Beauty

Hey girls! I found this cool youth site (fervr.net/teen-life) that I took this short blurb from.

They were talking about 1 Peter 3:3-4…

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)

“Hey mom, can I buy this mascara?”

“Can I get this lip gloss? I’ll use my own money. Pleeeease?”

“Will you ever let me wear makeup?

When I was thirteen, these were the questions I pestered my mother with constantly. After reading teen magazines, I was convinced that makeup was what I needed to be beautiful. Just a little mascara, a bit of blush, and a dab of lip gloss and I would be able to look like the models on the glossy pages I read over and over. A few cosmetics were all I needed to make everyone at school like me—to make me like me.

Plenty of products

Judging by the thousands of beauty products available, I’m not the only one who has ever had those thoughts. During a quick trip to the drug store today, I stopped to browse in the makeup aisle. I was astounded by the number of mascaras available for sale. Under the Maybelline sign alone I counted twelve different colorful tubes of the stuff. Almay had five. Cover Girl had thirteen. In all, I found 73 unique products guaranteed to enhance my eyelashes!

That doesn’t even take into account all of the other items offered in the cosmetic aisle. We can buy products to make our cheeks appear rosier, our eyebrows darker, and our lips shinier. Thousands of choices are available to buff up our appearance—our physical beauty.

True beauty is inside

When I looked up and down all the aisles of the store, I couldn’t find any products to help me enhance my inner beauty. I didn’t see any gels or lotions to help me develop a beautiful heart. Which is sad, because that’s the kind of beauty God wants us to have.

Now I don’t think that Peter was telling these women that it was wrong to fix their hair or wear cute clothes. He isn’t saying we shouldn’t wear makeup or put on a necklace. I think he was telling them, telling us, that the latest hairstyle or the trendiest wardrobe isn’t what makes a girl lovely. True beauty comes from inside.

God tells us that instead of 73 tubes of mascara, instead of hundreds of cosmetics, there is only one thing we need to be truly beautiful: a gentle and quiet spirit.

What does a gentle and quiet spirit look like?

You’ll be relieved to know that a gentle spirit doesn’t mean being a timid, pathetic person. A quiet spirit doesn’t mean we have to sit in a corner all day never talking to our friends.

The word used for gentle in 1 Peter 3 means having a graceful soul. If we could buy a jar of cream that could give a gentle spirit, it would enable us to accept what God is doing in our lives. It would help us to trust that God knows what He is doing, even when we can’t make any sense out of it at all.

The word quiet in this passage describes a peaceful heart that is not upset by chaotic circumstances. A bottle of this kind of quiet gives a tranquility that isn’t dependent on having a perfect day. It’s like the one person who manages to remain calm and clean during a cafeteria food fight.

Where will you find true beauty?

Although there aren’t any products available in the cosmetics aisle to give us a gentle and quiet heart we don’t have to lose hope. God is more than willing to give us the grace we need to be able to hold His hand in trust when we start to question what’s happening in our lives. He gives us His Spirit to quiet down our chaotic hearts.

I think our heavenly Father seriously wonders why we expect bottles of liquids and tubes of gels to give us worth and beauty. Because He has already done that.

God has made us beautiful.

Quotes

If you’re at all interested here are two of the quotes I mentioned a few weeks back, from Passion and Purity:

“Every reminder that aroused a longing had to be offered up. There is a big however. It is this: We are not meant to die merely in order to be dead. God would not want that for the creature to whom He had given the breath of life. We die in order to live.”

“The point is that we have to learn to trust in little things, even in what may seems like silly things, if we are ever going to be privileged to suffer in the big things.”

Along with these I found her advice on loneliness really helpful. There’s a whole chapter about it, but the main thing I took away from it was this: instead off wallowing in self-pity focus on God.

Anyway, that’s that.

Hope you guys have a good week!

~N

Trials and Troubles

Hey y’all,

I know this is coming a little late and we’ll be seeing each other tomorrow, but since I was busy last week I only just got a chance to post. Better late than never I guess 🙂

Anyway, I’m still kinda in that valley of doubt and emptiness I talked about. But I know God will see me through and I’m trusting Him and crying out to Him often. James 1 has been a real encouragement to me; verses 2 – 5 say, ” Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” (emphasis added)

I’m not sure if feeling alone, and doubtful, and just blah is a trial necessarily, but I do feel as though my faith is being tested. So I’m hoping that when I come through this I will be stronger and more dependent on him and able to encourage others. And I have been asking him for wisdom. My parents have encouraged me that as I grow in grace and realize more and more my sinfulness and need of a Savior, my emptiness and lack of passion will fade.

That was really long and I could probably keep on going but I’ll talk to you guys later!

~N

(Oh, and I’ll post those quotes from Passion and Purity on here later)

Fixing our eyes on Jesus :)

So as I was home sick today, and thinking about that video we watched yesterday in small group, I found this really cute wedding video of one of my fav authors : Alyssa Bethke. So here’s the link if you want to watch it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvwKOBVVO-M

But yeah so as I was watching it, and it also says in the description, even though it was a wedding and we often think of weddings as a day about the bride and groom; it really hit me that Jesus was lifted high in their wedding, which is one of the most important days of a person’s life. It got me thinking how much more Jesus should be lifted up in my life daily, if a couple can glorify Jesus even on their wedding day!

Hope you all had a good day too 🙂

-COCO

Prayer

ask

Hey girls,

Found the following on the Desiring God website, where they interviewed Tim Keller. I thought it was helpful so I’m sharing!

Last December on Twitter you were asked, “Why do you think young Christian adults struggle most deeply with God as a personal reality in their lives?” You replied, “Noise and distraction. It is easier to Tweet than pray!” Sadly true. And we are fickle people. For all the many benefits of digital technology, we are tempted to get distracted from prayer by tweets and our Facebook feeds and texts and emails on our phone. In a sense, we want to be distracted! You’ve already identified this as a problem earlier. So what counsel would you give to a Christian who finds himself or herself lured to distractions when they are trying to pray?

I may have just answered the question. I mean, there is no way around just simply saying: This is something that I must spend time doing.

In the book, I tell the story of how my wife used an illustration on me: If the doctor said you have a fatal condition, and unless you take this medicine every night from 11:00 to 11:15, and swallow these pills, you will be dead by morning. If that was the case, she said, you would never miss. You would never say, I was too tired, or, I didn’t get to it, or, I was watching a movie, and I didn’t leave time. You never would do that.

And so when people ask: How am I going to get to prayer? How am I going to deal with [distractions]? I say, maybe you don’t believe you need prayer. And that is a theological, spiritual problem, and there is nothing I can do except tell you to get your heart and your mind straight on that.

Having said that, once you determine you must do it, inside your prayer time, it is hard sometimes to keep from being distracted. That is where meditation helps. Martin Luther said that if you warm your heart through meditation on the Scriptures, so that your heart starts to really warm up, you go into prayer because you want to pray, because you want to praise him for what you see, andyou want to confess your sins.

Meditation on a passage of Scripture keeps me from being distracted in prayer. You say: Okay, what does it mean to me? How do I praise God for this? How do Iconfess for this? How do I petition for this? Meditation warms the heart and absorbs the mind so I am not as distracted.

So the answer is twofold. You must decide prayer is something you must do, and there is nothing I can do to help you with that. But once you are inside, meditation keeps your mind from wandering.”

Hey Girls!

I’m hoping this works out as a way for us to talk, share things (prayer requests, pictures, goals, quotes, etc.). I know it’s something extra to go to, but I really want us to be connected outside of church so LET’S DO IT! GET EXCITED! lol You can even invite friends to see the page as a way of reaching out and we can just go by first initial or nickname if you want to be anonymous. 😉

Love,
V

love never fails