faith, freedom, food

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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 […]

NutriBullet Apple Cauliflower Soup

NutriBullet Apple Cauliflower Soup

Are you a soup person? I’ve never been much of one myself. Growing up, I did love Nestle Chicken Noodle, and my mom’s homemade chilli was to die for. But creamy, one-colour purees? Is that baby food or potato chowder, ya know what I’m saying? […]

The Power of a Friend Like Alicia: Three Things To Absolutely Always Be Doing, Everyday Period.

The Power of a Friend Like Alicia: Three Things To Absolutely Always Be Doing, Everyday Period.

The buzz of my alarm greeted my ears this morning at 5:30AM, and I found myself instantly missing waking up with the sunrise time on the daily for work.

As I have transitioned out of a three-and-a-half-year period of working at coffee shops just this past week, it has not taken long for me to realize how much I will miss barista-ing– how much I miss, and feel called to, tangibly serving people. Many of my most precious relationships have been formed with me on the serving side of a coffee shop counter, and I am forever passionate about the way God can work through these little encounters.

Alas, though, this morning’s early start was not welcomed by coffee & customers, but by church family & prayer: equally, if not more, a blessing. My church, C3KW, hosts morning prayer every Wednesday at 6:30AM to spend time in the Word, to pray for each other, to pray for our city, and to pray for our church.

This morning, I was overwhelmed by the sheer blessing of this community, and its commitment to seeking God’s will and heart first and foremost. And while the past couple of weeks have been, for me, emotionally and spiritually exhausting, I was convicted that this morning was not about that, but felt heavily called to focus on the steadfastness of my God.

I’ve been thinking so much about the fact that what our society deems as the “highs” and “lows” of living are really good at testing our faith and identity in Jesus, who NEVER changes. Am I rocked or is my spirit shaken because I’m uncertain of my next career move (or insert circumstance of suffering or uncertainty)? If my entire identity is in Jesus, then no, I should not be.

And His Spirit made that true in my life and heart this morning. I am filled to the brim with joy because of who Jesus is, alive in my life and working all things for the good of His Kingdom.

The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
    and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

PSALM 145:16-17

And when, after prayer, my dear friend Alicia asked me if she could buy me a coffee, I felt stirred and overcome by the need to chat with her.

We can be so selfish. But when we allow the Spirit to give us His eyes, He often points out opportunities and people and pathways we were otherwise blind to. Time in prayer only helps us to be more in tune with what He is ALWAYS doing.


After a couple minutes of refusing her gift before submitting to the generousity, it was over a much-appreciated blonde roast that I told Alicia to forgive me if I was inarticulate, but that I needed to get my own thoughts out of the way because the Lord was speaking loudly to my spirit about her.

Since I first met Alicia at church, I have felt a deep connection to her; a feeling that we were similar.

And this morning, God showed up and reminded us both that we were firmly rooted in Him. That with our identity in Him, we could not be shaken.

We prayed against lies that had been believed in both of our lives in very different circumstances, but lies just the same. And Truth, unmistakable Truth, Truth in the Word of God that cannot be argued with, came in and set the record straight.

The ambiguity is uncanny, I know. But the point remains that the only way to retrain bad thoughts is to replace them with God’s Truth.

Which, guess what? Says that He is trustworthy in ALL of His promises; upholds ALL who fall; has compassion on ALL He has made; is slow to anger and rich in love. Is most worthy of praise, and whose greatness cannot be fathomed (Psalm 145).

In a matter of a morning, my mindset about my circumstances has been radically shifted by the God who is alive today in Jesus. I mean wholeheartedly that my joy is complete in Him… and He’s made it real in my life.

A deep “real” that has starkly reminded me of three things that I believe we are each called to do every day as human beings “in the world, but not of it.”

  1. Get yourself in THE WORD. Get lost in it again and again. I don’t care if you’ve never opened a Bible or if you’ve read it cover to cover fifty times. Absolutely soak yourself in it. Don’t know where to start? As a wise mentor of mine once said, “Soak yourself in the Psalms.”
  2. Practice intimacy with THE PERSON. The God of the Bible, the God of Christianity, is just as alive today as He was 2000 years ago in the flesh. Today, He is the Holy Spirit. If you haven’t already, invite Him into your heart, and then get to know Him as fully God and fully human; as your best friend, Father, Creator, Saviour, Shelter, Light, “I AM.”
  3. Be in community with THE PEOPLE. His heart is all about His people. We are the reason He came, suffered, and died brutally. It is unfathomable, unstoppable love; and, as His body, we are called to share that love with others. In addition to serving His people through our own unique gifts, we are blessed to be filled up by others; interceded for; and loved on. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” PROVERBS 27:17

I pray today that unshakable Truth would absolutely permeate your life today, reader: the one who wrote you into existence and calls you by name each and every day knows a thing or two about it.

My Ear Piercing Disaster, Redeemed.

My Ear Piercing Disaster, Redeemed.

Yup. I’m a 21 year old Canadian female and only just recently got my ears pierced. And then… un-pierced. And the whole debacle is what led to some leaps in my physical recovery from eating disorders, and a greater understanding of my personal identity. Excessive? […]

Gossip & Negativity: What kind of communicator are you?

Gossip & Negativity: What kind of communicator are you?

I remember that, in high school, a “normal” conversation at the lunch table, at a party, or at a friend’s locker was about someone else. The “subject line” was rarely to do with the state of one’s soul, the deeper thoughts they’d been having, or […]

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie with Optional Almond Butter Cacao Drizzle

Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie with Optional Almond Butter Cacao Drizzle

I’m a big fan of single-serve desserts.

Mostly because dessert is my preferred meal, but certainly not everyone’s.

If I could eat dessert for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… I probably would. And, tbh, I have.

But if you’re not like me, I bet you still crave cookies and baked goods at some hour of the day, but making a whole few dozen seems not only wasteful, but selfish, especially if you’ve no one at the ready to share them with.

Enter: the single serve Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie.

You could certainly multiply these measurements by 12 to make a dozen, or however many treats you wish. This dough would also make delicious bars!

It is also very easy to customize. Don’t have almond butter? Sub peanut butter, coconut oil, or plain butter. Play around with the sweetener you use, try blueberries instead of cherries, or replace the oats with normal flour!

Have fun with this concept. I would love to see what you come up with!

Single Serve Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie with Almond Butter Cacao Drizzle

Ingredients

1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp oats, ground into a flour (or sub regular flour)

3 Tbsp almond flour

2 Tbsp almond butter

1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

3 Tbsp coconut sugar (or sub stevia or maple syrup or white sugar)

1 egg

4 dark sweet cherries, quartered

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

For the drizzle

1 Tbsp almond butter

1/2 Tbsp cacao powder

1 Tbsp sweetener of choice

1 Tbsp almond milk or cream

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In blender or food processor, place oat flour, almond flour, almond butter, and coconut sugar, and blend just to combine. And egg and blend until incorporated.

2. In separate bowl, place cherry pieces, lemon juice, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture from blender to the bowl, and mi with hands or wooden spoon to combine. Add a bit of water or milk if necessary to make a smooth, consistent dough.

3. Grease a small pan or rimmed dish with cooking spray or butter. Press dough into dish. Bake in preheated oven for about half an hour, or until golden brown and slightly crackly.

4. Meanwhile, make the drizzle by placing all ingredients in a small dish. Microwave about 15 seconds, and stir to combine.

5. Serve cookie warm out of the oven with almond butter drizzle.

A Weekend In Paradise

A Weekend In Paradise

“Paradise.” That’s what my sister’s friend called my family cottage after just a few hours of exploring the grounds. “I’ve never been to a cottage like this.” Krystal, Johnny, and I exchanged satisfied glances; Aly was not wrong. Papineau Lake was not like most lakes, […]