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 […]
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.
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.
Greek Chicken Souvlaki
(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
- 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.
- 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.
- In small bowl, mix yogurt, pickle, pickle juice, and salt and pepper.
- Serve chicken mixture with salad, hummus, bread, and yogurt mixture for the ultimate healthy, simple Greek souvlaki!
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 […]
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 theme song right now.
I want to start this post off by acknowledging a prayer from the hearts of one of my dearest friends, Josee.
I haven’t even gotten back to this precious girl yet. But Josee left me a voicemail with a prayer. It was timely, as is Josee’s way. It’s Jesus’ way. And Josee prayed over my desire to be with Jesus, that He would increase that desire and increase my capacity to hear from Him.
Since that prayer, Jesus has done just that, as He faithfully does. And in the midst of some of the biggest and most drastic changes of my life (new church, Johnny heading back to school and soccer, new house, less roommates, one of my best friends married, last year of uni, new jobs), I have recognized both my own complacency and fear.
But He’s stilled me. As I’ve tried to fill fears with things
— some tangible some imaginary —
He has called me to be still.
It’s been uncomfortable.
My identity has been brought into question.
If I’m not
the thinnest, the kindest, the best cook, the best writer, the leader,
what am I?
If I’m not
constantly perfecting my craft,
who am I?
If I’m not
living in my beautiful relationship with Johnny,
what is my worth?
It’s these ugly questions I’ve had to confront as my mind has wanted to keep soooo busy in the thick of all this change and chaos. I maxed out my booty at the gym, planned out every detail of the perfect new house, perfected all my agendas, completed a bunch of tasks for work, prepped my school notebooks– all things that have needed to be done, but all as a means of distracting myself from underlying
f e a r .
I have always felt I dealt well with change. But maybe it’s because my “dealing” is in busybodying. Which looks great to the world… but sometimes, we all just need to cry.
Most importantly, we all need to bring any identity we conjure up to the foot of the cross, that Jesus might be made our everything. King of hearts, in His rightful place.
Jesus, help me not to walk in my own way, to fill my life with meaninglessness, but to put all my trust in You. Lord, help me to know my True and Real identity in You. Might I not fear, Lord, but know the power that You have in me, and the relationship you desire to have with me at all times. May my joy be complete in You, so that I can do YOUR works, and not the world’s works.
God, would you show yourself to all of us who think things or people or health or knowledge or talents will satisfy or improve our lives. Reveal Your eternal plan of love and joy to Your people, Lord.
Jesus, I repent of my turning from You. Lord, help me to live in harmony with You, and not in worry or fear. Help me to know that You are constant in the change. You never change, and I can’t wrap my head around that sacrificial love, Lord. Thank-you for filling me up so vibrantly right now, Lord.
One of these beautiful changes has been the wedding of one of my dear best friends, Beth.
Beth and Jared live to serve Jesus. They are clearly called for ministry, and whatever that ends up looking like, I know that He will use them for such glory, and I simply cannot wait to watch Him continue to work out their story. It was simply a classy, beautiful, Jesus-filled wedding like none other.
And as I reflect on this “Jesus-filled”…
Lord, You see me. You know me. And You love me, through and through.
(How, we think? How, with all our ugly and pride and gossip and sin?)
Jesus’ unconditional love is purposed to be perfected in His people. And I see it, in all its glory, in the wedding of Beth and Jared.
I see His love in my Johnny, who left for the start of His final year at Providence University College.
I am so filled with pride for him and his hard work, determination, love for people, and expectation of Jesus’ goodness and faithfulness. Jesus, use Johnny for all Your glory. Surprise him. Love him and strengthen him.
Until we meet again, my love.
Being apart is hard. It’s easy to wallow in missing, in “craving,” in melancholy. But I know far too well the calling God has for us to live out this time of distance for Him, and that is exactly what we will do. Pressing into Him, trusting Him, grabbing hold of Him, extra-intentionally reaching out to each other, too. This is a beautiful opportunity to invest in our communication for life.
In the midst of such a tearful goodbye has also been some beautiful reunions.
Like those with my beautiful friend and past roomie Autumn; one my dearest brothers, Kevin; my precious friend Sarah, from Creekside; and one of my best friends from high school and her boyfriend, Sammy and Tanner.
I made a tried and true breakfast recipe of mine for a couple of these friends: PB&J Breakfast Cake.
PB&J Breakfast Cake
(recipe for one serving)
1/3 cup oats
1 egg white
1 Tbsp sugar or stevia
1 Tbsp coconut cream or regular cream
1 Tbsp almond milk or other milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp berry protein powder
2 Tbsp hot water
Whipped topping and berries, to serve
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small ovenproof baking dish.
- In blender place oats, egg white, sugar, cream, milk, oil, peanut butter, baking powder, salt, and vanilla, and blend about 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Pour into prepared dish.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until inside is cooked, and edges are golden brown.
- Meanwhile, mix protein powder and hot water in small dish. When cake is cooled, poke holes in top of cake. Pour protein powder mixture over top.
- Top with whipped cream and berries. Eat warm or cold; mix up and serve like cereal with milk, if desired! Soooo yummy.
“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?”
The Word says that HE is my comfort (Jeremiah 8:18). So my ideal “comfort zone” is at His feet, in His arms, walking with Jesus. Equally, this means that we are often out of contrived and worldly “comfort” zones; the things that give temporary pleasure but don’t benefit our neighbours or His Kingdom; the things we may be conditioned to turn to in times of struggle or pain that “feel good,” but don’t have any Truth or power to actually help us or anyone.
So, my TRUE COMFORTER will take me out of FAKE COMFORT ZONES (I can list some of mine in my head right now– can you list yours?) and it might “feel” icky and uncomfortable; but since He’s the True Comforter, it will ALWAYS be good and right.
Maybe that is in the form of ridding rules and restrictions that you unhealthily have around areas of your life. They are habits that feel so comfortable; but on the basis of what truth? And who are they actually helping?
Maybe that is the form of less selfishness and more selflessness– going out of your way for other people; working with the Spirit of God to see those around you who need love, positivity, and hope.
Maybe that is in the form of asking questions, picking up your Bible, or praying. Checking out a church, or calling up an old friend.
Whatever it is, it starts with Him, in prayer and thought. He answers prayers, and He is with you in the uncomfortable change, ALWAYS. It is so often the things that seem scariest in life that end up being the things that He uses to save and redeem.
After I gave up food rules after years of stubborn eating disorders, I wrote this post
to put some words to the amazing process that Jesus had brought me through in healing. It didn’t come from striving. It was not my fault that I had these brutal mental illnesses, nor was it my choice to heal from them. It was, however, my choice to spend more time in the Word of God and with His Spirit– the Spirit that healed me.
Is Jesus calling your name and softening your heart to follow Him to a place that feels uncomfortable, and you just need to trust Him?