doesn

What's Your Worth? God's Top Priority

My favorite new place in the world is snuggling with my 3-month old as she takes a nap.  Every time we snuggle, I kiss her on her forehead and cheek whispering the words “I love you” over and over even though she has no idea what that means.  She is such a gift!  She has no idea how much she means to us, how much we wanted her, or how much we thank God for her every day promising to take care of this precious gift He has given us.  She has no clue of her worth yet.

As a single girl, I didn’t always know my worth either.  I had no idea how much God loved me, how much He had for me, or how much He actually thought of me throughout the day.  After all, I was single and my purpose would begin after I got married, right?  Because I believed that for a bit, I found myself feeling anxious believing I would be the last one married, the last one to have kids, the last one to reach my career goals, the last one to……the list goes on.  It wasn’t until I finally rested in God and allowed Him to snuggle with me, kiss me on my forehead and cheek while whispering how much He loved me, did I realize how much I was worth.  I was worth a whole lot come to find out!   Because my daughter knows we have food just for her, she instinctively opens her mouth when it's time to eat never doubting that we’ll have enough.  Just like her, all I needed to do was be open for all the good things God had just for me.

Once I knew my worth, I no longer settled for less.  I didn’t settle for a date with just anyone, drama filled relationships, unhealthy friendships and so much more.  I didn’t settle for who I was either.  I was worth the effort to be molded.  As I embraced my value, I was constantly amazed how much He entrusted me with.  He had plans for me; things I had better be doing even while I was single.

As my daughter grows up, I can only  pray I show her daily just how much she is worth.   I pray that while she is single, she understands God has a plan & purpose designed especially for her by His own hands.  This is exactly how God feels about you!  He wants you to know how much you are worth to Him; how valuable you really are!  All you have to do is open your mouth just like my little girl and receive what God has for you, now, while you are single.

Embrace and enjoy Snuggling with your Heavenly Father as He gives you little kisses on your forehead and cheek while whispering, “I love you” over and over again!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

{Originally published 2011}

[title subtitle="Book: Now, While You Are Single: Walking Out Your Purpose Before You Say "I Do""][/title]

Now, While You Are Single is a practical guide to help women discover and embrace their true identity in Christ through a journey of healing, ultimately revealing God’s purpose and plan for their life while they are single. 

Purchase for you or as a gift here!

books_created

[title subtitle="Design Labs"][/title]

Single ladies! We will be hosting Design Labs in the Austin area this summer featuring Heather's book. Follow us on Facebook for dates & times.

The Power to Choose; Even in the Midst of Pain

1 week, 2 days, and 12 hours ago, my boyfriend of 5 ½ years told me he doesn’t want to marry me (ever), and then he asked me to leave. I drove home alone, the shattered pieces of everything I’d hoped, longed, and planned for ripping me up inside. Like every day reminders of his goodbye, the pieces remain, and the disappointment and shock feel just as raw as they did last week. Short of losing my grandpa a few years ago, this hurt is this worst I’ve ever experienced, and I’m just going to be honest up front: this isn’t a post about healing, because right now, I’m broken. This isn’t a post about comfort, because right now, my heart is aching. This isn’t even a post about trusting God’s timing, because right now, I would be lying if I told you I didn’t have questions.

But this is a post about power: the power to choose, even in this ugly, dirty, messy, pain, to believe truth.

When the enemy whispers in my ear this wouldn’t have happened if you were better, prettier, skinnier, or smarter, when he sneaks upon me in the middle of the night and cries you will never be loved, this was your only chance, and it’s gone, when he reaches inside and stirs up my deepest insecurities to remind me I’m just not good enough, I have the power to choose truth. I have the power to believe even in the chaos, God is still God, I am still His, and that is the only thing that defines me. Not rejection.

When fear overwhelms, when I worry whether my whole life is ruined, when I look backward over wasted years and sweet memories and start believe that was as good as it gets and this loneliness will never fade, I have the power to choose truth. I have the power to believe God will make beauty from the ashes of our relationship, that even in this sadness, God is still God, I am still His, and He planned every one of my tomorrows before the foundation of the earth. My future is, and always has been, in His hands. Not my own.

When I sit, paralyzed by the pain, unable to breathe or think or eat, when I would rather lay in my bed and cry than meet up with friends or talk to my family or show up to work, when I start to wonder how I will ever move on when I can’t even move, I have the power to choose truth. I have the power to believe that God is working on my behalf, that even when I can’t feel it, God is still God, I am still His, and He is healing me, shaping me, and preparing me for all that He knows is coming. My healing depends on His perfect love. Not my strength.

The power to choose truth isn’t a quick fix. It won’t erase pain or rearrange my boyfriend’s heart. But choosing truth gives hope. It eases my soul. It reminds me that this may be the end of my relationship, but it isn’t the end of my life.  Choosing truth may not change my past, but it draws me nearer to the One who gives me a future. And that makes all the difference.

 

Brittany Williamson is a twenty-something who is amazed every day by the grace of her God. She is passionate about the purpose and potential of her generation and loves journeying with other twenty-somethings on her blog, www.faithinbetween.com. She can also be found on Twitter (@britmwilliamson) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/faithinbetween).

 

Get Your Spring On - Simple ways to give your wardrobe a lift

I so heart spring fashion! All the colors, light-weight fabrics, cute sandals, accessories and so much more! I usually start getting my spring wardrobe into shape right around this time. But with all the new trends, exciting styles, and colors for spring, it can be somewhat overwhelming and a bit expensive. The good news is – it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are some practical ways that will help give your wardrobe a lift without spending a fortune.

 Separate Your Seasons – This will help you get all the fall styles out of your closet so you can focus on spring styles. Just get a large storage bin to store your big chucky sweaters or if you have a big enough closet then just move it all to the very back.

Some more good news - here are a few fall styles you can still rock in the spring:

Skinny Color Cords – Spring can still be a bit cooler at times, so keep this suckers around!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boy Friend Blazer – This classic piece is a great option when you feel like your top needs a little boost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bow-tie Blouse – It looks great with skinny jeans or cords and a pair of sandals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do The Inventory – Now that your fall wardrobe is out of sight, do an inventory of what you have and don’t have so that when it’s time to go shopping you can avoid over-spending and buying another white shirt when you already have three. It’s like grocery shopping but for clothes. You can take a mental note, make a list, or even take pictures to carry with you when it's time to go shopping.

Look For It – Before going out to shop for new items, get your grocery list out and look online to see what’s out there. This will save you so much time because it'll help you narrow down which stores to go to for exactly what you need.

 Giveaway

Sound like too much work? Well you're in luck! This month’s giveaway on Created Woman includes a wardrobe lift for someone in the Austin area from Wardrobe Forte. Just tweet or email Created Woman a picture of your closet and why you need help.

Email – created@createdwoman.net

Twitter - @createdwoman

 

 

 

 

 

The Heart of the Matter

The stress of working in retail the last 15 years has given me somewhat of a Bah Humbug attitude during the holiday season.  In fact my holiday motto has been “We Work Because You Don’t Have To.”  Retail employees live and die by the Vacation Blackout Schedule; the schedule that has kept me working during the holidays these last 15 years and even dictated the date of my marriage.  But holiday stress doesn’t just fall on those of us in the Retail profession; it touches everyone. Take a moment and reflect on the true reason for the season.  Jesus.  We celebrate the GIFT of life.  The baby who would grow up and GIVE his life for us.  Strange that the topic of giving should create so much stress this time of year.

When we think of Christmas giving we automatically think of shopping, spending money, wrapping presents and giving sweaters, jewelry and knick-knacks.  But that is not the only way to give, nor is it the best decision for everyone.  If you’re shopping on credit cards to give gifts to everyone in the entire office or every member of your extended family you may want to rethink your giving technique.

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box.  Many rich people put in large sums.  And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.  And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.  For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”  Mark 12:41 – 44 (English Standard Version)

No, this verse is not telling you to spend your last penny on gifts when you need to pay rent!  It’s asking you to give with the heart of the widowed woman.  Giving is more than dealing with material possessions; it’s the heart of the matter.  Are you giving to suck up to the boss or because you truly want to bless him?

Baking cupcakes & cookies for the office, donating your hair, writing a poem, doing volunteer work or watching a friend’s child for an afternoon are all ways of giving and showing love to those we care about without breaking the bank.  Set budgets and guidelines for giving with your office pals, family & spouse then stick to them.  Money is tight for most people these days and with the rising costs of gas, milk and Starbucks discussing limits shouldn’t be considered taboo.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven thank you for placing the desire to give in my heart.  Help me to understand how to bless people with gifts that show your love and mine without putting me / my family under financial strain.

Still Hungry?  Deuteronomy 15 instructs us to give cheerfully as does 2 Corinthians 9, which also reminds us that we reap what we sow (time, money, acts of kindness…).

Making Dreams Come True

Opening the email, the first sentence read, “Would you like to bless some people?”  My immediate thought was, “Of course.  Who doesn’t like to bless people?”  Jennifer and Chad were going to be married in two months, November 11, 2011.  Their lives had changed dramatically within one week.  They lived in Bastrop, Texas, where fires burned businesses and residents for over a week.  Their home and the venue they were to be married in were burned to the ground.  The Oaks Events Center staff met with Jennifer and Chad two days after receiving that email. Jennifer’s face beamed.  She smiled from ear to ear when she walked into the bridal suite.  Her eyes met with the ornate gold hook that her wedding dress would hang on and a tear rolled down her cheek.  It was a look I will never forget; surprise, joy, and peace.  As an Event Manager, the most important rule is; if the bride is happy, everyone else is happy.  Chad had a sense of relief as he watched his bride to be have a moment of joy in the midst of loss.

There was a huge sense of community in the two months preparing for Jennifer and Chad’s wedding.  From linens, to Tiki torches, to a sunset wedding ceremony on the front lawn, cake, catering, an evening of laughing and dancing, and bubble blowing as a farewell to the bride and groom; the day was spectacular.  The Bastrop community, friends and family of the bride and groom, and The Oaks Events Center all pulled together to make Jennifer and Chad’s dream come true on their wedding day.

Stacy loves to share with groups of people; to Inspire you to dream big, to Empower you to become better in spirit, mind, and body; and to challenge you to Share what you have learned with others. Some of the topics she is passionate about are: health and fitness, relationships, leadership, communication and conflict resolution within any environment. She has been on staff at her home church, Shoreline Church, in Austin Texas since 2002. She is the Event Manager at Shoreline Church and The Oaks Events Center.  To learn more about Stacy, please visit her website www.stacymcvane.com.

Created Woman Devo Team-Meet Kala and Nichole

Saturday morning devotionals begin on Oct. 2. The writers are  smart, courageous and they're women who are honest about life. Meet  two members of the CW Devo Team.

Kala has been working her way up the corporate ladder in the retail industry for 15 years, starting off hanging clothes in the stockroom and now an Operations Manager for 271 stores across the Central United States & Mid-Atlantic Area.  Kala has grown up along Interstate 35, spending her younger years in Laredo, TX, graduating from high school in Austin, TX and now residing with her family in Dallas, TX.  Her parents pray she doesn’t continue to follow the highway any further north!  No one would have ever thought that Kala would have ended up with a job crunching numbers & monitoring budgets, especially since her first loves were the theatre and her Victoria’s Secret credit card.

This young career Mom doesn’t have much free time on her hands, especially with her very active 3 year old daughter Ava in the house.  Her favorite thing to do during what little spare time she has, is to cook; which works out quite well for Eric, her fabulous husband of 5 years, who loves to eat.

“There’s nothing quite like chopping vegetables after a long day!”

Nichole is an eternally curious, art loving, forever hopeful young woman living in Austin, Texas with her husband, Christopher, and their beloved dog, Laila. She’s a student at the University of Texas and is earning her BA in English Literature. She believes in the power and beauty of literature. Her inspirations include C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, Elie Wiesel, and countless musicians. She dreams of assigning papers over 'Fahrenheit 451' and 'Lord of the Flies' to high-school students, adopting a baby, and adding a few more dogs to the family. Born with a beautiful voice, Nichole’s a songbird who’s been able to minister to others through her singing at Shoreline Church. Chris and Nichole love catching live music downtown, watching Modern Family, laughing until they cry, and exploring all that God is and does.

Kala will publish every 3rd Saturday and Nicole on each 4th Saturday

on the Created Woman Facebook Fan Page.