Modesty and Obedience Collide!!


Here is someone that is seeking to light her world!  Posted on one of our favorite sites

(Little disclaimer:  We probably would not agree with everything Ms. Jasmine deems as modest, but I was so blessed by her heart and desire to obey the Lord. She is obviously much more modest than she use to be.  We are all a work in progress!  Her heart and each of our hearts to obey is the key thing!)

The Day My Love for Fashion Collided with God’s Call to Modesty

It all started in the spring of 2014.
I had recently rededicated myself to Christ and was committed to living a life fully submitted to Him.
One afternoon I was rummaging through my closet in search of something to wear. I reached for one of my cropped tops when God spoke a word to me, that at the time, I’d rather have not heard.
As clear as day, God said, “Throw your revealing clothes away.”    
Out of my commitment to being obedient, I grabbed a trash bag, and less than willingly began to remove every questionable piece of clothing from my wardrobe. I tried negotiating with God to keep my short shorts, but He just wasn’t having it. 
Shortly after this incident, God spoke another word to me.
A little back story – I had worked in the fashion industry for about five years at this point and held a managerial position at a rapidly growing company. I had the opportunity to travel all over the world and work in places like Paris, London, and New York.  
I had always dreamed of starting my own business within the industry; however, my ideas didn’t necessarily do anything positive for the Kingdom. The concept promoted an edgy, rebellious attitude, encouraging women to show more skin in the name of “empowerment.” 
But God – being the humorous God that He is – completely shifted my desires and pressed on my heart that He wanted me to start a modest clothing company. 
Gracemade - Reinventing modesty and empowering women

When I thought of modest clothing companies, the image that immediately came to mind was layers and layers of fabric draped in very unflattering ways. I wouldn’t necessarily pair the words “modest clothing company” and “fashionable” together.
But maybe that’s why God gave me this vision. Could it be that He saw a niche in the market that He needed me to fulfill?
Soon I began to realize that His plan was deeper than just the fashion, He had a message. 
See, all my life I was taught by culture and the media that revealing more of my body would make me feel beautiful, confident, and get me the man of my dreams. 
Oh, the lies the enemy would love us to believe!
Dressing the way that I did only resulted in getting me the wrong kind of attention, and it hindered me from possessing the true confidence that can only be found in Christ.

Gracemade 6

The scary thing is that I know I’m not the only woman being fed this lie. The culture is becoming more and more hypersexualized by the second, and with the increasing popularity of social media, the “sex sells” image is constantly being pushed in our faces.
I want to reinvent the way the world thinks about modesty. 
I want to inspire this generation of women not to conform to what the world defines as “cool”, but to realize that there is nothing more liberating than unapologetically living to glorify God in every aspect of our lives, including our clothing.
In the fall of 2015, by faith, and with the help of the unarguable nudging of the Holy Spirit,I left my job in the secular fashion industry and have been hard at work turning my passion into purpose with Gracemade, a faith-driven lifestyle brand where faith and fashion coexist. 
Gracemade - Reinventing modesty and empowering women
Gracemade: Reinventing modesty
My vision is to provide a fashion-forward alternative to dowdy modest apparel and to show women that they can still express their personal style while honoring their faith.
It’s not only a clothing line; it’s also a community.
A community that empowers women to be all that God has created them to be. 

Jasmine of Gracemade

Jasmine Rennie is the founder of faith-driven fashion startup, Gracemade. She has a passion for inspiring women to fulfill their God-given purpose, and to live boldly and fearlessly in faith. Jasmine is based in Southern California and is obsessed with Jesus, design, and all things food related. 

The Cost by RC Ryle

Christian living How blessed we were this morning to read this gem! When I searched for it, to post it, I also found highlights of the article being read on YouTube; so I am including the audio, for those who maybe only have ten minutes or so and also the link to the full article in written format.  Well worth the read.

Link to the site where you can read it.

Rejoice in the LORD!

God's direction A beautiful, precious song shared with me by a 'big sister' in the Lord.  God has a perfect plan.  If we just trust and rest in Him He will bring us His perfect peace and we will be able to rejoice abundantly as we see His plans unfold and the fruit that He brings in our lives!

"Rejoice in the LORD"
by Ron Hamilton

God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the LORD though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.

I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.

Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.

O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

"Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice."
~ Philippians 4:4 ~

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold."
~ Job 23:10 ~

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

"O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
~ Psalm 34:8 ~

"Being confident of this very thing,
that He which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
~ Philippians 1:6 ~

May the Lord help us each to trust and rejoice in Him as He directs each little step along our way.  He is doing His perfect work!


God's Mysteries ~ Our Discipline and Direction

I was encouraged by reading this piece this morning.  The Lord has clear plans for our lives - blessings, growing experiences, and the exact purpose He created each of us to serve Him in.  We must trust Him always in and for all things.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 ~

"Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known."
- Psalm 77:19 -

"And the sea appears to be the most trackless of worlds!  The sea is the very symbol of mystery, the grim dwelling-house of innumerable things that have been lost.  But God's way moves here and there across this trackless wild.  God is never lost among our mysteries.  He knows His way about.  When we are bewildered He sees the road, and He sees the end even from the beginning.  Even the sea, in every part of it, is the Lord's highway.  When His way is in the sea we cannot trace it.  Mystery is part of our appointed discipline.  Uncertainty is to prepare us for a deeper assurance.  The spirit of questioning is one of the ordained means of growth.  And so the bewildering sea is our friend, as some day we shall understand.  We love to 'lie down in green pastures,' and to be led 'beside the still waters,' and God gives us our share of this nourishing rest.  But we need the mysterious sea, the overwhelming experience, the floods of sorrows which we cannot explain.  If we had no sea we should never become robust.  We should remain weaklings to the end of our days.
God takes us out into the deeps.  But His way is in the sea.  He knows the haven, He knows the track, and we shall arrive!"  - J. H. Jowett (from My Daily Meditation, 1914)

"In his early days of learning the ways of the sea an old seaman tells this story on himself.  When out in a boat by himself, he got lost several times.  He was told to use his compass.  Out into the water he went again.  He soon got lost and lay overnight as usual.  Upon being found he was asked why he did not use his compass.  He said he did not dare to.  He wished to go north, and he "Tried hard to make the thing go north, but it wasn't any use; 'twould shake, shake, right around, and point southeast every time."  Many people fail to go the right direction on the sea of life for the very same reason of the mishap which befell our seaman - thy are afraid to take the Captain at His Word and follow the direction in which He points." - M. Taylor
~Streams in the Desert, Volume 2, May 24th


Faithfulness in the Little Things

I was very convicted by this piece this morning.  What it really comes down to is, Are we living for ourselves, or are we living for Christ?  If we would live for Christ, we must constantly die to ourselves, to our preferences, to our wants, to anything that has to do with "I".  May He be gracious to reveal our hearts and to help us to walk faithfully in the little things.  That's what really shows who we are and who we're serving.

"She hath done what she could."  - Mark 14:8

Lord, let me do the little things
Which may fall to my lot;
Those little inconspicuous ones
By others oft forgot.

If, like the Master, I can give
Myself for those I love,
Rich joy and peace shall come to me,
Sweet rest in heaven above.

I know not when the day shall close;
But when life's curfew rings
I want my Lord to find me then
Still doing little things.

I'm sure that those persons who are faithful in that which is least must wear very radiant crowns.  They are the ones who tower above us when they are called upon to do the little tasks - never murmuring.  They are meticulous in the furrowed roads of drudgery.  They are the people who, when trudging up the "Hill of Difficulty," make it well.  They are the folks who win the victories amid trivial irritations.  They are as constant when they are wearing house dresses or overalls in their daily chores as when they are wearing royal purple and fine satin in the presence of the King.  They complete the most obscure piece of work as though it were to be displayed before a great assembly who will pass judgment.  Great are they who are faithful in the little things.
Little hamlets act out their dramas in small events.  Jesus lived most of His thirty years amid the insignificant incidents of the little village of Nazareth.  He toiled faithfully as a carpenter in His father's little shop.  He labored amid the humdrum, the petty cares, the trivial village gossip.  Yet He was faithful in the little things - yes, even in the least!  He wore His crown with dignity and honor.  It was forever upon His brow!
- M. Taylor
-Streams in the Desert, Volume 2, May 3rd


Tidbits from "The Battle Plan for Prayer"- What is prayer and what is it's purpose?

Kendrick Brothers I was so blessed and tickled to be able to borrow a used copy of the book"The Battle Plan for Prayer" by the Kendrick Brothers, a book inspired by the film War Room.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, it's so worth watching!  Our family was very blessed and challenged by it.  Which is why I was so tickled to be able to get my hands on this book.  Many aspects of prayer that they are sharing I'm very familiar with and seek to practice.  But I have been challenged by having my mind refocused on what prayer is actually and what it's purpose is.  Also, I've been challenged in the ways of focusing on praise and thanksgiving.  But for this post, I wanted to share with you all tidbits from the book that most challenged me in regard to what prayer is and what it's purpose is.  We know this stuff, but I know that at least for me, I become lax and forgetful and need to be reminded of these things so I can refocus.  We can become so lackadaisical, half-hearted, irreverent and in many ways selfish in our praying.  But when we look at what prayer is and what it's purpose is, it wakes us up and reignites our hearts to seek the Lord, the true purpose of prayer.  I hope you'll be blessed and challenged as well!

Prayer is not about prayer...just like a cell phone is not about a cell phone.  A phone's primary purpose is not for itself but to serve as a conduit to connect us in relationships.  If held up to our ear without engagin another person with it, we're not making it do what it's been created to do.  Likewise, there are activities you can undertake that may  look and feel like prayer, but they're not really prayer if God is not truly engaged.

Prayer, at its heart, is communicating with God.  Reverently and openly.  Sincerely.  Interacting directly with the magnificent God of the universe who is really there.   

What is prayer? Prayer is communion with God in order to...
1. Intimately know, love and worship Him.
Knowing Him and loving Him leads to worshiping Him.  The natural response the the presence of God is worship.  Honor and loving adoration.  Dedication and delight.  Willing submission.

2.  Understand and conform our lives to His will and ways.
Prayer doesn't merely change things; it will change us.  As we pray, God reveals His will and ways to us, and then starts to align our hearts and minds with His.  We yield to His awesome lordship.

3. Access and advance His kingdom, power and glory.
God is unlimited in His capacity to accomplish anything.  At the same time, we don't just receive these things but we seek to advance them.  When we seek first His kingdom, that's when so many other things fall into place.  Prayer allows us the priceless priviledge to not only know Almighty God better, but to join Him in what He is already doing among the nations for His glory.

Prayer is not about prayer.  It is about a Person- God Himself.  When it becomes merely about accessing the provision or protection of God rather than knowing and pleasing the Person of God, then we are getting off track.  But when the one goal of our praying is to live in relationship with Him- one on One- He will cause prayer to also help us experience His purposes, His plans, His provision, His protection, and everything else He intends.  All for His glory.

-Tidbits from The Battle Plan for Prayer by the Kendrick brothers.  Well worth reading!

How to build up your home and word at a time

build up your home Another timely and powerful encouragement from Lisa Jacobson at!  The power of our words...this one so hits me!  I frequently stand amazed at how much effect our words have, for the better and for the worse.

 I'm sure many of you have heard this saying, but this is a favorite one in our home, especially with such a cute little rabbit as Thumper saying it. :-)...

It also reminds me of the prayer in Psalms 19:14

Also the prayer in Psalm 141:3

Oh that the words that proceed out of my mouth would be that which is good to the use of edifying, that it would minister grace unto the hearers! (Eph. 4:29)  I know this is the desire of all of our hearts.  May the Lord help us to set a watch over this unruly member of ours (James 3:8) that our homes, families, churches, etc. would be built word at a time.  It starts today.  Each word that comes out of our mouths is an opportunity to build up or tear down. What a challenge to take into each day!

Okay...on to the article! :-)

How to Build Up Your Marriage, Child, and Home . . . One Word at a Time

More Than 100 Words of Affirmation to Build Up Your Home

You wouldn’t think a word could make such a difference.
But it does.
On some days, all the difference in the world.
The difference between tears or a smile.
Between slumped shoulders or a hug.
Between healing or hurt.
Between building up or tearing down.

Funny, how only a few words can turn around an entire day. Even turn around an entire heart.
I know. Because I’ve seen it happen right before my eyes.

I’ve heard my husband say to our youngest son, “I like the way God made you!” and watch that boy stand that much taller.

Then not too long ago, I told that same Man, “You are such a good daddy to our boys!” Something I figured he knew. But he almost seemed surprised to hear it. Like it was a new revelation. I guess it’s one of those things I’ve thought for a long time, but never got around to saying. Until last week.

And you could tell it meant the world for him to hear it. Coming from me. Maybe especially coming from me.

But then it was my turn to be on the receiving end.
And that really did it.

It was a weekday and I was dashing between the laundry room and the kitchen. Chopping vegetables, then sorting dirty clothes. Slicing sausage, then changing out loads of laundry. Stirring the soup, then folding clean clothes.
Back and forth. Back and forth.
He was working on his computer downstairs, but watched me from his chair.
Even in my hurry, I could feel his eyes on me.

Then I heard him say it.
He simply said, “You are amazing.” Followed by, “Do you know how amazing you are?”

And I answered him honestly, “No, Honey. I don’t feel very amazing at all.”
“But you are.” Then he went on to list out a bunch of things that he appreciated about me and, quite frankly, several things I had no idea he’d even noticed.

And I smiled.
And I hugged.
And I stood that much taller.

So yeah, our words matter. Because a kind and loving word can make all the difference in the world.
At least they do in our little world around here.

So we’re working on building up our home, one word at a time. 

Lisa Jacobson

Come to Jesus

abiding in Christ Come to Jesus...the greatest need of each and every one of us, in every season of our lives.  He must be our All in All!

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith...For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him..."
(Colossians 2:6-7, 9-10)

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
(John 15:4-5)
Come to Jesus by Chris Rice

Trust ~ He Knows Best

answered prayer "I need oil," said an ancient monk; so he planted an olive sapling. "Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers. "Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray Thee." And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. "Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues," cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.
Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. "I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! it thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. 'Lord, send what it needs,' I prayed, 'storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.'"

- taken from Streams in the Desert, Vol. 1, March 29th


Lessons to learn from boiled carrots, eggs and coffee beans (how to handle times of adversity)

“A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up; she was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.  Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.  
Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed  ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. 
Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.' 'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'
Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.
The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. 
The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. 
'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?”

Think on this:
~ Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
~ Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
~ Am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you, dear homemaker, handle adversity?

~ Author - Unknown