Dashing Devotional ~ The Desires of Your Heart

February 14th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals

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“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” ~Psalm 37:4

Guest Post Written by Emily Fairless

Valentine’s Day.  You love it when you have someone to love, and you hate it when you don’t.  Valentine’s day means something different to everyone.  To some it is just a lame Hallmark holiday, to another it a great opportunity to shower the one you love with admiration. To many, Valentine’s Day is another reminder that you’re alone.

For this Valentines, I am blessed to spend it with my fiancé, but it wasn’t long ago that I remember wishing, hoping, and praying that the Lord would send me the one HE created for me.  There were many days I was tired of waiting, sick of crying, and wishing I didn’t feel so lonely.  I’m sure there are many that are alone and can’t relate, but others that may be saying, “YES! I know the feeling!” So to those people, this is for you.  This is my story.

Learning the definition of love

All through high school and part of college, I always in a relationship. Looking back, there was something missing in all of them. I was so tired of the rollercoaster of emotions that one day I made up my mind that I wouldn’t date anyone else and that I was going to wait for my future husband. I began seeking the Lord about my future husband and who HE had for me. I didn’t want to date just to date, so I told myself the next person I was going to be with was my future husband.

My perspective changed the day that I read the scripture found in Isaiah 54:5, “For your Maker is your husband; the Lord Almighty is His name.”  I realized that no one could EVER love me the way the Lord does.  He would NEVER leave me, nor forsake me.  I had a deep revelation in my heart that day that I needed to learn of the Lord’s perfect love for me first and foremost.  A love that is so unconditional; not based on my performance, a never ending, and a never changing love.  I wanted to know my maker as my husband so that when I did get married, that man would never be the ultimate source of my fulfillment, worth, or identity.  That began a three-year journey.  Those three years were the best years of my life, but also some of the most trying.

Ask Specifically

I began writing down very specifically what I desired in my future husband. The Lord showed me in his word that I have not because I ask not and how he delights in giving me the desires of my heart. I focused on the character traits that I desired for my mate: generous, patient, sensitive, funny, caring, etc.  I began thanking God daily for this man.  The more that I fell in love with the Lord, the greater my expectations grew.  When I learned of His character, I knew of what I desired in my future husband.

Renewing My Mind

Some days were amazing as I learned God’s fulfilling love, but there were many days that the enemy would lie to me that I would never find someone to love me, my standards were too high, etc etc.  Almost daily I had to renew my mind to the truth of God’s word and cast down lies that I would never get married, no one would love me, and so on.  When fear would take over, I had to imagine myself walking down the aisle.  (Your imagination is POWERFUL and can truly set the course of your life!)  I would renew my mind to God’s word and speak these scriptures out daily:

“Lord, I thank you that your word says in Psalm 37:4 that, “You delight in giving us the desires of our hearts.” Your word promises us that, “You withhold no good thing to those that love you.” –Psalm 84:11. I thank you that marriage is a good thing and you will bless me with this gift of marriage. Psalm 18:22 says that, “A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

Being Steadfast

During this time there were guys that would approach me and I would wonder if he was the one.  After all, they were Christian men who loved the Lord.  But sure enough, there was a lack of peace I felt in my heart.  I decided once again to say “no” and continue on my path to who the Lord had for me.  After all, I knew the Lord would bless me for my patience and diligence in seeking him.  I knew this singleness could be one of the best times of my life, if that’s what I believed. The Word says, “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.” -1 Corinthians 7:32. I began changing my perspective and seeing this singleness as a blessing.

There were many times during my singleness that people, even those most close to me, would say to me, “How are you going to find someone if you never go out?  How will you find him if you don’t date?”  “Are you waiting for the mailman to show up and sweep you off your feet?”  I would simply respond, “If that’s how God will bring him, then sure!  I knew if God created me so intricately and detailed, he is creative enough to bring him in to my life. I didn’t have to worry about how it was going to happen… I knew that the Lord had that all planned out, every detail.

There were also people that would say, “Why don’t you just date so-and-so.  He loves the Lord and treats you wonderfully.”  That would sometimes cause me confusion and I would sometimes question the same thing.  However, I knew what I believed for and if he was anything less, it wasn’t the right one.  I believed for a man of God who knew his authority, who would pray for me, who would fight for me when the enemy was attacking, and one who was strong in the Lord.

I knew my story would be different than how this world does things.  “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 12:1-2

Prepare Me Lord

As I prayed daily for the preparation of my future husband, one day the Lord spoke to me about preparing myself and that this was a time that I was to draw close to the Lord, learn of his Word, who I am in Christ, and what it meant to be a Godly wife.  He showed me he wanted to do a work in me, to strip me of hurts from my past.  The Lord brought me to this quote, “Young women who devote themselves to the Lord prepare themselves for the future by gaining wisdom first, then stepping carefully when the time is right.”

I knew that I would get to that point where I didn’t need anyone to fill me and that the Lord would be enough.  I knew once I got to that point, the Lord would bring him to me.  One of my favorite quotes through this time was, “ A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to see Him just to find her.” -Lucado

My Harvest

On March 17th I was apart of an event with a local evangelist, Chris Palmer. I was asked to be apart of the team and greet guests as they came into the event.  I knew no one, and only recently met Chris.  That morning my sister said, “Who knows… maybe Chris will have a friend you’ll meet.”  I just laughed her off.  I went with the simple intention of drawing closer to the Lord. The night of the event, I was introduced to everyone on the team, including Chris’s good friend, Brett.  Before the event started, I asked Brett if he wanted any coffee to kill time.  The first thing I remember about Brett is how generous he was as he bought coffee for just about everyone on the team.  He opened doors, paid for my coffee, and made me laugh the entire time.  When the service began, Brett was in charge of the set up and making sure everything ran smoothly inside the service.  However, Brett found his way to the front doors that night and was continuously checking to see if I “needed anything”.  He ended up neglecting his duties and just couldn’t help but to stick around the doors with me. The hour of greeting was filled with laughter and conversation.

That night my sister asked how the night went and I responded very shortly, “Good!  I met a lot of cool people.  One of Chris’s friends had me laughing so hard.  I felt like I had known him my entire life.”  I began walking away and she responded, “Uhhhh… Who is this guy!?” Once again, I just laughed her off.  I didn’t think much of it.

Brett got my number that night to see if we could all hang out as a team the following night.  Although I turned down the offer, Brett and I began texting very casually.  After a month or so of us casually talking, Brett invited me to a church service with him and Chris.  As I sat by him that night, the pastor had told us to lay our hand on the person next to us and start praying for each other.  Brett laid his hand on my shoulder and began praying for me. I couldn’t get a word to come out of my mouth.  I just cried.  I cried with an overwhelming sense of joy as I realized he could be the one.  There was just a deep knowing in my spirit.

Throughout the next couple of weeks as we grew closer, I prayed to the Lord and asked him to confirm that I was to continue talking to him.  I didn’t want to date anyone for even a day if I didn’t know 100%.  I opened my Bible to the scripture that said, “You will be governed by peace.”  That spoke volumes to me.  Although we often want God to speak to us in a loud booming voice from heaven, typically the Lord speaks to us by giving us peace or a lack thereof.  I knew what a lack of peace felt like, for I felt it in all my past relationships.  So, I approached every single day with Brett… “Do I have peace today?”

As I got to know Brett, I was amazed daily how he truly was everything and MORE that I had prayed for.  He is one of the most caring, selfless, sensitive, generous, loving, and handsome men I have ever met.  He puts the Lord first and truly pastors me and loves me as the Lord does.  He loves me so unconditionally.  He showers me with love and makes me feel like a queen.  Every door is opened before I can put my hand on it.  Not a day goes by without him speaking his love to me.  He prays for me with such power and authority and encourages me with the Word.  But you know what is cool?  God has fulfilled me in the past few years that I can honestly say that God is my source.  I don’t get my worth or fulfillment from Brett.  His love is just a representation of Jesus’ love for me.

It’s been just 11 months since the day I met Brett and I now have a ring on my left hand to signify our soon-to-be life together.  I truly believe God created marriage as a good thing.  The Word says, “It is not good that Man should be alone; I will make him a helpmate.” –Genesis 2:18. “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.”-Ecclesiastes 4:9.

Trust Him

I pray that my story encouraged you today, wherever you are in your journey.  The Lord cares so much about every detail of your life.  He put the desires in your heart.  The more that you seek Him, the more your desires will become His.  Don’t try to get ahead of God by trying to figure out how it is going to happen.  Trust that if He created this earth and everything in it in such intricate detail, that he has your life planned and figured out.  It will be beyond anything you can ever dream, ask, or imagine.  Our God is so faithful.

 

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Daily Dish ~ A Dish On My Daily Life!

February 8th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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Good Morning Everyone!!! I actually receive a lot of emails about what my daily life is like after taking on Dashing Dish full time, so I thought what better way than to do a Daily Dish on my daily life!

Now, keep in mind, every day is a little bit different…For example, some days I go grocery shopping for DD, some days I spend almost entirely on meal plans, or recipe trials…Or even different ‘projects’ I’m working on for the future of DD! However, in this is what a typical day is like for me!

I always start my day in the Word…There is nothing better to me! It renews my mind, encourages me, and shows me the way to go! I’m telling you, the Word is alive and active…God is SO faithful to point me to scripture that is applicable to what I need for each day! I guess that’s why it is called our “Daily Bread”~ It truly does nourish and satisfy like nothing else! I also love to journal what the Lord spoke to me that day, it’s great when you look back and see His promises fulfilled!

I also love my “Power of a Praying Wife” book! I got it shortly after getting married, and it has some seriously powerful prayers that have honestly been such a blessing to my marriage! The prayers are based on the Word of God, so they are POWERFUL!

I also work out most days of the week …Either doing an exercise video, doing my own workout at the gym, or going to a group class! (I always make sure to take at least one to two days of rest…which is just as important!) I also love to take walks, but Michigan isn’t exactly the ideal ‘outdoor’ workout weather these days! :)

After working out, I get ready and have breakfast, (while watching Andrew Wommack or Joyce Meyer on TV…Again such an encouraging way to start the day!) For breakfast I have to say, there is nothing better than a Dashing Dish Protein Shake in my opinion! I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of them! :)

(Please note…I DID NOT post ALL of the food I ate in one day…Please do not use this as a guide of how much/little to eat in one day! I just wanted to share a few pics of some of my favorite meals!)

I then get to work on my post for the day! If I know I’m having a super busy day, I try to do this the night before, as it takes about 30-60 minutes to edit everything, figure out the nutritional values, and plug everything in.

Then, once the post for the day is up, I get to work in the kitchen! I either start a recipe from scratch, and type it out as I go, or re-do a recipe that I may have made the day before that isn’t quite perfected yet. I try to do two recipes at a time, but there have been times where I have done 4-5 in one day…and phew..those are busy days to say the least! :)

Because I post around 10-12 membership recipes a month, and 4-8 free a month, I try to develop at least 5-6 recipes a week, or more if I am developing recipes for a company.

And of course I always have my little ‘helpers’ in the kitchen! :)

After getting everything in the oven, I generally take a moment to eat lunch! Lunch is generally something quick and easy, such as soup, a wrap sandwich, or salad with a side such as fruit, veggies, or almonds…Or leftovers!

After lunch, I typically start to set up the recipes I’ve created for that day to be photographed! This is the fun part for me, but also a lot of work, as I generally go through lots of different ‘set ups’ trying to get it just right! (Can you tell this was a Christmas set-up!?) :)

After getting the set-up the way I want it, I generally have my husband come take the pictures, or if he’s really busy, I will take them myself and get his final approval! ;) I have learned a lot when it comes to taking the pictures, but I have to say, he is much quicker at getting the picture ‘just right’ than I am! :) I think it’s the designer in him!

And then to tackle the huge mess I always make! :)

And let’s not even talk about the dishes I go through! :) Let’s just say I generally do 2 full loads a day. I try to listen to worship while doing them to keep my joy flowing through them! ;)

After cleaning I generally sit and have a much needed snack!

I then sit down at my desk next to this amazing man! (He is a freelance graphic designer, so he keeps very busy at his computer all day every day!)

Our desks are side by side…Which helps, as we can discuss future Dashing Dish workings if we have time that day!

The first thing I do when I sit at my desk is answer e-mails for the day, which is honestly one of my greatest joys! I consider it the greatest part of my ministry, and it is such a blessing to be in contact with so many amazing women each day! I generally spend about 1-2 hours a day on emails, then I start to work on health coaching materials, writing them up for each individual. Once that is completed, I start to revise, edit and clean up the recipes I jot down while doing recipe prep.

Some days I also do different things such as conference calls, speaking engagements, or teach classes! I love this part of my ‘job’ as I get to meet so many amazing people, (and hopefully teach them how fun & easy healthy living can be!)

And then before I know it…It’s dinner time! Isn’t it funny how quickly some days go by!?! I generally make one of the dinners off of my site or eat one of the recipes I made that day! {Oh, and in case your wondering what I do with all of those recipes I create…I end up giving a lot of food away to my family and friends! It is a bit much for just my husband and I sometimes!} :)

Because my husband and I work from home, many people may imagine that we spend ‘so’ much time together, but we quickly learned that just because we are home together, it doesn’t mean in any way that we actually spend time with each other…So, we have learned that we need to set a ‘cut off’ time where we make time for each other. We aren’t perfect at this, and at times we have more work than others, but I truly do feel that it is important to keep everything in balance, so we always try to make time to do something together. Sometimes this is attending a small group, doing a devotional together (love and respect has the most amazing couples devotional), or just watch a movie!

Like I said, each day is different, for example I always have daily household chores to keep up with, and some days I work with like minded-ministries, and every Tuesday night I have a girls bible study which is AMAZING…But this is what a typical day/night would look like! Reguardless of the day though, I feel BLESSED and excited to be a part of what God is doing through DD! I look forward to each and every day, and am beyond thankful for the ways that God is using DD to impact women’s lives and set them free!

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