Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Mulan: Rock your Girl Power.

(image from Google images)

Hello sunshine! (yes you!) welcome to the wrap up of the His Princess series!This last blog is coming to you from the road. I've spent time praying about which princess i'd chose for the last blog, originally i thought i'd do snow white (the first of Disney's princesses) or Ariel (one of my favorites ..and she has killer red hair!;) then i tossed around the idea to use Aurora (sleeping beauty)..good lessons on temptation here!) but, after thought and prayer, ive decided to go with Mulan. Now, Mulan came out in 1998..the 8th "princess" to show up in the Disney princess franchise. Not one of the "original" Disney Princesses. Mulan is not a princess by blood nor does she marry a prince (she gets royal honors from the Emporer for her courage, bravery and sacrifice) I struggled with it a bit thinking I really wanted to stick to the "originals" but here's my feeble attempt at obedience & let's be real..Mulan is pretty rad, and totally shows #girlpower. 
In the story of Mulan, we see a young girl, who's giving her best attempt to protect her family and bring them honor.She sacrificially takes her fathers place in the (war) draft, by impersonating a "son" instead of his daughter. 
In the Old Testament  we learn of a woman who is a prophetess, judge of Israel ( a male dominated position) and a warrior. Deborah, known for her wisdom and courage, is the only woman of the old testament who gained renown on her own..Not because of her relationship to a man, but because of her bravery, strength, courage and wisdom. 
Like Deborah, Mulan shows courage, bravery, strength and holds a position that would have normally been male dominated, and maybe (probably!)even tough for a woman.
It's definitely more common now a days to see women going to war, as well as women rising and succeeding in male dominated areas. I think that it's great that a woman can show bravery, strength, courage and in Mulans case sacrifice. We live in a culture where it's okay for us girls to hang with the guys. It's socially acceptable for us to play hockey, do karate, box, be cops, etc etc. How cool is that us girls can now do that kind of stuff? We have opportunities to prove that women can actually be successful outside of the kitchen 
As some of you know I was one signature away from joining the USAF, so believe me when I say I'm all for that type of "girl power".. but it's also important to not lose our femininity . and who we are as women in God. Our culture is drastically meshing the lines of men and women. Everywhere now a days, we see the lines of gender being blurred.. make up for men is on the rise with whole make up lines dedicated to them, you walk into any trendy clothing store..and they have boyfriend cut jeans and blazers for girls.  Don't get me wrong, I think its fine for a girl to rock a pant suit and cute blazer..but let's do it with confidence as a woman..not because we want to be like a man. Our culture is drilling it into our heads that it doesn't matter what sex you are.. the media is saying men have to be more sensitive, more feminine etc.. which is fine.. if a guy wants to carry a man purse..go for it. but don't lose your masculinity. 
God made us different. thats just how it goes.. we should be excited about that and embrace the differences! We should be appreciative of the other sex! lets remember who God made us and why. 
Girl power isn't about trying to be like the guys or trying to prove to them that girls can do it better. It's about celebrating who we are as women and being proud of that. Being proud of who God made us to be..

I've defined "Girl Power" once, in my intro blog. I'm going to share that again with you. 
Girl-a young female.
Power-“dunamai”(greek)- to be able; to be capable of; to have strength

Contrary to the sometimes joked about competition between boy and girl power, Girl Power has nothing to do with the ideology of "women can do what men do, but better." It is about girls answering the call their heavenly father.
Girl Power is the true, God given strength to be a girl. The might, capability and adequacy God created within us(females) so that we would be fully equipped to be able to fulfill our roles as godly women, wives, mothers and examples to other women. It’s the strength to not conform to what the world says “girl power” is or to what society says the “perfect” woman should act like, look like and be like.

Girl Power is the holy spirit dwelling within us, enabling us to act with power. The same power we gained when God placed the Holy Spirit inside of us through salvation. Without God, we are powerless, limited & weak. When we allow the Holy Spirit to reach into the deepest depths of our soul and being,we can overcome anything-even death, because we have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Girl Power is for any girl who has ever had to power through a storm. Any girl who can SEE God’s grace and how he’s held her hand through times of trial. It’s for the girl who trusts in God so much, she CAN do anything. It’s having your confidence rooted in God & not allowing that to waiver. Allowing yourself to feel beautiful, competent, and worth it. It’s embracing everything that God has created you to be, enabled you to be and wants you to be, as his daughter. It's a God given insight, a God given way of seeing life. And it's available to everygirl.
How are you living out a life full of God given girl power? 
Love you beautiful sisters! New series coming next week! Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

(image from Google images)

Hello beautiful girls! Thanks for all of the messages/tweets/emails about which Disney Princess you wanted to hear about next! Jasmine was the popular choice! 
So.. unlike my blogs for Belle & Cinderella..There's only a couple things  I want to point out about this story...but first.
let's start with a little Jasmine history: 

Jasmine, an Arabian princess, is the only of Disney's Princesses to not be the main character in her movie (#randomfunfact).  In the movie, she is to be married by her 16th birthday, which is quickly approaching. After turning down many reasonable suitors, because she didn't love them..Jasmine decides she wants to run away from her life in the palace. 

 Don't run from your calling. 
No- most of us, won't have arranged marriages, and I'm pretty sure most of us won't be forced into getting married by our 16th birthday! (thank you Jesus! I'm not sure Keith could handle 16 year old Talia!) However, like Jasmine, sometimes what's in front of us can seem unappealing, it can go against our own plan, it can even be scary.  The truth is, God's plan always prevails. In this movie Jasmine, ends up right back at the palace. A lot of times, we  try and take detours away from where God is calling us, but in the end he brings us right back to where he wanted us. (Don't worry, He absolutely  can use our experiences, from the detours we've taken!..ask me about my own experiences!)

In the story of Jonah, we learn about a man who's fear and pride caused him to run from God. He doesn't want to go where God's called him, and decides instead, to  run literally in the opposite direction.

                                               "The word of the LORD came to Jonah, son of Amittai: "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." But Jonah ran way from the Lord and headed to Tarshish." (Jonah 1:1-3)

  As the story goes on (see jonah chapter 1) we learn that Jonah is swallowed by a giant fish, and spends  3 days/nights before he's released..and guess what..he ends up right where God wanted him originally. 

There are times in our life that following God's call and plan in our lives might  be scary. Our pride, fear, and our own human desires might get in the way. The good news is, we serve a gracious and compassionate Lord. . I know in my life I've questioned God "are you SUUREEE you want me living 15 hours north into Canada?!", there have been times I've hesitated...you know -when you pretend you don't hear God, cause of COURSE he wouldn't ask you do that ! The truth is, even when we hesitate, struggle or flat out turn around and run the opposite direction, like Jonah did..Our God is always right there, and ready to use us for His glory & His purpose. I am so thankful for that! (can I get an amen?!)

 A whole new world. ..a new fantastic point of view. Amen! our Christian life should absolutely be a new fantastic and joyous point of view. When we become Christians we learn to see the world with hope. It truly is and SHOULD be a "whole new world". Once you have been saved, accept and believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, absolutely suffered and died for our,YOUR, MY sins..we are no longer living for ourselves! He died for us, so we could, and GET TO live for him! That doesn't mean life as a Christian is easy... by any means. It's actually quite hard at times, however..we can rest in the assurance that God is in control, that His plan prevails..and that this life is not our own.  We have peace, a peace that only comes from our savior..a peace that passes all understanding! We are living in a whole new world, a world of grace, mercy, unconditional love. Again, Christian walks are not promised to be easy, they are even more likely to be harder than our old lives, but they come with hope, and an absolute fresh, and fantastic point of view, & i'll tell you from personal experience..although God's call isn't always what I planned, and at times is overwhelming..walking with Christ is absolutely refreshing and exciting. 

I challenge you to take this week, and really try to gain a fresh perspective on what's going on in your life. Maybe you're caught up in the fast pace of your schedule, school is overwhelming you, or you're holding on to hurt.. Try and take a minute to  redirect your perspective. Focus on all the GOOD God has for you. 

**Thank YOU for beauties for all of your kind words and encouragement! I LOVE hearing from each and every one of you! Next Tuesday will be the final "Disney Princess" blog post! let me know who YOU want to hear about! Then get excited..because a new blog series is coming up in October! :) xo! girlpower #dunamis. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Cinderella:Holding on to hope

(image from google images)

We're all pretty familiar with the story of Cinderella...right? There's quite a few different versions of her story, but focusing on Disney's Cinderella..we see the typical, "rags to riches" story, the glass slipper, Prince Charming...& we can't forget Gus! (bonus points to those who remember little Gus!) ;) 

Cinderella, a princess by marriage, is Disney's oldest princess at 19-20 yrs old.  The "princess with a past" as she's been referred to, was mistreated by her step sisters & step mother, served as a servant in her own home (after the death of her father), and despite her harsh treatment & unfair life..she maintains a positive perspective, hope and refuses to let bitterness take hold.

A few things we can learn from Cinderella.......

Hope: Romans 12:12 tells us to, "Be joyful in hope,  patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Throughout the movie, Cinderella is joyfully holding onto hope. She's daydreaming,singing songs full of hope and dreams and despite her circumstances, she keeps a positive outlook. My favorite song in this movie sings about the consistency in hope: 
"A dream is a wish your heart makes, when you're fast asleep, 
in dreams you will lose your heartache, whatever you wish for you keep.
(it goes on to say..)
no matter what your heart is dreaming,
 if you keep on believing
 the dream that you wish will come true."

The Bible tells us to be faithful in our prayers, and that if we ask, we will receive. (Matthew 7:7) The lyrics in the song Cinderella sings, reminds me that even as Christians we will have heartache, there will be trials, and obstacles that we face. If we believe, truly believe, if we are faithful in our prayers, & have faith in God's plan for us, we can find reasons to sing songs full of hope no matter what life is throwing our way. 

People Can't Ruin God's Plan: I don't know about you, but there have been times that I think maybe things didn't go 'the right way' because of someone's behavior  actions, decisions etc.. We even question our OWN behavior, actions, decisions "if I would've just done it this way....."etc.  Just like in Cinderella's story, sometimes we feel like there are people that are controlling every decision, direction, and move we make. It's easy for us to get caught up in the "what if" game.  The truth is, people can't ruin God's plan.  God's plan is going to prevail no matter what decisions, we do or don't make. We serve an all powerful, sovereign, MIGHTY God, how silly are we to think people could get in the way?  

In Genesis we read about Joseph. Throughout Joseph's story he's ridiculedmistreated, and sold into slavery by his own brothers. (Genesis 37:27) If you follow Joseph's story through Genesis, you read about the multiple times he's mistreated, & falsely accused. He could have absolutely found reason to say "why me", become angry, become bitter..but as you'll see in the Bible, he works diligently through the obstacles he's faced with & even succeeds because the Lord is with him (Genesis 39:3) Later on Joseph becomes high up in the Egyptian government after helping Pharaoh and because of his high up position he has the chance to forgive his brothers, when they come seeking help, after the famine.

looking back at Cinderella...

Forgiveness/Refusing To Let Bitterness Take Hold: Like Joseph, Cinderella was mistreated by her step sisters, and made a slave in her own home. Out of all the princesses, I think Cinderella gives the best example of refusing bitterness. Even though her step sisters & step mom mistreated, controlled, belittled, and deprived her- she still maintained a positive outlook. && yes..although at times we see her saddened, she never once loses her hope, and always seems to find a reason to sing..despite her circumstances   Because of her positive perspective, her hope, and the joy she holds on to, she's able to forgive quickly, and doesn't let bitterness take hold. I know this is one thing that I've always struggled with.. how easy it is to let bitterness take hold. As Christian women we need to be so careful of this, consciously forgiving those who wrong us, praying for those who persecute us and always stepping forward in love. In doing these things, I believe we will find forgiving, and refusing bitterness to come easier. 

Real Life Fairy God-Mothers: Let's face it..sometimes, we need a fairy godmother. Whether you don't have a mom, are away from your mom, or maybe just need a little extra motherly love..as women, there are seasons we go through when we just need a "fairy godmother". A strong, Christian woman, (who just might not be our biological mom), to encourage us, love us and remind us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. I know in my life, God has blessed me a few strong Christian women to love me, encourage me, and teach me when my mom isn't close. They've guided me, held me accountable and loved me through my mistakes. I am so thankful for each motherly woman that has entered my life in God's perfect timing. They've helped mold me and helped me grow into the Christian woman I am today. 

What if?...

Now, I don't know what you think, but to me..running in heels should be an Olympic event! Props to all you ladies who can rock them all day every day. I wore 5 inch heels to my wedding, and if it weren't for my husband, I would've fallen up the the stairs on our way to say our vows! Okay, sorry, got side tracked! ha..back to the blog..

As the clock strikes midnight, and Cinderella is running down those stairs, it's no wonder she lost a shoe! There's that slight pause & moment of hesitation, where she looks back at her shoe..but she keeps moving forward
This leads us to the big "What If?"
 What would have happened if she went back for her glass slipper? 
the simple answer?
She would have never become a princess!
She would have grabbed her slipper, & Prince Charming would have never had a chance to find her! 

Sometimes in our walk with Christ there are moments that we hesitate, looking back, and sometimes part of us might even want to go back.. but, like in Cinderella's case, if we go back, instead of swiftly moving forward, we may miss God ordained opportunities. 

Cinderella shows a true servants heart, despite her harsh treatment. She accepts where she is, and maintains hope. Even when “people” try to ruin her dreams, she finds that nothing and no one can get in the way of “whats meant to be.” God’s plan for us is the same..it WILL prevail. It doesn't matter where you've come fromthe struggles you faced in your pastor the wrongs you've had done to you.. as Christians, we're all His princesses.  Let's step out and act as His daughters, His princesses. Let us refuse bitterness, let us be quick to forgive, let us step out in love. let us praise him and find hope despite our circumstances.  Let us swiftly move forward and trust in His plan, let us trust that as our Prince, He will always seek after us as we seek opportunities to serve and glorify Him. Let us always find a reason to sing, & be thankful that He's brought us from rags to riches. 

I wanna hear from you! Which Disney Princess do you want to read about next week while going through scripture, Jasmine or Ariel?