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!

‘ina

‘ina

I remember like it was yesterday asking my Bible prof the question, “does the phrase so that have a single word in Greek? I see it everywhere in the Bible. It must be a common translation from one Greek word.” My prof smiled. “Yes, it […]

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 […]

My Top 5 Favourite Dates

My Top 5 Favourite Dates

My boyfriend Johnny and I have been dating for very nearly three years (whaaat?)
In our last few semesters of our undergrads– and, therefore, of long distance dating, YAY– I miss him more than ever, and often reminisce some of my favourite memories with him.

As we’ve grown in our relationship, we do life a lot more closely than we did in the start– so “dates” look like running errands or hanging out at home, a lot of time. Still, I think it is so important to “date.”

I’ve always been a big believer in love being spontaneous. For example, if I told Johnny, “I want you to buy me flowers and write me letters,” i wouldn’t want those things at all, because I only “want” what is truly from him. It’s not love if I’m constantly talking about what I want to get.
Love is selfless. Love is me loving him. And in loving Johnny, I care what he is getting out of our relationship, not what I am getting out of it– because I love who he is.
This is what I have never understood about the desperation for “a relationship.” A relationship is only good if it’s with someone you deeply love and care about, because then you’re going to love on them. The desire for any ol’ relationship sounds so cheap to me, because then what’s special about the love you have with the person you’re with? It’s not about what I get from our relationship, but the fact God has brought Johnny and I together, and we can bask in the natural beauty of our teamwork.
Ok. Now that that rant is over with, I thought, in the spirit of missing my man, I’d share my top five favourite dates with him.
Do-Nothing Day. I remember so well last Christmas, Johnny and I planning our do nothing day. We wore sweats, we ordered food, and we cuddled and watched movies and the Office. And it was such needed chill time together. Simply put, he is my best friend, and I love just being with him.
Canada’s Wonderland. For our first 6 months of dating, Johnny surprised me with a trip to Wonderland, knowing full well that I had never been on a roller coaster, and was rather terrified of them. Johnny encouraged me in believing I could face this fear that was only in my mind. The truth was that God would strengthen me and give me peace!
… and I absolutely loved the ride. I will never forget conquering this fear with Johnny, and, most importantly, through Jesus.

Our first date. For our first date, Johnny asked me if he could take me for coffee (knowing I liked it, despite him never having a coffee in his life). We went to Starbucks, and I have never been more nervous/excited for a date, because I’d never had such a “good feeling” about a person. That first date, we couldn’t stop talking, and I felt immediately like I could tell Johnny anything and everything.

Steak dinners. When Johnny comes back from Manitoba each time, we celebrate by going to the Keg for a “fancy” steak dinner. We dress up and all the butterflies of a fancy date are involved all over again.
Boston Calling. One of the coolest and most unforgettable experiences was seeing Johnny’s absolute favourite artist in concert for the first time with him. I also love this artist– Bon Iver– and it has been so cool to grow alongside Johnny in more and more genuinely appreciating his passions and interests, and vice versa.

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 […]