…Statement Necklace

JBA Statement NecklaceLast Saturday, I co-hosted a Stella & Dot Trunk Show for my girl aka your stylist, Karen. Along with my co-host, I had a great time prettying up the venue, receiving a few of our good friends and simply spending quality time together. As we and our guests tried on array of chic jewelry, we enjoyed too many desserts and made an effort to style each other in accessories that complimented our outfits and fit our personal styles best.

Each piece that we put on really seemed to enhance, or adorn, our outfit of the day. Whether the bracelets or earrings were made of ribbon or 14 karat gold, we all had plans on how to pair them and liven up our existing wardrobe. And, whether the necklaces (my personal favorites) and rings showcased semi-precious stones, jewels or sterling silver, they each made a beautiful statement.

After a day of gawking at my preferred selections and calculating the costs, I questioned the statement pieces I’d chosen for my wish list. Were these timeless pieces? Would these be the optimal additions to my collection?

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Listen, my son, to your Father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They will be garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. Proverbs 1:7-9

My child, do not lose sight of wisdom and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. Proverbs 3:21-22 (NLT)

There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. Proverbs 20:15 (NKJV)

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening [obedient] ear. Proverbs 25:11

Wisdom. Knowledge. Discernment. A timely word. Discipline. Obedience. These are precious, invaluable and necessary embellishments of life. These make the statement of character and a life under His Lordship. And, these will be getting more of my attention today. Jesus be a statement necklace.

…Housekeeper

I’m not the best steward over this home He’s given me. I cannot maintain it in my own strength or will. Accordingly, my heart and my mind need deep cleanings that apparently only a professional housekeeper can accomplish. I’m resolving to be intentional in proclaiming “Jesus Be a Housekeeper” of my temple, periodically daily. David did it; so I can too, and so can you. #justsayin

Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. …Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow… Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:2, 7, 10 (KJV)

…Beauty Secret

JBA Beauty Secret 2

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times that I’ve thought to myself “I would be beautiful if…my skin was smoother; my nose was pointier; my teeth were whiter; my feet were smaller; I wasn’t so skinny (I haven’t been able to proclaim this in several years, but I digress); my hair was fuller; I were shorter; etcetera”. From the times I stood in the mirror as a child, pinching my nose to make it a little less flat (yes, I believed it would actually work) to the application of a layer of BB cream to my face this morning, I have exerted constant thought and effort on an almost daily basis to achieve my self-imposed standard of cuteness.

Beauty is something we all want. It originates in the Lord, and is an innate desire. Therefore, I do not believe that there is anything wrong in seeking it. Yet, because we live in a broken world, we tend to seek this good thing in unwholesome ways.

According to Dr. Elliot Feit, any woman can be beautiful if the focus is in the right place. “The key ingredient is godliness, which expresses itself in her being selfless, a good listener, kind, and caring. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you’ll never walk alone.”

Do not let your adorning be external – the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4 ESV

Despite our unbalanced focus on exterior appearances, He looks to our heart. Thus, beauty is achieved when we, the creation, most closely exemplify and glorify our Creator. *True story. Beauty secret revealed!*

In addition to your outward beauty regimen, what inward trait are you being prompted to focus on today? Today, mine is gentleness.

…Personal Inauguration

JBA Personal Inauguration

inauguration noun \-ˌnȯ-gyə-ˈrā-shən, -gə-\: 1. the act of starting a new operation or practice 2. a formal beginning or introduction

The highly anticipated, second inauguration of our 44th President is now a part of history. The formal ceremony, which marked the beginning of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s next 4 year term of office, was attended by roughly 1 million and watched by many more. A new chapter for the US has officially started; and according to Alicia Keys, a new day has begun.

We all may not have the opportunity to become inducted as the President of our country. Yet, we each have the chance to experience our own inauguration – our own fresh start at an abundant life. Lovingly, He has made this chance available to us.

In our free will, we have the option to choose a new beginning. But, how can you and I boldly walk in that decision? Paul tells us that…

…Everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you. Ephesians 4:22-24 (MSG)

I encourage you to claim your own, “Jesus be a Personal Inauguration” today. Your victory may not be witnessed by millions, but He’s promised that it will be celebrated thoroughly!

He makes all things new (Revelation 21:5 ESV). I’m choosing to take Him up on the offer. Will you?

…Longing Desire

My soul yearns, even faints…my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:2

Lord, I want to yearn for You
I want to burn with passion
Over You, and only You
Lord, I want to yearn

May this be our heart and our prayer.

…Strong Sillage

Chanel No 5Have you ever been alone in a space, but given the lingering fragrance, it was quite apparent that someone different was just there? That mystery aroma was ‘sillage’.

The French word, pronounced \see-yazh\, describes that scented trail left in the atmosphere by someone wearing perfume or cologne. It means ‘wake,’ as in the trace of smoke left in the sky by an airplane or the stream that remains on the water from a moving boat. Sillage defines how aroma diffuses around a fragrance wearer. The stronger the sillage, the stronger that aroma projects and mingles with its surroundings.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15

We are called to be a noticeable difference. God desires to use each of us for the projection and representation of Christ in every space — in everywhere that we go, in every conversation, in every thought and in every bit of what we do. Our presence amongst family, friends, co-workers and strangers should be a fragrant cologne or a spritz (or two) of perfume, emanating and diffusing His refreshing love and grace. As believers, our character is held to a standard of distinction. And, therefore among those who are being saved and those who are of the world, we should be so intentional that our actions and words bring forth a scent and lingering realization of who He is. Simply put, God’s heart for His people ought to be propagated through us.

But, how is it even possible to truly be the pleasing aroma of Christ?

Before the gift of Jesus Christ, burnt offerings and sacrifices were made to God. The fragrance of these sacrifices reached and pleased the Lord (e.g., Genesis 8:20-21, Numbers 29:36). Although we are no longer required to make these types of tangible offerings and sacrifices, Romans 12:1 charges us, by the mercies of God to, “…to offer [y]our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”.

If we give ourselves fully, to be used in ways that are holy and pleasing to Him and in ways that represent Him in love, then through Him it is possible to be the pleasing, intermingling aroma of Christ.

Be a strong sillage. Be different amongst your surroundings. Permeate Saturate your environment with His aroma.

…Whatever

On our way to church, my husband and I make it a point to pray together. We’ve dubbed this time and our route as “prayer road” (not that creative, but eh). This past Sunday, while our parents joined our “prayer road” moment, the hubs assumed his position and started us off in our conversation with Christ. In the midst of such a profound, heartfelt and intimate prayer, he simply asked the Lord to bless “Jesus Be a…{long pause}…whatever. blog” and each of JBA’s readers.

After my initial *gasp* and side-eye at the “Jesus Be a…whatever” statement, I realized that he was actually on to something. In that moment, he could not instantly pinpoint what he wanted Jesus “to be”; not because he could not think quickly enough, but because Jesus is everything good and far better than we can even fathom to ask for.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:13-14

He can do everything, anything and whatever we ask for. He is everything, anything and whatever we need.

What are you seeking Him out to be today? Just ask.

Jesus is.