Good Wednesday! It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time: Multiple Streams of […]
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 […]
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 of my beautiful maids of honour and her boyfriend, pictured above.
It also brought a question from an old colleague via social media that I have been pondering ever since how I might want to answer. I also asked her permission to share the question.
It went something like this:
I’m trying to have a relationship with the Lord, but it feels forced. Any tips?
The amazing thing about Christ, I responded, is that He meets us where we’re at. I used to “try” to have a relationship with Him, but what I really needed to do was “die” to my own striving and forcing and faking, and let His Holy Spirit invade my life.
Saul, in the Bible, was a man who persecuted Christians and threw them in jail. Later, God used Saul as one of the most fundamental Christians of all time… he even wrote most of the New Testament of the Bible! This is ALL BECAUSE of an encounter Paul had himself with the Holy Spirit. He experienced Jesus.
Once I knew without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is Lord, it is not difficult at ALL to WANT to have relationship with Him, because He promises His Holy Spirit comes into those who commit their lives to Him.
I responded in this way to the colleague, and asked if any of it resonated with her.
Her response was something of a “yes and no.”
That, for her, when she read people “proving” Christianity with the Bible, it felt fake to her. That she’s tried reading the Bible, but has a hard time understanding it. Even praying to God, she relented, had never helped her. She wanted desperately to have this encounter with God, but just hadn’t.
I think it’s really vitally important as a Christian that I don’t disregard the fact that this is a reality for this colleague, and likely many others.
The fact that the Word has revealed itself to me, and that the Holy Spirit Himself has, doesn’t mean that He has everyone, or that He approaches everyone in the same way.
It also doesn’t mean people should take “my” word for any of it, and I certainly hope no one would. I am, in fact, often skeptical of people who come to church once and claim they have “encountered the Lord,” and are then gung-ho for church. This is dangerous because Christianity is NOT about church, and ALL about Jesus Christ.
“To have Faith in Christ means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”MERE CHRISTIANITY / CS LEWIS
The Bible Study I wrote and conducted a few months ago recognized the fact that all of this STARTS with believing. As CS Lewis writes, if you don’t believe that Jesus existed, you have no reason to do what He says.
If you think the Bible is antiquated and meaningless, you won’t regard it of any value.
But if you dig for answers to both of these things rather than allowing this present world to form your thinking, you will find unshakeable evidence that Jesus exists, and peace that passes all understanding that the Bible is HIS Word.
I do not think it worthy to spew facts to you about these things, because each one of us is different in how we might best understand these things. I also know that the Gospel defends itself.
However, I will provide some resources that I think are wonderful places to start, for anyone who may be interested in this digging:
But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.ROMANS 3:21-24
…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 […]
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 put “Halloween candy” on one finger). I hated meats besides plan hamburgers and chicken thigh. Sandwiches were a no-go. Sweets were ALWAYS a yes, and lunch was chicken noodle soup or a Nature Valley granola bar. Bananas and apples were disgusting.
It’s funny because bananas and apples are my favourite fruits now, I’m not a fan of chicken noodle or granola bars, and I love practically every meat. I’m always so intrigued by other childhoods and ways of eating, too!
Any way, today, as I hungrily wondered to make for lunch, I thought back to childhood me, and wondered if 8-year-old Cassie might have any good ideas.
So I came up with this omelette, inspired by her, but refined for an adult (“refined,” aka vegetables).
It was REALLY YUMMY. Reminded me of childhood.
Feel free to change up the vegetables, or throw in some cheese!
I forgot how much I like ketchup and eggs– this was a real treat.
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 board, but succumbing to another episode of This Is Us instead.
Planning to write 5 pages of a monster essay, but settling for a roooooough outline and a glass of wine.
But, we all know that it aaaalwaays feels better– simply is better– to complete the things we know we ought to complete. Whether for our own sake, or someone else’s, to-do lists are usually not made in vain.
Here, I’m sharing five tangible steps I have taken to remove myself from the procrastination station, and form better habits in my life that have led to more joy.
Spend time in the Word of God.
“The only way to change your way of thinking is to replace it with God’s way of thinking.” –Harold Herring
Recognizing that my thought life could either be plagued by lies– truly, what I believed to be LIES about myself and the world– or filled with TRUTH literally set me free. This is a process, as each and every one of us has had lies spoken to/over us, and spent periods of our lives believing untrue things, and dwelling on falsities.
When I ask God if something I am actively procrastinating is something in alignment with what He has called me to do, or go to the Bible to dwell on the eternal things of Him, I am more joyfully equipped instantly to do His will.
Plan “milestone breaks.”
If you work from home, like I often do, or have many assignments or tasks to complete in one day, draft a legitimate list of each of these tasks, and book in breaks/things to look forward to within them. For example, when I complete a certain number of writing projects, I’ll test a recipe, or watch a YouTube video, or call a friend. Having these little things to look forward to breaks up your work. Bonus points if that break gets you up and moving– a change of scenery can drastically improve your focus.
Allow for spontaneity.
I have a tendency to reduce life to routine. Have you struggled with this? Allowing for spontaneity and diversion from a plan can really mess with my head. But I know that my God doesn’t work this way. Sometimes, the greatest stories come from the messiest, most unplanned, most unforeseen moments… and I actually believe there’s a reason we all crave and desire the romantic, wild, unexpected sort of things we think are only in the movies. God doesn’t call us to plan things in our own strength. Contrary to religion, life with God is freedom.
And so… know the difference between procrastination and “this didn’t quite go as planned, and that’s okay.”
Envision yourself on the other side.
That workout you’re putting off? How much fun is it once you’re at the gym though?
That blog you’ve been wanting to start? The only way to reach people is to start writing, so just do it. Envision the big picture, and then determine what the first step is. Think about the big picture the whole time you’re engaging in those baby steps.
Wake up expectant… LIVE expectant.
My fiancee always says that he knows he can wake up each and every day expectant that TODAY is going to be the best day ever, simply because of who he knows his God to be, active and present, today. “Best” isn’t necessarily the same definition or standard in the eyes of the world as it is in God’s eyes. But it sure as heck is better than the world’s definition. Expect God to be exactly who He promises to be, and ask Him to help you trust Him.
He may just have a miracle waiting.
Or simply the will to press on, which is, sometimes, the most underrated miracle in itself.