An Artist.

You are proof that God is an artist. Not just in He an artist, He is the most creative, passionate, artistic, loving artist of all time. Think about it…

Once there was a beautiful woman. Her name was Eve. God created her with out flaws. Her skin was flawless. Her hair must have been shiny, soft, and gorgeous. Everything about her was Captivating. She must have had the most beautiful soul you could imagine. With kindness, compassion, and love shining through her pretty eyes.

Then she messed up.

Not just, sort of messed up.

This time it was pretty huge.

Now there’s you. There’s me. When you look in the mirror, all you see is imperfection. All you see are your mistakes. Your flaws, whether physically or inside you. You have a bad hair day, you deem that day as terrible. When pimples start to form on your face, you no longer want to be around people, for fear of them making fun of you for an obvious blemish on your face. Constantly afraid of rejection because of what you look like, or how you act.

But God took one look at you, before you were even born, and said. “This girl is special. I love her very much. She doesn’t know it yet, but I have big plans for her future.” He took you and called you his. He took your pain. Your hurt. You loss. You discouragement. Everything. Upon Himself and washed you completely clean by His blood and what He did for you on the cross. You are His blank canvas which He delights to paint images of love and grace on. He looks on your life as a blank space, forgiving you of your past sins and ready to keep forgiving you of your failures. He intends to write beautiful letters and form amazing words to describe who you are, when you will let Him do so. Words that you would never use to describe yourself. But these are the things that He truly sees in you.

Worthy | Of love, of protection, of safety, of joy, of happiness, of love, of abundant life, a hopeful future, Of His love!

Beautiful | There is no flaw in you {Song of Solomon 4:7} You are beautiful, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made {Psalm 139:14} The King is enthralled with YOUR beauty!! {Psalm 45:11} You are a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord {Isaiah 62:3}

Valuable | Read {Psalm 139}

He has called you so many different wonderful and beautiful words. Your canvas isn’t too messed up for him to make beauty from. It’s not too tainted with sin. It’s not too messy, or too far gone. He sees a wonderful person. Beautiful. Loved. Cherished. He is forming you into the person that you were always meant to be…slowly, but surely. You are becoming that woman that He has always seen in you! You will start to see it too.

Captivating

What keeps your from believing that you are Captivating and beautiful? What is stopping you from living confidently and rocking new outfits that you know you look great in? Why is it so hard for you to buy something that you think you look good in, wait, do you even think it looks good on you? Or do you always need someone else to say it looks good, but even then you have trouble believing and trusting that they are telling the truth.

What makes your heart ache so much you can actually physically feel the ache? Does it have something to do with someone you are closed to…or used to be close to? What is haunting you from your past that is keeping you locked in chains and refusing to give you the freedom that you soul is seeking?

Is it something from you childhood? Did someone hurt you, possibly even someone you love very much, but you haven’t been able to forgive them for? Have you parents not been who you needed them to be growing up? Were they not expressive enough when it comes to telling you they love you, are proud of you, respect you, that you are beautiful? Did they not listen to you and expect you to respect them and obey them, no matter what? Is it a deeply-rooted wound from a friendship situation, whether it happened years and years ago or simply a year or so ago? Is it a different situation that tore you apart from the inside out, such as depression, anxiety, or suffocating fear. Are you tearing yourself apart every day and do you feel so far gone that you don’t even know where to begin to build yourself back up, or how to even let others and God in to help and mend what has been broken?

What thoughts & feelings are comfortable and safe for you? Maybe, positive thoughts are your first instinct. {If so, I’m jealous…} But maybe, negative thoughts are the only ones that ever seem to pop up in your head and heart. Maybe it even seems impossible to truly think positively and good thoughts about yourself. I love what John & Stasi Eldredge says in Captivating:

“When we camp our hearts in self-doubt, condemning thoughts, or even shame because those emotions have become familiar and comfortable, we are faithlessly indulging rather than allowing our deep ache to draw us to God.” {p. 58}

I know that I am a victim of this way of thinking. Negative self-doubt comes so easy to me, especially recently. These are the chains that keep dragging me down. As soon as I feel as though I can finally start to feel a little freedom from this, I again feel the cold metal against my skin, reminding me who I truly believe that I am. That I am stuck here forever. That I will never truly find freedom from these circles of self-doubt, self-hatred, self-worthlessness, and a tainted view of who I am and self-perception.

It’s interesting to think that these things, too, can become a safe place. For me, it is easy for me to live in that space, even though I hate it and loathe it with everything I am. I hate being here, but at the same time, it’s comfortable and safe for me because I’m so used to it. For me, thinking good self-thoughts and positive self-thoughts is stepping way out of my comfort zone. It’s scary and it takes a lot of hard work which I am not really prepared for. I don’t have enough energy for. So I reside to what I know. What I am used to. Definitely not the best version of myself. Definitely not what God wants for me.

What is it for you?

“Where do you go instead of to God when the ache of your heart begins to make itself known?” Captivating, p. 58

Which addiction do you turn to for help, instead of the steadfast love and comfort of Christ? Is it something destructive for your health, either obviously or not so much? Self-destruction is also terrible for your health. It doesn’t have to be physical.

God is trustworthy. He is faithful. He is merciful. And He loves us so, so, SO much!!

Psalms 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God  merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end; they are new  every morning; great is your faithfulness.

There is truth, beauty, love, confidence, relationships, and so many other things that our hearts long and ache for hereNOW. We just need to be looking for these things in the right place and stop hiding from what is good and best because we are afraid of it. Let’s be Captivating!

{Create} |Motivation Boards|

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I have been struggling with feeling motivated to work out. Along with that, I find it difficult to always remember what my main goals and motivations ARE, if they are not easily posted somewhere where I am likely to look at everyday. So, I decided to make these “motivation boards”.

I didn’t spend much money on these, but I think these are cute and useful as well, so win-win! I’m writing this blog post to let you know what I did so if you wanted to do something similar, it makes it easy for you to do so!

First, the supplies I used:

  • Square cork boards, at walmart (four in one pack. I bought two packs because I wanted six boards)
  • Adorable push pins, like these (also at walmart, I bought different ones than these)

And the rest of what you see, I made myself!

My first board is basically my starting weight/goal weight board. This is where I put:

  • White paper with my starting weight written on it
  • White paper with my goal weight written on it (haven’t gotten that far yet!)
  • Whichever motivational quotes I could think of (for all of the motivational quotes that I included on these boards, I copied from my pinterest boards, printed, and cut out on regular white printer paper)
  • Cute push pins to hold all of these things in place

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My second board is where I put my goals/my main motivations:

  • I wrote out the main motivations that I could think of on Word, and printed it out on blue paper because it was pretty
  • Two postcards with awesome quotes that one of my friends made for me!
  • A motivational quote (again from pinterest! If you need motivational quotes, check out my workout motivation pinterest board…)

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Write the goals/motivations that speak to YOU! Ask yourself why you want so badly to do this. What are you motivations? Are you committed to this? Think through all these things, because this is a HUGE commitment that is difficult to stick with!

My third board is progress board:

  • Two rows of decorative push pins to hold photos and explanations.
  • Took these photos with my phone and printed them out on regular printer paper and cut them out. Hopefully I’ll be able to see some progress here within the next few months!
  • Below the photos I have a small rectangular piece of paper (white printer paper) where I write the date so I can see myself making progress and I know the date!

(Please excuse the horrible photos…this is why I need to dedicate so much to changing myself!)

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The main idea behind my fourth board is to put a calendar so I can write down my meal plans/workout challenges. So, here’s that board:

  • Calendar (printed out for free from online & obviously I didn’t make much progress on this board…)
  • A few motivational quotes

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My fifth board is where I put my workout challenge that I want to focus on for the time being, however long that workout challenge is supposed to last (or how long I make it last):

  • Current workout challenge sheet (I have several printed out so that I can replace this one, when I finish it. It’s slow-going to get through them, though, so I’m keeping this one up longer than I should because I haven’t completed it yet)
  • One motivational quote

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My sixth and final board is my affirmations board! I tend to get really down on myself (especially when nothing seems to be working and I don’t see any results), so I made this board to focus on the positives and what is good about myself. It’s really all about loving myself, instead of hating myself and who I am. Again, write affirmations that really work for YOU and that YOU need to hear and read about yourself often!

  • I wrote out my affirmations and printed it on the same paper as I did my goals/motivations so that it would still be pretty, but be coordinated as well (and I purposely placed these boards several boards apart so it wouldn’t look too matchy).
  • A couple motivational quotes

 

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Basically, these motivation boards should speak to YOU and YOUR needs and wants. Whatever motivates YOU and speaks to you, put it on the boards! Are you working towards any BIG goals? I am now, so I need to think about how I can incorporate it into these boards! I also forgot that I also planned to pin up the next reward that I’m thinking about on one of the boards. Once I get that all put together, I hope to add that to keep me working and happy and rewarding myself!

I hope you like my idea! I would love to see and hear any ideas that you all have about how to stay motivated and committed and what you do to keep yourself in a good place 🙂 Happy Monday!