Absence and New Beginnings

Absence and new beginnings

Hey!

So, as some of you might have noticed, there really hasn’t been any blog posts or that much activity on the log for a couple of months, and I thought I would just take a few minutes to explain why.

Well, firstly, I went on vacation at the beginning of July and didn’t have access to a computer.

Now that was only for a week, so here’s the explanation of the rest of the 7(ish) weeks.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying to figure out where both I personally as well as Unfading Beauty Ministries is going. 

I was supposed to be heading to college in the Autumn, but due to my severe allergy issues, I’m not going to be able to. I’ll be honest, I was so excited to be getting to go-I had already bought so much stuff to take with me. Then, when all of my plans were changed, it kind of sent me into a tailspin where I’ve been trying to figure out where my life is going. 

I’ll be honest with you, I have sat down several ties over the last while wanting to write something, but, I couldn’t bring myself to write something when I was struggling to believe it myself.

With that being said, I want to clarify, I wasn’t having what some might call a “crisis of faith”. No, I believe the same as I always have-that Jesus loves me and that he has the best in mind for me-even if I don’t know what that is. What I mean is that I have been hurting a lot and just trying to figure out where I fit in the scheme of things and where God is wanting me to go and do.

So, to sum it all up, God has been reminding me all about who he is and how much he loves me and just reminding me who I am and all the dreams and loves I have carried in the secret part of my heart since I was a young girl.

Now, with all this said, I am excited to announce that I am officially building our new website (YAY!) and I am so excited to not only bring you more great articles, but there will be more (regular) vlogs, hopefully some amazing collaborations with other bloggers and Christian companies and-as I had written a few posts back -getting to do more hands-on work out on the different communities that surround where I live and maybe even in other countries (which would be a dream and prayer come true!) 

So, that is all that is going on here!

Stay tuned, cause this next season that we will be embarking on together is going to be GREAT!!!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

 

The Heart of Modesty: The Girl on the Magazine Cover: Fashion and the Power of Dressing Modestly

the Girl on the Magazine Cover

Some time ago, I was at the store picking up some ingredients for a cake I was making, and ended up strolling down the magazine aisle.

As I stopped to look to see if they had my dad’s favorite vintage cars magazine, I spotted something that disturbed me. Right underneath the men’s magazines were the women’s magazines with cover images of scantily clad women.  Women who had these ‘come hither’ looks on their faces while trying to keep hold of what little clothing they had so the most intimate parts of their bodies were [mostly] covered-though, to be quite honest, it wasn’t doing much good.

As I looked at these images, I was filled with anger. Anger that these images, and the models in them, are what girls and women look at thinking that these are the standards they have to look [and live] up to in order to be sees as beautiful.

Then, when I got home, I was scrolling on Facebook, and the link to an article that caught my eye. The name of the article: “10 wardrobe items that instantly make you more attractive”.

The whole entire article was about things that a woman absolutely must have in her wardrobe. There are two main points this article is pushing: how to keep it classy while still maintaining an element of “sensuality” and that to attain that you have to make sure that just enough of your body is showing–just not too much or else you’ll make yourself look ‘trashy’.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Sensual” as the following: “relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses”

So, essentially, this article is telling us that women have to dress to appeal to the senses of men. 

I would like to challenge that idea.

The Bible says:

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by the wearing of gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” 1 Timothy 2:9

On that note, let me tell you a bit of a story.

When I was in 7th grade, I became obsessed with the 70’s T.V. show adaptation o Little House on the Prairie. So much so, that I became completely in love with the way the women dressed. It also helped that it was modest as well as quite feminine-dresses all day every day? Yes please! However, I didn’t take into consideration the ridicule it would bring me from the other kids in school.

Then, when 8th grade rolled around, I decided to try something else: dress more modern. So, I started wearing mini-dresses that were…well…too mini. In fact, they were so mini, that I couldn’t bend down in them…But, I’ll spare you from those details.

This is when I stumbled upon two books that completely changed the way I look at clothing: The Bride Wore White and Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty by speaker and author Dannah Gresh. (It also just so happens that Pure Freedom Ministries donated both of these books for a giveaway at the end of this series!)

So, why dress modestly? Well, we are called to honor God with our bodies. After all, we-our bodies-are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19) If you were to be a representative of someone in a high authoritative position, you wouldn’t dress improperly. You’d dress in the appropriate attire. In the same way, we, as daughters of the King-as representatives of The King of Kings, are called to dress in a way that will bring honor and praise to him.

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” Matthew 6:28-29

One of the things I’ve found in my research is how so many basically say “in order to be modest you must dress like this”

However, lets go right back to the main point of this whole series: Modesty starts in your heart and works its way out.

As well-known speaker and author Jefferson Bethke once said, “A Woman must have her heart changed before her clothing ever will!”

At the same time, I also believe that if you are a Christian who is wholeheartedly seeking after Jesus, you need to ask him to convict you of the clothing you have that don’t bring honor to him.

Here are a few questions I go by when purchasing clothes:

First, I ask myself “Would I be wearing this because I like it, or because of the attention it would bring to me?” and “Am I bringing honor to God and the body he’s given me when I wear this?”

Then if it passes that test, these are a few guidelines I like to use when trying clothes on:

  1. If I bend over and feel like there’s nothing covering my back end, I wear a pair of black cycling shorts or tights underneath
  2. If the collar of my shirt is too low or so loose that if I bend down you can see down my shirt, I wear a camisole under it.
  3. I try to keep my dresses no shorter than knee length. If it is just at the top of my knee I wear tights. As for shorts, I never wear short-shorts or bootie shorts. I always find ones that go at least 3/4 of the way down my thighs (Hip-Hooray for Bermuda Shorts!).
  4. I try to keep my bra straps covered and only wear tank tops that have minimum 2 inch straps. Spaghetti straps are ALWAYS worm with a bolero of some kind.
  5. Nothing super, duper tight
  6. And finally, I don’t let any of my midriff show.

GTDM

Here’s the thing, summer doesn’t have to be filled with anxiety over clothes. Yes, it might be a little more difficult to find modest clothing, but there are so many fun modest clothing stores online that have wonderful modest and modern summer (and year round) clothing! And throughout this series, I’m featuring some amazing and affordable modest clothing companies that I highly encourage you to go check out!

Lastly, one of the reasons that is spoken about more often than not, when it comes to modesty, is that we need to dress modestly so that we don’t cause our brothers-in-Christ to stumble and lust after us. And while I totally, completely agree with this, we need to make sure that we aren’t losing focus of the real reason that we are choosing to dress modestly.

You see, when we put all the focus and reasoning for dressing modestly on guys- whether it’s so that you don’t attract the wrong kind of attention, cause your Christian brothers to stumble and lust after you, or so that you will attract the right kind of attention from a nice Christian guy who might see you as being a Godly woman worth pursuing- we are forgetting that the whole reason to dress modestly: To Bring Honor and Glory to God. 

In the end, it all comes down to this: What is your purpose? What are the secret thoughts in your heart, behind the clothes you are picking? To bring glory and attention to God, or to yourself? 

I want to challenge you, take a few moments today to ask God to start convicting you of the clothes that don’t bring glory to his name. Some of the clothes may be perfectly modest, however the reason behind the purchase may not be-I myself have gotten rid of several outfits that I bought because of that very thing.  And finally, ask him to change your heart, to work in you from the inside out, to make you the woman of God that he desires for you to become!

Finally, here are a few of my favorite modest summer outfits-including a new completely adorable swim dress from Dainty Jewell’s which is perfect for going to the beach and then running errands or to out to eat before or right after! (By-the-Way, Their clothing is SO adorable and SO worth the money spent!) The other outfits are clothing I bought at Walmart for relatively good prices. The blue jean shirt was my dad’s that he bought off e-bay that I expropriated from his closet. It’s one of my staple pieces as it’s big enough that you don’t get too hot when you’re wearing it in the summer!

 

 

 

 

Also, don’t forget about our book giveaway at the end of this series! We’ll be providing more information on how you can enter when we get closer to it! The books were donated from Dannah Gresh’s Ministry Pure Freedom Ministries (of which I also encourage you to go check out) and the notebook was custom designed (by yours truly!) specifically for this giveaway!

 

 

 

Until next time!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

Is God Really Enough? Where Christianity and Consumerism Collide

Is God Really Enough

It’s all around us. Television, radio, social media and the stores we shop in. People and products yelling at us to “buy this!” or “you need that!”

You go to your instagram account and up pops an image of someone telling you about the latest, greatest hair product or makeup brand or clothing store. 

We’re being told that buying it will fulfill our happiness. 

But then, when we buy it, while we’re happy for a fleeting moment, that feeling of emptiness always seems to come back. So, what do we do? We go out and buy something else that we’re told will fulfill us.

The millennial generation has become addicted to the high we get when we purchase something new. 

You go onto YouTube and see vlogs of people telling you about their latest “haul” of stuff they bought. And after a watching a few of those, you’re convinced that you absolutely have to have that stuff!

I know, I’ve been there myself. I used to watch one vlogger in particular, but eventually had to quit because I would start becoming dissatisfied with the my life and what I had. 

“Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” ” Luke 12:15

When we start to think that the only way we’ll be happy is if we are buying something new, we are basically saying that God isn’t enough to satisfy and fulfill us. Yes, it might give you a temporary feeling of happiness, but here’s the thing happiness is based solely off of happenings. 

buying something new,

What we really want is joy-because joy isn’t that fleeting. Joy is that hope inside you that flickers when you are at a rough spot in your journey It’s that thing that tells you to “just look up” because the dawn is on its way. It’s that thing that tells you to keep holding on, because God’s got this-even though you might not understand what “this” is.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew 6:19-20

Ladies, we are called to live a higher standard. 

The sin isn’t in desiring something-whether it’s a new body lotion, makeup, or maybe even a relationship, the sin is when we obsess over it so much that we believe that it is the only thing that will fulfill our heart’s and joy.

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

I want to challenge, next time you see something that you really want, pray about it. Surrender it to God. 

It could be as simple as saying “Lord, you know how much I want this (fill in the blank). I give this desire to you. Help me trust that you know what I need and don’t need. And help me remember, that you are always with me and that you have only the very best for me in mind. Amen.” 

So, Is God Really Enough? YES!

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

The Girl in the Front Church Pew: Accepting the Lie of Mandatory Perfection

The Girl in the Front Church Pew

The girl in the front church pew. She’s happy and kind. She is always perfectly put together and she has it all together…

Al least, that’s what everybody seems to think.

She’s that girl who came from a good, strong, steady Christian home. At church almost every Sunday. Participates in extracurricular church activities. Lends a helping hand when she’s asked. 

Congregants look at her and think that her life is without hurt. Kids at school think of her as the “goody-goody church girl” who doesn’t like to have any “real fun”.

Yet, she’s breaking on the inside. Her heart feels like a cracked window; a hundred little shards falling out one by one. 

Putting on a mask so that she doesn’t “let anybody down”. 

When people ask her “how are you?” she smiles and says “I’m doing so good” in the most chipper voice she can muster, all the while she just wants to scream and claw at something. Yet, she keeps things upbeat and lighthearted because she doesn’t want to bring someone else down with her troubles.

The girl in the front church pew…

I’m that girl…rather…I was that girl.

I was the girl who used to think that I had to cover up when I was hurting because people expected me to be happy; to always have a smile on my face. 

I had myself convinced that people only wanted anything to do with me when I was hurting; that they didn’t care about me the rest of the time, so why do that to myself.

I have seen several girls who grew up in church go through the same thing. We let the lies of the enemy convince us that we have to be happy. That we’ll let everyone down if we let them see that we are going through a rough time. 

There was a period for about two years that I wouldn’t let myself cry in front of people because that showed weakness. I didn’t want others to see the pain that I was hiding. It also didn’t help that I was told that crying in front of others was purely selfishness and a means to gather attention to myself.

Some of you may know from my social media sites, that I was at a ladies retreat this past weekend, and the topic above is one of the areas where God was doing some major healing in.

I’ll be honest, I had myself completely convinced that no one cared unless I was visibly going through something. That they wouldn’t take time for me unless they knew I was hurting. So, I started closing myself off to people, as I decided that if they didn’t truly care about me-or take time for me- at my highest like they did at my lowest, then they didn’t deserve to know the details of my life… 

It wasn’t until this past weekend, that I realized I wasn’t closing them off because I thought they didn’t deserve to know my life, I closed them off because I didn’t want to feel the hurt and pain of rejection again.

I want to talk to you ladies who have lived a similar life as the image of the ‘Church Girl who sits in the Front Pew’ that I wrote at the beginning of the article.

 

You are loved and people do care about you. You don’t need to put on a mask of happiness in order to make sure you live up to the standard that you think people have for you. and take it from someone who has lived through this, most of the time it is only what you think they think. 

It’s all a lie from the devil. Plain and Simple.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

The enemy wants to alienate you (us) from our church family. Without that support and fellowship, we’ll close ourselves off and could end up falling so deep in believing the enemy’s lies that we start to walk away from the church altogether-as is what started happening to me. 

I left my home church and started trying other churches, and started to feel like I could start sharing stuff again; my life, my testimony some of my struggles and eventually, I ended up going back to my home church, and that’s when I started thinking that I had to keep this happy attitude. That people expected me to have a happy smile on my face, so, that’s what I did-even if I was feeling totally miserable.

What I’m trying to say, is that I believed so many different lies. Lies that I had to do this or else that would happen. That this is what people thought-or didn’t.

Ladies, it can be so easy to let ourselves get lost in believing these lies. 

I know…I know

One of the definitions I found for “to know” is: “to have developed a relationship with…through meeting and spending time…” 

I developed a relationship with these lies. I held them close and used them as my proverbial safety covering. I met with them and let them convince me of their so-called “truth”. Shielding myself with them. The lies of having to present an air of happiness became an exhausting chore, yet whenever the exhaustion would hit, my “friend” the lie would come calling and remind me why I was doing it.

 

I want you to know, you aren’t alone. I know what you are experiencing. I also want you to know, that these things you believe are so far from the truth. People care about you, and while I might not know you personally, care about you!

Seriously, I want to encourage you, if you ever need to talk, you can always contact me.

You can get a hold of me through Facebook or through e-mailing me at unfadingbeauty77@gmail.com. And if I can’t help, I’d be more than happy to try to help you find someone who can.

XoXo,

~Kristen~