“Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart” Book Talk!

Hello, my lovely readers! I’m so sorry that I haven’t been posting regularly. I’m not sure what happened … *looks bewildered*

Anyway, there is a new book releasing that I want you all to know about. Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart: Discovering the Beauty and Freedom of God-Defined Sexuality is Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal’s third book! Their ministry, @GirlDefined, has really impacted my life. I love their books. And I so truly want you to read them! These sisters are passionate about helping women find their identity in Christ and live out His design in freedom and joy! ❤

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Find Kristen and Bethany on their website, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Bethany, and her husband, Dav, also have a fun Youtube channel: Dav and Bethy.

So, this book is releasing the 30th of this month, April! I’m so excited! I’m praying for God to work mightily in the lives of the women who read this book. I’m part of the launch team, so I received an early copy of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart. It has been phenomenal! Look for my personal book review soon! And watch my unboxing video on Youtube!

If you pre-order by the 29th, you will receive some FREE, special bonuses such as an adult coloring book, an audiobook, and a private Q&A with the authors + their husbands!

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I hope you all will give this book a chance … even if you don’t normally read nonfiction. Kristen and Bethany help us to recognize God’s awesome design for sex and intimacy as laid out in the holy Scriptures. They show that you can truly find freedom from sexual sin! You can find forgiveness, new beginnings, and glorious beauty as you turn to Him and use your sexuality as God designed!

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Kristen and Bethany don’t shy away from the tough questions and shameful topics. They get to the heart of the issue.

Our brilliant, loving Creator designed us all as sexual beings, and obviously, His plan for that sexuality is the very best. We don’t have to live in sexual immorality. By His strength we can rise up to beautiful heights of purity and holiness and freedom. Our sexuality has very intricate purpose in our lives.

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So yes, I highly encourage you to read this book, fellow women! And read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity and Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships, if you haven’t yet!

Read this book. Do a book study on it with your girl friends. We are all sexually broken. But we can find wholeness in Christ. Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart is simply, beautifully another tool to help us discover that … and the beauty of living out our sexuality God’s way.

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Stress and Rest + a New Devotional

Hello, lovely readers!

Today I’m going to talk a little bit about stress and rest + devotionals. 😉 Life can get stressful, right? And overwhelming. And wearying.  And sometimes it just threatens to squeeze the breath from our lungs.

I had a little bit of a rough week. First I was dealing with a flare up of some health issues, then I came down with a cold/flu. I had to cancel my young adult Bible study and also wasn’t able to film my Monday Booktube video. 😦 I wasn’t writing as much as I’d hoped to. Missed church. And didn’t want to bring in a job application as I’d planned because I felt yucky and sounded quite hoarse. Ha.

So I was just feeling down emotionally too. And then, this morning, my laptop decided to go crazy and I was terrified it had a virus or was going to crash on me. After working on it all morning and afternoon – reinstalling my antivirus protection, restarting it a *hundred* times, etc. – it is faring much better. Thankfully! I hope it will continue working fine.

Anyway, I was feeling stressed and run down. And very discouraged about life in general.

Sometimes we have those days, you know?

So I want to talk about some ways we can fight that stress. By resting. Resting physically, or resting emotionally. Or something in between.

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Today, what helped me to calm down and ease my anxiety was listening to kid’s praise music with my little brother. 🙂 Something about the peppy music and worshipful words reminded me that God is on the throne and He sees my life, and I really don’t have to panic about my laptop potentially crashing (and everything else in my life).

It reminded me that I have so much to be thankful for.

It reminded me to just be.

Sometimes I think people want to make life too busy. And, in my case, my mind wants to grab onto every little thing possible that it can stress about and just pull me down into despair.

Psalm 55:6-8

So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest.
Indeed, I would wander far off,
And remain in the wilderness. Selah
I would hasten my escape
From the windy storm and tempest.”

That’s not good. I don’t think that that’s what God wants for us. I don’t think that’s the kind of life He meant when He said life more abundantly.

Psalm 23:1-3

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;

What are some things we can incorporate into our days to promote restfulness in your heart and soul?

  • Listen to invigorating praise music
  • Listen to heartfelt worship songs
  • Play a lighthearted game with family or friends
  • Take a nap (sometimes you just really need to catch up on sleep!)
  • Go a long, quiet walk (and pray aloud! 🙂 )
  • Bake your favorite recipe
  • Read for awhile (even just reading for like six minutes is supposed to reduce stress)
  • Go out to coffee with a good friend, just the two of you
  • Snuggle with someone for awhile 😉 I always find it calming to hold tiny babies or get on the floor & play with my three-year-old brother
  • Sit down with some tea and your Bible
  • Call a good friend who you know will speak truth and encouragement to you
  • Go to bed early
  • Read your Bible and pray + read a little bit from a fun, lighthearted novel before sleep
  • Do a devotional

Have any ideas to add?

Speaking of devotionals, I want to let you all know about a new devotional on YouVersion, the Bible app. It’s a 7-day devotional called Love Defined, and is a part of Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird’s coming book release. They’re talking about God’s design for love and romance. I just started this devotional today! There’s Scripture and a devotional (an excerpt from the book, Love Defined, I’m guessing?) to read. I hope you’ll join me in this! ❤

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Be sure to check out Kristen and Bethany’s first book, Girl Defined, as well as their Youtube channel and website!

I’m part of the launch team for Love Defined, so look for more news on that from me in the coming days. I’m so excited to read this book!

That’s all I have for now. Rest in the Lord, dear friends!

Matthew 11:28-30

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Beautifully Modest

Hello, my lovely sisters! I just want to talk a little bit about modesty and beauty today – and share with you a delightful Youtube channel on this topic that I recently discovered!

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Modest.

What is modesty? Why do I have to be modest? How do I dress modestly?

Let me just make clear right here and now that I’m not an expert in this area. I’ve long struggled over what is and isn’t modest, and how to dress. I still don’t have it all together. I still have things I need to work on in this area, I’m sure.

But you know what? I’ve realized a couple things. Through praying and pondering. Reading God’s Word. Looking back on who God is and what He has done in my life thus far – what all that says about His nature. Listening to many a godly Christian speaker on this topic …

  • Modesty must be cultivated in the heart.
  • Modesty is an earnest journey of walking by the Spirit.
  • Your modesty should reflect God’s character.
  • God is majestic, holy, creative, amazing, good, filled with splendor and beauty – modesty should be about honoring God, reflecting who He is, pointing to Him: modesty should show virtue and beauty.

Can I dress in a pretty way and still be honoring to God? Well, yes, I believe so! I believe you can dress in a feminine, beautiful, honorable, lovely way that absolutely reflects the quiet and gentle spirit God has cultivated within you, and points to a magnificent, holy, wondrous, good, and beautiful Creator.

I don’t think God gives us a set of rules and asks us to do things without a reason and purpose. And if you look through the Bible, you find the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, and then you find Jesus say, in the New Testament, that all the commandments from God can be summed up in these two things:  Love the Lord your God, and love your fellow man.

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:36-40

14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:14

So with everything God calls us to do, with each way He calls His followers to live life, I believe it comes back to the heart, and to love. Some things we think are okay in the moment, are actually hurting/going to hurt us and others – and therefore hurt the heart of God. Are not good or right for us to do.

Galatians 5 is a really good passage to read when thinking about this. It talks about liberty, love fulfilling the law, and walking by the Spirit.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 5:6

I think there are a couple reasons why He calls women to dress modestly.

One: To reflect who He is. If you have been saved by the blood of Christ, you belong to the King of Kings. The glorious, eternal, awesome Lord of all. You are His daughter – His princess. Dress in a way that shows that! Shows your awe, and love, and delight, and passion for your Lord and Father. If we love Him, we truly want to honor Him in all we do.

14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139:14

And as children of the one, true God, I think we also have a duty to honor ourselves in the way we dress. Honor the bodies that were bought at a price – that are a temple of the Holy Spirit. We should portray ourselves in a holy and beautiful way that would point to who God is.

20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:20

I think it makes sense that we take good care of our bodies and even physical appearance out of an overflow of the love and beauty of our hearts, which are being filled and changed by Christ.

17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
They will see the land that is very far off.

Isaiah 33:17

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27:4

And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O Lord;
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.
For who in the heavens can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the Lord?
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.
Lord God of hosts,
Who is mighty like You, O Lord?
Your faithfulness also surrounds You.

Psalm 89:5-8

In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,

Isaiah 28:5

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Psalm 96:9

Two: To flee sexual immorality. Ladies, God designed men in a way where certain ways we dress can just trigger a reaction in their mind and start up a battle. No, we don’t make them sin. They make their own choices. But yes, you can definitely dress in a way that causes your brothers in Christ to struggle. Is that honorable to God? We should be helping our brothers flee sexual immorality, not adding to the problem!

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

1 Corinthians 6:18

22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

1 Timothy 2:22

We need to flee sexual immorality and anything having to do with it. Even if you aren’t necessarily sinning sexually by dressing in a unholy way, you’re being a stumbling block to others in that area. I don’t think that counts as “not having a hint of sexual immorality among you”.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Ephesians 5:3

I believe as we walk closely with the Lord, He gently guides and corrects us. Do I know everything? No. Do I understand everything the Bible says? Absolutely not. But do I trust my Savior and Father? Yes. Have I seen Him at work, gently and kindly and firmly, in my life? Yes, I truly believe so. He is not harsh with me. He loves me. And He sees my heart.

He sees your heart too, dear readers.

As you walk this journey of dressing modestly, I encourage you to research and listen to and be encouraged by fellow godly Christians! But first and foremost, seek the Lord and His ways! Let Him speak to you and lead you! ❤

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

***

Now, for the modesty Youtube channel I mentioned above! It’s called Set Apart Style, and all the videos I’ve watched so far have been really thoughtful! I would recommend you check them out! Not saying this young lady has it absolutely all figured out (none of us do!). And I’m not even saying I would wear/consider modest all the things she’s okay with, but I think she has some really good tips, and her heart is beautiful, and she explains modesty in such a precious and God-honoring way.

Modesty – Honoring Christ In and With All (introduction video)

I also quite love the Girl Defined Ministries Youtube Channel, and really like the modesty standards they show in this video:

Project Modesty: How to Combine Modesty and Fashion

God is beauty. He creates beautiful things. He clothes the lilies of the field magnificently. He made us beautifully, and I believe He is faithful to lead in this area if we simply trust Him and walk by His Spirit.

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Matthew 6:28:29

 

More Videos From SET APART STYLE:

OOTD – The Bride of Christ // Modest Styling Workshop SS16

Modest Dressings Essentials // Tips For Skirts

Modest Dressing Essentials // Tips For Dresses

Modest Dressing Essentials // Tips For Tops

Book Review: Girl Defined by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

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Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

My Personal Review ~ 5 stars ~

Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity by Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird is a book I think every woman (teen+) can benefit from reading! For one, it’s very easy and enjoyable to read – I continually wanted to return to its pages. And it truly speaks to the heart! Girl Defined explores issues we as women are facing everyday, and gives Biblical advice, eye-opening truths, and encouraging/challenging stories.

It speaks to younger girls (around teen years) as well as married women, or even middle-age/older woman. There are stories about teens, young moms, 30-year-old singles, and older widows. I can’t wait to share this book with my younger sisters (14 and 16)! I loved it! Girl Defined speaks to WOMEN and calls for us to find our identity in Christ and embrace God’s plan for womanhood.

As with every Christian Living/Self-Help book I read, I didn’t agree with absolutely everything said in Girl Defined … word for word. Some things I thought, “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say it that way.”

But this book really hits the nail on the head when talking about Biblical womanhood. Sisters Kristen and Bethany have the Word of God, life experience, statistics, and well-known Christian speakers/writers (such as Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth, Dannah Gresh, and Mary A. Kassian) to back up what they’re teaching.

So many things clicked for me when reading this book. It just makes sense, what they’re saying. Even if it is TOTALLY against the cultural norm, totally against what the world tells us to do/be … when you read about femininity, beauty, and identity the way Kristen and Bethany see it, it makes sense when you think about how God designed us. Men and women were created to be equal, but different, for specific purposes. This book embraces that, and I LOVE it! Ladies, we are going to be so much happier and fulfilled if we embrace GOD’S DESIGN! If we embrace femininity. If we embrace womanhood and the “nurturing”, “helping”, and “life-giving” that comes with that role.

Girl Defined also talks about living purposefully, with eternity in mind, which is a message for ALL Christians, no matter where you are in life. It was both challenging and encouraging! Exciting, even! ^_^ Let’s live, my friends! Let’s live a life that we can look back on and not regret. A life of fulfillment. A life of honoring God.

I really liked how Kristen and Bethany quote authors like Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth in this book. They have such powerful things to say! One of my favorites from Mrs. Wolgemuth is: “Being created “for someone” indicates that God created the female to be a highly relational creature. In contrast to the male, her identity isn’t based on work nearly as much as on how well she connects and relates to others. Forming deep relational bonds is at the core of what it means to be a woman.” (pg. 91)

And from Mary A. Kassian: “A wimpy woman gives up on biblical femininity when life gets hard. A wimpy woman quits when she has to stand alone. A wimpy woman caves in when the culture pressures her.” (pg. 169)

They also share thoughts from some of the past top models in the industry, such as Kylie Bisutti. She say that models are some of the most insecure women she’s ever met! Have you ever thought about that? We simply cannot place our identity in our outward appearance, because we’ll never measure up.

Yes. Overall, I feel Girl Defined is full of Biblical truth and has the potential to make a big impact on women today. I want to share this book with all the women I know – young and old! It reminds us of our beautiful identity, purpose, and femininity. This is so much more freeing than what the culture is telling us! So priceless! I would strongly encourage you to read Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity, women! *smiles*