Monthly Archives: April 2015

Worse Before Better

Celeste-podcast

celestebarnard.com

Have you ever noticed that sometimes things get worse before they get better? In this podcast I talk about how sometimes things worse before they get better, but going through the hard stuff is worth it! To deal with the stuff we sometimes sweep under the rug and confront uncomfortable issues so that we can be free to be all that He’s called us to be.

Hebrews 12:1- Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

 

Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if these podcasts have been a blessing to you or encouraged you in any way! Thank you!!

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

group of hippy teens or young womenProverbs 31:10 (ESV)- Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

How did everyone do last week on our challenge of watching the words we say about ourselves? Today I’m talking about being beautiful. Growing up I have struggled with self-esteem issues, most all linked to my past. As a child, I never remember feeling pretty. I do remember being a bit chunky and going through the awkward JR High years. Plain face, larger nose, boys haircut, and a few extra pounds. Not very promising for a JR high girl. Then in High School I figured out the whole make up thing, lost weight, and found my identity in being a rebel. I often tried to be the class clown and was always in trouble. I liked this new found image. I enjoyed the attention (although negative from many) and started getting noticed from the boys. The only problem was, I was still that insecure little girl on the inside who had to grow up way too fast. My idea of beauty and love was very distorted.

Unfortunately, this carried into my adult life. I felt like my self worth was based on how good I looked- my image. I opened up credit cards I couldn’t afford to pay. I wore things that didn’t leave much to the imagination. There was still a little girl on the inside crying out…’Do you think I’m beautiful?’

It wasn’t until I had tried everything else, that I had decided to give this Jesus a try. A friend kept inviting me to a Bible Study, and I finally said yes. (There’s SO much more to my testimony, but we will save that for another blog). I started reading His Word, and found out that God was crazy about me. I found out that He loved me just the way I was. I didn’t have to do anything to make Him love me. He just did, because I was His.  I didn’t have to wear designer clothes or even do my make up for that matter. God thinks I’m beautiful! Wow!

The King is enthralled by your beauty. –Psalm 45:11

I think that’s why this particular Dove commercial moved me so much. As women we still default back to being okay with putting ourselves down or thinking less of ourselves, like it’s being humble. We need to give ourselves permission to feel good about how God made us and accept our natural beauty, being happy with the way He made us (not what the magazines and culture try to sell us as beautiful).

I have made a full circle today. I still love to wear cute clothes, but it’s not my identity and it’s not who I am. It’s only a small part of me. I know that God just thinks I’m so stinkin beautiful just the way I am!

  • God thinks you are beautiful.
  • He is wild in love with YOU.
  • He is crazy about you.
  • He loves you so much that He can’t wait to spend more time with you.

Song of Solomon 4:7- You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.

God sees us as flawless. White as snow with no blemish. So the next time you start looking at your flaws, remember that God created you this way and YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL!

For a great read on this topic, I highly recommend Angela Thomas‘ book Do You Think I’m Beautiful?

 

 

I Surrender

Celeste-podcastcelestebarnard.com

 

In today’s podcast I share about my crazy morning. I talk about the importance of starting your day right- in His Word. What it looks like to depend on His strength instead of trying to do things in our own strength. And when we are going through hard times, how that has the potential to lead us closer to God, not farther away, if we’ll let it.

1 Chronicles 16:11- Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Don’t forget to leave an iTunes review and subscribe if these podcasts have blessed you in any way! Thank you!

Subscribe & follow at iTunes

 

 

 

Beautiful Thoughts

Summer girl portrait

I’ve been really moved lately by the new ad campaign from Dove. The truth from these commercials reveal something powerful about our thoughts- not just in regards to our thoughts in general, but our thoughts about ourselves. Today I’m going to start a short series and just get the dialog going because I want everyone to watch these videos.

Magazines, photo shop, and our culture have skewed our view of what beauty really is. And we have a culture of young girls growing up believing the lie- believing that they must be a certain size, a certain shape, and look a certain way in order for them to call themselves beautiful. And having what I would say are some incredibly gorgeous friends throughout my life, what I’ve noticed is that they were some of the most insecure people when it came to their looks.

This particular Dove video hit me. I watched it a few weeks ago and re-watched it this morning. Sobbing. If I were to ask you to grab journal and keep it with you this week, and every time you had a thought about yourself, or had some self talk (opinion) about yourself to write it down, I wonder what your journal would say?  I have to be honest, mine might include muffin top and big nose. And then there are the other little comments we say about ourselves like, “Oh, I always do that,” or I catch myself saying this rather frequently, “Oh, I’m a terrible cook,” when actually, I’m really not. Why do we do that? Why do we discount who we are or how God’s made us? What are some thoughts you say to yourself about yourself? This week I want to challenge you to keep a little notepad with you. Every time you have a thought about yourself, I want to challenge you to write it down. And we’ll meet back here next week to see how we did. I want us to see ourselves as God sees us, not how the world has made us feel like we should see ourselves or to allow the worlds image to dictate how we should view beauty. PLEASE watch this video!!

Dove- One beautiful Thought

So many people struggle with negative thoughts about themselves. We’ve all done it. We don’t realize the power our thoughts have over us. We say things like we’re overweight, we’re undisciplined, we’re not good with people, we’ll never change that habit, we’re not good at having people over for dinner, etc. And we shape who we are by the negative thoughts we believe about ourselves. Lies- all lies.

When we have negative thoughts, we need to start training ourselves to ask these questions, “What does God say about me?” And, “Would God say that about me?”

We are made in His image and He does not make mistakes. He has fashioned and formed us just like we are and He loves us as we are. He is thinking good thoughts about us all day long.

The way to change our thoughts from negative thinking is to spend more time thinking about His thoughts (His Word) than we do focused on our own negative internal self talk. Start your day with His thoughts.

After a week of writing down all of your internal negative talk, go back and search out what God’s Word says about who you are. Be confident and love the person He has made you to be and you will not only feel better about yourself, but you will shine as the beautiful person He has made you to be. We need to be an example to the next generation of daughters that beauty isn’t on the outside, but true beauty is what’s on the inside. And confidence is gorgeous!

You are beautiful. You are made in His image. He thinks you’re perfect!

1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB)- But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

 

He Restores All Things

single branch of cherry tree with white flowers floral backgroun

Joel 2:25a- The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost…”

Restore: Bring back; reinstate

Have you ever felt like the enemy has taken so much away from you? Do you feel discouraged because you’ve messed up and feel far away from God? Can I tell you today that we serve a God who restores all things?

I used to wonder how God could use me when I had been through so much. Not only was I abused as a child, but also my mother was an alcoholic and her life was cut short due to her alcoholism. In High School I dropped out of school. I felt broken and had no hope of good things to come.

But God restores.

In the book of Job, God allowed Satan to come against Job. Job lost everything- his family, his livestock, his health. In the end, God blessed him with twice as much as he had before.

I just love the promise that God gives us- He will turn around everything the enemy meant for evil and use it for His glory (Romans 8:28). Nothing is ever wasted. I love how God can not only heal those hurts from the past, but also use them. He has given back so much more in my life than I could have ever asked for. He gave me an amazing husband, three beautiful kids, and called me to use the pain from my past to reach out to other people. What once was a heavy heart has now been replaced with the joy of the Lord. I am truly humbled as I look at what God has restored in my life. If God can do it for me, He can do it for anyone!

Dear Lord, would you take those scars and that pain from the past and use them for your glory? I pray you would heal our hurts and restore seven fold everything the enemy has tried to take from us. If we’re feeling far away from you, would you restore our relationship and draw us back to you? Thank you that you restore all things! Amen.

Our Big Red Adventure

Big Red Adventure

…….We sold our brand new house that we were so blessed to live in for a year, we moved in with my in-laws (thinking maybe for 6 months), we pulled all 3 kids out of private school and I started doing what I said I would never do, home-school. It was our dream to get a particular piece of property and live there and run the ministry from there year-round (and by the way, that part still is our dream). But finances didn’t come through. We ended up living with my in-laws for a whole year, and what was off to an exciting start turned into, “What have we done?”…….

To read more about our Big-Red Adventure, go to: God-Sized Dreams

Brave People

Celeste-podcast

Be Your Best Brave- In this podcast I share my heart on what it means to be your best brave. I meet so many brave people everyday. And the reason why many of us don’t see ourselves as brave is because we’re too busy comparing ourselves to others so our brave feels inferior. But God never meant for us to compare, but only share our brave stories. And He has given each of us unique gifts and talents so that we can be our best brave! Be encouraged today. You are braver than you think.

Joshua 1:9 CEV- I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.

celestebarnard.com

To Subscribe on iTunes click here

To order Be Your Best Brave Journal from Amazon click here

Releasing Control

Family quarrel

Control. I’ve always fought for it. I never named it. I always thought it was just me wanting to be able to give my input and make decisions. Whenever I felt out of control in my marriage my frustrations would rise. And anger followed. I felt like a child who wasn’t getting their way.

And whenever I fought for my way and my husband stood his ground and made a decision I didn’t agree with, I would wait. Wait for him to fall and realize I was right and that he should have listened to me. After all, I knew better… or so I thought. But instead of it making me feel better when realizing I was right, I found myself just getting more and more frustrated. “Lord, why doesn’t this husband you’ve given me just listen?”

After almost 17 years of being married, the Lord has taught me a few things. Yes, I’m a slow learner. When my husband tells me of an idea, instead of reacting and wanting him to change his plans, I bite my tongue. I smile. If he asks, I give my opinion. But then I pray. I pray for understanding, I pray for him, that God would give him wisdom. And then I pray for me. I pray that God would take away the desire to control the situation. And I ask God to speak to Him. And then it’s out of my hands; it’s between him and God.

I can tell you there’s much more peace in our relationship today. Instead of trying to control him, I know he’s accountable to God, not to me. I’ve released him and can just enjoy him as my husband, not someone I’m always trying to control. And I know He enjoys the marriage more because he doesn’t feel like I’m trying to control his every move. When he does make a decision I don’t agree with and I see it backfire, I remain quiet. The lesson in itself is painful enough; he doesn’t need to hear it from me. That’s how I know our marriage has matured over the years- I want him to succeed and I don’t want to see him make unwise decisions. There are times when control tries to pop its ugly little head back up and I quickly see it for what it is. As anxiety begins to rise, I quickly ask the Lord to be in control of our lives.

Again, bite your tongue, release control to God, smile, and pray. Give God the control to change things if they need to be changed and enjoy your husband. You will both be much happier.

 And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive. Matthew 21: 22

Lord, I pray that you would help us to release control to you for our marriage. Remind us to be quick to pray and slow to react, releasing all situations into your hands. We trust you with our husbands. Replace our fear of not being in control with peace from above, knowing full well that You are in control. Amen.