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, […]
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 […]
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 rest of our lives.
Yes– my university living experience was probably not like most, particularly at my secular school in southwestern Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier. I met Maddie and Mary in my first year of university, as they were colleagues in my smaaaalll program, Christian Studies. We hit it off instantly as friends, and soon became as close as sisters.
We found a student apartment to live in together in second year with two other girls. Pictured above is our third-year crew, all of us having met in Christian Studies classes. ALL of the girls in this photo are engaged now, with the exception of Beth, who was married to her hubby in August 2018, a wedding we were so honoured to attend.
Now, these girls make up my bridal party… and I make up theirs. Mary marries her man in October, Johnny & I in January, and Maddie in June 2020. Our men proposed months apart, but many of the preparations for the weddings have taken place in our little student living situation. With either a bridesmaid dress or a wedding gift or a decor piece arriving to the front porch seemingly every week, it’s no wonder people have asked me what it’s like to “share the spotlight” with my best friends in the same house.
And here’s the answer: I wouldn’t have it any other way, because the only spotlight in these relationships is on Jesus Christ.
I feel blessed beyond words, in fact, that I have had the opportunity to live with these two women who know that their weddings are about the lifelong marriage and not the day itself. Who have hearts that want their relationships to reflect and glorify God rather than lift up themselves. And it is because of these very mindsets, the very presence of God, that we have approached each other, and being in each other’s wedding parties while also being brides, with nothing but love, grace, equality, compassion, and joy.
HE is why it’s been nothing but fun. HE is why I have been able to give being a bridesmaid, maid of honour, and bride– all at once, and while LIVING with the girls– the attention each role deserves. HE is the reason for it all, and to Him I give all the glory.
And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.ECCLESIASTES 4:4
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? […]
“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, and our humble cottage was certainly not like most cottages.
A literal log cabin built by my great grandparents, the cottage is more than just a family heirloom. It is the “favourite place in the world” of my immediate family, aunts and uncles, cousins, and, now, some of the friends we’ve brought to share it with.
For me, it simply takes a quick whiff of cottagey air to be transported to memories past. To be enveloped in a sea of memories of sand-muffin- baking, mermaid-swimming, and marshmallow-roasting. I have spent some part of each and every summer of my 21 years of life at Oma and Opa’s cottage, and, each time I step foot inside, I am overwhelmed by the reality that another year had passed by.
We have often called the cottage a “time machine” in this way. When you’re there, you can’t help but reminisce. For Oma and Opa, this means 60 years ago, before having kids of their own, to 40 years ago, when my mom was growing up, to 10 years ago, when my sisters and I joined them.
For Mom, it’s every summer of her own life; from childhood, to bringing my father for the first time, to bringing daughters one, two, and three. Something in the cabin or on the beach or in the boathouse will spark a memory, leading to a “Remember when” story that brings smiles to everyone’s faces.
Even Johnny, who just finished his third summertime at the cottage, now has memories, shares in the reminiscing, and remarks, “It feels like we were just here. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by.”
This past weekend was one to remember. Our one summer engaged, and Johnny and I navigating the change of graduating and entering “the real world,” this was a weekend of much-welcomed rejuvenation and recovery. It was an indescribable blessing to spend time with my family, and ultra-hot weather made it easy to jump right into Papineau’s clear blue.
I blog about the cottage because I want to remind you of some things that God through Papineau whispered to me this weekend:
Chase His presence.
Just like getting out in nature and away from screens after weeks of work and stuffy air and endless tasks is incredibly rejuvenating pretty much instantly, sitting at the feet of Jesus– who is omnipresent– is instantly healing. Don’t put off time with Him. There is no part of your day and no season of your life that doesn’t require the wisdom of Your Maker, and intimacy with Him.
Prioritize loved ones.
Being in community with my family and friends in a setting where I couldn’t think or do anything about my thoughts about work or the wedding or other things that demand my attention reminded me how important it is that, whenever I am spending time with loved ones, I am giving them undivided attention.
Love life– but not too much.
Recently, I have been struggling for the first notable time with coveting my life to the point of not wanting it to end. There’s so much I want to do in this world, and time is so short, I’ve thought. I wish I could have more of it.
Bringing these thoughts to Jesus, He has quieted my guilt for feeling them, and strengthened my purpose in HIM– the joy I have in living is from above, but my life is His alone. My body is not my own; my money is for His glory; and my very life is purposed to bring Him glory. “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” JOHN 12:25
You don’t need a beautiful Northern-Ontario getaway in order to refresh your soul. Take ownership of it and live in His Grace and Truth today.
When I got engaged, I pictured myself blogging about all the pretty details, aesthetically sharing the history of our venue, swatches of bridesmaid dresses, and details about the menu (which is, I must say, to die for). I thought maybe I would naturally become one […]