Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thank You

How do I say thank You, Lord
For the life that You gave
The cross that You bore

For the love You poured out
To ransom my soul
My heart pours out
This thankful song

You walk through all my walls
Conquered my shame
Stepped into my past
Fill my world with grace
You didn't have to come
But You wanted to

I say Thank You

Our Christmas in pictures

Two days before Christmas I finally finished wrapping the last Christmas presents. Wrapping presents always seem to take five times longer than I imagine it will take.

This year we were blessed with a beautiful white Christmas in Toronto. Our whole neighborhood transformed into a winter wonderland a couple of days before Christmas and on Christmas Eve we got another snow storm. Yey, I love snow! :)

Christmas at our house is a mix of three different cultures. We mix together Jamaican, Finnish and Canadian Christmas traditions. I'm the Finnish-Swedish person in the house so my contribution is ginger bread cookies. Home baked? Absolutely not! Ikea's gingerbread cookies taste great, which means I don't need to bake my own. :)

One of our family traditions is to have Jamaican Black Cake for dessert on Christmas Eve every year. It's super tasty!

We open all our Christmas gifts after dinner on Christmas Eve according to Finnish tradition. On Christmas Day morning we open whatever Santa got for us in our stockings.

Christmas Day afternoon is my favorite time of the season when you can enjoy your gifts and eat endless amounts of chocolate while you hang out with the family in your pyjamas.

On the second day of Christmas we went and got some hot chocolate and took a walk around the neighborhood.

It's always so much fun to look at all the different Christmas decorations in the neighborhood. Here we have Rudolf with his red nose at the front.

What I Eat in a Day

Yesterday the lady on the radio said: "When was the last time you had some fruit? Fruit cake or wine doesn't count!" She has a point, healthy eating isn't a high priority for most people during the holidays. I prioritize spending a lot of time with family and enjoying good food during the holiday season. There's lots of time to have oatmeal for breakfast in January and February.

What I eat in a day (during Christmas)

Breakfast: Three clementines, a big piece of Jamaican Black Cake with M&M's on top.
"Lunch": Chocolate, and more chocolate.
Snack: One plant-based protein bar.
Dinner: A cherry soda, a burger from Hero Burgers.
Snack: Jamaican sorrel, a glass of eggnog.

This was yesterday's diet, it included enough sugar and carbs that's for sure. My body will be happy to go back to green juices in just a few more days, but my mind is happily enjoying all the chocolate! Chocolate is an awesome invention.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

God With Us

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed God? Maybe you found yourself in some kind of trouble, or felt lonely, or just had one of those days where the only thing you could say was, “God help me.”

This Christmas, Pastor Rich Wilkerson Jr. from Vous Church in Miami, Florida reminds us of the greatest news of the Christmas story - God is with us. There’s not a moment that passes where God is not present with each and every one of us, even when we don’t notice Him. The story of Jesus’ birth in Matthew chapter 1 assure us that Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. By believing that Jesus is God and recognizing His presence with us, we can experience the power of the Holy Spirit this Christmas, and in every season of our lives.

Make Your Love Last

We live in an exciting time in history, we get to enjoy airplane rides that can take us all around the world, the internet, social media etc. Our modern inventions make life fun and exciting, but when it comes to love our modern society doesn't know what to do.

About 50% of all first marriages end in divorce and 67% of second marriages end in divorce. Why is it so difficult for us to make love last? One reason is that we tend to look to romantic relationships as something that should serve us, rather than as a calling to serve someone else. It's impossible to be very selfish and still have a healthy and florishing marriage. Real love isn't self-serving. When two people get married they are committing to serve each other for the rest of their lives. Anyone who has worked in the service industry knows that serving others isn't always fun or easy. It takes commitment, grit and sacrifice to be able to serve someone else.

Imagine how many kids would be in orphanages in Canada if every parent who got tired of serving his/her child decided to end the commitment to the child. Parenting is a lifelong commitment to serve another human-being, the same is true for marriage. Unfortunately we are partly raised by Hollywood movies that teach us that marriage will give us ultimate happiness in life. It won't. Marriage is a beautiful thing but just as with parenting a good marriage requires commitment, work and self-sacrifice. It's funny how the Hollywood movies never mention any of these things isn't it?

Trusting God to Meet Your Needs

Youtuber Alyssa Danae shares a story from her own life when she was worried about her future and trying to control the situation rather than trusting God. Alyssa finally broke down and realized that she needed to let go of control and trust that God would provide everything she needed, and he did just that.

Sometimes in life when we are working hard to turn our life in a certain direction but we face obstacle after after obstacle it might be a sign that God wants us to go in a different direction. No matter what the situation is God knows our future and we can be sure that he will provide everything we need for each stage in life if we love God and trust him.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Betting With God

Can you make a deal with God? Angie Smith wagered a relationship with God in exchange for her dad's health and had to hold up her end of the bargain.

Separated, Sent, Scared, Shocked

When we find ourselves stuck in life we tend to look to our own ability, what we’re equipped with, to find the way out. As pastor Terrance Wilson of Trinity Church reminds us, it’s not in our own ability but in God’s ability where the answer is found. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective we need to gain, instead of thinking that our circumstance is a curse, it could be an assignment we are called to overcome.

Vernon's Story

Monday, December 18, 2017

It's Almost Christmas!

On Thursday last week my husband and I went on a two-day getaway to Waterloo,ON. It was very nice to go on a relaxing getaway in the middle of the hectic Christmas season.

We stayed at Delta Hotels by Marriott in Waterloo.

I did a swim workout at the hotel and enjoyed relaxing in the hot tub in front of the fireplace after my workout was done.

We also enjoyed some healthy and very tasty meals at Proof restaurant.

On Saturday we spent the day in downtown Toronto.

I needed to get the last of my Christmas shopping done on Saturday so most of the day was spent at the Eaton centre.

The Eaton centre is so cozy at Christmas time with Christmas decorations all over the mall.

On Saturday we also took the time to stop by Louie cafe in Toronto and enjoy some very tasty Vanilla soy lattes. I'm glad I was able to buy my last Christmas gifts on Saturday because on Sunday I got a fever and ended up spending most of the day sleeping. Good timing on that visit to the mall!

Couple Receives the Gift They Prayed For

Christy was 7 months pregnant when doctors told her to prepare for a funeral instead of a healthy baby. She and her husband prayed for the miraculous.


A baby born to save us all
On our knees we fall.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

It's Officially Winter

Hej Mamma, Paul & I went shopping and decided to buy you a "small" Christmas ornament. "Go big or go home", they say. In North America we have BIG Christmas ornaments.

We also bought you six of these big red & white balls that are meant for outdoor use. You can hang them in the apple tree or somewhere else in the yard. Now all you need to do is come visit us in Canada so that you can bring your Christmas ornaments home. :)

Today we had our first snow storm in Toronto and during the weekend I got my first cold. It's officially winter! I guess the upside of having a cold is that I keep all the tea companies in business. I drink 3 cups of Echinacea tea per day to fight off the cold. Well, pretty much all I drink is tea since I can't have coffee at the moment. It's torture for a coffee-lover like me but milk and a cold is a bad combination, and I refuse to drink my coffee black! I'm grateful that I got a cold now, because last year I was sick all throughout Christmas. I believe that this cold will be long gone once Christmas comes.

Our home has been transformed into a gingerbread factory.

During the weekend we celebrated Second Advent. I can't believe that it's less than two full weeks left until Christmas!

Is it just me or does time start to go a lot faster after you turn 30?? I feel like it wasn't long ago that we took a drive to Cobourg Beach and now we have 12 cm of snow in our yard! Time sure doesn't stand still, we better make the most of each moment!

When God shows off in your life

God is funny, you realize that when you get to know him. So many times in my life I've decided to pray a small prayer and God shows up and gives me everything I asked for and ten times more. Other times I don't even pray, I just think about something and God answers my little wish just to show me that he cares. He is so good.

A couple of days ago I was thinking to myself:"I wonder when we'll get some snow in Toronto because so far we've only had the first snow." Yesterday evening I decided to do some Christmas shopping and just as I was leaving the house it started snowing. I was so happy because Christmas shopping becomes more fun when it looks like winter outside. It kept snowing all night.

This morning I was super excited about our first snow storm in Toronto and took a lot of pictures of the snow. I thought to myself: "The only problem is that the pictures don't really show how beautiful this day is because it's cloudy." Two hours later the snow storm suddenly ended and the sun started shining brighter and brighter. I said to God: "Wow God, you are really showing off today aren't you?" He is funny.

"Who cares?" you might think, it's just snow! Now this example is just a funny little one about my own excitement about snow, but I have noticed that the more you stop to notice what God is doing in your life, every little thing, the more you will get to see him move big mountains in your life. We were built for awe and wonder but we can easily miss what God is doing in our lives when we get too busy or too focused on what's next. I find that the more I stop and notice beautiful little things that God is doing in my everyday life, the more he starts to move big things. And when he starts to move big things in your life you get really excited, and you wonder why you ever chose to live without him during the earlier part of your life.

I wish I had gotten to know God when I was even younger than 23, but the best thing about living my life without God for 23 years is that I know the difference. People who grew up in church don't fully understand what it feels like to live your life without any connection to God. I lived the first two decades of my life without God. I know what it feels like to have a black hole inside your heart that nothing can satisfy. A space inside my heart that was built for God and that would continue to make me restless no matter how many goals and dreams I would accomplish. I know what it feels like to carry around an emptiness on the inside even when your life looks great on paper. Nothing but God himself can fill that black hole.  I would never ever want to go back to living my life separated from God.

The funny thing is that I had a good life before God, my childhood was perfect. I've always had loving friends and family around me and I've never experienced any abuse or trauma in my life but still nothing compares to living life with God. The human soul can conquer and overcome a lot of things when we walk through life with God, but if we find ourselves separated from God even the smaller problems in life can become big obstacles. Obstacles that keep us separated from joy, peace and fulfillment in life.

Okay I better stop now because I could keep writing this text until it's 100 pages long. Happy Tuesday everyone! Enjoy this glorious day!

Oh Holy Night

and the soul felt it's worth.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Keys to Contentment

It isn’t always easy to be content. Thankfully, there are ten keys that can help us grow in contentment.

Nicole’s Story

Nicole was ready to end her life when God changed everything with a simple phone call. Now she is able to make a difference in others’ lives by serving on the very team that made a difference in hers. See how Nicole’s purpose isn’t limited by her location.

Making Sense of God

Skepticism is healthy if it leads us to question the received pieties of our age. But our modern culture has elevated skepticism to such an ultimate value that belief in anything seems faintly absurd. Yet human beings cannot live without meaning, satisfaction, freedom, identity, justice, and hope—and these things all require a faith dimension.

In an earlier book, The New York Times bestseller The Reason for God, Dr. Timothy Keller made a case for Christianity. In his new book, Dr. Keller starts further back, addressing those who strongly doubt that any version of religion or faith makes sense or has anything of value to offer the contemporary world.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


Love incarnate, love divine
Star and angels gave the sign
Bow to babe on bended knee
The Savior of humanity
Unto us a Child is born
He shall reign forevermore
Noel, Noel
Come and see what God has done.

When Christmas is Hard and Discouraging

The Holiday Season brings a lot of joy for some people and a lot of difficulties for others. If you're feeling down and discouraged about something going on in your life, this vlog is for you.

What If Your Problem is The Solution?

We all face difficulties, but what if God has a plan for your problems? See why your struggle may just be a solution.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Why Read the Bible?

Is our relationship with God dependent on reading the Bible? Hip-Hop artist Odd Thomas discusses the pivotal role the Bible plays in actually knowing God. Odd Thomas talks about how it was after he started reading the Bible that he finally understood how much God loves him and that his life has a purpose.

Spirit of The Living God

When you come in the room
When you do what only you can do
It changes us, it changes
What we see and what we seek
You're changing everything

When you move, you move all our fears
When you move, you move us to tears
God, when you fall, we fall on our knees
When you fall, we fall at your feet

When you speak and when you move
When you do what only you can do
It changes us, it changes
What we see and what we seek

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Weekend

A moment of stillness. One of my favorite relaxing things to do during this season is enjoy a big cup of coffee and read some new magazines in our family room.

I also enjoy looking at our pink Christmas flower, it lights up my world!

My weekend diet included a couple of bags of popcorn. White chocolate & peppermint flavored kettle corn and two episodes of Big Little Lies made my Saturday evening relaxing and enjoyable.

Saturday morning was all about fun and games at our house. Who's hiding behind the couch? Hubby has energy for some Hide and seek right away in the morning, I'm impressed!

On Saturday afternoon we needed to run some errands in downtown Toronto.

Running errands always becomes more fun when you add some toffee hot chocolate.

As we were driving past the CN Tower I thought of all the sweet memories I have from this tower. We celebrated Mom&Dad's 30th wedding anniversary in the CN Tower restaurant and my husband proposed to me in this tower. Seven years ago Toronto was a brand new city to me, today this city is filled with happy memories. God is so good to me!

When your purpose looks different than you expected

Katie Davis Majors had a clear plan for her future, she dreamed of having a few children and living in a nice house with a white picket fence in the suburbs. God's plan for Katie's life looked very different than she had expected. Katie went on a mission trip to Uganda during her last year in high school and fell in love with the warm and friendly Ugandan people. Katie eventually decided to move to Jinja, Uganda for one year to volunteer as a kindergarten teacher in an orphanage.

It's now ten years later and Katie still lives in Jinja, Uganda with her son, her adopted daughters and her husband Benji. Today she runs Amazima ministries that helps the poor in Jinja in many different ways. In the video Katie tells her story about how life turned out very differently than she had expected. She shares how surprised she was to meet a guy who wanted to date her although she was a single mom of many children. Katie also shares how she overcame the loss and grief that she has experienced during the past few years.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dream Again

I know the plans that I have for you
A hope and a future, a future.

It’s the heart that matters

“It’s the heart that matters”, that’s something we say to young children when other kids bully them and call them ugly. This might not always be true in the society we live in, our culture values a wrinkle-free face, a toned body and expensive clothes very highly. The good news is that when it comes to God the heart is all the He is focused on. I can inject botox, wear what Vogue magazine tells me to wear and be beautiful on the outside, but none of that will impress God. I can even give a lot of money to charity every year and none of that will impress God either, unless my heart is in the right place. Many people give to charity, not because they care about the poor, but because they understand that having a generous image is great for your career and status in our society. I can easily fool people by having a caring and generous image, but I can’t fool God. Elisabeth George writes about Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the book “Walking With The Women Of The Bible”:

“Although she was probably young and, from all appearances, poor, Mary had something priceless on the inside: She loved God deeply, obediently and passionately.
With God, it’s always the heart that matters. When He shines His holy light into your heart, what does He discover? Do you nurture a deep, obedient, passionate love for God?”

I would say that my heart has been filled with a deep and passionate love for God over the past few years, but when it comes to obedience … not so much. I like to be the boss, I hate being told what to do. This is what my relationship with God has looked like over the past few years: God tells me “Go”, I choose to stay. I choose comfort and ease over obedience to God. Other times God tells me “stay” and I choose to go. I get tired of waiting and decide to go ahead with whatever I want to do although God has not told me to go.

Obedience is clearly one of the things God is teaching me this year. I’ve spent a lot of years doing my own thing with little success and I’m so ready to finally do things God’s way now. As usual, I needed to do things my own way first and see that my way never leads to anything good, before I was willing to do things God’s way. What can I say, I guess I have a stubborn and bossy personality? Those who know me well know exactly what I’m talking about.

God is calling me to face two of my biggest fears this year and one of them is giving up control. It’s embarrassing to write that sentence because I’m aware that for so many people this is not hard at all, but it’s very difficult for me. I don’t just like to be the boss, I need to be the boss to feel safe and secure in life. Controlling things is my response to dealing with the fear of an unknown future. The ironic thing is that the more I try to plan and control everything in life the more stuck and fearful I become. Letting go and learning to follow God, rather than always having a plan to follow, is the only way to live free. We’re getting there, one step at a time.

A little over a month ago I decided to finally make the jump, to throw out control and start following. I was terrified. When I don't have a detailed plan for my future I get fearful. Today I have peace, complete peace. I feel free and excited about the future, although I have no idea what the future holds. A couple of times every week fear comes to visit me again, fear seems to have the most power late at night when you can't sleep. When I lay awake in the dark and start to think about my unknown future it freaks me out. Instead of trying to come up with some plan/solution in the dark my new strategy is to just decide to stop "the train of thoughts". I've learned that reality seems so much more scary late at night and the best thing I can do is to not think more about it and just go to sleep. 

I don't need a plan for my future because God's got a perfect plan for my life. The only thing I need is to just folllow God and I will be fine, as a matter of fact I will be great! The next morning when I wake up I have no fear at all about the future. Everything seems more scary late at night.

During the day fear attacks in a different way. I start to question everything I'm doing and feel like it's crazy to face the future without a plan. What helps me find peace during the day is checking my notes in my journal. Last year I started writing down all my prayers to God in a journal and I also write down the answers I get. Every time when fear attacks my mind I start to doubt that God really meant what he said. What if I heard wrong? What if I misunderstood what he wants me to do? What if? What if?

Every time I check my prayer journal as a strategy to fight off fear I receive God's peace. My prayers and God's crystal clear answers are all there and when I read them again I'm reminded of what I'm called to do. God speaks, but if I let fear and doubt drown out God's loving voice I will become lost and confused. God doesn't change His mind, but I will constantly change my mind if I listen to all the voices out there equally much. Fear, doubt, people's opinions and expectations on me, my own negative thoughts etc. are all voices that I can choose to silence, I don't have to listen to them all day long. It's super important for me to start every new day with 30-60 minutes of Quiet Time with God. When I skip my time with God in the morning I end up being more affected by the voices of doubt, fear and other people's opinions. It's like Mark Batterson says in his book "Whisper-How to Hear the Voice of God":

"God often speaks loudest
 when we're quietest."

Monday, November 27, 2017

You & Me Forever

Purpose and the mission that God has for each person's life on Earth is one thing that I'm very excited about. Every single person on Earth was created for a specific purpose, none of us are a mistake.

God put a calling on Steven&Holly's life to start a brand new church, today that small church has grown from only a couple of hundred people to 25 000. Steven&Holly were called to start Elevation Church. God has a unique plan for each one of our lives but what all our callings have in common is that they tend to be a lot greater than we can handle, envision or even imagine. We often have no idea what God is doing in our lives at the beginning, but if we choose to trust him, follow him and obey His calling on our lives it always leads to something extraordinary and beautiful.

The You&Me Forever-film features three couples who were called by God to three entirely different missions in life. God has a plan for each individual's life and God also has a unique plan for each married couple. It's no coincidence that you married your husband. The person we marry is a huge part of God's calling on our lives. Every time God calls a person to marriage it's because he knows that the specific purpose that he has for that person requires a partner.

Finding Contentment

Youtuber Leah's Essence shares a great video about contentment on her channel. The funny thing about contentment is that it works very differently than we assume. Most people assume that the way to a happy life is to make sure all your dreams come true, but reality looks quite different than that. If I dream of getting healthy, traveling the world, getting married, buying a house and having two kids I will soon realize that none of those things will make me happy long-term. There is definitely a high that comes from seeing a dream come true, but that high doesn't last very long. Very soon we have to start chasing some new dream again to experience that same high.

Contentment is not found when all your dreams come true, contentment is only found in a close relationship with God. These past five years have been the happiest years of my life, every week I thank God for the amazing blessings I get to experience on a weekly basis. I have a close and personal relationship with God that keeps growing more intimate every year. I have amazing people in my life who I love and who love me.

Many of my biggest dreams have come true in my life while others are not even close to coming true yet. Today I don't chase my dreams because I believe they will make me happy, today my dreams are all about fulfilling my life's mission and purpose. The last five years have been the happiest in my life but they have not been the easiest years in my life. It's not an easy or comfortable life that leads to happiness, it's knowing God and knowing my purpose that fills every new day with incredible joy, excitement, wonder and gratitude.

I can honestly say that if I died tomorrow I would have lived a completely full life. There are zero things on my bucket list right now that I feel that I must experience before I die. I have already reached the goal of this life; to love God and love other people fully. Every new day I get from now on is just an extra blessing. I have absolutely no fear of death at all. I have fears to fight in my life, but fear of death is not one of them. I look forward to the future and enjoy coming up with new dreams to work towards, but there is absolutely nothing more that I need in my life to be happy. Happiness is here, I have arrived.

The funny thing is that all the chasing after happiness never led me anywhere good. Lasting happiness is not found in a romantic relationship, another trip, a new car, a big house, the dream job etc. Happiness that lasts is found in knowing the One true God who created you, and becoming fully aware of why you are here on Earth today.

The Weekend

I have lived in North America for ten years but I have never gone shopping on Black Friday. This year I ended up doing some shopping on Black Friday even if I wasn't planning on it. I only bought one thing. When I noticed that the stuffed animals size XXXL were on 50% sale I decided to buy a teddy bear.

On Saturday I wasn't feeling well so I spent most of the day relaxing, then in the evening I started feeling better so we went out to buy some more Christmas ornaments. We have now decorated the tree in white, gold, silver and pink, it's a very girly Christmas tree this year but my husband still approved it. :)

I also bought a new wreath for the front door this year, I love it! Our home has now been completely transformed into a winter wonderland full of the Christmas spirit. I'm ready for December now!

On Sunday morning I had to take a picture in church because I was so proud of myself for being at church 30 minutes early for once in my life. We went in early to have a little Christmas photo shoot at church.

This week we are having a Christmas party at our Women Connect gathering at church. "Bring a snack and wear a Christmas sweater" they said. My "Christmas sweater" is either a plain white sweater or a black one, you can't find much else in in my closet at the moment. Maybe I should have done some more shopping on Black Friday after all? Oh well, my all-black outfit is going to have to do, even if it's a Christmas party. Red and green are clearly not my favorite colors. :)

Contentment in a Driven World

In a culture that emphasizes achievement and success, seeking the approval of others can be an endless and exhausting pursuit. Erin Fonner reflects on how true contentment and fulfillment come from being connected to the source of life.

The Behaviour of Belonging

We waste away when we wander, homelessness is not part of God's plan for our lives. In today's podcast from Life Church in Bradford, England Charlotte Gambill looks at the behaviour of belonging. Belonging calls for unpacking, contributing, protecting, providing and dwelling.

When you belong it changes your attitude, actions and speech. You move from guest to host, from visitor to owner, from critic to contributor.
Enjoy today's podcast!

Yoga, Meditation, Reiki & Mediums

Jessica grew up in a Christian family but left Christianity behind in college. When Jessica's friend died in a traffic accident she felt the need to find answers about the afterlife. Jessica sought help from a medium who told her that she could help Jessica communicate with her dead friend. The feeling of love that Jessica experienced when interacting with the spirit guides made her believe that this must be God's presence. Jessica decided to pursue spirituality fully and started teaching yoga, reiki and practicing meditation. Many years later Jessica chose to leave spirituality behind, at that time she ended up having a spiritual encounter that terrified her.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Overcoming Depression and Low Self Esteem

Are you struggling with overcoming depression or low self-esteem? This one is for you!

Greatness of Your Glory

On mountains high and valleys low
When suffering’s all Your servants know
We’ll share the everlasting hope
His name is Jesus

While joy and mourning have their place
And nothing here is put to waste
Death will die and love remains
His name is Jesus

Your kingdom coming closer and closer
Glory to Glory brighter and brighter
Heaven is singing louder and louder 

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Worth of a Soul

Hannah Clarkson from Huddersfield, England, Rahil Patel from London, England and Ross Mcintyre from Livingston, Scotland share their stories about how they went from pain to purpose in life. 

God hides you FOR the right one!

That's so true! Thank you Allyson Rowe! What can so easily happen when we have been single for many years is that we start believing that we aren't good enough for real love. We choose to believe that nobody could love us for who we really are, so we either settle or try to be someone we are not.

I'm grateful that God made many men break up with me over the years, so that I could eventually meet the One that God had created for me. When other men rejected me it wasn't because I was unlovable, other people's rejection was God's protection in my life. God was saving me and keeping me until the day when I would finally get to meet my husband. Today I'm so glad that I never settled for anything less than real unconditional love. 

The Confidence We Have

Maybe you've wondered at one point or another how you can know if God will answer your prayer? What if he doesn't hear me? How do I know if what I'm praying for is his will? Manouchka Charles from Vous Church in Miami, Florida leads us to understand exactly how we can have a firm confidence in approaching God.

Motherhood, Pain and Perfection

DawnCheré Wilkerson sits down with Julia Veach to talk about motherhood, pain, and perfection.

The First Snow

This morning I was surprised to wake up to a snowy landscape here in Toronto. The first snow of the season is always a joyful surprise. I wouldn't want to live somewhere where there is no snow, the snow is what makes winter fun and beautiful!

The "Today's Outfit"-picture from Sunday. You know you are having a slow Sunday when you spend most of the day dressed in your pyjama pants. We focused on decorating the house for Christmas on Sunday. The tree is up now and this week I plan to decorate it, I just have to shop a few more Christmas ornaments first.

On Sunday evening I ordered a white chocolate mocha and then we took a stroll in the neighborhood, admiring the fun and beautiful Christmas lights that people are starting to put up. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

When our dreams, passions & purposes collide

Three years ago, my husband and I took a course at church that can help you figure out your purpose in life. I was a bit nervous about getting the results. What if our missions in life look completely different and don’t collide at all? When my husband and I met and got married we were both “baby Christians”. We believed in God, but we didn’t know him very well. We weren’t exactly living life with God and for God. We had no idea what we were created for. We chose each other simply because we liked each other, not necessarily because our passions and purposes in life were the same.

I’ve heard many couples who got divorced say something like this: “We just realized that we want entirely different things in life, so we couldn’t continue to be married.” It’s always very sad when a couple who has built a life together and had children conclude that they want to separate. Imagine how much pain that could be avoided if each couple found out that they want different things in life prior to getting married and having kids. What often happens when a couple wants different things in life is that one person gives up their own dreams and passions to fit their spouse’s life better. This strategy will only work for awhile, in the beginning when our romantic feelings are strong we don’t mind giving up our dreams for our spouse. Ten years later when we have been married for a long time we will start to resent the fact that we had to give up our own dreams when we got married.

I'm sorry, I can't stay awake any longer. I'm falling asleep.

When my husband and I got our results from the course about finding our purpose I was both relieved and excited. Our passions and purposes in life collide beautifully. We were told that it’s helpful to narrow down our passions in life to 1-2 different people groups that we are passionate about serving for the rest of our lives.

My two people groups were:
1.) Serving Young Women through the Women’s Ministry and Care ministry at Church.
2.) Serving kids in poverty

My husband’s two people groups were:
1.)  Serving Young men/adolescents through mentorship
2.)  Serving people in poverty (the homeless and others)

It was so funny to see the results that we came to on our own. We were clearly made for each other. The thing is, marriage is about so much more than enjoying the love, sex and romance that marriage involves. God created each one of us for a specific purpose, a mission to accomplish in this life. The point of romance isn’t to meet “the one” and then focus on ourselves for the rest of our lives. We were all meant to do something with our lives, to serve other people. The more obvious part of the purpose for each married couple is to have children and raise them up to become healthy and responsible adults one day, but that’s not all. Yes, having children is a huge part of our purpose for most married people, but we are also called to love people outside of our own family. Marriage is all about the mission that God has put on our lives. My husband is someone who God sent to help me accomplish the calling that He put on my life even before I was born. It’s not a coincidence that I have some specific strengths, gifts, skills and life experiences that other people don’t have. It’s all meant to help me accomplish my mission in life, to live out my purpose.

Not all people will be called to marriage in this life, Mother Teresa was single. She didn’t need a husband to accomplish a lot of good during her lifetime on Earth. Paul in the Bible was single, and Jesus was single also. Getting married or having children isn’t the point of this life, the mission is the point. Sadly, we live in a culture that attaches status to being married and having kids. Some people get married and have children because they are passionate about marriage and raising children, others do it to look good in a culture that equates marriage and kids with a successful life.

Teamwork. Serving is so much more fun when we do it together.

Singleness is viewed as being “less than” in our culture, but not in God’s eyes. Mother Teresa and Paul were definitely not “less than” in God’s eyes because they were single, rather the opposite. Paul became one of the apostles and how many different churches are named after Paul all around the world today? You can find “St. Paul’s Cathedral” everywhere around the world. Mother Teresa has been sanctified and is called “Saint Teresa” today. Let’s just say God probably called these two people to singleness for a reason, it was on purpose.

When Katie Davis Majors was 18-years old she moved to Jinja,Uganda to serve the poor. She didn't know if she was ever going to be called to marriage, but she knew for sure that God had called her to serve the poor. Today Katie still lives in Jinja and God sent her a husband who is also passionate about serving the poor. Katie and her husband Benji have a biological son today, plus 13 adopted daughters, most of them teenagers. God sent Katie a husband that fit into her mission in life perfectly and beautifully.

Joanna was in her forties and single when God called her to move to Africa and start an orphanage. Today she is still single and has 50 foster children that she lives with. I assume Joanna probably doesn't feel lonely just because she isn't called to marriage, she has 50 foster kids to love. We don’t need a spouse to be able to accomplish our mission in life but if God calls us to marriage we can be sure that He will match us up with someone who will be the fuel for our dreams, not someone who hinders them from coming true.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Pastor Michan Carter from Together Church in Yakima, Washington preaches a great sermon about relationships in this video. Humans thrive when their relationships are healthy and flourishing. It can sometimes be tempting to isolate ourselves from other people because loving others is really difficult, but we can't escape the fact that we need people in our lives. We can't thrive in this life without healthy and fulfilling relationships to our spouse, our kids, our family members, friends and community.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Point to You

“God loves us with all our bruises and scars. We can come to Him just as we are. In every situation He is our Hope and we will Praise Him"

We Are Messengers

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Womanhood vs Manhood

An amazing eye opener for any woman or man!


With 16 wins and only 3 losses, Mixed Martial Arts Lightweight World Champion Michael Chandler knows how to prepare himself for a battle.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Intentional Parenting includes Having Fun

A happy childhood requires some serious fun that lead to positive memories. How can we make sure we have enough fun as a family in today's fast-paced and busy world? We can decide to schedule fun by prioritizing family vacations and by creating fun family traditions.

Life Right Now

November usually offers the most lovely weather; rain, wind and around +7 degrees Celsius. I felt so cold during the weekend that I decided to put my winter jacket to use. On the other hand, November is the perfect month to stay indoors and try out some new recipes! I bought a couple of new cooking books this Fall and every week I enjoy trying 1-2 new recipes. A book called "Oh She Glows Every Day" by Angela Liddon is filled with yummy vegan recipes. Angela's "Comforting Red Lentil and Chickpea Curry" is my favorite weeknight dinner at the moment!

An event I always look forward to in November is my weekly Date Night with my husband. On Sunday evening we had a nice Date Night at Scaddabush, an Italian restaurant in Toronto. We made some plans for the future together while we were enjoying a glass of red wine and gnocchi gorgonzola.

Decorating is my favorite little hobby in November. During the weekend I was adding some new pictures to our Family Picture Wall in the Dining Room. As I was looking at our wedding picture from Jamaica and the picture of Mom&Dad I felt so grateful for what I have in my life. Growing up I used to dream about finding a man who would treat me with the same love and respect that my Dad has for my Mom. Although I was almost ready to give up on that dream and settle for less at one point in my life, I'm glad I held on to hope. My husband is all I ever dreamt of and more. He is my greatest encourager in life and helps me become a better woman every year. I hope to do the same for him.

Quotes to live by:

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. But first, coffee."

Let's be honest here, there is no way I will take on "dancing in the rain" before I've had my morning coffee. Good coffee is a must in life!