2019: The Year of Modest Creative Consumption

“The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time?  It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns.” Luke 12:42-43 (NIV)

Hey Everyone!

Happy New Year!  I know i’m late.  January is almost over.  I ran into the New Year with a project deadline for my clothing label Virtuous By Design and that meant I had to put a hold on the blog.  But! I am back and can I say that…. “I missed you all!”

I am also pleased to announce that there are going to be some changes coming this year.  One of the biggest ones being how I live out my modest life. When I first started this blog I really thought about modesty from a fashion and spiritual perspective.  That won’t change but what I am planning on incorporating is exploring the concept of modesty and faith through being resourceful.  Being modest in my creative consumption.

Specifically creating makes using existing fabric and patterns from my stash (as much as possible) , thrifting fabric instead of purchasing new fabric, upcycling and exploring new technique and crafts as a way to create versus running to the fabric store everytime I want to make a new project.  Living out a modest life by being resourceful and watching how much my family and I consume.

To be honest most of my stash fabric are a product of impulse buying anyway.  I really don’t like alot of what’s there or I haven’t taken the time to really imagine the possibilities.

I already started in a couple of ways.

1) I went through all of my yarn and needle craft supplies. I seperated them by weight and found all kinds of stuff.  From unfinished projects, little balls of scrap yarn, and packages of embroidery floss.  Not to mention the tangled yarn messes from not properly storing my stash.

2) I crocheted a hat and super scarf set using left over yarn from another project.  This is also my first project related blog post of the year.  ( I hope to post this week or next.  I haven’t been able to take any pictures).

3) Dusted off my knitting needles and started knitting a sweater using a combination of yarns from my stash that included unraveling a sweater vest that I never finished (because I really didn’t like it anyway).

4) Not crafting related but something that I have been doing since I moved into my new house  and will continue into 2019 is that I have gone back to scratch cooking.  I don’t even bother to buy junk snacks for the kids.  I make them things like healthy low-sugar muffins, encourage them to snack on fruits, veggies crackers/peanut butter etc,  and make sure to cook 3-4 meals a week and filling in the other days with leftovers.  It saves a ton on the grocery bill but also gives me an opportunity to make sure we eat everything that we buy. It also gives me an opportunity to teach my kids how to cook and about real food.

So there you have it.  The vision for the blog in 2019.  I can’t wait to start sharing my makes with you! What about you ..?  What are some of your 2019 creative goals?  I’d love to hear about them.

Until next time…..

xoxo,

Iris

That Style Though Sewing Planner Review

I’ll be honest planning ahead is not really one of my strongest characteristics but it is something I have had to be intentional about.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25

Hello Everyone!

Happy Hump Day! I pray everyone’s week is bursting with productivity and new opportunities!  One of the things that I have been trying to do for the past few weeks is planning ahead.  Especially for the blog.  It has always been a blog goal of mine to be 1-3 months ahead of schedule. Having makes and post ideas done a season ahead frees me up to do other things as well as be more consistent with my posting.

I’ll be honest planning ahead is not really one of my strongest characteristics but it is something I have had to be intentional about. One of those intentional actions included using a blog and sewing planner. I had been looking for one for awhile without success.

Until an opportunity to collaborate with Dari from “that style though” sewing blog.  She put out a request for testers on instagram for her soon to be released 2019 sewing planner. I thought “great…! why not help someone else out and see if her planner layout works for my planning needs.”

This was definitely a win for me.  I love her planner because not everyone’s sewing process is the same and this gives you multiple ways to use it.  If your a sewing blogger or vlogger you can use it for that.  If your a sewist and just want a way to map out your design ideas from conception to finished garment; it definitely allows you to do that as well.

What I particularly like is that it allows you to organize your makes by seasons and/or months. For me, I am a seasonal sewing planner and I used it to map out my fall/winter makes not only for the blog but also for some other projects i’m beginning to work on for 2019.

I also like that it walks you through a project planning process which includes a mood board, a color palette page, a sheet to sketch out some of my ideas, pages to document the patterns I plan on using for my projects and even a closet inventory sheet.

If your looking to organize your sewing life I highly recommend “That Style Though” sewing planner. It was just released on November 6th and you can purchase your very own copy for $10 here.

Well that’s all for now!  Until next time!

❤️xoxo

Iris

Sunday Wrap Dress and Pattern Review McCalls M7627

The best feeling in the world to me is to go to church and honor God by wearing something that I made with the gift that He gave me.  

“……to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,the oil of joy, instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3

 

Hello Everyone!

I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in 2 weeks.  The last two weeks have been very busy and i’ve been working on releasing a pre-fall mini collection for my clothing label Virtuous By Design.  Which is exciting!!! but has pulled my attention in other places.  However, this week I got a small opportunity to work on this wrap dress.  I absolutely love a wrap dress. They are timeless, figure flattering and very comfortable.

I made it to wear to church using Mccalls M7627, view C.  I don’t know about you guys but I love getting dressed up for church.  Especially when I get the opportunity to make my church attire.  The best feeling in the world to me is to go to church and honor God by wearing something that I made with the gift that He gave me.

Below are a few pictures of my make along with a brief pattern review. I want to thank my mom for being my impromptu photographer for this post.

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Pattern Description: wrap dress with full circle voluminous skirt. I love this dress!

Pattern Sizing: I made it with a size 18 and graded to a size 20 at the waist, but I should have made a 16 and graded to an 18 at the waist. It really does run large.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I loooove the shape of this dress.  It is very figure flattering, I’m not always a fan of facings but for this dress it gives it a very clean finish and makes sewing and finishing a breeze.

Fabric Used: 100% cotton.  It is an Ankara print that my children brought me back from their family visit to Ghana last summer. The sash I made using a polyester fabric that I intended to use as a lining for another project but the color was perfect and I needed the extra fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: no.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Definitely. This is such a fun dress! I am going to make one for my mom for her birthday.  She thinks its pretty.

Conclusion: this was a fun dress to make and I am really happy with it. It makes me feel so pretty.

Well that’s it for now! Until the next time!

xoxo,

Iris

DIY Fashion Remix Kick Off and Upcyled Look #1 w/ Tutorial

“Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.” Galations 6:15 (NIV)

Hi Everyone!

Happy Monday!  So I am super excited to kick off the DIY Fashion Remix!  For the whole month of July I will be cutting, sewing, remixing old looks into new ones.  This is not a new thing by any means of the imagination! People have been doing this for centuries.  But it is something that i’ve wanted to fiddle more with for sometime now.  and woohoo! the time has arrived! Praise God! Hallelujah! lol!

Just to give you a little preview of what to expect over the next couple of weeks…

Each post this month will feature upcyled pieces that i’ve created from either thrifted items or something that I have in my existing wardrobe.  Its also my goal to share a tutorial of each of my makes.  There are a few ways to approach upcycling and some require little to no sewing skills what so ever.  My makes will require some basic sewing knowledge.  My goal is to demonstrate various ways to upcylce garments while showing how basic sewing skills can affordably extend your existing wardrobe.

Each tutorial will feature the sewing skill level, materials needed and step by step photos of how I created my re-makes.

So on to my first look…

Garment Inspiration/Description: I absolutely love the 2 piece set that I created from this very oversized dress. I found it at Value Village and I think I paid like $4.00 for it.  The tags were still on it and at first I was like yuck!  Frumpy and outdated.  I heard Madea in the back of my head saying: “Hellrrrr!  I wants my dress back.” lol!Lol!.IMG_8513

It also reminded me of what plus size clothing was circa the pre- curvy girl revolution in plus size clothing.  Thank God for size equality in the fashion industry.  This garments saving grace was the pretty embroidered sweet heart neckline along with those very cute floral buttons and the inseam pockets.  It had a very vintage quality to it that caused me to think of the women’s playsuits of the 40s and 50’s.

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I already knew that there was enough fabric to size down the garment into what I wanted. So I decided to make a crop top and gathered skirt set.  I styled the look with bright pink pumps, gold hoops and I styled my roller set hair in a high pin curled bun and tied a brightly colored striped scarf around my head.  I wanted to continue to play on the vintage inspiration with the final look. Below are my styled shots.  For the tutorial continue to scroll down past the photos.

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And thats it.  I have to give my sister in law Tane Acevedo a special thank you for using her photography skills to take these shots for me!

Tutorial

Skill level: Advance Beginner/Intermediate

Materials needed: an oversized dress, metal jean or all-purpose zipper, scissors, dressmaker pins, bias tape, matching thread.

Skills used: installed a metal zipper, Shortened a skirt hem, created and attached a waistband, gathering, basic tailoring and alterations techniques, hemming using bias tape, topstitching.

What I did…

  1. I examined the dress and began deconstruct it, removing the things that I know I didn’t need.  For this project I removed the shoulder pads, cut the sleeves and the waist tie that buttoned at the front and tied to the back. I also unpicked the dress zipper from the skirt portion of the dress all the way up to about the mid back portion of the top.  I knew I could shorten the zipper and repurpose it to be used to close either the top or the skirt.  Since I had to gather the skirt and make a waistband I thought it would be easier use it for the top.

2. I cut the skirt away from the top just below the seam line.

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3.  Next I shortened the hem of the skirt by about 7inches (but you can shorten to your desired length). By simply using tailors chalk to mark the hem line directly on the skirt the length I wanted to remove and using my scissors to cut.

4.  From the fabric that I removed from the hem I was able to make my waistband.  I measured my waist which is 36″.  I added 1″ for ease and another 1/2″ for seam allowance which was a total of 37.5″ (note: because the skirt hem was already attached at the side seams I used one side seam to count as the fold of the fabric which meant that I only needed to add enough seam allowance for 1 seam which opened at the back of the skirt). I then devided this number by 2 which was 18.75″. This was for the length.  For the width, I wanted a 1.5″ wide waistband so I took 1.5″ and added 1/2″ to the top and bottom for a total of 2.5″ and I multiplied it by 2 for the facing for a total of 5″.

Once I figured out my measurements I used tailors chalk and a clear ruler to draw the waistband directly onto the fabric. and cut my new waistband.

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4.  I cut fusible interfacing 1.”x 37″  and fused it to the facing side of the waistband ( I don’t put interfacing in the seam allowance.  I find it makes my seams extra bulky and constricts the ease of my waistband)

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5.  I Put the waistband aside and took the skirt to the sewing machine and with a long running stitch (I put mine at 5 which is the longest stitch that my machine will make) I sewed along the waist end of the skirt leaving long thread tails at each end.  I then pulled on the thread tails and I evenly gathered the fabric until it reached the same size as the waistband.

6.  I then pinned the skirt to the waistband and sewed the waistband to the skirt. Once the skirt was attached, I folded the facing portion of the waistband over, pinned it down to the waistband and  pressed it flat. (note:  I serged raw edge of the facing side of the waistband.  If you don’t have a serger then you can just fold up the raw edge by about 1/2″.  This will give you a clean edge when you hand finish the facing to the waistband). Below is what it looked like once I finished.

7.  I serged the hem of the skirt first and then I thread marked the hem 1″ by running the skirt hem through my sewing machine along the 1″ mark.  This helped me to keep the hem even.  I then folded it up along the thread the basting as I ran the iron over the folded fabric (this helps to keep the fabric in place when you top stitch the final hem).  I finished the hem by topstitching at 3/4″ from the bottom hemline.

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8.  I finished the skirt by inserting a metal zipper at the back waistline (you could use any zipper application for this style of skirt but a metal jean zipper is what I had on hand and matched the metal zipper that was originally on the dress and what I used for the top). I then hand finished the waistband using a slip stitch.

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Top

9.  The first thing that I did for the top was to cut the sleeves.  The original sleeve seam was finished with a flat felled seam which was great!  This allowed me to carefully cut the sleeve off and still leave the seam finish in tack.  This made it so that I didn’t have to finish the sleeve hem and It now looks like a drop shoulder sleeve.

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10.  I then draped the top on my maniquinn and pinned the shoulders in place as well as lined the princess seams on my top with the princess seam line on my manequinn (pinning it this way ensures that the garment remains on grain when you begin to reduce the size of the top at the side seam).

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11.  I then pinned out the excess fabric at each side seam and cut off the excess fabric.  Making sure to leave enough excess fabric to sew the new side seams.

12.  Next I sewed the side seams.

13.  I shortened the zipper by carefully sewing across the bottom of the zipper back and forth several times before cutting off the excess zipper.

14.  I ended up removing 2 of the buttons from the bottom of the top in order to make room for hemming.

15.  Hemming the top using the self fabric was a little wonky for some reason so I ended up having to use bias tape in order to get an even and flat hem.  Once I attached bias tape to the hem of the top, I pressed out the seam and folded under the bias tape so that it was completely on the inside of the top and pressed it flat.  I then top stitched at 1/2″ from the bottom hem. Below is a picture of the finished bias tape hem from the inside of the top and the zipper from the outside.

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At thats it! From frumpy to modestly chic! I have a new outfit that I can’t wait to wear to a summer brunch or a day party with some of my lady friends!!!

Well I hope that you enjoyed today’s post!  I can’t wait to share my next fashion remix look!  Until next time!

xoxo!

Iris

Pattern Review: DIY Pants and Top Simplicity 8655 & New Look 6519

“That my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” Psalm 31:12

Hey y’all! it’s been a minute since i’ve posted here but I’ve been crazy busy with moving the business into our new studio space. woohoo! right…!

After 2 years of working at school and home I am finally at a point where I can afford dedicated sewing and creative space.  I’m also in the process of buying a house!  I’m super excited for this new season in my life!

In between it all I have been working on pants fitting.  Even in design school this was a challenge for me. But I decided that I was going to use the blog as a platfrom to tackle all the hard stuff and share my journey and lessons learned with my readers. This post is more a pattern review but I plan on posting later this week some of my top lessons learned.

On to the Pattern Review.  Beginning with the pants.  I used simplicity 8655 new Mimi G Style pattern.  I chose these pants because they seemed easy enough and I really liked the high waist and leg options.  I made the flare leg option first and I really liked the pattern.  It was easy to make all of the pattern adjustments and it sewed together quickly.  These are basically my final muslin.  I used a bottom weight stretch sateen from Joann fabric.  I had to add 2inches to the back rise and take about 2.5 inches off of the front crotch. I also had to shorten at the knee by about an 1in.  The one thing I will say about this pattern is that I don’t like the facing at the waistband.  I plan on making these again in a better quality fabric and just add a 1″ waistband.  Overall I like the fit especially in the butt and hip area but next time I think I will take in a little bit at the leg and knee and I may also reduce the flare at the hem to fit more like a bootleg.

The top is  New Look 6519. I really liked this pattern it came together quickly and I went straight into fashion fabric.  The only thing I changed was to create the bell sleeve that I attached to the hem of the drop shoulder for a little bit of drama and contrast.  The fabric I purchased at Joann Fabric. Its a houndstooth stretch suiting.  Its very soft and has a nice weight and drape to it. The bell sleeve is made from a black stretch sateen.

I wore this outfit to church today and felt very feminine and chic!! uuuuwww Lala!  lol!  I paired the black and white with pops of color with the pink in my shoes and my necklace.

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Well thats it for now!

As always I hope this post was a blessing to you. Until next time!

xoxo

Iris

 

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