The Instagram Bible

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I won’t be long today as I am getting ready for my exams- yet, I really had to share that really short blog post by Jen Wilkin on her blog The Beginning of Wisdom; her reflection on the tendency lots of people have, because of social media (Instagram but also Facebook, blogs, and whatever app that exists), to get their “spiritual meals” on Instagram was definitely very convicting and worth reading.

It resonated with me in a particular area: I love reading blogs on modesty or scrolling through Pinterest, going from board to board and stealing modest outfits ideas. Sometimes I spend too much time there. But, isn’t modesty something biblical ? Yeah, sure. But you cannot base your whole theology on clothes. Its an element, pointing to something greater, and it can be made an idol under the pretext of godliness, at times.

See you after my exam, ya’ll !

 

 

Get ready with me: heaven’s edition

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This picture was not planned, and neither was this post !

Tomorrow, I am going, for the first time, to travel alone. I took the plane alone once but my mom brought me to the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris and picked me when I returned but so far, I never went through the whole “thing”.

So tomorrow, for the first time, this 23 years old girl who looks 18 without makeup will take two trains and register her bag and wait at the gate for the boarding. ALONE. ALL BY HERSELF.

I WANT MY MOMMY NOW. Continue reading “Get ready with me: heaven’s edition”

Do you capsule ?

The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined by Susie Faux, owner of the West End boutique “Wardrobe”, in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing that would not go out of fashion, and therefore could be worn for multiple seasons. The aim was to update this collection with seasonal pieces to provide something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing.” – Wikipedia (I know, not necessarily the best ressource but that definition is fine for my post 😉 )

Last week, I took advantage of my free afternoons to declutter my appartment before starting school. I was AMAZED at the amount of things- not only clothes in my wardrobe but plates in my kitchen, products in my makeup bag (I mean box) I had, most of them for YEARS and yet only using maybe 20-30 % of each category on a daily basis.

Not only there were here, useless, but clutter adds a lot of stress, and the “turnover” energy you have to put in daily when it comes to cleaning is important. What I mean by that is simple: the more stuff you have, the more cleaning you’ll have to do.

Which is sad because in the case of clothes, if you wear only your favorite items (20 %-30% of your cluttered wardrobe), you are allowing those you won’t wear to collect dust, eat a lot of space and eventually you will have to wash them and fold them again, over and over. I have folded TONS of clothes just because I had to and yet would never wear them.

That is how I came to get acquainted with the idea of a capsule wardrobe, and a capsule lifestyle as well. Some will take it to extreme lenghts, it’s true. Everyone will have his/her own definition of capsuling and for me, it was having the clothes I loved most and used most… without spending my whole life cleaning around ! Also, choosing carefully your items and getting creative with mixing/matching was an aspect I really wanted to integrate as a part of a frugal lifestyle where you spend more time doing things that count rather than spending lots of money on clothes/items.

I found some illustrations of capsules of Pinterest that I found useful.

If you don’t know how to “capsule”, here is a short article.

An example of an Audrey Hepburn inspired capsule wardrobe- It’s my style basically. I find that neutrals never go out of style (and pearls also, but that’s just a matter of personal taste 😉 )

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Mix and match and voilà !

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capsule

 

 

An interview with the former Victoria Secret model Kylie Bisutti

Note: This short interview was published in 2013 on my former blog, and was translated to French. Three years after deleting my blog, I just rediscovered this interview with the former Victoria Secret’s model Kylie Bisutti, who left her career to follow Christ. She is such a humble, kind mom of two and I enjoy following her on social media, and seeing her grow more and more spiritually. I hope you enjoy this (short) interview and if you are interested in knowing Kylie’s story-more in depth this time, I’ve read her book and I think it would be a great, great encouragement and testimony for young teens… and older ladies.
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1) Hi Kylie ! Thank you for having accepted this interview. First, can you describe your family and faith backround, before you became a model ?

I wasn’t raised in a Christian home so I was not a believer when I started modeling at the age of 14. The first time I attended church was when I was almost 16 and then I got baptized shortly after that!

 2) What really motivated you to get into the modeling industry, at 14 ? What was your parents stance on this ?

My parents were very open to letting me pursue my dream of becoming a model. I was motivated by worldly things though. I wanted attention. Fame. Acceptance. Value. I thought that modeling would fulfill me… I wanted to prove to people that I was worthy. God showed me though that there is no happiness in trying to find value in worldly things. He is the only way to true happiness and a fulfilled life.

3) How was your relationship with the Lord, what did you knew about Him at this time ?

I didn’t know anything about The Lord when I started modeling. Even after I started going to church I didn’t have the right view of Christ and what it means to live for Him. I just believed that his desire for me was to have health wealth and prosperity and that he was here to bless me with it. He has changed my view of him and my heart so much though from the vain place it used to be!

 4) The pinnacle of your career was when, of course, you became a VS model. How did it all happened ?

When I was 19 I auditioned for the Victoria’s Secret 2009 runway angel competition along with 10000 other girls. I ended up being a top ten finalist to compete for the spot and ended up being voted the winner by America!

 5) Thousands of girls are looking at VS runaways and wondering, how does it feel to be a model of that level. How does it really feel ?

Lonely. Empty. Vain. Truly insecure. The night I was named the vs runway angel was one of the most insecure nights of my life. It’s the opposite of what most girls think and I talk about all of the details and emotions in my book, I’m No Angel.

 

6) When you got married, what was your husband stance on your job as a model ?

He didn’t really know much about the modeling industry. He had no clue who Heidi Klum was and what the VS fashion show was. So in the beginning he didn’t think much of it. He didn’t really become aware of it all until I started working for VS.

 7) One day, you announced that you were leaving VS. What happened, in your life so after having worked all your life to reach such a coveted position in the modeling world ?

God changed my heart. He showed me that I was on a downward spiral of insecurity and loneliness. He showed me that I wasn’t honoring my marriage by posing in provocative lingerie. He showed me that I wasn’t promoting a healthy body image to young girls and most importantly he showed me that I was not living my life for Him.

8) Looking at your Twitter, I was greatly encouraged by your walk with the Lord Jesus, and so are a lot of people, the way you seek to be a Proverbs 31 woman. Can you describe us how’s your relationship with the Lord ? How he changed your life ?
 

I am so much closer with The Lord now. I no longer look at him as a “magic genie” who desires to bless me with money and prosperity but as a gracious savior who died for my sins and who longs to give me love and promises to guide my life for His purposes. I am way more secure and confident now and so much more fulfilled in my life!

 9) You recently launched your book, “I’m no angel”, in which you tell your story, your past insecurities. A lot of girls feel so insecure because of what they see in the modeling industry, what would you say to them ?

Please read the book! I was insecure too. Super insecure. But I found hope and I found confidence and I talk about that in the entire book!!

  10) Do you have a word to say to the male readers who might read this interview ? 

The pictures you see in magazines are FAKE. They are airbrushed, photoshopped, and look way different than the model who came in to the shoot with no makeup, hair extensions, and a magic computer program that can give her a smaller waist, a bigger bust, and perfect lips.

A student’s diary: making your study sessions a lovely time

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Yes, a lovely time ! You know, after 5 years of being a uni student, I have come to realize that working in a clean, pleasant environment plays a big role in being able to stay focused on that page.

I don’t know if I have a attention-deficit disorder but sometimes I find it incredibly hard to focus on one page of a lecture… And I find that a routine and a certain setting really help, so as I am taking my 10 minutes break right now, I thought I would share a quick post on how to make your study time pleasant and something you will look forward to:

  1. A clutter-free desk makes everything clear ! If you can, start with a desk/a table in a calm environment and get rid of all that clutter on it: keep the bare minimum ! The textbook, a few sheets of paper to take notes and just the few pens and highlighters you need.
  2. A pleasant place: though I don’t like to put decorations on my desk as I feel that a cluttered place does not help, there are three items, apart from my study tools, that I like to keep: a pot of flower, a cup of tea and a candle. I was given beautiful white orchids by a friend, and they light up the whole room, along with the candle (which, for your safety, you must never leave burn when you are not in the room), and a delicious tea or fruit-infused water will ensure that you will have a bit of beauty, liveliness and sweetness as you study
  3. Color, color, color ! In most cases, I think that highlighting and making your lectures and notes something pleasant to the eye is not a waste of time but will help you memorize things.
  4. Of lipstick and perfumes and nails: now, this depends on your personality. I remember that during my first years in university, I felt like I had to sit at my desk in my pajamas and unbrushed hair and without makeup in order to have a “clean conscience”, meaning by that, that if I looked this tired, then GOOD ! It meant I was spending 27 hours/day studying… But to be honest, it was not really efficient. Now, I took the habit (though it’s true that I have less exams that a few years ago) to, even during the exams, take 5 minutes in the morning to fix my hair, do a quick makeup. Far from being a waste of time, it helps you, along with a cup of coffee, to lift your spirits and feel less miserable during those exams where motivation is required. I like to think of the Queen of England: she works every day in her office, and she works definitely very hard (she is probably the most informed woman in the world), and yet, even if she is at home, she is always properly dressed. Now, we can learn a lesson from that: far from being a waste of time and being frivolous, taking 5 minutes in the morning helps you work with joy and helps makes the most of the time and energy you have.

 

And now I am back to my lecture on smoking ! Have a lovely evening !

Saturday fun: of hats and calligraphy !

Hello ladies !

As much as I enjoy blogging, with my new internship starting on Monday, I will have to post less often… It’s almost the end of the year (it’s March already, time flies so fast it’s unbelievable), so that calls for more study time ! Anyway, it’s break time now and I wanted to write a bit.

 

Outfit of the (other) day ! 

 

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A quick outfit I wore last week. Spring is starting to come around and I am glad that except for a few rainy days here and there, heavy coats will no longer needed ! In this outfit I am wearing a passe-partout knee-lenght black skirt, a champagne shirt and a white wool jacket along with a black hat, and long mustard earrings. I just love how hats add a final touch to an outfit; you can find those wool felt hats at H and M.

 

Calligraphy !

As I am starting to look for practical, beautiful yet inexpensive ways to make my appartement more homey and cosy, I am considering starting calligraphy ! In a way, I already do it on a daily basis since in France, when we were little, writing beautifully (often with a fountain pen and in cursive script) was something we were taught from the beginning of our elementary years.

I often saw on pinterest and blogs wall decors of quotes and verses and I thought that it was inexpensive and that with a bit of creativity, a frame or two, arranged on a desk, a kitchen counter or the living room, could add a lot of that unique touch to a room. One sweet lady, Jen, whose blog I have been following for years (it’s such a delight to read !), has started a her own calligraphy business, Arabella Calligraphy. Here are some of her works:

 

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How lovely is that ? Here are some other works from Pinterest. I find that not only they enhance a room, but they could be good reminders of God’s Word throughout the days.

 

Have an amazing weekend,

Stéphanie

Becoming a woman of virtue

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Pinterest

 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” (Titus 2:3-5)

Today, through the Holy Spirit’s help, I want to obey the Lord and become a virtuous woman:

-I want to love my family not only in words, but in deeds also;

-I want to be self-controlled and not be enslaved to anything but to Christ

-I desire with all my heart to be pure, in this world in which purity is mocked, I want to remember this: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). I want my mind and my eyes to dwell on things… that are true, noble, right, pure, what lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy… (Philippians 4:8). The verse I posted last time made a deep impression on me: it was a key verse in the conversion of Saint Augustine of Hippo, whose battle was mainly with lust. As Spurgeon once said, the food on which silkworms feed predict the color of the silk they will produce and as well, I think what we see, what we dwell upon, what we read, will go in our minds, where the battle is, and therefore, I want to feed on the Word of God.

Talking about purity, I must confess something: there are things I have decided to give up, especially in the area of music because some music and songs have the power to influence your emotions so deeply… and therefore your thoughts, and I felt like I had to give up some of these things.

But as Jim Elliot said, “”He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

-I want to be busy at home… and not be a busybody. In this world where people read gossip magazines, where we spy and stalk each other on Facebook, an attitude that often breeds envy, jealousy and evil things, join me, my dear sisters, as I strive, today, to heed the words of the Apostle Paul:

Or even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.” (2 Thessalonicians 3:10-11).

Would you please join me in prayer as we not only read these words, but apply them in our daily life in order to honor the Lord ?

“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” (James 1:22-24)

OOTD: One skirt, two looks !

Hello ladies,

I am so glad to be back on the blog ! I was quite busy this week as I was trying to finish all my projects before starting the second internship of the year at the hospital, hence the lack of posts. I just love writing. I’d do that all day long if I could. I’d do calligraphy, I’d write books for children, I’d…well, let’s move on to today’s post, shall we ?

I had fun doing my OOTD last time, and I thought the experience was enjoyable and that I would repeat it ! Though I am not pretending to be a fashion blogger or a beauty editor, I remember, when I was sixteen, as I was starting to pick modest outfits, that I would browse blogs to find some inspiration.Some were really good, but I would rarely find bloggers who had my petite figure: I am not that short (though I am one of the shortest girls of my class), but I am not tall enough to wear floor-lenght dresses and skirts- maxi dresses are definitely not for me, unless I would want to wear them to mop the floor as I walk. So basically, I tend to wear skirts that cover the knees and I got used to that knee-lenght skirt look that both suits me and is modest at the same time.

The second reason I am starting to post OOTD pictures on the blog is that often, when you browse for modest outfits on Pinterest, you often find there modest dresses, sure, but either straight out of the runway with impossibly high heels that will ruin your walk after only 40 minutes (uncomfortable)- or pictures that are Photoshopped and with such an elaborate makeup and hairstyle that it would take you half a day to recreate the look (unrealistic):

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Mayim Bialik: Lovely and modest ! But a little too fancy for everyday.

That’s why I choosed to post “quick selfies” (since I am living on my own) that I take before heading to work, that are not retouched, and the lighting could be better and all but that’s what I want to show: the real me, with the habitual amount of makeup I wear on a daily basis. After all, we want to look nice… but we have better things to do that to stay all day long in front of the mirror, right ?

As we say in France, “trêve de bavardages” (without further ado), two OOTD ! I love using the same items and combining them with different tops and accessories.

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Autumn

Black denim skirt, champagne white-dotted tee-shirt and a taupe cardigan

Today, I wore the same skirt with a plain elbow sleeve top and black boots, some golden accessories to add a bit of color to all that black…and a béret ! Vive la France !

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A little close-up ! Taking selfies is definitely not that easy…

I loved doing this post ! Please let me know if you would like to see more OOTD’s and if you have any requests/questions. I love reading your comments and nothing makes me more happy than getting to know my readers !

 

 

Becoming a single woman of virtue

 

 

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Pinterest

The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)

Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

I was thinking of the importance of guarding our eyes.

You see, I was raised in a conservative Christian family, and my mom (and aunts, with whom I am very close), always dressed in a beautiful, elegant, tasteful, modest manner. Modesty was never synonym of blandness for me, because they looked like true ladies.

And I am thinking about the legacy we are about to leave to the younger girls out there. All they see all day long are pictures of Victoria’s Secret models who not only don’t look like their real selves but also- and this is a tragedy for me- have every year a fashion show watched by millions of people. Every year millions of people sit in front of their TV for that massive celebration of the cult of sensuality.

Basically, the equation of our time is… lots of skin+a seductive behavior= you get all the attention you’ve longed for, girl.

And I am thinking about men, too. How these images distorted their vision of true beauty. How it destroyed them. It’s easy understand why those shows are so awaited and loved. It appeals to the flesh. But we know that nothing good will come out of it. It will kill them. It will kill us.

One of my favorite passages in the Bible about this topic is Proverbs 7:

“My son, keep my words

    and store up my commands within you.
Keep my commands and you will live;
    guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and to insight, “You are my relative.”
They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
    from the wayward woman with her seductive words.

At the window of my house
    I looked down through the lattice.
I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.” (emphasis mine)

Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

Just like those beautiful, colorful spiders you find in tropical jungles, she has a poison. She will kill you.

Looking at that chapter, there are so many things we could see. The condition of her heart. Her demeanor, subtle at times: she even employs religious language. His lack of sense. The perfect recipe for disaster.

The woman described above, the world has plenty of that kind. And you know what, looking at my own heart, I know that if it wasn’t for the saving grace of Jesus-Christ and the new affections He puts in our hearts, i.e, a love of good things and a hatred for evil things, I would be like the proverbs 7 woman.

I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, a woman after God’s heart.I don’t want to be a Proverb 7 woman that dishonor God and destroys men (and women, by a bad influence as well !).

We learned the lesson the hard way back in Eden. The Devil makes evil looks beautiful and kills you. He invites you to bite into a glossy, poisoned apple. And the thing is, new temptations will come everyday. On TV. As you open Youtube. In your workplace. In the street. In your heart. And I am becoming more and more convinced that if we don’t put the Word of God as our first influence in our lives we will believe without knowing it the lies of this deceitful world.

As a single woman, I decided to dig deeper in the Word of God and allow it to shape me. To shape my desires. My affections. To replace the lies I’ve believed.

This post was full of random thoughts ! Sorry if there was no real “guiding thread” there but it was something I had at heart.

Before ending this post, I wanted to share an article found on Revive Our Hearts, titled “Becoming a Single Woman of Virtue”, written by Nancy Leigh de Moss. You can find it here.

Becoming a Single Woman of Virtue

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

  1. Is there anything about my speech, actions, dress, or attitudes that could defraud the men around me?
  2. Am I building up my “house”—home, work place, church—(vs. tearing it down)?
  3. Am I taking in sensual thoughts and desires through books, magazines, TV programs,music, or movies that are not morally pure?
  4. Am I investing in the lives of those around me? Am I nurturing the heart of my siblings or others God has called me to bless?
  5. Am I looking to any man (pastor, counselor, colleague, etc.) to fill an emotional vacuum in my life? Do I go to a man rather than going to the Lord to meet my emotional needs?
  6. Am I cultivating a grateful, joyful spirit? Am I rejoicing in the Lord?
  7. Is there any behavior or relationship I am involved in that I am hiding? Am I engaged in anything now that I will not want my husband to know about if I marry in the future?
  8. Am I giving the best of my physical and emotional energy for the Lord?
  9. Am I discontent? Am I dwelling on thoughts that make me unable to find fulfillment through serving the Lord and those around me He has called me to serve?
  10. Am I cultivating a pleasant, gracious spirit in my words, actions, and attitudes that brings honor and glory to the Lord?
  11. Am I critical or judgmental? Do my parents have the freedom to be honest with me?
  12. Am I keeping my emotions, attention, and affection from every man to whom I am not engaged or married? Am I protecting the thoughts and feelings of my heart?
  13. Is my conversation ever loose, crude, or unbecoming for a woman of God?
  14. Am I discreet and restrained in the way I talk with men at work?
  15. Am I expressing admiration for a man that should more appropriately come from his wife?
  16. Do I communicate a meek, quiet, and submissive spirit?
  17. Does my demeanor tend to be “loud and defiant”? Do I dominate or try to control the men around me?
  18. Does my dress help men to keep their thoughts pure and Christ-centered? Is my dress feminine and modest?
  19. Am I a “door” or a “wall” (Song of Songs 8:9)? Am I a “loose” woman? Do I communicate to the men around me that I am “available”? Does my demeanor invite them to “partake” of intimate parts of my body, soul, or spirit? Do I engage in flirtatious speech, looks, or behavior?
  20. Have I purposed in my heart to be morally pure?
  21. Am I currently in a situation that is (or could become) compromising?
  22. Do I reserve intimate communication, looks, words, and touch for my future husband (if I marry)?
  23. Have I become a “refuge” for a man who may be struggling in his marriage?
  24. Have I surrendered my sexual desires in honor of the Lord, my future husband, and the marriages or future marriages of those around me? Am I walking in holiness and honor?
  25. Do I esteem and value any man more than the Lord? Do I love any man more than I love the Lord? Who comes first in my estimation?
  26. Would those who know me best say that I am a woman of moral virtue and purity?
  27. Am I in a situation that could appear to others to be compromising?
  28. Am I making myself accountable to another godly woman for my walk with God and others?
  29. Do I treat men with respect by keeping a proper distance from them, emotionally and physically?
  30. Have I erected (and am I maintaining) adequate “hedges” in my relationships with men? Have I defined what those hedges are?

I acknowledge and renounce my sinful involvement in _______________ and pray in the name and through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ that you would break this stronghold in my life. I realize, Lord, this sin has been a detrimental influence in my life [and marriage]. Lord, I humbly ask that You would forgive me and wash me in the blood of Christ, cleansing me from this sin. I ask you, Lord Jesus to take back the ground given to the enemy through my involvement and I yield that ground to Your control. I purpose to honor You in my heart, practicing purity and discretion in all of my relationships.