Discovering Sufficiency

He is said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Is it?
Do I live as though I believe this? Do I believe this?

Today Jesus blessed me by confronting me with this grace that I certainly believe in, this Truth that is too good to be true– Jesus’ grace is all I need— and giving me tangible tools to heal from layers of lies that have sought to teach me that grace isn’t sufficient.

All in His timing.

Jesus, You are so so good.

Waking early this morning, I made pumpkin spice pancakes and coffee and spent time in His Word before heading out the door to meet two of my pastors and friends.

What the next hour in their company brought was healing I couldn’t imagine.

Offering me leadership accountability and counselling, this dynamic duo, through the Holy Spirit, equipped me with tools as I met them with my biggest conviction of the past several years: My lifestyle is too busy.

I don’t live as though I believe His grace is sufficient. Because when I’m not doing something, I think I need to be. I fill up all my time so that I don’t have to think or rest. A phenomenon that has led to my hyper-processing, and a low ability to focus on one thing at a time. Stressed to the max, I haven’t known how to say no.

After meeting with this beautiful family, I took all my notes and everything they had said, and prayed. I sat still in Jesus’ presence and allowed myself to be there. And I heard Him speak:

There are still areas of law in your life, Cassie. I call you to freedom. 

Having feared, in the past, letting go of many of the stringent routines I’ve adhered to for a long time, Jesus made very clear to me some of the tangible things in these routines that didn’t need to be there, and that were stumbling blocks rather than helpful. Things I actually didn’t care about, but was just so used to doing.

I did the necessary things, after praying, to remove these stumbling blocks from my life.

Lay it down. He picks it up. Thank-you Jesus.

And today, I was more present than ever with my homework.

I had a killer workout without thinking about/stressing about other things.

I was present with my beautiful friend, Brooke, who really needed a listening ear.

And I’m not afraid to rest tonight and watch MasterChef, read a book I’m loving, eat some snacks. These simple things would usually give me anxiety that I have not previously been aware of, but, as I sit here and write, I feel a calm in every part of my being that I haven’t felt in a long time. I have established priorities that my Lord has anointed, and they’re for His sake, and rest/fun is a part of that.

His grace is sufficient for me, period. His grace is all this life is about. And I will boast in my weaknesses in order that His strength might be known– because the more weaknesses Cassie has, the more His strength is made manifest in my short time on this earth.

 

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Learning to Rest for Real

Happy Wednesday!

My Wednesdays look like rest this semester.

Like, actually. I mean, I do homework as needed, and I do my work from home (freelance writing projects and blog work), but this is about it. I have learned what rest is to me, and sometimes it looks like seeing friends, other times it needs to look like doing very little.

I always thought growing meant movement. Growth must equate to a “go-go-go” lifestyle, right?

Well, after a year of full-time uni, working three jobs, volunteering, and facing physical health issues, I have finally begun to learn that growth looks like synchronization with Jesús… which certainly doesn’t demand our doing fifty things at once.

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Psalm 127:2

It wasn’t until I went to Jesus to pray over some of these things in my life I saw as ministries that I realized I had become a slave to arbitrary laws surrounding them rather than seeking His will in them.

And, simply put, I am not capable of seeking His will whilst doing well in school and maintaining a personal relationship with Christ, nor am I called to. So while I left my this last year of university feeling like I had performed mediocrely, Jesus said I’ve never loved you on a basis of your performance, or how many things you can do at once. I simply love you, and I want to shine that love through you: energetic, called, and equipped Cassie.

I have always stood firmly by the belief that intentional relationships should trump experiences. I care deeply about the people in my life, and believe that compassion is at the heart of who our Lord is.

And compassion can surely be the initial reason for taking on a role of any kind, but it doesn’t necessarily sustain. And when it’s not His Spirit sustaining, that’s when productivity replaces passion, and results replace relationships.

I found myself dictated by stringent schedules and worldly standards, skipping my time at my Father’s feet and convinced outwardly that I didn’t need that time.

I’d love to say that I’ve found this perfect rhythm in which the Holy Spirit guides my every word and step, but I would be lying. But I certainly have been convicted that nothing of true worth can be done without Him.

So today, sleeping in, spending time catching up with Maddie and going to the gym with her, treating myself to a peaceful lunch, meeting with my friend and co-worker Dayna for coffee to catch up on life and work, looking forward to a slow night at home watching Masterchef… I recognize that I need this, because it’s in the spaces that I am not trying to fill that I recognize that my desire to fill spaces often comes from a place of fear.

But I need to rest to be equipped to serve.

I need to be filled up by Him in moments of silence and stillness in order to physically move.

So movement and growth, I’ve discovered, can look like what the world might call a step back.

 

Turning Like the Little Children

Today I feel old.

I don’t know if it’s because I have cable tv in a house I’m renting,

think about work constantly– even when I’m not there and should be thinking about other things–

spending my days running errands, grocery shopping, vacuuming,

visiting my newly married friend’s renovated house, with three large rooms, two for her stepkids and her bedroom of course the shared master bedroom with her husband…

I feel old!

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2

This verse has spoken volumes to me recently that part of the purpose of my life is to be in community with other people.

Friendships and relationships have always been so incredible important to me. More accurately, the human beings in my life are so important to me.

And while my health needs to be looked after, and the house needs to be cleaned, and work needs to be done, these are all secondary to serving Jesus’ Kingdom. Which doesn’t always look like tiring work.

I recently came from an incredibly busy season that taught me the importance and necessity of resting. Resting, which can look like fellowship, accountability, and learning, but also still needs to look like literal, physical rest.

I’m slowly allotting it in to my life. Slowly learning that I don’t need to be go-go-go from the moment I awake to the moment I sleep to be loved or to be productive. In fact, this makes me grumpy, resentful, and stressed.

Thank you, Jesus, for your Word about child-like faith. I know that I need to turn and be like little children in my daily life and my love for You. Help me, by Your Spirit, to know when it’s time to “play” and when it’s time to “work.” Amen.

When Nothing Goes as Planned…

One of those days where none of my plans happened the way they were supposed to.

I could list off quite a number of things that didn’t go today the way I’d thought them out or planned them through.

BUT

I can also list a number of things that happened that were blessings, amazing, and special.

Like the fact that one of the greatest people I’ve never known, Rachel, a barista I worked with at Starbucks, came to see me at my new job, and I wouldn’t have seen her if it weren’t for some cancelled plans.

Or the fact that I have time later to catch up with my momma.

When I choose to focus on where I am and the outcomes that have actually occurred, I am set free to accept, embrace, and live in God’s Truth, the path that I cannot change. But when I stress about changed plans, I subconsciously believe that God’s way wasn’t the best way, and I miss out on submitting to His perfection.

I am learning with age, and ultimately, Jesus, that patience and trust are key components of His Spirit that He calls me to rely on, in order to serve Him, and everyone around me. Trying to forge my own way never works… so I might as well sit back and trust, allowing the miraculous and blessing of the Holy Spirit to work through me. It will forever be the best life.

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.

“One of those days…”

It was one of those days.

I woke up feeling… complacent. A little anxious. My head was pounding and I felt a little stuffy, too. The weather was dreary and I felt overwhelmed for whatever reason.

I immediately perked up upon thinking about who I was about to go see– Daniella. One of my best friends, who has been by my side almost half my life.

Daniella had asked me to go on an adventure today, which usually equates to finding a waterfall a few cities over. But, with the forecast uninviting, we decided on a more chill scene of doing some work in a Starbucks before checking out a city right near us.

I spent some time in prayer, but rushed it. Rushed past my living God and what He was speaking, rushed through my time with Him, having already convinced myself it wasn’t going to be “fun” this morning.

What a lie.

I got ready for the day (coffee, banana with peanut butter, bad hair day in a low bun) and went to meet Daniella.

The plan was to bus to meet her, but, after missing three busses, Daniella kindly offered to come to me.

I was frustrated with myself, feeling melancholy, and guilty for disorganization when…

being with Daniella made that go away. Something I love about her is her ability to take everything in stride. She may not see it in herself, but she’s not calculative, never manipulative, always simply present.

We worked together for a few hours before our hope of the rain clearing dissipated and we settled on one of our favourite lunch spots, Copper Branch, after which we ventured to Cambridge.

It didn’t feel exciting, nor like an “adventure,” we both agreed– but I think that’s because an adventure wasn’t what we needed.

After stopping a new pop-up dairy-free ice cream place, and checking out a thrift shop, we walked down to a beautiful river and watched ducks. For a long time.

Taking no photos and documenting none of it for social media purposes, we just marvelled at the ducks, their family instincts, their beautiful feathers, intricate feet, uniqueness. We talked about how amazing it was that so many species existed. Stunned by the sheer beauty of these creatures.

I relayed a quotation I had recently read to Daniella by Toni Morrison:

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.

It’s something I love about her. She doesn’t feel the need to share photos or moments on social media because she doesn’t want to participate in distracting others from living the beauty themselves. And even watching those ducks, I wanted to blather on about them while she was so content to just observe them.

I think it’s one of the things that makes us soul sisters.

I didn’t know I needed to watch ducks that day, but God did. He quieted the complacency and reminded me of His marvellousness in the gentlest way, alongside the greatest friend.

Day in the Life: Chill Work from Home

I have discovered one of my dream jobs in freelance writing, and Wednesdays have thus become my favourite day.

Because on Wednesdays, I coffee and I write!

This morning I woke up leisurely at 8:30, enjoyed prayer time and then breakfast in bed with the MasterChef Canada finale (I am SO THRILLED with the winner!). Then I spent a few hours cleaning, doing laundry, and homework before heading out to my favourite “office”– my old workplace, Starbucks.

I wrote for three hours, in the zone, which flew by before heading to the gym for a really good workout. Groceries came next, and then back home for dinner before heading for a much appreciated outlet mall date with my lovely friend Ashlie. We had a fun little road trip and I got some things that have been on my summer list for a while.

And all of this got me thinking…

In the midst of every day, what actually matters is the little things. It’s the conversations that without Jesus I’m too lazy to have. It’s the extra love shown that without Jesus I don’t think I need to show. It’s the going out of my way and thinking of others before myself. It is these things that matter.

All the little things can go. The hustle and bustle of human consumption that has existed for years while people are born into this world and die from it. What matters? What started the world and will finish it? How temporary am I? Jesus reminded me whose I am when I sat and listened.

Jesus, use me. Fix my heart on You.

All of these errands got