Perfect Smoothie Bowl

This morning, my smoothie bowl was too runny. I digress.

It was, however, delicious, and, flavour-wise, all I would alter is the amount of liquid I used.

So here’s an old photo of the same recipe with the perfect ratio.😍

Make this before the weather gets too cold!!

Berry Almond Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

just enough liquid to blend

1 1/2 cups frozen cherries

1 frozen banana, chunks

1 heaping spoon almond butter

1 cup spinach

1 Tbsp cocoa powder

Method

1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend, scraping sides as necessary. Don’t add too much liquid if you want a thick consistency!

2. Pour into a bowl and top with favourite toppings, such as granola, nut butter, fruit, nuts. Enjoy!

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Discovering Sufficiency

He is said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Is it?
Do I live as though I believe this? Do I believe this?

Today Jesus blessed me by confronting me with this grace that I certainly believe in, this Truth that is too good to be true– Jesus’ grace is all I need— and giving me tangible tools to heal from layers of lies that have sought to teach me that grace isn’t sufficient.

All in His timing.

Jesus, You are so so good.

Waking early this morning, I made pumpkin spice pancakes and coffee and spent time in His Word before heading out the door to meet two of my pastors and friends.

What the next hour in their company brought was healing I couldn’t imagine.

Offering me leadership accountability and counselling, this dynamic duo, through the Holy Spirit, equipped me with tools as I met them with my biggest conviction of the past several years: My lifestyle is too busy.

I don’t live as though I believe His grace is sufficient. Because when I’m not doing something, I think I need to be. I fill up all my time so that I don’t have to think or rest. A phenomenon that has led to my hyper-processing, and a low ability to focus on one thing at a time. Stressed to the max, I haven’t known how to say no.

After meeting with this beautiful family, I took all my notes and everything they had said, and prayed. I sat still in Jesus’ presence and allowed myself to be there. And I heard Him speak:

There are still areas of law in your life, Cassie. I call you to freedom. 

Having feared, in the past, letting go of many of the stringent routines I’ve adhered to for a long time, Jesus made very clear to me some of the tangible things in these routines that didn’t need to be there, and that were stumbling blocks rather than helpful. Things I actually didn’t care about, but was just so used to doing.

I did the necessary things, after praying, to remove these stumbling blocks from my life.

Lay it down. He picks it up. Thank-you Jesus.

And today, I was more present than ever with my homework.

I had a killer workout without thinking about/stressing about other things.

I was present with my beautiful friend, Brooke, who really needed a listening ear.

And I’m not afraid to rest tonight and watch MasterChef, read a book I’m loving, eat some snacks. These simple things would usually give me anxiety that I have not previously been aware of, but, as I sit here and write, I feel a calm in every part of my being that I haven’t felt in a long time. I have established priorities that my Lord has anointed, and they’re for His sake, and rest/fun is a part of that.

His grace is sufficient for me, period. His grace is all this life is about. And I will boast in my weaknesses in order that His strength might be known– because the more weaknesses Cassie has, the more His strength is made manifest in my short time on this earth.

 

20 Things I’ve Learned By 20

1. What we think is the “end of the world” probably isn’t. God is all powerful is the only One who calls the “end of the world.” Other than that, He’s got your back and He’s got your plan.

2. Coping mechanisms are sneaky. Self-awareness is key. Sometimes I fall into patterns when stress is high without realizing it, and so to be aware of stressors in my life keeps old bad habits at bay.

3. Life is better with less “stuff.” Nuff said; stuff is fluff, and it doesn’t make you happy.

4. “By grace I have been saved through faith, and this is not of myself, but a gift from God.”

5. Hobbies are so important. Tap is one of the things I look forward to every week.

6. People > Places. I personally think it’s so much more important to invest in relationships than experiences.

7. Self disciplines grow your patience. Learning new languages, reading challenging books, setting new intentions– these things have all made me a more patient person.

8. When you know you’re in love… you know. It’s true. There’s no question. If you’re questioning, you’re not in love.

9. Money isn’t everything. It’s not. I can arbitrarily alott money throughout my life, stress about an extra $5 here and there, etc… or I can recognize how blessed I am, trust that I am a skilled saver, and focus on generosity.

10. It’s okay to not be okay, and okay to ask for help. We’re not meant to do it alone.

11. Change is the only constant. It’s a God-designed part of life, and so I’m learning to embrace it.

12. Prayer is the most important thing I’ll do every day. As much as it has in the past felt like a “thing” on the to-do list, I know that is such a lie, and that prayer is actually what will keep me going, serving God, and be everlasting.

13. Reading makes you smarter. In so many ways! In language use, reflection, knowledge, etc.

14. Quality over quantity. Doing “everything” is not an achievement.

15. It’s okay to rest. Actually necessary. I am finally actually putting rest and fun as priorities in my life.

16. Genuine Generosity is so important. Giving can’t be a to do list item. It should be an everyday thing, and a state of the heart.

17. Purpose in Christ means forever purpose, not just worldly purpose. Identity in Him and giving my life to Him is the most important thing I ever did regarding my own life; responding to His calling.

18. Peanut butter belongs on basically every food. Except citrus fruits.

19. There literally is no time but the present. I am learning that I so often think about what is to come and what needs to be done rather than being in the moment, and I am cultivating awareness of this.

20. I’m never going to be “perfect” at any skill, and I wasn’t meant to be. Perfection isn’t the goal.

Mourning What is No Longer

The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit. Psalm 34:18

Recently, I have recognized myself mourning many things.

Mourning the period of my life in which I lived with my parents;

Mourning childhood innocence;

Mourning my old church community;

Mourning my boyfriend’s presence, as he is at school in another province;

Mourning my job at Starbucks;

Mourning my old student house…

Even, I hate to say, mourning the illness I once had, or so it feels sometimes.

So many changes all at once, and I don’t think I have in the past thought so much about the changes. But recently, as I’ve freed up time and space in my life to ensure I’m getting adequate rest, social life, and focus on studies– I recognize my mourning, missing, and sadness. I realize that I’m sad about the fact that many of these things are over, I’m confused about why some of them had to end, and I feel a little lost.

And I’m learning…

This is okay.

It’s okay to feel lost, uncertain, and a little afraid. It’s not okay to be aware of sin and sitting in it, okay with it.

So, as I reflect on things past and things to come, one thing remains True and sure, and that is the faithfulness of a Creator who goes before me, who, in the being the Creator, is before me and is in everything.

And I finally come to this place of peace because He has brought me there.

I know that when Jesus says I don’t need to fear, it’s True.

And His unconditional love and the amount of my undeserving of it makes me want to please Him and serve Him in every moment, reflecting positively on the past and all that He has brought me through, and trusting that He is faithful in every season.

Not for my oh-so temporary comfort or pleasure or happiness, but for His sake and glory… which equals joy.

It is Jesus who “turns my mourning into dancing” (Psalm 30:11)… and Jesus who I will forevermore praise.

My Easy Sweet Potato Toasts

While I love making this breakfast, these toasts make a perfect lunch, dinner, or snack.

They are one of the recipes found in my breakfast cookbook, Cassie’s Cookery, available on the home page of my blog– but I thought I’d share it today!

Sweet Potato Toasts Five Ways

Ingredients

1 large sweet potato

1 egg, cooked as desired (I like mine sunny side up)

2 strawberries, chopped

1 Tbsp peanut buttet

1/2 banana, sliced

1 Cremini mushroom, sliced

1/4 avocado, mashed

nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper

1 Tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 1 Tbsp water and maple syrup or stevia

1 date, chopped

1 tsp shredded coconut

cinnamon to taste

Method

1. First, wash and prick sweet potato. You can bake it in the oven, but I always just make mine in the microwave, on high for 5-7 minutes. Allow potato to cool.

2. Slice potato into five thin “slabs” lengthwise. Top one with a bit of avocado and egg, plus salt and pepper. On another slab, top with more avocado, and sliced mushroom and nutritional yeast. Another slab gets the cocoa mixture and strawberries. Spread another with peanut butter and top with banana. The last one gets the date, coconut, and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy!!

Learning to Rest for Real

Happy Wednesday!

My Wednesdays look like rest this semester.

Like, actually. I mean, I do homework as needed, and I do my work from home (freelance writing projects and blog work), but this is about it. I have learned what rest is to me, and sometimes it looks like seeing friends, other times it needs to look like doing very little.

I always thought growing meant movement. Growth must equate to a “go-go-go” lifestyle, right?

Well, after a year of full-time uni, working three jobs, volunteering, and facing physical health issues, I have finally begun to learn that growth looks like synchronization with Jesús… which certainly doesn’t demand our doing fifty things at once.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:2

It wasn’t until I went to Jesus to pray over some of these things in my life I saw as ministries that I realized I had become a slave to arbitrary laws surrounding them rather than seeking His will in them.

And, simply put, I am not capable of seeking His will whilst doing well in school and maintaining a personal relationship with Christ, nor am I called to. So while I left my this last year of university feeling like I had performed mediocrely, Jesus said I’ve never loved you on a basis of your performance, or how many things you can do at once. I simply love you, and I want to shine that love through you: energetic, called, and equipped Cassie.

I have always stood firmly by the belief that intentional relationships should trump experiences. I care deeply about the people in my life, and believe that compassion is at the heart of who our Lord is.

And compassion can surely be the initial reason for taking on a role of any kind, but it doesn’t necessarily sustain. And when it’s not His Spirit sustaining, that’s when productivity replaces passion, and results replace relationships.

I found myself dictated by stringent schedules and worldly standards, skipping my time at my Father’s feet and convinced outwardly that I didn’t need that time.

I’d love to say that I’ve found this perfect rhythm in which the Holy Spirit guides my every word and step, but I would be lying. But I certainly have been convicted that nothing of true worth can be done without Him.

So today, sleeping in, spending time catching up with Maddie and going to the gym with her, treating myself to a peaceful lunch, meeting with my friend and co-worker Dayna for coffee to catch up on life and work, looking forward to a slow night at home watching Masterchef… I recognize that I need this, because it’s in the spaces that I am not trying to fill that I recognize that my desire to fill spaces often comes from a place of fear.

But I need to rest to be equipped to serve.

I need to be filled up by Him in moments of silence and stillness in order to physically move.

So movement and growth, I’ve discovered, can look like what the world might call a step back.

 

To the One who Feels Unlovable

That song that goes “how deep is your love?”

To be honest, sometimes not so deep. Right?

Sometimes we don’t wanna love. Sometimes our family gets a little too on our nerves, we’re absolutely exhausted from a long day and feel like we’re not “going anywhere,” we’re stressed to the max and have a million things on our minds.

I feel like we let our boyfriend/girlfriend down, I didn’t do nearly as well on that exam as I could have, I didn’t make as much money as I thought I would.

I don’t want to disappoint my family, I feel like I’m a bad brother, I don’t feel as social as I used to.

Thoughts like this can absolutely consume us.

Thoughts like this can easily become all we hear, the norm, what we listen to.

Thoughts like this are not true.

Because maybe we failed that test, but God never failed.

Maybe we’re not the greatest lovers, but that’s because only One person is.

Maybe we’re stressed to the max and at our capacities, but God says I’ve never had a limited capacity.

Maybe He’s saying, right now, Give it to my, my son/daughter. I’m right here, and I already love you more than you’ll know on this earth.

So, to the brother, sister, father, mother, student, teacher, chef, athlete, businessman, daughter, son that feels beyond loving, or far from God–

No matter how far back you’ve stepped from Him, His never ending love has never been far from you.

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are