April 27, 2015

Rise Up, My Darling

Hi Friend! How are you? I have a special treat for you to start off this week. It is a post by one of those people in my life that the moment I met her I wanted to be friends with her. She is beautiful, smart, sweet, funny, and an incredible and inspiring writer. It is such a blessing to have her write for MY Life in High Heels and I just know you will fall in love with her just as much as I have over the years! Michelle, and her rockstar sister have an AMAZING Facebook page titled My Darling that is filled every day with encouraging posts to start your morning off write. {:Be sure to pop over and show some love after you fall in love with her:} 

~name~michelle~favorite ice cream flavor~any flavor when sharing it with my two loves, my husband and my sweet little girl. Blueberry cheesecake or anything with chocolate and chewy chunks, will always top the list of favorites for me, lol. (I'm an ice cream fanatic, so it's hard to pick just one.)~i never leave the house without...~putting chapstick on my lips and giving my family a kiss and saying "I love you". You never know when it will be your last time. I don't take that for granted. ~when I win the lottery I'm going to ....~well first, they say you have to play to win, but IF I ever played and won, the very first thing I'd like to do is pay off all my families houses so they could live comfortably. But honestly, I'm paralyzed at the thought of having that much money. With that much money comes great responsibility.~if I could...for the rest of my life I would be happy~if I could be a mommy and keep my little girl little for the rest of my life I would be perfectly happy, but that would be selfish of me, because she deserves the chance to spread her wings and fly. In becoming a mommy, I feel I found my destiny and myself. I'll be honest, I'm already really dreading those empty nest years.

Hello beautiful peeps! I have to say it is such an enormous honor to be a guest writer for a young lady I admire so greatly. I've known Amber for many years now, and as the years pass by us, our friendship continues to flourish. She has such an immense heart for Christ and getting His amazing love out to the world. And although I'm older (shhhhh... let's keep that to ourselves, shall we) I look to Amber as a great mentor. So, thank you all for following her and be sure to give her some extra love today from around the globe. Not too long ago I was in church when Matthew 26:6-13 was read aloud. I had heard the story so many times through out my life, but this time it hit be differently. Let me recap the story for you... Jesus is visiting his friend, Simon. They are eating when a woman comes in the house with a beautiful jar of expensive perfume. She pours the entire jar of perfume over Jesus' head. This enraged the disciples... why would she waste all the money she could have gotten for that perfume instead of selling it and using it for a good cause, like feeding the poor. Jesus answered their questions by saying, "Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. (And here's where it gets really good.. He continues...) I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman's deed will be remembered and discussed."

Whoa! That's some powerful stuff right there, right? I mean, Jesus just said this woman would be remembered and talked about around the world for generations to come! For me, as a woman, this is mind blowing! And I'll tell you why... First, There are so many great women (and men) I admire. Most have been given large platforms in the world, and when I think about how they will be remembered for decades to come, a part of me feels... well... a bit jealous.

B U T L O O K H E R E...

This woman's actions and story is so important that throughout the world her story will continue to be told. YET, her story doesn't even mention her name. I'm willing to make a bet that if her name was
mentioned, many new mothers and fathers would have named their new baby girls after her or in honor of her... but her name is insignificant to us. Jesus didn't want her name to be what we remembered. He wanted and said it was her actions... her deed... that was to be remembered. Secondly, I am shocked that a story so important literally takes up only eight tiny verses in the book of Matthew. Eight tiny verses to remember the legacy of this faithful woman's dynamic actions. I guess what I am trying to convey is the fact that we may all have times in our lives where we feel so small.. so insignificant in this great big world that we feel like our efforts are not worth the sweat and tears we may be putting in to them. BUT, be inspired today by this woman's great story. Be encouraged by her actions. Don't hold back... seize the moments of here and now that God has so graciously given and make the most of it. Jesus said, "you will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me". It's the same with the time we have here on earth. Tomorrow is a gift... not a guarantee. Be intentional. Live on purpose. Who cares if your name is never in lights or if you never feel like you have a platform to stand on. Don't go to the gates of Heaven only to say, I stopped trying to spread the Good News because you never gave me a podium to stand on. May it be your greatest fear that you will get to Heaven, stand before your King, and hear all the things you shoulda-coulda-woulda done if only you would have just kept going.... just kept trying. God doesn't need us to have a special name. He doesn't need us to stand on the largest box we can find in order to win hearts to him. We don't need all the greatest resources at our grasp in order to honor Him. All we need is to take what we've been given and use it to the best of our abilities. I don't ever expect to have my story written in the history books, but I do want my story to be told for generations to come. And by that... I mean, I hope and pray that my children will one day be telling their great grandchildren of a woman that seized every moment she had to live for God and spread His amazing love. A woman that was willing to go the distance and give her whole heart to what ever God called her to do. They may not remember my name... but I'm hoping they remember my small story... and they are inspired by it. Remember, you may only be a small fish in a very big ocean... but our Mighty God takes the tiny fish and multiplies them to feed hundreds! Keep your light burning and shine it brightly. 
~Rise Up, Michelle xoxo
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April 24, 2015

Bridesmaid Duty

Over the year’s I have gotten to be a pretty good bridesmaid if I do say so myself. I mean I have had a good bit of practice.

Being a bridesmaid is always an honor, but it comes with responsibility - from throwing showers, to buying bridesmaid dresses, to what only can be explained as “bridesmaid duty.”

I am now an expert at buckling the straps of brides and bridesmaids shoes. I am a quite capable dress holder as the bride uses her royal throne. I am also decent at zipping, tucking, powdering, fanning and steaming.

I know, I know….the talents I posses are pretty phenomenal!

All through scripture, OT and NT, The Church {capital C meaning the global body of believers} is referred to as the bride of Christ.

I am a girl so of course I love this image. I love the image of Christ, the Prince Charming of the world, dashing in on his white horse donkey and saving the one He loves, whisking her away after defeating the evil enemy and living with her forever in His palace.

A bride is beautiful, glowing, radiant, and breathtakingly beautiful. Her bridesmaids do everything they can to make sure of this. If the florist doesn’t show up or the tablecloths are the wrong shade of pink they protect the bride from this news and make sure she stays calm, stress free, and beautiful to all who gaze upon her. It is also a rule of thumb that NO ONE speaks ill of the bride on her day! She, after all, is the bride!

If The Church is the bride of Christ, than you my Christian friend, are her bridesmaid. We are meant to shield her, protect her, speak well of her, and position ourselves in a posture that is ready to support her in any way possible so that she may be at her very best on the big day.

{I am sure many of you are all shaking your head in agreement up to this point, but now I may step on some stilettos. I am very sorry that I am not sorry.}

So if we are the bridesmaids of the bride of Christ why are we tearing her down with our words? I am almost in tears as I write this because my heart is breaking for my Prince Charming’s bride.

We claim to love Christ yet attack his bride with our words and with our Facebook rants and repost of articles. We tear her beautiful white dress as we talk about pastors within the bride that don't preach messages as we believe they should preach them or have bigger churches than make us comfortable. We stomp on the bride's beautiful white shoes as we criticize how others do church when it is contrary to the way we believe it should be done. We throw mud on her face as we talk about her other bridesmaids and how dare they be a Christians and still doing  A, B, C and D. How dare those bridesmaids not be perfect! {Let's be honest, if people saw even the tiniest of glimpses into of our truest, deepest, and darkest thoughts we would all be painfully embarrassed.}

My sweet friend, I beg of you - stop throwing dirt on the bride.

We have a massive mission, to evangelize the world before the second coming of our King. We also have a real enemy that is willing to do anything to deter the plan of our King. We don’t need enemies within The Church we have plenty outside of it.

My plea to you is that the next time you have the urge to speak a negative word about His bride, post a nasty article about another church or pastor, think of the light you are shining on the bride. Our job as bridesmaids is to make her attractive to those not in the bridal party, to the unbeliever. No one wants to be at a wedding where the people at the wedding can’t even get along. Yet, everyone longs to be at one of the weddings where the bridal party forms a dance circle and everyone takes turns letting each other shine.

Let’s be the bridesmaids that gloat about her saying “just wait until you see her, she will take your breath away.” The bridesmaids that cannot wipe the massive smile off our faces when we see her. Bridesmaids that count the huge honor it is to be her bridesmaid and serve her even after we have hurt her so many times.

Let's never forget the Bride we are representing and the Groom we are serving as we do.

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April 7, 2015

The Single Girl Diaries: Joy on the Road to Healing

Hi love! 

Boy do I have a treat for you today. I asked someone very near and dear to my heart to write a guest post for you lovies. I have had the opportunity of knowing Tamara since she was in middle school. She came to our youth summer camp with her best friend the year after her eighth grade year and lucky me, I was her camp counselor. Then she just couldn't get rid of me because I was her camp counselor at every camp after that too. She is now in college and leading a beautiful life that represents Christ and I love that I get to watch the plans of God unfold in her life. 

You are going to LOVE this post by her! I felt like my heart was going to explode with pride as I read it. She has so much wisdom and maybe I would have made a few less single girl mistakes if she was my friend when I was her age! 

{:What a BABE, right?!:}
~3 things cannot leave the house without: cell phone, tooth brush (obsessed with brushing my teeth), debit card~if you could go on a date with anyone: eric decker~favorite book: unspoken for by alyssa bethke & robin gunn~chocolates or flowers: flowers~dream vacation: bora, bora

Okay, so I’m going to share with you about healing. This past season in my life has been a huge healing process. About 8 months ago, I was at my lowest point and was heartbroken from a recent breakup. You could say I was pretty devastated. I didn’t understand why I was going through such heartbreak. It was in this season that I had to make a decision, either I was going to let the pain of the heartbreak take over my life or I was going to use it as a way to get closer to God. 

At first, I decided to serve, praise, and honor God wholeheartedly. But...I wasn’t feeling any difference. So I started to stop reading my bible. I stopped going to church as often. And, I started to make bad decisions. 

I thought going out with friends and partying would numb the pain or take my mind off of everything I was feeling, but I soon realized it just made it the pain worse. Finally, I realized that I would never truly get healing from what was broken if I didn’t face reality. 

So I finally sat down and had alone time with God one morning, which is when I realized that He was all I needed. I truly found God again and remembered the promises He told me from the beginning of my heartbreak. He promised me that I will not be alone and that one day I will have joy again. 

Now, on the other side of that heartbreak, I can say that chasing after God and falling in love with him all over again has brought me joy. Even though I can’t say I have found that special someone in my life yet, I know that when that day comes it will be beautiful. So I’m here to encourage you that when you are going through a storm, praise God even harder. 

Even when you don’t want to get out of bed, praise him! Stop listening to Sam Smith’s sad songs and listen to some Hillsong. {:Preach sista:} Read your bible every day, and always make time to talk to God. The hard times are always the easiest moments to walk away, but instead praise God even harder, because he never puts someone through heartbreak if he didn’t want to use it for a purpose in your life. 


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Words that Shape Us

There is a significant power in words. When a stranger stops to pay you a compliment, their words are powerful. Likewise, when someone speaks a negative word about you or to you, their words have power. Words good or bad, begin to shape your heart.

To this day I remember where I was sitting and the exact look on my high school art teachers face as he leaned down to me and said: "one day in college you won't be able to get by on your good looks." Oh, hello. Thanks for the compliment buddy. NOT! Can somebody tell him that I graduated with a 4.0 GPA with my Masters in Education?!

Words. They are powerful.

What words are feeding your soul?

Growing up it was always a special day when my mom allowed me to put a Seventeen magazine on the grocery store checkout belt. I couldn't wait to get home with my magazine. I would lay on my bed and flip through its pages to see all the beautiful girls. Then I would proceed to read it cover to cover where I would find out how to play hard to get, how to apply eyeshadow in the right shade for my eye color, how to look my best in any social setting, and countless other tips and tricks. As I got older my magazine of choice became Cosmopolitan. Now I was reading about diet tips, workout routines to give me buns of steel and thighs to make the boys drool. I was reading about how to seduce boys without ever speaking a word.

The words that were shaping my reality were far from words of truth.

Turn my eyes away from worthless things; 
preserve my life according to your word.
Psalm 119:37

In my teen years and my early twenties I didn't read the words of truth that lay closed in a book that collected dust in the drawer of my night stand. Maybe that is why I made so many mistakes in those years. I pursued becoming the girl in the magazine rather than pursuing becoming the girl in the Word of God. 

The magazines indirectly told me: I wasn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough.

But the truth says You are all together beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. {Song of Solomon: 4:7}

Reading the wrong words will tell you that you need to strive and change who you are to get where you want to go in life. But the word of God says Be STILL, and know that I am God. {Psalms 46:10}

The words in the magazines will tell you how to find the perfect job and live the perfect life. The Word of God says For I know the plans  have for you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.{Jeremiah 29:11}

Words will inevitably shape our lives it is just a matter of which words we will choose to plant in our hearts.

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