Wednesday, January 21, 2015

{Godly Beauty} : Rachel Janson


Today's interview is from the lovely Rachel. I admire her passion that she writes on her blog as well as her life for the Lord. I hope that her answers will inspire you to look more fully at Christ.
 Rachel from "The Skies I'm Under"

1. What do you believe was God's purpose in creating you? I believe that God's purpose for creating me (and everyone) is to bring Him glory.

2. How do you cope with body image? Who are some people (and Bible verses) that help you through it? Honestly, I am a little hit-and-miss with this one. I feel that I have been growing a lot in this area over the last few years though (especially since getting married). I still have times of feeling that I'm not pretty enough, thin enough, etc... but thankfully the Lord keeps bringing me back to my worth in Him. My husband is an incredible encouragement to me in this area, as are my mom and sisters. 

3.
What would you say to your younger self if you were going through this at a young age? "Crazy Rachel, you are beautiful. Stop thinking that you need to starve yourself for others to like you. Focus on your heart, your mind, the things that last. Life isn't going to be easy and being skinny will not make a difference in those times of hurt. A strong relationship with God will though."

4.
What do you think Adam and Eve looked like? I honestly have no idea. I think there is beauty in not knowing! God has never set a standard of how we need to look physically. He only points out the importance of a humble, believing heart! How wonderful is that?!

5.
The Bible indicates about the body and soul. To which is most important? I will always choose soul over body. My body is a shell, a temporary cage. My soul is eternal!

6.
How does your body reflect your soul?  I think there can be two answers to this question. How some people look on the outside CAN be a reflection of what is going on underneath... but I also know many people who wouldn't "culturally" be considered beautiful or physically fit, yet they are some of the most amazing people I know! I think sometimes that being unhealthy or unkempt can be a reflection of not seeing your own worth or laziness, but not always.

7.
How does the person's physical appearance manifest their soul? My above answer covers this as well! 

8.
Should a Christian be concerned about their physical appearance? This question deserves a to-be-explained "yes". I believe Christians should take care of themselves. Being excessively unhealthy, dressing like you just don't care, etc, can make people uncomfortable and hurt your witness (or cause you to be a distraction). BUT Christians need to walk a fine line with this. Always looking model-perfect can cause vanity, pride, and also judgement of others to creep into your heart and all of a sudden you are more about performance than becoming Christ-like.

9.
How much time should you spend to keep your body in good shape? I don't think there should be set rules about this. Everyone is different, with different bodies, strengths, schedules. I personally have time to work out, but not much physical ability to do so with different health issues. In other seasons of my life I was much more dilligent. "Everything in balance".

10.
Can one take concern for physical fitness to the point of idolatry. What would be the indicators of this? YES! I have never struggled with this personally, but I know from other people in my life that it CAN become an idol. When you are valuing physical fitness over other much more important things (God, relationships, ministry), you are in danger. If it is what your life rotates around, yep, it's an idol!

11.
When it comes to physical appearance who matters more; God or man? What difference should the answer to that question make to me?
God, God, God!!! And I have to keep reminding myself of that! Learning that I can't control what people think of me and that I can't change how the Lord thinks of me by how much a weigh or how much makeup I wear is a learning process. There will always be someone who thinks I need to gain/lose weight or that my nose is too small (heard that!) or that I've got "child bearing hips". God however... the One who formed my body (even my nose!), loves me like crazy! He doesn't make junk or ugliness, He makes beauty. Always.


12.
What makes a girl or woman beautiful to you? Things that make a woman beautiful to me? A face-crinkling smile. Honest eyes. A *real* laugh. A wise, compassionate heart. Arms that give long, tight hugs. Lips that speak truth. A thoughtful, passionate, quirky, clever, understanding woman is beyond-beautiful to me. That type of woman is stunning. That is truly the type of woman I want to be.


Other interviews:
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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

{Godly Beauty}: Bekah Swanson

 Over a year ago, I met Bekah at a Family Conference in Washington state. She's a really nice and sweet person, with a heart for God. Being a daughter of a well-known Christian speaker, I hope her answers will inspire you to live more fully to the Lord.


 {photo by Daniel Swanson}

 What do you believe was God's purpose in creating you? - To glorify Him and build His Kingdom in everything I do in life, even if it means doing dangerous, humbling, or selfless things.

How do you cope with body image? Who are some people (and Bible verses) that help you through it? - I've never had much of a problem with body image.  Most of the time, I just want to be able to do things, so if I feel like I need to slim down and get in better shape in order to just live life, then I do it, but, the same goes for if I feel too weak and thin.  I've never wanted to worry about body image so much that I couldn't enjoy life.  I know this is a little cliche, but I LOVE the verses in Proverbs 31 that talk about the virtuous woman "strengthening her arms," so it indicates that it doesn't matter so much what you look like, but just that you're strong and able to work.

What would you say to your younger self if you were going through this at a young age? - Do you mean "going through a body image problem?"  If so, "Don't be selfish.  Live your life for Christ and for other people.  Enjoy the simple things in life.  Don't over think everything.  Just trust God, the Creator of the universe, to have a spectacular and amazing plan that doesn't include hurting yourself and others around you."

What do you think Adam and Eve looked like? - I really have no idea! :)

The Bible indicates about the body and soul. To which is most important? - The soul, for sure. The body will only last a few seconds compared to the eternity that will follow.

How does your body reflect your soul? - I'm not sure.  At some points, I focus on the physical too much, and would rather be challenging my body than challenging my soul.

How does the person's physical appearance manifest their soul? - I believe that what is on the inside is reflected on the outside by whether a person is joyful, kind, etc., but it may also go for physique.  In some ways, people who aren't careful about what they eat and don't take care of their bodies may be lazy and undisciplined.  Laziness is a sin, but so is selfishness.  When someone is trying to starve themself, they're focusing too much on THEIR body and THEIR appearance.  They may not realize it at first, but it truly does hurt others around them, because no one wants to see someone they love start to fade away because of something they're inflicting upon themself. 

Should a Christian be concerned about their physical appearance? - I don't think they should be concerned about the physical appearance, but if a spiritual concern happens to spill into a physical concern (i.e. being more diligent & disciplined, being able to do things in God's Kingdom, etc.), then it could be a viable concern.  However, if someone is spending more of their time exercising and being worried about what to eat than praying, reading the Bible, and caring for others, then that could be a problem

How much time should you spend to keep your body in good shape? - I think it depends on the person.  For me, normally an hour or less per day is fine.  When I was training for a marathon and an obstacle race, I spent more time working out, but I made a point to spend more time in God's Word or listening to sermons, etc., then I spent training.  You also have to eat right if you spend more time exercising

Can one take concern for physical fitness to the point of idolatry. What would be the indicators of this? - If it can be made an idol, a human being WILL make it an idol, sadly, so, yes.  The indicators are probably what I mentioned in the previous questions (spending more time exercising than focusing on God's work).  So, if someone is obsessed over what they're eating and they seem to be more excited to talk about working out or what looks good on them, instead of the Lord, then that could be idolatry.

When it comes to physical appearance who matters more; God or man? What difference should the answer to that question make to me? - God, and sadly I don't normally put him first.  However, since God is more important, our time should be spent focusing on Him and being thankful for the food he gave us, the beauty of His world, and the body He blessed us with!

 What makes a girl or woman beautiful to you? - Someone who smiles a lot, is willing to be quiet and listen, enjoys life, is strong, and really is concerned about those around her
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

{Godly Beauty}: Kendra Kiser


Today's interview is from one of my blogging friends, Kendra. She and I go way back to our early blogging days and I've admired her willingness to serve the Lord, and her beautiful photography skills. Hope you'll learn what she has to say about godly beauty, and what makes a woman truly beautiful. *smiles*


< span class="null">What do you believe was God's purpose in creating you? // To glorify Him by loving Him fully and loving others.

How do you cope with body image? //
I used to really, really struggle with body image. I didn't tell anyone either. I used to think I was fat, my hair was bad, my skin was ugly, and yeah, I just didn't feel beautiful or appreciate the way God made me at all. I used to try and count calories and all that, but the more I focused on me, the worse it became. I've learned (and still am learning) to let go and to stop worrying about how I look. The more I focus on God and the more I focus on others, the less I worry about myself.

Who are some people (and Bible verses) that help you through it? //
Psalm 139 has helped me extremely. There was one lady who helped me (one of the only few I told). I think telling people is very important. One of the reasons that I struggled with it so much was because I was too afraid to tell. I wanted to be perfect, I wanted to look perfect. Once I told people that I wanted to look perfect, they knew I wasn't perfect, and it was the most freeing feeling ever.

What would you say to your younger self if you were going through this at a young age? // It's rough right now, but it's going to get better.

What do you think Adam and Eve looked like? // I'm not sure and I guess I can't right now. I know they were naked and I know everything was perfect before sin. So I'm sure that they were perfectly formed, but it's hard for me to imagine it, since the world's picture of perfection is so flawed.

The Bible indicates about the body and soul. To which is most important? // The soul, definitely.

How does your body reflect your soul? (not sure exactly what this question is saying sorry!)

How does the person's physical appearance manifest their soul? // I feel like if you're a joyful and peaceful person that can show on your face and reflect your actions. Though obviously we aren't always going to be smiling, sometimes life gets rough. Sometimes you can tell if someone is broken or not just by looking at them.

Should a Christian be concerned about their physical appearance? // No. I don't think they should be concerned in general about it. I mean it's one thing to be concerned if something fits or something like that, but another to be constantly concerned about your overall appearance.

How much time should you spend to keep your body in good shape? // I guess that depends on who you are! Some people likes to work out more than others, some don't at all. Some people like to bike or walk, which you'd have to do longer to be as in shape as the person who swims five miles a day.

One can take concern for physical fitness to the point of idolatry. What would be the indicators of this? // This can happen so easily! I think something becomes an idol in my life when I realize that it makes me upset when I can't go for that run that I had planned or I'm out and I have to eat something "unhealthy". If it's something that I start to worry about and all that, then it's probably getting in the way of Jesus.

When it comes to physical appearance who matters more; God or man? //
God.

What difference should the answer to that question make to me? // It's so much easier answered than done. It should make all the difference. It should mean that I don't worry about what I'm going to wear the next day or compare myself to the next girl. It should make me have an eternal perspective.

What makes a girl or woman beautiful to you? // This is sooo cliché, but when a woman smiles (like genuinely, authentically smiles) I feel like she's beautiful. I love it when a girl/woman can dress up and wear makeup, but can still be joyful without that. That makeup or cute outfits don't become where she finds her identity.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

{Godly Beauty}: Deane Blakemore

I've been wanting to do a series on godly beauty for quite awhile. So, I've asked women I know if they would be interested in participating in this event, and most agreed. I hope you'll learn from what they have to say. First up, is my dear friend from church, Deanne Blakemore.

  Deanne and I have gotten to know each other really well since last year when she and her husband started coming to our church. She's an amazing cook enthusiast and always seems to bring a smile to everyone's face. I love her spirit and fire for the Lord, and I hope you'll be encouraged by her words.



What do you believe was God's purpose in creating you?
God created me to worship Him. I am a witness to His love.

How do you cope with body image? Who are some people (and Bible verses) that help you through it?
I have a problem with body image, I have a picture of what I looked like in my twenties in my head and was at my peak and don't look often at what I really look like. So I perceive myself from that old mental picture.

What would you say to your younger self if you were going through this at a young age?
Stay eating healthy fruits and veggies that you love and only eat the meats occasionally like you did when you were younger. Stay active but moderately.

What do you think Adam and Eve looked like?
Like anyone of us, but healthier. Their bodies were blemish free. No toxins had entered their systems yet.

The Bible indicates about the body and soul. To which is most important?
My body indicates that I am fallen and still struggle with obedience to God.

How does your body reflect your soul?
My body reflects my struggle to obedience, it has nothing to do with my eternal soul. Believing Christ is my savior is my care taker of my soul.

How does the person's physical appearance manifest their soul?
Our souls are eternal. It matters not what are appearances are like. Each person looks different and their looks change from day to day, year to year. It is our inner souls that reflect our true beauty not our outer appearance.

Should a Christian be concerned about their physical appearance?
A Christian should strive to be like Christ. Living a healthy life and bringing Him glory is more important than physical appearance. However to do the job God wants us to perform we should strive for as healthy a body as possible to do His bidding. God created some broken bodies and the struggles that person goes through is for God's glory.

How much time should you spend to keep your body in good shape?
My biggest sin against God is me! I need to do this, I need to do that. My life should be, how much time do I spend in prayer? How much time should I spend in reading His word? How much time should I spend spreading His love? In our physical activity to help God's children should be all the actual time needed to stay in shape.

Can one take concern for physical fitness to the point of idolatry. What would be the indicators of this?
Most people take health and fitness to idolatry. We worry about what we should eat or shouldn't eat, how much exercise and what type. As soon as we start worrying about how much and how long we have shifted to idolatry. IF HOWEVER, we go for a run to focus on God and opening our hearts to hear His plans for our day then we are spending some quiet one on one time with our Father. IF HOWEVER, we lift weights and focus on God's convicting our hearts of our sins and ask to be forgiven, then again we are spending time in God's presence.

When it comes to physical appearance who matters more; God or man? What difference should the answer to that question make to me?
God is all we should focus on, the Trinity. If we focus on our looks then we are not focusing on God.

What makes a girl or woman beautiful to you?
A beautiful woman is one who is honest, open and loving. Even when life can be hard and a struggle they are at peace with God as their focus. The one physical aspect I see in a beautiful woman is her smile. It can be large or small, bright or bubbly, straight or crooked, but a true smile from the heart is awe inspiring! Deanne Jones-Blakemore 11/9/14
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