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Darling is a curated boutique offering women’s consignment and handmade local artisan goods, with new arrivals every week.

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The Darling Blog

Welcome to The Darling Blog, a life and style blog by the owner of Darling Boutique, Linnea White. Darling is passionate about empowering women and inspiring strength through fashion to restore dignity and true beauty. Enjoy outfit inspiration and style tips, featured #darlingfinds, local collaborations, and so much more. Live the Darling lifestyle - an altogether beautiful life.

Filtering by Tag: charlottesville bible study

Rest: Darling Devotional

Linnea White

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As I began to pray about what to write about today, I felt that there was a great need for rest among the body of Christ. What I mean by rest is the act of resting in His presence. It is easy to get caught up in the every changing, ever-packed schedules that we all have come to know. When this rushing takes place it allows for chaos and exhaustion to occur. This often results in us trying to fix the problems, instead of relying on God. When we are running on empty, we need to seek the Lord and let Him fill our cups. I have a passage that resonates with me, and I believe it will with you, too. It is simple and it is true. It is about God’s character. He is constant. Reflect on these words this week:

“Let nothing upset you, Let nothing startle you. All things pass; God does not change. Patience wins all it seeks. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone is enough.”

- St. Teresa

I challenge you to sit (or lay face planted on the floor, whatever works for you!), and take time daily to soak in His word, to soak in His truth, and to let His Holy Spirit fall afresh on you.

The Parables, Week 4: Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman

Linnea White

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Luke 7:36-41

One of the Pharisees asked him over for a meal. He went to the Pharisee’s house and sat down at the dinner table. Just then a woman of the village, the town harlot, having learned that Jesus was a guest in the home of the Pharisee, came with a bottle of very expensive perfume and stood at his feet, weeping, raining tears on his feet. Letting down her hair, she dried his feet, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfume. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man was the prophet I thought he was, he would have known what kind of woman this is who is falling all over him." Jesus said to him, "Simon, I have something to tell you." "Oh? Tell me." "Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?"

Simon answered, "I suppose the one who was forgiven the most."

"That’s right," said Jesus. Then turning to the woman, but speaking to Simon, he said, "Do you see this woman? I came to your home; you provided no water for my feet, but she rained tears on my feet and dried them with her hair. You gave me no greeting, but from the time I arrived she hasn’t quit kissing my feet. You provided nothing for freshening up, but she has soothed my feet with perfume. Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal." Then he spoke to her: "I forgive your sins." That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: "Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!" He ignored them and said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace."

The woman, who most presume to be Mary Magdalene, was filled with a reputation - she was covered in sin. However, she understood her need for Jesus, her need for His grace and forgiveness. Her desire for His forgiveness and for her to be made new in Jesus is what sets her apart. Jesus saw this and recognized her desire to be made clean through Him. He did not push her away and she did not have to be made clean before he welcomed her.

This is something to emphasize, to remember. Many people believe that they are too covered in their messes for Jesus to want them. This is so far from true! Jesus wants you just as you are. When you come to Him understanding the depth of your sin, admitting that you need Jesus, that is when you begin to comprehend the goodness of the love of Jesus and what He has has done for you. Jesus explains to Simon that someone who has sinned much understands the reality of all that He has done by canceling their debts. That is exactly what Jesus did when He laid His life down on the cross. He paid our debts so that we could be made free in Him and Him alone.

To be honest, this scripture is my favorite. I have it tattooed on my right forearm. The beautiful exchange between Mary and Jesus is something that leaves me breathless. How grateful are we to be so deeply loved by our King that He does not define us by our shortcomings, but sees us as His beloved.

Friends, sit in His presence and take a minute to think about the reality of the cross. With open hearts, thank your Father for sending His Son and thank Jesus for dying so that you can have life and life abundantly.

I pray you have a week that is filled with joy and gratitude.

Be Blessed, Meg

The Parables, Week 2: Salt & Light

Linnea White

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[The Parables] Salt & Light

Matthew 5:13-16

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."

Salt prevents food from going bad and decaying. Salt is used as a preservative, but if salt loses the its saltiness, then it is no longer effective - it cannot preserve as it should.

Now let's replace salt with Christians or Christ followers and food with the world. Christ followers prevent the world from going bad and decaying (spiritually). Christ followers are used to preserve (morality); however, if Christ followers lose their morality, then they are no longer effective - they cannot preserve the world from spiritual decay.

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

You, Christ followers, are a light to the world.

A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus’ word gives light. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

Disciples or followers of Christ have this light inside of them. It is visible and powerful, because it is the light of truth found only in Jesus. As followers of Christ, this light should be radiantly shining, so that others will see it and know there is something different about us. The word of God, the light and the hope of Jesus cannot be hidden!

With all of the current events happening in the world, it seems as though we are in the midst of constant sorrow and deprivation. That is because the light of Jesus needs to be shining on the hills. Friends, the enemy wants us to be fearful. But God does not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). We were made for such a time as this to be salt and light. To be set apart from the world, to preserve morality, to share the gospel, to shine with the love and hope of Jesus, to be a city on a hill!

Sharing the hope and good news of Jesus is essential. It is what God calls us to do. Because, no one puts a lamp under a bowl! Remember that light always outshines darkness! Be encouraged friends, for we know how the story ends. 

Jesus has risen. God has won. His goodness prevails - always. Go and be salt and light in this world.

xo, Meg

Devotional Series: Altogether Beautiful, Week 2

Linnea White

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Song of Solomon, Week 2 | The Discovery of Full Acceptance

He's got the whole world in His hands. That Sunday School song always amazed me as a kid, awe-struck by the idea of a God so big He could hold all of us, the entire world, in His hands.

"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters." Psalm 24:1-2

When did it become so hard for me to accept that He holds me in His hands? Why did I start to believe my problems aren't big enough or important enough for God? The enemy seeks to tear us down, to fill us with doubt and unbelief. These attacks on our spirit can cause us to question the character of God.

Just this morning, my car wouldn't start. My heart sunk, and I wish I could say I didn't let the enemy assault me with lies and anxiety about finances or being late for my barre class. But he did assault me, and I felt defeated for a little while. With barre class out of the picture, I sat on my bed with my devotional and prayed. God quickly gave me the image of holding me in His hands, surrounded by the fullness of His love and provision. I laid there basking in the warmth of that fullness, accepting His love and grace, and praising Him for His unchanging goodness.

Photo by Linnea WhiteThe Song of Solomon is a beautiful testament to the fullness and the goodness of relationship with God. In a world thirsty for truth, the Song of Solomon speaks of a union made whole by God's love - the marriage relationship. When the bride struggles with the fear of separation from her beloved, he reassures her of his love for her (Song of Solomon 5:2-8:14), just as God reassured me this morning when I fell prey to anxiety and fear. He meets us when we are beautifully in over our heads, to remind us that He remains the same.

In Ephesians 3, Paul writes a beautiful prayer about the fullness of God's love, and how, through faith, this love can dwell in us:

"In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:12-19

All we are, all we have belongs to Him. Lay aside selfish intent or possessiveness, for it is an obstacle to God's leading and peace in your life. Give it ALL to Him. Surrender what already belongs to Him, and see how wonderful the garden of your life will become through His power and care!

It's okay to not understand that Sunday School song - to be in awe at the greatness and goodness of God, to be filled with wonder at the love of Christ. But let it never lead to doubt, fear, or worry. This is a "love that surpasses knowledge," that we cannot comprehend with our minds. Accepting the fullness of God's love means being filled with the fullness in our spirit. It's a leap of faith, and sometimes a daily, even hourly, leap we need to take to believe, to trust, to accept the fullness of our Father's love. Because it's altogether beautiful, my darling.

Lord, forgive my unbelief. Forgive me for doubting You. Bring back that childlike zeal for full acceptance, for full provision and protection, for full trust in You. Help me re-discover the fullness of Your love. Thank you for Your grace that meets me with the dawn. Today, I choose to speak words of truth to combat the fear and lies the enemy has put in my path.You are a good, good Father, and I am loved by You. You are Provider, Counselor, Comforter, Deliverer, and Shield. I give thanks for every blessing, and for every trial. Amen!

xo, Linnea

Devotional Series: Altogether Beautiful, Week 1

Linnea White

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Song of Solomon, Week 1 | Altogether Beautiful

Restored. Altogether Beautiful. Loved.

The heart of Darling Boutique is a personal testimony of grace, love, and redemption. While Megan travels abroad to celebrate one year of marriage (!!), I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my heart through a beautiful book of the Bible - the Song of Solomon.

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, and there is no blemish in you." Song of Solomon 4:7

God brought Megan and I together two and a half years ago for more than friendship. He brought us together to become a duet, a partnership walking out His will. We are so divinely gifted for this partnership, from our similar redemption stories, to our gifts, to our personalities, to our shared heart for empowering women (and girls). It is none other than God's handiwork. After all, He sends us out in twos (Mark 6:7)!

It's been over four years since God began His restorative work in my heart, mind, body, and spirit. I grew up in a Christian home, but in college, I went astray. I was so consumed by controlling my own life, my own reputation and image, I ended up living two lives, even convincing my family I was still the same "good" girl. But underneath, I was drowning in a sea of sexual immorality, lies, and pain. I'd like to say I quickly ran back to the Lord and everything was okay again. But, to be honest, I fell on my knees and cried out to God repeatedly in my early twenties, unable to find freedom from the strongholds in my life and continually falling back into the same sin. I remember thinking (often), "There's no way God can love me after everything I've done." I felt so dirty and unworthy, and the enemy kept convincing me it was true. It wasn't until after college when I became rooted in a church community and started to confess with my tongue to family and friends that God began to unravel the chains.

I'm still on the journey of redemption and healing, but a few years ago, God used a dear friend to tell me that my sin has not diminished His love for me - that in His eyes, I am a pure, white lilac. What a beautiful blessing, to know we can be pure and washed clean, unburdened and unchained!

Photo by Linnea WhiteThe Song of Solomon reminds me of God's relentless love. In chapter 4, He reassures His bride that His love has not diminished because of her sin. In fact, just the opposite. His heart overflows with love for her.

Too often women become burdened by self-doubt, believing lies of worthlessness because we have failed. Failed whom? The world? Christ shows us in Song of Solomon the intensity of His love for His bride never ceases.

In Song of Solomon 4:1-6, He describes eight attributes of her physical features, a number symbolizing new beginnings - there were eight people in the Ark in Genesis.  In His eyes, we are blemish free, we are pure, and "altogether beautiful" to Him (Song of Solomon 4:7). Other translations of this verse state "all fair" or "beautiful in every way." It's in this "all," this "every" that we find true redemption, because it is a fullness, a wholeness of beauty only found in union with Christ.

This week, let Christ speak to your wounded heart. Let yourself find peace and rest in the presence of the Father's never-ceasing love. It is through Christ that we understand the love of the Father. Daughters, receive the intimate healing of His love. Ask Him to reveal how He sees you - altogether beautiful and without blemish.

"Father, what You see in me must be so because You are truth. Forgive me for believing lies that cause me to not see what You see in me. In faith I receive these amazing words of love for me from Your heart. Thank you for teaching me and showing me You are not looking for perfection in me while I walk this earth, but simply a total surrender of my will to You. You are patiently transforming me into Your beautiful image! My soul is flooded with worship for You. In Your most worthy name, Beloved of my heart, my Lord and my God, amen!"

xo, Linnea