Trade in the Pie Cutter for the Spatula

Pie server

by Morgan Ramsey

So at 22 years old, I’ve decided recently that I need to become an adult. In order to become an adult, in my unofficial checklist, you must learn how to cook, which is an area that I really struggle.

A couple of weeks ago my family got sick with the flu, and I suddenly switched from the lazy bum that lives on the couch to caretaker. I know what you’re thinking, my poor parents. You know how to pray for them. But hey, I don’t think it went so bad. They were pexels-photo-86999fed. Somehow. Anyways, one night I was trying to cook dinner for them, and I grabbed the first thing I could find in the fridge: ground beef, heaven’s manna. I knew how to cook that, so I grabbed a pan, and started cooking, until I realized that I was missing something integral, especially for a rookie like myself: I didn’t have a spatula. Where was it, you ask? At the bottom of the mountain of dishes that had been sitting there for so long that I am not going to disclose the amount of time because you would automatically put my parents on your church’s prayer list. Inspired after my favorite movie series of all time, I called it “Mount Mission Impossible of All Dishes.” I know, it took me longer to name it than to actually do the dishes. Judge me.

Anyways, I was out a spatula, so I found the closest thing that I could find to use when I cooked the meat: a pie-cutter. Also, who knew it was called a pie cutter. I just thought it was called a triangle spatula. By my lack of knowledge of common household items (you know where I’m going with this story), it was bad. I couldn’t flip the meat as efficiently as I could with a spatula. Let’s be real: I couldn’t flip it at all. I was so frustrated. I kept saying, “ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW? WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT? LORD JESUS YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO COME DOWN AND GIVE ME YOUR HOLY PATIENCE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I’M ABOUT TO LOSE IT WITH THIS STUPID TRIANGLE SPATULA. LORD WHY DID YOU GIVE SOMEONE THE IDEA FOR A TRIANGLE SPATULA? IT’S JUST A STUPID CONCEPT.” Several of you probably have holy prayer moments with the Lord, which I admire. You all just got a glimpse into my moments with the Lord. You now know how to pray for me. The struggle with the pie-cutter was more than frustrating: it was exhausting. But after my mom told me (aka laughed at me) that night that it is used to slice pies instead of flipping ground beef, I realized why it was so difficult: it wasn’t designed to flip meat on a stove.

pexels-photoA couple of weeks ago, our family had a very close family friend pass away. To say it knocked us down and took our breath away is an understatement. I can’t think of any eloquent or spiritual way to describe it except by saying that it was awful. My friend that I’d known since I was 8, gone on several vacations with, laughed with, and loved so deeply was gone suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a hard time. But even though it was a difficult time, I remember telling my mom, “I can’t imagine how people go through something like this without Jesus.” Tragedies may not make sense to us as believers, but with the Lord we know that all things – whether we can see it or not – are working together for our good and His glory. I may not understand, but I can trust Him. His presence is so thick that it’s tangible in those hard times. He gives us a peace that allows us not always to see the big picture, but a piece that shows us Him, in a way we’ve never experienced Him before.

He’s our secret weapon. I had someone ask me, “Morgan how can you smile during this?” And I answered, “Because I know the Lord. I know what He’s done for me. I know what He’s doing for me. And my friend? She isn’t in the ground. She’s with my best friend, my Savior, my peace, my King. And because of that I can smile, because I know that yes I will see her again, because one day I’ll see my King.”

So ladies my question to you is what in your life do you simply need to release to God? Where do you need to trade in the pie-cutter for the spatula? Jesus desires us to have life, and not just life, but life to the full, not life weighed down by burdens and sin! Abundant life is lived with Him every day for the rest of our lives and beyond. So what’s your pie-cutter? Is it fear? Give it to Him. You were not designed to live with fear. An addiction? Jesus is bigger than that. Give it to the one who created you and deeply loves you. Comparison? God has created your life uniquely. He’s given you a story, a platform, a life that only you can live.

SONY DSCI don’t know what it is for you, but I do know that He wants to give you a life free from sin and from the hold of the world. He wants you to trade in the pie-cutter for the spatula. With a spatula you can cook food, because that’s what it was designed to do. A pie cutter was designed to cut pies not cook food. You were designed for life with Him, not a life burdened with the worries of this world, that is not our home. Trade it in ladies, and then you can experience real, satisfying, eternal life; the life you were created for.

 

Not Enough Time?

Do you know what the scariest word to me is?

Time.

I know. Laugh all you want, point your fingers, make fun of me. My brother makes me aware every day that I’m ridiculous. But sometimes this fear keeps me up at night. It scares me because I feel like just the name of the word owns me. There’s either not enough time or too much of it. There’s no in between. But lately, I’ve been living in the “not enough time” camp. Just looking at me weekly schedule stresses me out. During the Christmas season, I was 100% sure that I would have to make an appointment with my cardiologist. And don’t get me wrong: all of the things on my calendar were good things. I was jus A LOT of good things. My schedule is filled with discipleship groups, Bible studies, and time with family and friends. And that’s great! But sometimes, even too much of a good thing can be bad for you. About 4 years ago my doctor told me that I had developed a chocolate allergy. I was shocked, even though the previous day I had been downing about two bowls of chocolate ice cream. He laughed at my puzzled face and said, “You know Morgan, chocolate isn’t a bad thing. But highly concentrated amounts eaten within frequent periods of time can result in a developed allergy.” I looked at him confused, because let’s be real, that’s a lot of big words in one little sentence. He had summed it up pretty easily. Even good things can be bad for you if you have too much.

Even good things can be bad for you if you have too much.

 

I looked past all of my chocolate longings and dreams of myself lying in a chocolate fountain and started looking at my own life. And I started to notice something. I was attending all of these events on my schedule, but I wasn’t fully there. I was exhausted,fashion-person-woman-girl drained, cranky, and worn slap out emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And then I got to the point where I didn’t want to do anything except take a nap and watch Hallmark movies. (To be honest that’s still what I want to do all day.) Exhaustion was my newly developed allergy.

And then someone asked me something that has stuck with me since, “Morgan, you lead a lot of things for other ladies, but what do you do for YOU?” I kind of laughed and was like, Wait what do you mean? Isn’t that selfish? Shouldn’t I want to do things for others?

But the more I thought about her question I started to become convicted, because I am very busy, but am I using that time and my personal time to grow closer to Jesus? Because even in my overbooked schedule, I still try my very best to have time for me. But what does that look like? I’d be lying if I told you I usually spend my down time reading the Word. Usually it looks like me collapsing on the couch and turning on a movie faster than you can say the word lazy. Which is not bad, but it’s not the best.

My mom told me once that discernment is not “knowing the difference between good and bad”. It’s knowing the difference between what’s good and what’s best. So I’ve looked at everything in my life and put it to this test: Is this good or is this best? And I’m just going to warn you, that’s super hard. Saying “No” to that movie with some friends might look like saying “Yes” to a night spent at home reading the Word and spending time with our Jesus. Saying “No” to that day spent shopping may be a “Yes” to a day of Bible study with some of your friends.

Discernment is knowing the difference between what’s good and what’s best.

I’m done with the days of my schedule owning me. I’m done with this stupid competition of who’s busier than whom. No more is “time” in control of my life. HE is in control of my life and my time in this week and on this earth. I’ve made the decision to put Him back in control and put Morgan Ramsey in the passenger seat. But it all starts with a decision. You have to come to the end of yourself, the end of your schedule, the end of your time, and put Jesus where He rightly belongs: In the driver’s seat of your heart and the controller of you time, temporal and eternal.

pexels-photo-96119

Am I Enough?

by Morgan Ramsey

“Morgan, he doesn’t like me. I guess I wasn’t good enough for him. He just wanted to be friends. I am not worthy of someone like that.” As a girls’ minister, I hear this plenty from the middle school and high school girls at my church. And as hard as it is to hear that, I know it’s even harder to say out loud. Why? Because it gets at a fear that we as girls, and even more so as women have: a fear of rejection. Rejection is hard. It’s a low blow, and demolishes any ounce of self-esteem that we may have had. Why? Because we let it.

But we let it because we believe a lie that could not be further from the truth: You aren’t enough. As young girls we hear it and see it everywhere we go. This lie can be found in magazines, or songs, or in a movie, or in the school hallways where the other girls make fun of how we look. We can find it in people’s comments about what we are wearing, or when every single girl is in a relationship BUT US. And we don’t grow out of this when we graduate high school. As women we can see it every single day if we look in our own lives and in the lives of other women around us.

Yeah, I know. I get it. I struggle with it every day of my life. My surroundings have changed, but the lie remains. Instead of seeing it in high school hallways, I see it in my work place, in my personal life, in my family, and in the way I think about myself. And I’ve realized unless we get to the root of the issue, it will metastasize from middle school to adult life. It’s a silent killer It’s hard to rid yourself of this lie, because well…  it’s so stinkin’ believable!

9780802472946-demoss-gresh-lies-young-women-believeI’m reading through a book called Lies Young Women Believe, and it goes through all of the different lies that Satan throws at us every single day. There is also an adult version for women as well, and it is equally as powerful. The amount of lies that Satan throws at us daily is scary. But what is even scarier is the thought that women BELIEVE these lies every day. The one that keeps coming back to me is this lie of “you are not enough.” And to a certain extent, that is true. We AREN’T enough. But in Him, we are more than enough.

The Lord calls us something different. He calls us into a different type of living. He calls us worthy. He calls us beloved. He calls us His masterpiece. He calls us His prize and possession. He calls us chosen. And most importantly, He calls us to live in freedom, not in bondage to a lie that has no place in our lives.

Because of Him, we become faultless, holy, blameless, righteous, pure, and enough. Because He has made us these things and even more, we don’t have to be burdened by rejection. When people say we aren’t enough, we can look up and look at the Father and say, “He makes me enough, because He is more than enough”. We don’t have to live burdened by what people think of us. We can live abundantly in the truth of what He calls us.

The lie of rejection always hits you hardest in the place where you feel least satisfied. So for middle school girls and high school girls they face this lie head on in relationships. The desire to be wanted and loved by a guy is strong in this age group. I’m starting to realize you can find this lie anywhere. I told you how I see it in my life, but I’ve seen it in the woman who has worked for years with her company and didn’t get that promotion. I’ve seen it in the woman who watched a lifelong friend walk out of her life. I’ve seen it in the woman whose child wants nothing to do with her. I’ve seen it in the woman who struggles with miscarriage and the woman who can’t get pregnant after years of trying. I’ve seen it in the woman who has prayed for marriage for years and is still single at 33. I’ve seen it in the woman who has a perfect marriage on the outside, but on the inside feels an immovable separation from her husband and is plagued by loneliness.

The lie of rejection always hits you hardest in the place where you feel least satisfied. 

Fill in your blank. WE ALL deal with this. Sometimes we can’t control what comes our way. But we can control how we respond. So. How are you going to fight the lie of rejection this week? I tell my girls that one of the best ways to fight this is to remember who you are. Not who you are as a person, but who you are in Him. Remember sweet girl or woman of God, the God who made you so intimately, cares a ton about you.

Honesty hour. I struggle with this lie. I’ve struggled with this lie this week. But let me share something with you. When it gets the hardest, when I hit my lowest on the self-esteem scale, Jesus reminds me who I am in Him. Here’s what He breathed into me this week. I pray that this helps you remember who you are and who made you so intimately every time the enemy throws the lie of rejection your way. I’m praying for you this week

“Oh Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I’m going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand. I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride on the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night – but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”- Psalm 139:1-18

SONY DSC

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it! You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.”

For the Love of a Dog, A Life Lesson

by Morgan Ramsey

Snoring is now my new favorite sound in the whole world. I’m being completely serious. I used to hate it with a passion, especially before my dad got his C-PAP. I’m almost 103% sure that his snoring would shake the house. I would hear it in my dreams sometimes. Like I’m not meaning to go on and on, but seriously I would wake up occasionally from hearing it. Meanwhile, my brother across the hall could sleep through a F-5 tornado along with a hailstorm in the middle of a hurricane, and be sound asleep. For real. But anyways I used to hate that sound, until very recently. But let me explain.

wood-animal-dog-petSo do we have any passionate dog lovers out there? Same. We’ve had our dog, Buddy, for almost 10 years now and every day is an absolute gift. And when I say he is the best dog, I mean it’s no comparison. What other dog can successfully play hide-and-go-seek with you and pull off the couch cushions just to aggravate mom? Obviously, he reigns supreme over all dogs.

A few months ago we found a cancerous spot and some fatty tumors on Buddy and our veterinarian decided that he needed to operate. Buddy came through the surgery just fine and was enjoying life just as any other Labrador does. Then a couple of weeks ago my mom and I found another suspicious spot on the back of his left leg. So a couple of days later we took him to the vet and the doctor again decided to operate. We picked him up a couple of days ago, and we thought everything was fine. He acted tired, but normal. Before we went to bed Buddy seemed a little bit anxious so my parents decided to give him his prescribed sedatives. I didn’t think anything more to it, and went to bed.

Around midnight, my mom woke me up and I knew something was wrong just by the way she said my name. “Morgan, something is wrong with Buddy.” So I went into my parents’ room and found Buddy on the floor with my dad lying down beside him. Buddy was lying there and it was all he could do to wag his tail to greet me. Apparently the anesthesia was still in his system and had mixed with his sedative to produce a negative effect on him. He had zero strength and the way he was looking at me made my heart sink. He couldn’t walk and it was all he could do just to breathe. My mom was on the iPad trying to research and see if there was anything we could do. We called the emergency pet hotline number to see if we should bring him into the nearest emergency pet hospital, and they told us that there wasn’t a lot for us to do except give him water, watch him, and pray.

pexels-photo-128817So we prayed. And prayed some more. Dad slept on the floor with Buddy, and I crawled into my parent’s bed so I could watch over Buddy. I would check every so often to see if his chest was moving up and down. About 20 minutes after we settled down to go to sleep, I heard something that in that moment was the most beautiful sound: I heard Buddy start snoring. In that moment complete peace washed over me, because I knew that everything was going to be okay.

Has anyone out there ever been there? So completely panicked that you don’t know what in the world to do? Same. In more situations than this one, I can assure you. Trials are scary. Trials are unexpected. Trials are hard. And the thing about them is that they can make you very, very afraid if you’re not careful. But that night as I was going to sleep I realized something. I’ve been sleeping on the same pillowcase for probably the last five years. And it was just then the verse printed on the pillowcase became alive. My mom bought them for me when I started college, and she probably knew in advance that I needed a verse to actually sleep on to help me fight my anxiety. Thanks Mom.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”- Philippians 4:6-7.

Ladies, whether it’s your dog, your grandmother, your spouse, your children, your future, your test results, your ACT score, or your siblings, the Lord tells us in His word that worrying won’t add an hour to our life. So why worry? My prayer for you as you are reading this, is that you completely surrender every worry to Him. Every thought, every word, and every action to Him. The God who made the universe and intimately made you cares so much about you. And he promises that everything that was intended to harm us will be used for His good. He’s got you exactly where He wants you in this season! And this trial that you are going through is going to be used for His good! So drop the worry and pick up the cross.

I believe that the biggest way to fight worry is to be thankful in our prayer life, just like it says in His word. So that night as we prayed together, I started thanking Jesus for Buddy’s life, the way he has brought inexplicable joy into our lives, the way that he has been through the good and the bad times, for all of the times that he’s greeted me at the stairs wagging his tail, acting like he hadn’t seen me in years, for the many times he has made me laugh, for all of the snuggles, and even for all of the aggravating times like when he used to pee on the floor when he got too excited or when he pulled all of the cushions out of the couch. Thankfulness trumps worry. It’s true. And as I was pouring out my heart to Jesus asking him to heal my dog, I realized that every time I asked God to heal buddy, he kept giving me even more reasons to be thankful.

Thankfulness Trumps worry

After I told the Lord what I needed, and thanked him for all that he has done, I felt the Holy Spirit’s peace wash over me. And after I surrendered it to Him, I noticed myself at peace and attentive to the details. I was grateful for snoring. I was grateful for a pillowcase that I had used for five years. I was grateful for the blessing of having a dog.

So ladies, what in your life needs to be surrendered? It’s usually the things that scare us to the core. What in your life do you need to truly be thankful for? It’s usually the things that we take for granted every day. But you know what? Once you surrender and say “thank you Jesus”, something incredible happens. You experience the peace of God, which vanquishes every fear, every doubt.

So I ask again ladies. Why worry?

 

Who’s Your Mary?

by Morgan Ramsey

Have you ever read a verse or passage in the Bible and you’ve stopped and said out loud, “I’ve read this passage 843 million times and just NOW I feel like I’m reading it for the first time?!??!?” Just me? Okay. Well let me share with you what happened a couple of weeks ago.

I was reading through Luke 1. I’ve read this passage maybe at least a dozen times, if not more. But something hit me this time that had never hit me before. And the cool thing was it was not just one new thing. It was several. So the angel Gabriel appeared to the priest Zechariah and told him God’s glorious plan for his life. But his flesh got in the way, and instead of being obedient and accepting the Lord’s plan for his life, he doubted and asked questions. “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is along in years.” And since he didn’t believe in the Lord’s plan, he became mute until his son, John the Baptist, made his big appearance.

Ouch. Just because he wanted a sign or reassurance, the Lord silenced his mouth. It seems like the Lord wanted to get his attention in a pretty big area… obedience.

Six months later down the road, we have another divine encounter. This time with a fourteen-year-old girl, with some pretty important news if you ask me. The same angel Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth, her cousin, was also pregnant and, oh yeah, she (Mary) was going to have a son that would be the Savior of the world. And I thought my mom’s news of us having ribs for dinner was big news. But she responds a little differently than Zechariah. She said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” And at that moment she left to be with her cousin Elizabeth.

So let’s pause.

A couple of months ago, I was convicted that I didn’t have someone actively pouring into my life. Besides my mom, of course. And as a recent college graduate I decided that it was time for someone to speak life into me. So I talked to my college pastor’s wife, and we decided to meet every once in awhile to chat. Well we decided on our first visit that we should go through a book of some sort, because I absolutely love to read. So she chose the book Giddy Up Eunice, by Sophie Hudson. She told me a general summary of what the book is like, but I never expected to be this floored by a book until I read the first paragraph. And you’re never going to believe this, but the author was just as floored as I was over Elizabeth and Mary! I hadn’t been able to shake Mary and Elizabeth out of my head since I read Luke 1 for my quiet time, so when I started reading the first paragraph I threw down the book and chuckled. “Okay God. I see what you’re doing here.”

And as it turns out, Sophie Hudson was just as amazed as I was by Mary’s simple obedience. She admitted that she was a servant and then left immediately to be with her cousin, Elizabeth. Pretty incredible, if you ask me. But Sophie took the passage from a different angle that intersected with my amazement of simple obedience. She said that it’s pretty awesome that Mary just got up and left, and as a woman she completely understood why. Mary needed a woman. She needed community. Even though Elizabeth was considerably older than her, she needed someone that would understand and walk with her along this journey of faith that the Lord had laid out for her.

It’s simple: women need women, even when there’s an age gap.

person-woman-apple-iphoneI serve at my church’s student ministry and my favorite thing in the whole wide world is to pour into these girls’ lives. They are so hungry and so desperate to hear from the Lord, and they remind me so much of Mary. And as much as I love following Jesus together with these girls, I’ve realized that these girls need more than a crazy 22 year old that laughs more than she talks and can quote way too many movies. These girls need college students, single women, mommas, and grandmommas to speak into their lives. They need godly examples to look up to now and every day of their lives.

And I think that’s why Mary went immediately to Elizabeth. She needed someone that was walking where she was. Even though Elizabeth was older, Mary needed Elizabeth to encourage her in her obedience to the Lord. And that got me thinking. Maybe obedience doesn’t always look like how we want it to look like. Maybe obedience looks like inviting that young college student out to lunch once a week. Maybe it looks like inviting a few high school students out to coffee once a month to invest in their lives. God has a unique plan for each of our lives, and I believe that plan often includes walking through life with ladies that sometimes are not always our same age, like our same music styles, or laugh at the same things we do. But that’s the beauty of the Lord. He knits our hearts together for His glory and His renown.

And that’s why I love this blog. It invites all ladies, however young or grey they are to find His truth in a thousand words or less. So here’s my challenge: Who can you invest in? How will you obey the Lord and His call to make disciples?

Who is your Mary? Who is your Elizabeth? It’s not easy finding either, but it sure is rewarding. And you’ll laugh plenty along the way.

pexels-photo-57862