Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Where’s Our Savior?

This was not my plan for Good Friday. And this was definitely not my plan for Easter.

How many of us are saying this right now? We wish we could go to church, buy a new Easter dress, and have dinner with family and friends. Egg hunts are cancelled and many of us are left in a daze. Is this really happening?

When the corona virus first hit my state, my husband and I just arrived home from vacation. We thought we were returning to normal, but in fact, everything had changed. 

I started working from home and Owen’s classes moved to an online format. We went from visiting with family and friends often to physically distancing ourselves in order to protect them. 

I can’t complain though, as we are blessed. I still have my job and we live in a nice apartment with plenty of food. We can still call and video chat with loved ones, and thankfully our family is healthy. 

As I ponder the death and resurrection of Jesus, I feel a connection to His disciples that I’ve never truly experienced before. Although the Bible shows us the magnitude of the cross and the empty tomb, we tend to forget about Saturday. 

It was this Sabbath day that Jesus’s followers rested in grief. They must have wondered, what now? What will God do to redeem this? 

Where’s our Savior?

Isn’t this the current state of our world? We’re all asking, what now? We are all wondering where our Savior is, who will conquer this virus and heal our land.

As Christians, it feels like we are in a state of limbo, waiting much like the disciples for an answer. Some of us may fall away or shrink back. Others will boldly keep preaching the hope of Christ. 

Why do we have this hope? 

Because even though Jesus suffered the most cruel death with the weight of humanity’s sin on His shoulders, we know where our Savior is. 

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

Matthew 28:5-7 NIV

Our God is not dead, and He is certainly not absent in this time of great trial. Jesus is risen, and He goes before us to prepare a place for us in His Heavenly Kingdom (John 14:3). 

All of us will see the Lord one day, whether it be in death or at His second coming. But like the women who discovered the empty tomb, I want to see and experience Jesus in this life too! 

I want to see Him moving in my life and the life of others. I want intimacy with the Holy Spirit, to have communion with my King. 

Though our lives are being shaken and darkness fills the earth, just remember that is exactly what the scene of the cross looked like. Out of the darkest moment in history came the brightest light for all eternity. 

This is the power of the cross. 

Our victory is not in what we can see now, but in the empty grave that has no hold on heaven. Our Savior is not in some far away place. If we choose to trust in Jesus, He is at home in our hearts.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith… 

Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV

We know where our Savior is because we know who He is. But what are we doing with Jesus Christ in this time of panic and despair? Are we reacting in fear, just like the rest of the world? 

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Where's Our Savior?

Or are we choosing faith and courage as we fill ourselves up with the Holy Spirit? Are we choosing to be wise while we love and serve those around us? 

The choice is always up to us. Our plans for Easter may be thwarted, but perhaps God is setting the stage for one of the greatest revivals the world has ever seen.

I hope you have a safe and Happy Easter! Got any prayer requests? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

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How to Reach Out to the Heart of God

I was not excited when my husband and I went with two of our closest friends to see the new movie adaptation of Cats. 

Although I do enjoy musicals, I’d rather see a live show than a movie (except for maybe High School Musical…Go Wild Cats!). And let’s be honest, Cats is CREEPY. 

The costumes, sultry CGI movements, and don’t get me started on the odd plot about cat sacrifice. 

If you love Cats, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. I actually did find redeeming qualities to this film that struck me deep.

Even beyond the incredible ballet dancing and Jennifer Hudson’s ballad was a theme often overlooked in modern movies. 

While pretty much everyone in the movie is concerned with trying to be chosen as a “jellicle cat” so they can be sacrificed and reborn into a new and better life (I know, it’s disturbing), the main cat, Victoria, is different.

Victoria sees a cat who is all alone, ridiculed and beaten down–thrown into the alley. Grizabella is just the shadow of the star she was in the past. 

Grizabella’s heart-wrenching song and tearful gaze could make an audience weep. And while everyone rejects her, Victoria sees her, and reaches out her hand. 

Victoria could have done what most of us would do (had it all not been creepy). She could have used her talent, beauty, and kindness to get a better life for herself. 

Even I rooted for her because she was one of the only characters I could stand. 

But Victoria looked beyond herself–beyond her own needs and desires–and she chose to lift someone else up instead. 

Victoria reached into the shadows, found a rejected, worn-out, lost soul, and loved her. 

She rescued one of the least of these.

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. (Matthew 25:40 NKJV

Isn’t this supposed to be the Christian walk? Aren’t we supposed to reach into the alleyways of our work, schools, and communities to find the least of these?

We all know someone. Maybe it’s that girl in the back of the classroom who’s quiet–the one everyone mocks in secret.

Maybe it’s the single mom at work struggling to pay the bills and feel good enough for her child.

Perhaps it’s the older man on the street corner who’s begging for some cash–and for someone to stop and look him in the eye.

When we reach out to the least of these–the people who are often neglected, left out, or in desperate situations–we reach out to Jesus Himself.

Lovely one, if you want to grow close to God, start loving the lost children He passionately died for.

How to Reach Out to the Heart of God

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The closer we get to the ones Jesus loves, the closer we become to His heart.

I don’t know about you, but I really want to love the Lord like crazy. My desire is to know His heart and walk intimately with Jesus. I want to please Him, just like a new bride wishes to please her groom.

So next time I ever see a Cats poster or hear the “Memories” ballad, I will remember God’s call for each of us to shine His light in the darkness.

We all have a part to play in redeeming this fallen world, and I want mine to count–not just for me–but for someone else in need.

I know I have all the reward I could ask for when I think of the approval and unfailing love of the Lord.

What about you, lovely one? Who comes to mind when you think of loving the least of these? How will you step out to reach them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

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4 Ways to Stay Motivated in the New Year

If you’re reading this post, that means you have made it through the first week of 2020! And my hope and prayer is that the last week was full of hope and expectation of the year to come. 

To be honest, I’ve never been one to set a lot of goals in the New Year. Although I’m naturally a more positive, hopeful person, sometimes I feel let down by the countless stories of failed resolutions.

Maybe it’s the new decade or the prompting of the Holy Spirit for a fresh outpouring of hope, but this year I have set goals for my personal life, marriage, blog, spiritual life, and work. 

I find that it’s always easy to set goals. The real kicker is actually staying motivated. I’m not alone, right? 

Suddenly our workout plans turn into nights on the couch with the cat, and our old habits creep back in by February. 

It doesn’t have to end this way. We can stay motivated through 2020 by following 4 Biblical strategies that have stood the test of time. 

1. Seek God Above All

If you’re a Christian, then this seems like a no-brainer. But how often do we set goals and make resolutions without even praying about them? 

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him (Lamentations 3:25 NIV)

The Lord promises His goodness when we seek Him. I believe that as daughters of God, our first and main goal in life is to devote ourselves to Jesus. And every other goal should play a supporting role to this purpose. 

The best goal you can ever set is to build intimacy with Jesus. When we do this, His Lordship will guide our lives in the right direction for His Kingdom. 

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4 Ways to Stay Motivated in the New Year

2. Be an Early Bird 

I’m not a morning person when I first wake up. I lay there for a few minutes listing all the reasons why I must get out of bed. The struggle is real! 

But despite this, I’ve actually found that I’m most productive during the morning hours. 

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3 NIV)

Rising early is a Biblical discipline that we should still practice today. Starting our day with prayer and reading the Word will put us in the right mindset to live out our calling in Christ. 

Another benefit to completing everyday work early is that if you get the hard tasks out of the way first, then you feel accomplished and ready to take on the rest of your day! 

3. Write it Down

Vision boards are a huge trend right now, and for good reason. When we write out–or display–our goals, then it excites and reminds us of what we originally set out to accomplish. 

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18 KJV

The Bible shows us how a lack of vision for our future only leads to destruction. Part of sustaining a God-centered vision includes writing out our goals.

The best way to stay motivated when writing goals is to make sure you write them in a place you can easily see them. For me, that’s my planner. 

You could also hang your goals above your desk, on the fridge, or another easy to see spot. When your goals are right in front of you, it provides the catalyst for motivation. 

4. Celebrate the Little Steps 

It’s almost impossible to stay motivated when we feel overwhelmed by our goals. That’s why it’s important to break them down into baby steps. 

For example, I want to dedicate more time to writing. Taking small steps like blocking off certain times of the day for writing, or reading inspirational books every month, keep this goal manageable.

We must also devote our efforts in accomplishing goals to please our Savior. This means taking every step with Christ in our minds and gratitude in our hearts. 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

None of us are perfect, but thankfully we have Christ’s perfection in us. Some goals will change, while others may fail. But it’s important to celebrate every win–big or small.

After all, every glory belongs to God. We find our greatest joy when pleasing the heart of Jesus is our greatest motivation

Thanks for reading! Have you set any goals for the New Year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

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Why Your Life Matters

The Miracle of Life

Christmas is probably my favorite holiday–right after Easter of course. It’s a time of giving, delicious food, and time with family and friends. But more importantly, it’s about celebrating Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came as a baby to save us from our sins.

When I think about Christmas and how we celebrate the virgin birth of Christ, I am reminded of the fact that it was sort of a miracle I was born.

My mom was unmarried, pregnant with her third child, in poverty, and suffering health issues from carrying me. Not to mention, she was almost 40 years old! Many close friends told her to have an abortion, but she boldly chose life.

I just want to say that this post isn’t meant to shame any woman who has ever had an abortion or is considering one. God loves you, and there is no one that Jesus can’t redeem. He loves us so much that He died for us at our worst, and that love can’t be revoked.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8 NLT)

The Purpose of Life

Whenever I think about my mom’s courageous choice to have me, I realize how blessed I am to be alive. What if I never existed? I never would have made my precious friends, or married my amazing husband, Owen.

I never would have gotten a job where I can help and encourage others. And I wouldn’t be writing this post and sharing the Gospel with you right now.

Tears come to my eyes as I realize how precious we all are to God. After all, the devil must know how much we mean to God if He wants us murdered before we ever leave the womb. We are gifted with incredible purpose as image bearers of God.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

This verse is not only the inspiration for the title of my blog, but it’s also the call on my life that God gave me to remind everyone around me that they are so precious to God, and that He gave His very life for them.

The Value of Life 

Why Your Life Matters

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Lovely one, your worth is not determined by what anyone else says. It’s not even determined by what you say about yourself. God created you, and He knows exactly what you’re worth.

We have worth because God says so. On our own, we can never measure up to a Holy God. We sin, fail, and hurt ourselves and others.

But Jesus made a way to reconcile us to the Father by choosing the cross on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:18).

I know that my life, like all other life, is precious–and not something to take for granted. I want to make it my mission that every woman knows her worth in Christ, and the forgiveness, freedom, peace, love, and joy that is found in Him.

If you are feeling the Lord call your name, please say yes, lovely one. Jesus loves you in your ashes, but now we wants to exchange them for His eternal beauty.

…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…(Isaiah 61:3 NIV

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

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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. 

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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! 🙂

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