faith, freedom, food

Tag: #cute

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 […]

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, 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!
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 […]

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 heard His voice that it was deafening, above all and any other sound: “I have promises I’m in the middle of working out.”
Now, to get very real here, when I say I so loudly heard His voice, I don’t mean I heard an audible-to-the-ears sound. I mean His Spirit, unlike mine, but that I could physically feel the presence of, as well as spiritually, convicted my heart of this matter to the point that I felt I couldn’t stand. I sat to pray and as I did I only heard more from Jesus, who promises His Spirit is no different from the living Jesus, whose presence is palpable and who promises to show up where two or more call on His name with genuine hearts.
Gently I received the peace of Truths I did not deserve to hear. About what He is in the middle of doing, in His timing. That when I feel like something has been “missed out” on, Jesus never missed it. That very thought of Him “missing” or “forgetting about” something part of His creation is laughable!
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Healing and miracles and even more simply clarity don’t always look the way we think we want them to. If you have ever been swayed from reaching out to the Creator of the Universe because you feel like “He hasn’t done anything for you,” a good place to start would be asking yourself what gave you the right to take such a position of deserving.
The Christian faith is about believing that Jesus came when He didn’t have to to suffer in this life and death on the cross because He loved us. To pay the penalty that should have been ours. In His perfection, He suffered the penalty for sin, and, in being God, He owes us absolutely no promises, and no miracles. And yet, because of the very nature of our gracious God, promises and miracles He chooses to bestow.
So after receiving from Him a little nudge that, No, He hadn’t forgotten about xyz, He was working it out in His timing and all I needed to do was give Him space and trust Him, I experienced weight rising off my shoulders as I scribbled down the prayers and promises.
And after hearing from the Spirit, Mike delivered the message on his heart for the church about the waiting periods in our life, how we often question them, and how, really, they’re such a part of the healing. In fact, they are the healing.
Maybe God is in the middle of completing your testimony because His plan for someone else is to learn from some of your stories.
Maybe He’s about to initiate change that wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the trial.
But here’s the maybe not: the definitely not: Since He’s God of the universe, He has not forgotten about xyz, kicked it/you aside, or grumbled, “ah, well, they missed their chance.”
Frankly: God and His Kingdom came much before you, and you were created to submit to Him for a greater purpose. Not to pose of Him that He submits to you. 
He only asks of us that we trust Him, engage in relationship with Him, and follow Him.
It’s the only life to live!

UPDATE: Excitable Hellos, Tearful Goodbye, Seasons Changing

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 […]

Determined to Change the Trend

Determined to Change the Trend

The amount of times the phrase “he did evil in the sight of the Lord” appears in some way in the Old Testament is shocking. As I’ve been studying 1 and 2 Chronicles, this phrase has struck me the most. Moreover, the amount of leaders, […]

Flexibility Journey

If I had a bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish, something that would be at the top of it is becoming more flexible.
I got this tattoo that says “dance” two years ago. While, looking back, I don’t think I’d get it again, at the time it meant several things to me, one of which was the defiance

I used to be the least flexible person on the planet, but I have learned how to stretch and practice in a way that actually makes a difference. Now, I am close to a full split, can touch my toes and beyond with complete ease, and have a much more flexible back.
Here, the top three tips and mindset implementations that *actually* helped me to improve my flexibility, rather than just thinking about improving it.
Patience. My biggest downfall in the past was rushing through stretches without enjoying them. I would choose to stretch when I had a million things on my mind, and a seemingly never-ending to do list awaiting me. In turn, stretching would feel like a chore, and something I was forcing myself to do. Now, when I stretch, if my mind tries to speed up my movements, I remind myself that the time to actually sink deep into the stretches and just quiet my mind is healthy, allotted for, and that I need only be present.
Hold stretches for a loooong time. I would get into a flow of stretches in the past, and think, “ah, I don’t have to hold them for minutes long. As long as I feel it burn a bit, I’m doing the job.” But I didn’t notice a real difference in my flexibility until I held stretches for at least a minute at a time, and from there challenged myself to hold for even longer. It is from there that in the middle of a minute, I would feel the stretch becoming easier, and naturally begin to sink deeper into it. What a great feeling!
Practice your over split. This videovideo  is my go to for most helpful and crucial split stretches, and provides a great tutorial for how to do the over split. Stacking pillows or blocks in order to mimic a further movement into the splits was an absolutely amazing technique for me!

No matter what your goals, grace with yourself in your progress is so important. I have learned the hard way that nothing worth achieving is a quick fix, but is accompanied by hard work and determination for a reason! Enjoy the process!

A God of UNComfort Zones

A God of UNComfort Zones

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 I’ve been thinking a lot about the Biblical merit for not being in “comfort” zones. What is “comfort?” […]