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So you wake up every morning and going to work has become more of a chore than ever.  You’re not excited about the job, the boss, the people on your team – what do you do?  Quit?  Stick around? If you’ve read my Facebook devotionals you’ll see I’m all about seeking God’s will.  Logically, in this economy quitting your job for any reason is a risky move.  Spiritually, if you’re not in the place God wants you, sticking around out of fear is a risky move.  To my friends who know they are where God has called them to be, I share a message of endurance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Is all of your misery at work tied to one person?  Have you prayed consistently for them?  I’m not talking about a “Bless my butt head boss Phil” before bedtime, I mean really sitting down and praying for peace in their personal lives, wisdom when making decisions, and a softened heart towards other people.  You may be surprised how your heart softens towards them in the process.

Perhaps you’re miserable because you always feel like the oddball out.  People leave you behind when they go to lunch, leave the break room when you arrive, plan events outside of work without inviting you.  Think back over the last year, how have you impacted their lives?  Has your behavior reflected God’s love or his wrath?

Take into account that the situations you are in require a lesson to be learned.  What that lesson is, is between you and God.  Two things.  1 – If you fail, you can count on a retest.  2 – If you avoid it, you’ll find yourself being tested on something else.  Let me assure you that God is 100% committed your education, so rather than fight with him, SUMBIT ALREADY!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me enough to teach me your ways just as any earthly parent should.  Continue to guide me and open my eyes so that I am reflection of your love.

Still Hungry?  Abraham personifies endurance in Genesis 12 – 22.

 

Originally Published in 2011

"Stop Gazing!"

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts1:10-11)

 

Knowledge to Build On

The above verse describes the scene taking place immediately after The Ascension of Jesus Christ.  Prior to His ascension, Jesus had told His disciples He would be leaving, but coming again someday.  In the meantime, they were to be a witness for Him in Jerusalem, throughout all Judea and Samaria, and then their usefulness would reach to the uttermost part of the world.” He assures them of their ability to do this work by telling them that: “The Holy Spirit will come and give you the power.”

Having given these instructions to them, He leaves.  However, though He was taken out of their sight by the cloud, they kept looking up to heaven after Him. That is until two angels in the form of men appeared and reproved them for gazing up into heaven.

Life in the Now

Would you take a minute out of your busy day and allow me to personally reflect on this phrase, “gazing up into heaven,” as it pertains to my life.

1.  I sense that I am living in the greatest day in history to “go into all the world as a witness for Jesus Christ.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit within me, along with the invention of the internet, “little unknowns like me,” can branch beyond my neighborhood, my city, and reach into the utttermost part of the world.

2.  And yet, there are times I feel myself just gazing into heaven with thoughts of unworthiness: “What about my past?”  What do I have to offer?”

3.  Other times, I stand gazing into the face of rejection.  Perhaps I won’t be accepted by others when spreading the gospel.

4.  More times than I’d like to admit to, I stand gazing at what is going on Facebook or getting caught up in the business of life.  Meanwhile, the role that I have been called to play in this hour of history falls by the wayside because of “not giving Christ first priority in my life.”

5.  Many times I gaze into the lives of others and compare what I am doing or not doing with them. Oh, when am I ever going to realize that I was uniquely designed for a special purpose?

What about you?  Are you being a witness for Jesus in your home, city, and yes, into the uttermost parts of the world?  Are you actively pursuing the dreams and visions that God created you to fulfill for “such a time as this?”

I don’t know about you, but I hear Him whispering to me now:

Stop gazing, get a move on! You were created for a purpose! Don’t let it pass you by.

Let's Pray:  Father God, we thank you for creating us with a purpose. Help us to keep our eyes on you and not be gazing at anything else.   May we not allow anything to stand in our way of fulfilling the purpose. for which we were created to be.

What to Wear to: Weddings!

Tis the season, no, not Christmas, but wedding season! Every weekend is full of going to showers, engagement parties, and weddings. With all of these parties going on, how are you supposed to remember and coordinate what outfits you want to wear? Not to mention picking out shoes! Not to worry, we’re here to help make these decisions a little easier with these tips!

Wear something that’s colorful. It’s spring and a happy occasion so wearing something bright in the pastel family is sure to please.

J.Crew Lucille Dress in Cotton-Silk Faille

If you’re feeling really fashion forward, try a really nice wide leg jumper. It gives the look of a long maxi dress but you’ll certainly be unique in original look.

 Trina Turk Marianela Jersey Jumpsuit

Stick to the protocol. Check the invitation, if it says formal; opt for a long dress or a conservative cocktail dress. You can’t go wrong putting your hair up and wearing pearls, it will class up whatever you’re wearing.

Be sure to check the weather! Bringing a cardigan can always help in drafty churches and if it’s an outdoor wedding you’ll know to wear something light and breathable.

Time Saver- Invest in a pair of nude heels that look great with everything. Not only will this save you time but money, no more having to invest in new shoes with each dress! The below shoes I swear by!

Marc Fisher Joey Peep Toe Pumps

Giveaway

What you can win- A $25 gift card to Plain Ivey Jane's online site (valid only for clothing)

All entries must be received by Fri. May 18th, at 11:59PM PST. 2 winners will be chosen at random and announced on Monday, May 21st. Here's how to enter...

How To Enter (required):

  • Like Plain Ivey Jane on Facebook
  • Like Created Woman on Facebook
  • Leave a comment below and tell us which item off the Plain Ivey Jane site you’d purchase if you won.
For bonus entries please leave separate comments for each:

Giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents 

Sarah Reeves- Originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, Sarah studied Apparel Merchandising and Entrepreneurship at Auburn University. After school she moved to New York and worked for J. Crew Corp for a few years before opening her own boutique in Austin, TX called Plain Ivey Jane (if you’re ever in Austin go say hello!). It's an overstock boutique that receives shipments of over 120 different brands and lines at a discounted price! Be sure to check them out online!

Solitude

Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter...I've got 'em all. My generation is full of social media junkies. People rave about how Facebook put them in touch with friends they've lost contact with or how Facebook let's them keep up with their family who live far away, yada yada yada. And as a girl who has family spread across the continent, I think it's great! But Facebook and other social medias can have their darker sides. Maybe we've seen people going on vacations or buying new, pretty things and it stirs up a little jealousy or materialism in us. Maybe we've felt the need to show off a little for all our online friends. Or maybe we've seen what our friends have said online and just been annoyed. Whatever it is, we've probably all had moments like these. Now, I'm not trying to say that Facebook is pure evil and you should never use social medias! But I do think we could all use a bit more disconnect in our lives.  A writer I enjoy, Marya Mannes,  once said, "The great omission in American life is solitude...that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit." And in Mark 6, we find Jesus telling His disciples that they should find a "quiet place". There's something that happens when we get alone and quiet ourselves a bit. It lets us pay attention to ourselves and helps reconnect us to the most important thing in our life, our own spirit.

So if you're a social mediaholic like me, take some time this week to consciously disconnect. Maybe you can give yourself a time limit or maybe you just don't get online at all for a whole day. And if you want to see how someone's day is going, just give them a phone call rather than checking their Facebook. It's more fun that way!

Veritas Boutique

Who is she... the girl with a busy schedule,  responsibility  at work, and a heart to do right by others? She's the woman in your carpool. She sits in the cubicle next to you. She's your next door neighbor. In fact, this might be you. You're the woman who loves life and gives life.

Whether struggling to squeeze  in time for yourself describes you or you're already successful in making sure you pamper yourself, Veritas is an easy fit for any lifestyle.

Offering a beautiful selection of natural stones, crystals and Czech glass.

 

 

Who is Veritas Boutique?

Veritas is an online boutique for lovers of accessories.

Handmade by Earthen Treasure

Stones include Moukaite,lapis lazuli, malachite

 

What is Veritas all about?

Twenty-something , Nadia O'Connell Sanchez is  living out the first installment of her lifetime dreams. This young business owner partners with artists in different parts of the country to provide shoppers with the opportunity to purchase one of a kind handcrafted items.

Handcrafted for Veritas Boutique by Just 1.

Nadia has made shopping  a multi-faceted experience. She's incorporated her strong social conscience into the framework of Veritas .

She donates twenty percent of each purchase  to one of her favorite  non-profit organizations. The Magdalene Project, Hubbard House and Fuel.ph are some of the groups that have been supported through her clients'  love for shopping and unique accessories.

 

Predominately brass chain joined with copper and silver  Glass pendants

 Swarovski shimmers between beads of coral, unakite, and moonkite.

CW Monthly Giveaway

In just days, you could be wearing the Royal Necklace pictured below. Visit the Created Woman FB Fan Page , name your favorite non-profit organization and your name will go in a drawing for this mother of pearl and coral combo.  Don't forget to mention @veritasboutique & @createdwoman in your post.

Don't wait another moment. Click on Veritas Boutique to see the newest additions. Join  Nadia as she partners to fight domestic violence, human trafficking and support creative outlets that change the world.

Facebook and Text Messages - A New Way of Communicating

In this way aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.[Romans 14:19 TLNT]

Knowledge to Build On In the 14th chapter of Romans, Paul is addressing a group of believers about the division that is apparent among them.  He admonishes them to just be fully persuaded in their own minds what they believe, follow after peace, and build one another up. Life in the Now Facebook and text messages - - - is this the new norm for communicating?  It sometimes appears as though face to face communication has gone by the wayside, which is so vital for relationships.  Ever wonder what God thinks about all of these hi-tech ways of communicating?

Allow me to share a personal experience as food for thought.   I was receiving a face to face critique about my attitude.  This person got straight to the point by saying:  “With your attitude, you should not even be teaching Bible courses!”  Ouch!!  Admittedly, there are times I certainly have need of an attitude adjustment.  But, for this person to declare that I shouldn’t be teaching God’s Word hurt profusely!  Honestly, thoughts were running through my mind that their words would cause a division between us permanently!

As I continued to listen to their analysis as to why I shouldn’t be teaching, my cell phone beeped alerting me to a text message. I quickly opened my mail, and read:  Have a good day, TEACHER GAL!”

OMG!  LOL!  I was being called Teacher Gal right there on my keypad.  “Thaxs, God. U R high tech, too,” as I chuckled to myself with this on-time instant message.  From that moment on, the face to face encounter I was currently receiving did not matter anymore.  God had nudged someone special to send me a word of encouragement, and she had obeyed.

Think About It Has God nudged you to send an encouraging word to someone and you pushed it aside for “lack of time?”  Why not text, rather than waiting to buy a card, or writing a long letter, which are, indeed, very meaningful.  However, it’s sometimes those quick “on-time” moments that are also needed.

Prayer Lord, thank you for the people you have sent into my life to exhort and build me up.   May I, too, always be willing and ready to build up others in their time of trouble, as well as in the things you have called them to do.

More of the Truth Genesis 37:35 11 Corinthians 1:3-4

Fashion's Big Hoorah

Last week marked the third anniversary of an event known as Fashion's Night Out. The event, which allows consumers to mingle with designers and celebs, originated in New York City (did you expect anything less?). It is an event that coincides with New York fashion week and its hopes are to encourage shoppers to hit the pavement and splurge a little.We are all too familiar with the roller coaster ride that the economy has taken us on. One day stocks are recovering, the next they are the worst they've been in decades. Fashion's Night Out has become a global initiative to put consumers at ease about spending. It even woos us with promises of designers being present in their boutiques and exclusive after hour sales. With a quick Google search, I found that even though I live hundreds of miles from NYC, I could still take part in the festivities (yay!). In fact, countries around the world are taking part in Fashion's Night Out throughout the month of September. In the spirit of full disclosure I feel I must admit that at my local mall I did not stumble across Leah Michelle or Leighton Meester. However, there was a fashion show, cosmetic giveaways, and sales galore. Stores like BCBG and Ann Taylor offered half off merchandise and even champagne (don't mind if I do)! All in all I can't say that my experience at the local mall compared to the Big Apple's extravaganza, but my purchases did accomplish the mission that FNO set out to achieve. I bought things. I didn't think about the unemployment rate or the dow plummeting, I simply shopped.

To keep up with Fashion's Night Out visit www.fashionsnightout.com or find them on facebook at Fashion's Night Out

Top Tips for Building Self-Esteem in Children

It was Hannah’s first day of school as a “big second grader.”  It seemed only yesterday that I was rocking “Nana’s Sweet Hannah,” the name I call my firstborn grandchild, in my arms.  My daughter and I shed a tear as Hannah walked out the door with her book bag hung over her shoulder. Behind my computer screen via way of Facebook, I felt compassion for Mothers who were sending their “teenage babies” off for their first day of school.  They, too, couldn’t believe that Father Time had slipped up on them.

In the preceding month before the school bell rang for another year to begin, Moms all across America went into high gear preparing their children for that first day:  orientation meetings were attended, hours were spent buying new clothes and school supplies, the pantry and refrigerator were stocked with lunches.  At last, Mom and child were ready -  let the school year begin.

May I take this opportunity to ask you a few questions about another much needed preparation that might have slipped your mind in the midst of the hustle and bustle?

Did you prepare your child for:

  • the bully they are sure to meet at school or on the bus
  • the time that they are chosen last for an activity or not chosen at all
  • the time that they are made fun of because of a disability
  • the time that they hear a cruel remark about their appearance
  • the time that they fail a test, despite how hard they studie

It is these type of things that can cause a child’s self-esteem to spiral downward, and they cease to see themselves as someone who is loved, valued, and having worth.  Obviously, parents cannot lock their child in a cage and shelter them from the world around them. However, parents owe it to their children to build a self- confidence in them that cannot be shaken when demeaning acts of unkindness cross their paths.

Allow me to offer a few tips for building Self-Esteem in children.

  1. Instill in Your Child the Way God Sees Them - Start each day with scriptures showing him how special he is to God.   1. God’s love for you is higher than the heavens (Ps. 108:4)    2. God created you with a beautiful body (Ps. 139:13-14)    3. God calls you his Friend  (John 15:15)   4. God chose you  (Eph. 4:1)  5. God created you with special abilities (Romans 12:6)
  2. Point Out Strengths You See in Him - Often time’s children do not recognize their own abilities.  Not only tell them things you have noticed they are good at doing, but write them out and pack one a day in his book bag for him to read during the day.
  3. Teach Him that Losing Does not Make Him a Failure - Children love winning.  However, losing is a normal part of life. When he fails a test, seize the opportunity to help him develop better study habits.  When he loses a ballgame, use it as a time of learning about good sportsmanship, not drowning in defeat.
  4. Encourage Him to Help Others - As adults, we realize that one of the most fulfilling moments of our lives is when we help others.  One of the best ways to promote this idea in children is to encourage him to be a friend to:  the new kid at school, the child that is purposely left out of activities, the child with a disability, going with a child who is being bullied to tell an adult.  Not only does this make the “other child” feel accepted and valued, but it makes your child have a feeling of worth, knowing he has helped someone.
  5. Instill in Him an Attitude of Thankfulness - Set aside a time each day for him to give thanks for:  the way he looks, the abilities he has, how much God loves and values him, and most of all teach him to be thankful for “just being me.

One final tip that I am sure you do not need to be reminded of:

 Send your child off to school everyday with a big hug.

 Have a good school year with your child and enjoy the ride before these precious years have passed you by.

Coming Soon: Saturday Devotionals

Last Fall, Created Woman launched Saturday morning devotionals on our Facebook Fage Page and YOU have let us know that you're reading . To make it simpler for you,CW Devos are coming to the CW Blogazine , starting Saturday, Sept. 3rd. You will be able to reach out for the inspiring words of Coby, Erika, Kala, Nichole and Martha anytime you wish. Until then, look for Saturday devotionals on our FB Fan Page.

 

Coming Soon:Saturday morning inspiration!

Not Your Mother's Devo!

Did you grow up watching your mom read a morning devotional? Did you ever pick it up and wonder how in the world she could spend her time reading  something so irrelevant? I personally enjoy a good devotional. I love when someone takes one little scripture and turns it into a lesson I can think about all day. Created Woman is launching a Saturday Morning Devo on October 2nd on our Facebook Fan Page. Each Saturday morning you can hear from someone just like yourself, a woman who is working her way through life to become the woman God created her to be. She may talk about:

  • college
  • marriage
  • being single
  • owning a business
  • juggling motherhood with life in corporate America

In any case, she will be genuine and relative. Her stories will reach you where you live because she's a woman like you, learning and growing.

Watch for the CW Devo lineup on Saturday, Sept. 25th when I introduce the team to you.