Giving It All Up

Giving It All Up

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

God uses all circumstances for the good of those that love Him. When it says “all”, that means the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is one of the most difficult things to do, but I have to trust that whatever happens in good times and bad, God has a purpose for that circumstance.

 

In the bad times… He could be stretching my faith and using my circumstances to inspire others who might be going through the same thing. He might be teaching me to rely entirely upon Him. There are many reasons for going through difficulties.

There is something we all – including myself – need to remember. Some things might be more than we can handle. And I used to believe the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” But then one day – I forget where that was – I read something that said how silly that is. He will give us big, challenging, looks-like-more-than-we-can-handle obstacles, because God doesn’t want US to handle it on our own. He wants us to learn to give it up to HIM so He can handle it for us. God is willing to guide us hand-in-hand through mountain-top and valley experiences. First, we have to be willing to give up that struggle to Him. As silly as it sounds, I think we “like” holding on to our troubles. Like we think we can handle it without God. Sometimes God brings us to a point where we absolutely crumble, because for so long we held on to what God intended to handle Himself. I have learned time and time again that you must allow God to take it – you have to make yourself give it over to Him. While He is willing and able to take it from us, He wants us to be willing to give it to Him. And this is not a one-time deal. You don’t just give God that struggle or difficult circumstance and expect that to be it. It is a daily decision to leave it in the Lord’s hands. Results will not always (in fact, rarely ever) be instantaneous. It takes time. But know that God is working, molding us, and healing us from whatever struggle we may be going through.

 

While we need His strength and guidance through life’s toughest battles, we also need Him through the victories.

 

In the good times… We need to understand that nothing happens because we are so good, so wonderful and awesome. Titus 3:5 says, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” It is all because of God’s love for us and His gifts He has given us. Nothing we do is because of our own ability or talents. While it is true, we each have unique gifts and certain things we are talented in, we have to remember to ask ourselves, “Who gave me those gifts? Why am I talented in this area?” It is because of our heavenly Father, how much He loves and cares for His children, and how He desires to bless others through us. Everything leads back to God. He is the reason we are alive to experience these victories, and also the reason we have victories in our lives. When we experience a victory, we have to point back to God and say, “It was all because of my wonderful, awesome, magnificent God!” because it certainly is all because of Him, His grace, and His mercy.

The Lord will give us things to do, but He wants us to pray to Him and ask, “How would you have me to do this?” and ask for continual guidance through whatever direction He provides in order to perform that specific task.

 

With everything you face in life – both good and bad – lift your hands up high and praise your Maker! That’s the only way you will get through the valleys victoriously.

Clothed With Modesty, Part 2 (Link Ups)

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Last week I shared with you my personal beliefs and convictions concerning modesty. This week, I would like to do some link-ups to other blogs who have shared their thoughts on modesty.

(I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with an extensive list, so I only shared a few links that I thought would be great for this post…)

 

What Guys Think About Modesty

It is really important to understand just how much men struggle with lust. And while, yes, controlling their thoughts is something that men need to pray about and strive to do, we as women need to help them by respect through our clothing choices.

 

Modesty: From the Heart

This is a wonderful post that talks about how modesty starts with the heart. Modesty is so much more than how you dress, it’s how you walk, talk, and what is in your heart.

 

5 Things Modesty Never Taught Me

This blog post goes through some of the most common “excuses” the world throws at ladies who try to dress modestly and how growing up modestly never taught her any of them.

 

The Modesty Survey

This survey, which was taken by many men of all different ages, is a great source for knowing just what guys think about all things modesty. It is long, but very thorough and I am sure there is something in there that you can learn from.

 

 

 

These are just a few of the things that have encouraged me along this journey of living modestly. I hope that you have found encouragement through one or all of these links. Also, if you like what you have read and want some more resources, comment and let me know. I would be glad to recommend some more to you. I only shared a few, because I did not what to have an exhaustive and overwhelming list for you to look at.

What are some of your favorite quotes/links about modesty? Please share in the comments!

Clothed With Modesty

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“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” -1 Peter 3:3-4

 

I want to start by saying I am writing about modesty today. Yes, it’s a very controversial topic among women today, and honestly, it makes me a bit nervous to write about it. But it has been on my heart ever since I started my blogging journey, so here I go.

I think it only right to, before going straight to the point of modesty, talking about why it is even something that should be discussed or even thought about. The first passage I shared says, “bought with a price”.  When Jesus came to this earth, He came with a purpose: to make a way for us to receive salvation through paying the price for our sin. And that price was death. Thank the Lord that it doesn’t end there, though! Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. And because He rose from the dead and is alive in heaven, the Holy Spirit dwells within us here on earth – “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?” Have you ever thought about that? Your body is a temple in which, when you receive Christ as your Savior, He lives inside of you.

Why did I start out with this? Because I believe modesty is just as much a spiritual issue as it is a physical one. It is a choice that must be made out of respect and love toward Jesus Christ, because when He dwells in us it is our responsibility to represent Him through our actions, attitude, and (physical) appearance. Through those three things, more than anything else, we shine God’s light and love to this world. This is not merely something your grandmother made up. The Bible teaches us women to respect ourselves through dressing modestly.

“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…” -1 Timothy 2:9a

 

I want to go a step farther and say that while we as women should do this out of respect for ourselves and our heavenly Father, we should also do it for the men around us. I have been told growing up that guys think completely different than girls do. That’s a fact of life that we are going to have to accept. One of the examples older women mentors have given is the saying, “Give them an inch and they will go a mile,” for certain areas on us ladies, and because of that I have tried to learn and respect that and avoid short/low clothing items.

I know the world says that it is not your problem or responsibility to respect others, especially the men you are around, through the way you dress. But if you desire to know the truth about what the Lord has taught us women, it says so clearly 1 Peter 3 and 1 Timothy 2 how God views modesty and wants His daughters to dress.

Modesty is so much more than a fashion statement. It is not meant to make us women feel like we must cover from head to toe and be ashamed. Modesty is meant to show the world that we cherish our relationship with Christ and respect ourselves. Below are some of my favorite quotes concerning modesty:

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That last quote hits on what I believe to be the single most important reason for modesty, which is representation of Jesus Christ. I, as a woman of God, feel it my duty to live modestly because of my relationship with the One who lives in me. Relationship with God comes first. All other things follow, including modesty.

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Before I close, I wanted to share with you some of my own personal standards of dress for modesty. I realize that modesty will, to a degree, look different to everyone. But I know that I enjoy reading other ladies’ convictions and beliefs about what God has laid on their hearts concerning modesty, so I thought I would share my own.

First off, I believe modesty begins before dress. It is about attitude and how I carry myself. Truly, it begins in the heart. It begins with love and sacrifice for my God and for the people around me, especially men.

As far as bottoms/pants/skirts go, I love wearing all different types. Jeans, shorts, capris, skirts, and dresses. But I have a rule that they must come to knee length. In fact, I try to make my dresses come down a little lower, because when I sit or bend over the back of my dress will ride further up. I do have a few dresses that are a little shorter than I would like, so I usually pair them up with a set of leggings. For jeans, I try to steer clear of skinny (or anything else that is tighter than that), because I feel most are deigned to fit too tightly. I do love a good pair of straight-legged or boot-cut, though!

For tops, something that’s too low can almost always be fixed with an undershirt. Also, it is a good practice for me to do hand-over-top-of-shirt when bending over, just to be safe. If something is sleeveless or even strapless, I will wear a jacket, sweater, or some sort of cover-up to take care of bare arms. And I have collected a lot over the years, so I have a good selection.

Like I said before, these are a few of my personal preferences and convictions. Not standards I expect all young ladies to follow. I believe each one of us should lay this, just like anything else, in God’s hands and let Him guide us in our modesty journey.

If you are on Pinterest, please feel free to follow my board, “Made In His Image“. I share quotes on not just modesty, but being a godly woman.

No Mess Finger Painting Activity

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I have tried making finger paint and helping my little siblings as they paint to try and avoid as little mess as possible. But that doesn’t work – it still goes everywhere. So, when I saw this idea on Pinterest (yes, I get many ideas from Pinterest) I just had to try it!

All I did was squirt some paint into a large storage bag, close it nice and tight, and tape it up to where they could have fun with it!

And they did! It was a big hit!

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(here’s my littlest sibling, Sammy, enjoying the bag-o-paint)

 

It’s a pretty simple way of keeping littles occupied so you can get a bit of work done. And I found that they really enjoy it! I hope you discover the same thing!

DIY Flower Pot Candy Holder

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Two things lead me to make this: 1. Spring is here! 2. I LOVE crafts! So when I saw this on Pinterest, I had to try it! I originally found the idea here and just added my own bit of flair to it.

It’s just about as simple as can be, but so incredibly adorable. I use it to display lollypops for my piano students.

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I grabbed a flower pot out of our garage, bought a bag of Blow Pops, and a foam ball from Wal-Mart (they have small, medium, and large balls. This one is a medium.) and that’s really all I needed. There’s no need to glue anything. The ball fits perfectly in the pot.

After I finished, I thought it needed something more. So I tied yellow ribbon around the top of it to add a springtime pop to it!

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One this I will say is this is only one bag of the Blow Pops, and it didn’t go all the way to the edge of the ball, which I would have liked. But I was happy with how it turned out nonetheless. However, I have since then bought a huge bag of Dum-Dum’s to fill the whole thing out after these run out.

I should have plenty of lollypops all spring long!

Wrestling with Discontentment

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“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, it’s something we make inside ourselves.” -Corrie ten Boom

This was so timely. I was starting to feel discontentment and selfishness when God showed me this quote. It was like He was telling me, “No, Maiya. You’re time will come. But you have to wait on my timing, not your own. I know what’s best, so wait on Me.” Let me tell you, when the Lord is trying to snap you out of something He will get your attention. And He got mine.

The Lord truly knows what He is doing, and when I become sad and discontent, really what’s happening is I’m not trusting in His timing and plan. Who am I to doubt the Almighty? He has brought so many happy memories and blessings into my life so far, why should I doubt He won’t give me more happy memories and blessings all my life, if I’m faithful to Him and His timing? He has not always given me what I wanted – thank you, Jesus – but He has given me something better… what I’ve needed. He has given me a wonderful life. One I could not make up in my own mind even if I tried. Writing this makes me think of another quote I really like,

 

“God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now we don’t need now.” – Elisabeth Elliot

I am beyond thankful for reminders like these because I have a really bad tendency to feel discontent every once in a while. I sometimes think to myself, “Wow, I really wish that would happen in my life,” or, “I can’t wait for that time in my life.”  Really, God knows exactly what He is doing and doesn’t need little ol’ me to give Him “advice” as to how to run my life, or when to give me things. He is far more knowledgeable about what is right for me now and what is right for me later on than I could ever hope to be; because I, just like every other person in the world, am pretty selfish. If we had it our way, we would give ourselves everything we wanted right when we wanted it. We wouldn’t be able to use anything to the potential God had purposed because we had not taken the time God provides for us to prepare our hearts. There is a reason we don’t have that thing we want right now: God knows we aren’t ready for it. But in His perfect time, He will bless us with more than we could ask for.

It seems that whenever everything is running smoothly, some tiny little drop of sadness or discontentment will find its way toward me and ruin the moment. That is when I need to remember that being happy is a matter of how you handle things in your heart and mind, and does not depend on your surroundings. Life will not be sunshine and rainbows, no matter how nice those words sound and we need to be prepared for curveballs and face them with determination that, through the Lord, “all things are possible” (Phil. 4:13) – even handling discontentment. Through godliness and through the Lord’s strength, it is possible.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6