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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: woman bible study

The Parables, Week 1: Old and New Wineskins

Linnea White

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[The Parables] Old and New Wineskins

Matthew 9:14-17, Mark 2:21, Luke 5:26

Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."

At the time that Jesus walked the earth, He was typically put on the spot by the Pharisees. They questioned and tried Him for what He was doing and saying. Jesus was counterculture.

This the passage above, Jesus explains three main points to John's disciples when they ask Him why His disciples are doing things differently than the ritualistic Jewish tradition that had been happening for centuries.

In the first point Jesus makes He explains His time on earth in the sense of a marriage celebration. Jesus basically says to them, "would the friends of the bridegroom fast and mourn while they were also partaking in wedding festivities?!" The obvious response is "no, they would be celebrating with the bridegroom." Jesus, was telling them that His disciples should be joyful and celebrate that they get to spend time with Jesus, because soon He would no longer be there in flesh, and thus they would fast. They should celebrate because He is the King, the Messiah, the answer to the prophecies, the new hope for the world!

The second and third point Jesus makes go hand-in-hand. Jesus explains that putting new garment on an old cloth would be something that logically wouldn't take place. It would be pointless, because it would ruin both the garment and the new cloth. Same goes for putting new wine in an old wineskin. The wineskin would break and it would lose the wine and break the wine sack. The old that Jesus is talking about here is the Jewish law that the Pharisees were so clearly practicing. He is emphasizing that placing the new covenant in Him inside the parameters of the Pharisees religiosity would be a disaster. The new covenant made by Jesus and the freedom in Him had no place with the self-righteous doctrine that the Pharisees were practicing.  

BAM. Jesus made it clear He was making ALL THINGS NEW. Breaking barriers that were keeping His people from God. So, what does this mean? It means living a self-righteous life is like putting a new Christ covered self inside an old religious ritualistic wineskin. It is bound to break and cause a big mess!  Because, you cannot be self righteous and be walking in the footsteps of the Messiah.

Friends, I pray that you live a life in full freedom in Christ. Knowing that He loves you, He died for you, and was raised from the dead so that you would walk in His footsteps!

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: Ruth, Week 4

Linnea White

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Ruth, Week 4 | Worth

In line with Hebrew custom, the man in closest relation to a widow would marry her and look after her - he would be called a kinsman redeemer.

Boaz promised Ruth that he would marry her if the first man in line declined to do so. The man first in line did decline and in doing so Boaz stood in front of ten elders and declared that Ruth would be his wife! When he did so the elders replied:

“May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.” Ruth 4:11-12

When we break down the blessings they said, it allows us to see that this marriage between Boaz and Ruth was clearly God’s providence. The elders were blessing the marriage to be fruitful and amiable - to have many children and to have a pleasant marriage. It is significant they blessed “the woman who was coming into his home” to be like Rachel and Leah, because they were women who were not of Jewish lineage who became Jewish, just as Ruth did. Since the beginning of time, God has had his hand on his people and has been intricately weaving our stories together to advance his kingdom. The second part of the blessing from the elders was, “may your family be like Perez.” This was a great honor because Perez bore children and carried on his family lineage (that eventually led to Jesus), after his first three wives did not bare children. This also foreshadows Ruth and Boaz conceiving after Ruth was barren.

“So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” Ruth 4:13

The Lord enabled her. The Lord was in control, and the Lord is still in control. The Lord used Boaz and Ruth to conceive Obed.

Obed was the father of Jesse, Jesse was the father of David, David had Solomon, Solomon had Rehoboam, Rehoboam had Abijah, Abijah had Asa, Asa had Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat had Joram, Joram had Uzziah, Uzziah had Jotham, Jotham had Ahaz, Ahaz had Hezekiah, Hezekiah had Manasseh, Manasseh had Amon, Amon had Josiah, Josiah had Jehoiachin and his brothers, Jeconiah had Shealtiel, Shealtiel had Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel had Abiud, Abiud had Eliakim, Eliakim had Azor, Azor had Zadok, Zadok had Achim, Achim had Eliud, Eliud had Eleazar, Eleazar had Matthan, Matthan had Jacob, Jacob had Joseph, Mary’s husband - the Mary who gave birth to Jesus.

At the time Boaz had no idea that his obedience to Jewish custom would result generations later in the birth of Jesus Christ.

When Ruth was a widow she had worth to God. When Ruth was married to Boaz she had worth to God.

When Ruth was a pagan she had worth to God. When Ruth was a jew she had worth to God.

When Ruth was a foreigner in the land of Judah she had worth to God. When Ruth called Bethlehem home she had worth to God.

When Ruth was alone, God was with her. God never left Ruth’s side and regardless of her circumstances God always saw worth in Ruth.

IMG_0962You have worth. You are valued. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

“So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:13-14

Friends, you have a mighty purpose in your life here on earth. You are made in God’s image and he delights in you. Whatever you are feeling is real, but the truth is simple: You are chosen and loved by God. Just like Ruth, regardless of your circumstances, God always has seen worth in you and always will.

xo, Meg

Devotional Series: Ruth, Week 3

Linnea White

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Ruth, Week 3 | Threshing Floor

What a challenging task it must have been when Naomi asked Ruth to be obedient to her and lay at the feet of Boaz. However, Ruth so humbly did so saying, “I will do whatever you say.” (Ruth 3:5) During this time the people of God were under the Law of Moses and that meant that Ruth was eligible to have a kinsman redeemer. This was a part of Israeli family tradition. A man who was a close relative was responsible to care for a childless widow and thus carry on the family name (Deuteronomy 25:5-10). Naomi was not asking this of Ruth in a selfish way - she was doing so because she wanted what was best for her daughter-in-law. She wanted rest and security for her. She knew that in Ruth doing so she would be offering herself as a bride to Boaz.

The patience that Ruth must have had to bear during that time is a perfect example of the patience that we should strive to have during whatever it is we are enduring. She not only had to be patient and wait until Boaz was asleep to approach him in the night, but after she had to wait and see if he would accept her offer.

If you are wrestling with being patient in an area of your life right now, then the story of Ruth is one for you… myself included.

When Boaz woke to Ruth at his feet, I can only assume that he was a bit stunned. She asked him, “Spread the corner or your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” (Ruth 3:9) When Ruth asked Boaz to spread a corner of his garment over her, I believe she was asking him to both spiritually and physically be her covering. Boaz saw Ruth for the woman she was and not for what life had thrown at her. He noticed in her “kindness, and that she was a woman of noble character.” Boaz vowed to be her kinsman redeemer if a man of nearer kin was not willing.

Ruth was a woman of integrity with a kind heart and great nobility, but to the rest of the world she could have been seen as a barren widow in a foreign land.

I believe that there is a specific reason why this encounter between Boaz and Ruth takes place in a threshing room. A threshing room was a place where grain was separated from husks. Where the old was being stripped away from the goodness inside. Ruth was being separated from the past. She was becoming redeemed:

From poverty to wealth.

From widow to wife.

From barren to fertile.

From foreigner to an Israelite.

IMG_0846This is a beautiful picture of the redemption and transformation that happens when we surrender and lay our lives down at the feet of Jesus.

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering

his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew

3:12

I challenge you this week to allow God to thresh out all that you do not need to be carrying and to lay down your life at His feet.

I challenge you to be patient in the time of waiting and trust that He is making something beautiful out of your life.

Trust that God can restore and redeem all things in your life.

Be blessed!

Devotional Series: Ruth, Week 1

Linnea White

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Ruth, Week 1: An Unforeseeable Future

Ruth’s story is one filled with pain, sorrow, and an unforeseeable future. To be honest, I cannot fathom what she was going through. She lost her husband - her covering, her provider, her lover. Life in that time was famine stricken, and without a husband to look after her, her safety was compromised. After her husband died, she would then be married to his brother. However, another tragedy arose, and her brother-in-law also passed. This left Ruth, her sister-in-law, Orpah, and her mother-in-law, Naomi, to fend for themselves. Naomi urged her daughter-in-laws to go back to their people. Orpah agreed to do so, and with tears left them both. Ruth, however, refused to leave Naomi and go back to her family.

She said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-18)

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Your God will be my God. Ruth was a Moabite woman, she was from a tribe that followed many gods and partook in pagan worship. At that moment, when she told her mother-in-law she would go with her for life, she denounced the pagan gods and vowed to follow the one true God.

When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her and they both embarked on the journey back to Bethlehem. Ruth had no idea what was in store for her, and little did she know that one day her decedent would be the Son of God.

I look forward to digging into the book of Ruth with you ladies. God is faithful, and while His timing is more complex than we can understand. we can trust that He knows every detail, and is bigger than every circumstance.

xo, Meg