Do you know you’re beautiful? {Maggie}

            

  Today I stood in front of the mirror after having changed my outfit 4 times and just let out an exasperated sigh. I didn’t like what I saw. My shirt didn’t hang right, my shorts were ugly, and I was breaking out. My hair was not cooperating, and I wished I were thinner, tanner, and taller. Then I would be more beautiful…right? As those thoughts were going through my head I realized how often I compare myself to other people. Scrolling through my newsfeed I see pictures roll by of my beautiful friends who have a guy on their arm, and are looking real good at the beach…and then I look at me and think…why can’t I have that? Why can’t I be the one super dedicated to cross-fit or the latest workout regimen? Why am I not the one getting married in 100 days or whatever the latest countdown that day is? Why am I not traveling the world with my imaginary new hot boyfriend? Why is literally “everyone” getting married???
Because.

            God has me where I am for a purpose. For the purpose of bringing me closer to Him and Him getting to reveal his glory in a way that will deepen my love and affection for Him. I am beautiful. God created us all to be beautiful children of God. He doesn’t want me to be constantly comparing my story to others. If I’m constantly waiting for the next best thing to happen to me, I’m missing it. God is here. Now. And wants me. I don’t have to have a certain body type, or hair color to be beautiful. God creates each and every one of us in His image in a unique and wonderful way. He doesn’t want us looking around wondering why in the world we are where we are. He doesn’t want us to figure out each nitty-gritty detail in his plan for us so we can try hard to make it happen. He is in control. He’s got this. Trust Him. He loves all of us and sees us as beautiful. He knows what’s best for us and wants us to glorify Him in our waiting. Patience is not just waiting, but it’s our attitude while we wait. Where is our heart in this waiting period?

            We as women, I think, struggle a lot with self-image. We are never happy with the way we look or what we have. We can’t stand to live in the present; we are focused on planning our perfect Pinterest wedding when in fact, God wants to use us for his purposes to reach the world with His truth. Ladies. We are princesses of the most high King. There could never be a more beautiful you. God created you the way he did with purpose. A greater purpose then getting 80+ likes on a new profile picture, and having the perfect outfit or “finally” being in a relationship. Don’t settle. I’m not saying God doesn’t want us to feel beautiful, or wear ugly clothes all the time. It’s not that he doesn’t want or have someone for us. My friend mentioned how someone from her church decided she wasn’t going to date for at least a year, and then two months later…she had a boyfriend. I jokingly said, “hey I’ll do that too.” Why? I wanted to be in a relationship…Wrong reason to take a vow of singleness.  I needed to do a heart check. Who’s approval am I seeking here?
Galatians 1:10 smacks me with some hard truth…
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” 
        
         Yeesh. I should be trying to glorify God, not myself when I get ready for the day or figuring out what to post to Instagram…Like Meg said in her last blog, God gave us our status as beloved adopted children of His. So let’s start seeing ourselves that way. Be confident in who you are in Christ. He loves you. Just the way you are.
“ I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. ” Psalm 139:14
 “Because He delights in me, He saved me.” Psalm 18:19 
This video might be a little cheesy…but I think it shows how what God sees as beautiful, and the world’s definition of beautiful are completely different.


Baby Mama part 1

As you probably have heard two new babies have joined our Tidewater/Richmond Cru staff family this summer. Oh the sweet bundles of joy!  Baby Persing arrived on May 14 & exactly one month later, on June 14, baby Lamb arrived.

Today Heather Persing shares about motherhood, love, & missing Chick-fil-a ;). {Next week we will hear from Steph Lamb}.

 1. What are your top 2 favorite things about being a mom?


I have really loved watching Dietrich grow and learn new things. It’s incredible how quickly he changes day to day! I’m so excited to see more of his personality come out as well.

It has been great for my sense of humor. I think it helps to be able to laugh things off–like being spit up on for the third time that day or hearing your little two month old let out a man-sized burp.


2. What has been a motherhood surprise?


I was pretty nervous about being a mom when I was pregnant. It’s such a huge calling and responsibility. I knew that I would love my baby when he came, but it has blown me away how much I really do love Dietrich. It kind of reminds me of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes. I think having Dietrich has grown my ability to love other people more deeply.


3. What has been difficult about being a momma?


It’s difficult (but good) to consider someone else above myself so much of the time. I don’t have the freedom to just take off and do something spontaneously–at least at his age right now. It takes a lot of planning to get out of the house (feeding Dietrich beforehand, working around his naps, etc.), and if you know me, planning isn’t always my strength. It has definitely revealed how selfish I can be with my time and energy.

One quick funny story about this was the first time we had to take Dietrich to a doctor’s appointment. Ramsey and I thought we would get him ready and go to Chick-fil-a for lunch beforehand. Dietrich ended up having a big diaper blowout right as we were going to leave. When I was changing him, he peed on me and the shirt I had just put him in. Needless to say, we didn’t end up eating out haha.


4. With the busyness of caring for a baby how have you still been able to stay connect with The Lord?


I just started a Bible study on James a couple of days ago that I found online [http://jenwilkin.podbean.com/]. I enjoy in-depth studies, and I think it has helped to have something more structured. I’ve realized that I just need to be okay with doing it in small chunks throughout the day sometimes instead of the sit-down-in-a-comfy-chair-to-read-and-journal-for-an-hour quiet time.


5. How can we be praying for you, Ramsey, and Dietrich? 🙂


We are taking Dietrich on his first road trip to see family in a few weeks. We’d love prayer that he wouldn’t catch anything while we’re away and that he would adjust well to traveling. 

You can also pray for us as the new school year approaches. It will definitely be an adjustment for me being a mom and also wanting to have an impact on campus. 



“What if?” {Laura}

How often do you wonder “what if?” What if you don’t pass a test? What if you say something that makes you sound silly? What if you were skinnier? What if you were dating that guy? What if you were studying something else in school?

I am guilty of doing this too. Sometimes it is motivated by envy of another person or frustration of the reality of my life. Other times I wonder “what if?” out of a fear to commit and miss out on something better. I used to think I would stop asking “what if” when I “grew up” and knew answers to the questions. Now I realize those questions just morph into other questions unless I ask the Lord to take my thoughts captive and help me. For example, I used ask, “what if I did ministry for a job instead of physical therapy?” Well, now I’m in ministry and on a hard day that “what if” question becomes “what if I was teaching instead of ministry?” I also used to wonder “what if I marry that guy?” Now I’m married and on days when I’m frustrated with Dan, I fight against wondering, “what if we weren’t married?”

I guess in all my babbling what I’m trying to say is there will ALWAYS be a “what if” and I think we miss what God has right in front of us when we’re daydreaming about something that is not real. I want to live in the moment. Rather than ask what if when I’m envious, I want to ask God to show me the beauty of where He has me. When things are difficult, instead of wondering if life would be easier in a different situation, I want to be a woman who perseveres and sees character and hope develop. And when fear of missing out on something better begins to creep into my mind, I want to trust in the Lord’s sovereignty to protect and guide me. For He has promised that I can’t flee from His presence and even in the outermost part of the sea, His hand with guide me and His right hand will comfort me.

We have such an awesome God. I may not always understand why I am where I am and doing what I am doing but I know I can trust God knows. He has showed Himself trustworthy over and over and over—especially when He fulfilled His promise to save me and give me eternal life. So I do not want to be a woman who wonders “what if” as if I could know better than God. I’d much rather be a woman who evaluates what is and asks the Lord to change what is if it is in His will. In the words of Justin Beiber, “But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side, It’s green where you water it”.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” 
Philippians 4:8-9