A Friend Like Brooke

I’ve done a couple posts like this before, in which I write about why “everyone deserves a friend like___.” Today, I’m talking about a friend like Brooke.

Brooke is one of my co-workers at Pure JBK, and has quickly become a close friend. From the day I started working at Pure, Brooke made me feel welcome and wanted. She invested in getting to know me, caring about me no matter how much stress work might have brought that day. She inspired me from day one in so many ways, from her work ethic and drive, to her creativity and “realness,” Brooke has passion for life and people.

And, more than anything, Brooke is someone I’ve always been able to be so real and raw with in both good and bad times. If I’m struggling, I know she is someone I can talk to so openly, and she has such compassion and loyalty for those in her life. She is so dedicated to whatever she takes on, and doesn’t take life too seriously.

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She recently moved to working at our second Pure location, and whenever I am at the first location, she is a favourite topic of conversation. She doesn’t see it, and is truly so humble, but people simply love her wherever she goes.

I appreciate her so much and the way she sacrifices her own agenda for the sake of other people. I am so grateful for her presence in my life, and all she’s taught me in the short time I’ve known her. Everyone deserves a friend like Brooke.

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Is There Really Power in Prayer?

Have you ever heard someone say they “believe in the power of prayer?”

As a Christian, I agree with this statement… somewhat.

See, I don’t believe that a prayer in itself has power. My own lifting up words of praise and petition is not powerful. What is powerful–who is powerful– is the One I’m praying to.

I once heard a pastor liken the Christian and his/her relationship with Jesus to a person walking across ice. That person could have all the confidence and ability and faith in the world, but if the ice is too thin, they will fall right through.

Alternatively, a person could have just enough faith to simply step on the ice, and if it’s thick, sturdy, trustworthy ice, they will make it across.

Our walk, then, about how much faith or ability we have, but about how much power and ability the One we put our faith in has.

And I believe that if your prayers are to Jesus, if your relationship is with Him, you’re putting faith in the thickest ice that will ever exist.

Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matt 17:20

I loved that ice analogy, and thought about a little more.

If I stepped on that thin ice with confidence and fell through– or, say, put my trust in something not very trustworthy– and then later got to walk on that thick ice, I would probably be very, very grateful for that thick sturdy ice after experiencing the shivering cold water beneath the thinner ice.

So when we commit to Jesus, we are amazed at the perfect Provider, caretaker, Friend, and Father He is. We walk with Him and know He is meant to be our firm foundation.

But… that thin ice looks just the same. Maybe even like a shortcut on some parts of our walk.

“Just this once, maybe I can make it across that thin ice…”

(“Just this once, maybe I can turn to drugs/alcohol/food/control/gossip”)

Crash. It never works. The ice is too thin.

Jesus is the only firm foundation we can put full and complete trust in.

Jesus said… “no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:26

Have you decided to walk with Jesus?

Flavourful Dinner For One: Eggplant Curry with Creamy Cauliflower Soup

So.

This meal was so much fun to make!

I decided to blast some tunes and cook a hearty dinner after a long day of working, and coming home from work to work from home and study.

What come to be was an eggplant chickpea curry with a cauliflower carrot soup, both packed with seasoning, flavour, and sustenance.

I ate these alongside leftover Thanksgiving turkey cuzūüėć

Cauliflower Carrot Soup

Ingredients

Cooking spray/oil

2 Tbsp chopped carrot

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 cup chopped cauliflower

1/2 cup water

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tablespoon parsley

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tsp flour

1/2 c almond milk or regular milk

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. In medium sauce pan, heat carrots, onion, and cauliflower in oil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Add water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes; mixture will be thick. Stir in parsley.

2. Heat coconut oil in small saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour and cook, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk of choice.

3. Add milk mixture to soup, and stir to combine. Top with Parmesan and salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Chickpea Eggplant Curry

Ingredients

cooking spray/oil

1 cup cubes eggplant

1/4 cup diced onion

2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp garlic

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 cup chickpeas

2 Tbsp almond milk or regular milk

1 Tbsp parsley

Method

1. In medium skillet, sauté eggplant and onion in oil over medium heat about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes.

2. Add additional oil or spray again with cooking spray, and then add cumin, garlic, ginger, and curry. Mix well. Cover and reduce heat to low to simmer, 25-30 minutes, or until eggplant is very soft.

3. Pour into serving bowl, and stir in milk of choice and parsley. Serve warm; delicious with pita bread or chips!

Not My Will

Sometimes my will is His will, but my timing is not His timing because I don’t have His patience or His ability to see the whole picture.

Waiting.

It’s hard.

It’s hard to wait for another’s eyes to be opened to something that seems so clear to you.

It’s hard to wait to be able to express love that you know in your soul is right.

It’s hard to wait in order to be certain of a future job or life path.

And yet… if we look at each of these waiting periods as beautiful seasons in and of themselves, rather than difficult waiting periods, we’ll realize that it isn’t so hard at all.

We also won’t waste time waiting, wishing time away, and we’ll experience peace in the fact that God’s timing is always better, and always for our good. And not always about me.

Maybe I’m ready, spiritually and mentally, to receive a truth or start a job, but someone else involved in the same situation isn’t.

Maybe my waiting is a needed light for someone wanting to trust God for the first time.

There’s always a higher purpose when life is lived with and for Jesus.

I was reminded of the beauty of patience and trust in every season in many ways today:

In conversations reflecting on the beautiful relationship formed by one of my best friends, Maddie, and her boyfriend, and God’s timeliness in that;

In seeing an old friend at a coffee shop in whom my paths have crossed many times and who has been a continuous light to me; who reminded me the power we have through Jesus to brighten lives every day;

In catching up with an old friend via message that led to unbelievable closure I can’t explain.

And every one of these examples I have wanted to rush at some point. I have asked God, Why not now?!?!

But He always knows.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

So if you are in the waiting… needing to just trust

Take heart, my friend. He is fighting for you. Is your hope in Him?

My Top Ten Favourite Blogs (Feature Photo by @tumblinbimblincrumblincookie)

Cait’s Plate.

My absolute favourite blog to scroll through. So much clear effort put into this content, with incredible readability and beautiful photos!

Back to Being Sara.

One of my dear friends who share so much truth in her writing. She also just published a book about breaking the bondage of eating disorders through Jesus!

Mack Marie.

I could never tire of reading even her day in the life posts! This girl is a passionate, compassionate, godly woman and it shines through in her writing.

Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Has been my go-to blog for detailed recipes with incredible step-by-step guides that are FOOLPROOF.

Rachael’s Good Eats.

Go-to creative snack ideas!

Elizabeth with Grace.

Not only one of my best friends, but one of the most talented bloggers I’ve ever come across.

Tumblin Bumblin Crumblin Cookie.

The queen of food photography, and art in general.

Upbeet and Kaleing It.

Go-to dairy free and still delish recipes!

Increasing — Josee Foster.

Some of the wisest internet words I’ve ever come across. Make that some of the wisest words I’ve ever come across, period.

Broma Bakery.

Some of the most beautiful blog photos I have ever seen– as well as some of the best recipes I’ve ever tested!

What Makes Thanksgiving My Favourite

“Over Christmas? Really?”

That’s usually the reaction I get when I tell someone that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday.

But in my house, it’s the same every year.

My mom makes the most amazing turkey dinner on the planet, for one thing.

And the smell of it reminds of all different seasons of my life.

Seasons running home from school excitedly with hand-traced turkey crafts, “What I’m Thankful For” cards, and pumpkin pictures.

Seasons marking on the calendar when the pumpkins were to be picked and carved, and seasons chattering with my Oma and Opa about what Id learned in school.

Seasons crying in front of my meal, so sick with anorexia that I didn’t know how to be thankful for food let alone eat it.

Seasons of healing and growth, of “coming home” for Thanksgiving, of dreaming about hosting my own one day.

None more thankful than I am this year. In my last year of university, paying bills and cooking and working and trying to get the grades. I am more thankful than ever for parents I have that have loved and shaped me in many ways, and the people in my life today.

I am feeling restful. Sick with a second brutal cold of the year, I’m recognizing sufficiency in God’s Grace and timing and guidance. Trusting that He has me in the palm of His hand. Glimpsing my own imperfection, error, and downfalls more and more. Realizing more with each passing moment how much I need my God… thus, at the same time, realizing it less, because coming to know it more means becoming more aware of how undeserving I am. It makes no earthly sense that He is the lover He is.

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I am thankful today for Jesus, and the fact that He is Life and He is Love.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever Psalm 136:1

I am thankful that He has given me the most wonderful man to love and be loved by. I am even thankful for the long distance that challenges us and strengthens us.

I am thankful for my beautiful parents and sisters, and the ways they have challenged me, loved me unconditionally, and taught me.

I am thankful for friends who are loyal, funny, and compassionate, and friends who double as God-fearing, fiercely loving sister-roomies.

I am thankful for each and every short day on this earth, and days loved for the purpose of my unfathomable Creator Jesus. Would I actually know the weight of this, Lord, and live, by Your grace, like it’s true.

So I guess Thanksgiving is my favourite because it’s a reminder of the fact that that I’m meant to give thanks and praise to my God. To never cease in singing His praise. To know that, in different seasons, His love band very personhood has never changed, never faltered, never lessened. I can look back and look forward, and I know it’s Jesus who remains constant.

Thanks be to God!

‚Äėina

I remember like it was yesterday asking my Bible prof the question, “does the phrase so that have a single word in Greek? I see it everywhere in the Bible. It must be a common translation from one Greek word.”

My prof smiled. “Yes, it absolutely does. It’s hi-na.”

This was last semester, and I remember knowing that the word was important.

Colossians 1:9-10 We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.

The word meant so much to me because, when I see “so that” in Scripture, it always denotes a reason, a greater purpose. “Trials and tribulations are so that your faith might be made greater. Suffering and mourning are so that Christ might fill you with His strength.”

On my right wrist, I have a tattoo of the eating disorder recovery symbol. I’ve always felt it’s complete.

Since hearing the Greek word for “so that,” I keep thinking about getting hina, (in Greek it looks more like ‘ina) tattooed on my other wrist.

The eating disorder I endured was so that He might be glorified. The devil has no real authority through the disorder, thus God allowed it to happen so that He might be glorified, and that I might lean on Him more.

Flash forward to now, yesterday, in Biblical Greek class with the same prof who taught me hina. About a month into Greek, and I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve already learned.

When I stumble upon this in my textbook:

Eis can denote either result or purpose; ‘Ina far more commonly denotes purpose. Paul’s change of language is likely deliberate– to point out that his purpose in disciple is entirely rehabilitative, even if one of the results of his action is temporary exclusion and ostracism of the persistently rebellious sinner… “What the grammar suggests, then, is that the ‘destruction of the flesh’ is the anticipated result of the man’s being put back out into Satan’s domain, while the express purpose of his action is his redemption.” Craig Bloomberg

Wow. I can’t put words to how much this commentary excited me. This word had meant truth, historical and spiritual proof of healing to me… and here it was. Discipline purpose entirely rehabilitative.

It is this truth that has set me free.

And that reminded me of the freedom yesterday.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for some time.

If you know me well, you may be skeptical of my eating disorder recovery.

This is hard to write, but necessary to write.

I understand that. And I don’t mean to be a recovery advocate hypocritically. The healing that God has worked in me, by His Spirit and through His word, is done, and miraculous, and I give all that glory to Him.

But I became aware recently that there were still some habits around food, and views of food, that I held, that I was blind to, because they were normal to me. Because I’d been living this way for so long.

And, with that word, by His Spirit that I both physically and spiritually felt fill me up in my Greek class yesterday, I knew what I needed to do.

Controlled by the Spirit, I finally did the hard work of writing some of these things down. Views of food that I know are skewed. Wow.

I spoke them out loud and renounced them. And prayed.

And more rebirth. More memories. More healing.

There’s always more. Wow Jesus I just want moooore of YOU!

He is so good, my friends. He is so good. He refuses to leave me and He refuses to leave you. He wants to do a great work in you. He wants to bring you in to the purpose of life, and bring you joy and adventure and peace and a kinder heart in doing so.

The past few days I’ve eaten more peanut butter than I have in long time, lots of oily snacky food, and the skin on turkey, and I realized for the first time the swirling voices in my head that have still been there.

And it’s okay that I’ve been struggling. But I’m not okay with staying that way, only because I know Jesus is apart from those voices. And I want to be all His.

He’s allowed me to acknowledge the voices– and silence them.

This whole ordeal– Hina. SO THAT. Purpose.

*if you are resonating with any of these words– about eating disorders, or just about knowing there’s healing/purpose– and have questions or need a friend, I am here. Feel free to message me or ask any questions you might have. I’m trying to be more honest about the lows, rather than forever saying “I’m fine.” Because when darkness is brought to the light… well, it’s not dark anymore.