Monday, November 3, 2014

More of You

I have a hard time reading my Bible consistently. It's never been my strongpoint. I have to make myself get into a routine of reading it, but if I miss a day, it goes south fast. 

Confession time... 

I haven't been doing my quiet time for the last few weeks. It just happened. At first, I didn't notice any changes. But recently, I realized that I was acting and thinking differently. It wasn't an outward rebellion. Nothing was obviously amiss. What was happening was a heart issue and it crept in gradually. Not only was I not reading my Bible, but I was hardly spending anytime with God. I was praying less and rapidly putting a wedge between Jesus and myself. I was a "Sunday" Christian and I didn't even realize it. 

Thinking back over the last few weeks/days, I can see where I would let things happen that I normally wouldn't have stood. Every once in a while, I was saying and doing things that were not me. I wasn't spending anytime with Jesus and it was making me less like Him. Sometimes I’m searching for something; whether it is entertainment, people or activities to fill a void that I think I have. In reality, anything that I am looking for is never going to satisfy. Only Christ can. He is what I need. The things of the world are tempting; and we are constantly hearing that "if we just have this or achieve that, then we’ll be happy"… But they are never enough. 

Mark 8:36 says, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” I do not want to spend my time seeking the things of the world. The outcome separates me from my Savior. Yes, I am in the world and I love a lot of things about it. I watch movies and TV; read books; wear up to date clothing; and that is fine. Nothing wrong with enjoying those things. It's when they become more important then Jesus. If I notice that my relationship with Christ is suffering; I have a bad attitude; or I’m watching something I shouldn't be; it's usually a sign that I need to do a spiritual checkup. 

It's not hard to cross boundaries. I can easily become desensitized to things I watch, see or do. It is a daily struggle. We are in a world of easy access distractions. Thankfully, we have a God Who is not only forgiving but patient! 

Even though I am disappointed with myself for the way I’ve been acting, I am also encouraged. I am encouraged because I realized it. I knew something was off. It proves to me that I am still willing to let the Holy Spirit work in my life...  and there is a lot of work to do! Just like Christian in Pilgrim's Progress, I stray from the path and make many mistakes. But, Jesus is with me every step of the way; showing me where to go. I only have to follow Him. 


Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Okay to be Single.

Have you noticed that everywhere you look there seems to be, well... couples? Even down to a very young age there are relationships going on. Don’t get me wrong, they can work. I know several people who dated all through high-school and then got married. But, so many are dating a different person every few months. You would think that it would seem weird, but instead, it’s almost expected. Facebook is always lit up with "so an so's" new relationship; and then the next day they are talking about their broken heart.  

We live in a dating focused world. And if you are not dating, you're strange... or people start imagining things. For example: You talk to a boy at the grocery store; someone sees you; and suddenly you’re dating! Sadly, that is not very far from the truth. I guess it's impossible for someone to be single and okay about it.

If I’m honest, dating is not really on my mind right now. I don’t feel a need to constantly think about or seek out a relationship. What’s the rush? I’m only 20! Sure every once in a while I wonder who and when it might be. But, I am content with my singleness and my other relationships right now. My friends are a wonderful part of my life. Some of them are guys and I am very happy to have them as friends. I think you can miss out on meaningful (friend) relationships by trying to put a romantic spin on it.

To be clear, I am not against dating. And, I’m not saying that you can’t have a crush on one of your friends. It happens. I’m just saying, that you don’t have to be in a hurry. Enjoy your singleness. As a Christian girl, I need to grow in my relationship with Jesus above everything else. Constantly thinking about a boyfriend isn’t going to help get that achieved. I have to be right with my relationship with Jesus before I can ever be right with someone else. A boyfriend isn’t going to fix my problems, make me feel better about myself, or give me some kind of badge of honour.  

God’s timing is perfect. My timing is not. And since He’s got it all under control, why shouldn’t I enjoy and use the time of being single that He has given me? Time that I can use to serve Him wholeheartedly and be with friends and family. I guess what I’m trying to express is that it’s okay to be single. Try not to look at it as a negative. Don't stress about it and grow closer to Christ.

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! -1 Chronicles 16:11 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Middle Of Your Heart

It's been one of those weeks. It just kept building up until I exploded. Yes, that's right, I had a meltdown. Level of meltdown: Academy Award. I won't go into all the messy details, but I can tell you it ended with me clutching my pillow and sobbing. It had been coming on slowly. The poison of discontent. It changes my entire outlook and it affects how I treat others. Especially, my family. Little jabs and outbursts become frequent; and it just gets worse and worse until I'm miserable (and so is my family). It completely overwhelms me. Next thing I know, I'm not reading my Bible; not spending anytime with Jesus; distancing myself from my family; complaining both inwardly and outwardly about my life; and I'm angry all the time. In those moments, I cannot see anything good. I hate it. Yet, I let it happen. I allow the enemy, Satan, to tell me lies. Lies that I sometimes believe. But that is exactly what they are. Lies. Meant to make me feel utterly helpless and alone. 

I have so many moments where I feel like life is spinning out of control. And, I'm pretty positive, I will have more moments in the future. Moments where I desperately desire something more. Moments where I feel my life is a waste and I don't really have anywhere I "fit". I think everyone has had those thoughts. 
But they can be overcome. 
The answer? 
There is no psychological analysis or 10-step program to contentment. The only thing that will ever truly make me content is Jesus Christ. Instead of dwelling on myself, I should ask God to give me a deep desire to know Him better. The more I am actively seeking God, the less I believe the lies of Satan. I am ashamed of how easily I can stop listening to my Savior and His truths. Giving my burdens to Him is blessed relief. 
After all, He knows what to do with them! 

From my own experience, it's very easy to become discontent and bitter. I must make a conscious choice to give these feelings and thoughts over to God and let Him destroy them. Because if I don't, they will destroy me. I know the type of person I am when these thoughts plague my mind; and I don't like that person. Christ is alway speaking; always showing me the right way. Thankfully, He never gives up on me! 
I need that kind of persistence. One thing I know for sure is that God is doing amazing things in my heart. I just have to let Him do it. It's exciting to think that as I grow closer to Jesus, I will have the privilege of experiencing the joy, fulfillment and contentment that only comes from Him. And what a wonderful gift that will be!   

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Psalm 34:17-20

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cross Contamination Vlog

Hey everyone! This is a video about being aware of Cross Contamination and how to avoid it. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Gluten-Free "Yummy Apple, Yummy Pie" Recipe

I have been craving pie for months(thanks to Ned the Pie Maker from Pushing Daisies). But, with my limited amount of food, that has not been able to happen. At least not until recently! This lovely pie is gluten free, dairy free and sugar free! So without further ado, here is my recipe!

Gluten-Free "Yummy Apple, Yummy Pie" Recipe

Two boxes of Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix
4 eggs
6 tbs of olive or coconut oil
1/4 cup water
5 apples
1/2 coconut sugar or 1/3 cup honey 
1 tsp cinnamon powder

Use two boxes of Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix. Prepare as directed minus the filling part.
Take half of the dough, cover your pie dish and prick with a fork.

Peel and thinly slice five apples. 

Place in sauce pan, cover with water and cook on low heat until par boiled. Drain the liquid, let cool and place the apples into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of honey or sweetener of your choice and 1 tsp cinnamon powder or as much as you want. 

 Pour apple filling into pie dish. Take the other half of dough, roll it out, cut into stripes, place onto pie and prick with a fork. 

Place in the over at 350
° for 25-30 minutes.

Take out of oven, let sit until completely cooled and voila!

 I hope you enjoy this pie as much as I do!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

This Pain Is A Part

This Pain Is A Part

To be thankful for my life can seem impossible.
To be grateful for what I have can be far from my mind. 
The struggle of every day, every hour, weighs me down like an anchor 
and I feel like I am drowning.

Tired and worn, I lie awake at night. 
Sleep hardly comes, and when it does, I’m still weary.
I feel so alone sometimes, but when I’m in a crowd, I stand to the side.

I hate that I don’t even act like myself, as if this "disease" can control me.
Will it always be like this?
 In my despair, I think it will.

Time keeps moving forward, but I’m stuck in one place. 
I’m not afraid of never doing anything, but I’m afraid of when it will be.
Years I can never get back are flying by without me; 
years of unfulfilled dreams and adventures that might have been.

“My health has not permitted me” is a phrase that I know well.
I ache to have a purpose, somewhere where I belong.
To have something to talk about instead of all that is wrong.

Yet, in the midst of all this misery, one thing I can claim. 
I can boast in my Jesus and all that He is!
He has given me blessings in spite of the hurt.
And because of the sorrow, I’m more aware of the good.
I see Him more clearly, than if my life was going as I had planned.

Trials have taught me that being a Christian does not mean life is easy. 
Hardship reminds me that Jesus is there, ready to give strength when I need it, 
and comfort in bad times. 
When I’m frustrated and angry at life, He is there telling me,
“Why are you trying to bear this alone? 
Cast your cares on Me. I care about you.” 

I know that He has a plan for my life, even if it is hard to see.
This pain is a part; and each day is one day closer to something new.
I don’t want to be bitter about my situation. 

Yes, it is hard, but what good is it if I resent everything? 
When I’m so busy thinking about what He has not given me, I lose sight of what He has. 
God is not keeping contentment or comfort from me; 
I keep it from myself by not trusting Him with my life.

 So, I am thankful for my life, even though it might not be what I want.
I’m grateful for my life because I have Jesus to lean on always. 
And because of that, I know I can remain strong.

         Rachael Lydia Allison, July 10 2013