Marshmallow Party Dip

Anastasis Faith

I LOVE this stuff! Its totally addictive, fast, easy, and of course, SCRUMPTIOUS!!! You can make it in basically any setting and it goes with EVERY fruit!! Even bananas!! You can dip gram crackers in it, along with grapes, raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries (my personal favorite!). I LOVE THIS DIP!! AND YOU WILL TOO!! XD

Servings: 8      
Yield: 1 bowl                                                                                                                 
• 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 (15 ounce) jar marshmallow cream
• fresh fruit

1. Blend cream cheese and Marshmallow Cream with hand mixer until combined.
2. Goes well with assorted fresh fruit and graham cracker sticks and anything, as I established earlier--and that includes your finger.

ENJOY THIS!!!! And share it with friends and family (and leave a comment about how it went for you!)!! God bless y'all!!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Final Thoughts Part 2

Anastasis Faith

Today is the very last day of 10 Tips for Beating a Crush series! Before we leave this subject, I have a few final things to say.
I wanted to share this story from a sixteen-year-old girl that talks about many of the things we’ve discussed thus far here on Morning Glory.

One time I had a crush on a guy, but then was thrown into a situation where I wouldn't be able to see him anymore.  It was a temptation to feel sorry for myself, and to start asking God too many questions, such as "Why me? Is this Your will? Why did You let this happen to me?"
That's when it really hit me: having a crush on a guy is more of a choice than it seems. I could have kept my focus on him, nurturing my crush on him and letting myself daydream.  I have could continued to allow myself to give my heart away, or I could, as I saw him less and less, slowly take back my heart.
And for a while, I didn't guard my heart. And the more gave my heart to this guy I wouldn't see anymore, the more it hurt.
That's when I started to open my eyes to my friends. True, I wouldn't be able to see this guy friend anymore, (and I had been trying to work on seeing him for what he is; a friend and a brother) but God graciously allowed me to spend time with my other friends. I can't even begin to explain how much of a blessing it was, and still is, to have godly friends that I know have my back. I'd encourage anyone to nurture and focus on friendships with godly girls and guys. Don't spend so much time nurturing a crush! Nurture your relationship with God, and look for ways to help others.
Now that I look back and see the crush I had on him, I realize now that so much of my daydreaming was pointless. Giving my heart away in ways I shouldn't have was pointless, and it hurt so bad.
Please, don't give your heart away too soon. Don't focus on him; focus on God and other people. It's safer to open up your heart to God and to your friends, not to a crush! Now I realize that all the time I was wanting his company, I could have been doing other things; better things, like serving harder in ministry, giving more time to my friends and family, working more diligently in school...etc. Don't waste your time focusing too much on guy, because, like with me, it might end up being a pointless endeavor! I'd encourage anyone who spends any good amount of time focusing on their crush to turn their gaze to other things, because you never know how the future will work out. Of course, this doesn't mean that having a crush on someone is sinful; but it can be dangerous if you give your heart away too quickly and spend too much of your God-given time wishing he was around.

This young lady’s story demonstrates all these points we’ve been making in this series. Crushes are not sinful in of themselves, but they can waste our time, energy, thought life, and give our hearts away too soon. Having a crush is a choice, despite what people may tell you. It’s your choice to daydream. It’s your choice to view him as there to satisfy you. It’s your choice to have a crush.
Yes, it doesn’t feel like a choice. It feels like we’re involuntarily falling in love and out of control. But unless it’s the God-planned romance we’re all waiting for, you can choose to save your heart. You can choose to fight.
However, don’t expect to win every battle. You may, through God’s strength, win the war. But the battles will be slow, painful, and exhausting. Let me tell you that you will feel like quitting. Trust me, I know the feeling of wanting to quit and give in. Yet, I want to tell you that no matter how many times you fail—no matter how many battles you lose—remember that God is still Lord and He will always be faithful. He will get you through this and He will never leave you alone.
I love these lyrics by Matt Redman in his song, Never Once.

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God
You are faithful.

Sometimes, when we have a crush, the tempting response can be, “God, why won’t You take this away? I can do so much for You if I didn’t have this crush!”
But recently, someone said something that struck me hard. She told me about the concept of “material for sacrifice.” This is the idea that God gives us something, like a crush, so that we can have something to give back to Him. God asks us to trust Him in everything. Our love for Him is evident in how much we are willing to trust Him.
Are you brave enough to trust God with everything? Even your crush?

Samuel said, "Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22 

Our sacrifices to God are when we choose to obey Him with our everything—even our emotions. We are called to obey God; we are called to sacrifice our desires to Him. God doesn’t want us to offer up literal sacrifices because Jesus already was the sacrifice. But He wants us to sacrifice ourselves to Him through obedience.
Before we leave the subject of crushes, I have two more things I would like to share.

First of all, I said in an earlier post but I’m going to say it again: crushes are not a sin. However, it is an opportunity to sin. That is why we spent thirteen posts talking about beating a crush. My very wise mother, who has helped me tremendously with this series, told me something very important the other day. Even though it may sound like a contradiction to what has been posted thus far, it is not. But it is the flip side of the coin. She says this:

While we should not look to a guy to satisfy us and we should always find our satisfaction in the Lord, He also created us to not feel complete alone. He says it is not good for man to be alone. So while He is all we need, He also did create a longing for a spouse that is good, natural and right. It is unnatural to not long for true, lasting love.
Some people are given a special gift of singleness, but for most of us, we have been created to feel incomplete without a spouse (when we are old enough for that to apply). In one sense, giving someone a loving relationship with a spouse is one way the Lord does fulfill us and satisfy us. Marital love is a gift from Him. (That is why having crushes is completely natural.)

This is a very important concept to grasp. God created us with a desire for a boyfriend and, eventually, husband. There is nothing wrong with this desire. However, for many of us who are in junior high and high school, we cannot do anything about this desire except take it to the Lord. Right now, we need to be preparing ourselves for a future relationship by building our character and deepening our relationship with God. As someone once told me, “Developing characteristics of a godly wife doesn’t begin once I’m a wife—it begins now!”
Finally, the last thing I have is an important piece of advice from Bethany.

As Christian girls we need to make Jesus our God, not ourselves, not a guy, not the opinions of others, and certainly not how many guys "like" us. Whenever we're tempted to idolize someone, let's remember the three things involved: feelings, you, and the guy. Take care of your feelings. Take care of yourself. And, if you really do like someone, take care of him. Be respectful. This may be an easy feat for some and yet very difficult for others. But we can do all things through Jesus Christ! He gives us strength!

Remember, always give God first place. Put others before yourself. And then run after Jesus with your whole heart.

What final thoughts about crushes do you have? Any tips that you have discovered for beating a crush that wasn’t listed? Stories? Share in the comments!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Final Thoughts Part 1

Anastasis Faith

The subject of crushes is so extensive and it’s impossible to cover in one blog series about all the different situations that could arise. I’m learning and growing and this series is what I have learned thus far. However, I’m young, like you, and I don’t want you to think that I have all the answers, or treat these blog posts like the Bible or something. These are suggestions and tips that I have found helpful—and I’m sure there are many more things you could do to beat a crush than these ten tips that I have listed!
Of course, there are times and places for crushes. I absolutely hope that you have a crush on your husband! But for teen girls in a world that is assaulting us with the notion that we need a guy to be happy—we’ve got to remember that we don’t need crushes. We don’t need guys. We need God. As soon as we realize that, we can make a huge impact on the culture around us. 
One thing that I’ve learned is that, even if your crush is super godly, your relationship with Jesus must ALWAYS come first. Your relationship with Jesus doesn’t go on hold while you run after this guy and then resume once you’re dating, or married.
Right now, for many of us, we’re in a season of waiting. Waiting to meet someone, waiting to fall in love, waiting for him to fall in love with you, waiting for him to ask…etc. And I know that waiting is hard. But just because something is good and you want it doesn’t mean it’s God’s time for it yet in your life right now—or ever. We must rest in the fact that God desires to do us good and that He desires to give us what we want. However, we must first delight ourselves in the Lord and then we can enjoy His gifts to their fullest extent.
Our natural desire is to one day be married and raise a family of our own. But sometimes it can feel like God doesn’t want us to have the biggest desire of our heart. However, that is a lie that Satan will try to make you believe. God loves to do good to you.
Here are a couple verses that prove this point:

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”
Psalm 37:4-7
(emphasis added)

“What the wicked fears will come upon him,
But the desire of the righteous will be granted.”
Proverbs 10:24

"The Lord God is a sun and a shield; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. O Lord of Hosts, blessed is the man that trusts in You."
Psalm 84:11-12
(emphasis added)

 “ But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13
(emphasis added)

What stood out to me in Jeremiah 29:11-13 was the last promise:
"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."
Sometimes it can seem like pursuing Jesus is like running after your family's car when they've left you somewhere and don't notice. It can feel impossible.
But here is a promise from the lips of God Himself—that He will be found. He's not going to hide Himself from us if we truly desire to see Him. If we seek Him with our whole hearts He promises to be found.
Tell me, sisters, is this not a beautiful promise? It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and it can feel like God is so far away. But something about this promise that God would make Himself known to me if I ran after Him has given me so much strength so many times.

We can pray for God to take away the feelings, but sometimes the answer to that is no. However, there is another prayer we can pray, that if God won't take away the feelings, He will take away the distractions.
Even though my heart wanders so much from God, I can truly say that I want nothing more than to pursue Jesus with my whole heart. Through His grace, He always draws me back. He patiently teaches me again and again that He is all I need.
It's hard, when you have a crush, to believe that God is all you need. But He really is, and sometimes, I just had to trust that God is enough. I've just had to believe that He is the only thing that will fulfill me and act on that knowledge against what I felt.
Remember, even though we wander and even though we run, God will always still be there with open arms. He is faithful, steadfast, unchanging. These are promises that I cling to every day.

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful— for He cannot deny himself."
2 Timothy 2:13

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Proverbs 4:23

"And all the people said to Samuel, 'Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.' And Samuel said to the people, 'Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the LORD but serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name's sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for Himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you. But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king."
1 Samuel 12:19-25
(emphasis added)

What thoughts or stories do you have? Share in the comments!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Tip 10

Anastasis Faith
Here we are! The last tip of our 10 Tips for Beating a Crush series! Check back on Tuesday for some final, concluding thoughts.

10. Don’t read into things he says/does/writes.

This was a big struggle for me! I would take something someone said to mean something else. Then I had to step back and say, “Girl! What are you doing?” Especially for Christian guys, you really just have to take them at face value. Just because a guy comes and sits next to you doesn’t mean he wants to marry you. It may be a silly illustration, but I’m serious. They don’t want you to read into things you say. Just take them at face value and everything will be ten times less complicated.

*Note: this is a generalization. However, unless you’re in a physically unsafe position, it’s best just to not read into things.

Reading into things can have several consequences. First, you’re always searching for the answer to the question, “Does he like me?” Which can cause you to ride an emotional rollercoaster. You watch him exchange a playful banter with another girl or sit next to another girl, or whatever. Then you launch yourself into self-pity and drown your sorrows in ice cream. And then the next time you see him, he’s making extra effort to be in your conversation. You skyrocket. Listen, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. It’s not fun. This harkens back to Tip 3: Don’t Build Your Life on a Guy. When we get into the habit of constantly trying to “decipher” what each little comment or action means, we will find ourselves very emotionally dependent on an unstable foundation.
Second, you jump to conclusions about him. By reading into things, you can assume that he either likes you or hates you based off hardly anything. You don’t give him the benefit of the doubt but are constantly analyzing his actions.
Third, you place expectations on him to be perfectly dedicated to you. You can’t stand to see him talking to another girl. And when you do, you get angry and bitter at both of them—the guy for “cheating” on you, and the girl for liking his attention. Until he’s your boyfriend, you don’t have any sort of “claim” on him, and he should always be free to talk to other girls.
It’s not fair to our brothers in Christ for us to be constantly reading into things. It’s not loving them in a selfless, Christ-like way. It’s desiring them in a selfish, give-me-what-I-want way.
As I have more guy-friends and as I get to know them better, I’ve been discovering more and more that you just have to take them at face value. What they say is what you get. It’s not worth it to over-analyze things.

As one fourteen-year-old young lady writes this.
"Hey guys! So I wanted to share a story about reading into what a guy will say/write/do and having things turn out upside-down! So I was wondering if this guy liked me and so of course I watched him. But earlier in the year, he made it clear he did not like me. So here I was, still stuck on this dude, knowing in my heart he didn’t like me but still hoping – yeah, sounds great, huh?
Well, I lived my life watching every glance, every move, every. Thing. He. Did. (talk about stalker) And reading into all of it. But at the end of the day, I would come home and cry myself to sleep because it felt empty and fake to pretend all day that he liked me. Not only did it torment me, it made me think of him more, which is never good. I would daydream about him (don’t daydream, its bad!) and I created this fantasy character who was madly in love with me. But it was all a lie, and I knew the sooner I came to terms with that, the better. But all the reading into his actions made that very, very difficult. I would say things like “He keeps looking at me!! He MUST like me!” When all the while, I had been staring at him and he just kept looking to see if I was still looking. (We’ve all been there right?) Stuff like that is dangerous, more so then you may think."

Practical Tips:
            -Look for specific areas in your life where you read into what guys say/do/write. Did he compliment you recently? How many times have you replayed that scene over in your head? How many times did you try to analyze the hidden meanings behind it? Find out what ways you specifically are reading into guys.
            -Develop springboards for this. Whenever you find yourself reading into a guy, move your thoughts elsewhere. Read the article, “The Springboard Approach” by Liza Grace for more on this topic.
            -Get accountability. Ask someone to not let you take the conversation down, “Well, he did/said this to me. Do you think…?” Asking for accountability is humbling and when times comes for correction, not fun. However, it’s good to have someone else keeping you in line.

Do you read into guys a lot? Has this been a struggle for you? What are some things you want to change? 

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Tip 9

Anastasis Faith

9. Focus on others and pray for them.

Every Friday night, I volunteer at our church’s inner city kids’ ministry called Pioneers. The kids we play with and teach come from abusive and broken homes. Just a few weeks ago, I saw the broken heart of a little nine-year-old boy.
After my responsibilities were done, I wanted to go hang out with my friends. But then I was asked instead to play with the kids on the playground. I didn’t really want to, since I’d spent all evening with them and not with my friends. But God showed me last night how putting others first is so much better.
I got to have a long conversation with this little nine-year-old boy about the Gospel. We were talking about God’s love and I asked, “Who are some people in your life that love you?” He responded, “God, Jesus, and my grandma. But she’s dead.” Only a few minutes later, after he was smiling and laughing, I saw his eyes fill with tears.
I put my arm around his shoulder and as he clung to me, I felt a tear fall into my palm. He didn’t want to talk about it, but instead just sat there.
God gave me a glimpse of the suffering in a child’s life. I could have just gone and hung out with my friends—but this little boy may have been left alone.
God has bigger things for us to do right now than follow a cute guy all over the place.
When you’re in a room with him and you want to go talk to him, freeze. Ask yourself, “Is there a conversation that is more important than chatting with a guy?” Look around. Is there a girl that hasn’t been quite a cheerful as usual? Ask her if she’s okay. You may find she’s really hurting and I promise you that that conversation will be worth it ten times over.
When you take the focus off of yourself, you become more like Christ. God’s heart is for others. Just look at the prayers Jesus prayed. He was always praying for us, or asking for His Father to be glorified. By focusing on others, you get rid of selfish motives and desires.
If you stop focusing on you, you stop focusing on what you want. You stop focusing on ways to use guys to give you security, belonging, meaning…etc.
Praying for others is a great way to move the focus off yourself and onto others. I have a document on my computer with the names of all the people in my youth group as well as many other people. Every day, I try to write down prayers for at least one person. This has definitely helped me think of guys as brothers instead of potential husbands.
It has also helped me to focus on the girls around me because, while I don’t know the details of the guys’ problems, but I usually know the girls’. I can pray very specific prayers for the girls. It also takes the focus off me and onto someone else. It helps a lot especially when I find myself struggling with joy, daydreaming, or feeling discontent, if I run to my computer and start typing prayers.
A sixteen-year-old young lady writes,
Sometimes it's all too easy to focus so much on a crush and take your focus off of your friends and even off of God. One way to get your mind off of your crush is to look around at your friends and notice what struggles they are going through. Is someone in need of specific prayer? Is a friend having difficult time with schoolwork? Is one of your friends not saved? Opening your eyes to someone else's problems really helps take the focus off of your crush.
Some friends have much greater struggles than dealing with a crush, and some people you know may really need encouragement from you. Opening your eyes to other's problems helps take the focus off of your own.
You don't need to focus on just other people's struggles, though. You can focus on the people themselves. One way that I helped myself beat a crush was by opening my eyes to all the good friends God has blessed me with and letting myself see how much joy can be received from godly friendships.
The joy and encouragement you reap from your friends is more valuable than you think, so don't consider a crush to be more important than that. Friends are made to constantly give to each other, encourage each other, and enjoy each other's company, building foundations on Christ and His Word. When I started focusing on the attributes of my friends, I found that any loneliness I felt when it came to a crush gradually began to fill up with the love my friends have shown me.

God has been very gracious to me by helping me see what a blessing my friends are, and by helping me have more contentment, even if that means I don't have a guy liking me.
It can be a temptation to think that God and your  friends are not enough, and that having a guy like you is the only thing that can fill any loneliness in your heart. The truth is, only Christ can fill that void, and one of the beautiful ways He does it is by giving us friendships in which He demonstrates His love. We need to allow Him to do this, not just despair and claim that only guys will keep us satisfied. God is willing to help, but sometimes we don't want Him to.
Sometimes, when it comes to focusing on other things, we need to continue to remind ourselves how perfectly trustworthy He is, and He can and will help us deal with loneliness, if we bring it to Him and trust Him with it.

Also understand that you have incredible ministry potential right now. You’re single. You’re young. You’re not bound by the duties of being a wife and mother. When you take the focus off yourself, you increase your ministry potential so much. A girl crippled by a sinful or overwhelming crush cannot make the impact that a girl sold out for Christ can.

“…The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned with the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit, not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7:34-35
(Emphasis added)

Practical tips:
-Make a prayer notebook/Word document with all the names of your friends. Pray for at least one of them every day. Make it a habit to ask your friends for prayer requests—yes, even the guys! If you don’t feel comfortable asking the guys for prayer requests, then just asking for something as simple as when their exams are can be easy but very meaningful.
-Keep an eye on your friends. Notice when there’s something wrong. Be there for them. Be attentive, ready, and eager to help. Remember that the girls around you need you more—and they are hurting just as much, and for many, even more than you are. Also, keep an eye on your crush like you would on your brother. Notice when he’s down, or when he’s stressed. Even though I’ve said not to be the first to text/email someone, texting/emailing him something simple as, “Praying for your test today!” can be a huge comfort to him (and don’t forget to actually pray for him!) This is part of loving him as a brother in Christ.
-Get involved in ministry. This is a tip I’ve put on several of these posts and a tip I could have put on all of them. I love ministry and God has grown me so much through it. I cannot encourage you enough to get plugged into your church and serve. God has equipped each person to serve in a special capacity in the church. You just need to go find it.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Philippians 2:3-4

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
Romans 12:10

What are some ways we can be more attentive to our other people? How do you plan on serving your friends more? Any thoughts or stories? Share in the comments!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Tip 8

Anastasis Faith

Yeah, this is a rough tip. I mean, don’t we all want to grab the phone and text that guy and be like, “Hey, you coming to (fill in the blank) today?” Don’t we all want to “coincidentally” show up at that concert or restaurant he’s at?
This tip is mostly for you if you’re trying to eradicate a crush. It is applicable to managing a crush, but if you’re a strong Christian girl and you like a strong Christian guy, then you definitely should be getting to know each other. However, if you find yourself becoming obsessed with a guy—good crush or bad crush—taking some time off is definitely something you should consider.
If you’re looking to manage your crush, sometimes spending less time with him can mean not following him around. However, if you’re looking to eradicate a sinful crush, it may be wise—in some circumstances—to actually avoid seeing him several times a week. I wish there was a formula for how much time you could spend with someone without falling in love. Unfortunately, there isn’t. Since I’m not an expert in this area, my advice to you would be to use your judgment.
This also applies to social media, emailing, and texting. If you email your crush, and you don’t want to completely break it off, then waiting hours or even days to respond might be smart. I know it’s hard, but we never said beating a crush was supposed to be easy.
If you’re not convinced, here are several reasons to spend less time with him.
First, it can help you diagnose how much you rely on him. If you’re all dumpy and depressed when he’s not with you, then that is a major red flag that you’re depending upon a sinful human being to supply your happiness, satisfaction, identity, etc. Sisters, God didn’t make us to find fulfillment in a guy. God made us to find fulfillment in Him. He made us with needs that only He can meet. When we try to satisfy those needs in a guy, we’re just left broken. Guys can’t satisfy you. I can’t emphasize this enough. It’s a truth God has taught me that I keep forgetting. So He keeps reminding me that He’s the only One who can be everything I need and desire, and I keep coming back to Him…and then drifting off again. It’s a constant battle, but you must hold onto the truth.
Despite being caught up in the moment of an exciting crush, remember that guys can’t satisfy you. Even if you feel like they will and can’t see how they won’t, just believe it. Because it’s true. And God will show you that He’s all you need, but you first have to just believe it.
So spending less time with a guy can help us determine how much we’re leaning on a guy for our needs.
Second, it can help you get a grip on your emotions. Ladies, we’re emotional. I’m emotional. And that’s fine. That’s how God created us. But that doesn’t mean that we should be driven by our emotions. Spending time away from a guy can help us clear out the emotions and think straight. This has helped me a ton. As someone whose heart gets overwhelmed by feelings, having some time to cool off gives me the ability to sort through the good and the bad and make a decision based on God’s Word and my head. Not my feelings.
Not everyone is wired the same way I am, but one thing that is super helpful to me is to find a quiet place—I prefer outside—with a notebook and pen. I then just pour out all my emotions, which is usually a mixed spaghetti disaster of joy, sadness, anger, frustration, love, and confusion. It doesn’t have to be coherent. I’m not letting anyone else read it. But it calms me down and helps me refocus. Using the time I’m away from a guy to get a grip on my emotions is so helpful.
Third, spending less time with a guy can help you save your heart. You’re not going to get as attached to someone you see once a week as you would to someone you saw every day. If it’s a bad crush, you will find yourself far less vulnerable to those feelings the less you see him. If you’re trying to not become obsessed, some time away can help you refocus on the real Love of your life.
Despite the difficulty of not seeing someone that you want to see, it is a very valuable tool in helping you beat a crush. The less time I spend with someone, the less I think about him, the easier I can control my emotions, and the better decisions I can make as a result.
Now, if God is first place in your life, and you like a strong Christian guy, then I’m going to be the last person to tell y’all that you can’t get together and get to know each other more. There are time and places for spending time with a guy. I just want to caution you to make sure to keep God first place in your heart.
Practical Tips:
-If he’s not texting/emailing you, don’t text/email him. Don’t start a correspondence (See Tip 7) if you’re trying to emotionally detach from him. It won’t help anything.
-Don’t always keep track of where he is and when. Give the guy some space! Don’t run after him like a desperate puppy. That’s not attractive. If he wants to be around you, he’ll make an effort to be where you are.
-Use the time that you would have used to chase a guy to chase after God. This could mean spending more time in your Bible and praying. This could mean more time in ministry or service. Whatever it is for you, I can promise you that you will never regret spending time with God.
-Spend more time with people who point you toward God. Invest in the godly girls around you in fun and meaningful ways! A couple weeks after I got my driver’s license, I went out for frozen yogurt with one of the godly college girls from my church. It’s so refreshing to me when I get to have a deep conversation with a like-minded girl. I’m always so blessed and energized. Be humble enough to open up. Spend time with people who desire to pursue Jesus with their whole heart, even if they’re weak and struggling. If their heart is in the right place, you will be so refreshed.
-Keep track of how many hours you spend with a guy each week. Decide if you’re spending too much time with him. Sometimes, you can’t do anything about it. If he does like you and follows you everywhere, you won’t be able to help that very much beyond hiding in the ladies’ restroom. :) However, if you do have control, try cutting down on the hours you spend with him. If you don’t have control, then talk to your parents and see if they can help.
-If necessary, avoid the places he is going. I do not recommend switching churches because of a guy, but I have heard of some people who have done that. I’m more talking about that dumb movie a group is going to see. You could go and hang out with him, or perhaps stay home and be productive getting homework done. If a crush is causing you to sin, then you need to take extreme measures to eradicate it.

“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”
Matthew 5:30

Do you think that you spend too much time with your crush—either in person or over email/text/phone/etc? If so, what do you plan on changing? Any stories or thoughts? Share in the comments!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Tip 7

Anastasis Faith

7. Don’t Be the Initiator

We ladies should not be the one starting the relationship. Especially when we’re young and not ready for commitment, we need to chill and let the guy decide the pace—if the guy is interested. Either way, you need to get up and go do something with your single years instead of chasing after a guy.
One thing that’s super hard is to sit back and wait for your crush to initiate a relationship, or even just a text or email conversation. However, God created men to be the leaders and initiators. In most cases, we’re stepping outside of our roles when we try to begin something.
If you are trying to get rid of your crush, you’re just going to take ten steps backward if you try to initiate or deepen a relationship or “friendship.” And if he tries to initiate something with you, you have to be willing to say no. An unhealthy relationship will hurt you so much.
If you’re trying to manage your crush, pursuing a guy—even if he’s a strong Christian—will take your mind off pursuing God. 
Another thing to keep in mind along this vein is to remember to not be too available. We’re not desperate starving puppies and we don’t need to act like it. You’re not going to get more guys by being more available. You’ll get more flirty attention, but you won’t find any true friends. When we act this way, the guys we will attract are the ones who will play with us and then move on to the next girl.
Sisters, there was a time when the ladies were to be won. They were dignified, respected, and honored. Our culture is trying to tear this down and replace it with this idea that women are objects to be toyed with. We’re being taught that our value is in the external, not in our character, femininity, and relationship with Jesus. And we’re buying into this lie when we chase after guys.
When a godly young man starts pursuing you in a God-honoring way—being the initiator—and you are both old enough for commitment, it could be a sign that God is saying, “Now is the time.” But right now, He may be teaching you patience.
Waiting is hard, but in the long run, it will be so much more worth it than to desperately run after guys and be left empty. When we let them pursue us, quite a few of the not-so-awesome guys won’t bother you. If you send the message, “I’m not to be toyed with,” then the guys who only want to play with you will often leave you alone. 
Initiating things could be as bold as walking up to a guy and declaring that you have a crush on him. Or they could be more subtle, such as being the one to suggest getting together and “studying.” It could be as subtle as starting a texting/emailing conversation with him. But it goes deeper than that. It could be starting daydreaming as soon as you’ve met the guy. Whatever it is, if you’re trying to eradicate your crush, it’s going to hurt you a lot if you initiate things. I do think that there are some times when it’s fine if you’re trying to manage your crush, but I want to encourage you to be careful.
One thing that I want to clarify is that I don’t want to discourage you from texting a guy the day of his exam, job interview, etc, to tell him you’re praying for him or something like that. I’ve been asking my friends (guys and girls) to give me their exam dates and then I do text them and tell them that I’m praying for them. The difference is that I’m trying to be a good friend and sister in Christ to these people.
Being a sister in Christ and trying to get attention are different things. What I’m trying to encourage you to do is evaluate your motives when you want to text a guy, and make sure you’re not trying to be the initiator.

A note about guys: They need respect. They want to be the leaders and they want to be the ones initiating things. We let them become men when we let them initiate things with us. A girl who won’t let the guy lead can be intimidating and unnerving. By initiating things, we as girls tell guys that we don’t trust their guidance. Remember, guys want to be respected. We respect them by letting them lead.
Abbey has more to share on the different ways to initiate things.
Personally I am a little bit shy when it comes to guys, so when I though about initiating feeling when it comes to guys, I really didn’t think I had much of an issue. But then I realized that initiating feeling is a lot more than going up to a guy and going all middle school by saying that you like him. First and foremost, I struggle with mentally initiating relationships with guys. We will be talking for five minutes, and all of a sudden I have us married with children. This causes my actions, whether they be texting the said guy, or just making eye contact from across the room, then tend to be a byproduct of this thought process.
One thing that really helps is by focusing on why we do and say what we do. It often takes a very conscious thought that I am doing this in order to represent Christ well to keep me from mentally initiating a relationship. While it sometimes frustrates my close friends, I also try not to verbally talk about having a crush on someone, because it almost solidifies the fact, and serves to make the distraction a sure thing. Also, if my friends joke about me talking with the dude in question, I’m much more likely to get distracted from trying to have the right motives in the friendship.
Trying not to initiate a relationship, especially mentally and emotionally, can be a really difficult thing. When we simply try to remove our feelings, it’s so difficult! But if we can strive with the help of the Lord to change our motives to lifting up the Father, He supplies the strength to fulfill all our needs.

We need to wait patiently for God to bring the right guy into our lives at the right time. Waiting is hard, trust me—I know! Waiting temps us to look at the guys around us and ask the question, “Is it him?”
Whenever I’d get tired of waiting, I’d find myself praying to God, “Please just show me who it is, and then I can wait patiently for whenever the relationship will start.”
That’s not the right attitude. The right attitude is, “God, I don’t know the who, what, when, where, why, or how of my future relationship. But I know that I can trust You. Please always be my true satisfaction and fulfillment. Help me understand that You are all I need. Please be my all so that when it is time for a relationship, I will not look to him to satisfy me. Instead, help me view him as a partner with whom I can grow closer to You.”

Practical Tips:
-Look at your life and see if you are initiating things. Are you the one pursuing the guy?
-Make a list of all the ways you’re being the initiator. It could be that you daydream about him, text him first, always finding ways to “accidentally” be seated next to him, etc.
-Find out what ways you’re stepping out of your boundaries. Ask yourself, “Am I hurting myself by doing this? Am I hurting him by doing this? Are my motives friendly or am I doing this for more attention? Is this something I should be doing?”
-Formulate boundaries for yourself. It could be, “I’m not going to email him again until he responds.Or it could be, “I’m not going to ask to meet him anywhere. He can ask me.” If you email him, it may be that you develop a checklist of things you must do before you email him, such as respond to all previous emails, make your bed, and get caught up on homework.
-Commit to obeying the boundaries. Even if it’s not fun, stick to your decisions.

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
and He inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”
Psalms 40:1

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.
It is good that he waits silently
For the salvation of the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:25-26

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”
Psalms 62:5-7

Do you think you’ve been initiating too much? What are some common ways we try to initiate things? What do you plan on doing differently now? Any stories or thoughts? Share in the comments!

10 Tips for Beating a Crush: Tip 6

Anastasis Faith

6.   Avoid things that cause you to think often of romance.

Check out my post, “5 Reasons I Avoid Romance Novels and Movies.” Whether it’s books, movies, music, the Internet, or whatever, run from things that cause you to stumble. Romance books and movies are usually the hardest things for me, which is why I decided to put them away.  Though I usually listen to Christian music, the times that I’ve listened to love songs have hurt me more than helped. They make me wish that I had a boyfriend and make me view guys as there to satisfy me.
That is a wrong thought. Guys are not on earth for us. Guys are not going to satisfy us, though much of today’s media will try to convince you of that. Only God can satisfy us. When we get caught up in romantic thoughts and daydreams, it’s super hard to focus on God and respect the guys around us as brothers.
It is very helpful to just put aside the music, books, movies, certain blogs, etc. Whenever I focus on other people’s relationships and romance, it becomes easy for me to be discontent and want what they have.
This tip is closely tied to Tip 2: Don’t Daydream. How much time you spend consuming romantic media will directly affect how often you feel inclined to daydream.
There is a time and place for romance media. There are some romance novels and movies that do not bother me at all. The romance media that tend to be harmful to me are the ones that emphasize looks, physical touch, and feelings. Again, they are pushing the lie that if you snag a cute guy, you’re going to be happy. They’re trying to get you to believe that if you don’t have a super hot guy, you’re not going to be happy.
They also try to make us believe that the only way we can get a hot guy is to be a hot girl. This totally ramps up the insecurities in our lives. It can tempt us to dress or act immodestly to get attention.
By consuming large amounts romantic media, we set ourselves up for failure in beating a crush. By putting these things aside, we tell God that we desire to pursue Him and that we don’t want to be distracted by the things of this world.
If you’re looking to eradicate your crush, this is extremely important. Getting rid of these influences will have far reaching benefits. If you’re trying to manage your crush, it can keep you from wanting to jump to the Next Step in the relationship, whatever that may be.
Again, I encourage you to read the post, “5 Reasons I Avoid Romance Novels and Movies,” for more on this topic.

Practical Tips:
            -Root out the problem. Whenever you find yourself slipping into more daydreams, melancholy, and losing the desire to work hard, ask yourself if you’ve been consuming romantic media.
            -Do research on the books and movies you want to read/watch beforehand. It’s better to not start a book that has too much romance than to have to put it aside halfway.
            -Avoid secular music. Another hard one, but replacing breakup songs with songs that praise God is a huge step in beating a crush and eliminating distractions. On the days that I listen to worship music, I’ve found it’s a billion times easier to not get distracted.
            -As hard as it sounds, put away the stumbling blocks. It’s not easy to put aside a great novel, but if the romance is defiling you, then it’s necessary. I had to walk away from both a movie series and a novel that I was in the middle of because they were hurting me.

"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."
2 Timothy 2:22

Do not be deceived: "Bad company corrupts good morals."
1 Corinthians 15:33

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Romans 13:14

Do you consume lots of romantic media? When do you think it’s okay to do so, and when do you think that it’s harmful? Any stories? Share in the comments! 

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