What I SHOULD be . . .

Lately my brain has been so full everything. I can’t seem to find the peace I need; the settling of my mind as a gentle trust in Jesus takes hold.

But then I think, wait, I should be better by now, I should have already learned this trusting step, my worldly desires should have already died, my desires for the Lord should be more consistent, my level of trust should already be there. I should be more by now.

What if I am a defect? What if I am not enough, and will never be enough? What if pride is greater than me? What if my legalism comes back? What if I fall out of relationship with God? Ugh. The enormous mess of questions, concerns – worries really is what they are – and lack of trust in God stuffs my brain until I can no longer think straight. What’s the answer to not jump into the never ending vortex of worry and self-analyzing?

I usually run down that path of not being enough when I have not been in consistent relationship with Jesus; when my day begins rushed and I look to the world to see how relationships should function. Or I look at more mature Christians and become jealous of what God is teaching them; leading me to feel I am behind.

Mostly I haven’t stopped and asked Jesus what He thinks, what He says, what He is saying now. God has shown me three of the most dangerous things I do that hurt my relationship with Jesus.


1)      Not stopping.

Take that one in for a moment. Stop. Stop your thoughts, your to-do list. What’s the rush? Where are you going? What are you aiming for? You can’t earn God’s approval. Relationship with us is what Jesus died for, not for our works.

 2)   Not looking to the Word of God for answers.

Sometimes I rely on my feelings to let me know what’s up and what’s not. This is dangerous. As women, feelings can often cloud our judgement and keep us from realizing the truth. But we can’t let the way we feel dictate how we are going to see ourselves, our day, and our world. We must rely solely on what the Word of God says. The only way we can do this successfully is knowing, without a shadow of doubt, what God is telling us in His Word.

3)  Making up my own ideas of what a relationship with God should look like.

I don’t really know how to put this last one into words . . . I sometimes have my own ideas about how I should grow in God. I think I should learn this now, already know that; be able to take charge of this weakness, grow that strength . . .

I remember one night in my youth group we were asked, “Who is Jesus to you?” When I turned inward in prayer the Holy Spirit answered, “Victoria, I am your babysitter. I only can watch over you and guide you when you let me, but even then I can only do it by your made up rules.” Ouch! Pride alert! I realized my own expectations of what I thought our relationship should look like were really boxing in God and in turn, because of this, I could not grow and learn. I can’t be the one to teach myself. We can’t teach ourselves things we don’t know.


So please right now, stop. Most of the time we don’t want to stop because we can’t face our pain; we don’t know how to heal. We afraid of what Jesus will say; afraid of our own hearts.

He is gentle and humble in spirit. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He came to heal and bind up the brokenhearted. He knows what pain feels like. He can relate. He loves you. He died for you. Let him know what’s going on. For me right now I have to stop to reconnect. I feel like I look more like the world than His daughter right now, so I need to stop and talk with Him. Find out what He is saying; how He is moving and shaping me. I need to get back on the learning track with God. I need to humble myself, and let God back in His rightful place as Lord of my heart. All of it.

Lord Jesus,

You are bigger than my mind, heart, and feelings, you are greater and you love. Please forgive me for trying to be you in my own life.  Forgive my pride for trying to control you and for thinking that I know best, Father the word says you oppose the proud but you give grace to the humble. I humble myself and say I submit to you, Jesus. Thank you for your mercy, thank you for grace that we can grow in, thank you for forgiving me. I do love you Jesus. Amen.


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Victoria Schafer is a high school senior who has a passion for Jesus and creativity. She has been involved with Share Her Story from the very beginning; designing the photo-shoot sets for the Fall ’16 Project, the Spring ’17 Project, and the Summer ’17 Project. She plans on attending college this autumn to pursue her love of knowledge and to sharpen her creative skills.

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What we’re here for. . .

Believe it or not, this is new to us too.

It’s hard to wrap our minds around – especially for those that have been here since the beginning – but Share Her Story has only been up and running for less than a year. 7 months, to be exact.

Our vision grows continually. Honestly, it is becoming much bigger than anything we could have ever imagined. For us, that’s how we know we are doing something with the Lord’s blessing; because we continually have to depend on Him.

We wouldn’t want it any other way. With the Fall Project completed, the Spring Project in the editing phase, and the Summer Project just beginning, we are already receiving testimonies about how Share Her Story is blessing the women involved.

 When I arrived at the photo-shoot on the 4th, I was more nervous than excited. I tend to forget how insecure I am about the way I look until the goal is to make me feel beautiful.
Most of the time, I hide. I hide in big clothes, behind the camera, taking photos of the rest of the world. I hide behind a make-up free face because I’m afraid that if I wore make-up regularly, the world would be disappointed in my natural face on the days that I didn’t wear any. I’ve done this for so long that it has become second nature. If I hide, I don’t feel the discomfort of the insecurity.
But, on that day, February 4th, there was no hiding. And it was very good for me–healing, in fact.
As I came to each station (nails, make-up, hair, and clothing), the insecurity in me expected to be torn down, that all my flaws would be pointed out. But, everywhere I turned, you ladies met me with kind, encouraging words. You brought attention to different attributes of me and gave me reasons WHY they are beautiful.
The genuineness of your kindness softened something in my heart, and at the end of the day, I saw myself with a confidence and positivity that had nothing to do with make-up or curls. I left believing I have a unique beauty to offer the world that is precious and pleasing in the eyes of my Lord.
In short, thank you so much for what you’re doing. The time, talents, love, and kindness that you’re giving in Share Her Story are bringing the Kingdom of God, with healing, encouragement, and ultimately, unity.
Spring Project 2017 Woman of Interest

We are dedicated to our work. Because we understand what it feels like to be unseen, to feel unheard, to be forgotten. That is what motivated us to start Share Her Story. It is up to every woman to encourage our sisters, our mothers, and our friends.

We are continually learning, growing, changing. But our vision still remains the same . . .

We are here to give the looked-over and forgotten a voice and the unmistakable belief that they ARE beautiful!

What it’s really about . . .

I am very fortunate to being able to see the project from all angles. The Fall ’16 Project I was one of the Women of Interest, the Spring ’17 Project I was one of the creatives, and I assisted in wardrobe and set design. Now going into the third project, I am honored to be one of the Project Directors.

I feel so thankful that I was asked to share my story. I love sharing my testimony and love the heart behind Share Her Story. I was overjoyed when I was asked to help with the projects.

My heart is hospitality and planning; and it made me bubble over with excitement when we planned for the Spring ’17 Project to take place at my house. My main objective for the project (and all the ones to come) was to make all the ladies feel welcomed, beautiful, and loved. So, for me, that meant I must make my home welcoming, the wardrobe room peaceful, ensuring that I did everything in my power to make the women feel treasured and prized. But there was also something else that God put on my heart for this project . . . I must do for one that which I wish I could do for all.

Adam Stanley spoke on this idea at a conference years ago. He spoke about how that I, as one person, do not have the ability to change/impact everyone’s life, but I do however have the ability to impact one person’s life. For me that was LaTasha.

As soon as I discovered she was one of the women of interest, God told me that He wanted me to make sure that LaTasha felt loved and beautiful like never before. We were very fortunate that Cotton Threads Boutique wanted to partner with us and loaned us clothes for the day of the photo-shoot, but we, the stylists, also shopped for dressier options as well. With a tight budget, we did not have much to spend on each lady. However, I was determined to be obedient with what God had placed on my heart. I scoured the web trying to find the perfect piece.

LaTasha was the first woman the day of the photoshoot. She was nervous, as most women are, when it comes to wardrobe. However, her nerves were quickly put to ease when Macie and I helped her style her first outfit – this was the one I found especially for her and bought out of my own pocket. I was super excited for her to try it on.

To see the look on her face when she saw herself made the whole day worth it. She glowed! Even more so when I told her she got to keep the outfit because I wanted her to always remember how beautiful she truly was!

When the day was over and we got some rest and time to reflect on the photo-shoot, I felt so honored that God had entrusted me with the privilege of helping one of His beloved daughters feel special and beautiful. He is so much bigger than we give Him credit for because the next thing I knew He whispered this simple yet beautiful question to my spirit, “It doesn’t have to stop with her, you can do this each time. Will you do that for me?” How can you say no when our loving Father allows you to participate with Heaven?

So projects to come, what do they entail for me? I get the privilege of being the Project Manager which means I make pretty forms and keep all our events organized. I am sure I will have other obligations as well, but one is for sure – to do for one that which I wish I could do for all.


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Olivia Israel is one of the most analytical creatives you’ll ever meet. Programmer by day, event planner by night, she loves to step in when people are in need. Her love for Jesus is seen most abundantly when she throws herself into a project or event; highlighting the her unique gifting and eye for every possible outcome.

Connecting Creatives

The main goal of Share Her Story is to encourage women and to give them a platform to speak, but we also want our blog to be a place to share local and statewide creative projects, businesses, and causes we believe in!

We want to allow other creatives to share perspectives on making, forming, and creating. We are beings personally formed by a Creator who understands the beauty of making. We have that same drive and push in us as well. Not all of us are able to sit down and paint a masterpiece, but we each, in our own way, create beauty.

We pour a part of our heart into what we make, and we hope it’s crafted well enough for others to notice the passion we lend to the piece. If the passion is there, we are driven to perfect our craft even more! In the end though, it’s not about being perfect or right, sometimes it’s more about the bravery it takes to start the process of making.

Sometimes it’s about just taking the step to begin something we believe in. This blog is where we want to feature those people. The passionate crafters, the artists and entrepreneurs, the driven and the wild, you are welcome to share whatever you bring.

Oceans, mountains, and everything inbetween . . . – Sarah

Hello all! I hope you have been enjoying what you are seeing so far. Because to be completely honest, I have REALLY been enjoying putting everything together.

I never thought I would be involved in something, from its very conception, that has excited me to the core. I thought I would forever be bound to someone else’s vision, someone else’s idea. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t think I had the ability. I suppose I saw myself as the mild-mannered pack mule of a worker. Put it in front of me, I get it done.

Oh, believe me. I have imagination. I have huge humongous dreams. But I suppose the “realist” part of me saw the many, many mountains and valleys and oceans I would have to cross to make these things a reality and I got scared.

I remember bringing a fraction of what Share Her Story has become to Cayla. I was wanting opportunity as a writer. Something I could work towards that wasn’t as daunting as the Himalayan-like task of the American novel. I wanted something that was fun and brought me joy.

“Why don’t you do a photo-shoot with people that aren’t usually asked to be models? You know, like me and . . .” as I named a couple of other people we both knew. “And then I could write a creative piece about them . . .” I said with the intention of the models being something fictional, rather than themselves. “I don’t know,” she replied, dropping off the word “know,” indicating she really didn’t like the idea.

And I left it at that. What I was thinking wasn’t possible without a photographer. And I knew no one else.

When she texted me a couple of months later, telling me she wanted to do the project, I did a happy little dance around my apartment!

The idea has continue to grow and shift and develop in ways I could have never imagined. Share Her Story has become delightfully complex, its ideologies intertwining in a way that mirrors a tender green vine inching its way towards the sun. That’s how I know Share Her Story truly carries something special – when every time I look at it, I get a new perspective.

I am so thankful Cayla decided to jump onto the idea with me. I think we have something really special. And I can’t wait for our first project release on November 1st.

I have learned that dreams, visions, ideas are possible. If you just start one step at a time. No one can cross the ocean in one leap. Things take time. And process. I am learning that. It also helps if you have a really awesome friend who catches on to what you are envisioning.

I hope you catch our vision too! Because I am having so much fun doing this, stretching myself as a writer and a person, in ways that I never thought possible. I hope you begin to see that you too have the ability to go after your dreams.

That’s why the Lord gave them to you!

With much love and excitement,

Sarah

For the Love of the Job – Cayla

This project, in the beginning, was something I thought would be too difficult or too much to accomplish. The amount of work and knowledge to carry it out was something I didn’t really think I possesed. But yet, I realized it was something that I needed to be a part of; there was this very serious need in me to create it.

The short version of my story is this: I grew up in a moderately big family, five kids. I had a blast being the oldest, taking care of everyone and making sure they knew I was always right and in charge (all you first-borns know what I’m talking about). This was my job, my role, and my place.

Somewhere in the process of growing up, I became very connected to whatever job was mine at the time. I found my confidence and creativity in doing something, anything. It always felt good to be needed and to be wanted. I could work on something and see results in the form of praise, or simply the fact that inside me I felt “no one else could have done that but me.”And I chased that feeling – that feeling of being needed and indispensable.

However, just in case you were wondering, this “indispensable” feeling doesn’t last. There is this continual compulsion to keep doing, to keep searching, to keep checking off endless amounts of lists. And, if no one actually needs what you are doing, it becomes a very empty hole of unfulfilling uselessness.

I reached this point. I saw the futility of just getting one thing after another done.  I began to question my motives and really look at my goals. I asked myself, “so, what happens when no one needs me? What happens when no one wants me? What happens when I must wait?”

In those questions I heard the voice of God, “It doesn’t matter.

I feel a lot of times His answer to most of my questions is the same, “Cayla, does that really matter?” That is a tough answer to work through, but in the end I realized it truly doesn’t matter if I am wanted or needed by another person ever again. It doesn’t matter if I have a fancy title or well-recognized position. Sometimes it’s okay to just be, and to realize that just me in myself- is okay.

I love creating beautiful things. Through this process of creating Share Her Story, I’ve learned that I want other women to know they are OK, as well. The things that define us are not what we continually bring to the table, but our own uniqueness and beauty.

We all have it, beauty. Yes, even YOU reading this pile of random words! The story we each have is special and treasured. Secure in everyone of us. We all have our own special narrative to share.

I want encourage you to fling wide the door of your heart, to support each story and cherish each chapter, even the ones that are difficult.

I am so thankful to have a team of people who share this passion and are willing to work toward its end. Be encouraged! Your beauty is obvious, your words are needed, and your story is worth sharing.

Cayla