MY THOUGHTS THURSDAY: The Importance of Whole Foods

I am a firm believer in the consumption of whole foods and this is something my blog is no stranger to. I am passionate about bodily health and think that fuel as food and God-intended exercise are the keys to physical health.

Brittany Schafer, vegan blogger and YouTuber, has a great video on the importance of whole foods consumption.

Now the hard thing for me about this passion is that the enemy got a hold of it, warped it, and turned it into a destructive, consuming, and unhealthy idol in my life. For a long time, any food terrified me, and now it is more than any none whole food terrifies me. This shouldn’t be the case or the focus and I know that talking about it only gives it weight or hold or importance– none of which the enemy has.

So when I blog about this, I’m going to blog about it as my God-given passion, and continue to pray that the enemy is away from this and every area of my life.

This simple video breaks down the reason our God-given whole foods have been turned into chemicals, and why they’re causing worldly induced diseases and bodily error. Healing is a natural process that is only GOD, and in terms of the physical, consumption of these man made chemicals that are only existent for money and self-gain is not the way to go.

My family buys all our meat from a local farm that is JUST MEAT; all our produce is organic and “one-ingredient” (who would’ve thought?), and I personally avoid any processed food, and have incredible energy doing so. And guess what? It all tastes better! Using natural herbs and spices and oils for cooking gives food the all the flavour it was meant to have.

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. –Genesis 1:29

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WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY: Recognizing the Enemy… But That’s All

Hello lovers!!
And by lovers I mean lovers of the Lord… Who we GET to love… Who PROVIDES the love…
It’s too good!
Today, though, I have a bit of a weird food day to show you. Here’s the thing… It SEEMS like my eating is weird to many people, but it does feel really genuinely normal to me. It wasn’t a fantastic day as far as thoughts go, but as far as not LISTENING to the thoughts it’s been good.
I slept in until 9 and spent a good hour in the Word, 1 John today, much about how it is impossible to love God without loving people, all others. The two are one, essentially.
I made breakfast— a really big serving of oatmeal with looots of peanut butter, a banana, raw cacao, and a few dates. Perfect for my quick 4 hour work shift at Cora’s. When I finished my shift, which included lots of great and funny conversation with my co workers, I had the oatmeal from my work with berries.
I left work with my lovely friend Emma and we went to Waterloo with Sammy and Daniella to accompany Emma to get her new ear piercings. They went to get food, and while I felt like I wasn’t experiencing thoughts/falling back on “safe foods,” it did happen to be a rough day today where oatmeal was all I felt safe eating. I got a little cup of it from Starbucks and had an apple on the side. Us girls hung out for a while and it was perfect.
When I got home much later, I knew I needed some substantial food. I microwaved three little sweet potatoes and stuffed dates in them, and had a few big handfuls of baby carrots on the side.
The enemy has no hold on the way these habits were today and I pray that tomorrow and the days to come are more normalized and he has no dictation over my eating. It is recently especially that I have been recognizing and been aware that, yes, the devil is here, he works, he is existent, he vies for our hearts. But he has NO WEIGHT NO PLACE NO LIFE, and can’t, for the Lover of my soul is mine and I am His forever.
Spending the evening in prayer and the Word.
Blessings and prayers!✌️☀️

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Metaphors in “The Jungle Book”

Happy Tuesday (oops, it’s 12:19 AM… Wednesday).

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Since seeing it Saturday, those close to me (and even those not) have had to put up with my incessant talk about the new Disney adaptation of “The Jungle Book.”

I am already teaming with the urge to ramble, but let me say this: mere months ago, I didn’t have interest in blogging about anything beyond my eating disorder/food/exercise. My passion for Christ’s manifestation in film and literature started when I was quite young, and has for some time been a major part of what he calls me to be in terms of sharing what’s on my heart. Now, it is SO MUCH Him, so much glory. And, ah, how that glory was all still there just the same when I was zombieland-sick…

He is so good.

Any way, The Jungle Book… although talking about God’s goodness is not far off.

Is it ever?

The Red Flower.“The Jungle Book” is centered on a young boy named Mowgli, who was rescued by a jaguar called Bagheera from a fire in his “man village” when he is just a baby. The animals in the jungle fear this fire created by man, calling it the “red flower” and testifying to its destruction to all the earth. The red flower represents the sinful nature of all humans, and the endearing and more “Christ-like” nature of the animals is curious. When watching, I took note of the fact that, in most animated “animal-based” movies, humans are the enemy, and we side with the animals. In his book “Why Christian,” Douglas John Hall examines the dangerous qualities of man in saying that “salvation is being saved from the seemingly “natural” but ultimately very destructive tendency of human beings to distrust and exclude others” (34). The human heart is sick with sin, and as Jeremiah in his seventeenth chapter tells us, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick.” It is only in Christ that the heart is set free, more equipped for works higher than the sin of the world that He has overcome.

Man Cub. Mowgli is brought by Bagheera to a wolf pack and is automatically set apart. While he wants desperately to “fit in,” he is quite simply very different. The wolves are furry, four-legged creatures and Mowgli is a boy, a “man cub,” with two legs, muddy orange shorts, and, while evidently effortful, a human howl. He tries everything he can to be a part of the pack, to live like a wolf, and to make an impression on his family of wolves, all he has ever known. But the more he tries, the further he strays from his own nature, and the more the wolves surrounding him reject and outcast him. Remembering Paul’s words regarding conforming, Mowgli makes desperate attempts to abide by the teachings and principles of a group that is not his own, rather than embracing all that he, as a man, can bring. Galatians 1:10 is a pleading question: “Am I trying to win the approval of man, or of God?” When our eyes are fixed on the world, we are fixed on the humans who are, like us, wading in sin and deceit, but a Kingdomly mind invites Christ’s perfect heart in.

And what is the truth of His perfection?

In His life on Earth, Jesus experienced the pain, temptation, and battles that all humans do. Douglas John Hall picks apart our image of His perfection in saying that, when we return to the Jesus who LIVED and is told about in the Bible, “instead of the steadfast Jesus of pietism who is above every temptation, every emotion, every personal urge, ambition, and fear, people have discovered again the Jesus who is tempted almost beyond endurance, there in the wilderness, and who grows angry, and becomes exhausted, and is afraid” (54-55). In other words, a major part of Jesus’ being perfect is His ability to meet us in our flesh-and-blood. He understands our earthly desires to fit in with the rest and disobey Him; He can relate to the pain of being outcast, abandoned, and defeated. And he calls us to humble ourselves at His feet and continually lay down the Truth that He is victorious over all of that pain, and has made a place for us in that Love—a Love that accepts wolf and jaguar and man cub alike.

Temptation– the Snake. In Mowgli’s woe about his inadequacy as a wolf, wishing and dwelling on his apparent doomed mancub-dom, a tiger—the tiger—named Shar Khan begins to make threats upon the wolf pack and the rest of the animal kingdom. The animal, complete with piercing yellow eyes and a sharp-toothed snarl, tries to “reason” with the animals, making it clear the importance of each knowing their place and abiding by their separate laws, not daring to abolish each other’s place in the social ladder. Coming to the wolf den, the tiger bellows, “I can’t help but notice there’s a strange odour today… man is forbidden!” Shar Khan furthers his threats by directly calling out Mowgli, insisting that he must return to his man village, or rather be killed by the tiger himself.

Despite Mowgli’s insistence that he remain with his family of wolves, his mother and father sorrowfully bid him goodbye in the care of Bagheera, knowing that his safety is most important. Not far into his journey back to the man village, Mowgli loses Bagheera and winds up face-to-face with a gigantic serpent blocking his path. The snake speaks to Mowgli in a soothing tongue, whispering, “Hi little cub. Don’t be scared. Are you alone?” From the very beginning, the serpent called Kaa, quite brilliantly representing temptation as the devil infests into the world in many ways, calls Mowgli by the name he’d most appreciate: not man cub, not man, but Cub. When the enemy approaches us through temptation in our daily lives, he is always using tricks and hiding behind kindness to convince us that what he tells us is true. Temptation nudges and “kisses up,” the goal being to convince his victim that he is a trustworthy friend—but listening to him is always a road to destruction. “Are you alone?” Kaa continues, playing off of Mowgli’s current state of insecurity in being abandoned by all he’d ever known, “One should never be alone. How could anyone leave you alone? I’ll keep you safe.” The snake goes on to convince Mowgli by tempting him with the secrets he most desperately wants to unravel—who is he really? “I know who you are,” Kaa croons, “I know where you came from… mostly men stay in their village, but sometimes they travel. And when they do, their caves breathe in the dark. They call it the red flower. It brings all warmth, and light, and destruction to all that it touches. Shar Khan ended your father’s life, and a jaguar found you. And brought you here—to the jungle. Now let go of your fears and put your trust… in me.”

Just as Kaa did to Mowgli, the enemy is crafty at using our instabilities in life to convince us that what he tells us is the truth. But the only Truth alive in the world is that of the Holy Spirit, and he “dwells within us” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Salvation is acquired through Jesus Christ, and Douglas John Hall breaks down that word in stating that it is “the healing of persons, the reintegrating of divided selves, the reuniting of people with those from whom they are estranged, equipping us for the kind of life our Creator intended us to have” (58).

And it is just as Kaa is cooing “put your trust in me” that her wide mouth is cranking open, inching toward the endearing little boy, ready to snap closed around him and swallow him whole. And the enemy is quite happy to do just that to each of us if we allow him to take over, drowning in his non-existent and already defeated lies that are much easier, but so, subordinately temporary. “For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

Baloo the Not-So-Terrifying Bear. The film transitions ingeniously from the harrowing image of Mowgli narrowly dodging Kaa’s grip to the picture of a giant, yet altogether harmless-looking bear. In our everyday lives, most would say that they would feel more at risk and endangered by a giant bear than by a snake, and Mowgli likewise acts out in fear at first, screaming. The bear, Baloo, in quite a relaxed nature, says, “Relax, kid. No need to get worked up. Kay?” He goes on to say that he rescued Mowgli from Kaa, and only continues to demonstrate his trustworthiness in his actions of friendship and loyalty to Mowgli. Baloo integrates Mowgli into his way of life, which, as his popular song says, “forget about your worries and your strife… these are the “bear” necessities of life.” Mowgli grows in friendship with Baloo, and, for the first time, uses the skills that set him apart from the others to his benefit, truly becoming who he is—a man. While Mowgli was not able to keep himself safe from the snake, Baloo’s bruteness and strength was. In turn, Baloo is extremely grateful to Mowgli for his ability to climb and retrieve honey for the bear, something he cannot do on his own. While we are all one in Christ, we are granted differing strengths, abilities, and personalities. This is an inarguable reality, that even with attainment of the One and Only Holy Spirit we are all different, and those differences are necessary for life on earth, for His life to be glorified, and even that His Kingdom may come here on Earth. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, “There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” and further, the importance of choosing to abide by the Holy Spirit, “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”

The Death of the Enemy. When Bagheera the jaguar finds him again, Mowgli is knee-deep in his new life with Baloo, and Bagheera has to jolt him back to his reality; needing to escape from Shar Khan back to the man village. Now working together, the three animals are stronger than ever as a team to defeat the evil ways of the tiger. Also joining forces with the wolves and the rest of the animals, Mowgli’s plight leads up to a chase and battle with Shar Khan. He declares that he is unafraid of the tiger, newly strong and sure of himself with the help of his friends, and in turn actually attempts to draw Shar Khan to him with a goblet lit on fire. He runs through the woods, hoping that the light will catch the eye of the monstrous tiger, but does not notice that the fire is catching on the trees, burning the jungle with it, until much too late. His friends fear him, and he has a first glimpse of the destruction he was responsible for. Mowgli is forced to seek safety on top of a tree branch, his once very favourite and safest place. Shar Khan is not far behind, though, and corners Mowgli so he is face-to-face with the growling, snarling enemy, a terrifying vat of the red fire he himself had trudged through the jungle with inches below them. Mowgli fears for just a moment, but regains his courage and says mightily, “I’m not afraid of you! You don’t scare me!” It is at this moment that the perhaps not-so-mighty Shar Khan’s eyes widen, body shrinks, and the branch beneath his feet snaps, and while Mowgli scrambles up the tree, climbing being one of his inherent “man skills,” Shar Khan falls with the branch, sinking into the endless pit of fire.

All it took, all it took for Mowgli to defeat the enemy was for him to label him as he is; an irrelevant, lying, and deceitful being—and therefore someone who is unnecessary to fear in any way. And with that, God comes in. Mowgli himself is incapable of such defeat, but in banishing the enemy, he called upon the Lord, and allowed Him to simply work. In an instant, the enemy’s tricks were no more. Sure, snakes and monkeys and tricks can still pop up and approach us and attempt to destroy us, but as Hebrews 10:14 declares, “by one offering He has perfected us forever that we are His.” Linda Woodhead recounts Martin Luther’s doctrine succinctly in “Christianity: A Very Short Introduction” when she writes, “For Luther, the best a human being could hope for was to be justified by Christ in spite of sinfulness” (66). How true. While Mowgli’s best attempts and good intentions lead him to destroying the jungle with the most well-known “way of the man,” the Lord’s power is forever “higher than our ways.” In Him, our differences are justified; our sin is made new; our pain means something.

The Elephants. Finally, Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, and the rest of the jungle are left with their home partially destroyed, but made new without being ruled by a deceitful tiger. Their eyes are opened, their souls filled by a newfound way of life. The person of Jesus Christ is beautifully represented in the elephants that walk by the huddle of animals. When Mowgli asks in awe, “What is that?” Bagheera replies, “Our creators. The ones who founded the jungle. And we bow to show our respect.” Now alive in goodness, the fact that the jungle itself is vastly missing due to the fire does not seem to matter as much, and the animals happily make do with exactly what they have. The wolves, thrilled to have Mowgli back, are fascinated by his transformation and comfort with exactly what he has to bring to the pack that is different but equally beautiful because of the indwelling transformation. He has embraced and accepted his own beauty, but that does not mean that he has to live with man. He was brought up with wolves, and the difference does not make them any less equal to each other in the only form of equality that matters; the grace that only God can provide, the grace that moves mountains and justifies the sinner. And in this I am brought to tears when reading the truth that Paul tells in 1 Corinthians, that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye who is in Christ Jesus are all one.

 

MOTIVATION MONDAY: A New Lens

Hey, Friends!

James 1:19

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Today as I was finishing up a paper, I curiously opened a Word doc on our computer, thinking it was mine.

It was my beautiful sister Krystal’s, and she had written about my eating disorder recently.

Krys, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this. It really opened my eyes and has been truly incredible to read about from my perspective and hearing how this illness impacted you more than you yourself have ever shared with me.

And the ending that you wrote… well, that’s literally the only part that matters, people, so feel free to skip down there. God is good.

My entire life up until this point, I had felt extremely lucky that for the most part, my family had always been healthy and happy, and close to one another. I sometimes thought about what it would be like to love someone who had a chronic or mental illness, because I really could not imagine the pain and stress it would cause.

My sister, Cassie, had been hiding the fact that she had binge eating disorder for over a year. Half of the time she spent hiding it, she did not even know she had an eating disorder. That is how little the truth about eating disorders is discussed in society and the education system. When she was finally diagnosed with binge eating disorder, she did not tell many people, and when she decided to tell her family about it, I am ashamed to say I took it very lightly. The way she described her eating disorder sounded nothing like the way I learned about eating disorders in the media. And she seemed okay, she didn’t ‘look’ sick, so I brushed it off, ignorant to the pain she was feeling inside. Though Cassie had no control over the disorder inside her, she said she felt so ashamed for the longest time. None of us knew the extent of what was going on until after she recovered from binge eating disorder. For over a year, she would wake up in the middle of the night and eat incredibly large amounts of food, with almost inedible combinations, NOT for enjoyment purposes. She could not even understand why she was doing it, but she could not stop, her disorder would not allow her to. She would eat until her body was in pain and she was crying on the floor. It still hurts to think about what she must have gone through without anyone knowing.

            After getting therapy for her eating disorder, she began to recover. However, it wasn’t long until another demon, Mia (bulimia), came along. Mia did not stay for long, only long enough to introduce Ana (anorexia). I did notice Cassie lose a significant amount of weight in a very short amount of time, and though I think I knew what she was dealing with, I was definitely in denial that it could be so serious. I was in denial when she was losing weight, even when she was diagnosed with anorexia. I was in denial that I was losing my baby sister until I had already lost her, not physically, but in every other way. Cassie had always been the light in every room she walked into. She was filled with passion about life, about Jesus, about writing, about her friends and family. She loved being alive, and everyone loved being around her. She had always been so encouraging to those feeling down, putting others before herself, and giving out compliments freely. Suddenly, she walked around everywhere as a zombie. She had no awareness of the world around her. She was very quick to anger, and did not care who she hurt. And the part that hurt the most, she did not care that she was dying. THAT is what an eating disorder looks like. Though physical symptoms are part of eating disorders, an eating disorder is NOT a diet, or an extreme form of a diet. A diet is something someone can choose to do. Having an eating disorder is not a choice, and if it were, NO ONE would choose that life. No one. An eating disorder is not romantic or artistically sad. It is cruel, terrifying, and brutally painful. I am ashamed to say that I did not even know what an eating disorder looked like until I saw it. It was the most painful thing I have ever had to witness.

            Cassie explains that her disorders had voices. Ana had a sweet voice, which made it much more difficult for Cassie to hear that she was wrong. By the time we were finally able to get Cassie started on recovery, she was never present. She would sleep all day and all night long. And when she did get up to walk, she would faint almost every time. I remember one time she stood up, and I saw her knees buckle, and I reached out to grab her, but not early enough to catch her. She fell head-first directly into the wall, and collapsed on the floor. I ran over and hugged her and held her so close while we both cried.

            I wanted to get out of the house every day so I did not have to see Cassie that way. Though I also never wanted to leave the house because I could not bear to think about what might happen while I was gone.

            The first night of her recovery, my mom was told to give Cassie a full plate of dinner, and Cassie was to eat it all. I came home from work that first night to see Cassie crying in front of a full plate of food. That was what a large portion of her recovery looked like. She may have been eating again, and gaining some of her strength back, but mentally, she was not doing any better. She would cry at least two or three times a day, have many panic attacks, and constantly talk about the fact that she wanted to die. That part hurt the most. I wanted to be there for her in every way I could, and for a while, I was incredibly patient and understanding. I wanted to be someone she could talk to. Over time, I felt my frustration start to show through more and more. I did not want to be so angry with her, and I desperately wanted Cassie to know that it wasn’t her I was mad at. It was her disorder. I wanted my little sister back so desperately, and when she was diagnosed with anorexia, I did not think the recovery process would take so long.

            I soon learned that almost everything was triggering for Cassie. They say living with someone with an eating disorder is like walking on eggshells, and that is one of the only stereotypes that is actually true. Every victim will have different triggers, but for Cassie, I learned quickly that I could not talk about food in any way, unless it was to say that I eat a lot of it, and I could not talk about any form of fitness or being active or being healthy whatsoever. It was not difficult to get rid of those conversations in my house, but avoiding it everywhere else we went was the difficult part. Every time someone would mention watching their weight around Cassie, I would cringe for her, as I had an idea of what her mind was telling her.

            We were required to do family-based therapy with Cassie, which did not help her recovery at all. In fact, it seemed to only make her progress worse. The therapists would tell her what to do, and were very strict about sticking to the same plan for every person with an eating disorder. The reality is, every patient is going to require a different treatment method. No two people or two illnesses are the same, though they may have the same name. As soon as Cassie returned to the individual therapist that helped her recover from her binge eating disorder, her recovery began to progress much faster. I began to see her smile again, she gained some of her passions back again, she loved life and had time for friends and family again, and though food still took up a large space in her mind, it was no longer the only thing on her mind.

            Watching Cassie become Cassie again was so beautiful. She is still not fully recovered, but I have seen the long and tiring battle she has fought, and am so proud of her for everything she is. She has been scarred, but she refuses to let the enemy back into her life. She is living for God again, and God gives her the strength to fight against the enemy every day. Cassie will forever be one of the strongest people I know. I love her so much, and she inspires me and so many people every day.   

 

   

MY THOUGHTS THURSDAY: Patience

Last night’s Bible study led me to a well known passage from 1 Corinthians:

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Love is patient. First of all, we know that the only One who can ever truly love us is the Lord– but He calls us to love him with all we have, and to love our neighbours with all we have. This, therefore, can only be done through His Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ; and love is PATIENT. Even when anger bubbles under the surface, the Lord calls that love to be patient. To recognize that all feet fail but His hand will guide.

Love is kind. True love– love that is in Christ– radiates kindness. It is full of compassion and caring for the other.

Love doesn’t envy. While, again, all OUR FEET fail from time to time, Jesus promises that His Spirit never envies. It knows that each was created in God’s image for a reason and that envy is a mockery of the Lord’s perfection in that.

Love does not boast; love isn’t proud. Love in Christ doesn’t boast about one’s “betterness” nor does it boast about the love within the relationship. For that would be redundant because the love of Christ is the only boast able aspect, and that is equally available to ALL.

Love is never rude or selfish. Christ is never rude or selfish; while our human tongues can be, his Spirit never is. He guides with kindness and selflessness.

Love is not easily angered and keeps no record of wrongs. Love recognizes that HUMANS mess up; do things we don’t like/wish they didn’t/make mistakes; sin. But it knows that we are equal in that sin and trusts in the Lord’s forever and eternal greatness, therefore quickness to anger, judgement, or walking away from a human because of a list of wrongs in the back of their mind is not love.

The love of Christ is something we are called to approach EVERY PERSON with EVERY MOMENT. Have each of us been guilty of one these wrongdoings? YES. With family? YES. In relationships? YES. In friendships? YES. With strangers? YES.

But the Holy Spirit NEVER HAS, NEVER DOES, and NEVER WILL.

And the Holy Spirit is ALWAYS among us, and in us.

In prayer and submission I am humbled at his feet… I want to laugh and sing and dance and praise Him… I think about how many times He has forgiven me and continues to love me more than ANY human mind could comprehend. Jesus Christ is the only true love in life; AAAAND by His Spirit, by the Grace of His life we are granted the blessing our son and selfishness is incapable of– to love others; our family and friends. To love another as a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, better and more fully by His Spirit each day.

What a common Bible verse that when broken down is enough time shake walls and lives and overwhelm to our knees.

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY: Unexpected Events

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28

Happy Hump Day, y’all!!

How are you? What is the Lord doing in your life? What has He brought you to that is glorifying His Holy name? I pray that these are the sort of things filling our hearts and souls.

My day didn’t go quite as expected today, and this used to really frustrate me. But the Lord has given me peace in that there’s no such thing as my own agenda– my life may only work by His, and the more I love Him and grow in Him the more I come to be only expectant of HIS greatness–which never fails.

I woke up much earlier than usual for my first and last exam, in Religion. I had a big breakfast for studying: a big bowl of oatmeal with sliced banana, a ton of dates, and blueberries. It kept me strong for hours and hours. I bussed to my exam, and ran into my sister’s best friend Katrina on the bus. We chatted and she helped me find my way to the stadium where my exam was– even when I think I’ve got directions down, I usually don’t!

My exam went really, really well! Extra studying paid off and I’m really happy with how it went. My shift at Cora’s started at 11, so I bussed back to Kitchener.

Eating and food was coming up a lot at work today and I could feel myself shaking, triggered by the calorie and weight loss talk. I prayed and refocused and for the first time ever, gently talked to my co-workers about my eating disorder who all sheepishly replied that– they knew! They read my blog! It was crazy at first, but they talked to me about being open about it not being a bad thing, and I do agree. I really trust and love both the girls I talked to, and it actually felt really good to talk about in one of my everyday environments.

For lunch, I took home a bowl of oatmeal from work with berries. Not too much later, my stomach was growling, and I snacked on a pile of dates with cucumber and carrots. Don’t knock it till you try it– I love this combo!

Tonight, my sister and a group of my friends were supposed to go to the Outcry Tour in Hamilton. Long story short and due to some poor planning, we missed the concert. This is okay and I am blogging now because I feel called to spend the night in the Word and in prayer and to myself. I’m exhausted from little sleep and don’t often make the decision to just lay low, and despite always wanting to be out and about, the Lord is installing in me the importance of time with solely Him. I am expectant, again, of HIS greatness in that time.

I got a lot done, though, cleaning my room, finishing my resume, updating the blog, chatting with my little sister, went for a run, and reading. For dinner I had two sweet potatoes stuffed with dates and more cucumber.

I am currently snacking on a bowl of mango, blueberries, and dates as I blog, wearing my “Blogging All Day” shirt, and in creeping open other tabs and praying on words found an incredible quote from some person called Corrie Boom, who also wrote the quote “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.”

Here is the quote:

“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.”

Ah, so good and to His glory. Praise be to God!

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Livin and Stuff

So often I get asked, “How do you have time to blog? It seems like you’re always so busy.”

I have time to blog because I just do it. I love blogging, I have a passion for writing, and if I don’t make time for blogging now, how will I ever have time? There are always reasons not to start something, but a million to just get going– and Truth in it comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.

Any way, that’s enough of a rant for today.

Here’s a current Top Ten:

Music. My genuine taste is straying from country… I’ll always love it, but I’m more into EDM now. Overall, I usually am listening to some sort of worship music, but there’s not much I don’t like.

Food. Eating primarily wholesome, plant based carbs has given me more energy than I’ve ever experienced. When I go for my runs, I feel like I can run forever. I love eating smoothies made of just frozen bananas and berries, sweet potatoes with dates and veggies, and baked oatmeal.

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Stress. I’ve been really anxious recently about school. Feeling like I haven’t put my all into this semester… stressed for no good reason about petty grades that don’t matter, mostly because I really don’t think I’m in the right place. My Spirit is drawing me somewhere else, but in Him I know I have no cause for anxiety, for He had walked through the rest of my life and it will be made to glorify Him no matter what.

Dance. I can do a shoulder roll again… my toe point is better… my pirouette is better… AH, it feels so good to dance again, and Krystal and I plan to all summer.

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Bible Study. A lot of my week has been focused in Colossians which has been incredible. The Spirit teaches and guides in new ways each time I soak in the Word and let Him take over.

People. I’m excited to be able to spend more time with loved ones this summer! Spending time with and investing in the wonderful people in my life is so important to me and I can’t wait to make new memories.

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Babies. I know so many people with due dates in the next month! My first cousin is giving birth to a baby boy, my best friend’s sister is pregnant with a girl, and two of my pastors who are married are due, all in the next few weeks! So many babies to meet.

Humbling. My opa, who has always echoed an epitome of strength to me, is struggling physically. He has the strongest mind and body imaginable, and it is genuinely odd to see him in any way struggling. When I was younger I had this mindset that he was invincible– but it’s the Lord in Him is. In that I know He only counts his suffering as joy.

Clothes. I love summer clothes and cannot wait to go bikini shopping, shorts shopping, and the whole shabang. Most of my spent money seems to go to clothes or coffee.

Blog. I recently happened across the blog of one of Johnny’s friends, Josee. She is a beautiful, God-loving soul who I am blessed to be communicating with. Be sure to check her out here