Ariel’s TRUE IDENTITY.

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A couple of weeks ago I started an online bible study with over 43,000 other women all over the world. We are reading the book “Made To Crave” by Lysa Terkeurst. It is an amazing read if you haven’t read it yet. Take it chapter by chapter though. Let it soak in! You won’t regret it! I PROMISE!

Chapter 5 of the book was about our identity. Lysa gave a list of different things that she had identified herself with that weren’t God identities. It got me to thinking about what I identify myself with. The ones that aren’t God honoring. The ones that the enemy has placed in my head and heart.
1) Ariel, the one who has divorced parents.
2) Ariel, the one who has an eating disorder.
3) Ariel, the one whose father doesn’t care about her.
4) Ariel, the one who keeps failing at school.
5) Ariel, the broken girl.

For the past 7-10 years this is what I have identified myself with. It hasn’t been with Christ, it has been the above list. Why? Because I haven’t used the bible verses that I have memorized to fight off satan, I have just let his words saturate my heart, and mind and just let that be the “truth” that I believed.

That is no longer the case anymore. I am ashamed of not letting God define me. I should have known better, but I am changing that Now. Today. Not later.

My Identity with Christ. My true Identity
(I actually was listening to Mandisa’s Identity In Christ playlist on her spottily while writing this and the 1 Girl Nation song titled In His Eyes really spoke to me. The beginning of this list is from that song with a bible verse behind it! This song totally broke me.)
Ariel, the one who is treasured.
Malachi 3:17
“They will be my people,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “On the day when I act in judgement, they will be my my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child.”
Ariel, the one who is BEAUTIFUL.
Song of Solomon 4:7
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
Ariel, the one who is perfect.
Psalm 139:13-15
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Ariel, the one who has worth.
Titus 3:5
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
Ariel, the one who is loved.
John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
Ariel, the one who is to die for.
Romans 5:8
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Ariel, the one who is KNOWN.
Jeremiah 33:5
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I sanctified you.
Ariel, the forgiven one.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ladies, we are all made for more. We are made to thrive in Christ. To be his disciples and have our identity through Him. Don’t listen to the ways of this world. Read the bible. Soak it all in. Use God’s words to fight the devil. The devil is not worthy of our identity, of our time, of our peace. We need to give it to God and find our identity through Him.

Love you all, and God Bless,
Ariel

 

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#Empowered

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Women from all over the world and I are doing an online bible study through proverbs31 over the book “Made To Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst. It just started this week and are starting chapter 3 tomorrow. It is NOT too late to sign up. If you are not already registered please go sign up. You WON’T regret it! http://proverbs31.org/online-bible-studies/#

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This picture depicts my last 6 years of life perfectly. I felt chained the a scale, It was a constant battle between the scale, the numbers, my measurements, and calories. I would spend hours and hours a day counting calories, figuring out what I wanted or could eat, doing workouts, weighing myself, and measuring every little bit of my body that I could.

After a few months of drastic starving myself I would decide that I didn’t want to live that way. That I wanted something better for myself. I would eat normal for a couple days and eventually fall back into the eating disorders cycle. 

Most of the time I really did know that this was not good for me, that I was just ruining my body, and tearing it down one skipped meal at a time. I knew it but I didn’t want to admit it. I knew I was harming myself and everyone around me, but I didn’t want to feel defeated. 

Even the last two months I have jumped back and forth between eating normal and cutting back a lot more than I should have to loose weight. I was about to fall hard back into the eating disorders, and then I found this bible study. (That is definitely a God-moment) 

The word Empowered is exactly just how it sounds. I feel empowered. I am empowered to overcome the eating disorders. I am empowered to beat them like I have never beat them before. I am empowered to think of myself as beautiful without having to lose weight to do so. I am empowered to be at a healthy weight and love myself as is. I AM EMPOWERED. 

I am so thankful for this bible study. I wish I could tell everyone who has worked on this Thank You enough for them to understand, understand what they are helping me with. They are using the gifts that the Lord has given them to help us other women. Us women who have been in ruts, and at the end of our ropes. There is a way out, and it is through God. When you crave God more than anything else you will be empowered. You will rise up. You will be closer to God! 

If you are still reading this and not doing the bible study, please go sign up right now! Don’t hesitate. Don’t waste a minute! It will be completely worth it!

 

God Bless,
Ariel

Jesus Saves

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Hello ladies (for those doing the Made To Crave Online Bible Study.
and for those that have NO clue what this is, it is an online bible study, studying the book Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It is through the Proverbs 31 page. The study is from January 19-March 1. Join over 35,000 women in studying God’s word and growing closer to God together. 

I grew up in church. I was born and raised through a little baptist church in my hometown. I love my church family, and am super close to everybody there. When I was in the 8th grade I went through a little (big) rough/dark patch in my life, as most of us do. My parents were divorced, I lived with my mom, and special needs brother. My dad and mom fought constantly, I had a lot of standards that I set for myself that I needed to live up to, and I fell directly into the devil’s trap. 

The devil sure did try to make everything seem like it was against me, and I believed every little lie that he told me. Including, I wasn’t pretty enough, I would never measure up to my parent’s standards, I was worthless, I was fat, I was mean, I was not loved…and the lies just kept coming. They overwhelmed my thoughts and I fell into a deep downward spiral. Cutting myself, starving myself, throwing up what I did eat, and drinking started to become and everyday thing. I was being torn, and was about to hit rock bottom. 

When rock bottom was in plain sight (right before my senior year started), my home church (which I currently wasn’t attending, actually I wasn’t going anywhere) hired new youth pastors. They happened to be my cousins and have always gone to my home church, so they generally knew me. I saw them at the football game one friday night and had all intentions of walking past and not saying a word, since I knew they took over the youth pastor position. I didn’t want to have to answer to why I wasn’t going to church anywhere. Fortunately, their two young daughters spotted me before I could dash by, and I of course had to stop and talk with the two precious girls. Which resulted in talking with the new youth pastors. They informed me that they were the new youth pastors at my church, and kindly invited me to come back. I told them I would see, nodded my head, said goodbye and ran away as quickly as I could. 

The next sunday I ended up coming back to church to try it out. I surprisingly liked it and decided to keep coming back. It was becoming a place that I was happy to go to, and happy to see friends at, but I was still really deep in all of the horrible things I had started years before. My youth pastors invited me over for dinner. We went out and had a nice dinner, came back to their house where we talked for a little bit, and shortly after they cut right to the chase, asking me “Is everything okay?” and “What is going on?” since they didn’t buy that I was doing great and had no worries. I instantly broke down and told them most of what all was happening. They both shared some of their stories, gave me some advice, prayed with me, and assured that they were here for me if I ever needed them. 

It was such a comfort to have people that KNEW what was going on, still loved me, and was there to talk when I needed them. I began to feel at ease about life in general, and even started to cut back on everything that I had been doing that wasn’t good. I was starting to live life again, with Christ in it, and with joy. It was like a fresh start. That next summer (right before starting my first semester at college) I attended youth camp with my youth group and spent the whole weekend absolutely broken. Broken because of my sin that I was still some what dealing with, and broken because I hadn’t been living my life like I had been. The whole week was spent with soggy tears, and blurry vision, but it was completely worth it. 

I started my first semester off at college with a mindset of getting into an awesome christian organization, and starting the semester off right so there was no time for falling back into old habits. The semester and the next flew by, I messed up a few times, but overall I did extremely well. I was surrounded by christian friends with a christian organization called Chi Alpha (XA). I was so blessed to have such amazing friends who wanted to all share the same passion for our Lord. 

I couldn’t have planned all of that out better than the Lord did. He sent certain people, at specific times, for special times in my life, knowing I would need them! I wish I could have the words to describe the blessings, and how I feel about them all. 

Thank you for reading, and can’t wait to start the MTC OBS! 

If you haven’t signed up yet, it is NOT too late! Go sign up and join the group! 

God Bless,
Ariel

Love is..

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What is love? What would be your definition of love? How do you express your love? Are there different kinds of love? If so, what are the different kinds? Are there different ways to express them all? What are your thoughts? (Would love to hear what you think about love in the comments!)

Google gave me these three definitions of “Love”.
1) an intense feeling of deep affection.
2) a person or thing that one loves.
3) feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).

My definition of “Love”.
-the showing of emotions towards one that is special to you no matter the circumstance nor the opposite ones feelings.

This thought of love came up two days ago when my special needs brother and I went to town. It was a day before his birthday and I wanted to spend a little one-on-one time with him. I gave him a bath before we left, then we were off. It’s about a 20-25 minute drive into town. My brother got in my car and the first thing that he did (which he NEVER does this.) He pointed to my phone, snapped his fingers and said chicken fried.

A little story behind Chicken Fried. When it first came out in 2008 Cory’s teacher/mentor at school had it as a ringtone and they would listen to it all of the time. Cory loved the song and would listen to it at home, or wherever he was. I think he loved it because it was something bonding him and his mentor together. The song was fine for a few months, even up to a year, but after that it got really old. I had gotten to the point of avoiding that song at all costs. If it came on the radio I changed the station. If Cory was listening to it on his headphones I would turn them down so I wouldn’t have to listen to it. I despised that song with my whole being. When your brother listens to 1 song for 5 years straight, it gets just a tad bit old.

Back to the story, on Monday in my car, Cory wanted to listen to Chicken Fried and when I searched for it on my phone I really didn’t think I had it, but apparently I did and couldn’t clear the screen before Cory had seen it saying “Chicken Fried” and snapping his fingers with the biggest grin on his face. How could I say no?!?

Again it is a 20-25 minute drive to town and then again for the way home. We listened to that same song over and over again the whole way to town and back. He loved it. He snapped his fingers and danced. We turned it up really loud and just jammed out. HE LOVED IT! He was all smiles the whole way there and back home. The first thing he said to mom when we got home was him listening to “Chicken Fried”.

At first I was upset that I was having to listen to the song but I got into it as well. I sang every word and danced with my brother. I was able to catch some of the movements and his excitement in pictures. (I wasn’t able to get a video because I was using my phone to play the song.) I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story of my precious brother.

To end this I will tell you my second definition of “Love.” This is a person definition, but hope that you can relate in some way, form, or fashion.

Love is… listening to the same song over and over again for 40+ minutes, jamming out, and dancing even though it is your most despised song, because it’s your brothers’ birthday and his absolute favorite song.
THAT IS LOVE!

How are you going to show love today? What would be your PERSONAL definition of love. I would LOVE to hear your stories. Comment below!(:

God Bless,
Ariel(:

Here is the pictures of my brother. Cory Chicken Fried

It’s getting close to Christmas time…

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I know many of you are turned off by me already talking about Christmas. I am one of those freaks who starts watching Christmas movies before Thanksgiving. While I do not just skip over thanksgiving, I just love the Christmas spirit. I spent a lot of time this weekend watching Hallmark Christmas movies. It was just the TV and I. Lovely hours spent soaking up the magical feel of Christmas. Well, most of it was lovely, the other part I was sick. (But I am all better now!(: Just the 24 hour stomach bug)

While layed up watching these movies I really got to thinking about why I love them so much, why I can literally watch them year round, and what makes them so special? As I got to the third one after thinking of these questions I realized that it was because of the pureness of them. They are filled with hope, and joy. They are magical. They are powerful messages. Some of them are based on Christianity and the true meaning of Christmas while others are just portraying the “Giving season”. Either way they are just amazing. 

If you watch any other movies of this time you will see a ton of cussing, drinking, and sex that have turned into an every movie occurrence. Christmas movies are the difference. They are the complete opposite, and that’s what I love so much about them. 

It has become a habit of us Americans to get into the giving spirit right before Christmas then when Christmas is over we go back to our daily lives and forget that giving should be year round. Why do we wait tip Christmas every year to give, and be generous. (This is me as well. I actually ask myself this question every single year.) 

The bible says in 1 John 16-18

 

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

These verses pretty much lays it out there plain as day. Jesus didn’t just die on the cross for a day or two out of every year for us, but for every day of every year for our entire lives, and if we know Him personally then for ETERNITY! Why should we treat our brothers and sisters with respect, and with a giving heart just for a little bit out of each year? 

Let’s give to those that are needy, let’s help those that are hurt, let’s give comfort to those that are grieving. Let’s not do it with our words this Christmas (and for the next years to come) but with our actions. If someone in front of you in line at Wal-mart is a couple dollars short, hand them the extra, pay for someone’s drink at starbucks, give food to a homeless person that you pass everyday, invite a neighbor that doesn’t have any family for the holidays over to spend it with your family. There are a million different acts that we could do to live out this verse. 

Who is going to live out this verse with me through the holidays and even further into 2014? 

Leave a comment (or email me at arielpaige5893@yahooo.com) of ways that you could live out this verse, or that you already have done in the past! I would love to hear your stories!

God Bless(:
-Ariel

What are you holding back?

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On my way back from canoeing with my Chi Alpha friends today I had some music on my phone playing and the song ‘holding nothing back’ by Ryan Stevenson came on. I was jamming out to it. Fully singing the lyrics not really paying attention to the lyrics. Have you noticed how many lyrics you sing but don’t pay attention to the meaning? I realized that today. As I was singing this song, fully knowing all of the lyrics I started to actually pay attention to the song. It went like this, ‘I’m holding nothing back from you, it doesn’t really matter what I loose. For a heart that’s open, I’m broken, and I want you to know. Jesus, I don’t want anything coming in between you and me. Jesus, it doesn’t matter what I have to go through. I’m holding nothing back from you. Nothing back from you.’ 

Again, I was singing the lyrics, obviously knew them but I didn’t KNOW (in my heart) them. It got me thinking about the lyrics. Thinking of the meaning in the words. For me, this is hard for me. It’s hard to be open with The Lord. I feel like being a Christian I have placed this standard for myself. And to live up to that perfect standard I have set for myself anything less makes me unworthy. The Lord is the worthy one so I tend to want to hide from him, kind of like Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit and they saw themselves as naked. I try to hide myself from Him, while he still knows all that is going in, and then I stress myself out about it. We as Christians and followers of Christ we should be open with him as we should be with our fellow brother and sisters of Christ. We Gould have a heart that is open because obviously we are already broken. When we let these standards and whatever else that is keeping you from Christ then to get back to him you must break down those walls/barriers I am slowly workin on these barriers that I have built between The Lord an me. Most of them are ones that I have torn down multiple times and I keep rebuilding them. I’m a Christian but I am also human. I make mistakes and I’m not perfect, but I am loved and adored by a perfect God! 

Trials.

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God has called me to something different. He has called me to do what Sarai and Abraham did. To pick up and leave everything I know to move to somewhere new. With this, I am facing a lot of trials. People are standing in my way, and they are being stumbling blocks. Then it gets to the point where maybe what I was hearing was the devil and these people are God trying to stop me from the bad things that could happen. Needless to say, I am having a hard time hearing from God. I am struggling with his voice, and what it even sounds like these days. I don’t want to act on my own will, but His, and don’t want to make the wrong decisions, but it’s getting harder when I can’t distinguish His voice from the devils. 

If you are reading this, please be praying with me as His will for my life becomes clear. Thank you in advance!

Please feel free to comment or email me at arielpaige5893@yahoo.com!(:

God Bless,
Ariel(: