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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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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

 

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11 labels to stop using

Labels.
We’ve all judged someone and labeled someone.
We’ve all been judged and had someone label us.

People-Word-Labels-1024x739.jpg

 

I’m going to tackle a few of the labels that I feel we need to stop using:

  1. Addict:
    Being an addict is actually very serious. Naming someone an addict just because they struggle with something may actually prevent them for realizing they need help or they may feel shame.
  2. Republican/Democrat/Libertarian:
    Just because someone votes differently than you doesn’t mean that they are defined by their political party.
    People are so much more than how they vote or what party they associate with.
  3. Snowflake:
    I’ve heard this insult thrown around by all kinds of people. Usually they mean it as an insult when someone is being overly sensitive about something. While, I do think that there is a time and a place in which you need to learn to take criticism well and hear people out, just because someone gets touchy is not a reason to label them a “snowflake”.
    They may be dealing with deep rooted issues from their past and calling them names is not going to help them uncover those issues and start to get past them.
  4. Fat/Skinny:
    People are more than just their bodies. Labeling someone based off their body image can be hurtful and body shaming.
    They actually may be dealing with loving themselves, they may be anorexic, or they may just have actual health issues.
  5. Gay:
    Again, people’s sexuality doesn’t define them.
    I’ve heard people use this as an insult, “Oh, you’re so gay”
    Using this as an insult suggests that there is something wrong with people who may consider themselves gay.
  6. Black/White:
    Let’s stop only seeing the color of our skin and allowing that to separate us. Your worth is not found in your skin color. Your skin color does not say who you are. There is more to a person than just their skin color.
  7. Whore/Slut:
    We need to stop referring to women with names like these. Honestly, it’s obnoxious that we have a double standard where it’s okay for men to sleep around but if a woman does, she is labeled as a slut or a whore.
    Not okay.
  8. OCD/Depressed/ADHD:
    We need to stop with the saying, “You’re so OCD, you just cleaned your room” or, “You’re always so depressing to be around. Stop it”.
    These are really serious illnesses, and labeling someone as OCD just because they like something a particular way or labeling someone as depressed or “depresso” because they seem sad over a death of a relative or a situation, doesn’t mean they are struggling with these illnesses.
    It also may make them feel shame if they are struggling with these issues.
  9. Druggie/Alcoholic:
    States have started legalizing marijuana and it’s common to socially drink. There are medical benefits to using marijuana. Just because someone is using marijuana does not automatically make them a druggie. They may have cancer or have deep rooted anxiety. Just as a person drinking alcohol doesn’t make them a alcoholic. Labeling them as such may prevent them from realizing they have an addiction and thus getting help.
  10. Retarded:
    Dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Aspergers, etc are serious disabilities.
    Calling someone “retarded” just because they may struggle with a disability or have a different way of learning is actually really un-loving.
    We are all beautiful, and different in our own ways.
    Often times we call friends, “retarded” when we want to call them stupid or think they’ve done something stupid that we think was clear.
    It is used to take away peoples worth and make them feel less than.
  11. Boys will be boys:
    This one isn’t so much a label as a saying. Am I the only one who thinks it’s annoying when people go, “Oh, boys will boys. Can’t change them”.
    Excuse me. No.
    If a boy messes up it is the parents job to raise and correct the wrong type of behavior.
    It should not always be blamed on girl to be “better”

 

When we allow labels to dictate how we see others, we miss out on the chance to truly know and see the person for who they really are.  We miss out on seeing the beauty of the differences in each of us.

More and more I pray that I can see people from the eyes of God. To love people with no boundaries. To not let differences define who people are.

 

Elizabeth Louise

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Adventures of lavender fields and coffee.

Today I went on a road trip with a good friend of mine. Went opted to go to Delaware, moreover because I have never been and one of my goals this year is to visit new states when I can.

Off we go to Delaware and within 15 minutes we stop for lunch because we are starving. Didn’t get that far, did we? lol gotta love road trips. I don’t know about you guys, but I just LOVE Chick-fil-a over most fast food places. They just came out with a new sandwich so of course I had to try it. Show of hands, whose tried that barbecue bacon chicken sandwich with the new watermelon mint lemonade? I promise you won’t regret it. Eating it made me feel as though I was sitting at a picnic eating chicken right off the grill. Perfect meal for the summer(you know, for fast food).

So we get back on the road and fight traffic here and there. Eventually we get to the Lavender farm- Lavender Fields at Warrington Manor. The flowers weren’t in full bloom yet, but they were still magnificent. And who knew that there were so many different kinds of lavender?

I even got to do a short little meditation in the midst of all that lavender and the fresh air.


After buying a few Lavender products we headed back home. On the way we stopped at a coffee roastery that was inside of a local art and antique gallery-anything from essential oil diffuser necklaces, to antique clocks, to Christian yoga t-shirts, to comics. After looking around and buying a few things I tried a coffee drink I’ve never tried before-affogato(ice cream and coffee).


After awhile we once again headed on our way home, this time not stopping anywhere else which was surprising knowing how ADHD we get.

From today I learned three things I want to share.

  1. Don’t get frustrated with small things: Traffic stinks no matter where you are. You get stuck behind a person going 30 miles in a 50 zone, or maybe that guy behind you is WAYYY too close to your bumper. I get it, I do. But, get upset and frustrated doesn’t help anything. Play some music, talk to God, or play a game in the car. Take a deep breathe and relax. Everyone else is probably just as frustrated as you are.
  2. You can find beauty in the simplest of things: Walk outside and find beauty in the sunrise and sunset. Find beauty in that field of lavender that is not fully bloomed yet but is still magnificent. Find beauty in each person you come across. Find different ways to see beauty  and embrace it.
  3. Live Jesus through your life: You don’t have to be a Pastor or minister to preach the Word of God. The coffee shop we went to today-Amity Coffee Roasters. They sold beautiful necklaces and bracelets that had simple messages about God and Christ. The space they share with the art gallery? Well the art gallery sold clothing like yoga shirts that went “Free. John 8:36”. They sold wall art with inspirational quotes and God. If you love coffee, then open a coffee shop and serve people and show them the love of Christ through your life. If you want to be a teacher, shoe Jesus through your life. Show Christ through your words and actions. Be an example of the love of Christ. Use your gifts and passions to reach people.

Elizabeth Louise