Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: Jesus (page 1 of 45)

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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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?

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What a Disney Princess Taught Me About Faith

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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!

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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

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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.

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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. 🙂

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