God does NOT like makeup

Now I’ve shared why I no longer wear makeup and fake hair but I want to revisit wearing makeup because this is something that a lot of women just don’t want to accept. God is not pleased with you painting your face in an attempt to enhance (or pervert, if you’re a man!) what He has created. If you would just allow yourself to honestly think of all the reasons makeup is worn, I can assure you that you will not find one righteous one. It’s demonic. It’s used to deceive, to seduce, to pervert, to manipulate, to pretend (costumes), to puff up (self esteem, which is pride!) and for pagan idol worship (ancient Egyptians, indigenous tribes, the occult, clowns and mimes etc.).  And for those of you who are trying to cover up acne, blemishes and scars, that right there proves that you are insecure and/or vain. Acne and other kinds of breakouts are indications that our bodies need to be properly cleansed or detoxed. And putting poison into your body (whether it’s cosmetic or food products) is not going to help. Not in REALITY. And scars show that we have been healed.  So if you’ve been burned or born with unique features (or you have just aged!) don’t be ashamed of your story. Makeup is ungodly. Let’s just be real, ya’ll know that we’ve picked this stuff up from the world. And it’s sad that we’re claiming to be so in love with God (or mighty in the Lord!) but when our appearance is threatened we will unleash hell.

And please hear my heart on this because I was there. I was the main one talking about, “This is my “Natural” everyday look.”

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2014, Me looking CRAZY with a lacefront wig! Taking pictures for my “Ministry” flyers.

Also, keep in mind that I am only addressing those who are professing Christ and godliness. We are supposed to be HOLY (set apart) and different but we’re being influenced by the world’s trends and emulating their celebrities.  Do not be deceived by those who say “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.” We need to not only read scriptures in context but we need to take the full counsel of God. The scriptures also say that the heart is deceitful above all things AND WICKED (Jeremiah 17:9), and that we are to abstain from the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22) and that includes worldliness. Yes, there are a lot of self righteous, head covering, white washed tombs out here probably judging you. But I don’t have anything to do with that. I’m just simply telling you the truth. God is not fond of your IDOLS—makeup, hair weaves, high heels and jewelry etc. It’s all vanity!

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

And I’m not saying that holiness equates to homelyness and that we can’t (or shouldn’t) embrace [godly] femininity. We are BEAUTIFUL creatures and we enjoy beautiful things. And there is nothing wrong with that. God created us like that! That’s why satan is trying to kill, steal and destroy our roles and our identity as women. Don’t be ignorant of his devices. And start denying yourself the things your flesh desires! Trust me, your spirit has no need or desire for makeup, it’s all carnal.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

It’s a shame that us younger women don’t really have wise and pure older women to model after because most of our mothers and grandmothers are immature, busy bodies trying to keep up with the Joneses Kardashians. But nevertheless, it’s all laid out for us in the bible. May we open it and read it. And may we BELIEVE it.

With nothing but love,

Brandi

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The Mission of Motherhood Book review

As a mother, reading edifying books on motherhood is one of the ways that I refresh myself. So when Sally Clarkson (the author of this book) began to wrap up her message by explaining how a mother whose well is dry can not continue to give to others (well not without cratering!), I was beyond convinced that this book was (and is!) a treasure.

See Mrs. Clarkson has been more than a mentor to me.  She has served as THE mother of mothers in The Mission of Motherhood although she would probably disagree.

“I am not the perfect mother but my vision and understanding of God’s design and intentions gives me a standard of maturing to grow toward.” -Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood

I have never read a book on motherhood that was so blunt and unapologetic when addressing the Mother’s role in the home.  This book is filled with so much perspective and TRUTH, which is so supportive and encouraging to those of us trying to be godly mothers in this satanic world. The book is also filled with her (and her children’s) very own personal stories and testimonies. But not in a braggadocios way because I can not stand that! So trust me, their’s were fitting. The personal stories and analogies were very thought provoking and brought much clarity.

But anyway, as I was getting my thoughts together to share my review with you, I realized that I just could not say enough about this book! Seriously, it’s just that good! So if you’re longing for your home to be peaceful and life giving but you’re struggling with finding balance between building good relationships with you children and the day to day chores of homemaking, or if you’re just in need of some creative ideas and motivation to prepare your children’s hearts for the Lord, then this book is for you. In a world that perverts (and belittles!) the mother’s role (and responsibilities!) Sally gives much needed encouragement, assurance and VISION to us who are truly seeking the Lord in all things.

I remember she talked about motherhood being a partnership with God. Which is true. Not only have we been blessed to assist God in bringing human life into this world but we’ve been given the HONORABLE task of nurturing their little precious souls unto the Lord. NOTHING in the workplace can compete with that—truly impacting generations for the better and ushering people into the kingdom. So again, if you’re interested in being a good (godly) mom, please check out this book because this review doesn’t do it any justice!

Group hugs,
Brandi

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And I am not going to blame my messy hair on being a Mom! ( well at least not this time lol)

♥♥Ps. When looking through books that I might buy (or check out!), I always skim through the Table of Contents. This gives me a brief overview about what will actually be talked about. In case any of you are like me, I’ve taken the time to list the sections and chapter titles. I hope this further encourages you to check out the book out. Seriously, it will bless your life that much 🙂

The Mission of Motherhood (Touching your child’s heart for eternity)

Part 1: A Mother’s calling

  • 1. A Journey like no other (Discovering the mission of motherhood)
  • 2. Beautiful by design (Exploring the meaning of biblical motherhood)
  •  3. The Undivided heart (Committing our lives to God’s design)

Part 2: A Mother’s heart for her God

  • 4. The servant mother (Mothering with the heart of Jesus)
  • 5. The discipling mother (Reaching children’s heart for Christ)
  • 6. The teaching mother (Training children’s minds to think biblically)

Part 3: A Mother’s heart for her children

  • 7. Strong friend (Building loving relationships with our children)
  • 8. Gardener of souls (Cultivating and enriching our children’s lives)

Part 4: A Mother’s heart for her home

  • 9. Keeper of the domain (Embracing God’s call to homemaking)
  • 10. The creative mother (Opening windows to God’s artistry and greatness)
  • 11. The ministering mother (Bringing God’s purposes into our homes… and beyond)

Part 5: A mother’s heart for eternity

  • 12. The faithful mother (Finishing the journey with endurance and grace)

♥♥

How I care for my daughter’s natural hair

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Time for a trim! Which I do as often as she needs them.

My daughter Janelle is 8 years old, and she has some beautiful, long and healthy natural hair. But her hair hasn’t always been this long or this healthy because when I was in the world I didn’t know how to care for my own hair let alone hers! So anyway, I want to share what I’ve been doing just in case any of you are also on this healthy hair (and hair growth) journey.

1. I wash and deep condition her hair weekly

Every Sunday, I wash her hair and deep condition it with a hydrating hair mask. And after I’m done I dry it with an old maxi skirt (or t shirt). I do not use dry off towels, and I finger detangle her hair while I’m applying the deep conditioner.

2. Moisturizers and protective styling

Either every morning or every night before bed (depending on how her hair looks and feels) I apply a moisturizer and an oil to seal her hair. We both use the Mielle Organics Avocado hair milk as well as some regular avocado oil from the grocery store. This is a must! Because dry and frizzy hair is a recipe for breakage.

The next thing I do is also very important. I believe that protective styles and deep conditioning is what has done the most for her strands (meaning restoring them and retaining their length). So I keep her hair protected in loose buns, which she loves just as much as she enjoys wearing her hair down.

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3. I model godly femininity before her

Now ya’ll know me (if you follow my blog!), everything we do needs to be done to the glory of God. Raising godly daughters in this perverted and superficial world can be very challenging, especially when we have struggles and insecurities of our own. So I teach my daughter (from the bible and by being) that beauty as we know it is not of God (It’s seduction and deception!). I teach her that true femininity is about being modest (godly) and helpful (not hindering or competitive!). Now of course, she still wants to put on a floral dress and do something cute to her hair (we all do!) and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it doesn’t become an obsession or our identity is found in all of that. Also, I make sure that I’m kind to myself, and that I compliment other women and their unique features (like freckles etc.) in front of her. That way she can learn to embrace the diversity which in return (or subconsciously) will encourage her to love and to embrace herself.

So yeah, I hope that these things help you on your journey. May God bless you and all of your beautiful daughters 🙂

Much love, Brandi

♥♥By the way, here’s some more natural beauty tips for Christian women 

Modesty thrift haul and more!

Since we’ve been talking a little bit about modest apparel and natural beauty, I thought it would be appropriate to share what I just bought from the Goodwill with you.  I am currently building a small capsule wardrobe so when I finish, I’ll share all the looks and details as well♥

Much love and prayers!

Brandi

♥♥If you’re new (or just interested!), here’s a few more posts on Modest apparel 🙂

How to choose Modest apparel

How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

My Headcovering experiences

My go to headcovering style (tutorial)

My go to Headcovering style+a mini Headcovering haul

Hey Guys! So I thought I would share a very pretty and classy low bun headcovering tutorial in case anyone is new to covering their head during public worship (or just wanting more options!). Also, if you’re interested, here’s a link to my Headcovering experiences♥ 

Much love, Brandi Collins

♥♥Here’s a few more posts on Modesty:

How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

How to choose modest apparel

Why I no longer wear any makeup or fake hair

My natural beauty tips for Christian women

 

Loving the unlovable (Encouragement for struggling stepmothers)

(Featured image provided by Pexels.com)

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

( 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, NKJV)

Whew! That passage of scriptures right there will end your life if you think that you are some great or mature woman in the Lord but hate your step children. You guys, I have been holding off on this post for SO long now because I know all about this struggle. I have a step daughter who lives with us and who honestly, gets on my ever lasting nerves. I have wished her away plenty of times. I have even tried to divorce my husband behind her. So trust me, the things that I am going to share are real, and a little hard to hear but necessary. And I can’t promise that by the end of this post that you’ll adore your stepchildren (because I’m still working on it!). But you will know how to endure your suffering and what is unacceptable on your part as a woman professing godliness.

So first things first, a quick “disclaimer”. I understand that not everyone is struggling as a step parent. This post is for those of us who are. Also, it takes a certain level of discernment and maturity to acknowledge that even children can be used by the devil. People typically think that the children are always innocent but we ALL were born into sin and shapen in iniquity.  HOWEVER, we can not try to blame others for our sin like Adam did. So in this post, we are going to just focus on ourselves and take accountability for our own thoughts and actions (or reactions!).

So anyway,  let’s begin with the marriage. If you believe that your marriage was a match made in heaven, then you definitely need to honor (and enjoy!) it and let NO ONE (not even yourself) destroy it. Like I said, I tried to leave in the beginning. Thank God my husband loves me like Christ loves church and understood that no one, not even our children should come before our spouses. Now just for the record, even if you know that God DIDN’T join you two together, you still have to honor that covenant. Concerning stepchildren in general, divorce is not an option.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about love. Love is a term that has been really abused and misused. We live in a deceived world where we have been taught (ultimately by satan) that love is a feeling. Love is not a feeling or a “liking”, it is an attribute of God. It is an action or a deed, meaning a process of something selfless being done. Not knowing this can really hinder you in growing to love your step children. I remember being really discouraged because I thought that I would never love my stepdaughter because I didn’t like her or FEEL like I loved her. If you’re sitting around waiting on your feelings to line up with the commands of God, then you will be waiting forever or even worst, double minded. There will be times when we have to go directly against our feelings. And God will change our feelings when we learn to THINK and act differently. This is how we become sanctified. Our flesh will NEVER be willing to submit to the laws of God.

 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:5-11, NKJV)

This is another lie I believed. I believed that I was being fake when I would force myself to act in loving ways. Hear me, we are never being fake (or even hypocrites) when we are trying to obey God in spite of our feelings. That is the whole point of crucifying our flesh and dying to self. We can love people whether we FEEL like it or not because true love is not a feeling it is the power of God. And if we claim to have His spirit then we can (and will!) love. Otherwise we are liars.

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  All who declare that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.” ( 1 John 4:7-21, NLT)

And I think its worth mentioning that we need to accept the scriptures as they are. We begin to deceive ourselves when we try to ignore what they say or try to justify ourselves. I remember being so wicked while reading this thinking that I was only commanded to love by brothers and sisters in Christ not bad kids or unbelievers. But guess what? That’s how people deceive themselves. By picking and choosing what they want instead of taking in the full counsel of the Word. Jesus told us to pray for those who persecute us and to bless our enemies. So when it comes to hating ANYBODY including our stepchildren there are NO excuses. Hatred is a murderous spirit. and we know that no murderer has eternal life within them.

• “You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths.” (John 8:44, AMP)

• “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” ( 1 John 3:14-16)

You see, we love by laying down our will (and satan’s will!) for the benefit of someone else. And as wives, it is our duty (which is a moral and legal obligation) to wholeheartedly assist our husbands in raising OUR (which includes theirs!) children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And speaking of passing from death to life, that is the resurrection! THAT IS THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL. We were dead in our sin but now we have been raised to life in the spirit. Now, in Christ, we have the power to overcome ALL spiritual wickedness. And how to we do this? We DO this by DOING what is good and right. Especially when doing what’s good and right is the hardest!

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.  Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:18-21, NKJV)

Now it all seems simple but if you’re anything like me, you’ve let the situation (or in my case, circumstance) plague you with resentment and bitterness. This is a very dangerous place to be in. And I’m going to be honest, if you (or I!) die in this place we’re going straight to hell. So we have to climb out of this grave. And not just for ourselves, but for our husbands or for any other children in the situation because bitterness is contagious.

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:  looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;” (Hebrews 12:14-15, NKJV)

So, if you have bitterness in your heart don’t throw in the towel. There is hope. Confess your sins to the Lord (acknowledge them as wrong and hate them) and consider these four tips that have TREMENDOUSLY helped me out.

1. Pray

Prayer is tried in true. And that’s all I have to say about that.

2. Remember the golden rule

One of the greatest commandments is loving others as yourself. If we do not care for our stepchildren as we would (or do) our own then we will be in BIG trouble. Another thing I do is imagine a step parent hating and even possibly mistreating my children. Now if you love your kids like I love mine, then trust me, those thought’ll get you right.

3. Cast down vain imaginations

Stepchildren (and babymamas and sometimes even grandmothers!) can make your life seem UNBEARABLE. But that is a lie. Not only are there other people in the same situation but some of them have overcome it! Besides, God will not suffer us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. Sinful thoughts are what make painful emotions (and annoyances) unbearable.

No trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful: He will not let you be tried beyond what you are able to bear, but with the trial will also provide a way out so that you may be able to endure it.” ( 1 Corinthians 10:13, NET)

So, we have to take every thought captive. We have to stop replaying events and conversations in our heads over and over again. We have to stop imagining things that haven’t even happened yet! THERE IS NO FAITH IN THAT.  So let’s allow God to transform us and eventually our situations by the renewing of our minds.

• “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” ( 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NKJV)

• “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ( Philippians 4:8) 

4. Fear God (And of course, this is last but not least.)

Ultimately, we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must believe that all of those scriptures concerning love and treating others right also applies to us. God is no respecter of persons. We will be judged righteously. It’s no surprise to God that your spouse had a child (or children). So, welcome this kind of circumstance if not as anything else, as discipline. It is better to suffer in doing what is right than to be punished by God for doing what is wrong ( 1 Peter 3:17). When we obey God instead of contending for what we want (or think we deserve), we become those living sacrifices that are pleasing and acceptable to Him. So, let us worship our God and be good stewards of everything (including EVERYONE) He has entrusted to us♥

I hope this post has encouraged you in your situation, and if you know a step mother who is struggling PLEASE share this post with her. The struggle is REAL. And more importantly this could be a matter of spiritual life and death. God bless you all. Please email me if you are compelled to and also keep me in your prayers as well.

Much love, Brandi Collins

3 natural beauty tips for Christian women+ my must have natural “beauty” products

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Now if you didn’t know,  I don’t wear any make up or fake hair. I believe all of that stuff is ungodly and you can read more about that here. But just because I don’t wear makeup or dress in certain ways, doesn’t mean that I don’t have or understand the desires we as women have to look and feel pretty.

I never said that holiness equates to homelyness. No, we’re not supposed to obsess over our outward appearances but it is not a sin to look nice or presentable (according to what’s nice and presentable to God of course). So, I just wanted to clarify that and share 3 ways that I personally take care of my physical appearance.

1. By embracing our uniqueness

Let’s face it! We are called to be different. We are God’s very own representatives on the earth and God is HOLY. When you accept that painting your face is not of God and how we are told not to “fashion” ourselves after this world, then the holy Spirit can (and will) begin to direct you on what is and isn’t lovely and/or appropriate for those professing godliness.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)

As individuals,  we also have to accept what we were born with. For instance, I would prefer super long and thick healthy hair but my hair is super thin and currently shoulder length (I’m working on it!) but the point is, we may never have someone else’s skin tone, hair texture, body type etc. So we have to be content with who we are and in what we have.  And if it’s something you can naturally fix like your weight or my hair length then we have to be PATIENT. It didn’t take one day to gain 100 pounds  or to damaged your skin (or in my case hair!). So it’s going to take more than one day, one month or possibly even longer than one year for us to properly heal.

2. Eating well

Now this is also a very important tip. And as Christians, we should understand the concept of “FROM THE INSIDE OUT”. God, in all of His kindness and wisdom provided everything we need (through WATER, and every herb bearing seed and trees) to look and feel good physically. In addition to Genesis,  I know this to be true because I’m a vegetarian and I usually eat my food raw or cook every meal from scratch (And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with eating meat. There’s not!).  Now I don’t do much physical exercise other than indirectly through household chores, but my husband has been my motivation to start working out.  He looks (and says he feels) SO good just from doing daily push ups and of course, eating well.  If you’re into fitness, I would love to hear what works for you. And if you’re interested in what to eat (or in what I eat) just let me know and I’ll share all of that in an additional post.

3. Using Natural Products

Now this goes hand in hand with number 2 because the products we use on our bodies are just as important as what we’re eating.  I try to just stick with organic products that can also be used to cook with. But of course, just like every other woman I get enticed by lovely smells and by beautiful packaging 🙂 So whenever I do buy commercial products, I just make sure to read all of the ingredients and labels. You will never look and feel your best if you’re continuously dumping poison into your skin and gut.  So I encourage you to just stop and think about that. You may think that someone vain is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen but just wait until they take off all that make up and weave and all of that “trendy” clothing. It’s a deception. They don’t even want to see themselves like that. They might even be a man! It’s all lies and stumbling blocks. Beauty as we know it is NOT of God.

But anyway, that’s a whole’nother post. I  hope that you’ve enjoyed this one, and I want you all  to know that embracing (godly) femininity isn’t a crime, It’s a must!

With nothing but love, Brandi

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Now I literally just “woke up like this” (clear skin)

 

♥♥Here’s a list of my favorite, must  have products

Skincare:

African black soap and Shea Moisture’s Olive oil and Marula baby wash

My DIY Lavender body butter and my DIY Peppermint (or lemon) sugar scrub
Raw Shea butter
Unrefined Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Extra virgin Olive oil
Sweet almond oil
Castor oil
Vitamin E oil or capsules

Essential oils (100% pure essential oils can be expensive so I am slowly but surely building my collection. I have a few essential oils mainly for DIY household cleaning products but the ones I often use for bath and body are Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Peppermint.)

Hair care:

I am currently using ( and loving!) Shea moisture and Mielle products on my hair.  I definitely plan on making my own but for now it’s just trail and error. I  also use some of the oils on my hair that were mentioned above.

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♥♥Side note: If you’re interested, I also blogged on how I dress and How To choose modest apparel!

My Breastfeeding tips for first time nursing mothers

Being a mother definitely marks a new chapter in a woman’s life no matter how many times she may find herself with child. And for me, this time around has been very different because it is my first time breastfeeding.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding our baby girl Lauren for the past 10 months and have been wanting to give other first time nursing mothers a “head’s up”.  So keep in mind that this is just information on how to get started.  If you would like me to share more things on breastfeeding like how I pump or  increase (and decrease!) my milk supply, my nursing diet etc. then just let me know and I’ll make additional parts to this post. But in the meantime let’s get started!

Now the first thing that I would recommend for those of you who are new to breastfeeding is Google. Yes, do your research and get familiar with breasts.

I read COUNTLESS books and articles while I was pregnant. I even watched (way too many!) youtube videos. Some of them were of animals! Now of course you don’t have to be that extreme but I would definitely encourage you to research the process and to examine yourself. The more comfortable (and knowledgeable) you are with your breasts the easier it will be learning how to breastfeed, especially from other people.

And speaking of other people,
Read blogs and talk to other women with experience.

Don’t get me wrong, “professional” opinions are okay but you want to get advice from people who are actually experiencing (or have experienced) what you will be. No shade but I prefer someone who could offer me a little more than book reports and word of mouth. But to each her own. If you are the type to get peace of mind from consulting with professionals, just make sure you’re getting help from EXPERIENCED doctors or nurses who are (or at least want to be!) mothers. And if you have friends or family members who have breastfed then that’s even better. I didn’t have anyone so I asked to have a lactation consultant come and talk to me during our stay at the hospital. She was very helpful. She helped me get through the first couple of days because the nurses were making my experience VERY stressful. Which leads me into the next tip..

Relax and get to know your OWN baby. Always remember that everything isn’t for everybody.

Like I mentioned before, researching is a good thing but setting laws and standards isn’t. Allow yourself time to grow. Especially at the hospital. Your baby is not only new to breastfeeding but to BREATHING in general. Be patient and gentle. Don’t let anyone, not even the doctors ruin  your experience.  For what it’s worth, a lot of the videos I watched on latching were useless. At least for me and my baby.  And that’s the thing, you’ll learn what works best for you and your baby. Each and every family is different so don’t take everything to heart.

And speaking of the heart, Guard it!

We live in a very perverted generation where women think there’s strength in being masculine. Embrace your true femininity. There is nothing more beautiful than a submissive wife and selfless mother. You have to be encouraged because the majority of women will have that “I don’t know how you do it” attitude. Especially selfish mothers or women without children! Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Even if that means telling your husband that you don’t want any visitors until you guys figure some things out.

Get a manual breast pump

This will be your best friend. Especially if you have a fast let down or an over supply of milk like I did. Trust me,  get one while you’re pregnant and bring it to the hospital with you. And while you’re at it,  grab a few nipple shields too!

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The Lactation consultant at the hospital gave me this manual breast pump and some nipple shields. To this day, I have only used this pump. She doesn’t know how much of a blessing she has been!

Don’t buy into the hype

Now I have to throw this out there because there is nothing wrong with formula feeding! I didn’t breastfeed any of my older children and you wouldn’t know the difference (as far as development goes). Going forward my husband and I just decided to breastfeed because it’s natural and I am embracing godly femininity. Yes, I know that the food industry isn’t trust worthy but what I’m saying is, is just feed the baby.  Don’t let pride and/or idolatry creep up in it.

And last but not least, don’t give up! Just pray.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the things I learned in the beginning were not even applicable until I was about 3 or 4 months in. That’s why we’re repeatedly told not to give up. Especially not within the first 3 months. It really does get easier. I wanted to give up SO many times. So ultimately, my advice to you would be not to give up when it gets tough, just PRAY! That is what has helped me the most.  At the end of the day, no one can help you more with this than God. And not only because He’s GOD but because breastfeeding was all His idea!! He strategically designed our bodies to give (and to receive) His provision. So ask Him to help you and your baby do all that He had originally intended.

So yeah,  I hope that this post helps! And I would love to hear all about your breastfeeding experiences or aspirations!

Group hug!!

Brandi

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Me nursing Lauren❤

How to choose Modest apparel

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. NET)

If you haven’t read my post on how I dress as a Christian woman then you should also check that out because this post is just going to be about how to choose modest apparel.

Now, I know that there are a lot of “white washed” women out here but that doesn’t justify vanity or lack of discretion. Because either way,  a woman who is truly holy and God fearing will not present her body in a provocative (or worldly) manner.

Generally speaking , the outward appearance really is a reflection of the sanctification process that’s taking place within. I am a witness to this! I started dressing different because my MIND changed about what I used to believe was cute or appropriate for godly women. This is just one of the ways we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then can we truly tell whether we are dressing appropriately or not.

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It’s like how is it that we think that we’re so set apart when we look (and behave!) just like the women of the secular world. It’s because we’re deceived! And I remember being in that place, not even considering the fact that my clothes didn’t match my profession (which was that I was a Christian woman who knew God). Looking back I can admit that I was all talk. Obviously, I did not know God or have His spirit because if I did, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable dressing raunchy and provocative.

But again, this post isn’t about the way I dress. I believe that we need to leave our own personal convictions (or decisions) out of the equation lest we cause division. Therefore, I’m just giving you some things to consider in general as you get dressed as a “Kingdom Ambassador”.

Because that’s the thing,  if anything, we are to be exalting God, not our clothing! If you are still trying to express yourself through “fashion” then you are still a little immature. And that just real.  That immodest heart (and mindset!) is all about emulating others and worshiping Self. It’s about drawing attention from men (and other women!) to your body and sexuality.  It is about trying to be beautiful and desirable when you are should be continuously dying to yourself (your will and desires). On the contrary, true Modesty is about humbling ourselves and exalting God. It’s about honoring our body (which is God’s temple), other people (especially other people’s marriages and children) and the scriptures. I can still be feminine without being vain or inappropriate. In fact, godly femininity doesn’t even require all of that.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

If I really want to dress Modesty then the Bible tells me exactly how to do that. We are even told what to “put on” spiritually!

  • This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-20)
  • Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)
  • Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Colossians 3:12-14)

So after we start there, we can began to assess whether or not our physical clothing is appropriate.  You may even find yourself  shopping at different places then you would normally. I am 5’8 and I weight about 135 pounds so right now, in the current state of this world, the only place I can find modest apparel for my body type is at the goodwill.

Eventually I plan on making my own clothes but for now this is where I shop and STILL I have to check myself. When choosing the right apparel it can be very helpful to ask yourself things like:

Why do I like this shirt, skirt or dress (etc.)?

Am I at peace with it or am I indecisive?

Does this cost too much?

Do I find self worth or value in designer items? Do labels puff me up? Would I feel some type of way wearing cheap or resale clothes?

What type of people usually wear these prints or trends (etc)? Am I emulating celebrities or will I be associated with ungodly groups of people?

Am I seeking the admiration or approval of men (and women!) or am I seeking the approval of God?

Do (or will) I look like I have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ wearing this or would people assume that I am living the American dream or the night life?

Is this clothing too tight or see through in the natural light??

Are areas close to my private parts (thighs, stomach, cleavage etc.) exposed? Are my private areas showing? Would they show if I  bend/ lean over,  sit down, reach up etc.??

Do I feel sexy or fierce wearing this? Do I feel socially (economically) puffed up wearing this?

Do I get fashion inspiration from celebrities or from other people on social media who don’t know or love God?

These are just some things to think about. We should be asking ourselves these kinds of questions because not only are we to abstain from the appearance of evil but because Modesty is an attitude. So is my attitude concerning the way I dress selfish and prideful? or am I thinking of others?? And if the process has just begun, am I willing to let go of all my favorite clothes that do not glorify God because I love Him more than anything and I understand that I am not my own!?

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

So, now that we know that we are to dress with humility in a respectable manner not being inconsiderate or flashy, we do not seek to draw attention to ourselves knowing that our true beauty and identity comes from our godly character in Christ Jesus. I love you all my precious sisters and if you are able to, please share your transformation pictures and/or stories with us!

With nothing but love,

Brandi

 

Being a homemaker: Why I quit my job to stay home full-time

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”(Proverbs 31:27)

In a generation where being a “boss” chick takes precedence over assisting your husband and raising children, it’s no surprise that quitting my job to stay home full-time seemed to be anything but noble.

I remember old friends and family members being a bit concerned because financially speaking, we shouldn’t have been able to make that move. But that’s the thing, I didn’t become a stay at home wife or a homeschooling mom to try and keep up with the Joneses. My husband and I understood the seriousness of fostering a godly family.

We knew that there was no way for me to truly be attentive to my husband (or available for my children) working a full time job with crazy retail hours. And for me, the solution wasn’t to just get another job because taking a step down (or working part-time) in some ways still meant neglecting my God-given responsibilities.

You see homemaking is so much more than just lounging around in your pajamas all day long, and it is certainly more than just cooking and cleaning or doing NEVER ENDING laundry. So I want to share what it is that I actually do at home, and I hope in the midst to encourage some of you who are either new to homemaking or weary in well doing.

So first things first, being suitable for the kingdom and for my husband.

Now I married a man who loves God and is seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, so that means that he is often a target for hatred and ridicule. My job is to not only BE but to create (and maintain!) a peaceful, loving and godly place for him to rest and to regroup after a hard exhausting day.

Now I don’t know about you but there is NO peace or love or gentleness or GOODNESS in and of myself. I get these qualities from walking very closely with the Lord. If I were still out  working some stressful and unfulfilling (or exciting and “fulfilling”) job, I wouldn’t have the time, energy or even the desire to spend my extra time praying and reading the Bible or marriage blogs. And I’m just being honest! Staying home allows me to go as deep as I want with the Lord, without any vain distractions or divided loyalty between Him and work . The Lord is my foundation. So first of all, I spend my days at home seeking Him and His ways. THEN I can begin to built or “make” my life and marriage pleasant with a renewed mind and with fruits of the Spirit.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Discipling my children

Before I got married I was a single (and working!) mother of 3 children, so I understand that you have to do the best that you can do. But now that I am married with a working husband there is no need for me to work or to desperately allow my children to be raised by daycare providers and teachers unbelievers.

This world is blatantly pushing Satan’s agenda and I would be a fool to just volunteer my children over to the system. Mothers have been given such a big and awesome responsibility to primarily raise the children upright in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And I don’t care what the world says,  I know from experience that you can NOT do that wholeheartedly at work.

It’s like we’re always looking for some grand opportunity to witness to somebody as we overlook our very own children who also need to hear AND SEE the gospel. And by no means does this mean that my children are perfect (or exempt from anything) but that’s okay because I’m not raising them upright for my own pride or glory anyway.

This life is not a game. And even though ultimately they have to live their own, my job as a parent is to lead them (by example!) onto the right path in hopes that they’ll go on to follow Jesus.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

So yeah, basically, that is why I quit my job to stay home full-time. And what a blessing it is to be able to serve and to commit like this!

Much love,
Brandi

Being Modest: How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

 

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Around this time I was a professing Christian and going to church faithfully. 

When I look at old pictures of myself I just can not believe how unseemly I carried myself as a woman claiming to be like Jesus. We, as in Christian women are so entangled in this world that now we’re dressing up vanity as Modesty which has nothing to do with apparel. We are being taught that being modest means throwing on a “cute” dress with some heels and some jewelry! But true modesty is about character. It’s about humility which yes, can be seen in the way we carry ourselves but it does not stem from how we dress. 

“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

You see a woman who is truly modest will most likely go unnoticed because she isn’t trying to draw vain glory to herself, not even through her clothing. And I know that some of you may think that God isn’t that concerned about the outward appearance but in context, that is not true either. We are to glorify God  (not our flesh!) in our bodies and our spirit.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor 6:19-20)

I have been led to cover my body with long, loose fitting skirts and dresses because it is not God’s will that we be objectified or stumbling blocks to other people. 

Now just for the record, I don’t think that it’s sin for a woman to wear pants. Are there pants that are inappropriate and completely demonic!?? YES. But in a general sense I believe that the scripture being referred to here is really just condemning homosexuality and cross dressing. But then again, I am not God so my opinion doesn’t even matter. You have to make sure that you are being led by His spirit.

So with that being said, I encourage you to seek the Lord concerning the way you dress because there is no godliness or modesty in emulating celebrities or other worldly women on Instagram (or Pinterest!). I’m just sayin’…

With nothing but love,

Brandi

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Now, a typical outfit for me would be a tank top tucked into a maxi shirt, and when I leave the house I usually throw on a cardigan or my denim jacket. If you’re interested, I blog more about How To choose Modest apparel here

Being Humbled: My Head covering experience

Funny how we’ll jump head first (no pun intended) into anything that this world suggests but when it comes to this bible we claim to believe, every little thing is questioned. Now even though I am not here to debate head coverings because the scriptures are very clear on whether or not Christian women should cover their heads..

“But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.” (1 Corinthians 11:16)

I just want to encourage my sisters who want to grow in the Lord to learn how to submit to something other than their feelings. The truth is, is that only a woman who is ignorant and carnal or vain would have a problem covering her head in public when its time to pray because we sure don’t have a problem tying our hair up in scarves to make fashion statements! 

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(I’ll use myself as an example!)

I started covering my head about a year ago but to be honest, it was mainly because I had cut all of my damaged hair off. I thought that my intentions were pure but as my hair grew, my confidence too and my true motives were exposed.

Now even though my head covering journey started off completely in vain, I have grown from covering my head in so many ways. First of all, it is humbling. Like I said, wearing a head covering quickly exposed the pride and vanity in my heart. And even though a woman choosing to shave her head (to feel empowered or liberated)  is shameful I believe that God allowed it to bring me low. It forced me to deal with my insecurities and now I am starting to embrace myself without validation from other people.  

Wearing a head covering has also been a blessing to my marriage. 

2017-11-29-12-10-17 (1)-1Through it the holy Spirit has taught me so much about submission and my position as a woman. Not only have I become passionate about honoring men and their GOD GIVEN authority over women, but I have learned how to “help” instead of hindering them with my physical appearance. I am softer (as in gentle) and quieter than I’ve ever been before and even though meekness is generally frowned upon, it is admirable to God.

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

(1 Peter 3:1-4)

Now as far as my prayer life goes, all I know is that I have had a desire to pray more but there are some amazing testimonies out there from other sisters who can confirm becoming more effective concerning spiritual warfare. If you’re one, I would love to hear your story so please share and may the Lord bless us all in pursuing His will 🙂

Much love,

Brandi

Why I no longer wear makeup or hair weaves

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Now I want to address this topic because there are a lot of women coming forth saying that God told them to stop wearing makeup, and there are also a lot of women who are truly pursuing the Lord and just want to know if they could or shouldn’t be wearing it. Now unfortunately, this is a very controversial topic and everyone’s opinions seem to be very biased but we have to be careful not to try and justify OUR OWN desires because our desires apart from God are satanic. They’re carnal!

We as Christian women really need to mature in the Lord because painting our faces and wearing hair sacrificed to idols (research Tonsuring and Chudakarma) shouldn’t even be up for discussion. Wearing makeup is worldly and it doesn’t produce any truth or righteous fruit. So no, I no longer wear it. What’s the use?

It’s vanity, which has no place in the lives OR HEARTS of those claiming to be like Jesus.

 “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

What’s in our hearts plays a major part in influencing the way we carry ourselves. So if you want to talk about the issue of the heart the issue of the heart is pride, no matter how you try to spin it!

We want to adorn our flesh because we aren’t abiding in the Spirit, and some of us are just so insecure that we’re seeking validation from this world.

I don’t care what’s trending or changing with the “culture”, the holy Spirit has never and will never inspire us to modify or to pervert God’s creation—that’s satan. When we try to “enhance” ourselves, in our hearts we believe that God didn’t make us good or “fun” and appealing enough. But who told you that!? Again, that’s a LIE straight from the devil himself!

Now am I saying that those of us who don’t wear makeup are going to heaven?  No. Not necessarily because being natural alone does NOT make you holy. God desires that we repent of living sinful lifestyles so understand that throwing out your MAC and bundles just a start! It’s been about 2 years now and I’m STILL transitioning so I can assure you that if you won’t even give up a tube of lipstick you have not truly given your LIFE to Him.

With love,

Brandi

 

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