You were created with a purpose. Let those words sink in for a moment . . .
YOU were created with a purpose.
You were CREATED with a purpose.
You were created with a PURPOSE.
Has it sunk in yet? Do you believe it? You, dear woman, were created with a purpose by Someone who loves you more than you could ever imagine. Psalm 139 is full of so many amazing truths. I share the following verses often with my friends and my teenage daughters when they are struggling with feelings of inadequacy or misplaced identity:
For you [God] created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place,
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
God did not just speak you into being like He did the sun, mountains, and animals. He knit you together in your mother’s womb before you were born. And how He created you is evidence that He adores you. Read that last sentence again. Do you believe that He adores you? He chose all the attributes of your physical appearance: hair type, eye color, nose, and body type. Sometimes I am tempted to question whether His finger got stuck on the “curly” and “thick” buttons when He chose my hair, but then I remember that this crazy hair does indeed make me unique (the grey, though – I could do without so much of that). If there are people around you, stop and look at them for a moment. Isn’t God’s creativity amazing? Think of how drastically unique each person is in appearance. We are that much more unique in our hearts, minds, and souls. I love that!
So why do we struggle so much with feelings of inadequacy and insignificance? As women, we often fall into the comparison trap, ever aware of our imperfections in relation to others. Do you ever find yourself with thoughts like this?
She is so beautiful. I wish I had her _______ (hair, eyes, body, style).
She always cooks the most amazing meals! We had macaroni and cheese for dinner – again.
How on earth can she accomplish all she is doing? I showered today.
She is a great Mom. I have failed in more ways than I can count. Why can’t I be more like her?
That woman has the best life. Why does she get to be married to a perfect guy and have those great kids when I am still single? Or . . .
Her life seems so carefree. She does not have to worry about anyone but herself. All I do is drive the kids to their next activities.
There is a reason that saying is popular. “The grass is always greener.” We have an enemy who feeds us thoughts that breed discontentment with the ways we have been uniquely blessed, to make us think we are failures, or to keep us so busy chasing our idea of perfection that we never find the true purpose for which we were created.
It is time to stop those thoughts and start believing the truth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Whenever you start thinking those negative thoughts, stop and say, “No, I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Or memorize this verse and repeat it often:
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
You are God’s masterpiece. You are not a rejected lump of clay or a destroyed oil painting. You are God’s masterpiece. No matter what. No matter your past. Your failures. Your shortcomings.
In a previous post, I mentioned that Arabella is a store with an Uncommon Mission. We are committed to help you see the truth about who you are. The clothing we sell cannot make you a masterpiece, but once you believe you were created with a purpose and that you are worthy of being called a masterpiece, we can help you set out with a new attitude and a new outfit. We order only a few of each piece we sell because we want you to believe to the core of your being that you are unique. Then you can set out with confidence, seeking the purpose for which God created you.
Our primary goal is always that you believe the truth about who you are. And then, of course, we hope you fall in love with our clothing line so you feel empowered to live out your purpose with strength and dignity, laughing at the days to come because you have no fear of the future.
It is uncommon for a clothing boutique to blog about things other than their amazing clothing line (even though it is) or the perfect accessories (even though they are), but Arabella is anything but a common boutique. At Arabella, we are mission-driven and mission-focused. We love helping you put together amazing outfits, but we also know that when the beauty that lies within you is released that your outer beauty is magnified in indescribable ways.
Arabella’s mission above is taken from Proverbs 31:25: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” The mother of a long-ago king shared these words of advice with her son as he considered what kind of woman he might desire to marry. The verses of this well-known proverb found contain significant attributes that contribute to the highest character of a woman. Of great significance is the fact that this woman that the king would one day marry would become the queen. If we follow the fairy tales, we might imagine that a queen would simply dress in expensive clothes and do nothing of true significance other than attend fancy parties and look lovely next to the king. Not for this king and not for his wise mother. This mother paints a different picture of the woman her son might marry. I imagine this woman to have her head held high while her presence fills the room, a strong woman who does not shy away from a challenge yet moves forward with grace, and a woman fully confident that she possesses great worth and value as well as the ability to accomplish any task at hand. She works extremely hard, uses her mind, provides for others, and does not worry about what the future holds . . . nor does she just sit around waiting for it to happen or waste a lifetime figuring out what it is she was called to do.
And neither should we sit around waiting while life passes us by. We have each been given gifts and talents to share with the world, but in the face of so many pressures and the hectic pace of our society, we often lose sight of what we were created to do. Whether married or single or young or older, we often feel like we should do it all. We keep striving and straining and comparing over and over until we are burned out and unhappy, depressed and anxious. Our unsettled hearts tell us that we have missed the mark and that we have failed, so we keep striving and straining, stuck in a place where we are not flourishing and where we are definitely not happy. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. It is time to get out of that rut. If you realize you have turned down the wrong path, stop, take a deep breath, turn around and look for the sweet spot you have been called to live in. That task may seem daunting, but there are some things we know for sure. God calls us to follow Him. Seek Him. Read His Word. Simply draw near to Him. He is faithful to respond.
Next, think about what you love to do. What are you good at? What fills you with energy? When have you felt the most alive? What strengths have others pointed out in you? If you have not asked your closest friends and family members, go ahead and ask them. I can tell you that there have been instances in my life where people have offered their unsolicited opinion, and what they said surprised me. As I considered these things and began to pursue whether God was calling me in a certain direction, I was sometimes surprised to find out that they had seen something in me that came so naturally to me that I did not even recognize it as a gift. When I enter that sweet spot of where God has called me, I know I am clothed with strength and dignity. Gone are the rushing, straining, and striving. In their place are God’s grace, strength, and peace.
What about you? Are you ready to get out of your stuck place and seek what God is calling you to? Or are you afraid? Do you desire the comfort of what you know opposed to what the great unknown could be? At Arabella, we believe so strongly in this uncommon mission that we will do all we can to support you as you boldly seek to find out who God has called you to be. We look forward to sending you off (in unique, fun outfits) to live and work in your sweet spot, “clothed with strength and dignity and laugh[ing] without fear of the future.”
Sometimes new adventures come at inconvenient times but just cannot be passed up. New opportunities...new challenges...new stress - all good but certainly overwhelming at times. We at Arabella have been blessed with the opportunity to do just that- provide a new opportunity for someone who needed a helping hand.
We began shopping at this cute little store in Breckenridge, Colorado, a few years ago, and it just got under our skin. The previous owner was an amazingly talented and joy-filled woman named Susan. Susan had a way of making you feel like you were the only one in the room and spending all her energy (which is a lot!) making sure you had a wonderful shopping experience- and likely feeling a little better about yourself as you walked out the door. However, the time had come for her to move on so...in come the Schmidts. After much discussion, deliberation, and prayer, Susan gave us the opportunity to take on this fun boutique in the heart of a beautiful ski town that we love.
We now want to pay it forward. Arabella means 'prayerful servant'. We believe in the power of prayer. We also believe that God provides opportunities for us to show His love through our actions. We love the verse found in Proverbs 31:25... "She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future." This is now our mission and vision for the store. Our goal is to not only provide a unique shopping experience, but we also want to help you find strength during a tough time. We want to make sure you know that you deserve nothing but respect and to be treated with dignity. And, maybe most importantly, we want you to face the future without fear, knowing that all is possible with prayer and opportunity (and, of course, a super cute outfit!!).
The past year has been a whirlwind, and it is hard to believe that we are coming up on our first anniversary of owning Arabella Boutique. We have had some bumps along the road but many more fun experiences and stories along the way. We have so many goals for this little store and are grateful for the relationships that have just started and those that have grown stronger. So stay tuned...you might just find a little opportunity of your own.
Heather Schmidt & Jodie Schmidt
Heather Schmidt and Jodie Schmidt.