Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A beautiful sunset

Yesterday my husband and I decided to take a walk along the beach after dinner. The sunset was beautiful and it was so relaxing and peaceful to sit on the beach and watch the sun go down, my everyday Spa. I love spring!

A few pictures from Easter

We had snow in Toronto during the week before Easter, but right in time for the Easter celebration all the snow melted away and the sun came back out again.

All dressed up for church on Easter Sunday. I love the spring weather and being able to skip wearing a coat!

We did some fasting the week before Easter and ate a simple diet of only beans and rice. We like to do this every year in our family and then give away the money we save on food that week to an organization that helps provide people with food or clean water around the world. A week of fasting is also a good reminder of how privileged lives we live, and that there is always room for more cuts to our lifestyle that could help someone else.

We had family over for dinner on Easter Sunday and we got to enjoy a very tasty Jamaican dinner with Canadian cookies&cream cheesecake for dessert.

I also managed to overdose on these little chocolate eggs during our Easter celebration. I can't believe how addictive this stuff is! I think it's time to get back to some more healthy eating now again as Easter is over. Green juices here I come! :)

Noticing The One

Sheri Lake talks about how sometimes when we are so busy helping many we have a tendency to forget about noticing the one. Other times we are so busy focusing on ourselves and our own problems that we miss the person right in front of us who is in need. When we take the time to notice the one God can use us to bring encouragement, hope and joy to the person he has intentionally placed in front of us.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Shine On Us

I was stumbling in the darkness
Couldn't see my hand in front of me
I was sending up an SOS
When all was lost, You came running

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide
You sent the shadows scattering
When through the clouds, a piercing light
And then I saw You

Shine, shine, shine like the sun
You're waking hearts to life
You've only begun
Every fear, every doubt disappears
When You shine on us

We wanna see You
Shine, shine, shine like the stars
You are the first love to open my heart
Every hope, every dream comes alive
When You shine on us
When You shine on us


The Call: Caring for Orphans

Katie Davis was dreaming about taking a gap year after high school and doing mission work abroad for a year before going to college. After finally being able to convince her parents to let her put off college for a year Katie spent a year in Uganda teaching kindergarten at an orphanage. When Katie's year abroad was over she had fallen in love with Uganda and the people there. She went back to the US again and started college but felt miserable. After a few months of trying but failing to live a "normal life" in America again Katie returned to Uganda. Today she is 26 years old and still lives in Uganda where she runs the non-profit Amazima ministries. Katie has also become the mother of fourteen orphaned girls that she has adopted in Uganda. Last year Katie got married to her husband Benji Majors.

What I find the most inspiring with Katie's story is that she didn't hesitate even when life started taking a very different direction than she had planned for herself. Katie has an incredible courage and a warm heart, she is ready to care for whatever child or person God brings into her life. I also like what Katie Davis has to say about finding our calling in life. Many people feel like they don't know what God wants them to do with their life, but as Katie points out, it's no secret. God has made it really clear in the Bible that he wants us to love other people as we love ourselves. The Bible teaches us to care for orphans and widows, to feed the hungry, to heal the sick etc. If we are calling ourselves Christians doing these things are no longer an option in life, it's a requirement. Mother Teresa makes it really clear and simple in this quote:

"Faith in action is love, and love in action is service."
Mother Teresa

The Call: Fighting Human Trafficking

Christine Caine talks about The A21 Campaign in this video, a non-profit organization that she and her husband Nick founded. When Christine found out about the great number of humans that are being trafficked around the world today she felt called to do something about the problem. Today The A21 Campaign exists to free women and girls who are stuck in sex slavery, to help the girls recover from their trauma and to bring the criminals to justice. If you want to learn more about human trafficking and The A21 Campaign you can find the website here:

I love getting inspired by people who have found their calling in life and acted on it. We are all equipped for and passionate about entirely different things but we were all created to make a difference, to put our gifts to use towards a positive change in this world. I like the quote by Mother Teresa:

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things."
Mother Teresa

Shift Your Perspective

Christine Caine shares a bit about her story in this video. Christine grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Sydney, Australia and as an adult she found out the shocking news that she had been adopted at birth. She had been left unnamed and unwanted in the hospital as an infant and her adoptive parents had chosen not to tell her that she was adopted. Christine was also sexually abused for twelve years of her life. Christine's painful childhood left her filled with hurt, anger, shame and hopelessness. She became a Christian in her early twenties which would change her life radically, her life went from being hopeless to a life filled with hope, purpose and destiny.

As we look at the world around us today it's easy to feel hopeless and become afraid of the future. Christine Caine talks about how we can either focus on our current circumstances or we can choose to shift our perspective and zoom in on the things that are right in our lives and in our world. If we choose to be grateful for the things that are right in our marriages for example, rather than to focus on what is not yet the way we would like it to be, it will change how we feel about our lives. When we stir up the gift of faith we have within us and get our eyes set on Jesus we can find hope in the midst of hopelessness.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How Does Knowing God Help Us?

Michael Frost talks about how fear and laziness has the power to hold us back from all the good things in life if we let it. We were built to live free. We were created to live a life of courage, sacrificial love and purposeful work but fear and laziness can make us stagnant, stagnant in our growth and held back from experiencing fulfillment in life.

It's a sad day today

It's a very sad day once again as the world mourns the people who lost their lives in Brussels and as we are reminded of how much evil there is in our world. My prayers today are for everyone who have been affected by this tragedy and who have lost a loved one.

Another sad fact is that every time an attack like the one in Brussels happen there are some people who speak up and say that we have to be tougher on immigration etc. It's understandable that the natural reaction is to become afraid, very afraid.

I think it's important that we all remember that fear has never solved any problems in the world, but fear has definitely created many problems. Fear will cripple us and hold us back, but if we resist it we can find the courage and willpower to push forward and get back to working on building a warmer, more inclusive and loving society together. Martin Luther King Jr. said "Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." We need to remember that fear has nothing to do with love, but fear can easily give birth to hate. We live in a world with much evil but when we choose to resist fear and rather unite in love we will change the world together.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

For The Honor

For the honor of the Father
Who reaches out to us
That we might live inside His love
He gave His only Son

For the honor of The Savior
Let the cross be lifted high
The great exchange of love and grace
Came down to give us life

For the honor of The Spirit
Whose power lives in us
That we might see much greater things
As we embrace Your love

Proud or Humble

Pastor Holly Wagner from Oasis Church in Los Angeles gives a great sermon in this video about humility. All of us are either proud or humble, and even those of us who think we are humble probably have at least one area in our lives where we still have a lot of pride that is holding us back from thriving in life.

This upcoming weekend it's Easter so I thought I would include a list of churches that I recommend for anyone who is still looking for a church to attend this weekend. It can be difficult to find a good church since churches don't do any advertising and after I finally found a church I can call home I decided I would take any opportunity to help others find theirs. Here's a list of a few churches in different cities:

Los Angeles:

Oasis Church


Vous Church

New York:

Hillsong New York


Vantage Church

Elevation Church, in the following cities:

Mississauga, ON

Charlotte, NC

Concord, NC

Rock Hill, NC

Raleigh, NC

Roanoke, VA

Hillsong Church, in the following cities:

New York

Los Angeles











..and last but not least I want to wish you all a happy Easter! :)

The Law

There are a total of 613 commands in the Bible which make up the law, so are we supposed to follow all of these rules or just some of them? What about the 10 commandments? The commands in the Bible can seem confusing at first look but they all play a part in telling a story, a story about humanity. When Jesus came he said that he was the fulfillment of the law, but what did he mean by that? Jesus also gave us the great command; to love God and to love others as ourselves. Jesus claimed that if we live according to the great command the entire law of the Bible will be fulfilled through that one great command.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Spirit Move

We are fixed
on this one thing,
to know your goodness
and see your glory.
We're transformed by
this one thing,
to know your presence
and see your beauty.

Heaven & Earth

This short video gives a quick explanation of what the Bible teaches about heaven and earth. We all know that heaven is the place where the people who love God will go after they die but sometimes we forget that the focus of the Bible is all about heaven and earth overlapping. We pray about heaven and earth overlapping in the prayer Our Father: "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...", but what does it all mean?

My Weekend

The highlights of the weekend were...

The sunshine! I love living in a country with four seasons, it helps me appreciate every season. I definitely think that I would take the warm and sunny days for granted if I lived somewhere where it's sunny all the time, after a long winter I'm always super happy to see the blue skies again!

The Sushi! Last week we had March Break in Ontario but we didn't book any vacation this year so I thought: "Why not make the beach come to you?" The "Hawaii roll" at Izakaya never disappoints!

A day downtown in our beautiful city Toronto always makes the weekend fun! I also found a nice Key Lime Pie at the grocery store that continued the "vacation theme" of the weekend. The best thing about that pie is that I still have a few slices left of it to enjoy during the week. A slice of Key Lime Pie can take a Monday evening from ordinary to special. I love to look for little things that can make life beautiful and special, whether it's a walk along the beach at sunset on a Wednesday evening or a tasty dessert on a Monday. I think life is too short to only live for the weekends! :)

How to deal with credit card debt

Living in a responsible way when it comes to money is important but it can be very difficult at times. We learn a lot of good things in school but sadly nobody teaches us about important topics like work-life balance, mental health or how to handle money in high school. One thing that makes me mad is that when young adults start college they get bombarded with offers to get credit cards from different companies that visit the college campuses. I have a friend who took every single credit card she was offered in university and quickly ended up deep in debt, it took her many years to get rid of that debt.

Young adults who we're not lucky enough to grow up with parents who taught them about money and responsibility easily end up deep in debt during the earlier part of their adult life. I'm happy to see that Youtubers like "Sugar Mamma" offer good advice for free about money and financial planning that can help young people. Few things can steal our freedom and add more stress to life than living with a lot of debt.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Improving Yourself & Self Love

When it comes to improving yourself being able to take constructive criticism is an important part of the journey. Our friends and loved ones, plus potentially a boss or mentor, are the people in our lives that are most likely going to be able to give us constructive criticism. Once we have figured out what people we want to allow to speak into our lives we can decide to open ourselves up to criticism. If your friends or loved ones aren't very good at giving constructive criticism it can be a good idea to say something like: "I really want to change but could you please make your feedback constructive so that I can learn from it".

When someone gives us constructive criticism it really becomes all about being able to listen without getting defensive. It's important to remember that criticism doesn't mean that we are not good people or really bad at something, it just means that there are areas where we can still improve. It's also good to remember that nobody is perfect, we all need to continue to grow, each one of us just might need to grow in different areas.

When we love ourselves we can start looking at the parts of our character that still needs work and admit to ourselves that "yeah, I really need to work on that". The fact that we have issues doesn't mean we are of less value than someone else, it's just a sign that we are human. Love yourself and keep caring for yourself by committing to self improvement every year.

Marriage Advice

Craig and Claudia Donnell give their best marriage advice in this video. I like what they have to say about the importance of being selfless and not "keeping score" in marriage. Be the first one to say "I'm sorry" and only compete against each other by trying to outlove each other. When you have two people in a relationship who try to outdo each other in showing love and respect towards the other person you get a great relationship.

Four Years

Last Weekend my husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. We had such a fun day together! We decided to focus on us the whole day and skip doing any chores on the day of our anniversary. We went to brunch, had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the evening and ordered a mini version of our wedding cake that we had for dessert. Enjoying a cake from the same bakery that made our wedding cake four years ago has become our tradition every year.

Another tradition we have for our anniversary is to share five things that we love the most about each other. It’s a wonderful feeling you get when you hear your spouse talk about all the things he loves about you. In a world where we have to put up with so much negativity and pain it’s a beautiful thing to get to walk through life together with your spouse who is your best friend and biggest cheerleader. Nobody knows me better than my husband and nobody else can encourage me and speak love into my life like he does, no matter if I’m having a good day or a bad day. I have to admit that I’ve made many foolish decisions in my life, but marrying my husband was one of the best decisions I have ever made so far!

Monday, March 14, 2016


I’m just a broken instrument in the hands of the Greatest
So if the notes are off it’s ‘cause I ain’t nothin’ to play with
And you can fault me, but ain’t we all off key

 Majorin' in the minors like there ain’t no errors behind us
Somehow we still mix these melodies with my felonies
I ain’t buyin' nothin' they sellin' me what you tellin' me

Broken pieces actin' like we ain’t cracked
But we all messed up and can't no one escape that

We some broken people
Came from broken homes
Broken hearts inside of a broken soul


But God Changes Everything

Fighting Fear

Pastor Herbert Cooper teaches a sermon about fear in this video. Fear tends to be one of the main things that can hold us back in life. Fear can paralyze us and cripple us, fear can stop people from becoming all that God wants them to become in life and from being able to experience life fully. Herbert Cooper shares how God can give us the confidence we need when we are held back by fear.

True Manhood

Lecrae explains what Biblical Manhood looks like. Jesus was the perfect example for true manhood. When we read about Adam in the Bible we see a man who is selfish, passive and unwilling to take responsibility for his actions. Jesus on the other hand wasn't selfish, he was selfless and willing to sacrifice himself for others. Jesus wasn't passive, he was actively living out his purpose in life and not shying away from the hard stuff. Jesus didn't quit when life got really hard. Jesus was also willing to embrace responsibility in life, he both walked in authority and respected authority, versus Adam who when caught sinning chose to blame it all on Eve.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Warrior Chicks

Holly Wagner talks about her book "Warrior Chicks" in this video. Warrior Chicks is a book about rising strong in the midst of the struggles that come with life. Holly Wagner has faced quite a few personal challenges over the last few years. Holly has battled breast cancer, identity theft, personal betrayals and her husband having a life-threatening disease. How can we find the strength to rise strong in the midst of the chaos that we often find ourselves in during our lives?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Women's Swimsuits Through History

This video was so fun to watch, so I will share it. The video shows how the swimsuit fashion has changed over the last one hundred years. The swimsuit from the 1930s is my favorite, I need to buy a new swimsuit for summer this year so I hope I can find something similar in stores soon. I love one pieces because they stay in place no matter how much you dive and jump around in the water. :) Another three months and I will get to take trips to the beach again, I can't wait!

My Big Ego

One of the more surprising truths I have learned about life so far is that having a big ego will only cause you trouble in life. When I was about 15 years old I was the most selfish I have ever been in life so far. It makes sense, most teens are quite self-centered. I remember that my mother used you tell me “You are so selfish” at least once per day during this phase in my life. She was right. I was selfish and I always wanted things to go my own way. I was self-centered, mean, rude and low on empathy.

Looking back I’m still grateful that I had a really selfish phase back in high school because it thought me so much about life. I learned early on that living a selfish life just doesn’t work. Living life with a big ego won’t just hurt those around you, it will also hurt you. Many people think that they need to be selfish to protect themselves from getting hurt or being stepped on in life. Many people still believe that unless I am tough and loud I won’t be heard or taken seriously. I have noticed that it’s sometimes very surprising how much people will respect you and listen to your opinion if you are loving and kind.

You might think “but if I stop being tough people will take advantage of me.” I have noticed that we often mix up being selfish with self love. Self love means that you love and respect yourself, which means you will speak up for yourself when somebody hurt you or try to use you for example. You take care of yourself and won’t let people treat you badly. You do these things because you know that you are valuable and deserve to be treated with love and respect from everyone around you. You aren’t easily upset by others because you know that what they say about you are only opinions, it’s never the truth.

There are many ways we can speak up for ourselves without having to be rude or disrespectful of others. People are also much more likely to listen to someone who speaks to them in a respectful way versus someone who is loud and rude.

One of my life goals is to continue to “shrink my ego”. I know that the smaller my ego gets the better I will become at relationships and the more loving I will become. I also want to continue to become better at Self Love, because I know that I need to love myself well to be able to love others.

A less selfish person will make decisions that are best for everyone, not just best for him or herself. I know what life becomes when you choose the selfish road. Life is great in the beginning, you get everything you want and nobody can stop you from reaching your goals, but in the end you are left with a lot of people who you have hurt including yourself.

Selfish people are terrible at relationships and sooner or later our own selfishness will sabotage our relationships. The only way to do well in this life is to learn to love yourself and others well, because the human experience is all about relationships. We interact daily with our spouse, friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, our kids etc. The better you are at love, the better your life will become. Love is not selfish, love is kind.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Grace like a wave

You have brought me to the water
Where my past can be swept away
In the current of your mercy
And I know I'll never be the same
There's no limit to your promise
Jesus you have done it all for me

Duche's Story

Duche Bradley grew up desperately longing to be loved by his father. He was always angry growing up which led to violence and got him into trouble. As a teenager he started selling drugs and over time he went from selling marijuana to selling cocaine, he became a drug entrepreneur.

Duche eventually ended up in prison. One day another man attacked him in prison and Duche ended up in a fight. After the fight the man who attacked Duche was sent to isolation and Duche was asked if he wanted to go to church. Church was a small prison cell with only Duche and one other inmate. The other inmate handed Duche a small Bible and said 8 words to him that would change Duche's life forever: "You look burdened. Can I pray for you?" Duche told the other inmate that he had a little toddler son and that he had promised his son that he would never leave him. That his son would never have to grow up not knowing who his father was, and here he was doing exactly that which he had promised he would never do.

As Duche was given his prison sentence he was told that he was looking at 25-40 years in prison. All Duche could think about in that moment was that his son would have to grow up not knowing who his father was. He didn't know what else to do in that moment, so he started to pray. He cried out to God and asked for mercy.

Later when Duche called his attorney the man said: "You are never going guess the news that I have for you." The court had decided to nolle prosequi his charges, this meant that the 12-24 years that Duche was guilty of were wiped away. Duche ended up doing only 2 and a half years in prison in total.

Wayne's Story

Growing up Wayne Huizenga wanted to be just like his father. Wayne succeeded in becoming rich and powerful like his father. He lived a life of wealth and prestige with the big house, the fishing boat and a private jet. He lived a self focused life, did whatever he felt like and said whatever came to his mind. He traveled the world and was happy but never really content in life. He wasn't feeling fulfilled.

Wayne had a Christian friend and one day he asked his friend why the two of them were so different. Wayne's friend told him that there's a hole in each person heart and we all try to fill it with different things but nothing else than God himself can fill it. Wayne eventually decided to find a church and during his first visit in church he fell to his knees and started crying, asking God to forgive him for how he had been living up until this point. He was given a second chance in life and everything about him started to change.

What it means to be a Real Man

Lecrae talks about what it means to be a Real Man. We live in a culture today where a lot of young men are confused about what it means to be a man and lack positive male role models. Lecrae mentions how his father left when he was a toddler which left Lecrae looking up to his uncles who were abusive men.

When does a boy become a man in our culture today? When he loses his virginity? When he drinks his first beer? Our modern culture lacks any clear definition of what a real man looks like which can lead to a lot of confusion. We are human, which means we will adapt to our environment. If we have a culture that lacks any clear definition of what a positive picture of manhood looks like, can we then expect our boys to grow up and naturally become good men?

Friday, March 4, 2016

How to make the right decision

Decisions, decisions, life is full of them. How can we make a good decision when our gut and logic don't agree? We have all had situations where our heart tells us to go one way but the advice of others tell us to go another way. How can we make a good decision when we are feeling torn between these two voices?

Marie Forleo gives great advice in this video and shares an example from her own life where she was tempted to listen to the advice of others but chose to go with her gut feeling. Marie's decision ended up being one of the best things she has done in her career.


I grew up with my only experience of church being the Lutheran church in Finland. Church meant you would sit on hard wooden benches, listen to a sermon I didn't understand and stand up and sing hymns every now and then. Church was boring and it really didn't make any sense to me.

After I had become a Christian at 23 years old I started to go to church every now and then, at first mostly online and eventually I started to look for a church to join. As I was visiting many different churches there were many things that annoyed me: "Why do we have to sing so many songs in a row at this church?", "Why do some people lift their hands towards the sky in this church, that's so weird!", "This pastor is too boring, I liked the other one better."

A few years later I can look back at those days and laugh at how much negativity and criticism I came to church with in the beginning. Today I know that I don't go to church to be entertained, I go there to hear from God and to fellowship with other believers. I don't look for faults in every sermon and pastor, I listen and let God speak to me in my heart through the Holy Spirit. I'm no longer uncomfortable with some people lifting their hands or others clapping, I have realized that what we don't understand we often consider weird.

Church on Sundays is one of my favorite times during the week nowadays. When I sing worship songs to God I feel a deep sense of gratitude in my heart for everything God has done for me and I often feel overwhelmed by how good He is to me. I easily get tears in my eyes as I think back at all the things God has brought me through and how he has made a way where there was no way. "Nothing is impossible with God" is not something I have just heard people say, I have seen it become true in my own life. Having lived through experiences like that is what makes people want to clap their hands and raise their hands in church, it's an expression of deep gratitude and awe of what God can do for those who love him.