A Seersucker State of Mind

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Focus on the I AM | Redeemed Study

I am re-studying Exodus. It blows my mind at I am re-studying Exodus. It blows my mind at how once you re-read something, you realize you missed so much, or you begin to connect the dots much faster. I LOVE Exodus. It truly illustrates how God's beautiful plan and trust worthy promises always follow through. 

Today is day four of Kristin Schmucker Redeemed Study. We study here how God spoke to Moses. While Moses was tending his flock, the Angel of the Lord appeared through a burning bush to him. Let's step back a few steps. Moses was a high living Egyptian. His life was pretty good. Yet, Moses still served humbly and meekly. Okay, we can step forward now. Burning bush. Moses was called over alone -- away from everyone so God could speak to Moses. Moses was set apart.  When we draw ourselves away from the world, sometimes we can see a lot clearer what God wants for us. I, personally, am a victim of FOMO (fear of missing out). The feeling of rejection overwhelms me. I feel victimized but really I am just being sanctified. Purposely, God sets us apart, so we can hear clearly His plan. 

Exodus 3:7 // "And the Lord said: "I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their tasksmasters, for I know their sorrows."

God tells Moses that He has not only seen, heard, and known the plight of His people, but He has also come. He sees His people's hurts. He hears His people's cries. He promises to fulfill His promise that He made to Abraham way back in Genesis -- He would deliver His people to the promise land. Okay, here is where God reveals His great plan. He asks Moses to be His messenger. Moses is tasked to do God's Will. As Christians, that is our mission -- carry out God's will and give back the praise. Quickly, Moses saw that He was not equipped on His own. He tried to make excuses. "His speech did not make him a qualified person to do this". Moses was not an eloquent speaker nor was he quick on his toes. That did not stop God. This is an example of how God does not use the qualified. He uses His people -- His people are not perfect. No, Moses could not do this on His own. With God on His side, he was more than equipped. Our own weaknesses consume us. We tend to focus more on ourselves than our God. When God told me to go into the middle school ministry, I was hesitant. How could I speak to these kids? I jumble my words and don't always have the words to say. How could I do this? 

"It is so easy for us to focus on the "I", but the Lord is the I AM" - Kristin Schmucker. 

We may not be Holy, Mighty, and Worthy, but our God is. I quickly realized that I am being called for a purpose. This was not a mistake. In my weakness, He will fulfill it with His power. 

Do this study with us! Purchase it in Kristin's shop.


Christian Creative: Jordan Lee

I am so excited about today's Christian Creative blog post. I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite bloggers. Jordan is absolutely the sweetest and has taught me to dig deeper into the Word, because it is such a wonderful gift. 

Hey, Jordan! Tell me who you are!

 I'm Jordan Lee - author, blogger, speaker, photographer, and friend. :)

When you started your blog what was your vision?

 My blog was a complete accident. I started with an Etsy shop where I sold items that I had written calligraphy on (mugs, journals, etc.) but was so overwhelmed with the logistics as my social media presence grew that the Lord really drew me to writing. So I added a blog tab to my website and attempted to follow the call. Since then it has evolved greatly, but it wasn't exactly something I had planned.

 You're a blogger. You got to tell me some of your favorite aesthetically pleasing or most favorite places to visit! 

 My favorite place in the world is the mountains. I love exploring, hiking, and being so submersed in God's creation that cell service and accessing my blog is out of the question. I draw most of my inspiration from time alone with Him outside.

When did you start Bible Journaling? 

 I started Bible Journaling in 2013 when my boyfriend at the time (now fiance, soon to be hubs) gave me my first journaling bible. I'm pretty sure this was way before it was cool and trendy, but I loved it the same amount I do now!

Who was a mentor that really encouraged you to grow your walk with Christ?

 My mama, hands down. She's wise and sharp and witty and committed to Jesus. She has always challenged me to be grounded and humble regardless of how much success my ministry has. Having this truth spoken into my life over and over is what I credit my growth to. Also, my fiance has been a big mentor and influence in my life, always challenging me to reach outside of my comfort zone in the name of Christ. Pretty sure SoulScripts would not exist without his constant encouragement.

Your photography is absolutely stunning. What is your favorite photo editing platform?

 Adobe Lightroom!!!!

Okay, here is a real challenge. Coffee or Tea?

 Coffee. Latte, hold the whip.

God has been doing some BIG things in your life. What has He been teaching you?

 God has been teaching me that rejection is a good thing when we are working for Him. I recently had some disheartening news from a publisher but the Lord is teaching me that what feels like rejection is actually a tool for refining His ultimate, good plan for our lives.

Like I said, your photography is gorgeous. What has been your favorite session so far?

 Oh gosh, I'm not sure I can pick a favorite. One I especially loved was a city engagement in Indianapolis. The couple was so in love, so pure, and so full of joy. The man had his favorite verses tattooed down both arms to create full sleeves, and they ended up adding a really neat visual effect against the city and golden light! Editing these two was a blast! But I love all of my clients - they each bring something unique to the table.

What is a verse that really anchors your soul?

 Psalm 37:4: Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Where can I find you on social media?

You can find my blog at www.soulscripts.com. Follow along with me on Instagram


Surrounded by the Greatest Artist's Works

I am all about visuals. I am a visual learning. I put two and two together better when I can see it. That is why I love God's creation. I love that I can see Genesis 1 come to life through everything I see. The glorious mountains are a testimony of how God's hands are so intricate. The beauty in the skies of sunrise and sunset show how our God is the greatest artists of all. The crevices and ridges in each stone reveal how detailed He is. He is so detailed. Out of His hands, He declared everything good. EVERYTHING! Not just one thing, not just two, EVERYTHING. He never compares His work. He declares it all good -- nothing is left out.

 When God says something is good and perfect in His sight, you better believe it! 
There is a reason I love hiking so much. I love walking in the midst of silence. I love exploring the beauty around me. Adventure is always on my mind. I feel like that is some cheesy quote, but it's true. I love seeking something new. My heart longs for a thrill. As I hike here in North Carolina or in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, I am always reminded that I am in the presence of something bigger than me. I am in the presence of God's own handiwork. I have taken for granted the gifts that He has provided me. My mind had lost its wonder. Stay ever in the wonder of God. Be like a child. I love watching children in toy stores (I don't say that in a creepy way). I love watching their expression when they see this one thing that totally captivates. They are totally in awe. All of their focus is on that one thing. They stare at it as if it's the most amazing thing in the world. To them, it is.
Do we stare at God's work like it's the most marvelous thing? Do we have the amazement of a child in a toy store? I am guilty of not being in that same awe. I am guilty of my eyes not being totally mystified by God's divine grace.

We were created so that we can enjoy His work with God. We were created to bring back that worship -- bring up our praises. His glory is impressive beyond agree. His artwork in not of comparison. Have a fire in your heart -- a desire in your thoughts to be in wonder. Every detail of this earth and every detail of our life was molded and created in God's hands. I, personally, think that is amazing!


Above All Else, Please, Guard Your Heart

My heart is wandering in all different directions. God has put a fire in my soul. He has put a desire in my heart that has not ceased. He is revealing to me His perfect plan for me. I am thankful. Thankful that He is a good God -- a God who's promises never fail. He is a God worth putting my faith in. He is a God who I could write a love letter that never ends to. I could go on and on and on and on and you guessed it on about the goodness of God. I'll save that for another blog though (wink wink). I am in a place where I am confident. Confident in my hope of the future. In pursuit of this uphill battle, God has been pursuing me. He has been pursuing my heart. He is an endless pursuit for me -- for us.
That gives me so much joy -- so much belonging. He is relentlessly pursuing me as His daughter. He wants a further connection. He wants a deeper relationship. He wants be the center of our core. Piece by piece, He is breaking me to mold me -- form me. He is showing me that to get to my high I have to start at my low. Lovingly, He is embracing me. He is telling me to guard something very valuable. He is telling with every inch of my soul to protect my heart. 
As I write letters to my 8th grade girls of my small group soon to be freshman, I write three words that speak volume -- guard your heart. Your heart is a valuable possession. We are so fragile and susceptible to lies. I write in these letters to my three girls to do everything in your will to protect your heart. Let the Holy Spirit be your guard. Strengthen it with the power of the Word. Be beautiful inside and create a soul that honors God. I tell them to fill themselves up with truth. Your heart creates who you ultimately are. It can be easily broken if you aren't relying on God. It cannot be fixed without the healing hands of Him. Withing your heart, everything flows from it -- love, peace, kindness, sincerity, anger, anxiety. That all comes from within you. 

Proverbs 4:23 // "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."

Whilst writing these letters, I was reminded -- one's life reflects the heart (Proverbs 27:19). Being beautiful inside is far more precious than physical beauty. Pretty souls are way more attractive. Kindness goes a long way. While tools of knowledge, strength, beauty are great, your heart attitude is far above them all. This reminder is to not be taken lightly. Worthless things are not called to be guarded. This is a worthy thing. Make this a top priority. Remind yourself daily. Your heart is as if a river. It flows. It has the potential to flow out goodness and wealth. Once it is intoxicated with muck, it is hard and a long process to get out. Guarding your heart does not mean to be in constant fear of the muck. It means create your boundaries. Rely on God. Don't lock up your heart and put it n the shelf. Living in fear is not what we are called to. Yes, our hearts will be broken. As a young woman of God, I am not going to tell you that if you strive to guard your heart, it will never be broken. I am telling you if we cannot guard our hearts alone. The pressure of guarding our hearts on our own is too much. It is fear bounding. If we let God have control, peace will arise. 
I have always been clueless on what this phrase meant -- what every pastor and leader meant by these repeating words. It never was clear to me on how to protect myself. I was relying on instructions rather than God. I was relying on myself to figure this out. It never came so clearly until I realized -- I cannot do such a difficult task by myself as I am only human. I am susceptible to sin, but God isn't. He is loving. He is kind. He is sincere. He is where my heart desires to be. Guarding your heart is not putting a wall up. It's not putting a wall of fear up. It is putting it in the hands of Christ. 
I leave you with this -- win the battle within your heart with God as your leader. Let Him be your victor. Dig deep into the word and root yourself within truth. Above all, be diligent and guard your heart.


Christian Creative: Faith Teasley

I am excited about this new edition of Christian Creative. Of course, I have said that about every edition, but oh well! I interviewed the lovely, the talented, Faith Teasley. Her photography is absolutely phenomenal. She is an artist. Her art is simply God-gifted, and I am so excited for you to meet her.

Tell me who are you? 

I’m a coastal wedding photographer in love with life, my Savior, film and saltwater.  

I hate these kinds of questions but tell me three quirky or weird facts about yourself.

I’m allergic to high fructose corn syrup,  if there’s a coffee shop nearby I will find it,  and I play drums for my church’s worship team (not a weird fact, just a fun one!).  

When you started your photography business, what was your vision?

My vision from the beginning has been to provide beautiful, tangible memories for couples in love.  I believe my couples' stories are beautiful and deserve to be told.  

Favorite trip or location visited? ​
Ahh such a hard question!  I adore coastal towns.  Bald Head Island, NC and Charleston, SC are two of my favorites.  I also really love Nashville, TN.  

​As a Christian Creative, how can you worship God through your photography?​
I believe that when we are using our passions, we are naturally glorifying God.  Photography ignites a passion in me that I know is God given.  It brings me such joy to photograph others, and to show them how beautiful they are.  Every person I meet through my business is an incredible opportunity to show God’s love.  

What photo session has been your favorite so fa​r?
My absolute favorite would have to be Alexandra and Michael’s elopement in Charleston, SC.  After getting ready at a beautiful hotel in downtown, we headed to Botany Bay on Edisto Island.  We trekked our way to a driftwood-laden beach, and they were married on the shore with only their pastor, my assistant, and myself in attendance.  The scenery was breathtaking, and the couple’s love for one another was equally as beautiful.  Photographing by the ocean is my happy place.  

What advice would you tell your 16 year old self? 

Seek God always.  Cultivate your passions.  Never give up, and don’t settle.  Dream big!

​If you had a plane ticket to anywhere in the world, where would it be to?​
Anywhere!  Haha!!  I love to travel.  I would love to go to Europe or somewhere tropical.  

What has God been teaching you lately?

Trust, trust, trust.  Trusting in Him, His timing, and His goodness.  

If you could photograph ANYONE and I mean anyone, who would you photograph?
I’d love to photograph Amanda Cook, simply because I’d love to spend time with her and her husband Jacob.  Amanda’s album “Brave New World” wrecked me in the best way.  

Please do yourself a huge favor and follow this girl through Instagram and her blog.


Christian Creative: Porshia Hernandez

Today, we are meeting Christian Creative, Porshia Hernandez. She has the most stunning photography work and is such a delight to talk to. This beautiful lady has a beautiful story.

Tell me, Porshia. What are three of the quirkiest things about you?
Three quirky things about me, Hmmmmm You will defiantly hear a snort come out every time I laugh, Bacon burgers are pretty much something I think about daily & I am the worst dancer.. Like for real!

When did you start your photography business?

I started my photography business towards the end of February of 2016, I always Had a desire in my heart to tell stories & testimonies of people I encounter, It wasn’t until I picked up my camera that the vision fully took off.

I know you are just in the beginnings of business. What obstacles have you had to jump through?

Some of the obstacles I’ve had to overcome when starting my business Is not letting fear have control of it, Once I've invited fear into this  Satan automatically is taking control of it & that is something I refuse to let happen, Yes I love taking pictures but when all said and done I am just the vessel behind the lens  and this ministry belongs to God. So Satan better back up!

 I am just stocked with tricky questions today. What has been your favorite photography session?

As far as my favorite session so far? Gosh that’s such a hard question when your soul purpose in photography is to tell stories, I will say one of my favorite MOMENTS is definitely when I did a shoot with a local model in town, She is absolutely beautiful, BRIGHT red hair and a face full of freckles, & for so many years of her life she has been bullied, When I take her pictures I can see her coming alive, at that moment nothing else matters.. That encourages me and is a constant reminder of why I am doing this

What would you tell your sixteen year old self?

If I could give my 16 year old self any type of advice it would definitely be to love and value yourself, & not to allow people to have so much power over your life & dictate who you are. Your value & who you are comes from God not people, as soon as people become your everything and not God you loose your identity in Him and it begins to rest in people & that will cause inner wounds that can take years to heal .

What has God been teaching you lately?

What God has been teaching me lately is to take time to look at all that He is doing in my life, And to not get so caught up with the busyness of owning a business, When I allow myself to become overly busy doing Gods work I've completely lost the passion and the vision behind it & I know once the passion is gone He has the power to take it away. So having Selah moments are a MUST.

Okay, here is a tricky question. Ready? If you could photograph anyone, who would it be?

If I could photograph anyone It would for sure be Tamera Mowry. Yes! from Sister Sister haha! I just her! She keeps Christ the center of her life & has no problem telling the world that, She proves that you can be on TV & still glorify God!

Find Porshia on Instagram.


Dear Girl Struggling with the Image You See

Dear Girl Struggling with the Image You See,

"Hi, I am Mikayla. I am a high school student. I have long, black hair and dark brown eyes. I love photography and hope to pursue that in the future."

It can be so easy to be swept up in the motions of worry and anxiety as we all at some point ask in our life "Who am I?", It can be easy to surpass the exterior of yourself as your identity. As you skim through magazines on the shelves in the grocery store, you feel your self-worth slowly diminishing. You feel yourself trapped within a body you wish was not yours. The voices of our Heavenly Father saying your worth is not defined by your appearance is being pushed out by the words that oh, yes it is. You use photo-shopped photos as your benchmark. Delight is not coming from the Lord anymore but by the few pounds that you shredded off that week. You are fueling yourself with media and not digging into what is really important -- the Word. You are blind-sighted by these desires that you don't see God's desire. His desire is for you to know something -- you are His.

As you scroll rigorously through the feed of this seemingly "perfect" person, something so precious inside you feels like it's fading. Your new ambition is to replicate this person. Be this person. You have found a new identity for yourself -- this person. You strive so much to mirror them that you cannot even catch yourself falling when the pressure hits you. Again, you feel as if your self-worth has diminished. You watch these movie, these books that make you long for such love -- such a beautiful love. You seek to find "the one". Find this perfect guy in the movies and books. Your thoughts are buried with fantasies and when you don't find "the one" in the short allotted time, then again you feel your worth is faded. You feel as like you have become less.

Oh sweet girl, you are loved. You are wanted. You are worth it. Don't ever let the lies of a boy dictate your life. Don't ever let the scale rule your day. Don't ever let that mistake sit on your shoulders. You are a Daughter of the King, a child of a wonderful father. You are more that just a face. You are more than a body. That love you are looking for, if you don't stop and open your eyes toward heaven, you might never find it. That love, oh, there is only one love that is so deep and so wide. There is only one love that saturates so fully.

Your worth is not defined by the lies that the world feeds you but of the truth that God gives you.

Darling, you are far more precious that imaginable. (She is more precious that rubies... Proverbs 51:10). It can be hard to find our identity. I know. I so often introduce myself with my appearance or obligation. I so often confuse my outward flaws with my inward. Materialization is mistaken with identification. I was trying to figure out who I was so hard. While trying to figure out who we are is awesome, we just have to remember everything that we are is of Christ. Everything that we pursue should be of God. The measuring stick of ourselves does not come from the world but of God. As you pursue to find your identity, do not get fixated on what seems perfect in this world. Be fixated on what is perfect in the eyes of God. Refocus yourself. Shift your mind to the God who wants you to know -- you are beautiful in the sight of Him. His creation is altogether beautiful (Ecc. 3:11).

Identify yourself from your heart, from your soul. Let's try this introduction again.

"Hi, I'm Mikayla, a Daughter of the King and chosen child of a wonderful Father. I am a free spirit with a heart for others. I am a creative who's mind is always at work. I am an eager being searching to uplift and bless. I feel broken deep within, but as I struggle my God is helping. He is pulling me up on my feet. He is carrying me as I am too weak and too small to take on the impact of life. His love is an everlasting love. His love encourages me to only love deeper, love harder. His love encourages me to share His love. His love has encouraged me to use my love. Through the paint on my brush, the lens of my camera, the words on my blog, I can share -- create. Through the power of God, the will of His plan, I can be His disciple. I am His chosen child, a children who is sweetly broken, but wholly surrendered."

Sweet girl, do not get trapped by comparison. Do not doubt your worth. These lies, give them to God. You are formed by the hands of the Painter of the night skies. You are loved by the Father who gave it all.

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