land

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

Ruins

Your people will rebuild the old cities that are now in ruins; you will rebuild their foundations. You will be known for repairing the broken places and for rebuilding the roads and houses. Isaiah 58:12 (New Century Version)

 

Nehemiah was a man who lived comfortably in the service of a king. Though he was a servant, his place was one of honor because to serve a king his wine was to protect his life. Had someone wanted to kill the king by poisoning the wine, Nehemiah was the one trusted to guard him.  Yet, when Nehemiah hears of how the walls of Jerusalem have broken down to ruins, his heart breaks. His comfortable position in the palace means nothing to him in comparison to the land of his fathers being broken and its people living in shame. So he bravely asks his king to allow him to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild her walls.

We live our lives walking amongst ruins. The remnants of once great cities are cracked pillars and broken walls. There are people around us each day who are living in their wreckage; the co-worker who’s been divorced and now thinks she’ll never find love, the young teenage girl who’s grown up without a father and thinks it’s her fault, the young man who believes he can’t succeed because others have told him he would fail. The different forms of ruins are countless. Dreams, ideals, hopes, families, self-esteem, ethics, careers, marriages, friendships...all of these can be broken down into ‘ruins’.

Yet God has given us His Spirit and it has the power to rebuild. These ruins are not hopeless rocks, but cities waiting on our love to rebuild them. The scripture says, “We will be known for repairing the broken places...” We must be aware of these places and take the opportunities to help restore them. We can offer an encouraging word, give a compliment, take someone on a coffee date, value someone’s ideas, etc,. If we open our hearts and pay attention, we can find the ruins around us and begin to build them back up again!

 

 

Just Around the Riverbend

In the Disney movie, Pocahontas, there's a song entitled, "Just Around the Riverbend". In it, Pocahontas struggles with herself  in deciding which path to take:  the un-chartered and adventurous way vs the smooth and steady stream. She sings, "To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing what's around the riverbend.""You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do!"                                                                                                                Psalm 92:4

When you look up the word "thrill", you'll find many definitions. The most common being, "a sense of excitement,", or "a sudden intense feeling". It can also mean, "an almost pleasurable sensation of fright,".

A few months ago, I began to sense the Lord was calling me to a greater adventure. What or where, I did not know, but I knew wherever it was, I would follow. After all, I am in the most capable hands.

Like Abraham, the Lord asked me to leave my family and native land, and go to a place he would show me. That place is now Washington, DC. For a Texas girl, born and bred, a metropolitan city like "The District" can be daunting, but it's the "pleasurable sensation of fight" the Lord is giving me that assures me, his plans plans are to prosper me, and not to harm me.

In Deuteronomy 8:7, the Lord promises to bring us into a good land where fountains and streams gush into the valleys. Take the adventure that lies before you, and when you hear your Savior say "Jump! Let's go!", don't think twice. You may not know "what's around the riverbend", but He does...And it's SPECTACULAR!

Lord God, I praise you. I give you all the honor and glory for this new adventure. Stay with me as I navigate through un-chartered waters, and renew my faith daily, so that I may always know, wherever I am, you are with me. Help keep me from stumbling on traps the enemy is certain to lay. You ARE the lamp to my feet!

"He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles,"  Job 9:10. "When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today," Deuteronomy 8:16-17.

Negativity & The Water Cooler

Is the water cooler half empty or half full?  What are you doing standing there? God delivered the Israelites from slavery & Pharaoh’s rule; His commitment to them was taking them to the Promise Land.  By day he guided them by a cloud, at night with fire.  He provided manna from heaven and water from rocks.  When they arrived at the border, Moses sent 12 spies to scout out the land; upon their return 10 had reports with a negative spin.  The land flowed with milk and honey, but it was ruled by powerful men in large fortified cities!

“And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored… the land devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size… we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.” Numbers: 13:32-33

Have you noticed that once one person has started complaining about work or the boss it's only a matter or minutes before everyone within earshot has put in their two cents.  Negativity spreads like an infectious disease. And while some, most or all of the statements may be true (I’ve been there!) they are far from necessary.  The most common response after a whining session is “well it makes me feel better”, but I have a hard believing that’s true.

Coughing up phlegm when you have a cough might provide some relief for an hour or so, but the reality is there is plenty more where that came from.  Yes, I’m comparing negativity to phlegm, because while you may have a few moments of gratification after sharing your negative thoughts with the office, complaining will not heal you.  In fact, the more you cough, the higher the risk of infecting the whole office.  And while misery may love company, it sure makes for a long day and a miserable work environment.

When you feel a coughing spell coming on, take a sip from the water cooler and ask yourself what seas God has parted for you.  Are you are dwelling solely on the negative instead of remembering all the positive things God has done for you?

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for providing me with the opportunities I have at work.  Please help me set my mind on things above and not on earthly things.

Still Hungry?  Nehemiah faced overwhelming negativity when he was tasked with rebuilding the wall aroundJerusalemin Nehemiah 1 – 6.

SXSW. Austin, Texas. 2011

Austin, Texas Fashion: Unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable. Land of no judgment. Pure expression. The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) is the annual spring convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Discovery dominates the weeklong celebration and fosters both creative and professional growth alike. To have the indie music and film lovers visiting our city for 10 days just exponentiates the heart and soul of Austin. The independent theme of self-expression is celebrated in many different forms that are as unique as the thousands of people who attended.

With high tech and the University of Texas, the entire world is represented here in Austin with people from all over the globe living, working, studying, playing, and yes… listening to music. Standing side by side a bohemian lovely in a long flowy skirt, t-shirt, Birkenstocks and dreads will be a woman in a power suit and heels. Each one feels like they belong. There’s no judgment. Well, I take that back, if there is judgment here in Austin, it’s because someone senses fake, imitation or a façade. Being comfortable in your own skin is what Austinites really care about. (Being comfortable practically is also high priority!) That vibe creates a film/music/technology festival that only Austin can birth.

This year’s SXSW was the best yet, with a new fashion event that celebrates the long-standing relationship between music and style. The theme was “Emerging Fashion from Around the World” and it was yet another avenue of discovery- what is on the frontier of fashion. Check out www.stylexaustin.com to taste the unique, soulful, diverse, authentic, and comfortable world of fashion on display here in Austin at Style X.

GO FORWARD

Pretend you are standing on the banks of The Red Sea watching this scene unfold as it did in Exodus 14. Moses had just lead over six hundred thousand Israelites, along with their herd of cattle, out of Egypt where they had been slaves for over 430 years.  At last they were on their way to Canaan, the land God had promised was theirs to inherit.

But Pharaoah, the Egyptian king and his army, came after them in hot pursuit.  When the Israelites saw Paharaoh and his army coming, they began to cry out to Moses:  "It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die out here in The Wilderness."

God spoke to Moses and said:

Tell the children of Israel to "GO FORWARD."

"Go forward?"  "The Red Sea is in front of us!"  "Are you sure, God?"

But God knew what do about The Red Sea.  "Stretch out your hand over the sea," were His words to Moses.  As Moses stretched his hand over the sea, an amazing sight took place.

  • A strong east wind blew.
  • The waters divided, the sea became dry land, and they crossed to the other side.
  • The Egyptians pursued.
  • The sea returned, and all the Egyptians drown.
  • Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hands of the Egyptians, and they continued on their journey.

Now, one would think that after that miraculous delivery that the Israelites would never doubt that they could not make it to Canaan and receive the inheritance God had promised them.  However, only two people of the original group, Joshua and Caleb, made it to Canaan.

Why only two?  I believe one of the main reasons Joshua and Caleb made it into Canaan was that they never lost sight of the vision God had given them.  Not only that, but they acted upon that vision despite the circumstances they faced and the people around them who didn't believe it was possible.

Has God given you a vision and dream for your life?  Hold onto it and GO FORWARD!

And yes, God can part The Red Sea in your life to get you there.

Gossip Girl

I am really not that much of a gossip girl, but I definitely love my share of celebrity news. All the fame, gamour and lavishing lifestyles of these women fascinates me. I remember a point in time when I used to get to work and turn on my computer and the first place I would go to is people.com. Good source by the way. ;) I was so interested, and don't get me wrong I am still very much interested in celebrity news, but it was more of an obsession back then. I was single at that time and I remember using it as my escape to la la land. Man is it hard to face your own drama! I had so many issues going on in my life that learning and reading about other people's drama made me feel better. I know, sad but true. Seriously, did these people really deserve to me judged by someone like me, when I had my share of meltdowns to deal with as well? Not at all, but I still did it without knowing. They wanted to be in the spotlight, so this is what comes with the spotlight. Thats was how I saw it. Since it was so easy to judge them, it started to become easy to judge others around me, like family and friends. Wow what a cycle that can become into! I can say first hand that it's definitly not fun to be judged when all you want and need is compassion. With just a little compassion, it sure can go a long way.