Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2
Archives for May 2017
You reap what you sow. Even if you’re not a Christian, you probably recognize that phrase. We like to say it when someone has wronged us. Our hope is that they will receive some payback for the pain they have caused us.
But what about you? Are you being mindful of what you’re sowing?
What’s In the Harvest?
We often think of the harvest time as a time of great reward. We have worked hard and now we will finally see the fruits of our labor. That holds true if you look at it from our perspective. But, what about from the perspective of the farmer? Sure, he has planted the seed and knows what is going to come from it, but the harvest time for a farmer is actually a time that requires the most amount of effort. The corn is not going to pick itself. In fact, what would happen if the farmer didn’t pick his crops? They would surely spoil.
Sometimes there is pain in our harvest time, sometimes there is frustration, sometimes there is sickness, and it can be dirty. There is a ton of work to be done; work that isn’t always fun, but is always necessary.
As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!
The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.” John 4: 35-36
Harvest Time is Working Time
When I decided to go into the military, the recruiter sat me down and told me about Basic Training. He explained the details to me: how long it was, what would be expected of me, the challenges women faced, and warnings of things I should be weary of. He was planting seeds to prepare me for what was ahead – the harvest.
As soon as I stepped my foot out of the bus and onto the sidewalk of that military base, reality hit me in the form of several very loud, very proud, broad-rimmed hat wearing training instructors. Their job was to break me down, strip me of what I thought defined me, and turn me into a respectful, disciplined, team-oriented, dedicated soldier. A soldier who needed to learn how to take orders at the drop of a hat, or risk losing life, limb, or fellow comrade.
For 8 weeks, I woke up at 4 a.m. to the sound of Reveille. Like hearing a thief breaking into my house, I leaped out of bed, my aching feet still not recovered from the marching, running, and jumping of the weeks before.
Many cold group showers, obnoxious push-up orders, late-night guard duties, two-minute meals, and embarrassing shout-outs often had me second guessing why I was there.
It was difficult. It was challenging. It was hard work. It was painful. It was often embarrassing. It changed me…
In the exceptionally difficult moments, I had to remind myself of my purpose in being there. I knew that once I finished, I would be a soldier. I would receive a paycheck. I would receive awesome benefits. I would improve the lifestyle of my family. I would be stronger and wiser.
It was harvest time and before I could rest, I literally had to work my tiny heinie off.
Focus on the Harvest or the Reaping?
Who wants to experience pain? Who wants things to be difficult? Who wants to wake up at 4 a.m. still hurting from the day before? Who wants to be yelled at for 8 long weeks? Who wants to get dirty? Who wants to be pushed to their limits?
Unlike me in Basic Training, you may not be able to see the outcome of your harvest. Most of the time, we don’t know what we will reap from all our hard work. But what if you changed your perspective? What if you took your focus off what you will get and put it on reaping your harvest?
I don’t know about you, but I tend to focus on what I don’t have yet. I think about what I’m going to get out of it.
I’ll get a raise. I’ll build the house of my dreams. I’ll be able to buy my family whatever they want. I’ll finally be happy.
But what if we shifted our perspective?
What if instead of looking at the harvest as something to get over with as quickly as possible, we welcome it? When those problems come our way, we welcome them in, knowing that they’re part of the harvest. Problems can be good if you know how to reap them! They’re opportunities for growth; to get stronger, to be wiser, to refocus. Oftentimes, God uses our “problems” to sow seeds for others.
There is a reason God worked for 6 days and rested on the 7th. We are not expected to experience comfort and the benefits of hard work 6 days but only put in the work on the 7th. Hard work is just that: it’s hard.
You might be in Basic Training right now, sweet lady, but try not to focus on your feet hurting. Try not to focus on the cold showers shocking you into submission. Put your combat boots on, stand up tall and straight, look your problems in the face and say, “Bring it! It’s harvest time!”
Here’s the dirty little secret about harvest time: you can reap it or you can make it a problem. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Are you struggling to find purpose in your harvest? Are you focused more on your future than on today? Are you reaping your harvest or are you turning it into a problem? How can you change your perspective?
Connection: See Steven Furtick’s message on Harvest Problems.
Shop: Want to read more about harvest time? Check out The Seven Laws of the Harvest, by John Lawrence.
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A couple years ago, I couldn’t see the light to conquering my emotional pain. I couldn’t even convince myself to hang one leg out of my bed, let alone my entire body. The weight of my pain was heavier than a rocket launch pad – with enough pressure to launch my soul into oblivion with no hope of return.
Emotion like that can absorb all sense of feeling. Emotion like that makes it difficult to inhale because inhalation means you’re alive. Being alive means feeling and I didn’t want to feel. My heart was hollow. Desolate. Depleted.
On New Years Eve, six months after the painful event, I reflected on the year in the only way I knew how- by writing:
2015, you hurt.
Torture of the heart.
Callous, calculated, and cruel.
Like an acid eating through the depths of my soul.
Burning away the innocence of hope,
Stealing my dreams.
People break promises,
But God doesn’t break promises.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He promises renewal.
He promises to be my peace.
He promises a plan to prosper me and not to harm me.
He promises to be with me like a Mighty Warrior.
He promises to make beauty out of the messes.
“And so it was that she, having waited long and endured patiently,
realized and obtained what God had promised. – Hebrews 6:15
As I look back on those words, I see several things:
- I see a woman who is still in an awful amount of pain.
- I see a woman who, despite walking through the most difficult season of her life, still clung to hope.
- I see a woman who, instead of remaining in the pit of despair, chose to focus on God’s promises to her.
This was six months later though.
I bet if I had written my feelings down 6 months prior, you would have a very different perspective of how this woman was feeling. After years of prayer, she doubted God’s goodness. After years of commitment, she wanted to give up her hope that happiness was attainable. After watching her marriage crumble like morals, she doubted that any marriage could withstand the world’s expectations. She didn’t think God wanted her to be happy. She didn’t think He really answered prayers.
Your Pain is Unique
I know you’re hurting, sweet lady. You may be experiencing an illness, the loss of a job, the death of a family member, discouragement, a crumbling marriage, infertility, disappointment, a loss of direction, or broken dreams.
The last thing you want to hear, the last thing I wanted to hear, is that time will heal. It’s easy for others to give you the advice that you’ll feel better in time; they aren’t the one experiencing the pain. They aren’t the one experiencing the death. They aren’t the one experiencing the job loss. They aren’t the one in the crumbling marriage or the one experiencing infertility.
They aren’t feeling the pain.
They aren’t feeling the discouragement.
They aren’t feeling the disappointment.
At least not in the same way that you are.
Your pain is as unique as your fingerprints.
You’re right. Nobody else can feel what you’re feeling. Nobody else sees your circumstance the way you do. They’re not the one walking the path.
Conquering Your Emotional Pain
I’m not here to tell you that time will heal. I’m definitely not writing to tell you that your pain is insignificant because, oh sweet sister, your pain is utterly significant.
What I am telling you, what I am hoping for you in this season of your life, is that you will choose to focus on God’s promises. From one broken sister to another, I can tell you that it’s way easier to see God’s provision and God’s promises fulfilled when you’re looking back at the circumstance. So while you may not see how He is moving in your life right now, please rest in knowing that He is absolutely on your side. He’s orchestrating everything from who to bring into your life to provide comfort, to what you need, to blessings coming.
Three Things You Can Do to Conquer Emotional Pain
There were three things that catapulted me forward during this difficult season of life and those were: clinging to God’s promises, finding comfort in others, and writing my thoughts and prayers down.
1. God’s Promises
I knew that God’s promises were different than the promises of people. I knew that He never broke them because I knew He never changed. As a result, I began speaking promises to myself. I wrote them on notecards, I whispered them when I felt fear beginning to creep in, I read them to myself before bed and when I woke up in the mornings, and I spoke them to others. Pretty soon, the inevitable happened; I began believing them again.
15 Promises to Speak to Yourself
Promise #1: He will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds- Psalm 147:3
Promise #2: He’ll give you strength when you’re weary and increase your power when you’re weak- Isaiah 40:29
Promise #3: He’ll work all things for your good- Romans 8:28
Promise #4: He’ll make beauty out of the ashes- Isaiah 61:3
Promise #5: If you put your hope in Him, He will renew your strength- Isaiah 40:31
Promise #6: He has plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future- Jeremiah 29:11
Promise #7: He will meet all your needs- Philippians 4:19
Promise #8: Trust in Him and He’ll make your path straight- Proverbs 3:6
Promise #9: He goes before you. Do not be afraid or discouraged- Deuteronomy 31:8
Promise #10: He hears your cry and will pull you out of your troubles- Psalm 34:17
Promise #11: He will hold you up- Psalm 37:24
Promise #12: He’ll be your lamp and bring light to your darkness- 2 Samuel 22:29
Promise #13: In Him you have peace- John 16:33
Promise #14: When you don’t know what to pray, His spirit will intercede on your behalf- Romans 8:26
Promise #15: He is a shield around you and will lift your head high- Psalm 3:3
And finally, sweet sister, remember this promise:
And so it was that she, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised. – Hebrews 6:15
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep on speaking truth to your heart, even if nobody else will.
2. Find Comfort in the Stories of Others
I know I said earlier that your circumstance is as unique as your fingerprints, but there are others who have walked through similar seasons in their own lives. It’s important during this dark season, that you seek out others who are empathetic and sensitive to your story.
Going to a marriage retreat resulted in me finding comfort in a lady who reached out to me in obedience to God’s prompting in her heart. You can read about that story in this post: Why Your Story is Worth Telling. She ended up giving me something concrete that has helped remind me that God is ever-present.
3. Write Your Thoughts and Prayers Down
My sister gave me a little gift, nestled in this sweet little box called a Prayer Box. In it, are small sheets of paper and a tiny pencil. The idea is to write your prayers down, lift them up to God, close the box, and allow God the opportunity to work. You can read about and purchase your own prayer box in this post: Box Your Prayers.
I mentioned earlier that it’s easier to see God’s hand at work in your life by looking back. My prayer box has given me so much comfort, excitement, and encouragement because I have had a written record of prayers that He has been faithful in answering. I’m not saying that God will answer every prayer in the way you expect. He answers them in three ways:
But, to my surprise, He has answered every prayer I’ve placed in that box. Every time He answers one, I put a little checkmark on my prayer and move it to the back of my box. That little box has been such a blessing to me.
In addition to writing down your prayers, blogging in itself has been very therapeutic. I wish I had started it earlier. I think it would have helped me to heal faster. Have you ever thought about starting your own blog? Trust me, you have a unique perspective that nobody else has. You have a unique story that nobody else has. If you’re interested in starting a blog, I welcome you to begin by reading my tutorials on how to start a blog.
If blogging isn’t your forte’, consider writing your thoughts down in a notebook. I did this, too, and it has proven to be an eye-opening way for me to see God’s hand at work.
See You on the Other Side
I hope these three things help you as much as they help me. Remember, speak the truth of promises to yourself daily. Keep saying them over and over and over again.
You’ll pull through this and I’ll be here waiting for you with my check-marked prayer slip; proof of God’s promise fulfilled in you.
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She’s having a birthday next month, guys. My little girl is about to officially enter the teenage world. To say I’m terrified is an understatement – after all, I remember being 13.
Regardless, here she comes, chasing after adulthood like a cheetah in hot pursuit. Thinking about the 13 years she has lived, left me reminiscing about some of the difficult challenges we both have faced, but it also left me feeling a bit guilty.
My oldest was a product of my own teenage years. Barely 20 years-old, I thought I knew all there was to know about the big, bad world. You know how it is – your parents are obviously in denial about how intelligent you are at making life decisions and they really should refer to you when it comes to modern advances because they are so behind and disconnected from the rest of the world.
At the time, I was married to a man nine years older than me. Although she was planned, the rushed idea of bringing her into the world was out of my desire to meet my then husband where he was in life; nine years ahead. As my pregnancy continued, having her became more about providing me companionship in an empty, alcoholic, room-mate marriage.
Early on, of course, I didn’t know she was a girl, but I prayed everyday that God would bring me a little girl in a world full of lust-driven, broken promise-making, alcoholic men.
God blessed me with my daughter and I’ll never forget holding her in my arms for the first time, heart beating wildly and the overwhelming feeling of fear creeping into my exhausted, new mom body. It was all up to me and somehow, I knew that it truly would be a solo experience.
13 is a Milestone
13. Do you remember where you were when you were 13? I was starting 8th grade in a tiny Missouri town with one stoplight and the closest mall an hour away. I had just moved there the previous school year and I hated it. I missed my friends, I missed our home, and I missed the comfort of my bedroom in our country home near the railroad tracks.
If I go could back to my 13 year-old self, what would I want to tell her?
13 Things To Teach Your Daughter Before Her 13th Birthday
1. How to Be Humble and Kind-
Yes, Tim McGraw is definitely on to something in his song Humble and Kind but unfortunately, it’s becoming a rarity. It’s important for her to grow up with confidence, but not at the expense of being prideful.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
The best way to teach her this is to be an example of it. It doesn’t mean you can’t acknowledge the great things you do. It means that you acknowledge them knowing that God is the one who blessed you with those talents and abilities. Others don’t exist to serve you. You exist to serve others. Love others passionately.
2. Talk to Her About Sex and Puberty-
I’m a firm believer in talking to my children about difficult topics like sex before their friends do. The last thing I want is them getting the down and dirty from a bunch of children who have no idea what they’re talking about. This should be done face-to-face. Handing them a book only makes them feel like it’s something that isn’t natural, shouldn’t be discussed, and makes you uncomfortable. If you don’t make topics like this open for discussion, assume they’re going to hear the wrong version somewhere else. Talking to her about sex also includes teaching her to respect her body.
3. How to Think Critically
Being a prior teacher, I can tell you account after account of children who couldn’t think for themselves. Every time little boo boo had a problem, the parents came rushing in to wipe the child’s tears and scold me for allowing other children to cause such heartache. “You should have seen it happen,” they told me. Do you have 20 children at home? I digress…
Stop it. Please stop doing everything for your daughter. Even if she throws a fit, it’s way better for her to learn this lesson now than to be a thorn in her ex husband’s side years down the road. It’s better for her to slam her bedroom door than to end up without a job because she sits around waiting for people to tell her how to do things. This could be a post in itself, so let me keep it short. Give them time to think! Give them a chance to fail. Ask them questions. Ask them questions! Ask them open-ended questions. Ask their opinion on things. Have them tell you reasons why certain choices weren’t wise. Get them talking about the positive that can come from a situation. Don’t talk at them for goodness sakes. I’m totally guilty of this! I’m trying really hard to break this habit though. Break it with me, would ya?
4. How to Be Responsible-
Your daughter should be doing her own laundry by 13. You should also have higher expectations of her than that of an elementary-aged child. There is no reason her room shouldn’t be kept clean and there is no reason she can’t be given the responsibility of regularly sharing some of the household chores. Yes, I know she’s still a child. Yes, I know kids need to get outside and play. They also need to prepare for adulthood because it’ll sneak up on you and before you know it, you’ll have a permanent roommate in the form of the daughter you never taught how to fend for herself.
She should do all this, at least at first, without the expectation of a reward. She needs to learn that the reward for completing tasks is intrinsic through the boost in self-confidence that responsibility creates.
5. To Be a Hard Worker-
Mediocrity is alive! Instead of pushing their children, parents are opting for providing their child with comfort. Comfort never solved anything. Think about all the successful people in the world. They didn’t get there because someone handed them a pillow with a paycheck for life inside. They got there because they worked hard and persevered. If you don’t teach her the value of hard work, she won’t learn to value hard work. Then, when it comes time for her to find Mr. Right, she’ll go for the lazy gamer who won’t even lift his buns off the couch to kiss his wife.
6. What to Value in a Man-
My daughter has never had the benefit of a good male role model. Consequently, it will be more challenging for her to recognize a good man when she meets one. To compensate, I have frequent conversations on the topic of what makes a good man. What does that quote say that I saw recently?
Teach her to know the difference between:
-a man that flatters her and a man that complements her,
-a man who spends money on her and a man who invests in her,
-a man who views her as property and a man who views her properly,
-a man who lusts after her and a man who loves her,
-a man who believes he’s a gift to women and a man who believes she’s a gift to him,
-and then we need to teach our sons to be that man.
I’d also add that it’s important to teach her the difference between a man who says he loves the Lord and a man who shows that he loves the Lord. He can say he’s a Christian, but if his life doesn’t show it, what else is he saying about himself that isn’t true?
7. To Value Modesty-
It’s difficult enough for men without being bombarded with your daughter’s lack of modesty. Being modest actually helps her self-esteem! You’re teaching her to find value in herself the way she is, without having to lower her standards to attract men. Make sure you set the standard and expectations early. She needs to know exactly what is expected of her. She also needs you to tell her she’s beautiful, everyday, just the way she is.
8. How God Views Her-
She needs to know the truth about herself. She needs to know what to cling to during those moments when she feels less than enough. Post them on the wall, paste them to her heart, and remind her of them often. She is the daughter of a King. She is more precious than rubies.
9. How to Pray-
Prayer is what got me through my teenage years. Not just the prayers of my momma, but my own prayers. Middle school is a difficult time and your daughter is going to need to know where to turn when the stresses of school and friends, boys and school work become too much to handle. Encourage her to pray aloud until she becomes more comfortable with it. Establish a habit of praying nightly. Ask her how you can pray for her.
10. How to Cook-
At 13, your daughter is old enough to cook a meal. It doesn’t have to be a four course meal, but there is no reason it can’t be a healthy, home-cooked meal. God tells us to care for our bodies and she needs to learn how to eat healthy and cook healthy. Trust me, her husband will thank you. Start when she’s young by allowing her to help you. I know it takes longer, I know it makes a bigger mess..do it anyway.
11. About Money-
Unfortunately, it is a rarity to find a finance class in school. There are many adults these days that can’t balance a checkbook and don’t have the urgency to pay their bills on time. If she receives money as a gift, teach her to save more than she spends by having her deposit some of her money into a savings account. After depositing her money, teach her to keep track of it. Teach her about credit cards, teach her about interest, teach her about mortgages, talk to her about how banks work and how people plan for retirement. It’s never too early to instill responsible financial habits. Don’t bank on her being able to take care of you when social security is obsolete, if she can’t even pay her electric bill.
12. How to Choose What’s Right Over What’s Popular-
Middle School is downright dangerous, especially today. I thank the Lord I didn’t grow up in the age of technology. With the ability to Snapchat message your friend a dirty name and ask cute boys out via text message, I can’t imagine how difficult it is to survive. Regardless, that’s the world we live in. She needs to know how to focus on truth when the rest of the world screams something different. She needs to know how to stand firm when the storms of popularity rear their ugly head. She must know how to say no when everyone else is screaming yes. Tell her why it’s important and then ask her what the consequences of unwise choices might be.
13. How to Handle Failure-
She’s going to fail a lot. She needs to know it’s okay. She needs you to show her how to get back up when you fall. She needs to know that, really, it’s not failing – it’s just a lesson. True failure is when you don’t learn from your lessons. She also needs to know that she can try at everything, but she may not always succeed. Not everyone is born to be a professional ballerina. That’s okay! God has something else in mind for her life. Teach her how to uncover her gifts and then help cultivate those gifts to help give her the best chance at being successful. And please don’t underestimate “failures” because those are opportunities of growth.
…and a bonus:
14. How to Have a Sense of Humor-
Life doesn’t always need to be hard. She needs to learn how to have a sense of humor; how to take what life deals her and laugh sometimes. She needs to put a stop to negative thinking and exchange it for positive. Make jokes with your daughter, share stories with her about mistakes you’ve made. This is a balancing act though. There is a time to laugh and a time to be serious. Help her distinguish between the two.
That’s Not All
By all means, this is not a comprehensive list of things your daughter needs to know. These are just things I find important. Have I always done a great job at making sure my daughter is successful at these? No. Is it too late? Absolutely not, but the earlier you can get a start on instilling these things in your daughter, the better off she’ll be.
Ready or not, here she comes!
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My View on Blogging
The best blog posts to me, are the ones that come from the heart. So while some may take this post offensively, know that I’ll never sacrifice my content to fit the world’s idea of what makes a “good blog post” and I’ll always be honest with you.
The world of blogging is filled with an amazing group of people who are very open about sharing, lifting others up, and providing support. In fact, it’s probably the most supportive community I’ve ever been a part of besides church.
Unfortunately within every pile of good, there are always bad apples. This post is dedicated to the bad apples, the naysayers, the self-lovers, the proud, the boastful, and the ungrateful.
I sure fall into that category sometimes. This is not about me being better or me never being selfish or me never boasting. It’s about taking all that crap, bundling it up, and handing it to God – daily.
The difference between me and the “bad apples” (hopefully not you), though, is that I’m not doing this blogging thing for me. Sure, I get wonderful fulfillment out of sharing my thoughts, but I’m a firm believer that “the only platform we as Christians can mount is an alter where we lie down as sacrifice.”
Ann Voscamp, Christian writer and speaker had a message for Christian bloggers. She said,
How is your blog not about you, but taking you lower? How is your blog not about you, and making you humble? How is your blog not about you but about Christ?”
Wow, humility huh? What does that even mean? The word actually comes from the Latin word humilis. It means “low” – lowering the view of your own importance. It’s seeing the worth of all people.
One of the definitions in the Urban Dictionary says,
There are way better definitions about humility than this. I don’t even know why you’re still reading this. There are plenty of more interesting words to look up. I recommend irony or cynical.They’re far better than this…”
Funny, ironic, but a pretty good depiction of how a huge chunk of the world views life. Being cynical is far better than being humble, right? Are you a blogger who is doing what you have to do to make sure you’re happy regardless of how it affects others. Are you making sure you’re doing whatever you have to do to get your piece of the pie, even if that means throwing in your bad apples without regard for others? It’s a dog-eat-dog world, so sorry for those of you who are falling, failing, and hurting; that’s just life, right? At least I’m not falling- I’m just looking out for myself, making sure my family and I get through life with the least amount of bruises possible. I hope, for your sake and others, that you aren’t falling into that type of mindset.
Why You’re Not Really a Bad Apple
It’s way easier to go with the crowd. Just like it’s easier not to tell your children no. You’re not really a “bad apple”. You’re just flowing with the tide. You’re on the fast track, zooming along with the East Australian current. It’s warm and comfortable and it looks so promising. In fact, it’s going so fast you may not even be able to see what’s happening around you. You’re oblivious.
I get it and I’ve been there. It’s way easier to run with the crowd. It’s way easier to block your peripheral and do what’s popular. It’s way easier to build a brick wall between you and that voice in the back of your head.
Tell me: When has it ever truly felt good to bash others?
When has it ever felt genuinely fulfilling to disregard others?
When has it ever felt satisfying to focus only on your own gain and not that of others?
The Truth About Why You Stumbled on This Blog Post
You want some truth? I probably don’t even know you, but I cared enough about you to take the time out of my day to write this for you. I care about you, a lot.
In fact, this post wasn’t even planned or scheduled. See, the thing about blogging out of obedience to God is that it can become so powerful a feeling that God literally takes over and uses it as a platform from which He can speak to you.
God has something He needs to tell you today.
Before I started writing this post, I prayed for you. I prayed for this. That God would speak to you in a mighty way and that you would stop for just a minute, take time out of your busy day, and reflect on your motives.
I’m not always the most humble person. I’m not writing this claiming that I am. I’m writing this to tell you that it takes effort everyday, not to fall into the patterns of this world- to niche your way into a world that tells you that you don’t belong.
It’s up to you to believe. I can’t make you. You may not believe in God’s Word, but it’s hard to believe in something you don’t know much about. It reminds me of how children predestine themselves not to like certain foods. Before they even put those red peppers in their mouths, they are already determined not to like them.
Is that you?
Look what He says,
Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God.” – 2 Timothy 3:2
We all have our moments, but if your overall view on life is one of self-absorption and contempt, you need to shout 911.
Check Your Motives
Are you self-promoting and self-absorbed or do you make an attempt to help others? Are you ruthless and crude? Are you after only one thing – money? Are you allergic to God?
Are you seeking only after popularity? You know, Jesus had only 12 followers and he lost one.
The funny thing is, I gained 12 new followers this week. If that isn’t God’s doing, I don’t know what is and while it may not sound like success by some people’s standards, I’m so grateful for those 12. Honestly, if you were my only reader, I’d keep on writing because I’m choosing to be where God tells me I need to be.
That’s right here with you, today.
You matter. You’re cared about. You’re loved. I know you have moments where you don’t feel like you’re good enough. I know you have moments where you feel on top of the world. Take the insecurity and throw it into helping others, will ya? Take that passion and use it for good. Take those blog posts and be real. Be the messy, cracked, shattered, hopeful, humble writer that will help others.
Promote your blog, collaborate with others, but do it in a way that is genuine and uplifting.
You could say I’m going against the grain, but you get splinters when you do that. If you embrace the way God does things, however, there are much more wonderful payoffs.
Much, much more wonderful and there’s no way I’m going to let one “bad apple” spoil that.
Wanna join the fearless dozen? I have way more to say!
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of pie. Shocker, right? The only way I’ll eat it, is if the crust is superb. I’ll eat graham cracker crust or buttermilk pie’s buttery, thin, crumbly crust though.
It wasn’t until I was tasked with making my boyfriend some buttermilk pie, that I started experimenting with different pie crusts. Then I found the trick – vodka!
Vodka creates a flaky crust worthy of a Blue Ribbon. If you’re a fan of flaky crust, you’ll want to hang on to this recipe.
Start by preparing your ingredients. You’ll want to take your cup of unsalted butter and cut it into small cubes. These cubes are going to be combined with the flour and salt to create a crumbly dough.
After your butter has been cut into chunks, place your flour, salt, and half your butter chunks into a food processor and pulse.
After you’ve pulsed half your butter chunks, incorporate the rest of your butter chunks and pulse until chunks are pea-sized. Then, you’ll want to add your vodka and ice water to the mixture and pulse again until crust becomes crumbly.
Once crust has a crumbly consistency, split dough into two chunks, roll into balls, cover with saran wrap, and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
After dough has been refrigerated for one hour, take dough out and roll into two separate dough circles. One should be approximately 13 inches and the other one should be 10 inches.
Once dough is rolled, it is ready to be placed into your pie pan and filled with your favorite filling! I love using this dough for pot pie. Brush it with an egg and milk mixture and it creates the most beautiful, golden top.
That’s it! Pie making at it’s best! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do.