freedom

FACING FEAR

Fear has the power to knock you off your feet. It has the ability to keep you from moving forward. And, left unchecked, fear has the ability to dominate one’s life. We were not created to carry fear and anxiety. Check out Dr. E. Stanley Jones observation on fear:

You are inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not our native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. We live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. When experiencing anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath--these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely--these are my native air. To live by worry is to live against reality. (Source unknown)

Below are a few tools I have adopted to increase my faith and confidence when fear, anxiety or doubt is present:

  • Write it down – otherwise known as journaling. Take a short amount of time to think about where your anxiousness is come from. Write it down, and then go to the Word of God to identify a scripture that will help you in this area of your life. Write our type the verse(s) and contemplate on the truth of the Word. Say it out loud. Put it in your phone or write it on a card. It is always good to have it available to pull up when you need it.
  • Pray – Prayer changes things. Once you identify the fear and find your scripture. Ask God to give you the strength to overcome what may be keeping you from advancing. Don’t give up. Prayer is powerful and has been a vital resource throughout my life.
  • Exercise your Faith –Proverbs 3 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to our own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path. Once we write it down and pray, depending on God to manage the situation means letting go. This may be the most challenging aspect of our lives. I know it is for me, however, I have experienced God in the most difficult circumstances.
  • Talk to someone – Nothing compares to having someone to share your challenges with. It could be a trusted friend, family member or professional. I have used all three sources over the course of my life and have benefitted tremendously from their guidance.

These are just a few approaches I have taken over the years to help me work through fear. Be assured that God is at work in every area of our lives, even when we are faced with anxiety, worry or doubt.

Which tools or resources have you used to overcome fear, anxiety or doubt?

What Can I Control?

In this season of singleness in my life, I have had many things to rejoice over. The opportunity to pursue an education in a field I am passionate about. Traveling the world. Having deep friendships.  I enjoy the freedom to watch a movie when I want to, get deeply involved in a good book all day if I so choose, go spend my money on deals at the mall without having to answer to anyone. This season also presents many obstacles. Sometimes, the array of choices can be overwhelming. I worry about messing up. I am also prone to worry and loneliness. I secretly sometimes wonder if I will ever settle down and get married and have a family of my own. And to be honest, the thought of being single forever scares me.

This is where I have to stop and remind myself that there are a lot of unknowns not only in the life of a single woman, but in the life of every woman. Instead of fretting over what I cannot control, why not take a proactive stance on what I can control? Isn’t this what God wants for me?

First of all, God loves me with an everlasting love, and he has not forgotten about me. My self-esteem must flow from what he says is true about me, not whether my needs are being met in any human relationship. Second, I cannot mess up his plan for me. The latter part of Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” What an amazing truth by which I can set my mind at ease!

I am single, and I desire a relationship, but I refuse to settle for less than what I truly desire.  Can I control the fact that what I want to happen right now isn’t happening? Not really, but I can sure make a mess of myself worrying about what the future holds. A better choice would be to focus on what I can control. I can control my attitude. I can work on myself during this season of life in a way that no other season can match, because I am not hindered by pleasing someone else. I can fulfill my dreams of traveling, learning foreign languages, and working with kids.

Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.” No matter what the future holds, I pray that by the power of Christ in me, I will learn to control the things I can, and what I cannot control, will be left in his hands.

 

 

My name is Jordan Starling and I live in Jefferson City, TN. I am studying to be a teacher and I plan to graduate in December 2013. I enjoy cooking, backpacking, reading, writing, and going on mission trips. I recently returned from a mission trip to Africa, where I had the opportunity to do church planting in remote villages.

 

 

Editor's Note - Where No One Has Gone Before!

July 4th brings celebration, fireworks, waterworks, barbeque and lots of red, white and blue.  It’s the time of year where families and friends celebrate where we’ve been and where we’re going.  How amazing it is that we have the privilege to live in a land where there is so much freedom!  Freedom we sometimes take for granted during election season, which can usher in so many different emotions, conflict and division.  Nonetheless, no matter what your political stand, we live in the best country in the world; a place where we can express our thoughts, pursue our dreams and wear want we want - except in restaurants,  “No shoes, no shirt, no service.” This July, as we celebrate the month of freedom, Created Woman celebrates the freedom we have to pursue a dream we’ve had since its birth.  The CW family is excited to announce the launch of Created Woman Magazine premiering in August 2012 during Austin’s Fashion Week.  The road to get here has been an exciting one with many twists and turns, but the journey has been no less than a pleasure all because of you, our readers!

With our first photo shoot behind us and many more ahead, our thanks goes out to the many people who helped us along the way; the writers, readers, make up artist, hair stylist, photographers, editors, stylists, web and graphic designers and wonderful boutiques that made it all possible.  We can’t wait to share with you more fashion, more inspiring stories of women becoming who they were created to be, creative ways to live a healthy life and much, much more!    We invite you to come with us, because where we’re going, no one has gone before!

 

Thanks for being a part of Created Woman and we hope you enjoy Created Woman Magazine! 

Behind the Scenes of our 1st Photo Shoot

What’s Hot: Religious and Ethical Topics

It is election year 2012 --- time once again for voters to march to the polls to elect the next President of the United States.  From George Washington, our first President, to the current President, there have always been, shall we say, hot topics that become issues for voters to consider as they start to cast their vote on the ballet. The deciding factor of which candidate to vote for often centers around the voters’ religious and ethical views, thus paving the way for the century old argument: Religion vs. Politics.

With that thought in mind, the hot religious and ethical topics in today’s political debates making headlines are:

  1. Equal rights for same-sex marriage
  2. Abortion access including methods of reducing the abortion rate
  3. Contraception (provided by employer health care plans and/or birth control measures dictated by religious convictions)

My point in writing about these hot topics that voters are facing in this up-coming election is not to voice my opinion one way or the other on any of these issues.  I firmly believe in freedom of choice and free will.

My main point is this:

Religious freedom is one of the most cherished rights in our country.  Our Founding Fathers established our nation while envisioning that religious liberties would be celebrated and faith openly expressed.  Yet efforts to safeguard our First Amendment rights are opposed and ridiculed by activists determined to force people of faith to succumb to pressure and vote against their religious belief.

A former pastor of mine once said:  “A person who doesn’t know and stand for what he believes, will fall for anything.”

Curl Potential

Living in the south, most of my clients tend to have some kind of issue with frizz. I, myself,  have always attributed this to the weather and humidity. However, recently I was introduced to a way of thinking that changed that. "Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen," I heard a curly beauty say from the DevaCurl class. She caught my interest.  For the next hour and a half, she had my undivided attention. I walked away from her class with not only  knowledge but also feeling brave and inspired to find my, and my clients, curl potential.

For more than a month and a half I've embraced my curls. I've shared the freedom and empowered  my clients, combating frizz and unruly curls in a whole new way.

It seems that after more than a decade of straight hair being king of the industry, curly hair has made a come back of sorts. No, it's not the perm of the 80's. It's the natural bounce that you were created with that seems to be rocking the salons and the big screen.

Everyday woman and Hollywood "A-listers" alike are flocking to salons to find the magic that is DevaCurl.

With products like "nopoo", the suds-less cleanser, and "mister right" lavender spray to reinvigorate curls, it's no surprise that it's taking off.

"I never knew my hair was this curly," or "all my life I never thought I had curly hair," are just a few of the responses I love getting from my clients after the Deva three step. The simple cleanse, condition, and gel, bring your own curl to the surface, allowing them to shine like never before.

So if your fighting frizz and don't think straightening is the way for you, or if you just want to love the curl you know is there, take a peek at the new products that started this curly revolution. Discover your curl potential.

Fashionably Single

Singleness comes with so much welcomed freedom!  Freedom to go where you want; freedom to hang out with who you choose; freedom to sleep in; freedom to date; freedom to shop!  That was one of my favorites!  I could shop and not have to answer to anyone!  Being single, fashionable and carefree is a great life and to be enjoyed to the fullest.  Just flick on the TV and take a look at all fashionable single ladies wearing all the best labels so fabulously and you’ll see that life is good for a single lady.  I mean, don’t they seem to have it all?  The clothes, the men, the careers, the best friends and somehow they seem to balance life so well!  You have girls like Carrie on Sex and the City to our current go to fashion girls on Gossip Girl or Real Housewives. I can get wrapped up in the characters I must admit as a way of ‘relaxing’ at the end of the day just to clear my brain of the ever-pressing to-do lists.  It’s so easy to think if we act, dress or become like “so and so” then I’ll have those men, their career and that status.  The truth is, everything we do does in fact dictate what we get, but the outcome is not at all like what we see on TV.  If you really did walk out the door in a see-through shirt with coordinating bra underneath or cute runway dress that really fits like a shirt, the good – looking business man with the good intentions isn’t the one that’s going to ask you for a cup of coffee!

If you don’t already know it, you have a lot of power over the men around you through the way you dress.  What are you using it for?  Are you using it to try and get something or are you making sure your protecting someone’s future husband and your own dignity at the same time?  The clothes you wear, even fashionable ones, may not be the best choice in proving you’re a lady and hopefully, your goal is to be a lady and one who is pursued vs. just a one night conquer!

Men by nature have engrained in them the need to hunt; to conquer.  That’s why they talk about the winning team they bet on, the game they played and conquered, the hunt of a fish or deer they waiting on for hours on end until finally after a long day, they conquered.   Men are conquerors and in this day and age, our need to be equal in every single area including conquering the dating game has taking the hunt out for men as we pursue them ourselves.  Most importantly, the challenge has seemed to be non-existent when we let ourselves be on complete display by the way of our clothing!  We can take away the mystery of ourselves by putting too much of ourselves on display.

Clothes tell a story, they say who we are and what we think about ourselves.  We become walking art for all to view.  What story do you want to tell about yourself?  I encourage you this fall as you go out shopping for the latest trends and coolest fashions, think about what story you want to tell about yourself!  Choose clothes that display who you were created to be both inside and out!  Simply said, be fashionably single.

 Win a free book, "Now, While You are Single" by re-tweeting our tweet of this article.

"What's Hot about being Single anyway?

The conversation went something like this;  Me: “So you just graduated from college, congratulations!  What are going to do now?” Girl: “I’m going to Europe to work at a resort for a year.”  Me: “Wow, that’s great!  I wish I had done something like that when I was still single and could.  No worries at all, just get up and go!”  Girl: “Yeah, it’s going to be great!” Oh to be single, carefree and no ties!  That’s the life!  Single ladies, don’t humdrum around about being single thinking, “Where’s my man?”  This is one of the best times of your life if you just embrace it.  The young lady I talked to about going to Europe got it; she received her education to plan for her future but before she settled into the routine of life, she is embracing the freedom she has taking the adventure of a lifetime.

Whether it’s Europe, a trip to the beach, taking risk you’ve been afraid of taking or moving to another city for a job; the possibilities are almost endless when you are hot and single!  And just so you know, age does not appply nor does the fact you may have recently found yourself single again.  If you are single, you are hot and single!  Here are a few more hot ideas to try out while you are single.

 

  • Interview for a job in the city of your dreams.  It could be your dream job or just a job that pays so you can live in a city that you always wanted to visit.
  • Grab some girlfriends and take weekend getaway to a spa or anywhere else you want to go.  Don’t wait for the phone to ring to get invited; you do the inviting!  Road trips with friends are great memories.
  • Take a week off from work for a “stay-cation,” a week at home doing all the fun stuff in your city.  Hiking, biking, visiting the hot spot restaurants, dance clubs, whatever you think is cool.   Take a look back at Stacy’s blog, “Havin’ Fun in the Summer Time” to get your wheels turning even more.
  • Girl-friend time - Chick-flicks, poolside with snacks and drinks, mani-pedi, shopping….the list is endless.
  • Something I wish I did more often, go visit a friend who has moved away and spend a weekend with them laughing about old times and making some new great memories.  No need to wait on someone else to take a trip, plan your own!
  • Speed dating…I said it!  If I were single, I would hit the speed dating where you get a 5-minute date with several different guys and your done.  No computer trying to figure out the best match taking all kind of personal information, just 5 minutes of FACE-TO-FACE time….something that’s missed in our electronic world.  It’s fun, fast and safe because your not giving out any personal information, just talking in a safe environment where you actually SEE whom you are talking to.  What a novel idea! Plus, no cheesy pick-up lines!

It’s a risk to enjoy life while you are still single, are you up for it?  I think you are and I believe in you.  Be wise in the process though; don’t blow through your savings or milk off your parents or friends.  Be smart in the process because you never know who your going to meet along the way and you don’t want to be a financial burden to your future husband.  But be brave and go out and enjoy life now, while you are single!

 

That’s What’s HOT about being single!

Share some of your ideas about what's hot about being single.

Trendy Tresses

Spring has sprung and so has the homage to 1960's hair. As life imitates art so it seems the hair of every red carpet celeb has taken heed to the  release of Vidal Sassoon The Movie. No hairstylist worth their weight in shampoo has not been influenced by this legend. He took that decade's woman from the set style to the flexibility and freedom of shampooing and styling at home. The cut did all the work. Leaving the shampoo set as a thing of the past and every woman became fashionably fresh.

Today no celebrity more notably reflects this style than Michelle Williams. Her striking tribute to Mia Farrow's famous 1968 Sassoon style was beautifully done. The 60's influence is also seen on the newly cropped bob styles of both Jennifer Aniston an Scarlett Johansson. These retro looks are not limited to the shorter length cuts. Reese Witherspoon, January Jones, Jessica Alba, Mila Kunis and Angelina Jolie all maintained length while incorporating volume, movement, braids and texture to create beautiful hair rich in 60's style.  So if  your style is short & sleek, bobbed, or braided you can spring forward by embracing the looks of the past with the spirit of today.

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ENGAGED . . .

Several people in my life have become engaged over the last year.  It has been a beautiful experience watching each relationship advance.  Acquaintance moved to friendship, friendship blossomed to love and love motivated these couples to live out the sum of their days together. The engagement phase, in most cases, brings the couple even closer, as they busy themselves working through the details of the wedding, and are faced with the reality of being ‘together’ – forever.

One of the definitions of the word engage is to occupy ones self or to become busy or involved.  While this is an appropriate word for a soon to be married pair, there is a vast number of singles who are engaged – in other ways.  Engagement encompasses a great deal of our lives.

Today, most singles have the freedom to pursue personal interests and careers or spend time investing in friends, family and other life-opportunities.

Here are three important areas of engagement that lead to a healthy single life:

  • Friends – Friends and family make life much more colorful.  Surrounding yourself with those who have common interests and beliefs and can relate to you is important.  Identify your need for friendships and relationships, and then embark on developing and maintaining healthy, lasting connections.
  • Fortune – I’m not referring to your bank account, exclusively. Time, talent and resources, combined, make up your fortune. It’s important that you continually develop and resource yourself so that you can give what you can to help others.  We were not created to keep all that we have to ourselves. You have a very significant and important part to play in this phase of life.
  • Future – A question for you – How will you be remembered?  When you cross over from this life to the next, what will you leave behind?  What will people say about you when you are gone?  You are building your legacy, daily.  With every choice you make, legacy is being created.  Ensure you are living your very best life, not just for yourself, but for those coming after you.  Remember the part you decide to play in life is important

Are you engaged, yet??