a captivating woman stays desperate for Jesus

I have to be honest with you, these days I find myself longing for those first few months as a new believer. Those sweet moments with Jesus where everything was new and He was truly my everything because I needed to rely on Him for my very life. I thought today, I would take a moment and reflect on my testimony and all that Jesus did for me and continues to do. He truly brought me out of a pit of destruction and made me brand new. The thing is, today I realized there is no reason to be nostalgic for those newborn days as a “baby” Christian. He is MAKING me new each and every day, yes even now. I actually have NOTHING figured out at all. I am just as desperate for Him today as I was the day He found me and rescued me. I am so grateful for all He has done.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

Jesus never stops doing new things. He never stops making me new. He never stops making you new, bringing beauty from ashes.

An excerpt from my testimony:

“I remember it like it was yesterday. The sting of yet another heartbreak. The feeling of letting my soul be crushed and stomped on by a man who never deserved to hold it in the first place. I remember laying in bed crippled by the overwhelming feeling of sadness and worrying for my well-being. I had never before experienced what depression felt like. I had always been resilient and had been able to bounce back from whatever turmoil came my way.
This time was different. I physically could not get out of bed for days on end. My best friends and roommates would check on me and leave me notes and candy. I don’t think they even understood the severity of the situation.
But I do remember the moment when my best friend Maggie invited me to the college ministry night at CU Boulder called The Annex. I remember being late to it because I was babysitting late and I remember that I almost didn’t go.
Something in me took over and I literally felt like someone else was driving my car to the church. I didn’t want to go at all. I was nervous. I hadn’t stepped foot in a church for over two years after leaving my Catholic home and fleeing from anything church or God-related out of spite and anger.
Here I was.
I remember looking around in worship and seeing other students around with their hands raised in praise. I was so confused. What is this place? What is this feeling? Is this what it is really supposed to be like?
And I remember that the song “Oceans” by Hillsong came on and I had never heard anything so beautiful in my life.
The Lord spoke to me that night, whether I wanted to hear it or not. He spoke to me and told me that He was the one I had been searching for all along. “All those times you gave your heart away in hopes that a man would love you and wouldn’t leave you… the endless searching for your worth…the times you gave your heart, soul, and body away in a desperate attempt to be loved and accepted…Ive been here all along…waiting for the moment you would let me come and be all of those things for you.”
I was wrecked that night. Wrecked by Perfect Love Himself. I have never been the same.
The Lord taught me something that night that I think He longs for every woman to know deep into her bones.
He alone is Satisfaction and Fulfillment. He is Love. He is everything our soul longs for all in one Perfect Man who is God Himself.
Jesus.
I know no sweeter name. I know no greater love. His love is all I will ever need, all I ever long for.
In my darkest hour, He pulled me from me pit of self-made destruction and healed every square inch of my broken and very scarred heart. He replaced it with a brand new heart that only beats for Him and His glory.
He wants to do this for each and every woman. Each and every human being. He wants to do this for anyone who is reading this who doesn’t know this sweet, sweet man Jesus. He died for this very reason.
I promise that letting Him be Love in your life will be the single best decision you will ever make in your life.
Let go and let His love wreck your life, your plans, and your control. Let go. Let go.”

 

Sister, a captivating woman knows she is NOTHING without her Savior. She knows that apart from Him she can bear no fruit. She knows that if she relies on herself, another person, or an idol as much or more than she relies on the person of Jesus, she will come up dry every time. Gasping for air. Desperately thirsty. But if she abides in the vine. If she stays the course, she will NEVER grow weary of thirst. Stay desperate for Jesus today.

“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14

In Christ,

Amanda Marie

a captivating woman is powerful

When did being a woman start to mean faking weakness?

When did we start undermining our power in an effort to seem more feminine?

Or worse, when did the pendulum swing way too far the other way in an effort to gain back our power to the point where we are out for vengeance against men and society? Out for control? Out to “make it to the top?”

You see, I don’t think either of these are God’s intention for women. I know He certainly did not create us to be weak. I also know He did not create us to be fighting for control within society, the workplace, or even the home.

The bible talks about this concept of “meekness” which by definition means, “power under control.”

WOW.

Now that is a much different concept than being weak. And I truly believe that this is the will of God for the life of a captivating woman.

Going back to the fact that we are indeed, without a question, made in the image of the one true God…we should look at His character and realize that He is POWERFUL.

I heard a quote once that says, “God is in charge, but He is NOT in control.”

At the time, that completely blew up my theology. I always heard and always said to others, “God is in control.” But the thing is, if He was in control of our lives, He would not have given us free will. We would be like little minions running around the planet doing exactly what God told us to at the exact right time. But one look at the world we live in today, and it quickly becomes apparent that people really do have choices. Each individual has the CHOICE to love God and submit to His CHARGE in our lives, or we have the choice to go out and make out own decisions and choose against His CHARGE.

But that is the thing, we have the CHOICE.

I don’t know about you, but this concept makes me want to fall to my knees in love and complete awe of my Creator. I cannot believe that God, in His perfect goodness, created us in His IMAGE and then literally handed over the keys to us and said, “Okay now you drive.”

So, just to make sure you are following me right now. Two things: We are in control of our lives and our decisions, and we have the very POWER of God dwelling inside of us.

Now, have you ever heard the quote, “With great POWER, comes great responsibility?” I think it is from Spider Man or something, but that is beside the point.

God gave us both FREE WILL and POWER. But with that, comes RESPONSIBILITY and I think this is the main message God is trying to get out to His people right now. He is NOT responsible for the world’s bad decisions. He is NOT responsible for the climate changing and natural disasters. He is NOT responsible for cancer and for people getting sick due some of the foods that we eat and the drinks that we drink. He gave us every GOOD and PERFECT thing we could ever need to live healthy and full lives, it’s our BAD CHOICES that have led us to the way the world is now.

God is good and holy and perfect and GOOD!!!

Sister, please hear this. If ANYTHING bad or evil or sick or demented has happened in your life, it WAS NOT God who authored it. He certainly did not DESIRE it for your life. It was simply the result of a broken human being making a broken CHOICE for evil. Maybe it was a result of your choice, but sometimes the bad things that happen to us are the result of another person’s choice for evil and there is nothing we can do about it….

Or can we?

When something bad happens in our life, we usually default to looking up at the sky and shaking our fists and yelling, “WHY GOD DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN? WHY DO YOU WANT BAD THINGS FOR ME? WHY DO BAD THINGS KEEP HAPPENING?”

And God, in His graciousness and perfect gentleness is whispering, “My Child, I created you to be a perfect image of ME. I created you for good and perfect things. But I also gave you and everyone else the CHOICE to choose good or evil. I’m so sorry these things have happened to you. My heart breaks with each lost child making evil choices. But please do not believe that I WANTED these things for you life. I am a good Father.”

Let me ask you this.

Does a good earthly father force you to love him? Does he cage you in the house and FORCE you to make good decisions? I know my father did an amazing job of TEACHING me the right way to go, but then SENDING me out into the broken world and letting me make my own DECISIONS. Did I mess up? Absolutely. But did I learn the concept of responsibility for my choices? OH YES. And that is what a GOOD father does.

Listen, friend. We can control the decisions we make. Sometimes, WE make really poor decisions and therefore, we step outside of God’s perfect covering of protection for our lives and sometimes evil things happen. And sometimes, OTHER people make really bad decisions and they HURT us and leave us wounded and broken. It may feel like we are helpless to our circumstances when others break our hearts and shatter our lives but the thing is…WE ARE POWERFUL.

Just like we can choose to love God and choose to DO GOOD, we also have the CHOICE of what to do when we are wounded by another person’s evil choice. We can choose to submit to God’s truth even when our circumstances are the EXACT OPPOSITE. When we are broken by another person, we may feel completely shattered and useless and like nothing is ever going to go right again in our lives, or we can CHOOSE to believe, “I am redeemed and made whole in the blood of Jesus Christ who died for my decisions, and for all of my brothers and sister’s BAD decisions.”

We can choose to be a victim to our circumstances, whether that be sickness, brokenness, abuse, infertility…

OR we can choose to embrace the POWER of God in us, The STRENGTH of God in us and believe that God did not intend these things for our lives. We have the POWER to be content in all circumstances knowing that God is working all things for our good.

Sometimes, bad things happen to us that are out of our control. I am so sorry your heart has been broken. I am so sorry that you are sick. I am SO sorry that our world is broken and sinful and so far from God’s truest intention for us. But I also know that God has given all of us GREAT power and GREAT responsibility. This may not be a very popular truth, we want to believe that God is in complete control and therefore we don’t have to take responsibility for the state of our home, our relationships, our families, or our heart…

But the second that God created us with free will, He knowingly handed the keys to His children fully realizing that we would mess it all up. But He also knew the only way we could truly love Him is if we could CHOOSE to love Him. So out of His perfect love for us, He gave us a CHOICE. Sadly, that choice has been abused over and over and over again.

But there is good news in all of this. We serve such a gracious and GOOD God who loves us SO much that He gives us the keys to our “car” of life knowing that we are going to crash it over and over and over again. But we serve A JESUS who will come and rescue us from the fiery mess that we CREATE, even if the crash was entirely our fault.

I’m weeping real tears as I think on this Jesus.

He is so good.

YOU ARE GOOD AND POWERFUL AND CAPTIVATING because you are HIS IMAGE.

You are actually God’s good and perfect IMAGE.

So, if you learn one thing from this post today, PLEASE hear this.

You are CAPTIVATING. You are POWERFUL. You have the choice to not let your current circumstances shake you. You have the CHOICE to believe the truth over all the lies.

Walk in that POWER today, sister.

You are entirely loved.

In Christ,

Amanda Marie

a captivating woman knows she is beautiful

Easier said than done isn’t it?

To just know without a doubt in your mind that you are beautiful? Without flaw? Perfectly created in the flawless image of the Creator?

Those things are most definitely true, but if we are honest with ourselves, we struggle to believe them with each passing moment of each and every day.

I will be honest with all of you.

Yesterday, I was confidently living in my own skin and bee-bopping around all day basking in God’s creation that was me. I was pointing out all of the things I love about myself and praising the Lord for them. Which by the way, I totally suggest you try that out. As women, we are taught to stay silent about what we love about our outer appearance and instead just point out all the things we hate. I think it stems from a poor attempt to be “a humble christian woman” but instead, it turns into self deprecation and that is not honoring to the Lord.

Anyways, I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror only to find to my horror….a big old zit on my chin. I gasped and began to freak out slightly. Immediately, I reached for the concealed and tried to cover it up to no avail. I left the bathroom feeling so discouraged and insecure. It is amazing how quickly our confidence can stolen from us just from one small imperfection.

It’s almost as if society has brain washed us to think that anything less than utter perfection…perfectly tanned, smooth, and blemish-free skin is just unacceptable.

It doesn’t help that social media is the primary way we spend our time and communicate now. As soon as I left the bathroom I hopped on my phone and started browsing Instagram only to find picture after picture of absolutely stunning, but most definitely air-brushed women on my feed when I pressed the “EXPLORE” button on my app. By the way, don’t ever press that button and scroll through those pictures when you aren’t feeling good about yourself. Just don’t.

I stayed in this place of self deprecation and wallowing over the dreaded red mark on my chin for about 30 minutes. Until something clicked. I looked outside and realized it was an absolutely perfectly amazingly beautiful day. I heard the birds chirping on the porch. I poured myself some coffee and took a deep breath.

“You are even more beautiful….”

AHHH, the voice of my Shepard breaks through the all of the lies and rescues me once again.

You see, we have no problem at all looking at nature and God’s creation and calling it good, perfect, and beautiful. We look at the mountains and call them “stunning.” We look at the way the leaves of the trees lightly move with the breeze and call them “majestic.” We look at the roses and the lilies and the daisies and we put them in pretty vases on display for the world to see and we call them “good.”

Why then, do we have such a hard time calling God’s BEST creation (us) good, perfect, holy, flawless, majestic?

I’m sure we all have heard the creation story many times before, but there is one part of it that I think we often skip over. God created all of the animals and the plants and the water and the sky and He called them “good.” Some translations say He was “pleased.” But then He creates human beings- male and females and He calls them “very good” or it says He was “very pleased.”

Sister, you are God’s greatest creation. He is VERY pleased with you. God does not make any mistakes. When we look at ourselves and speak anything negative over our bodies…we are outright saying, “God you are wrong. This is NOT good.”

I just imagine God’s heart breaking a little every time we say bad thing about ourselves. I imagine tears filling His eyes and Him just looking at us saying, “I spent so much time on you. I wove you together in your mother’s womb. You are intentionally made in MY IMAGE.”

That will give you a heart-check.

Once again, I am never here to condemn you, because I am just as guilty. Maybe for you, it isn’t zits that make you feel insecure. Maybe for you, its your weight, or your frizzy hair, or maybe its those stretch marks from sacrificing your body for the good of a little baby. Whatever it is today, I just know that God is calling us to live better. He is calling us to live higher.

God is calling us to live as captivating women who know we are beautiful and good simply because God calls us “very good.” We do not have to strive or improve ourselves anymore. He looks at you in this very moment and calls you good and you will always be good and you can never do anything to change that. So you gained ten pounds recently? God looks at you and calls you beautiful. You have a breakout today? Still beautiful.

Rest in this truth today.

Look at yourself in the mirror and begin to praise the Lord for all He has created. Tell Him He did a good job. Tell Him He’s the best artist and that His creation is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

Because He is, and you are.

Be captivating. Today and everyday.

In Christ,

Amanda Marie

a captivating woman does not settle

Hello friend,

I am so glad you are here today. I am so thankful and grateful that the Father led you to this very moment. I am so happy that He always knows the exact words we need to hear at the exact right time. 

I am really excited for this new series.

I truly believe this is God-breathed and anointed for such a time as this. My passion and deepest desire is for women all around the world to know Christ and in turn, to know true freedom. I believe He wants us all to live captivating lives. He came to give us abundance and I know with every fiber of my being that for women, that means to live captivating. 

Throughout this series, I will focus on a new aspect of what I believe it means to be a captivating woman with each post. Each and every post will be prayed over and I promise my heart and soul goes fully into these typed words. I am not in this for selfish ambition or gain, I do this because Jesus has been so sweet to me and I long so badly for each of you to experience this freedom.

So for today, I believe the Lord wants you all to know that a captivating woman does not settle. 

We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. Compromised our values for that cute guy who doesn’t love Jesus, but he’s like really cute right?

We’ve all made mistakes with our choices and maybe we even have a long list of regrets from the times that we didn’t live like we were daughters of the King and compromised our worth for that one night…that one kiss…that one date…

I’ve experienced so much unnecessary heartbreak due to the fact that oftentimes, I forgot how much I was valued. I forgot that I was bought with a HUGE price. I forgot how much I was loved and known and created perfectly by the Father. I forgot my worth and I SETTLED and my heart got broken.

Over and over and over again.

I know you’ve been there too friend. And it hurts my heart so much to know that some of you may even be there right now, in this very moment.

Broken, shattered, back to square one. 

Maybe you’re the girl who gives and gives and never receives. Maybe you keep praying and hoping that the one guy you want more than anything in the world will change, if you just give him one last chance…

But the problem is, you’ve already given him another chance. And before that, he had three other chances. 

Sweet friend, hear me out. I am not here to condemn or judge because I promise you, I’VE BEEN THERE. But by the grace of God, I have finally found my worth and therefore my standards. I will no longer settle, and I don’t want you to either.

You see, I believe each and every woman is an absolute princess. I know that sounds so cheesy but seriously, we need to all be wearing flower crowns 24/7 because that is exactly how our Heavenly Father sees us. I believe God has a soft spot for His little girls. I believe He has a Father’s protective heart. I believe He wants to FIERCELY AND JEALOUSLY guard our hearts from all harm.

I believe He wants the best for His princesses.

He won’t allow anything less.

Anytime I compromised my values or settled for a guy who was WAY less than God’s best for me, and ended up curled up in a fetal position on the bathroom floor crying tears of utter heartbreak, I imagined God picking me up and lifting my chin to look into His loving eyes. I imagined Him with tears in His eyes as well and speaking to me tenderly, yet sternly, “My beautiful daughter, why do you give your precious heart away so easily? Why can you not see that you are worth so much more than rubies? Why do you allow those guys to use you, mind, body, and soul for their own selfish pleasure? Can’t you see? I created you in MY IMAGE. You are ROYAL. You are perfect. You are flawless. You are so loved. Pick your head up, dear one. Walk like a daughter of the KING. Walk in your worth, and do not settle for anything less, my captivating one.” 

He’s speaking that over you today as well.

Listen, I know it’s difficult to wait. I know it is so beyond tempting to settle when all of your friends have boyfriends or finances or husbands and you are wondering when your time will come…

I know it’s beyond wretched to think of breaking up with the guy you are currently with because you know deep down he is not God’s best for you.

I know. I know because I’ve been there. 

But I also know the SWEET sweet blessing that is just around the corner for you if you do decide to finally believe in your worth.

My heart is beating faster now just as I write this.

I know that when you decide to wait upon the Lord. For His timing, for His best… you will NOT be disappointed. He will put a man in your life who will lead you closer to Him and will protect your heart furiously just like Christ does. 

He will lead you to a man who will not make you compromise your values, but will instead REJOICE in your purity and fight for it with you.

He will lead you to a man who will love you like Christ loves the church, and no, he won’t be perfect at it but he will certainly do his best every day.

You may have to wait. Maybe you’ll wait a day, or a month, a year, or maybe even several years.

But I PROMISE you, no matter how long it takes it will be worth it. It will be so worth the heartbreak spared.

Dear captivating woman,

you are WORTHY. you are VALUED. you do not need to SETTLE.

Be captivating, today and every day.

In Christ,

Amanda Marie

I will never leave you.

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Last night, I experienced an incredible healing in my heart.

I have debated even writing about this because I am not sure my oh-so-human heart could do this experience justice, but I have an inkling that this could resonate with some of you, and therefore, my feeble attempts will be most certainly be magnified by God’s glory on the situation.

The Lord has recently given me some insight into how I can be certain that I have entered into His presence during worship. I don’t know about you, but I have always struggled with worship because of the fear of man. I am often distracted by how others are worshipping around me or I feel as though I need to act a certain way to fit in with the crowd, preventing me from fully worshipping for the Lord. However, over the past few months, the Lord has sweetly given my skeptical heart a “sure sign” that I am in His presence and worshipping only for Him.

I feel light.

Not like the visible kind of light, but I actually feel lightweight. I feel like I am on a cloud. My hands and arms feel free. My feet feel light and no longer heavy from the burdens of the day. My heart and my chest are released from all tension and burdens and worry. I feel like all of the chains that bind me to the daily grind, to the exhaustion and monotony of life are broken. And best of all, I feel absolutely NO PAIN.

We all have little aches and pains here and there that remind us that we are human and that our flesh may certainly fail. I have always experienced more physical pain than I think is normal. The best way I can describe it to people is that I feel like my nervous system is “overactive” and therefore, I will feel physical pain all day everyday. I have grown to get used to it, I suppose because most of the time I don’t notice it anymore. However, I do notice it when I am in a true state of worship, basking in the tangible presence of Jesus because my pain is gone. Completely gone. There is perfect peace, perfect joy, perfect health, and perfect wholeness. I feel as if I could quite literally float away on a cloud. Crazy I know, but real as it ever was.

Isn’t that true about our lives though? We go through life picking up little bits of pain throughout the days. Maybe physical pain from illness or injury. Maybe emotional pain from words that stabbed too deeply into the depths of our hearts and gradually took root. Maybe spiritual pain from an unanswered prayer or unwelcome doubts. But we get SO USED to the pain that we don’t even realize we are in chains. We don’t even realize that we are in slavery. It isn’t until we experience true freedom that we ever really realize  how “unfree” we really were.

I can tell you with the utmost honesty that I have never felt more freedom than I do today, this morning, after my encounter with Jesus last night.

I truly believe I have been healed from my past hurts. Jesus did a major open heart surgery on me last night and gave me a brand new heart…free of scars. And I can feel my heart beating differently now. The blood flowing more freely. I am operating in a new sense of wonder and excitement for life I have never experience before. The best part is? Jesus wants this for all of you too.

You see, last night at church we were all posed a challenging question. What are you holding back from the Lord? Have you really given Him ALL of you? Or just 95 percent of you?

There is a story in Mark Chapter 10 known as the “Rich Young Ruler.”

This man comes to Jesus and FALLS on his knees before Him. He pleads with Jesus, verse 17 “Good Teacher, What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

And Jesus responds that the young ruler must keep the commandments. The Young Ruler replies that He has kept all of the commandments, “since his youth.” And Jesus lovingly replies, verse 21 “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

You know what is sad, my friends? This is the only encounter of an individual who falls before Jesus in the bible, desiring what Jesus has to offer, ENCOUNTERING Jesus, that walks away UNCHANGED.

The Rich Young Ruler decides in that moment that he cannot give Jesus ALL HE HAS. He decides the price it too high, and he simply won’t pay.

You see, we all are like this man in some way. We all have something we are holding back from the Lord. In an effort to control our lives, we just cannot seem to give Jesus ALL of us.

Last night, after this message, Jesus lovingly and intimately revealed to me a lie I had been believing for far too long. He revealed to me that I had been HOLDING on to my past hurts, simply refusing to let Him do a healing work in me. The thing is, I had NO idea I was struggling with this. But the amazing thing is that Jesus-He knows our the depths of our hearts more than we even know ourselves.

So there I was in worship, when the sentence, “People always leave” came into my head. I immediately knew it was the Lord and I began to cry tears of pure joy because in that very same moment of conviction, I actually could physically feel the healing going on in my heart. Jesus physically took my broken and scarred heart from years of people up and walking out of my life and replaced it with a brand new heart all the while whispering, “I will have never and will never leave you, my dear one.”

Thats the Jesus we serve people.

He reaches in to the DEPTHS of our heart. The areas we have blocked off completely. The areas where the blood flow of life has been completely restricted. The areas we don’t even realize are sick and hurting and dying. And with His FURIOUS and warrior love for us, He removes the debris and tears through the scars all the while yelling, “NO LONGER. ENOUGH. NO MORE CHAINS. I DIED SO THIS WOULDN’T BE YOUR LIFE.”

Sweet, sweet Jesus.

Friends, He did this for me last night. He physically healed my heart and as a direct result, I am dancing for Him this morning. I am free and wild and I want this for you too.

I challenge you to ask Jesus to come into the depths today and rip out the dead parts of your heart and replace them with brand new flesh.

He is faithful.

Your true name is FREEDOM, dear sister.

Let Him show you. Let Him rename you.

In Christ,

Amanda Marie

 

”But Lord, I’m Not Ready”

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How many times have I said this phrase. How many times have I whispered it in the depth of my heart or exclaimed it anxiously to a friend over coffee…”I’m not ready.”
There always seems to be something coming up in my life that I am not “ready” for. I was not “ready” to graduate college one year ago. I was terrified actually. I was so scared of the unknown, and if you would have asked me one year ago if I wanted to just stay in college and do it all over again, I would have answered “yes” without even a second guess.
I wasn’t “ready” to move back home. I wanted to stay forever in the little red brick house on fifteenth street with all of my best friends under one roof. I wasn’t ready for the loneliness. I wasn’t ready for the solitude. I just. wasn’t. ready.
I wasn’t “ready” to start applying to nursing schools. I wasn’t “ready” to start a new really difficult job, and I certainly wasn’t “ready” to go back to school for nursing school prerequisites. I wasn’t “ready” to get my Certified Nursing Assistant Licensure. I wanted more time off from school. I didn’t necessarily want to stay up all night working twelve hour shifts at my new job. I wanted more time. I wasn’t ready.
And I certainly told the Lord I wasn’t ready so many times. I would tell myself that maybe i just needed to pray about it a little longer. But how many times did “praying about it” actually mean delaying what I already knew God was calling me to.
You see, as twenty-something young women, there are so many things we don’t feel “ready” for.
We don’t feel ready to live alone and finally be independent from our parents.
We don’t feel ready to have our first real job.
We don’t feel ready to get married, and we certainly don’t feel ready to have kids.
And maybe some of those things are true.
However, if there is one thing I have undoubtedly learned during this season of my life is that “ready” is not a real place. It is a figment of our imaginations. It is that magical destination that we all somehow think we will get to one day, but we can’t seem to ever get there.
We tell ourselves we will be ready when we have more money.
Or maybe, we will be ready when we lose twenty pounds.
Maybe if we just get “our act together” we will be ready to really start living.
But then we earn the money, we lose the weight, we get all of our ducks in a row, and we still.aren’t.ready.
You know what I think?
I think we, as women of God, have big fat target on our backs that the enemy wants to attack and conquer. I think one of his biggest ploys to keep us from the destiny God has for us, is by whispering in our ears, “Oh, you certainly aren’t ready for that.”
And friend, I believed this lie for SO long.
Lately, I have been feeling so called by the Lord to expand SHE IS CAPTIVATING and really start pursuing it with my entire heart. To start praying and believing for and contending for God to move BIG in people’s lives. I wanted it to be a place where women could come and know their worth. A place where they could come and breathe deep and know they weren’t alone.
But a few months ago, when the Lord began to expand and bless and grow SHE IS CAPTIVATING, I had a complete melt down.
I was paralyzed.
I remember one night I was on the phone with my boyfriend and I said, “ I just feel so inadequate.”
You see, the enemy had been placing nasty lies in my head that I was a fake. He was making me question my intentions. He was telling me that I would never amount to anything and that SHE IS CAPTIVATING would be “just another Christian blog.”
“YOU AREN’T READY FOR THIS”
He instilled a fear in my heart that stopped me dead in my tracks. It began to take over my thoughts.
As a result, I distanced myself from the Lord, and al of my relationships suffered because of it. I suffered in silence for about two months. In those two months, I didn’t post a single blog…
Looking back on that time, it makes me angry. Isn’t that just like the enemy? To paralyze us with fear of our own inadequacies so that the Lord’s plan for our lives can never fully be realized?
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I actually realized it had been the enemy all along. It was through a conversation I had with my sister and two dear friends, Sarah and Lauren that I realized he had succeeded in deceiving me. The author of lies and King of Deceit had succeeded in making me believe I was not ready or adequate enough to live out the calling of the Lord on my life.
And over the next few weeks the Lord sweetly and gently broke those chains. He revealed to me that if I decided to live a life following Him, I will NEVER “feel” ready for anything He calls me to. I was going to have to trust Him and ABIDE in Him in order for anything to fully happen in my life.
On my own, I am nothing.
With Him, I am EVERYTHING.
He has ALREADY given me everything I could ever need because I have the Holy Spirit living inside of me.
I have all the POWER. I have all the STRENGTH. I have all the wisdom and giftings freely accessible to me at any time through the Spirit. I can call on Him in my time of need and greatest inadequacies and be totally and completely provided for.
Ephesians 1:3 reads, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”
Key words: HAS BLESSED US.
That means He has already done it. We ALREADY have every blessing in the Spirit that we could ever want.
And I wonder how much of the “reservoir” or giftings goes untapped in so many of our lives?
You see, captivating ladies, The Lord never calls the qualified. He QUALIFIES the called. If the Lord is calling you to something right now in your life, whether it be a new relationship, marriage, a new job, or a scary big, God-sized dream, do me a favor and don’t let the enemy steal from it.
Stand tall and mighty like the daughter of the KING you are and tap into the endless resources He has already provided you with.
ABIDE in HIM, grow your ROOTS deep in Him, and you will never be inadequate again.
2 Corinthians 12:9 reads, “ “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Yes, I am weak. Yes, alone I may be inadequate.
But with Him, I am EVERYTHING strength, I am EVERYTHING beauty, I am SUFFICIENT AND ENOUGH.
You are too, sweet sister.
Believe it. Live it.

He doesn’t hide himself.

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This past weekend I was given the incredible blessing to attend a conference at Red Rocks Church in Denver, Colorado. I have been blessed to attend this church for about a year and a half and have watched God move mountains in people’s lives each and every day through it. I have been especially blessed to attend the Young Adults Ministry every Thursday evening as well, and let me tell you, God’s fire is so present in that place. You simply cannot walk into the house without tangibly feeling the presence of the Spirit. It is full and ALIVE with 20 something’s excited and on fire for the Lord. There truly is nothing better.

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a love worth waiting for.

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I remember it distinctly. Vividly.

The pain after yet another heartbreak. The sting of rejection. The kind of tears where you can’t help but to ball up in your bed and silently scream because the pain is just too much to bear. The pain is just too real.

And I remember crying out to the Lord, literally crying out and asking over and over again, “Why, why?” 

I remember the days and weeks following, spending more time praying than I did breathing. It felt like a day accomplished just to make it through a few hours without crying in the bathroom at work.

You know, dear friend...we’ve all been there.

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contending for the promise.

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It’s that time of year again. The time for resolutions and vows to change. The time for everyone’s “to do” list to get a little longer and our gyms to get a little bit more crowded. The time for the “in with the new and out with the old” mentality.

New Year, new me sound familiar to anyone?

I am by no means bashing New Year’s resolutions. I truly believe each new year is a perfect time to make healthy changes in our lives. It can really be the “blank slate” we need to finally push us over the edge towards changing our lives for the better.

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Where is Your God Now?

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It is no secret that our world today is consumed with evil.

Just turn on the news for more than two minutes and you will see headlines that scream brokenness, sadness, despair, hopelessness.

In a time when there are more mass shootings, acts of terror, and tragedies than ever before, it may appear as if evil is winning.

And it is no wonder why people always ask Christians during these times the age old question, “Where is your God now?” 

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