faith, freedom, food

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“I Don’t Know How to Believe in God”

“I Don’t Know How to Believe in God”

Happy Wednesday my friends! A couple weekends ago, one of the last weekends of August, marked big changes in my life: it was the last weekend before Johnny moves to Winnipeg for the last time EVER, timed perfectly with our engagement party, hosted by one […]

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

A couple weeks ago, I came across an exercise online that someone had shared had really shifted their thinking. The person relented that they wanted to know what their 10-year-old self, AND their self IN 10 years, would think of the way their present self […]

When Life Isn’t a Story

When Life Isn’t a Story

I have learned that I struggle.

I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling arch is what I appreciate most about movies and books. My love of stories is probably why I adore spontaneity and thrilling music and consider myself a hopeless romantic. It’s why I don’t summarize the beautiful way my fiance proposed in a matter of minutes, but have written it out in detail and still tell it with glassy eyes and a voice of wonder.

So, when something happens IRL that is utterly story-like, practically telling itself through its serendipity and ability to tell itself, and then comes to an end that makes it all NOT very worth telling… I struggle.

But it’s good that I struggle, because it’s brought me to an awareness of the fact that I easily see God in “the story” and assume it’s Him and assume His will before praying, actively seeking His will, and discerning.

And, what this really is, then, is me “playing God,” and taking His righteousness into my own hands.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 TIMOTHY 4:3-4

It is very easy for us to make this mistake and jump to conclusions as Christians who live in harmony with Jesus, and live for His will to be done in our lives. It is very easy to assume that, because something good and cool and happenstance has happened, the odds for the outcome of that happening are directly in my favour.

But really, rather than writing the rest of the story, I’m called to sit in His presence and rest.

He taught me this very tangibly when I first met Johnny. Boy meets girl that I didn’t force or forge and that took months of contentment in the Holy Spirit before anything happened. In those months leading up to Johnny and I actually talking, I might have presumed, through our classroom glances and mutual but unspoken affection, that we would have spoken sooner. In the books, it would have been a week into class.

But, MAN, am I ever grateful for God’s timing on that one.

Time and again, He has shown me where my love of storytelling is a gift for His glory, and where it could trip me up into playing God. And don’t get me wrong: God is in complete control, and allows all things that happen to happen– but the outcomes are not based on me and me alone. It is easy to be egotistical and assume that the odds are in the favour of my own dreams, because “God is on my side.”

The outcomes are always in my favour because God is on my side, absolutely. But those outcomes are far better chosen by Him than me. So the best thing we can do as followers is submit to THE Storyteller. He’s a pretty darn good One.

The Almond Butter Lesson (From a Recovered Anorexia-Sufferer)

The Almond Butter Lesson (From a Recovered Anorexia-Sufferer)

If you know me in real life, you know that I absolutely adore nut butters. And if you’ve been in my kitchen in real life, you know that on a whole new level. I almost always have more than one type of nut or seed […]

Blackberry Crumble

Blackberry Crumble

In case you didn’t know, I tasted the most amazing food in the world a couple weeks ago. An avid foodie– and, more importantly, an avid peanut butter lover– I was so intrigued when I first noticed Salted Caramel Peanut Butter (sugar free, whole foods, […]

How I Increased My Blog Traffic By Thousands in a Matter of Months

How I Increased My Blog Traffic By Thousands in a Matter of Months

This post contains some affiliate links. All opinions are my own and are completely honest and candid.

Ah, the world of blog hosting.

When I started the whole blogging thing back in 2015, I really just wanted to share my writing with anyone that might possibly want to take the time to read it– and I was prepared for that to be no one.

So when I started getting thousands of unique visitors checking in to Cassie, Compiled. every month, I was a little overwhelmed that my passion project had become something strangers were taking in and, hopefully, being inspired, challenged, and entertained by.

My post about my experience with Minnie Maud eating disorder recovery, though more than a year old, continues to bring in hundreds of views– helping me to reach out to more readers who will hopefully find my content helpful.

And one change… okay, maybe two or three, but one MAJOR change, made all the difference in my ability to share this blog with more people, and that was the decision to invest in self-hosting by SiteGround.

https://hostingfacts.com/hosting-reviews/siteground/

I have had nothing short of an incredible experience working with SiteGround. Having owned cassiescookery.com for over a year before I finally decided to invest in hosting, I can attest to the utmost importance of the site speed, widgets, ownership, and more that come with self-hosting.

Here, the top reasons I recommend self-hosting your blog right away if you want to give your content the chance to be recognized by the audience you are after.

You are much more likely to be optimized for search with a self-hosted website. Here is how a writer with ZERO tech knowledge like me was best able to grasp this: the “web spiders” that crawl the Internet looking for the best content for each and every Google search will be much more likely to deem credible those who actually own the content on their site. That’s right: if you’re just using a WordPress domain– even if you’ve paid to get rid of the free “.wordpress.com” domain– WordPress holds the right to delete your site at any time, because they actually own the content. Think of hosting as like investing in a physical space for your business that you actually own.

The possibilities to monetize are now endless. While WordPress has the right to post any ads wherever they want to on your WordPress site, you can place ads of whatever kind wherever you would like on your site hosted with SiteGround. And you become much more of a professional entity in your niche, and thus much more likely to be contacted by brands within your industry– those dream companies you’ve been wanting to work with. Once you’ve navigated this new self-hosting territory, don’t be afraid to try some cold pitching, too. Still a bit of a newbie, I got my first opportunity working with a dream brand by emailing them with a genuine heart and passion for their product.

You can grow your community by reaching your readers the way they expect to be reached. Keeping up with consumer trends means understanding the importance of communication with readers the way they best receive it. This means including an email list, responding to comments, and cultivating your community. The amazing community at Cassie, Compiled. is just getting started, but rapidly growing thanks to the technology-smarts of SiteGround. They provide the beginner-friendly widgets and tutorials for implementing all of these important aspects of communication with your clients.

If you’re looking to get started with self-hosting, I could not speak more highly of SiteGround. With budget-friendly plans and options for various types of websites, plus access to 24/7 online customer service (which I have used multiple times and have had incredible experience with), you cannot go wrong. To get started, head here.

Any questions? Experiences with self-hosting? Hesitations? Let me know in the comments below! <3

3 Engaged Girls, One House

3 Engaged Girls, One House

It is only just hitting me that in a matter of weeks, the girls I have lived with for the past three years and I will never live together again. In fact, each of us will be transitioning to living with– a man— for the […]

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Childhood Chicken Fried Rice

Raise your hand if you were a picky eater as a kid. (I’m raising my hand). I was the PICKIEST of the picky. I could count the number of foods I was happy eating on both hands (well, both hands if you’ll allow me to […]

Curated KW: Interviewing the Girls Behind the Gram

Curated KW: Interviewing the Girls Behind the Gram

When I first stumbled upon Curated KW, I was so intrigued.

Quite honestly, I wanted to WORK for the business, be a part of it in some way. I assumed, given the obvious effort and passion displayed in this initiative to help Waterloo Regioners understand the amazing deals and events going in their city, that it was a paid gig for its CEOs.

What I learned was that this beautiful account is actually a volunteer passion project for dynamic duo Shirley and Alyana.

Check out my interview with the girls to learn exactly why you need to be following Curated KW if you live in, or ever plan to visit, the Creative Capital of Canada we call Kitchener-Waterloo.

I don’t think I’ve ever related to anyone more in my life surrounding my passion for the local scene in our city, the reward that comes from pursuing a hobby, and the priceless beauty of food & fellowship.

Thank-you, Shirley and Alyana, for inspiring connection in our region!

Stephanie Buttermore’s “All In” Journey: Why I am a Huge Fan of the Fitness YouTuber Eating 5000+ Calories per Day

Stephanie Buttermore’s “All In” Journey: Why I am a Huge Fan of the Fitness YouTuber Eating 5000+ Calories per Day

I knew I was a fan of Stephanie Buttermore the first time I ever watched one of her videos. Not only was it clear that she was a kind person, but it was clear that she was an all in kind of person. I have […]