Ever since I was little I always thought to myself, who do I want to be?
What type of woman, daughter, sister, leader, and role model do I want to be.
As a result, growing up I tried to be exactly what I wanted to be seen as. I tried my best to be the woman God has created me to be.
Ever since ever, I knew I wanted to be a women of God. I always say who am I, if I am not spreading God's love, grace, and mercy to others around me.
There have always been Noble Women around me, examples of the Proverbs 31 woman. My mom, my grandma Stump, my Grandma Dean, and others around me.
I am writing this blog post not because I am even near being this noble woman, but it is something I strive to be.
Since high school, and now college, I have always felt like a bit of an outcast. Unlike many of those around me.
Im the "grandma" of the bunch haha
Okay, not really... but kinda.... I just don't fit in because my priorities in life have always been different from kids my age.
I am not in college to party and have fun. Sure, I need to get out more probably and step out of my comfort box! But, many kids my age, many girls, step outside of this "noble character" and it's not really them.
To me, I am in school to get my education, to meet others, and to spread God's love.
I get it... I think we all at different times in life try to be something we're not.
But I want girls, to know that you don't have to step out of your own skin and be something you aren't.
I've learned to love my coffee drinking, staying in on a Friday night, Jesus loving self.
And if others around me at school or whatever say, "why don't you get out and have fun for once in your life"
I can just say I am having fun, it's just not your definition of fun.
Now I'm not saying that if you are the party, having a ton of fun type that's bad, because it's not. But I just want the girls who are trying to be that, and feel out of place, or lost, etc. You don't have to be that girl to fit in. Find yourself elsewhere. You can find yourself in Jesus.
My biggest thing is just don't forget about what is truly the most important thing in life, Jesus.
So why is being a Noble Woman so important to me?
First... Let's start off with where in the Bible it talks about being "The Wife of Noble Character"
Here are 31 Characteristics I came up with for the Noble Woman
SHE IS FAITHFUL , WISE , KIND , VIRTUOUS , MODEST , STRONG , DIGNIFIED , HUMBLE , MEEK , HONORABLE
FEARS NOTHING OTHER THAN GOD , SHE IS GOOD, TEACHABLE , CHARITABLE , GIVING , ENCOURAGING , LOVING , BRAVE , PRAISEWORTHY , COMPASSIONATE , LOYAL , TRUSTWORTHY , SHE GIVES HER ALL , SHE NEVER GIVES UP , she is HARDWORKING , SHE KNOWS HER WORTH , SHE IS SELFLESS , SHE IS A PROVIDER , CARING , PASSIONATE , and CONFIDENT
It says she is worth far more than rubies. That her husband has full confidence in her.
That she brings him good.
When I look at my grandma and mom I see this in them. Every day of their life they spread goodness, they spread God's love, mercy, and grace.
They aren't perfect, but they love Jesus with all their hearts, and that's what being a Noble Woman means to me.
I picture a Noble Woman like the one in Proverbs waking up early, making breakfast for her husband and kids, preparing her home for another day. She is most likely tired, but there is a smile on her face because she knows that Jesus has the day ready for her. So she faces her days without fear, worry, and anxiety. Most importantly I picture her with her sights set on Jesus. He is her role model and while she might not be there yet, she is on her way to becoming a wife of noble character.
She opens her arms out to all people, because everyone on this Earth is a Child of God.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."
This is a Bible verse I have looked upon my whole life. This is the type of woman I want to be. The type of wife I want to be.
Clothed in strength, not from myself or the world, but Strength from God. Dignity found in Jesus and his love. Living my life with no fear of the days to come, not worrying about my future job, or planning out each and every day of my life. But letting God have full control and trusting in Him and His plan that he has for me and my life.
Forgetting about all the material items and focusing on spreading God's love to those around me.
It says in Proverbs 31:
Charm is deceptive, and Beauty is fleeting (short / passing).
BUT A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD IS TO BE PRAISED
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
So girls, be yourself, follows God's plan for you, keep your faith, and strive to be the Noble Woman.
Who is a Noble Woman in your life?
I get it, you feel like you’re not enough sometimes. Sometimes you come across as confident. Sometimes your words and your actions and the way that you present yourself all seem to be carried with this poise. But deep down you’re struggling. You’re searching. You’re wondering why aren’t I enough.
Let me tell you something, I truly believe this, and I want you to believe this too because it’s true.
Not for one moment do I believe that Jesus wants to think that we are inadequate or not enough.
I don’t want you to drown in the idea of self worth. Each and everyone of you have so much to offer in this world, so much to give this world. So much to change this world. You are valuable, you are worthy, because of him. Of course you’re going to have the nights when you feel like you’re not enough when you feel like you’re not worth it. If you have them talk to Jesus, ask him to cover you in his grace. Ask him that you wake up whole and free again.
Every time you convince yourself that you’re not worthy. You get rid of the the worth that Jesus has instilled in you.
Remember that with him, you are enough. With him you are made complete.
We are tempted by things in this world, that make us believe that we’re not enough. That make us believe that we’re not worthy. Because we are human we fall. But with God we can rise back up. We strive for an idea of perfection that the world has created but doesn’t exist. Who is the world to say what you are, or what you should become.
When we forget that we are worthy, that we are enough and that we are valuable to God, we replace the biblical view of self worth with a smaller, harmful, worldly, view of self worth.
This is when we start to create idols in our lives, when we start to want to be something that we aren’t. Whether those idols have to do with beauty, money, fame, intelligence, whatever it is, we start to think, feel, and worry about the things we think we left but others have and we think that the world says we need those things.
So when you start to feel this way when you start to feel not worthy. Remember that you are special, that each and every person in this world has different talents and abilities that were given to them by a God that loves that. That were placed into their life for reason and for a purpose. God made no mistake in creating you. He formed you with his own hands, perfect in his eyes. If we start looking through the eyes of God and stop looking through the fogged glasses of the world, you will begin to see your worth through God.
A race the masks, take them off, take away the fake confidence or pressure that you put on yourself with that others put on you. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and free in Jesus Christ.
I pray that each and everyone of you start to see yourself through the eyes of the Lord, and not only start to see yourself through the eyes of the Lord but start to see others through the eyes of him as well. This is how we can change the idea of perfection, this is how we can change the way that we view worth.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God , and He loves you more than anyone on this earth could ever love you. You were made in his image, with his hands, perfect to him. And that is all that matters.
After moving away to school only 2 1/2 hours away from home, and almost every weekend traveling back to my hometown, I always think to myself,
THANK GOD FOR HOMETOWNS
I remember kids in high school always saying, I don’t wanna end up here, I have to get out of here, there’s so much more out there than this tiny town. Of course I’ve said this too, "I want to live anywhere but here". But the older I get the more I think, I wouldn’t mind living here. Of course I’d rather see mountains in my backyard than cornfields but when my great grandpa said, this is the best place in Indiana. I truly believed it.
Hometowns teach you a lot, they teach you the importance of tradition. Sometimes tradition seems like a silly thing but the fact of it is, it’s part of who you are. You grew up this way, more likely, so did your parents. It’s something that is a part of family history and it’s so important.
Growing up in a small town has taught me so much. My hometown has taught me how to be thankful for family and friends because, no matter how many times they get on your nerves or make you mad, they are the ones who will always be there for you and you should never take that for granted.
Hometowns teach you how to give back. And small hometowns show you what the word community really means. Everyone is always willing to lend a helping hand when you need one. Community is working together to build a better atmosphere, being there to raise each other up, build each other up, and pick each other up when someone is in need. Think about sporting events. Where I grew up sporting events were huge thing, everyone went, and everyone supported every player. For me, a prime example of community, is Elkhart County. I have a special place in my heart for this place. Not because I like the setting. It's because of the people.
Hometown's teach you how to work for what you want. Nothing comes easy in life. They always say "gardens don’t grow overnight", and theres truth to that. To get to the place you wanna be in life it takes work and effort. It doesn’t happen just because you want it to.
Hometown’s teach you how to be well-rounded.
Of course all of us complain about how bored we are in the middle of nowhere. But really there’s so much to do, you just have to make fun yourself. Hometown to me is growing up amongst the cornfields, summers spent by the lake or pond. Playing kickball and red rover at recess. Catching turtles and anything else you could find in the creek. Running barefoot, and when a storm came and it rained, you grab a bucket and picked as many worms out of the ground as possible and filled the bucket to the rim. It's spending your afternoon exploring the woods behind your house, and riding your four wheeler‘s in the fields as you time yourself to see how fast you can get around. (Or that was just me because that little camo 90 was my favorite and I'm super competitive)
We count the days until the county fair, because to us (or maybe this is a me thing too) it’s better than Disney World.
Alright let’s leave the county fair to another blog post because I can literally talk about the fair for hours. NO JOKE
These are all things that represent hometown to me. Things I would never want to give up. Thing's I want my kids to have and understand. Forget the iphone and get outside. I want them to appreciate and love their hometown. Play in the mud, yell at your brother when he throws a worm at you.
Every week at school I look forward to the next time that I’m going back to my hometown. When I get to see family.
So sure, maybe you want to leave, maybe you want to get out of here, it’s fine I get it. Sometimes I want to get out of here too! But the moral of this post is that I am so grateful and blessed for the community that I have grown up in, for the people that I’ve gotten to know because of my community. I have a great love for Elkhart County. It will always have a special place in my heart whether I end up here or don’t. To me, Home truly is the best place in Indiana.
If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that I can trust that my hometown roots will lead me in the right direction.
So thank God for HomeTowns. For the people, for the few city lights that welcome you in, for the church pews, and for the faces that will never forget you.
You know when you get a very clear image from God. I feel like most of us have a place that we get close with God and pray. For me that is my car, so on my way home from school one weekend I was praying as I normally do for the 2 1/2 hour long drive. In the distance I saw clouds, clouds that appeared to make an image but I couldn’t quite make out the image. The weekend before my parents and I had gone to see the ark in Kentucky. A link to our current below in case you want to go visit, I Highly recommends that you go visit. But on my way home I felt something very different. I felt like God was trying to tell me something, so I asked him to give me a vision. As I saw the clouds in the distance I was trying to make out what they want, at first I thought it was Noah and the ark but the closer I got the more I saw other things. I kept thinking to myself what could this be, what is God trying to show me. I kept driving and getting closer to the clouds, when I turned in the next road I noticed that it looked like a bunch of buildings. Like big tall skyscrapers. And then I looked over to the left and I saw another cloud with big tall buildings as well. And then I thought to myself it’s like a city. Well I was thinking all this and seen the clouds with this beautiful design , I couldn’t help but think I am I just imagining this and making things up in my head or am I supposed to really be seeing this. So I said to God, God if I really even supposed to be seeing this could you please give me a sign. After I asked of us he made the words city of heaven pop into my head. I said OK God I see clouds in the sky that look like a city and now you’ve given me city of heaven. Are these the words that I am supposed to hear from you I asked him. The moment I asked this The song I can only imagine came on the radio. If you know me really well then you know that song has a special meaning in my heart. I have seen you at two funerals for both of my great grandfathers. Is a very powerful song to everyone who hears it, I highly recommend seeing the movie on it. After this I knew that this is exactly what I was supposed to be seeing. God wanted me to see for some reason, the city of heaven. I cannot express to you in words how beautiful this image truly was.
When I got home I instantly started to search everywhere in the Bible to try to find some meaning behind these words God had given me. I was sitting in church on Sunday, when I suddenly got distracted by yet again the city of heaven. I decided that in the middle of church I was going to have my own little Bible session and figure out what God was trying to tell me. The more I read the more I found. And then suddenly my answer was as clear as glass. This is what I found…
In Hebrews 10 it says..
Do not throw away your confidence, for it will be richly rewarded. Also, in just a little while, "he who is coming will come and not delay"
LIVE YOUR LIFE BY FAITH
The next point I found was that we might not be worthy to the world, but we are worthy to Him.
We were made perfectly in the eyes of God. Every flaw, imperfection, might be those things to society, but they are all perfect to God. Our worth is found in Him. Nothing else.
By fixing our eyes on the Lord we will see everything we need to see. He pioneers our faith, so don't lose heart. Just trust in Him and the path that HE HAS for you. Not the path you have for yourself. You are going to endure hardships in your life, and that is all a part of the process. It is a part of his plan for you. It said in my findings to make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy. Without holiness no one will see the Lord. We must see to it that no one falls short of the grace of God. That no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Now onto the City of Heaven....
Hebrews 12 : 22
"But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem."
God's voice has the power to shake the Earth, only he can shake us. And together we can help shake others to bring them back to their father.
God said, "he will remove what can be shaken (this is everything on Earth, all created things) so that what cannot be shaken will remain.
THAT ONE THING THAT CAN"T BE SHAKEN IS THE TRUTH, THE LIGHT, GOD.
We must keep loving each other as brothers and sisters, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We must keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what God has given us.
God is the helper to the helpless, and we are the helpless.
God will never leave us, nor forsake us.
"The Lord is your helper; do not be afraid, what more can mortals do to you?"
JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME AS YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER.
We are strengthened by God's love and grace. With Him all things are possible.
As I continued to read and dig deeper, I read this next bit that shook me.
"FOR HERE (on Earth) WE DO NOT HAVE AN ENDURING CITY, BUT WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE CITY THAT IS TO COME"
In your everyday life do not forget to do something good, don't forget to share God's love and grace with others around you. The people you meet at the nail salon, grocery, school, work, etc. Share the word of God wherever you go. Have confidence through Him, and pray for everyone. God has equipped us with everything we need. If you let him, and your sight is clear, you will see how God works through us and for us. Grace is with us all. And the Earth and what we have is not our City.
Our City is the one we are waiting for, The City Of Heaven, The City of God
April is "Limb Loss Awareness Month" or as I like to say "Limb Difference Awareness Month"
Okay, lets not get into the politics of missing your limb (yes that's a thing).
If you didn't know already I was born missing my left arm right below the elbow. My parent's found out on a 20 week ultra-sound. There are many things I have learned while growing up with one arm, and needless to say NEVER DO I EVER WANT TO ARMS!!
So let's talk about a few topics in regards to being Limb Different... Also, thank you all for asking questions!! I hope my answers can help you and your children.
WHY DON'T YOU WEAR A PROSTHETIC?
I got my first prosthetic at 5 months old. It helped me to crawl. Growing up I wore a prosthetic pretty often, on my first day of school I would wear one because it helped explained things to the kids. As I grew up I continued to get new ones as I grew. I didn't hate it, it helped me do gymnastics and figure out a back handspring. But as I got older at the age of 8-10 I started to really think to myself, who am I? and Who do I want to become? I have always been a spitfire, and I speak my opinion no matter what, if you don't like it, well then don't listen. So I decided why would I wear a prosthetic for the rest of my life when that's NOT WHO I AM. I was fearfully and wonderfully made by God who see's me as perfect in his eyes. I decided that's who I am. I am a daughter of a loving, forgiving, and incredible God (father). I want to spread this message, it doesn't mean I am against prosthetics but I just found that it wasn't me. And they were more in my way than anything else. I can do more with my little arm than I can a prosthetic. But this is for me, not anyone else. Everyone has to decide whether they want to wear one or not. For me I don't.
ONE HANDED PONYTAILS??
This one is a tough one, it took me years of practice. I finally figured it out by age 16. My best advice is practice. While I can put up my hair now no problem, it doesn't mean that it isn't still a challenge. Sometimes I put it up and it looks absolutely awful. As a result, sometimes it takes me more than 8 tries to get it up looking just decent. I get a lot of questions on this, so this coming week I will be posting a video on Wednesday of how I put up my hair!
HAIR PRODUCTS THAT ARE BETTER / EASIER TO USE??
When it comes to curling your hair, straitening, etc. There isn't any products on the market made for one armed people. Again, it took me years of practice. I found that when curling my hair, I would wrap the cord around my little arm really tight and curl my hair this way ( wand style). I will post a video of this as well! So, stay tuned on my Facebook and Instagram @ImperfectlySarah
HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE LOOKS???
The looks can be the hardest bit, trust me I get it. Sometimes I wish people understood that it get's really annoying. The thing is the stares will never stop, your whole life you will see new people everyday and everyone is going to wonder, "what happened???"
My best advice is to ignore them. I know it can be hard but I have personally just ignored them my whole life and now I rarely notice them. The stares aren't worth your time, tears, or anything else. If they stare let them stare, you can't blend in when you were born to stand out. We all have differences. Some people have blonde hair and some brown hair. I like to think that my one arm is no different than that. Sure, I look funny, I know that! Sometimes when I see someone that looks like me I begin to understand why people stare. And sometimes if you see people starring too much and you really can't take it, I encourage you to confront them and let them know your story. You have the ability to change the way they see. Educate as many people as possible, because if you do we can start changing people perspectives. Remember,
WE CAN'T CHANGE THE WAY WE LOOK, BUT PEOPLE CAN CHANGE THE WAY THEY SEE.
BEST ADVICE FOR YOUNG ONES ENTERING SCHOOL?? TALK TO THE CLASS OR FIGURE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN???
School can be a difficult thing. I highly recommend parents go in and talk to the class the first day of school. My parents did this for me and it made it a lot easier on me, this way I didn't have to answer as many questions. Kids listen to adults better than they do other kids their age. However, after that one time on every first day, let your kid figure out the rest and once they get to a certain age they will know how to answer the questions. When it comes to school kids are always going to stare and some kids are going to say something really rude. As a parent, teach your kids to ignore the harsh comments because the reason why there are bullies is because that kid that is bullying is facing a really hard situation too, and maybe they just need a friend. When going into school just BE YOURSELF. If someone doesn't like you for who you are, then they don't need to be in your life. Here is a speech that I did, I think it will help.
KIDS ASKING ABOUT THEIR HAND?
The first time I asked about my hand, I said, "Mom wheres my hand?" My mom said, "Jesus has it in heaven."
My parents always told me that that's the way God made me and Has my other hand in heaven. I always believed my mom and she spoke truth. God has created all of us uniques and he decided to make some of us with one arm, and I am forever grateful he chose me.
The dating world can be a challenge, luckily I've had a good experience most of the time. I have found that very few guys are completely comfortable with my arm, but it makes it easier for me to know who is the right one.
I have had some really rude and harsh words said to me by boys I had crushes on. It hurt me, it hurt bad. Then I realized that they were immature, and not men of God, and definitely not worth my time. My best advice is that there will always be people that are going to say harsh and really mean comments. But that just let's you know that they aren't the one. The right person is going to love you for your differences, they will love you more because of them. I always said....when I find someone that holds my little arm like it's my real arm then I'll know.
For typing I actually had a one armed typing program, it was super easy and I became the fastest typer in my class.
Heres the link: https://www.typingclub.com/one-hand-typing
MY PARENTS HANDLING CHALLENGES I FACED??
My parents are a big reason as to why I am so strong. They never treated me any different than my brother just because I had one arm, yet they encouraged me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Something my parents did that made a massive impact on my life was that they always encouraged me and pushed me to be my best and do my best. They always let me do things on my own and figure things out on my own, if I needed help I asked for it. This made me so much stronger in the end. If I faced a challenge and I cried because I couldn't figure something out, my dad always said to me, "Sarah stop crying it's not worth the tears, we will figure out a way." And he was right. With his help sometimes, and lots of practice, I always figured out a way.
Support your child always, and encourage them to never give up. Let them figure things out on their own and if they ask for help, give them a hand. There needs to be that balance. My parents are a lot of why I am so confident and strong. I owe it to them and God.
DID I FEEL SUPPORTED ALL THE TIME??
There was never a time when I didn't feel supported. My parent's were always encouraging me to practice, never give up, and go after my dreams. As a parent, the best thing you can do is just love. Your children will see that. I love my parents more than anything, and I am extremely close to them. Not only was I supported by my parents, but I was supported by my family and community as well. My family were my biggest cheerleaders. They were always the loudest at all my sporting events. My family and my faith are my backbone.
Well known for her love for Jesus, coffee, and having one arm. Sarah share's stories in her life in hope to help others. She wants you to know that,
"Our differences do not define who we are but are a part of the story that God has written for our lives."
Sarah says, " I hope that I can be someone to relate to in a world of untold real stories. Everything I write is from my heart and real."
"We are all created imperfectly perfect by God, we should be proud of our imperfections and differences, they make us who we are today but do not define us, know that you are beautiful and remind yourself of this everyday."