Sunday, March 1, 2015

I AM HIS DAUGHTER

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? 
Have you ever wondered if you are making the best choices for your life? 
Do you have lofty dreams and goals but just aren’t quite sure how to reach them? 
For some reason, today I have felt all these emotions and had each of these questions run through my mind. I have pondered on where I am right now in my life and where I would like to be. I have questioned if I am making all the right choices to accomplish my goals. I have stressed about my future; jobs, money, relationships etc. 
I began worrying so much about what is to come that I started losing sight of what is happening right now. I even began comparing myself and my own journey to all those I observed on social media. (Word to the wise: Don’t browse instagram on days you aren’t feeling super great about yourself.) 
It’s embarrassing to admit, but I truly started feeling kind of down and extremely overwhelmed. Nothing about my current circumstances changed, but my attitude did. I began worrying more than trusting. I allowed myself to become discouraged. 
As I continued sulking during my self-inflicted pity party, one of my very favorite songs came on. (Shared at bottom of post). It is amazing what power music can have on our mood. Almost instantly, my attitude changed. I realized that I was stressing so much because I was relying on my own knowledge and skills. I wasn’t including my all-knowing, Heavenly Father.
This is my dad. I think it is safe to say that I was blessed to be the daughter of the absolute greatest man to ever live. After years of heartache, prayers, and anticipation I was welcomed to this Earth by the most loving and capable parents. They were more than ready to be my Mom and Dad. They had prepared and knew how to raise me. 
I love this photo of me looking up at my dad. I clearly was not ready to take care of myself. I needed parents to do that for me. I had no real control over what happened to me, I just had to trust that my parents knew what was best. Luckily for me, they did. I am their daughter and they want want is best for me. As I grew older I began making my own choices, still often influenced by the example and teachings of my parents. At 24 years old I am still seeking the guidance and approval of my mom and dad. They have guided me this far and shown me a path that leads to happiness.  
Each of us has a Father who is ready, willing and prepared to guide us. He is all-knowing and loves us more than we can comprehend. Just like I am looking up in this photo to my Earthly father, each of us needs to "look up” to our Father in Heaven. He has a plan for each of us. It is marked out with our own personal stepping stones and even road blocks. No ones journey will look the same, there is not a “One-Size-Fits-All” plan. 
Heavenly Father will lead you along the course of your own life. He will be there to help you make decisions that will move you along on the right path. However, He also expects us to make our own decisions. We are required to use our agency to grow and to learn while we are here on Earth. That’s the whole purpose of this life. If Heavenly Father told us exactly what we should do, exactly when we should do it, and we never made any of our own choices it would minimize the use of our agency.  “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.” - Joseph Smith 
My parents had to make decisions for me when I was a baby, as did yours. As I grew older it was time for me to begin making my own. Through all my choices and personal experiences (good or bad) I have learned and grown into who I am today. Heavenly Father has been there every step of my journey and He will continue cheering me on and guiding me just as He will for you. He will help direct you in making the right choices for your life, however, there will also be times when He will expect you to make a decision for yourself. 
I might not have my whole life figured out and that is OKAY. I know that as long as I am doing the best that I can and I am following the loving promptings offered by not only my Earthly parents but my Father in Heaven, everything will work out exactly the way that it should. I am HIS daughter and I can trust in Him to guide my path as long as I am willing to “LOOK UP". When you are feeling discouraged or overwhelmed, remember to “look up” and trust in Him. When we "look up", we have no need to fear.




How has “Looking Up” blessed your life?

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

SHOP BE WISE

I just got my brand new Marble iPhone case from the BE WISE Shop and I absolutely LOVE it! Seriously it has become my very favorite case. It’s super high quality and I can feel confident that it will protect my phone. Check out this case along with others from our shop HERE. || If you would like to see your designs on our products email us at bewisemag@gmail.com.  We would love to collaborate with you! 

Which BE WISE product is your favorite? Comment with the link below!


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Monday, February 23, 2015

ABIDE || ZELLA WOODS

In our last issue of BE WISE Magazine we were fortunate enough to collaborate with  the outstanding Zella Woods Designs. We received this lovely “Abide” cuff for their feature. Since then, it has rarely left my wrist. It has easily become one of my very favorite pieces of jewelry, 1. because it is seriously so darling, and 2. I love the message that it reminds me of. 
On their website they share a bit about this bracelet and what it stands for: 
 a·bide verb. 1. to wait for : await. 2. (a.) to endure without yielding : withstand. (b.) to bear patiently : tolerate. 3. to accept without objection.  
John 15:10-12  - 10. If you keep my commands, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and abide in His love. 11. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  
1 John 2:5-6  -  5. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: 6. Whoever claims to abide in Him must abide as Jesus did.   
. . . . .
Each time I wear this bracelet I am reminded of my Savior and my responsibility to rely on him. I am reminded that I should always stand by His side while also allowing Him to stand by mine. It reminds me to trust in Him and His timing. I will forever be grateful of the knowledge I have of my Savior and all that He has done for me. 

Be sure to check out Zella Woods Designs HERE. You will LOVE all their stunning jewelry. 
Let us know which pieces are your FAVORITE! 

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

BLOGGING WITH A PURPOSE

Just yesterday I had a fairly simple yet profound experience that truly made an impact on me. 
I was checking out my Facebook notifications and one of the comments was from my sweet cousin. She had informed me that the link to my blog was not working. I immediately rushed to check it out and I found that sure enough, the domain to my blog had been blocked and suspended. 
I fell into a panic, 1. because I am not very computer savvy, and 2. I had recently shared a new post and I was afraid that no one would read it. I quickly said a prayer, (my sweet mom did too), that I could figure out how to fix it. Just under an hour later I had finally gotten everything fixed and working again. 
I promptly went on with what I had been doing before this situation occurred when it hit me... God really is in control. I remembered at that moment to thank Him for helping me fix everything. However, more than that, I realized how much I truly do and need to depend on Him. 
When I started BE WISE my sole purpose was to blog for Him. We were a team, I “promoted” Him while He “promoted” me. Often along the way I got caught up in myself. I was pretty stoked when I started receiving free product from awesome companies and for awhile this blog was focused primarily on what I could get rather than what I could give. 
Yesterday my entire mentality changed. I remembered why I started. It was not for free product, it was not for my own personal recognition. It was for Him. I know that if I want BE WISE to be all that it is capable of being then I have to rely on Him. If I want to have a positive influence on the world through my blog, then it can’t be for or about me. It has to be for and about Him. 
Although it is a small and simple example, this is also true for our own lives. God can make us into so much more than we can, just as I know He can make my blog into more than I could alone. Allow Him to guide you and trust in His direction. 
When have you depended on the Lord and how did it bless your life? 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CONFESSIONS OF A [FORMER] TANAHLOIC


Hello, my name is Ceciley and I am a [former] tanahloic
Yep. I am embarrassed to admit it, but this statement is very true. Once upon a time I spent way more money than I should have on creams, lotions, sprays, or any smelly substance I could get my hands on to achieve a *fingers crossed* natural looking tan. During my senior year of high school, I was introduced to the oh so convenient tanning bed. Again, I spent way more money than I should have, and damaged my skin way more often than I would like to admit, in the hopes of becoming even more tan. 
Lucky for me I had parents who intervened at a fairly crucial time. 
I remember them sitting me down and explaining how what I was doing was not only a waste of money, but also very harmful for my skin. While I knew deep down they were right, it was still super hard for me to give up. I had grown quite fond of my constant golden tan and the compliments I received weren’t horrible either. 
Although I had read many articles about the dangers of skin cancer and tanning beds, I wasn’t sure if I could quit. I literally remember thinking, “No guy will ever find me attractive if I am white and pasty.” Oh how I wish I could go back in time and talk some sense into that silly young girl. Quite frankly, there is no guy on Earth who is worth destroying my skin and risking skin cancer for. 
It has taken me years, but I can proudly say that I honestly don’t remember the last time I stepped foot into a tanning salon. In fact, I am probably as white and pasty as I ever have been. Has it been easy? No. I would be lying if I said I was never tempted to go. Just this week as I was thinking about my plans for summer I thought about how white my skin will be and how “embarrassed” I will feel without a tan. The saddest part about that thought is that I have sincerely allowed society to convince me about what is and is not beautiful. There is no reason for me to feel embarrassed about the “whiteness” of my skin. NEWS FLASH: I am white. Therefore my skin is white. 
I might never again have a golden brown tan. I also will likely never have gorgeous thick long hair, but I guess we can’t have it all, am I right? And guess what... That is OKAY. I was created just how God wanted me to be. If He had wanted me to have beautiful golden brown skin, I would have been born with beautiful golden brown skin. All those years I spent wishing I looked different and damaging my skin were truly a slap in the face to the One who created me. 
God created you exactly how he wanted you to be. Instead of focusing on your “imperfections” spend some time thanking God for all the beauty that he blessed you with. Our bodies are magnificent. They truly are a gift from God. The sooner we stop criticizing them the sooner we will learn to love and appreciate them. 
What can you do to better appreciate the body God has blessed you with?

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Friday, February 13, 2015

HAPPY DAY OF LOVE

Valentines Day, Single Awareness Day... whatever you might call it, this day has snuck up on us once again. You might have a lovely romantic night planned with your significant other or maybe you plan on treating yourself to a box of chocolates and a night of chick flicks. Either way, this post can still apply to you. 
Once upon a time I was in high school. I never had a “best friend” during that time or one specific close group of friends who I hung out with. I often prayed that I would find that, but during all four years it never happened. Most of my weekends I ended up spending at home with my family. When I did venture out to the occasional football game it was my little brother who would most likely be accompanying me.   
Now don’t get me wrong, this is not a sob story about how I didn’t have any friends in high school. I had plenty. In fact, people would often comment on the fact that I knew so many people. But for some reason I was never really able to find my niche. I fit everywhere but nowhere at the same time. No matter how many times I prayed, I was never able to find my oh-so-sought-after “close group of friends”. 
It wasn’t until years later that I realized my prayers really had been answered all along. I just wasn’t able to recognize it because they weren’t answered in the way I had intended or anticipated. During those four years of high school I “found” the greatest group of friends I ever could have dreamed of finding. A group of friends who loved me unconditionally and who helped me become the best version of myself. This group of friends was my family. 
After many years of tears, I realized that Heavenly Father had provided me with the greatest answer to my prayers. During those four years of high school I did spend many nights at home. When I did go out it was often with one of my siblings. I spent quality time with them and created a lasting friendship. When I needed someone to talk to I would turn to my real best friend, my mom. Looking back now, there is no one I would rather have spent my time with. All my friends from high school are long gone living their own individual lives. Any guy I was crushing on is probably married to some other girl. But the incredible people in my little family are never going anywhere. 
For many, Valentines Day is a day where we celebrate our "significant others" or our "romantic interests”.  If you happen to be single (like me) it is a day where we may be reminded of our “singleness”. However, Valentines Day is so much more than just that. To me, Valentines Day is a day where we celebrate love and all those who have a place in our heart. Maybe those people are your family, maybe they are your friends, or even a significant other. Whoever it might be, celebrate those people. Let them know that you love them.  
I truly hope that you all have such a wonderful Valentines Day! Please know that you are so loved, regardless of where you might be on your journey. On this "day of love” remember the one who loves us all perfectly. Our Savior is the ultimate example of love. No matter where you might be on your own personal journey, whether you are single or in a relationship, there is one who loves you unconditionally. He gave His life so that we could all live. He knows you. He loves you. He wants what is best for you. This Valentines Day, show your appreciation to Him by showing love to others. Speak more kindly, love more freely. 
[Photos are of me with my cute little sister taken by our awesome dad. Seemed fitting to use them for this post. Sorry there are so many, it was hard eliminating because I loved them all so much. Enjoy! || Outfit details at the bottom of the post.]



















ON MARY - HAT: American Eagle || VEST: Urban Blues || PANTS: Pacsun || BOOTS: Target || GOLD BAR NECKLACE: Urban Outfitters || LONG GEM NECKLACE: Urban Blues || BRACELET: c/o Amy Cornwell || WATCH: c/o Feral Watches   
ON CECILEY - HAT: Nordstrom || TOP: Target || BUTTON UP: Forever 21 || PANTS: H&M || BOOTS: H&M || GOLD BAR NECKALCE: c/o James Michelle || LONG GOLD NECKLACE: Urban Blues || WATCH: Nixon || BRACELET: c/o Zella Woods

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

THERE ISN’T A “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL-PLAN"


You may start reading through this and begin thinking that it sounds a lot like my “Happy and Single” post, and well.. it probably does. This post is honestly just as much (or more) for me, as it is for those of you reading it. It is a lesson I continue to find myself learning, (or striving to learn) over and over.   
Now if you are not from Utah,  LDS, over the age of 21, and single, you might not quite understand the real and/or perceived pressure there is to find “the one” and get married.  If you are however, you know exactly what I am talking about. 
I am currently in that “awkward” stage of life where I am graduated from college, working in my chosen career field, and still not married. Would I like to be married? Of course. Does it make me sad that I’m not? I would be lying if I said no. HOWEVER. There is one thing I do know, but often forget. God has a plan for me. And guess what? My plan is not like your plan. It is not like my sister’s plan. And it is not like the plan for all my friends who got married before me. It is my own. A plan carefully crafted by my Father in Heaven. It might not look like anyone else’s, and you know what? As much as I might have wanted it to, I’m glad it doesn’t. I know that God has a very specific plan for me. He knows what I stand in need of more than I do. He knows the desires of our hearts and all that we deserve.  However, in order to receive, we first must trust.   

Instead of feeling like you are living in that “awkward” stage of life, simply because of the ridiculous pressures and expectations placed on us by society, choose to focus on the opportunities God is blessing you with. You might not have everything you want right now. You might not even get it in this lifetime. But I know that when we trust in Him, God provides us with everything we need 

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