Category Archives: Truth

Falling For Haiti

This past weekend I returned from a trip to an orphanage in Haiti. As always, God had His hand working in every aspect of it. Another absolutely breathtaking experience.

Meet Baby Daniel. This beautiful soul was found in a dumpster shortly after being born. I have to fight back the tears every time I see his precious face. My heart is torn to shreds over the fact that these amazing kids don’t have the love of at least one parent in their lives. But what’s been so amazing is to see Gods love flow throughout this orphanage in so many different ways. Despite age, color, size, or any other life circumstances we get to share in the love of our Heavenly Father together. ‪#‎family‬

Baby Daniel

If you ever have the chance, don’t think twice. Just go.

“Religion that God, our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27

❤ Hayley Elise

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Above Jewels

Above Jewels

Proverbs 31:10

“An excellent wife who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”

jewels

Being extremely single, I could argue this scripture not being relevant to my current life situation. So easily I could brush these words off, never allowing them to encourage their deep virtue within my heart. Joke would be on me! The truth of that fiery statement burns its way through my mind, screaming that the extremely single woman I am is obligated to this scripture more than anyone.

No matter her status, I believe every woman should find her worth to be far above jewels in living the most excellent life she possibly can, wherever she is at.

Contrary to media, the Bible defines beauty in character. God designed all women to be beautiful and excellent; the choice is ours whether or not we allow Him to develop that beauty within us.

“Your adornment must not be merely external-braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

The 31 woman exudes these beautiful qualities; far more excellent than any piece of clothing, jewelry, or makeup could camouflage. Her character stands out among women. Integrity is the basis on which she molds her character. Her wisdom, knowledge, and values are a deep well. She is a refreshing oasis in the middle of the desert; a diamond in the rough. Her faith is the beautiful song that defines her. Her obedience to the Lord is observed in her hands. The joy of the Lord beams through her smile. No darkness or selfishness is found in her. She is excellent because she finds her worth in the Lord and nowhere else. The sparkle within her shines more brilliantly than any jewel ever could.

Billy Graham makes a pretty convicting point:

“Too many women have too much leisure time for their own good. They have time for criticism, gossip, faultfinding, and complaining. They have time for idle games and lay too much attention to things of the flesh. There are other women who have too little time for the enduring things of life. They are too busy flitting about doing this and that. They have great activity and much doing, but they lack time for building Christian characters. Both kinds of women – the too-idle and the too-busy need to take time for meditation and quiet repose in prayer to God. They need time to cultivate their souls that in turn they may cultivate their children’s lives.”

When I take a look around to see what single men these days have to offer, I am mostly disgusted. Why can’t they be more like the man of Proverbs 31:1-9? Then I look to the girls and it’s no wonder. Allowing ourselves to be caught up in the foolishness of this world, we don’t have much to offer either. How can we pursue excellence if we are smothered in the dirt of materialism?

If we have time to dwell on things of the world, we have plenty of time to dwell on the things of God.

It is impossible to be both a woman of God and a woman of the world.

“Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.” 1 Timothy 3:11

Then comes the dreadful notion of self-evaluation. Being completely honest with yourself is brutal. However, it has to be done in order to grow.

I have to ask myself some unequivocal questions. Who am I now and who do I want to become? What story does my character tell? Am I closer to looking like the 31 woman or the woman Billy described? Do I strive for excellence in every aspect of my life? More importantly, how would the Lord view my character? What is my attitude in all situations? How pure are the motives of my heart? Do I dwell on the things above?

One thing I always want to be sure of is that I seek qualities and characteristics of the 31 woman as to honor the Lord above anyone else; pursuing these things day in and day out because I fear the Lord as my utmost and genuine intention.

The point is that excellence is an attitude, an intention, and a condition of the heart. Claiming to someday give The Lord, as well as a future husband, the very best in a marriage means absolutely nothing when not even willing give God the very best of my singleness today. Faithfulness in practicing excellence, no matter the current life situation, will produce greater potential in holding to that promise in a marriage one day.

Even in my singleness I can maintain a value far more worthy than jewels; that makes me smile.

“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” ~Max Lucado

Hayley Elise

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Raising A Warrior

Raising a Warrior

Proverbs 31:1-9

“The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him; “What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Or for rulers to desire strong drink, For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his trouble no more. Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of the unfortunate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy. “

prayer warrior

 One of the most beautiful things about the Bible is that no matter how many times I read a passage, a verse can always bloom into a new form of beauty that had remained hidden from me before.

She speaks with a rare wisdom; as if her knowledge has come from observing the world spin for hundreds of years. Out of my own foolishness it seemed slightly unfitting that the chapter would be split between a wise king and a God-fearing woman. Suddenly it’s crystal clear.

This morning was a bit rocky at work and I got called a few expletives. What really threw me for a loop is that those words were being hurled at me from the mouth of a four year old. FOUR. YEARS. OLD! I won’t repeat what she said, but it broke my heart to see this young, mold-able girl act out in the ways that she must be witnessing to be okay. It pressed upon my heart the importance of good, solid parenting. Discipline, instruction, and good role models are huge in the life of a child.

King Lemuel was a wise man of character who exemplified evidence of being raised by a 31 woman. She warned him against all the different shapes his life could possibly take. There was no need to bury his problems in alcohol or drugs. Women would never be able to fully satisfy him. His source of strength was poured down on him from things above and beyond the earthly. The purpose of His life was so much more important than material. Every morning he dressed himself in full armor prepared for battle. Not only did he practice this in his own life, but also in the lives of those who could not defend themselves. He expressed love and respect for all those around him, even when they could do nothing for him. To me this is a true test of character.

Reading through this passage again is where it hit me. Being in a high position, how did he humble himself enough to see past his own pride and selfishness? Besides the obvious grace of God, someone had to help him along the rocky journey of life. Not only was he given great gifts of wisdom, compassion, and love, but he was given someone to model that to him. Based on the written words, his mother saw the value in his life and the effect he would have on others. It seems she did everything in her power to make him aware of this and helped exercise and grow his gifts into major strengths.

Looking back I see those same things apparent in my life. Not only with my own parents but more importantly in how the Lord deals with my disobedience and stupidity. At times I couldn’t understand it. Now I see how He was molding and stretching me; teaching me lessons over the years pruning me into the woman He desires me to be. That kind of discipline is what I truly value as an adult. He saw my potential when I had no clue it even existed.

This woman did the same. She invested time, effort, and hard-work without underestimating the value of raising her child correctly from day one. Remaining diligent was probably tough in the beginning, but it sure seems to have made it much easier and rewarding in the long run. She did not fear her child hating her instruction. She only feared what her child would become without it.

I understand it now. The chapter opens with this significant woman who is hiding behind the scenes of raising a warrior. The impact she had on her son is directly related to the impact he has on others. Though the passage is indirectly about her, she has gained so much of my respect for raising the kind of man and leader I would hope to one day marry. Verses that follow are the recipe for how to mirror that amazing woman.

Today I may be far from marriage and children. Still, I see how important it is to model myself after her starting now. Much work needs to be done in my own life before I am even halfway prepared to raise a child of this caliber. What makes me smile is the fact that though I may be an idiot, its never too late to begin my pursuit of this amazing woman!

❤ Hayley Elise

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Reflection

While running through the woods this drizzly afternoon, a particular verse continued to echo in my mind. “As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man.” Proverbs 27:19

Reflection

What do you reflect? Just some food for thought.

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Rise, Smile, and Shine!

Live intentionally

Time to rise, smile, and shine….it’s going to be a beautiful new year! No silly New Years resolutions for me this time, those never worked anyway. The only thing that has ever encouraged healthy change in my life is to live one with intention and purpose.

To think of others more and myself less. To pursue wisdom and practice the fruits of the spirit. To rejoice in my trials as much as my blessings. To make goals and and remain diligent. To set boundaries and stay consistent. To love without limits. To not wear socks with sandals. To be generous with what I’ve been given. To proceed with caution and have faith like a child. To push my mind and my body out of the box. To stay positive and never say never. To remaining committed in doing what I say I will do. To remember my life was bought with a price and my worth is far beyond what I could possibly fathom. To walk in truth and be a difference. To stumble seven times and get up eight. To live a life that has nothing to hide. And to always glorify my Maker.

That being said, I can already tell 2015 is going to be an incredible year! 💚

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The Determined Hot Mess

31 woman

The above statement is highly true of me. To the innocent bystander, I imagine having the appearance of the worlds largest hot mess. Even I am aware of that. Decisions I make seem irrational to most people. Trying to talk out loud makes me sound like a jack-in-the-box with the stomach flu. I laugh when I’m not supposed to. And I don’t cry when I should. My list of interests and ambitions stretch so far and wide, its almost impossible to distinguish where one ends and a new begins.  Many would say my standards of dating are far too lofty. Etcetera. I’ll be the first to admit, I just flat out don’t make sense.

Beyond the mess of who I currently am, one common denominator is always considered in my odd decision making process; knowing the kind of woman I want to be. The Proverbs 31 woman has always been the desire of whom I’d like to mirror. As a young, single woman who seeks character, integrity, and honoring The Lord above anything else, I am still a far cry from her. However, I love the fact that I get to strive for excellence and higher standards in choosing to pursue her every single morning. Looking back to see how far I have come blesses me, while looking ahead at how far I have yet to go humbles me. So much growth and change of perspective has resonated within me through this study, I feel it only fair to share bits and pieces, with those who would like to follow, as I continue on my determined journey through life. ❤

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Courage, Dear Heart

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

megs

Last night I got in bed completely depleted. Not necessarily filled with worry, anxiety or fear. Just one of those days where a tiny discouragement builds on top of another, creating scenarios in your mind that contain absolutely no truth. Moving away from my entire life, I was fully aware days like this would hit; it would be inevitable. How perfect of a situation am I in for the enemy to pounce?

No way could I ever blame God for this emotion within me.What I have chosen to do with my life was done in complete faith for Him and I will never doubt that decision.

“Commit your works to The Lord and your plans will be established. The Lord has made everything for it’s own purpose, even the wicked for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:3-4

As I lay staring at the ceiling, these verses were running wild through my brain. My flesh may have a moment of despair, but what a great opportunity to trust. Every now and then it’s good to have days like this. Such a great reminder that even when uncertain of what lies ahead, always commit your works to The Lord; there will be greater purpose behind it than you can possibly imagine. If He has overcome the entire world, then why would I possibly need to question if He can handle the little obstacles on my simple path?

How lovely to have a moment of discouragement yesterday, because in it I was again made aware of how little I am in comparison to how incredibly big He is. An opportunity to be well informed of His grace, love, and mercy in my life; to be humbled by knowing the greatest ability I have is to faithfully depend on Him in all circumstances. Even when completely unsure of where He is leading me. What a blessing to have peace in tribulation, full knowing that He carries my life in His hands full of purpose!

courage

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

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