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~

The Heart of Modesty: What is Modesty?

what is modesty

What is Modesty? The dictionary describes it as “not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities; not showing or feeling great or excessive pride.” and “of clothing; not showing too much of a person’s body.”

So, from those two definitions, we are able to gather one thing: Modesty isn’t just about how you dress, but also pertains to who you are-your inner self!

I have done many hours of research about modesty and there’s something I’ve noticed.

The main focus is on clothing. Through reading many different articles about modesty I soon realized that there are three main topics/reasons that people tend to focus on why you should dress modesty.

  1. Not to Make Christian men stumble and lust after you
  2. So that we don’t catch the eyes of men who “Only Want One Thing”
  3. So that we do catch the eye of a good, Godly man so that we can get married

Now, while these are all very valid points, I believe there is another key issue about modesty that sorely needs to be addressed.

You see, after all my hours of work, I have come to one definite conclusion: Modesty Begins on the Inside. What am I trying to say exactly? 

Modesty is a Matter of the Heart!

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

Modesty is about so much more than just how we dress outwardly. It’s about how we dress ourselves inwardly as well. How we act, how we talk, how we treat other people and yes, how we dress is part of it too!

When I started putting all my notes and thoughts and plans together to make it into a viable outcome, I put out a mini-questionnaire-for both guys and girls to answer-and asked two questions: 

  1. What does a Modest Woman look like to you?
  2. What is the most important aspect(s) of modesty for a woman? Is it who she is as a person, how she dresses, how she acts/presents/carries herself? Something else?

The results I received were actually quite surprising. They all varied in one way or another, however there was one commonality among them. Everyone answered that modesty-whatever form it may take, starts in the heart and works its way out.

There was one particular answer to the second question that completely blew me away that came from a guy I personally know. He stated:

“I think it all originates from who a woman is. If she sees herself as God’s masterpiece and gets her validation from Him, her character will follow that. She won’t try and present herself to other people and men to get the validation that she is getting from God. It’s all in the heart. One of the factors that plays into this is culture. There’s a balance in staying culturally relevant while maintaining biblical modesty. That’s up to her discretion and conscience. All of this–the most important thing–originates in the heart of the person.”

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to stuff like this, I LOVE getting a Christian guys viewpoint. It helps me see a little clearer into what men think on these issues, and this answer is no exception! 

Anywho, over the next few months, I am going to be diving into the different types of modesty that God has laid on my heart! There’s even going to be a giveaway at the end of the whole series!

Finally, in each post, I am going to be featuring some different modest outfits for the upcoming season-a few of which have been donated specifically for this project by some absolutely wonderful companies-because wearing modest clothing is important to! *wind*wink*

For this first installment of the series, I’d like to feature a dress that I got from NeeSee’s Dresses. I figured, because it’s springtime (and Easter is this Sunday!) this is the perfect dress!

The thing I love about it is it has the perfect collar-not too high and not too low-and it goes down just below my knee!

When it comes to fashion, I am all about making it your own! I love adding little accessories like a cute hat, some dainty gloves and an adorable pair of shoes, and then I’m good to go! 

To me, Fashion isn’t about what’s “in”, it’s about a reflection of my personality and I believe it’s so important to add those little things that make your outfit your very own-as I do with my accessories of choice!

So, without further adieu, here’s my featured outfit. I like to call it ‘The Vintage Rose” 

I am SO excited you are joining me for this series!

And finally, At the end of the series, We are going to be having a fabulous giveaway (our first giveaway too!

Author Dannah Gresh’s Ministry Pure Freedom Ministries was wonderful enough to donate two amazing books (I read them in High School and they changed my life!) and I designed a special one-of-a-kind notebook for the lucky winner to write notes in as they read these books! 

Now, I want to know how YOU dress with modesty-both inwards and outwards! Use the tags #TheHeartOfModesty and #UnfadingBeautyMinistries so that I can see how you live a life of modesty!

XoXo

~Kristen~

Does Your Social Media Testify that You’re Set Apart for God?

Does Your Social Media Testify that God Had Set Apart-

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It has helped my keep in touch with far off family and friends, but it is also one of the biggest anxiety makers as well.

Recently, I’ve been noticing something that has, to be quite frank, disturbed me.

And, unfortunately, it’s something I’ve witnessed countless numbers of times over the last coupe of years. You see, I watch as people profess to being a Christian and then turn around and quite willingly cuss-some even cuss in the same post as they profess Christ’s goodness, or writing (more like bragging, actually) about how they got (or are currently) incredibly drunk.

Before you start indignantly saying, “Um…except nobody’s perfect,” hear me out.

I’m not talking about new Christians who are still in the early stages of learning these things, I’m talking about people who, for many years, have been professing to be a set apart young person.

I believe that one of the biggest difficulties of modern society is that, in an effort to try to stay relevant, we are forgetting that God has called us to live set apart. To live, speak and act different from the rest of the world.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)

While it is important to stay up-to-date so you can relate to people, it’s also necessary to remember that if you act so much like non-Christians, it’s inevitable that eventually, people will end up looking at how you’re acting and start to question and think “why do I need to “get saved” if they act the same way I do now?”

Here’s a bit about what the Bible says:

“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

Ephesians 4:17-24 (NLT) (Emphasis Added)

It burdens my heart to watch young people say one thing and then act the other. How are you speaking? Are the words you’re using-and the topics speaking of-going to bring honor and glory to God and be a testament that he has transformed you and set you apart, or are they going to confuse people who see you write one thing one moment, but then say or be something completely the next?

“You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.” Leviticus 20:26

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)

Let me present this thought to you; Speaking encouragement isn’t just about speaking kind words to uplift someone. Speaking encouragement is also about speaking in such a manner that it encourages unbelievers to desire to know what it is that makes you want to speak in such a pure way.

Speaking encouragement

I want to challenge you to take a few minutes and prayerfully go through your social media-whether it be  Facebook, Instagram, a Blog you have, Twitter, Tumblr, Snap Chat…etc… and let God convict you of the things that could be/are causing harm to your testament of Faith and belief in Christ; the things (words, statements, actions…etc) that make people wonder if what you say about believing in Jesus is really real.

No, people aren’t perfect, but, as Christians, we need to let God transform us. We need to heed his word so that when we testify about our faith, people won’t question it.

So, let God transform you from the inside out. Remember, that is where Unfading Beauty originates in our spirit, heart and mind. For, what is in the heart, will flow out into every aspect of our lives-so let Christ and his word be what you are putting into your heart, it’s the best thing that a person could ever do-for them self, for others and most importantly, so that the Glory of God will be seen in and through you!

XoXo

~Kristen~