The Power of the “Like”

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Popularity.

Aka – the favor of the general public….or something that used to be measured by whether or not you were offered an invitation to sit at the cool girl’s table at lunch.

But today we often judge our social status by the number of likes our latest post on Facebook or Instagram receives.

We’ve all done it. Posted a picture or updated a status only to check our computers or phones every five minutes to see if anyone has liked it yet. Once the first person likes it there is an instant relief at being accepted. Someone thinks I’m as cool as I want them too!

BUT…it’s followed almost immediately by the desire for another and another and another person’s approval. Especially if your friend has posted something at the same time as you OR something similar. Then it becomes an all-out war to see who is more “liked”.

This vicious cycle will repeat itself: two, five, twenty, maybe fifty times a day. The “Like” button has dangerous power over us that we don’t really want to acknowledge, but we know it’s there. We fear no being accepted. We fear not having peoples favor. We fear we are unlikable.

The Bible has something awesome to say about this, and I think that you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s pretty right on.

Proverbs 29:25 (GNB) “It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord you are safe.”

When we place our value in what others think of us it is dangerous. Flat out. It gives people power they are not equipped to manage well. In the case of social media it’s not only what they say that concerns us but also what they don’t say. It’s not so much the fear of someone writing “Woah, that’s a horrible picture,” but the lack of “likes” that has us trying to find the perfect filter for our latest Instagram.

But God is so faithful. Not only does He take the time to point out to us that placing value in what others think is dangerous, but He tells us “Hey, trust in Me and you are safe.”

The definition of safe is: to feel protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; to be secure, protected, shielded, sheltered, guarded, and out of harm’s way.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful! I mean seriously, in a world where every part of your appearance, wit, humor, intelligence, and experiences are on display for the world to see who doesn’t want to feel safe?

I’m not saying to not participate in social media. It can be an awesome tool when used properly! It’s fun! It keeps you connected! I’m just suggesting that next time you post something be conscious. Choose to find your identity wrapped safely in the arms of your Heavenly Father. Know whose you are. You don’t need the acceptance and approval of the masses or even of one. That is not where your identity lies.

Placing your value in the hands of people is risky business, but placing it in God’s hands will never disappoint. You will always be safe.

Does it have to be itsy bitsy?

itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini

The itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini…. we all know the lyrics. But do we know what these lyrics actually meant for bathing suits lining the seashore? With the turn of the fashion world and the women’s rights movement, the bikini became a tool used for female empowerment. But, fashion designer Jessica Rey reveals the shocking research on the male brain that shows otherwise.

Check out Jessica Rey’s fashion line for modest and super cute swimwear http://www.reyswimwear.com/

Just A Glimpse

Artists strive to make a statement with their paintings. Each brush stroke, each color mixed on the palette is an intentional effort to create something beautiful…. something meaningful.

Every moment of our lives we have the opportunity to create something beautiful too. Every person we talk to, every smile we give, every time we answer the phone, we make a statement.

We often care so much about what other people think about us… our friends, our family, our co-workers and classmates. But we very rarely think about the glimpses a stranger catches of us. We very rarely care about the way we treat people we don’t know.

The person standing behind you in line, the women sitting across the room at Starbucks, the old lady walking behind you through the door… all of these people are strangers who just catch a glimpse of who we are.

This video shows 500 years of women in artwork, each one unique and each image shown only for a moment. As I watch this beautiful video of women through history, I can’t help but think about the statement my life makes. Surely, these women were known and loved by people at that time. But today I catch just a glimpse.

Years from now, when people look at your life, do you want them to see just another pretty face frozen in time, or a life that brings glory and honor to your King. Our life can say something about who we are, but better yet, our life can say something about who He is when we find our identity in Him.

Philippians 2:15 says we can shine like stars in the sky by being children of God. When we reflect who He is, it’s hard for anyone not to notice.

After all, you can see a star shining bright… even when you catch just a glimpse.woman

Photo Shoots… Good Clean Fun?

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It’s fun to take pictures with your friends. Candid shots of laughter can capture a memory. Goofy photos on the webcam never seem to get old. But what I’ve noticed a lot of girls doing lately are photoshoots…. a full session of photography with a few friends with different poses and different backgrounds often revolving around a specific theme. I’ve seen quite a few girls upload these photos to facebook… sometimes creating a whole new album with up to one hundred photos. The photos are usually fun and artistic, showing the creativity of the photographer by thinking outside the box.

Unfortunately, many of these photos don’t exude a sweet and innocent fun time. Sometimes these photos include seductive poses of teenage girls trying to look sexy. I’ve seen way too many pictures of thirteen year old girls and girls my age with pouting lips and heavy make up looking longingly into the camera lens. Even if they are fully clothed, photos like this create a sense of seduction and give the wrong impression.

But it’s easy to have a photo shoot that fun and creative without compromising your innocence. Getting a few of your friends together to create a series of photographs should be a fun and artistic activity! And it can be! A few of us from Across My Heart ministries got together to show you just how fun photo shoots can be!

We picked a theme, got some props from the 1970s, donned a few old school outfits, and made lots of memories! Check out some more of the photos from our 1970s photo shoot below!

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Fun photo shoot ideas:

Pick a decade like we did…. love the 1950s? How about the 1980s? Dress up in your favorite checkered dress or neon leggings and don’t forget the bouffant!

Pick a fun background… whether you are a country girl or a city girl, there is a place for you!

Blow bubbles or balloons… props can be a lot of fun to play with and add an awesome visual effect!

Recreate your favorite movie… take snap shots while acting out the plot line and role play as your favorite character from the film!

Fashion in Color…

Every season Pantone publishes a new color pallet for the upcoming fashion cycle. This fashion by Pamella Protzel-Scott incorporates the color Lemon Zest for a cheerful, western sunshine inspired look. Don’t you just loveeeee it?!! I would wear it (with leggings, of course)! Would you?

Ella Moss

inspiration
Western Wild and The Sunshine State inspires cheerful optimism

prominent colors
Deep Raspberry paired back to Cool Mint; Bright Chambray mixed with Sunshine Yellow; Peacock Blue and Acid Green; Neon Pink paired back to Icy Cool Gray

signature color
Citron Yellow — its bright sunshine tone is optimistic and playful for spring

must-have item
The fit and flare dress in Citron Yellow floral

Is there a color that complements all skin tones?
I tend to lean towards bolder, deeper hues and neutral shades. I think that Navy Blue is a color that works on all skin tones.

Fashion designers put so much thought behind their clothing, it’s almost like a form of artwork. But where does fashion fit into the life of a believer?

I Peter 3:3-4 says, “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

Uh oh! Does this mean we shouldn’t care about fashion?

Absolutely NOT!

The verse doesn’t say that we can’t wear gold jewelry or beautiful clothing. It says we cannot ADORN ourselves with those things.

Our adornment should be worn in our heart with beauty and grace. We can wear fancy clothes and diamond rings… we just can’t find our beauty in those things. Our worth comes from God. It should be our number one goal to fashion our inner lives with beauty and grace and then we can enjoy dressing up the outside! It just can’t be our priority!

What fashion used to look like…

My favorite fashion site, Modcloth, puts a modern twist on vintage fashions. For their Holiday catalog, they did a little research on vintage fashion catalogs to put together their very own! It’s fun to look at the process and see how the elements of fabric, colors, and even word choices can play a part in creating the perfect look!

If you like Vintage Fashion as much as I do, check out the link below and get a behind the scenes look at what vintage fashion magazines used to look like!

Behind the Scenes Look

Spotlight on The Fashion Princess…

Duchess Kate Middleton wows us once again in her modest, fashionable attire. She has certainly captured the spotlight of the fashion world. Click the photo above to watch a short clip on her incredible fashion sense!

The Duchess dug out an old winter favourite to watch Wales play New Zealand in the rugby this weekend. Catherine had previously worn this patriotic red coat by L.K.Bennett last November on a visit to UNICEF’S Emergency Supply Centre in Copenhagen.

fashion.telegraph.uk

Across My Heart

Princess Kate. She’s not just the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s an icon in the world of fashion. Whether it’s Time magazine or a British tabloid, magazines have made her a celebrity. Her pictures are everywhere, and her sense of style seems flawless. But Princess Kate doesn’t simply dress to be famous or to please herself. She dresses to represent her country.

A friend of mind once pointed out the amazing responsibility of the Princess.  Everyday when she wakes up, she can’t just throw on a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt and hit the streets of London. She has to carefully determine (with the help of personal stylists, of course) what she’ll wear that day. Her outfit isn’t about showcasing HER personality or HER sense of style. Her outfits must portray the elegant class and traditional garb of English society. From the length of her dress to the size of…

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Barbie Girl

A permanent smile, sparkly pink stilettos, and platinum blonde hair – she’s perfection you can hold in your hand, and she goes by the name Barbie.
Barbie’s flawless skin and perfect figure seem harmless at first, but some argue that every little girl’s favorite doll is setting harmful standards for idealistic beauty.Barbie Girl

Mathematicians have calculated that a 5-foot-6 Barbie would have a 39 inch bust, 21 inch waist, and 33 inch hips – aka nearly impossible in reality. But is Barbie’s fake body causing real problems?

I mean, she’s fake.
Her plastic face never ages.
She always smiles.
She only has one emotion.
Her hair doesn’t grow back when it’s cut.
She isn’t real.
And her standard of beauty isn’t real either.

Little girls know what is real with what is not. Magazines, celebrities, movies, TV shows… those are real people setting real examples and creating real problems… not a doll. So let’s leave Barbie doll alone.