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~

God’s Faithfulness. Presenting: A New Light on Modesty

I am so continually in awe of God’s goodness and faithfulness! To be honest, I never ever thought that the dreams I had for Unfading Beauty Ministries would ever actually come true, but here I am planning a HUGE project that is literally changing the way I think and look at things. Not only in the knowledge I’m gaining from all of my reading and research of the Bible, but also how much my trust in God has grown. He is providing one thing after the other for this project and it is coming together so perfectly!

One of the verses that I have continually prayed over Unfading Beauty Ministries is Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” 

I remember the very first day Unfading Beauty Ministries was set up. A good friend set everything up for me, and everything was ready for me to write my little heart out.

But, before I even wrote my first article, I knew that I needed to dedicate this new endeavor to God and to his Kingdom Building. That he would have his will and way through this new Unfading Beauty blog.

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t fully committed to writing on here at first. In fact, it wasn’t until May of 2016 (approximately three years into this blog) that I realized that God had given me something that I needed to be a better steward of.

One of the dreams that I’ve always had, is that I would be able to partner with other bloggers, companies and ministries to reach an even wider demographic of young women. 

Several months ago, I was approached by a company that wanted to do a collaboration with Unfading Beauty Ministries-something that I’ve been dreaming about doing for a very long time. However, when I went onto the website to find out what their beliefs the company was founded upon, I was met with a long paragraph telling me a lot of stuff that goes directly against what I believe-and the beliefs this ministry was founded upon. 

Then, I found out that a Christian friend of mine was doing a collaboration with them. This caused a lot of wrestling within me as to whether I should or shouldn’t. I kept having thoughts like “If she’s okay with doing it, then it should be okay for me…but it just goes against what I believe to be right…”

After much prayer, I had to decline the offer, knowing that I couldn’t in good conscience support-and advertise my love for a company that goes completely against my fundamental beliefs. 

So, I started praying, Lord, if it’s your will for me to collaborate with other companies, lead me to ones that believe your truth…I surrender this dream to you.”

God has been so faithful in everything and I am far beyond excited to announce to you that I have partnered with several different companies and ministries to bring you a project about modesty!

a-new-light-on-modesty

Before you start thinking, “Modesty? Yeah, I’ve heard it a million times. Don’t dress like this, and do dress like that…” 

Well, let me tell you, this project, while it will talk about how we dress ourselves physically, I am also going to be talking about other kinds of modesty. I’ll just leave it at that and you’ll have to tune in to find out what other kinds of modesty there are! 

*Wink, Wink*

I want to say a special thank you to all the companies and Ministries that I am partnering with to bring this project to you!

  • Dainty Jewells Here’s a little bit about their company from their “About Us” Page:

“Dainty Jewell’s is about more than just selling beautiful clothing. We are on a mission to provide every woman and girl the opportunity to choose timeless fashions that stay true to her sense of modesty. We believe that having access to affordable, modest, and beautiful pieces allows all women’s true beauty to shine through.”

“NeeSee’s Dresses are vintage inspired, exclusive designs for women who love to wear beautiful clothes but who won’t sacrifice comfort or modesty. Each dress is feminine, flattering, and fashionable. When you wear one of our dresses, you feel confident because your best features are emphasized. Comfortable. Modest. Beautiful.”

Kosher Casual is a company that is in Israel and is dedicated to modest fashion. Their clothing is modest, beautiful and versatile! 

And Finally, I am getting to partner with Pure Freedom Ministries to do an absolutely fabulous End-Of-Series Giveaway!!

I want you to know that I truly, absolutely LOVE and support each and every one of these companies/ministries! 

I am so excited to see everything God is going to do through this awesome project! Within the next month or so I’ll be taking part in a photo shoot of some different outfits that have been graciously provided by the above companies as well as getting the rest of the exciting articles, print outs and other materials put together for all of you! As well as a vlog for each part of the series!

One last thing, I want to encourage all of you, if you have any questions or thoughts about modesty, please don’t be afraid to contact me! I am very excited to answer questions and interact with you!

Before you take off take a few moments to go check each one of them out! You won’t regret it!

Stay tuned for more details to come!

Until next time!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

Living an Intentional Life

Last year I was introduced to the phenomenon of having a “Word of the Year”. A Word that you focus/work on doing better that year. 

When I first heard about it last year, I was rather intrigued with it, and decided “I wanna try it too!” So, I did just that.

This year-much like last-as I prayed for “my word” I sat for several days, trying to figure out why it wouldn’t come to me. Was I not praying hard enough? Was I not hearing for some reason? Was I just too unsettled? Why was I not getting my word? WHY?

Then it hit me: I was waiting for some grand revelation to come over me and tell me my word, when, in reality, my word was just a simple word that I kept saying/using towards the end of 2016. A word that I generally don’t use in everyday life.

The word? Intentional.

I remembered that I kept saying “I want to be more intentional about (Fill In The Blank)” 

Thus leading me to this year’s journey about learning to Live an Intentional Life!

intentional

Maybe you’re wondering what that means. 

Well, to me it means scheduling my priorities. Organizing my life so that I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off-as I have basically done all my life.

You see, I’m a ‘go wherever the winds blow me’ kind of person. I’m the kind of person who will pick up and does something without any kind of plan. If I feel like it, then I’ll do it, If I don’t then “whatever”!

Unfortunately, that kind of life settled into my blogging and ministry life as well. I have never planned a blog post ahead of time. Never set a work schedule. If I felt like writing then I wrote, if not-again-“whatever”. 

The longer I’ve gone on living life-like that, I realized that I have, at times, completely burned myself out. I would write two posts some weeks, and then go for three or for weeks and not write anything at all-definitely not being a good steward of what God has given me-and then beat myself up for not writing.

What does “intentional” actually mean? Well, I googled it (thank goodness for google!) and the definition that popped up is “done on purpose; deliberate”. 

I want my everything I do in my life to be intentional; deliberate-on purpose. I want to love people on purpose. I want to deliberately  go out of my way to help someone. I want to intentionally set time aside to spend with Jesus. 

Not only that, but I want to be intentional about going after the dreams God has given me. The dreams and visions for this ministry, for my career and even be more intentional about taking better care of myself physically.

Scheduling time in to my life to do certain things-and even making sure there’s tie in my life I haven’t scheduled anything to take a breather.

Beyond that, I want to be intentional about trusting (trust was my word last year) God to completely change my plans to do his will.

Like I said, most of the time I don’t plan, but when I do, I get very, very unhappy when those plans change. Basically, it can be like a pendulum, swinging too far one way, or too far the other. 

 This is my journey this year. To be more intentional about every aspect in my life. 

 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:10-11 

I hope this has inspired you all-as I firmly believe that it is the job of every single Christian to live an intentional life-being intentional to fulfill our calling and spread the love of Jesus to everyone we meet!

the-job-intentional

Love you all!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

Why it’s Time to Take a Stand

I started reading through the book of Joel and Song of Songs recently, and these last couple of days God’s been using it to really plant into my heart why it’s time  for Christians to take a stand for Christ and his word.

taking-a-stand

If you’ve ever read through the book of Joel, you’ll know that it’s about the second coming of Jesus Christ.

As I read , I realized that so many things that were prophesied to happen, have been coming to pass. Earthquakes, massive fires, the Blood Moons, bodies of water drying up-and more!

Then as I read in the Song of Songs and I was incredibly struck by something.

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you— if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love. Friends: How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others,that you so charge us? She: My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with sapphires. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.”

Song of Songs 5:8-16 (NIV)

While I was reading I was struck by how this woman basically told her friends “If you see my husband, Tell him how much I love him!” and her friends are all like “What is so special about your husband that we need to tell him such things for you?” and she proceeds to list all the things she loves about her husband. All the reasons he’s set apart from all the other men. 

And this is where a question really struck my heart: Why don’t we treat God-the lover of our souls. Our creator and Savior the same way this woman treats her husband? She yearns for her husband so much that she tells her friends all the wonderful things about him. Shouldn’t we yearn and desire for God so much that we go out and tell our friends about how much we love him and how wonderful he is?

Maybe it’s because we’re just too scared to be “crucified” for what we say and believe-but guess what? So was Christ-except, he was literally crucified-not just figuratively like us.

We are in the last days-now I don’t know when Christ is going to come back-but I do know that it’s time we put aside our fears. Time to take up our cross and follow Christ with abandon. To fall so in love with Christ and all that he is that we yearn to tell people about his love, mercy and saving grace.

It’s time to take a stand for our beliefs. It may not be the popular thing to do. It may ostracize you from your friends who think you have lost it, but in the end, they may look at you and say “You know, she didn’t back down from her beliefs just because she was treated badly for it. Maybe there’s something to what she believes,”  and you’ll have the opportunity to explain why you believe as you do and lead them to Christ.

It is time for us to start living fearless and take a stand for our King and The truth.

XoXo,

~Kristen~