Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
- St. Augustine
Yes, God made beautiful mountains. He made beautifully intricate flowers and gorgeous scenery. But do you ever think about how beautiful He made each and everyone of us? He loved us enough to make us each unique; to make us each beautiful in our own way. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Alright. So last week we were talking about how the Israelites might have believed that God was there with them (there was a pillar of cloud for crying out loud!) but they didn't have faith that He would provide for them. This week I want to take a bit of time to talk about having faith in God's plan for you and how to know if you are putting your faith in Him.
Phillipians 1:6 says: "[Be] confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus". That is a promise that God makes to all His people. If you have faith in God then you must also have faith in His promises. He says many times that He won't leave us hanging. And when there are times of trouble in your life, He asks you to trust in Him. As Jenny B. Jones puts it in her book "Save the Date": "Satan plants questions in your mind and says, 'answer this with logic.' But God says, "No, answer with faith." When things are not making sense in your life, you need to be confident that God is in control. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Proverbs 21:1). "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths will I guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them" (Isaiah 42:16).
Now what if you belief in God and you put your faith in Him, how do you know if you are showing Him your love? Take a moment to step back from your life and examine your actions. What you do with your life gives people a good image of what you, as a believer, put your faith in. Humans were wired to worship, what you spend the most time on is what you worship (I will unpack this statement on another day). Jesus says, in John 14:21: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
I love that verse. Basically what He is saying is if we follow God's commandments (one of which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength) then He will reveal Himself to you. And when someone asks you why you put your faith in a God that is invisible, you can tell them about your personal experience with God. No one can argue with personal experience and God provides us with those experiences because He wants us to be able to show others His amazing love.
He loves us therefore we should love Him. We do not deserve His love, but He gives it freely to us. So next time you find yourself wondering about God and His plan for you, ask yourself if you are just believing in God or if you are putting your faith in Him as well. I can guarantee it will make a big impact in your life, at least it did in mine!
[All Biblical references are from the NIV unless otherwise stated]
1. Simple pieces with unique details like this blouse from Club Monaco are a great addition to your wardrobe. It's a way of looking professional and put-together with an added twist of fun.
2. Statement necklaces are huge right now! My personal favourites are large floral ones with vibrant colours, like this one from wetseal.com. Add it to a simple white tee and jeans to create a fun, easy outfit.
3. Floral has been trendy for the past little while but to be able to transition it into fall is a toughy. Look for pieces that are darker and contain more earth tones.
4. Blazers are a key trend this fall. Add one to a casual outfit or dress to make an outfit go from good to great. I love this one from Gap that is a vibrant colour with a great white trim!
5. Leopard print is a great print that has been coming up more and more this past little while. It's great for pattern mixing or adding a little bit of pizzaz to an outfit.
6. Ankle booties are super trendy right now. Wear them with your favourite flirty summer dress to get a bit more wear out of it. They are a great transition piece!
I have been really into the idea of faith and God's faithfulness for the past few months (as seen here, here and here). What has been extremely challenging for me has been the difference between faith and belief. My friend, just yesterday, asked me if there actually was a difference and I totally think there is.
Dictionary definitions: Belief: confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof Faith: confidence or trust in a person or thing. My definitions (that are along the same lines just a little bit more streamlined): Belief: acknowledging that God is there and He exists Faith: putting your trust in God because of your belief. For example... I might believe that a chair will hold me up if I sit on it. But I am not putting my faith in it until I sit down on it. I could stand there forever telling people about how I believe that it will hold me up, but if I never sit down then my words mean nothing. Lets take a look at those pesky Israelites back in the Old Testament. Now, God had just parted the Red Sea for them and had delivered them from the Egyptian army, and I mean just, and the Israelites started to complain about how they didn't have any food and that God was providing. It wasn't that they didn't believe that He existed, in fact they saw Him all day as a pillar of clouds and all night as a pillar of fire, but they didn't have faith in His faithfulness. What the Israelites show us is that tangible stuff is easy. It's easy to believe in God when you can see Him actively working in your life. When you stop being able to see what He is up to is when things kinda get blurry and you need to start relying on faith. As Oswald Chambers puts it: "Faith is the deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time." Seeing the chair is easy, just like seeing a miracle happen is easy. But sitting down in that chair is what proves that you have faith. In the same way, when you are relying on God to hold you up, that is when you start putting your faith in Him. "Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, despite your changing moods." - C.S. Lewis
Wednesday is now quote day (: Basically, I will just be sharing my favourite quotes. Feel free to leave a comment with yours!
"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away your ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer."
~Corrie Ten Boom
I think this is a beautiful illustration of trust in God. It kinda goes
with the quote that I wrote on last week: "Don't doubt in the dark what
God showed you in the light." Just because it gets dark and scary does
not mean that God is still standing right beside us. All we need to do
is take one step at a time and trust that He is always with us.
I love each season for different reasons. Spring is always so gorgeous with all its flowers and colours; summer is warm and there's no need to wear jeans all the time; winter allows for super cozy clothes and snow, which I love. I love fall because I love the crisp coldness of the mornings and the transition from hot to cold.
Fall is a tricky time to style, though, because it can be cold in the morning yet warm up throughout the day until you're sweating in your jeans and sweater. Here are a few tricks to transition your summer outfits to fall easily!
1. The classic blazer and cardigan!
Add a blazer or cardigan to an outfit of shorts and a t-shirt to add a bit of class and a bit of warmth. Plus, their light-weight, so if you end up having to take it off during the day you can carry it around easily. A structured blazer also adds double duty with giving you clean lines and sophistication, while a cardigan is great to put on over a super casual outfit. Layers are the best for fall because it allows you to be flexible.
2. Scarves, scarves, scarves Scarves are a fashionable girl's best friend. You can get light-weight ones for summer and heavier, pashminas for the colder months. They're easy to incorporate into an outfit, they add colour and they are also a great way to make sure you're not showing off too much cleavage (modest=hottest and don't you forget it! :).
3. Change your shoes
Quickest way to transition: switch your shoes! Instead of sandals try a pair of knee height boots or ballet flats with a "warm" outfit (such as a tank top and skirt). If you're wearing a "colder" outfit (such as jeans and a cardi) pair it with some sandals.
4. Shorts and Tights
Add a pair of tights to your favourite shorts outfit. It's a great way to add a bit of warmth, add some colour and get extra wear out of your summer faves.
I hope that these tips help you get more wear out of your favourite clothes. I know that for me, I'm always reluctant to put away some of my tank tops because over the summer they become staples in my wardrobe. Feel free to comment with any of your own ideas or questions!
You can have money and cool friends, a ring on your left hand. But it's never going to be enough if you don't have Love. You can have a fast car, a mansion and everyone's attention But it's never going to be enough if you don't have Love.
So, as many of you know I've had to downsize my book collection a little bit because of my current living space. I thought, since I haven't written anything on books lately, I would let you in on the books I brought and why I chose those ones! Basically, mini reviews for books that I love but that aren't all that new.
Book #1 - The Truth About Guys by Chad Eastham
I love this book because it's straight to the point, truthful and - best of all - funny! Chad is a phenomenal writer (I recommend his two other books as well!) and he writes from the heart. Also, he doesn't push getting a boyfriend or anything, the idea that he pushes in all of his books is getting to know Christ and really loving yourself. Without those two things it's impossible to really fall for someone in a healthy situation! Book #2 - The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
If I had to pick a favourite book, this one would definitely be in the running. Melanie takes a fairytale that we all know and love, Sleeping Beauty, and adds a twist of reality to it. She sets in back in old time Germany and adds a Christian element, which I really appreciate. I really love her writing style as well, and her characters are amazing. Book #3 - The Bride Backfire by Kelly Eileen Hake
This is book 3 in the series but it's my favourite, and you don't have to read all of the books to get the story in this one. I love of Kelly is able to create characters that are loveable and relatable. She is a very talented writer (so is her mom!).
Book #4 - Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh
Tamara is definitely one of my favourite authors. She has the ability to be incredibly witty in one sentence and then in the next one she can be very deep and spiritual. I love her characters because they are very true to life, and the lessons that her characters learn are also true to life. Though I haven't had the chance to read all of her books yet, I would still recommend reading her books!
Book #5 - The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden
See my review here.
Book #6 - The Princess by Lori Wick
This book has been around for a long time but I hadn't heard of it before a few years ago. I love love love it. The plot is fantastic and it's definitely a page-turner. Beware because you will want to read the whole book in one night because you want to know so badly what happens! She is a great author and I love her characters in this book.
Sadly, this is all the books that I have had the chance to squeeze on the shelf here (as well as some Susie Magazinesand LouLou fashion magazines) but I am on the lookout for a good library which means that more review will be coming soon!
Wow, this is my first official Monday blog post - a little late, almost Tuesday, but it's here.
I heard this quote today that really struck a chord in my heart. "Don't doubt in the dark what God showed you in the light."
I think that this is a challenging quote to all Christians. We are doubters, just like Thomas the disciple. No matter how perfect we think we are, no matter how long we've been a Christian, we will always doubt until the day Jesus comes back to get us. What can help us in our doubt is being focused on God and His faithfulness. He is faithful no matter what. Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
If God has shown you the path that He wants you to take it will be incredibly obvious. He is not out there to trick us, in fact that's what Satan likes to do. If you are prayerfully and faithfully seeking God's will for your life then you just need to listen and keep taking one step at a time. God doesn't often give us the whole picture before He sets us on our life journey. He likes for us to have to lean on Him, because that is the only way that we will ever truly live. God's faithfulness is great and He is full of great love for us.
You will be okay. The light at the end of the tunnel might be dim but it is there. He will find you where you are if you call out to Him.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
-2 Corinthians 4:18
We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.