faith, freedom, food

Tag: #story

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 […]

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

Me At 10 Years vs. Me in 10 Years

A couple weeks ago, I came across an exercise online that someone had shared had really shifted their thinking.

The person relented that they wanted to know what their 10-year-old self, AND their self IN 10 years, would think of the way their present self was living.

For me, that means: what would 10-year-old Cassie think of 21-year-old Cassie?

What do I WANT 31-year-old Cassie to think of and remember about 21-year-old Cassie?

Thinking about these things has absolutely been mind-shifting, and I would encourage you to do the same.

First: 10-year-old Cassie.

I’m to the right here. This is definitely more like 7-or-8-year-old Cassie, but, in any case…

She loved Harry Potter and all things fiction, drama, and faith-related. She had grown a deepening interest in and relationship with God, and had transitioned from dreaming of being a child actress to feeling a calling to church ministry.

She had not yet developed any negative or disordered relationship with food, knowing nothing about it but that she enjoyed it. She didn’t think about or plan food between meals, but ate what was in front of her, though was quite picky.

She didn’t have any care in the world for social media platforms, her physical image, or the way others perceived her. In fact, I specifically remember 8-year-old Cassie standing on her chair during lunch, proclaiming to her class that she has a crush on a boy named Jin because “looks don’t matter.”

31-year-old Cassie. What do I hope she is like?

I hope that she is as far away from disordered eating as one could be.

I pray that she has more love in her heart, and spends less time in front of screens.

I hope that she is consumed with love for her husband, and their children. I hope that she feels confident in her job, and that she prioritizes actively helping others.

I hope that prayer is deeply intertwined with how she lives her life. I hope that she is more well-versed in theology, the Bible, and has read The Lord of the Rings.

I hope that she is a better chef, and has established fun and quirky traditions with her family.

I hope that she is in touch with, and frequently sees, all her beautiful, unmatchable friends; her incredible parents; her sisters, in-laws, and extended family.

I hope that she didn’t waste time taking things too seriously, or worrying that she was “behind” in life. I hope she didn’t waste time worrying about spending money on a dinner or two out with friends.

….

Alllllll right, 21-year-old Cass. Where are we at?

Naturally….. the things I mentioned 10-year-old Cassie lacking– and the things I HOPE 31-year-old Cassie lacks– are some of the things I am convicted that 21-year-old Cassie deals with.

So, instead of consuming myself with worries about money and my job, I’m going to think more about my loved ones and my community.

Instead of spending free time on my phone, I want to stop the scroll for a moment of conversation with my God.

Instead of allowing old disordered habits to sneak into my mind, I want to relinquish every thought to Jesus, and build deep roots in His Word, and in His Truth about those thoughts.

Okay, Friend. It’s your turn.

What does 10-year-old you think of you now?

What do you hope you IN 10 years looks back on about you now?

When Life Isn’t a Story

When Life Isn’t a Story

…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 […]

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? […]

01. Meeting

01. Meeting

All photos by the best wedding/engagement photographer on planet earth, Liam Good.

I didn’t think the incredibly handsome man with the super humble but intelligent thoughts and shy smile whose name I knew to be Johnny Fulford would ever talk to me.

I assumed that, like the way most middle-school crushes of the same calibre go, the nodding and acknowledging and occasional smiles we exchanged at Tuesday morning 9am Public Faith & Politics class would be the extent of our relationship.

But oh did I have a Heavenly Father who knew differently, One who knew exactly why those middle school crushes were nothing more than hormones. One who has extended such love and grace that the only possible response is to give Him all of my life.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. JEREMIAH 29:11


And, any way, the more aligned I was becoming with Johnny Fulford before we had even once spoken had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with the way God was working in my life. Through beautiful friends, through enlivening the Word of the Bible like never before, transforming my heart and my spirit and my mind to true joy in having an intimate relationship with my One and Only God, Jesus.

I believe that Jesus revealing Himself to me as my Number One was absolutely vital for number two stepping in.

In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. PROVERBS 3:6

My first real conversation with Johnny, then, was on a car ride to Queen’s Park in Toronto for a class field trip. The everything-but-country-music-fanatic cringed a bit at my Shania-Twain-belting but I noticed that he was smiling at my soul.

While we were on the field trip, colleagues who had been in the car asked me, “Do you and Johnny have a thing? Sure seems like it.”

University isn’t the time for a boy, reverberated my mind. But the Holy Spirit was undeniably speaking something else.

Do not conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ROMANS 12:2

When he asked me that night if he could take me for coffee, after highlighting that he was interested in what the Lord was doing in my life for His glory, I had the most overwhelming peace in Johnny’s intentions to know me; that knowing me more deeply would hopefully mean knowing Jesus and becoming more like Him.

Because of Jesus, the world had already started to look more colourful and beautiful even in all its brokenness; but that was only the beginning.

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. MATTHEW 6:33

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 […]