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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: fruit of the spirit

Devotional Series: Be Free, Week 9

Linnea White

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The Final Installment of the Be Free Series: Week 9 | Self-Control

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

Can you believe it? We are on our last week of the fruits of the spirit series. What a humbling and challenging few weeks it has been intently applying them to every facet of life. While all fruits intertwine, self-control is one that is heavily needed in order to apply each of the other fruits.

Photo by Megan TiernanYou must have self-control in order to act in love.

You must have self-control in order to choose joy.

You must have self-control in order to be peaceful.

You must have self-control in order to forbear.

You must have self-control in order to act in kindness.

You must have self-control in order to show goodness.

You must have self-control in order to have faithfulness.

You must have self-control in order to choose gentleness.

As we can see self-control is heavily needed in order to live our lives as a reflection of Jesus. Outside of Christianity and inside Christianity, people speak of self-control - self-control from sitting and binging on Netflix, from eating a tub of ice cream, from gossiping about the latest buzz. But do we realize so often we have good intentions we fall short of? We make lists of all the things we want to work on and change. However, we don't even get working on the list, and if we do, that cleanse diet only lasts two days. We start a workout schedule and it lasts a few weeks. We say we are going to stop spending so much time on Instagram, then find ourselves doing mindless scrolling. We all are the victims of this lack of self-control. But how do we gain back the control? Think about the hours you have wasted looking at people’s photos online that you can’t even remember who they were or what they were doing… Time you could have spent making yourself a better you. Whether that be by spending more time in prayer, reading more, doing the dishes, or going out of your way to do something nice for your spouse.

There are many scriptures that warn us against a lack of self-control:

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6

We all want to be better wives, mothers, sisters, girlfriends, friends, employers, employees, etc. But how often do we cloud our lives with meaningless things? I pray that we all take steps toward freedom from distraction.

I challenge you this week to write down three goals for yourself and stick to them.

I challenge you this week to read the scriptures daily.

I challenge you this week to spend time in prayer.

I challenge you this week to refocus your time on making yourself a better you.

I pray that the Lord would move in your hearts (&mine) to have stronger self-control.

I hope that this series gave you new revelation and that you are freer than before.

“You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:20

xo, Meg

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My hope and prayer for this devotional series is to have each of us grow together and grow in our relationship with Jesus. May we gain a better understanding of our identity in Him. I have been seeking His voice and guidance on where to start this devotional and I believe that this is the best place to start – this “Be Free” series. It will take us each one step closer to being truly free in Jesus. There is no freedom apart from Christ Jesus, who died for our sins, and once we experience that freedom, we can truly live.

Each week during this series we will soak in His truth and apply it to our daily life – one fruit of the Spirit at a time.

Devotional Series: Be Free, Week 8

Linnea White

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The Be Free Series Continues: Week 8 | Gentleness

Have you ever had someone say something to you that felt like a sword just pierced you in the chest? Have those words been hard to forget? I have, and I have had to continually forgive the person that spoke them to me. One of the reasons why the pain lingers from hurtful, harsh words is because our words carry much weight and power.

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

Harshness is the opposition of gentleness.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17

We should aim towards using our words to speak blessings over one another, and to be gentle in spirit towards one another. Jesus is the perfect example of being gentle towards others lived out how He spoke.

In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says, “I am gentle and humble in heart.” The apostle John , in chapter 8, accounts of the time Jesus encountered an adulterous woman and showed this gentleness. Jesus spoke gently to the adulterous woman, knowing fully that she had sinned. When the Pharisees were lined up to throw stones at her, as per Jewish law, Jesus stepped in and said, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus knew that each of these men were also struggling with sin in areas of their life. This passage shows how only the sinless are free to throw the first stone. This does not mean that we should sweep sin under the rug. It does, however, teach us that we should be slow to speak, and, in gentleness, steer others and ourselves away from temptation and sin.

Jesus then was alone with the woman and she said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jesus lived a sinless life and instead of throwing the stone at her, he instead showed her merciful grace out of His gentle spirit. Let us aim to live as Jesus did and speak in gentleness of both truth and grace with one another.

I encourage you this week... “To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:2

xo, Meg

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My hope and prayer for this devotional series is to have each of us grow together and grow in our relationship with Jesus. May we gain a better understanding of our identity in Him. I have been seeking His voice and guidance on where to start this devotional and I believe that this is the best place to start – this “Be Free” series. It will take us each one step closer to being truly free in Jesus. There is no freedom apart from Christ Jesus, who died for our sins, and once we experience that freedom, we can truly live.

Each week during this series we will soak in His truth and apply it to our daily life – one fruit of the Spirit at a time.

Devotional Series: Be Free, Week 4

Linnea White

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The Be Free Series Continues: Week 4 | Forbearance

Forbearance is different than patience.

It is being able to be patient and to have self-control even when you are being treated wrongly. It is making the choice to not reciprocate when wronged.

IMG_0027Let me start with saying that this does not come natural to me. When someone treats me poorly my initial reaction is to either shut down or to say something back that is equally as stabbing. Although, I have learned to tame my tongue (most of the time) it is something that I continually have to make a conscious effort to do.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” James 3:9-12

This means that when someone says something that is downright awful to us, we should not speak back something that is also hurtful. What James is saying here is so convicting - how can we sing praise to God with the same mouth that we use to speak ill of others?

When we think of how others are made in God’s image, it allows us to shift our perspective about how we think of others - despite how they may treat us.

I challenge you this week to be quick to love and slow to speak.

I challenge you this week to think of others with the knowledge of knowing that they are man in God’s likeness.

I challenge you to be forbearing.

This week I will be challenged as well, and I look forward to hearing what the Lord shows you.

Lots of love, Megan

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My hope and prayer for this devotional series is to have each of us grow together and grow in our relationship with Jesus. May we gain a better understanding of our identity in Him. I have been seeking His voice and guidance on where to start this devotional and I believe that this is the best place to start – this “Be Free” series. It will take us each one step closer to being truly free in Jesus. There is no freedom apart from Christ Jesus, who died for our sins, and once we experience that freedom, we can truly live.

Each week during this series we will soak in His truth and apply it to our daily life – one fruit of the Spirit at a time.

Devotional Series: Be Free, Week 3

Linnea White

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The Be Free Series Continues: Week 3 | Peace

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Jesus was telling this to his disciples when they were distraught, scared and confused about where He was going and their future without him physically next to them. He is foreshadowing the time to come where God the Father will send down the Holy Spirit upon them to be with them, comfort them, and guide them through every step.

I know that many of us wrestle with feelings of confusion, doubt, and often question what is next in our future ahead. But we have peace in knowing that God loves us so deeply that He not only sent His son to die for us, but also sent His Holy Spirit to be with us. Jesus explained to the disciples, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever - the Spirit of truth.” John 14:16

peace

Peace is the absence of fear. Peace is the absence of a troubled heart. Peace is from God, and surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7)

Peace can often have to connotation as a political symbol. It can often be tied to the opposition of war. But biblical peace, the peace that Jesus is teaching about is a verb - it is an action.

Peace translated in Hebrew is the verb “Shalam,” which means to restore. Restoration happens when something or someone needs to be made complete. God gives us His peace. He gives us what we need to be made whole, to be made complete in Him.

Friends, this week I challenge you to really seek His peace. Take time to seek His truth and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Xo, Meg

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My hope and prayer for this devotional series is to have each of us grow together and grow in our relationship with Jesus. May we gain a better understanding of our identity in Him. I have been seeking His voice and guidance on where to start this devotional and I believe that this is the best place to start – this “Be Free” series. It will take us each one step closer to being truly free in Jesus. There is no freedom apart from Christ Jesus, who died for our sins, and once we experience that freedom, we can truly live.

Each week during this series we will soak in His truth and apply it to our daily life – one fruit of the Spirit at a time.

Devotional Series: Be Free, Week 2

Linnea White

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The Be Free Series Continues: Week 2 | Joy

Yesterday, I met Anne Marie. She is in her nineties and in a wheelchair. When you look at her physical state, everyday life looks as though it is one big challenge. Her hands can hardly function and her crooked spine leaves her heavily tilted to one side. Although she has a multitude of physical ailments working against her, she is filled with joy.

I asked her how her day had been going and she replied, “It has been a pretty good day. I cannot complain.”

She cannot complain…

She cannot walk, she cannot feed herself, and yet she can’t complain - or won't complain.

Have you ever had someone tell you something that pierced your heart? Well, this was that kind of moment for me. She continued to tell me that God gave her another day to live and that is why. I thought to myself, I want to be so filled with joy for the day that God has given me that I cannot or will not complain.

“Do everything without complaining or grumbling.” Philippians 2:14

This doesn’t mean that everyday is going to be easy or that hard circumstances will not arise. However, it does mean that we as followers of Jesus will find joy in the midst of good and bad days. Joy is not to be fabricated or faked - we search for joy knowing that the Lord is good and faithful.

“For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what your hands have done. How great are your works Lord, how profound are your thoughts.” Psalm 92: 4-51

When we wake up each morning thankful that we have air in our lungs and a place to rest our heads—our perspective changes.

IMG_9735 I challenge you to find joy. I challenge you to look up at the sky and be marveled by the work of God's hands.

“The heavens proclaim the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Psalm 19:1

I challenge you to try seeing your life with an eternal perspective.

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations. 'The Lord has done great things for them.' The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY.” Psalm 126: 2-3

When you know your Father in heaven is with you every morning when you wake up, every night when you lay down your head and every moment in between - you will find joy. Love, Meg

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My hope and prayer for this devotional series is to have each of us grow together and grow in our relationship with Jesus. May we gain a better understanding of our identity in Him. I have been seeking His voice and guidance on where to start this devotional and I believe that this is the best place to start – this “Be Free” series. It will take us each one step closer to being truly free in Jesus. There is no freedom apart from Christ Jesus, who died for our sins, and once we experience that freedom, we can truly live.

Each week during this series we will soak in His truth and apply it to our daily life – one fruit of the Spirit at a time.