Why Do I Love Jesus?

A wise friend asked me a couple days ago why I love Jesus. Honestly, it stopped me dead in my tracks. That’s not something that I think about quite often. Yeah, I love Jesus, I know he died for me, but why? It took a lot of thinking to figure out.

Here’s a disclaimer: I think this answer can change at various points for any person who is trying to answer this question for themselves. If you can’t, I totally get it. It’s a simple, yet difficult question. But I have to know why I love Him in order to tell other people about Him. It would make me a pretty naive Christian to follow blindly.

So I came down to a couple thoughts. The first one is that Christ lets me discover why I love Him. We were not forced to love God the minute we were born. That freedom of choice is beautiful beyond our human knowledge because if God wanted to, He could have forced us to love Him. But truthfully, what would the point of love be if it was forced? It would be slavery, not love.

The second thing I thought of is His sacrifice. It took me a very long time to emotionally understand this and I still need to remind myself of it when I get too focused on my own life. I talked about this in a previous blog I wrote last summer (Check it out here), but it truly came down to my love of the arts, the gift God has blessed me with. I had to be a part of Jesus’s world by being a part of Godspell which made me see the crucifixion night after night. I would leave the stage every night with tears and mascara streaming down my face. I believe the Lord picks the perfect moments to teach us exactly what we need to hear. I also believe He gives us the right people for those times. The incredible cast that I had the honor of doing that show with became family. They were my friends and my fellow disciples. We laughed, cried, hugged, and joked every day together. If it were not for them, I wouldn’t understand the fellowship that Jesus created during His life. And my fellow cast mate that played the role of Jesus led us with such humility and grace that he was truly believable. That experience showed me that Christ was a friend to His disciples and followers. He loved them and gave himself up to save us. To see that before my eyes night after night was such a rare gift.

The third reason is His grace. This is the one that I struggle with a lot as I do not have a lot of grace for myself. I reflect a lot on the mistakes I’ve made, and usually I look back on them in a way that doesn’t allow me to move forward. I’ve been realizing if you let your past haunt you, you’re not giving yourself grace. And if you’re not giving yourself grace, how can you give that properly to others? The beauty of God’s grace is that He gives it to all of us, no matter what you’ve done. In no way does He hold it against you. It’s the balance of knowing you are forgiven and learning from your mess-ups after it’s happened. He loves us so much that He’s always willing to forgive and love us afterward, but loves us too much to want us to make the same mistake again. Wherever you fall into, whether it be lack of grace or understanding the truth, I’ve learned how important it is to learn both aspects of God’s forgiveness in order to understand His love.

I am very thankful for those in my life who ask the difficult questions. I love to get those because not only does it make me think, but I cannot be a witness of Christ unless my thoughts are challenged. If any of you have questions on my faith, please let me know!

Xo, Brynne

 

3 Tips on Wearing Dresses in the Winter

Hello everyone! Wow it’s been a bit! After a week of scheduling, going to classes, and planning for the future, I’ve finally had some time during my February break to write a little bit! I really like the winter, but the only downside is not being able to show off cute clothes. Everyone is in a coat and unless you’re trying to stay cozy indoors, there’s no great way to rock an outfit when it’s chilly out! I especially miss pulling out my dresses. Lucky for you, I have some pro tips for creating some great dress-fits that don’t mind the cold as much.

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  1. Wear Tights- This may seem like an obvious one, but I see ladies all over my campus that look absolutely miserable going to classes or special events because they’re trying to face the snow and wind in bare legs. For the love of soft skin and lack of hypothermia, tights were created for a reason! You can pull of sheer, black tights with just about any outfit (even rompers/jumpsuits) as well as colorful tights to spice up and outfit. And if your dress calls for bare legs, there’s also skin-toned tights to make your legs seem bare but allow you to stay warm! Do yourself a favor and don’t freeze to death!
  2. Layer With a Sweater- This is my favorite tip. You can add a little flavor to any outfit by adding a cardigan or pullover sweater to a seemingly cold outfit. You’ll keep warm and look super cute! If your dress doesn’t have as much detail, it’s a great way to add texture and a pop of something different. Depending on how cold it is (PLEASE keep in mind the weather), you may not even need a jacket! It’s an artsy and classy way of wearing a sweatshirt over a dress, but you look cuter!
  3. Wear an Undershirt. I know I’ve definitely regretted putting on a tank top when I can feel a breeze going straight through my shirt or sweater. It’s not fun, especially in temperatures below freezing. Wearing a tank top is a small way to stay warm and isn’t noticeable at all. You will thank yourself for wearing a cami or tank when the wind chill is in the negatives and you have to dress up for a presentation!
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I like mixing different patterns with my outfits to make the details pop!

 

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I’m looking forward to ditching some my snow boots for some sandals and sitting out in the sun! I know it’s coming, we just have to believe. 😉 Have a wonderful day, stay warm, and don’t forget to bundle up when you’re ready to look cute!

xo, Brynne

Sweater: Francesca’s

Tights: Francesca’s: original discontinued, but similar here

Dress: Topshop: original, discontinued, but similar here and here

Boots: Clarks, similar here

How to Battle Negative Self-Talk

Have you ever had one of those days where you get in a funk? Regardless of what positive thing someone tells you, it goes through one ear and out the other. Last night, I was so frustrated. No matter how much someone would encourage me or tell me I was doing something right, it all felt like a lie.

I was confused at first as to why I kept thinking this way. It felt like these thoughts came out of nowhere. Why do I suddenly feel like I’m not smart enough in lectures, not talented enough in my art classes, or not pretty enough? The more I thought about it, I finally understood the source of my doubt and insecurity.

Throughout the entire day, I was consistently feeding myself negative self-talk. It started with little, meaningless things like dang I wish I had longer legs in ballet class. I looked back on my day and could pinpoint four or five other times where a negative thought about myself would cross my mind. It all built up until I finally couldn’t ignore it. In a way, I’m glad it got to a point where I couldn’t ignore it. How many times do we think something negative about ourselves and don’t even know we’re doing it? I bet I’ve done it millions of times and I couldn’t do anything about if because I didn’t recognize it for what it was.

We become easy targets for negative self-talk when we forget how God sees us. When we forget or we don’t condition ourselves to learn and remember what He says we are, we become easy pickings for the devil. Tiny, negative, reminders throughout the day are sly ways to get someone to break, and that’s exactly how satan does it. When we don’t know our value or we set aside God’s positive reminders, we have nothing to protect us. So how do we battle negative self talk? We need to remind ourselves daily, even multiple times a day of God’s thoughts.

If you find that something from your past is haunting you, this is such an important verse to remember. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” When you have accepted Christ, He does not see you as your past failures and is not ashamed of your actions. He loves you endlessly and will never stop, even if you’ve done the worst thing known to man. You can never lose the amount of love He has for you.

If you feel unqualified, unintelligent, untalented, or far from beautiful, this verse is for you: “For we are his workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in Him.”- Ephesians 2:10. He made each of us specifically to do amazing, incredible, things! Just because you are made different from someone else that doesn’t mean that you are not qualified or good enough. It just means that you’re incredibly qualified in something else, your own unique and incredible path that God has laid out for you and only you!

If you don’t feel accepted by others, you need to listen to this: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9. You’ve been accepted into the Lord’s kingdom before you were born. You’ve always had a home, maybe before you even knew it. The judgement of others does not define your value or worth. Truthfully, other people don’t have the right to judge you. The only being that has that right is the Lord, and his judgement does not come out of bitterness, hatred, or unkindness. It comes from a place of love and the passion to do what is right. Most importantly, God’s judgement never brings others down. It builds us up and helps us create a better life for ourselves and others.

I’ve found so much worth in those three verses when I go through difficult times or life trials. I’m making it a goal of mine to keep these verses close to my heart and memorize them for when negative self-talk comes creeping in. If any of these verses spoke to you, I encourage you to memorize them as well when you go through trials. We also need to tell ourselves that whatever negative thought that pops into our head is completely false and we need to name it. The more we name our problems, the easier they will be to smash. We have to declare that negative thoughts are not from the Lord and will not help us feel better about ourselves. Then we can remind ourselves what the literal words of God say about us. When we hold to the truth of the Lord’s vision, we will always be enough and feel loved. There’s nothing that can take that away from us when we realize who the being is that created us so intricately.

As always, thanks for listening, and I hope that my story can help yours.

xo, Brynne