Tag Archives: beauty

Worth Celebrating

reflection

Trust me, I get it….I’m the annoying girl on social media always talking about Jesus. Can’t say I’m sorry about it. When my heart is overflowing with joy, I just have to give praise where praise is due…can’t help myself!

This week 27 years ago, I was born. But this week 13 years ago I was finally brought to life. Reflecting on how much change and growth has taken place within those years has me completely overwhelmed at the goodness and grace God has brought into my life.

You all know the friendly, goofball I am today. The positive, upbeat, hardworking girl, who trips over air, wears her pants inside-out, says cheesy things, and is not afraid to laugh at herself. I’m a mess, but a completely different kind of mess from the disaster I used to be.

Sad as it is, my life was once ruled by negativity and insecurity. All I wanted was to fit in. I longed for some kind of talent or skill to define me. Good at nothing and fearful of everything. I was made fun of for being nothing more than a chubby, freckle-faced kid. I began to believe it. At times, I thought my life was a useless waste of space. The mirror was an enemy Satan used to feed me his lies. Not an ounce of self-worth. At my lowest, I begged God to take me off this earth; trying to convince Him that no one would even notice I was gone. Only now do I realize how much His heart must have broken to hear my thoughts.

My life began to take a turn for what I thought was worse:

We were supposed to be watching my sister graduate that night. The auditorium filled with chaos as we ended up watching my grandmother die instead.

Never had I felt such a thick layer of darkness come over my world as I did the night I found out my aunt killed herself.

There was the morning I watched the devastation cross my dad’s face as he got news of his brothers sudden and unexpected death.

I also remember the rainy New Year’s Eve I spent in a cold hospital waiting room. With watery eyes, I stared at the single drop of blood on the pillow next to my best friend’s lifeless body.

Death became so real to me. I think that’s the same time life started to become real also.

How thankful I am for the very last opportunity we had to visit my uncle battling Alzheimer’s. He smiled at me though he had no idea who I was. Since conversation was difficult to come by, my sister opened up to the book of Psalms and began to read. I watched my uncle close the eyes on his frail body, tilt his head toward heaven and quote every single verse word for word. Goosebumps rushed over my body at one of the most beautiful moments I had ever witnessed. God’s word was powerful. This kind of beauty had nothing to do with appearance or talent, but rather a condition of the heart.

That was the day I took a sharpie to a mirror. Instead of focusing on my skewed view, I scribbled verses all over that mirror of the things I hoped to reflect…in every aspect of life…because that was an unfading beauty. The only thing I could possibly control in life was my own attitude, actions, and willingness in allowing God to do His work in transforming me from the inside out.

He’s had His work cut out for Him.

It was in the midst of death, I finally realized the value of life; including my own. Not only was it a precious gift, but was overwhelming to think someone else found so much beauty, value, and worth in me, that He was willing to die for it.

My life will never be free from pain, hurt, or trials. God loves me far too much to make it easy for me. However, I’m absolutely blown away by the life I get to live free from worthlessness, comparison, jealousy, pride, anger, envy, anxiety, worry, etc. He’s made my faith far greater than any fear. I’ve got plenty moments of weakness, especially with the enemy knowing to hit me right where it hurts the most. But never is there a chain my Savior cannot break. Though I don’t always know what He is working on, He has somehow managed to bring so much purpose and potential to an ordinary girl like me.

How scary that I almost let myself get in the way of His wonderful work. My soul has slowly been set on fire over the course of 13 years; I can hardly wait to see how He uses the rest of it!

That’s a birthday worth celebrating

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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Confidence & Intelligence

Confidence and intelligence

It’s true ladies. We all have flaws and weaknesses. Dealing with them confidently and intelligently makes you beautiful. Handle them in such a way that honestly believes you are beautiful; because you are. Truly confident and intelligent people always know the value of humility. The weak will admire it and the strong will identify with it. All the right people will be able to recognize that type of beauty within you. No need to announce it or seek attention. They’ll know.

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Friendly Reminder

 

 

Just a friendly reminder:

The problem is not you. The problem is with the media.

Beauty

Being a make-up artist I’ve seen both sides of the equation. Over the years I have met a lot of beautiful people and I have met a lot of ugly people. My conclusion is that beauty has a whole lot more to do with what’s on the inside and the nature of your character, rather than what you look like on the outside. Media is constantly shoving it’s idea of beauty and perfection down our throats. The scary thing….we actually start to believe it. We begin to believe we need to meet a standard that doesn’t even exist.

Put the bulk of your effort into the parts of you that will last a lifetime, and I guarantee you will begin to shine from the inside out. That’s the kind of beauty that never fades. It needs no Photoshop.

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Queen of Hearts

Red.

Not necessarily my first choice when contemplating the color wheel. Certain reds are just too bold for a soft spoken girl like me to handle.

That being said, I still can’t help hunting for the perfect shade of festive red every holiday season. A simple task turned into an annual challenge I know I can conquer. It all depends on my mood; can’t be too bright, can’t be too dark, no shimmer, must have gloss, can’t chip too easily, the list could go on for days. The task was beginning to get tough as nothing spoke Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all bundled up into one jovial color, until…BAM! There it was. Walking through target of all places, the Queen of Hearts jumped out grabbing my full attention.

Revlon Queen of Hearts

Revlon Queen of Hearts

Ah, there’s something so satisfying about discovering that perfect hue. It’s a good one y’all! Not only is the color merry and bright, but the polish itself is a great consistency making it smooth, easy to work with, and low on the chipping scale. Likewise, it’s easy on the budget which is always a score. Highly suggested in my opinion, but always love suggestions and feedback on what other great Holiday colors you’ve uncovered out there!

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Building Dreams

And so the saying goes, “chase your dreams and you’ll often come across other dreams you never knew you had.” Whether or not that’s an actual quote, I am unaware, but this concept often seems to be the case in my life.

Taking a few months off of work has been amazing and not something I ever fathomed! I was able to spend valuable time chasing dreams that appeared out of thin air. Now that I’m finally beginning to settle into my new life, I feel just about ready to jump back into my old dreams again. Rebuilding from the ground up is going to be a brutal challenge. Nevertheless, if I have done it once, then Lord willing, I’ll be able to do it again! Here’s to 2015; putting hard work and a bucket load of effort into chasing old and new dreams alike – achieving what you never thought possible!

"If you don't build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs."

“If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help build theirs.”

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Of Beauty and Grace

Given the choice, my every day to do list would be tackled in spandex shorts, a trusty old sweatshirt, and a good pair of Nikes. Comfort is clearly the largest portion of my closet; not always the cutest. Although some days my fashion sense may appear to be socially acceptable, other days I get strangers walking up to me on street corners handing me money and offering to buy me meals.

Okay, so it’s not really that bad. However, I dress in the things I like and claim to know absolutely nothing about fashion or the latest trends.

That is where my lovely friend Vanessa comes in. Her fashion game is flawless and I envy the way she can so effortlessly pull an outfit together in a way I would have never even considered. She would be at my house every morning if I could afford it! Thank goodness for her website to keep me in line. Not only does she have outstanding talent, but her shining personality makes an even stronger statement than the clothes she wears. Check in with her for inspiration and a good, healthy dose of Beauty and Grace!

Of Beauty and Grace. Fashion by Vanessa Ebel

Of Beauty and Grace. Fashion by Vanessa Ebel

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