Searching For Pearls Within

There is something deep inside of each one of us that wants to be recognized; it's a desire to be. Be what? Be beautiful, be you, be accepted, be different, be loved, be valued, be creative..the list goes on. Every morning we wake up and the desire speaks and we must choose how we will answer the call. Will you look to the world, friends or things to be the answer or will you ask the Heavenly creator the question and listen as he pours over you beautiful words that not only satisfy but overflow the cravings within.

I've been doing a lot of thinking about beauty lately. The weather has been such that it's hard to not notice the exceptional beauty of nature. God sure knew what he was doing when he created the world. In Botany class, we've been looking at the details of the leaves and seeds of plants, and after doing so, there is not a doubt in my mind that the One who created these things was incredibly creative. Inside the cells of plants are tiny green chloroplasts that are moving around in response to the light that is hitting the leaf. We looked at them through a microscope and sure enough, they were like a tiny train just following eachother around inside the cell! Each cell of every leaf has these tiny organisms in them! Most of us never give a second thought to the leaves on a plant, but God knows how many chloroplasts are moving inside each cell that makes up each leaf! I know I mentioned this idea of our Father's attention to detail before, but it has just been so evident around me that I cannot help but tell you again. If God puts that much into a leaf that will only be alive for a few days, how much more beauty has he placed within your exquisite soul? You are truly beautiful, and though that may be hard to completely grasp, know that you have a purpose, and part of that is to unveil and expose to the beauty in the world that only you can show. Let me say this again; there is beauty within that only you can bring to the world. God has entrusted you to unleash this beauty, so what are you doing with it? Many of us are not confident that our beauty is worth it, or that we even have something of value to offer; however, this is the lie that the enemy has taught to us as truth. Don't believe it. You are of worth, value and beauty and the world needs you to unveil that beauty.

Knowing this, we must be careful to whom we unveil our beauty. Since it is of such worth, we should only unleash it where we know God wishes for us to. It is precious, so be wise in your discernment! It is written in Matthew,

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." (Matthew 7:6)

Remember your inner beauty today and also take a bit of time to talk to God about where, when and how he wants to use your loveliness as part of his plan.

You are beautiful.

Blessings and Beauty,


Color Beyond Grey Skies

Good morning!
Today is another lovely day, and even though the sky is grey, it is not a reason to be glum. The clouds provide the perfect atmosphere for the colors of the world to shine vividly. (It is some of the best weather to take pictures in too, if you were wondering..)

Church this morning was really insightful and I thought I'd share what my pastor taught on today.

2 Timothy 4:1-8 "Before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom, I solemnly charge you: proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct and encouage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, keep a clear head about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. In the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved his appearing."

Paul knew that life was meant to really be lived; not just to exist in. Time doesn't wait for you to come to a decision; it keeps moving, so don't waste it. You have been given so many talents and abilities that are to be used for pouring into and influencing lots of people's lives. When we wait till we think that the timing is "just perfect", we may miss out on lots of opportunities that God was wanting to use us in. The best time to start is now. We are given a certain amount of days, breaths and heartbeats. Are you using them to fulfil the purpose God has given to you?

The world can only become a better place when you choose to start living life according to God's plan; don't put it off.

Here's a few tips from my Pastor, Dr. Michael Landry, that correlate with what Paul wrote to Timothy while living out his last days in prison.
  • Patiently mentor others by teaching the timeless truths of God's word.                       (see 2 Tim 4:2-4)
  • Constantly evaluate your motives, goals, and relationships (see 2 Tim 4:5)
  • Be willing to make personal sacrifices. (see 2 Tim 4:5)
  • Determine to finish strong. (see 2 Tim 4:5)
You know, living is more than just existing and breathing in oxygen, it is doing things with a purpose and living with vigor and vitality and trying to squeeze every drop of life out of every moment. I've been reading the book by Erwin McManus called Chasing Daylight and it is based on this very idea of living now and having a sense of urgency. I encourage you to read it if you haven't. I found that it is a "can't put it down", captivating type read.

 The saying "carpe diem" that has become so popularly cliche is really what Paul was trying to convey to Timothy. We need to "seize the day" and not just today, Sunday, when we are at church, but everyday no matter where we are. Life was meant to be lived; what are you waiting for? Don't put things off.

Carpe Diem!

Blessing and Life,


The Beauty In Spring

The past couple days for me have been so busy! I played hostess for two friends who came for the night, and even though I was a bit reluctant at first to open my room up, (because of a busy schedule the next day) I was really glad that I did. Serving others always makes me feel so good; it is so much fun to look for ways to bless other people around me. So the preview days were a success, and I think my friends enjoyed themselves.

On another note, I am going to get a big chunk of my work done, so hopefully I can enjoy this beautiful weekend because today is the First Day of Spring! It is time to bring out the cool lemonade and iced tea!

Springtime is quite possibly my favorite time of the year; the air is cool but warm enough to reintroduce floral skirts, dresses and cute shorts to the world! Flowers are blooming and the birds are singing their sweet melodies from the trees. I think God smiles upon springtime because in it's essence, it is the theme of redemption; new life coming forth and replacing the dead; it is beauty unveiled from what seemed broken, cold and lifeless.

Find some way today to celebrate the beauty that is evidenced in this season and also in yourself. Perhaps you'll wear a flower in your hair, put on a pretty necklace or skirt, sketch outside, go out to lunch with friends and just enjoy the beauty of life anew!

"See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.." Song of Songs 2:11, 12

Blessings and Beauty,


How to Get Through Life (Without Stressing Out)

Good Morning!

Today is St. Patrick's Day! I put on green and didn't even remember that it was today until I got to class. I guess my mind subconsciously reminded me. I don't have a whole lot of time to chat right now, but I thought I would leave you with something to take with you through your day.
   As I mentioned earlier, I am reading in 1 Peter; however, I was guided today to something in Matthew that really spoke to me. There is a lot of stress that can come about by life, and sometimes I forget to relax and let God take care of it all. Apparently, I am not the only one that tends to forget this. Check out Matthew 6: 25-34 Jesus was speaking to the crowds and reassuring them that God is the one in control. Let's listen in on the conversation!

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Wow!! I know that was a lot in one passage, but let's just look at the main idea for a few moments. God has provided us with so much, and we still tend to worry about these things he mentioned. Remember today that if God put so much beautiful detail into the small things such as the flowers, then how much more will he be there to help you with your daily needs, for he knows us better than we know ourselves. Even if we get an answer from him that we feel is not what we wanted, remember that he has seen the big picture and knows what is best. Don't worry! God is in control.

Knowing this truth provides me with the confidence and reassurance that I can be myself because God is in charge. Think of it this way, for every thing you are stressed or worried about, put on an extra piece of clothing (hat, scarf, sweater, socks..etc.) How much can you put on until you feel completly weighed down and ridiculous? Now, take off all the extra stuff. How do you feel? This is really what we do to ourselves when we worry; it is extra baggage we carry around. You will feel much better when you give it to God and let him handle it!!  Look for an opportunity today to relax about something that is worrying you, and picture yourself handing it over to God. I think you'll find that your day will be much better! Well, I'm going to finish my tea now before it gets cold. Have a blessed (and worry-free) day! Oh and Happy St. Patrick's Day :)


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who am I After All?

Today I began a study on 1 Peter, and I'm already seeing God use those lovely words to confirm what He is doing in my life. It has been a busy day full of places to be and things to do, but I found a few minutes in between dinner and rehearsal to share a little bit with you. Something that really stuck out to me today in my devotions was the fact that we have to know our identity in Christ. I think that most of us are caught up in finding out who we are anyways, but we forget to look at ourselves through the eyes of our creator. Peter writes,

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood." (1 Peter 1:1-2)  

 You can tell from the opening statement that Peter knows his identity in Christ which in turn reveals his life purpose. One of the first steps to discovering your reason for being is to know who you are in Christ. I am still growing into the woman that God has created me to be, and, honestly, I will be doing that for the rest of my life, but you know what the most beautiful thing about that is? It is a lifelong adventure that will cause me to look within to see my identity rests only in Christ; I must depend on him for my self-worth. It is easy to search for purpose and validation from things like status, relationships, family or even religion; however, it's the relationship with Christ that will ultimately bring satisfaction and self-worth

 Sometimes finding our identity in Christ means He will have to break us and start to shape us into the person He wants us to be, and that can be quite painful. It can be hard to be fully surrendered in every aspect of our lives, but like I mentioned before, it is a growing process and each day we have a new opportunity to offer ourselves to Him.

This was just a snippet of things I'm learning about and some ideas that have been processing all day long. Hopefully you found it something to mull over as well.

I am off to finish a few more papers and such, and I have rehearsal for my dance group, so I'll catch you later.


The Beautiful Beginning

Well hello,

Please grab a warm cup of tea and let's chat. I'm writing this from the glow of little tea lights that are softly flickering and the sweet strains of soft jazz coming from my ihome are filtering through the air. A steaming cup of chai and a maple nut granola bar are the perfect evening snack. All day long I've been working on things that piled up on my desk. Yoga class was a great stress-relief and very calming after sitting in front of a computer screen for hours. Today I began an adventure that will take me to some new places; it will stretch and grow me. I am unsure of where I will go and by what path; however, I have the beautiful end in mind. It is sort of like looking at a puzzle box and seeing the picture on the front. I don't have all the pieces yet, but I know what the general image should be. I must tell you that I am excited to be sharing this journey with you. I recently attended a leadership forum that had an incredible line up of some of the best minds in both the business and church worlds. The former president George Bush and his wife came to speak as well! God revealed a lot of things to me through the three days, and confirmation came in the form of friends and speakers. I just want to leave you with a few bits of wisdom that really leapt off the stage and into my heart.

"Tell a story so compelling that they can't help but listen, instead of trying to force them to."--Erwin McManus, Lead Pastor of Mosaic, Los Angeles

"The leader's #1 job is to inspire hope, optimism, and opportunity."--Jim Blanchard, CEO of Synovus Bank

"Find something for which you have so much passion that you'll endure suffering for it to become a leader."--Jim Collins, New York Times bestselling author of Good to Great and Built to Last

I pray that something in one of those simple quotes was what you needed to hear. Inspiration can come from many places as long as we are willing to accept it. Well, my cup has reached the point where it contains only a few drops of over-sweetened chai and the clock says that it is time to begin getting ready for a drift off to dreamland, so I shall bid you adieu until our next teatime. God is about to do something big, so I will keep you posted!


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