faith, freedom, food

Tag: #christian

Guest Writer (Must-Read) Angie: In Christ Alone

Guest Writer (Must-Read) Angie: In Christ Alone

The first time I met Angie Smith was in the middle of the first service I attended at C3KW. I was crying during worship, and she calmly and confidently tapped my shoulder and asked if she could pray for me. I didn’t quite know how […]

Blooming: How Three Days Up North Changed My Trajectory

Blooming: How Three Days Up North Changed My Trajectory

This past Wednesday, May 22nd, I embarked upon a journey that changed my life, and that I will never forget. This time last year, my dear friend and pastor, Nat, came home from a mystery excursion to the Muskokas raving about his experience, and telling […]

The NUMBER ONE THING Preventing You From Achieving Your Goals

The NUMBER ONE THING Preventing You From Achieving Your Goals

It’s 9pm on a Tuesday. You’re exhausted. You barely found the energy to make dinner having almost succumbed to Miss Vickie’s and pickles as your meal, you did a load of laundry but folding it is a whole other story, and you really wanted to start working on that personal project tonight after work, but all you feel like doing now is curling up in your bed with Netflix and Instagram.

Sound familiar?

In case you missed it, I wrote a few weeks about avoiding procrastination.

Now, there’s a difference between mindful rest and procrastination. And with this post, I feel called to clarify that difference by sharing the number one thing, likely the only thing, that I believe it keeping you from achieving your goals: mindless consumption.

I have wrestled with my role as a both a content creator and consumer for many years now. Sometimes, I want to delete all of my social media, surround myself with books, and boycott the Internet. Other times, I’m in awe of the wealth of knowledge available to us online, excited about the other content creators I can support by reading their columns, and keen to write what I feel called to in this corner of the Internet.

So, here’s where I have landed. And please, do allow me the gift of your own opinion by commenting below.

Like books, online content can be incredibly useful and worthwhile. But that stops the moment the content becomes unlike a book.

Here is what I mean.

I don’t read books mindlessly. I don’t pick up a random book, turn to any ol’ page, and start reading. This is what I DO do with Instagram. I– sometimes instinctively– open the app, and allow my “feed” to chronologically– well– FEED me. Whether I care to admit it, or like the reality of it, or not, this is what my feed does. It feeds me information. So I am mindlessly, but still willingly, submitting myself to all sorts of content, without care for the truthfulness or merit of it.

When I choose to read a book for entertainment purposes, I am still choosing to read one story, carefully crafted by an author, that I can reflect on and learn from. When I scroll through random bits of content online for entertainment, I am not consuming anything meaningful or purposed, but most prominently a stacking of photos carefully curated to make individuals look their best. THAT is what our generation spends a lot of our time doing.

Yeesh. As a Christian, I personally believe I’m going to stand before my God one day and give an account for my life. The time I’ve spent mindlessly consuming is a deep conviction of mine.

Now, mindful consumption is a whole different story.

Again, like when I choose to read a book, if I set aside time to read a blog post, or curate an Instagram feed that contains accounts that post meaningful, relevant, worthwhile content that will help me to help others, I think it is a vital tool, given it does not become an idol in your heart, or a way to boost your own ego.

Mindful consumption– not just of social media, but anything and everything we consume– can lend itself to helping you, too, and your personal projects to thrive. I don’t mean I think we should shut people out of our lives, because “I hate people” is not an okay statement. It simply means being aware of the way we are spending our time, and the way that influences us and everything we do.

Think about it: how much time would you have on your hands if you didn’t own a cell phone? If the answer is “I don’t know what I’d do with my free time,” it’s time to wake up and see LIFE.

Part of mindful consumption for me has been understanding what I believe to be True.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

I am constantly discerning, through God, what is His will, and what is good, and what is useful, and what isn’t.

I don’t want to waste the time on this earth that is already a blink of eye-short.

Tell me…

  1. Do you discern what is true/worth your time?
  2. Do you ever feel “guilty” for time spent “scrolling?”
5 Tangible Tips to Avoid Procrastination

5 Tangible Tips to Avoid Procrastination

The Procrastination Station.We’ve all been there. Itching to write, but finding our thumbs scrolling instead, our minds numb rather than busy. Staring at the mountain of laundry begging to be folded in order to free up the bedroom to look like something from a Pinterest […]

The Writing Bug

The Writing Bug

I have an unwavering, overwhelming, constant need to write. I’ve had it since before I can remember. When I was in fourth grade, my teacher entered a paper I wrote in a writing contest that I ended up winning. From that point forward, I was […]

Our Proposal Story (+How We Met Three Years Ago)

Our Proposal Story (+How We Met Three Years Ago)

I had just told myself university would not be the time for a boy.

But God knew differently.

I noticed Johnny Fulford the moment I sat down in my Tuesday afternoon “Public Faith and Theology” class. He was smilely, shy-looking, and downright handsome. When the professor asked us students to share our names, and a little bit about ourselves, I knew his name, “Johnny,” would stick in my mind.

Every Tuesday afternoon that first semester of my freshman year in university, I was encouraged and excited by what Johnny had to say on the topic of Christianity, much of which related to God’s almighty power and sufficient grace. In a place fraught with haughty opinions and lacking semblance of truth, Johnny only spoke when absolutely necessary, and without drawing attention to himself… except for, perhaps, my attention.

I also caught him nodding along with some of the points I would bring up, while I tried not to care. After all, I didn’t want to get caught up in a boy.

But God had other plans.

I always hoped Johnny might talk to me after class. Instead, when we had a field trip to Queen’s Park in Toronto, and I asked a classmate who would be driving there if we could carpool, I saw Johnny approach the same classmate to ask for a ride a few minutes after I did.

Hmmm…

And the car ride was the beginning I’ll never forget.

Johnny and I must have spent more time getting to know each other than I realized, because, when we got to Queen’s Park, a fellow classmate who had also been in the car asked me, “So, are you and Johnny a thing?”

At Queen’s Park, we watched a political debate, and then had the opportunity to ask the politicians questions about their faith. I remember Johnny asking questions that didn’t spark my curiousity about Johnny, but drew me to prayer and to seek God’s will. I wasn’t distracted by him, but pressed forward to focus on God’s heart for these politicians, and our classmates.

It is for that reason that, when Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee after the field trip, I didn’t say, “I’m actually not dating right now,” I said, “Yes.”

I would later learn that Johnny had also recently wondered if he was called to be single all his life. He had also recently turned down a few other potential relationships. And he had also felt drawn to the way Jesus was working in me.

The coffee date led to more dates. The couple months before Johnny asked me to be his girlfriend were spent awing in Jesus Christ and not in each other. And that is why I love Johnny second. Jesus Himself has called us to, and built up, the foundation on which our relationship stands.

Flash forward three years. Johnny and I are both almost done university… but in different provinces.

When Johnny and I met, he already knew that the school we both attended in Waterloo, ON was not his forever school. Ten months into our relationship, he transferred to Providence University in Otterburne, MB, as it is a Christian university where he could play varsity soccer in the States.

So, much of our relationship has been long distance, though we see each other four months of the summer, over Christmas, and have surprise visited each other, too.

This December 14th, 2018, Johnny returned home from Winnipeg for Christmas, and we reunited emotionally and excitably as always. Johnny’s birthday was the following day, and his sister-in-law had texted me a few days before, having bought us tickets to the Toronto Symphony, and recommending a dinner spot as a birthday gift to Johnny for both of us.

That next day, I was so focused on making Johnny’s 23rd birthday special. After giving him his birthday gift, which included 23 photos of us with 23 things I love about him, Johnny suggested we dress up fancy for the symphony.

We drove to Toronto, talking endlessly, and were so pleasantly surprised by the beautiful atmosphere of the dinner spot that Johnny’s sister-in-law recommended, Bar Reyna. We enjoyed delicious food in one of my favourite settings of all times, and each other’s company, before deciding to walk half an hour to the symphony rather than drive over.

Being pretty clueless with directions, I didn’t realize we were passing Queen’s Park until we were standing right outside it. “Wow, is this Parliament?” I asked. There wasn’t a soul around, and it was dark outside, lit only by tinselly Christmas lights adorning the trees. “Yeah,” Johnny smiled. “I’m surprised you only just noticed.”

I immediately started reminiscing on that field trip three years ago. “I knew I was drawn to you, not because of who you were, but because of who Jesus was in you,” I said. “I knew I believed in Him the same way you did. I just had never before had the vocabulary for it.”

Johnny and I were both tearing up. I was silently praising and thanking God.

And it wasn’t until he stopped me, right out front of Queen’s Park, that I had a single CLUE that he was about to ask me a very important question. “I have a confession,” he said.

My heart went into my throat in excitement, emotion, and joy.

“Sarah didn’t plan this day, I did. All to bring you here, where we first met. To have the hopes of having the best birthday gift in the world.”

The rest of what he said was a blur. I was in the midst of the greatest surprise of my life.

When he got down on one knee and said, “Cassandra Andrea Wolfe, will you be my wife?” I nodded vehemently before pulling him up and kissing him.

Finally, Johnny pointed to the bushes far off, where my sister, Krystal, was taking photos. Johnny had paid for her trip down to capture the moment.

Interpreting the Bible: Have You Ever Wondered…

Interpreting the Bible: Have You Ever Wondered…

This semester, I have been fortunate enough to take Biblical Greek with one of the greatest professors I have ever had.  The following is part of my final assignment for this class, and I wanted to share it here, because I am truly blown away […]

A Letter to My Best Friend on Her 21st Birthday

Dear Maddie, You’ve heard it before. But when I met you, literally from the moment I saw you, I remember thinking, consciously, “I want to be that girl’s friend.” Little did I know, less than a week later, I would share more of my soul […]

The Winter Blues

The Winter Blues

Does winter get anyone else down in the dumps?
I’m not trying to blame my attitude on the cold, because I know that owning my attitude is always my responsibility. But man… I really, really hate the cold. 

It is one sensation I can think of that makes me truly ANGRY.

It makes every activity more difficult. Like today, thinking about leaving the house for the different things on my agenda, from a meeting at my pastors’ house with their kids, which is one my favourite parts of my week, to a coffee and study date with beautiful Mary, to shopping, all things I love and have a generally positive attitude about– the cold weather can literally be enough to almost keep me inside.

Always “almost”… it’s never actually kept me inside, that I can recall.

But the severity of my disliking toward cold weather makes me wonder why we have it in the first place.

And then it makes me reflect why we have much bigger, truly problematic situations present in the world, hardships and fighting and poverty and greed.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Now, I am a baby and out of line to liken dealing with the cold as a very privileged Western person as “suffering.” But my internal and external struggles with it reminded me of the promise of this verse in Romans. Suffering, hardships, difficult times, and struggles… they are part of the Gospel. They themselves produce endurance, which produces character, which produces hope in God’s love, NO MATTER WHAT.

So, to my friend struggling… with ANYTHING…

God knows you. Inside and out. And He hears your silent prayer. Bring it to Him, for real, and entrust it to Him. Know that He has deeper plans for every trial, and that an attitude that says, “This hardship will produce endurance, which will produce character, which will produce hope in the ONE THING that will never fail” is one God calls you to. 

Don’t judge me, but I’m still gonna go into the cold with an attitude that says that God is gonna use the chill in my bones to produce endurance, character, and hope… and honestly, He does. He uses everything. 

One Major vs. Two: Is a Double Major the Way To Go?

One Major vs. Two: Is a Double Major the Way To Go?

Today’s post is all about double majoring. Why did I decide to complete my undergrad as a double Major? What are the pros and cons of this? Who I recommend it to? My application story: I cannot recall ever being stressed about post-secondary, having doubts, […]