My story

Learning and discovering!

So, this entry will be quite different than usual because I’d like to share me story with you guys which I’m still discovering and figuring out. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the last few months of my life since joining Island Breeze Manitoba team as a staff member, and how much I’ve been learning and how much my life has changed since YWAM. After my DTS last year, I considered for months coming back to be on staff, but was still pretty hesitant. I’d been messaging some of the staff and asking them what staffing was like. A common thing said was that it was a great learning and growing experience in an ‘x’ number of ways, in these ways and those. Part of me thought “Oooh! That sounds exciting, learning new things and skills, getting out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and expanding my horizons!! Woohoo!!” Part of me now thinks “Yikes! What did I get myself into?” Little did I know just how much of a learning and growing (but awesome and amazing) experience it would be. It was mentioned via email with the director that someone needed to manage the garden for the upcoming year… when I read that I immediately felt like God told me “That’s you. There are things I want to tell you and teach you about in the garden”. That thought scared me so much because I knew very little about gardening, wasn’t confident in my leadership skills and knew it would be a big job.

Fast forward to now – almost mid June. Being part of this team, I’ve been learning so much about the world, life, more about God, cultures, myself and have grown lots since joining. I didn’t really consider myself a leader growing up, didn’t think my world[view] would be expanded past the walls of the small town I grew up in, wasn’t expecting to learn about life through gardening, or enjoy performing in front of people – not to mention even standing up in front of people because as a little kid, I was extremely shy (had a hard time making eye contact and would often cry when friends or strangers called my name in public settings). I’ve changed quite a bit since then! Besides being part of the classroom staff, I’m garden project manager (not overall manager) for the work duty slot from 3-5pm during the week. I was pretty hesitant and scared about this position because I knew that I would need to step up as the leader and direct the students during this time. I wasn’t very confident in my leadership skills, however helping me improve those skills was the exact reason why I was given this position. I still struggle sometimes with figuring out how to teach the students things I’ve been learning about life through gardening in ways they’ll understand… isn’t that why growing pains are called that? They hurt and aren’t fun to have, but they allow us to grow. Looking back on myself since May, I’ve noticed a big improvement in my leading abilities which is very encouraging to me! It’s difficult at times, but with the support I have from my garden mentors and team, it’s really helping me grow in that area 🙂

This week was staff week in which us as staff get to be the speakers. On my day, I spoke about “The Garden of Life” and what I’ve been learning about life through gardening. It’s honestly so fascinating, I don’t really know where to begin! I’ve come to love being in the garden this year because it feels like that one place where I have a special connection with God and can actually hear Him speaking to me. Last year I had a hard time hearing from God and was easily discouraged because it was like everyone else could hear Him except for me. I’d like to share some of what I’ve been learning in the garden, however I’ll save most of it for another blog post because there’s too much to tell – I could go on and on about it, trust me. One thing I’ve learned that ties into my story is about diversity in the garden. You can have the same group of crops or flowers growing in an area, which is nice but it doesn’t “leaf” (haha) whatever’s planted with much room for space, growth or opportunities to adapt to learn to grow with different plants. God loves diversity in the garden of life because it makes things much more beautiful and come to life. He loves it when people from different backgrounds are “planted” together because it makes life so interesting and beautiful, allows for growth as individuals, helps us learn to adjust to new things and expands our horizons and what we know about the world

The analogy describes a lot about how my life has changed since YWAM. I grew up in a really small town in Ontario where pretty much everyone knew everyone and news traveled fast. There were times where I didn’t think I’d get to do anything exciting with my life because I lived in such a small town, but that changed when I joined YWAM. It’s been a life-changing experience for me because I never imagined in a million years making friends and working with people from Fiji, New Zealand/Austrailia or Hawaii and develop strong friendships with them. Moving away from home to be part of this team was very difficult, but has taught me so much about God, life and different cultures – “Pacific”ally (haha) the South Pacific and First Nations – which I love. The thought of going to the South Pacific and/or Hawaii seemed like such a distant dream to me and was something I didn’t think was possible, however God rocked my world because I can say I’ve been to those places and because of all the amazing things I get to be a part of with this team. It’s such a blessing! haven’t been to Hawaii yet, but I know I’ll be there someday 😀 I’ve adjusted quite well to community living, new environments, living and working with people of different backgrounds, realizing I have things that others don’t but need and vise versa (some plants can provide shade and some are small and give space for others to grow), figuring out my strengths and how to use them, growing in my leadership skills and in dancing, getting out of my comfort zone by performing in front of people (even as the only girl at one event) and leading in the garden… oh my what a mouthful!! :p So, that’s my story so far, and it’s still changing as I’m still learning and discovering. Stay tuned for more, take care and God bless! 😀

2 replies
  1. Skyla C
    Skyla C says:

    Hello Kristi,

    I stumbled upon your beautiful blog while researching other people who felt a connection with nature- specially plants & the breeze. God surely brought us together, for you have confirmed my sometimes unsure thoughts and further encouraged me to live & love my truths and to welcome new challenges with an open mind & heart. I wish you continuous blessings and peace this new year.
    Love,
    Skyla 🙂

    Reply
    • Kristi
      Kristi says:

      Hi Skyla, its incredible for me to receive feedback from others saying my blogs encourage, challenge and inspire them in life and help them in their spiritual journey! Your comment encourages me to keep blogging so thank you 🙂 I’m curious to know where you’re from? Take care and have a great 2018!

      Reply

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