Making Beautiful Things Out Of Dust

Making Beautiful Things Out Of Dust

Stop pushing off dust, covering up scars, and hiding your fears.
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Dust is everywhere. It has become a hassle of life; a chore. We have started to wish dust away and push it off of hard surfaces with the attempt of getting rid of its markings.

We view dust as annoying, dirty, and meaningless yet dust represents life and opportunity. We were made out of dust. You were made out of dust.

What if we viewed dust through the eyes of God? What if we saw it as a building block to growth rather than a group of meaningless particles on top of ours televisions and fireplaces? What if we saw the chores and seemingly meaningless parts of life as opportunities waiting to be changed into something beautiful.

God makes beautiful things out of the hardships and struggles we face. Being human means being hurt, becoming brokenhearted, facing fear, growing old, and returning to the dust we were made out of. Yet being human means breathing, falling in love, making choices, exploring, and even being offered the choice to believe in more than life itself.

The literal definition of dust is the death of living particles which makes this statement of God making beautiful things out of dust even more inspiring and comforting. God literally turns death into life. He makes beautiful things out of destruction, pain, and tragedy.

We go through life wishing hard and painful experiences would yield to our lives and not leave its mark. We push off dust, cover up scars, and hide our fears.

Without the bad, however, how do we get the good? Take a moment to think about the best and worst parts of being human...

... You may even notice that some of these things are the best and the worst at the same time. Love, for example, can be both the best and worst parts of being human. In addition, fear can be seen as both as well. Fear limits but fear also encourages, helps us grow, pushes us to overcome, and produces adrenaline that makes us feel like we couldn't be more alive.

If you never had a bad day would your good days mean anything to you? If you never got broken hearted would you know what true love is? If you never felt fear would you ever appreciate safety? If you never failed would you ever try? If you never cried you would ever learn who would be there for you to dry your tears. If you never lost hope would you ever fully rely on God?

Now I am not saying to stop dusting on top of the bookshelves or the keys of the piano, but I encourage you to stop and notice that dust can be pushed off but not destroyed. You can not destroy the dust that builds up on you. In other words, you can not get rid of the past hardships you have experienced but you can begin to appreciate what those experiences bring. Those hard times have made you who you are. Without dust, we will never appreciate a beautiful shine.

When you fall, dust yourself off... but intentionally make beautiful things out of that situtation. Make yourself more beautiful because of the dust storms you've been through.

When life gives you lemons make lemonade.

When life gives you dust... make something beautiful.

Cover Image Credit: Entropy

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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You Don't Need A 'Bikini Body' To Fully Love Yourself This Summer

You don't need to be stick-thin to feel good about your body.

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One of my favorite quotes of all time is, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Want to know why? Because it's true.

I could look in the mirror one day and feel totally confident about myself. Then I'll see a post on Instagram of some beautiful girl, feel awful, and wonder why I don't look like that. But there's a reason I don't look like that — because I'm me, not them.

The fact of the matter is that we need to love ourselves for who we are. We need to stop comparing our beauty to that of others. We are all our own people and we should feel confident in our beauty.

Bikini season is a major source of struggle for me and many others. Everyone is lounging on the beach in bikinis and you feel like you just want to hide under your towel. Every other photo on your social media is a super skinny girl from high school showing off her body. You will NEVER see a photo of me in a bikini on social media because I'm simply not comfortable in my body enough to show it off like that. I have always wished that I was, but at the same time, that's not who I am.

You don't need to be stick thin to feel good about your body. Every body is beautiful, and we need to embrace that. If we constantly look to others as a source of comparison, we will literally never be happy in our own skin.

Bikini season is tough as it is, don't make it tougher on yourself by allowing your mind to take over. Enjoy your spring break, enjoy your summer, enjoy your life. You deserve it. You deserve happiness.

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