Friday, December 28, 2012

Distractions

2:50 PM 2
Zman and my Laela

As I plopped on my couch tonight after an evening of running through the house with the lights out playing laser tag with my four peanuts and the Zman (aka- my hubby) I couldn’t help but think that this would be one of those nights they (my kiddos) will remember.   Around the holidays I often catch myself thinking of years gone by and memories from long ago.  I also quite frequently get lost in thoughts of the memories and traditions that my children are now experiencing and wonder what they will remember as years go by.  As I was lost in thought recounting times of great joy in my life I realized that there was a common theme in each and every distinct memory that stood out in my mind.  Each one of them revolved around a relationship.  The moment was special because of who it was shared with.  I do not remember many of the gifts I received on Christmas Day, but I remember everything about the people that I shared them with.  Bare with me as I take you through this journey onto a revelation that has become my passion.
The clan
I will never forget the Christmas Eve talks shared between my sisters and I as we lay all squished in bed together in the “blue room” at Nannies house.  Jennifer would always fall asleep first and Juliana and I would lay there crunching ice for hours and contemplating with every sound if that was Santa or not.  I will also never forget that every Christmas morning Dad would be fooling with the camera trying to get it ready before we were allowed to come in the room.  It seemed like hours spent waiting for him to get that video camera focused.  I’ll just say cameras have come a long way!!  I also will never forget my Nanny, who always worked the night shift at the hospital, and would come in just about the time we were checking out all our presents in her stark white nurse uniform with a big smile on her face.  Nurse apparel has also changed.  The laughs we shared standing over my Nannies floor furnace as the airflow made our nightgowns puff out were countless and that joke never seemed to tire. 
Of coarse these memories all revolve around Christmas time, but this same theme follows me throughout my entire life.  Moments I will never forget:  Car rides in my Dad’s yellow beat up beetle bug to and from ball practice.  Singing in the bathroom with my Mom and whoever else happened to be over and getting ready at the Galloway house.  Yard work with my Dad or the endless amount of laughs shared between my cousins and I as we sat on the pews of East Gadsden Church of Christ.
One of my favorite presents!
So after taking a trip down memory lane this is the conclusion I have come too.  I want to create for my four children a stockpile of memories that will help to shape and guide them throughout their life.  No amount of material possessions no matter how cool or socially “in” they may be will provide this.  No, instead it is going to come directly from the efforts of me and their father and our willingness to put the time into creating them.   When my children think back to their childhood I want them to remember bedtime talks where we are all piled up in the bed discussing the “important stuff.”  I want them to remember the countless hide-n-seek games played inside a dark house where I, not to brag, usually always win.  I want them to remember our family prayers and the people and places we have prayed for time and time again.  I want them to remember that sometimes being a good parent, correction, a lot of times being a good parent does not mean being their best friend.  I want them to remember that we made them work, yes, work, because good work helps to build strong character.  I want them to learn the value of prolonged gratification, something I fear our culture has so quickly ripped from our children’s hands.  Teaching my children to wait for the best instead of settling for the NOW is a gift that will carry them through the rest of their life.  I want my children to be able to find joy in relationships, not merchandise. 
making memories!
We are surrounded by a culture that wants to strip every relationship from our hands by the simple touch of a button and to replace it with a counterfeit.  My New Year’s Resolution is to battle like never before for the minds and hearts of my children.  To refuse to become consumed by consumption, to refuse to believe that happiness comes from THINGS, to deny myself and to deny my children of the things that I know in my heart will only corrupt their minds and steal their joy.  I want to teach them the true value of a relationship.  I pray that those lessons will be the ones that they draw from when they begin to form their own relationship with God.  Satan has an agenda and it is very simple and can be defined in one word, DISTRACTION!  He wants to distract Mom’s, Dad’s, kids, and every relationship within.  So in the year of 2013 I commit to battle against the distractions that Satan intends to throw at my family and to protect my children from a culture that wants to consume them or rather for them to consume.  I vow to cherish every moment, every conversation, every sloppy wet kiss, and to truly value every relationship in my life especially the one with my Creator.  So I leave you with a challenge.  Whatever is distracting you or whatever is distracting your children from true meaningful relationships with each other and more importantly the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth discard it from your life, no matter the cost.  That’s a sure fire way to make for some great memories in 2013!

Love and hugs and Happy New Year,
Jil       


           





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Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Prayer

12:48 PM 0


Almighty Father, creator of life and all things good, hold these families in your mighty hand right at this moment.  Whisper words of peace into their hearts and remind them that though the pain may be unbearable that You are near.  Please comfort them with the words you have spoke, "The Lord is near the broken-hearted." Ps 34:18  Father, I pray that even though they may feel that you are miles and miles away that they will feel your arms carrying them as you carry their burdens.  Father I pray in the name of Jesus that satan will have no more power over this dark tragedy.  I know that he wants so desperately to cause each and every one of these aching souls to question your very existence and turn their hearts so far from you, but I pray that his power is stripped from their hearts.  That they will see this horrific tragedy for what it truly is.  The result of someone who completely turned their back on You and was under the control of the evil one.  Finally Father, I pray for all the innocent children, teachers, librarians, custodians, and anyone else that may have had to witness such dreadful acts that their souls will be comforted and that you will protect their minds from having to relive this moment over and over.  Father, the Mom's and Dad's are agonizing over their children that were for a brief moment healthy, happy, and alive, and now they are gone.  I pray that you might reveal to them the comfort that their child is now in.  The joy that they are experiencing and the complete and utter peace that now and forever they will bask in.  This will not take away their desire to hold them one last time I know, but perhaps they can be comforted as only you can comfort.
In the mighty name of Jesus,
Amen  
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Thursday, December 6, 2012

THE STINKING CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE!!

11:57 AM 1
Who in the world would use a sharpie to make their skirt longer??  Yep, ME!  So much for the professional look!!
      Every year around this time the Dasher family faces a major crisis.  The "CHRISTMAS CARD PICTURE!"  To put it mildly I am married to a man that breaks into a hot sweat at the mere mention of "family portraits."  It's so bad that I cannot think of the last time we have had our picture's taken by a professional photographer simply because it is not worth the risk of having my husband pitch a fat fit right there in the middle of it all, sorry baby, truth hurts sometime:-)  So luckily I can usually coax my sister-in-law, who happens to be AWESOME, to "help a sister out" and be our personal photographer.  I secretly contemplated videoing our "CHRISTMAS CARD" session this year just to have it as a keepsake to pop in the dvd player every time I need a good laugh or possibly if I might need to remind my husband why "patience is a virtue."  If someone happened to sneak up on our photo session they would be in for the laugh of their life.   I'm talking there is all kinds of yelling, pushing, gritting teeth, sweating, and crazy monkey noises  to get the babies attention.  It is nothing short of a zoo!  Yet, when you receive the Dasher card in the mail you are likely to see visions of sugar plums, all smiles and loves, ha!  Looks can be deceiving!  Even though this moment is one of the most dreaded of the season for SOME members of our family, it is still one that I look forward to in a weird sort of way.  It is so representative of who we are as a family; a crew of imperfect people, with all sorts of flaws, rough around the edges at times, and always in need of an extra dose of patience, but through it all there are those moments when God's glory shines perfectly through at just the right time.  I am so thankful for my sometimes dysfunctional family and all the joy that comes from being sons and daughters of the Almighty King!
Merry Christmas, Love the Dashers!!

This doesn't look staged at all does it???
Sister trying to take charge!
The BEAR, age 4
Max's expression says it all!  Mine oh, just on the verge going CRAZY!
Laela Beth age 9
Apparently Zach didn't like the funny face idea!  Shocker!
Don't we look HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

My little Fred man
Future spot of the Dasher home.  For now, we're kicking it in the trailer!  
My FAVORITE!


















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Friday, November 30, 2012

Lessons Learned

10:48 AM 2
     NOVEMBER 30TH!!!!  As sad as I am that the "No Make-up November" campaign has come to an end, I will not leave this month without having learned some valuable lessons.  To be honest, when I first committed to taking part in this campaign it was for the single purpose of supporting and promoting RAVE Ministries; a ministry that I feel is worthy of great notice and praise for what they are doing.  I didn't however think that the actual not wearing make-up for 30 days would be that big of a deal, and sure didn't expect to learn the lessons that I did.  After all, it's just a month!
       The theme verse for this campaign was Song of Solomon 4:7 "you are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you."  Well going for a month without make-up I honestly did not necessarily feel beautiful or flawless in a physical sense anyway.  But what I did notice was beautiful and flawless people all around me and once again I am not referring to the "physical" aspects of these words.

The beautiful and flawless people I noticed throughout the month of November...

-I noticed friends and family that embarked upon this venture with me sticking it out day after day.  Staying true to the commitment that they made not because they would have been shamed had they given up, but simply because they had made a commitment.  There were several moments throughout November where I reflected on the incredible people around me and how lucky I was to have such honorable women to call friends.

-I noticed husbands encouraging their own wives as well as other women participating, how cool is that.  I have so much gratitude towards my own husband for his support during this month.  He repeatedly made efforts to convince me that he really and truly preferred my natural beauty.  Now I'm not going to do too much investigating into the validity of those remarks, mainly because it makes no difference to me.  So often we try to paint men into a category that reduces them to animals that only take note in the "physical" and "sexuality" of women.  That simply is not the case and I would like to take this moment to thank all of you husbands out there that supported your precious wives throughout this venture.  Thank you Zach, I am the luckiest girl in the world and I love you!!

-I noticed that children are watching you and taking notes!!  When I chose to participate in this campaign I sat my children down and explained to them my reasons for taking the challenge.  I also read to them many of the testimonies posted by women all over the world.  Little did I know that they would think about this decision much past the initial conversations that we had had at the beginning.  Yet I started noticing them being ever so concerned as they would watch me get ready in the mornings and do you know that there has not been one morning in all 30 days where my daughter or son has not replied "Mommy, your not wearing make-up are you?" or "Remember Momma, No Make-up November."  Children are like sponges soaking up any and every bit of information that crosses their path.  Yes they knew that I had made this commitment, but what intrigued them far more than my acceptance of this challenge, was the actual devotion I had to playing out that commitment.  Days when I was tempted or drawn to the little black mascara on my counter, I thought of them.  I thought of how many conversations we have had about working with all your heart, doing your very best at whatever you do, and being a person of integrity and honor.  Well all of these wonderful lessons mean absolutely nothing without them first seeing them played out in my own life.  Thank you RAVE ministries for this opportunity to show the true value of commitment to my children for 30 straight days! 

     I would like to personally thank every one of you who joined with me in this campaign.  I cannot tell you how encouraged I've been seeing you all stick it out.   I've even found such joy in the little questions from kids, especially in my Sunday school class, because it has given me a great opportunity to remind them of why they are the most beautiful creation in all the world!!  The funniest comment of all came this past Wednesday night when I rushed in late to church by myself, because the rest of my family was at home sick, and lets just say I needed some Jesus!!!  When my husband gave me the "go ahead" to make my getaway I don't think I took note of what I was wearing, of coarse no make-up, and pretty sure I didn't even brush my hair, just ran like the wind to my car before he changed his mind!  So I came in and set close to the back row right in front of the Anderson boys, who happen to be some of my most favorite kids in the world, and drew the 7 year old leans over to his big brother and replies "Mrs. Jil must of had a rough day!" I laughed my head off!!! The best part is that his Dad new about the campaign and was able to explain it to those sweet boys.  I've LOVED and HATED this month, but I am so very GRATEFUL for it!!  

P.S. Don't be surprised if you see me tomorrow and I look like Tammy Faye Baker!
HA! you think I'm joking!


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Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Reflection

12:22 AM 0

So for those of you who may not be aware, myself, along with all of these beautiful women featured on this post as well as women all over the country are participating in RAVE MINISTRIES “No Makeup November.”  Rave Ministries is a phenomenal ministry devoted to encouraging teens to see themselves through the eyes of Christ instead of the lenses that society has placed on them through an unending list of highly impossible expectations.  I chose to promote this campaign because I believe this is something that affects women of all ages and stages of life.  I believe many of us are plagued with the idea that somehow we just don’t measure up.  Perhaps we are not the “ideal” shape and size.  Perhaps are skin has a few blemishes here and there leaving a less than “perfect complexion.”  Perhaps our closets do not reveal the “latest styles” that are hitting the runways or our hair is not quite as “luscious” as those of the models that so “perfectly” grace the cover of every magazine.  It’s the funniest thing; none of them ever have any wrinkles, no baggy eyes, no pimples, no bad hair days, no extra fluff, correction, no fluff at all, huh, it’s truly impressive.
What’s a woman to do?  Denounce the lies of Satan and change our culture by changing ourselves.  DO NOT believe him when he tells you that you are less than good enough.  DO NOT believe him when he points out your flaws and shouts them into your ear as you stare at your reflection.  DO NOT miss out on the beauty of who God created you to be because you are distracted by your “list” of things you feel that could use some improvement.  I will be the very first person to say I HAVE BEEN DISTRACTED BY SATAN’S LIES!!! 
So for the month of November I am choosing to wear NO makeup, not because I am against makeup, nope, mainly because I want to really focus on my beauty.  In fact I want to focus on my beauty this month more than ever before.  When I stare at my reflection, with no added preservatives, I want to see the workmanship of my savior.  The small lines on my forehead and around my eyes, those things are not wrinkles, they are the marks of years of laughter, years of smiles, and years of enjoying a sunny day on the beach as I watch my children play.  The slight amount of extra skin loosening on my eyelids, well now that is simply from giving way too many butterfly kisses.  I mean I’ve practically been giving them all my life.  My Dad always gave the best and now I get to give them to four precious kids who never seem to tire of them.  What is it they call those things under your eyes, bags?  No, they are not bags, just a simple reminder that sometimes being a Mom, being a wife, being a friend, being a sister, keeps you up a little too late at night.  Funny because some of the most cherished moments of my life came during those wee hours as I nursed my children and gently rocked them back to sleep.  I’ll take those “love marks” any day of the week if only I could rock one more infant to sleep
I can’t help but to think of two of my favorite versus in the Bible.  This is the woman I want to be.   “She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs at the days to come” Proverbs 31:25. I want to live everyday for the glory of the Lord.  “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14.  I want to never forget that the Savior of the Universe, Almighty God crafted me for a specific purpose and he crafted you for a specific purpose as well. Do you know that his works truly are wonderful?  You are made in the image of the Lord.  Your beauty is infinitely abundant because of the one who gave you life, not at all because you fit into some formula created by mere men.  In fact, as I look at my reflection today, I will see no imperfection, no, instead I will see life, memories, hopes, and hopefully I will “laugh at the days to come.”
All my love,
Jil

JOIN US NOV 1ST-NOV 30TH
It’s not too late to join us in this campaign!!  Email me your photo (makeup free) and a short description of why you chose to take part in this challenge.
For more info about Rave Ministries check out raveministries.org
My name is Riley Jackson and I chose to do No Makeup November because at the beginning of this year I fasted makeup for 40 days and it was life changing. I realized I thought everyone put my worth in my looks, and everything I ever accomplished was riding on my looks. WRONG. I am so much more than my outside appearance! God showed me my worth was not in my beauty but it was in Him. Such a humbling and wonderful lesson to learn. I hope other girls through this will be able to see that their identity is in our God and not in the way they look. Because we are fearfully and wonderfully made! 


I am on day 11 of 'no make up November'. I have to say that it was pretty hard at first, but I'm so glad I've stuck with it. I have two young boys. I want them, as men, to appreciate women for the beauty of their souls, not the perception they get of a woman with make up on. - Taylor Talbot

 When the No Makeup November idea was pitched  I thought "Yea of course I will do it, one month? that's no big deal!"  Well we are 8 days in and it has pushed me so much more then I expected. I have seen how much I did rely on the make up I wore to give me confidence and make me feel "beautiful". I am challenged now each day to have a positive attitude about the way I look. What is the point of doing this if I am not going to try and change the way I see myself to match the way God sees me. Flawless. I love hearing all that God has done with No Makeup November in just a week, and I can't wait to continue to see how He changes my heart and the hearts of all the other people involved. May His truth be heard. "You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you." Song of Solomon 4:7 - Rachel McAngus

I'm on the leadership team for Rave Ministries, so at first I felt like I HAD to do it, but as time went by it became more of a daily choice. It has certainly been a challenge, but it has also been VERY rewarding. Strangely, it has given me more confidence in who I am, and in who God created me to be. -Taylor Spain


The second I heard about No Makeup November, I was so excited! I usually go once a week or so without piling on the mascara and the blush, so committing to a whole month was naturally the next step. It seems like as soon as November began, my face decided to break out, which of course didn't help! I am amazed that I have begun to not even notice that I'm not wearing makeup. It has become unimportant to me already that my face may be a little blotchy or shiny. What has really been amazing is the support from people! Many of my friends are participating too, and those who aren't are so supportive. God is using No Makeup November to change my mindset about the way I "should" look while strengthening my relationships at the same time!-Madeline


I'm Lauren king, a 19 year old sophomore at Lipscomb University. No makeup November has been such a blessing. I don't regularly wear much makeup but to be honest-I'm sometime paranoid about that. I sometimes feel as if people don't think I'm up to par for whatever it is that we are doing. This also causes me to over compensate on my makeup when I choose to actually wear it. Even just the past few days of no makeup November have been extremely encouraging because it has helped me to not feel like an odd ball whb I'm not wearing makeup but more  like I'm actually a part of something bigger, a movement. I have a dream that one Day no makeup November will get to the point where it will e strange for a girl to wear it in November and for makeup companies to be worried in October. This could be huge!! God is so good and he did such a good job at creating us!! 

As a first year teacher, I signed on to doing no makeup November thinking I would be able to do it in moderation. Honestly, I wasn't really committed to this campaign. The more we got geared up to launch it however, I had girls here in Houston really questioning their ability to rise to the challenge! So I decided to take the challenge to show my girls that I believed in what I was saying.... Well little did I know that The Lord was going to take me on an amazing journey. So far I have realized how much I need the approval of other women. Not the approval of men, but women. I have also had to stay away from mirrors!!! Satan has totally used mirrors to bring my insecurities to the surface! So thankful that The Lord has sweetly reminded me that there is no flaw in me!!!
Hollyann


I am doing NMN because I couldn't say no. Yep, you got me. I didn't really want to at first, but I couldn't say no to the stirring in my soul that God had put there. I needed to lead by example for my daughter and for the girls that I mentor. But as God always does, you go into something thinking you will bless others but yet you end up getting blessed. After a few days, I realized that God had huge plans for me. I am realizing that even thought I don't wear much makeup that often, I like knowing it is there to help me when I feel down about my appearance. Now that it is hidden away and can't be touched, I miss it. I am reminded that when I feel down about how I look or how I feel about myself that God is always there. He is better than any tube of foundation or more filling than any mascara I could ever find. It stinks to look around and compare yourself. I am ready to be free. To grasp the true freedom Christ offers me in knowing I am HIS. I am not a girl in a magazine or a flawless movie star, nor am I the woman at church I wish I looked like. I am me. I am created by Him. And it is about time I start truly believing that. It is a painful realization and it took me giving something up to find that. Funny huh? I look forward to more Novembers ahead! -Becca Daniel
RAVE Ministries, Inc.

As apart of the RAVE ministry, I knew I had to do No Make Up November once the idea begun to catch on. However, I didn't expect God to truly open my eyes to the beautiful of his creation that was behind all the make up. I have been learning the most simple things that I had never realized before: I can dress cute and I don't have to wear make up. Crazy right?! I also find myself more vulnerable to people. I don't have to look like I have everything today. I look forward for the ways God will continue to give me confidence in my worth and beauty in HIM> GLORY to GOD! -Brittany Portell

Guess who!!
I received a call from Duck Dynasty's Jessica Robertson yesterday and she very much wanted to express her support for the idea of finding your beauty from within.  She mentioned that her husband "Jep" being the father of 3 daughters and one son,  also desires to raise his daughters with Christ being the source from which they draw their significance.  Due to prior commitments to the TV show she will not be able to participate as completely as she would like to, however, she wanted to make it known that her along with all of the women of Duck Dynasty believe very strongly in the idea of "inner beauty" which comes directly from God.   
    
"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 things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1Samuel 16:7  I know this verse is true, but even in knowing there is truth in that verse, I still struggle with insecurities over my appearance.  I plan to use this month to meditate on these words and focus more on how I want God to see me than how I want others to see me.  I want my niece and my daughter to live their lives for God and not for others and I want to lead by example"-Erin Rogers


"I have been through so much the past 6 months that I feel that I just want to show people how God has made me stronger from the inside out!!  And how that strength doesn't need shiny or sparkly additions to become beautiful!  True beauty comes from the love of the Lord and is portrayed though our everyday actions and the way we love our spouses, children, and other people in our lives" - Mindy Casey

for those of you who are not privileged to know this precious lady, she lost her husband/best friend less than a year ago and is raising three children by herself.  Thank you Mindy for your strong spirit and unyielding faith! 


"There are a few reasons I chose to participate in No Make-Up November but the most important is simply what it represents about my life in the last 3 months. In July, I ended my engagement to a man I love very much. Despite the heartbreak, the relationship was just not God’s best for either of us and so I had to make a choice. Since then I have done all the usual independent woman post break up things; gym, losing weight, therapy, a haircut and a fabulous vacation. None however came as close to the fulfillment I have had when spending alone time with the Lord. I won’t lie, there were days when mass quantities of chocolate and pedi’s seemed to come close! (Can I get an Amen?!) 
I began earnestly seeking answers from Him about my relationships, not only with my ex, but in regards to myself, my friends and my family too. The answer I received in my spirit was an urging to get back to the basics. Start each day fresh by stripping away all the junk to find the heart of my matter. Push my pride aside to fully experience the vulnerability of being broken and spilled out before Him and then choosing to actually accept the forgiveness I had been praying for (um, HUGE). Next came actually accepting that , yes, I have flaws (gasp and betrayal ). Such a duh moment when I realized that spending time with Him was the only way I would ever be able to correctly determine what is just bad habit and what really is a flaw. The lists are a work in progress but I do know that He alone provides the wisdom I need to go about how to actually fix what can be rather than a temporary cover up (anyone else uncomfortable, let’s move a long shall we). When life is going good it’s easy and natural to operate in the Fruits of the Spirit but sometimes life in the natural falls apart and comes with difficulty (at times devastating). So then what? Well, it simply isn’t enough to want to walk in love, grace and mercy as none of these are achieved by an ‘outside in’ process. When we are outside the will of God, they are also not sustainable. No matter what we do or use to try and fill the void, there is no mask or cover we can wear to cover up our problems, flaws or the ugliness of our sin (aka human nature). When we fail and fall into sin, there are no disguises or pretty layers between God and ourselves (double gulp). 
We must be vulnerable and open to the Holy Spirit daily in order to start fresh and repurpose ourselves for His glory (sometimes several times a day if yesterday was any indicator for me). This project provides a daily physical reminder of the (RE) purpose for my life in Christ and to be open to the healing and blessings that will come from being vulnerable to Him" -Tara Taylor
"My reason for joining is simple – I want to set the priority for my grandchildren in that God looks at us from the inside out. My mom use to say “beauty is as beauty does”. “Teachability” is allowing ourselves to be instructed by our Lord Jesus and I always want to draw closer to God so by joining you beautiful young women in this month I’m sure this will happen.  Thank you for all your encouragement! Here is one of my favorite quotes:  Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. "I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction." By Kevyn Aucoin" -Jo Gower

 
"My reason for saying it is simply because we as women are held at such a strict and rigid standard for what we "should look like". God had no delight in women painting their faces or wearing certain clothing or jewels. His delight was in our hearts and how we sought after him each day. Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in the world and worldly demands on our gender.

As a professional, I convince myself that I "must" dress and act a certain way. Even though I personally don't believe this, I know that my teachers and colleagues expect a level of "professionalism" and for women, that means wearing make-up, fixing our hair certain ways, and wearing certain clothes and shoes.

I'm stepping away from that now. God knows my heart and loves me unconditionally.  I do not have to conform to the ways of this world to feel good about myself.
This picture is of me in my office last week with no fear or shame!" - Ashley Absher 


"I decided to do this for my daughter.  I want her to be comfortable with what God has made her.  As a parent you have to lead by example."
-Chastity Oliver

"As of October 17th of this year, I am 1 year breast cancer survivor, healed by the blood of Jesus. I was diagnosed when I was 24 years old and immediately started treatment. The treatment that I underwent took seemingly every bit of my "beauty" away. I lost all of my hair, my breasts, eyelashes, and eyebrows. My fingernails turned black and some fell off. Most everything that used to make me feel pretty, I no longer had. It was through this process that I truly realized what it meant to find my beauty in Christ. I had every bit of my worldly, womanly "beauty" stripped away. But the truth is, God saw me as the most beautiful I had ever been...desperately seeking Him like never before. He looked at His daughter and saw me so vulnerable, realizing my deep need for him. He saw my heart, and I pray it was a beautiful sight. As I now have hair and nails again, I am thankful; however, I pray God always sees me as a bald, breast-less, nail-less girl, who knew my only hope for beauty was within and through Christ himself. This picture is of me at the beach (make-up less) right before my mastectomy surgery. I felt beautiful in this picture and had peace about my upcoming surgery. I had started to realize that I was the most beautiful when I looked the most like Jesus. I pray I become more and more beautiful by God's definition of "beauty." 1 Peter 3:3-4"
                                             -Aly Taylor
                  I encourage each of you who is reading this to check out alysfight.blogspot.com to learn more about this phenomenal women and her unyielding strength, courage, and faith as she has battled through breast cancer.  She truly exemplifies the very heart of Christ with her life. -Jil
-Shelley

"I chose to do this for all 3 of my children, not just my daughter.  I want them to know that we are perfect just the way God made us.  No man defines us, only God in us can determine the person we are and will be and He gives us our true beauty!!  Praise be only to God!!!"
-Needra Gill

"I work in the beauty industry- a job that encourages me to look my best each day. I immediately wanted to do this challenge, but I have been thinking on it for days because unfortunately it is a huge challenge for me. My sweet man told me that he thinks I am the most beautiful girl in the world, but his favorite thing about me is my heart and character. It brought tears to my eyes, because I feel as if this is something every woman yearns to be told, but better yet- feel, know, and believe. I want women to know without a doubt that the Lord thinks they are beautiful regardless of your outward appearance. 
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 the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7"
-Jessica Wyles

"I struggled with my body image for over 20yrs.  I still struggle today at times, but don't label myself as a victim/addict anymore.  God's word says we are new creatures in Christ (col 3:3-4) I think Satan distracts us with those lies (I'll always be an addict, i'm ugly, etc.)  In 2010 God spoke to me through this SPECIFIC verse-ps 139:14 - I'm fearfully and wonderfully made.  I learned to battle those "voices in my head" with God's word - my sword.  Faith - my shield..His Truth - my belt (Eph 6:10-17).  I want to show women and girls, through God's word, that their value is in Christ alone.  Nothing else!!"
-Jennifer Ables
"One of my boys favorite stories is the story of Sampson and Delilah.  We always end the story with a heart to heart discussion about true beauty.  I choose to be make-up free this month not only for myself but also for my boys.  I want them to see its a matter of the heart and not the outward appearance that counts"
-Marcie Saucer

Prov 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
-Shari Owen, Lauren Owen

"One of my favorite verses that has always inspired me is Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised".  The older I get the more I see just how "fleeting" beauty is, but yet I find myself trying to hold onto something that is temporary.  And as I see my daughters raised in an unfair world of unattainable physical standards my heart breaks for them.  What gives me peace, though, is knowing the security that myself, my daughters, and other women can have - when our physical beauty inevitably fades by the worlds standards, if we worship and fear our Savior we will have an unfading beauty that is worthy of praise in the sight of our almighty Lord.  I want to use this opportunity to refocus and remember what God tells us is WORTHY to be praised."
-Darcy Fisher


"I saw your post last week about "No Make-Up November" and my initial thought was...Oh there's no way I can do that because I have a big presentation at the end of the month...well that response has been eating away at me for several days now. (The crazy thing is that my presentation is on body image and how the media has contributed to the idea of an "ideal" body type) Satan has been putting every excuse possible in my head for why I shouldn't do it, but I am not giving into his lies! I'm 100% accepting the challenge and I am going to encourage others here to do the same! I want it to be a constant reminder that "beauty", according to society, is not going to define who I am. I was made in God's image and that is what really matters!"
-Pam Inman
"I was wanting to do this b/c I think women are to worried about how they look and always having to wear make up and I think we are all beautiful the way God made us and will be glad to put away the makeup for a month!" - Kristy Robertson
"Being in the beauty industry I have seen how much emphasis and hard work people pour into their outward appearance, and I want young girls to know that your true beauty shines from inside of who we are in Christ.  And the one person I feel I need to impress, my husband, reminds me, "you impressed me a long time ago, there's no need to "fix up" to make me love you more."  So at some point my true beauty caught his eye, not my outer beauty."
- Erin Goodfellow


"I chose to participate in No Make-up November challenge to stand up for what I truly believe, and that is that our looks do not define who we are.  It is our hearts that matter and that we are beautiful creations of our Heavenly Father and He loves us.  I want to be an example and positive role model to my children and to teach them to love God and to love themselves."-Megan Gimber
"I want young girls and women of all ages to remember that beauty goes deeper than our skin or our outward appearance.  The "beauty" that we should strive to shine lies deep within us.  Lets look for everyones True Beauty that our Heavenly Father sees."
-Alyson Franks

"Many of us look at make-up as a need.  We believe we need it to help our appearance so we're accepted and beautiful.  Well, this November I'm choosing to be make-up free and show that make-up is not a need for women:-)"
- Deserae Calhoun
"I have decided to participate in this campaign because I want to remind myself of who I am in God's eyes and how He sees me i how I want to see myself.  Pure, beautiful, wrinkle and blemish free.  When I look in the mirror I want to be proud of exactly how He made me and not mock Him by turning away in dissapointment or disgust.  I know that this month I will also gain peace about my whole body image."
-Tara Trull 

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