Be Not Dismayed

(One of the definitions of “dismay” is “to dishearten thoroughly.” That is the definition I always think of and use.)

Sometimes it can be easy to feel dismayed. This most often happens to me when there is a lot of bad news at once. It doesn’t even have to be something that affects me directly. If I hear too much bad news at one time, I begin to feel thoroughly disheartened. With everything going on in the world lately, I have been struggling with dismay over the past week or so.

But then I read this verse: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10). In context, these words were spoken as encouragement for Israel, but they certainly can apply to all who belong to the Lord. We have no reason to fear or be dismayed because He is our God! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and he has promised never to forsake us. He will give us the strength we need, He will help us, and He will uphold us.

Such a simple thing to say, but sometimes we become so fixated on other things that we almost forget it. Just like Peter when he began to sink after walking on the water, we focus on the turmoil and trials around us rather than on the Lord. But, also like Peter, we have a Lord who will not leave us to deal with the turmoil on our own.

It isn’t our responsibility to fix everything. This is a sinful world, and with it comes pain and heartache and death. There isn’t anything we can do to fix that – and yes, it is a sad thing. But we know the One Who defeated death and sin! He has everything under His control. Our responsibility is not to fix things, but to trust, follow, and obey Him. We can rest in Him, be still and know that He is God.

So, Christians, don’t become disheartened. Be not dismayed. The Lord has your heart and He will never let you out of His grasp. Cast all your cares on Him. Think on the things of the Lord and receive the peace that passes understanding. Keep an eternal perspective. This is not our home. Our hope and joy are in the Lord!

(Even when we feel dismayed, we need to remember that our feelings are not to be our guide in this world – God’s Word should be.)

The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen (Book Review)

Cover of The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

A girl will go to any lengths to help her tutor father, but she might fight more mystery and drama than she had bargained for when they move to a cliff-top home of a baronet and his sons.

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Title: The Tutor’s Daughter
By: Julie Klassen

ISBN: 9780764210693 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781441261090 (E-book)

You can watch a video trailer or read an excerpt.

My Review: Four Stars
After leaving the boarding school and their only family behind for a live-in tutoring position, Emma and her father are dismayed at their less-than-warm welcome in their new cliff-top home. The Westons have their share of secrets and Emma still can’t bring herself to trust the oldest son Henry after his cruel pranks when he attended the boarding school. Still, she is glad to find a friend in Mrs. Weston’s ward, Lizzie. Philip Weston seems to be happy to resume their friendship where it left off when he left the boarding school years ago. But who mysteriously plays the piano and enters Emma’s room at night? Who is responsible for the theft of her journal and threatening picture left in her room? Why are members of the community and some of the Weston family not interested in Henry’s project to make it easier to save lives during shipwrecks? And how is it that Emma finds herself letting her guard down in Henry’s presence?

The Tutor’s Daughter has a distinct traditional gothic novel feel, with mystery and suspense woven through each chapter. It’s easy to empathize with Emma as she copes with the turn her life has taken and learns that God does indeed answer prayers – just not always in the way we might want or expect. Even when her circumstances are frightening and she doesn’t know what will happen, God is still in control and she needs to trust in Him. In the people around her she can see the dire consequences of not following God. While she is learning these important lessons, she is able to find love and happiness along the way in a place she didn’t expect to find it.

Julie Klassen’s stories are written in the spirit of Jane Austen. The issues are real, the characters are believable, and the settings are vividly described. She is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend all her books for anyone who enjoys historical romance and drama.

Visit JulieKlassen.com for more information. The book is available from Bethany House, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Be on the lookout for her new novel releasing July 2015, Lady Maybe.

 

Cover of The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Cover of The Tutor’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

DIY – Red-Bottomed Shoes

After I rub off the red that leaked under the tape, the shoes will be finished!

One afternoon I was lounging around at home with my sisters and my boyfriend. I don’t remember how the topic came up, but shoes entered the conversation. I’m very much a tank-top-and-flip-flops, cheap, maintenance-free sort of girl when it comes to fashion, so I know very little about name-brand…well, anything. My sisters are more fluent in the name-brand language than I am, which I’m used it. It came as quite a surprise, though, when my boyfriend joined in the conversation. He and my sisters were talking about these things called red-bottomed shoes, apparently made by a person named Christian Louboutin. What caught my attention most was when my boyfriend mentioned that he thinks they are cool-looking shoes (red and black being his favorite colors, it makes sense). I like to do what I can to make him happy, so when a special event was coming up I decided to look into these mysterious but awesome red-bottomed shoes…

AND YIKES THE PRICE TAG

Remember I like cheap? I don’t like to spend more than $20.00 on a pair of shoes – $30.00 if they’re really nice, or MAYBE a little more for the right pair of boots. So I’m sure you can imagine my reaction when I saw the prices of these Christian Louboutin shoes. CRAY-ZEE.

Then, as is natural for me when I see something I want that I don’t want to spend the money for, I thought, “I bet I could do this myself.”

And thus began my journey to acquire my own pair of red-bottomed shoes (which everyone likes and no one knows they were DIY until I, in my excitement about the project, tell them all about it as I’m about to tell you).

 

DIY Red-Bottomed Shoes

My Materials:
Shoes – I got a decent, but inexpensive pair of black heels from Payless
Flexi-Dip in a spray can – I went looking for Plasti-Dip at Home Depot, but they only had Flexi-Dip in red. Whatever, it worked.
Tape – I had painter’s tape but I’m sure anything would be fine.
Newspaper

First things first – tape up the part of the shoe you don’t want to be red. I didn’t tape the inside because I would be lying my shoes upside down, but I taped everything else but the sole and the heel. I opted to color the entire heel to give the shoes more color and make it easier with less to tape up. Plus the heels I got were not super tall and I wanted to make sure people could see the red.

Shoes, taped up and ready to go

Shoes, taped up and ready to go

After the shoes were ready, I set up a place in the shed to work on the project. Ideally, this should be done outside or somewhere with excellent ventilation. Let me tell you, Flexi-Dip vapors are strong. I made it work in the shed because of weather and time of year, but would have preferred to be outside. One good thing is the smell goes away overnight for the most part. I covered the area I was using in newspaper and laid the shoes upside-down.

The painting has begun

The painting has begun

After you have everything set up, get to spraying! Read the directions on the Flexi-Dip can. I had to do several coats over the course of a couple days to get the shoes really red. I still would have liked to do a couple more coats but I ran out of time. It also probably would have worked better for me if I did lighter coats and more of them. But I’m still pleased with how they came out!

Painting is finished - time to remove the tape

Painting is finished – time to remove the tape

When you’re satisfied and everything is dry, you can remove the tape. Be careful you don’t pull off any Flexi-Dip with it because the Flexi-Dip all wants to stick together. I had some red get under the tape, but it rubbed right off just with my fingers. Again, if you have to do this, be careful not to take off any Flexi-Dip you don’t want to.

After I rub off the red that leaked under the tape, the shoes will be finished!

After I rub off the red that leaked under the tape, the shoes will be finished!

This is where I stopped. In the time since then, it’s been recommended I look for a top coat/sealer type of thing that is used over Plasti-Dip/Flexi-Dip. I haven’t tried that yet, but I imagine it’s probably a good idea. The red did start wearing off the bottom where the shoe touches the ground after only a couple of wears. But most people don’t see that part of the shoe anyway and since I like low-maintenance, I haven’t done anything with it. The rest of the shoe and heel still look good and red. I wore the shoes to work and got a lot of comments on my cool red-bottomed shoes. It was exciting for me to be able to tell people I did it myself! See, I can be stylish if I try!

Probably this would be a fun project to try on different shoes in different colors. It’s not likely that I will, but it’s nice to know that I can if I want to!

Have you ever tried something like this? What did you do differently? Or what do you WISH you had done differently? What other fashion DIYs have you tried?