I've recently started reading the book of Proverbs, and there's so much wisdom to absorb. God seems to be giving me these little signs through each day, and I feel as if He's starting to speak this message through my everyday life. Even though the whole Bible demonstrates different situations, the book of Proverbs is basically like the "advice column" of it all. In the beginning of the book, it speaks of wisdom and setting a straight path for your relationship with God. My favorite chapter is Proverbs 31 because it goes in depth on the qualities of a Godly woman.
"For she is clothed in strength and dignity. She laughs without fear of the future." -Proverbs 31:25. This verse is the foundation of my business. I want girls to feel beautiful and confident during their portrait experience. I want to leave a lasting impact in their lives by emphasizing their natural beauty that comes through their smile, captured on my camera. Going off of this verse, and basically the whole book of Proverbs, the strength and dignity given to us by God gives us a purpose. Keeping that straight path with God will let us continue to grow deeper in His unending grace and love for us.
Lately, high school has been a whole bunch of trials. I'm sure I'm not the only high schooler who's a "goody-goody," and I'm here to tell you that IT'S OKAY to stay away from the temptation! It's definitely not a bad thing to avoid going to parties with drugs and alcohol. It's not a bad thing to prevent rumors happening from continuous gossip. It's not a bad thing to not "be hip" on current drama going on at school. High school comes with all of these temptations, and God is willing to test our faith in Him. He's calling us to stay pure in the Lord, and to obey Him. His plan for us is much greater than our own, and we have to trust that we are better off in His ways. "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your way acknowledge Him, & He will set your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6
At our church, we've been talking about setting "guardrails" in your life. These guardrails represent the boundaries you make for yourself, so you don't fall in the ways of the world. Many go over the guardrails, and stumble into the pit of darkness, drunkenness, grief, pain, lying, and cheating. God is always there to lift you up, even when you fall short and turn away. He's always by your side and it's up to you to hold His sovereign hand. The guardrails are there to guide you into the ways of the never-ending, gracious love of God. I'll name a few guardrails I have set for myself personally (you totally don't have to go to this extent, but even the littlest lifestyle change can take you so far in your walk with Christ.) 1) If I'm invited to a party that may contain alcohol, I decline the offer. I'd rather go to a clean party and have quality time with friends, and turn away from the temptations of alcohol from peer pressure, than risking the chance of drinking too much and making decisions that turn away from the pure faith I have with God. 2) I've only seen 2 R-rated movies. I know it sounds absurd. A lot of R-rated movies nowadays emphasize sex and drinking like it's no big deal. I try to restrict myself from watching these movies because these movies leave a lasting impression in our minds. These movies make sin seem so appealing. Anyways, everyone's guardrails are different. Some may be little boundaries, some bigger. But the purpose of it all is to better yourself and walk in a straight path with the Lord. Everyone is in a different situation, but any little step to lead yourself closer to Christ is just showing that His ways are better than ours.
I have a challenge for YOU: Take a piece of paper and write down some guardrails you need to set for your life. There's no wrong answer; everyone is on a different walk of faith with God, that's what makes your relationship with Him so beautiful and unique. Building these boundaries will take your relationship with Christ much farther. You're setting these boundaries to put your focus on Him. Your actions reflect your faith.
Do you have anything you want me to talk about on the blog? Feel free to comment or email me any questions, prayer requests, or even if you want to get together and chat over coffee. I'm always available to share stories and advice.