Many Thanks! Sincerely, Jane and Michael Banks

People Appreciation Post

Thank you is all I have to give but I feel like it is an unlimited resource (or that it SHOULD be). I’ve seen immense acts of service in my life and the only thing I can do is say thank you.

Thank you to my parents who I wouldn’t be here without. I wouldn’t be WHO I AM without you both and I’m unbelievably blessed and thankful that you are both married to each other. Your marriage and communication skills entertain me (in the best way). Thank you to my brother who shows me constantly what it is to have a friend that will always be there. You protect me often and correct me even more. You’re one of the few I trust to call me out and even when you can’t stand me I know you’ll stand by me and I know that you love me.

Thank you to Gracie who has shown me and continues to show me how big love can really be; who has challenged my view of G-d more times than she will likely realize until she has children of her own.

I know you aren’t my baby.

But you’re my baby.

Get over it.

Thank you to anyone who has financially blessed me in coming and staying in Australia. Truly your gifts have changed the very structure and reception of my heart. You’ve not only let me see G-d’s hand out working but you’ve placed so much more weight into how I view myself.

There are no words to thank the people who believe in you.

It gives you super-powers.

To Katie, I’ve never had someone stick as fiercely or for as long as you. Your opinions and convictions and joy have shaped a large portion of my brain and heart and doing life with you is always painfully funny. Our seasons and locations don’t always align but currently we both live in Australia and that’s pretty cool. I actually have no idea what life will look like with us in the same country again but I’m already too excited to articulate. You deserve a better, wiser, more fashionable friend – but you got me. Thanks for keeping me in check and asking the hard questions.

(Shout out for being my gym buddy again and lookin’ HAWT – you get to be the feature pic today!)

My housemates, I can’t clump you guys together because you are ALL so different but you’ve all shown me so much this last 8 months on how to live with community that you can’t escape. (It’s a good thing). You’ve all shown me how to give and receive when I need. You’ve given me a space to create in and the challenge to do so. You’ve allowed me to cry and dance and encouraged me when I felt like I wasn’t in the right place.

You’ve all taught me the benefits of keeping butter around for impromptu brownie baking so that we might all stand in the kitchen and talk about boys and how much we need to work out. I wouldn’t be the same person without you girls.

And to way too many friends here in tutorial and classes and leaders that I have – I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) to live a little more openly. I’ve been given an opportunity to rely on you all and live without a guard and allow this process to happen. I’ve been trusted with more than I feel I can accomplish and yet also the encouragement that I can.

In the words of Kid President “Things We Should Say More Often”:

THANK YOU!

(ref. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5yCOSHeYn4 )

((I want to meet this kid… #LifeGoals))

I wish you all understand the heart behind what I write and why, I actually ache sometimes to get my point across. I wish you all understand the awe I have over what I’ve been blessed to do and who I’ve been blessed to love. I am so thankful for the beautiful life that I have (even when it isn’t actually all that beautiful) and it wouldn’t be fair to allow you all to read these every week (or every month) ((or once a year)) without telling you all how much it really means to me that you do.

Concluding thoughts… Maybe say ‘thank you’ to someone where it’s overdue or maybe where it is right on time.

www.gofundme.com/storytimewithlaina

If you will pray for me or feel it in your heart to give or maybe you want to pass the link along.
All I have is thanks but I pray that will always be enough.

Scrabit : Family

#ThinkBackThursday to not so long ago when I realized a lot about why my relationship with my family meant more to my healing than anything else I could have done by myself. I do miss them, they’re pretty amazing. Enjoy!


It always collapses when I’m alone                  – 2 March 2014

The house has broke one me, twice – both times almost game me a panic attack. I HATE being somewhere unfinished, it makes me uncomfortable and reminds me of me. Which is one of many reasons I had to come home. We’ve been in the process of remodeling for a while and I hate the process. I grew up hating clutter and having lots of things going at once. I threw away birthday cards and went through my closet a few times a month to see what I could get rid of. I love cleaning out the refrigerator because I can get rid of whats old. Its such a simple task. Throw it out. We have a bonus room in the house with storage and keepsakes… so, naturally this was the room to take the hit of the flood. A pipe busted in January in our house in this room, because if you’re going to do damage might as well hit the most you can. This room was PACKED. From front to back, side to side and about 4 feet deep of stuff. When the water came it damaged things. And when we pack things that tightly, and damage it – we need help.

               I love my family – I love my mom and my dad, my brothers and sister.

My ceiling collapsed and it was like G-d opened my eyes. I tried my hardest to not be a packrat and clutter up my things and my life, and yet, I do it in the worst way. Emotionally and spiritually I shove things so far in, side to side, front to back and four feet deep. And until it collapses, I think I’m alright. But it DID collapse and I was alone… I couldn’t do anything by myself. NOTHING. It was simply too much.
My parents got home and mom was overwhelmed, she tried moving things out of the room but when you pack things that deep you need help unpacking. We HAD to call disaster relief people – when we pack junk into our hearts that much its OK to call people to help. We cannot and were not meant to do this alone. I am what I didn’t mean to be, I pack with the intension of unpacking and getting to it eventually when realistically somewhere I know I wont get to it unless I have to; unless disaster hits and insecurities are brought up. Until I lose my best friend and have to reevaluate myself. Until I have a panic attack and am alone crying in my car.

                              I need help unpacking

It’s difficult to be in a home that gives a clear example of my heart. but I need to be here. My parents are apart of my healing. I have a good home life, honestly. I always have. I get to thank my parents for sacrificing all they have to give me every allowance I have had to do whatever I feel called to do. They’ve supported my decisions for the most part, they disagree with my haircuts and one of my tattoos but they let me travel to Ireland when I was 15 to do missions. They let me pick where I felt G-d wanted me when my core group at church split; they’ve allowed me to move back home while I figure out what I’m doing with college; they give and love and have patience that I cannot measure. But satan will do anything and everything from a young age to skew our perception of our families…

My dad and my relationship has never been “bad” ever, we don’t fight and there has never been abuse. He was military when I was young and I don’t honestly remember him being around much. He took me to a daddy/daughter tea at my old church every year and one year he braided my hair for it. I was impressed at the wise old age of 6 or so that he knew how to do that. I have never doubted that he loves me – I don’t remember him being very affectionate growing up. He might of been but again, this is what my perception was. I call my dad or go to him when I hit bottom. He was in Malaysia when I broke up with my first “adult” boyfriend and I emailed him to let him know – He was the first of my family to know my ex had cheated on me (mostly because I figured mom would cry), He’s who I ran to when the next boy I really liked broke my heart and I just wanted to cry. He is the one I call when something breaks on my car. He’s who I called when the house flooded… both times.

When big stuff breaks he’s who I call, I know he loves me and in disaster he will be there but I want him to be my daily-dad. He traveled a lot for work and thats not bad but because of my perception I’ve made him a non-immediate option. He can be there but I wont bother him with the day-to-day unless he asks. But the older I get the more I need him in my day-to-day – I (like many people) project how my relationship is with my dad onto the Father. I know my Jesus loves me… and when I’m under a disaster He will listen when I call and offer fatherly advice but I want more. I want Him to be my daily Father. I want to bring Him the little things and if thats hindered right now because of my relationship with my parents then, well, lets go. I’ve known it for YEARS just not good at being open. I’m not great at communication but I’m stuck in this process of healing and all signs point to my relationship with my parents. And I want them in my life, I want their advice, I want their help, I want them to know I still struggle with fear and that I don’t know what to do about boys. I want to be able to tell them when junk isn’t working. I want my parents to know that they are the next step in my healing but I’ve been afraid to say what I think because I DO love them, and I don’t want them to think they’ve done anything wrong.. There was a break down in my perception and all I know now is to call out how I feel. I also still hate crying.

I’m sick of giving satan this foothold, I NEED my parents. There are people waiting on my healing – there are people on the other side of my obedience and I’m done wasting time.

I’m sick of being afraid of nothing. I’m home to heal.

To the kids, there is a lot you need from your parents if you admit it or not… The relationship you have with them means something in the Kingdom. Stop being a brat and figure out what you can do to improve your relationship and learn from them.

To the parents, thank you for numerous prayers over our lives… I’m sorry for all the heartbreak we put you through. Please don’t give up on us. We are a stubborn generation and need y’all all the more.

Tuition Flavored Bread

Well, I’ve always had a knack for sharing too much – then again, that’s why I started this. I felt like what was dropped in my spirit was to share my story; Share my ‘right now’ moments with Jesus. So please read this as just that, my story.


I got an email a few weeks back about a students’ favorite time of the semester: tuition is due. Cool.

I’ve been abundantly blessed with my season and my time here so far. G-d has been providing more than I need in many instances and I’ve seen blessings on blessings that I’m floored by. I moved here and my parents agreed to do what they could financially to help out with tuition and emergencies so in this case of the tuition email I wasn’t too worried as it came to the actual financial number on the page. I mean, no one wants to drop $2800 ever… unless you’re buying a jet ski, or a trip to Australia to come visit me, or like a really cool puppy with hunting and fishing and defending skills. So, I do what any college student running low on savings does and forward the email to my dad. His response shouldn’t have made me cry but in context of my season in my heart-feelers – I broke.

“How do you want to have this happen? You can pay it and I can raise the allotment so you get that money back quicker or we can put it on my debit card…”

Why any of this is important – I’ve been walking through a pretty dry and obnoxious desert season since Colour Conference. Maybe it didn’t start out this way but by this week I’ve grown pretty frustrated and unentertained with Jesus. Last week I wrote about ‘Daily Bread’ and having all we need… this week I’m frustrated that I’m only getting what I NEED which makes me sound terrible but this is real talk Wednesday (or really Friday by the time you read it). As far as revelations on Jesus, songwriting, being creative, writing, seeing G-d in all of creation it has been difficult for me to just sit and think “Wow, G-d, you’re doing so much” He is – He has, even if He never did one more thing for me He would have done enough. But feelings and being a human sucks and sometimes we have attitude issues. Previously in my week my journal looked a little something like this:

‘G-d, I’m not super happy with You – I’m just frustrated because I feel like I’m hearing a lot of words, and they’re all good words but I am personally struggling to find You. I feel like I’ve sat and I’ve waited and I feel like I keep being given JUST ENOUGH to get by’ ((and as I was writing loads of, “Laina, seriously? JUST ENOUGH?” thoughts came over me as I remembered what I had written about no more than a week prior)) –

‘No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11’

So, back to the part where I tie this in a pretty package and explain my heart-space-thoughts.

I’m sitting at the coffee shop with Krysia and Brian reading my dads email and trying to think through how to respond and what to say and what might be a good idea. I look at my bank account in the states and it has $2800 in savings… so I start to think, yeah I can pay tuition but it will wipe everything I have so I will either be relying on my dad or have to get a job or both. Which begins to start ripping away at my heart. You see, the last set of ‘instructions’ or ‘nudges’ I had about coming here was to sit, and learn how to receive from G-d. To rest (which included trusting Him with finances and not working) – and see how big G-d really is, I’ve worked the last 10 years of my life so it’s no issue for me to have a job and complete school. What the issue is for me is to sit, trust, rest and receive. As I typed an email back to my dad I let him know, ‘Yes, I can pay it but it’s all I have left so I will need you to help me’. I started realized what G-d has been up to (at least a very, VERY small part of what He has been up to). I’ve not been super pleased with my season and I’ve kept asking Him for something more than what I have; A word of confirmation, a day where I don’t feel like I’m wandering, water, something more than the minimum of what I need; and I could tell He was whispering, ‘How do you want to have this happen? You can give me the rest of what you have and I can keep giving you what you need or I can put it on my card…’

for lack of better words I felt like G-d was offering me a cop-out; maybe not a cop-out but an easy out for this season.

He can and will cover it. He can make it easy.

But, it took me realizing a smidge of what He is actually doing to say, ‘no, I can pay it, I’ll give the rest of what I have and trust that you’re going to set me up with just enough for this next season, discipline isn’t pleasant but you have peace for me through it and righteousness that you want to place in me.’

It killed me to say, “So dad, the last words I got from G-d was to sit… but I haven’t learned that lesson yet so I don’t feel like I need to get a job, which means I need you, to be faithful and help. I just need help.” because it makes my feel LAZY AS. Which kills me. I hate being lazy, I hate sitting, I hate waiting and I hate relying on someone else for my needs (I’m clearly in a learning process) I wanted to be able to say “Cool, I’ll just go get a job and this will all go smoother” but I have zero peace about that.

Chapels here in college have been cutting to the heart lately for me. Catrina (our principle) spoke yesterday which ended in Krysia (my housemate) giving me a glare as if they both had read my prayers to Jesus that day. Catrina spoke on the desert, how in the Bible this is an area of preparation, and that something great is coming when we are in these seasons. Sitting in the desert means we are on our way to the promise land even though at the time it feels like it takes everything we have to find an oasis. But, if the option is the easy out and remaining comfortable or spending what I have to see if G-d will show up… I guess I’ll take the latter.

I guess I’ll continue with my last set of instructions, I’ll continue to speak His Word over my life and take this desert as a reminder that something great is coming. I’ll choose to believe that His word is living and active and when I feel like I’m remaining the same, I choose to believe that His word changes me.

((He has GOOD for me.