good year bad year global pandemic globally traveling through it all He remains
“what if I gave it all?” this year “could I be a worthy sacrifice?” deserving of love
this year i’m leaving it all behind last year i learned so much i’m ready to sit at the table with you i want to partake in your communion
“with bread as your body” the bread of life “and wine as your blood” i will follow you
i was a sinner but He welcomed me i’ve entered the gates i’ve repented kneeling down i’ve discovered redemptive grace
so, this year
“come trial or blood because you, oh God you’re the one my heart loves”
it will always be you
Thanks for reading my first post of 2021! If you read this post to the end, and want even more encouragement for this new year, I highly recommend listening to the song that inspired this poem. Click the link!
P.S. If you want even more encouragements like this during this next year, subscribe below:
If you don’t know where I’ve been for the past 4 months, check out this post before reading the following story.
Running Chasing Catching Finding Discovering Learning Building Working Crying Smiling Laughing Hiding Hurting Thinking Talking Processing Praying
Popping Breaking Destroying Tearing Shattering
This is my story from the past 4 months about how I discovered my true freedom by popping bubbles:
You see, before coming to YWAM (Youth with a Mission) to do a DTS (Discipleship Training School), I used to have these bubbles. They were safe places where I could go to hide, where I could go to just feel safe, and where I could go to get away from everything. And, I was content in my own little world surrounded by these bubbles. Or, so I thought…
“Please don’t pop my bubbles!”
I felt content with my bubbles because they gave me a sense of safety. I liked looking at their beauty because they made me feel loved. I enjoyed their peacefulness because they made me feel comforable.
But, these bubbles would also really hurt me. I wouldn’t be able to let people get too close because they would pop them. Letting people get close enough to pop them seemed like a good and productive idea, but it never was because they never knew which bubbles to pop at the right time. They just wanted to pop them all right away before I was ready, which led to me being hurt often.
“Some people have no self-control with bubbles.”
So, during the past 4 months, I’ve been slowly learning that I am the one that gets to decide when I’m ready to pop a bubble. When I know I’m ready to pop a bubble, that’s when I can let others in to help and encourage me in the process. I’ve learned that I can’t just let people get close enough and expect them to not pop any bubbles. So, I need to know when the right time for me is to let people get close enough to avoid being hurt by them choosing which bubbbles to pop in their timing.
“Stop! That’s too much, too fast; slow down please!”
So, I’ve learned that in order to let people get close enough, I need to start popping these bubbles on my own (with help & support) because it’s the only way I will feel ready to pop each bubble. I’ve discovered that only when I’m truly ready to pop a bubble / get rid of something will I feel complete freedom from it.
“It won’t hurt if you’re ready.”
Sometimes I might think I’m not ready, but that’s when I learn how much power fear has in my decisions. Sometimes it takes others to encourage the popping of bubbles.
Freedom won’t be comfortable at first; it takes courage to allow hurt to enter our lives. But, when we start seeing the process of popping bubbles as an exciting and joyful time, we forget about the hurt because we start to see our life in a new, clear way; without the distraction of bubbles.
“Freedom is right in from of you! But, will you choose it?”
Freedom is an interesting concept because they say it’s freely given to you, and you can take it when you want. But, they fail to mention how much it hurts to actually receive it because it costs’ your total comfort. But, that’s when you have to ask yourself:
“Is freedom worth your comfort?”
Well, during the past 4 months, I’ve learned that my answer is definitely YES. I’ve decided that I am fully willing to step out of my comfort zone to gain freedom because it’s so worth it, and at the end of the day I can’t hold onto them forever anyway. I’ve realized that if giving-up my self-made comforts is all I need to do to receive true freedom then, I am willing to pop any bubbles that stop me from receiving this amazing freedom.
And, that’s my story from the past 4 months.
Thanks for reading! I hope this inpsired you to think about the things in your life that could be holding you back from receiving true freedom. If I’ve learned anything during this time, it’s that: TRUE FREEDOM IS WORTH SO MUCH MORE THAN YOUR COMFORT!
P.S. Check out this page for more stories about my adventures here in Australia! or Follow me on instagram to follow me on my next journey (details to come soon)!
That girl in the picture Standing there Smilling through the pain Just living life
That girl in the picture She never could’ve Known or imagined What was coming
That girl in the picure Looking at the world Blind to the future She had no idea
That girl in the picture She couldn’t even Begin to prepare For this!
How could she know? How could she prepare? How could she see?
She didn’t have a map – Or a to-do list. She just needed time.
Time is the key Everything unfolds so quickly
Time to remember & forget And, process it all
That girl in the picture Wasn’t ready for this
So, give her time!
Thanks for reading! I hope this poem inspired you to slow down & give yourself time to take a moment to enjoy life!
For the original picture: CLICK HERE! P.S. The featured picture on this post was the inspiration for this poem because when looking at it, I was reminded of who I was in that moment, & I realized how different I used to be. It reminded me to be kind to myself because we all need time to process through life.
P.S. I’ve made it to Australia! I was inspired to write the above post because school starts tomorrow, and I literally don’t know what I’m doing, or exactly why I’m here. But, I will trust the process.
P.P.S. if you want to follow along my journey in real-time, follow my Instagram.
“Is this what you really want? What about all my failures? Will you take this shame I feel? Can you really use me?”
“This is what I want for you. I forgive you. I can & will use you. Are you ready?”
Okay, I’ll think about it…”
“I promise these things. I will use your talents. I will teach you great things. I will help you. I will equip you. All you have to do is…
Trust & Follow me!”
“Okay, I’m ready. I will stop running. I surrender. Here I am.
Thanks for reading! I hope this inspired you to stop doubting yourself, stop running, & just have faith.
P.S. This post was inspired by my next trip (coming up in less than 3 weeks)!!! I can finally tell you more about it! I am going to Australia for 6 months (maybe longer…), and I’m so excited about this new adventure; I can’t wait to share all about it on this blog! If you’re interested in learning more about where I’m going, & what I’ll be doing, check out:
Here I am! Ready for this new experience! Open to new challenges! I have made room for new lessons! I am here! And, I am ready (bring on 2020)!
I am currently in the process of going to study abroad in Australia. By “in the process” I mean; I’ve already spoken to the school, and sent my tuition deposit. And, I have been approved for a 10 months student visa (2020 in Australia, here I come). So, the only paperwork I have left is to purchase my flight ticket!!!
And, although I’ve already travelled to many foreign countries on my own, something about this process feels different somehow… …I feel like this experience is gonna change a lot more than just my perspective on a new culture. I feel like this experience is gonna change me, and my whole perspective on LIFE! And, for some reason, that makes me kinda nervous. Traveling abroad for leisure on my own to see a new country, and culture has a different feeling than going to study and live in another country. But, I am still very grateful that I’ve already solo traveled abroad because it lowers some of the nerves.
And, although, I’m going to be leaving in about 6 weeks from now, I’m not fully ready to share exactly what I’ll be doing yet.
All I can say is that, it’s gonna be an amazing, life changing experience, and I can’t wait to share all about it!!!
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll follow along with me on this new, life-changing journey!
Hi! I guess if you read this far; I can give you a hint as to what I’ll be doing: Promo Video
I am alive! I am anxious! I am beautiful! I am blessed! I am changed! I am cleansed! I am changing! I am daring! I am excited! I am exploring! I am experiencing! I am filled! I am following! I am failing! I am growing! I am helping! I am imperfect! I am joyful! I am kind! I am loved! I am learning! I am living! I am leading! I am listening! I am marvelled! I am motivated! I am nervous! I am open! I am planning! I am quiet! I am questioning! I am renewed! I am skilled! I am smiling! I am thinking! I am trusting! I am thanking! I am trying! I am unique! I am valiant! I am worthy! I am xenial! (hospitable) I am youthful! I am zealous!
I AM READY!!!
From a – z, through the good & the bad, I am here, & I am ready, for anything!
So, I’m back from taking a break from blogging. I’ve had an amazing, and refreshing summer, with a lot of fun, and silly moments, and a lot of reflection moments. It was a well balanced summer (with work and beach days and hikes to the top of mountains). I feel refreshed, and ready to start blogging again!
I also have an amazing announcement to tell you!!! I am planning a trip back to….
(you’ll have to wait, and see what country in my next post…) I’m SOOOO EXCITED to go back to one of my favorite countries!!! And, I’m excited to blog about my travels, and share my adventures with you! I’m counting down the days until I get to return to my favorite country, but until then, I can’t wait to share the Pre-Departure process with you.
That’s all the updates I have for now. Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll follow me on my upcoming trip back to… one of my favorite countries!
P.S. If you want to see what I did all summer, I’m currently editing a video that I’ll post very soon, so stay tuned for that post.
P.P.S. If you want to follow my adventures real-time, without needing to wait for a new post, follow my Instagram @joannalavoie(I have been posting on there a lot more lately). The featured picture above is actually from one of my summer adventure (So, if you like it, and you want to see more like it, click the link above!).
At first you just shake it You feel it for a moment And, then, you forget it
You start living in the moment With all the excitement Of this new experience
But, soon you get tired And, it catches up to you You can’t shake it this time
You’ve learned, explored, experienced Now, your brain is tired ready To go home
This new perspective These new lessons This new excitement
Ready to go home And, see the world Through your new view
Thanks for reading! I hope this reminded you that if you ever feel homesick; remember that everything you are learning and experiencing will completely change your perspective. So, enjoy your new experience and learn as much as you can because that’s what makes going home after a trip so exciting; you get to experience your home with a new perspective, in a completely different way!
P.S. I’m going home in 2 weeks from my 4 months trip in South America, so if you want to receive a postcard from my adventures, click this link!
I welcome you with open arms. I’m so excited for what you have in store for me this year. I hope it’s as good (or even better) than 2018. I just thought I should warn you that you have a lot to compete against. The bar is raised (as they say).
I learned a lot in 2018, so I’m ready for more new lessons in 2019. I also traveled quite a bit in 2018, so I’m ready for more adventures to see even more of the world in 2019.
I’m ready for everything you have in store for me this year, and I’m so ready to step out of my comfort zone. It took me a while, but 2018 was finally the year I gained full confidence in myself (from teaching English in a foreign country, to solo traveling abroad). I’m ready to use my new found confidence! So, I hope you’re ready for me because here I come, with confidence, eagerness, and excitement for the next 365 days! Let’s do this, and make this the best year yet!
READY! SET! GO!
Sincerely, A girl ready to conquer this year!
. . .
Thanks for reading! If you’re ready to conquer 2019 as well, comment below with one of your biggest goals that you really want to accomplish this year. Also, if you want new year resolution ideas, check out: https://nowboarding.ca/2018/12/31/2019-resolutions/
My experience living with a host family in another country in 3 words: Interesting-Exciting-Difficult
. . .
So, in case you don’t know. I lived with my host family in Chile for three months, and I really got to know them and they really started to become like a real second family. But, at first, (before even arriving in country) I didn’t know what to expect of living with a host family in a different country (I was a little scared and nervous, but still kind of excited). And, even though I was pretty excited, I still didn’t want to do anything that would upset my host family, and I didn’t want to ask too much of them because they were letting me live in their house (so I was still a little nervous). So that’s all I did for the first few weeks. I started by just taking it day by day and doing whatever they told me. And, after like 3 days, they just started telling me that I was part of the family and that I could do whatever I wanted. But, of course, I didn’t really always do what I wanted because well, I was there to teach them English, but after hearing that they just considered me like a normal part of the family, I started to feel much more comfortable (less nervous). So, I started speaking with them more, learning Spanish, teaching English and learning about them and their culture and background.
And, after the initial few weeks of being nervous, I really started to be excited about living in another country. And, my host family really started to become like a second family. And, getting on that plane to leave them was actually very difficult because I was torn. I loved my time in this beautiful country, and I loved getting to know my host family and learn about their culture. But, I was also excited to go home; I won’t say ready because I was definitely not ready for what was waiting at home; Everything is so different!
. . .
On the plane, leaving Chile: I have mixed emotions because I’m only in the plane and I already miss Chile and my host family.
And, usually I love flying, but right now it’s kinda bittersweet. I had such a great experience in Chile and I learned so much. This experience taught me so much that I didn’t want it to end. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to go home and see my family, but I am really gonna miss my host family and my time in Chile. And, I also know that everything at home is going to be so different now. It’s like I won’t recognize anything!
But, like the quote says:
Travel so much that when you come home, home is still the same, but something in your mind has changed, and that changes everything!
The best trips are the ones that bring you back home with a completely new perspective on everything!
Thanks for reading this post! And, thanks for following my adventures in Chile!
If you missed any, check out this page: My Trip to Chile! 🇨🇱
A different type of post that I haven’t done yet on this blog, but I wanted to try it out. Let me know what you think in the comments (when you finish reading).
. . .
I’m just going to write what-ever and how-ever I would, as if we are best friends just casually meeting for a cup of coffee to catch-up. Here’s what I would tell you:
. . .
Hey! 🙂 So, as you probably know, I am currently living in Chile and I am loving every second of it. But, I didn’t always feel this way. . . . A few weeks before this trip, I was super excited and I couldn’t wait. And, then, I went to drop off my uniform and keys at work (where I worked for almost 8 months), and that’s where it really hit me. I was just working at this job, waiting for something better to come my way. And, now, it was finally happening. I was quitting my job to go live in another country (that’s been an item on my bucket list for a while and I was finally going to fulfill this life-long bucket list goal)! But, although I was VERY excited, I kept thinking: Am I ready for this new adventure? This is something I’ve never done before? I mean, sure I’ve lived in another province and traveled to many different countries, but, that was still in my home country or with people I knew. This was completely new, different and alone, What is it going to be like?
I had no idea what to expect. I was nervous and excited and anxious, all at the same time! But, I was leaving in a few days, and I was ready!
Nothing was going to change my mind.
I wanted to experience this new adventure, no matter how nervous or anxious it made me!
And, although, I was nervous, I used those nerves to keep me excited until I got on that first plane on my way to Chile. And, although I’ve been on many planes, that plane ride was probably the most confusing one for me because I was excited and nervous (I’ve never been nervous on a plane before this moment). Because I just knew that once I landed, there was no turning back (I’m not one to give-up, I was going to experience this journey until the end). I would just have to fight through any culture shock that came my way (this was harder than I thought for the first few days/week).
But, I kept reminding myself:
“Don’t be afraid of the unknown; It won’t be unknown forever, just take that step into it and learn about it!”
So, that’s what I did every time I felt culture shock; I learned something from it. And, since that confusing travel day, I’ve been living here for exactly one month today. And, I can definitely say that living in a new country is VERY exciting (I’m loving it so far). But, it also has it’s tough moments. The biggest moment for me was the language, although that’s also the reason why I’m here (to practice and learn more Spanish). Sometimes it can be frustrating to learn a new language because people will want you to speak their language, but they will also make fun of you for your accent and the mistakes you make. But, I’ve learned that, that’s just part of learning and becoming fluent in a new language.
“Laughing with others at your own accent & mistakes will help you learn so much more (about yourself, the language & the culture).”
And, today, after living here for one full month, I can really say:
“This new adventure has been amazing so far. I’m so glad that I didn’t let those nerves stop me from coming here, & that I didn’t give up when the language got too difficult because this is definitely one of the best trips I’ve ever taken (and I still have 2 months to go). I’m SO excited for the next 2 months”.
…And, that’s what I would say…
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post inspired you to get over what-ever fears you have about traveling because I promise you that it will be the best decision you ever will ever make.
Now, it’s your turn:
If we met for coffee, What would YOU tell ME?(comment below or email your answer, whichever way you prefer to chat)