Thursday, July 30, 2015

You Are My One Thing

Your voice ever close you called me
You never gave up pursuing
I fell in love you stole my heart

Your hand ever near I hold to
I long for your heart to know you
Just to live in your fellowship


Home sweet home

There is a lot of focus on being healthy in our society, which is a good thing. Many magazines focus on health and wellness and you can find tons of different books on the topic of fitness and dieting. These days most of us know all about what kinds of foods our bodies need to stay healthy. We are also well aware that we need to exercise regularly to stay fit and healthy. We are not only very knowledgeable about what it takes to stay healthy physically, we spend a lot of time working towards this goal. We are convinced that the better our bodies look and the healthier our bodies are, the better we will feel about life.

A healthy body is important to be able to live a good life but what surprises me is how easily we forget about the other parts of our being. We all know that no matter how healthy our bodies are we won't feel good unless we are also healthy on the inside. I think that if we can learn to not only care for our bodies but to also give our minds and souls what they need we will be able to find joy and fulfillment in life. Judah Smith asks us all an important question: "Is your soul well?"

Monday, July 20, 2015

The "Perfect" Body

If we are wondering why so many people want to have cosmetic surgery done these days we might have to take a look at ourselves. Not only are we very good at pointing out what we don't like about our own bodies, we are also good at criticising other women's bodies. Maybe the mantra we live by today is "criticise yourself & criticise others"?

If we want to live in a world where eating disorders are very common and where the majority of all women dislike their bodies then we don't need to change anything. The media and the advertisement industry isn't exactly making it easy to love your body in 2015, but in the end it comes down to our own choices.

I want to make sure I spend my life living according to this mantra: "Love yourself & Love others as yourself". If I'm going to be able to do that successfully I need to promise myself to stop criticising my own body and vow to never criticise someone else's body, neither online or in person. This new lifestyle will probably take a lot of practice before it becomes my reality, because loving your imperfect self and other imperfect people is about as counter-cultural as anything can get in today's society.

Perfect Beauty

Perfection is one of the ideals in our modern culture, especially when it comes to beauty. We are expected to look younger than we are, have no scars, cellulite or birth marks. Once we can no longer measure up to the ideal naturally it's time to start injecting botox and maybe get some breast implants. The cultural ideal isn't the problem, we are. We are either too fat or not curvy enough. We have too small breasts or a nose that is too big. Our butts are either too small or too big. None of us are perfect, and this is considered a problem.

The June 29, 2015 issue of TIME magazine reports that more and more people get work done these days, will you? Here's the facts: TIME magazine reports that in 2014 more than twice as many cosmetic procedures were done in the US than in year 2000. Cosmetic surgery is no longer considered something that only vain and tacky people do. Joel Stein writes: "Not having work done is now the new shame."

The media shows us what perfection looks like daily and the people follow. If we want to keep up with this ideal we better get some work done, the sooner the better. Or, we could just say NO!
I am beautiful the way I am and although more and more people no longer see anything beautiful when they look in the mirror I choose to be different.

I will choose to love myself and embrace my unique beauty. There is no one else in the whole world who looks exactly like me and that is worth celebrating! I am a unique and beautiful creation! I will embrace and love myself from this day forward and I will avoid any influence that tells me not to love my natural self.

Summer Moments


Some of my favorite summer moments this far have been taking long morning walks along the lake, having some strawberries for a snack every day and enjoying a beautiful sunset at Wasaga Beach. I also really enjoyed our trip to New York and had a fun birthday celebration at an Italian restaurant. July is one of my favorite months of the year!


Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Hillsong NYC

Hillsong NYC is a church in New York City that has been surprisingly successful at growing larger every year in a city that isn't exactly known for being warm and loving . It's quite incredible how a new church like Hillsong NYC has grown to a congregation of over 5000 people in just a few years. The people of Hillsong NYC describe their church as a place where they feel right at home and surrounded by people who love them for who they are.

Hillsong Church started in Australia and has grown to have locations in many large cities in Australia, Europe and USA. If you happen to live in any of these cities I recommend checking out this unique church.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What do you want from me God?

My Bible has 1445 pages. It's easy to start thinking that this thing that people call Christianity is really complicated, since it takes that many pages to lay down the rules. It turns out the opposite is true. The more I read in the Bible the more I find that every story is pretty much the same. It goes something like this:

God loves the people, but the people choose to turn their backs on God. The people fill their lives with different types of sin and don't care about doing the right thing anymore. God brings down devastation on the people. The people eventually realize their wrongs and repent and turn back to God. The people go on loving their God and loving each other. God loves the people.
A few decades later the people have forgotten why God matters and turn their backs on him (again).

The same cycle continues, over and over again. God's greatest command for humanity is to love God and to love each other. It's not a complicated command, but it's still so easy to turn away and choose selfishness instead. If I was to ask God: "Okay God, this book of yours has a lot of pages so could you please narrow it down for me? What is it that you want from me?" I have a feeling that God's answer would be this:

"This is my command: Love each other."
John 15:17 NIV

Okay, that sounds simple one might think, but when we look closer at this chapter we see that it isn't just any kind of love that Jesus talks about, but the deepest one of all:

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends."
John 15:12-13 NIV

We spend so much of our time building up our lives. We are building a career, building up a retirement fund, building up our status, image or brand. Then Jesus comes into our lives with his very counter-cultural command, saying that we should "lay down" our lives for other people. We spend so much time trying to get things, but according to Jesus it seems like the point with life isn't about what we get, it's in what we give.

Love is a verb, when we love others we do something for them. Here's a few examples of what we can do for others: We can help, comfort, encourage, protect, parent, feed, adopt, clothe, support, heal, nurse and forgive. You can add your own verb. Who around you needs some of your love today? Choose one of the verbs above and get to it! :) It's not complicated, it's mission possible.

Good Company

There is still this idea in our culture that faith is for stupid people. How could you possibly believe in a God and be intelligent? Some people seem to think that science and faith don't go together, but is that really true?

Can intellectuals be Christians? Eric Metaxas reflects on how scientists, artists and other significant figures who shaped our culture have relied on their Christian faith throughout the centuries.

Healthy Eating in the Summer

On a hot summer day I love to treat myself to an ice cream cone or an iced latte.

I definitely have dessert more often during the summer months than in the winter. I balance up my summer diet by eating more healthy lunches and breakfasts instead.

A protein smoothie or a green juice is my favorite summer breakfast. I love the juices at Juice Generation in New York!

During our trip to New York I treated myself to a green juice and an acai bowl for breakfast. One thing I love about summer is being able to have your breakfast outdoors in the sun.

A healthy lunch at Le Pain Quotidien is another one of my favorite things to treat myself to in New York. Is it just me or is it a lot easier to find tasty healthy food in LA and New York than in most other cities?

The avocado sandwich is easy to make at home when you want a quick and healthy lunch. Toast the bread, spread it with avocado and decorate with vegetables.

It becomes easy to eat healthy in the summer when you can find food trucks that sell organic juices and smoothies on the street.

During summer I love to eat a burger for dinner and have a scoop of ice cream for dessert, a summer with only healthy food would be really, really boring if you ask me.

Of course you also have to treat yourself to a nice summer drink every now and then to celebrate the summer vacation! I love anything with mango or pineapple in it.

Have a joyful summer everyone, fill it with good food, good company and a lot of love! :)

The Workout

I have to admit that on a hot summer day I would much rather lay on the beach all day than do a workout. I try to tell myself that loving yourself isn't only about doing what you want, it's about giving yourself what you need. My body needs some good exercise to stay healthy and exercise is also very good for my mind and soul, so there really are no good excuses to skip it.

I like to go biking on a hot summer day because once you have the wind in your hair it feels a lot less hot. I love riding along the beautiful trails on the lakefront in Toronto. The biking workout strengthens my body and the beautiful views relaxes my mind.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

King Of Love

The King of Love my Shepherd is
Whose goodness faileth never
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever
And He is mine forever
Lost and foolish off I strayed
But yet in love He sought me
And on His shoulder gently laid
And home rejoicing brought me

Love yourself first

Self Love, why is it so difficult? Many of us have relationships with the woman in the mirror that aren't very positive.We have to love ourselves first to be able to love others. A person who hates himself will not be very loving towards others.

Louie Giglio is a wise man with a powerful message about self love. I like what he has to say about "receiving with the shovel, but dispensing with a spoon." Once we fully understand how much we are loved we will be able to offer that same great love to others. Here's the description of the sermon from LifeChurch's homepage:

"You were never meant to be perfect. You were created to be loved. So why is it so hard to love ourselves? It's not a simple answer. Maybe it's time to take a look at your relationship with the Man in the Mirror."

Cottage Style in the city

I celebrated my birthday a few weeks ago and was very happy to get some new home decor accessories for a birthday present. Our kitchen is now decorated in cottage style which makes me feel a lot like I'm at the cottage even when I'm in the city. It's nice to be able to bring a summer feel into a city home.

Lake Huron

One of my favorite things to do in Toronto during the summer is to take a daytrip to one of the beaches on Lake Huron. Yesterday we took a drive to Wasaga Beach since the weather was great, +31 degrees. As I was laying on my back floating in the lake I could feel how good that swim felt for both my body, mind and soul. It's days like these that give you energy and charge you up again, so that the joy will last all winter.