Happy Wednesday my friends! A couple weekends ago, one of the last weekends of August, marked big changes in my life: it was the last weekend before Johnny moves to Winnipeg for the last time EVER, timed perfectly with our engagement party, hosted by one […]
…I have learned that I struggle. I know that God knows that I love a good story. A self-titled (and, now, professionally titled) writer since I was eight years old, I see everything in life in stories. A good storyline complete with metaphors and compelling […]
In case you didn’t know, I tasted the most amazing food in the world a couple weeks ago.
An avid foodie– and, more importantly, an avid peanut butter lover– I was so intrigued when I first noticed Salted Caramel Peanut Butter (sugar free, whole foods, and all natural) at my local Fiddleheads.
It is courtesy of Eat Fatso.
These amazing nut butters had me raving to all my friends– especially fellow nutters. AND dreaming up different recipes that would incorporate the deliciousness.
Here is the first of those recipes that has made the cut: Blackberry Crumble.
I’m sharing it first because baking doesn’t get any easier.
You got flour and berries? You’re good to go. Just make sure you’ve got the world’s best peanut butter too because, you know, life-changing.
If you try this out, let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your opinion.
I had it for breakfast… but, if you’re making it dessert, DEFINITELY top it with a scoop of ice cream. Heck, do that if it’s breakfast, too.
“Paradise.” That’s what my sister’s friend called my family cottage after just a few hours of exploring the grounds. “I’ve never been to a cottage like this.”
Krystal, Johnny, and I exchanged satisfied glances; Aly was not wrong. Papineau Lake was not like most lakes, and our humble cottage was certainly not like most cottages.
A literal log cabin built by my great grandparents, the cottage is more than just a family heirloom. It is the “favourite place in the world” of my immediate family, aunts and uncles, cousins, and, now, some of the friends we’ve brought to share it with.
For me, it simply takes a quick whiff of cottagey air to be transported to memories past. To be enveloped in a sea of memories of sand-muffin- baking, mermaid-swimming, and marshmallow-roasting. I have spent some part of each and every summer of my 21 years of life at Oma and Opa’s cottage, and, each time I step foot inside, I am overwhelmed by the reality that another year had passed by.
We have often called the cottage a “time machine” in this way. When you’re there, you can’t help but reminisce. For Oma and Opa, this means 60 years ago, before having kids of their own, to 40 years ago, when my mom was growing up, to 10 years ago, when my sisters and I joined them.
For Mom, it’s every summer of her own life; from childhood, to bringing my father for the first time, to bringing daughters one, two, and three. Something in the cabin or on the beach or in the boathouse will spark a memory, leading to a “Remember when” story that brings smiles to everyone’s faces.
Even Johnny, who just finished his third summertime at the cottage, now has memories, shares in the reminiscing, and remarks, “It feels like we were just here. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by.”
This past weekend was one to remember. Our one summer engaged, and Johnny and I navigating the change of graduating and entering “the real world,” this was a weekend of much-welcomed rejuvenation and recovery. It was an indescribable blessing to spend time with my family, and ultra-hot weather made it easy to jump right into Papineau’s clear blue.
I blog about the cottage because I want to remind you of some things that God through Papineau whispered to me this weekend:
Chase His presence.
Just like getting out in nature and away from screens after weeks of work and stuffy air and endless tasks is incredibly rejuvenating pretty much instantly, sitting at the feet of Jesus– who is omnipresent– is instantly healing. Don’t put off time with Him. There is no part of your day and no season of your life that doesn’t require the wisdom of Your Maker, and intimacy with Him.
Prioritize loved ones.
Being in community with my family and friends in a setting where I couldn’t think or do anything about my thoughts about work or the wedding or other things that demand my attention reminded me how important it is that, whenever I am spending time with loved ones, I am giving them undivided attention.
Love life– but not too much.
Recently, I have been struggling for the first notable time with coveting my life to the point of not wanting it to end. There’s so much I want to do in this world, and time is so short, I’ve thought. I wish I could have more of it.
Bringing these thoughts to Jesus, He has quieted my guilt for feeling them, and strengthened my purpose in HIM– the joy I have in living is from above, but my life is His alone. My body is not my own; my money is for His glory; and my very life is purposed to bring Him glory. “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” JOHN 12:25
You don’t need a beautiful Northern-Ontario getaway in order to refresh your soul. Take ownership of it and live in His Grace and Truth today.
The Procrastination Station.We’ve all been there. Itching to write, but finding our thumbs scrolling instead, our minds numb rather than busy. Staring at the mountain of laundry begging to be folded in order to free up the bedroom to look like something from a Pinterest […]
I had just told myself university would not be the time for a boy.
But God knew differently.
I noticed Johnny Fulford the moment I sat down in my Tuesday afternoon “Public Faith and Theology” class. He was smilely, shy-looking, and downright handsome. When the professor asked us students to share our names, and a little bit about ourselves, I knew his name, “Johnny,” would stick in my mind.
Every Tuesday afternoon that first semester of my freshman year in university, I was encouraged and excited by what Johnny had to say on the topic of Christianity, much of which related to God’s almighty power and sufficient grace. In a place fraught with haughty opinions and lacking semblance of truth, Johnny only spoke when absolutely necessary, and without drawing attention to himself… except for, perhaps, my attention.
I also caught him nodding along with some of the points I would bring up, while I tried not to care. After all, I didn’t want to get caught up in a boy.
But God had other plans.
I always hoped Johnny might talk to me after class. Instead, when we had a field trip to Queen’s Park in Toronto, and I asked a classmate who would be driving there if we could carpool, I saw Johnny approach the same classmate to ask for a ride a few minutes after I did.
And the car ride was the beginning I’ll never forget.
Johnny and I must have spent more time getting to know each other than I realized, because, when we got to Queen’s Park, a fellow classmate who had also been in the car asked me, “So, are you and Johnny a thing?”
At Queen’s Park, we watched a political debate, and then had the opportunity to ask the politicians questions about their faith. I remember Johnny asking questions that didn’t spark my curiousity about Johnny, but drew me to prayer and to seek God’s will. I wasn’t distracted by him, but pressed forward to focus on God’s heart for these politicians, and our classmates.
It is for that reason that, when Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee after the field trip, I didn’t say, “I’m actually not dating right now,” I said, “Yes.”
I would later learn that Johnny had also recently wondered if he was called to be single all his life. He had also recently turned down a few other potential relationships. And he had also felt drawn to the way Jesus was working in me.
The coffee date led to more dates. The couple months before Johnny asked me to be his girlfriend were spent awing in Jesus Christ and not in each other. And that is why I love Johnny second. Jesus Himself has called us to, and built up, the foundation on which our relationship stands.
Flash forward three years. Johnny and I are both almost done university… but in different provinces.
When Johnny and I met, he already knew that the school we both attended in Waterloo, ON was not his forever school. Ten months into our relationship, he transferred to Providence University in Otterburne, MB, as it is a Christian university where he could play varsity soccer in the States.
So, much of our relationship has been long distance, though we see each other four months of the summer, over Christmas, and have surprise visited each other, too.
This December 14th, 2018, Johnny returned home from Winnipeg for Christmas, and we reunited emotionally and excitably as always. Johnny’s birthday was the following day, and his sister-in-law had texted me a few days before, having bought us tickets to the Toronto Symphony, and recommending a dinner spot as a birthday gift to Johnny for both of us.
That next day, I was so focused on making Johnny’s 23rd birthday special. After giving him his birthday gift, which included 23 photos of us with 23 things I love about him, Johnny suggested we dress up fancy for the symphony.
We drove to Toronto, talking endlessly, and were so pleasantly surprised by the beautiful atmosphere of the dinner spot that Johnny’s sister-in-law recommended, Bar Reyna. We enjoyed delicious food in one of my favourite settings of all times, and each other’s company, before deciding to walk half an hour to the symphony rather than drive over.
Being pretty clueless with directions, I didn’t realize we were passing Queen’s Park until we were standing right outside it. “Wow, is this Parliament?” I asked. There wasn’t a soul around, and it was dark outside, lit only by tinselly Christmas lights adorning the trees. “Yeah,” Johnny smiled. “I’m surprised you only just noticed.”
I immediately started reminiscing on that field trip three years ago. “I knew I was drawn to you, not because of who you were, but because of who Jesus was in you,” I said. “I knew I believed in Him the same way you did. I just had never before had the vocabulary for it.”
Johnny and I were both tearing up. I was silently praising and thanking God.
And it wasn’t until he stopped me, right out front of Queen’s Park, that I had a single CLUE that he was about to ask me a very important question. “I have a confession,” he said.
My heart went into my throat in excitement, emotion, and joy.
“Sarah didn’t plan this day, I did. All to bring you here, where we first met. To have the hopes of having the best birthday gift in the world.”
The rest of what he said was a blur. I was in the midst of the greatest surprise of my life.
When he got down on one knee and said, “Cassandra Andrea Wolfe, will you be my wife?” I nodded vehemently before pulling him up and kissing him.
Finally, Johnny pointed to the bushes far off, where my sister, Krystal, was taking photos. Johnny had paid for her trip down to capture the moment.
This semester, I have been fortunate enough to take Biblical Greek with one of the greatest professors I have ever had. The following is part of my final assignment for this class, and I wanted to share it here, because I am truly blown away […]