JLOclassyweb

How to Dress Cute, Modest and Classy

 

JLOclassywebWhat immediately pops up in your mind when you think of the word modesty?  An outdated outfit and frumpy clothes?  Or a sober heart, not too proud or overly excessive? 

Do you think balance or restriction from being who you really are?  Maybe some of us think, “That’s not for me.  I’m just not there yet.”  And that’s okay that we know how we feel and where we are…we are all entitled to start where we are judgment free!

GOD knows and He will take us in our current state, gradually adding His own convictions for each one of us.

God will take us in our current state, gradually adding His own convictions for each one of us.

For example, when I was in my early twenties my modesty journey began.  I was so excited to follow the Lord in every area of my life, that when He began to convict me about certain pieces of clothing in my wardrobe, I said, “Lord, this is so hard, but okay.”

Jade Speaks

In this look I took a dress and put a sheer top under it to make it more suitable for a church environment. It fit my classic modest style type.

Clothes that were a bit too tight here or there began to escape my wardrobe.

Clothes that weren’t reflective of what I wanted to represent began to be filtered.

And then I came across a woman of God teaching on Deuteronomy 22:5.  I read the Scripture.  I studied it.  I thought about it deeply.  Today it’s fully how this one Scripture on, you guessed it, the clothes we wear has become one of the most controversial Scriptures for Christian women. 

But I was convinced God was convicting me to wear only skirts.  The key words here are, “Convicting me.”  This was a personal conviction God gave to me.

And I saw the benefit of it in my life.  I dressed up a lot more, explored more feminine options and no longer was attracting the type of attention I didn’t want from guys.

For a season, this was also very helpful for me to overcome superficiality, finding my beauty in my inward man, not the outward.  But over time I felt the Lord begin to release me from that conviction.

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And here’s another dress I adapted into a top with skinny jeans to add a modest approach…

What I did wrong was place too much of my zeal and excitement about this life change on others.  It was important not to place my conviction on others or teach it as if it was a law of God.  It was also important not to make this conviction a source of “holiness” or “arriving in God.” 

What I did wrong was place too much of my zeal and excitement about this life change on others.  It was important not to place my conviction on others or teach it as if it was a law of God.

But on the other hand, I know what it’s like to be persecuted for my personal convictions, even by those I never mentioned skirts to!  Please don’t do this to your friends or loved ones.  It has developed a great deal of compassion in my heart towards those who God leads to break cultural norms.

Placing our convictions on others is a danger many new believers experience as the excitement of hearing God’s voice can cause us to miscalculate the purpose of that experience–forcing it on our friends and family–not just in how we dress, but in what we watch, where we go, and what we eat.  This creates a haughty attitude and a “better than thou” demeanor that repels others from us.  Learn from my experience, this is not a healthy way to go and it stifles our relationships.

But on the flip side, if someone you know develops a new conviction, please do your best to respectfully support what God has told them to do–Remember, this is the same God that told Samson to wear his hair in locks and never cut his hair on a Nazarite vow.  The vows people make with God should be respected and honored.  For me, I see my period of wearing skirts as a personal vow between me and the Lord. 

If someone you know develops a new conviction, please do your best to respectfully support what God has told them to do

An outward expression of obeying what He asked me to do.  And I am grateful to say God led me through a 13 year season of embracing this conviction, whether others were pleased or not.  I was content to please God.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

At the end of those 13 years the Lord gave me a sense of peace about wearing pants again (which was not new to me, it’s the way I grew up for many years).  It was the time and He confirmed why to me through various means. 

I was reminded of Peter, who’s conviction as a Jew was to not eat meat.  Then, after living out this lifelong conviction, God gave him a vision of eating “all” of His creation.  Was Peter wrong to be on a mainly plant based diet before this “discovery”?  No way!  He was following God’s law.

But Peter was about to reach the Gentiles.  And he was experiencing the freedom to obey God’s voice, which is what Christianity is all about!

So with all these thoughts on real life lessons about convictions, let’s talk about what modesty really is.  First, it will help to understand that modesty is not our own idea.  It comes from the Bible.  And though it may look different for each lady, it is important for it to be a part of our lifestyle.

This word appears in 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Timothy 3:2.  It’s the word kosmios meaning well arranged, seemly, modest.

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes  1 Timothy 2:9

In the dictionary, it means

“placing a moderate estimate on one’s abilities or worth;  neither bold nor self-assertive :  tending toward diffidence” or “limited in size, amount, or scope a family of modest meansb :  unpretentious a modest home”

So modesty is about being self controlled in our attitude, not putting on an act for someone else (pretentiousness) or going over the top with something.  We can be modest in our thoughts, in our speech, in our actions, and in how we dress. 

Modesty is about being self controlled in our attitude, not putting on an act for someone else or going over the top with something.

Modesty is not just about how we dress.  It comes from the realization that we are where God chooses to reside and because of that we want to walk in the Spirit.  We want to respect His presence.  We want to be humble in all that we do.  This comes from the heart.

1 Corinthians 6:19 says Our body is a temple of God. We want to represent Him well. 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own  1 Corinthians 6:19

Let’s keep in mind that, as Christians, what is in the heart is what is most important, not the outward appearance.  And we don’t win God’s approval by how we dress.  We are justified by Jesus Christ alone!

1 Timothy 2:8-10 give us the principle behind an inward focus, not an outward one alone.  If we begin to put how we look on the outside (whether modest or inmodest) before God who is in our temple, we’ll probably find ourselves in bondage.

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Modest doesn’t have to be frumpy or colorless it can be stylish and fun!

Is what I’m wearing reflecting Godliness?  Am I wearing this to attract the right attention or to get a lustful stare, the attention of some guy I don’t even know?  Am I wearing this to help heal insecurities?

As we know our heart, we focus on ways we need healing we will realize why we do what what do.  We will discover our motives.  God can help us see this and this is the Holy Spirit’s role to personally convict us.  If He convicts you it will lead to freedom,  not a sense of negativity or bondage.

Another principle that I like to apply is knowing my “areas”:

Is my chest showing, cleavage becoming a distraction?  This is not a hard and fast rule, but we want to keep our private parts discreet for our current or future hubby if possible.  Pray about this and ask the Lord how He feels.  He will show you where He wants you to draw the line.

Am I depending on the praise of people to give me identity?  If I wear something cute, I get a bunch of compliments and I feel better.  There’s nothing wrong with that but the core of who we are comes from who Jesus says we are in the Bible…fearfully and wonderfully made.

Many times we are told as women in the church that we have to dress more modest to protect our brothers and although this does have a role of putting our brother before ourselves, this can also be abused.  Men also have to carry their own spiritual responsibility in how they keep their eyes, but are we at least concerned about helping a brother out from stumbling?

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Romans 12:10

By the way, even when we are modest it’s really important that beneath the surface we love ourselves, care for our bodies, try our best–this is not an excuse to go to the other extreme of not putting forth effort to look our best.

Well those are my words on modesty plus here’s a few fashion tips:

There’s a few ways you can “work your own look”:

  1. Know Your Body Type (Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or banana)?body-shape
  2. Know Your Style (Are you classic, trendy, bohemian, or dramatic?) style types
  3. Learn to Love Yourself!  Who you are in essence rarely changes.
  4. Learn your Undertone (color) and Color Wheel, are you a winter, spring, summer or fall?
  5. Explore a Few Trends- Certain cuts, looks and even colors could be on trend from year to year.  Don’t try to wear all of them lol figure out which ones look best on you  Here’s a few for 2017:neonruffleskhaki

I’m a classic but I do trends and chic looks as well.  Classic tops, bottoms and earrings never go out of style!  You can still have fun by mixing colors and trends.

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Here I’m wearing a classic white collard skirt and pencil skirt but mixed up with a trendy fur vest!

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Here I’m wearing a classic outfit with bell sleeves, a current trend. You can google trends for 2017 to see the last ones!

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And here I am wearing a classic a line cut dress with a pop of color. All classic though- straight lines etc. I like skirts and dresses that flare on me since I’m a pencil/banana and don’t have many curves lol

And here’s a link to natural makeup options that don’t have any preservatives or chemicals that will seep into your pores.

Well, I hope this helped you understand a little bit more about modesty and I know you will be well on your way to hear from God for your own modesty journey.  But let’s keep in mind that it’s what is in our hearts that matters most!

Love you!

Jade Lee

 

 

This year we can transform our hopes and dreams into realities and unify our families at the same time!

10 Potential Family Goals for 2017

By: Paige Smith

Our families are one of God’s greatest gifts to us! Through life’s winding ups and downs we always remain permanently connected to them. They can be our greatest supports and biggest fans!

Our families can be our greatest supports in life!

Our families can be our greatest supports in life!

Our spouses and children become wonderful extensions of ourselves and vice versa as we grow in love and community with them!

Almost every decision we make affects our family members and in turn their decisions– as well as their thoughts and emotions– can significantly affect us.

This is why our unity as a family can impact our lives nearly more than anything else.

So what helps to unify a family?

There are many factors, but according to Marriage and Relational Life Experts Dr. David and Theresa Ferguson, setting goals as a family is one of the most effective ways to establish family unity.

“Perhaps today, more than ever,” they write, “we, as individuals and families, need a sense of direction and destiny…which we can stretch with all our strength and passions” (Intimacy Encounters 184).

Goal setting empowers a family to see themselves as one mighty force and be a powerful unified front!

Rather than every individual member simply going through life doing what seems best to them, setting goals as a family centers every person around a common sense of purpose and direction.

Family members become infinitely closer as they open up and share the inner desires of their hearts and pray together about God’s unique vision for their family as a whole!

Are you ready to begin the journey of unifying your family more than ever before?

It may seem like a daunting task so here is a list of ten goals in common life categories that you can tailor to fit your family.

10 Potential Family Goals:

1. Go on a Family Goal Setting Retreat with just you and your spouse.

Dr. David and Theresa Ferguson, counselors and authors who have created countless resources for marriages and families highly recommend spouses to get away for a weekend for the sole purpose of creating goals for their family.

If traveling out of town isn’t practical, simply arrange for babysitters for the kids and have a staycation version at the house.

It will take some planning and effort, but it will be well worth it in the end!

Their marriage resource, Intimacy Encounters, includes a full step by step outline for how to go about your own family goal setting retreat.

2. Spiritual: Have a daily couples devotional with your spouse before heading off to work.

This is a great way to start off your day with your spouse! It can be as simple as reading a scripture and praying for one another or going through a marriage devotional. Many can be found for free online and on Bible Apps.

3. Marriage: Go on a marriage retreat and an anniversary get away.

A sunny weekend get away with our spouses can be a great way to refresh ourselves and pour into eachother!

A sunny weekend get away with our spouses can be a great way to refresh ourselves and pour into eachother!

This is an amazing way to invest in our marriages! Many churches have ministries that host seasonal retreats for their couples to get away and invest in their relationship away from all distractions.

Get-aways with our spouses are always a great time to reconnect, refresh and remember again just how much we love each other.

4. Family: Plan and Have a Family Vacation.

There’s nothing like building memories as a family to bring everyone together!

From theme parks to family cruises and outdoor camping adventures there are so many options for different budgets and preferences.

5. Financial: Pay off your smallest debt as a family.

This is a great financial goal to gain momentum in paying off debt! As you all celebrate the victory of paying off one debt it will bring even more motivation to continue with any larger ones.

6. Career: Support one another to each go to an industry related conference in your feilds or read 5-10 top books in your industries this year.

Conferences are a great way to invest in our personal development! This photo was taken at the 2016 JLO Women's Leadership Academy.

Conferences are a great way to invest in our personal development! This photo was taken at the 2016 JLO Women’s Leadership Academy.

This can be a great way to get in each others world and invest in what our spouses are passionate in! 

7. Personal/Social: Each member begin a hobby you’ve always wanted to do this year such as learn a new language or instrument or commit to having a ladies day or guys night out once a month to build relationship.

There's nothing like having time with your girlfriends! From meeting for lunch to hosting a game night, there are so many wonderful ways we keep our friendships vibrant!

There’s nothing like having time with your girlfriends! From meeting for lunch to hosting a game night, there are so many wonderful ways we keep our friendships vibrant!

8. Health: Do a 5K together as a family to raise money and/or awareness for a cause that is important to a member of the family.

Adding healthy green shakes to the family diet can be a great way to get in better shape together and prepare for the race!

Adding healthy green shakes to the family diet can be a great way to get in better shape together and prepare for the race!

9. Household: Gradually declutter and organize every room of the house and bring any unused clothes and items to a donation center.

Everyone can pitch in by going through their belongings and seeing what they’re ready to give away. 

10. Ministry: Every member pray and find a local ministry or outreach they are passionate about to serve into this year.

International motivational speaker Tony Robbins once said “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” Many times the only thing between us and our dreams is a clear plan to get there.

This year we can transform our hopes and dreams into realities and unify our families at the same time!

This year we can transform our hopes and dreams into realities and unify our families at the same time!

What goals are you most excited about doing with your family this year? Do you have more goals that have worked for you in the past and you think may help other families?  Or things you did in your growing up years that others might want to adopt? 

Share in the comments and we can build one another’s dreams together!

jlo blog53

How to Have a Successful First Year of Marriage!

The first year of marriage can be given a bad stigma, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, it can be an amazing start! Here’s how!

Like so many other Americans, I have been inspired and challenged by War Room, the Kendrick Brother’s latest motion picture that has been blazing through the box offices as the number one hit.

War Room illustrates the story of The Jordan’s, a beautiful African-American family who seem to have no issues from the surface level. The husband, Tony Jordan, is a handsome charismatic man and is the top salesman at his company. His wife, Elizabeth Jordan is a poised and successful real estate agent, and their daughter is a beautiful sweet girl who excels in both school and athletics.

Despite this seemingly perfect appearance, their life behind closed doors is a completely different story. Tony is revealed to be an emotionally distant husband, Elizabeth as a tired and embittered wife, and their daughter as a little girl heartbroken by her parents’ constant fighting. Can you identify with this family portrait?
Unfortunately, most Americans can relate with this scenario. Like the Jordan family, they want to have a good marriage but have no idea where to begin.

Thankfully the Jordan’s discovered the power of prayer and in the end come together in love and unity. This film resonated with so many because it offered hope, hope for family and hope for marriage, an institution so many had begun to feel was archaic, or worse yet, impossible to actually enjoy.

Read on and find tips that will strengthen you whenever you choose to begin your journey into marriage to avoid making the common mistakes evidenced in The Jordan Family and in families all around the nation who see in themselves an inner exhausted, nagging wife or distanced husband.
The first year of marriage is essential because it is Foundational, the seeds that are planted in this year will inevitably grow in the years to come, either revealing a beautiful flourishing relationship or a withered, neglected marriage. Some affectionately call the first year of marriage the “honeymoon phase” but those who have been married past a year will normally recall the first year as the year of major transition, unexpected difficulties, and also marital bliss.
These seven tips will help you in Your First Year of Marriage:

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My husband is my best friend, lover and pastor. He prays with me everyday and washes me with Scripture. I’m so blessed to have a husband this loving, patient and gracious. And I wish you the same!

1. Be Patient With Yourself and Your Spouse
Be Patient with Yourself! You have never been married before and neither has your spouse, so you both will need grace. Mistakes are unavoidable and perfectly fine if you are learning from them and growing together.

Love takes a lifetime to learn, and is something we daily need to be perfected in. Submission, love, and respect are all character traits that too must be learned.

Enjoy the process of growing together and fight the urge to compare yourself to more seasoned couples who seem to have “made” it. They too were newlyweds once and grew together!

2. Continue Pursuing One Another
Dating doesn’t have to end with the first “I do.” Keep the affection and attraction you had for one another fresh by continuing to pursue each other. Go on weekly date nights and weekend getaways.

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When the fire begins to fade, make a photo book of memories, get a jar and fill it with date ideas together, take a weekend get-away. Fanning the flame is going to be necessary when “real life” starts getting in the way of love!

Do those small meaningful things that originally made both of you feel so special: the quirky love notes, sappy text messages, long conversations full of questions unfolding each other’s personal history, genuine compliments, loving stares, and affectionate exchanges.

I’m so glad older couples stressed the importance of a weekly date night early in our marriage. This small tradition has become the bedrock of keeping our marriage enjoyable and exciting. Have fun!

Pinterest has a plethora of fun and inexpensive date nights. You can even keep a mason jar full of date night ideas on popsicle sticks that you can pull out at any time.

They can be as simple as visiting a local book store together and reading a novel together or as extravagant as going on a night boat cruise through a city harbor.

3. Make Time for Rest and Fun
The importance of having rest and fun to having a healthy marriage cannot be overstated. As life responsibilities pile on from job searching, applying for schools or employment, it is so important to plan out moments daily and weekly to simply relax, unwind, and enjoy one another.

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Enjoy the little moments you have with one another, they will become memories to treasure years later!

Remove yourself from anything that would require you to produce or perform and prioritize your well-being as a family. Every conversation cannot be about finances and various life obligations, you have to have time to allow yourselves to just be with one another.

Go for a walk, read together, take a bike ride, or simply watch an old favorite film together, what ever will slow you down and bring you peace.

4. Get Into Each Other’s World
There is nothing more heart-warming than sharing a personal hobby with your spouse. It is such a great way to practically show your husband or wife your love for them.

Beyond mere words, it demonstrates that what matters to your spouse also matters to you.

Even if the activity doesn’t immediately seem enjoyable to you (watching the football game, attending a ballet, cooking), doing it with your spouse will help you understand them more and create a deeper bond between you both.

5. Esteem Each Other Higher than Anyone Else.
This tip may seem evident, but it can be very difficult to actually implement.

Nearly any married couple would state their family or marriage comes first, but it takes continual heart checks and deliberate actions to make sure you are truly putting your relationship with your husband or wife above anything else.

Make your husband feel like a king, and allow him to treat you like his queen. (See my recent blog on Getting Priorities in Order).

6. Seek Mentors
It takes a village to do anything, especially the things that matter most. Find a couple that are enjoying a thriving, strong, Godly marriage and who have your family’s best interest at heart and regularly seek counsel from them.

Open up fully with them help them navigate your first year of marriage. Their experience and love for you both will help enable them to see your blind-spots and offer solutions.

They will also be able to help you both see the other’s perspective more clearly and leave with more compassion for your spouse.

7. Keep God First!
This is the final and most important step to ensuring a successful first year of marriage and life in general! Marriage is a reflection of Jesus and His selfless unconditional love for the church.

We love to preach, teach and pray together. We travel all over sharing Good News with others! God is at the center of it all

We love to preach, teach and pray together. We travel all over sharing Good News with others! God is at the center of it all

Without God there will be no love in the marriage and it will be doomed to fail. Early in your marriage, make seeking God together your first priority.

Pray together, do daily couple devotionals, and worship together. Above all else maintaining a strong connection with God will solidify and strengthen your relationship with one another.

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Living in the Spirit of Expectation

By: Paige Smith

Weeks into the new year some of us are still forging full steam ahead while others of us are needing a little extra push to continue on with the same zeal and motivation we brought our 2017 in with.

The real question we all face when life circumstances, unexpected challenges, and the simple mundane ebb and flow of life come our way is How do we maintain that spirit of Expectation we first had January 1st? And Is it even possible?

We can look forward, into this New Year, full of Purpose, Hope and Expectation!

Expectation is defined as “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case” (oxforddictionaries.com).

Another word for expectation is Faith, which is “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

The good news is that countless men and women of faith have proven that it is possible to live in a constant state of Expectation even when inevitable life trials come!

We can find inspiration from these Biblical heroes and heroines who demonstrated that it’s truly possible to not just get excited about what God promises us, but to live in that spirit of Expectation continually.

Anna: Cultivating Intimacy in the Wait

Annna is one such woman of faith we can look to to see what it means to live in a spirit of Expectation.

Anna was a prophetess and widow who stayed in the temple day and night praying to God awaiting in joy and expectancy for when her Messiah would arrive.

At around 84 years after a life of fervent prayer and dedication to the Lord her prayers were answered and she met Jesus face to face (Luke 2:36-8)!

Anna lived in the spirit of Expectation. We know this because she prayed to God in faith every day for nearly 80 years!

This year we can stoke the fires of faith in our hearts through pressing into the secret place with our Heavenly Father!

He can revive our spirits and stir up an unexplainable joy even while we’re in the wait for our personal breakthroughs.

Habakkuk: Resolving to Catch God’s Vision

Habbakuk is yet another person we can find inspiration for how we can rise as women of faith this year!

Looking towards the vision GOD has for us in 2017!  Let's rise into faith like never before, like Habakkuk. He's about to do a new thing and we are excited!

Looking towards the vision GOD has for us in 2017!  Let’s rise into faith like never before, like Habakkuk. He’s about to do a new thing and we are excited!

Habakkuk was an Old Testament prophet who lived during a time of great corruption. He was known for wrestling with God. His name means “One who Embraces, Clings to, and Relies Upon His God” (Strack, Impact Study Bible, 1026).

When others would have been tempted to give up on God or their faith, Habakkuk made a resolve to go to the high castle wall walking away from every one else to wait until God spoke to him.

It’s after this decision where we find the beloved scripture, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets that he may run who reads it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

This year we can live in the Spirit of Expectation by being like Habakkuk and resolving to wait on God, positioning ourselves away from distractions, until God responds!

Noah: Preparing for the Rain

Many of us know the story of Noah, he was a man who served God when every one around him had forsaken God.

When God spoke to Noah about the coming flood and told him to build an arc, Noah obeyed the instructions exactly as God gave him.

Noah had never seen rain before but he chose to expect it in faith by doing everything God told him to prepare for it.

Just as Noah showed his faith and expectation in God by obedience to build the arc, we can live this year in a spirit of Expectation by diligently making the necessary preparations now for what we’re believing for in the future!

So what does it mean to Live In a Spirit of Expectation?

It means having joy knowing God has good plans for our lives and that even if everything isn’t going well right now He can turn it around and work everything together for our good!

We can fill ourselves with joy knowing our God has good plans for us this year!

It means setting our minds and positioning ourselves to wait on God in prayer, knowing He will respond!  He’s a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

It means removing the distractions from our lives so we’ll be ready when He speaks to run with the vision He gives us.

It means radically obeying what God has already spoken to us concerning our futures even if we can’t fully comprehend now how He will work it out.

When it seems difficult to keep that spirit of expectation, we can encourage ourselves that God responds to faith!

There may have been a wait before the promise was fulfilled, but ALL of these men and women of faith saw their God breathed dreams realized as they lived a life of expectancy!

Let’s resolve to live in a spirit of Expectation this year knowing that God can and WILL come through in His perfect timing!

We hope this article has encouraged you to continue on in faith this year! What are you believing from God in 2017?

Feel free to share any comments, insights, or questions we love hearing from you!

All White Rising Women

How to Set Goals that Work for the New Year

“Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3)

By: Paige Smith

With 2017 quickly approaching many of us are reflecting on the past year and thinking of everything we want to accomplish in this new year.

We want to be more disciplined, have better relationships, eat healthier, travel more, pay off debt, and learn a new language, among several others.

Yet after the invigorating excitement of dreaming of the possibilities of accomplishing these goals wares off, we are usually left with feelings of defeat and discouragement.

Frustrating questions can arise such as ‘What are my goals?’, ‘How can I even accomplish them?’ Or even a defeating, I didn’t accomplish them last year why bother making them this year?

When we focus on our own shortcomings and past failures discouragement is sure to come. But we always find home when we look first to God!

When we focus on our own shortcomings and past failures discouragement is sure to come. But we always find hope when we look first to God!

If you’ve found yourself wrestling with any of these range of emotions and concerns you’re not alone.

The good news is we are not without hope! There are practical and spiritual principles we can all apply to help ensure success in our New Year goals.

I love the Proverbs mentioned above because it reminds us of the sovereignty of God in our lives and how our success ultimately comes from us trusting and following God’s guidance and leadership.

I encourage you today to give yourself a clean slate and let every old thing pass away! Leave past mistakes, regrets, and failures in the past and determine today to press into 2017, you deserve a new beginning and a fresh start.

Here are 5 practical steps for making your goals work for you.

1. Take time out to reflect on your past year and where you envision yourself going this new year. This is great to do while journaling or during a listening prayer time with peaceful music. Write everything that comes to mind and keep it in a safe place to later organize into concrete goals.

Take time out to journal what God is stirring in your heart for this year.

Take time out to journal what God is stirring in your heart for this year.

Some may have lost faith in creating New Years goals after years of seeing them go uncompleted or unfinished. However studies show even the simple act of writing a goal down significantly increases a person’s chances of accomplishing it (“Why You Should be Writing Your Goals, Forbes.com).
2. Take those journals, thoughts, and jottings and ask the Lord what His plans are.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs‬ ‭19:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

Without God, we truly can’t accomplish anything of value. God often speaks to us to the desires and dreams in our hearts but He also may be speaking something we hadn’t thought of or He may have a different timing than we originally thought.

Allow God to speak to you about His plans for this year. He may choose to speak through His word, His voice, or seasoned godly leaders in your life or all of the above. God promises we will find what we seek, let’s seek His will for our lives into this New Year!
3. With your list of goals for the New Year, begin to separate them into categories. Some categories you could use are Spirituality, Health, Family, Finances, Personal Development, Career, Education, and any others that work with your life and goals.
4. Refine your goals with the tool, SMART goals. Educators and business leaders alike have attested to the effectiveness of this template and often share it with their employees and students.

For each goal make sure it fits the characteristics of a SMART goal.

A SMART goal is:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic and

Time-sensitive.

Many times it is difficult for us to see our growth or track whether we are completing our goals not because they were bad goals, but simply because they were impossible to measure the completion of them.

For example, a goal such as “get in better shape” could be hard to measure the actual completion of and lead to feelings of defeat of feeling like you’ve never reached it.

This goal would become a SMART goal by changing it to “Do 30 minutes of cardio 3 days a week, drink 8 glasses of water a day, and do 20 crunches and push-ups 4 times a week from Jan 1 2017 to March 1 2017.”

The second goal achieves the same end result of “getting in better shape” but unlike the first it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive.
5. Find an accountability partner or mentor to help check in with your progress with your goals. So many modern day and biblical figures we admire can attribute much of their success to having godly mentors that walked them along their journeys.

Look over your goals and find people that already seem to be walking in victory in those areas and ask if they will help you be accountable to reaching your goals.

A mentor who you check in with weekly or biweekly is also vital to seeing your growth this year. At the beginning of the year you can give them a copy of your goals and commit to keeping them updated throughout the year.

The most encouraging thing is that God promises to have good plans for each one of us! God will fulfill the purposes He has for us (Psalm 138:8). We aren’t alone in accomplishing our goals, but He is with us every step of the way.

The plans for our life begin and end with God, who is the Author and Finisher of our fates. He lovingly penned every page of our lives before we were even conceived!

Let’s put our full trust not in our own strength to accomplish our goals, but in the power of God that can work through us! Nothing is impossible with our God.

“Now to Him that who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work in us” (Ephesians 3:20)

We hope this article was encouraging for you and you find fresh vision and renewed hope for the new year!

Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year! From our founder, Jade Lee

We invite you to share any comments and to join JLO in our annual New Year’s Daniel’s Fast, “Rising Women” where we will be praying and fasting together for vision and clarity for 2017!

 

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Rising Women Daniels Fast 2017

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Your purpose as a wife, mother, business woman or entrepreneur is right around the corner. Can you see it?

You may be wondering why we are doing the Rising Women 21 Day Daniel Fast and that is a good question. I began asking Women Everywhere to Join me in 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting for the Month of January 2016 and you responded! We broke through in prayer for the entire month.

And now we are going to do it again! Many of us are coming out of a season of transition and have many questions as to what to do next, we are entering into a place we have never been, but we are assured that we are right where God wants us; that is why we are seeking Him together for clear vision and purpose. We are determined to rise into our purpose with no hindrances.

This fast has been on my heart for months but now is the time for breakthrough, the season for deliverance and for each one of us to tap into the fullness of what GOD has for us; sometimes this requires both prayer and fasting. If we want to see all that GOD has for us actualized, there are blockages that can hinder us from receiving it in completion.

This is Biblically evident when reading through many accounts with Jesus and those He ministered to throughout His ministry. As believers, we want to follow His instructions and methods of reaching deliverance.

In one specific incident Jesus after healing a young boy from being deaf and mute, His disciples inquisitively asked Him, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He told them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:28-29).

You see, there are times in which we can only see breakthrough as we pray and fast.

This is also confirmed as Daniel completes three weeks (21 days) of prayer and fasting. He is visited and told, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel…for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your GOD, your prayers were heard. I have come because of your prayers. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for 21 days.” (Daniel 10:12-13)

Through this passage we can conclude that there are oftentimes spiritual hindrances to our prayer requests. As Jesus revealed to us, we must both pray and fast to bring down certain barriers in intercession.

Both Jesus and Daniel were men of great devotion, consecration, fasting and prayer. Jesus shares that He expects us to pray and fast.

Daniel committed in his heart to not defile his self with the king’s meat (Dan. 1:8) and that is what we will do during this fast. We will separate ourselves from any idols in our lives, knowing our GOD will reveal the deep and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells in Him (Daniel 2:22).

I began this fast to help me remove personal barriers such as praying for my future children and the removal of fertility blockages. It is also a way for me to detox myself spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physiological as I start this New Year. Will you join me in seeing GOD move through us and in us like never before? Let’s believe together for Healing, Dreams Fulfilled and Awakened Hearts! 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, January 10-31, 2017.

Daily Prayer Schedule:

1/10-1/31, Every day on prayer line 6am, On Periscope Every Monday at 6am

 Tuesday, 1/10- The Heart Detox: Cleansing Our Hearts from Hindrances to our BreakthroughWednesday, 1/11- The Power of Yadah Praise: Entering into a Heavenly Place through Praise

Thursday, 1/12- Warfare Prayers: Awakening the Warrior in Your Heart

Friday, 1/13- Remember the Dream: Redigging What God has already Spoken

Saturday, 1/14-  Praying Through Vision: Praying through the Promises of God for your Life

Sunday, 1/15- Writing the Promise: Prophetic Writing to Seal the Word

Monday, 1/16- Hope Deferred: Dealing with the 3 D’s- Depression, Doubt and Delay

Tuesday, 1/17- Wearing the Coat of Joseph: Immersing Yourself in Vision and Favor

Wednesday, 1/18- Praying Through Dreams: When Dreams Point to Purpose

Thursday, 1/19- About the Father’s Business: Praying for Entrepreneurs and Business Women to Arise

Friday, 1/20- The Discipline to Lead: Honing the Skill of Hard Work and Discipline

Saturday, 1/21- Hard Work Ethics: When Passion Fails and Determination Wins

Sunday, 1/22- Organizing the Plan: Praying for the Gift of Administration and Keys to Order

Sunday, 1/22- Organizing the Plan: Praying for the Gift of Administration and Keys to Order

Monday, 1/23- Childhood Dreams: Discovering Purpose through Childhood Clues

Tuesday, 1/24- The Emerging Wife: Praying for Singles, Unmarried and Aspiring Wives

Wednesday, 1/25- The Companion: Embracing our Calling as Wives

Thursday, 1/26- Household Matters: What Matters First is First

Friday, 1/27- The Mother in Me: Understanding Spiritual Motherhood

Saturday, 1/28- The Mother in Me: Purpose as a Biological or Adoptive Mother

Sunday, 1/29- Your Prayers Matter: Taking Your Stance as a Praying Woman

Monday, 1/30- Making a House a Home: The Power of Hospitality

Tuesday, 1/31- Celebration/Testimony Call

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7 Ways to Pray for Your Husband

By: Paige Smith It didn’t take long into marriage for me to realize how vital prayer was to our union. To be honest early on I viewed prayer as something good, but not essential–similar to eating my greens or taking a multivitamin. Now three years into this beautiful and unexpected journey I now know  prayer […]

Happy Holidays from our Family to yours!  We pray the prayer of peace, joy and contentment in this season.  We pray for GOD to surround you with loved ones, family and friends that will provide you the gift of their presence!  Don't let anybody or anything take your joy hunny :-)

7 Ways to Find and Keep Your Joy this Holiday Season!

With Thanksgiving just ending and Christmas and Hanukkah just weeks away we are fully in the Holiday Season.

I remember being a little girl bursting with excitement this time of year. I loved everything about the holidays and especially everything about Christmas. I loved getting in the car with my grandmother and driving through neighborhoods full of ornate Christmas light displays. I loved adorning our Christmas tree with lights and colorful ornaments and waiting with expectation for the shining presents underneath to be opened.

The holidays can either be a time of excitement and joy as it was for me as a little girl or for others a time when joy is harder to find and keep. The National Institute of Health even found that “Christmas is a time of year people report high incidences of depression” (psychologytoday.com). For some this is undoubtedly the most exciting time of year and for others it couldn’t be a more painful reminder of the difficult relationships or lost loved ones in their lives.

For whichever scenario relates more to your holiday experience I want to encourage you it is possible to find and keep your joy in every season, even difficulty or in times when it seems we may be lacking or are waiting for the answers to our prayers.

Happy Holidays from our Family to yours!  We pray the prayer of peace, joy and contentment in this season.  We pray for GOD to surround you with loved ones, family and friends that will provide you the gift of their presence!  Don't let anybody or anything take your joy hunny :-)

Happy Holidays from our Family to yours! We pray the prayer of peace, joy and contentment in this season. We pray for GOD to surround you with loved ones, family and friends that will provide you the gift of their presence! Don’t let anybody or anything take your joy hunny :-)

Here are 7 tips for Finding and Keeping Your Joy this Holiday Season:

1. Make a Joy List
This can be one of the most fun and therapeutic activities when the “holiday blues” attempt to bring you down. I took the advice of JLO founder Mrs. Lee and in a moment of discouragement took out a pen and paper and wrote on one side everything that brought me joy and on the following side the situations that were troubling me. By the end of the exercise I was filled with newfound encouragement over every blessing I had previously overlooked in that moment. I’m sure you’ll discover as I did that your joy list will likely far outnumbered the list of things that are bothering you.

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2. Make time for Loved Ones
Its easy to get busy in the holiday season with finals, cooking, shopping, or simply the day to day grind of life. However, studies have shown that social isolation, even for individuals who naturally consider themselves introverts, quickly leads to depression during the holidays. Spend time with those loved ones that make you smile just thinking of them. Solomon wrote about the value of relationships saying that “two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
3. Focus on what brings you Joy and Peace
There are times when it seems like everything going wrong is demanding our attention. In those moments a sea of emotions can seem to well up around us threatening to take us under with them. Those are the times that when focusing on something, even if it one thing in our life, that brings us joy and peace is so vital. For me sometimes just taking a few minutes to stop and thank God for just one small area in the midst of negative circumstances in my life will shift my emotions entirely.

Sharing the Gospel and Encouraging Others to Press into His Promises Brings me Joy!

Sharing the Gospel and Encouraging Others to Press into His Promises Brings me Joy!

4. Ignore the little things that steal your Joy
As I found in the activity where I wrote my joy list and a list of things bothering me, the things that were stealing my joy were much more trivial than they originally seemed. Still tend to things that need to be taken care of, but while doing it remember the bigger picture and the fact that even the things that bother us today are only temporary.
5. Take time to rest
While for some isolation can bring depression, for others the sheer business of life can bring stress and anxiety. Allow yourself time to rest and rejuvenate. Whether it’s taking a long hot bath, drinking a cup of tea with a favorite book, or simply closing your eyes and soaking in your most loved worship songs, taking time out to rest is needed to keep our joy and peace in the midst of busy lives and schedules.

6. Soak in the Sun
That’s right, soak up the sun! One of the major causes of increased depression in winter months is simply a lack of sunlight exposure. Exposure to the sun helps our bodies release a hormone called serotonin which helps boost our mood (“What Are the Benefits of Sunlight?” Nall). Try to take a quick walk in the morning or if weather permits, eat your lunch outside during 10 am-4 pm when the sun shines at its strongest (sunsafetyalliance.org). My son and I take daily visits to the local playground to get much needed outside time for both of us. 
7. Know that God rejoices over You!
There is nothing more encouraging than knowing our Heavenly Father takes delight and rejoices over us! Zephaniah 3:17 tells us God is literally in our midst, rejoicing and singing over us! When we wake up He is right there celebrating another day He is able to spend with us, singing joyful songs we might not hear but that He sings enthusiastically to express just how much He loves us. I pray this truth penetrates our hearts and fills you with unspeakable joy this holiday season!

GOD enjoys your life, your ministry to Him and to others.  He rejoices over you with singing, as we believe this we are more at peace and rest in Him.  We have more confidence and our joy becomes more stable.

GOD enjoys your life, your ministry to Him and to others. He rejoices over you with singing, as we believe this we are more at peace and rest in Him. We have more confidence and our joy becomes more stable.

What brings you the most joy in your life? What tips will you be trying out this holiday? Feel free to share in the comments below we love hearing from you!

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Three Ways to Wear Olive Green Jeans for the Fall

Fall is by far my favorite season of the year!  I had so much fun pairing together different tops with this one pair of olive green jeans…I’ve always loved fall colors, navy blues, browns, ivories, hunter greens and my favorite- deep burgundy reds.  And they are in my color wheel, these are the colors I dress with, decorate with and am naturally drawn too.  Knowing your season can be so helpful in knowing what colors work best for you too, I’ll do a fashion post on that soon!

Here I have three different looks with the same basic foundation of high rise, green riding pants and an essential white tank.  It is so key to have these essentials in our wardrobes that we can pair with other more trendy pieces.  They complete our wardrobe.  Then we can dress up our looks with accessories and shoes or in this case riding boots.

These looks all have an earthy, relaxing feel to them while still appearing to have a finished touch.  By changing jackets and in the second look a sweater, these three outfits have taken on their own personality while remaining classic and timeless.

In the coming days, I can’t wait to share more about the basics of dressing for your own body type, knowing the colors that work best for you and being the best version of yourself as possible!  Hope you are enjoying the fall season as much as I am…and looking forward to Christmas holidays as well! xoxo

Look One: Jacket: Forever 21  Tank: Target Jeans: Bloomingdales  Necklace: Macys

Look Two: Hat: Nine West  Sweater: Madewell  Boots: Enzo Angiolini

Look Three: Jacket: Urban Outfitters Necklace: Loft

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2016-11-16_09.48.33[1] open faced breakfast sandwich

Healthy Open Faced Breakfast Biscuit

Every morning I eat some type of eggs for breakfast but have run out of ways to make them after a while.  It really takes a lot of creativity to keep getting enough protein in our bodies as ladies.  I used to love boiled eggs, simply sliced in half, with salt, pepper and dipped in maple syrup.  Try it!  It’s pretty tasty…

But after about a week of eating boiled eggs every day you may not want to see another boiled egg.  Eggs are a healthy source of protein.  Protein helps our bodies have a stronger immune system, build and repair cells, move nutrients and develop hormones.

Really healthy or “complete” proteins are in eggs, fish, dairy, meats and poultry.  The protein found in eggs are also lower in carbohydrates.

I always get free range or organic eggs to avoid the chemicals found in animals who are squeezed together in unhealthy conditions or fed antibiotics that seep into our systems when we eat.  This same “rule” can be used when getting chicken, beef or any other type of meat (look for free range, organic meats, it will say it on the package.)

Now that all of that health stuff is covered, I wanted to share a recipe that my friend Laurin has created.

She’s one of the classiest women I know, a great teacher and a great cook! 

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She’s going to be sharing more of her recipes with us to give us quick, simple healthy meal ideas we can make for ourselves, friends and families.  Thanks Laurin!

The wheat biscuit recipe is from here: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2010/04/08/super-easy-recipe-whole-wheat-biscuits/

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Ok, one more health fact: Whole wheat and whole grains are really good for you!  Did you know that there are other whole grain alternatives as well like brown rice, millet, spelt, quinoa, buckwheat and spelt?  I cook with them all of the time and will share recipes that can get you started eating more whole grains. 

They are packed with nutrients like Vitamin B (really good for women of childbearing age, good for women who want to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy one day), Antioxidants (protect cells, protect and repair tissue), and fiber (cleanses the colon, helps with digestion). 

Here are a few organic or all natural brands you can begin to experiment with (I’ll add more fun, simple recipes soon):

bobs buckwheat

whole wheat flour

 

 

quinoa

 

And if none of that really makes you want to eat whole grains, guess what else?  They help you lose weight!  They don’t stick to you like regular old flour! 

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who ate mainly whole grains were 49% less likely to gain weight whereas people eating refined grains were more likely to put on the pounds.  This is a way to enjoy those “breads” and stay nice and fit!

You can replace your pancakes, biscuits, bread, muffins, cereal, soups, stews and pasta with whole grain options that are less “weighty.”

Here’s a quick and simple way to make a whole grain, fried egg sandwich that you can take with you on the run (skipping the fast food temptation we often crave lol).  No more excuses ladies let’s get in shape!

Laurin's Open Faced Breakfast Biscuit
A scrumptious whole wheat breakfast delight you can grab as you run out the door or enjoy in the mornings during a quick quiet time!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups organic whole wheat flour
  2. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  3. ½ teaspoon salt
  4. 4 tablespoons cold organic butter
  5. 1 cup milk (I used almond milk but you can use any kind)
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1-2 organic turkey slices
  8. Green bell pepper
  9. Red bell pepper
  10. 1/2 tbsp butter
  11. Garlic salt (to taste)
  12. Black pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Instructions: (Biscuits)
  2. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well with a fork.
  3. Cut the butter into little pea sized pieces and then mix the pieces into the flour mixture.
  4. Cut in butter to the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. You may use a fork to mash the butter into the flour.It may resemble pea-sized butter pieces covered in flour.
  5. Then pour in the milk and mix it all together. Knead the dough with your hands 8 to 10 times and then turn out onto a lightly floured counter or cutting board.
  6. Pat it out flat with your hands until the dough is a somewhat even ¾-inch thickness (or you may roll it out with a rolling pin).
  7. Using a cookie cutter or turning a drinking glass upside down, cut out biscuit rounds.
  8. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. Instructions: (Fried Eggs)
  10. While biscuits are baking, warm a medium skillet with about 1/2 tsp butter. Once butter has melted, crack eggs directly onto skillet (keeping yoke in tack).
  11. Add garlic salt to taste. Cook to desired firmness.
  12. Biscuits should be just about done by this time. In the meantime, slice several slivers of both the green and red peppers. If desired, warm turkey slices on skillet.
  13. Once the biscuits are complete, slice one in half. Place slice of turkey on each. Then top each with fried egg.
  14. To complete, garnish eggs with peppers and black pepper.
  15. Enjoy!
Jade Lee http://jadelee.org/