Monday, 22 December 2014

A White Christmas




The view from the living room of my in-laws house was breathtaking this morning. A deep frost had set in overnight, creating a winter wonderland across the lake. Too breathtaking to not take photos, and as luck had it, my brother-in-law just happens to be a photography student. 

He was already on the back deck, snapping photos of the frost-tipped trees. I joined him and out came the others, making for an impromptu family photo shoot... just missing the one who was off skiing for the day.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

That's What Christmas Means to Me, My Love



“That’s what Christmas means to me, my love”

As I drive along with the radio on an all Christmas station, the singer lists out the things that he credits as defining the meaning of Christmas – snow, candles, mistletoe – as he belts out “all these things and more” with a choir singing along in the background.

The catchy little Christmas song is one of many ringing out in cars, malls, and grocery stores during this time of year. It brings energy, spreads excitement, and is easy to dance to. But when you actually tune into the lyrics it seems to only hit the surface.

This is what Christmas means. This is what the holidays have in store. This is what it is all about.

And as I find myself less than a week away from Christmas, the things that I have been thinking about, talking about, and obsessing over seem to point to me agreeing with the singer.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sweet, Salty, Oh-So-Good Caramel Corn


With a sink full of dishes, countertops with sticky syrup dripped across them, and aching feet from moving across the kitchen for most of the afternoon, I had finally accomplished my goal for the day: three appetizers, three dozen cookies, and nine jars decorated and filled with caramel corn.

Whew.

After debating and researching what homemade gift I would attempt to make for some friends, I settled on sweet, delicious, crunchy, and oh so bad for you caramel corn. A little DIY project for myself on a mid-week afternoon.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Just Breathe

“Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Busy.

This is the word that I often use to describe my life. People ask how my week has been or how the next one is looking and the response that seems to leave my lips time and time again is this simple four letter word.
Busy with school, busy with work, busy with church. Busy with shopping, busy with friends, busy with life.

Making plans, changing plans. Booking, cancelling, re-booking. Checking my schedule, asking for time off, driving, working. Busy.

And in the busyness, the last thing I want to do is wait. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Come Out of Hiding












I first heard this song as I sat in the Rec Centre on the back of Redeemer’s campus. As chairs were set, cookies spread across the table, and lighting worked out, two girls stood at the front practicing the worship set for Identify, the women’s worship night.

“Come out of hiding, you're safe here with me...”


 Their voices rang together as they sang this love song. A song meant to demonstrate God’s message and love to us.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Tell Me I'm Beautiful

The sun shines through the window, warming my face as I tuck my feet further under the blanket.

Scratchy throat, tired eyes, aching head.

A morning where I moved from the bed to the couch, listening to Kelly and Michael banter back and forth, with no energy to even pour myself a bowl of cereal. Sure signs of a full fledged cold.

I whine to Brandon to tuck me in and bring me a bowl of Life. Is dairy good for a sore throat? Probably not. I will probably regret not having the oatmeal.

He heads out the door, off to face his busy day and I am left on the couch with too much time. Not enough energy to do school work and yet not tired enough to sleep.

I scroll through my newsfeed, twitter, and instagram. I see post after post of ‘selfies’, adventures, and buzzfeed lists to laugh through. I see inspirational quotes, recipes, and self-proclaimed goals filling status updates. Birthday celebrations, event requests, new ‘likes’ and friends.

So much going on in the little world that is only accessible by sitting behind a screen.

And I feel the comparison game begin.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Branches in the Yard

‘The sun always comes out after a storm.’

I have thrown out these words throughout the years in my attempt to encourage people who are in a difficult place. I have said this phrase with love, trust, and hope. I have optimistically pointed towards the light at the end of the tunnel without making much out of the tunnel itself.

Monday, 22 September 2014

A Restless Soul

The past several weeks have been full of change. Change of home, change of routine, change of seasons. I feel like much of my life can be summed up in that one-syllable, six-letter word: change.

And yet, eventually, one of these days, this change will become my new normal. I haven’t quite felt it in full yet, but I know it is on the horizon. It is like the changing of season. The colours still hold the green of summer and yet the rich oranges and reds are beginning to peek through.

But how do we adjust? How do we find a new rhythm? How do we find routine in newness?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Our Wedding Day

On our six month wedding anniversary, I wrote a post on a previous blog going through the ins and outs of our big day! I thought I would revive the post on my new blog (here!) to share some of the amazing memories I have from August 26, 2012. I have added in a few things I’ve learned during my second year of marriage! Enjoy!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A Sure Victory



As I sat in a living room filled with leaders last night, passionate and enthusiastic about the days to come for The Embassy, the young adults church Brandon and I are pastoring in Waterloo, I felt a sense of excitement rising up. A readiness. A preparation for battle.

For many years I have considered it a complete necessity in faith to be prepared for battle. To recognize that when you are forging ahead for God, there will be things that will need to be fought against. To initiate combat, pull out the sword, and mentally prepare for the war that is about to take place.

And as these things swirled and replanted themselves in my mind, a voice came from the group.

“The battle is won,” she simply stated.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Face She Wears

A post for the many I know who feel deeply and yet don’t feel they have permission to show these things to others.



Faces.

She has one, wears one, and changes one. She adds colour, contrast, and definition. She washes, cares for, and cleanses.

She decides the expressions that she places on it that give the world insight into what lies beneath.

And yet, she has become all too good at creating dissonance between the expression she wears and the reality of what she feels. Instead of allowing her face to wear the feeling within, she is told, shown, and challenged to wear particular faces regardless of what inner turmoil she may be facing.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Jam Days of Summer

The days of summer seem to pass too quickly and I can hardly believe that we are already heading into the second half of July! At the beginning of the summer I wrote myself a list of several things I wanted to accomplish... I tried to make this list reasonable, tried to give myself a break considering how busy our lives have become and yet I have no real excuses to find myself  in the middle of July with relatively nothing done!


And so, I awoke today with a new sense of determination. I was set on finally going out to the strawberry patch and pick my yearly flat to make homemade strawberry jam to last us through the rest of the year.

I knew I was late... this was supposed to happen in June! Yet the weekends slipped by... to the point where I found myself this morning looking up the local farms with pick-your-own strawberries, only to find that the fields closed yesterday. I guess I learned my lesson...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Holy Ground

I am honoured to introduce Laura Carmichael as the author of this particular post. For anyone who knows her, you will have an understanding of the wisdom and grace that pours out of this woman. I am thankful to have the opportunity to share with you a piece of her heart as it is full of compassion, empathy, and a desire to grow. I hope you enjoy the message she shares here - I know that it was both timely and impactful in my own life... 





Have you ever found yourself thinking: “Is God really with me? I can’t see Him in this." Maybe it isn’t a specific situation, but rather a thought pattern. A relationship. A circumstance.  A transition. A corner of your life, or life at large that feels like it is crumbling. A place that lacks foundation and feels void of hope. These are the places that we need transformation in, but don’t know where to begin. We spiral. 

We exhaust ourselves trying to simply keep breathing.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Caught Up

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:10-12).

I feel like there are times in life when we can get caught up. So often we get caught up in the moment, event, activity, busyness, excitement, or disappointments. We can get caught up in what we have done, what we are currently doing, or what we hope to do.

We can get caught up and in that end up losing what keeps us grounded.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Her Rose


I stand amongst the littered tools, wet paint, and dust in our soon to be living room and stare out the window. The garden lining the side of the house is in full bloom with colours of green and yellow mingling through the small cut out space. Years of hard work, rhubarb, and life line the edges of the little garden.

Hard work, rhubarb, life...

And a single red rose.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A Walk for Two


When Brandon and I were just weeks out from our wedding day, a friend asked me what I was most looking forward to once I was married.

“Being alone together,” I replied.

And this remains the truth almost two years later. Some of the most treasured times I spend with my man are surrounded by great friends and family but nothing compares to those moments where the two of us can slip away and be alone together. The quiet chats, moments of laughter, and times of silence are so refreshing.

Monday, 9 June 2014

All of the Weddings

Whew! Life has gotten extremely busy since returning home from Sweden! Between starting a new pastoral position as a couple, taking up full-time babysitting, renovating our apartment and various other events in our lives I am finding little time to steal away by myself, let alone write! I am hoping that in the coming days I will be able to commit more time and thought into this blog.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Every Season

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

For the last few days of our vacation, before the excitement that is ahead of us comes full tilt, Brandon and I have escaped down the 401 to his parents’ place in Ottawa. Their house backs onto a lake and acts as a little oasis for a long weekend away. A weekend away filled with preparation and sleep.

We are fortunate and blessed to be walking into the season that we have been in preparation of for many years. When Brandon and I first met, a story that should be told another time, we found ourselves drawn to ministry and serving in the church. We knew that we would one day pastor and for the past six years have been humbly following God’s (not so straight) path that has lead us to the position we are about to step into – next week!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Our Last Few Days


Our last few days in Sweden have been filled with beautiful weather and exploration.

Friday, 16 May 2014

An Empty Apartment


A few weeks ago, as Brandon and I were packing up the last few boxes of our things and loading them into the truck, I found myself thinking of when we first walked into our tiny little apartment. We had just returned from our honeymoon and were freshly married when we climbed those steps and turned the key for the first time. The apartment was dimly lit and we found ourselves standing in the living room, giddy with excitement, holding the first few bags our hands had grabbed from the car.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Cinque Terre


Brandon and I spent the last few days exploring, hiking, and second-honeymooning through the coast of Italy and it was truly, unexplainably, incredible!

There are hardly words to describe how amazing Cinque Terre was to us, and yet I will still try! After researching, debating, and calculating this little trip, we finally decided to book it and see what happened.

We took two days to hike through the ‘five lands’ and found ourselves met with breathtaking views, delicious food, and great people. We quickly learned how out of shape we are  I am (hello treadmill!) as we climbed up hundreds, no, thousands of uneven, rocky steps to come across rolling mountains, quaint towns, and pieces of history.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Raspberry Crumble


I have decided that Swedes make wonderful desserts, well, at least my Swedish sister-in-law does! Tonight she decided to ‘bake Luke a treat’ of raspberry crumble pie – a favourite in their household. I can absolutely see why this delicious dessert is a staple... it is sweet, sour, and crunchy. The perfect mixture to tame any sweet tooth...

Monday, 5 May 2014

London Calling

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” (Samuel Johnson)
The city of London, a place that one would think of royalty, historic sites, and the tube. A place of economic wealth, shopping, and tourism. A city that I finally got to explore with my sister-in-law over the weekend.



After just being in Sweden for a day, Victoria and I jumped on a plane and took the short trip over to England. We went there for Colour Conference, an incredible women’s conference that I will surely talk about another time.

On one of the days we slipped away, hopped on the tube, and ventured into the heart of the city. As we climbed up from the underground, Big Ben towered over us.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Someone's Story



This morning was an early wake-up call. Like 2:30am early. I found myself in the back of a taxi headed to the train station to catch a flight back to Sweden after an amazing four-day conference in London. My new day was beginning while others who wandered about the streets had yet to finish their night.

The cab driver, a man of few words as I learned when I prompted him to chat with little response, navigated through the winding streets, half-listening to his guide of the GPS. As I sat in a sleepy daze, looking out over the empty office buildings and watching the headlights pass through the early morning darkness, I began to wonder what this cab driver has experienced. What stories would he tell around the dinner table amongst friends? Who are the people that he has driven around that have been conversational? Impactful? Memorable?

Monday, 28 April 2014

Travel for Days

We made it to Sweden!

After four years of university, Brandon and I decided to celebrate by taking a month long trip across the pond to visit my brother and sister-in-law. It seemed like a great opportunity to relax and get rejuvenated for the next steps in our lives.








So, I now find myself kicking back in Luke and Victoria's quant apartment watching Friends and attempting to fight off the jet leg that begs me to go to sleep. Today has been full of flights, baggage claims, unpacking, barbeques, and walks.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Five Loves of Easter

 One Celebrating

I absolutely love getting the opportunity to set aside time to look towards the cross and celebrate Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s not about filling the weekend with various church services (although they were all great) but rather recognizing the sacrifice, the commitment, and the love that Christ poured out on that cross for all people. It is humbling to think about, important to rest upon, and encouraging to know that he doesn’t ask for perfect, he just asks for me.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Eternally Valuable

“I am He who, in an instant, can raise up the humble man’s mind to a better understanding of the principles of eternal truth than if he had spent ten years studying them at a university.” (Thomas à Kempis)

Where do we find our value?

I think this is one of the most important questions that we can stop and reflect upon. Where do I find my value? The answer to this simply complex question holds in its grasp the power that drives you to act, react, and ultimately live the way you do.

If this value is misplaced, you are ultimately acting, reacting, and living for a meaningless purpose. Many of us find our value in things that are fleeting, unachievable, or simply ridiculous to try to obtain. This is damaging! It puts us on a wild roller coaster ride of ups and downs, dips and turns, constantly wanting the ride to be over but knowing that if we get off we will be lost in a place where we no longer feel we are valuable.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

When you are full time students and part time employees at several different locations, it can be difficult to hang out with friends outside of the school environment. Plans change, school is stressful, and things do not always work out as you anticipate. So, in order to ensure that we would finally get that double date in with Hayden and Tracey, we planned this trip to the ball game before the first pitch of the season was even thrown.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Teacups and Cupcakes

I love weddings, especially other people’s weddings. Now, don’t get me wrong, planning my own wedding was a great experience but there is something about sharing the giddiness with a bride to be that brings me great joy. This summer I get to do this x3!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Finding Your Voice

Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

As my professor stood at the front of the class he posed a question that struck deeper than he may have realized.

“If you are given a voice, will you have anything to say?”

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Sweet Syrup and Chopped Hair

I awoke today to a fresh layer of white fluff spread thin over the grass that just yesterday was desperately trying to make an appearance. How is this April!?

Although the bite of winter was still in the air, I bundled up alongside my husband and parents to make the traditional trek out to Elmira for the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival. This annual event typically brings with it the promise of spring, yet this year the warm weather was nowhere to be found. Regardless, as we drove to the small town the trees were still tapped with buckets collecting the sticky stuff.

Friday, 4 April 2014

A Morning of Baking



“Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap” (Barbara Jordan).

I so wish that cookies were healthy. Wouldn’t it be great to just be able to sit and eat cookies, drink a tall glass of milk and lose weight? One saving grace, for me at least, is that half the goodness of cookies are in the baking of them... and this morning was one full of baking!

I woke up this morning, headed straight to our tiny little kitchen and pulled out the mixing bowls. Tonight is the shower for my beautiful friend and bride-to-be and I wanted to add a few bits of sweetness to our spread.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Give a Little Love

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

On most mornings the first person I interact with is Jillian Michaels. No, she doesn’t physically drop by my house and start yelling at me to keep going in my workouts (although this might be helpful). I voluntarily drop her exercise routine into my DVD player and endure thirty or so minutes of her fitness expertise. At the end of the workout, I typically rush through the cool down and stop the video before she can get into her little motivational speech that she gives as you stretch out those quads. But yesterday, I did something different, I sat cross legged with her and listened to her talk about how we are so good to others and yet don’t take the time to be proud of ourselves, to recognize our accomplishments, to pat ourselves on the back.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cottage Roll

I was told once to do something each day that you are afraid of. Conquer your fears one step at a time. Jump in with both feet and don’t look back.

Well, today I conquered one of my fears... cottage roll.

Now, for those of you who are totally in the dark about what this delicious thing might be, I will explain... Cottage roll is basically pork shoulder covered in brine that many Newfs love to eat. It is extremely salty, fatty, and delicious

Good Morning!


Back in December when conversations were filled with resolutions for the New Year, Brandon and I were making the trek from my parents’ house in Waterloo to his in Ottawa. As we drove across the snow-covered streets we made a commitment to finding solace in creating routines for ourselves in the coming year. With both of us being full time students, holding multiple part time jobs each, and being involved in various capacities on campus and in the community, busyness can at times become an exhausting force that leads to burn out. Routine, we decided, was the best way to live intentionally rather than going through the motions.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Change is Coming

I spent my day watching the Redeemer men’s hockey team play their final competitive tournament of the year - Brandon’s final competitive tournament with Redeemer ever, and a realization hit me...

Change is coming... it’s practically here...

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Dating 2.0

Dating is a good thing, a healthy thing, and something that I think should go on for a very long time. Its not that I’m against marriage in any capacity... I love marriage. I mean I am married.

But I love dating too...

Monday, 17 March 2014

Welome!

Hi there!

I am so excited to start this new journey of blogging! Although I have played with blogging in the past, I am excited to present The Days to Come. I plan to use this blog as a place to think, dream, and communicate.

I hope that you find this blog both enjoyable and helpful in whatever stage of life you are at! This is my outlet to share my life with friends and family – so I’m glad you are here! 

Please feel free to look around and find what you like. Take a peek at the 'About Me' page, as I introduce myself there! I will be posting on a regular basis about topics like marriage, food, faith, and all the other things that life brings my way.


Enjoy!