Because You Were Born…

You were born to influence.

These are the notes from a sermon I delivered at the high school youth group at the church I’m interning at a couple weeks ago. 

I want us first to set ourselves in a place of receiving if you can do that with me.

Jesus says in Matthew 18:20:

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Because I really believe that no matter where you are right now, where God’s Word is is change for the better, although it may not be the kind of change we’re envisioning. If it’s God, it’s always good. So if you don’t know if you believe that, or maybe you so solidly believe that and you’ve heard a million messages and sat here and listened and you’ve had a mediocre day and your thoughts are elsewhere. Wherever you find yourself I just want you to try something with me. Close your eyes, and think about thousands of years ago. Before anything else, there was God. Who is perfect Love, and who held you and your existence somewhere in His being. Who created you and said you were good. Who wanted to use you to influence people in this short life, who created you for a purpose, and who created you that you would have eternal life. Even though you’ve ignored Him and chosen to do your own thing or gone on missions where you thought you’d be okay with Him. Even though you’ve thought more about yourself than your neighbour. Even though you’ve listened to negative influences, lied, sought after the future rather than thanking Him in the present. In the midst of all those things that same God, in the person of Jesus, is here right now, hugging you, smiling over you, speaking to you. Maybe you’ve gone up to this point listening to other voices, whether it be in your head or the voices of other people, that you don’t even feel like you know how to hear Him. But here is what He says, that “according to the riches of His glory, He will strengthen you with the power of His Spirit.” “That He has gone to prepare a place for you.” and that “He is beginning a good work in you HERE ON EARTH, that will be complete when Jesus comes to restore.” It all starts and ends with Him. If we are influenced by Him as our source, believing this to be entirely true, we will submit ourselves to Him and find joy that’s not just temporary, but eternal.

We have the capability of submitting to anything. PRAY.

When I was little, I was a trendsetter. Or so I thought. I lived by this notion that being entirely myself was the best way to be and so as a preteen, I wore Halloween and dance costumes to school, and I thought I was the coolest. I wasn’t very easily influenced by those around me. Until one day I remember vividly a friend of mine telling me that what I wore made me look “ugly.” That really hurt, and I started to think differently about myself. I became suddenly very aware of the social hierarchy around me, and the way people “fit in” according to whatever standard, or the way they didn’t. And I began to realize that the people that fit in got to decide the people that didn’t. From middle school, it was about where you sat to eat lunch and who you hung out with at recess, and in high school, it was about who got invited to parties and who got drunk. And in high school, that mattered to me somehow. I might not have vocalized it, or even realized that I thought it, but I lived in a way that said I believed that success was measured by my popularity.

We have the capability of living in submission to anything. Let’s break down this word “SUBMISSION.”


the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in submission to anything that isn’t true or real or what I’m actually meant to live in submission to.

In the middle school, I lived in submission to the idea that my own way was coolest. That going against the grain was coolest. That I could be my own trendsetter.

In high school, after running for co-prez and losing but having gained this popularity and confidence through the way people perceived me, I started for the first time going out with friends, drinking, making poor decisions. Living in a way that said I didn’t care about those around me. Living for myself and my image, and influenced by not necessarily bad people, but an accumulation of untrue thoughts.

Slide two

Thoughts like: If I miss this party, people won’t like me as much.

If I don’t get drunk, people won’t like me as much.

I have to hang out with the cool kids to fit in.

Because these were the thoughts I submitted myself to, obviously this reflected the kind of influence I was going to have.

I didn’t acknowledge these thoughts, but they were embedded in me somewhere. And so, in high school, I lived in submission to the idea that others’ ways were the coolest.

This talk is all about Influence and your friend groups. So far, we’ve talked about identity, Amanda talked about the way we can put our identity in other things but that putting it in Jesus is the way. Then Nat taught us that when we live with this firm identity, we are able to be selfless. To think of other people and have genuine compassion and purpose in that. And last week we talked about the fact that as humans, we’ve all slipped up and been forgiven graciously by our amazing God, and that we need to offer that forgiveness to others. As Christians, it’s our call to seek forgiveness and to forgive.

Now we’re at influence. Despite what you might be thinking, I’m not going to give you the “don’t hang out with negative influences” talk. I’m not going to echo, maybe your parents or anyone who’s told you not to hang out with “so and so,” in this particular talk. I’m not going to tell you that. What I’m telling you is that who and what you’re actually influenced by is what– WHO– is going to make you a good or bad friend, and determine the kind of influence you have on others, and who is going to help you decide who to hang out with. But I am going to ask you to think and engage with me, because unlike biology class or conversations about video games or crushes at the caf table today, this is really important stuff and I do believe it’s for you.

So let’s see. Do we think it’s better to shine ourselves, to live like we get to set the trends and do whatever we want? Or is it better to fit in and go with the flow of the crowd?
I’m a cook. I love baking. And so forgive me if this analogy is a bit of a stretch but I hope it speaks to you or at least you get a little bit of food porn here. Who else when you scroll by these you just get kind of like mesmerized? I know, I love it. And if you know anything about baking or cooking, you know about the importance of this one little ingredient that seems so unimportant but makes all the difference.

So if you don’t know anything about baking here’s a little lesson for ya… If there’s no salt, in food, the flavours of all the other foods aren’t brought out and don’t shine. If there’s too much salt, however, salt is all you taste. No salt in chocolate chip cookies means you want to eat three of them because you just want to really TASTE the cookie you know is there.

Let’s break that down. For example, my friends in high school that I partied with are amazing people who were genuinely oblivious at the time to the fact that their constant drinking was a cycle that caused drinking and partying to become their idol and life. I witnessed parties become life, to the point where my entire relationship with these friends was partying. If we weren’t at a party, honestly not doing much (standing around, or playing beer pong, or looking around, talking to people about…. nothing) we were talking about last weekend’s party where, yeah, not much happened. So and so got really drunk. These people “hooked up.” We would just talk about what happened at parties and not much else. And I always felt like I was on the cusp of so much bigger, actual purpose out there and I would grab on to it one day, but at least for high school I’d just focus on fitting in. In other words, hanging out with these really great people without realizing the kind of influence God wanted me to have and receive was like eating a chocolate chip cookie that didn’t have salt. I constantly felt like I was on the cusp of something good, but knew at the same time that my life was “bland.”

It was no fun. I did a lot of things that caused a lot of hurt by submitting first to my image and not thinking much about others.

There came this turn when God reached out to me and made me aware that He was the vital thing I was missing. He created me and I was meant to live for Him.

But when I turned from this way of thinking and became aware of the King of my Heart, started reading my Bible and was blessed to be surrounded by more Christian people– also when I started hearing these mixed messages from the church and Christian people, and I wondered if the right thing to do was to isolate myself from people who partied and got drunk and hooked up with people every weekend (and again, this is just one example of stereotyped *non-Christian activities*), and because I knew many of these friends to be kind people who were also incredibly selfless and devoted friends, I believed some of these were people God had placed in my life for a reason, friendships that were valuable. Some of them. Others of them, not so much. There were some friendships that I realized were destructive, where the friend was just taking and not investing back, where selfishness and gossip dominated.

For both cases, I had to pray and go to God and spend some time with Him, asking for forgiveness and allowing Him to found me on Him. Once I was able to confidently say that HE was my influence, His Spirit and Word and Life were where I was getting my influence and what my identity was founded on, then I was able to maturely let some friendships go, and the ones that were valuable only became so much better. I still have fun with those friends that love to party, but with Jesus in me I have no desire to drink to the point of sickness or selfishly consider my own image above caring for a friend. These friends have witnessed that change in me and not only respected it, but asked me lots of questions, commented that “I don’t think I wanna drink anymore,” and inspired much better conversations and hangouts. When I see some of these friends that are still in the realm of talking about drinking like it’s the only thing to talk about, or gossiping about those around us, I not only recognize that I used to engage in these conversations knowing there was SO MUCH MORE, but I can’t not ask them about more important things, and am reminded that those simple questions of caring and consideration mean so much, to anyone, because it’s a showcase of the kind of love that Jesus is already loving them with… that, as Christians, we’re called to love with.

So, was it better when I was in middle school and loudly setting all my trends, going my own way and thinking I could do whatever I wanted? No– there was too much salt, and so my pushing my own way was all people saw.

The same is true of our Christianity.

Now, again, the last thing I want you to take from this message is to only have Christian friends. Let’s look at this passage in 1 Corinthians as an example.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

*Really important* This Word is telling us directly that Paul is not talking about not associating with people that aren’t Christian. He’s telling us that it’s a lot more dangerous to hang out with people who claim to be Christians, but don’t live out of the Spirit, don’t expel the kind of love and selflessness regularly but rather are not very good people.  So when we actually have a firm foundation on Him, we’re actually CALLED to hang out with unbelievers, because we’re going to be the kind of witness and influence that can have great impact.

Wondering how to be this kind of friend?

  1. Always check your doctrine with the Word, in prayer, and then with fellow Christians. Growing in your faith involves these pillars: God’s Spirit most importantly, b) does it line up with His Word? And c) talking to people whose spirits you trust. When influence comes first of Jesus, we live closer to Heaven, closer to the way He called us to live. We are called to have the powerful influence of Jesus living inside of us.

Psalm 1 does remind us that those we hang out with can influence or sway us from alleigance to Jesus if we’re not careful.

Blessed is the one

   who does not walk in step with the wicked

or stand in the way that sinners take

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,

But here’s the thing. This Word doesn’t say to avoid “the wicked.” It says not to walk in STEP with the wicked. Not to submit to the wicked, or be influenced by the wicked.

But being a good influence doesn’t necessarily mean talking about Jesus all the time. Randomly bringing Jesus into conversation can sound a lot like judgement– and, frankly, often is out of judgement. Real friendship of any kind is a walk alongside someone, and, as Christians, our faith should probably be coming up in conversation with our friends, God changing both people, but that is in alignment with what He is doing, not pushing it of our own will. If you’re sprinkling salt randomly in your cookie dough, salt is all you’re going to taste. If you’re throwing Jesus randomly in your friends’ faces, they’re not going to see Him for who He is, and He’s got Perfect timing. *He’s in control, and when we realize that, we WANT to engage with what He’s doing, and be a part of how He’s already speaking to us and influencing us.* When you use just that teaspoon of salt as it’s designed for in cookies– ie, When you let Jesus be Jesus through you– the flavour and warmth and beauty of that incredible cookie dough will shine through.

Are you getting it?

Here is what I’m asking you today, because I’m sure many of us are in different places.


  1. Some of us may be in a place where we’re realizing right now that we’re living in alignment with something that isn’t true. We’re being heavily influenced by friends and doing things just to please those friends or to “fit in,” and maybe we need to step back and allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, to understand the kind of influence HE wants to have in our friendships.
  2. Maybe some of us are realizing that our friends aren’t very kind people, or we’re associating with people who just take and take and take, are dominantly selfish in the friendship, and we’ve been putting up with mistreatment that has allowed us to believe lies.
  3. Maybe WE OURSELVES are becoming aware of a negative influence we’ve BEEN in other friends’ lives, and need to ask forgiveness of those friends. (When I was in a place of making those very obviously poor decisions, I was very outwardly a negative influence, a time that I learned a lot from. Not to say that I’m a perfect friend now, but my Jesus is, and He’s in me so I can be confident in His strength through me. Urges me to call on Him).


  1. Maybe some of those friends are good people and these are good friendships, but we need to recognize God as the King of our hearts and listen for His voice in order to be the kind of friend He calls us to be. He still calls us to be a part of those people’s lives, but with God as our king and loving them through His influence.


  1. e) The ideal friendship is one in which both people are influenced by God, challenging each other, putting God first and loving the other through Him. But this isn’t the only kind of green light friendship, I would say we’re actually going against the Word entirely, against the whole person of Jesus if we say that. He calls us not to discriminate, but also to interact with all people seeing them for the amazing potential they have through Jesús, and He empowers us to change lives and actually point people to Him when He is our own priority.


  1. Maybe you’re frustrated with non-Christian friends and have just been judging them out of a place of just wanting them to know that they can have relationship with Jesús, but we’re not going to Jesús to do that in a loving way. I know i’ve done this too. You know these Truths and feel confident in your relationship with God, and you’ve been pushing Him on other people. Go to Him to love. Let Him love through you, and be patient with those in your lives. He speaks loudly when we’re listening, and it’s never a boring thing.  

Or maybe you have a range of these friendships! Whatever the case, I want to pray with you now.



Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes


If you’re asking ME, this is the best dessert recipe I’ve ever created.

But that’s if you’re asking me.

Similar to how, if you were a customer at the cafe I work at and asked me which smoothie I most recommend, Id say our Active Smoothie (peanut butter and banana). I am a little biased toward peanut butter being the yummiest food known to man. But peanut butter + banana + chocolate? Oh boy. I’ll take 10😉.

These cupcakes are not super sweet. They are the rich cocoa kind of taste, but you could easily make them sweeter to your liking.

Honestly, you just have to make these. They’re too good, and may or may not have been my breakfast this morning.

Peanut Butter Banana Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


(For 9 cupcakes)

3/4 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup almond milk (or any milk)

1/4 cup coconut cream

2 mashed bananas

1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut whipped topping (or dairy whipped topping)

1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

3/4 cup additional peanut butter

1/2 cup maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tray with 9 paper liners.

2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix in egg, 1/4 cup peanut butter, almond milk, coconut cream, and just 1 banana, and stir until thoroughly combined.

3. Distribute batter evenly among paper liners. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely.

4. Meanwhile, make the frosting. Combine whipped topping, 1 1/2 cups cocoa, 3/4 cup peanut butter, the second banana, and maple syrup, and mix well. Frost cupcakes generously. Top with banana coins and a drizzle of peanut butter to serve!

Photo an Hour

Hey friends!

Today I was tagged to take a photo for every hour of the day with one caption for each.

So here’s a quick little day in the life on an extraordinary Wednesday!

Bible study and time in prayer started the day. I’m currently reading 2 Samuel, which has been one of my favourite Old Testament books so far.
Next came some important additions and references to my agenda.

I did some homework next. Usually I’m out of bed at this point, but I was clearly too comfy this morning.

Maddie slept over last night, and so we talked for a while before then heading to the gym together.

Next came a walk uptown for a meeting with the lovely manager of the brilliant company I write for, LeadManaging.

We met at Princess Cafe, where I had a delish goat cheese grilled cheese and coffee, while so enjoying and appreciating my meeting with Dayna.

Tonight we were excited to get to be on a panel with some other incredible people all about relationships. Johnny and I were humbled and grateful for this opportunity to share what Jesus has done in through our relationship for His glory. He is so good!

Lessons from the Birthday Babe Beth

Today, I am highlighting some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in life, influenced and inspired by one of the most significant people in my life, Beth Foster.


Not only is this beautiful girl one of the most gorgeous girls I’ve ever seen, that beauty lies within, too.

Top Five Lessons I’ve learned from this 22-year-old

5) There’s always time to stop and chat. Beth always has time for her friends. She constantly puts others first– even in the midst of finishing her last year of university and planning her wedding! Beth is sooo good at living in the moment, listening attentively, and meeting people where they’re at.

4) The truth may sting, but it’s the only thing worth talking about. Beth is one of the most trustworthy and honest people I’ve ever met, and it’s a trait I’ve thus grown to respect and grow in so much as being so significant to the Spirit of Jesus! Beth never sugarcoats anything, but always tells the truth. She prays for the truth and speaks it, and I know I am always receiving nothing but pure honestly when she talks to me. In this way, she has helped me countless times in a way that hit hard, but led to such freedom and understanding. She only ever speaks out of love.

3) Vulnerability is the place where healing is possible. Beth is also so real about her own struggles, even though I am always surprised to hear she has them! She is truly one of the most put-together people (and not *just* on Instagram– I live with her, I know!), but can also be broken, and will be because she knows prayer and encouragement through Jesus will bring healing. Meeting others in a vulnerable state also has helped me to be vulnerable with her, and with others that I trust, too.


2) Work ethic and drive go a long way. Beth is so determined, organized, and hard-working. One thing we relate on very much is our struggle to relax, but Beth takes this to such a height. She is go-go-go, and always working for the Lord’s glory. And it shows in the success and talent she so clearly possesses.

1) A relationship with Jesus is the most important part of life. Beth’s prayer life and relationship with Jesus flows in and through everything she does. She desires that His name be glorified, and she desires to know Him more every day, and that pursuit is so clear in who she is, how she lives, and her testimony.


Beth, on this your 22nd birthday, I am SO grateful to call you one of my best friends and sister. I love you ever so much, and can’t wait to celebrate many more birthdays. I know Jesus is only just getting started with how He needs to use you.

Goat Cheese Radish Salad

While hungrily waiting for Johnny to come over for dinner tonight, I invented this delicious salad with some of the fresh ingredients in my fridge. The radish with the Apple and red wine dressing was a perfect combo!

Goat Cheese Radish Salad

Ingredients (for 1)

2 cups arugula

1/4 Apple, chopped

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp ground mustard

salt and pepper

1 slice whole grain bread, quartered

1 ounce goat cheese, sliced


1. Assemble arugula, radishes, and apple slices on a plate.

2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, and mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.

3. Drizzle oil over the toast halves. Broil for about 1 minute; flip toast and top with cheese. Broil another minute or so, or until Cheese is bubbly.

4. Top salad with toasts and enjoy!

Day in the Life: Working from Home, Reunited with My Best Friend, Exhausted?

Wakin up next to my best friend this morning was like livin the dream again, finally!

Maddie, my roomie who is moved back home for the summer, slept over last night at our student house that we, during the school year, live in together. It was so great to be reunited with this beautiful girl who has always naturally felt like my sister. We had such a needed catch up last night and then this morning over an early bird breakfast special before running errands together, and then cracking down on some work.

I have a few freelance writing projects on the go, and so my office was a Starbucks with Maddie doing homework next to me while I wrote away. Check out the blog that I edit and write for at I am taking new clients to write for at the moment as well, so be sure to get in touch with me via the blog here, or contacting me via Instagram if you have content curating needs!

I live the dream when I’m writing away, that’s for sure! And spending the day with Maddie, despite it being a little chaotic, was the biggest blessing I could ask for. This girl is my second half, natural sister, and simply such a beautiful soul. We had such a good time together, and I can’t wait until we’re living together again, for probably the last time next year.

My dear Johnny has been really sick, unfortunately, basically the entire time he’s been back from Winnipeg. I’m proud of the way he’s been handling this stress, and working myself on giving our relationship continuously to God for His glory, and trusting that He will heal Johnny in His timing, and teach and challenge him along the way.

Youth was also tonight, and, while I was so wrecked tonight by Jesus’ presence I was overwhelmed, humbled, and convicted, with that came a physical exhaustion like I haven’t had in a long time! I came home from great fellowship and important time with Jesus to pray about my burnt out feelings and current busy schedule, seeking the Lord’s will for my life and time. I know that this short life is for Him, and when it’s in line with what His living Spirit is doing and speaking, that’s where LIFE is. Spending time reflecting on and listening to Him was the most important part of today.

Lord, thank-you for reminding me that You call me to love. Jesus, I want to put You first, and I know that means loving other people as myself, seeking your will for my life, and serving You in all that I do. May I not seek selfish pleasure, speak unkindly, or turn to anger. Grant me Your Spirit and grace. For Jesus’ glory. Amen.

A Rare Word About Eating Disorder Recovery (Highly Requested): My Thoughts on/Experience with Minnie Maud


So if you didn’t know, this blog originally started as a documentation of my recovery from eating disorders.

A year and a half ago, I was mentally healed from this disorder. Read all about that here.

I have been moving toward writing a post about tips for gaining weight, menstruating regularly, and all the physical aspects of recovery when I realized that… oh yeah, it’s been a year and a half and I am still not fully weight restored, and still don’t have my period, so I am not really in a position to write about those things at all. Ha.

I have, however, gained 12 pounds in the last 5 or 6 months, and gotten my period twice in the last year (slow by steady progress).

I know what it is like to be so frustrated by the weight gain process. I personally have experienced bouts of ravenous, “extreme” hunger in which it is very easy and desired for me to eat four large meals and multiple snacks in a day, but those days are accompanied by days in which my stomach is in terrible pain, and I have no appetite whatsoever. I have experienced such frustration in I’m so positive I’ve gained weight, and the scale sometimes dropping. My metabolism is now very fast, and sometimes it seems as if I’m a bottomless pit.

However, I was in this for a whole year with basically no change in my weight, and just in the past few months have slowly gained those twelve pounds.

What did I do differently?

Two important things:

  1. I acknowledged that, while I was mentally free from food rules and obsession, my physical body was not caught up with that whatsoever. My hormones were out of whack, my bones and muscles weaker, stomach smaller, brain less alert, and body having been undernourished for a long period of time. Simply put, I was in an energy deficit.
  2. I needed, therefore, not to “just eat” as, in freedom, I had been, but actually eat in a surplus. My body needed lots of extra food, past my hunger which was out of sync, to repair damages in my body, regulate many things, on top of simply sustaining me AND adding mass. For an awesome article, and the best resource out there to explain eating disorder recovery, check out this post.

Gweneth Olwyn, the originator of the “Minnie Maud Method” as outlined in the above linked article, suggests that the recovering individual count calories just in order to ensure that they are eating the minimum food guidelines. I know for myself that measuring food or counting would not be beneficial, and rather have a good idea of how much I should be eating. Essentially, for several months, even if I felt full, I rarely said no to food, and found that my appetite increased and extreme hunger grew as I gradually ate more and more. I could LITERALLY feel the healing in my body; my stomach growing, my hair shining, my brain fog clearing. It’s messy and gastro-intestinally horrible– still– but recognizing that my body needed extra food, more than the average person, was essentially key. AND that there wasn’t really a limit to how much more.

Resting was key, too. Resting my body and brain. One of the two periods I’ve retrieved happened right after a vacation visiting my boyfriend in Winnipeg, in which I ate big meals, ice cream, lots of healthy fats– and de-stressed and de-overwhelmed my usually go-go-go body. So vital. And what does that tell ya?

Minnie Maud is a controversial recovery form, and I know that my body is still in the process of physically recovering from the disorders because of the absence of my period, and that I still want to gain a bit more weight (although I’m not clinically underweight anymore!). I plan to write a lengthier post when this happens, but for now, I want to highlight the vital importance of adequate amounts of food for physically and mental recovery, the dangers of energy deficits, and the vitality of the matter that, if someone is going to physically recover from anorexia on their own, they must be mentally capable of recognizing that their body is in a deficit and needs extra food.

Think of it this way:

If a person who has never had an eating disorder eats only one meal in a day, forgetting to eat or without food available, they will be ravenous the next day, and probably eat extra. When a person suffers from a restrictive eating disorder for a long time, they both physically and mentally lose hunger signals, but that does not mean that the hunger and damage is not there. Therefore, the person has months/years of energy deficits to make up for, thus needing extra calories.

I am always open to answering questions about this journey, because, while it is no longer the focus of my blog, I feel that the purpose this disorder had in my life was that this story might impact or help someone else out there.

Jesus is the miracle behind my healing, and I do believe I’m physically getting there, too.