God is Not Mad at You!

August 22nd, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals

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Guilt.  Condemnation.  Shame.  Fear.  Distance.  Perfectionism.  If you have ever felt one or more of these things when it comes to the Lord, chances are you may be experiencing a performance-based relationship with the Lord.  The Lord never intended for us to live this way, but I have found that so many people have to fight off these feelings when they come to God.

I remember my mom telling me that when she grew up, she thought that when she did something she knew she shouldn’t, she would make God mad. She was always scared that if God was mad at her, that he would be very disappointed with her.  She lived in constant fear of messing up, because she viewed God as a strict harsh father.  Unfortunately, many of us see God that way.

One of the greatest things that I personally have learned in my walk with Christ, is that ‘strict and harsh’ is the furthest from who God is.  God is love. I am going to say that again… GOD IS LOVE! He is literally the definition of what love is. Not love by the standards of this world, but unconditional, never-ending, agape love.  “He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8.  He can’t change. He won’t change. Nothing we can do can make God love us more or less.

That is hard for many to comprehend because we as humans often love one another based on performance and conditions.  You can say you love someone and then they hurt you, that can often alter the way you feel towards them.  Or you may get in an argument with someone and not think the same loving thoughts towards them.  God isn’t like that.  He looks at our heart, not our actions. “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7.

We are not meant to have a performance-based relationship with the Lord. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” –Ephesians 2:8-9.  This scripture shows us that our salvation is not based on us, but simply God’s grace.

God is not mad at you for anything you’ve done.  In fact, He loves you more than you could EVER imagine.  Nothing we do or don’t do can separate us from His love.  The bible speaks clearly about this in Romans 8:38-39, where it says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

God is not surprised by anything you’ve done or going to do.  He has already died on the cross for your past, present, and future sins.  The Bible says that Christ “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself” -Hebrews 9:26. Once you have received Him as savior, He sees you ‘white as snow’ because of what Jesus did for you! (Psalm 51:7)

Remember, your salvation and relationship with the Lord is NOT dependent on you or how good you are.  Not one of us will ever be “good” enough to receive what God has done for us.  He loves us, and nothing will ever change that.

If the description of how my mom viewed God when she was a child sounded familiar to you, then today is the day to ask God to show you how He really sees you! All it takes is one simple prayer asking the Lord to reveal His great love that He has for you, and start to learn about it in His Word! Galatians and Psalms are two of my personal favorite books when it comes to studying God’s love for me! There is also a great new book by Joyce Meyer titled God is Not Mad at You, which actually inspired me to write this post if you would like to study this subject further! I pray this blesses you today, and inspires you to pursue an even closer love walk with our Heavenly Father!

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Back to School Lunch Ideas!

August 20th, 2013 - Fitness News, How-To, Inspiration

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I can’t believe it’s already about that time of year again…Back to School!!! Where did the summer go!?!

My sister is a 3rd grade teacher, which always reminds me how ‘quickly’ the summers seem to go by! To kick the school year off right, there is no better time than now to start thinking about healthy lunches! I hope this video provides some quick and easy healthy lunch ideas that your kids will actually enjoy!

 

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Being Best Friends with Your Spouse!

August 8th, 2013 - Articles, Dashing Devotionals

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I am blessed and honored to say I married my best friend.

I met my husband when I was 16 years old. I moved from Wisconsin to Saline Michigan my sophomore year of high school, and I was petrified that I wouldn’t make any friends, considering that most people already have their established ‘cliques’ at this age. As I left behind everything that was ‘normal’ to me, I remember praying and asking the Lord to provide me with Godly friends in my new home town. As always, He was faithful!

I will never forget the first time I went to my first youth group service at Saline Assembly of God. It was there that I not only met my husband Sean, but it was also the night that He gave his life to the Lord! (God sure did have a plan!) We started hanging out in groups with other friends, getting to know each other, and we started to develop a closer relationship as we spent hours on the phone talking about everything under the sun! We made the decision to start to date a few months later, and over the course of the next few years we truly became best friends.

I now know that God brought Sean into my life at an early age for many reasons. For one, I was pretty shy in high school, and being new certainly didn’t help. God provided an amazing friend through Sean, who was always there for me when I needed a true friend, and someone to lift me up. Sean was also very firm in his faith, and refused to give into the pressures that so often surround kids in high school. When I was tempted to go down the wrong path, he reminded me of the truth, and that I was better than that. I lost almost all of my ‘so called friends’ as a result of refusing to give into what was popular, but Sean stood by my side, and always encouraged me that I had a bright future.

Ten years later, (and almost four years into marriage), I can honestly say that I love my husband more each day. He is truly my best friend, and just as he was in high school, he is one of my biggest cheerleaders and encouragers!

Now, from this wonderful story you may look at my husband and my relationship and think this must mean we have it ‘all together’, and that we never have any problems. This is of course far from the truth. Just as every couple does, we certainly have faced our fair share of challenges, and yes, the day-to-day business threatens to pull us apart at times, and I can honestly say that there have been times where we have even hurt each other deeply.

So…How does our relationship continue to grow and flourish in the midst of the hard times? We are best friends.

To us, one of the most important parts of being best friends means that we give each other grace when we hurt one another. No, this isn’t easy in our own strength, but when we go to the Lord and let Him fill us with His forgiveness, love, and grace, we are then able to pour it back out into each other’s lives. It also means maintaining a humble attitude at all times, and admitting when we are wrong. This is only possible because of the Holy Spirit, who so gently ‘nudges’ us when we are not loving or respecting one another as God has asked us to.

Being best friends also means that we take time for one another. We don’t do this perfectly, but in this fast-paced world we recognize the importance for taking time out of our week to talk, laugh, and just have fun! My husband and I have a particularly interesting situation as we both work from home. One might think this would allow for ample time to spend together, when in fact it can pose one of the greatest challenges to know when to ‘turn off’ our computers, and stop working for the day. Because of this we have set specific boundaries and guidelines to ensure that we make time for one another, and put our relationship at a higher priority than work.

Being best friends as a married couple means that we continue to ‘date’ one another. What I mean by this is that we make sure that we block off at least one night a week as a ‘date night’. This doesn’t have to be something that costs money, or something extravagant. In fact, many times some of our best ‘date nights’ are just hanging out in our pajama’s watching our favorite movie, but there are certainly dates where we dress up for each other as well!!! This helps keep that balance of romancing one another and trying to make one another feel special, as we did when we were dating. Although my husband and I don’t have kids yet, we talk about how important it will be to maintain this especially when we do have children. We firmly believe that children feel more secure in their home when their parents have a strong relationship with one another, so this is something that will continue to be important to us.

And last but not least, being best friends means praying together and reminding each other of who we are in the Lord. As I said earlier, our relationship has not always been perfect, and it never will be. We are both people that are running the race for the Lord, which means that we are growing daily in Him, but we still have faults and flaws. When we start each day off by coming together in prayer, it is then that we become a three stranded cord that is not easily broken! I truly believe that God uses married couples in such an amazing and powerful way to further His kingdom, and encourage one another to press on, and pray for one another and lift each other up when one falls down. My husband and I keep the true purpose of our marriage in the forefront of our minds, as we press on towards the goal to which He has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus!

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700 Club Interview~ Out of Control & Loving It!

July 29th, 2013 - Uncategorized

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Dashing Devotional~ Leave the Past Behind!

July 25th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals

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Last night when I was getting into bed, I opened the devotional app on my phone, and decided to read the daily devotional by Kenneth Copeland. The moment I read the first paragraph, I knew I had to share this powerful truth with all of you!

This devotional really hit home in my heart when it comes to living a healthy and balanced lifestyle, because let’s face it…We all have days where we ate way beyond the point of feeling satisfied, or we don’t make time to be active and get exercise, or we may even have seasons where we neglect our body and/or health all together out of sheer busyness!

It’s time like these in our journey of living a healthy lifestyle where we can often get down on ourselves, and maybe if it has happened often enough, it may make some feel like they should give up all together. In those moments, it is so important that we remind ourselves of the truth, and encourage ourselves that tomorrow is a new day! The past may hold disappointments and failures that we are not proud of, but we must fix our eyes on the hope and success of our future if we ever want to achieve and maintain our goals and reach the destiny that God has for each one of us!

This devotional spoke this very point so clearly that I had to share! I hope it brings as much encouragement to all of you as much as it did for me!

 

Leave Behind the Past

Kenneth Copeland

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 3:13-14

 

Spiritual bumps and bruises. Inner aches and pains that just don’t seem to go away. Most all of us know what it’s like to suffer from them but too few of us know just what to do about them. 

We limp along, hoping somehow those hidden wounds will magically stop hurting, thinking that maybe (with a little extra sleep or an extra helping of dessert) that nagging sense of depression will finally disappear.

But does it ever happen that way? No!

I know. I’ve been there.

But thank God, I’m not there anymore. You see, over the past few years, I’ve faced some fierce spiritual battles. And I’ve found out those battles can leave you bruised and beat up on the inside just as surely as a fistfight can leave you bruised and beat up on the outside.

Before I was born again, I learned just how physically devastating a real slug-it-out kind of brawl could be. Yet as bad as I felt, a few days rest would take care of me.

The healing of a bruised and beaten spirit, however, doesn’t come that easily. In fact, the passing of time often worsens this condition.

The reason is this: Instead of putting painful failures behind us, we often dwell on them until those failures become more real to us than the promises of God. We focus on them until we become bogged down in depression, frozen in our tracks by the fear that if we go on, we’ll only fail again.

But there is a way out. If depression has put you into a spiritual nosedive, all you have to do to break out of it is to get your eyes off the past and onto your future–a future that’s been guaranteed by Christ Jesus through the exceedingly great and precious promises in His Word.

Chances are, that won’t come easily to you at first. Your mind has probably had years of practice in focusing on the past. Like an old horse that habitually heads for the barn, your thoughts will probably start galloping that direction every time you give them any slack.

So, don’t give them that slack. Keep the reins tight. Purposely meditate on the Word of God. Replace thoughts of the past with scriptural promises about your future and be diligent about it. Then, instead of being a wounded soldier, you’ll become the conquering warrior God made you to be.

Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:12-21

 

 

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Big Announcement~ Dashing Dish will be on the 700 Club!

July 20th, 2013 - Announcements

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My testimony & the story behind Dashing Dish will be aired on 700 club these next two weeks!

You can view it first Online on Monday July 22nd at 11 am. Here: http://event.cbn.com/700clubinteractive/

OR on the ABC Family Channel on 700 Club Interactive show at 9:30 AM EST on Monday July 29th! 

Be sure to set you DVR’s and spread the word! :)

GOD IS AWESOME! I pray it touches many lives and brings people to the freedom that can only be found in Him!

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Daily Dish~ My Sister’s Wedding Day!

July 16th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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It’s hard to believe it’s already been over two weeks since my sister Emily’s BIG day! My sister got married on June 29, 2013, and it was a beautiful day! The weather channel said it was supposed to rain, but of course we prayed and the Lord brought the sun!!! The whole day was simply beautiful!

I thought I would share a snippet of the day in pictures with all of you! (Sorry the pictures  are not the best quality…I didn’t want to carry around my camera at the wedding, so I used my i phone! ) 

We started off the day getting ready at my parents house! The make-up artist was one of the bridesmaids Julie O’Morrow. She is a freelance makeup artist and is sooo talented! {Go check out her work on her FB page!} :)

My sister picked a coral shade for the bridesmaid dresses. The dresses were made by Watters & Watters.

One of our closest friends, Dayna Mager was the extremely talented photographer for the big day! (She is the one wearing tan on the right…She could be our sister don’t you think!?!)

The ceremony and reception took place at Walden Woods in Hartland Michigan. The ceremony was outdoors by the lake, and the reception was indoors. Emily had gold, ivory, and corals for her wedding colors!

They had ‘scoop your own flavored coffee‘ for their favors, which was fun and turned out so cute!

The cakes were made by Geri Yost (the groom’s mom) and Kim DuBuc (the groom’s sister)! How STUNNING are these cakes!?!

The day ‘officially’ began by us girls hiding out as we waited on the guests to arrive! 

 

I love my baby sister! ;)

And then we walked down the aisle…My sister Sarah and I got to walk down together! ;)

The moment of anticipation…The bride walking to her groom! Surprisingly, I didn’t cry as much as I thought I would have! It was probably a good thing…As I didn’t end up with black eyes from the make-up pouring off! ;)

They said their vows, which they wrote for each other. It was beautiful.

And then it was time for ‘lots’ of pictures!

Here is one of me and my groom! :)

Then the party began…It was time to celebrate the new couple!!!! The reception was so much fun!

We started with toasts, a prayer, and dinner.

And then we enjoyed the amazing cakes!

We finished off the night with dancing, s’mores, and sending off lanters!

It was a day that glorified the Lord for sure and brought so much joy to all who shared in it! I hope this little preview of this beautiful union brought a smile to your face as it did for me! God is so good! (Be sure to check out Emily’s story on how she met Brett and waited on the one God had for her HERE!)

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Fourth of July Recipe Round-Up!

July 3rd, 2013 - Announcements, Food News, Inspiration

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Fourth of July is a time to Celebrate! This celebration takes place to observe our nations freedom, and to honor the awesome men and women that serve our country!

I don’t know about you, but this celebration always seems to revolve around the outdoors and the wonderful food that is best during the sweet summer time…Which means grilling and all things BBQ of course! Here are a few ideas to get your holiday cook-off started!

Main Dishes:

Teriyaki Pineapple Burger

Inside Out Jalapeño Popper Burger

Greek Style Feta Burger

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Sides Dishes:

7 Layer Salad

Fresh Zucchini Guacamole

Layered Taco Dip

Grilled Balsamic Parmesan Veggies

Creamy Chocolate Fruit Dip

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

Layered Pizza Dip

Loaded Pasta Salad

Treats:

Strawberries & Cream Trifle

Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

Cookies and Cream Frozen Pie

Peanut Butter Cup Fro Yo

4th of July Strawberry Poke Cake

Creamy Watermelon Pops

 Peanut Butter Cup Pops

 Superman Ice Cream

Cheesecake Fro Yo Pops

 

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The Daily Dish ~ My Sister’s Wedding Shower & Bachelorette Party!

June 25th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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The countdown is officially on…My sister is getting married on June 29th, which is now in four days! We are all getting so excited {busy, but excited!} I can’t wait to share pictures with all of you of the wedding, but until then I thought I would share the wonderful moments leading up to the big day!

We celebrated my sisters Personal Shower and Bachelorette Party on the same day a few weeks ago, and it was simply wonderful! The gathering took place at my sister Sarah’s house, which made for a beautiful party on a beautiful day!

I had the honor of making the food, so I decided to make a Salad Bar and Dessert Bar with healthy toppings such as Greek yogurt! My sister Sarah and I had a blast decorating with all of em’s wedding colors and cute little details that reflect on her style!

The weather was just beautiful that day, which is always a blessing in Michigan! :)

The salad bar was as much fun to put together as it was to enjoy!

Although, I think the dessert bar was everyone’s favorite {including my own!}

Sarah did all the decorating, and she truly did a fabulous job!

After enjoying all of the yummy food, Emily opened her gifts…and we played games…Needless to say there was tons of laughter!

We are truly blessed to have such wonderful friends to celebrate with!

We spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool and enjoying time relaxing!

That night the bridesmaids went out to celebrate Emily’s Bachlorette Party! I love that we had such an amazing time, and the Lord was glorified through our silliness! Who says you need alcohol to have a good time!?! :)

We went to a sushi restaurant and of course followed it with frozen yogurt!

 

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The Daily Dish~ My 28th Birthday Celebration!

June 20th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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Hey everyone!!! I hope you are all having a wonderful start to summer!I know I sure am…Of course i’m staying busy with the double move my husband and I are going through, and with all the preparation for my sisters wedding (it’s coming up…June 29th!!!)

I always love summer for SO many reasons, but I also love it because I have a summer birthday! :) June 17th was my 28th Birthday…But this year I had the honor of sharing the celebration with my dad, as we celebrated Father’s Day and my birthday on the same day! Talk about double the Fun!!! ;)

I started of the day with what else but a DD Cake Batter Protein Shake topped with whipped cream of course!

We had our traditional birthday meal, which is always Shish Kabob and a large Greek Salad with Baked Pita Chips! For Dessert I made my DD Ice Cream Cake!

After eating, my dad and I opened gifts and we all spent time around the table laughing and talking…One of my favorite times in life!

It was a wonderful day shared with my family, enjoying all the things I loved! I feel truly blessed for the 28 years of life God has given me so far, and the amazing husband and family He has given me to share it with!

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing by my parents lake! The weather was just perfect, and it was a much needed relaxing time after the big move! :)

I truly do treasure moments like this! :) Thank you all for the Birthday Wishes and love! I feel blessed beyond belief, and am so thankful for how God has taken the ashes of my life and turned it into beauty! I’ve learned time and time again that restoration is what He does best!

I hope you all enjoyed this little peak into my birthday celebration! Have a wonderfully blessed day!

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