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Posts Tagged ‘woman’

C. S. Lewis Believed in Faiytales - Self Portrait

Busy day at work? Yeah, me too.

One lesson I have learned in my young adult years is the importance of self-care. God has given us one body while on this earth and we are called to serve Him to the best of our ability; which includes prioritizing self-care. One of my recent loves is establishing a nightly routine prior to falling asleep.

Here is a list of some of my favorite activities to do before bed.

  1. Read my Bible
  2. Diffuse essential oils
  3. Relaxing yoga postures
  4. Light a candle and journal my thoughts
  5. Drink herbal tea with almond/coconut milk
  6. Take a bath with epsom salt and essential oils
  7. Read Fiction (Currently: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson)
  8. Think of 10 things I was thankful for that day and praise God for them

When you have a chance, take the time to read the following article via  The Eco Blog ! It is an informative and inspiring post about the necessity of sleep and sleep-routine ideas!

Sweet dreams and have a lovely sleep! : ) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are random moments during my days of clinical depression when I suddenly feel  almost normal again. The dreamer inside of me comes back to life, and my imagination soars with possibility. During these moments of feeling almost normal, I am reminded of some of my deepest dreams. One of which is to share with women how deeply beautiful and unique they are.

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Women who have also experienced clinical depression will understand when I say my self esteem has reached levels below the zero on the number line. Confidence in the individual beauty that God gave me has been forgotten. Yes, the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit is eternal (2 Peter 3:3-4). However, God reflects His beauty in woman. He has given women the desire to feel and deeply know they are beautiful in their own skin.

“Given the way creation unfolds, how it builds to ever higher and higher works of art, can there be any doubt that Eve is the crown of creation? Not an afterthought. Not a nice addition like an ornament on a tree. She is God’s final touch…She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill. Step to a window, ladies, if you can. Better still, find some place with a view. Look out across the earth and say to yourselves, ‘The whole, vast world is incomplete without me. Creation reached its zenith in me.'” (For more information, check out John and Stasi Eldredge’s eye opening book, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul)

No other woman has your exact eyebrows, eye shape, legs, arms, lips, ears, hair, nose, etc…In Psalm 139, David points to our individuality from God our Creator.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

(Insert your name here), do you believe that?

I am currently asking myself the same question. Do I believe that?

I, Naomi, am fearfully and wonderfully made. Really?

I was born with a heart defect, resulting in open heart surgery. Even with my scar, do I believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made? Do I believe I am beautiful? The days I wish my straight hair was curly and voluminous, do I believe I am beautiful? The days when my eyebrows are in desperate need of an eyebrow wax, do I believe I am beautiful? The days I feel my height is too tall, do I believe I am beautiful? The days when I trace my nose and cringe when I feel the bone that brings a slight curve to my nose shape, do I believe I am beautiful? The days when my legs do not look as toned as I noticed on the other woman while I was out shopping, do I believe I am beautiful?

God, our Creator, our Father, thinks the world of us.

He rejoices in us and He rejoices in His creation of woman.

You, (insert your name here), are made in the image of God.

You, (insert your name here), reflect the magnificent beauty of God.

You, (insert your name here), are BEAUTIFUL. 

Now quit reading this and go do something that brings a smile to your beautiful face!

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The past two weeks Hebrews 13:5-6 has been on my mind.

Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’ so that we confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?’

One’s character should be free not only from the love of money, but from the love of anything which keeps them from genuinely pursuing Christ.

It is now the eight week into my first semester of college. It has been crazy discovering the differences that sets college apart from high school (especially attending a tiny Private Christian school). Self-discipline has always been a struggle, but now it is even a more constant struggle as the teachers lecture in class and expect you to diligently study in preparation for the quizzes/tests in the coming weeks. Social wise, the first couple weeks were pretty lonely. I have learned to appreciate the quietness in between classes. When I can, I make sure to sit outside in a secluded place and rest. In time I have become acquainted with some people at school and the “first day of class awkwardness” is thankfully no more.

The last Wednesday of August, I also began serving in the youth ministry at my church. Rounding to about 400 students, junior high through high school, this relational youth ministry has volunteering leaders who come alongside these students and lead them towards the Truth. At least, that is the hopeful and constant prayer of many. I, and one other awesome woman, lead a small group of about 8-10 ninth grade girls. I love the girls. I admire this youth ministry and their continual vision for the ministry.

There are many other activities that contribute to my busy schedule. These past two months have been a learning experience, trying to figure out how to juggle my commitments. But, also how to say NO when possible commitments come to my door step. God has been teaching me that my life is not my own. Everything I do, everything I own, everything I strive for…all belongs to Him. All should be for His glory.

I fear change. Though it has been constant on the horizon, change will continue throughout my life. Life is about change. There are days I wish life didn’t change. I wish my family of six still had weekday dinners, game nights, and worship time together. Where’s that active imagination I had as a kid? Why this, why that, Jesus?!

In this changing life there is hope.

There is hope, because God never changes.

He is unchangeable.

There is none like You, O Lord; You are great, and great is Your name in might. Jeremiah 10:6

Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. Psalm 119:90

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

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Take heart. Be encouraged. God is God, and man is not.

 

 

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 I have often wondered if people have questioned why I take so many self portraits. The answer is simple: It is one way I express myself. 

 When I was fourteen years old, I began to enjoy taking pictures. I would carry my point and shoot with me everywhere I went. And my love for photography grew from there. Over the years I have grown to appreciate photography beyond the surface of capturing a memory.

You don’t make a photograph just with a camera.
You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen,
the books you have read, the music you have heard,
the people you have loved. Ansel Adams

 

When I’m taking photographs and I shoot a beautiful photo, my heart quickens. There is beauty in capturing a couple in love, a flittering butterfly, and even an artfully designed building. Yes, the memories are there, but a beautiful photograph has depth. The subject in each photo all have a unique story of their own. God has created them; insect or human, God has created them. And there is something about photographing God’s creation that makes it worthwhile.

February 2012 Serenity Photography

When I take self portraits I am in no way trying to say, “Hey, look at me. I’m God’s creation. Aren’t I pretty?”

I take self portrait shoots because everyone else in my family are tired of pictures, and our pets do not cooperate. So when I am eager to express myself through photography, I grab the tripod and click self timer.

 

As Christians, we are all role models. And I hope young girls know my reasoning behind my self portraits.

Society has it in them that being a model for a fashion magazine is one of the best things out there for girls to strive for. No, no, no.

 

Striving for what the world calls, “Accepted! The thing to be! Gorgeous photo shopped woman!” often results in vanity.

Vanity is horrible, sinful and results in a prideful attitude. I have struggled with vanity. And being vain is not pretty. Thankfully, my family holds me accountable.

What society calls acceptable, God usually accepts the opposite.

No matter how cliche, genuine beauty is inward.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment,
such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, 
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4
 
 If you dear little girls would only learn what real beauty is,
and not pinch and starve and bleach yourselves out so,
you’d save an immense deal of time and money and pain.
A happy soul in a healthy body makes the best sort
of beauty for man or woman.” Louisa May Alcott

When I take photo shoots, I continually try to keep in mind that God is the one who has given me a love of photography. And I praise Him for giving me a desire to embrace the depth of life found in photographs.

 
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,
do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
 

I believe expressing oneself, and expressing your individuality is extremely important. Some may express themselves through football, gymnastics, dramatic arts, painting, carpentry,  guitar, ballet, you name it! I express myself through photography and self portrait photo shoots.

How do you express yourself?

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