It's a Girl Thing

How to Refresh Your Life

Spring time always makes me giddy. Budding flowers, bees, endless sunshine and blue skies…it’s like a season of constant happiness. With all the change this season offers, I’m inspired to weed out the dead stuff in my life to let new things grow (excuse the pun).

If you’re like me, your new year goals are fading, and you’re stuck in the same grind. Every. Single. Day. You’ve lost sight of the exciting changes you planned for the new year, and your days just melt together with little inspiration. At the start of 2017, I was pouncing all over my goals and had my life securely intact! That lasted until… oh, maybe February 😉 But lately, I’ve fallen into a rut–physically and spiritually. And it’s no fun. So, today I want to share some ways I’ve come up with to hit the restart button in your life. Let’s uproot the old stuff and start over together. 🙂

How to Refresh.png
First, here are ways to refresh your day-to-day routine:

Continue reading “How to Refresh Your Life”

It's a Girl Thing

How to Cultivate a Beautiful Heart

When I was studying for the last post (A Letter to the Girl Who Doubts Her Beauty), I noticed two patterns in Scripture that really caught my attention. The first pattern was that most verses addressing beauty speak of the heart, and not the body. In fact, it was almost impossible for me to find verses that emphasized outward appearance.

Often we get so wrapped up in how we feel about our bodies, that we forget to work on the inside. We forget what really matters to God because we’re too busy trying to find verses that convince us of how gorgeous we are on the outside (*which often leads to taking verses out of context). Don’t get me wrong–I believe God treasures our bodies and we should too. But our physical beauty isn’t the focus of Scripture. Spiritual beauty is (We’ll get to that in a second).

*Note: It’s easy to take the Bible out of context to make it mean what we want it to. That’s why it’s important to look at the surrounding passages to make sure we don’t speak out of turn. When I researched Song of Solomon 4:7 (a verse many use to say that God thinks we are stunningly flawless), I realized that’s not what the verse is about at all. Song of Solomon is a love letter from Solomon to his wife. Context is key!

The second pattern I noticed is that God often chastised people who took pride in their outward appearance. He acknowledged the beauty or handsomeness of certain people (such as Esther, Joseph, and Solomon), but He didn’t emphasize that attractiveness. And, when people did emphasize their looks, God corrected them.

With those things in mind, let’s jump into this post 🙂

–> We’ll be going through a lot of verses today, so stick with me 😉

how to cultivate a (4)

Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. Great news, huh? By human nature, we were all born with nasty hearts, so our work is cut out for us. God treasures a beautiful heart (1 Peter 3:4), and we must defy human nature to obtain the loveliness Christ desires in us.

When it comes right down to it, the key to a beautiful heart is Christlikeness. After all, His heart is the purest example of beauty. (2 Corinthians 4:6). But…what exactly does Jesus’ heart look like? The list is endless, but read through the gospels and you’ll see humility, compassion, honesty, strength, generosity, and so much more.

I don’t know about you, but my heart is a mess, and it needs repair. While none of us will ever obtain the perfect character of Jesus, we can try our best to be like Him.

So, here are 6 ways to get us started…

1) Prioritize Spiritual growth

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (1 Peter 3:18, ESV).

Spiritual growth is the key to a strong heart. Knowing Him and walking with Him daily beautifies our hearts in a way nothing else could.

–> Check out these posts to help you in this area! [5 Ways to Boost Spiritual Growth; One Simple, Effective Way to Study Scripture]

2) Cultivate lovely thoughts

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8, ESV).

I’ll be honest with you…my mind is my biggest weakness. Often I use it as a haven for sin instead of a haven for Jesus, and that never ends well. Can you relate?

The battle of the mind is constant and, I think, so difficult to fight because we’re tempted to excuse what goes on in our heads. We dismiss the provocative or ill-willed thoughts because no one can see them. Our sin is locked up safe inside our heads. But, according to Philippians 4:8, what we think matters, and we must be extremely careful with what we allow to enter our heads. What we think dictates how we live, and it influences our walk with God. When we allow sin to build up inside, we’re giving Satan the upper-hand in battle. 

Reject lies, abandon lust, mute cursing or hatred in your mind. Fill your head with Jesus’ voice, and your heart will follow.

 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete” (2 Corinthians 10:5-6, ESV).

Because our hearts and minds are intertwined, we must fill our minds with good things, so they can feed our hearts the loveliness they need.

3) Regularly confess sin

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!”

Our hearts can’t be pretty if sin is stuck in the nooks and crannies!

I know it’s easy to hide sin in our hearts. We don’t want to get the muck out because it’s humiliating to admit when we’ve messed up…again. But, I’m learning that even though confessing my failures to God can be painful, trying to hide my mistakes hurts even more. It’s like a little kid covering his eyes and saying, “You can’t see me!” when really, his parent sees him completely.

Whether we confess or not, God sees us. He knows our actions, and trying to hide the truth only results in broken fellowship with Him. When we sin, we distance ourselves from God. When we refuse to confess, we deprive ourselves of a vulnerable, trusting relationship with Him.

Regularly confess and ask Jesus to cleanse away your sin so your inner beauty isn’t polluted. God loves you so much, and wants you to come to Him for help. He will never turn you away. He is faithful to forgive, and faithful to renovate our hearts.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, ESV).

the other side
4) Be others-focused

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Corinthians 4:5, ESV).

Next to maintaining a pure mind, this has to be the hardest one for me. I love serving at my church through music and children’s ministries…but as soon as you ask me to move outside my comfort zone…well, being a servant is suddenly a lot harder than I expected. I feel uncomfortable. Out of place. Insecure. Sometimes even frustrated and down-right opposed to the task assigned to me.

And you know what? That’s exactly what servanthood is.

Being others-focused often means getting uncomfortable. It means loving and caring for people we’re not used to paying attention to. It means minimizing ourselves, so we can magnify those around us (Philippians 2:3-4).

Jesus specialized in tending to the pains of others…to the point of torture and death on a cross. He displayed the highest example of a servant’s heart when He did our work for us. When He set us free from the debt we owed. It’s only fair that we follow in His footsteps. And, fortunate for us, God provided the perfect guideline to help us. Look up Galatians 5, and you’ll find it 🙂

A God-fearing heart will reflect God’s attributes. Have a kind heart. A gentle heart. A servant’s heart.

 “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18, ESV).

5) Be honest with yourself

What does your heart believe? Do you feed it truth?

 “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b, ESV).

Honesty starts within, and if we are dishonest with ourselves, we’ll be dishonest with others. If we believe the lies Satan throws at us, we will live according to those lies: In insecurity, fear, or even sin.

When we cheat ourselves out of the truth of God’s love and His word, our intentions–our feelings–are twisted and ruined. What we believe in our hearts will eventually come out in our words and actions.

Cling to the truths of Scripture and ask Jesus to give you an honest, sincere heart. Because that, sweet friend, is a rare treasure.

6) Pray for grace in the not-so-pretty areas of your heart

Cultivating a beautiful heart is a daily task, and at times it will feel unbearable. But believe me when I say the struggle is worth the fruit.

Friend, Jesus is ready and able to help you in your weaknesses. Don’t shy away when you need His help.

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16, ESV).

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness'” (2 Corinthians 12:9a, ESV).

There is truly nothing more valuable than a heart that reflects the character of Jesus. The more you conform to His image, the more beautiful you become…and no one can steal that beauty from you. ❤

Let’s work on cultivating beautiful hearts together, okay?

P.S. For more reminders and encouragement, check out my Pinterest board on authentic beauty. I hope it helps you as much as it does me. 🙂

the other side (11)


It's a Girl Thing

A Letter to the Girl Who Doubts her Beauty

Dear Friend,
Hi again 🙂

I’ve kept my ears open and noticed that you question your beauty…a lot. I’ve heard you compare yourself to the pretty and popular girls around you, and, if you’re anything like me, the doubts you feel gnaw at you constantly.
Beautiful girl, if you’re stuck in the hole of self-hatred and insecurity because you feel discontent with yourself, I want you to know I’ve been there. I’ve let my sense of worth depend on what’s on the outside. But I’ve also escaped that hole, and goodness, I never wanna go back…Now I want to help you too.
So, I have three important questions to ask you. Ones that will help you break free from the lie that you’re not good enough…but only if you answer them truthfully.

Are you ready? Read on…
questions for the girl who doubts.pngQuestion #1: Who defines your beauty?

What shapes your definition of “ beautiful”? Flawless makeup? Keeping up with the latest trends? Public image? Approval?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then my friend, we have a problem. As long as you let the constantly-changing fads and opinions of the world define your beauty, you will be discontent and discouraged. And you know what? It’s impossible to please everyone. 

Have you heard of Angelica Kenova? She’s one of many people who have transformed themselves to look like a human Barbie™ doll.
Growing up, her parents gave her Barbies™and dressed her in the doll-like clothes, convincing her that she needed to look like Barbie™. Angelica’s mom especially pushed her to do everything she could to obtain the doll’s flawless figure. Now Angelica is in her early 20’s, and she spends 12-15 hours per week working out with a professional trainer. Her mom holds her to a strict diet and micromanages her clothing choices (she insists that Angelica’s clothes be nothing less than curve-accentuating and sexy).
A man-made toy and controlling parents have taken over Angelica’s life and turned her into the image of a piece of plastic.
In an interview, she expressed love and loyalty to her parents, stating that, while she knows they’re restrictive, it would be (quote): “purely scandalous to go against them.” She’s in bondage to their standard of beauty.

While Angelica is a dramatic example, her story still applies us. Friend, if your beauty depended on what others say—on what toys or magazines depict—you’d be changing yourself constantly. And for what? A “perfect” image that will fade with age? It’s not worth it. Instead, it’s time to listen to the voice of your Maker in His Word:

“ And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31a, ESV).

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14, ESV).

Question #2: Does “different” mean “more beautiful”?

It’s easy to compare our features to someone else’s and think their beauty is superior.

  • She has such a cute little nose, but mine is so big and pointy. If only I looked like her.
  • She has the most gorgeous eyes. If mine were that color, I’d be stunning.
  • Woah, check out her jawline. If only my face were so thin and sculpted…Then I’d be beautiful.

Whatever you compare, remember to appreciate the beauty of others without doubting your own. Different doesn’t mean better, friend. One girl’s complexion isn’t  superior to yours. 

God made us individuals for a reason! We’re all equal in value and beauty, because we have the same Maker. He doesn’t favor one feature or eye color over another. He put just as much effort and care into knitting you together as He did the next person, and you can rest in the truth that He didn’t fail when He created you. He didn’t forget any details. 

You are lovely because Jesus created you in His image–unique and perfect. Don’t ever let the enemy tell you otherwise. Don’t allow him to trick you into believing your differences are a disadvantage.

Different doesn’t mean more (or less) beautiful.
God makes no mistakes. Carry these truths with you wherever you go.

Question #3, the last and most important question I could ask: Do you have a beautiful heart?

We’ve all heard the sayings before: “It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside, but rather, what’s on the inside that counts”, and,  “pretty is as pretty does.” …But do we really believe them? Do we truly worry about the inside more than outward appearance?
Proverbs 31:30 is one of my absolute favorite verses which says:

 “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (NIV, emphasis added).

Dear, sweet girl, once you understand how lovely you are on the outside, will you examine your heart? Is it unkind, judgmental, and prideful, or do you have a loving, humble, servant’s heart for Jesus? Charm and good looks are fleeting. They’ll disappear with time. But a heart that trusts in God and seeks to live like Him is indispensable.

 If you have a lovely heart, you have all the beauty that matters.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says “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” (ESV).

God says a beautiful heart is PRECIOUS and ETERNAL. Wouldn’t you rather have His approval than the applause of culture which emphasizes shallow beauty?

While outward beauty is a blessing, it isn’t a priority. While God loves you for who you are—how He created you—your looks aren’t His main concern. His desire for us as His daughters is to cultivate a meek heart. When we do that, the inner beauty pours out onto others and gives us more radiance on the outside than anything else ever could.

So, in closing:

Your beauty must not be defined by outward appearance. Not by the opinions of others, or the image of models or popular girls. Your beauty comes from within, and when you focus your thoughts on Christ, you’ll learn to value and care for yourself without overestimating the physical part of your being.
Next time you’re tempted to doubt your beauty, ask Jesus to help you remember what truly counts, and work on beautifying your heart. He will help you ♥️

“But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart’ ” (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV).

In the next post, we’ll talk about ways to cultivate a beautiful heart. I hope you’ll stick around 🙂

the other side (11)

It's a Girl Thing

5 Comparisons that Feed Insecurity

–> I have 2 freebies for you at the end of this post, so stick around!

You’re probably familiar with Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Such wisdom in those small words. . .

In last week’s post, we talked about the secret to confidence (you can read it here). Today, I wanna flip the tables and dig into the root of insecurity. . .Bur first, I have a bold question to ask you…

5 comparisons that lead to (5).png
What makes you insecure?

I know it’s tough to answer honestly. But I want to encourage you to pull out a sheet of paper and jot down your answers, because the only way to defeat insecurity is to pinpoint the cause. Continue reading “5 Comparisons that Feed Insecurity”