Albion Fitness Wear Giveaway!

June 5th, 2013 - Giveaway/Contest, Giveaways

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I am so excited to share this giveaway with all of you!!!

Albion is a fitness and clothing company that has seriously adorable fitness wear~ and they are offering one lucky Dashing Dish reader a $100.00 gift card to shop till they drop on their site! Their garments are fashionable and unique, but more importantly practical and technical. Designed by women, their apparel is crafted for women wherever they may be in their fitness goals. Their clothes are easily transition from work out gear to lounging gear: whether she’s running an errand or 26.2 miles across a finish line!

For the giveaway, one lucky reader will win a $100.00 gift card to shop on Albion.com.

Here is an example of the skirt they sent me! How cute is this!?!

 Here is how to enter to win a $100 giftcard to Albion Fit:

  • Visit Albion Fit and leave a comment on this post saying what your favorite item is!

For additional entries:

  • Follow Albion Fit on Facebook and leave a separate comment on this blog post saying that you did.
  • Follow Dashing Dish on Facebook and leave a separate comment on this blog post saying that you did.
  • Pin your favorite item from albionfit.com onto one of your Pinterest boards and leave a comment on this blogpost with the link to that specific pin.

Winner of the Giveaway will be announced on June 19th. Good Luck!!!

 

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You are Never Alone or Without Help!

May 16th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals, Inspiration

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Did you know that if you have given your life to Jesus, you are never alone? 

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” This is one of many promises that the Lord gave us that when we invite Him into our lives, that He will never leave us.

This is such an awesome truth for SO many reasons. I sure do find this truth comforting, especially in this ever-changing world!

But the most amazing part is…It doesn’t stop there!

When Jesus went to be with the Father after dying on the cross, He also promised to leave us a comforter, counselor, and teacher who would be with us to guide is through this life. That helper is called the Holy Spirt. (John 14:15) We can see in the Bible that the Holy Spirit was given to us to help us in all things. This means that in every life situation that we can go to the Lord and ask for direction, guidance, and help in any situation.

We can also be sure that if we need to be comforted, encouraged, or reminded of the truth of God’s Word, He will be there to remind us of the promises that we have stored in our hearts! (John 14:26)

God has great things in store for each one of us (Jeremiah 29:11), and we can receive all that He has for us in every area of our lives if we follow His leading and depend upon His strength. A vital part of following His leading is listening to His voice on a daily basis, and the Holy Spirit is a vital part of that communication.

Communication from the Holy Spirit can be achieved by simply going to the Lord every day and asking Him to lead us. From there, we must do our parts by quieting our hearts enough to listen to His leading, (which is often a still small voice in our hearts).

If you are feeling worn out, burdened, or are in need of any kind of help today, the Holy Spirit is waiting to help you, and all you have to do is ask! (Luke 11:13) We can be confident that it is His will to help us, and teach us the right way to go and provide help in whatever we are facing. (John 16:13) There is nothing too big and nothing too small. You can go to the Lord about anything, He cares for you and knows just what you need, because He created you! (Psalm 139:13) Be encouraged today~ for you are never alone or without help!

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“Make Life Cute” Giveaway!

May 9th, 2013 - Giveaway/Contest

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Boy do I have a treat for you guys today! My good friend Kristy is the owner & amazing designer behind MakeLifeCute.Com. She found me through Dashing Dish, and is also a fellow Michigander, and has an incredible heart for Jesus, which created an instant connection between us! She sent me some of her amazingly cute personalized products, and after recieving them I knew I had to share them with all of you…So when Kristy offered to do a giveaway I was jumping for joy!

Make Life Cute is a lifestyle brand that offers a seriously, awesome line of designer party and event designs, as well as stationery, gifts, and lifestyle accessories to make your special occasions + everyday life memorable, unique, and most importantly CUTE!

Kristy’s passion is helping people find the joy in life – everyday! By creating cute, fun designs and products, we hoped to make the world a much brighter, cuter place! (Can you see why I love everything she makes so much!?!) :)

For the giveaway, Kristy will be making one lucky winner a Personalized i Phone case, a Personalized Packet of Stationary, and a Personalized Lucite Tray!

Here is an example of the ones she personalized for me!!! How cute are these!?!

They come in so many cute designs that can be personalized just for you!

The Winner will Receive a Personalized i Phone Case…

Personalized Stationary…

and a Super Cute Personalized Lucite Tray!

If you would LOVE to win this awesome package of personalized products from Make Life Cute…

Here’s How to Enter:

Simply Leave a Comment On This Post That Says What Your Favorite Product is From MakeLifeCute.Com. (Be sure to head over to MakeLifeCute.Com and check out all Kristy has to offer, and come back here saying what you loved the most in the comment section of this giveaway post).

I will announce the winner on May 23rd (in 2 weeks). The winner will be hooked up with Kristy, who will do her magic and design you the cutest i Phone Case, Stationary, and Lucite Tray you could ever imagine!

(Winner of this giveaway must be a resident of the United States.)

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Daily Dish ~ My Sister’s Bridal Shower!

May 2nd, 2013 - Daily Dish

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This past weekend was my sister Emily’s bridal shower! Her wedding is June 29th, so it will be here before we know it! :) It was a beautiful shower, put on by her future mother in-law & sister in law, who happen to have their own cake decorating business’…So get ready to witness some incredible desserts! ;)

It turned out to be one of the most beautiful days we’ve had in Michigan so far…(it has been in the 40′s almost all of April!) But this past Saturday was 70 degrees and sunny…God sure did shine His sunshine down on Emily’s celebration day! I hope you enjoy the pictures of this magnificent day!

Here Emily (the future bride) is with my family…

and Emily with her future in-law’s (including the 2 wonder women who put on the amazing shower!)

For brunch we had fruit to start…

Followed by a strawberry spinach salad (which I had the pleasure of preparing), a scone, and an english muffin, which was later topped with an egg, asparagus, and hollandaise sauce.

After eating we opened gifts.

It was so fun to see her open everything, especially her new kitchen gadgets! ;)

I made her a towel cake! :)

I also made her a basket of ‘my favorite kitchen things’ which was an assortment of my favorite kitchen gadgets, etc. Talk about a fun gift to shop for and give! :)

One of the most creative gifts she received was from our good friend Dayna, who made her a box of ‘date nights’…One for every month after they were married, (they were in envelopes, and she was told not to open them until the date night for each month!) How sweet is that!?!

After opening gifts we had dessert. My Aunt Lorrie made the most adorable wedding cake sugar cookies! I told her she could have her own cookie making business! How cute are they!?!

Brett’s mom, Gerri made everything on the dessert table, including these adorable cake pops…

Beautiful macaroons….

And a wide assortment of cupcakes!

Everything came together beautifully, and we had a great time celebrating Emily and Brett! I hope you enjoyed the preview of this special day! :)

The wedding will be here before we know it! I can’t wait to share pictures of that amazing day with all of you!

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Dashing Devotional~ How Can I Stay Motivated!?!

April 25th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals, Inspiration

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“So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9

 

We ALL have days where we trip and fall, making us feel discouraged. In fact, I can guarantee that every person has days where they simply lack the motivation to keep pushing forward towards their goals.

I, too, have plenty of days where I am discouraged, overwhelmed, or unmotivated to press on towards my goals with stamina and vigor!

So, the question is… on days like these, how do we stay motivated?!?

Well, to put it simply, we can’t… (Don’t worry, I’m going somewhere positive with this!)

The reason being is that motivation is an emotion, and like all emotions, they are fickle. They are up one day and down the next.

Let me give you a real life example of this (and I know that almost every woman can agree with me on this one).  One day I can wake up and feel like I’m on top of the world and the very next day I may wake up and feel terrible! This one example alone goes to show that emotions can not be trusted and they are certainly not stable.

It is for that very reason that we can’t base our decisions off of emotions. This includes the emotion of ‘motivation’.  If we relied on motivation to finish everything, we wouldn’t end up finishing most things we started…and even if we did, things would turn out very different than how we imagined.

You see… when we begin something, we often have a great sense of determination and motivation. We have a goal set in our mind and we pump ourselves up so much that we can almost taste the victory! Fast forward a couple of weeks and here comes that all too familiar lack of drive, (aka lack of motivation). This change in emotions can be attributed to many different reasons; a lack of results, increased stress, or a realization that the process is harder than we originally expected.

Which leads me to my main point… Instead of staying motivated, we must simply make a COMMITMENT to do something and align our actions with that decision regardless of how we feel.

I do this all the time in my own life in so many different areas. Once I make a decision to do something, I make a commitment. I bring it to the Lord and I surrender that area of my life to Him and ask Him to give me the strength to do whatever it is that I am setting out to do. From there, I make goals and often times I write them down.

When the ‘going’ gets tough, which often times it does…I run to the Lord and pick up the Word of God for encouragement! I encourage myself with the promises that He has given me of success and remind myself that He has promised me an awesome future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I also re-read the goals that I wrote down and reflect on the commitments I made and why I made them in the first place. I make the choice to reign in my emotions and get back up, encouraging myself that “tomorrow is a new day!” (Sometimes I have to do this many times… but the point is, I don’t let myself stay in an attitude of defeat!) I remind myself that I can truly do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength, and that means ALL!

We must recognize that one of Satan’s greatest tactics is to get us feeling discouraged and like a failure, because it is then that we will lack the determination to keep running the race and pressing on towards the goal. We must not fall into that trap! The most important thing that we could ever do is make the decision that no matter how many times we fall, that we will always get back up. We must make the decision to keep doing what we know to do and the results will come if we make the decision to not give up!

Prayer:  “Dear Lord, I thank you that with you I can do ALL things! Help me to be determined to keep running the race and pressing on towards the goals to which you have called me to. Help me not to fall into the trap of discouragement and a defeated mindset. I thank you that no matter how many times I fall, that you will always help me get back up. I am making the decision today to keep doing what I know to do and I know the results will come as I make this decision not to give up! In Jesus Name Amen”

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The Daily Dish~ Meal Prepping 101!

April 17th, 2013 - Daily Dish, How-To, Inspiration

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Does the thought of preparing food for your family during the week overwhelm you, or seem like it is just one more thing that you ‘have to do‘, but barely have time for?!?

I remember feeling this way when I was in nursing school, (and that was when I was only cooking for myself!) It wasn’t long after I got married that I realized that cooking every meal on the spot was not easy, especially if I was going to stay on track with healthy eating.  (Let’s face it… sometimes when you  are overly hungry or busy it’s easy to grab anything in sight, regardless of how healthy it is!) If that sounds familiar in any way, don’t worry… there is a solution!

I have found that the best possible way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.

There are so many benefits to having one (or two) meal prep days during the week, but some of the best things about it is that it saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.

Sound intriguing?!? Well… Let me show you how it’s done in just a few simple steps!

STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP 

I begin meal planning by making a list of recipes on my “Favorites Board”. (This can be found under the membership section of Dashing Dish.) I create a ‘favorites’ list each week based on what I want to have for breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners.  

From there I write down the ingredient list for each recipe. (I generally divide the ingredient list by 2 if I plan to prepare it for my husband and I and it is a recipe that calls for four servings or more). After writing out my grocery list I double check that I don’t already have something in my fridge or pantry. Then… I’m off to the grocery store!

If this step alone overwhelms you, this is where my meal plans come in! I have done all the work for you! They are broken down into the recipes, shopping lists, and even meal prep ideas for each week, based on the servings you need!

STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD

When I get home from the grocery store I generally don’t put any of the groceries away, (unless of course they are frozen and will melt quickly)…I simply take everything out of the grocery bag and set it out on the counter, putting things in organized piles according to each recipe. I then pull up my favorites list and get to cooking! I generally start with the breakfasts and move on from there.

Throughout the week I typically have a protein shake for breakfast, but I find that many of my breakfast recipes are great for mid-morning snacks, and/or if I am in need of a breakfast on-the-go. If I don’t end up eating them I simply freeze them for a time that I am in need of a quick and healthy snack!

This week I made my PB & J Protein Pancakes.

Some hard boiled eggs, (my husband loves these as a breakfast side and snack!)

Strawberry Baked Protein Oatmeal, (recipe to come!)

And for a snack I made my Protein Blueberry Muffins (recipe to come!)

For lunches and dinners I generally prepare big batches of veggies and lean meats to use in my recipes.

I like to cook my veggies in big batches either in a sauté pan or on a big roasting pan. That way they are ready as sides, snacks, or to add to a recipe.  I use this method of cooking in my Zucchini Chip recipe and Parmesan Green Bean recipe, but you can do this with any veggie.

One of my favorite ways to prepare chicken is in the crockpot! I make big batches and use the shredded chicken in my recipes for the week! If I am making Crockpot Shredded Chicken to prepare my recipes, I generally pop some frozen chicken in the crockpot and set it to high heat the morning of my meal prepping day. (That way it is all ready when I am ready to start meal prepping!)

If the recipes call for sautéed chicken or lean ground meat, I will cook it in big batches in my biggest pan! That way I am only prepping chicken and/or lean ground meat once for all the recipes!

STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES

For lunches I typically make something really simple such as a couple big salads and wrap sandwiches and put them in Tupperware containers or wrap them in foil individually. (Leftovers from dinner are also a great option!)

For dinners I typically make a few different main dishes and a couple of side dishes. 

This week I made my Three Cheese Stuffed Peppers

My Baked Mac & Cheese

and my BBQ Chicken Sweet Potatoes!

STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY! 

After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in Tupperware containers and place it in the fridge! That way I have something to throw in a cooler if I am heading out for the day or to pop in the microwave and/or oven to heat up and have a delicious dinner on the table in minutes!

This whole process from start to finish takes anywhere from 2-3 hours. I typically pick a block of time on the weekend to get it done. I hope this post helps show you how easy it can be to prepare meals for the week in just one day. If you are still scratching your head, don’t let it discourage you!!! It can take time to learn and get in the swing of things. And if that’s you, a great place to start may be my meal plans…But before you know it, it will become a part of your routine and you may even find yourself loving it!!!

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Dashing Dish Favorite Things Giveaway!

April 11th, 2013 - Giveaway/Contest, Giveaways

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Anyone that knows me knows that I love learning & studying from the Word because it is they only thing that truly changed me, (and continues to each day) from the inside out! For that reason, I love a few specific ministries that teach the basic foundations from the Word in a very realistic and applicable way! Joyce Meyer Ministries is one of my favorites for that very reason.

Joyce Meyer is an amazing teacher of the Word. She uses real life scenarios which are typically very funny, uplifting and even a bit ‘let’s be real‘…All of which are all needed from time to time.

Because I have personally been blessed so very much by her ministry, I thought I would do a giveaway and share some of my Favorite life-changing materials with all of YOU! 

The Winner of the Giveaway Will Receive: 

3 Sermon Series on CD: (perfect for when you are driving around in your car)

  • Battlefield of the Mind
  • Healthy Living Spirit Soul & Body
  • Developing Discipline & Self Control

 

Devotional Book

  • Battlefield of the Mind Devotional

 

All you have to do to enter is share a link to your favorite thing from Dashing Dish. Whether it be a link to a recipe, devotional, or to Dashing Dish website…All you have to do is share the link on Facebook OR Twitter, OR both! 

Come back here and comment on this post saying that you shared your favorite thing on Dashing Dish, and you will automatically be entered to win!

I will announce the winner on Friday April 19, 2013! Good Luck!!! :)

 

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You Make ALL Things New!

March 29th, 2013 - Dashing Devotionals, True Beauty

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When I was going through one of the hardest times in the recovery process of my eating disorder I remember taking walks and listening to this song by Nicole Nordeman called “Every Season” on repeat. It still brings tears to my eyes today as I listen to it…Especially around this time of year. 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.

Easter is special reminder 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  Easter, 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! 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 have a revelation of God’s great love for you this Easter and spring season. xo Katie

 

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The Daily Dish ~ Royal Caribbean Cruise!

March 13th, 2013 - Daily Dish

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So this may come as a surprise to most of you, but I just returned from a 5 day cruise this past week! I don’t like to announce when I am leaving for a trip or out of town for obvious reasons, but I had an awesome time and thought I would share some photos and highlights from my trip now that i’m back home!

This cruise was actually a Christmas present from my amazing in-laws to my husband and I, (well, actually to the whole family…My husband and I, his 2 brothers, and my mother in law. My father in law couldn’t come unfortunately  due to work, so my husbands aunt came along instead!) I feel so blessed to have married into such a loving family! They are truly a blessing in my life!

My husband is the middle of three boys, just as I am the middle of three girls! :) They are all really close just as I am with my sisters, which makes it a ton of fun to hang out with them!

We ported the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Ship out of Florida…Just when Michigan was having a huge snow storm!

The ship was simply beautiful inside!

We spent the first day exploring the ship and all the different shops, researching the entertainment and dining options, and of course checking out the pool deck! My first stop was the cupcake decorating shop!!! How fun is that!?

The ship had a beautiful fitness area! I didn’t spend much time there, as our excursions were very early (and pretty active), and it was pretty rocky when we were out to sea, making it hard to run on a treadmill, do weights, or much of anything without getting sea sick. Not all cruise ships I’ve been on were this way, but the seas were particularly rough this trip.

The main deck was gorgeous! It had lots to do, and had everything from shopping to a theatre and even a Ben & Jerry’s and Starbucks!

We checked out the events for the week, and I almost convinced my husband to participate in the ‘sexiest man competition’ ;) Although, this was as close as he got to participating! :)

My husband was pretty adventurous this trip, and tried yoga with his brothers! I knew I would of been too sea sick to hold a pose for any period of time, but he did great! I was pretty proud of him! :)

I did manage to walk the track a few times on the top deck really early in the morning. It was so peaceful as I listened to worship music and watched the sunrise! There is nothing more powerful that seeing God’s artwork take place in the sky~ So beautiful!

Eating healthy can be challenging on any vacation, (especially on a cruise)…But healthy options are always around if you go looking for them! I allow myself to enjoy treats and meals I wouldn’t normally try back home when I am on vacation, but I always like to start my day with a healthy breakfast, or else I feel funky the rest of the day! For more tips on eating healthy on vacation check out this post! 

We spent the days either laying out by the pool….

Going on an excursion (we went hiking and kayaking!)

Or visiting a beach!

The weather was beautiful!

And lunch was either authentic Mexican type food or a big salad from the salad bar!

For dinner we had a nice three course sit down meal with the family, and I always ordered something different~ which was fun to try new things!

My favorite dessert on the trip was by far the ice cream sundae bar! I am most certainly an ice cream girl! They even had sugar free peanut butter cookies to go on the side! Yum!

The evenings were spent enjoying the ships many entertainment options! We went ice skating…

Watched shows…

And witnessed some of the most beautiful sunsets!

I hope you enjoyed some of the highlights of the cruise! Thank you Farrell Family for the most amazing trip! Cruises are an awesome way to see the world and travel in my opinion, because you really don’t have to think too much about entertainment, food, or much of anything! You truly do get to enjoy time with family and make awesome memories!

It was a great time, but I sure am glad to be back home and chatting with all of you!!! xo

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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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