Modesty Matters

“Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel,” 1 Timothy 2:9

The word “modesty” leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I am pretty sure I have a little PTSD from the uniforms I was required to wear at my private Christian school.  I also associate modesty with long denim skirts and families that need a school bus to go to the grocery store. Plaid skirts or denim skirts? Neither connotation appeals to me.  

I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, I rode horses and played basketball growing up. I never put too much thought into what I was wearing. Did it match? Was it clean? Could I wear my converse with it? That was the extent of my thought process.

If my school uniform had the options of pants or culottes and a polo, I was content. I wore what was comfortable. Not, because it was particularly modest, but because it was what I liked. There was this expectation to be pure and modest with no explanation of what that meant or why it mattered.

Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Modesty really starts with the posture of your heart. Are you being modest because your parents, teachers, or pastors required it? Are you trying to be modest out of obligation, guilt or shame? “They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines human commands” (Mark 7:7) Or are you conscious about the way you dress because you want to honor God and your body? “I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Making a choice out of obligation will eventually cause resentment and cause “modesty” to feel like chains.  Chains cause resistance. That is slavery, not freedom.  We can bring glory to God literally from head to toe with our actions and our words. We can do all of this with a cheerful heart, not out of obligation, but because of His love for us.




Dear Lonely Girl

Dear girl who feels alone. Dear girl who feels misunderstood. Dear girl who smiles in public because she was asked one too many times if she was in a bad mood. Dear girl who walks into church with her phone in one hand and a coffee in another. In order to avoid high fives. Dear girl who responds to polite greeters with a quick “hey” and “I’m fine.” Dear girl who quickly rushes to her usual seat and meets most expectations. Dear girl who hoped she’d be noticed by people other than the ones who volunteered to notice her. Dear girl who goes straight home and cries in the bathtub and feels like an idiot for ever thinking people should notice her. Dear girl who lies awake at night staring at her ceiling fan because there doesn’t seem to be a single person on the face of the earth that gets her. She has acquaintances. She has people she sees every week at small group. But no one that really truly gets her for her.

Well, lonely girl. You are not the only one that feels this way. I have felt just like you. And much more recently than I’d like to admit.

The thing that I’ve been learning. And re-learning. And realizing that I’ve been trying to learn my whole life is that, living for community with people can never replace living in communion with Jesus.

Even just a few weeks ago at church, my pastor did a message on valuing God’s approval over the approval of man. I loved the message, but left church disheartened that my friends hadn’t invited me to go do something after.

Humans cannot fill the God-sized place in your soul.

You will always feel lonely if you are not spending enough time with the friend that sticks closer than a brother.

The Girl in the Church Pants.

Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The Introvert’s Guide to the New School Year

As a confessed introvert, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to participate in my share of awkward first days of school. Let’s face it, I’ve had entire first semesters of bona fide awkwardness. It never really mattered if my experiences were good, bad or even funny; they have all been awkward and uncomfortable. My general disinterest in people has not been helpful, so I’ve had to develop techniques to navigate those first contacts.


Here are my tips for introverts facing a new school year:


  • Learn to live among people with grace, humor and Jesus.
  • I am not a fan of being touched by people. Handshakes, shoulder touches and hugs are always uncomfortable.  I avoid uncoordinated high-fives and those weird exchanges when one person expects a hug and the other expects a hand shake by always having my hands full. Carry your books in one hand and your lunch box in the other: my favorite, a Starbucks in one hand and my phone in the other. (Bonus Technique: This tip works on Sunday mornings too. When you don’t want to be approached by the aggressively friendly church greeters.)
  • Always be the one in control of the conversation.
  • Yes, introverts, this requires you to initiate the conversation. By being the first to speak, you might get out of the interaction without experiencing a mental breakdown. Remember, your goal is not to control the other person, but to define your own boundaries. Leave grace for the other person so they don’t feel rushed. Say something like “Hey, friend. I am heading to class in a couple of minutes, but I wanted to make sure I saw you. How’s your day going?”
  • By setting a predefined time limit (a couple of minutes) for your conversation, you set the conditions of your escape without leaving in silence while your extroverted friend wants to share every detail of her family’s summer vacation. You get to say everything you wanted at the beginning and limit the parameters of the conversation.  As introverts, we tend to be curt to others without even noticing. This can be offensive or make you seem aloof and uncaring. By initiating conversation, you show intentionality and that you really do care. If the person you are talking to knows you well, they will understand how hard it is for you to mingle, making your actions more meaningful to them.
  • Don’t feel guilty when you need to refuel by getting some alone time.
  • The start of the school year is the most chaotic and busy time for you. There are all kinds of activities. New sports seasons, homecoming and spirit nights all sound fun in theory and worthy of participation, but after one pep rally you’re exhausted. I know the feeling. In school, I tried to cope by being the overachiever and teacher’s pet. I felt compelled to sign up for every activity or event, but I never truly enjoyed myself.  I never took time to refuel.
  • It’s important to check in with yourself during these school years of your life. Don’t become so busy that you cannot do your best on your actual school work, but avoid isolating yourself to the point of loneliness. You need to find the right balance for you. The special recipe is different for everyone. Even extroverts have to find time to refuel in their own way.
  • Always pray first.
  • The main thing to remember as the new school year begins, is to go in with prayer. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and comfort you when you feel overwhelmed.
  • I have created a prayer guide that I believe would be helpful as you face the new school year.  Subscribe to my e-newsletter and download the prayer guide for free.


I am praying for all of you and I know the best is yet to come.

Use the link below to subscribe to my newsletter and get your prayer guide!

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Fear is a big fat LIAR

brown snowy mountain

To some people, climbing this mountain would be a dream come true. They would be excited about the adventure before them. They would look forward to standing at the summit and gazing down below. They would enjoy the thrill of the height and sense of accomplishment. They would tell all their friends, without a tremble in their voice, what they did and encourage them to do it too!

That’s great for those of you that like to do this kind of stuff.

Me… not so much. I was diagnosed with OCD and generalized anxiety disorder by my pediatrician. I was so neurotic as a child that I would have full blown panic attacks going from a different texture of floor to the next. i.e. wood to concrete to tile to carpet. It made me feel like I was falling. You know that feel when you’re half asleep and you feel like you’re falling. I felt like that going from my living room to my kitchen. Wide awake. I’ve since overcame that particular sensory issue, but I still struggle deeply with the same symptoms when I go up steep stairs i.e. nosebleed bleacher seats at a concert. I have severe vertigo-like symptoms when I go near anything resembling a mountain. I full on feel like I am going to pass out. Same thing happens when I’m near super tall buildings. Imagine my predicament when all I ever wanted was to go to NYC and my parents took me for my 16th birthday. I didn’t get acclimated until the last day we were there, I enjoyed my trip as long as we were inside. As soon as I would step outside, it LITERALLY felt like the world was crashing down on me. Sucking any joy I had out of that moment.

Most of my life I can remember fear stealing my joy. Sometimes it was social anxiety keeping me from making friend or when I did have friends they always wanted to do something I was afraid of. Things that the average person  wouldn’t think twice about doing.

The past couple of years I’ve slowly been trying to capture back my joy, ability to have fun, and even some of my happiness. Here are some things that I’ve learned.

  1. Having an anxiety disorder does not equal lack of faith in God
  2. Do not become superstitious with your prayers
  3. Ask your doctor about medicine for anxiety. It helps you, just find the right one.
  4. If you’re truly scared to do something do not let other people pressure you. It is okay to say no.
  5. God can miraculously heal you of fear, and use modern medicine to do it.



The Right to Bear The Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness

Ephesians 6:14 says “Stand firm then… with the breastplate of righteousness in place.”


I don’t think it is a coincidence that Paul uses the example of armor in his letter to the Ephesians. Early Christians would have been very familiar with Roman soldiers in full armor. The image of a Roman guard would come right to mind when Paul says “the breastplate.” According to, the Romans did not always use a very large breastplate, but in fact a 20cm square piece of armor that they called “the heart guard.” It is likely that Paul and the Ephesians knew that “the breastplate” was synonymous with “the heart guard.” Paul was telling the church at Ephesus to guard their hearts! Perhaps he was describing the more common piece of armor that we picture that covers the whole chest of the soldier, these breastplates would have kept the soldiers up right with good posture, enhancing their intimidation factor and their ability to pay better attention in battle. Either way, Paul was trying to reach the heart of the church, not just give them a description of a man in armor.

Romans 3:22 explains that righteousness is given through Jesus to those that believe. Our righteousness is not our own. We cannot take ownership of it. We are only made righteous through Jesus and His work in us. Just like Paul tells us to put on the full Armor of God, Job says that he puts righteousness on like clothes. (Job 29:14)

We must also be aware that being right, does not always mean being righteous. When the pharisees would attempt to debate Jesus, His responses were always full of love and grace. His objective was never to prove that He was right for the sake of being right. (He didn’t need to, He is God after all.) Jesus wanted to see heart change in people and in His righteousness He knew it would do no good to argue.

It is not in our nature as humans to do what is right. Every fiber of our being is to do what is pleasing to ourselves not what is pleasing to God. However, when we are saved, Jesus’s perfect righteousness is what gives us grace to be imperfect people. The Holy Spirit helps guide us in our decision making and protect us from being corrupted by the world just like the breastplate of a soldier keeps him from being penetrated by a sword.


The Right to Bear The Armor of God: The Belt of Truth

Ephesians 6:10-17

 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,”

The Bible speaks more about clothes than you might think, both figuratively and literally. From Genesis, Adam and Eve were clothed in animal flesh after they were shamed by their nakedness; to the purple robe worn by Jesus in the moments leading to His crucifixion and the white robes the martyrs will receive in Revelation. These details might seem obscure, but these garments all point to Jesus and our redemption.

In Ephesians, Paul is writing to people he had probably never met, but were fellow believers in Christ. He beautifully reminded them of their true identity in Jesus. He applauds them for their faith in Jesus, but also instructs them on how to treat each others as fellow believers. It is like Paul waits to teach about the Armor of God, so the reader has a clear understanding of the tools needed to achieve success in their relationships and their lives. He uses The Armor of God as an example to express how much of our daily battles can only be fought when our eyes are set on Jesus. Our war is not against bad guys and terrorists and the jerks we encounter in traffic. Our war is against the one roaming about seeking whom he may devour. When we realize the reality of Christ in us and He provides a covering over us, we are prepared for supernatural battle (Ephesians 6:12).

Paul calls the Ephesians to armor first with the Belt of Truth. What is truth? It’s JESUS! He is the way, the truth, and the life. Paul says, “…the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation (Ephesians 1:13). When we buckle up our belt of truth, we are putting on the foundation of our armor; the soldier’s belt held his sword in preparation for battle. Our daily devotion to the truth of who Jesus is and the power of His resurrection makes us conquerors over death and the grave. Jesus gives us that same resurrecting power (Matthew 10:1).Spiritually. Physically. Miraculously.

We must arm ourselves with truth, because each day we step out into a world ruled by the father of lies, the enemy. Knowing the truth helps discern right from wrong and real from fake. Knowing the truth destroys every lie.

We must remind ourselves that it is the gospel of the truth that sets men free. (John 8:32)



Feeling Fruity: Faithfulness

Galatians 5:22-23 Says “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Being faithful is making the conscience choice, in every moment, to be in communion with God. If you are consistently in God’s presence you will inevitably display faithfulness because He is faithful.  Looking at each fruit, they individually reveal the characteristics of God. He is loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. When showing the Fruits of the Spirit, you are showing His character and what He has done in you.

The characteristics of God are defined throughout the Bible:   

Love: 1 John 4:16 shows that God, Himself, is love. When we live in love we are living in Him and He lives in us.

Joy: Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him. By sacrificing Himself, we would be with Him forever. That’s all Jesus has ever wanted. We are His joy.

Peace: Isaiah 9:6 prophesied about the coming Messiah saying that His literal name would be Prince of Peace. He brings us the peace that surpasses all understanding. This peace can only come from Him, Our Savior.

Patience: 2 Peter 3:9 gives a clear description of His patience when He waits for us to come to Him.  God is infinitely patient with us and gives infinite opportunities to receive His best.

Kindness: Ephesians 2:7 says that God’s grace is expressed through His kindness. His kindness is what draws us to repentance.

Goodness: Psalm 34:8 tells us to taste and see God’s goodness.  His goodness is tangible.

Faithfulness: Romans 3:3 explains that God’s faithfulness is not dependent on our faith in Him. He never fails us, even though every day we fall short of His glory.

Self-control: Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was tempted in every way, but unlike us, He never sinned. Because we have Him in us, we always have a way out of temptation. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God is so loving that we are able to love others. He is joyful, so we are able to feel inexplicable joy in the midst of any circumstance. He is peaceful, therefore we have peace that is impossible to comprehend. He has unlimited patience for us, so we are able to endure anything life throws at us. God is kind, so we can be kind to even those that are unkind. His goodness enables us to do good things. He is faithful to His promises, not because of anything we deserve, but it is His grace that builds our faith in Him. God is completely self-controlled, everything He does is with purpose, even when we do not understand His purpose (which is most of the time.)

By growing these fruits in us, which can only come from God, our lives show a glimpse of Jesus. If we are living our moments with Jesus, our character becomes more like His.



Feeling Fruity: Kindness

Galatians 5:22 says “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Being a person in the twenty-first century can, honestly, just be weird. We are so caught up in the negative, the drama of social media, and whatever is going on in our own heads, that we are surprised when someone is genuinely kind to us. We have “please” and “thank you” instilled in us from the time we can talk. Those phrases become so automatic when talking to our baristas, although we seem to have more real affection for our iced Americanos than we do the humans making them.

We have confused politeness with kindness. I am guilty of this time after time. I am so focused on what’s next that interactions with people become an inconvenience. People that are not directly benefiting me often meld together and I no longer see them as individuals.  Of course, I am the same person that complains about not having any friends and that “people seem so cold and distant nowadays.” I am a hypocrite. 

As I recognized this flaw in myself, I resolved to love people better. This takes more conscious effort than you’d think. I try to find at least one thing that I love about a person, even people I know I’ll never see again. I make an effort to say “have a blessed day” and be the one that catches them off guard, because of my well-intended kindness. These are all great tips, but it’s not enough. Saying “nice” things does not equate to genuine kindness. You see, Jesus loves people just because we’re people. He doesn’t love us because we have done anything worth loving. We haven’t done anything worth receiving His kindness. We simply exist and our Creator is content with loving us for that very reason. 

We are meant to be “imitators of God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2) That does not mean being “nice” just for the sake of looking “nice.” It means making each interaction count with every person. Remembering that you may be the only glimpse of Jesus that person sees, requires you to make it matter. We are ambassadors of Christ and we need to represent Him accurately. “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Being kind to someone can actually change their path and show them a better picture of Jesus and less of ourselves.