ray

To The Person Who Has Bigger Dreams Than The Typical Life

Six months ago I moved from Philadelphia to Dallas. Through this process, I have never needed more faith and I’ve never been happier. Needless to say, it has been crazy, exciting, and terrifying the past six months. Since moving, every hour is jam packed, every day is different, and every week brings a new adventure. I know that I am sitting in the Lord’s will and I feel that I am truly starting to tap into the purpose God has for me.

You see ever since I was a little girl I wanted to do something big with my life. I desired to be married and be a wife but I want something beyond that as well. I want to leave a legacy and want my life to count. I’m not satisfied with what is normal. I have huge dreams and am sold out to God’s calling on my life.

Can you relate? If so keep reading because I want to share a few pieces of advice.

  1. Find Then Follow Your Vision – You may be in a season right now where you are searching for your purpose. Don’t take this season for granted. God has not forgotten you, rather you have been set apart. For a few years, I waited as my dreams and passions developed because I also knew that I wasn’t ready to know how they were going to be mapped out. Everyone has a vision for their life. If you were born into this life, God has a vision for you. The key is you need to seek it. Be active in seeking it. Many ignore the vision or settle. We are called to greatness therefore we need to strive for it.

2 Chronicles 16:9a says, “For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

Devote yourself to seeking the Lords vision for your life. Once your call is revealed follow that dream no matter the circumstances

  1. Be Teachable – It’s almost laughable at how many mistakes I have made. When our team gets together we have conversations like, “Member the time when Katie…” then someone else will say, “Oh my goodness I remember when Katie did…” Even though I have been corrected, made mistakes, and have not always made the right call, I have made it a point to be teachable. We can look back and laugh about some of the crazy stories over the years because I have since learned from them.

REMEMBER: While it is awesome to have huge dreams and a major vision, please know, you do not                   know everything. Eat some humble pie, admit when you are wrong, and seek Godly counsel. I have been           blessed where I am constantly being poured into from people who will shoot straight with me. Because of           that I am able to mentor and pour into others. Unfortunately, you can end up being the biggest drawback           to your dreams. If you make a mistake, don’t let insecurity keep you from pressing on. It’s okay!! In fact,           correction is a GOOD THING because it is through that we learn.

Proverbs 12:1 tells us straight up, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

  1. Be Expectant –Faith is seriously one of my FAVORITE things to talk about!! It’s a major game changer. It will happen in the Lord’s timing so until then stand bold, stand firm, and do not waver. I have a list of things I am praying for and am expectant about. Think of an expectant mother. She is expectant because she can feel the baby and knows that the baby will eventually be born. Today, be expectant that God will give birth to your prayers!

Mark 11:24 says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” You need to be expectant by having faith in your prayers! If you aren’t going to expect what you pray about, why pray at all?

My challenge for you today is be hard core about all the desires, passions, and dreams for your life. Seek what the Lord wants, be teachable, and be expectant. Never settle, but rather, be buck wild about it. Doing this will be the best decision you make. I am living proof of it.

-Katie Dewan

Millenials

What’s Different About Millennials?

It was a colorful fall day in Virginia. After my daily workout with my best friend, we parted ways and made plans to meet back up for dinner. Usually, we did everything together, but today I had my end of semester meeting with my financial advisor. After sitting in the waiting room with my zip-up hoodie and Nike sneakers, I was called into his cubicle. After hearing about the debt I had accumulated thus far, I knew there had to be a better way. It was after that meeting that I devised a strategy to get ahead. One year later I found myself working at a prestigious company with a team that was heavily involved in planning Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. With this alternative method I was able to get my bachelors with experience rather than debt under my belt. Unfortunately for today’s generation, you cannot pay for college with just a part time job, and no white collar position is guaranteed post-graduation.

I am a Millennial. Despite our bad rep, I am proud to hold this title. There is more to us than Snapchat, Justin Bieber, and Netflix and Chill. Millennials are the most diverse generation in U.S history. Millennials were born between the late 1980’s and 1990’s. We are engaged, focused on the future, and tolerant. Furthermore, we are the generation of entrepreneurs, we find pleasure in the journey, and we are the first generation to have personal media. Generation X focused on a work/life balance while Millennials have work/life integration. A Millennial self-brands weekly, daily, and hourly. Our mentality is different compared to generations before us as we emerge from adolescents to adults.

The traditional road map of life is:

1) Graduate college

2) Become financially independent

3) Get married

4) Have a baby

In 1960, 75% of people hit this complete roadmap by the age of 30, when in 2010, only 10% of people had completed it. For our generation, our 20’s have become a transition period. It is no secret that generations before us are critical. Can I be bold enough to say that we have aspects we need to work on as a whole? We have bigger issues than whether we should use the filter X-Pro II or Valencia.

Here are a few of them:

1) We compare.

Although social media has brought a sense of community, we also use it to compare ourselves to others. We compare each other’s lives and this causes considerable anxiety. Whether it comes to success in money or our bodies, we need to learn to be content and work hard on our own journey regardless of what others are doing.

2) Few of us plan for the future.

We all know that one guy who is 25 and his parents are still depositing his rent, food, and cell phone bill into his bank account each month. As a whole, our generation needs to budget and learn what it means to save. Many of us are privileged because generations before us paved the way. However, we need to follow their example and do the hard thing rather than make constant impulse buys.

3) We feel entitled.

No, not all of us are entitled. But I have seen far too many students graduate and assume they are starting out with a six-figure salary in a management position. We need to put in the hard work and earn it. We should never want to be known as a generation that is lazy. Achieving a goal when the road is hard is the most rewarding thing our generation could ever do.

Despite our shortcomings, Millennials should be immensely proud of the notable qualities we possess.

1) We can hear the hard thing.

We don’t need fluff, but rather we are attracted to boldness. As painful as it may be, we want to hear the truth. We can immediately spot when someone is being fake. Each of us is searching for authenticity, and that is something to be valued.

2) Millennials know how to follow their passion.

The 2014 Millennial Impact Report did a study which surveyed 1500 millennials. The findings showed that the main factor in determining whether or not they remained at their company was having their passions used and fulfilled. Our generation is driven by a group of people who must find a role where their values and dreams come to life.

Here is the question we really need to ask: Are we factoring God into our generation? 

What we need to remember, above anything else, is God and His Word are the ultimate authority. Because we are searching for authenticity, we can always turn to the Scriptures. In all of the examples above, whether budgeting, working hard, or following our passion, the Bible is extremely relevant. God’s word can be utilized to guide us in every single one of these areas.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” -Timothy 3:16-17

We are living in a different time. Often, lines are blurred and our generation comes to situations or decisions that aren’t black and white. This is when we have to set our feet on the solid rock and stand on what God’s Word says. When our generation is searching for discernment, His Word will be the cornerstone we need to ground ourselves in truth.

 “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.” –Psalms 37:23-24 

-Katie D.

Cori4

God Told Me No

Recently, a huge opportunity came up for me in life. It was going to be a game changer and, in my eyes, fix a lot of my problems. I was nervous to see what this major change would bring, but was excited to see the possibilities and benefits that would come from it.

A couple weeks had gone by and I was extremely close to it coming true. I had a big meeting with whom the opportunity was involved with. As I was waiting for the meeting to start I prayed this prayer to the Lord:

               “God, I know this is a huge opportunity. I know that in my temporal mind this seems like a perfect plan and such an exciting thing. With that Lord, I pray that you only give me this if it is in your plan for me. God, I only want this if You want this for me. Please be so clear that I know without a shadow of a doubt this is the direction You want me to take. Show me Your will God! My heart is yearning for You to show me. Amen.”

Some time had passed and everything was lining up. My mindset, my planning, and my schedule were all in preparation for this opportunity. To spare you the time, some crazy, unheard thing took place which made no sense to the people who were praying for me.

I had gotten my answer from the Lord and He told me a clear “NO”.

The circumstances made no sense. I called one of the team members from The Blush Network staff and he said, “Well, isn’t that what you prayed for? You told God to make it clear to you if He wants you to pursue something else.” I was disappointed, but knew from so many circumstances in my life God has something else for me.

Now… Am I saying that when you receive a hard answer or news to just suck it up and put on a smile? Absolutely not. You WILL be disappointed and it will take you a minute to refocus your thoughts.

Here are a couple things that I suggest you to write down or remember when you are in that spot:

1. Be expectant.

  • When God says “no” to something that means He has a “yes” to something else. Therefore, when you receive a “no”, be waiting for a “yes” and expect it SOON! If you are praying for it, the Lord hears you and He answers!! The Promised Land is right around the corner. “In the day when I cried out, You answered me and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138:3

2. A “No” is not punishment but rather redirection from the Lord.

  • If you get a “no” from God, we can actually be thankful that we are in His will and He is directing our lives. By God redirecting us, He is stepping in and taking hold of the situation. In the moment it will feel confusing or you may feel worried, but that is the exact time when we can hold onto what God has promised us.

3. Be aware of your mind

  • This is something I constantly have to make sure is in check! When in a time of transition, in a season of change, or when waiting for an answer from the Lord we need to hold onto the thought of what the Lord says about us. Our thoughts are where the temptation to take things into our own hands and to distrust what God is doing come from. The #1 way to keep your thoughts in check is to always spend ample time with the Lord, especially if you are seeking Him for answers. If your mind is spinning and you are feeling overwhelmed, prayer and God’s word will be your best remedies. “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I”- Psalm 61:2

In this particular story, God told me “no.” But He is making His redirection and purpose for it clear. Jesus is absolutely everything. If you are seeking Him, I know He will do the same for you, sweet reader.

 

-Katie Dewan

 

Faith Funky Edit

Faith: A Five Letter Adventure

In July of this year, I left my full-time corporate job to work full-time for our ministry. I remember my very last day at the office. I came home emotionally exhausted from the stress of that week. I fell into a deep sleep, waking up later that night with a migraine. Although I was incredibly excited for this new chapter of my life, I was extremely stressed wondering if the transition would turn out okay.

It is now December, and six months have gone by. It is unbelievable to reflect on how God has moved in this season of my life. I have been able to travel all over the country with our conferences, and from my exciting excursions with Autumn Miles. God has revealed so much to me about who He is and what He has for me in the future. The over-arching theme: faith.

Faith is something that sounds so simple, yet is a daily battle for many Christians.  I wanted to share three truths about faith that I go back to constantly.

1. The most important thing about faith is that it is a process.

Faith comes before true blessing. If we knew the outcome of situations, faith wouldn’t be needed! We need to place our faith first, so that we can watch God fulfill what He has promised to us. Hebrews 11:1 explains this clearly when it says, ” Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

2. Secondly, take a look at whom God uses in Scripture.

God takes the most unlikely people and does some thing truly remarkable with their lives. He doesn’t choose the wealthiest or the most famous. Instead, He chooses the ones who came from small beginnings. Sarah, Abraham, Mary, Joseph and David— just to name a few! We can look at these circumstances where God has worked, and can trust the same faithful God is moving in our lives.  When struggling, take a day to go through all of the promises God has made us throughout Scripture. Pray and declare them back to the Lord. What He says, will happen!

“a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,” Titus 1:2

3. Recently, my pastor said something that really stuck with me:

 “We need to be thankful that we do not answer our own prayers.”

I started to think about all of the instances in my life in which I wanted things that mean nothing to me now. Jobs, relationships, or opportunities that I thought would be “it” for me, are, thankfully, not what He had in mind. The Lord has been faithful to me; therefore, I can have faith in the fact that His way is best, always.

No matter your circumstance, have faith. Nothing will satisfy like the will of the Lord.

“Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your Faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21

 –Katie

Nurse

4 Ways to Know What to Do with Your Life

Right now, I am sitting in a Barnes and Noble Starbucks drinking a Skinny Caramel Macchiato. I am supposed to be doing homework, but like usual my mind is elsewhere.

I am thinking back to my 17-year-old self. Every high school senior stresses about the two big questions they get asked starting sophomore year.

“What college are you going to?”

“What’s your major gonna be?”

My answers to those questions were,

“Liberty University” and “Graphic Design.”

When I think about those answers now, I laugh. God has a way of changing your plans.

Now that a few years have gone by, those same kids that are now in college are asking themselves,

“Did I pick the right major?”

“How much debt am I going to be in?”

“Where do I go after I graduate?”

I am thinking about some of my friends and where they are at in their lives. One of my friends just got married, one wants to change her major to women’s ministry, one is graduating nursing school next month, and one has about ten ideas and can’t seem to choose one.

So here is the big question…WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE?!?!

In all honesty, I could write a book about this. Girls come to me all the time asking this question. So below are four things to be able to help you when you come to this fork in the road.

  1. God’s plan is better than yours.

In fall 2012 I went for a job interview. I was so excited when they called me in for one. This job was up my alley, and was exactly where my focus was. I ended up not getting the job. I was very upset. One week later a job that was one hundred times better contacted me and I have been at this company since. This job paid more, was more flexible and was a company I thought I could never get into. God knew exactly what He was doing.

Isaiah 55:8 says, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD.”

I can promise you that the plan God has for you is so much bigger, better, and crazier than your wildest dreams! Surrender whatever plan you have and lay it down to God.

  1. Be smart.

You do not have to know what every day for the next year holds. Take the next best step. God does not want you to be in debt. You need to make decisions that are financially smart. If you are struggling with finances, God will supply, but you may have to change your lifestyle. Also, just because it is a good thing, does not mean you have to pounce on it right away. Only move forward when God has made it absolutely clear that is what He has for you.

  1. Pray and Wait

Prayer is the single most important thing you need for discerning God’s will.

Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Prayer will CHANGE your life! Christians sometimes forget just how powerful it is! You have a direct line to your creator. Prayer is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. Pray for wisdom! Pray bodly! Pray expectantly! Pray for big things! Pray for answers! Prayer should be a continual conversation between you and God.

  1. Dream

Even my mom says she doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. Dreaming is a lost art form in today’s culture. When deciding God’s will for your life don’t accept an insignificant life. When you honestly hand it all over to Him, the impossible become possible with Jesus.

Luke 18:27 says, “Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.'”

-Katie

photo-8

Being Content in Waiting

The day I got to high school, I immediately started thinking about college.

When I got to college, I immediately started to think about moving off campus.

After going to only ONE semester at Liberty University in Virginia, I switched to Liberty online and moved home to begin my career.

My mind thinks a year, five years, ten years down the road. Some people may call that “ambitious”, which can sometimes be translated to “impatient.” I am in school full-time, work at a software company full time, and also serve as the Director of Marketing for The Blush Network. I see in my head where I want to be, so when things don’t go according to my plan it really trips me up.

We have all been in a position one time or another when we feel like we have been either waiting for something forever or something comes out of nowhere and ruins our plans. I know someone right now who feels like they have been stuck in the position they are in. They are waiting for God to show them what He wants for their life, but it seems like they have been waiting an eternity.

Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.”

Is God testing your patience right now? Do you have to wait on Him for the next step? Did something happen so your plan for your life just totally changed?

I was talking to a Blush team member a couple weeks ago and I remember complaining about something in my life. She told me to be patient, but she also told me to be content. “Wow,” I thought. We hear all the time to be patient, but are we actually CONTENT in the position we are in?

Relationships, jobs, and money are just some examples of the things we think we have to have all figured out. Ask any of my friends, I am the biggest worrier ever. I tend to doubt myself or things I have done and it will literally be all I talk about the whole day. Then a week later it will work out to the glory of God and I’ll kick myself in the butt for worrying so much.

Whatever your plans are, whatever you are waiting for, realize that this is just for a season. God hears you. He always does. Isaiah says He holds us in the hollow of His hand.

Psalm 33: 20-22 says, “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in You.”

I am going to challenge myself to hand everything over to God whatever He brings my way. Today I challenge you to do the same.

 

-Katie

Temptation

Temptation

When we think of temptation, some women think of chocolate, some women think of telling those “little” white lies, and some women think of that one sin that they have battled for years.

When I hear “temptation”, I immediately think of the story of Joseph (one of my all-time favorite Bible characters). When his brothers sold him and he became a slave for Potiphar, Joseph worked very hard and things started to look up for him. But Potiphar’s wife quickly began to notice Joseph and how handsome he was. She literally threw herself at him multiple times, day after day. At one point when they were completely alone, Potiphar’s wife began to tempt Joseph. The man of God refused when it could have been so easy to give in and God blessed him so richly for obeying His command.

You may have heard that story multiple times, but I challenge you to think of the one sin that has chained you down for years. Maybe you have multiple “small” sins that you give into every day because you have become numb to them. Perhaps you have become so numb that when that particular temptation hits, you don’t even question it.

 

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

1.    Satan is not stupid.

The temptation being thrown at you is supposed to be enticing. Whether it is subtle or as obvious as Potiphar’s wife, Satan’s hope is to make you say, “This sin is worth it”, “I can’t say no”, or, “It’s not that bad”.

Recently God has been showing me just how clouded our culture is. Christians are being torn apart by the question, “Is this really bad?” Instead of turning to the Bible to see what it says about homosexuality, modesty, sex, or standards, we try to figure it out on our own.  Ladies: DO NOT BE DECEIVED!  Temptation is supposed to be tempting or it would be easy to turn down. Satan is known as the Father of Lies. Do not let the idea of sin entertain your mind.

John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

 

 2.    Temptation itself is not necessarily sin.

If you are living a life for the Lord, you are a target for the devil. You will face temptations and tribulations every day.  Some temptations flow from a sinful heart, while others are presented to us on a silver platter. Satan tempted Jesus multiple times and yet Jesus was still without sin.  Find strength in Christ and use that strength to say, “No”.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

 

3.    Take action

You can’t wait for temptation to just go away. Be proactive. Call out to Christ, open your Bible, or seek Godly counsel. Literally turn around and get away as fast as you can.

Sometimes I battle making time for the gym. I tell myself that I will never regret working out when I am done. It is the same with temptation: You will never regret saying “no” to sin.

Overall, I challenge you to take a look at your life. Are there areas of temptation that you are giving in to, or are you walking the straight and narrow? Hand it all over to Christ.
James 4:7 “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

 

-Katie

Loss

Dealing With a Loss

I was headed to the bathroom this morning to shower when I heard moaning.  I paused and listened for a minute as the moaning continued.  I headed downstairs to see my dog, Scooter standing and shaking because he didn’t want to sit because he was trying to stay alive.  Recently, Scooter has become very sick.  He was leaning up against the wall because he was so weak.  I pulled up a chair and just watched him. While I was sitting, my mom texted to tell me that he’s going to be put down at 4 o’clock.

As I sat there watching Scooter, I began to think about death. I started to think about the feeling of loss; the feeling of saying goodbye makes me think of loved ones I have had to say goodbye to.

Losing someone is one of the hardest circumstances anyone can face.  The loss may be a grandparent, a friend, or family member to whom you were close. Maybe it happened from a tragedy or illness. Maybe the person died in a horrible accident.

Quite possibly, you lost someone all too soon; this scenario seems to be the most heartbreaking.  I dealt with this when I was 15 and my father died at the age of 49 from heart failure.

Because I have dealt with this, I wanted to share with you some ways to cope with the loss of someone close to you, whether it happened recently or many years ago.

1. Do not skip over the grieving period. I remember hearing, “Katie don’t cry” or “I wish you weren’t sad”. Although people were trying to help, it was important that I went through this process.

Matthew 5:4 says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

You do not have to try to be tough or feel it is wrong to be sad. People grieve in different ways, and God uses this process to comfort us.

2. After the funeral is over and after all the sympathy cards stop coming, remember you are not alone. God is holding you up, walking right beside you each and every day. You may hear this a lot, but the truth still remains.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

You are going to have hard days. You might miss them when big events occur or on holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or Christmas.  But that loss and pain you feel inside can be filled with God’s love.  He is your portion. 

3. You are going to be able to use this hardship to comfort others.  You can minister to others and be the encouragement that they need, just like this blog is hopefully doing for you.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

No one can truly understand someone else’s trial unless they have been through it themselves. Your trial can be used for Christ’s glory.  Just as the verse above states, we have affliction so we can comfort others in affliction.

4. If the person accepted Christ as their Savior the Bible clearly tells us we can rejoice because we will see them again one day.

Thessalonians 4:13-18 says, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

5. Turn to the Bible. The more you are struggling, the more you should be in His word.

Psalm 119:50 says, “This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.”

The Bible will be more of a comfort to you than any words any one can say.

The day of my dad’s funeral, I was emotionally exhausted and took about a three-hour nap on the floor in front of my grandma’s fireplace.  When it was time to leave, my sisters, mom and I said our goodbyes and got in the car.  The exact minute we pulled out of the driveway, crying, MercyMe’s song “Finally Home” came on the radio; this song talks about losing a father and meeting up in heaven. The first words played,

“Gonna wrap my arms around my daddy’s neck—tell him that I missed him.”

I sat with my mouth open, shocked as this song played.  God knew exactly what I needed to hear and the words of that song sang His comfort to me.

Sweet friend, just as Christ comforted me, He will comfort you. His love will fill  all the brokenness and pain you have.

Revelation 21:4 says, “…and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

-Katie

Modesty

“Let Me See It!”: Should Modesty Just be White Noise?

“Let me see it” are usually the words I hear from my mom if I’m in a dressing room shopping with her.  I mostly heard this during junior high — I would step out of a dressing room and my mom would automatically say, “It’s too low” or “That is way too short” or, my favorite, “You’re going to wear something under that, right?”  I feel like some of the clothes would be falling off me and she would still say, “I think it is too tight.”

Modesty.  Lessons about modesty are one of the first we hear and one of the first we don’t want to listen to.  I bet some of you have already stopped reading this blog once you read what it is about because the word “modesty” is just white noise by now. We hear it from practically everyone. Is “modesty” really about if your shoulders are covered and if your skirt covers the knee? Or is it a heart issue?

The way women dress is a huge stumbling block for guys.  A guy might pass 100 girls while walking to class and some guys have to keep their head down in order to keep their thoughts clean, which is a constant mind battle for them.  I am not being dramatic.  If you don’t believe me, ask a true man of God.  He will probably tell you that maintaining pure thoughts is an everyday battle.  The commercials on TV that showcase a woman’s body are just embarrassing.  We need to consider our brothers in Christ.  Are you currently in a relationship? Are you dressing for the pure relationship that you and your man want or are you making it difficult for him?  

Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Guys are watching you, but think of all the younger girls watching you, too. I have two little sisters and I love them to death.  I will be getting ready in the bathroom some mornings and I will look over and see my youngest sister watching me do my hair and makeup.   Then, I’ll walk past her room and see her putting on a similar outfit and fixing her hair the exact same way.  If I were to dress inappropriately, I guarantee she would too.  If you are an upper classmen, think of all the freshmen that watch you, think of the younger girls in your church who idolize you, and think of your sibling’s friends who imitate you. What type of pictures do you post on Instagram? Twitter? Guys aren’t the only ones who see those pictures.

Titus 2:6-7 says, “Likewise, urge the younger men (women) to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity and dignity.”

Modesty is also a behavior.  How many times do we go out of our way to look nice for other women? I know some of you are able to remember what every single girl wore at a party you attended. Some of you will wear an outfit once and then feel the need to go shopping for something new to impress your friends.  Even when I go to the gym sometimes, I will still put makeup on and stare into my closet, deciding what to wear.  

So, what is at the root of immodest dressing?  The issue goes deeper than clothes.   Maybe you hate your body so you dress a certain way. Maybe you can still hear the hurtful words from other girls that have hurt you deeply.  Some of you have been hurt by men that have left you feeling lost.

Maybe you don’t have a “reason” why you dress the way you do.  Maybe you just like the feeling of looking “hot”.  I challenge you to talk to God and deal with whatever the reason is.  When you leave the house in the morning or when you go out at night, look in the mirror and ask, “Does my outfit please the Lord?”

Psalm 73:25-26 says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”   I have found that if you focus on your heart first and earnestly seek and thirst and hunger after God, then my outward appearance will fall into place.

-Katie

Liberty Blush Conference

Divine Appointments

A week ago today I traveled from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Lynchburg, Virginia. A funny feeling comes over you when you know you are about to experience something great.  I was completely overwhelmed with joy because I knew I was exactly where God wanted me to be.   I did not know who I would influence, how I would make an impact, or what God wanted me to teach me, but I know I was perfectly in His will by heading to Lynchburg that weekend. I guess you could say I was APPOINTED.

During my drive, I prayed for our team.  I knew each one of us was walking into the weekend with our own trials.  I was having a rough week, so I texted some of the team asking for prayer and they responded also asking for prayer.  It was clear that we were under Satanic attack.  Some of the team faced family struggles, some faced health issues, and some had personal battles.  But, we were focused on positioning ourselves and letting God’s work be accomplished.

The night before the conference we split up and went into the city of Lynchburg to invite girls to come. We divided and spread across the city.  I drove with Autumn Miles to Buffalo Wild Wings. While we were driving around in her rental Corolla, she asked me a question out of the blue, but the question dealt with the exact thing God had laid on my heart. We talked for a while and it encouraged me more than she knows. That talk was a divine appointment for me.

Saturday was a divine appointment for many. Whether you watched the live stream feed or sat in the dim auditorium, God wanted you to hear something.  When we are in the will of God, everything is clear. The fog gets wiped away.  I know that for some of you, the sin you have been avoiding hit you right between the eyes on Saturday. For some, the distance you have been feeling from Christ has vanished and you feel closer to Him than ever. For others, God’s will for your life became clear and you decided you are not going to settle for ordinary.  Tears were cried.  Lives were changed.  Decisions were made.  Christ was honored.

1 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

As I drove home, my friend and I sang and worshiped God most of the trip because He worked in both of our lives in such a short time!  Now, a few days have passed and our schedules are back to normal.  Classes and life conversations continue.  You need to remember that the Blush conference on Saturday was not just a memory.  You were appointed to be there.  You were appointed to hear the truth whether you volunteered, attended, or watched. When God teaches you something you are supposed to sieze it, not ignore it!

I want to encourage you to seek God with all of your being if He moved in your life on Saturday.  He has great things in store for you.  Don’t let Saturday be forgotten because of the day you are facing.  He will never lead you astray.

Psalm 61:2 says… “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

This week let that verse be your prayer.

-Katie