faith, freedom, food

Tag: #hope

Edema and Joint Pain and Night Sweats, Oh My!: The Signs of True Physical Recovery No One Talks About

Edema and Joint Pain and Night Sweats, Oh My!: The Signs of True Physical Recovery No One Talks About

Cold all the time? I used to be known for it. Also for genuinely never sweating, never turning red when I worked out, and having dryer than dry skin, especially in the winter. Well, guess what? I typically sweat easily now (the underboob sweat I […]

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery… While Wedding Planning: An Update

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Recovery… While Wedding Planning: An Update

Frustrated is my word of choice. I am overwhelmingly frustrated. I’ve read every blog post about hypothalamic amenorrhea. I’ve spent months eating as much as my insides could take without exploding and remaining sedentary. Then I’ve tried adding in light exercise, eating high high fat […]

A Bachelorette Party to Remember: Celebrating Almost-Marriage



A Bachelorette Party to Remember: Celebrating Almost-Marriage



I am marrying the love of my life in 33 days, and I have never been more excited or joyful in my life. My soon-to-be husband came home from Winnipeg – for the last time ever – last week, and we have literally been bright eyed and beaming ever since. Excited, excited, excited about all the “little things” that most certainly feel BIG and wonderful, as they should, I think, we cannot wait to vow forever to each other, and to enter in to that covenant in our new home.

This past weekend also marked the last “pre-wedding” celebration – my bachelorette party. Depending on your context, you may define this “hurrah” very differently from the next person. Bachelorette parties are the invention of man, and I wanted mine to simply be an excuse to spend time with my closest girlfriends, and to celebrate these friendships in a fun and authentic way.

Daniella pretty much planned the whole weekend, so selflessly and joyfully. I would be at a loss without her in so many ways – wedding planning is just one example.

Pictured above are my two maids of honour. Both solid rocks in my life, both having made profound impacts on me as long as I’ve known them, and both women I admire and am constantly inspired by. To say I am blessed to know them is an understatement.

And my two beautiful sisters. Growing up as three girls for us meant being very, very close, and I don’t think that will ever change about our relationships. We are naturally so connected, and have so much love for each other. I am SO grateful for these two.

And the rest of these ladies. Bethany, Mary, Beth, Sammy, and Jacqueline are some of my dearest friends, and each are individually women I cannot imagine my life without.

When I start to reflect on the way my relationships with each one of these inspiring women have shaped, challenged, and changed me, I am overwhelmed in the best way. Thank-you, Lord, for these gifts. I pray that I can show the same kind of love and selflessness to each one of them that they showed me this weekend!

We played silly games, we ate delicious food, we went to my amazing church Sunday morning, and we brunched at our wedding venue!

And now, this past week with Johnny has been the best little snippet of life together at last. It has shown me just how true it is that we are better together, that Jesus is uniting us, and, honestly… I just absolutely adore being with him and am so smitten in love with him. There is no other human who knows me so deeply and fully, and this is the beauty of marriage, I am learning – the person who knows my deepest faults and failures and sins most tangibly sees me and loves me. This is a minuscule picture of the love of Jesus.

The bachelorette with my ladies, celebrating my soon vowing to forever with Johnny, is something I will never forget, and with friendships I know I will never forsake.

Share Your Deepest Failures, Be Met with… Compassion?

Share Your Deepest Failures, Be Met with… Compassion?

He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. Happy Monday! Does anyone else write stories in their minds? The place most conducive to “Story-Writing” in my thought-life is the cafe I work at, Smile Tiger. […]

“Feeling Fat”

“Feeling Fat”

“My mom made me do Zumba with her the other night because she was feeling fat and didn’t want to work out alone.” I was startled by how casually my 10-year-old hip hop student told me about her Zumba night with her mother. “You eat […]

Making a Long Distance Relationship”Work”

Making a Long Distance Relationship”Work”

Good Wednesday!

Today, Johnny and I are 80 days out from our “I Do’s,” and I could not possibly be more excited.

We are also just a few weeks shy of seeing each other again for his regional soccer tournament, and less than a month away from being done with long distance forever.

In case you’re new to the blog, this post provides insight and advice from both Johnny and I on our years of long distance.



I recently put out a question via my Instagram about what interests you most in reading on the blog. An overwhelming majority loved reading about my relationship with Johnny– and, specifically, how we have navigated long distance and “made it work.”

Here is the thing about long distance (since this will probably be my last ever post while I’m in the midst of it):

If you are dating a person worthy of your time, investment, and relationship with, long distance should not be a problem.

You should not have concerns about their loyalty, truthfulness, or intentions, and if you do, we are way beyond the issue of long distance. Unless those concerns come from past hurts that genuinely have nothing to do with the person you are seeing, you need to take some time to seriously consider/pray into your reasoning for relationship with this person.

If you are in love, aligned in morals and intentions, and open with each other, the sacrifice of long distance will not feel so much like a sacrifice, but rather a necessary, non-negotiable experience. If you are led to different places/paths at the same time before you are married, pray about it, and have confidence in your relationship, this distance should not be any object in your relationship.

Now, in saying this, I do not mean that the distance isn’t difficult. Painful. Emotional. Challenging. The hardest thing about it for Johnny and I has been simply MISSING each other, aching for each other, as we are truly best friends, and love being with each other very much.

So, naturally, the way we have “made it work” has been in much, much prayer and dialogue. In feeling confident and continuously led that we are better together than apart, and clinging to the knowledge that the distance was temporary. In focusing on all of the positive things that distance brought, like road trips, heightened excitement and anticipation when we got to reunite after long stretches of time, and the best communication possible. Like the opportunity to work through a challenging circumstance so early on in our relationship, in order to work together through tough decisions and emotions. And, ultimately, because our relationship is not about me, and because we love each other, we support each other, and pray into each other’s situations.

Again, because our relationship is not about me, I don’t fret about missed dates or anything that comes with having a next-door-boyfriend, but look with joy to all the things that Jesus is glorified through in our long distance, and all that we have learned together that will without a doubt help us in our marriage, and for the rest of our lives.

Tangibly, though, how do we “keep things alive?”

We communicate. We tell each other what is on our mind. Even the little things. But we also do not put much pressure on communication. We’re at a point in which we understand our balance of intentional, sacrificial effort/each other’s schedules. But, the reality is… we both WANT to be texting each other/talking to each other all of the time. We’re pretty darned in love, if you can’t tell.
We sacrifice. It’s easy to overlook Skyping as something that isn’t like a planned date, but once we’ve set one (we’re casual about it– we don’t have a certain number per week or anything, as we both like the spontaneity of it and respect our very different schedules), we stick to it. We look so forward to these. Yes, sometimes it’s hard not to just stare at each other in frustrated longing, but it’s just like hanging out for real, if you set your mind to it ;).
We ask forgiveness. We have run into issues. We have let each other down. We have each failed. But each of these times, as we’ve sought each other’s forgiveness, we’ve been able to see as opportunities to improve, through and for Jesus. Something Johnny does so well is ask forgiveness, intentionally, humbly, and genuinely, when he has done something wrong. I have learned so much about the importance of this through his example!

A Sermon That Utterly Changed Me

A Sermon That Utterly Changed Me

This met me in my brokenness, in my deepest questioning, and in confusion, with hard Truth that I needed to hear. Take the time to sit with this and listen. Take notes. Let God speak to you through it. I promise it will be a […]

Having My Bridal Shower Cake… and Eating It, Too

Having My Bridal Shower Cake… and Eating It, Too

Here’s what they don’t tell you about eating disorders: They’re usually pretty innocent at first. An endeavour to “be healthier.” When my restrictive illness first developed when I was fifteen, I never would have considered that I might still be terrified of white flour and […]

Church is Monday-Friday: On Prioritizing

Church is Monday-Friday: On Prioritizing

In storybooks and seasons past, “Church” is seen as a service to attend for one boring hour on Sunday mornings in order to “keep right” with a distant God who might otherwise look sourly at us from His lofty place above.

I think, when Christian beliefs are not openly talked about, it is common to have this notion. It is common, even, for this notion to carry us through to our adulthood, as we go through the motions of “church” without ever really realizing why. Worse, while doing so because “our parents did,” or “to keep our place in Heaven.”

I am extremely open in all areas of my life about faith, and the reasons I go to church. If your notion of church-going has ever been as bleak as the one above, I would encourage you to think about the very Truth that lead me to a life surrendered to God in the first place.

It was a nagging question I had when I was nine years old.

I couldn’t stop thinking about death.

If I could somehow transport myself 100 years in the future, I thought, I would be dead. And life would go on. So there is no way the purpose of this life can be about ME, or serving myself, or catering to my temporary lusts. There is more.

My 21-year-old brain has definitely filled in some loftier language here, but you get the idea.

This thought led to a long season of entrenched soul-searching, at the end of which I was wholly convinced that Jesus Christ was the purpose of my life, of all lives, and that eternity with Him, for HIS glory and not my own, was a prize worth knowing. Meeting Him myself and falling in love with Him; His perfect, selfless way of loving; His beauty; His servanthood and godliness; His non-judgement and His Words; His lovingkindness, patience; then, understanding His wrath, and how deserving I am of it, but that it’s only Jesus that could save my soul… understanding my soul’s NEED for saving… it was this “fear of the Lord that was the beginning of all wisdom,” as the Proverb says.

Wisdom, that led to joy that wasn’t fleeting, but eternal.


And so, my friend, church isn’t an hour on a Sunday morning to sing songs about a foreign being. It’s a supplement to a LIFE that we’re called to in FULL SUBMISSION to the God who created us, who died for each one of us, and who we will all meet face to face one day. Who says He gives His Spirit in full to those who believe and ask Him.
It is my belief in these things that causes me to live moment by moment in grasping, anguishing need for my Father God. For every ounce of purpose, Life, wisdom, strength, and compassion.

Are you searching for purpose? What questions do you have? How have your views of what “church” is shaped your views of God? How might you go about finding the actual facts about these things, in order to live a life that is more aligned with the Truth?

Alexa, Play “Yellow” by Coldplay

Alexa, Play “Yellow” by Coldplay

Looking back, it was one of those mornings in which I debated my outfit. Dress up or dress down? Was the work I had to do today conducive to feeling put together and stylish, or did comfort trump all? Yes, for some reason, I think […]