shaping how I live, pray, and worship.

I will take their cue & continue to move forward in the dreams God has placed in my life.

And, if you are in the Oklahoma City area and looking for a welcoming church, I know of several.

The one I visited this morning is Fusion Church of Yukon. The pastors there are so welcoming, so full of life and vision, and really love people in such a unique way. I recommend checking them out if you are new to the area, looking for a smaller & welcoming church, and/or are looking for a church that is kid friendly. They really show a great heart for the kids of their congregation.

During my visit with this church, I met some great people. I had some incredible conversation with the pastors. And, I found a gluten-free, tiny house loving friend. I look forward to visiting again in the future.

I can’t wait to visit more places that God opens up to me, and I can’t wait to pour what I learn from them into what God is doing into my life.

Also, look out for more of my Tiny House journey – it’ll happen, I have faith 🙂

 

Broken Road

“Every long lost dream, led me to where you are…they were like Northern Stars. Pointing me on my way, into your loving arms. This much I know is true, that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.

Unicorn
Rare
Chronically Single

Sure. Those titles; maybe me. Definitely me.

But, this is my path. An extension of my calling & dreams…

So, recently, there have been some encounters:

One made me feel pursued – though, he was obviously not a part of  God’s plan for my life. Yet, I was momentarily side tracked by the enjoyment of feeling wanted.

One, I wasn’t so sure about –
A strong faith & a kind spirit –
But, a path far different from my own. A calling not in the same vein as mine at all.

I am not planted here in OK…
My heart is already being pulled to the Pacific Northwest. I know my journey goes there – after a bit of Tiny House travel, I hope.

God has awakened in me a restless & wandering heart. A heart that desires to see a passion for Him awaken among the nation’s youth. A heart that desires to connect to the hurting & broken, hearing their stories, observing the beauty of Creation – all over this nation and across some others.

God has called my heart to adventure…
So, I know my “broken road” must be leading me to someone with a similar heart.

I know I am not meant to be planted here…I know I am meant for this, yes, but also meant for so much more.

So, I will pursue more.
I will pursue His call.
And, I trust this path will lead me to One whose heart is like mine.

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same”
– Emily Brontë


Last night, I had a conversation after church

Him: “Hey, Candice, are you really going to move to Washington? Are you really going to get a Tiny House and move to Washington?”

Me (looking at him confused): Of course!

Me (after a pause): Well, actually, first I’m going to get my Tiny House and travel around doing youth ministry for a while, then I’m going to settle in Washington.

Him (laughing): That is awesome! Don’t take this wrong, but that is so you!

This was an actual conversation I had last night. And, it awakened something in my spirit. A sleeping giant.

I have been thinking about all this and praying about it for a while now. But, last night was the first time in…ever…I had voiced it out loud.

I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but the wheels are in motion. I have begun tiny house plans, researching financing, and listing out contacts/resources for this journey.

I don’t know how, when, etc. But, God knows.

I am just watering the dream He planted, trusting in Him to work it all out, as only He can.

And, I.Can’t.Wait.


This post was inspired by last week’s 5 Minute Friday theme PathI’m a little late to the party, but you should still hop over and check out all the posts there. And, stop in below and share some of the dreams God has planted in your heart. I know He hasn’t given up on this world yet, and He will use His people to make all the difference in the world!

 

“I’m Not Nothing!”

“I’m not nothing! I was never nothing! The power you have I don’t need!”
-Emma Swan ‘Once Upon A Time’

Every Sunday, this sentence comes out of my mouth at least once: “It’s Once Upon A Time Time!”

And, in tonight’s episode, in response to a dark voice in her ear, in a show of amazing restraint and power, the main character shouts those lines:

“I’m not nothing! I was never nothing! The power you have I don’t need!”

Does that stir something in you?

It did in me.

You see, I started this day with those pesky little voices in my head reminding me of my “nothingness” – edging out my “enoughness” my “goodness” and my “just rightness”.

I get those pesky little lies in my head – sometimes at work “You can’t do this. You’re not ready. You’re going to fail.” Sometimes with friends/in social settings, “They don’t really want you around. Why would they want to be your friend?”

You’re nothing. You’re worthless. You don’t really have a place to belong. The lies go on and on – even at church.

Though I am glad to be back at my home church, the last couple of weeks, I have felt a little out of place – being Single & an older “young adult” in the MidWest, it’s hard to find the right place.

And, even though I know this is my church home, I keep wondering if something would be better elsewhere. Even though I know this is where God has planted me, I keep wondering if maybe I should try to find another place, greener pastures as it were (ironically, this is partially what we talked about in Sunday School while discussing Jonah).

When I go into the Sunday School class, where I am really enjoying the teaching, I do feel out of place when I first walk in – as the oldest one in the room. Even older than one of the teachers.

It makes me momentarily forget that I have a place in the Kingdom, and that I can still grow where I’m planted. That God’s power is in me & I can serve, if I only seek out ways to do so – exactly where I am.

Sometimes, it even causes momentary amnesia that I am a daughter of the Most High God – adopted into His family through His Son. (Ephesians 1:4-7). That I was created by God, and that the works of His hand are wonderful (Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139:14).

You know why this scene is so amazing to me?

As someone who has been a faithful viewer (and as a woman who feels the negative lies of the enemy almost daily), this scene is something beautifully empowering.

You see, Emma is central. She is the important key in this show – she has a power all her own & now, at a pivotal moment in her struggle, the darkness is against her – speaking to her as we often have voices in our head speaking to us. But:

She knows who she is, who she has always been – And, she claims it. She fights against the dark voices & stands in her own power.

I want that. When my “nothingness” threatens me, when the enemy tries to entice me with the things of this world. When he tries to convince me that I am nothing, that I am worthless, that I have no place, I want to remember that I stand in God’s power. I want that to be my reaction:

“I’m not nothing! I was never nothing! The power you have I don’t need.”


(P.S. – I think I have now watched this scene about 20 times since it aired. Thank you, DVR!)
*Emma Swan quote from: ‘Once Upon A Time’ – ‘Nimue’ on ABC. (Sundays at 8/7c.)

Visiting Home

She pulled up to the large building – a mostly brick facade that had clearly experienced many add-ons and renovations over the years.  She looked at the clock, 9:25. Five minutes until the start of service. She quickly grabbed her purse and walked through the packed parking lot to the back to the church.

She was greeted at the door by a friendly greeter, and another along the way. At the entrance of the sanctuary, another greeter smiled at her as the crowd found their seats for the beginning of service. She sat near the back at the end of an empty row.

She surveyed the sea of bodies. This church was about three times the size of the one she had grown accustomed to, both in size and number. She took it all in feeling a bit overwhelmed. They were greeted and asked to greet each other – she found one other soul in the hundreds to shake hands with before returning alone to her seat.

The strains of music started for a time of worship.

Alone or not, she was here to spend time with her Abba. She knew very well she could worship Him alone or in a crowded room, so that’s what she did. Letting the world fade away, taken into the presence of the King. His peace flowed over her, and she knew He was with her in the midst of this great crowd.

Then, it was time for the sermon. A guest, as it happened to be this Sunday.

He spoke straight to her heart. The preacher picked a passage she barely knew existed, one that left her with many questions when he finished reading it. Questions he seemed to answer as he went. This adorable older gentleman moved her heart in a way few younger preachers had been able to do in recent times. He spoke with knowledge, truth, and wisdom. Something her heart had been missing for a while.

When that was done, she set out to find a Sunday school class that would suit her. Yet, it seemed as if none was quite right. She felt a little like Goldie Locks reading their descriptions in the bulletin. But, she settled on the young adults class, figuring it would be a good one to try.

It began in a bit of chaos, with the young leader seeming to be a bit on the frazzled side.

But, once he began to speak, he had her full attention. Speaking on perhaps one of the most depressing books of the Bible (yet, one of her favorites), and yet tying it all together with the final words of wisdom. Solomon’s meaning, his great wisdom of loving God & loving others.

The young man before her spoke with such passion, and a little humor, and with wisdom beyond what she had initially judged to be in him. She immediately regretted her initial judgement, noting some great potential for the speaker. She could see his love of Scripture and his love of God pouring out of him. It was an energy that moved through the room, captivating even the most distractible younger ones.

It was in this moment, she felt a bit of home. A bit of like-mindedness with this new group. A group that seemed to share her desire to learn and grow. Who also loved Her Abba and sought relationship with Him and His children.

Though she was clearly the oldest in the room, and that may not be her place to fit and grow in the long run, it was just right for a first Sunday, and she left feeling a little less like Goldie Locks. It may not be the “just right” quite yet, but she knew she had time to find that “just right”.

As she returned to her car, she decided she would return, for one more week, to see what God had the next week. Perhaps, this would be the right place, after all…


This is what came of me stepping into my home church – the church in which I spent most of my growing up years – not as a loved member, but as a visitor. A guest. Someone new to the area looking for a church home. I went without my family and haven’t yet reconnected with old friends that remain, so I decided to go in with new eyes. Would I be greeted? Would I feel welcomed? Would I connect with the congregation, the sermon, a Sunday School group? And, it was an interesting experience. Being so big, it really was as if I was a visitor. Seeing very few familiar faces, and talking to even fewer.

I haven’t found a “just right” place in the body, but technically, it was only my second week back. I’m basically still just visiting home. But, I am finding my way.

And, this (following my move back to the Mid-West) has led to my theme for this years Write 31 Days challenge. I’ll be writing on the theme of Finding Home. Join me this October (beginning tomorrow), I will be writing each day on the topic. It’s quite the challenge 🙂 But, I look forward to sharing it with you.