Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Hospitality–An Overlooked Ministry

As a newly married couple, my husband and I love having people over for food, games, talking, and prayer. Although hospitality comes naturally to my husband (who comes from a big family), this is something I’m learning to be intentional about.

But why? Isn’t hospitality a southern term or something that only applies to housewives with perfectly decorated homes?

Actually, hospitality goes far beyond the appearance of one’s home. This practice is for every believer–whether single or married.

You don’t have to own a fancy house or expensive china to be hospitable. In fact, you can practice hospitality anywhere! Let’s dive into this often overlooked ministry and why it’s crucial for your Christian walk.

A Lifestyle of Love and Obedience

Hospitality opens the doors of our hearts to others, allowing vulnerability and love to grow. 

When we let people into our space–whether that’s our home, dorm room, car, or lunch hour–we are letting them know that they are valuable.

This is what Jesus did for us when He laid down His life on the cross. Instead of living for Himself, He chose to obey the Father and endure the cross because He loves us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

We can (and should) follow Christ’s example of radical obedience and love in every area of our lives. The essence of hospitality is to invite someone in and share our lives with them.

Hospitality is a lifestyle of giving and receiving abundant love. 

(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)

The Bible commands us to show hospitality to others. All disciples of Christ need to practice hospitality. In doing so, we grow the church, make disciples, and connect with unbelievers as we share the love of God.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NIV)

Hospitality Fosters Community

Jesus didn’t just model hospitality in His death. He practiced hospitality in His earthly ministry as well. He often went into homes and ate with sinners, disciples, and anyone else with a hunger for God.

Millennials are known for living in isolated bubbles. We skip church for our phones. We avoid friends for a Netflix binge.

And while everyone needs downtime to rest, we must not forget to meet with the body of Christ regularly.

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(Hebrews 10:25 NIV)

When we share a meal or coffee with a friend or small group, we are actually feeding our spiritual hunger for connection and intimacy. 

Jesus wants to make His home in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), but He also wants us to go out and invite others into His holy family.

A Creative Practice 

We know how important hospitality is for living out the Gospel, but how do we show hospitality in everyday life?

If you don’t think you’re qualified for hospitality because you’re young, single, working, etc, check out the example of Lydia from Acts 16.

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.(Acts 16:14-15 NIV)

Lydia was a professional business woman who loved the Lord. She was a working woman with a family. Sounds pretty modern, right?

But even though she had so many responsibilities, the call of the Gospel took first priority as she opened her heart to the Lord and her home to the apostles.

Here are a few practical ways you can show hospitality, whether you’re single or married. 

  • Invite a friend to your favorite coffee shop. Bring a note of encouragement for her.
  • If a neighbor or coworker is sick, deliver a meal or a care package to her. 
  • Make your desk or office space hospitable by hanging encouraging Bible verses and setting out a bowl of candy or mints. 
  • Throw a board game or movie night. Have everyone bring a game or snack so you’re not overworked. 
  • If you live with your parents and they are having company over, offer to cook, vacuum, or set the table.

There are so many creative ways to practice hospitality. In fact, most of the above examples can take place outside of the home.

If we intentionally look for opportunities to show hospitality to others, the love of Christ will overflow with abundant grace.

What about you, lovely one? How do you show hospitality? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be used, sold, or distributed without the author’s written permission. 

(Images from Canva and Unsplash)

signature

What a Disney Princess Taught Me About Faith

Am I the only one who’s so excited for all of these new Disney live-action movies? I absolutely loved Aladdin and the Cinderella remake that came out a few years ago.

But the Disney remake I am most excited for (and nervous about, to be honest) is The Little Mermaid.

Ariel has always been one of my favorite princesses, but for all of these years I never really questioned why.

Then one day a dear friend and I discussed Disney princesses and the influence they hold over children. She pointed out that Ariel was quite flawed.

I mean, she’s a 16 year old mermaid who trades her voice and basically her whole life to Ursula, the sea witch, in order to win the love of a human prince she previously rescued.

I pondered this for a while, wondering why I admired Ariel so much when I knew that compromising who you are for a guy is wrong.

As a daughter of God, I only want to be sold out to Jesus Christ. But the more I meditate on the life and ministry of Jesus and how He died such a gruesome death for us, the more I believe that Ariel’s story might hold more Biblical value than I originally realized.

A New Life

First, I want to clarify that Ariel did not trade her voice for just a man. Yes, she loved Prince Eric. But long before she ever saw him she was obsessed with the human world above the surface.

In the famous scene when Ariel sings “Part of Your World,” you can see all of the treasures she’s gathered from the human world. Even the song lyrics themselves describe how she wants to walk and dance. How she wants to experience human life.

Ariel didn’t just want a man–she wanted a whole new life.

Similarly we are called to a new life in Jesus Christ–the only perfect man and Son of God who gives us access to the Father.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6 NIV

We are called to die to ourselves and live the mandate of the Gospel to love God and others.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23 NIV)

Although I wouldn’t say that The Little Mermaid is an allegory for the call of the Gospel, Ariel’s devotion to a new life does parallel with the cost of following Christ in this world.

Crazy, Reckless Love

Ariel’s dream and sacrifice to live her new human life is admirable, but what about her boy obsession?

We can’t deny that Eric was the catalyst for Ariel’s choice to leave the sea. But is this obsessive, risk-taking love really something we should be teaching young girls?

Actually, yes. But we need to prioritize our love. You see, Jesus’s love for us was pretty crazy–some would say reckless.

He suffered persecution, pain, and beatings that left Him looking less than human. He was nailed on the cross to pay for the sin and failures that we caused.

And through it all, His prayer was “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).

Then, after three days, Jesus rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. We now have the gift of eternal life, endless love, and purpose when we choose to follow Jesus.

What kind of amazing, reckless love is this?

(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)

What a Disney Princess Taught Me About Faith

(Image from Unsplash)

All of us are craving a love that the world just can’t give us. But God’s love for us is so powerful that He made sure a perfect sacrifice was made to get His wandering children back.

Yes, Ariel hinged her life on a decent human being whom she loved. How much more is Christ’s love for us, when He died for us at our worst?

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)

Going Deeper Than Disney

Although I don’t agree with all of Ariel’s choices, I think that maybe we could use a little more commitment and wholehearted devotion to one another in a world where divorce rates are sky-rocketing and people are too scared to commit to anyone.

This passionate, sacrificial love can be beautiful–as long as you keep Jesus Christ as your first love. When we start to walk out the calling of deep love in our lives, we will find a satisfaction greater than anything else in this world.

Ariel is still my favorite Disney princess, and that’s not just because I think mermaids are cool.

She has challenged me to live a life of deeper love and devotion to God and others. She has reminded me of the One who payed the ultimate price on my behalf.

What about you, lovely one? Do you think Ariel is a good role model for girls? Who’s your favorite Disney princess? Let me know in the comments below!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

The title image featured on this blog was created by Paige Miller, a wonderful friend and talented artist. You can find more work from Paige by visiting her Instagram @paigemillerart

Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be used, sold, or distributed without the author’s written permission. 

signature

Uninvited By Beckie Lindsey–A Book Review

Sometimes we read books that touch our lives in a thoughtful or emotional way . Then there are books that really transform us; books that become a part of our souls and influence how we view the world. 

Beauties from Ashes, a young adult book series by fellow blogger and author Beckie Lindsey, has transformed my way of thinking about prayer and spiritual warfare. 

I’ve already reviewed book one, Secrets, here. And now I’d like to share my thoughts on book two, Uninvited

Faith Meets Fiction  

I bought a hard copy of Uninvited not only because I love the feeling of holding an actual book in my hands, but because the cover art is so cool! Thankfully the content lives up to the alluring cover. 

Uninvited continues the stories of Krystal, Mackenzie, Tammi, and Sadie as their present lives mix with their traumatic pasts and intertwine with one another.

These characters are real and relatable, without falling into the “teenage girl” stereotype. I like how Beckie mixes strength and vulnerability into all of her characters. 

The plot of Uninvited is driven by the collision of present events and the secrets of each girl’s past. There’s friendship and boy drama, along with some real life issues such as eating disorders, sexual abuse, depression, and abortion. 

All of these topics are explored in a realistic way that is still appropriate for most teen readers. Premarital sex is also a topic that Beckie writes about, and I believe she does it in a believable way that is still God honoring. 

(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)

Uninvited by Beckie Lindsey

(Photo owned by Beckie Lindsey)

Supernatural Suspense 

One of my favorite aspects of the Beauties from Ashes series is how Beckie portrays spiritual warfare. Angels and demons are interwoven throughout the story as they battle for the souls of the main characters. 

Fans of books like the Screwtape Letters or This Present Darkness will love the way the supernatural collides with the everyday world, and how prayer changes the course of these girls’ lives. 

Overall, I would say that Uninvited is my favorite book of the series yet! It has drama, humor, romance, and the spiritual element that drives the plot into supernatural suspense. 

And if you love cliffhangers, Uninvited ends on one so big that I’m thankful the third book, Daybreak, is already on sale! You can find the links to these awesome books below. 

What about you, lovely one? Do you have any awesome book recommendations? Please comment below! 🙂 

Order Secrets, Uninvited, and Daybreak here! 

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be used, sold, or distributed without the author’s written permission. 

signature

The Promise of His Presence

Why is it that you can seem to have everything, and yet feel so empty and alone?

This world promises us happiness and fulfillment in so many ways: money, relationships, jobs, new experiences–the list goes on.

The Hollow Promise 

But what happens when that’s not enough? What about that hollow feeling? The one tugging at you, making you work until your knuckles bleed, so you can forget that it’s there.

The hollowness that leaks out as tears as you lie awake in bed at night. The hollow feeling that makes people cut, starve, and lash out at others?

This post isn’t pretty, but it’s real and raw. Because I’ve been there.

I know what it’s like to have people around you, even loving you, and still feel lonely. I know the dread of falling asleep, only to wake up to another day of pretending that everything is okay.

But I also know of the only thing that can fill this void–this hollow promise of the world around me.

His name is Jesus. 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)

Made for More

When I look to myself or anything else to fulfill me, I always come up empty. The glow of clothing and makeup fades after a few days. Confidence in my own performance is never a guarantee.

It’s not that I don’t take joy in things outside of God. On the contrary, we weren’t made to live outside of God. 

I love my life. I love my home, my work, and my husband. But none of these things–not even marriage–can take the place of God.

We were made for more than what we can see in front of us. That hollow feeling points us to our need for the Great I Am.

A Love That Never Leaves 

Jesus promised that He would never leave us as orphans. Though everyone else may reject or misunderstand us, our Lord gives us His Holy Spirit to comfort us and make us His sons and daughters.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14: 18-19 NIV

There is no friendship as beautiful as the one we can have with Jesus. He hears every prayer and sees every tear.

He is the most faithful husband. For better or worse, Jesus isn’t going anywhere. When we repent of our sins, the Lord forgives and forgets them. He has also purposefully forgotten how to leave us.

(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)

The Promise of His Presence

God’s love is that strong. His love is that unbreakable.

Lovely one, this post may not have started off pretty, but my prayer is that it filled you with hope.

The promise of the presence of God is the greatest joy we can ever attain. It is the only joy that nothing in this world can ever take away.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Will you choose the promise of Jesus today? 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be used, sold, or distributed without the author’s written permission. 

signature

What it’s Really Like Being a Newlywed

Hello, lovely one! If you’re new here, welcome. If you’ve been a faithful follower of this blog, then I ‘m sure you can tell it’s been a while since I’ve last posed. I apologize for that, but I’m so happy for all that God has been working in me these last several months.

Over the last year, I’ve been through a huge transition. I graduated college, got a new job, and moved out on my own.

And just a month ago, I got married to my husband Owen. I know that marriage is something that many women–Christian or not–desire. I know I did!

FearfullyWonderfullyMe
Photography by Maliya Wayner

And while marriage is an awesome adventure, I found out some surprising lessons about being married that no one really prepared me for. My hope is that you’ll read these 3 unexpected lessons I’ve learned as a newlywed and store them in your heart for now and the future.

Being a Newlywed Doesn’t Change Who You Are

When you get engaged, you are suddenly labeled as a bride. You feel special, and that’s how it should be! I felt like a Disney princess on my wedding day and will always remember that. 

So naturally, I thought this princess transformation would last into newlywed life. I was wrong. Reality soon hit after the honeymoon.

Work, grocery shopping, cleaning, and then my brand new husband coming down with a cold snapped me back to reality real quick. 

Don’t get me wrong, marriage does change your life. I’m living with my husband and sharing everything with him. I’m spending each day with my best friend. That’s life changing in the greatest way!

But marriage doesn’t change who you are on the inside. 

I still battle with fear and insecurity, just like I did when I was single. The enemy can and will attack us, so we can’t let our guard down, whether single or married. 

This is why it’s so important to learn who we are in Christ and be rooted in our identity as children of God. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 NIV)

Our worth does not depend on our relationship status. Our worth is based on the love Christ showed us by dying for us on the cross. Having this foundation for our confidence will make for a healthy and joyful life–whether single or married. 

Marriage Comes with a Grieving Process 

The hardest part of marriage so far has been letting go of my old life. I love being a newlywed. Owen and I have so much fun together and are enjoying the adventure of making our home (and cooking lots of yummy food!). 

But I miss my mom. I miss my childhood home. I miss some of the familiarity of my old routine. 

This is normal and all part of the “cleaving” process of becoming one flesh. 

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NIV)

I wouldn’t trade my marriage to Owen for anything in the world. And we are learning to allocate time alone for friends and family, as well as using our marriage as a ministry of hospitality. 

With any major life change, we must close one chapter as we begin another. And with the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, we can do this with courage and excitement. 

Marriage Points to Something Greater Than Ourselves

There are so many books and sermons that explain how marriage teaches us to love like Jesus. I always nodded in agreement, knowing deep down that I could never fully understand until I became a newlywed.

And I’m learning. Marriage requires giving and sacrifice. Sometimes I can’t always watch the movie I want, or I may need to step up and care for my husband’s cold. And he does the same for me. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV

But that’s what true love is. Jesus showed the greatest love for us when He willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice on the cross. 

This is the romance of the Gospel, and the reason why we love weddings and romantic movies. We all want to be swept off our feet by a Savior prince who loves us unconditionally. 

Whether you are single or married, you can experience the fulfilling love of God that comes from knowing His Son Jesus. 

That is the love that transforms us in our singleness and in our marriage. It’s the love of Christ that transforms us into who we truly are–His eternal bride. 

Thanks for reading! What about you? Has marriage taught you any surprising lessons? Is there anything you hope to learn to prepare yourself for marriage one day? 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

(Our wedding photography was shot by the talented Maliya Wayner)

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be used, sold, or distributed without the author’s written permission. 

                                                 signature

« Older posts
%d bloggers like this: