anchors n oceans

Grace Works

tumblr_inline_n9jzh5Men31qe80vk The thing I love about grace is not only its ability to get you to the next point but also its ability to get you through the current one.

You’re probably thinking, duh, if God’s grace can get you to it can definitely get you through it. However, as obvious as that statement is I don’t think a lot of people knew that. If you did, then great! But if you didn’t don’t be too bummed, the present is always the perfect time to learn from the past.
I think over the course our lives we’ve become accustomed to looking forward to for the next big moment and in doing so we end up scrutinizing and regretting our current situation as if it’s a first draft on some essay.
"Lord, if you can just get me through to the next thing…"
"I messed this up but can you help me be better next time?" 
"God, help me to last so I can make it to another day."
or even,
"Give me the strength to endure what I’m doing."
They are all good and valid but why don’t we leave room for God to show off a little? Don’t wait for another chance to come along when He can make the best out of the one you’re in. Ask Him to make this time not only bearable but enjoyable. Seek out His help to make this season, this day, this moment the most awesome yet. Then you can see for yourself how He shows up in every way you could have never imagined.

Beyond My Borders: Tyler & Jordan Dardis

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Jordan and I both grew up in the Portland area. We met in high school and went on to study at Oregon State University together. We both knew we wanted to be together and in 2011 we finally married. In our last year of college we began planning what we would do after graduating. As much as we loved Oregon, we knew we wanted to move somewhere new. We talked about various places we could go, and as soon as we brought up Alaska, we knew that was it. We both love the outdoors, the mountains, the snow… Alaska had everything.

It was important to us to set a date to move by because we knew we could be sitting around the rest of our lives for the perfect time, which may never have come. So on July 22nd, we packed up the car, grabbed our puppy and headed to Anchorage. When we arrived we pitched our tent and started looking for jobs. After about a month, I was offered a job by my top choice organization in Anchorage. We found a great place to live with a big yard for our dog, and soon after, Jordan was able to move into a position where she could apply her degree in design.

This year we’ve spent in Alaska has been incredible. It definitely pushed me far outside of my comfort zone, which was scary but awesome at the same time. We both were given opportunities we wouldn’t have had in Oregon. We have been able to see and do things that we wouldn’t have been able to see or do in Oregon. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We both truly believe that everybody should travel and experience a new place in their lives. It doesn’t take a lot of money or tons of planning. It just takes willingness to get up and go. In hindsight, the month we spent living in a tent was just a small sacrifice for the amazing experience we have had here. We are not sure how long we will be here or where we will go next, but we will always have this experience for the rest of our lives.

Beyond My Borders: Joe Vassel

I’m originally from Long Island and went to the University of Southern California where I majored in Business Administration and Marketing. I graduated in May of 2012 and worked at a technical recruiting firm before transitioning over to a sales/client services role at a digital advertising firm. I made the drastic move from Los Angeles to New York earlier this month and it definitely came with its fair share of uncertainty.

Although I technically moved “back home” after living in LA for 6 years, it was not an easy decision to leave sunny California. It was very comfortable living in LA, since most of my friends from college stayed after graduation. But I’m 24 years old and am too young and restless to live somewhere just because it’s easy. Growing up, I’ve always wanted to live in Manhattan and I had the opportunity to transfer offices with the current company I am working for. What better time to make the move than now? You’ll never be 100% certain that you are making the “right” choice but you have to put yourself out there and just go for it. The experience will just make you that much more well-rounded and cultured.

When I told my friends in LA that I was moving to New York, I had a lot of people asking “But why would you leave the great weather”, saying “You’re going to experience winter and come back in a heartbeat”, and letting me know how abrasive the people that live in NY are. Hey… maybe I will move back, maybe I won’t. But maybe I will love it and never leave. If I didn’t do this then there would have always been that little voice in the back of my head saying “What if?” Don’t let anyone make you second guess yourself.  You only live once (yes, this phrase is very played out but at least I didn’t say #yolo).

Get out there and experience the world people! You won’t regret it.

Our generation needs to get out more - and no I don’t mean Friday night parties  or weekends spent up at the mountains (no hating, I love a good campfire). I mean get out, get out. Break down the invisible walls that were forged after years spent living in the same city, state, coast, and even country. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 100 miles, 500 or a few thousand away, a lot can be learned and gained by being in a new place.  

However, don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to read the stories of people who experienced it for themselves. Starting tomorrow, every day for the next six days I’ll post two stories from an amazing set of individuals who ventured out beyond their borders. They decided to see what more the world had in store. They’ll be a part of a 7-day series called Beyond My Borders. I consider myself grateful for knowing each of them because all have inspired me to live life adventurously and to enjoy every minute - good or bad. I only hope that reading their stories will have the same, if not greater impact on you. 

Tune in tomorrow to meet Alyson Raabe from Costa Rica and Joe Vassel from New York. 

Want to share your personal experience?!  Upload your picture, tell your story and don’t forget to hashtag ”BeyondMyBorders” on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear about it as well as post it on the blog and instagram too. 

Our generation needs to get out more - and no I don’t mean Friday night parties  or weekends spent up at the mountains (no hating, I love a good campfire). I mean get out, get out. Break down the invisible walls that were forged after years spent living in the same city, state, coast, and even country. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 100 miles, 500 or a few thousand away, a lot can be learned and gained by being in a new place.  

However, don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to read the stories of people who experienced it for themselves. Starting tomorrow, every day for the next six days I’ll post two stories from an amazing set of individuals who ventured out beyond their borders. They decided to see what more the world had in store. They’ll be a part of a 7-day series called Beyond My Borders. I consider myself grateful for knowing each of them because all have inspired me to live life adventurously and to enjoy every minute - good or bad. I only hope that reading their stories will have the same, if not greater impact on you. 

Tune in tomorrow to meet Alyson Raabe from Costa Rica and Joe Vassel from New York. 

Want to share your personal experience?!  Upload your picture, tell your story and don’t forget to hashtag ”BeyondMyBorders” on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear about it as well as post it on the blog and instagram too. 

Our generation needs to get out more - and no I don’t mean Friday night parties  or weekends spent up at the mountains (no hating, I love a good campfire). I mean get out, get out. Break down the invisible walls that were forged after years spent living in the same city, state, coast, and even country. It doesn’t matter whether it’s 100 miles, 500 or a few thousand away, a lot can be learned and gained by being in a new place.  

However, don’t take my word for it. I encourage you to read the stories of people who experienced it for themselves. Starting tomorrow, every day for the next six days I’ll post two stories from an amazing set of individuals who ventured out beyond their borders. They decided to see what more the world had in store. They’ll be a part of a 7-day series called Beyond My Borders. I consider myself grateful for knowing each of them because all have inspired me to live life adventurously and to enjoy every minute - good or bad. I only hope that reading their stories will have the same, if not greater impact on you. 

Tune in tomorrow to meet Alyson Raabe from Costa Rica and Joe Vassel from New York. 

Want to share your personal experience?!  Upload your picture, tell your story and don’t forget to hashtag ”BeyondMyBorders” on Instagram or Facebook. I’d love to hear about it as well as post it on the blog and instagram too. 

A Healthy Dose of Life.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone else ever thinks the way I do. If they are ever in the middle of a moment and then think, “This is life. This is life? Woah. This is life!” And even though it’s no moment in particular, the fact that it’s happening reminds you that you are alive and living. It’s then that you start processing everything: what have you been doing? What are you doing? What will you do?! Are you happy? Have you made others the same? 

Those thoughts have been crossing my mind lately and whether it’s because I’m finishing grad school in 5 days or  maybe because it’s just that as we get older we tend to become more aware of our social and emotional surroundings. Who knows, it could even be a culmination of both those factors. 
One thing I am quite sure of is that no matter how somewhat “confused” those moments make me, they have definitely made me oh-so grateful. Not just because something momentous has happened in my life but because something happened period! They serve as reminders that God has always been faithful. He has never quit on me even when I did on myself. They are my healthy doses of reality and never let me forget how extraordinary life can -and will- be! 

A Message of Compassion

I am sure that you all have heard of the story about how Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 with only 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. If you haven’t, can I encourage you to do so? It’s in Matthew 14. It was a great miracle Jesus preformed that day but that is not the main focus of what I am writing about now. While reading this story I was really touched by a certain line:

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick."

Now to fully take in this moment you have to know about the one prior. Jesus had just heard His friend John the Baptist was murdered and because of that He left his disciples to be alone. It’s not many times in the Bible when you hear about Jesus venturing off to be by himself so for the times that He did you know it must have been something serious. Although Jesus had a heart for all those who died John the Baptist hit a little closer to home. Not only was John the one to baptized Jesus, they were also cousins. So to then hear John died due to a selfish king’s senseless actions made it even harder to bare. 

Whether troubled times are up ahead, you are in the midst of them, or you just got through them, to continually stand firm like He did is a thing many of us wish we could do. 
That is what truly snags at my heart strings. Jesus gave up his own personal time to be with the people. He had a heart to see beyond himself and reach the helpless. Imagine if everyone - me included - just gave up a little of their time instead of justifying it to fit their needs. Imagine how much lovelier the world would be.

Despite feeling upset and wanting to be alone, Jesus put his emotions aside for the need of others. How does someone do that? The death of any loved one makes focusing your mind on anything else one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Nonetheless, Jesus still HAD COMPASSION when the people came seeking him out. Everyone would have understood the circumstances had He chosen to say He couldn’t help but He didn’t. In His grief Jesus saw that He was still able to bless and help others so He did just that. In his sadness He still had a heart for everyone.

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Your grace and compassion know no end. Thank you Jesus for being the purest form of love this world has ever known.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cboH_vVyvE?feature=oembed&w=500&h=281]

Guest Blogger: March

I used to work in a shoe store; you would know that if you saw my wardrobe. They say that if you own 2 pairs of shoes then you are in the top 10% of the wealthiest in the world, well given my collection I could possibly be the 1%!


I worked there for 2 years whilst studying and made some great friends. Generally my work mates were all girls, they ranged from 18-23 years old, I love them all, they are generous, funny, caring and beautiful but the one thing they all have in common is that they are obsessed with cosmetic surgery! A lot of the conversations they had with each other were about what they were getting done, what they’ve had done and what they are hoping to get done. Which for me, coming from the Church bubble really really surprised me.

What I realised is that we are all broken people, and we’re all searching for something. What I’ve noticed, not just about them but myself is that we are looking for approval and acceptance, and I saw this in my friends from work. Maybe it was approval from themselves, maybe from each other, maybe from boyfriends, other friends or maybe from society as a whole.

I tend to have this same cry as well, that I “need” to be liked by everyone, that if I’m not, then there is something wrong with me, and it needs to be fixed. But what I believe as a Christian is that Jesus fulfills every single one of our needs, whether it’s comfort, security, approval, acceptance or anything else we can come up with. The reason why Christians are, and should be, so counter-cultural is that we are simply fulfilled by Jesus, that we don’t need the things of this world.

 

So what I decided to do was put my thoughts to paper, on this idea that it’s quite obvious we’re not all “perfect”, there are things about ourselves that we don’t like or that we wish we could change, and it’s not just physical things but also our personalities and fixing our broken relationship with God. I want these girls to understand about the God that created them, what he thinks about them and that through Jesus they have ALL the approval they could ever need and ALL the acceptance they could ever want.


This is a revolutionary idea, and it’s a challenge, when the whole world is going one direction, it’s not the easiest thing to take a step of faith and decide to go the opposite direction. There isn’t always an instant pay off, sometimes we may not see the fruit of our choices but it is a game changer when we can get to a place as Paul did in Philippians 3:8 when we can say “I consider all things as loss…that I may gain Christ”.

What a life we have been called to live!

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For the month of February I’d like you all to meet Josh Hawkins. Not only does he inspire but he’s just an all-around chill and funny guy with a great story to tell. Don’t believe me, just click on the word funny and you’ll see what I mean. After you have been thoroughly convinced head on over to his blog, Hi Josh for some more cool stuff.

God is not a "Becky"

Have you ever had  one of those: “you bought something really cute with your best friend only to have gotten home and realize that the blue one you didn’t get looked totally better on you than the red one that’s now sitting in the back if your closet. And come to find out that same best friend totally thought you were making a mistake but was too nice to tell you anyway” moments? For purpose’s sake lets call that friend Becky* - everyone has a friend like Becky right? They mean well but that kind-hearted persona of theirs doesn’t bid well with the moments you really need tough love. 

I found myself reminiscing over my years in high school when I realized how grateful I now am that God was anything but a Becky during that time. 
Yes, I had my fair share of let-downs, minor disappointments, and changed plans but that was God’s way of tough love. The tough love that up until now I never knew I needed. 
(Disclaimer: it’s about to get a bit personal) If I had had the courage to ask a certain guy to Winter Formal I would have never gone stag with a group of girls and had one of the most fun nights of my high school career; if I did make the varsity volleyball team I would have never learned about certain  skills/gifts I had while participating on my school’s  leadership team. Or take that time I somehow managed to turn down that one guy who asked me out (TERRIBLE, in fact, HORRENDOUS flirting skills on my end), if I said yes I who knows how that relationship would have changed me. 

Look, what I’m trying to say here is that a “no” can be just as great as a “yes”. It’s all up to you on how it’s perceived.  
 
God is gonna give us a few “no”s in life but it’s not to harm us, it may hurt but it definitely won’t harm us. Nos are the necessary guidelines we need in life in order to make our years the best possible. They are ways of God saying, ”I love you so very much that saying no is the only way I can protect you from the harm you cannot see.”  Or in my case,  they are His way of saying, “Hold on I have something way greater in store for you.”

Just think, when you finally get that yes, it wouldn’t be as sweet if it weren’t preceded by a few of those two-lettered words. So from now on, whatever “no” comes your way take it with a grain of salt but with a whole dash of love.
"I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." - Jeremiah 29:11 (The Message)

Ps. Nothing against the name or any person named Becky, it was just the first name that came to mind.

Her First Baby, My First Baby Shoot

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She’s having a baby! It’s a boy!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of helping out my friend Goddy on one of his shoots. I have done many other types of shoots before but never pregnancy ones. It was such a great experience - not to mention fun too. I added the pictures I took to my online portfolio. Just click on the ‘Lifestyle’ section. 

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Thanks Goddy for allowing me to tag along and CONGRATULATIONS to Paida on your baby boy.