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Green With Envy

Envy --- "the green eyed monster," as it has often been called, silently invades the hearts of mankind. Unlike the outward destructive acts listed in Galatians 5:19-21, such as murder, drunkeness, witchcraft, and adultery; envy sits silently on the heart, discoloring it as green as bile.

What is the root cause of envy?  The answer to that is found in its definition:  discontentment and resentment of another's success, advantages, and superiority.

Is it any wonder why it tries to remain silent?  A heart filled with envy doesn't want anyone to know it is begruding what someone else has achieved or possessed.  Instead, it sits there silently thinking, "what they have should have been mine!"

In his speech in Othello, Iago summed it up this way:  "Beware, my Lord, of jealousy.  It is the green eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on!"

This website is devoted to encourage women to become all that God created them to be.  Could it be that getting rid of envy is God's way of saying:  "Desire what I want for you, instead of what somebody else has in their possession."

Excuse me while I check a quiet knocking I hear at my heart's door.

54th Annual Grammy Awards Red Carpet Review

It was Adele's night, that's for sure, at the 54th Grammy Award Show!  Walking away with 6 Grammys, I don't think anyone can or would object to this beautiful songbird sweeping the show.  After all, isn't singing and music exactly what the Grammy's are about?  (Please, someone pass the word to, mmm-hhh, well anyway...).  The night started with a bang with Bruce Springsteen and, my favorite, Bruno Mars, who always gets an A+ for fashion.  But the A's weren't handed out very much this year on the Red Carpet!  Sure, there were some interesting choices and even some beautiful choices; but nowhere in the Red Sea could I find that one dress that I couldn't live without.  But just like her win, Adele definitely rocked the red carpet like she does the stage; with elegance and grace!  Let's take a look at who else arrived at the show with a passing grade.  

Adele in Giorgio Armani

 

Carrie Underwood was a part of the high neck trend this year.  Her Gomez - Gracia silver dress was form fitting and beautiful.

 

Fresh face Rebecca Black stayed true to her age in a beautiful black dress with strappy red heels.  All 14-year-olds should be so lucky to feel and dress up like a princess!

 

Corinne Bailey Rae also strutted down the carpet in a black dress which seemed to be the color of the night.

 

Giuliana Rancic, host of E-news & Fashion Police, won't get fined sporting the black dress trend she so playfully accessorized with a belt.

Fergie was the epitome of Rock-n-Roll in a see-through, lace Jean Paul Gaultier.  The color was fabulous!

 

Sticking with the high neck trend, Katy Perry dazzled in a blue Elie Saab that was actually quite elegant and different from her usually quirky red carpet look.  Her blue hair, though, kept her true to form.  We love it!

 

Comedian Kathy Griffin was no joke on the red carpet this year!  She was stunning in this form fitting gown and was on no D-list!  (FYI, Kathy jokes she's a D-list celebrity - not so here!)

 

Our host for the evening, LL Cool J, kept the show moving  in classic Armani.

 

Bold Accessories stood out this year with Skyler Grey's ring/bracelet duo and Alicia Key's statement necklace.  Well done!

 

This bold summer blue dress accessorized with red earrings and tiny red belt flashed the screen so fast that it was easy to miss.  What's not easy is finding a great picture of this fun look worn by Sera.  I loved the playful look of this long, flowy gown.

Just as Whitney always sang with class, the 54th Grammy's paid a beautiful, classy tribute to a legend loss with Jennifer Hudson singing "I Will Always Love You."  We'll miss you Whitney Houston!  Now, you're singing with the angels.

Read about CW's February Giveaway

 

 

Mean Girls, Not In My House

While the movie is truly hysterical to watch (Mean Girls 2004), the theme is all too real for girls today and yesterday for that matter.  We are always trying to remain fashionable, wear nothing larger than a size 5-6 and have the right friends.  It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that many girls, to make sure that they feel good about their situation, will find someone worse off than them and make sure they know it. My daughter is only 4 years old, but as I watch her play on the playground at the park I can already see the beginnings of cliques forming.  The adorable little boy with the glasses swings alone, the girl with un-brushed hair tries desperately to make it pretty with her little fingers and still none of the kids go near her.  It’s sad to watch them draw these lines for themselves at such a young age but it’s worse when their parents do it for them.

Several months ago during a Mommy’s night out, a friend shared a story of how another parent had rudely snapped at her in the school parking lot.  After hearing the story I was appalled.  What gave this woman the right to snap at my friend for a reason that was none of her business?  I wanted so badly to never speak to her during pickup or let my daughter anywhere near her child again.

The next couple of times I saw her I found myself being short and abrupt, and then I realized what I was doing.  I was behaving like a child!  “You’re mean to my friend so I’m going to be mean to you”… what kind of example was I setting?  It wasn’t until a birthday party several weeks later that I found out her mother had been battling the final stages of breast cancer while she was working over seas for extended periods of time.  In fact, her mother had passed away only 2 days before.  I pray I never find out how I would behave if faced with a similar situation.

We all do the best we can for our children and for now I refuse to let my 4-year choose all of her friends.  My mother used to tell me “I can see farther than you,” and she was right.  When she’s older, I hope that her exposure to people of different colors, sizes, religions and economic backgrounds will give her the wisdom to surround herself with diverse friends.  The last thing I want to raise is a Mean Girl.

New Year: New Perspective!

Ebony Scrooge. Yep, that should have been my name during the Holiday season of 2010. To say that I was frustrated with my marital status would have been an understatement of epic proportion. In my mind Christmas didn’t measure up because I didn’t have someone to share it with, besides that’s the true meaning of Christmas right? (Note the sarcasm). In addition, the thought of entering 2011 alone was terrifying.  I had recently acknowledged my 6year anniversary of singleness and to make matters worse, I had no real “potentials” only a few guys I had been stringing along  just in case I ever worked up the nerve to actually settle for one of them…sad, I know. It was during this time last year that my number one pet-peeve became receiving dating advise & tips on “how to wait on the Lord” from people who were seriously dating, engaged, or married. For years I had embraced their encouragement but for some reason it became extremely hard to receive from people who were going home to triceps & biceps… easy for them to say. To be honest, getting sound Godly counsel in the area of dating/relationships simply did not make it on the list of activities for my year long pity party!

**Fast Forward**

Here we are on the cusp of 2012, and I am no longer single! I’m in a serious dating relationship with an amazing guy and of course my perspective on all things pertaining to dating/relationships has changed. I must admit that I often times feel like a bit of a sellout while going through this transition because I have officially become my former pet-peeve. I’m now the girl in the serious relationship giving other girls dating advice and tips on “how to wait on the Lord”. I realize now that they were only trying to warn me LOL! They knew that I, like many of you, had romanticized what it meant to be in a relationship. When you’re single you mostly think about the cute dates, changing your FB profile to in a relationship (maybe that was just me), cuddling & flowers just because. Very rarely do you think about the responsibility of it all.

Below are a few things that were consistently shared with me while I was waiting:

  • “Enjoy your single season…” - translation: Once you enter into a relationship it is no longer about you. You trade “me” for “us” and what “you” want for what’s best for the two of you. Enough of this will eventually drive you to want to be single again!
  • “Relationships are hard work…”- Translation: You have no clue what you’re in for *evil laugh* the effort and time that it takes to be a good steward over your relationship can often times overwhelm you!
  • Don’t settle…” – Translation: The most amazing guy in the world will get on your LAST nerve at some point in the relationship. It’s so much easier to work through things when you actually love him, are attracted to him, and respect his character!

It wasn’t until I was actually in the relationship that I began to embrace the things that people shared with me toward the end of my “single season”---that doesn’t have to be you! I would like to challenge all of my single sisters in Christ to change your perspective NOW, before God sends the guy.  Don’t make the mistake that I made and waste valuable time complaining.  I challenge you to have a FABULOUS 2012 whether you’re in a relationship or not; besides you never know what the New Year may bring *winks*.

 

Guest Contributor, Tamra Cobbins - Tamra is a native of Kansas City, Kansas and is a graduate of the University of Texas.  She is passionate about seeing young women reach their full potential in Christ in every season, especially while they are single.  She enjoys shopping, Chick-Fil-A & watching Martin re-runs.

He Shows us a Way Out

"There's no way I could have avoided that on my own! I must have an angel/angels around me." How many times have we looked back on a situation and realized, God really does send angels to come and encamp about us?"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful.He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT

As someone who once struggled with bulemia regularly, the holidays can be especially difficult. It seems there's always a party to go to with a banquet of food to binge on, feel guilty about, and then purge. But the scripture promises, the Lord will always show you a way out of the situation. Not so you maybe, or might endure....so you CAN endure.

At my last holiday soiree, I was mingling before I spotted the table of goodies. I ate a piece of fudge and began feeling like that one piece of decadence could be enough to send me over the edge into a "binge and purge" mode.

That was until a woman came up to me and struck up a conversation. She too was a guest at the party, and began chatting with me.

Little to her surprise, but not Gods, she distracted me. In the midst of our small talk, we wound up moving away from the table and over to a nearby couch....far enough from the table that I was no longer tempted to go on a binge. We finished our conversation, enjoyed a few more minutes of the party, and I left.... WITHOUT falling into the enemies trap! I knew at that moment, the Lord had sent his angels to protect me. He stayed faithful to his word and showed me a way out.

Heavenly father, You ARE faithful. Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your grace and mercy when I can't seem to find that strength. Keep me and protect me, and always show me the "way out", so I CAN endure.

Psalm 91:11 The Message "He ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go."

Matthew 4:11 The Message Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.

 

Gee, thanks...

It's the time of year when life gets just a little busier. Holiday travels, guests and celebrations are tons of fun but can sometimes get a just a little stressful. We girls are responsible for planning, shopping , cooking and cleaning and the question is "HOW  DO I MANAGE IT ALL?"  While an extra slice of pizza or a cocktail initially sound good, the answer is really simpler than that.

A cheerful disposition is good for your health;    gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. Proverbs 17:22

Laughter is one of the greatest ways to combat stress and its benefits are great. Here are a few:

  • Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones  and increases health-enhancing hormones. This ultimately results in  a stronger immune system.
  • Because  muscles contract when we laugh, they are relaxed after a good belly laugh.
  • Laughter provides an emotional release.
  • In a tense situation between people, laughter can restore an environment of camaraderie.

Some easy ways to bring laughter into your day are:

  • Try a joke at the breakfast table. Click here for clean jokes.
  • Shift your paradigm. If someone says or does something that gets under your skin, pretend you're watching the scene from the outside. It  might bring on a chuckle.
  • If you watch TV before bed, try a comedy instead of a crime drama. The brain works while we sleep. Give it something positive to mull over.
  • Watch the company you keep. Stay away from Negative Nellies. It's easier to pull someone down that to pull someone up.
  • Tickle your loved ones. Whether you're the tickler or the ticklee, laughter will fill the air.

 

I also want to share one of my favorite ways to keep stress at bay. It's a dialogue I call Gee, Thanks. When I feel stressed, I find a private place like a sofa, bathroom stall or closet and begin to say random things  I'm thankful for. A couple of  weeks  ago my husband walked in while I was on the couch ( with my eyes closed) speaking outloud.

Lord, thank you that I don't have  to have a root canal this week. Thanks for the new nail polish. I want you to know how appreciative I am that my Chi isn't broken and for the pint of Ben and Jerry's, Cherries Garcia in the freezer.

He laughed at my random list and within seconds we were both laughing and all my stress was gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texting to feel, Praying to heal

"If you play with fire, you're going to get burned." How many times have we heard this saying? It isn't until we're left with a fresh wound and later an unsightly scar, that we realize, "Whoever said that was right".   "Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak."                                                                                            Matthew 26:41 Ladies, lets keep it real. Singleness, however fun, can seem lonely without the warmth of a mans  touch and embrace. So when the Lord tells you, "It's not that time yet," it's frustrating to  look at yourself everyday and wonder, "I'm young, intelligent, beautiful and successful, so why don't I have someone?"   I recently went out with a group of friends and found myself bombarded by couple is love....better yet, couples in lust. I heard the enemy saying, "You'll never have that. Who would want to love you?" And with that, I began me descend. Ugh, the late night text, or the "booty call" as it's more commonly known. I reached out to an old flame I thought would come to my rescue and feed my insecurities with meaningless touch. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was rejected. He told me he was in a "committed relationship", but would love to see me the next day for coffee just to catch up. My ego was bruised, my body left cold and my soul distraught over how I had strayed so far. I thought I left that stuff behind when I gave myself to Christ, but the flesh IS weak.   Apparently, I didn't feel bad enough because I was still contemplating taking the "sloppy seconds" and having coffee with the guy. That was until I told the story to a friend who told me, "Cancel it!" She was holding my feet to the fire and made me realize, I was merely being tempted by the enemy. The truth is, to God, I'm always first pick . I'm loved both emotionally and physically by Him and unlike any other man, He WILL be faithful.   So, I axed the meet-up and slammed the door in the enemy's face saying, "I'm the Kings daughter and not just any man will do. I'll wait on the Lord to provide  the perfect son for his perfect daughter.     Heavenly father, Help me to wait patiently on your perfect will and lead me away from temptation. Help me remember that I AM lacking nothing, so long as I am filled and satisfied with your love. Thank you for teaching me and my future mate (whomever he is) what a real husband. More than that, thank you for choosing me to be yours first. I AM your bride!     "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness."                                           Proverbs 26:11 "He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever."                                           Psalm 136:23

Fashion Goes Global

As someone who tries to stay current on the latest trends and fashion I must say it is absolutely exhausting. There are times I leave the house and clearly could not care less about what Vogue says in style, it just gets hard keeping up! However, there is a new trend that I hope catches like wildfire and people never tire of, and that is the trend of social entrepreneurship. The most well known brand associated with social entrepreneurship is Toms. Toms have traditionally made canvas flats for men and women, with a distinct design. I am a fan. The shoes are comfortable, flexible in all seasons, and perfect for packing and traveling. Recently though, Toms have updated their design for a current summer trend, wedges. For each pair of Toms purchased, the company donates a pair of shoes to someone in need. The wedges shown below can be purchased at Nordstrom but Toms are sold at a variety of stores, including Whole Foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, I have saved the best for last-- my favorite summer trend, the bright colors! Hot hues are everywhere and I love it. I was elated when I saw Kate Spade partnered with Women for Women International, an organization which provides employment for women in places like Rwanda and Afghanistan. The results are dynamic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer there is no lack of color or options. Desginers have made it easy to celebrate the most carefree time of the year. Let your eyes indulge and let your heart feel full when you shop socially responsibly!

Give the Perfect Gift

Looking for that perfect gift for someone on your shopping list?  Allow me to suggest a gift-giving idea that won't cost you a penny!  Take a stroll with me to the bedside of a dying father in the Old Testament by the name of Isaac as he was about to give this free gift to his oldest son, Esau.

The name of the gift?  The Blessing.

In keeping with the custom of the day, parents in the Old Testament set aside a special day to give The Blessing.  On this special day when The Blessing was given, the parent spoke words of:

  • Love
  • High Value
  • Acceptance
  • and words that Painted a Bright Future into their child's life.

Esau had been summoned to his dying father's bedside to receive The Blessing from his father.  However, his brother Jacob had deceived their father into believing that he was Esau, and Isaac had already given The Blessing to Jacob.  Unfortunately, custom also said that once the blessing was given, it could not be revoked - - it stood that Jacob should keep the blessing that was intended for Esau.

When Esau realized that Jacob had received The Blessing he should have gotten, he cried out:  "Oh, haven't you saved even one blessing for me?  Oh my father, bless me too!"

Can't you just feel the anguish Esau must have felt:

  • "Please bless me, too!"
  • "I want to know you love me "
  • "I want to know you value me!'
  • "I want to know you accept me!"
  • "Tell me that I have potential with a bright future!"

I submit to you that that same cry and unfulfilled longing is still being heard by people that you may be rubbing shoulders with everyday:  your family, friends, church members, neighbors.  Many are crying out as Esau did:  "Do you have one blessing for me?"

Why not give someone on your Christmas list The Blessing.  "It is the Perfect Gift."

** For ways to implement this gift, you might want to buy the book, The Blessing by Gary Smalley and John Trent.

Merry Christmas

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.