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

style post: solid light co

Happy Friday my loves!

I’ve had the most amazing morning so far. I had an unexpected day off from work, which has honestly been the biggest blessing. This week was busy and hard at work. I just love how Jesus knows exactly what we need when we need it… like a day of rest. He’s amazing!

I wanted to share with you about an amazing new Christian clothing brand called Solid Light Co. They are based out of Columbus, Ohio and their mission is to “fill the void between fashion and religion.”

I communicated quite extensively with them and they always treated me with kindness and respect! I truly believe they are going to be extremely successful in their future endeavors.

They sent me a few pieces from their collection and I would love to show you what they sent me!

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“Faith can move mountains” Sweatshirt

I LOVE this so much. The material is so comfy and I can’t wait to sport this all around. It sends such a powerful messages and reminds me of the scripture Matthew 17:20, “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

It will be such a special reminder to me, something that I need to always keep in mind.

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“Do all things with kindness” white tee

This is also such a cute piece! I love the florals, it is so feminine! I will definitely be wearing this with some cute black skinny jeans and sandals!

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“I love Jesus, coffee & naps” white tank

I mean, need I say more? This tank describes me perfectly and I couldn’t love it more.

I truly believe that Christian brands like this one are going to change the world. I cannot tell you the amount of times that I have been given “ministry opps” while wearing Christian clothing.  It sends such a cool message to the lost people of the world because they see the pride we have in sporting our Jesus attire and it also shows that Christians can be fashionable and cool too 😉

 

PS: if you want to order anything from Solid Light Co, you can use the code: “CAPT15%” between 8-17-16 and 9-17-16 for 15% off your order!

YAY! I hope you all enjoyed this post, I am going to be implanting a lot more style and life posts on the blog!

xoxo,

Amanda Marie

less of me, more of Him

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If you have been following my latest instagram posts, you know that I have been touching on the subject of feeling empty and burnt out lately. I have been feeling quite uninspired the past few weeks, and yesterday the Lord revealed to me why this is. He spoke to me while I was aimlessly scrolling through instagram, “Why do you spend so much time filling up on the world, and nearly no time filling up on THE WORD?”

Stopped me in my tracks.

Okay, God. You totally win on this one. I had nothing to contest. I was completely an utterly convicted.

I think we all can be guilty of this sometimes. It is so easy to spend hours upon hours of our time on social media. Checking Instagram, checking snapchat, checking Facebook…and then doing it all over again.

I started to realize that the reason I was feeling so worn out, uninspired, self conscious, etc. was because I wasn’t allowing God to break through the noise of the world.

You see, the thing about our Heavenly Father is that He so LONGS for relationship with us, but He never forces Himself upon us. He just simply sits and waits patiently for us to come meet Him at that sacred halfway point.

I don’t want to be a woman who is so focused on pleasing the world that I forget to please my Father. I want Him to be proud of me far more than I want the world to admire me. I want to be so wrapped up in Him, that the temporary pleasures of this world seem completely and utterly unappetizing.

So yesterday, I decided to sit down and brainstorm some ways that I can make some very intentional changes in my life in order to redirect my priorities and refocus my eyes on His.

I think that there tends to be a spiral effect that happens in our lives when we begin to take our eyes off of His. We begin to treat others poorly, we lack patience, and anger comes far too easily. We feel tired and empty so we start desperately clawing at anything or anyone to fill us up. We start to treat our bodies poorly and eat foods that aren’t honoring to God. We become lazy, begin to do our work halfway…not giving our best effort. We live life simply going through the motions until one day, we wake up and wonder how the heck we got to this point.

That paragraph above pretty much sums up the past month of my life.

But the amazing thing about our walk with Jesus is that we get endless “do overs.” He never runs out of grace. He never says, “enough is enough.” He doesn’t give up or walk away or lose His patience. And I am so eternally grateful for that truth.

I am starting over again. I’m sure some of you can relate to this cycle of do overs. I don’t want to keep living a life of starting and stopping. I want to start today and continue to grow in faith and in passion for my Jesus. I don’t want to grow apathetic again. I want to wake up each and every day, inspired, energetic, and filled with purpose.

Will you join me?

I have set specific goals for myself in order to implement these new changes intentionally:

1.) I downloaded the “First 5” app from Proverbs 31 Ministry. Its an app that wakes you up to a very calming alarm in the morning and prompts you to spend your first 5 minutes filling up on scripture and truth instead of immediately checking your phone for texts, instagram, etc. This morning was the first morning I used it, and man did it make a HUGE difference. I found myself walking with a pep in my step this morning instead of complaining and dragging my feet to work. DO IT. DOWNLOAD IT NOW 🙂

2.) Spend 30 minutes in the evening reading scripture/ faith based books/journaling/writing blog posts…whatever creative outlet I feel prompted to. Just as long as my focus is on the Lord for those 30 minutes. Turn my phone off and just be in His presence. I don’t think God NEEDS our time set aside for Him, but I do know He loves it and I do know that I desperately need it.

3.) Eat naturally and wholly, in a way that is honoring to God. I was doing whole30 for about 3 weeks, and then I fell of the wagon a week or so ago and started to eat poorly again. I have no doubt that the way I have been treating my body has played into how I am feeling spiritually and emotionally. All three aspects in our body: spiritual, emotional, and physical are all connected. I am a firm believer that when we treating our physical body in a way that is honoring to God, we reap the benefits both emotionally and spiritually.

4.) Drink more water. Use my “superfood green” powder every day from Itworks. Take my vitamins. Workout 4 times a week for AT LEAST 30 minutes.

5.) Be open and willing for increase and spiritual growth in my life. I think I have been stuck because I have been stuck in my ways for too long. I have hit a plateau because I haven’t been willing or motivated for increase. But I know God is calling me into a season of immense growth. I am expectant and I am willing.

So what are your goals and motivations? How can you turn from the world to the WORD this week and futhermore?

I’d love to hear! Comment below or on my instagram post 🙂

You are infinitely loved and purposed,

Amanda Marie

Is it a Good Fit? 4 Ways to Know if He’s the One By Kathryn O’Brien

That darn Cinderella, always getting in the way of things with her fairytale experience and storybook ending. Such idealistic expectations! Overnight, her life goes from spectacularly glum to just plain spectacular and all it takes is a new pair of shoes, a great dress and a handsome guy. They share a dance, he returns a slipper and that’s that. One stiletto is all that’s necessary for our girl Cinderella to realize it’s a perfect fit: he’s the ONE.

Of course in real life, things play out a bit differently. I mean, who’s going to wear heels made of glass anyway? And gosh, if it was only as simple as someone offering a missing shoe to determine if this is it, if he’s the ONE. Unfortunately, there are no magic answers, but with or without a glass slipper, there are still ways to discover a good fit.

Can you see forever? At the beginning of any new relationship we typically see our guy through murky, make-believe lenses. But perfect doesn’t exist; no man, no relationship, no marriage is perfect (btw, neither are we). Be honest and take a good looks at his faults, his habits, his personality flaws… do you still see yourself together? If you’ve heard how loudly he chews (even in front of your friends), witnessed firsthand his terrible taste in ties, and know full well that he gets cranky when he’s hungry… and love him anyway, then you may have found a great fit. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults, because of your love. (Ephesians 4:2, NLT)

Do you still have a life? It’s perfectly appropriate to make your guy number one, as long as he doesn’t expect to be your one and only. Marriage is all about being at the top of one another’s priority lists, but potential life partners need to accept additional items on the list. He gets to keep Monday Night Football and bowling league with the guys; you should continue enjoying yoga class, lunch dates with the girls and phone chats with Mom. If he supports healthy, balanced, appropriate relationships and activities in your life without getting jealous or possessive, it’s most likely a really good fit. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy… (1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)
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Can you let go? As believers in Christ, wives are called to respect our husbands so much that we allow them the final say. Of course, they are called to love us so much that they seek our opinion, want our advice and ask for our input. Submission is not a difficult concept when you have full confidence in your mate. When you know irrevocably that he loves you wholly, wants only the best for you and has your interests at the forefront of his mind, following the biblical prescription for marriage is beautiful. If his deep devotion for you overrides your fear of losing control, you can almost certainly trust that it’s a good fit. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25, NIV)
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Do you like yourself? Significant others have the power to influence us, either in a positive or negative way. When you’re with the one who might be the One, consider who you are and how you behave. Are you kinder, more loving and less of a worrier, or have you let pessimism rule? Have you grown closer to the Lord, standing firm in your faith or have you fallen away? Relationships have the power to bring out the best or worst in us; if you have grown in constructive ways since meeting your guy and he is only bringing you closer to God, chances are it’s a great fit. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. (Hebrews 10:24, NLT)

A while ago, after lots of shoe shopping, I met a guy who made me wonder if he was the ONE. While he never offered a glass slipper, he did help me answer YES to the questions above. And it’s been a fabulous fit for the last twenty-five years.

 

 

 

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BIO:
Kathryn O’Brien writes books for kids and has a heart for moms. She’s published five children’s picture books, including her latest series (Sit for a Bit, Tyndale) and free-lances for several publications. When she’s not writing or enjoying her day job as a Christian school administrator, Kathryn can usually be found texting her three grown children, hanging on the front porch with her husband, or hiking the canyons near her home in Southern California.

Our plans vs. His plans

Hello all of my beautiful captivating ladies!

I do apologize for the long gap between my posts. Life has a way of going through ebbs and flows of busy and relaxing, doesn’t it? I am coming out of a busy season and about to enter into another one, but I do want to make it a priority to start posting blogs again consistently. All of you are SO incredibly supportive and I feel so blessed to have you beautiful, wonderful women of God reading my work and being so encouraging each and every day.

I recently have been getting lost on the “dream train” yet again. By this I mean, I have SO many dreams and visions for SheisCaptivating, I sometimes tend to get carried away. I run ahead of God on my dreams…

I think dreaming is an amazing thing. I want all of us to have vision for our lives! Those visions are God-breathed and anointed and so special and unique to just you. But we must always remember that God’s timing for those dreams to come true, is absolutely the best timing.

Let me let you in on some news. A few weeks ago, I posted a few videos about the “prayer and praise reflex” and I told all of you that I didn’t get into nursing school again after having applied several times before. You see, I have always really wanted to go to the University of Colorado for nursing school because that is where I did my undergrad and I really loved the campus. I applied several times and even made it to the interview process there last October, only to find out I didn’t get in. I was super disappointed, but I was so determined to make MY PLAN for going to nursing school work that I decided to apply again this cycle. Well, a few days before I filmed that video, I got the news that I didn’t even make it to the interview process, I got straight up REJECTED.

Yikes.

I think sometimes, we see rejection as God closing a door, when a lot of times it just means He is opening a much bigger door. A better door. A more beautiful door than we could ever imagine.

After I got rejected from CU, I just quietly whispered a prayer to God, “I know you have something better. I am disappointed in this moment, but I’m surrendering this dream to you, yet again.”

God is so faithful, you guys.

Two weeks later, I was driving home from camping with my family in the mountains and I decided to check my email. To my surprise, I found an acceptance letter in my inbox from Regis University offering me acceptance into their BSN Accelerated Program. You see, after having been rejected from CU I actually had completely forgotten about applying to this program. Isn’t that what rejection does to you sometimes? It blinds you to all the other options out there, because the option YOU WANTED was taken away?

I just want to encourage all of you ladies today, if you have dreams and plans deep down in your heart…they are there for a REASON. God put them there! He created us in HIS IMAGE with HIS HEART for things. He places specific dreams in our hearts so that He can accomplish His will in our lives.

If you have been rejected in some form or fashion from your dreams…DON’T GIVE UP.

Hold fast to those dreams and pray through them. Surrender them to the Lord each and every single moment of every single day. He is not a tyrant King. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts. It may just be at a completely different time in your life than YOU would have planned. Maybe it won’t look anything like how you thought you wanted it to look. But if I’ve learned anything…it’s that God takes our dreams and desires and He MULTIPLIES them. He is GENEROUS and abundant in love. He is Master Crafter. He takes our dreams and chuckles and says,”Just you wait, my daughter. I cannot wait to show you just how GOOD I am.”

Isaiah 55:9, “”As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 

Ephesians 3:20, “20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

Keep dreaming, dear captivating one. Your dreams are beautiful and unique to only you.

You are infinitely loved,

xoxo Amanda Marie

 

single for a season, single for a reason

Hello all of my captivating ladies!

I know it has been a week or so since my last post. The Lord has been moving and working and breathing new life into my dreams for this blog, and for this ministry. I have some big and exciting things coming up this coming week that I simply cannot WAIT to share with all of you.

I also know we have been sitting in the #captivatingwoman series for a while. I am planning on expanding and continuing that  series, but the Lord laid this specific topic on my heart this morning while I was staring out the window drinking the first sips of morning coffee 🙂

This past weekend, I attended one of my best friend’s Bridal Shower. It was SO fun. I just love celebrating her in this exciting season of life, and I couldn’t be more happy for her. I started to think about how if she had been engaged and soon-to-be-married about a year and a half ago, I am not sure if I would have been as excited for her. I might have been able to somewhat fake it.. smile and say, “I can’t wait for your wedding!” when really, on the inside, I would have been deeply hurting.

You see, my whole life, I have deeply longed to get married. My parents were high school sweethearts, and so for the majority of high school, every guy I dated had to be “the one.” I thought for sure I would meet my future husband in high school and so I tried desperately to make this happen. And it failed. Time and time again.

And then college came around and I thought I would FOR SURE meet my future husband in college. After all, that’s what college is basically for, right?

WRONG.

Four years went by. Failed relationship after failed relationship. Heartbreak after heartbreak. Before I knew it, I was walking across that graduation stage single as single can be. I didn’t have that engagement ring I had been so longing for, and even worse, I had NO prospects in sight.

So while I was at my best friend’s shower this weekend, I just began reflecting on those seasons. They were definitely extremely difficult and I can still remember the sting of unmet desires and unanswered prayers. But then I began to reflect on how truly SWEET those seasons were, in retrospect. Those seasons were the most intimate and sweet times with my Jesus. He was so near, so close to my aching heart. And He taught me so much.

I thought I would make a little list for all of you filled with lessons from my single seasons.

(Disclaimer: I am still technically “single” meaning I unmarried and yes, still not engaged 😉 BUT, the Lord did bless me with an amazing Christian man who I have been happily dating for 10 months now! )

Lessons learned:

1.) Jesus really is enough. I know it sounds so cliche and it can be super frustrating when you hear older married women preach this to you in your seasons of singleness. But He is. If you let Him in during your times of deepest longing, you will discover that He satisfies every longing and desire you have for intimacy and love.

2.) Singleness is a gift. Once again, SO CLICHE, but so true. While you are single, you can focus so much on your relationship with Jesus and your friends and others. It is the only time in your life when you can actually be “selfish” and by that I mean, focus on growing spiritually and emotionally.

3.) The Lord does NOT withhold from us!! Pslam 84: 11 reads,”For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” When I was single, I always felt like I was missing out on something. I didn’t feel whole or complete. But when I look back, God was not holding out on me! He always knows what is best for us and only He knows when we are ready for a healthy, God-honoring relationship. We have to trust Him with this desire.

4.) Surrendering my unanswered prayers and desires was SO worth it. For the longest time, I just couldn’t seem to surrender my relationships to Jesus. They were my “Isaac” meaning they were the thing that mattered most to me in life and I couldn’t seem to trust Jesus with this deep desire in my heart. However, when I did finally surrender, He did more than I could ever ask for or imagine! HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING.

5.) Allowing yourself to embrace seasons of singleness can actually be such a gift to your future husband! How? Jesus can literally transform you from the inside out during these seasons and there is no greater gift to your future spouse than becoming a woman who is confident in herself and her worth in Jesus alone. NOW THAT is wifey material 🙂

So those are some of my lessons that I learned from my single seasons. I am so glad I had those times in my life. They truly made me the woman I am today! I also thought I would include some tips on how to make it through these sometimes very difficult seasons.

1.) I began praying for my future husband while I was single. I went through a book called “Praying for your Future Husband” By Robin Jones Gunn and Tricia Goyer. SOOO GOOD. I went through it several times and it helped me have hope and vision during those seasons.

2.) I started writing letters to my future husband filled with prayers and hopes and dreams. This also helped me and I know it will be a great gift to my future one on our wedding day!

3.) I focused on my friends and family. I really began to enjoy the freedom and fun times I could have while being single and I made some truly amazing memories with my GIRLS!!

4.) I poured into ministry and serving Jesus. I joined the leadership team at my college ministry and found opportunities to serve people. Serving people gets our eyes off of ourselves and really helps us focus in on what matters!

So, my dear captivating one. I know these seasons of being single can be tough. I know what it is like to pray and wonder if your wedding day will ever come. I know what it’s like to look around and see everyone dating, engaged, or married and feel the sting of that desire burning deep inside your heart. But just remember that our Heavenly Father knows us way better than we know ourselves. He knows exactly what and who we need in our lives at exactly what time. He will never withhold a good thing from us. Speak truth over your singleness today and remember that Jesus alone satisfies and He is desperately jealous for your WHOLE heart. And giving Him your whole heart while you wait for your future spouse will never make it onto your list of regrets.

In Christ,

Amanda Marie

a captivating woman honors her future husband (before she meets him)

This is a post I wrote one year ago and never posted on my blog! I re-read it this morning and realized how relevant and important it is for all you women to grasp. I hope the Lord blesses you with these words.

“This is a vulnerable topic that has honestly been on my mind for quite some time now. I said from the beginning that I wanted “captivating” to be a place where women can come and feel encouraged in their walk with The Lord, no matter where they are on that walk. I never want this blog to be a place of condemnation, legalism, or judgment. I want women (and men) to come to this blog and breathe in a sigh of relief. I want this to be a life-giving place, a place to come and unwind. A place to learn and to grow. A place to further your walk with Jesus, or maybe even meet Him for the first time.

With that being said, I believe the Lord puts particular burdens on our hearts for a reason. I believe He does this because He sovereignly knows that we have a message to give. I believe that He has put this burden on my heart ever since I have been a teenage girl…it simply won’t go away. I have been given the privilege to share my story on this topic to a group of young women only once before, and I pray that I am given many more opportunities in the future.

So, as I promised, this blog is about to get extremely personal and vulnerable. I am okay with that though, there is nothing I would love more than for women to hear this message.

Ladies, you have a choice to start honoring your future husband NOW…even before you meet him. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that the desire to be married has been written on my heart since as long as I can remember. My parents have modeled a beautiful marriage for me. They have been married 25 years and counting, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that gift. I believe this has probably played into my desire to be married. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a wife and a mother.

The Lord convicted me about two years ago when I started my walk with Jesus. I was always the girl in the relationship. I was always the girl with the boyfriend. I too, have dated guys who I had no intention of marrying. I have dated guys just because in the moment, that was what felt right, or maybe because I was just lonely.

I remember so very clearly the day I decided to do things differently.

“Do you want what you want when you want it? Or do you want who I want for you, when I want them for you?”

That was the question the Lord laid on my heart that day, and I simply could not help myself but to answer back, “Your best, Lord. Your timing.”

Ever since that day, I have decided to do things differently. Has it been easy? By no means whatsoever. If there is one thing that I have learned, it is that following Jesus is not always easy…and in fact, most of the time it can be really hard.

But I know it will be worth it. I just know it.

The truth is, most of us truly desire to be married one day. That is a good desire, written by a good God, for a GOOD purpose. Sadly, we live in a fallen world and a GOOD God-honoring marriage is extremely hard to come by these days. So how do we begin to do things differently?

We honor our future husband and our future marriages even BEFORE we meet that person.

This can look differently for everyone, as no one’s spiritual journey looks the same.

For me, this looks like thinking about him in my daily interactions with men. It means that when I am going on a date, I am keeping in mind that it doesn’t mean that the man I am dating belongs to me. While he is single, He belongs only to God-and he may also belong to a different woman other than me one day. When you begin to see dating this way, it definitely changes the way you relate to men.

For me, honoring my future husband means paying attention to the way I dress, speak, and act towards men in my daily interactions as well. It means dressing modestly (still cute obviously), and paying attention to the way I am speaking-watching my language and the way I am presenting myself.

For me, honoring my future husband means being a prayer warrior for him. Praying daily for his heart. Praying for his protection. Praying that he resists temptation. Praying that he is waiting and praying for me too.

For me, honoring my future husband means saving myself for marriage physically, yes. But “saving yourself” goes so much deeper than that. It means saving your whole heart for the man you will one day marry-never fully giving away your heart until you know that he is the one you are meant to spend your life with. It means guarding the deepest parts of your soul, and not letting just anyone see what is behind those precious doors.

Honoring my future husband means trying my very best not to let my emotions get out of control. This is very hard to do. I am learning and growing in this each and every day. With the Lord’s help, I am learning to bring my emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit. I am learning to cultivate a spirit of self-control and gentleness. I am learning to stand on the Rock rather than allowing my emotions to govern my life. This seemed impossible to me a few years ago, but with Jesus, nothing is impossible.

Most importantly, honoring my future husband means putting Christ first and foremost in my life. I have learned through many painful dating and relationship problems and failures that people will come and go in my life. There are people who I want desperately to stay in my life that just won’t stay. There are people who I love and love and love, only to have them walk out in return. There are simply no guarantees in this life.

Except for one guarantee.

ONE THING, remains.

Jesus will never give up on me. Jesus will never wake up one day and decide He doesn’t want to love me anymore. Jesus will never change His mind about me. Jesus won’t find someone else to love more than me. Jesus is my constant, and He will always come first.

Putting Jesus first is the greatest gift I can give my future husband while I am still waiting on God’s timing to bring us together. Putting Jesus first means that I am getting my worth from Him alone and that is an amazing gift to my future husband. I will never have to put the burden of getting my worth from him, because I am putting the hard work in now-getting my worth from Jesus alone.”

Put Jesus first today, dear one. I know. I know how hard waiting can be. But I also know that I am not the same person I was one year ago when I wrote this post. My relationship status may have changed. I am not longer single. However, I am also not married yet. There are still parts to this post that very much apply to me even now. The Lord used my singleness in a POWERFUL way. I grew so much and learned SO much. Most importantly, I learned how to gain my worth from Jesus and never from a man.

Let this word sink deep into your heart today from someone who has been there.

You are infinitely and jealously loved by LOVE HIMSELF.

In Christ,

Amanda Marie