It is truly shameful how long it’s been since one of us wrote anything. I think real life hit us both smack in the middle of the forehead, though, and we had to learn the art of balancing things. Confession? I still haven’t mastered it. I don’t think I ever will. That’s alright though. If I completely mastered it, there wouldn’t be room for God to move.
This isn’t going to be a long post. In fact, I believe I’m going to start specializing in short posts. I just truly don’t have enough hours in the day to devote as much time as I’d want to to a long post. So here’s a summary of what I’ve been mulling around in my head the past week or so, thanks to Pastor Steven Furtick and God:
My life is run by fear. You know that vine, Kudzu? Kudzu takes over everything in its path and chokes it, destroying the object and its original purpose. Fear is like Kudzu. I look around in the lives of those I know and in my own life and see dreams catching dust, relationships crumbling, and hearts hardening. Fear is the devil’s greatest trick. If he can get us to fear not obtaining the thing that we dream most about, he can indirectly cause us to give up on it. If he can convince us that our fear that our husband or wife doesn’t appreciate us or doesn’t love us is true, then he’s won half the battle. We convince ourselves that our dreams aren’t worth pursuing and our relationships aren’t worth fighting for… We convince ourselves that we aren’t loved and we aren’t beautiful… We convince ourselves that we need to take matters into our own hands and make a good future for ourselves. By letting a little bit of fear creep into our lives, Satan has successfully choked our dreams, relationships, and futures and left them on the side of the road to die.
Reality is, we will never be fearless. As my pastor, Pastor Furtick, said a couple of weeks ago in his Room 101 series, the greatest leaders in the Bible weren’t fearless. But you know what they were? They were faithful. We are always going to have fears. That is a result of the fall of man. That is evidence of the separation that we put between us and God. However, faith can move mountains. Instead of putting faith in our fears, we need to put our faith in the One that holds our past, present, and future in His hand.
Pastor Furtick said something else this past week in his Room 101 series that really stuck with me too. He was talking about the fact that we ask ourselves, “What if…” all the time, always from a negative standpoint. Using some of the examples I used previously, “What if nobody likes me?,” “What if nobody thinks I’m beautiful?,” “What if he/she doesn’t love me?,” “What if my dream never comes to pass?” After he said that, he pointed out that it would greatly change things if we turned that around and looked at it from a positive standpoint: “What if God moves in incredible ways and restores my marriage?,” “What if they love me a huge amount but they just have trouble showing it?,” “What if people see me as incredibly beautiful, but I don’t need their approval because I was made in the image of God and I’m His masterpiece?” What would happen if we started “teaching our faith to fight our fears” (Pastor Steven Furtick, Room 101)? I can’t even imagine the things that God would do in our lives if we gave Him the opportunity.
My challenge for you: Don’t just read this and go along with your day. Let God use this to change you. And start re-training your thinking and re-wiring your brain. Society and the devil have done a lot to mess up the way we think. Let’s allow the One who gave His life for us to have our hearts and minds back today. I pray over every single one of you who will read this. We’re in this battle together.
Here are some resources to help:
First sermon: http://www.elevationchurch.org/sermons/room101/part1
Second sermon: http://www.elevationchurch.org/sermons/room101/part2
Third sermon: http://www.elevationchurch.org/sermons/room101/part3
The fourth is coming up this week!
Ladies (and the gentlemen who happen to read this)-
Have you ever thought about all of the beauty in the world? Have you ever wondered why we’re so drawn to a sunset? A star-filled night sky? A delicate butterfly? Have you ever given it some serious thought? I have recently and I realized something… We’re drawn to things like that because God designed us that way in order to show you the extent of His love.
That pink and orange sunset that takes your breath away is the finished product of the painting He spent all day working on— just for you.
Those stars in that night sky that you can’t seem to tear your eyes from are the jewels that He’s using to craft your crown out of.
That delicate butterfly that lands on your shoulder just long enough to bring a smile to your face is His reminder that He’s there— Always there.
God is so much bigger than a teddy bear and a box of chocolates… His gifts to you are unmatched and unspeakably incredible. Don’t overlook or take advantage of these obvious signs of God, these tangible gifts of love. Nobody can tell me that God doesn’t exist when I see billions of stars twinkling above me.
He wants you to know Him as the God who rules over all nations, but He also wants you to know Him intimately as your lover, your best friend, and your every dire need and unspoken desire.
Just take a couple extra seconds the next time you see something of beauty. Don’t pass it up because you’re busy. A few seconds to stand in awe of God’s greatness is worth it.
My dear ladies and gentlemen,
What is your view of men? When you think of men; think about them deeper than surface level; think about their heart, what comes to your mind?
Is it the father that hit your mother—hit you— and left scars not only on your skin, but on your heart?
Is it that ex-boyfriend that told you that you were worthless? Maybe he never even spoke it, but his actions were enough.
Is it that man that you trusted who came onto you sexually and left you with a jaded view of the world?
Is it the derogatory comments and the demeaning stares from the boys who call themselves gentlemen?
Is it that teacher that was supposed to be a good example, but lost his job because he’d been sleeping with one of his students?
Is it that high school or college leader in your youth group that you thought was the perfect example of a good Christian man… until you found out he looks at porn every night when he goes home?
Is it that pastor that you thought you could always trust to do the respectable thing until he cheated on his wife and left her, his three kids, and his church?
We live in a fallen world. We live in a world riddled with shame and guilt covered up by apathy and indifference. We live in a world where desires of the flesh seem to rule every decision made, and not only by men. I want to make that clear. This is not a post that will be bashing men or even validating your feelings about men. This is a post that will be challenging you to change your view of men and change the way you approach them. I’m tired of women saying that there are “no good men out there” or that men are a disappointment. So, you have a choice. Either click that little “X” in the top right corner or decide to keep reading with an open heart and mind. And, most importantly, be willing to change.
For those of you that decided to keep reading, I’m glad you did and I will continue! We, as women, were made to look toward men for leadership. Even the most independent woman knows that, no matter how hard she fights it, she is drawn to the leadership of men. Some women have a problem with authority from men because of one of the situations that I listed above (or another situation that you’ve been through, but wasn’t listed). A man in authority has wronged us and our solution is to never put our trust in a man again.
Ladies, I’ve been there. I still struggle there sometimes. Frequently. Multiple men that I have looked up to for guidance and leadership have “failed me,” or so I felt. I’ve seen men that I would have followed to the ends of the earth do things that caused me to label the whole gender as weak.
“I wouldn’t have fallen in that area. He’s not supposed to do anything wrong. He’s supposed to be stronger than that. God can’t really mean that He wants me to be under the leadership of men… Not when they stumble as much as they do…”
Listen up, ladies. God designed men with the gift of leadership. Inside every single boy there is a man that God is calling out. Unfortunately, the voice of the world is sometimes louder. The pull of the world is strong for a man, but for a boy that has yet to have life spoken into him, it is nearly impossible to resist.
There is a big difference between a man and a boy.
A man has great integrity and knows the weight of the authority he holds. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t mess up. In fact, he messes up just as often. He’s still human. It doesn’t mean that he isn’t weak and doesn’t need God’s constant help to resist temptation and lead in the way God wants him to. It means that he knows he is weak and needs God’s strength in order to help him resist temptation and lead appropriately.
A boy is weak and knows nothing of the weight of the authority he holds. He is careless with it, and sees it as power, which will cause him to stumble. The difference is, when a boy stumbles, instead of choosing to draw close to God to fix it, he either tries to fix it himself or becomes indifferent and apathetic toward the problem.
Ladies, here’s where you come in. Here is one of the things God has designed you to do. God has called you to speak life into the boys and men in your life. Proverbs 18:21 (The Message) says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Every lady wants a man. Every lady wants a responsible, respectable, mature king to ride in on a white steed and sweep her off her feet. And inside every irresponsible, unrespectable, immature prince, there is that king waiting with his white steed to hear his potential spoken to him. (Just a small note: This is not only for romantic relationships, but for all relationships. Speak life into your father, your brother, your cousin, your friends, etc.)
I know how hard this can be. Some days you just don’t want to speak life. Some days those males in your life will be grating on your every nerve and it would be so much easier to open your mouth and spout off words of death instead of speaking life. When you’re angry, it’s much easier to tell someone they’re annoying instead of deciding to look at their good qualities and telling them that you appreciate that about them. But it’s important that you strive to make that a habit. Now, I’m not saying you need to lie. That is something you do not want to do. But what I’m challenging you to do is to begin to look for the potential in the boys and men in your life. I think you will be blown away by how amazing these boys and men are. Ask God to help you see them the way that He sees them. He created each boy to be a great man. Sometimes all it takes is one person who sees that potential to cause it to grow.
One last thing that I have to say is kind of a preview into our next post. I think Liz and I will be doing a mini-series on this topic. But I have something to specifically say to the men reading this:
Men, we want you to know that we, as woman, are going to be expecting more of you. We see the potential in you and we are not going to give up on you. You are so important. We are done calling you jerks. We are done giving you excuses and saying that you’ll always have a problem with pornography and objectifying women. We are done saying you are “typical men,” unable to be faithful. We will not expect perfection from you, but our standards are being raised as we speak. We know that you can reach them. We just want the best for you. We will not give up on you. We respect you, we trust you to be our leaders, and we know God is going to do GREAT things in and through you. We can’t wait to see the magnificent work of art you will become through Him.
To my Valentine,
Maybe we only speak every once in a while, and that’s okay. But I wanted to tell you today that I take pride in you. I am proud of the woman you are becoming, and I see the way you are maturing and growing with each passing day. Even when you fall, your beauty is captivating.
There is nothing wrong with your physical being. Why do you hate what I love? Every part of you was made with a purpose. Never think that you are lesser because society says you are
not thin enough,
or curvy enough,
or flirtatious enough,
or confident enough.
I see when you feel down on yourself about your weight, or your clothing, or your popularity status, and I want you to know that none of that matters. I will always love you. I will not let you go. I will carry you through times of insecurity. Your humble heart is favorable to me, and I have never wanted a prideful woman. I will give your heart peace when you begin to feel as if you just aren’t “good” enough.
When you keep your heart pure, when you befriend those who are deemed “unlovable” and when you walk in the light, I am taken aback by the beauty that you have. You are told not to conform to the patterns of this world, and I commend you when I see that you are going against the grain of a sinful society.
You are beautiful.
There is no one who has been made to be exactly like you, and there never will be.
Remember that you are made with the intentions that there is only one of you; live that way. Do not doubt the plans that have already been laid out. Continue to follow the path of righteousness and redemption that has already been promised.
When you do not feel loved, or beautiful, or feel as if you are not enough, I am here. I see your tears, and I see you falter, and though it is not tangible to you, I am carrying you through it all. This Valentines day, I want you to know that there is an abounding love that surrounds you.
This love cannot be covered by a man or a lover, and cannot even be touched by a parent. This love is radiant and true. The love is mine.
Daughter, there is not a love more pure than the love I have for you. Allow me in your heart to be your forever Valentine?
I need to preface this by saying that this is a post not only for ladies, but for men as well. I hope you wonderful gentlemen will take a couple of minutes and read this as well, if you feel so inclined.
So listen… I’ve had something that I’ve been unable to get off of my mind lately. My mind has been slightly bombarded by it. It’s a pretty controversial topic, in my opinion, and part of me is nervous about conveying the wrong message. After talking to Liz tonight, though, I realized that it’s been on my mind for a reason. God’s trying to tell me something. He’s trying to tell you something too. So, as I’m writing this, I’m praying that I’ll use His words and not mine, and that God will speak to each and every one of you individually in the way that you need to be spoken to through this. This will change your relationship with Him if you allow it. Before you get started reading this, send up a prayer that God will soften your heart to what He has in store.
I need every one of you to honestly answer something for me. Not the cute little “Christian” answer. I want a real show of hands here, people. This is just between you, God, and maybe the person sitting next to you in History. So, honest answer in 3…2…1…
Who, other than me, is really tired of religion?
Now, for those of you who are about to birth a cow because I just asked something like that, please, pick your jaw up off the floor and hold your horses. (Horses and cow…Get it? No? Tough crowd…) Let me explain.
We all cringe at the word rules. Some rebel against rules in every way possible, and break out in a rash just from hearing the word. Or if you have a “good-girl complex” like me, (If you haven’t read my “Good Girl” post, go read it real quick. It’ll make things that I write about make a little bit more sense) you see rules as sort of a fickle friend. A love/hate relationship. When I was succeeding in following them, I felt great. I felt victorious. At the risk of being painfully honest, when I was able to live up to the rules I thought God wanted me to follow, I would look down my nose at those who didn’t. No, not consciously. But subconsciously, I felt “better than.” Yet, a week later, the next day, the next hour, I would end up in the same exact state as those I had looked down my nose at.
I believe that many Christians struggle with the same thing. A bullet-point Jesus. Whether we have grown up in the church or have only been believers a short time, it is easy to fall into the “religion mindset.” Had you asked me a couple of months ago, I would have denied it vehemently, but my deepest belief was that I needed to perform in order to earn God’s acceptance. This was the mindset that I approached my walk with Christ with. A child of grace, but looking for life in the law.
A quote from Emily P. Freeman’s book Grace for the Good Girl says, “Where is Christ in all of these rules and law-based beliefs? It’s true that I experienced glimpses of rest and victory, but those generally came only after a long period of what I considered to be acceptable obedience…The law does require perfection. And breaking the law demands payment. So the question remains: Why did God give the law if we can never measure up to it?”
The answer is this: God gave us rules because it shows that He Himself is perfection. The law was designed to expose the sin in our lives, not to make us righteous. The law is here so that we will know that we need Him. Not so that we can live up to it. If we could live up to the law, we would be perfect. If we achieve perfection, why would we need the One who is perfect in every way to come save us? God longs for us to trust Him. He longs for us to give up the trust that we have in ourselves and give it to Him. Why would do that if we thought of ourselves as perfect? Really, none of us would even believe in Jesus without the law. The law showed us how dirty and broken we are… Without the standard of the law to compare to, we never would have been able to see that.
“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” -(Romans 3:20 NIV)
But listen to the most beautiful part… You know that law that I’m talking about? The law you break every single day? The law that is absolutely impossible for you to keep completely? The law of perfection? Jesus came and died to fulfill that law do you didn’t have to. The law says, “Obey,” but the grace of Jesus says, “Just believe. Obedience will follow.”
Now, last thing I have to say about this is: Don’t go all willy-nilly saying that you can break all sorts of rules now because you don’t have to earn God’s favor, or whatever other twisted way you may take this. That is NOT what I am saying. Quite the opposite, in fact.
A relationship with Jesus is something that nobody can tell you how to have. A relationship with Jesus is something that does not stem from rules. It does not stem from fear of not having His approval. It stems from the gratefulness that comes from realizing that He fulfilled the law in your place. If you realize that and realize how much adoration and love He has for you, obedience will come naturally. It will be a desire to please Him, but not for acceptance. Just because you love Him.
Jesus isn’t a bullet point list. You can’t check Him off. He’s not a rule that you have to follow. He’s your Creator, Provider, and Defender. The Savior of your soul and ultimate lover of your heart. If that doesn’t make you want to place your entire life in His hands, I don’t know what will!
“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God…” -2 Corinthians 3:4-5
Hello beautiful ladies! I decided today that this may be an unconventional post, but blogs themselves are rather unconventional yet here we are;)
This past week I had a psychology assignment. The assignment prompt was to write a free verse poem, stating what fascinated us, and what made our “human beings soar”. No lie. That was a direct quote from the prompt. (sounds like a bunch of hippie stuff, right?). In addition to writing this poem, we had to avoid writing about other people, and only focus on our qualities as an individual.
I had a hard time with a prompt that allowed no room to talk about anyone else. In fact, in almost any conversation I find it hard to not mention Kayla and how wonderful she is (this is Liz writing, by the way), or how God is working in my life.
After struggling with this ridiculous poem for almost an hour, I came to a realization that I thought would be really neat to talk to you girls about.
Yes. I am an individual. Yes. I have desires, insecurities, and fear. And yes, I am fascinated by very unique characteristics of this world. All of us have qualities that are unique to our character, and as girls, we all have something uniquely and absurdly beautiful that allows us to be captivated and purely desired.
But the bottom line is that my life is not actually mine.
My character should simply be an outlet for God’s glory. My sense of humor, my fascinations, my strengths, should all point towards our heavenly Father. I should not have the ability to go without mentioning God in a single interaction of my day.
So I decided to take a chance. In response to the prompt for my psychology poem, I DID write about what fascinates me. I DID write about what made my “human being soar”, and I definitely wrote a bit about myself. More importantly though, I wrote about my Savior, and how He is the center of who I desire to be. I am not just a girl with mindless ambitions; I am not my own. I am Christ’s. That’s who I am.
In case your mind is just bursting with curiosity to read this poem that I have hyped up for over 3 paragraphs, here it goes, my lovely ladies!:
I see nature as a thing of beauty. Every creature with it’s own specific design,
I see each bird as another instrument in God’s symphony.
The complexity of this world is what fascinates me.
One snowflake is unlike all the others.
One tree with thousands of leaves,
And one beach with billions of grains of sand.
Perhaps the complexity of people is what hurts me.
One insult stings for months.
One feeling turns to thousands.
One doubt turns into many.
The goodness in people is what gives me hope, though.
One compliment can erase all the hurt.
One promise can ensure all the trust.
One smile can communicate in any language.
I have desires and longings of my own.
I long to be adventurous. I long to play an important role.
I would like to be a heroine.
I want to be brave, strong, and respected.
I admire women who are strong.
Most of all, though,
to be wanted,
to be desired.
to be romanced.
As all women want.
I want to feel free.
I want to cut my hair.
I want the sky to pour so I can dance in the rain.
I want to throw a dart at a map and travel to wherever it lands.
I want to feel unafraid. I am fascinated at those who are unafraid of this world.
I am insecure, and I apologize for things I need not.
I do not like my body.
I do not like how my nails don’t grow
And my teeth may never be white enough.
There is one thing I know,
And that is
That my soul is beautiful.
I am told that my soul is exquisite.
It is treasured. It is loved. It is hand crafted.
My heart is something to be desired.
It is mysterious. It is God’s.
God’s love for me is what makes me content.
His mercy is new every morning.
He is the reason for all of my desires, hopes, and dreams.
He is the reason why nature is so exquisite
He is the reason why people are complex,
And why they have the capability of kindness.
He is the reason why my soul is beautiful,
And why amongst all of my downfalls and failures,
I feel captivated.
The Lord has had me in His plans since the moment this world was made.
I have been created in love.
I have been created in His image.
I have been created to praise.
Christ not only allows, but carries my being to soar.
This life is messy,
and people can be hurtful,
and I have desires that may never come true,
but God has made this life beautiful.
He forgives those who hurt
And He gives me desires so that I may seek Him through each trial.
And with that, the very core of Who I am
I am not my own.
Hello beautiful ladies!
We apologize for it being such a long time since we last wrote. We probably missed some opportunities for some great posts during the holiday, but it was so busy and flew by FAST. I cannot believe Christmas break has already come and gone! We are both through our first semester of freshman year in college. Where has life gone?
I would love to be able to say that I have something super profound that I have thought of myself to write about. Honestly, all I have is ramblings about all God has shown me and told me through other people in the past month. He has shown me more about myself in the past month than I’ve ever seen before. This is going to be a long post, so if you need to peace out now, go for it, but for those of you who stick around, you’re about to see the very deepest parts of my soul that I, only very recently, have ventured down to myself.
I have been reading a book called Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman. It has turned my world up.side.down. I give all the credit for these revelations about myself to her and God. Please, go check out her book if you can relate to what I’m about to tell you. It will be the best $13 you will ever spend.
Through this book I have realized that I have a “good girl complex.” Essentially, I find my identity in how good I am. I have always strived to be the girl people can always come to for advice, the girl who is known for her listening ear, the one that can always be counted on. I have never let myself be anything but strong and put-together. The expectations I have held for myself have been nothing short of perfect. Because of that, I have worn a mask, many masks, for as long as I can remember.
A mask to cover up the hurt.
A mask to cover up the brokenness.
A mask to ward off rejection.
A mask to cover up the weakness.
A mask of perfection.
If I messed up in any way, if someone was anything less than happy with me, if there was any semblance of rejection toward me it sent me into a tailspin. However, instead of risking any vulnerability, I put on my mask of indifference and looked perfectly together on the outside while, behind my mask, the tears never stopped falling.
I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this. I know I’m not the only one that has become a master at performing. I know I’m not the only one that hangs up her mask in her closet each night and cries herself to sleep asking God, “Why? Why is my best not good enough? Why, after all that I do, do I still not feel fulfilled?” And that is the exact reason I’m writing this post. I know how it feels to feel like you have to take every single thing onto your own shoulders. I know how it feels to not even know how to trust God. Because it typically looks a little something like this…
God: Just trust me.
Kayla: I do trust you, God. I do. Now I just need to go fix it…
God: *shakes head*
Okay, well… Maybe the shaking of the head thing doesn’t happen, but the rest does! For some reason, this made sense in my head. For seventeen years this made sense in my head. For seventeen years it made sense in my head that I, Kayla Phillips, needed to make sure that my situations and circumstances got fixed… because God can’t make sure of that Himself? Yeah, feel free to laugh. On top of that, not only did I obviously not think that He could handle it Himself, but I also thought that I was the only one that could handle it. I felt that it was my responsibility.
After seventeen years of this, I was exhausted. I never felt appreciated enough, pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, talented enough… never. I felt like I gave everything my all and still ended up short. There had to be something wrong with me. I had reached my breaking point. But, being a “good girl,” breaking down wasn’t allowed. Breaking down meant vulnerability. Breaking down meant letting the walls fall away. Breaking down meant risking rejection. Breaking down meant I was weak. Breaking down meant I was broken. Breaking down meant taking off my mask… And by doing that, it would show everyone I had spent my whole life trying to gain acceptance from and keep happy that I wasn’t really that girl I had always tried to mold myself into.
But the very thing that I was most afraid about it my life is the very thing that God says is beautiful.
“’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9
And you know what, girls? I have some serious confessions.
I am vulnerable.
I have no walls anymore.
I’m accepted by my Heavenly Father and, for the first time in my life, I can truly say that’s all that matters.
I am weak.
I am broken.
Broken and in need of mending. And for once, I don’t feel like I have to do the mending. Finally, I’m able to hand the sewing kit to God and let Him fix me, let Him fix my situations.
For any of you who can relate to this, know that you are being prayed for. I know how hard it is to feel like, until you’ve finally reached perfection, you don’t deserve love. I know how hard it is to try and try to get attention through anything, everything: acts of service, talent, physical looks, telling jokes… but let me tell you something. There is One who accepted you long ago. Not because of the good works you’ve done, even though He appreciates those. Not because of your talent, even though He wants you to use the gifts He’s given you for His glory. Not because you’re beautiful, even though He made you in His image and you are the most beautiful thing in the universe to Him. Not because you’re funny, even though I am a firm believer that God is a God of laughter. His love for you doesn’t depend on those things, even though He loves those things. No. He loves you because of Jesus in you. Isn’t it a relief that we don’t have to do anything to earn His favor and acceptance? It sure did my heart some good to hear that.
From one once incredibly far gone, but now recovering “good girl” to another… Take that world-sized burden off of your back, hand it to the One that died to take it from you, and take a deep breath. You just handed God your shackles. You are free.
When thinking about my future husband, I’ve always wondered and asked God how exactly I’m going to know if he’s “the one.” Yes, I believe that God will show me. But what does that mean practically? What will that mean when the time comes? I haven’t heard too many stories about people being audibly told by God that their future spouse is standing right in front of them. However, I have heard many stories from people saying that they just knew. That they just knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that God was telling them that they were going to marry that person. I always wondered how they knew though. I always questioned it.
Due to that fact, I’ve been praying for years for God to reveal to me how exactly that was going to go down, because I was aware that I was not the only one who struggled with that particular question. Then God asked me a question one day.
“Is he a guy that you would want your daughters to be interested in or your sons to be modeled after?”
Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that this is a completely foolproof plan. But if you’re previously looking to God for guidance as well, the answer to this question would just solidify it either way. So, ladies, keep this in mind when you’re questioning whether you should marry someone, or even date someone. Make sure your standards for your significant other are as high as they would be for your daughters’ and sons’ significant others. And if you can answer yes to that question… Thank God for the beautiful gift that He’s given you and don’t take advantage of it.
Hello beautiful ladies.
Don’t you love this time of year?
There is nothing better than last bit of the leaves turning, and the smell of Starbucks peppermint mocha.
And who could forget Thanksgiving?! Mounds of mashed potatoes, thick slices of turkey, and entirely too much pumpkin pie marks a day that is supposed to signify thankfulness. It’s safe to say I am just now recovering from my food coma.
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is usually at the last part of our family feast; every member of my family takes turns saying what they are most thankful for. Everyone typically says something cheesy and cutesy like how thankful they are for such a wonderful family, a bed to sleep in, plenty to eat, etc. Though family, a warm bed, and food are important things to be thankful for, there is so much more to being blessed than the essentials!
Here is what I mean.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I’ve been thinking about this verse during this holiday filled season and I am reminded that I need to be thankful for EVERYTHING. Not only a warm bed,
But I should also be thankful for my circumstances that may not be resolved.
I need to be thankful for those in my life that have hurt my feelings, or done me harm.
I need to be thankful for days that simply aren’t going my way.
I need to rejoice in the Lord always.
I have decided that thankfulness is not only a matter of gratitude, but a matter of a change in perspective.
I hope you have all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and just in case you haven’t eaten enough already, I hope you enjoyed some of my food for thought.
I’ve been thinking lately.
Why did we come into the world with an innate desire to be viewed as a princess? Why, as little girls, did we dress up in frilly pink dresses, twirling around and around, desperately seeking the attention of anyone who would watch us? Why, now that we are women, are we still drawn to the idea of being a princess? And I came to a simple, yet complex, answer.
Because God made us that way.
Duh, right? Kind of. Let me explain…
Have you ever thought about what defines a princess? What sets a princess apart from any other girl? We all know that it’s not just because she was born in royalty. At least half of the princesses that the media has handed us, such as Snow White, Belle, and Cinderella, were never actually born into royalty. We all love that story of a beat down, overworked, under-loved girl finally being picked up by the hands of fate and deposited into the arms of her Prince Charming, riding on a white steed off into the sunset toward their “happily ever after.” I do not know of any woman whose heart doesn’t tug, even the smallest amount, at the thought of Prince Charming, a beautiful castle, and happily ever after. But we all know there’s something special about that girl that makes her a princess. Something special that catches Prince Charming’s eye. Something that leaves him transfixed. Something that he hasn’t found in anyone else.
A princess is a picture of beauty, strong and yet vulnerable, confident yet humble. A princess is unique. There’s no one quite like her. That’s why Prince Charming is completely taken with her. He’s mesmerized and pursues her, no matter where she goes. He never stops looking for her; never stops seeking her heart.
Ladies, do you realize that God calls you His princess? His Bride? Do you realize that He is the Prince Charming you have been waiting for your entire life? Jesus is the Prince of all princes. Oh, don’t get me wrong, He knows our desire for earthly companionship and love. He engrained that longing in us. Do not mistake this as me telling you that you need to become a nun, join a convent, and never think about another man in your life. No, that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is this…
The Prince of all princes has His eye set on one special princess.
The Creator of the world, King above every king, ruler of every bit from the highest point in heaven all the way down to the lowest places in hell, is the Prince Charming that you’ve been waiting for. Your Prince Charming. He’s vying for your heart. He came to court you. He paid a big price. A huge price. And He sees so much value in you that He pays it again and again and again day after day. You are His princess, made uniquely for Him. By Him for Him.
You have that “something.” That something that leaves the Prince unable to do anything but pursue you. That something that leaves Him completely infatuated with you. That something that would cause Him to lay his LIFE down for you.
Think about that now every time you wish you looked like someone else. Every time you think somebody else has more value than you. Every time you start thinking you aren’t worth anything.
Take it to your Prince. He wants to show you how beautiful you are… How priceless you are… How utterly, irreversibly, irrevocably in love with you He is.
He wants to show you that you are His princess.