The Writing Bug

I have an unwavering, overwhelming, constant need to write.

I’ve had it since before I can remember.

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher entered a paper I wrote in a writing contest that I ended up winning. From that point forward, I was told my every English teacher that I should keep writing.

And this need to write hasn’t ceased… but my follow-through and actual time spent writing has.

I don’t blame anyone but myself, and relent my frustration toward one thing: technology.

So, I have some questions for you guys.

Do you feel guilty when you spend time consuming others’ creative content rather than creating yourself?

Do you push off “content creation” for relaxation? Or is content creation not on your radar?

Do you have goals and plans for your creative work? How do you prioritize those goals?

I have affirmation that part of my life’s work is meant to be in writing content that helps people. And while I don’t know exactly what that’s meant to look like, I simply keep trusting and walking in the plans God has for me.

Today was a day of errands all across the town.

I got my hair done for free by my beautiful friend Morgan to help her with her updo skills, went grocery shopping, and picked up my new glasses, all with the encouragements that make up #BellLetsTalk day ringing through my ears, while I thought, if these torturous illnesses exist and are people’s realities, we NEED to be talking about them.

And now I’m getting ready to do homework, but not without first sitting down to simply write.

And in the midst of confusion, of wondering more than ever “what the heck” I’m going to pursue in a career, and resting in Jesus, today of all days I know it’s ok to be confused, to be broken. It’s actually part of the calling.


“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
 Ps.147:3

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Forgetting to Be Expectant: How Breakfast At Work Changed Me

It’s something I’ve been piecing together for many months now about the state of my own mental and spiritual health (SO not a fixed state), and about the way I’ve been living.

And it was something so outside of me that I will attempt to put to words that revealed to me what it is that has been a struggle of late. It’s a struggle, I think, that much of our Western, social-media-absorbing, iPhone-adjusted generation deals with.

Last Saturday, the day after my fiancee Johnny headed back to the next province over for his final year of university, after a glorious month of time together, I didn’t necessarily go into work consciously expecting a wonderful day. After chatting on the phone with Johnny, though, and already feeling more uplifted just by his kind, familiar voice, my favourite voice, I headed out to work, and ran into my co-worker on the walk over. Will is one of those friends who doesn’t let a shift just be a shift. He starts conversation, he’s so curious about everything, and he has such strong passions. He humbly doesn’t let a shift just be about tasks, but communicates with his staff.

This is my natural personality, too, I’d like to think. It’s also the joy of Christian person, I think. But, recently, my brain has been so hyper-focused on an overwhelming amount of tasks on to-do lists that it has traded compassion for check-marks, and selflessness for just-getting-stuff-done.

That kind of exhausting mindset, though, has also led me to more moments spent scrolling on Instagram than I care to admit, and less productivity than could possibly satisfy such all-or-nothing thinking.

Will saw me that day. He saw ME, as a person, and met me where I was, caring about nothing but doing his job well, and interacting with me as his co-worker and friend. And when my mind wanted to wander to tasks, Jesus Himself stopped that mind in its tracks and prompted me to meet Will, and all my customers, with the same genuine care.

And so that morning, to start off the shift, Will exclaimed “I’m so excited for today because I’m makin us the best breakfast.”

And breakfast was HAD. Will’s kindness inspired so many of my customer interactions, as well as our conversations throughout the whole day, which were anything but surface level as we worked.

Eating the breakfast without asking questions like, “what oil did you use on these eggs,” or “how many potatoes is this?” Is still enough to make me smile. Read about the freedom I’ve experienced from disordered eating here.

And, after work, I had a healing, timely, and uplifting conversation with my parents that I don’t think I will ever forget.

Death to anxious thoughts that want to keep me from speaking for fear of saying the wrong thing. And I pray for Jesus’ mouth and words of which there is no anxiety and simply endless love.

And, may I be expectant that each day would be great because of what JESUS is going to do in fulfilling His promise, and being Himself in our broken world. Nothing of us, and all of Him.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 

The Winter Blues

Does winter get anyone else down in the dumps?
I’m not trying to blame my attitude on the cold, because I know that owning my attitude is always my responsibility. But man… I really, really hate the cold. 

It is one sensation I can think of that makes me truly ANGRY.

It makes every activity more difficult. Like today, thinking about leaving the house for the different things on my agenda, from a meeting at my pastors’ house with their kids, which is one my favourite parts of my week, to a coffee and study date with beautiful Mary, to shopping, all things I love and have a generally positive attitude about– the cold weather can literally be enough to almost keep me inside.

Always “almost”… it’s never actually kept me inside, that I can recall.

But the severity of my disliking toward cold weather makes me wonder why we have it in the first place.

And then it makes me reflect why we have much bigger, truly problematic situations present in the world, hardships and fighting and poverty and greed.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Now, I am a baby and out of line to liken dealing with the cold as a very privileged Western person as “suffering.” But my internal and external struggles with it reminded me of the promise of this verse in Romans. Suffering, hardships, difficult times, and struggles… they are part of the Gospel. They themselves produce endurance, which produces character, which produces hope in God’s love, NO MATTER WHAT.

So, to my friend struggling… with ANYTHING…

God knows you. Inside and out. And He hears your silent prayer. Bring it to Him, for real, and entrust it to Him. Know that He has deeper plans for every trial, and that an attitude that says, “This hardship will produce endurance, which will produce character, which will produce hope in the ONE THING that will never fail” is one God calls you to. 

Don’t judge me, but I’m still gonna go into the cold with an attitude that says that God is gonna use the chill in my bones to produce endurance, character, and hope… and honestly, He does. He uses everything. 

Fall Favourites 2018

It is mid-November.

I am mid-way through the first semester of my last year of my undergrad. 
Can anyone in the same place– or who’s been there– vouch for the insanity? 
Yeah. Breaks in order to carry out passions are necessary, I have found. 

That is why I keep up the blog. Many of these posts, have proven to be helpful for some, and many of them just fun reads, and many of them sparking conversations that have changed my life… or, I’m told, someone else’s… 

So, I keep blogging. I pray God continues to use it. 

Today, Wednesday, has the blessing of being a break in my week, consisting of zero lectures, and time to study, reset, hit the gym, hang out with friends, etc. This morning I was blessed by a meeting with my pastors, where these amazing friends of mine blessed me with their time and wisdom. I am so incredibly grateful to go to a church in which the leadership sees community and mentorship as a vital part of church.

After which, I got to head home and clean with my beautiful roommate, bride-to-be, and friend, Mary. This girl is one of my greatest blessings, and we have most definitely become like sisters. Investing in relationships and people in her life so beautifully, Mary has taught me so much about self-awareness and awareness of others. Maddie and Mary are both such incredible blessings to me that I cannot imagine my life without. 

And now, I’m enjoying a break in studying to blog, and felt inspired to do one of my old favourites post:
Essentially sharing the top ten miscellaneous “things” I’m loving this season, that I think you might appreciate, too.

Music. 

PVRIS. Thanks to a co-worker and friend, I have discovered my love for girl alternative music, particularly this band.

Food. 

I used to think I hated pumpkin… but I have this new fancy for it. Versatile for both sweet and savoury recipes, so healthy, and so flavourful, I especially love it in this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s also super affordable! 

Menu.

The restaurant I work at just launched its new menu! And it is incredible. If you are in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, be sure to check out one of our two locations!

Serving something for literally every kind of eater, catering to all allergies and dietary preferences, plain ol picky eaters, and meat and potato lovers. Real people, real food– and that’s what makes me passionate about this place.

Podcast.


I am so grateful for the podcasts broadcasted by my pastor, Mike Rutledge. For leaders of any kind, these podcasts are sure to glean something true for you! While those are not public as of now, his sermons are– and they are phenomenal. Check them out here .

Class.

I am loving my Christian Studies Seminar class so much. Learning such tangible things about program development, research, and integrating different practices, I feel I am finally honing in on some of my passions and callings. 
To brief the project that is coming out of this class, head here.

Worship.

Sitting still with Jesus and singing this song to Him is powerful.

Hobby.

I would say that my number one “hobby” is tap dancing. It is one of my favourite things to do, most definitely my favourite form of exercise, and a practice that gives me so much joy. My school showcase is coming up on December 2nd!

Make-Up.

This eyebrow pencil gave me so much more eyebrow confidence! (When I choose to use it, haha).

Blogger.

Currently catching up on all the posts by my girl Mackenzie. 

Fierce, strong, and beautiful, she is a must-read blogger.

New Friendship.

Blooming so quickly, I have a new friend at church named Kayla, who is one of the fastest friendships I’ve ever formed. She is someone I feel I’ve known forever, and who I’ve been able to open up with instantly. Do you know those friendships? So special and such blessings. People will trump places, work, and experiences for me, always. 

For My Sister on Your Birthday

My Sweet, special sister,

18 never looked so beautiful.

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My sweet pea, you have such a fiercely loving heart. You have always had this beautiful compassion for people that translates to the way you interact with people.

I have watched you feel so deeply and love so boldly, and I love watching you blossom.

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Since the first time I saw you dance– really dance– about 3 years ago, I knew you were a shining star. Remember that fame has nothing to do with the gifts God has blessed you with. He’s going to use them whether your name is known or not. That has no bearing on the beautiful talents you have. I will always be your fan, and I will always cheer on your passions.

And your voice. Your speaking voice brings joy and smiles to so many faces, and your singing voice carries such depth and pure talent no one can deny. I am so proud of all of your hard work, determination, and persistence to do what you feel called to do.

Keep seeking that calling, and rest in the fact that you are so loved, so precious, and so called. I am forever your big sister, which is forever one of my favourite parts of who I get to be. Not because I’m a big sister– but because my little sister is one of the coolest people I’ve ever known.

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I love love love you with all my heart. You are in my prayers always.

Check out my amazing sister’s music! 

Not My Will

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

Waiting.

It’s hard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But He always knows.

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

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

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

‘ina

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When I stumble upon this in my textbook:

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

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

It is this truth that has set me free.

And that reminded me of the freedom yesterday.

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

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

This is hard to write, but necessary to write.

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

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

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

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

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

And more rebirth. More memories. More healing.

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

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

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

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

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

This whole ordeal– Hina. SO THAT. Purpose.

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