“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
As the winter turns to spring around us, I am reminded in such a powerful way of how the Lord takes what was once dead and breaths His life into it, making it new.
Good Friday & Easter are special reminders of God’s amazing ability to take what was once dead and bring it back to life. As we reflect on the true meaning of these days, we remember how He took Jesus, who was dead for three days, and brought Him back to life, so that we could have abundant life and eternal salvation! What a beautiful picture of how He truly does renew and restore!
I am personally so grateful to Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins, but the amazing thing is…He did it for you too! And what’s even more amazing is that He did so much more than wash away our sins when He went to the cross.
The bible explains what exactly Jesus did when He he was crucified, and it just takes my breath away! He not only bore our sins, but the bible says that when He went to the cross He carried our weakness, and was weighed down with our sorrows. He was beaten so we could be made whole…and whipped so we could be healed! In fact, Isaiah 53 paints a portrait of what Jesus bore when He went to the cross for you and I:
Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins. But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53)
We all have areas weaknesses, and we have all been through things that have caused us sorrow and pain… But we can see in this passage of scripture that Jesus bore it all for you and me to have complete freedom and restoration from anything and everything life brings our way.
Jesus did not promise a life free from pain, in fact He told us in his word that, “In this world you will have trouble…” But He followed this statement with, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Which means that no matter what we go through in this life, we can overcome it with Jesus!
I’m living proof that there is nothing too big or small that you can’t overcome with Jesus by your side! If you don’t know Him personally, just ask Him to reveal himself to you, and I can promise He will! After all, He didn’t die for you and I only to keep Himself a secret! He loves you so much and wants to reveal Himself to you more than you even want to know Him!
It doesn’t matter how hopeless your situation may look, or how dead something might seem. If you bring it to the God who brings life to the dead, you can surely rest in the fact that He will bring hope, restoration, and renewal to ever area of your life as well!
I pray that you come to know God’s great love for you in a deeper way this spring season. xo Katie
Spring Has Sprung! I have collected 30 of my Top Easter & Spring Recipes here to make your meal planning simple and fresh this season!
By Sarah Shaffer
What do you think of when you think of beauty? I think of fall scented days when the sun shines on radiantly colored leaves, a newborn baby’s perfect toes and pink lips, a breathtaking sunset over the Rocky Mountains. However, my mind also conjures up images of thin women with gorgeous, cellulite free legs, long flowing hair, and flawless skin.
Is that the Lord’s view of beauty? Beauty was, after all, the Lord’s idea; the Bible tells us that He is the perfection of beauty itself! Beauty is a gift from the Lord. Look around you – notice the infinite examples of beauty the Lord chose to bless us with each and every day. The Lord could have opted to transform summer’s leaf covered trees into instant nakedness in the fall. Instead, for OUR pleasure, He chose a slow and glorious process of change that includes radiant reds, oranges, and yellows. Fall is such a visual reminder of God’s love for us in the form of beauty isn’t it?
The truth is though, that we are drawn to physical beauty. At some point we’ve all probably favored someone because they were physically attractive. Statistics show that people who are perceived as physically beautiful will earn an average of $230,000 dollars more in lifetime earnings, are significantly more likely to be hired for jobs, and are more often described as “likeable” in pictures when compared to a less physically attractive person. Was that the Lord’s plan for beauty? I don’t think so.
I believe the world’s distorted view of beauty is much like the apple in the garden. It was inherently beautiful, alluring, and delightful to look at, all in God’s perfect design. It was the Enemy who took those characteristics and twisted them – made them dangerous – and in do so, distorted God’s plan for beauty. The value of physical beauty has become something it was never meant to be. Don’t you think that if being esteemed based on physical beauty were God’s plan that he would have made Jesus remarkably, amazingly, drop-dead gorgeous? Instead, the Bible tells us that Jesus had no beauty – that passage is translated into “fine-looking”. Jesus, the Son of God, the Christ, the beginning and the end, was fine looking! That means something to me!
It tells me that beauty our Lord values is not found in the adornments of hair, flawless skin, or a certain size. His plan for beauty is that we reflect Christ. The Bible says that “all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” The Lord’s plan for us is to measure our beauty in light of Christ’s. We are to use Him as our mirror.
Honestly, for as long as I can recall, I have struggled with what I see in the mirror. What I see is a pudgy nose, less than perfect skin, increasingly deepening creases, hair that takes a lot of heat and product to force into smooth submission, and a number of other self-labeled “flaws”. Most of my life people have said that I was pretty, but I’ve never believed it, I’ve never been able to see it for myself. This struggle is something that I’ve really had to work on. Just as I struggled for years with scale addiction, I also later realized that I had full-blown reflection addiction as well. I would search for my reflection in windows as I walked past stores and up to restaurants. I would intentionally migrate toward mirrors in my house, or at the mall. Anything that would reflect my image would suffice. And, the question would always linger, which is the most accurate reflection of what I really look like?
Thankfully, by the grace of God, I’m learning to realize is that none of them are accurate. They are all a false reflection of who I am. They literally provide a distorted view. They do not reflect my profound brokenness over the sin in the world. They do not reflect my deep commitment to prayer. They do not reflect the unimaginable depth of love and sacrifice I feel as a mom. Just as the scale delivers a false value of our worth, the mirror bares a false reflection of who we are.
When I began seeking God as my mirror, I started to see what He sees in me! In my journey toward both a healthy mind and body, I have made a conscience choice to esteem what God says about me in His Word (after all, the Bible is referred to as a mirror), more than what I see in the mirror. It’s not easy! But, as with all things, our choices either lead us closer to the Lord, or closer to the world. I’m choosing to keep my eyes and my mind on my reflection in Christ.
Today, my prayer us, is that we will seek to find our true, accurate reflection through the eyes of the Lord and there alone, the perfection of our beauty shines forth!
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “If I could just lose those last 10 pounds…”, “If I could only get that promotion…”, ” If I could only have nicer things…”(and the list goes on). If you are living and breathing on this earth, then there’s a strong possibility that you’ve found yourself thinking these types of thoughts whether you realize it or not.
As women, much of where we feel our ‘imperfections’ lie are discovered only after we measure ourselves against others. Often times, we may even feel like we ‘look pretty good’, or that ‘we’ve got great things going for us’ only to go outside of our homes and see someone who has something that we don’t. Suddenly, we find ourselves feeling dissatisfied, wishing that we could change or improve something about our lives.
I’ve definitely been a victim to this way of thinking, and I’ve observed it in people all around me. The problem with this mentality is that it leads us to a place where we never feel ‘good enough’ no matter how we change, what we own, or what we weigh. Often times, even if we do finally reach ‘that goal’ that we’ve set out to reach, we may feel content for a short time, but often times, these feelings of inadequacy almost always find a way to creep back into our thinking. This is sure to rob us of the joy of our present circumstances and the good things that are in our lives.
This cycle of comparing and competing that so many of us get trapped in ultimately means we will always be able to find someone or something ‘better’ than what we currently have, which leads us to constant feelings of discontentment. While doing this, we waste valuable time that we could be enjoying the progress that we have made, and realizing that we have come a long way from where we used to be!
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that there’s something wrong with wanting to improve areas of our lives and setting goals… But I’ve noticed that our society has a way of pushing beyond self-improvement to a place of striving, which ultimately stems from competing and comparing ourselves to others.
I can testify that I have done this many times in my own life. After reaching many different goals that I’ve set out to fulfill, I have found that it didn’t take long before I would end up focusing on something or someone else that was just a few steps ahead of me. This would ultimately leave me feeling like I haven’t reached where I wanted to be just yet. Instead of taking the time to enjoy the progress that I had made, or just to be content with all the good things around me, I would allow these feelings of insufficiency to continue to drive me.
It wasn’t long before the Lord began to deal with this mentality in me. He started by leading me to Galatians 6:4 in His word. This verse says, “Make a careful exploration of who you are, and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t compare yourself to others.” Now, I know what your thinking… “Wow, this verse instructs that you need to stop comparing yourself to others!” However, I didn’t quite grasp this truth right away… It really took a good period of time of renewing my mind with the truth before I truly began to recognize that my feelings of jealousy and insecurity were doing nothing more than leaving me to suffer needlessly.
Once I began to ask God to help me in this area, He began to show me that He made me perfectly and wonderfully complex! He brought me to verses that said, “He saw me before I was born and everyday of my life was recorded in His book, “ and that “Every moment of my life was laid out before a single day had passed!” (Psalm 139:16). Therefore, I realized that there was no need for me to anxiously strive, compare, or compete anymore, because the Lord has already planned out every day of my life for me. He designed me with a specific purpose that only I could fulfill!
I had a revelation that all we really have to do is come to God every morning and ask, “Lord what would you have me do with this day of life that you have given me?” And from there, all we need to do is sink ourselves into that, setting our daily goals based on what the Lord has instructed us to do! And then we REST knowing he will instruct us and show us the next step to take.
Another neat thing about changing this way of thinking is that it frees up our time and our mind from thinking about ourselves and what ‘we don’t have’ to focusing on others and ways that we can bless them (which is what life is all about after all!).
If you’ve ever found yourself in a place where you feel like you just aren’t measuring up, here is a prayer that I wrote in down in my journal that has really helped me when I find myself struggling with feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, or dissatisfaction, (which is ultimately designed to keep us from enjoying the life that God has planned for us!)
“Holy Spirit, I pray that you would show me when I’m comparing myself to others, and to bring back these truths back to my remembrance when I’m tempted to compare myself with others, and feel like I’m not quite ‘good enough’ yet. I ask you Lord to please show me the work that you have for me, and I pray that you would help me to sink myself wholeheartedly into that and to be content while following your plan for me! I thank you Lord for making me so wonderfully complex and for laying out every single day of my life before I was born. I thank you that I am precious to you, and that you love me just as I am right now. Please help me to see myself as you see me, In Jesus Name, Amen!”
There is something about a snack that gives us the energy boost we often need to make it through the day! Quick & Easy Snacks are great because they usually don’t require a lot of thought or preparation, and yet they can be delicious and satisfying! I personally like to eat one or two snacks a day, which typically range from 100 to 200 calories each. I always try to incorporate some of protein and fiber in my snacks to keep me satisfied until my next meal. Here are some of my favorite snack ideas broken up into sweet & salty categories!
Protein Bars (I like to make my own, but if I buy them, I look for ones that have less than 200 calories, more than 10 grams of protein, and less than 10 grams of sugar. Some good brands are Quest Bars, and Think Thin Bars)
Apples with Peanut Butter (or Peanut Flour mixed with water to make a low calorie peanut butter)
Dashing Dish Protein Baked Goods (I like to make some of my protein muffins/bread and keep them in my freezer for when I need a quick snack, or to bring with me when I’m on-the-go)
Dashing Dish Overnight Oatmeal
Dashing Dish Granola
Greek Yogurt (I like buying the plain or vanilla flavors and adding stevia/honey with creative toppings, such as frozen fruit)
Sweet Potatoes (microwaved, and topped with cinnamon/stevia mixture)
Air Popped Popcorn (with stevia/cinnamon sprinkled on it)
Frozen Fruit (I personally like frozen berries, sweetened with a bit of stevia)
Single Serve Pizza on a High Fiber Wrap/Pita
Roasted Veggies with Parmesan Cheese
100-Calorie Pack of Roasted Almonds
Air Popped Popcorn with salt and/or parmesan cheese
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
These are not all of the ‘clean eating’ snack ideas out there, but these are just a few of my favorites! Please feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments!
The Word of God is alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword! When we pray according to promises in the Word of God, we are praying in agreement with what God says about us! Nothing has impacted or changed my life more than when I found promises in the Word of God, wrote them down on notecards, and put them around my house, car, or wherever I could see them throughout the day! I started doing this years ago, and it was so life-changing, that I have continued to do it ever since! Whatever season we may be in, or whatever difficulties we may be facing, God’s Word has an answer, a promise, and and way out! When we agree and focus our attention on these promises, we can and will overcome anything that comes our way!
These are some scriptures that I have found over the years relating to taking care of my health and body, and keeping it well balanced. I have turned them into prayers that I can pray over my day in regards to this topic! You can do this with any area of your life, and I encourage you to ask the Lord to show you scriptures that He has specifically for you…But I hope this helps get you started! I pray you are encouraged today by these prayers, and that the awesome Word of God reminds you who are in Christ, and the overcoming victory that you can have in Him!
Feel free to print these scripture-based prayers out for yourself! You could also write them down on notecards, in a journal, or share them with friends/family! To print out a PDF version click here!
God, I thank you that you are for me today. I thank you that you are strengthening me, helping me, and upholding me with your righteous right hand. ~(Romans 8:31, Isaiah 41:10)
Today I make the choice to lay aside every weight, and the sin that I used to be entangled in, and I run with patience the race that is set before me, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith. ~(Hebrews 12:1-2)
Today I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I thank you that through you I am victorious in everything that I do! ~ (Philippians 4:14, 1 Corinthians 15:57)
Thank you Father that you have good plans for me in regards to my health and helping me reach and maintain a healthy weight. You have a great future for me, and you have filled me with hope! ~ (Jeremiah 29:11)
I thank you Lord that as I submit myself to you today, and resist the enemy and his lies, the devil has to flee from me in Jesus Name! ~ (James 4:7)
Today I will take care of my body, for I am God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He has prepared in advance for me to do. ~ (Ephesians 2:10)
Today I make the choice to be self-controlled and alert. I will stay on guard by keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus and staying constant in prayer, so I will not fall into temptation. ~(1 Peter 5:8, Matthew 26:41)
Thank you Lord, that you will guide me continually today, giving me water when I feel dry and restoring my strength when I feel weak. ~(Isaiah 58:11)
Today I make the choice to treat my body as a gift. It was bought with a price, and I will glorify God in the choices and actions I make when it comes to my body.~ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Today, instead of indulging my flesh with physical cravings, I will work up an appetite for God’s Word! When I make make the choice to fill up on His Word, He will satisfy me better than anything on this earth ever could! ~ (Matthew 5:6)
Today I will mediate on who God says I am. I will not be conformed to this world, but rather I will choose to renew my mind with the Word of God, and be transformed! When I do this I will be able to discern God’s perfect will for my life, my health, and my body. ~ (Romans 12:2)
Lord, today I will trust in you with all of my heart, and I will not lean any longer on my own understanding; I will submit ALL of my ways to you today, and as I do, I thank you that you will make your paths straight.~ (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I praise you Lord, for you are the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. You comfort me in all of my troubles, so that I can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that I myself have received from you! ~ (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4)
Lord, I thank you that my old sinful self was crucified with Christ. I am no longer a slave to any sin, and I am free from it’s power! Therefore, I will not let sin control the way I live. I do not give into sinful desires, but I give myself completely to God. ~(Romans 6:6-12)
Today I choose to think on those things that please the Spirit of God. As live by the Spirit, it leads to life and peace in every area of my life!~ (Romans 8:5)
As you may already know, I love making my protein packed shakes and protein baked goods with Designer Whey Protein Powder! It is awesome tasting, blends great, and is great on the nutritional scale (not to mention, most of the flavors are all natural!)
The awesome crew over at Designer Whey have offered to host a giveaway with 5 amazing flavors to all of you lovely Dashing Dish readers!
Here is how to enter to win all 5 Protein Powders from Designer Whey:
For additional entries:
Winner of the Giveaway will be announced on March 27th. Open to the US 48 continental states. Good Luck!!!
Recently God has been calling me to a deeper walk of love. Not only in the area of loving others…but understanding first and foremost how greatly He truly loves each one of us, and me personally. I feel that most of my life I have tried to put the cart before the horse in many ways in this area, in that I have tried to love others, even asking the Lord to help me love the ‘tough ones’…But doing so without really searching out how He first loved me. We all know the saying, ‘you can’t love someone unless you first know what love is’…but how can we truly know love until we know the Fathers love for you and I!?!
As I embark on this journey of love, I am realizing more each day why it was Jesus’ number one commandment. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34). I believe that if we genuinely learned how the Lord loved us, then we would be able to walk in that love and give it away…and the rest would follow! I just love how profound, yet simple Jesus made it!
Now you may be thinking, I already “know” that God loves me! Well…thats where I was up until a few weeks ago as well! I grew up in church, singing songs about ‘Jesus’s love for all the little children of the world’. I feel as if I ‘know’ deep in my heart that God is my Father, and that He loves me deeply, and I have even felt that love tangibly many times so far in my 28 years of life. However…I truly believe that learning about His love is a lifetime journey, but I know that I am being called to really pursue this area of my walk with Him like never before!
One area that speaks volumes to me when it comes to knowing His love is how we pour out His love for others. The Word tells us that Jesus demonstrated His love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). What an amazing truth this is!
So often it is easy for us to love those who love us back, but are we able to extend love and mercy to those who are not loving to us!?! And what about walking in love when someone you do love says something hurtful, or you find yourself gossiping, complaining or grumbling about someone who disappointed or offended you? Again, I am convinced that this kind of love can truly only be done when we first have a revelation and receive the undeserved abounding love that God has for us!
Of course this goes without saying that if you have never yet come to know Jesus personally, then it would be hard to fully understand His great love for you! But, as I shared earlier in Romans 5:8, Jesus made a way for us to know Him personally, and receive His love through a personal relationship with Him! Please click here if you would like to read more about having a relationship with Jesus!
As He takes me by the hand, and I seek Him in this area, I KNOW that I will surely find, for He promises that when we search, we will find. I know that He will be thrilled and delighted to show me His love, for it is WHO He is. Love.
So, the search for a deeper revelation and understanding of God’s great love for me has begun..I’m still FAR from mastering this… but I hope you will join me on this awesome quest of LOVE!
My family and I just got back from a wonderful week on the Norwegian Getaway, the cruise line’s newest ship! We all were counting down the days to leave freezing Michigan as this winter has been insanely cold with extreme amounts of snow. We flew to Miami where we boarded the ship.
It was such a neat ship! We were on the second sail after it was built. We first explored the ship!
But the very first thing we did was get ice cream, of course! They had a self-serve frozen yogurt machine! Frozen yogurt is me and my sister’s FAVORITE thing, so we made sure we got our share fix of it on the trip ;).
The next morning, me, my husband, sister, and her husband did a spinning class. It was so hard, but a lot of fun. We definitely took a lot of rest days from working out, but it felt good to move our bodies a few times a week for sure! We just made sure we did it in a fun enjoyable way! :)
Nighttime on the ship was something we all looked forward to. Every night a duo, Summer Breeze, would play contemporary music at the Atrium lounge. We enjoyed relaxing with coffee while playing cards. The last night at seat they had a fireworks show where we danced the night away.
Our first port was St. Maarten. We got off the ship around 10am and explored the local shops.
After we enjoyed some lunch back on the ship, we did an excursion of ATV riding.
That night we went to Teppanyaki, a Japanese Hibachi style restaurant. The food was DELICIOUS and by far my favorite meal on the ship. Our chef, Mel, was hilarious. He sang throughout the whole cooking process!
The following day we ported in St. Thomas. It was insanely beautiful! We did a day at the beach. The beach we went to, Magen’s Bay, has been noted to be one of the world’s most beautiful beaches! It sure was!
My sister and I made a sand snowman…thinking of the -20 degree days back in Michigan of course! ;)
Back on the ship that evening, we went to one of the comedy shows. The evening activities that the cruise had planned were tons of fun! Another night we went to dueling pianos… probably one of my favorite shows all week!
Another activity that was unforgettable was the Newlywed Game Show that my sister and brother-in-law got picked to be in. They got married 8 months ago, so they were the perfect contestants for the newly married couple!
My next favorite dinner was at Moderno’s, a brazilian steakhouse. This restaurant was so neat! It was all you could eat meat, which the guys of our family loved! The servers bring around several different types of meat on huge skewers. They had an enormous salad bar as well!
Sean and I also took a night away from the family to enjoy a date night at one of the restaurants. This is a really great part about going on a cruise with your family… You can all be on the same ship, but enjoying different things, or come together every day/night if you choose!
Our last stop before heading back to Miami was to the Bahamas. We walked through the Atlantis Hotel and went to one of their beaches. Beautiful water!
It truly was an enjoyable week. The best part of it all…. time with my family with no cell phones or internet. It was quite refreshing to “unplug” and spend time with those that I love!
I hope we brought some sunshine home to Michigan and to you guys! Hope you all have a beautiful day! xo Katie