A Morning with my Best Friend

Morning. Not stupid early, but not late morning, it’s 8:30am and your eyelids open after a solid, undisturbed 8 hour sleep. You smile to yourself, feeling that euphoric, passionate, life-is-good-because-God-is-good emotion that translates to excitement to spend time with Jesus. You know He’s going to meet you where you are– which happens to be your little student bedroom in Waterloo, warm under the perfect duvet, that perfect warm that is practically impossible to crawl out of.

You roll over just far enough to grab your Bible, and open it to where you left off. Psalms.

Psalm 41. 

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;

the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them—
they are counted among the blessed in the land—
he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
and restores them from their bed of illness.

You spend enough time with Jesus to know that you are certainly not perfect at “regarding the weak,” but also to know that He has already forgiven you for it. He instructs you, though, and He makes you better. That simple time calling on His name and seeing His face, His very body, sitting on your bed, nowhere else to be but with you because that’s how much He loves you– whaaat— He tells you to lift your weary head and stop dwelling. He makes you aware of a coping mechanism that you go to when you’d be much better off turning to Him.

But that’s just it.

In the valleys He reminds you of His faithfulness.

If it weren’t for the coping mechanisms and failures and misgivings and faults, you wouldn’t know how much you need Him. That’s not to give any credit to the faults. No, it’s to weaken them, because it’s kind of sad to know that humans need them sometimes in order to know Him. 

But oh, there is grace. Oh, there is so much love. Oh, He is forever and always forgiving and unbudging. Oh, how this God Jesus just wants to befriend you, be above everything else in your life because He knows it’s what’s best for you.

He is, after all, your Father.

 

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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.

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!

Infinite Jewellery: Your New Favourite Company

You know that just-about-to-leave-the-house feeling when you look in the mirror, take one last look at your outfit, and… it’s just not complete? Something’s missing?

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There’s an easy solution for those almost-perfect outfits. A piece of jewellery might be the exact finishing touch you’re looking for. For just a small investment, you can add multiple pieces of jewellery that will become accessory staples, enhancing the way you look and feel every day.

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And the woman behind the store couldn’t be more of a sweetheart. To know Kenya personally is to know a selfless, determined, hard-working lady whose heart is golden and whose eyes are fixed on her goals. The collection she has put together is one she has worked hard on, and is proud of.

The website, featuring easy-to-shop necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings, is user-friendly and incredibly aesthetic.

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And the prices are unbeatable, without sacrificing quality. Your orders will be delivered in a timely fashion, adorning your new pieces before you know it! Kenya’s products are classy, modern, and stylish.

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And by signing up for an Infinite account, you can begin collecting rewards for your purchases, with so many opportunities to save.

Infinite is the store that’s there for your every purchase, too. From thoughtful gift-giving– without have to guess at sizes!– to continually adding new pieces to compliment your wardrobe, these are pieces with infinite possibilities, infinite combinations… one place.

 

My Top 5 Favourite Dates

My boyfriend Johnny and I have been dating for very nearly three years (whaaat?)

In our last few semesters of our undergrads– and, therefore, of long distance dating, YAY– I miss him more than ever, and often reminisce some of my favourite memories with him.

As we’ve grown in our relationship, we do life a lot more closely than we did in the start– so “dates” look like running errands or hanging out at home, a lot of time. Still, I think it is so important to “date.”

I’ve always been a big believer in love being spontaneous. For example, if I told Johnny, “I want you to buy me flowers and write me letters,” i wouldn’t want those things at all, because I only “want” what is truly from him. It’s not love if I’m constantly talking about what I want to get.

Love is selfless. Love is me loving him. And in loving Johnny, I care what he is getting out of our relationship, not what I am getting out of it– because I love who he is.

This is what I have never understood about the desperation for “a relationship.” A relationship is only good if it’s with someone you deeply love and care about, because then you’re going to love on them. The desire for any ol’ relationship sounds so cheap to me, because then what’s special about the love you have with the person you’re with? It’s not about what I get from our relationship, but the fact God has brought Johnny and I together, and we can bask in the natural beauty of our teamwork.

Ok. Now that that rant is over with, I thought, in the spirit of missing my man, I’d share my top five favourite dates with him.

Do-Nothing Day. I remember so well last Christmas, Johnny and I planning our do nothing day. We wore sweats, we ordered food, and we cuddled and watched movies and the Office. And it was such needed chill time together. Simply put, he is my best friend, and I love just being with him.

Canada’s Wonderland. For our first 6 months of dating, Johnny surprised me with a trip to Wonderland, knowing full well that I had never been on a roller coaster, and was rather terrified of them. Johnny encouraged me in believing I could face this fear that was only in my mind. The truth was that God would strengthen me and give me peace!

… and I absolutely loved the ride. I will never forget conquering this fear with Johnny, and, most importantly, through Jesus.

Our first date. For our first date, Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee (knowing I liked it, despite him never having a coffee in his life). We went to Starbucks, and I have never been more nervous/excited for a date, because I’d never had such a “good feeling” about a person. That first date, we couldn’t stop talking, and I felt immediately like I could tell Johnny anything and everything.

Steak dinners. When Johnny comes back from Manitoba each time, we celebrate by going to the Keg for a “fancy” steak dinner. We dress up and all the butterflies of a fancy date are involved all over again.

Boston Calling. One of the coolest and most unforgettable experiences was seeing Johnny’s absolute favourite artist in concert for the first time with him. I also love this artist– Bon Iver– and it has been so cool to grow alongside Johnny in more and more genuinely appreciating his passions and interests, and vice versa.

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.