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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: women 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 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

Time For Truth: Faith That Fear Cannot Reach

Linnea White

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Time For Truth | Faith That Fear Cannnot Reach

Hello, Friends -

This week I thought we would change it up a little bit. We will continue to study through Isaiah, however, this week I feel like we all need to pray against fear and stand in the authority we have in Jesus. I have had many women this past week (myself included) struggle with this. Fear is not from God, and over and over in the scriptures God reminds us this.

Image"The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." 2 Timothy 1:7

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Take time today to read these truths - write them down or speak them out. Ladies, you can stand firm in the confidence and freedom that Jesus has given you! This New Life Song is one that I often listen to on repeat. I hope it speaks to you like it speaks to me.

Be blessed sisters,

Megan

Devotional Series: Isaiah, Week 1

Linnea White

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Isaiah, Week 1 | Worship

I will upfront say that what I have to say in this devotional on Isaiah might offend you. Hopefully will challenge you. Above all else, my desire for this series is for it to heighten your desire to seek Jesus with your entire being.

Isaiah was a prophet who many scholars assume walked the earth around 700 years before Jesus. In the book of Isaiah we can learn about God’s character, God’s Father heart, God as the ultimate creator, God’s love, God’s righteous anger, God’s plan for redemption through the coming of Jesus, and how one can receive freedom through pursuing God fully.

This book covers many different aspects of the Christian faith. It allows us to see the complexity of God, and understand that we need to love Him with every part of us in order for Him to be Lord over our lives.

I love how every person's name in the bible foreshadows their character as a person. Isaiah means salvation of the Lord.

God gave Isaiah vision about the coming King. God gave Isaiah boldness to speak truth to the nation of Israel. God told Isaiah to speak to the nations about repentance and salvation.

The nation Isaiah was speaking to was Israel, a nation filled with God’s chosen people. This nation, however, was living in rebellion. I believe God was speaking to Israel, but I also believe there is a reason why we have this book easily accessible for us to read. North American Christian Churches, I think we need to read this book and pray about what God is saying to us through Isaiah.

How often are people praying for one another? How often do people turn to prayer in a time of need? How often do people turn to prayer in a time of praise? How often do we thank God in the midst of chaos and pain because we know that His plans are greater than ours?

The religious leaders in Israel at the time of Isaiah were performing sacrifices and partaking in specific rituals and customs of Jewish law. While they were outwardly doing what they were religiously supposed to do, they were offending God.

They were offensive to God because He knew their hearts were not in line with His.

God knew they were not genuine because they were not caring or concerned for others. Their focus was continually inward; they had a consumeristic mindset, "What can this do for me?" And this is where I may offend you in saying that in present day, I believe this is a common outlook for many Christians. "What can Jesus do for me? If I pray for all of these selfish things maybe God will give them to me!" This is not the heart of God. This is not God’s desire for us as follower’s of Him. Yes, He wants us to turn to Him and pray to him for every aspect of our life, but we should selflessly pray for His will to be done above all else.

God knew His people’s hearts were not in line with His because of their actions towards others.

"Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean, Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, Plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:16-17

IMG_1025This is why I believe it is something that needs to be brought to many Christians' attention. I know this because God knows the desires of our hearts - good actions with selfish intention are not pleasing to God. I know this because God clearly tells us to stop doing wrong and learn to do right. He tells us to seek justice and encourage the oppressed. He tells us to defend the fatherless. Christians, we are given responsibility by God to look after orphans and widows. We know this, and yet there are currently around 300,000 children in foster care and approximately 300,000 churches in America. We are not fulfilling our responsibility as followers of Jesus.

If our hearts as Christians are fully in line with Gods, then we will worship him and be inspired to reach out and help others, just as Jesus would do!

God desires for us to seek Him and allow Him to shape our hearts to be more like His.

"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Isaiah 1: 18-20

Friends, I pray that you will be challenged to worship the Lord like never before. I pray that you will be transformed by His goodness and love for you. I pray that your heart will be shaped and molded to be inspired to help the poor, sick, needy, and fatherless. I challenge you this week to go out of your way to help others and worship the Lord through doing so!

Be blessed this week.

Xo, Meg

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