Session 3: Shine On {Candice}

Surprise! It's me today! Yes, I'm guest posting on my own blog (well, I guess it's not really "guest" posting then...but you get what I mean) I know it's been said a couple of times here, but I so enjoy seeing your responses to the series, and hope that you've been enjoying it as much as I have! It's a blessing to have such a wonderful community of readers, and people such as yourself, to dream, connect and grow with. You guys are the best! :) 
I suppose it's not totally necessary to introduce myself, but in case you've only just joined us here, Hi! I'm Candice, the girl behind the blog! It's so nice to meet you, and I hope you'll take some time to look around here, and find yourself inspired. Just a few things for you to get to know me better: I love hosting parties & celebrations, the ocean is my happy place (I'm a mermaid at heart), I love to write and plan on traveling the world. Oh, and if I had to choose, a white peppermint mocha is my favorite Starbucks drink.

Shine On. What does that mean to you? I had to sit there and stare at my computer screen for a little bit before putting some thoughts down...there's so many moments that came to mind when thinking on this subject.
I was lucky to grow up with the knowledge that I am loved, and that I had been created for a purpose, but for awhile, I wasn't really, truly happy with who I was. Confidence, sure I could have it when needed, but there were still insecurities that kept me from being totally comfortable with being me. I remember going through high school just wanting to be noticed by the "right guy" or having the perfect body, the perfect hair... it was all about how you looked or acted. Perfection was the standard and it always seemed just a little out of reach. I had good grades, was very involved in school activities, and had some close friends, but felt like most people really didn't know me for who I was, but rather what I did, it was very performance based. College continued on in a similar fashion, yet at this point, I started to see that it really didn't matter how you looked or which cute guy winked at you from across the hall. What really mattered was the confidence that comes from being totally you.

During my freshman year at college, I read the book, Captivating, by John & Staci Eldredge...I kid you not when I say that this book totally revolutionized the way I saw myself & my life purpose. (I happily hand this book out to any and all of my girlfriends now..and gentlemen, there's a version for you also called Wild At Heart) You see, what I was missing was the fact that beauty is my life purpose, and not in the physical sense, but in the sense that unveiling beauty and inviting and allowing others to discover & share beauty with the world is what matters. Beauty is what draws us in, it captivates us and demands our attention. What would a flower be without all its petals drenched in color, an ocean without its vast depths, or the sunset without its burning hues? Do you see? Our world is totally obsessed with beauty, yet so many of us miss the most important reservoire placed within ourselves. I missed it for so long, but can I tell you that when I found out how freeing it was to discover the purpose God had for my life, and to understand that his plan included the giftings and talents that he's given me, it changed something. No longer did I judge myself with an unreasonable standard that the world sets, one that is called "beauty", but is really a warped, counterfeit version. Instead, I decided to be ok with being me. I embraced the beauty within, and have been so blessed because of it. Oddly enough, God placed me in some seemingly superficial environments, yet allowed me to shine on in them, radiating the freedom and true beauty that comes from being loved by my creator, and loving who I am.

Can I just encourage you today to be you? Don't waste your time trying to be a copy of someone me, I've tried, and it's just not worth it. Who cares if you don't find your "Mr./Mrs. Right" right away, it doesn't de-value who you are as a person...there's such beauty in the process of becoming the "right" person for someone, and having time to discover who you are. Just because you want to take a different path than others expect from you, or your passions and talents lie somewhere other than where the rest of the crowd is going, don't let that sway you. Embrace who you have been created to be, and become a person that invites others to beauty. People who are truly comfortable with themselves allow others to begin discovering who they are. That's my goal, to be someone who inspires and invites others to be themselves, truly beautiful. Choose to shine today, leave comparisons and society standards behind, and I promise'll love life, and you'll shine brightly.

So, shine on friend.


Unknown said...

Never stop being you Candice, because I know of one man your life has touched forever just by being your friend and around your beauty, and I know with out a doubt that you have and will touch others lives as well.

Ashley said...

I love this message. It's so true and was a great reminder to hear today :) Thanks for sharing! Now I need to get my hands on that book!

Maryl said...

Wow, Candice, this is great thinking
and so inspiring! You are an excellent writer. You need to share more of your wisdom and experiences because you can positively impact so many people. The culture gives people so many wrong messages about beauty and life choices. You have given us a much better perspective. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

as always you're so inspiring and so encouraging! I love the pink pants and black shirt! where from my stylish friend?! :) xoox

Lauren said...

Exquisitely and beautifully written! It is a terrific message that definitely hit home. You are such a talented writer and a marvelous person!!

Anonymous said...

I never knew that book impacted you so much. I'm so glad you found God's love letters for you in it <3

Unknown said...

wonderful post, friend!!! i too have read Captivating :) excellent book.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post Candice, thank you for sharing this with your loyal readers..A truly beautiful way to start the weekend :)

Olivia said...

Thank you for these encouraging words. It is humbling, refreshing and uplifting to hear God be faithful in another's life. Keep encouraging and letting God's light radiate out from within your hospitable heart.

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