Attitude of Gratitude

I remember when I said, “why God, why this, and why that?” God told me to wait for His timing. God has delivered me in the past, but when you are going through bad times all you’re thinking about is right now. I’ve seen God use trials to build me up, answer different prayers, open doors, help others, and I’ve seen many miracles where I knew it was only God who could have done this. While I was worrying, the Lord gave me comfort, encouragement, motivation, and He was working behind the scenes. If as believers we’re burdened by when our friends or family members suffer, imagine how God feels. He reminds us time after time in His Word that He will never forsake us.

Where God Has Ordained For You To Go, Everyone Is Not Invited

GOD has certain people in place to help you get through certain seasons in life. From that, some people might want to go farther with you… but they can’t, because GOD has not prepared them for what He has prepared you for. And He is very particular about what He does… how He does it… and who He uses to do it.

Whenever GOD is about to do something new in your life, whether it be receiving a new anointing, going to the next level of your destiny, or taking you into a season of success; GOD will lead you to a place where the crowd will not be able to go.

Don’t expect the crowd everywhere you go. Why? Because some people won’t be able to handle the blessings GOD is going to give you. Therefore, when GOD begins to work in your life… and you feel a bit of loneliness, more than you have in the past, it’s because GOD is taking you to a place where the crowd cannot follow. That’s His way of positioning you for what He is getting ready to do in your life. Proceed carefully.  Make wise choices about who you associate yourself with. If you move too quickly, people will give you the wrong advice… and it will mess you up!

xo- Shay Williams Smith

Church Style Tip Sunday: Every Sunday I will be bringing you a #ChurchStyleTip —This is the place where you’ll find Style advice and outfit ideas on how to dress for church–as well as tips on how to improve your church style!

Hopefully, this will give you an improved confidence in your style and bring out the spirit-led style in you!

xo- Shay Williams Smith

What are you wearing?

God chose you to be one of His holy people, so you must clothe yourself in His love and principles. We all must realize that others have faults and show them the grace and forgiveness that Christ has given us. We are to be in unity and filled with gratitude, which will set the tone for our lives, spiritual growth, and our relationship with God and others. This is about what we are to put on and put off in our lives. What are we to put on? Fruit, which is the Holy Spirit working in and through us. We are to become His masterpiece and showcase of God’s goodness and grace. What is produced? Tender mercies, compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness; these are virtues that are sealed and empowered by His love for us, which comes from Christ ruling our hearts and His Word indwelling us. This is not a set of ideas we are being asked to consider. Rather, we are called! What do we get in return? Peace, as God dwells in us and uses us in the lives of others through our words, attitudes, and lifestyle.

A spirit-led strategy for style

A spirit-led strategy for style 

When I first became a Christian woman, I often find myself at a crossroad when making fashion choices. I always ask myself, “Does this top show too much skin?” “Is this dress modest enough?” or “Will my outfit please God?” The more I ask myself, the more confused I get so I just choose clothes that will basically cover me up good.

However, just setting these questions aside isn’t the right way to deal with the situation. As women, we have the right to look good and feel good about ourselves. But with that said, we also cannot blindly ignore how God wants women to dress.

One of the biggest influences on how women should dress today is the fashion industry itself. Every season, it rolls out a new collection that will encourage women to buy a new set of clothes whether they need it or not. There is pressure from society to dress up a certain way, which is also something that can be attributed to the changing fashion trends. Would our wardrobe look dated if we don’t give in? And if we do give in, will the trend boost our self-image?

Before I share with you three helpful tips, I want to point out one important thing. As you may already know, humans are created differently and there are things we cannot change like our body type, facial features and the likes. Although we won’t have much control of our genetics, we do have control over our appearance and this is something we shouldn’t take for granted. Thus, use this power to your advantage and to please God. Here’s how:

  1. Focus On Inner Beauty

Remember the questions I kept asking myself? Well, I finally confronted that head on when I realized that I was dressing for outer beauty and not for inner beauty. I was focus on what other people will think and say as opposed to thinking about how my dress would make me feel. I realized this when I read 1 Peter 3:4 “Let your adornment be the inner self with the lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.”

“…Lasting beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,” obviously, I didn’t have that because I was so conflicted with what to wear every day. But the moment I read this, I knew the answers to my questions and that is simply finding the inner peace that would allow me NOT to even ask those questions anymore. If how I look pleases my heart, then it also pleases my God.

  1. Dress Modestly

How modest is modest? How much of our arms and legs should be seen? The truth is, Christians can argue about modesty over and over again but there won’t be a single right answer to this. That’s because everyone has their own opinion of modesty. What’s modest for me may not be modest for you and so on and so forth.

So, if opinions about modesty vary greatly, how can we resolve this? The first way is to go to Timothy 2:8-10 says “Women should dress themselves modestly and decently in suitable clothing, not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works.”

Many women will interpret this verse in a different way like they should only wear drab clothes or not apply makeup or not wear jewelry. That is not the point of the verse. There’s nothing wrong with braiding your hair or wearing pearls. What’s wrong is that when you put your focus on your outside appearance instead of your inner beauty (i.e. “good works) and pleasing God.

Nonetheless, I’ll end this point with another key concept, which is balance. Every woman should find a balance between trend and tradition especially when going to places like churches. When in doubt, wear something that you believe is modest enough even for other people.

  1. Boost Self-Worth

My last point encapsulates my two previous points. Let me explain that clearer. When you are happy with yourself and feel confident about how you look, that instantly boosts your self-worth. As I mentioned earlier, there is a power when you get to control how you look because you have the CHOICE to dress up in a way that reflects how you value yourself.

Style, as they’d always say, is a reflection of yourself and your feelings. You are your own artist when it comes to dressing up so don’t be afraid to look how you feel inside–self-confidence and positive self-worth and all.

Before I go, I leave this verse with you. It’s from Colossians 3:12 and it says:

 “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Fill your heart, mind and spirit with Godly things and let your clothes reflect the beauty and light within you. Always shine bright and share that light with others!

xo-Shay

Women shouldn’t wear pants?

I am shutting down this false advertisement, that I was once told, and sharing what the word has revealed to me.

The question about whether Christian women should wear pants or slacks is an issue that is raised about externals, when it should rather be about a spiritual relationship based upon our position in God as believers.

When looking at “doubtful things,” we need to use Scripture in context for the principles that will help us walk as believers, which means considering the dispensation and the whole counsel of God and not taking passages out of context. There is a passage in the Old Testament that speaks about a woman wearing men’s clothing: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this”(Deuteronomy 22:5). The context of this passage is the second giving of the law to the nation of Israel as they were poised to enter the Promised Land.  This has to do with more than just clothing; it also speaks of a life that emulates in every way those of the opposite sex. We take a principle from this and apply it to our lives as believers, but we must use it in the context in which it is given and do so in relation to the dispensation of grace.

The Apostle Paul wrote extensively on the difference between the law and grace in Romans. We are not justified by our adherence to the law, but we are justified by faith in God (Romans 3:21-28).

What has that to do with a believing woman wearing pants? There is no biblical law that says what a woman should wear or not wear. Rather, the issue is one of modesty. Paul addresses the modesty of women in his first letter to Timothy. “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (1 Timothy 2:9-10). The Greek word translated modest is kosmios, which occurs twice in the New Testament, once as “modest” in this passage and once as “of good behavior” in 1 Timothy 3:1. It came to mean “well-arranged, seemly, and modest.”

Paul addressed this issue here because the women in the church were trying to outdo each other in how they dressed and the flashier the better. They were losing sight of the things that should adorn a godly woman—humility, sobriety, godliness, and good works. The words “dress modestly” are not used here in the context of specific garments, but rather to being clad in a modest covering. It should not be used to prove a prohibition against wearing pants (also see 1 Peter 3:3-4).

So, the issue is that a woman should wear modest clothing. Whether or not that includes a pair of slacks should be a matter for the woman’s own conscience before the LORD. If a woman allows her outward appearance to be the measure of her inward relationship with God, she is living under the constraints of legalism. Born-again women are free in to wear whatever modest apparel they choose, and the only judgment they should be under is that of their own conscience. “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). We are not to allow our consciences to be dictated to by legalism and the consciences of others, but by our own relationship with God.

Lastly remember, God will take care of the outward woman if we walk in obedience in the inward woman.

So go ahead and wear those pants! You have my support! Just not to tight 🙂

xo- Shay

Living the abundant life

Who says being a christian has to be boring? We are the light of the of the world!

Follow God, have faith and live your purpose. This is what the abundant life is all about! (John 10:7)

But while many people who are financially comfortable may have achieved “the good life,” most of them have missed the abundant life that Jesus promised to all who follow Him. But what is the abundant life? Many who follow the “prosperity gospel” have just baptized the materialistic American dream with some Christian labels. Except for their outlandish hairdos and Christian jargon, the prosperity preachers look pretty much like unbelieving Americans in their pursuit of stuff. But the abundant life that Jesus promised has nothing to do with collecting more stuff. It has everything to do with being right with God through faith in Christ and having the hope of eternity spent in His presence. The apostle Paul wasn’t rich in this world’s goods, but he enjoyed the abundant life that Christ offers. He was content with just food and covering (1 Tim. 6:8), but he was rich toward God (Luke 12:21; Eph. 2:7). He gained those riches by coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:8).

This is the abundant life that I’m trying to live out everyday!

xo-Shay

God takes those with the worst past

God is not looking for the qualified, he’s looking for people who would just avail themselves to him. When Jesus called the 12, most of them were not even educated. Yet, Jesus equipped them and they turned the world upside down.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he told them: “not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.” But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are.
Those whom God calls, He equips.

Walk in your Purpose!

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” ~ Albert Einstein

So often we all fall into the assumptions life should be lived according to what our religions, traditions or learned moral values teach us. The comfort of knowing what is expected drives most to live a predictable life. We all get into a routine and when we begin to wonder where life went, we are old and gray, regretting all the things we did not do. Many of us day dream about things we are only brave enough to do in our imagination and when it comes to taking that first step to putting that dream to work, we doubt ourselves.

We doubt because we allow fear to question our commitment to the crowd; we allow fear to convince us we will be scolded and shunned for taking that first step to walk alone; we assume traditions and moral values are beliefs which cannot be bent or edited to become our own version.

When you are struggling with taking that first step to walk alone, ask yourself if that step is done with God. Often times we allow ourselves to stay stuck in a bad, miserable or unhealthy situation because we are afraid of the backlash we may get from the crowd if we decide to leave. If you live your life with God as your main driver, you will only reciprocate that energy and more will come right back to you.

In a crowd, people are like each other and strive to be so. Walking alone, your example is yourself. You learn to be better than you were yesterday and realize dictating your own life is more beneficial than using someone else as your example to be like. Many influential people in the world walked alone, they realized their potential was only limited when they compared themselves to someone else.

“It’s not what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you’re not.” ~ Denis Waitley