Devos

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Watch Your Mouth

You’ve heard the saying, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’? I wish this was true, but as we all know this is not the case. Words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words have power in matters of life and death, and those who love them will savor their fruit”. Our words can either be used to bring encouragement to someone or to bring them down.

Many times, we don’t know the full impact of our words and the affect it will have on those around us. I remember back in middle school, there was a girl that kids made fun of because of her curly hair and buck teeth. One day on the bus I began talking with her. That day when she got off the bus she excitedly shared with her mom that she made a friend. Little did I know she had been battling with depression, did not have any friends and was feeling lonely. I found out we had a lot in common and she was fun to be around. We became close and remained friends throughout middle school and high school.

James 5:9 says, “Brothers and sisters, don’t waste your breath complaining about one another. If you judge others, you will be judged yourself.” It is important that we are not so quick to use or words to judge others, because we do not always know what that person may be going through or their life circumstances. Growing up I was constantly being teased for being short. But these students didn’t know that I was short because of a medical condition. Their words had an effect on me, making me feel I was different from everyone else. I made a decision that I wouldn’t do this to others.

Our words can also determine and affect how we will respond to issues in our lives. We can choose to either speak positively and allow the situation to make us a better person, or speak negatively and walk around with a bad attitude towards everything and everyone around us. Words have the power to change the feeling of our homes, schools, and relationships.
Next time you are about to speak, think of the effects it will have. Remember you have the ability to speak positively or negatively. So, choose your words wisely.

Nicole is working on her Masters degree at Liberty University in counseling. She has a desire to see young women know their true identity and fulfill their unique purpose. She enjoys blogging, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Comparison

Over the past four years, my life has been radically transformed! As I look back, I am truly amazed at God’s goodness. It’s hard to believe how far He has brought me as I have grown in my giftings, learned to trust Him more, and developed a self-confidence founded in his love for me.

I wasn’t always like this, though. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with self-doubt, self-shaming, self-comparison, and fear to name a few. My self-confidence has always been tied to my talents and abilities, in which I took much pride; however when anybody was better than me at something, all confidence would immediately wither and I’d fall into comparing myself to them. In this day and age, it’s especially difficult to not compare ourselves with the constant images and ideals being beat into our minds by the media & culture, along with self-comparison’s biggest incubator: social media.

Why can’t I have hair like her? Why don’t I look as good as her? Why aren’t my lips fuller? Why aren’t my eyes bluer? Why isn’t my body built a different way? Why can’t I sing like her? Why can’t I have her voice? Why can’t I be the best or why can’t I be better? In my past, all of these thoughts were ammunition the enemy shot into my mind; ammunition that I dwelled on.

The funny thing is that my desires would always change as the pictures before me changed. That’s how you know comparison is a useless trap! You’re never satisfied. One day I’d see a pretty picture of a girl with dark hair and tan skin, and I’d wish to look like that. The next day I’d see a brunette girl with green eyes and I’d wish to look like that. The same thing would happen with my music. I’d hear one girl’s voice and think, wow, if I could just sing that way… The next day I’d hear a different song and wish I could sound like that singer. The list goes on, and the self-comparisons were endless!

But there is good news! Throughout the past two years, God has been redefining the standards I set for myself and revealing His love to me. I have always heard God loves me, but you know how it goes: it gets cliché and meaningless after being raised in church and hearing it all the time. However, through seeking him, building uplifting Christ-centered friendships, and having Godly role models who spoke into my life, I received a new revelation of God’s love for me. There is literally nothing we can do to separate ourselves from His love. Did you read that!? It blows my mind every time.

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) says, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”

When you get a hold on how much he adores (loves) you, you realize he made you EXACTLY how he wanted you to be. The freckles you hate? He sprinkled them across your cheeks before you were even born. The voice you have? He designed it uniquely, like NO ONE ELSE’S. He planned out every aspect of your being before time began, and he gave you different looks and talents from everyone else because that’s exactly how he wanted you! YOU are the best version of you. God said so!

When you realize all of this, and firmly set your identity in Christ & Christ only, comparisons become almost laughable. Now, when those thoughts try to come at me, they literally seem stupid! Why would I wish to change how God made me, when he knows I’m the best me exactly how I am now? Why would I compare myself to someone else’s looks or talents when God formed mine how He knew would be perfect for my destiny? It really is crazy!

Girls, it’s time to stop wishing to be different. It’s time to stop comparing ourselves. It’s time to stop letting jealousy ruin relationships and cause insecurity. God can’t use us or let us step into our destiny when we are shaken by such petty things!

I encourage and challenge you – find your security in God and what he says about you, nothing else. Remember that He made you the most perfect version of yourself there ever could be. God doesn’t make mistakes!

You are LOVED!

 Cheyenne Rose Arnspiger, 18, is a journalist, musician, songwriter, fashion-enthusiast, and crazy cat lady. Due to a high-pressure background of performing and modeling, self-comparison, fear, and insecurity were all a part of her life before she found her identity in God. Now, she is passionate about inspiring other girls to be confident in Christ through the songs, blogs, and stories she writes.

Living Radically in 2017

Check out Savannah’s VLOG with thoughts on how to live radically for God in 2017 and details about our upcoming Radical Girls Conference on Saturday, February 11th, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Medallion Golf Club in Westerville, Ohio.

Register on the Events page of our website!

Hurry – Space is limited!

Sanctuary

Your mind is a private sanctuary, so don’t allow negative thoughts, opinions of others, or the darkness of this world to invade it. What you think about and dwell on can affect your entire mood and countenance. What goes on inside of you affects what happens on the outside, unless you learn to fake it.

Think about what makes you sad. When I am upset for a very long time, it is usually because I have let my mind dwell on sad things, and then I have let that single thought affect how I feel in that moment or that day. This also applies to being angry, irritable or depressed. These emotions occur because you allow your mind to remain in that negative place and often then wander down a path of destruction. You become like a reed that sways in the wind, never stable or strong.

But, do you know that you ARE strong? You have the power to control your moods, feelings and actions! Just because someone hurts or offends you, that hurt or offense doesn’t have to affect you for weeks on end. No, you can be sad or angry for a while, that’s part of being human, but then after you’ve processed the pain, it’s time to pick yourself up and choose to move on. The choice is truly yours.

You can decide to be happy, no matter what is going on in this crazy world around you. Your brain and thoughts affect how you feel and your brain can create patterns for the ways you think.  What types of thinking patterns or habits will you CHOOSE to create for yourself – negative ones or positive? Do you choose to dwell on the positive things of life, like friendships, provision and family or do you remain in sadness and choose to live negatively?

There is something attractive about a girl who stands tall and rejoices when the world comes against her.

James 1:2 says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.”

The Bible instructs us to see troubles we encounter as an opportunity for joy. When I read that, it sounds impossible.  Why would we consider trouble an opportunity for joy?  If you read that verse in context, it makes quite a bit of sense…it’s talks about being stronger on the inside than what is happening to you, because He who is in you, is greater.

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

NEEDING NOTHING!  Wow, God will perfect our endurance and we will lack nothing, when we approach trails with joy. Wouldn’t you be happy and content if you lacked nothing? I sure would!

Dear girl, don’t let any troubles that come your way, take away your joy and perseverance. Press on and remember this trial is building your character and in Christ, you lack nothing!

carlyThis blog was written by Pure Design Teen Magazine’s blogger Carly Sage. Carly is 19 and lives in Youngstown, Ohio where she attends Victory School of Ministry. She hopes to be in full-time ministry as a pastor one day and loves to express herself through writing!

Fall Fashion Favorites

Fall… That comforting, apple cider-drinking, pumpkin-picking, leaves-changing, school-starting time of the year (well, maybe that last detail isn’t the greatest part of the season). One of the biggest reasons I love autumn is the fashion! Boots, scarves, sweaters, tights, it’s all a huge change from the rompers, tanks, and shorts of summer trends. It can even feel overwhelming to change over to your fall wardrobe. There are so many choices, details, and new styles to explore!

To make that transition from simple, sunny looks to layered indie-Autumn outfits easier for you, and to inspire your own unique fashion ideas, we’ve put together a collage of some of my favorite looks. Let the shopping begin!

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The first look I’d like to introduce is just the simple T-shirt dress. These are so in style right now, and they honestly work with any season. Summer with sandals, fall with boots and sweaters, and winter with tights or leggings! If you’re looking for a cute and easy item to add to your closet, T-shirt dresses are an amazing staple to have on hand. Tie a flannel shirt or sweater around your waist to give your outfit a more hipster look, or wear an over-sized knit cardigan with the dress for an effortless, casual look.

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Ankle boots, a matching purse, and boho style sunglasses are all great accessories for this style. When it comes to jewelry, I like to keep it sweet and simple with a small, elegant necklace and matching gold stud earrings.

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Another amazing thing about fall is that deliciously cool chill in the air. It gives me an excuse to add extra layers to any outfit! Denim is huge this season, and cute vests or jackets keep you warm in the crisp fall weather. Pair a dark denim button-up with a light wash jean and you’ll rock that chilly hayride in style.

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So now that you have seen my photos and some outfits I’ve assembled, it’s your turn to go mix and match your own clothes to create your own styles! Have fun with it. Get some friends together to help you find your perfect autumn outfit. I’d love to see any fashions you come up with! Email me your style photos at CheyenneRoseMusic@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on my Style by Chey Instagram page!  Stay tuned and check back next month for additional ideas as well! Happy designing!

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Thanks for reading, lovelies! Have a warm & wonderful autumn season!

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Cheyenne Rose Arnspiger, 17, is a journalist, musician, songwriter, fashion-enthusiast, and crazy cat lady. Due to a high-pressure background of performing and modeling, self-comparison, fear, and insecurity were all a part of her life before she found her identity in God. Now, she is passionate about inspiring other girls to be confident in Christ through the songs, blogs, and stories she writes.

What I learned OFFLINE for 8 months!

savannahofflineI deleted my social media for 8 months.

And cable and Netflix and secular music and pretty much everything else that is entertaining.

Part of me hates social media. Actually scratch that – almost all of me hates it and wishes that it never existed. So when I felt called to get rid of it all for a while, it was somewhat easy for me and let me just say, it was the most productive time of my life!

Let me explain…

Late at night, with just my cell phone and I scrolling through the latest posts from my friends, famous people, and advertisements, that’s when I would hear it.

The thoughts condemned me for not being as beautiful, as tan or as sexy as them. The countless images of girls in their trendy outfits, the bikini pictures, the selfies… It drove me into a downward spiral of insecurity. I would compare myself to what I saw and realized how little I could compete.

I allowed my life to be consumed by the influence of the world, society, and media, instead of being filled with the love of Christ and it distorted my view of myself and the people around me.

After 8 months offline, I learned one thing:

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I cannot control what I see at all times. The only thing I can control is how I allow it to affect me.

This simple idea has changed my life. I realized that the pain I was feeling inside my heart was no one’s fault, by my own because I allowed it. I didn’t understand the power of my thoughts and my words. I told myself so often that I was ugly and then wondered why I started to believe that I was ugly!

I noticed this shift in my mindset one evening standing in line at Chipotle. There was a girl with purple hair and winged eyeliner who was rather kind to me. This was significant to me because I didn’t have a trace of makeup on, wasn’t wearing a stylish outfit, and my hair was a mess… and I NEVER go out looking this way. She didn’t give a second thought at the fact that she could see my “flaws” and it made me realize that I was my harshest critic.

jesuspicI cried that night on my way home as my burrito waited in the bag for me. I began to feel convicted about the way that I was viewing my sisters in Christ – for being judgmental and seeing only their outward appearance instead of their heart. Kind of like how I viewed myself!

It may have taken me 8 months to figure it out, but that detox was just what I needed. I now focus on how each and every person is made in the image of God, including myself.

It is my prayer that women of God will come together and unite to be encouragers and not competitors, to support one another, and to celebrate the beauty in one another, while still knowing that they themselves are equally as beautiful.

As for myself and my own appearance, I choose to focus on more important things like my dreams, relationships, and my Savior. As I focus on things that I value inwardly, the meaning of the outwardly always diminishes in comparison.

“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27

savannahlewie

Savannah, 20, is a young writer and video creator who strongly believes in the power of young women coming together in Christ to bring real change to the world. As a result of marrying at the young age of 18, her life is far from ordinary, but her unique life has given her an opportunity to encourage other young girls to see the value of marriage. Savannah has had a relationship with the Lord since she was very young. During the last few years, she has truly begun to find her identity in Christ, which gives her the confidence to share her story in hopes of impacting others.

How to Change a Life in 5 Minutes or Less

View More: http://elizabethconleystudios.pass.us/pure-teen-design-magWhen I opened the mail box a few weeks ago, I found a hand addressed envelope from my friend Meghan in West Virginia.  Eager to open something other than a bill I moved quickly and clumsily back inside to the kitchen table, kicking off my sandals and leaving a trail of junk mail along the path.  Inside was a card, along with a long thoughtful message and a quote that made her think of me along with a check for her half of the rental car from our vacation last fall.  I’d long forgotten about it, so the check alone was a pleasant surprise.  But her handwritten words are worth far more than the $100.  The card remains where the dollars are long gone.

On Tuesday I came home from working to a vase full of purple white and red flowers from my boyfriend.  “A little something to brighten your days while I’m gone” he said. “Hopefully they survive the two weeks.”  It had been a rough couple days and I wasn’t looking forward to him going back to Cincinnati for two weeks.  While I was gone, he’d fixed my garden hose so that I’d only have to open the back door to the garden and twist the nozzle instead of going all the way to the side of the house, bare feet getting abused by sticks and stones.

Proverbs 16:24 says kind words are like honey. Sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. 

Kindness is like honey.  Sweet and healthy.  Delicious and nutritious, if you will.  And here’s the best part.  Kindness doesn’t require any money, grand gestures, hours of planning, change of life course.  We don’t need to buy a book or an online course or attend workshop on How To Be Kind.  Kindness is a simple, day in and day out practice, that’s the best kind of contagious.  Research shows that being kind makes us happier, reduces inflammation in the body, the kind that leads to chronic diseases, it builds relationships, sustains communities and binds families together.

So then let’s talk about 20 practical ways to spread kindness that can be done in under 5 minutes and for less than $5.

  1. Smile at every person you pass on the side walk.
  2. Pay for the person behind you in the Starbucks drive through.
  3. Leave a thoughtful note for your waiter/waitress.
  4. Send someone you love a card or note via snail mail.
  5. Surprise someone who’s struggling with a sweet treat.
  6. Put your phone away when you’re with people you love and be in the moment.
  7. Text a friend 3 things you love about them right now.
  8. Start a box of stuff to donate.
  9. Put a tip in the tip jar.
  10. Give someone a hug, like a real, warm, good one.
  11. Send a Facebook friend who’s struggling a thoughtful message.
  12. Leave a sticky note behind with a positive message.
  13. Say hello to the homeless person on the street and look them in the eye.
  14. Listen.
  15. Give someone a book you love.

You see, kindness is one of those everyday luxuries, like a lazy Sunday morning brunch, we can choose to spread our sweetness generously like honey on hot, buttery biscuits, spilling over the edges, watching as it sticks to the corners of lips upturned in satisfied grins.  Let’s poor kindness on thick, with no fear of wastefulness, to anyone and everyone we meet without stopping to question whether or not they deserve it.

Let me know in the comments how you’re practicing kindness this week!

kristaw

Krista is a writer & life coach.  She is every day falling in love with moments & lines from her favorite books. She loves daydreaming & getting her hands dirty in her garden alongside her dog, Hank.  Her heart overflows with love for opening the eyes and hearts of young women to the way that Christ pursues their hearts, and to the love story and grand adventure he calls them to enter into.  Check out her website: kristawinbigler.com or follow her on Instagram: @kristawinbigler.

Let Go & Fly!

View More: http://elizabethconleystudios.pass.us/pure-teen-design-mag I have noticed a terrible pattern in my life – that I quite often let fear dictate my choices. I struggle with anxiety and fear which handicap my life in so many different ways. Anxiety is a lesser evil than many physical handicaps, but an evil nonetheless. It’s a mental isolation, a fear of the unknown and a form of self-destruction. If you have anxiety or struggle with panic attacks, you know exactly what I mean. It’s a hopeless illness, but I want to tell you that you’re strong enough to break through.

This past March I took a trip to New York City and had crippling panic attacks on the subway. I was so frightened from being underground that I couldn’t see where I was going. I cried and shook and couldn’t get my body to stop. I was very overcome by anxiety and fear. This happens to me sometimes when I face situations that are out of my control, not always to that extent, but anxiety creeps in every time I am afraid.

Whenever I was afraid, my thoughts felt out of control. I would often think of what I would do if I would fall.  I began to realize I needed to change my way of thinking – I just needed to have hope!  I began turning things around in my mind and instead of being afraid of falling, I’d ask myself – oh darling what if you fly? Fear is dictated by allowing your thoughts to go to the worst possible scenario and it leads to hopeless thinking.

I no longer look at my life through a lens of despair, but I look at life as an opportunity to fly!

Beautiful girl I promise you there is much richness in spreading your wings. When you choose to let go, open your eyes and completely live in a moment, God will take you to new heights and you will see like you never have before.

Our lives begin when we decide to explore all God has for us. Whether we give ourselves to travel, ministry, a career, or a family, there is more than this computer screen and your favorite chair to curl up in. There are so many day where I wanted to crawl into bed and hide under the covers forever, but the days when I risk my comfort are the days I write about in blogs, the days I sing about, the days I truly live! I encourage you, do not let fear takeover you. This world is so big and you were created for it. My dear friend once said, We are wired for love, fear is learned.”  It’s incredibly true and slowly my heart is changing, realizing more and more that being open and free is what I’m supposed to be.

carlyThis blog was written by Pure Design Teen Magazine’s blogger Carly Sage. Carly is 19 and lives in Youngstown, Ohio where she attends Victory School of Ministry. She hopes to be in full-time ministry as a pastor one day and loves to express herself through writing!