What Will You Do With Your Freedom?

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: the quality or state of being free: as : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/freedom

 

How many of you are parents? Or perhaps and older sibling? Maybe you’ve babysat? Have you ever given a child freedom to do as they wish for special circumstances and they just blow it? “Go ahead and color while I go blow dry my hair. Keep the markers on the table please.” When you come back not only is your table covered in an adorable landscape, but your wall has a family of four on their way to a picnic. Everything in you just tenses up because that child abused their freedom graciously given…

Unlike this adorable example of a mistake, our mistakes cut much deeper. God is our Father who has given us complete freedom, imagine His pain when we abuse that freedom. Again and again we willingly choose the wrong option. It grieves God’s heart…

That at is why He sent Jesus to give us the free gift of eternal forgiveness. Lean on His grace and let it guide your decisions. Don’t take God’s grace and walk all over it, treasure that gift and praise God through your life.

 

Let the journey continue friends,

~Kasey

 

Never Been Kissed, Yeah It’s True!

Okay, I’m going to be cheesy for just a minute! Who has seen Drew Barymore’s movie Never Been Kissed

51MWV22WSXLIt’s definitely a #ChickFlick that I don’t tire of! Maybe it’s because I can really relate to the concept!

To keep things real, I have something to tell you! I have never been kissed. Nineteen years old and my first kiss is still mine to give to the right man on one particular day in my future. I’m saving my first kiss to share with my husband (whoever he is 😉 ) on our wedding day!

Weird right? Now let me be honest, it’s a decision that I made without fully understanding. I was twelve when I decided it was something I wanted to do, seven years later I am so glad I made that choice! To many of you reading this, especially if you’re a teenager you probably think it’s really dumb to not kiss before you’re married. It’s odd for sure, and I don’t blame you if you’re rolling your eyes at me thinking I’m such a prude… Could you hear me out before you write me off?

Kissing is a really awesome thing, and so is sex for that matter. Neither topic is taboo in my life, in fact I think it’s really amazing that God created such ways for a man and woman to express their love for each other in a unique and intimate fashion. So if you were thinking I’m a prude, you can go ahead and lay that idea to rest 🙂

kissing3“That kiss!” I know we all have our daydreams about that spectacular kiss worthy of being in a romance film. We want fireworks, butterflies, a crowd cheering… we want it all! We see sweet historical kisses and we get all giddy thinking about when it will be our turn to have a kiss like that. A legendary kiss…

Nowadays it is so common to see our friends plastered all over social media smooching their significant others, it’s the norm right? It’s pretty easy to see those pix and wish we had that… or snap a selfie with our own significant other to post it so everyone will “Awww” their hearts out!

Well let me share what my I want a kiss like that! has been for so long…

These are my parents. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

This has been my example of what a kiss should be since I was just a wee little girl. It is totally normal to be cooking dinner and turn around to see my parents giggling and smooching like crazy! I can remember several times in middle school when I had friends over they would get all embarrassed. They would come and say things like, “Kasey I was just going to get some water and I couldn’t… Your parents are kissing in the kitchen!!” I’d simply look at them all confused that it threw them off, and they’d look at me like my parents were freaks of nature. Oh the ways twelve year olds communicate…

Watching mom and dad being affectionate with each other did get icky sometimes, but it was a sweet and normal part of life in the Shultz household! Even as a kid I appreciated that scenes like the one from Princess Diaries weren’t my primary kiss influencers 80bf16273dc97199274fe8de782a6828

I was able to witness a couple who was dedicated to one another express their love in the sweetest and purest of ways. When mom encouraged me as a kid to plan on waiting for my first kiss until I was at least engaged, she talked to me about how meaningful a kiss with commitment would be. Around the same time I think my dad was sharing how a couple we knew at church didn’t kiss until their wedding day. I thought that was an awesome idea! Watching how special it was for my parents to kiss really inspired me to make a dedicated decision to have kissing mean that much to me. A really big part of why I didn’t want to kiss until I was married is because I didn’t want to share something so special with just any ole guy that might not appreciate me, or value a kiss in the way I do. To put it in Drew Barymore’s words…

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So there I decided it, I wouldn’t be kissed until I was a Mrs… Somebody 😉

Fast-forward a little and I had my first boyfriend (against my family’s rules mind you, not a good thing) and I realized how ridiculously hard it was to resist the urge to kiss! While hugging him one night I saw the perfect opportunity to just get a little taste… I wouldn’t “really” kiss him, just a little kiss on his neck while I left the hug. No harm there right? Innocent enough, right? Wrong… I opened up the door to get a taste of a treat that I only wanted to look at until I could unashamedly savor all of the sweetness. Here I had this beautiful treat sitting before me and I didn’t have the patience to keep it wholesome. I took nibble after nibble and shared it with him until it was tarnished more than enough for it to hurt. No, we never kissed on the lips… But I was nearly there. I joke that my braces were the only thing that was really holding me back at the time… Who wants to kiss metal mouth right?

Well believe me you can avoid locking lips and still pack a whole lot into  a kiss on the cheek, neck, forehead, nose, hand, wrist, shoulder, gosh…did we find ways to let me keep my first kiss but still walk in sin.

Please, don’t take me wrong way… I don’t believe that a kiss in and of itself is sinful. Where I was at in life, and our intentions behind each “little” kiss is what was sinful. Our relationship was rooted in sin and we interacted as much as possible in secret. I felt pretty defiled by those kisses, and I was disappointed in myself for each nibble at my precious treat. Breaking free of that relationship gave me a whole new perspective on kissing… I learned a lot about how tempting it really is to enjoy a kiss in ways I shouldn’t, and in ways that a fifteen year old daughter of the King should not participate in.

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I spent a significant amount of time before God seeking His forgiveness and reaffirming my purity and identity in Him. 

Now here I am nineteen years old and in a relationship with a super sweet gentleman. When we agreed to enter into a relationship together we spent a good deal of time talking about the physical boundaries we would like to set up. On our first date I had asked Davy if he would be willing to not kiss me, he knew about my decision before our date and I wanted to be certain that he would support me in my dedication to purity in our actions together. He told me, “I would feel awful if we kissed.” hehe 🙂 It’s every girl’s dream to hear those words, right?! Well I was delighted to hear that as we talked near a beautiful waterfall 🙂 It was exciting and reassuring to know that I wouldn’t have to fight to keep my first kiss!

We agreed that the only kisses we would share as a dating couple would be atop our heads, and I told him he may kiss my hand in the way a gentleman would a lady. When I was telling one of his best friend’s about our kissing boundaries I said something like, “He can kiss me on the top of my head, because hair is a nice barrier! And he can kiss my hand.” Joe even cared enough to make sure that when I said “hand” meant the back of my hand in a respectful way, because it’s too easy to get sensual if you’re not careful. My dad posted a picture on Facebook awhile ago that pretty accurately sums up my reason for requesting that Davy keep his kisses on my head: 11238974_10152742616357261_1338729036247515429_n

Let me tell you, it is incredible to have a man value purity and respect me so much that he sweetly and tenderly kisses me upon the crown of my head in complete innocence. A kiss such as this doesn’t beg for anything in return… It purely says “I love you, I respect you, and I am content,” it’s the coolest thing ever! And this is kinda silly… but because I’m shorter than him I have less opportunity to kiss his head (it’s kind tricky to go from 5’5 to 6’3 on my tippy toes!) Girls, it makes my decision to kiss Davy’s head that much more special because the opportunities are rare. I absolutely love it! Opportunities to go further than we ought to are not left and right… it’s a sweet and thought out decision each moment that we kiss each other.

I admit, not kissing until you’re married isn’t the right decision for every person, but it has been an incredible decision for me. Whether you’ve experienced your first kiss or not I encourage you to consider boundaries for yourself. You are precious and valuable, whether you’re a male or a female you are worth respect. The decision is yours if you’re going to act like a lady or a gentleman… I know dating and engaged couples who share kisses and walk in purity and self-control, I admire them for it. Consider for yourself the temptation that lies within a kiss… Consider the purpose of a kiss, consider the level of respect that can be shown within self-control. When Davy and I were discussing kissing the other day and I mentioned that it is a challenge to stay true to my commitment he reminded me how sweet it will be that my first kiss will be guilt free. Doesn’t that just sound grand?! A guilt free kiss…

Yeah, it’s tough to resist the desire to plant a kiss on a man’s lips when you love him… but boy is it precious to save that guilt free first kiss for my Mr. Future Husband 🙂 Unlike Drew Barymore I won’t be awaiting my man to arrive on a baseball field in front of hundreds of people to plant one on me… I’ll be approaching the man I’ll spend the rest of my life with, and we’ll share such a pure and beautiful kiss in front of our dearest friends and family; I am sure that will be legendary!

 

 

Pray For a Man Who Not Only Understands Emotions, but Experiences Them Righteously 

Ladies, do you want to share in a lesson I’ve learned?

Men are meant to experience their own emotions in a righteous way, they are not here to only understand our emotions and support us through them.

 

Something I’ve thought that I wanted ever since I was a preteen was a man who understood my emotions. In highschool, I thought I found that. Long story short for a year and a half I was a total drama queen about everything; got super angry about everything, complained about life to this fellow I was with, and we both got emotional about all my frustrations. So yes, he listened and understood my emotions but sadly all we did was fuel each other’s drama and encourage bad attitudes, as well as accept quick tempers.  Each of these scriptures would have been valuable for me to live out, I pray you learn from my mistakes instead of being consumed by negativity yourself.

📖 James 1:19-20 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

📖 Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” 

📖 Philippians 2:14-16  Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

After that relationship ended I was still sure that I just had to have a man who understood my emotions, but I took it one further. I started to desire, and pray for a man, who understands emotions from a perspective of wisdom and truth. Watching my parents and many other admirable married couples as I grew up gave me a decent idea that a godly man really needs to be sensitive, but strong and full of God’s wisdom. I could rattle off on real life examples where this concept was inspiring and firmly planted in my heart, perhaps that will be a theme for later posts. For now, here are some of my favorite verses on why this ought to be a desired trait in a righteous teammate:

📖‭  Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

📖 Proberbs 15:13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

‭‭📖‭ ‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1, 4, 6-7‬ ‬‬ To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; (this is a great chapter to read in its entirety.)


And finally…


During my last couple of years in highschool as my perspective shifted because of my former relationship, so did my opportunities. Let’s be honest gals… we’re super proned to being emotional without much of a trigger. This being the case when circumstances in life give us a reason to cry we just sob buckets of tears! 😢😫😭😪

Unfortunately there was plenty of sad or unexpected reality in life at this time (heavy trials that I may write about some other time) that I fairly often was sobbing and turning to my Lord, my Daddio, brothers, or mature guy friends as a comfort. My hope was always that I would be understood, comforted, and strengthened.

One such a time when a guy friend comforted me had me a bit confused. Something tragic happened and I dealt with it very closely. One day I was sharing this huge burden in my life, and I was crying out my heartbreak over such a life changing situation…he let me cry it all out but then sorta shrugged it off. He admitted that he doesn’t really understand emotional things and had a hard time relating to the situation. I was, and still am, grateful for him being there for me; I simply wasn’t expecting a lesson out of the please just let me cry experience. Looking back I recall wondering if his lack of empathy was just a result of him choosing not to experience his own more challenging emotions.

That moment opened my eyes… From then on I began praying that the man I’d be attracted to would actually feel emotions in a healthy way and be honest about it. I prayed for the man I was looking for to be unashamed of having a soft and caring heart.

  • Emotions are meant to be felt, however they are not meant to rule us. *I owe my Daddio credit for this life lesson 🙂
  • Scripture tells us to keep our heart safe, while the world tells us to follow it.  

Which do you choose? Alright, now look for a man who fits that desire you have. You can’t have both, choose God’s way or the world’s way.

Here’s the lesson that is fresh on my heart tonight: young men need a woman who is sensitive to their emotions just as much as we need a man understanding of ours. Life is full of causes to feel various emotions and no one will fully understand emotions whether they’re observing, empathizing, or experiencing. That being said, no person is exempt from emotions, what matters is how we feel and use them.

In honor of @christownley “This one is free” *Only God fully understands us and we should never pressure a fellow human being to perfectly understand us; especially when it comes to our emotions.*  

I believe it is important for young men (and grown men alike!) to be comfortable with the emotions they feel, and have the skills to handle them properly. Look at Jesus for example: in John 11 Jesus has a very dear friend of his die, so He wept. http://bible.com/114/jhn.11.1-44.nkjv

Just looking at this one example from Jesus’ life on earth I know that it is a righteous and manly quality for a son of God to cry about important things. Ladies, seek first the kingdom of God before looking for a man, and be a 📖 Proverbs 31 woman. As you look, and very purely pray, for the right kind of man in your life, please know that it is good for him to experience emotions of his own. Men don’t have to be unbreakable to be worth our affection (and honestly if a man seems unbreakable he is living against the Holy Word of God, test his character against Scripture.) They do however need to have their house built on the Rock to be worth your affection (📖Matthew chapter seven.)

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I have grown in my own life and continue to learn the impact of emotions as well as the importance of having a handle on them. After several negative, confusing, or simply discouraging experiences with how guys process their emotions, I have personally experienced how sweet it is when a godly young man allows his emotions to be felt and expressed within the guidelines that God lays out in Scripture. It’s worth the standard, patience, prayers, and dedication to righteousness girls 🙂 Believe me on that one.

Let the journey continue,

Kasey S  

Friday’s Verse of the Day

  
As my local church is going through the Book of Colossians starting this most recent Sunday to keep us rooted in Christ as a church, the leadership very graciously reminded us all that in order for the Church as a whole to be working well as an entire unit with Christ as the Head…we each have to desire to do our part.

I personally decided to jump ahead to chapter 3 for today’s verse because it is a popular Scripture that has really been resonating with me. 

All this being said, whoever you are, wherever you live… Let us all choose to be rooted in Christ and let our minds stay focused on things of the Kindgdom, even if this earth throws off our groove.

Love to you all!

Have a restful…whatever time of day you’re experiencing as you read this

Will You Safely Journey Down, or Close Your Eyes and Trip?

Imagine that you’re standing on a cliff, far from the boundary with water far below the edge. Now go to the very edge at whatever pace you’d like to. Are you there? Look down, what is the water like? Is it gentle and calm, like a lake at dusk on a clear day… Or is it choppy, rough, and strong like a lake on a windy night? Be super creative as you picture your cliff, how you approach the edge to gain a view of what’s beneath you, and how you see the water… use YOUR imagination. Okay, now please keep that picture in your mind’s eye as I attempt to accurately convey what I’ve been thinking on this evening. 

We all know about falling ♥ in love ♥ right? Well I did that once, or so I thought… but really I fell in lust. While I was with this guy, we “knew that we had fallen in love! And it was the most exciting and beautiful thing ever.” Well there are a lot of layers as to why I knew this to be true, but I’ll just share what the actual truth was: though we called it love, really this guy and I were making very inappropriate choices for our hearts, souls, minds and bodies. Mmmk, so the gist is that the way we “fell in love” was pretty standard, flirty eye contact, inside jokes, compliments, liking similar foods… all the stuff that happens when two people are mutually attracted. It was cute, at first. Then we stopped tiptoeing (flirting) on the top of this cliff safely from the edge and we ran full force to embrace the beautiful water of love beneath our cliff of identity and adventure, hand in hand we went! He jumped off before I was ready… feet planted hard in the ground I wouldn’t let go of him, but I would not allow myself to go off the cliff. 

You see, long before this boy and I ever began entertaining the idea of us I personally had placed a lovely safety fence at the edge of my cliff, with the guidance of my parents and many others of course… Anyways, I had established my own boundaries to keep me safe from tripping and falling off of the cliff before it was safe and pure for me to hit the water (water is sex by the way, just to keep that clear.) But, this boy hadn’t put up a fence… he was okay with having the boundaries in place on my cliff but never cared to establish a safety zone on his own cliff. So by the time our cliffs budged each other (because yes, these cliffs serving as a visual for our identities/bodies can shift around) mine was in a frenzy. 

His lack of boundaries contradicted my lovely fence with beauty on the other side and he gently tugged, then yanked, pulled, called out to me, he did everything he possibly could to trip me into thinking I chose to jump onto his cliff and stumble into the risky waters below with him. However that was far from the truth, he was only one good tug away from forcing me to go down with him. Finally as I looked at my tattered up fence, color faded, blossoms dying beneath it I embraced the strength I once knew! Bravely I decided to let go of his hand so I would regain my footing. Ever so quickly as I made the long needed decision to care for my cliff, and mend my fence the guy I once called “mine” didn’t stumble back in surprise atop his own rock. No… he knew the dangerous game he had been playing with not only my body, but my mind, heart, and soul. He knew that if he would have taken a dive off the cliff head first that I would rip down my fence to either try to catch him, or give up on even trying to hold him above reproach… and just go after him. Praise God that I rediscovered my identity in Christ! All the blossoms vibrantly sprang back to life! Yes, I found the spring to my step that I had buried in the rocks

That was my journey from tiptoeing in flirtatious comings and goings, to running to the edge lustfully but knowing that I wanted to keep my fence up and stay away from sex with this guy. You see, before this guy caught my attention, I was more than content sitting in the sun soaked grass, sniffing wildflowers… enjoying innocence while fully loving the Lord and waiting patiently on the man He chose for me, one who had constructed a fence of his own. It is a scary thing when the person we choose to be with pulls away from the Father who has loved us the most for the longest of days. 

Now that I have experienced two years of freedom, growth, healing, redefined purity, and so much more bliss as a single young lady after God’s heart I am again content enjoying the view from atop my rock. Can I let you in on a secret? About three months ago, after I had begun writing openly and honestly about my experiences I started discussing the idea of falling in love vs. falling in lust, which is true in an uncontaminated way?

Well I had one dear friend of mine suggest that perhaps one could jump ♥ in love ♥ after intelligently choosing a spouse based on righteous character demonstrated. Upon sharing his viewpoint with another beloved friend of mine, she suggested that perhaps falling ♥ in love ♥ isn’t as bad as I had experienced, because it could be more like a trust fall than being manipulatively tripped into lust. Stand firm on your cliff, still have your safety zone, and when the time is pure (ahem 😉 marriage) you can intentionally fall down to the waters below with your spouse completely trusting one another. 

Discussing this topic with both friends of mine (who each have wisdom only from the Lord) made me drop my stubbornness and realize that there’s no one verb (jump, fall, fly, roll, flutter, twirl, on and on I could go) that is the “right way to _______ ♥ in love ♥” with someone. What is important is that whatever verb you choose, whatever pace you set, let it be what you are comfortable with based off of your relationship with God and your identity as a child of the Light. Whatever the waters of intimacy look like, let it be beautiful, crisp, pure, clean, refreshing and right as God intended sex to be.

Please, don’t run full force with your eyes closed on a dark, stormy night to discover shocking, cold, vicious waters below that will push you up against the sharp rocks over and over. If you are in a storm right now, turn to Jesus… the true Rock. Let Him be your protector, your strength, your place of healing. Storms don’t last forever, with His guidance you can climb back and start anew, learning from your growth moments. 

Here are my final words for this post: being ♥ in love ♥ is in fact a delightful thing! God blessed love, so the best way for us to determine whether we are ♥ in love ♥ or in lust is by looking to see if their are signs of life and light around our relationship with “that person” or! if there are signs of death and darkness around our relationship with “that person.” The choice is FULLY yours on whether you want dark, scary waters… or if you would rather enjoy blissful, peace filled waters that light shines upon.

🙂 I pray that we all choose wisely! 

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