Bible Verses about Joy

by Lavender Elizabeth, December 25, 2016
joy (joi) noun the emotion of great delight

Joy to the world
The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart
Prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and heaven and nature sing

Today is one of the most joyous days - our Savior was born! I love that in this alphabet word study journey I've been on, "joy" happens to fall in this week. What a wonderful reminder about the beautiful season we have to celebrate Jesus' birth. I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas spent with loved ones and that the true reason for the season was forever in your hearts.

Enjoy some of my favorite Bible verses on JOY below.

Nehemiah 8:10 "Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'"

Psalm 4:7 "You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine."

Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

Psalm 47:1 "...Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy."

Isaiah 55:12 "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."

Luke 15:7 "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."

John 16:22 "So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice and no one will take away your joy."

Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Philemon 1:7 "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people."

Hebrews 12:2 "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne."

1 Peter 1:6 "So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a while."

1 Peter 1:8 "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy."

For words A-I of my alphabet word study, click here.

Bible Verses about the Great I Am

by Lavender Elizabeth, December 17, 2016

Our God is a marvelous, beautiful, almighty God. Even when our lives seem hard or confusing, He's bigger than it all. Sometimes, I get so caught up on what's going on in my life that I forget how truly incredible He really is. Below are some verses that help me to remember the qualities of our Great I Am.

Exodus 20:5 "...for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God..."

Leviticus 11:45 "...Therefore, you must be holy because I am holy."

Isaiah 43:11-12 "'I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed - I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'that I am God.'"

Matthew 11:29-30 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Matthew 28:20 "...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

John 9:5 "While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

John 11:25 "Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.'"

John 14:6 "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

John 18:6 "When Jesus said, 'I am he,' they drew back and fell to the ground."

Revelation 1:17 "When I saw him, I fell at this feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.'"

Revelation 1:8 "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, 'who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'"

For other alphabet word studies, click here.

Bible Verses for how God Views your Heart

by Lavender Elizabeth, December 05, 2016
heart (hahrt) noun the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion

God sees our hearts for exactly what they are. They may be broken, critical, lost, happy, or hopeful, yet He loves us in all stages. I'm constantly reminded that I was formed after God's own heart and therefore, I should aim to fulfill that image in all facets of my life. I hope that when people seek me out as a friend, they look deep into who I am and see my heart for the Lord.

If you need a reminder of how God views our hearts, look below.

1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Psalm 73:26 "My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever."

Psalm 119:10-11 "I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
Proverbs 23:26 "My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways."

Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."

Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Get caught up on the alphabet word study here:

Bible Verses about Godliness

by Lavender Elizabeth, November 04, 2016
godliness (god-lee-nis) noun religious, saintly, holy, righteous, good

God's character is something that we are consistently taught about: His love, care, protection, grace. These attributes make up the wonder that is God, but are also what we should all strive to emulate. This can be something I struggle with. The thought of being protective, graceful, loving, and caring seems wonderful, but it can be easier said than done. It's something that I'm constantly praying about. I want to be protective of those I love; loving to all people around me; caring in hard situations; and graceful even when it's easier to find fault. Godliness is a word that reminds me that we are created in God's image. Below are verses to inspire your own progress to becoming more like God.

Matthew 5:48 "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

1 Timothy 2:2 "Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity."

1 Timothy 3:16 "Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory."

1 Timothy 4:8 "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

1 Timothy 6:6 "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

2 Peter 1:3 "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness."

2 Peter 1:5-7 "Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love."

Bible Verses about Fearing the Lord

by Lavender Elizabeth, October 12, 2016
fear (feer) noun reverential awe

When I hear the word "fear," I automatically think of being afraid. This confused me whenever I read about "fearing God." Why I was I supposed to be afraid of the One who loves me the most? But then I read an excerpt in my Bible that changed everything. It said this:

"'Fear' of the Lord means to have total respect and admiration for the Creator of the universe. To fear the Lord means to see how much bigger, smarter, more powerful - so much more everything - God is than we can imagine. That feeling of awe at who God is - that is part of fearing the Lord."

That explanation changed everything for me. It wasn't about being scared of God, but being so overwhelmed by his characteristics that you are in reverential awe. Below are ten bible verses to help you understand the true meaning of Fearing the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:24 "And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day."

1 Samuel 12:24 "But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you."

Job 28:28 "And this is what he says to all humanity: The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding."

Psalm 31:19 "How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you."

Psalm 33:18 "But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love."

Psalm 34:7 "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them."

Proverbs 22:4 "Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life."

Isaiah 33:6 "He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."

Malachi 4:2 "But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture."

Luke 1:50 "His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation."

For other alphabet word studies, click here.

Bible Verses to Remind you God Endures Forever

by Lavender Elizabeth, September 18, 2016
en-dure (en-doo r) verb sustain without impairment or yielding

Life continually brings challenges that are hard to face. From school to jobs to family, there is no shortage of stresses that test our faith. The promise of God can ease those stresses better than anything. Knowing that He values endurance and perseverance allows us to view these trials as God working in us. His promise to love us for eternity is the icing on the cake. If you're feeling discouraged, read the eight verses below, each of which will remind you that God endures forever.

Psalm 89:2 "Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens."

Psalm 118:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."

Matthew 24:13 "But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

1 Corinthians 13:7 "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."

Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne."

James 1:12 "God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."

For other alphabet word studies, click here.

Bible Verses to Remind You You're God's Daughter

by Lavender Elizabeth, July 05, 2016
daugh-ter (daw-ter) noun a female child or person in relation to her parents

This past week, I spent time in Florida leading a group of girls from the high school ministry at my church. The first night, we discussed that God's children are loved. Learning about the unconditional love God has for His sons and daughters was incredibly reassuring. No matter what we did, whether we talk back, question his authority, or don't speak to him for a period of time, He'll still love us. The girls in my group are exemplary models of what it looks like to be loved by the Father as a Daughter in Christ. Below are ten verses to remind all of us that we are God's daughters (and sons).

Isaiah 43:6-7 "I will say to the north, 'Give them up!' and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.' Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

John 1:12 "But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become daughters of God."

Romans 8:14-16 "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the daughters of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to daughter-ship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's daughters."

Romans 8:17 "Now if we are daughters, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

Romans 8:19 "For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his daughters really are."

2 Corinthians 6:18 "And, 'I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty."

Galatians 3:26 "For you are all daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 4:7 "So you are no longer a slave, but God's daughter; and since you are his daughter, God has made you his heir."

Philippians 2:14-15 "Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, 'daughters of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.' Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky."

1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called daughters of God! And that is what we are."

(Some verses have been adjusted - child/ren has been changed to daughter.)

For other alphabet word studies, click here.

Bible Verses to Remind You of God's Covenant

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 25, 2016
cov-e-nant (kuhv-uh-nuh-nt) noun an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified

After the flood in Genesis, God made a promise to Noah to never wipe out the earth with another flood. God bound this promise with a symbol: the rainbow. Each time a rainbow would appear above the clouds, His people would be reminded of the covenant He made with the earth. The beauty of rainbows captures the beauty of this promise. They showcase the different colors of the world and the creativity that God so abundantly has.

In the New Testament, we were granted another covenant, this one promising new life. When Jesus died on the cross in order to save us, his blood became the sign of the new covenant. We will forever be saved through grace and Jesus' sacrifice. Although we don't have Jesus' blood to look at and remind us like we have the rainbow, we have other things, like God's Word and the symbol of the cross.

Throughout life's struggles, we can sometimes forget about God's promises to us. It can be easy to see a rainbow and be reminded of God or think of Jesus' sacrifice without truly soaking it in. Meditate on God's love each time you're reminded of a promise He's made. You'll be amazed to see how much closer your relationship with God will become when you can look to rainbows and the cross and see the multitude of ways God has blessed and cared for you.

Below are verses to help you meditate on God's perfect, loving, saving covenant with us.

Genesis 9:6 "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

Genesis 17:7 "I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you."

Exodus 19:5-6 "Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation..."

1 Kings 8:23 "And he prayed, 'O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.'"

Nehemiah 1:5 "Then I said: 'Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments."

Psalm 89:34 "I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered."

Psalm 105:8 "He always stands by his covenant - the commitment he made to a thousand generations."

Psalm 106:45 "He remembered his covenant with them and relented because of his unfailing love."

Isaiah 54:10 "'For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,' says the Lord, who has mercy on you."

Isaiah 55:3 "Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David."

Matthew 26:28 "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

2 Corinthians 3:6 "He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life."

For other alphabet word studies, click here.

A Letter to my Dad

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 19, 2016
Titus 2:7 "And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good words of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching."

Dearest Dad,

I am so blessed to be able to call you "Dad."

Bible Verses to Remind You that You're Beautiful

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 13, 2016
beau-ty (byoo-tee) noun the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind

word study: beautiful

This week, I read something on She is Captivating's Instagram that put beauty into perspective. I read, "You see, we have no problem at all looking at nature and God's creation and calling it good, perfect, and beautiful. We look at the mountains and call them 'stunning.' We look at the way the leaves of the trees lightly move with the breeze and call them 'majestic.' We look at the roses and the lilies and the daisies and we put them in pretty vases on display for the world to see and we call them 'good.' Why then, do we have such a hard time calling God's best creation (us) good, perfect, holy, flawless, majestic?"

It got me thinking: God's creation is full of beauty and we are His most perfect creation, so why do we struggle to feel beautiful? I know I struggle with it. After praying about feeling confident in my own beauty, the beauty that God himself bestowed upon me, I decided to share with you five things that make me feel beautiful.

1. Being surrounded by my girlfriends, laughing and sharing.
2. Having my nails painted.
3. Getting dressed up for work.
4. Wearing my boyfriend jeans with my favorite tank top.
5. Listening to and singing worship music.
What five things make you feel most beautiful?
Below are ten verses to remind you that, in the most important One's eyes, you are beautiful.

Song of Solomon 4:7

1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Job 40:10 "Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty."

Psalm 45:11 "Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord."

Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the the Lord is to be praised."

Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

Song of Solomon 2:10 "My beloved spoke and said to me, 'Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.'"

Song of Solomon 4:7 "You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you."

Ezekiel 16:14 "And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign Lord."

Romans 10:15 "And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: 'How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.'"

1 Peter 3:3-4 "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the waring of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

For other alphabet word studies, click here.

Introduction Thursday

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 09, 2016
As I'm entering deeper into The Light that Carries Me, I decided to join in on Jenna Kutcher's Instagram Lab workshop. Today's challenge was to share a bit about myself on Instagram (which you can find here), but I decided that I also wanted to share on my blog, as this is my main form of communication.

My name is Ainsley and I'm a Christian blogger seeking to not only connect others to God, but to grow in my own relationship with Him. This blog started as a way to share my story about dealing with chronic illnesses and how it influenced my walk with God, but turned into a place for me to grow deeper in my current walk. I am constantly learning, challenging myself, and finding new ways to explore God's beauty.

I have two chronic illnesses that I've been battling for the past eleven years. I became sick when I was 13 and was officially diagnosed with a rare thyroid condition when I was 16. Due to the volatility of my thyroid, they decided to remove it when I was 17. Despite it being removed, I still have substantial problems with my hormone levels, causing me to be nauseous 24/7, experience weight fluctuations, and so many other symptoms. When I was 19, I became sick again, but with different symptoms (I felt like I had the stomach flu for months), and at 20, was diagnosed with gastroparesis, or paralysis of the stomach. I can no longer contract my food on my own without the help of a pill. Thankfully, I've learned how to properly deal with both illnesses and am constantly surprising myself with what I can accomplish. These illnesses rock my world daily, but they've also transformed me into a strong, persistent, woman of God.

In October, I made the move from Northern California to Central Illinois and I am loving it! I settled in with a church family that has been the greatest blessing I could have asked for. Living with my younger sister has been a huge plus, too! She's my best friend and moving in with her was the best decision I could have made.

Most days you can find me watching way too much TV (can I hear it for Criminal Minds fans!?), laughing with my sister, eating at Einstein Bagels far too often, and drinking copious amounts of tea and coffee. I love to travel and explore new parts of the world. Seeing new cultures and places is the perfect way to expand my horizons, while simultaneously seeing God’s creation up close and personal.

My passion lies in planning and organizing. I will forever be known by my friends as the planner of the group, and I love that! I also love to surprise people with little gifts to let them know I’m thinking of them. And really, who doesn’t love little gifts?

I cannot wait to show you more of God's goodness and grace as this blog continues! I'm so glad you stopped by!

A Guide to Bridal Veil Styles

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 06, 2016
bridal veil styles

Putting on a veil can add to that true "bridal moment." It's a symbol of a bride walking down the aisle to meet her groom. But what style should you get? There's cathedral, blusher, juliet, etc - all beautiful, but all very different. Below is a style guide to help you navigate your way to your own "bridal moment."

Birdcage: A birdcage veil is the smallest veil a bride can wear, as it only covers the eyes. It is often made out of a netted material, adding to the vintage vibe it creates.
birdcave veil

Blusher: A blusher veil comes forward to cover the face. Traditionally, a groom pulls the veil over the bride's face, which is where this style comes from. Once the groom reveals the bride's face, the blusher creates a small veil for the bride.
blusher veil

Flyaway: Flyaway veils are short, often going to the bride's shoulders. They are typically voluminous, with layers of tulle.
Flyaway Veils

Elbow: An elbow veil sits right at the elbows.
elbow length veils

Finger-Length: A finger-length veil goes to the tips of the bride's fingers.
fingerlength bid

Ballet: A ballet veil, sometimes called a waltz veil, falls between the knees and ankles.
ballet veils

Chapel: A chapel veil is long, ending at the hem of the bride's gown.
chapel veils

Cathedral: A cathedral veil is dramatic, extending past the train of the gown.
cathedral veils

Juliet: A juliet veil covers the head, like a cap, creating a vintage look.
juliet cap veils

Mantilla: A mantilla veil is a circular piece of fabric, often with lace edges, that falls over the bride's head in a romantic, loose fashion.
mantilla veils

What kind of veil did you wear, or are planning to wear, to your wedding?

Photography Sources (left to right):
Birdcage 1 2* 3 | Blusher 1 2 3 | Flyway 1 2 3 | Elbow 1 2 3 | Finger Length 1 2 3 | Ballet 1 2 3 | Chapel 1 2 3 | Cathedral 1 2 3 | Juliet 1 2 3 | Mantilla 1 2 3 | *unknown

Bible Verses For When You're Feeling Afraid

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 05, 2016
a-fraid (uh-freyd) adjective feeling fear; filled with apprehension

word study: afraid

I knew from the beginning that I wanted my "A" word to be "afraid," and yet, couldn't remember a time I'd ever been truly afraid. Yes, I had been fearful of things, like starting university or that feeling in your stomach right before you go on a rollercoaster, but never that true "oh my goodness, I am terrified" feeling.

But then last week, the Lord gently reminded me that I'm experiencing a time right now where I am extremely afraid. The kind of afraid that paralyzes you and makes you cry all at the same time. For the past couple of weeks, I've been feeling like my thyroid levels may be off. I've been nauseous, losing my hair, feeling antsy; just off. I asked my Bible Study girls to pray for my body, and out came the word "afraid." I'm afraid that my levels are off and that I'm in for months of adjustment; months of nausea; months of not being my true self. After the words came out, I said to God, "I am so afraid of what's in store for my future." He reminded me in that moment that though I may be afraid, I have no need to be if I put my trust wholly in him.

If you, too, need some encouragement during a time of feeling afraid, below are reminders that God will forever protect you and cast away your fears.

Joshua 1:9

Deuteronomy 31:8 "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Psalm 27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 56:3-4 "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise - in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"

Isaiah 12:2 "Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation."

Isaiah 41:10 "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

Mark 5:36 "Overhearing what they said, Jesus told them, 'Don't be afraid; just believe.'"

Luke 12:6-7 "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

John 6:20 "But he said to them, 'It is I; don't be afraid.'"

Hebrews 13:6 "So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'"

For an introduction into this "Alphabet Word Study" - click here.

Alphabet Word Study

by Lavender Elizabeth, June 03, 2016
Isaiah 40:8 "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."

This summer, I'm giving myself a challenge: do a word study for each letter of the alphabet. Being in the Word is a huge part of learning about God and his characteristics, so what better way to dive in than to look up 26 words throughout the summer?

How will my word study work? For me, I'm not going to do the typical word study. I'm not going to look into the original Hebrew of the word and learn its meaning that way. Rather, I'm going to see how God uses certain words throughout his Story. This will allow me to create a database of verses that I can look back on when I'm in need of some heavenly comfort.

Each word that I look into has a special meaning for me. As I share the verses with you, I'll also share stories about my faith and what it looks like to know God's Word as a form of comfort, healing, and love.

Each time I share, I will add that letter to this post. This way, you can have a central spot to access your Alphabet Database.

I can't wait to begin my journey into reconnecting with God's Word - I hope you'll join me!

Alphabet Word Study List:
Fearing God
I Am

A Guide to Bridal Gown Sleeves

by Lavender Elizabeth, May 23, 2016

Last week, you learned all about the different bridal gown silhouettes and necklines offered; today you'll learn the last section: sleeve lengths. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to sleeve length, but don't worry, the guide below will help you distinguish between them.

Strapless: A strapless gown is just as it sounds: there are no straps.

Halter: A halter is created through straps wrapping around the back of the neck.

Spaghetti: A spaghetti-strap gown has thin, single shoulder straps. This gives security, while still showing off a bride's shoulders.

Straps: Gowns with straps feature thicker straps than a spaghetti, attaching at the neckline.

Sleeveless: A sleeveless gown is similar to a gown with straps, only it's one continuous piece of fabric without sleeves.

Cap: Capped sleeves cover the shoulders, but don't extend beyond the armpit.

Flutter: Flutter sleeves are short-sleeves that are wider at the bottom, creating a draped effect.

Short-sleeve: Sleeves of this style extend midway between the shoulder and elbow.

Elbow-sleeve: Elbow-sleeve gowns feature sleeves that extend to the elbow.

3/4-sleeve: These sleeves extend midway between the elbow and wrist.

Long-sleeve: This is the most fabric sleeves can have, with the sleeves going to the wrist.

For spring and summer weddings, I love anything that shows off a bride's shoulders. For fall and winter weddings, I love the idea of covering up a little, whether that be short- or long-sleeves, to tie in the season's weather.

What style of sleeve do you like best?

Dress Sources (from Left to Right):
Strapless 1 2 3 | Halter 1 2 3 | Spaghetti 1 2 3 | Straps 1 2 3 | Sleeveless 1 2 3 | Cap 1 2 3 | Flutter 1 2 3 | Short 1 2 3 | Elbow 1 2 3 | ¾ 1 2 3 | Long 1 2 3

Photography Sources (from Left to Right):
Strapless 1 2 3 | Halter 1 2 3 | Spaghetti 1 2 3 | Straps 1 2 3 | Sleeveless 1 2 3 | Cap 1 2 3 | Flutter 1 2 3 | Short 1 2 3 | Elbow 1 2 3 | ¾ 1 2 3 | Long 1 2 3

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A Guide to Bridal Gown Necklines

by Lavender Elizabeth, May 20, 2016

Now that you know the different types of bridal gown silhouettes, it's time to learn the different types of necklines. Below is a complete guide to the different styles of necklines offered to brides on their big day.

Straight Across: This type of strapless cut is just as it sounds - straight across the top of the dress.

Sweetheart: A sweetheart neckline is shaped like the top of a heart. It is most commonly a strapless style, but can also be accompanied by straps.

Modified Sweetheart: A modified sweetheart neckline is the same as a sweetheart neckline, but is less pronounced at the center.

Asymmetrical or One-Shoulder: An asymmetrical cut is often called a one-shouldered gown, as it features a single strap, cut asymmetrically across the dress.

Off-the-Shoulder: An off-the-shoulder neckline has straps that sit below the shoulders, showcasing the collarbone and shoulders, covering part of the upper arm.

Portrait: A portrait neckline is meant to frame the face. It features a wide, soft scoop from the top of one shoulder to the other.
Bateau: A bateau neckline cuts straight across, following the curve of the collarbone, almost to the tip of the shoulders.

Jewel: A jewel neck is similar to that of a t-shirt as its round and sits at the base of the throat.

Scoop: A scoop-neck is defined by its u-shaped neckline.

Square: A square neckline follows the shape of the bottom half of a square.

V-Neck: This neckline dips down in the front in the shape of a "V."

Illusion: An illusion neckline features sheer fabric or lace along the top of the bodice that extends to fit near the neck. This neckline is perfect for brides who like the look of a strapless or off-the-shoulder gown, but don't feel comfortable in a dress without true straps.

Queen-Anne: This old-fashioned style is defined by a turtlneck neckline, secured in a collar-like fashion around the back of the neck. It creates a beautiful shape around the bride's neck and d├ęcolletage.

Which type of neckline do you love most?

Dress Sources (from Left to Right):
Straight Across: 1 2 3 | Sweetheart: 1 2 3 | Modified Sweetheart: 1 2 3 | Asymmetrical: 1 2 3 | Off-the-Shoulder: 1 2 3 | Portrait: 1 2 3 | Bateau: 1 2 3 | Jewel: 1 2 3 | Scoop: 1 2 3 | Square: 1 2 3 | V-Neck: 1 2 3 | Illusion: 1 2 3 | Queen-Anne: 1 2 3

Photographer Sources (from Left to Right):
Straight Across: 1 2 3 | Sweetheart: 1 2 3 | Modified Sweetheart: 1 2 3 | Asymmetrical: 1 2 3 | Off-the-Shoulder: 1 2 3 | Portrait: 1 2 3 | Bateau: 1 2 3 | Jewel: 1 2 3 | Scoop: 1 2 3 | Square: 1 2 3 | V-Neck: 1 2 3 | Illusion: 1 2 3 | Queen-Anne: 1 2 3