The Lies We Listen To

The credit for this blog belongs to my friend Montana Wood, because she mailed me a copy of one of her favourite books and it’s the inspiration of what I’m going to be writing about today. The book is Carlos Whittaker’s Kill The Spider.

In the self-care series I think there are two ends of spiritual self-care. I think spirituality can be a calming force in people’s lives that brings hope encouragement and peace. But the other side of it is what I want to focus on today, that you need to take time to care for and invest in your spirit.

Spiders & Cobwebs

The premise of Kill The Spider is that there are lies we are believing about ourselves. These lies are spiders in our lives that build cobwebs and impacts how we live our lives, have relationships with others and ultimately how we serve God. But we can solve this by figuring out what those lies are and replacing them with truth – killing the spider.

Whittaker defines spiders as an agreement you have made with a lie and cobwebs as medicating behaviour that bring false comfort to the lie. Cobwebs can be things like insecurity with body image, seeking approval from others, substance abuse , control being a control freak, finding worthiness through being a workaholic. Any type of behaviour that brings false or temporary comfort to lies about ourselves.

When I first started the book I was like “oh this is nice, but I don’t think I actually have any spiders”. But I was so wrong, because I do and we all do, it just comes out in different ways. As you figure out what these lies you’re listening to are you not only kick them out, but you replace them with truth. This can be done by;

  • Keeping track of how God is present in your life, how He is speaking to you and answering prayers
  • Trusting God always, when when you don’t really understand what He’s doing in your life
  • Involving God in the small and ordinary parts of your life, not just when you’re in trouble and need help
  • When you feel lies creeping in that make you feel unloved or unworthy push them out with what you know is true
  • Be honest with your friends about what you struggle to believe so they can hold you accountable
  • Practice gratitude for the small moment
  • Keep digging deeper and grow in your faith to prep for challenging seasons

Fact or Fiction? 

I recently heard: “Just because you’re feeling something doesn’t mean those feelings are true, should be validated, should be entertained or acted on. I think thats a lifelong quest to figure out what is truth and what are feelings” and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and wondering how it impacts our interpretations of the world.

We deserve to feel like our emotions and feeling are valid but it’s important to challenge if they are always true. We need to work through assessing when what we feel is contradictory to what we know to be true.

I’ve written before about Jamie Tworkowski’s post What I Feel vs What I Know but I’m bringing it back up again in this context because I think it’s helpful to illustrate an important point. We can have days or weeks or seasons that feel pretty terrible, where we don’t feel good about our lives, maybe we build up a lot of cobwebs trying to bring comfort to the lies we are believing. We could feel stuck or unloved but what know is that is not true. We are loved, we are worthy, there are things to be grateful for even in hard seasons.

Jamie wrote;

“i feel sad more than i feel happy.

i feel stuck more than i feel free.

i feel defeated more than i feel accomplished.
i feel i should have found love by now.
i think about it every single day…
i feel stuck in the best and worst moments that i’ve known.
The million bucks and the silence that followed.
But what is true?
What do i know?
i have a lot to be thankful for.
Mom and Dad and Jessica and Emily and Baby Landon.
They’re healthy and they love each other and they love me.
i have amazing friends. Old friends and new.
Friends who want to know me and want me to know them.
i get to do a job that i believe in. Most people don’t.
i have the opportunity to make a difference.
A lot of people would give anything for that.
i am healthy and i am young and there is air in my lungs and a shining sun outside and a sea as well and a story still going. And i’m allowed to be honest…”

There are things we might have believed about ourselves for so long they seem true, or maybe fears or insecurities that are so tangible they must be real. But it is important to take the time to be mindful that sometimes those fears or lies are holding us back from really living and engaging with others in a meaningful way.

Delight in Truth 

I know this post is just giving you a cursory understanding of this concept of killing the spiders in your life, and you should probably just read the book because it’s great, but I hope you’ll walk way from this post today thinking about where to find truth in your life and inspired to .

It’s not only important to be mindful of the lies you are believing that aren’t true about you (you’re unloved, unworthy, you’ve not perfect enough, etc.) but to then replace those with Jesus and with things you know are true.

“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth” – 1 Cor 13:6

“Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” – 1 John 3:18

“I am the way the truth and the life” – John 4:16

When I feel stressed out, insecure, or like I’m walking through a hard season I’ve found leaning on faith and truth is the best way to navigate that time.  In Kill The Spider Whittaker writes that in the good seasons of life it’s important to build your faith and tackle the spiders and lies you’ve got going on.

My favourite quote from Kill The Spider is this: “Levi said this: “ Trials reveal foundations; they aren’t the ideal time to build them.” Well, listen up, all of you “good season”-ers, pain and suffering’s off season is the ideal time for spider killing CrossFit. This is when you buckle down and get ready because you know that it is just an off-season. Jesus didn’t promise a pain-free life. But He did promise he would be with us as we run, skip, limp, crawl, or stumble toward the finish line” (pg. 151).

In good seasons, easy and comfortable ones – we need to build faith and resilience. Not to be pessimistic, but in knowing that harder seasons will come- and being deeply rooted in faith and having strong healthy relationships with God and yourself and others will help you to face more difficult seasons.

This post is part of the self-care series because self-care is a tool to build resilience, and this is how I think we can build spiritual resilience. Be intentional about your routines and rhythms, so that you have the spiritual foundation in your life you need when you’re going through the challenges life throws your way. Just like any other form of self-care, having the practice in place to take time for you is important to when you are put under stress you can manage it better.

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None But Jesus

This summer has been so good in many ways, and challenging in others. I’ve enjoyed a lot of leisure time with friends and family, but I have also struggled with not having clear plans. There has been this nagging feeling like things just weren’t falling into place how I wanted them to.

Although I can’t believe it’s already August, there were times that the uncertainty of things made this summer drag on. Sometimes our seasons fluctuate between tumultuous transitions and other times it is comfortable coasting. A lesson I’ve been learning though, is that no matter the season or what is happening in your life, you can find peace.


I’ve been blessed that a tangible vision of what life will look like for me in the coming months has come together recently. But along with that came making some decisions too- which is maybe even harder for me than not having plans. I can be a very indecisive person who asks my friends for their opinions on a lot of things.

With having some choices to make about the future, I’ve been turning to all of my friends and family for advice. I even called Bob Goff to get his take on things. With all this advice swirling in my head, I had a realization about what I was missing in my decision making.

Allow me to set the scene; I was driving home from bible study last week, and one my friends offered to host a campfire at her home in the country. I got a little lost on my way there, so on the drive back I was very attentive to make sure I didn’t lose my way again. Without street lights or other cars on the road the country roads were extremely dark.

In the darkness I could only see as far as my high-beams, but I trusted that my GPS was guiding me the correct way, and the left turn in 700 meters would be there even I couldn’t see it yet. The experience felt like a perfect illustration of how this summer often felt, motoring along trying to trust that even though I couldn’t see much of the road ahead, things would workout. The twists and turns I needed to make would come and I could trust the God knew the road I was going down even if it was unfamiliar to me.

And that is when it hit me, I realized that I ask for advice a whole lot more that I’ve prayed for guidance recently. I wasn’t asking God what I should do, I was actually asking pretty much everyone else. In my own life, the choices that I feel most confident in and at peace about, are ones that I have prayed about and that I feel get me closer to the path I am called to be on. It doesn’t mean I know exactly what direction I’ll go but I’m trusting that God’s plan is still there, just past the high-beams of my own understanding.

My backseat could have been packed like a clown car with the people I turn to for advice. My friends, my brother and his wife, my parents, the author’s of all the books I love. If I had all of them in my car navigating me home it would have taken twice as long to get there, if I was even able to make sense of layers of voices speaking to me. Sometimes advice is good, especially from someone you respect, but it is also easy to become confused by so many opinions rather than the one that actually knows where I need to go.

It is easier to ask for advice than to be still and ask for guidance. If you struggle with feeling indecisive you might relate to the feeling of wanting answers handed to you. But wrestling with choices is important, and trusting in the power of stillness and praying for guidance is too. It’s okay to not fully see the road ahead of you, it’s okay if things aren’t falling into place how you hoped, it’s okay to be uncertain about your next step.

As I kept driving home I just started to pray and ask for clarity about the choices I was facing- because at the the end of the day that’s the best advice I can get. And y’all, the Lord provides. We have to believe God is good, even when we can’t see what exactly he his doing in our specific situation.

If you’re also in a season of feeling like your plan is up in the air, learning to trusting in His plan gives you steadiness. He is in control. As I was sitting in bed outlining this post I started thinking about the Hillsong song None But Jesus, the lines:

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that you are God

In the chaos, in confusion
I know you’re sovereign still

felt like such a great picture of what I’m trying to articulate this week. In the confusing seasons and the moments when we dig deep to find stillness, the truth of our Lord always rings true.


This week I’ll leave you with a C. S. Lewis quote from the book Mere Christianity. Lewis where he talks about the idea that we are a living house, and God is doing renovations on us – but we don’t know what the final product will be.

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

If the path of your life is clear and you feel like you’re driving in daylight, that’s awesome. If you feel like things aren’t so clear and the turns you’re taking don’t seem to make sense don’t hesitate to hush the opinions people are throwing your way (or that you ask for too often, if you’re me) and make that time for stillness.

Having faith and trusting that He is in control is my best guarantee for hope and peace when I can’t see past my high-beams, and I hope it can be for you too.

 

 

Wonder

In April, when I flew home from Florida, I was surrounded by kids. And I mean directly in front of me, behind me and beside me. Which is sometimes bad news and can mean constant crying on an airplane – but what stuck out to me was the cute little girl in the seat ahead of me. She looked to be about 3 years old and she kept leaning over and pressing her hands up to the window while looking down as we flew over Orlando.

Now I think looking out a window during take off is pretty cool, but seeing the look of pure wonder on her face reminded me that I want to walk though my life with that perspective. I admired how the clouds captivated her and considered this; How many times a day do I feel wonder?

Wonders of The World

I tried googling “The Seven Wonders of the World” for this blog post and it gave me so many options. Did I mean the ancient world? The ecological wonders of the world? The seven most remarkable civil engineering feats of the 20th century? Or the seven wonders of the medieval world? I had no idea there were so many lists to choose from!

It goes to show, we live in a pretty wonderful world. So why don’t we always feel like it?

Because bad days happen, break ups and fights with best friends happen, conflict raging around the world happen. We get stressed about things in our lives and it puts blinders on us. When we don’t feel wonderful, we don’t feel like taking the time to admire the little wonders that happen around us everyday. Maybe we even feel like there isn’t anything wonderful where we live because it hasn’t made some fancy list declaring that it is a wonder to be celebrated.

It is okay to not feel great or happy all day everyday. In fact, that’s pretty normal and I don’t think anyone does. But wonder isn’t defined as something happy, it is more of a feeling of admiration. I like to think of it as curiosity combined with gratitude. When you see something beautiful or unexpected you experience a feeling of wonder. It is about marveling at something bigger than yourself, taking in some kind of beauty or experience, and being thankful for it.

When I think about wonder,  I think about faith. Having my breath taken away by something beautiful also seems like a good time to give thanks to the God who created this world. The moments where we are awestruck by beauty are moments when we recognized how great and wonderful this world truly is.

New York

A couple of weeks ago I travel to New Jersey and New York to visit friends. Being in New York City felt especially surreal, and I tried to follow the model of that little girl from my flight home from Orlando by allowing myself to be in awe, feeling wonder, and pausing often to marvel at the world around me.

As we drove out of the Lincoln Tunnel and into the city I exclaimed to my friends “The buildings are SO tall!!”, “There are so many more trees than I thought there would be!!!”, “Guys, we’re in NEW YORK!!!!”. It took me at least a full day to be chill about how it felt to be in one of the most iconic cities in the world.

Walking through Time’s Square, riding the Staten Island Ferry toward a glimmering New York City skyline at night, wandering through city streets and neighbourhoods in Lower Manhattan and visiting parks I had only ever seen in movies almost felt like a fairytale come to life. If you consider Friends, You’ve Got Mail or Breakfast at Tiffany’s fairy tales I suppose.

The whole trip was wonderful, and I mean that in the sense that I felt so filled with wonder. I had a constant feeling that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. We live in such an amazing and awe inspiring world! Each time I travel I feel grateful that I get to explore another glimpse of it.

In New York I saw a lot of amazing things and but one thing I will probably never get over the sunset from the Empire State Building. A combination of perfect timing getting there, ideal weather and dreamy clouds made it an beautiful sunset from an incredible perspective. Standing 86 floors in the air, looking down at the big city I felt like that little girl who I sat behind, so full of awe and wonder.

Wonders In Your Own Backyard

It might feel like you need to be a jet-setter to expereince the wonders of the world, but that simply isn’t true.

In the song What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong famously sang;

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

It is pretty common to pack your bags and travel great distances to see wonder around the world, far away from your back yard. Being out of our ordinary lives is a reminder of the wonders in our world that we aren’t used to seeing, but it certainly isn’t the only way to experience wonder. It’s just a sign that we’ve begun to stop taking notice of the wonders we experience daily.

Green trees and red roses and blue skies are fairly ordinary, but the perspective of curiosity and gratitude allow us to look at our surroundings with wonder and appreciate the world that has been created for us. Whether or not you’re a spiritual person, taking time to pause at the many wonders in our day to day lives is healthy and keeps you in a perspective of being thankful and appreciating how cool, complex and beautiful the world is, and that we are just one small part of it.

A challenge for you this week is to find something that fills you with wonder. To be intentional about pausing to appreciate things that might seem ordinary to you. Try to take fresh eyes to your regular life and find wonder in the small details you might be overlooking.

 

All The Lonely People

In late May I acquired 11 books in the span of a week and I’ve been pouring over them since. Poetry books, biographies, books about loving people and philosophies about life, and so many more things.

As I was reading along I was connecting the dots between them and found that many of them deal with being willing to stand alone and how to fight off loneliness. So here is a little summary and some extra wisdom from writers I admire.

What Loneliness Tells You & How We Listen to Our Fears 

When we find ourselves feeling lonely it’s not a simple as not having friends around. Loneliness and community might seem like opposites, but we don’t simply choose one or the other, we have a lot of other choices that we come to first. Such as choosing fear of not being accepted or liked over being vulnerable. Or choosing to isolate ourselves from others. It’s smaller, everyday choices that shape what our relationships look like.

I think that the fear of not being accepted or liked can very easily stop us from engaging in meaningful relationships. In the poem “Here Is What Loneliness Tells You” Tonya Ingram writes:

“You are the only one

You are the girl who feels awkward referring as herself as a woman because some part of you is unable to grow into it 

You are the girl who texts too much 

You are made of too much”

Our fears can tell us we are too much, that we are alone in our emotions and while we are trying too hard we are still unwanted. One of the many books I have been reading is called Kill The Spider, which is about finding the lies you tell yourself and getting rid of them so they don’t impact your daily life. A common lie many people deal with is that people won’t accept us or we aren’t really wanted at that party. When we start to believe these fears of not being welcome and let them dictate our actions it can cause us to disengage and make ourselves to feel more alone.

In Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller writes;

“We are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of televisions, not having to deal with real people who might hurt or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts… hardly interacting with other human beings at all. … Loneliness is something that happens to us, but I think is it something we can move ourselves out of. I think a person who is lonely should dig into a community… Jesus does not want us floating through space or sitting in front of our televisions. Jesus wants us interacting, eating together, laughing together”.

I couldn’t agree more, and I think that though loneliness is hard and sometimes feels like we can’t do anything about feeling that way – we can do quite a bit. It’s all about making small choices of opening up to people and making sure that fear isn’t making the choice for us.

True Belonging & Choosing Vulnerability

If you know me well, you know I love Brené Brown. Even if you don’t know me well you know I love her. Did I talk about her with the guy sitting next to me on my flight last week? Maybe. Anyway, the point is she says a lot of important things about belonging and her research about the importance of learning to belong to yourself before you find belonging with others has been on my mind a lot lately.

In her book Braving The Wilderness, Dr. Brown writes:

“Stop walking through the world looking for confirmation that you don’t belong. You will always find it because you’ve made that your mission. Stop scouring people’s faces for evidence that you’re not enough. You will always find it because you’ve made that your goal. True belonging and self-worth are not goods; we don’t negotiate their value with the world. The truth about who we are lives in our hearts. Our call to courage is to protect our wild heart against constant evaluation, especially our own. No one belongs here more than you.

She talks about the idea that we don’t need to belong with anyone else before we feel at home with ourselves and then with the belief you are enough you can open yourself to the world. I love that idea because as an extrovert, the thought of being alone has always seemed lonely, but her concept of belonging to yourself means that it doesn’t need to be that way. To overcome fear and choose vulnerability you need to believe that you are worthy. You must believe that you are loved and loveable and have confidence in yourself to contribute to relationships.

When we choose vulnerability over fear you give yourself the opportunity to share yourself and your story with others. Maybe that means going out of your comfort zone and spending time with new people. Maybe it means trusting that you don’t have to prove anything. When we are authentic in our relationships, when we show up rather than show off, we can become known and understood by others.

Loving Yourself, Building Community & Drawing Others In

The Beatles famously sang “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?”. To answer this I give you another Donald Miller quote from Blue Like Jazz, “The words alone, lonely, and loneliness are three of the most powerful words in the English language… those words say that we are human”. Loneliness is a feeling, it is something we all experience and “all the lonely people” are actually you and me. What is important isn’t that you never feel lonely, but you make choices to move away from loneliness and these choices will add up to the lives we build for ourselves.

It starts with believing that everyone, including and especially you, is valuable and worthy of love. And then practicing that self-love and sharing love with others by being inclusive. Making room for people, letting them know they are valued and welcome, it is one of the easiest things we can do and it makes a lasting impact in people’s lives.

In the poem “Here Is What Love Tells You” Tonya Ingram writes:

“you are yours before you choose anyone else 

You are cicada and buzz

You are loose flannel and cup 

Green tea

You are soft knuckles 

You are dance alone

You are unafraid”

Essentially: you are so many good things. You are so worthy of love and belonging and acceptance. And when you walk in the world knowing that and treating others that way, good people will gravitate into your life.

In her essay The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan wrote “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life”. I think however, maybe there is an opposite of loneliness. I think the opposite of loneliness is finding belonging within yourself and as a result building authentic and honest community with others.

 

A Heart Of Glass Turns One

This time last year I got the courage up to share some writing on this platform. If you’ve been reading along, thank you!

This blog was named A Heart Of Glass, after a John Mayer lyric. I explained in my first post ever that I named it after a line in the song War of My Life, that goes, “I’ve got a hammer/  And a heart of glass/ I got to know right now/ Which walls to smash”. I’m the type of person who likes the idea of embracing vulnerability and opening my heart up to people. And this year I tried to do that here, exploring ideas about how to navigate life and balance a healthy heart, mind, sprit and relationships. I found myself asking the question “what does it mean to be healthy?” quite a bit.

I’ve had the chance to embrace failures by redefining success for myself, think about the ways to let people know our authentic selves in relationships and how to fight for meaningful friendships when things get tough. I’ve talked about my own spirituality and invited others to write and share their perspectives on life as well.

 


As I find my footing in this next chapter of my life I find myself asking new questions. Less about the general “what does it mean to be healthy?” and more specifically “what does it look like for me to be healthy and how do I get myself there?”.

There is a very wide range of what health looks like for everyone; there isn’t any one right way to do things. Healthy people don’t eat the same diet or work out the same ways, we don’t express our emotions or creativity the same either, and our best, happiest and healthiest selves is something we decide on our own.

There are a lot of opinions out in the world, I know I’ve handed out a few here or there over the last year, but what I’m working on these days is figuring out what feels right for me. I trust facts about healthy eating and what healthy relationships look like, and I trust my counsellor who gives me strategies to handle my emotional health – but ultimately I need to feel out the healthiest balance in my life.

I believe this is something we really all must to do. We can be given 101 opinions – but the best thing to do is feel things out for yourself and figure out the right fit for you.

The older I get the more I’m aware of myself. I can tell when I’m anxious or projecting stress. I can identify conflicts when they are small, and still easily manageable. I know I shouldn’t eat all junk food if I want to feel okay the next day (and generally live according to that). I think the longer we live and the better we get to know ourselves the better we can feel out what is best for us.

 


A key to finding a healthy balance in our lives is identifying when things feel wrong. If you’re running and your legs are a little sore you’re probably fine – but if there is a sharp pain you need to stop. The same goes for spicy food and heart burn – know your limits, friend. Sometimes on the path to figuring out what’s right you have to figure out what feels wrong.

If there is an area of wellness you’re not familiar with, doing research and getting facts before making assumptions is important, but keep in mind that there are a lot of possibilities of what a healthy you can look like, so it is up to you to find your best fit.

When relationships feel honest and supportive, when you find a type of exercise you really enjoy doing, when you learn to talk about feelings in a productive way, when you know what these things look and feel like of you – then you can find your own unique answer to the questions “what does it look like for me to be healthy and how do I get myself there?”.

As I’ve been working on this blog I’ve been keeping in mind that all the areas I’ve written about are connected. Our physical health impacts our mental health (and vice versa), the health of our relationships is impacted by our emotional health which is impacted by our spiritual health (and vice versa etc, you get the picture). It’s all connected.

If one area is feeling off, it can shake your whole life up quite a bit. Don’t underestimate how taking care of little issues in your life can make a big positive impact in many areas.

Finally, don’t shy away from trusting yourself to know what is right for you. I’ve learned a lot in the past year, but maybe nothing more empowering than learning to trust my own choices and feelings.

 


 

The blog and I are going to take a bit of a hiatus for this next month- but keep your eyes open for new posts coming your way in July!

There’s Power In Love

I sped read through the new Bob Goff book while I was up at my cottage this weekend. It was that perfect type of cottage weather where you could manage a walk on the beach, but then it would be so chilly and you had the perfect excuse to curl up by the fire, drink multiple mugs of hot chocolate and eat a few Timbits (I’ve been indulging in a lot of Timbits since I got home from Florida) for the rest of the day.

Something that stuck out to me while I was reading Everybody Always was this anecdote about “filling up your bucket” he talked about. It actually comes from a children’s book that teaches the lesson of being kind to others, but what he wrote was “we will become in our lives what we put in our buckets”. He realized he needed to stop filling his Das with pride of impatience and really embody the values he wanted to become.

It got me thinking a lot about the areas in my own life where I know I need to step things up. I want to become more loving, more patient and understanding, more empathetic, more generous – and if I want to become that person I need to embody those things even when it feels difficult.


Something I learned from the experience of falling in love is that when you love someone is the feeling of our capacity to love just gets bigger because we didn’t know we could care about someone so much. I’ve heard parents talk about a similar feeling where you think you couldn’t love anything more than you love your partner and when you have a kid a whole new amount of love wells up in you.

It’s like love surprises us – when we thought we couldn’t love people anymore than we do we find out that we can. When you care about someone like that it’s easier to see the best in them. To be a little softer, or gentle, and forgiving. After all, love is patient and forgiving and kind – isn’t it?

When we realize more and more that we have a greater capacity to love than we ever imagined we can try to use it to not only love our significant others or our friends and families – but all the people in our lives that way.

That instinct to see the best in a person? What if we extended that kind of care to everyone? That deliriously in love feeling that makes you wanna dance to work? Can we find that through loving our neighbours and coworkers and friends as generously as we love our significant others? I think we can. I believe when we learn what kind of love we are capable of we can try to extended that in all areas of our lives.


Another perfect thing to do on chilly cottage weekends? Wake up early to watch the Royal Wedding. I rolled out of bed at 6:55 just in time to catch the start of the ceremony (and as soon as it ended I took a 2 1/2 hour nap with my dog – an ideal Saturday morning if you ask me). The ceremony was beautiful but what has really stayed with me was the sermon made by Bishop Michael Curry. He spoke about love, about how the world could look when we act as if love is the way.

Curry said “There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it.” He spoke about how when we are loved it feels like something is right “when you are loved and you know it, when someone cares for you and you know it, when you love and you show it, it actually feels right.” 

Curry went on to say the reason it feels right when we are loved is because “We were made by a power of love. And our lives were meant and are meant to be lived in that love. That’s why we are here.” One of the first times I heard a Brené Brown TED Talk I remember her saying that the reason we are here is connection. I fully believe both of these things. We are here to connect with others and we are here to share love and be loved through those connections. 

The Bishop went on to encourage the congregation and views to imagine what our communities, countries, families, neighbourhoods and governments would be like when love was the way. He said that when love is the way “we actually treat each other, well, like we are actually family”. Sometimes I think it’s easy to get frustrated with people when they aren’t someone we know or we don’t know their story – but easy isn’t what we are here for and when you try to connect with people and be softer with them we can find ways to extend deep love into all areas of our lives.


I don’t usually give homework assignments, really you just reading to the end of one of my posts is great. But this week I will ask you one thing: think about the values you want to be remembered for – and then ask if you are filling your bucket with that thing. I’m going to work on being understanding and gracious and assuming the best about people, and that’s just the tip of my iceberg.

Think about how loving your friend, neighbour or showing kindness to a stranger really can change the world – There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it.

We Don’t Throw Away Trees

I got home from Florida a week or so ago and I saw that some of my plants hadn’t survived Canadian winter super well. My little forest of succulents living on my window sill obviously missed regular warmth and sunlight – so they looked a little worse for wear.

Some of them had been promising and growing big and strong – but now they were in need of some extra care. I thought about starting over and getting new ones to replace the ones that didn’t survive so well, but I decided I want to give these guys a second chance. After all, it wasn’t their fault that winter is so cold and maybe May and June will bring much needed sunlight. And maybe, just maybe, these plants will turn around.

In Florida one of my favourite things were the palm trees, I pointed out every single one I saw for the first week. They often needed to get pruned and dead leaves would be removed – but in the right climate with the correct care they thrive. When palm leaves fall off gardeners don’t give up on the whole tree, they prune it and move on. Sure, my plants aren’t palm tress – but I’m not giving up on them just yet.

I think the same can be said for me and you. Sometimes we might feel like it is too late for us. Like we messed up too much, or there isn’t hope. Maybe it feel like it’s been too long since you called that friend, since you prayed, since you though about going back to school or pursuing that dream.

In my mind the hierarchy for things I have hope for goes like:

3 . My Succulents

2 . Palm Trees

1. You

You’re number one. It’s not too late for you to bloom and do the things you’ve always wanted to do. It’s not too late to grow into the person you want to be.

We often talk about personal growth and we can’t always see it, but plants are a visual representation of that constant growth and they can serve as a reminder of the growth we are always going through. It’s easier to look back on growth and say “yeah I grew through that” vs keeping the mindset of “I am currently growing” or “I’m trying to make progress”. But just like my succulents, palm tress, [insert your favourite tree/plant/ flower] we are always growing and developing and making progress, even when we don’t see it.

If this sounds naive coming from a 22 year old, okay fair. But I’ve had my share of friends who are my age already feeling like it might be too late for them. And I don’t know if you’ve heard but Oprah was fired from her first reporting job when she was 23. Julia Child didn’t released her first cookbook until she was 49, even the legendary Morgan Freeman didn’t land his first major movie role until he was 52. Some people start running marathons in their 70’s y’all, anything is possible.

No matter where you’re at, how old you are, or what you’ve been through – don’t give up on you. It isn’t too late to get a new hobby, explore your spirituality, start eating healthy, start running, to be vulnerable or ask for help. It’s never too late try something new. You might need to do some pruning, but baby we don’t throw away trees around here and you’re still growing.