Just a Piece of Paper

Forever the statement will be etched in my memory…

We were hurriedly checking into a hotel in Jacksonville, FL trying to get into the room so that we could change from our travel clothes and get to a church service on time. In conversation my husband and I happened to mention to the hotel receptionist just how long we had been married. To which she replied, “It’s just a piece of paper.” I was in shock and regrettably did not get to respond, but the comment still haunts me and the answer still burns in me. So now, to this young lady and others that have this mindset, I have to challenge that statement.

Tell the graduate from High School or the student who just got their doctorate that it’s “just a piece of paper”. Tell the 16 year old that just got their drivers license, that proudly shows it off to friends and family, that its “just a piece of paper”. Tell that to the physician that has his license on the wall. Tell the new home owner that signed a mortgage and keeps it safely in a fire vault that it’s “just a piece of paper”. Tell the elderly man that holds the hand of his dying wife after over 50 years together that it’s “just a piece of paper”.

The day I walked down that aisle, I knew that I was wholeheartedly committing my future to the man waiting for me and it forever redirected my life. That piece of paper has represented years of commitment and memories and has affected the lives of so many around us. There is a universe of difference between a private promise and a public vow. That public vow shows you are willing to put your name on the line and to commit unselfishly to the cause of another.

No job will hire you if you forego the interview process that includes a contract and agreement. How much more important is an agreement that says for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part?

In fact, we invited several hundred friends and family to our wedding and just two years ago to our eldest daughter’s wedding to witness the signing of this piece of paper. This piece of paper’s value can not be declared like that of a $100 bill, because how do you put monetary value on unselfish, undying commitment. The risk it takes for two people willing to lay it all on the line.

I have a family that has directly been effected by that piece of paper. In fact we had a big 25th celebration over “just a piece of paper”. Friends and family far and near came because of that marriage license.

Just because some may make light of that paper and not keep their commitment, does not make it less valuable for those who do. In fact, this piece of paper becomes more valuable with age because behind it stands years of commitment, stickability, and happy and sad tears in a world where this kind of loyalty is becoming rare.

Moms, let us combat the flippant attitude of this world. I encourage you to find your marriage license and share with your children it’s value. Let us show the next generation that it is so much more than a “piece of paper”.

Mark 10:9 – What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

about-mom

Tammy Huba and her husband, Daniel, pastor in Tallahassee, FL. She is a graduate of Jackson College of Ministries with a Bachelor’s of Music. She is a motivational speaker, accomplished musician and vocalist, but most of all… the mom to three incredible girls.

*Featured Image: Intimate Weddings

My Journey to Modesty

Since I’ve been on campus at Sewanee University in Sewanee, TN –  I feel inspired to witness truth to all those that I encounter. I hope to be a light to all people: Buddhist, Hindu, agnostic and those who just don’t know Jesus. Because of this, I have felt inspired in my commitment to modesty all over again because covering my body in a college environment is something that people notice and it gives them an opportunity to ask me questions. Then I get to tell them why I do what I do, and more.

I don’t feel worried when people ask me “Why do you dress the way you do?” Instead I feel excited to answer these people. At Sewanee I dress just as I do for church even without my parents influence. I do not have anyone checking in on me but I do it because it makes me feel closer to God. My roommate Miranda from China said, “Wow you only wear skirts because you are a real lady!” and she says to all of her foreign friends, “Alexa has religion. That is why she dresses like a beautiful modest lady.” Even Miranda who knows nothing about Jesus or the Bible recognizes the beauty in clothing yourself modestly and she has given me the perfect opportunity to talk about Jesus. I connect a fashion blog I do with College Fashion and this is one of the ways I make it relative to non-apostolic girls at Sewanee! I also incorporate Sewanee events that I am dressing for, in edition to sharing about all the BEST sales.

alexa-collage

Here are some of my favorite modesty tips and tricks:

  1. Layering Skirts: These skirts are fitted and I have one in all the neutral tones. Their purpose it to be put with a long shirt. The shirt covers my bottom so that the tight part of the skirt isn’t shown.
  2. Slip Extenders: If a skirt or dress isn’t long enough, slip extenders can take an outfit up a notch and make it modest as well! Also, it isn’t just apostolic girls wearing these right now! Yay for a trend we can rock too. You can find them on Etsy and at Alter’d State. They run around $50 so be prepared to invest. I promise it’s worth it in the end.
  3. Blazers: I love Blazers as they can dress up a BASIC OLD T. I love J Crew graphic comfy T Shirts but sometimes they just are not dressy enough so I add a blazer. This is an area where I love fun + classic! I love plaid, polka dot, neon, and basically any high end blazer!
  4. Crop tops: They work great for layering under clothes but not adding any more layers on the stomach! (I hate having a line or bunched up layer. It makes it extra hot and it’s not trimming for me.) I have one in every color from forever 21 and they are as cheep as $4!
  5. Sewing: Learning to sew makes your life 10X easier. Sewing gives you endless opportunities to make a look your own and make a look modest! Learn to sew, I promise it is worth it!

alexa-blogger

Alexa Dudley is 18 years old. She’s majoring in business/international and global studies and is on a pre-nursing track. Her hobbies include taking videos, blogging on her site www.1998miss.com, traveling, singing and hanging out with her best friends. Her favorite store is JCREW and her biggest dream right now is to go to China on a mission trip.

Happy (Gal)entines Day!

That beautiful, sweet, romantic…-slightly antagonizing and dreadful reminder comes around the same time every year. Valentine’s Day. Stupid Holiday.

Actually, it’s a precious Holiday. It celebrates love! God is love (1 John 4:8), we have love from our friends, family, and (for us single ladies) an anticipation of a love yet to be discovered.

I want to challenge you. If you’re single-listen up! If you’re in a relationship (dating, engaged, or married) – listen up! This applies to all of us.

Love can be so shallowly made to only reflect romantic affairs. We can give thanks to Hollywood, pop-artists, and worldly input for that! Love started way before romance or dating was an idea. Love started at the very begging of life itself.

God created Adam and Eve. His heart was full of love. Admiration, affection, adoration…I know He felt it all. Simply read scripture. He cared for them, walked with them (Gen. 3:8), cherished every moment together, protected and treasured them. There was no romance or dating/engaged/marriage status for the Lord to post on heavenly Facebook. Still, His love was selfless, pure, faithful, and true. The most perfect love a human being can experience. (John 15:13)

We know that one craves companionship, hence the reason God made us in the first place. Yes- God almighty wanted fellowship. So bad that he was willing to create it! Poor thing must’ve been feeling lonely…

So, once Adam was created, God didn’t want him to go through the same torment. He gave Adam Eve and Eve Adam. Cute. Adorable. And now it seems that the same craving and desire to have that special someone has continued from our very first parents.

So, don’t feel bad. You are not a pathetic, helpless, desperate love-sick girl. You are feeling that nature of the essence in which God created you. No shame. Where it becomes a shame is when you think the only love that can satisfy you and make you happy is the love you receive from a romantic relationship. Don’t insult God!

I pray that each of you look at this Valentine’s Day differently from the ones of the past years. Drown yourself in the love of those around you. Have a “Gal”entines Day dinner with your girl and watch chick-flicks all night! Grab a few friends and have a fun “Pal”entines Day event! Be with your family and show your love by buying small gifts or planning a fun activity. There is love all around you, if you’ll only open your eyes and see it.

So, if you’re not single- Happy Valentine’s Day! Don’t neglect the other loves in your life this Holiday. If you are single- Happy Galentine’s Day! Celebrate love…

1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The Confessions of a Soul-Winner

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” – Matthew 28:19.

Key word: Go. One simple two-letter verb that weighs so heavily on our hearts. Go means to move from one place to another. No matter what physical move you are taking, you will always make a spiritual move first. A move to trust and not be afraid, a move out of your comfort zone and into the Lord’s will, a move that will not only change your life, but will impact the lives around you. Just one move can make a difference in the world around you.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is hard to go. It’s hard to move out of your comfort zone and do what the Lord has laid on your heart. It’s hard to be the only one in your school attending your P7 meeting. It’s hard to ask someone to church in fear of being rejected. It’s hard to start a campus ministry while you already have a full course load on top of a job. Going is hard, but we have to remember that the alternative is much harder.

Watching people in this world commit suicide because they have no hope left is hard. Watching people be so far into depression that they see no light is hard. Watching people fill their lives with drugs and alcohol to numb the pain or just make themselves feel a little bit better is hard. Seeing people everyday make themselves into something they are not just to fit in because they can’t find their own identity is hard. Watching people give themselves in any part of their lives just to feel accepted is hard. Watching people hurting and not being able to find peace should be harder for you than stepping out of your comfort zone.

We have the answer. We have the key. We have this beautiful truth that can save these people, these souls. It has to be harder for us to keep this truth to ourselves than to go and teach people about the one true living Savior. This world needs a Savior. This world needs a light. This world needs YOU. There is a responsibility attached to this truth you hold. Don’t keep this truth to yourself, but go and teach all people, all nations, baptizing them in the name of Jesus Christ. Go be a light in this world of darkness. God has called you and souls are waiting for you. Go.

about sarah

Sarah Barnhill, 21, is from Texas and is the middle sibling out of three girls in the Barnhill family. She recently graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with her Bachelor’s degree. Her favorite snack happens to be Cheddar Jalapeno Cheetos!