Monthly Archives: January 2016

01/25/16

Wonder what would happen?

I first read this devotion earlier last week at the gentle and encouraging insistence of a close friend and confidante.

Then I understood why she so desired for me to read it. It was my heart needed to hear most in that moment. That lonely moment that my heart often finds itself in.

Lysa TerKeurst

“Why Would God let this happen?

{A Devotion by Lysa Terkeurst on Proverbs31.org on January 14th, 2016} 

“I wonder what would happen in our lives if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love. I mean, as Christians we know He loves us. We sing the songs, we quote the verses, we wear the T-shirts and we sport the bumper stickers. Yes, God loves us.

I’m not talking about knowing He loves us.

I’m talking about living as if we really believe it.

I’m talking about walking confidently in the certainty of God’s love even when our feelings beg us not to.

I’m talking about training our hearts and our minds to process everything through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love. Period. Without the possible question mark.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a precious mom whose eldest daughter is nearing 30 and has never had a boyfriend. The younger siblings have all gone through the whole dating thing and one is now engaged to be married. The eldest daughter sat on the side of her mom’s bed recently with tears slipping down her cheeks and said, “Why mom? Why can’t I find anyone to love me? What’s wrong with me?”

This mom was asking me for advice in helping her daughter process these questions. These feelings are real. These feelings are tough.

And I’m sure if I were able to untangle all the emotions wrapped in and around these questions, somewhere deep inside I would find this girl doubting God’s love for her.

I remember being single, the only one of my friends without a boyfriend, and wondering why. I would see these nice boys and think God could make one of them fall in love with me but He hasn’t. And that hurt.

But here’s the thing I wish I had known then … I must process this through the filter of God’s love not through the tangled places of my heart.

When I process things through the tangled places of my heart, often the outcome is, “If God loves me so much, why would He let this happen?”

Instead when I process things through the filter of the absolute assurance of God’s love, the outcome is, “God loves me so much therefore I have to trust why He is allowing this to happen.”

I took the mom’s hand who was asking for advice and told her to help her daughter rewrite the way she is processing this. It’s okay to feel hurt, lonely and sad. But these feelings shouldn’t be a trigger to doubt God’s love for her. They should be a trigger to look for God’s protection, provision and possible growth opportunities.

I know this can be hard. But what if we really lived in the absolute assurance of God’s love? Oh sweet sister, in whatever you are facing today I pray Isaiah 54:10 over you, Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed yet God’s unfailing love for you will not be shaken.” 

Truth for each of us today, in whatever we face, whatever we need to hand over and trust in His absolute assurance & abounding love…

Isaiah 55:8-9, “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (NIV)

Psalm 138:8a: “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.” (ESV)

{- See more at: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/why-would-god-let-this-happen/#sthash.KSKlPJxi.dpu}

Oh Father, how I long to unwholly and completely trust in your unfailing and abounding love & timing. But you know Lord, that my heart grows weak, that spirit faints, and that my human nature becomes impatient. And then doubt sets in.

I hate it when that happens. 

And you always know when it does, and I thank you and praise you for continuously lifting me, as the moments and times where I need it continue to increase. They are coming more frequently. Like little waves pressing my spirit down, suppressing the joy that you give. 

You know my heart’s desire. You know what I long for and pray for. You know my thoughts before they are even formed in my mind and my mumblings before they exit my lips. And yet still, you love me. And I am amazed. 

Cast out doubt and allow me to wholly and completely trust. Help me to rest. Cease worrying or striving. Help me to live in light of you holy assurance. Help me to know that you are enough for me. That your perfect love drives out all fear, all imperfection, and all those things in my life I don’t need. Help me to live in light of your promises. For you are faithful, even until the end. 

Amen. 

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01/22/16

Beauty-Full Additions

Ladies, ladies, ladies. You know what I just love about women? Even ones you don’t know all that well?

If you like their eye shadow, their lipstick shade, or compliment their skin or hair, they are always so quick to tell you, “Oh, this nail color is ‘Call Your Mother’ by OPI. I get mine from Walgreen’s.” Such information shared. It’s our own little beauty network. Wherever we are.

In fact, some of the very best beauty advice has been given sitting on a church pew or in the grocery check-out line,

And I am no different, so here is a little round-up of some recent beauty-filled favorites!

Biore Self-heating One Minute Mask, $5.95 at Ulta or at CVS Pharmacy

Oh the wonders of Charcoal, y’all!

Dirt and oil clog your pores leading to skin irritation and possible eruptions, like I was having a few weeks before my best friend’s wedding. I don’t have time for that! And Mom read some reviews on this new Biore Charcoal mask, and so we went to the local CVS and I tried it out. It is now part of my weekly routine.

It is little single-use packets. Simply pull off the tab, dispense, and massage onto your warm, damp, cleansed face. It heats up immediately upon contact and I can’t even tell you how good it feels on these cold Georgia nights. Massage evenly for one minute and then rinse off. It’s really that easy!

After just one use, I saw noticeable results, and those more stubborn break-outs made their way to the surface and were gone in a matter of just a few days! Can be used up to 2-3 times per week for deep-cleaning, but once per week is sufficient for my skin, especially in this drier winter season.

Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner in black, $18

I have shared the wonders of Eyeko Skinny Liquid liner before, but I think it deserves a repeat. It features a pen like applicator that is almost goof-proof. Plus, their fade-proof formula stays on my eyes with no visible smudging or budging all day and all night.

With just a few uses, you will be joining them in their latest slogan, “When in doubt, wing it out!” That demure, vintage cat eye look is very in again for 2016!

Benefit “They’re Real!” Lengthening Mascarain black for $24

Now, I am one of the firsts to admit that $24 for mascara is a bit absurd. Until this little baby showed up in my Birchbox last month.

I had read the reviews and heard the hype, so I was dying to try some for myself!

This is a phenomenal product for those of us that have lighter, shorter, not quite as grown-in thicker lashes. It really adds some pop and some noticeable length.

Just what I was searching for!

You too?!?

Amika, The Shield Style Extending Spray$15 on Amazon

When you put a lot of effort into a great blow-out style, or perhaps even went for a great wavy or curly look, the last thing you want to happen is for your style to deflate. It is so completely deflating, in so many ways, isn’t it?

This little spray has some mighty power and is heat-activated to provide protection from frizz, fly-aways, pollution, harmful UV rays, promising up to 24 hours of time-released protection!

Simply shake it up and apply evenly to damp or dry hair prior to heat-styling for ultimate effect. I have even sprayed it overtop a style right before leaving the house (mostly because I forgot about it earlier) and I still think it added a little something for me!

Essie, Gel Setter Top Coat, $10

Disclaimer: I have not yet joined the Gel Nails revolution.

I know, I know. I’m like the last of the holdouts, but in truth, the gel color technology is a little scary to me in what the polishes contain plus the light that sets polish. However, I do really love Gel Color top coat, even on my standard nail polishes.

This was another Mom tip when she told me she had started to use Gel Color Top coat and she felt it really made a difference in the look & last of her standard nail color. And, you know what, I think so too! Anything that causes a standard manicure to last even 5-7 days amidst typing on keyboards, folder filing, working out, grocery shopping, washing dishes and the 10,000 other things we do with our hands, gets a big thumbs up from me!

So, paint on with no fear!

I hope a few of these items might be just what you’ve been looking for, and it was the push you needed to try something new and shake up your routine. We all need to do it every now and again and what better time than here at the start of a new, fresh year.

May 2016 be your most beautiful yet!

xoxo…

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