The Inspire Shop

growing up

pride + sewing.

Tiffany Nicole3 Comments

The first thing I ever sewed was a hand print of mine in third grade. Each student carefully traced her hand in pencil on muslin fabric pulled tightly through an embroidery hoop, stuffed it full of cotton filler, and then sewed it closed. It was a Christmas present for our parents. It marked the beginning of my sewing adventures.

For a few years after that I thought it was a cheating to sew with a machine, so my cousin and I sewed clothes and blankets and pillows together by hand. Eventually, I caved and the new found speed made projects a breeze. And more years went by and I majored in apparel marketing and design with pride leading the way.

I had been sewing for so long in my own self taught way, that I did not care too much for learning new things and trying other techniques and improving upon my skill set. I blocked my own growth, all while paying for the classes.

In our faith journey, it can be similar. We know the routine and the answers and the rituals. But we lack the techniques and proper use of the application to apply teachings to our daily life.

We forego mastering button holes and lapped zippers and French seams in order to stay on the sidelines within our faith comfort zones. We do projects that do not stretch us.

We sit in church and miss the opportunities to grow our faith. Miss the opportunities to know God on an intimate level. We miss the glimpses of joy that comes from knowing God and following his leading in to the unknown. We miss the intricacy and details that make up the garment and that gives it its lure and luster. We miss the transformation to reflect Christ.

The bible is pretty self explanatory about pride. A few examples:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2 

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. Proverbs 29:23

Pride prohibits growth and learning. It causes one to be so full of self that eventually something has to give. Marriage. Job. Finances. Being so focused on ourselves and how good we are, shuts our eyes to see others and destroys relationships and lives. It is the humble who admit they are wrong and can build from there, along with God's help.

Praying your eyes would be opened to the pride in your life, from the grandiose to the minute. Praying you would not think of yourself as higher than you are but would put others ahead and be willing to be last.

Praying that you would have wisdom to see the pride before the fall and would be caught up in mercy and humility instead. Praying you would grow in meekness in ways you have never known through uncharted territories and under explored truths.

Here's to less falls and more humility. 

seeing beauty in yourself

Tiffany Nicole2 Comments
Growing up I read the latest magazines. Teen Vogue. CosmoGirl. And of course, Seventeen, way before my age matched the number. With two older sisters, it was easy. I watched all the teen movies and did a great job at comparing myself to everyone on the screen or magazine page. I wanted to have hair like her. Make up like that one. Outfit like hers over there. No not that one. The other one. My hair never fit the bill for me. My unruly, wavy hair never held a light to the silky smooth straight hair in the ads. It always seemed to mock me. No matter how hard I tried.

I always kept make up simple. The feel of cover up on my skin was an easy aversion and my freckles were never covered up no matter how hard I tried, anyway. Mascara, eye liner and eye shadow were my go to with some sort of lip gloss to tie it all together.

About six months before my wedding, I started having issues with my contacts. And then a sudden onset of makeup allergy to boot. Bulging red, stinging eyes are not fun or pretty.

I tried different brands of makeup. Made sure my brushes were clean. Still nothing but red, swollen and stinging eyes. Then one day I stopped. When I say me, rather it was God who answered a prayer he put in my heart months earlier. When I looked in the mirror he allowed me to see me in his beauty and light, the way he sees me and the way he created me to be. I did not need makeup or contacts to feel beautiful or secure in my looks.

I tried the contact route a few weeks ago. There are new brands and types out these days, so I thought I'd give them a whirl for fun and some change but the stinging eyes and redness returned with them. My glasses are great, any who, and less hassle and maintenance. And they serve as a little reminder of God's continued faithfulness to answered prayers.

Beauty is not found in magazines. That is where Photoshop is found, along with air brushed cheeks and shiny skin.

For you are God’s masterpiece. He has created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things he planned for you long ago. Ephesians 2:10

He made you. He made you perfectly. You are beautiful and full of the life that God has so carefully breathed in to your lungs to do amazing things. You have more potential than you know. Makeup is only skin deep but truly loving who God made you to be and embracing the skin you are in is a blessing.

I pray that you would embrace the uniqueness that is found in the dimples on your cheeks and the wrinkles that are starting to form around your nose and the hairs that constantly fall out of place no matter how hard you try to train them to go the opposite direction. I pray that you would see yourself as God created you. Past the imperfections. Past the scars and comparisons. To the child he made you. You were made perfectly.

Here's to true beauty and more smiles. Less time looking in the mirror and more time spent looking at who God is and who he created you to be.