Love Yourself

I have been declaring this scripture alot since I made the decision to work on accepting who I am in Christ. Whatever my body size or life situation I am choosing to remember that I am everything that God’s word says that I am.

 

“I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”  Psalm 139:14 (AMP)

Recently I had the opportunity to challenge my self-esteem.  A friend of mine invited a group of Christian women entrepreneurs to collaborate on a photoshoot.  It was partially to update our professional headshots and website photos as well as to celebrate each other.

This was a big challenge for me personally because despite the age of selfies, I am not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, especially since I have put on about 25 pounds over the past 3 years.  However, I decided to use this as an overcomering opportunity. So instead of running for the hills I decided to stand on Psalm 139:14  “I will give thanks and praise to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.” 

I have been declaring this scripture alot since I made the decision to work on accepting who I am in Christ. Whatever my body size or life situation I am choosing to remember that I am everything that God’s word says that I am.

So…. armed with my scripture I pressed my way forward praying and asking God for wisdom every step of the way.  From my garment selections, to make-up, hair and even my poses I asked the Lord to guide me.  My goal for the shoot was to be pleased with myself and that’s exactly what happened.

I am soooo glad that I did it! Despite a few nerves in the beginning I ended up having a great time and when the photographer sent the sneek peak photos I was delighted to see how amazing everyone’s images turned out.  Below are some of my favorites.

These first couple of photos are some fun shots of me. I chose a selection of garments that reflected how I really like to dress.  I love my jeans and try to build alot around them. So I used these jeans that I recently bought from Forever 21 as my wardrobe foundation.  I also love my pumps especially if they have a pop of color.  Classic, pretty, mulitfunctional.  

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This jumpsuit was a bit of a wildcard so to speak for me.  I love to sew them but until this one haven’t bought or made one for myself to wear (which is about to change). I got it at NY and Company on super clearance. I only paid like $12 for it and overall I like the fit.  

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This shoot also was an opportunity for our group to take some more professional photos for our websites.  This was a staged photo of me consulting a client.  The jumpsuit the model is wearing is one of my designs from my first collection. I plan to use this photo for my business website (coming soon!).  As you can see I paired my same jeans with a white blazer, t-shirt and necklace.  You can’t see my feet in this shot but I have on some blush colored pumps.  

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This final shot was one of a series of group photos we took at the end of everyone’s session.  There were so many awesome ones that conveyed power and unity.  This one is my favorite.  I love the laughter and sense of sisterhood this one conveys.

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I am so thankful for this opportunity and my biggest take away from this experience was that my decision to shift my mind set allowed me to see the glory of God manifest in me; instead of overfixating on things like body image. This caused me to really see myself and not my perceived imperfections. Hallelujah!

As always I pray this post was a blessing.  Until next time!

xoxo

Iris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dreaming of Spring & DIY Peplum Hem Pencil Skirt Simplicity 8394

You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory [and my honor], and the One who lifts my head.  Psalm 3:3 (amplified)

Hey Y’all!  Happy Friday! I finally caught a break on the weather.  After the 2 snow storms earlier this week the past two days of sunshine and 50+ degree weather has been glorious! Further to my delight was my daughter having the day off from school.  Good weather + photographer = photoshoot.  Which I have been trying to have since just before Easter.

I originally sewed this skirt using Simplicity 8394 a Mimigstyle pattern for Easter.  My daughter and I worked on making ourselves mom and me skirts for church and I bought my son a suit in a complimentary color.  However, that was a total bust because he got sick with strep throat and we were on lock down the whole Easter weekend.  bummer right..? So I decided that we would give it another try for Mother’s Day.  (I’m planning a future blog post for that as well featuring my daughter’s skirts that she made using Simplicity 8609).

We used this vintage inspired scattered floral print stretch twill fabric from Joann Fabrics.  I let her choose the fabric and at first I wasn’t feeling it until I saw this pattern.  The 1950’s vibe of the skirt along with the fitted silouhette of the pencil skirt worked well with the vintage vibe of the fabric without making it look old fashioned.  The top I bought from NY and Co and the shoes are from my closet.

Overall. I  this pattern!!! Fitting it was easy. I added a contoured waistband instead of using the facing and I finished the flounce by adding a lining.  I hate double fold hems. Its one of my least favorite finishing techniques.  So I attached the lining to the flounce at the hem and folded it up/ understitched and attached it to the hem of the pencil skirt.  I like the clean finish of the hem and it gave a little weight and extra fullness to the flounce.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this pattern was that the sizing ran small. I had to add 6.5″ to the hip and 3.5″ to the waist.  It came in plus sizing as well, which would have given me the room I needed in the hip but would have been huge on me everywhere else.  I opted instead for the smaller misses sizing and increased only where I needed to,  which worked out perfectly.  Other than that I noticed after I finished it that the side seam needs to be moved foward by about 1/2 “.  I’ll do it next time by adding 1/2″ to the side seam back and subtracting 1/2” to the side seam of the front.  I plan on making this a go to pencil skirt sloper for future skirt projects.  It’s figure flattering without being tight which for me is always a good thing!

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Until next time!!

XOXO,

Iris

8 Lessons I learned from the story of the Widow with Oil

This story has encouraged me quite a bit over the last 5 years primarily because I feel very much like the widow with the oil.  I am a single mom trying to raise two children while building a business

“Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” 2 Kings 4:7 (amplified)

Since the beginning of the year I have been working on paying down my debts, saving to buy a house and rebranding my business.  All of these things are very ambitious goals on their own; but after putting somethings on hold for the last 2 years in order to complete design school I feel like I really don’t have a choice.

Which leads me to today’s post.  I recently went before the Lord in prayer asking him for direction regarding my business, and some concerns that I had regarding my current financial situation and I was reminded of the story of the widow with oil found at the beginning of  2 Kings 4:1-7.

“Now one of the wives of a man of the [a]sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha [for help], saying “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant [reverently] feared the Lord; but the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves [in payment for a loan].” 2 Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have [of value] in the house?” She said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a [small] jar of [olive] oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow containers from all your neighbors, empty containers—and not just a few. 4 Then you shall go in and shut the door behind you and your sons, and pour out [the oil you have] into all these containers, and you shall set aside each one when it is full.” 5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her sons; they were bringing her the containers as she poured [the oil]. 6 When the containers were all full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.” And he said to her, “There is not a one left.” Then the oil stopped [multiplying]. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons can live on the rest.” 

This story has encouraged me quite a bit over the last 5 years primarily because I feel very much like the widow with the oil.  I am a single mom trying to raise two children while building a business, and in addition to the cost of living, I have credit card debt Inspiration(i’m about 1/2 way finished paying off by the way yay!) and student loans.  So there are times where like this widow I feel stretched.  So when I revisited this scripture there were some new insights that I gained and I wanted to share with you.

1. God will use what you have to bring a turn around to your financial situation.

Elisha didn’t respond to the widow’s distress by giving her money, he didn’t offer to speak with her debtors.  Instead he asked if she had anything of value? Olive Oil in biblical times was used as a commodity of trade or personal income (www.biblestudytools.com).  In other words Elisha was asking her what do you have of value that you can sell.  He told her to start a business.  This caused me to think and ask the question… “If you were in the widows shoes and Elisha were to ask you right now?  What do you have of value? or what gift, skill or talent do you have that God could use to help you generate income or start a business with, what would it be?  For me it has been sewing, nails, or crochet?

2. The widow was obedient.

She didn’t fight with the man of God when he told her to take the oil and ask her neighbors to borrow pots to pour the oil in.  She did what he told her to do. This is so important.  Like any good advise.  Its only good if you apply it to your life.  God cannot do a work in our lives if we aren’t sensitive to his voice and guidance.

3. God will show you favor with others.

Just like the neighbors who borrowed the widow to the containers, God will use people who are around you or put you in places to surround you with the right people who can help you. Maybe its not money, maybe its resources, skills, expertise, or new connections.

4. God will meet you where you are at.

The widow didn’t have a whole lot to offer,  She says in verse 2 “Your maidservant has nothing in the house except a [small] jar of [olive] oil.” However, the little bit that she had God took as a seed and multiplied it.  I remember a few years ago when I first separated from my ex-husband, I was in a rough financial situation and I needed a miracle.  God told me to use my gift of crochet to make winter scarves and hats to bring increase.  All I had were some crochet hooks and a box full of acrylic yarn.   I used this scripture to encourage my heart and I did what God told me to do.  In a 6 week period of time I was able to make an extra $500 that I used to supplement my income and buy my kids some christmas gifts.  The following winter season I did it again but started earlier and tripled my increase from the year before.

5. Have confidence in the gifts that God gives you.

Sometimes we don’t think that we have anything for God to multiply because we lack confidence in the gifts and/or resources that God has given us.  I have struggled alot in building my business for this very reason.  This lack of confidence has caused me at times to hesitate and walk away from opportunities that seemed too big for me.  A lack of confidence is a form of doubt and doubt is a lack of faith which blocks God from moving in our lives. We have to believe that if God brought it to us he will help us to see it through.

6. You can’t do it alone.

The widow poured the oil as her sons brought her the containers.  When you are in business or maybe trying to grow a ministry. You can’t do it all and you can’t do it alone.  The widow was wise. She turned it into a family business. Don’t be afraid to delegate and/or collaborate with others who are in a similar situation to help bring  vision forward.

7.  As long as there is a container to pour your oil into it will never cease to  multiply.

The little jar of oil kept flowing until she no longer had vessels to pour it into. I always looked at the vessels in this portion of the scripture as people who need whatever it is that God calls us to offer.  When you look at it this way it suggests that as long as there is a person who needs what you have, your oil(gift) will always be there to provide.

8.  Her oil caused her to struggle no more.

This revelation caused me to be filled with so much joy.  As I realized that God not only encouraged my heart but he also through this story gave me a strategy to move my business forward and bring me the increase that I need.

What about you?  Are you like me finding yourself in a situation where God is calling you to use your gifts and skills to create a business opportunity or to generate extra income?  If so I would love to hear what it is. Please leave a comment below and I would love to come into agreement in prayer with you that God will provide you with everything that you need to launch that idea. Matthew 18:19 says:Again I say to you, that if two [h]believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 

Well thats all for now! I pray this post has encouraged you as much as it has me. Until the next time.

♥ xoxo,

Iris

15 Confessions To Help Build Your Identity in Christ

Over the course of my journey with Christ I have learned the power of confessing the truth of God’s word as a prayer strategy against negative thinking, negative self-talk and low self-esteem. 

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].”  2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP)

A few weeks back, I was working on a sewing project for the blog and I was listening to  Pandora; when I noticed this song by Casey J called “journal”  was playing.  I have heard this song play countless times on this station, but for some reason on this day the lyrics began to minister to me. The song starts with the following lyrics:

Failure
Not worth it
It’s too late to start again
And I’m sure I’m useless in the hands of the Creator
I’m not enough to salvage
And I’m not enough to build with
So don’t try
No, I won’t try
But then came your word

Healing
Affirming Word

Writing on my heart
Writing on my mind
So I’ll never forget it
Your word

Psalm 119:11 (NIV) says: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” 

The lyrics to this song gives a clear image of why it is so important to keep God’s word hidden in our hearts.  Seriously….  How often have you experienced your mind bombarded with negative thoughts and untruth about your worth…?  your identity…? Telling you that you aren’t pretty enough, good enough, smart enough and the list could go on and on.  Yet in the bible there are so many scriptures that clearly tells us that in Christ we are called to live an empowered life. Not a life filled with negativity and doubt.

Over the course of my journey with Christ I have learned the power of confessing the truth of God’s word as a prayer strategy against negative thinking, negative self-talk and low self-esteem.  In today’s post I wanted  to share with you 15 of my favorite confessions that I have stored up in my heart to help build my identity in Christ. I hope they bless you as much as they have me!

15 Confessions To Help Build Our Identity in Christ

1.  I am a child of God (John 1:12 NIV)

2. I am rooted, built up and strengthened in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:7 NIV)

3. I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:56 NIV)

4. I am always on top and never at the bottom (Deuteronomy 28:13 NIV)

5. I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14 NIV)

6. I am virtuous (Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV)

7. I am redeemed (Galatians 3:13 NIV)

8. I am the lender and not the borrower (Deuteronomy 28:12 NIV)

9. I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37 NIV)

10. I am strengthened in Christ (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

11. I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

12. I have a purpose (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)

13. I am loved (John 3:16, John 16:27 NIV)

14. I am prosperous (Deuteronomy 28:11 NIV)

15. I am blessed (Deuteronomy 28:2 NIV)

I hope they bless you as much as they have me over the years. 

XOXO,

Iris