Collaboration with Restricted Shoes

Hello all of my beautiful friends and happy Friday!

I am popping over to the blog to share with you a new fave shoe shop of mine!

I came across Restricted Shoes on instagram and fell in love. They offer a wide variety of the hottest shoe trends for a great price!

http://www.restrictedshoes.com

You can literally find any style of shoe you’d like on their site ranges from adorable trendy mules to heels.

I chose some ADORABLE flats called the Bel Air Whiskey flats and I am in LOVE.

Here is the link to the shoes!

http://www.restrictedshoes.com/bel-air-whiskey/

I love these shows because they are sooo unique and fun! They are perfect to throw on with a floral maxi dress or even some cute skinny jeans!

 

 

I will definitely be frequenting this site for all of my shoe needs and I think you should check them out yourself 🙂

I hope you have the courage to begin again.

“I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”-Eric Roth

Have you ever gotten so far off track that it is difficult to tell who you truly are and whose you truly are?

Have you ever just stopped and wondered, “How in the world did I get HERE?” 

I had one of those moments last night.

Truthfully, it has been a difficult few months for me. With the stress of nursing school and keeping up with relationships during this busy time, I have slowly but surely lost track of who I am and more importantly WHOSE I am.

Busyness became my identity, and it became a shadow in which I could hide from the REAL condition of my heart.

I think in today’s world, it is so easy to hide. It is so easy to numb.

You can simply find things to make you busy, and suddenly the weight of your feelings and hurts and struggles don’t feel quite as heavy anymore.

At least, temporarily.

I have had two weeks off from nursing school and you would think that at this current moment I would feel refreshed, rejuvenated, rested…?

Wrong. 

Currently, I feel completely worn out, exhausted, stressed out, busy, and SICK.

I NEVER get sick, yet this morning I woke up feeling absolutely terrible and it was such a huge reality check for me. I have been running myself into the ground with things that need to be done that I forgot what I really needed to be doing during this time…rest.

These past two weeks I cleaned my room, purged everything I own, cleaned my car, went to Arizona, worked on my blog, made a bunch of mugs for my etsy shop, worked out a bunch, cooked, shopped, cleaned some more, organized to no end.

I wrote a bunch of to-do lists and crossed everything off of them.

I thought incessantly about all of the things I needed to do/buy/fix that would make me feel happier.

I made “vision boards” for how I wanted my wardrobe to look and my body to look.

I obsessed over how I could feel more happy, fulfilled, content, etc.

And you know what I DIDN’T do once?

Talk with Jesus. Sit with Him and BE STILL. Read the word. Journal. Just rest in His presence.

NOT ONCE. Until last night.

Last night, I finally was able to attend Young Adults which is the ministry I am blessed to be a part of. I met with Jesus during worship in a radical way and He and I decided it was time for a RADICAL CHANGE.

You see, I have let the world define what I need to “get done” in a day for far too long. I am quite frankly EXHAUASTED and even my physical body is failing me as a result. I have let the world define what I need to look like, dress like, be like. I am just so tired.

I don’t exactly know what this new “me” will look like. I know Jesus and I still have a lot of figuring out to do. But I do know this, there are some practical things I am going to implement into my life to reprioritize what truly matters:

1.) Spend 30 minutes at night before bed with Jesus. Phone off. Candles lit. Just me and Him and the word. A true date with Him, with absolutely no distractions.

2.) No more watching TV shows while falling asleep. Jesus revealed to me last night that I am afraid of the quiet. It makes me uncomfortable, but He wants to meet me there. So last night was the first night in about a year I fell asleep without my netflix playing in the background. I plan to keep that up.

3.) Declutter, not add clutter. It’s time to stop buying unnecessary things to just fill my space and my heart with. I have decided to take a break from buying material things (only necessities) and instead focus on being GRATEFUL for what I do have.

4.) Be AWARE of God throughout the day. I am talking ACUTELY aware of His voice and His blessings in the day-to-day. Like the birds chirping and the smell of flowers kind-of-aware. I just want to STOP MISSING IT.

5.) Be mindful. Truly taste my food and just live SLOW. I want to take it all in. This life is so glorious and I have been missing the mark lately.

So, these are some practical things I am doing to try to RECONNECT again. I want to live a life of connection. I want to be deeply rooted and grounded in His love for me. Nothing else matters. NOTHING.

So today, if you find yourself in a similar boat, I hope you have the courage to start anew. His mercies are new. And He is always waiting for you to come back home.

The Magic of New Beginnings.

Hello hello to my long, lost blog!

Wow, it has truly been forever since I blogged ANYTHING! Life has been so crazy with nursing school, and it has just been difficult to keep up with this!

However, I am setting new goals and new intentions for the months to come and I would love to blog more!

The title for this blog is inspired by Sseko Designs-an organization I am HONORED to be partnered with. They are a fashion brand based in Uganda and through their sales of BEAUTIFUL leather handbags, sandals, and accessories, they create opportunties for women around the whole world. Sseko creates job opportunities for girls in order to pursue their dreams of achieving a college education! To date, they have sent 87 girls through college!!

Want to get involved with this AMAZING group?! You can become a Sseko Fellow!

Click the link below to join:

ssekodesigns.com/sheiscaptivating

“Every Fellow is paired one-to-one with a woman on our team in Uganda, and her sales directly contribute to earning an additional scholarship for her Sole Sister. Last year, thanks to our Sseko Fellows, we were able to TRIPLE the scholarships we provided to our university-bound team!”

That is a little blurb from their website about being a Sseko Fellow. You basically join and learn about Sseko, and then you can host your own trunk shows and earn commission off of the sales! It is SUCH an amazing way to earn some extra income AND give back 🙂

This new beginning is so magical for me, and I know it could be for you as well.

PS: Check out the blog post I am featured in this week for Sseko! Such an incredible blessing.

http://blog.ssekodesigns.com

Here are some pictures of me in my Sseko goods with the links to purchase!

The Ada Tote in Black:

https://ssekodesigns.com/leather-bags/leather-totes/aida-tote-black.html

 

The Desert Glass Necklace:

https://ssekodesigns.com/accessories/sahara-sunrise-jewelry/desert-glass-necklace.html

in case you’re feeling lonely on #nationalboyfriendday

Hi friend.

If you’re here, I am really sorry. I mean it, I am.

Society is sometimes harsh to single ladies. And what is even worse, the Christian culture sometimes is even worse on singles. It often seems contradictory, the way they simultaneously talk about being “fulfilled by Jesus alone” yet hold countless marriage workshops and endless sermons on dating and finding “the one.”

What’s worse is that if you’re over the age of like 25 and are Christian and unmarried, you are seen as strange or “something is wrong with you.”

I’m here to just encourage you, you aren’t weird. Something IS NOT wrong with you. And it is more than okay to be single.

It is actually an amazing GIFT.

I know what you’re thinking…”Yeah, Amanda that is easy for you to say…you HAVE a boyfriend.”

And I know, it may seem hypocritical coming from me. Just hear me out.

I spent most of teenage and young adult life jumping from relationship to relationship. I was always desperately hoping that one of these “boys” would finally fulfill me and make me happy. I was empty, and searching and searching for someone to fill me up. It was an exhausting search. I found myself heartbroken over and over again. I wanted to just give up hope.

It was at the end of my dating rope that Jesus found me and spoke tenderly over my beaten and bruised heart.

“Please, let me fill you.”

I remember the exact place. The exact time of day.

I was sitting on the patio of a Starbucks, writing in my prayer journal. Desperate for answers about a current relationship I was in. I knew it wasn’t the right thing for me to be with him. He said he was a Christian, but it was the same toxic roller coaster of emotions. One day, he wanted to be with me, and the next, he wanted to be with someone else. I was so exhausted. i just wanted some peace and some rest.

I wrote in my journal these sweet words, “I surrender, Jesus. I want your best for me.”

In that moment, I felt the sweetest release I have ever felt. I felt so much peace. It felt like Jesus literally stepped back into time in that moment and wrapped His arms around me.

The very next day, that guy broke up with me for good. The roller coaster was over. I was finally at peace.

I spent the next few months just intentionally loving Jesus. I dove into community and I dove into God’s own heart. I read books on what it meant to be single. I also read books on Christian marriage and dating and what it really should look like. I began filling a journal of heartfelt prayers to my future husband. And I waited. I just waited for God’s timing, for the first time TRULY trusting Him with my dating life. I knew He would redirect my heart to the right one at the right time.

And He did. He is faithful. I am reminded of His faithfulness each and every single time I look at my current boyfriend, Maverick.

We are not perfect, by any means. We still have our struggles and our ups and our downs. But God so divinely and sovereignly intersected our lives together at just the right moment.

I tell you this, friend to encourage you. I don’t tell  you this to brag to you about my boyfriend on #nationalboyfriendday…I mean seriously what even is that?

I don’t tell you this to be another Christian girl who rubs her “perfect Christian relationship” in your face.

I tell you this because I see way too many hurting hearts out there. I see way too many AMAZING daughters of the King trading in their crowns for “boys” who will never lead them spiritually, will never treat them how they should be treated, will NEVER treasure and respect their purity…

BOYS who will never kiss away their tears, bur rather, they cause them.

BOYS who will never embrace them and pray boldly and powerfully over them, but rather, make fun of their faith.

BOYS who would rather ask them to come “watch netflix” than take them on a proper date.

BOYS who will never spin them around and around to old music on the kitchen floor late at night, but rather, will “spin” them around emotionally…leaving them always questioning if they are loved and respected.

The list goes on and on.

I so long for each daughter of the King to know her true worth. I so long for each precious daughter to be cherished by the man of her dreams.

So I am writing this to you to ENCOURAGE you today, sister.

There are WONDERFUL godly men out there just praying and waiting for a beautiful woman like you to come into their lives.

But, you will never find them if you keep settling for less than God’s best for you.

So today, if your heart is feeling burdened, empty, saddened, jealous as you are scrolling through the seemingly endless instagram posts today…

Just know there is only ONE heart deserving of all  your love and trust while you are in the waiting season, and it’s Jesus’.

And know that being completely satisfied and fulfilled in Him is the BEST thing  you can ever bring to your future spouse one day.

You are worthy.

Please let that truth sink deep into your bones today.

Love,

A girl who KNOWS.

xoxo,

Amanda Marie

VICTORS, not victims.

Okay guys,

I do apologize for not posting on the blog for a while now. Well, I am kind of sorry but also kind of not because the Good Lord has done a work in my heart over the past few weeks. I’m talking a full forced RENOVATION. I am truly a new creation, and am walking in a new level of freedom I never thought was possible. I am just on my knees grateful to Jesus for everything He has done and everything He will do.

He’s amazing.

Anyways, today I felt it laid on my heart that there are so many Christians who just aren’t walking in freedom. Plain and simple. And I totally understand why, because up until this past weekend, I really wasn’t walking in freedom completely either. I was still very much walking through anxiety, fear, stagnation in my faith, doubts, and feeling like I was just being consumed by lies from the enemy every hour of every day. I guess I began to just accept that as how it was supposed to be because “being a Christian is hard, ya’ll” and yes, it is hard. There is some truth to that statement. But I truly believe now, that it was never supposed to be a war. We were never supposed to be constantly in battle against ourselves and our mind. We were never supposed to spend our lives fighting battles that Jesus already WON for us.

Let me tell you about a vision I had during worship a few weeks ago. I was worshipping with my eyes closed (of course) and The Lord began to bring me into a very vivid, very intense vision. In this vision, I was in a dark prison cell. There was cement everywhere, the walls and the floor. There were NO windows. It was dark and grimy and felt…evil. I looked in the corner, and saw My Sweet Jesus chained up and beaten up and bruised and battered. It was a heart breaking sight. In this vision, I had a bird’s eye view of myself, at around the age of maybe 10 or so and I was wearing a white dress. I kept running back to Jesus and ushering him to come with me. I kept grabbing His battered arm, begging Him to get up and come.

He kept pointing at the prison door (which was open) and telling me to leave. There were no words exchanged between me and Jesus, just gestures.

After the vision, I was confused and didn’t quite know what God was trying to reveal to me through it. But after asking Holy Spirit to give me clarity, I heard the sentence,

Stop going back to the things Jesus died for you to have freedom in.”

DANG.

I began to tear up and realize that vision was a wake up call for me, and I believe many others to realize that Jesus wasn’t joking when He said, “IT IS FINISHED.” He literally wore our chains and our bruises and our wounds FOR US! We cannot ever, ever become complacent about this truth. So, if Jesus really did die for our suffering and for us to have full freedom, why are so many of us still in bondage?

Good question.

I think the answer was also revealed in my vision…

We willingly go to back to those things. We want to take them back from Jesus (aka take them down from the cross.)

You see, Jesus can completely deliver us from something, yet we keep running back because it is comfortable. Because we have made a home for those things. Things like fear, anxiety, depression, bad health, etc.

I know this is controversial, I will probably get some backlash for speaking this truth, but I know that Jesus is anointing me with this message, so I will preach LOUD for all to hear.

YOU HAVE FREEDOM! YOU HAVE VICTORY! YOU HAVE COMPLETE DELIVERANCE! WALK IN IT.

As Christians, we can no longer have a victim mentality. Because we actually aren’t victims, at all. We are VICTORS.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Jesus’ death to be in vain. I will never forget the picture of Him in my dream…His suffering. His brokenness. All because of my sin. I will not let His death be in VAIN. Instead, I will take the victory He freely gave me and RUN WITH IT.

Cool story, I got baptized officially last weekend by my sister in a random little lake. As I held her hand walking out into the water, She told me, “As we were walking out, I saw this vision of you RUNNING OUT THE DOOR OF THE PRISON CELL. In your white dress.”

GUYS! Are you serious? He is so cool and so good! He is so willing to give you deliverance form your struggles. Are you willing? Are you willing to give it all to Him and trust that His death was enough??

I will end with a verse.

Luke 11: 24-26 reads, “When an unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, “I will return to my house from which I came. And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the state of that person is worse than the first.”

Guys, Jesus is SO willing to bring you freedom in your life. That’s literally WHO HE IS. But if after Jesus heals and delivers us, we merely “sweep” up the houses of our heart, and don’t do a complete and total heart renovation…like top to bottom sterilization, we are simply inviting those evil things to come back, stronger than before because those things are WELCOME there.

Yikes.

Ask Jesus to deliver you today, friend. But be prepared to do a serious remodeling in your heart. It is Jesus’ job to free us, but it is OUR responsibility to sanctify ourselves and create a place where those spirits are no longer welcome.

Freedom is FREE!! Take Hold of it today.

You are so loved,

Amanda Marie

 

style post: PoppyandDot

Okay okay. Let’s all be basic for a second and talk about how amazing it is that it’s almost FALL?!

I know I personally could not be more excited of fall weather, pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, red wine, and cuddly nights. I don’t mind being basic if it means loving all of these things.

I have a really fun style post for you today. I am collaborating with PoppyandDot to bring you this seriously AMAZE fall outfit.

They sent me this dress, and I nearly fell over and died when I got it in the mail. It’s perfect for the coming Fall days. The color and style are gorgeous.

I paired it with some red lips, some Freebirds, and a cute hat from H&M and it’s safe to say I will be flaunting this around well into the fall months…at least until it starts snowing here in CO.

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It’s safe to say I am all HEART EYES over here about this dress and this shopping destination.

They always have FREE SHIPPING which is amazing because who likes shipping?

Head on over to their instagram @poppyanddot and buy this amazing dress!! OR two dresses. OR three.

style post: shopmarquemodest

IT’S FRIDAY!

I don’t know about you, but I am so ready for the weekend. It has been such a busy and productive week for me, but I am super ready for some quality R&R.

I have another special style post for you all today! I hope you are enjoying all of these style posts. I am transitioning the blog to incorporate more style/beauty/lifestyle posts!

Today, I am featuring an AMAZING boutique owned by the beautiful Allie Shirley. She reached out to me a few weeks ago to collaborate and I honestly could not have been more excited. She owns an online boutique called MarqueModestApparel. This boutique aims to “rebrand modesty” and all of the items in it are modest and honoring to the Lord. Allie definitely hit the nail on the head with her collections because not only are they modest, but they are absolutely adorable. She truly gives a new meaning to the word modest! Her overall mission is to remind women that, “Jesus loves you, and you MATTER.”

Guys, I am not kidding you need to run, not walk to your computer and go buy some things from her shop. You will not be disappointed.

She sent me this shirt from her DIGNITY collection to wear and take some cute pictures in. The DIGNITY collection is a collection of tanks and tees to remind women of their worth and dignity in Christ. This shirt could not be any more perfect for me because I actually happen to LOVE the verse, “She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 I even have this verse tattooed on my side!

Here are some photos of me in this adorable and elegant tee.

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I’m totally obsessed with this tee and with her boutique. I even went and ordered an item from her new FALL COLLECTION because I simply could not resist.

You NEED this tee! It’s Friday, so you should treat yourself of course.

Here is the link to here shop:

marquemodestapparel.com

And, of course I have a discount code for all of you to use!

“SHEISDIGNITY” will get you 10 percent of your order if you buy a tee or tank from the DIGNITY collection.

That’s all I have for you today!

Love and blessings to you on this beautiful Friday,

Amanda Marie

style post: Walk In Love

Hello all my beautiful captivating friends!

I have a fun style post for you this evening, sponsored by Walk In Love Clothing Co.

This company seriously rocks, you guys.

I spoke with T.J, the founder of  WalkInLove and he wanted to send me a shirt to try out. Let me tell you, I was seriously impressed. The shirt they sent me is super soft, high quality, and you can tell that they spend so much time on their T-shirt designs.

Walk in Love’s primary goal is to create T-shirts with inspirational messages, namely, “a reminder to imitate God by loving others every chance we get-no strings attached.”

I. LOVE. THAT.

This is definitely a company I can get behind and I have every intention of frequenting their site to shop a lot more in the future.

Here are some shots in the T-shirt they sent me. It is a part of their “VICTORY” line that they just recently launched.

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This shirt makes me feel powerful. Like the kind of powerful where I know that if I stand firm in my faith, anything is possible.
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“Be on your guard, STAND FIRM in the faith; be courageous; be strong” 1 corinthians 16:13
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Shameless selfie. I have had so much VICTORY over shame in my life lately. This shirt from their VICTORY line holds so much meaning in my life.

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VICTORY OVER SHAME.

VICTORY OVER FEAR.

VICTORY OVER ANXIETY.

VICTORY OVER DEPRESSION.

VICTORY OVER SIN.

So much victory. So much Jesus.

If you want to order this shirt or any of their amazing apparel, I have a DISCOUNT CODE for you, “sheiscaptivating” will get you 15 percent off your entire order.

shopwalkinlove.com

Thanks so much for checking this post out! You are infinitely loved and entirely VICTORIOUS through Christ.

Know it, flaunt it.

xoxo,

Amanda Marie

style post: PinkSlateBoutique

Happy Saturday everyone!!

I have a super cute boutique to share with you today called “PinkSlateBoutique”

Susan (the owner) reached out to me and was kind enough to send me several pieces from her collection to wear and LOVE and share with all of you.

I absolutely love all of the clothing that this boutique has to offer. I could seriously spend all of my money here, but I was blessed enough to receive these clothes! I cannot WAIT to continue to shop here in the future.

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This romper is EVERYTHING. I have already worn it multiple times and I think it is perfect. The fit is great and it is perfect for date night 🙂 The necklace is also from PinkSlate and I will link both of them below for you to purchase:

http://www.pinkslateboutique.com/always-right-romper-blue/

http://www.pinkslateboutique.com/strike-gold-necklace/

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Next she sent me these adorable shorts! These are exactly my style. I have been wearing shorts like these all summer because they are so comfortable with just the right element of cute and the lace makes them sexy, yet tasteful. I will link them below:

http://www.pinkslateboutique.com/blow-my-mind-cream/

She also sent me this white shirt:

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I love simple white shirts like this. You can truly never go wrong when you pair this with some jeans!

I paired it with this PERFECT “don’t cross me” bralette also from PinkSlate and this was the result:

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WALLLAHHHH 🙂 The perfect Saturday combination. Once again, laid back but still cute and sexy all while being modest and tasteful.

Here are the links for the white shirt and the bralette:

http://www.pinkslateboutique.com/dont-cross-me-white/

http://www.pinkslateboutique.com/i-choose-you-tee-white/

I hope you will check out this amazing boutique and maybe buy some of the same items! We can be #twinsies.

I love you all and I hope you are having a WONDERFUL saturday 🙂

xoxo

Amanda Marie

style post: LulaRoe by Tori

Good afternoon all my Captivating ladies!!

I have recently been wanting to start posting more style and fashion posts on this blog because I am extremely passionate about style and dressing to honor the Lord!

I believe style and Jesus do NOT have to be separate entities 🙂

A few weeks ago, a woman named Tori reached out to me from Lula Roe. I had never heard of this brand before to be honest, but she offered to send me a few pieces from their collection so I decided to give it a shot!

Overall, I LOVE the pieces she sent me. LulaRoe is a brand that sells comfortable pieces of clothing that are also so cute! You can also be a “consultant” and sell the brand on your own which is what Tori does. She was so sweet and generous to send me these items from their collection!

The first item she sent is this adorable plain gray maxi skirt. I have honestly been on the lookout for a skirt like this for a while. Since I got it in the mail about two weeks ago, I have worn it 4-5 times! It is so comfortable and cute as well! I paired it with a black tank top from Francescas and waaaalaaa! This cute and easy outfit.

 

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How I feel in this new skirt 🙂
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SOOO flowy!

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Next, Tori sent me some black leggings which I totally needed with fall/winter quickly approaching. I basically live in leggings and Tori described them as “buttery” soft so I was ALL IN. They definitely did not disappoint! So comfy. I don’t have a picture of me wearing them, but I did take this photo:

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I will for sure be wearing these EVERY day in the fall and winter. You can win a pair of these in the giveaway!!

The last thing she sent me is this adorable “Irma” top:

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Once again, this is obvi not me in the pic (picture from pinterest) but this is an example of someone wearing the striped Irma top she sent me.

It’s so cute and so comfy!! Another staple I cannot wait to wear all the time. It is a high-low top (so perfect to pair with the leggings)

If you are interested in the giveaway, please go and follow Tori on instagram (@lularoe.tori) and then comment on MY photo about the giveaway and tag three people who may also be interested. You will then be entered to win a pair of LulaRoe Leggings and an Irma top to go with it!

Thanks for checking out this post and happy giveaway!!

 

Love,

Amanda Marie