Day in the Life: Livin the Dream Every Day?

What does it mean to be livin the dream? What does that look like?

I think the worldly classification of the real dream is in riches. Having a huge house and no “reason” to work because you have money coming out of your ears.

Let’s say that’s actually the life goal.

Personally, I picture this:

So, worldly success can’t be the secret to happiness or the meaning of life.

It’s not in a near-future hope. It’s in a present, past, and forever help.

I prayed for a heart and mind and soul set on Him this morning as I got ready for work.

This week, I get to work every day with of the sweetest and most relatable people I’ve ever met, Brooke, at Pure’s second location. Working together, Brooke and I care so much about the success of Pure, the kitchen we work at, and this makes every day, even work conversations, so much fun. She makes me a better employee, and her work ethic is inspirational and always on point!

She also makes the prettiest food.

Brooke and I are able to relate in so many ways, while also challenging each other to be our best. I only want to be a light in her life, as she has been in mine.

The shift was great and smooth, and we’re so excited to only grow at this new location, and as I pray about it, I know God is guiding it and I pray to walk in His ways.

After my shift, I settled in for editing and homework over coffee and lunch, grateful for a productive afternoon. I am often struck by the fact that I get to work in three part time jobs in the three fields I’ve called my “dream jobs.” I am passionate about my youth ministry job, writing work, and serving at Pure. But I can only imagine that if these were the end goal, I might feel… empty.

But I believe that God’s Kingdom is the only end goal, and looking to Him and His perfect love means I’m actually able to serve and love on others in a way that is meaningful. What a blessed life you offer, Lord– thank-you for your unending blessings.

Tonight, as I catch up with a Bible study group and spend some quiet time with Jesus, I know that He is in control, and I pray for only more knowledge of His glory in my life and workplaces.

Jesus, I pray for more of you in workplaces, and less of the lie that money or fame or material things are the meaning or goal of life. Guide my heart by Your Spirit alone, Lord. Amen.

Advertisements

My Guilty Pleasures (Just for Fun)

Peanut Butter Anything. Guilty as charged. Peanut butter is my absolute favourite food and I’m pretty sure it always will be. You can find me spooning it on pretty much everything.

This Is Us. Probably my favourite TV show ever, I feel like I could watch these episodes over and over again and ever get tired of them. I just love how much the characters reel me in.

Ashley Brooke’s YouTube Channel. I could watch her How To Style videos forever!

Coffee. And trying new coffees, inventing coffee recipes, making latte art… I’m a bit of a coffee snob.

Food Photography. I’ve become a major perfectionist with the food photos I take for Pure Kitchen, where I work! I have always loved food photography, but since working here, I am more in love with the art of it.

What Is Exhaustion Without Purpose?

All I can think about right now is hitting my pillow.

I hate sounding dramatic, but my eyelids are so heavy and my whole body is exhausted from not stopping all day.

And that could easily be for nothing.

I could easily work this body hard and fast for a single purpose: my own feelings of worth, productivity, to boost my ego, “because I’m good at it or enjoy it,” to “make a living.” But, why? Why live to “make a living?” Surely I was put on this earth for more than to be put on this earth.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. MATTHEW 20:28

A pastor I very much look up to and respect preached a sermon on this very verse yesterday that God used to convict and challenge and change me. Jesus might call me to a remote part of the world to be in the depths of danger with starving children and my calling and purpose would be to say “it is well with my soul” and obey. He might call me away from all comforts and pleasures, the “things of this world” that I think bring me joy and say, “These things are NOTHNG,” showing me that glimpse of Heaven, and OH, how good that would be. JESUS I JUST WANT TO KNOW YOU MORE.

Don’t allow me to live this life selfishly, Jesus. Don’t allow me to think about when it’s my turn to eat, or my turn to “shine,” or anything of myself or “my” success. Jesus I just want Your name glorified in my life, and I know that that looks like servanthood. Less Cassie and more You, I pray Jesus, every day.

This doesn’t look like burnout, and it doesn’t look like the striving I often find myself wound up in again. It looks like submitting, it looks like letting go, and it looks like listening. It looks like joy, and unabashed consideration for every soul I encounter. I can’t be perfect in this, so I might as well give Him the steering wheel. It’s all I was created to do.

Gordon Ramsey-Inspired Tacos

My loving boyfriend got me a Gordon Ramsey cookbook for last Christmas, and I reworked one of the recipes just in time for when I sealed the deal on one of his Christmas presents– a little late ;).

I made one of the taco recipes and put my own spin on it. Here’s a photo of the filling– turned out delicious!

Black Bean Goat Cheese Tacos

Ingredients (serves one person)

1/4 onion, diced

1 tsp oil

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cumin

salt and pepper

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup black beans

Handful baby spinach

1 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1 Tbsp lime juice

1/2 avocado, chopped

2 corn tortillas

Method

1. In medium skillet, sauté onion in oil over medium high heat, about 5 minutes. Add in all spices and sauté another five minutes, or until fragrant. Add black beans and 2 Tbsp water.

2. Cover and cook over medium low heat about 10 minutes, or until beans are soft. Add spinach to the pan, and cook another 3 minutes.

3. Mash the avocado with lime juice, goat cheese, and some salt and pepper. 4. Fill each tortilla with bean mixture, avocado mixture, and extra spinach, if desired. Add meat or other fix ins as desired– I added ground turkey to mine!

When Will I Learn?

…that life is all about the “little moments?”

Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”

I have written about it countless times. And I think about it all the time. But sometimes, in the heat of a moment, it doesn’t happen.

In a moment when…

I tiredly choose to watch YouTube videos in my room rather than catching up with one of my roommates (also some of my best friends).

I choose to stress over the fruit that needs cutting at work rather than meeting a customer or co-worker where they’re at.

I choose to take on too much so that I’m spread too thin and feel I have no time for friends and family.

This morning, when I woke up, I was reminded by timely encouraging texts from my roomies, Beth and Mary, the importance of taking time out.

Like every day, I brought my Bible and highlighters out to my living room when Jesus asked me:

Are you sitting with me this morning? Or just “the book?”

Wow.

Sometimes I focus “so much” on making sure I’m ACTUALLY sitting with Jesus that I don’t leave room for Him to just speak. This morning, He spoke loudly, and I decided to listen.

Inspired by a thoughtful, gracious co-worker at work later that day, reminded by her of the love God calls me to share, I was equipped to serve customers in a way that made memories rather than just “what can I get for you?” kind of service.

Further inspired by one of my pastors, Nat, at our meeting about the coming year, where I officially agreed to interning at Creekside Church for a second year. Nat met me exactly where I am. He cared to listen to the details of my life, and reminded me that that is what I am called to do. Stop and listen. To Jesus, to people, to music, to history. 

Aggravated when I knew I hadn’t written my most recent article for the software start-up I write for to the best of my ability; humbled and blessed by the grace my employer showed me, anyway.

These “little moments” that are memory-worthy matter. And they’re memory worthy because of Jesus.

Each time His love is truly shown, and He is responded to, eternal glorification and life-change happens. I’ll take more of these moments, Jesus. Give me a heart and soul that only wants more of you in me, and more of You in others.

An Open Letter to High School Students

Dear High School Student,

So, you don’t know what’s next because all you can see is now.

All you can see is the boy who doesn’t seem to see you at all. The girl whose body is a bit more toned than yours. The essay that you got a 60 on. The early mornings that cause anxiety.

You only seem able to look at the university application forms, wondering if any will accept you. Wondering if you’re applying to the right programs. Wondering if you want university in the first place.

The people you go to school with every day feel like the only people in the whole world. And, whether you care to admit it or not, you care about their opinions of you.

You’re trying to juggle questions, family life, social life, mental health, schoolwork, hobbies, a job, and sleep, but sometimes you feel like everything is spiraling out of control.

I’ve been there.

Sometimes, I’m still there.

But if there was something I could tell my high school self that she didn’t fully grasp at the time, it would be this:

Peers will fade. Tests will fade. Trends will fade, and parties will be distant memories. What will remain is God with you. He is with you now, He will be with you in university, and He will be with you until the day you die and beyond. He is your healer, your comforter, and your purpose. He is the beginning and the end.

Does this mean tests, people, school doesn’t matter?

Just the opposite.

It means there is a God who is not imagined or a thought but very real, whose presence is incomprehensible near you at all times, and who gave His life for you. Who loves all the people you’re surrounded by every day just as much. Who loves unconditionally, and who has a plan.

He cares about all these things you’re feeling more than you could know. And drawing on His perfect presence will help you more than you dreamed possible. The one who created you is the one who has set you free from anxiety, fear, and sadness.

And He is calling your name if you just listen.

So, dear high school student, I’m not telling you high school doesn’t matter. I’m telling you this life right now has more value and worth than we can even imagine.

A Prayer for Unchanging Desire

Today was the grand opening of the cafe/kitchen I work at’s second location ever. And it was so exciting to be a part of.

Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 8.06.35 PM

While my job there was relatively the same as it is at our first location, there was something– I would say human-naturedly– exciting about working in the new space. Each and every one of my greetings to customers was cheery and considerate, and I had extra pep in my step and motivation.

While a part of this was probably due to my own excitement/the novelty of the new store, I am very aware that another part is due to my Saviour Jesus.

This morning, after praying for my friend Jacqueline, who is working as a kids’ Bible instructor this summer, I felt a pang of conviction. Day by day, I had been living recently a bit routinely, choosing to ignore the Kingdom of Heaven that God wants to come on earth. Choosing to ignore His voice and just live the work life.

Man, what a sad life that is! It blows my mind how easily the devil can trick our minds into thinking that exhaustedly working just to make money and participate in society is the way of life. I know that it isn’t.Recently, one of my dear friends asked me about the difference between being a light of Christ, and being a kind, respectful person. Sometimes I feel like I just live like everyone else, she said, But I want to be His light.

How normal!

The difference, I told her, is HIM.

When the Holy Spirit dwells in a person, He does the work. He truly does. And, when after I had prayed for Jacqueline and felt this tingling of, “I should be doing church/Bible work, not *just serving food,*” I was convicted when I prayed how equally important every sort of job is when it is given to Christ. Today I encountered hundreds of different people, and rather than just being a bright spot, I asked Jesus for the grace, humility, and discernment that only His Spirit could accomplish. And I had a drastically different day than I might have if I chose to ignore Him.Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 8.07.25 PM

Lord, birth a me a stronger DESIRE than ever for YOU. May I LONG to be with You, to serve you, and to know You more. Lord, help me to live a life of prayer– of constantly talking to You, trusting and believing that You ARE every good thing, and that all Your plans are in stone and for good. Lord, would I lean on You every single day to be a servant and Your Spirit’s light. Would I know my worth in You, and the ways you want to use me in individuals’ lives. I pray all this in Your Son’s name. Amen.