Today I welcome Tammy Karasek as the first of my summer treats guest writers. I met Tammy at a writers’ group in Simpsonville, SC and though writing is our mutual interest and love, we discovered I moved here from PA, she from OH but had a connection with Geneva College. We continue to encourage each other in our writing goals and dreams. Her post today will bring you encouragement to lighten up. Scroll down to read more about Tammy.
Six months into the year, most of us live where we see changes around us. Temperatures are higher, grass has turned green, and flowers are blooming, peaking their beautiful colors. Even we have jumped on board with these seasonal changes. We may open our windows for fresh air. Or we have switched the thermostat from heat to air conditioning. As I type, I’m sitting under the ceiling fan.
Long-sleeved shirts are replaced by short-sleeved ones—maybe even tank tops. Our long pants have moved to the back of the closet and capris and shorts take their places in front.
Even our menus have changed. The hearty pots of soups and comfort casseroles have switched to salads and lighter fare. Sometimes supper is a bowl of cut up fruit with a colorful variety of melons, strawberries, and pineapple. Ovens have given way to outdoor grilling. A huge change from winter meals, for sure.
But what about our inner selves? Do we still wear the drag of heavy burdens? Maybe we hold on to a hurt from last Winter or even Fall. Has bitterness taken up residence in your heart over something from long ago? Do thoughts of a difficult conversation or sharp words replay in your mind? Now is a good time to give those over to God so you can begin to heal.
I realize it might be easier said than done to let go of hurts or disappointments that weigh us down. But I suggest we make a change in our focus. I’m raising my hand here, but how many of us would rather think of the reason to be sad or even angry rather than to pray about it, then forget it and let God handle it?
We can trust the One who knows all and is in the middle of our heartache. He knows His plan for the situation and for us. Scripture tells us, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7 ESV)
It works much better, if we lighten our response in how we handle troubles by letting God handle them. So, I’ve heard. I’ve never gotten in God’s way—ahem. I would imagine we all would have to admit we’ve done so.
I know the personal benefit to give my disappointments and struggles to Him rather than to hold on to them. I’m lighter than when I carry them around each day.
God gives us this promise: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;” (Psalm 55:22 ESV)
We exchange clothes in our closets for lighter wear. God offers to exchange our anxious thoughts for lighter hearts. It’s not always a solution or reconciliation in a relationship, but His words give us hope:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 5-7 NIV)
As we’ve made changes to lighten up our homes, clothing, and meals, let’s also make a change to lighten the thoughts we carry around with us that cause us more heaviness and hardship.
What do you think? How have you lightened your thoughts and worries?
Speaking of change, I’d like to offer a recipe that will “change” the way you think of a pie! This recipe is a free-form tart also known as a galette. This is so easy to make and if you keep fruit and a pie crust on hand, you can make one of these whenever someone pops in for a summertime visit.
Peach or Nectarine Free Form Tart
For the crust:
If you love to make your own crust, make your regular pie crust recipe. If you want something quick, easy and able to be kept on hand, I recommend Pillsbury Crust two pack. I usually will make both crusts full of fruit (doubling the filling below) because they are a hit
3 nectarines or peaches (I usually use both in mine!)
3 T. sugar
1 T. flour
2 T. butter
- Preheat oven to 425* – this allows the crust to brown better with this high temp.
- Toss the fruit, sugar, flour, and butter together in a bowl.
- Place a piece of parchment or silpat mat on your large sheet pan.
- Lay out the pie crusts at each end of the pan.
- Arrange the fruit mixture in the center of the crust only, leaving about 3” from edge.
- Fold a little of the crust up over the fruit, pleating it as you go around the edges. The fruit in the center should be exposed.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, watching for the crust to be brown and the fruit to be tender.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing to firm up.
This is also great with:
Strawberry and Rhubarb
Apple (add 1 tsp. of cinnamon) and ½ cup chopped pecans
Blueberry and Peaches
Tammy Karasek uses humor and wit to bring joy and hope to every aspect in life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, drives her passion to encourage and inspire others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s gone from down and defeated to living a “Tickled Pink” life as she believes there’s always a giggle wanting to come out!A writer of Romance—with a splash of sass. She’s also The Launch Team Geek helping authors launch their books and also a Virtual Assistant for several best-selling authors. She is now under contract for her book on Launch Teams due to release Fall 2023. Her work was also published in a Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments.
She’s also the Social Media Manager for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, Founding President and current Vice-President of ACFW Upstate SC, and Founding President of Word Weavers Upstate SC. Tammy is a writing team member for The Write Conversation Blog, Novel Academy, MBT Monday Devotions, The Write Editing and more. Connect with Tammy at https://www.tammykarasek.com.