Saturday, June 26, 2010

Of Planting and Reaping

"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly
and he who sows bountifully will
also reap bountifully" (2 Corinthians 9:6).

This applies to all things in life. Whatever we are diligent about will one day be a bountiful harvest. When we do just enough to get by, and do even that grudgingly, we will have a poor harvest. But, when we sow bountifully...only God knows the full potential of our "crops." Time to go plant some seeds!

Monday, June 21, 2010

But...He's so Cute...

Okay, so don't tell me that you have never had a crush on a guy. I think every girl deals with this problem. Problem? Yes, I say problem, because whenever your mind becomes so consumed by something of this world that there is not much room for things of God, you do have a problem.

It starts out when you are a little girl. A new boy comes to your church. He is well mannered, good looking even to your little girl eyes, and you decide you like him and will marry him some day. It is not complicated. Just a simple, foolish little girl thought. As time passes and you grow older you look at a boy and judge whether he is worth your time by evaluating his character and his looks. As your list of "must have" qualities grows, so does the amount of time you spend thinking about him in a, uh-um, "romantic" way. There is where the problem comes in. Soon you become consumed with dreamy thoughts of what it would be like to be loved by him, married to him, and have a family with him. Not only can these thoughts rob your time with God, they can also make you discontent with your present life.

I will be honest. I have had many crushes through the years. Some short lived, some that drug out for over a year. From personal observation I have found that crushes are very draining on a girls emotional well being. If I had a crush on a particular guy and he never even looked my way I began to ask myself what was wrong with me. Why wasn't I desirable? My immature brain never gave thought to the fact that maybe he was not yet old enough to be looking for a wife. As time passed I begin to realize how harmful crushes could be, contrary to what most people will tell you, crushes are not cute and painless.

Having discovered that crushes were not something I desired anymore, I was puzzled, how did one not have a crush. I had always been under the impression that you could not help it. Crushes were just something that happened right? Wrong. Crushes are something that take time and are stemmed from a desire to love and feel loved. In other words, every girl is responsible for whether she has a crush or not. You can feel attracted to someone, and find him handsome, but that does not have to lead to a full blown crush. Below are some steps you can take to fight these feelings:

1. Take captive every thought for Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) This means when thoughts like, "Is he the one?" come into your mind, you must dismiss them. Instead pray. Ask God to help you take your thoughts captive for Him. Thank Him for being in control of you future. Tell Him that you trust Him. "Set your minds on thing above," as Colossians 3:2 challenges. Choose not to let your mind dwell on "romantic" thoughts, for it truly is a choice.

2.Acknowledge your weakness. Do not lie to yourself about the attraction you may feel for a young man. Admit it to yourself and God, then pray. At the time it may seem impossible to dismiss this man from your thoughts, but God says that nothing is impossible if He is by our side (Luke 1:37).

3. Galatians 6:9 says: "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." While nipping down these feelings of attraction may be hard, in the end we will reap the rewards of a peaceful heart, a life lived for God not men, and because we will know on our wedding day that we remain faithful in guarding our hearts for our future spouse, the knowledge that you are worth your future husband's trust (Proverbs 31:11).

4. Lastly God instructs us to give thanks in everything (Ephesians 5:20). When you are struggling to keep your thoughts on God, not on the handsome guy across the room, you might not be able to see what it is you have to be thankful for. How can you thank God for feelings you do not want? I'll admit, this is the hardest part for me, but if you look at it as thanking God for being your strength when you are weak, or thanking God for these unwanted feelings because they make you realize your great need for Him, then it does not seem so hard.

The biggest mistake girls make is in thinking that crushes are something they cannot help. Once you realize that you can control your feelings to the extent that they will never have a chance to grow into anything other then thoughts, then you can began battle. You do not have to remain captive to emotions, and let downs any longer. With God as your help, you can learn to look at boys and young men as brothers in Christ, not just potential husbands.

Once you can do this you will no longer have so many awkward silences. Instead you can communicate God's love in a deeper more meaningful way. It may be hard, but it is well worth the effort. And that is coming from a girl who has been there, done that, too many times to count.

Hope for the future. Peace for the soul. Find it in God.

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13).

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would

come after Me, he must deny himself and take up

his cross and follow Me.'"

Matthew 16:24

Today I feel the Lord calling me to die to my selfish desires, more then ever. He is asking me to lay aside those things in my life which are distracting me from spending time with Him (fictional stories). I feel as if He is calling me to fill my heart with His words, and to turn a deaf ear to the world and all its noises. There are so many words, written and spoken, that are vying for my attention, but ultimately, only God's words are of lasting importance. God is calling me. Will I heed His call?

I pray with all my heart that I will be faithful to what He is calling me to do, and who He has called me to be. May He be my Light and Vision. Through Him, may I see all of life in a bigger and better way.

I must not fear, but take a leap in faith, denying myself and taking up my cross. The load is lighter with two, but when the person by your side is Jesus, it is easier still.

With a prayerful heart,

Kassandra Lee

Friday, June 11, 2010

Write That Down

I was in the first or second grade when I first began to journal. My mom wanted me to practice my newly learned writing skills, so she gave me a notebook and I would write in it everyday. I never wrote more then three or four very short sentences, but it was a start.

For several years, I did not journal, I am not quite sure why. I suppose my mom had quit requiring it and I had yet to discover the joy of writing.

For Christmas in 2002, one of my cousins gave me a pretty journal and that was when I began to discover the true joys of journaling. I started out with short paragraphs and slowly moved on to filling pages and pages almost everyday. In some of years since I have not written as much, but I have continued to journal, recording the important happenings in my life. I have discovered that, not only is journaling a joy just for the sake of writing, but it is also a great way to sort through my thoughts.

This love for journaling has given me an idea for a new series here on Musings From the Feet. I call it "Dear Diary," and it is the fictitious journal of 16-year-old Kassandra Lee. We will follow Kassandra as she learns important lessons in life and is reminded of how mighty her God is. I hope you enjoy reading about Kassandra's journey, just as much as I will enjoy writing it for you. Come back tomorrow to read the first "Dear Diary" post.

I have some questions for you. Do you journal? Do you do it on the computer, or the old fashioned way? What do you enjoy most about keeping a journal? I would love to hear your thoughts and stories.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Thought I Was Going To Die

I had just taking my GED test and was officially finished with high school, I had purchased my first vehicle, and had finally gotten my drivers license. Now it was time to get a job. I did not think it would be that big of a deal. In fact, I was looking forward to getting out of the house more and to having a little more spending money in my pocket. With my own vehicle I would be able to get more involved in my local community. I was sure it was going to be great.

I applied several places and sat back nervously waiting for a call. When the call finally came I began to second guess myself. Maybe this was not such a grad idea. Well, it was done, so nothing remained but for me to go to the interview. It went quite well, and by the time I left I was back to feeling fairly confident, if a little nervous.

The first day was a nightmare. It was a busy day at our local Dairy Queen. I had never been to Dairy Queen much, and when I did go I always ordered things like chicken strips, fries, or an ice cream cone. Simple foods, with easy names. Here it was a busy day, my first day, and I was stuck on a register taking orders for things like Hunger Busters. I did not even know what one was! Watching people make ice cream cones looked easy, but let me tell you, it is something that takes a bit of practice. My first cones were big messes, in fact some were not even redeemable and had to be thrown away.

By the end of my first day I was sure I had made a mistake. My feet and back hurt. I was tired, and my mind would not quit spinning.

In the weeks that followed I went to work every day with a sick stomach. My nerves were my worst enemies. I have always been shy, and being thrown into a situation where I was surrounded by strangers all day, everyday, was extremely trying. Then there were irate customers, long lines, and I still did not know the menu.

I prayed many days, “God, I just can’t do this. It is too hard.” But I had commited myself, there was no turning back. All I could do was take it one day at a time and depend on God to see me through.

I honestly thought I would die, but God used those hardships to shape and grow me. Experiencing what it was like to work forty hours every week doing something I did not particularly like made me appreciate the years my dad has worked to so faithfully provide for our family. I learned that with gained responsibility, comes new freedoms, but also, challenges. I did have more spending money, but I now also had bills. I did have a way to get around, but I no longer had as much time to be involved. Things were not at all as I expected them to be. I had been looking at being a grown up through rose colored glasses. It was a rude awakening. This was the real world baby. And I was not sure I liked what I saw.

In the passed few years I have learned a lot about how you can do things you do not enjoy and still have a good time. Whether or not you enjoy life comes out to how you look at things. I am still shy, I still get stressed by having to deal with large crowds sometimes, but I am learning that if I step out of my comfort zone and really focus on other people, it is easier, possible, and even enjoyable.

Life has moved on. I no longer work at Dairy Queen, and though I do not look at my days there with any particular fondness, I can look back and see God’s hand working in my life. I can truly say that I am thankful for those trying days. They helped me learn how to rely more on the Lord, and I would not trade that for anything!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pie Pastry

Pie Pastry

2 1/4 c. flour

2/3 c. shortening

1/2 t. salt

1/3 c. cold water

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

Cut shortening into flour with fork, or pastry blender until pastry particles are pea sized.

Do not over mix.

Gradually sprinkle dough with 1 teaspoon of water at a time.

Toss lightly with fork until all particles become damp.

Use only enough water to hold pastry together when pressed with fingers. It should not feel wet.

Roll dough into round ball, handling as little as possible.

Roll out on lightly floured board into a circle 18 inch think and 1 inch larger than the diameter of the top of your pie plate.

This is an easy recipe. Well, I suppose it took a little practice to come out with a crust that tasted good and looked good. :) Happy baking!