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“Everyone else is doing it”

“Everyone else is doing it”
“Everyone is saying it”
“Everyone will be at this party”
“Everyone is seeing this movie”

If you are a parent you are probably all too familiar with your children saying son similar to you..

Or maybe you or your friends have said something like this to each other at one point.

“Everyone else is”….. so you should too…..right?

Wrong.

Sometimes we use the, “Well, everyone is doing it, so I should too” to justify doing something or buying something.

We use it as a means to, “fit in”.
To go with the crowd.
Be “cool” and do what everyone else is doing

The truth is, it’s okay to not follow what everyone else is.

In fact the Bible even warns against going with the crowd.

Exodus 23:2 Do not follow the majority when they do wrong or when they give testimony that perverts justice.

Look, I get it.
Its easy to go with the crowd and do the same thing everyone else is.

Sometimes we see other Christians doing something or saying something, and we use it as a justification to get away with sin.

What we should remember is that, other people should not be our standard for living. Our standard for living should be based off of God.

When we look to others for how we should live life and what is acceptable, we fail to remember that they too are just as flawed and in need of Jesus as we are.

Friends, the next time you use, “Everyone else is doing it”, please take a deep breath and ask yourself if it’s what God would want you to do. 

It’s okay to be unique and different. 

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Women’s bodies are not objects.

modesty.

let’s focus on this word.

Christian culture likes to throw around this word when it comes to the topic of purity. especially when it comes to women. It seems that women are given a higher standard when it comes to modesty.

girls and guys are split up in youth groups to discuss purity. girls are often encouraged to dress more appropriately and modestly while guys on the other hand are encouraged to behave like gentlemen. sayings like “modesty is hottest” or “modesty is the best policy” are thrown around while  the War on Yoga Pants rages on. girls are told they can’t wear a certain t-shirt because it shows too much skin or cleavage.

women are made to feel ashamed of their bodies and are seen as objects.
from what swim suits we can or cannot wear.
to being repulsed to seeing a woman breastfeed.
to being told what we can or cannot wear because our bodies will be a “temptation” to men.
to not being taken seriously after being sexually assaulted or raped and being told, “Well, how did you dress?”

We are basically told that we need to fix ourselves to  accommodate men and their needs.

lets get something out of the way

Modesty is subjective and situational.
It has absolutely everything to do with YOU and YOUR intentions and absolutely nothing to do with anyone else’s sin or temptations.

What one guy may find attractive and tempting, another guy may not.
One guy may be attracted to stomach showing, while another guy might be attracted to fingers or toes, while the third guy may be attracted to cleavage.

Going deeper on this topic, each country and culture has it’s own set of rules on what modesty looks like. If you visit the Middle East, women might be found wearing burkas and that is what “modest” looks like to them, but men still get turned on from women in burkas. Whereas, if you go to the beach you will most likely wear a swim suit, or a short sun dress.  In that context it is appropriate and modest to wear, but if you were to attend church in your two piece swim suit or a short sun dress, you would find that your clothing choice is now probably not the most modest.
Another example would be, what you would find modest and appropriate to wear to a wedding, might not be so modest and appropriate at a funeral.

What might be accepted as modest in one country, culture and/or situation may be found to be frowned upon in another.

We need to stop putting so much pressure on women to be modest and instead we need to start talking to men about how they need to be able to treat women with value and respect, and not objectify them based on what they may be wearing.

 

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To the girl that may be struggling with loving herself,
you are more than just your body.
You are a beautiful daughter of God.

You have been given immense worth.

To the girl who may have been raped or sexually assaulted,
It isn’t your fault.
It didn’t happen because of what you were wearing. 
You are strong, and you are a survivor.

My hope and prayer for you wonderful ladies is that you love yourself and your bodies.
Love who God has created you to be.
Bask and rejoice in His wonderful love daily.

 

 

 

 

 

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Need vs. Want

“I need a pumpkin spice latte”
“I need new shoes”
“I need to go to that concert”
“I need that designer hand bag”

At various times in our lives we or someone else we know has stated their need to have something or to do something.

We say we “need” these things when shouldn’t we actually be saying we “want” those things?

A need simply put is something you have to have.
While a want is something you desire to have.

You need oxygen in order to survive.
You need water and food.
You need shelter.

We’ve created a culture around this whole idea of “I need this” or “I need that” in order to make us happy when it’s not about finding happiness, it’s about finding joy.
Happiness is usually dependent on situations or “things” and usually that happiness has a way of disappearing, whereas our joy comes from Christ.

You see, we are so desperate to find true joy that we end of searching in all the wrong places and in all the wrong things to bring us joy when all it ends up doing is bringing us temporarily happiness that fades and leaves us longing for a desire and need to find another thing to bring us joy.

The answer is right in front of us: Jesus Christ.

Our joy comes from Jesus Christ- who has loved us so much that he searched for us and rescued us and never abandons us.

Dear friends,
Let us not look to earthly possessions to give us happiness where only our joy from Christ belongs. Let us not look to earthly possessions to provide us with happiness that will lead us on a never ending hunt of “need” in order to make us happy.

Look to Christ as the source of our joy.

 

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Purity is way more than abstinence.

Hey friends!

Today I’m going to be tackling the topic of purity. It’s a topic that holds a lot of meaning to me, and it’s been on my mind for awhile. Hang tight with me as I dive in and tackle this topic.

Purity-Rings

 

The Christian church today has capitalized off of this whole idea that purity has to do with abstinence. You must buy this book, buy this purity ring, attend this conference, etc. I can’t tell you the amount of friends that I’ve had that have bought the purity rings, and devotional books dedicated to the topic of abstinence. For years even I thought that in order for me to be sexually pure, or abstain from sex until marriage that it was “required” that I wear one of these. “If I don’t wear a purity ring, how will people know I’m striving to live a life devoted to purity?” I would often think to myself……

We’ve turned purity into a checklist that we need to follow.

We’ve gone and told young girls and boys that in order to stay “pure” they must abstain from sex. We’ve gone and told them that their “reward” for being “sexually clean” is to find that perfect spouse that God has planned out for them. Because of this way of thinking, we have men and women out there who remain sexually pure because they think that in doing so they are going to be rewarded one day with a spouse.

I’ve sat with many women who through tears and sobbing have asked me, “What am I doing wrong? Why am I not married yet?”. And honestly, at some point or another I’ve been one of those women who have cried and sobbed my heart out on some other persons shoulder, asking the same old question. “I’m waiting, I’m trying to do everything right. How come nothing’s going right? Where’s my reward?”.

What are we supposed to say to these people who have been sexually pure for their whole lives and watched friends and family who have only been pure for a few days, weeks, months or years and are already getting married?

………hold on here for a second………

I think we may be missing something…
What about Jesus Christ?

I can be as “sexually pure” as I want, and practice abstinence until marriage and buy the purity ring and follow all the correct steps, but at the same time, I can be so dirt stained from my sin unless I have put my faith in Jesus Christ and been transformed and renewed by the gospel. 

All abstinence is is a habit that we have simply attached to mean purity.
Purity is a lifestyle.
It is living our lives in such a way that God originally had planned out for us.

Don’t get me wrong guys……
We are absolutely called to sexual abstinence, but that’s not what defines our purity.

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ and allow the gospel to transform and renew us, we allow God to create in us a pure heart and cleanse us.

Let’s stop telling people that purity is the key to marriage and start telling them that it’s a lifestyle.
Let’s stop telling people that being, “sexually clean” is the answer to purity and let’s start pointing people to Jesus as an example of what purity looks like.

 

 

 

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Shhh! Don’t say the “S” word

submission.

This word carries a lot of baggage with it.
often the weight of the word makes it scary and seem like it’s towering over us ready to pounce

as a teenager when I first started attending youth groups and Bible studies within the church, I would often hear that women were to submit themselves to men.

and honestly? It made me shiver. More so because of the context of how I was viewing submission.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary submission can be defined as:

  1. To yield oneself to the authority or will of another.
  2. To permit oneself to be subjected to something 

When you are submitting yourself to another person you are basically allowing them to have authority over you.

For the longest time I viewed submission as letting men control me or I saw it as giving up my voice and making myself weak. how wrong I was.

 Nonetheless it’s scary, right? To give someone that much power in your life….

Let’s look at Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Notice that last part friend, “as you do to the Lord“.

We are to submit ourselves to our husbands as we do to the Lord. We submit ourselves to God’s will daily. We ask Him to have His will be done in our lives. 

Let’s take a look at Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 

Yes, we are called to submit to our husbands out of love and respect for them, but husbands are called to love their wives as Christ does. 

Submission is not a reason to allow someone to ever abuse you or hurt you. Submission doesn’t mean you are any less valued or treasured. 

For the longest time I was really scared and I didn’t like the thought of having to submit myself to men. It made me feel inferior or like I had no worth. So dear friend, I understand if you are struggling with that.

My prayer for you is that you see submission not in negative light but as something that you do out of love and respect for that person. I pray that most of all we learn to submit ourselves to Christ daily so that His will may be done in our lives.

-Elizabeth Louise 

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A little spearmint for your brownies. 

Last night I made delicious spearmint brownies. 😋

Today, I’m sharing the recipe with you.

What you will need:

Brownie mix(I used Annie’s organic brownie mix).
It called for two eggs.
1 tablespoon of water
1 stick of butter
But, follow whatever your box says.
Add 2 drops of Youngliving’s Spearmint Vitality.

The box said to preheat the oven to 350 F so that’s the temperature that was used.

Let them bake for 15-20 minutes.

Once you’ve checked them and made sure they’re done, let them cool a bit.

And you are ready to eat! 😋
To get your spearmint Vitality from Young Living click Here and use Distributor ID:11577392

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Not enough time in your day?

Wake up, hit the alarm and sleep in a bit longer, finally wake up, get your kids up and dressed and fed, drop them off at daycare or school.

…….maybe if you are lucky you get to grab a coffee before you need to be at work

You get off work exhausted and either pick the kids up if they haven’t been picked up already and then remember that you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, get groceries, and make that long overdue dentist appointment.

If this isn’t your daily routine then I’m pretty sure yours is similarly filled with countless daily to do’s and chores that often leaves you feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.

YIKES!!!!!!!

No wonder we get stressed and overwhelmed….
We often feel like we have to get everything done and all at once.

Take a deep breathe and relax.
Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Are you ready?

We have been given 24 hours in the day to get done what we need to.
How much time are you spending on Facebook?
How much time are you spending on your phone?
How much time are you spending watching Netflix or Hulu?
How much time are you spending on Snapchat or Instagram?
How much time did you spend sleeping in when you could have been up early? 

That time that you spent on Facebook for 30 minutes could have been spent doing your laundry.
That time you spent on your phone for an hour and a half could have been spent finishing that book report that is due on Monday(hopefully you don’t actually have a book report due on Monday since it’s still summer!)
That time you spent sitting on the couch all day watching tv, you could have made that doctors appointment or picked up your dry cleaning.

 

Some things that we can do to better manage our time:
1. Use a daily planner: If you are anything like me, free, disorganized, lives for the random and unexpected then you really need a daily planner to manage your schedule. You can write down all of your events so that you don’t end up attending that birthday party two days earlier….
2. Use your calendar on the iphone: Technology is cool, right? We have the ability to plug our events into our calendar, and ask Siri to set reminders for us.
3. Use an alarm: On any given day, I have about ten different alarms going off. My iphone alarm, my Doctor Who alarm, oh and this alarm that will literally run around the room until you get out of bed to turn it off….. really fun to do in the morning.

Even with all of this….
What I’ve come to realize is that we are often the harshest judges of ourselves.
We overthink, we panic, we beat ourselves up and feel bad for not getting everything done.

You. Are. Going.To. Mess. Up
You.Are.Going.To.Make.Mistakes.Daily.

Give yourself a little grace.
You aren’t supposed to try doing everything on your own.
You aren’t perfect.
Nobody is. 

That’s the beauty of needing Jesus.
Where we are broken, and flawed and dirty from our sin that separates us from God
Jesus is beautiful, flawless, whole, and He overcame death on the cross.
Because of Him we have been redeemed and made new.

With Jesus we can overcome what we may not have been able to overcome before on our own.

The next time you get stressed out that you overslept by 5 minutes, didn’t pick up your dry cleaning, get the eggs or toilet paper from the store, forgot to make that dentist appointment and forgot to pick up your grandma Esther from the airport(hopefully you haven’t actually forgotten to pick up your grandma at the airport…) take a deep breathe and realize that you aren’t a superhero.

The next time you or someone else messes up or forgets to do something, stop and take a deep breath and extend grace to others as well as yourself.

 

I would love to hear what ways/tools you use to manage your time better? Feel free to leave a comment below!

 

Elizabeth Louise