Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Author: fearfullywonderfullyme (page 1 of 54)

Easy Holiday Fashion + The Meaning of Christmas

It’s officially the holidays! ‘Tis the season for time with family, gift shopping, Christmas music, and delicious food (Oh, the food!). And of course, if you’re a college student like me, then you must also battle through finals. All of this hustling around can be pretty disorienting–even the fun parts.

It makes you wonder, what is this all for? Why do we spend these cold winter months gathering together and giving each other gifts? What is the magic of Christmas?

Well, it’s not really magic at all. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit, working through the love of God.

You see, Christmas and the holiday season represents everything that Jesus is–peace, love, hope, faith, selflessness, and grace. Although this is a post on holiday fashion, I want you to keep these truths in mind. This world not only needs more of Christmas–it needs more of the Savior.

And now time for some holiday fashion! Here are 3 easy looks to fit every style.

Midnight Flower

holiday fashion-midnight flower

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

This look is for the girl who loves a night out–or who loves a stylish night in. When I think of holiday colors, my mind automatically sees red and green. However, a deep navy also adds a dramatic winter flair to your wardrobe.

Pair your midnight blue with a bold floral pattern–one of this year’s most popular prints. A long sleeve dress is classy and keeps everyone’s eyes on your statement look.

Winter Blush

holiday fashion-winter blush

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

Sometimes it’s the  subtle details that speak the loudest. Most people don’t think of wearing pastels in the winter, but a soft blush is romantic and warm for the holidays!

Pair a simple blush sweater with floral patch jeans.  A blush wool trench coat will add a touch of glamour at night, while a pair of pink cat eye shades will make you look chic during the day!

Fab and Festive 

holiday fashion-festive

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

This look is for the girl who is full of the Christmas spirit! If a fun holiday outfit that looks pretty and cheerful is what you’re aiming for, then this is for you!

Channel your inner elf with reindeer leggings and a red fair isle tunic. Cute Christmas accessories like these snowflake earrings finish the look, but don’t forget the sugar cookies!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

Thanks for reading! What is your favorite part of preparing for the holidays? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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A Surprising Way to Cultivate Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving–a celebration of joy, gratitude, family, and delicious food. And while I plan on spending time with loved ones and going into a turkey coma, I can’t help but think of those who are overlooked this season.

You see, I know a woman whose teenage son died last weekend. Her heart is broken. I also know a family whose father is slowly dying of cancer. Their spirits are weary.

Where is the Thanksgiving turkey for these people? Most of the time we struggle to find gratitude in our everyday lives (myself included). How does remembering these hurting souls help us in cultivating a heart of gratitude?

The Calling

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1 NIV

God has given us a calling to bring the good news of the Gospel to others. Our calling is to feed the hungry, love the outcast, and comfort the brokenhearted.

However, we are so easily distracted by everyday problems that we don’t even notice those who are hurting right in front of us. We all go through seasons of hardship and loss. Right now I am battling a chronic illness, and sometimes I just want to lock myself in my room and focus on how bad I feel.

But the best way to experience healing and joy is by sharing the Gospel and helping somebody else.

True Gratitude

Cultivate gratitude

(Photograph by Rachel Hill)

The moment we turn our focus outward and love the people around us is the moment we experience the love of Christ flowing through us. The moment we stop focusing on all of our problems and dedicate time to encourage others is the moment we experience an overflow of gratitude.

That’s powerful! Imagine shining a light by praying for someone you know is hurting, or volunteering to feed the hungry. Imagine inviting a person who has no place to go to your Thanksgiving dinner. Even a simple text message of encouragement makes more of an impact than we realize.

This, lovely one, is how you love your neighbor. And this is how you cultivate true gratitude.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV)

Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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Why Prayer is Not a Waste of Time

On what should’ve been a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning, our nation was rattled by the tragic news of a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Over two dozen are dead and many have been injured.

In the face of such tragedy, many of us rally together in prayer and peaceful vigils. However, some people on social media are saying that prayers are useless. They don’t do anything to help, and therefore, a waste of time.

As a Christian who believes deeply in the power of prayer, these statements really made me pause to think. If you’re on the fence about prayer, or are just worn down by all of the tragedies in our nation, then this post is for you.

A New Perspective

There are things in this world we just don’t understand. We live in a world where bad things happen and injustice seems to be the norm.

So where’s God in all of this? Why isn’t He answering our prayers?

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

You see, Jesus never promised His followers an easy life with no problems or disasters. On the contrary, there is a target on every Christian’s back solely based on their devotion to God.

Our perspective on life is wrong. We are only human beings restricted by the confines of time and space. God sees the whole picture–from beginning to end–and He has promised us a victorious ending (Revelation 21).

Sin is the root cause of the evil in this world, and it is the reason people are filled with anger, hatred, and violence. This is more than just a political or cultural issue–it’s a spiritual one.

The only cure for sin is Jesus, and our pursuit should be the freedom of His saving grace.

Prayer in Action

People want action in times of crisis. We want a sense of control in turbulent times. However, one must not discount the power and motivation of prayer. Prayer is an action of love and faith.

If we pray for those in need, we are uniting with them both mentally and spiritually. We are sacrificing time and energy to focus our hearts on our neighbors.

That’s action.

But the Bible tells us not to stop at prayer. Rather, we should carry our faith into loving deeds in the physical realm as well.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22 NIV)

When we pray for others, we take the center of our hearts off of ourselves. This acts as a catalyst for real change in both our lives and the lives of those around us.

I know of Christians who send their prayers on social media, but many of these saints also give money and sacrifice time to help disaster relief organizations.

When we pray, God transforms our hearts into vessels of compassion and action.

Prayer in compassion and action

A Spiritual Battle

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

The visible world around us if often distracting and terrifying. However, it is only temporary. Our true battle isn’t with social or political issues (although they shouldn’t be ignored).

There is a spiritual war being waged against God’s sons and daughters right now. The devil knows that Jesus has won, and that He is coming to reign on earth soon (Matthew 24). This is causing the enemy to attack God’s children like never before, in the hopes of preventing one more soul from being saved.

Remember, we don’t have the whole perspective. We can’t see into eternity or into the battles that are taking place in the heavenly realms. I don’t have all the answers for life’s tragedies, but I do know this:

God sees our struggles and He hears our prayers. Jesus loves us, and can turn any situation–no matter how tragic–into a message of redemption and salvation. 

Don’t stop praying, lovely one. It could be the very action that saves someone’s soul.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV)

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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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The Problem with Perfectionism

I was eating lunch with my mom on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when I broke down. The pressures had been building up all week–school, friends, family, writing. Even everyday things or my own thoughts made me feel like I was about to crack.

No matter what, I couldn’t shake the thought out of my head that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t talented, smart, or pretty enough. I place so many unrealistic expectations on myself that I would never put on anyone else. It’s what fueled my struggle with an eating disorder when I was younger.

But I know I’m not alone in this struggle, lovely one. The problem is perfectionism and it needs to be unraveled and seen for what it truly is–the need for something greater than ourselves.

The Lie of Perfectionism  

I have yet to meet a perfect person. I’ve met people who seem perfect or who share doctored up photos of a perfect life on social media (I’m guilty of it too).

But when you actually get to know someone and break through their mask, you see that this person is a human being–filled with struggles, sin, fears, and hurt.

During Biblical times, there were groups of people called Pharisees who kept up the appearance of perfection with a bunch of rules and regulations. Meanwhile, they were shaming everyone around them while letting sin reign in their hearts. Jesus called them out on this.

‘ “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’ (Matthew 23:27-28 NIV)

If Jesus were walking in the flesh today, He would see a lot of Christians who look like these “whitewashed” tombs. We can pretend to be perfect to others. Maybe we can even fool ourselves into thinking we have our lives together. But God sees us for who we really are. We can’t hide from Him.

Perfectionism vs. Authenticity

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 NIV)

God doesn’t want a “perfect looking” son or daughter. He wants our real, authentic selves. The Bible reminds us that none of us are without sin–no matter how much good we do. No one is perfect.

Repentance is all about bringing your authentic self to God–humbly and sincerely. It’s about letting go of our sin and shame, because it was already destroyed when Jesus died on the cross.

If we could be perfect on our own, then we wouldn’t need a savior. We need to stop striving and accept the free gift that Christ paid the price to give us.

Perfect Grace 

The most dangerous thing about perfectionism is that it keeps us focused on ourselves for too long. When you live your life for Jesus, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about His glory.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

Even the great apostle Paul wasn’t perfect. He dealt with issues just like the rest of us. But instead of punishing himself for not being good enough, he turned to the only one who is good enough.

Jesus is God, and He is also the only perfect person to walk the earth (John 1:14). When we surrender our weaknesses to Him, we give Him the proper place in our lives as Lord and Savior.

This is called grace. 

Perfectionism-Jesus is enough

Christ is not glorified in our self-righteousness or worldly success. It is only when we are broken and weak that people can truly see the Savior work in us.

I’ll admit that surrendering to grace is still a struggle for me. It was on that lunch date with my mom that I finally came to the end of myself.

I realized something so important, that in fact, it’s the basis of salvation. I am not good enough. But Jesus is more than good enough, and He will always be enough for me.

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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

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How to Find Healing In a Sick World

Yesterday was one of the those days where I just couldn’t win. No matter what I did, I could barely get out of bed. Walking was difficult and concentrating took all of the energy I had. My body refused to cooperate with my mind, but I still pressed on.

This is my life with POTS right now. I say “right now” because I believe God’s healing power is at work in me. But I can’t deny the reality that although my body is healthy, it doesn’t work the way it should.

Isn’t it strange how when you’re sick, the feeling leaks into all areas of your life? Work and school become difficult. Your mood tanks, and you stop feeling like yourself.

Unfortunately, there is an illness affecting all people around the world that can hurt our lives far more than any physical ailment.

The Sickness

The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, (Lamentations 5:16-17 ESV

Sin. It’s the word no one wants to talk about–except for the sweaty preachers yelling about it from the pulpit. But when you really stop and think about it, sin is the cause of the major ills of society.

Wars, mass shootings, racism, dishonest companies–and more. We all see it in the news. It’s obvious we, as human beings, have a problem.

We’ve become so consumed by greed, lust, and hatred, that we don’t even see the wickedness taking root in our hearts.

The Cure

I know I just painted a gloomy picture in your mind, but there is hope in the midst of all this pain. There is a cure for sin, and His name is Jesus.

If we call on the name of Jesus, the Son of God, and honestly turn our hearts away from sin, we will be forgiven and restored!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

God takes us in His loving arms and places us on the right path again. He helps us see our sickness and restores us to spiritual health.

Sometimes we get so lost in our sin that we can’t even remember what it feels like to be healthy and alive spiritually. But there is healing in Christ, and all we have to do is ask for it and believe.

The Healing 

Although God frees us from sin and condemnation with His grace, we’re not perfect in this life and we still live in a world scarred by sin. Even though as a believer we are made new, we still suffer from temptations, mental health issues, and physical pain and sickness.

How do we experience healing when we live in a spiritually sick world?

When I was at church last Sunday, I found myself unable to stand during worship. The dizziness was pulling me down and I felt too weak to fight it. I’m only 23 years old, and I could have easily let this make me feel bitter and depressed (and I’ll admit that sometimes it does).

But while we were singing about victory in Christ, I couldn’t help but smile as God whispered these words into my heart.

Praise brings healing

I can still praise from here. 

When depression, anxiety, bad news, or sin makes you feel trapped, remember that nothing can rob you of your praise! The devil wants to take you to your knees and make you believe that you have lost.

But you haven’t lost, lovely one. You can still praise. No matter where you’re at–whether on top of a mountain or crumpled on the floor–you can still pour out your heart to God.

The key to healing spiritually is not found in your own strength. It can only be revealed when you pour out your praise, and in return, let the love of Jesus fill your heart.

But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14 NKJV)

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

I also want to give a shout out to Owen Wolf for giving me the inspiration to write this post. You are so encouraging!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

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