Our Proposal Story (+How We Met Three Years Ago)

I had just told myself university would not be the time for a boy.

But God knew differently.

I noticed Johnny Fulford the moment I sat down in my Tuesday afternoon “Public Faith and Theology” class. He was smilely, shy-looking, and downright handsome. When the professor asked us students to share our names, and a little bit about ourselves, I knew his name, “Johnny,” would stick in my mind.

Every Tuesday afternoon that first semester of my freshman year in university, I was encouraged and excited by what Johnny had to say on the topic of Christianity, much of which related to God’s almighty power and sufficient grace. In a place fraught with haughty opinions and lacking semblance of truth, Johnny only spoke when absolutely necessary, and without drawing attention to himself… except for, perhaps, my attention.

I also caught him nodding along with some of the points I would bring up, while I tried not to care. After all, I didn’t want to get caught up in a boy.

But God had other plans.

I always hoped Johnny might talk to me after class. Instead, when we had a field trip to Queen’s Park in Toronto, and I asked a classmate who would be driving there if we could carpool, I saw Johnny approach the same classmate to ask for a ride a few minutes after I did.

Hmmm…

And the car ride was the beginning I’ll never forget.

Johnny and I must have spent more time getting to know each other than I realized, because, when we got to Queen’s Park, a fellow classmate who had also been in the car asked me, “So, are you and Johnny a thing?”

At Queen’s Park, we watched a political debate, and then had the opportunity to ask the politicians questions about their faith. I remember Johnny asking questions that didn’t spark my curiousity about Johnny, but drew me to prayer and to seek God’s will. I wasn’t distracted by him, but pressed forward to focus on God’s heart for these politicians, and our classmates.

It is for that reason that, when Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee after the field trip, I didn’t say, “I’m actually not dating right now,” I said, “Yes.”

I would later learn that Johnny had also recently wondered if he was called to be single all his life. He had also recently turned down a few other potential relationships. And he had also felt drawn to the way Jesus was working in me.

The coffee date led to more dates. The couple months before Johnny asked me to be his girlfriend were spent awing in Jesus Christ and not in each other. And that is why I love Johnny second. Jesus Himself has called us to, and built up, the foundation on which our relationship stands.

Flash forward three years. Johnny and I are both almost done university… but in different provinces.

When Johnny and I met, he already knew that the school we both attended in Waterloo, ON was not his forever school. Ten months into our relationship, he transferred to Providence University in Otterburne, MB, as it is a Christian university where he could play varsity soccer in the States.

So, much of our relationship has been long distance, though we see each other four months of the summer, over Christmas, and have surprise visited each other, too.

This December 14th, 2018, Johnny returned home from Winnipeg for Christmas, and we reunited emotionally and excitably as always. Johnny’s birthday was the following day, and his sister-in-law had texted me a few days before, having bought us tickets to the Toronto Symphony, and recommending a dinner spot as a birthday gift to Johnny for both of us.

That next day, I was so focused on making Johnny’s 23rd birthday special. After giving him his birthday gift, which included 23 photos of us with 23 things I love about him, Johnny suggested we dress up fancy for the symphony.

We drove to Toronto, talking endlessly, and were so pleasantly surprised by the beautiful atmosphere of the dinner spot that Johnny’s sister-in-law recommended, Bar Reyna. We enjoyed delicious food in one of my favourite settings of all times, and each other’s company, before deciding to walk half an hour to the symphony rather than drive over.

Being pretty clueless with directions, I didn’t realize we were passing Queen’s Park until we were standing right outside it. “Wow, is this Parliament?” I asked. There wasn’t a soul around, and it was dark outside, lit only by tinselly Christmas lights adorning the trees. “Yeah,” Johnny smiled. “I’m surprised you only just noticed.”

I immediately started reminiscing on that field trip three years ago. “I knew I was drawn to you, not because of who you were, but because of who Jesus was in you,” I said. “I knew I believed in Him the same way you did. I just had never before had the vocabulary for it.”

Johnny and I were both tearing up. I was silently praising and thanking God.

And it wasn’t until he stopped me, right out front of Queen’s Park, that I had a single CLUE that he was about to ask me a very important question. “I have a confession,” he said.

My heart went into my throat in excitement, emotion, and joy.

“Sarah didn’t plan this day, I did. All to bring you here, where we first met. To have the hopes of having the best birthday gift in the world.”

The rest of what he said was a blur. I was in the midst of the greatest surprise of my life.

When he got down on one knee and said, “Cassandra Andrea Wolfe, will you be my wife?” I nodded vehemently before pulling him up and kissing him.

Finally, Johnny pointed to the bushes far off, where my sister, Krystal, was taking photos. Johnny had paid for her trip down to capture the moment.

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A Weekend In Wisconsin

This past weekend takes the cake as one of the best of my life.

Friday morning, in one of my theology classes, in the midst of my friend Bethany’s presentation, my phone started ringing.

I quickly silenced it and responded to the caller– my friend Sheldon– that I was in class. His reply was quick and to the point:

Want to drive to Wisconsin?

Today.

To see Johnny’s soccer game.

I need an answer soon. I’m leaving at 4pm with or without you. 

My mind started racing. My heart leapt into my chest at the thought of seeing my boyfriend, who lives in Winnipeg, and plays varsity soccer through the states. Sheldon and I had been planning on seeing his nationals games in North Carolina, but it wasn’t guaranteed that Sheldon could get the time off work. And, being the most spontaneous person I’ve ever known, it was not surprising to me that Sheldon would text me with the thought of leaving for a 12 hour road trip the very same day.

All the reasons I couldn’t go

You have so much homework, You work tomorrow, You volunteer at church on Sunday

flooded my mind. I slipped into the bathroom to call Sheldon and tell him I needed to figure some things out. And ask him that, if I could get things taken care of, we could please leave after my classes, so at 7pm. He agreed.

The events of this weekend were grounds for me to witness some of the greatest compassion, selflessness, and love I could imagine from many of my friends.

One of these people was beautiful friend and co-worker, Brooke. I texted every employee at Pure, the restaurant I work at, to see if anyone was able to cover my Saturday shift, and no one was able. Brooke works harder than anyone I know, and she told me that she would absolutely work the shift if no one else was able to, even though it was her one day off. I didn’t want her to be the one to work it, and fought her on it, but she ended up insisting.

Brooke, if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have been able to go on this incredible trip and support Johnny. I don’t want to say “I owe you–” I just want to show you love in the same way. Thank-you, a thousand times, thank-you.

I also received words of encouragement and approval from my incredible pastors and team of leaders at the church I go to, Risen City. They displayed grace, love, and understanding for the fact that I wouldn’t be there Sunday at the last minute– and also excited for Johnny and I to see each other!

And so, I packed my bags quickly before heading off to my evening class… where, even MORE last minute, Bethany decided to join, and Luke, our friend and Sheldon’s roommate, did, too.

With only a few bumps along the road (literally and figuratively), we embarked on our journey from Waterloo to Wisconsin, my heart fluttering with the thought of seeing my love, who I hadn’t seen in 2 and a half months, while he had no idea I was coming.

The four of us made for one of the most fun car rides of my life… except, of course, they would tell you that I slept most of the way there. Sheldon, bless his heart, drove for the entire trip on no sleep, from 8pm until 7am. We stopped only a couple of times, in between singing our lungs out, laughing our heads off, and, some of us, snoring quite peacefully. We couldn’t stop talking about how comfortable and close we all became so quickly and easily.

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5am rest stop shenanigans

I also have Jay, one of Johnny’s best friends and teammate, to thank for the fact that we made it to Wisconsin. He received my last minute messages with grace and excitement, and woke up early to make sure we arrived safely.

Sitting in a McDonald’s 8 minutes away from the hotel Johnny’s team was staying at, I couldn’t contain my excitement to just hold my man any longer.

“Can we just go guys?!” I bounced up and down like a little kid while my friends nommed their sausage breakfast sandwiches.

Jay let us know that Johnny was still asleep, unsurprisingly, but encouraged that we head to the hotel anyway. Jay met us in the front lobby where he noted, “We should just wake Johnny up. He wouldn’t want to waste any of the time he could have with you.”

So Jay walked me down a hallway to Johnny’s room, where, after some whispering, he knocked. And waited. And knocked again.

After a moment, a very sleepy, very bed-headed Johnny slowly opened the door sporting an unimpressed expression directed at Jay, until he saw me. His eyes widened, and he slowly said, “Whaaaaat?” 

I could barely contain my excitement and energy, and neither could Johnny. “Come here,” he said, and we thanked Jay before having a moment to ourselves. And then all the questions came.

We went after a few minutes to see Sheldon, Luke, and Bethany, who had graciously waited in the lobby so Johnny and I could have a private reunion. Johnny was, as I suspected, so excited and humbled by these amazing friends having shown so much care in order to take a weekend to make such a long trip.

We got to spend the morning all together just catching up and chilling before Johnny got ready with his team for the big game, the game that would decide whether the team would go to Nationals in South Carolina.

While Johnny spent time with the team, we took a quick trip for lunch in downtown Watertown, Wisconsin.

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We all reunited at the soccer field to watch Providence’s girls’ soccer team’s game, which they won in an intense and hard-fought match that went into overtime. Then, we got revved up to watch Johnny play.

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I can’t begin to put words to the pride and emotion I felt watching my man do so amazingly in what he loves. There is so much to say for the determination, passion, and love he has for this sport, that is the main reason he sought out his degree in Winnipeg. When we first started dating, soccer was just “soccer” to me. But I now have a love for it that comes directly from seeing the joy and passion Johnny has for it. Not to mention I have witnessed firsthand his skill in the sport grow tremendously since I’ve met him. He is the fastest, most technique-focused soccer players I’ve ever seen live. And I’m not being biased ;).

All this emotion and excitement made for an intense game. With so much pressure coming from both talented teams, the rivals scored one goal in the first half of the game. Not long after, though, the Pilots tied it up, ending the game in a tie that led to 2 ten minute periods of overtime, in which there was no score.

This led to an intense best of five shoot-out, in which Johnny’s team just barely lost.

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Walking over to Johnny at the end of the game made for a very emotional embrace. I just wanted to hold him forever, my Johnny, who looked so disappointed and defeated while still sporting a little smile, and overall amazing attitude. Thanking me for being there and just saying how grateful he was that I was able to be there.

Our goodbye was the shortest we’ve ever had, which made it difficult to process. Saying goodbye to Johnny always leaves me in a pool of tears that I always just want to be alone in. But, in the middle of nowhere 12 hours from home, I had no choice but to be surrounded by my three amazing friends in Sheldon, Bethany, and Luke… and this ended up being the biggest blessing.

We booked a cheap hotel, stocked up on snacks (dairy free ice cream only available in the States!) and basically crashed as soon as we got to our room.

I woke up the next morning incredibly disoriented. Had I really just seen Johnny? Was I dreaming? Where AM I? 

As it all slowly came back to me, the friends and I packed up and headed out for our long journey home. Continually, and throughout the whole day, the patience, fun-lovingness, and compassion of these three beautiful friends inspiring me.

From IHOP to Chipotle, THE CHICAGO BEEEEEAN and a beautiful patch of fall trees, our trip home was nothing short of incredibly eventful.

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And the drive home took us to about 3am, where I ended up on my doorstep realizing I’d left my keys in the coat I lent from Bethany that I had given back to her.

Yet another show of kindness the end the trip, I had no other choice but to call my roommates, and Mary answered her phone graciously and kindly, coming downstairs to open the front door for me.

This spontaneous trip taught me so many things that I will never forget.

Selflessness cannot be planned. Spontaneous sacrifice is real sacrifice. My friends sacrificed time, money, and their own agendas for Johnny, and to support him. This is a true and real kind of love.

Routine is no way to live. I’m a creature of habit, and get very comfortable in routines and timelines and plans. This very nearly prevented me from embarking upon one of the most beautiful little adventures of my life.

People should be celebrated. If it weren’t for Brooke and Sheldon, I would not have seen Johnny this past weekend, or likely ever seen him play varsity soccer.

Little acts of kindness that focus on the other are what it’s all about. A parking garage monitor reduced our parking cost significantly, just cuz. Sheldon bought a homeless man a donut and coffee in Chicago, just cuz. Jay got up at 6:30am to make sure we were safe. Brooke sacrificed her weekend plans so I could see Johnny. Sheldon drove with no sleep to make it all possible.

I have been so inspired to live in a way that serves others, as I know this is the way to serve Jesus, the ultimate completely selfless lover.

What a weekend, and what a God, who has blessed me with such incredible people as role models, friends, and my amazing boyfriend.

Until next time, Wisconsin!

21st Birthday Reflections

On Wednesday, I turned 21 years old.

I am officially in the 20s.

And, while it doesn’t feel weird– I’m mostly surrounded by people in their mid-20s, and I feel I’m mature for my age– the milestone led me to a lot of reflecting.

Put honestly, I’d be lying if I said what I’m about to detail is every major reflection I’ve been having. While I’ve been quite honest in the space of this blog, and delved into some very personal things, I think it’s important to note that reflections of the human spirit and mind go much deeper– into the territory of thousands and thousands of words of reflection– than what I’m able to document in a single blog post.

That aside: 21 made me feel loved. 

It made me think back to age 8, when I was obsessed with Harry Potter, memorized monologues in my spare time, and read every book I could get my hands on.

Of age 11, when I found out I was allergic to dairy, started caring a lot more about what people thought of me, but still was a straight-A student.

Of age 14, when high school felt like the whole world, and I had my first secrets and truly deep-seated fears, and I still told everyone I was “going to be a pastor.”

Of age 16, when anorexia was my identity, when every day was spent in fog and trying to find any energy to move/live/be, when my thoughts were consumed with calories.

Of age 17, when I was kind-of-sort-of-better-cuz-I-was-eating-again-but-not-enough-and-measuring-everything-and-life-revolved-around-food, and parties were all that mattered, and alcohol became my new favourite way to live in excess, and in all-or-nothing.

Of age 18, when “pastor-school” was a reality, and I heard Jesus’ voice and His love, and nothing else mattered, and I knew there was freedom from my demons and that I wanted it because He did.

Of age 19, when freedom became a reality, and Joy like nothing else took over, and my life finally became less about me and more about others. When I truly gave Him my life and said “I’m walking with you, Jesus, no turning back.”

Of age 20, when I learned more just how I broken I am, just how much I need Him, and that, while I’m not perfect, He is. It’s all about Him.

Of age 21, when I’m learning how to rest, that my identity is in Him and not my actions, that there is grace, but that He loves me too much to leave me where I’m at.

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A birthday to remember spent with beautiful friends who know me too well, and gifted me thoughtful (and funny!) things that I cherish, but no gift better than that of their time.

I know what’s important in life and what I want it to be coloured by, and it’s knowing my God and His heart more each day, so that I can become more like Him for His glory and His people.

It’s a good 21st birthday. I’m so excited and so beyond blessed by where He’s placed me, and who He has called me to be.

And now, to add to reflections…

I’m reflecting on this deliiiiccious dinner.

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Greek Chicken Souvlaki 

Ingredients

(for one person)

4 oz chicken, chopped

1/4 red onion, sliced

1/4 bell pepper, sliced

2 tsps oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp red wine vinegar

pinch each oregano and basil

1 tsp mustard

salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp yogurt of choice

2 Tbsp garlic dill pickle, finely chopped

1/2 Tbsp of juice from pickle jar

Hummus, spinach, and bread, to serve

Method

  1. In medium bowl, place chicken. In separate, small dish, combine oil, garlic, lemon, vinegar, oregano and basil, mustard, and salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover and refrigerate, at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat medium skillet over medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add chicken and all marinade. Add bell pepper and onion to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  3. In small bowl, mix yogurt, pickle, pickle juice, and salt and pepper.
  4. Serve chicken mixture with salad, hummus, bread, and yogurt mixture for the ultimate healthy, simple Greek souvlaki!

New House, New Recipe

Moving.

Does the word itself give you anxiety?;)

It’s such a confusing one for me. Both exciting and dreadful, the process of moving house is mentally and physically draining, but also, I find, always quite memorable.

Well, moving is exactly what my roommates and best friends, Maddie and Mary, and I have been doing the past few days. Having lived together for two years now, with each year a bit of a different set up than the last, our third and, likely, final year of living together is in a three-level townhouse, much different from our one-level unit shared between five people. It has been a transition that so fair has gone smoothly, despite Maddie and I finding a massive beetle our first sleep here… finding myself sick and fevered since we moved in… and struggling to find the perfect layout for the house, though disagreements have been minor.

From my mom and sister coming late at night to help me move, making my entire day, to debating for over half an hour on how to place decorations on one little shelf, this move has been an exemplary revelation of the love I’m surrounded by, and the excitement my roomies and I have for this final year. I’m anticipating a year of learning and growing closer to Jesus only ever, facing challenges and developing new skills.

Since living here, I even got to test a new recipe! This is a mini veggie pot pie that I whipped up from scratch.

Veggie Pot Pie For One

Ingredients

1/4 c whole wheat flour

1 tsp oil

1 Tbsp almond milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 c butternut squash cubes

3 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

1/4 c onion, diced

1/4 cup mushrooms

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp garlic powder

2 Tbsp almond milk or cream

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup cooked quinoa

1 Tbsp toasted oats

Method

1. In small dish, combine flour, oil, milk, and salt until a dough forms. Press dough into bottom and sides of a mini ramekin. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On foil lined baking tray, place squash, celery, and carrots. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, heat generous amount of oil in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add onion, and cook about 3 mins, until fragrant. Add mushrooms, thyme, garlic, milk, vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Sauté another 7-10 minutes.

4. Add roasted vegetables and quinoa to saucepan, along with 1/3 cup boiling water. Mix well. Scoop this filling into the prepared ramekin of dough. Bake about 18-20 minutes, sprinkling with oats at the last minute. Serve hot.

UPDATE: Excitable Hellos, Tearful Goodbye, Seasons Changing

Hello Friends!!
Long time no blog. I have missed sitting to write. How I feel my soul has been needing to sit and let the words flow in pen and paper. Or, more accurately, finger tip and keyboard.

And, friends, this song share is my theme song right now.

I want to start this post off by acknowledging a prayer from the hearts of one of my dearest friends, Josee.

I haven’t even gotten back to this precious girl yet. But Josee left me a voicemail with a prayer. It was timely, as is Josee’s way. It’s Jesus’ way. And Josee prayed over my desire to be with Jesus, that He would increase that desire and increase my capacity to hear from Him.

Since that prayer, Jesus has done just that, as He faithfully does. And in the midst of some of the biggest and most drastic changes of my life (new church, Johnny heading back to school and soccer, new house, less roommates, one of my best friends married, last year of uni, new jobs), I have recognized both my own complacency and fear.

But He’s stilled me. As I’ve tried to fill fears with things 

— some tangible some imaginary —

He has called me to be still. 

It’s been uncomfortable.

My identity has been brought into question.

If I’m not

the thinnest, the kindest, the best cook, the best writer, the leader, 

what am I?

If I’m not

constantly perfecting my craft, 

who am I?

If I’m not

living in my beautiful relationship with Johnny,

what is my worth?

It’s these ugly questions I’ve had to confront as my mind has wanted to keep soooo busy in the thick of all this change and chaos. I maxed out my booty at the gym, planned out every detail of the perfect new house, perfected all my agendas, completed a bunch of tasks for work, prepped my school notebooks– all things that have needed to be done, but all as a means of distracting myself from underlying

f e a r .

I have always felt I dealt well with change. But maybe it’s because my “dealing” is in busybodying. Which looks great to the world… but sometimes, we all just need to cry.

Most importantly, we all need to bring any identity we conjure up to the foot of the cross, that Jesus might be made our everything. King of hearts, in His rightful place.

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Jesus, help me not to walk in my own way, to fill my life with meaninglessness, but to put all my trust in You. Lord, help me to know my True and Real identity in You. Might I not fear, Lord, but know the power that You have in me, and the relationship you desire to have with me at all times. May my joy be complete in You, so that I can do YOUR works, and not the world’s works. 

God, would you show yourself to all of us who think things or people or health or knowledge or talents will satisfy or improve our lives. Reveal Your eternal plan of love and joy to Your people, Lord. 

Jesus, I repent of my turning from You. Lord, help me to live in harmony with You, and not in worry or fear. Help me to know that You are constant in the change. You never change, and I can’t wrap my head around that sacrificial love, Lord. Thank-you for filling me up so vibrantly right now, Lord. 

One of these beautiful changes has been the wedding of one of my dear best friends, Beth.

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Beth and Jared live to serve Jesus. They are clearly called for ministry, and whatever that ends up looking like, I know that He will use them for such glory, and I simply cannot wait to watch Him continue to work out their story. It was simply a classy, beautiful, Jesus-filled wedding like none other.

And as I reflect on this “Jesus-filled”…

Lord, You see me. You know me. And You love me, through and through.

(How, we think? How, with all our ugly and pride and gossip and sin?)

Jesus’ unconditional love is purposed to be perfected in His people. And I see it, in all its glory, in the wedding of Beth and Jared.

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I see His love in my Johnny, who left for the start of His final year at Providence University College.

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I am so filled with pride for him and his hard work, determination, love for people, and expectation of Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness. Jesus, use Johnny for all Your glory. Surprise him. Love him and strengthen him. 

Until we meet again, my love.

Being apart is hard. It’s easy to wallow in missing, in “craving,” in melancholy. But I know far too well the calling God has for us to live out this time of distance for Him, and that is exactly what we will do. Pressing into Him, trusting Him, grabbing hold of Him, extra-intentionally reaching out to each other, too. This is a beautiful opportunity to invest in our communication for life.

In the midst of such a tearful goodbye has also been some beautiful reunions.

Like those with my beautiful friend and past roomie Autumn; one my dearest brothers, Kevin; my precious friend Sarah, from Creekside; and one of my best friends from high school and her boyfriend, Sammy and Tanner.

I made a tried and true breakfast recipe of mine for a couple of these friends: PB&J Breakfast Cake.

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PB&J Breakfast Cake

(recipe for one serving)

Ingredients

1/3 cup oats

1 egg white

1 Tbsp sugar or stevia

1 Tbsp coconut cream or regular cream

1 Tbsp almond milk or other milk

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp peanut butter

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp berry protein powder

2 Tbsp hot water

Whipped topping and berries, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small ovenproof baking dish.
  2. In blender place oats, egg white, sugar, cream, milk, oil, peanut butter, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, and blend about 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared dish.
  3. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until inside is cooked, and edges are golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, mix protein powder and hot water in small dish. When cake is cooled, poke holes in top of cake. Pour protein powder mixture over top.
  5. Top with whipped cream and berries. Eat warm or cold; mix up and serve like cereal with milk, if desired! Soooo yummy.

The Busyness Sickness

I believe it’s our generation’s sickness.

The need to be busy and the association with productivity and identity.

This past weekend, I got to go to my cottage with one of my amazing sisters and my amazing boyfriend.

Johnny, bless his heart, drove about nine combined hours so we could be at the cottage for just about 24 hours. And it was so worth it.

Not doing much but chillen on the beach, plus a solo canoe trip and a gorgeous hike, I wanted to be there simply to be there, my favourite place on my planet earth, one of Jesus’ simple gifts to my family.

And I heard lies about it being pointless. About missing out on work and money, etc.

But here’s the thing about the cottage.

God has always used to remind fickle me how constant He is.

When I’m there again for another summer, it’s always as if no time has passed. And yet Jesus has gone before me, and I am so small. But Him and His love alive in me?! SO BIG!

Jesus, Jesus, draw me back to the simplicity that is intimacy and relationship with YOU FIRST. Remind me that nothing is worth doing without You, and that my life is for You. Jesus, Jesus, I pray for more of your life giving Spirit in me. Thank you for being my rock, and for saying “I need only be still,” and know that yours is the fight (2 Chronicles 20:15).

Enjoy the rest of these cottage pics!

UPDATE: Delish Homecooked Dinner, Saying Yes and Saying No, Breakfast Series

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been on the blog!

I guess I’ve been busy living. Ive been trying to stay off social media and technology because every time I get a little taste of LIFE I’m like, This is how it’s meant to be. This is freaking GOOD.

I also realize how much more equipped I am to serve when I’m actually livin’.

I wanted to drop in to share a simple, time saving dinner recipe for you guys. Super simple, ingredients probably already in your fridge, and impressive.

Looks average, tastes gourmet!

Chicken (or Fish) and Potatoes, Vamped Up

Ingredients (for 2 servings)

1/2 Tbsp butter or margarine

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 1/2 c chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 c uncooked corn

1 cup baby potatoes, quartered

2 tsp oil

2 tsps miso paste

For the chicken

1 Tbsp oil

2 large chicken breasts

2 cups broccoli

1 Tbsp margarine

2 tsps balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

Method

1. In soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining soup ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes.

2. In medium skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add chicken and butter and cook about five minutes; flip, and cook 5 minutes more. Add broccoli and more butter if needed. Add balsamic and season to taste. Reduce heat, and sauté until chicken is done and broccoli is tender.

3. To serve, split potato mixture and chicken mixture into two portions. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and serve with extra boiled corn or steamed broccoli for variety, if desired.

Finally, I guess I’ve been feeling this pressure that I can’t quite articulate. To be on it. To be the best friend and “perfect” to every person I encounter. But these feelings of needing to “measure up” in my own strength will only lead to burnout, because I can’t do it. Only He can, and I know it. So it’s time to surrender.

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ Phil 3:8

Jesus, thank you for being such a loving, forgiving, always gracious Father. Your love for us blows my mind! I feel that I don’t deserve your grace, and yet You always grant it. Thank you. Show me Your peace, Lord, so that I am actually equipped to serve You and love others the way you would have me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.