faith, freedom, food

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A Weekend In Wisconsin

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 […]

For My Sister on Your Birthday

For My Sister on Your Birthday

My Sweet, special sister, 18 never looked so beautiful. 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 […]

A Morning with my Best Friend

A Morning with my Best Friend

Morning. Not stupid early, but not late morning, it’s 8:30am and your eyelids open after a solid, undisturbed 8 hour sleep. You smile to yourself, feeling that euphoric, passionate, life-is-good-because-God-is-good emotion that translates to excitement to spend time with Jesus. You know He’s going to meet you where you are– which happens to be your little student bedroom in Waterloo, warm under the perfect duvet, that perfect warm that is practically impossible to crawl out of.
You roll over just far enough to grab your Bible, and open it to where you left off. Psalms.
Psalm 41. 

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;

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

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

But that’s just it.
In the valleys He reminds you of His faithfulness.
If it weren’t for the coping mechanisms and failures and misgivings and faults, you wouldn’t know how much you need Him. That’s not to give any credit to the faults. No, it’s to weaken them, because it’s kind of sad to know that humans need them sometimes in order to know Him. 
But oh, there is grace. Oh, there is so much love. Oh, He is forever and always forgiving and unbudging. Oh, how this God Jesus just wants to befriend you, be above everything else in your life because He knows it’s what’s best for you.
He is, after all, your Father.
 

21st Birthday Reflections

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, […]

A Friend Like Brooke

A Friend Like Brooke

I’ve done a couple posts like this before, in which I write about why “everyone deserves a friend like___.” Today, I’m talking about a friend like Brooke. Brooke is one of my co-workers at Pure JBK, and has quickly become a close friend. From the […]

What Makes Thanksgiving My Favourite

What Makes Thanksgiving My Favourite

“Over Christmas? Really?”
That’s usually the reaction I get when I tell someone that Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday.
But in my house, it’s the same every year.
My mom makes the most amazing turkey dinner on the planet, for one thing.
And the smell of it reminds of all different seasons of my life.
Seasons running home from school excitedly with hand-traced turkey crafts, “What I’m Thankful For” cards, and pumpkin pictures.
Seasons marking on the calendar when the pumpkins were to be picked and carved, and seasons chattering with my Oma and Opa about what Id learned in school.
Seasons crying in front of my meal, so sick with anorexia that I didn’t know how to be thankful for food let alone eat it.
Seasons of healing and growth, of “coming home” for Thanksgiving, of dreaming about hosting my own one day.
None more thankful than I am this year. In my last year of university, paying bills and cooking and working and trying to get the grades. I am more thankful than ever for parents I have that have loved and shaped me in many ways, and the people in my life today.
I am feeling restful. Sick with a second brutal cold of the year, I’m recognizing sufficiency in God’s Grace and timing and guidance. Trusting that He has me in the palm of His hand. Glimpsing my own imperfection, error, and downfalls more and more. Realizing more with each passing moment how much I need my God… thus, at the same time, realizing it less, because coming to know it more means becoming more aware of how undeserving I am. It makes no earthly sense that He is the lover He is.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B6BRS2WlhoY
I am thankful today for Jesus, and the fact that He is Life and He is Love.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever Psalm 136:1

I am thankful that He has given me the most wonderful man to love and be loved by. I am even thankful for the long distance that challenges us and strengthens us.
I am thankful for my beautiful parents and sisters, and the ways they have challenged me, loved me unconditionally, and taught me.
I am thankful for friends who are loyal, funny, and compassionate, and friends who double as God-fearing, fiercely loving sister-roomies.
I am thankful for each and every short day on this earth, and days loved for the purpose of my unfathomable Creator Jesus. Would I actually know the weight of this, Lord, and live, by Your grace, like it’s true.
So I guess Thanksgiving is my favourite because it’s a reminder of the fact that that I’m meant to give thanks and praise to my God. To never cease in singing His praise. To know that, in different seasons, His love band very personhood has never changed, never faltered, never lessened. I can look back and look forward, and I know it’s Jesus who remains constant.
Thanks be to God!

Infinite Jewellery: Your New Favourite Company

Infinite Jewellery: Your New Favourite Company

You know that just-about-to-leave-the-house feeling when you look in the mirror, take one last look at your outfit, and… it’s just not complete? Something’s missing? There’s an easy solution for those almost-perfect outfits. A piece of jewellery might be the exact finishing touch you’re looking for. For […]

Discovering Sufficiency

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 […]

Learning to Rest for Real

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.
 

Trusting in the "Delay"

Trusting in the "Delay"

Much of today’s musings are inspired by a wonderful message preached by Pastor Mike Rutledge   at Risen City church yesterday, where Jesus met me in my own worries, stress, and anxieties and revealed newness to me as His Spirit does, starting when I so loudly […]