Introducing…Tirzah Magazine!

Tirzah launch

Hello, beautiful!

Happy New Year!! I hope you had a beautiful Christmas surrounded by the ones you love.

Today is one of the most exciting days of my life. My heart is humbled to the core as we launch Tirzah Magazine.

Originally, I was just going to rebrand this blog, Lovely Thoughts, on a self-hosted site, but the more work I put in, the more God prompted me to dream bigger. So, I bought the domain name and with a whole lot of prayer, got to work.

I’ve dreamed of starting a Christian magazine for young women since I was a little girl, and as this blog began getting more visitors, God showed me that my blog had become my ministry. That in this virtual mission field, the words I write have influence and are making an impact, because this is His plan. 

There are so many blogs, websites, and magazines out there today that claim to promote Christian values for young women, but I’ve found that many of them are shallow and often fall short of edifying Biblical standards. I get so frustrated when I visit one of these sites, only to find the same stuff that I would find on the pages of any secular women’s magazine: beauty how-tos, the latest fashion trends, diet tips and relationship advice. The only thing that’s different is all of this is wrapped up in religion with a few Bible quotes and a self-proclaimed Christian focus.

wo All that other stuff isn’t bad, but it promotes a shallow way of life that so easily causes many young women to focus on worldly, superficial things instead of their faith and calling on this earth.

That’s why I pray this magazine fills in this gap online to talk about the stuff that really matters. This is not yet another site with beauty tutorials or dating advice. Instead, we talk about inner beauty that can’t be found at Sephora and the kinds of love stories that are pure and Godly.

Click here to read more of my letter from the editor about the vision I have for the new website, learn about our newly launched Princess Academy (a virtual school for girls to learn more about living a set-apart life), and enter to win an iPhone 5 case from Bodacious Cases in your favorite colors!

iPhone 5

I will continue to keep this site running as my personal blog to document future adventures (although I probably won’t post over the next few weeks as my focus will be on Tirzah Magazine).

Please note that if you subscribe to this blog by email, you’ll have to re-subscribe on my new site (there is a follow box in the right bottom corner) in order to get emailed updates about new posts.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for this new venture! Thank you so much for all of your support and patience over the last few months! Y’all are awesome!

Love,

YB

The start of something new

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Hey, lovelies!

I will be taking a short hiatus for the month of December from this blog to do a little rebranding, so please be patient as we prepare for a complete re-launch of Lovely Thoughts in January! Not only am I working on a new website design/layout, but lots and lots of new content!

I’m quite nervous about it since I’ve haven’t done very much web design, other than tinkering with what wordpress offers, so if you have any tips, please share.

I’ve loved creating this space – writing lovely thoughts and getting to know some of you and your stories, but for awhile now, I’ve been praying and dreaming about expanding this space into something more. And, I think it’s time for something new – to stop talking and dreaming, and start DOING.

I would love to get your input in this rebranding project, so please stay tuned for a survey to go out in mid-December. If you’re interested in voicing your thoughts on the new look (content, design, mission, etc…), make sure to like our page on Facebook and/or subscribe by email in the sidebar.

In the mean time, I will be posting (almost) daily on the Lovely Thoughts Society facebook page – devotionals, interesting articles, encouraging quotes and personal testimonies. Or, you can browse the archives here for past content as we wrap up 2013!

Happy holidays!

-Yelena

Take me on a {virtual} road trip

It’s my first day of finals, so since I can’t exactly go on a road trip right now, during my study breaks, I’ve been watching this short road trip series presented by Luxury Collection and One Kings Lane.

Doesn’t a weekend getaway in Vermont sounds just lovely? And who can resist NYC? And, finally, Boston… a city that’s been on my bucket list for a looong time. So many places to explore, so little time!

What’s on your travel list?

-Yelena

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

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From a young age, the song Dancing Queen struck a chord deep within me every time it came on the radio. Not because I liked it nor because it’s catchy, but because the artist’s crooning voice spoke to my reserved nature.

Ironically, it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I realized what it means to “never lose your sense of wonder”.

So, to the one who is weighed down by your to-do lists and responsibilities. To the one who feels stuck in your daily routine. To the one who has given up on your dreams and settled for the comfortable life….

Hold on to that little girl inside of you – the one who dreams of traveling the world, marrying a prince, becoming an astronaut, owning a horse farm or becoming the next president of the United States.

Put on your fanciest dress on a Wednesday just because. Take 30 minutes every day to do what makes your soul happy. Dance in the rain and jump in puddles. Wear sequins on a Monday or hats for every other day of the week.

Have adventures wherever you are. Travel. Better yet, move to Paris or Peru. Open your heart to every person you meet. Become a keeper of stories. Say no to something that takes up some of your time, but often leaves you feeling sad or frustrated.

Check things off your bucket list. Book a ticket to Africa or Europe. Take a road trip across the country or to a neighboring state.

Do something that challenges you physically, mentally and spiritually. Throw a fancy dinner party for your family and friends. Open your heart to welcome love and friendship deep into your soul.

Take a leap and start that business you’ve always just called a hobby. Start a blog. Write the next great American novel or a series of e-books.

Speak up for what you believe in, even if you’re the only one standing.

Approach each new day with positive thoughts and the wild-eyed look of a newborn. Lose the cynicism and look for the good in people. Don’t let anyone put you in a box and call it “normal.”

Do what makes you happy. Dedicate your life to what you were created to do. Don’t settle for what’s comfortable. You were created for MORE.

Happy Monday!

-Yelena

Image vie Making Magique

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I can’t quite believe it’s Thanksgiving already! I’ve been knee-deep in textbooks and study supplements all week preparing for finals over the next two weeks, but I’m hoping to sneak away for the day to drive down to spend Thanksgiving with my family and church.

I truly believe that we should make time for the Lord, regardless of what is going on in our lives or how busy our to-do lists are, God is always the first priority.

So, today, I hope you make time to spend some time with your family and friends. Soak in the silly antics, bickering and laughter around the dinner table. Unplug for a few hours (you can post those yummy Thanksgiving spread photos on Instagram tomorrow).

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. -1 Thessalonians 5:18

But, remember the most important reason for this day: to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.

Holiday traditions aside, today is the day our nation comes together to focus one thing and one thing only: to say thank-you and bask in the glow of how blessed we are. It goes beyond religion, denominations and even cultures; that is the beauty of this holiday.

Today, let’s be grateful with our whole hearts, minds and lives. For we are incredibly blessed.

xo,

Yelena

PS. I am so thankful today for every single one of you – thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, to send me an email or even like an LTS status on Facebook. Y’all are in my heart and prayers today. May God bless you and your families!

PPS. Posting may be sporadic over the next few weeks due to finals, but I’ll try to do at least few short posts here and there! Please keep me in your prayers. :)

Image via A Beautiful Mess

The Desert Season

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I am not at all sure where time went. Classes are over and now I’m in major study mode preparing for two weeks worth of finals starting after Thanksgiving. Just like that, my first semester of law school is almost over.

Looking back though, I see how much I’ve learned – about the law, God, and myself. These last three months have truly made up a unique season in my life.

“You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.”

-Corrie Ten Boom

This quote sums up this season of my life so well. The thing about moving away from home for the first time, to live alone in a city where you don’t know a soul, is that it brings to light a lot of your vulnerabilities.

Before I moved, I had a strong support system – my family, friends and church kept me grounded emotionally and spiritually.

But then, it was just me. And Jesus. Suddenly, He was the only one I could turn to when loneliness threatened to overwhelm my sanity, or when after hours of studying, I still didn’t understand the concept.

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A guide to preppy style

Speaking of creative tendencies, I have been blogging for House of Marbury, a fashion and style blog for female lawyers, and it’s been so much fun! I contribute a post every Friday, as well as manage their social media – coolest job ever. :)

Here are a few posts I’ve written over the last few weeks that fulfill my love for all things fashion and lovely things: 

A guide to preppy style

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The Royal Wardrobe:

How to build a wardrobe worthy of a princess

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Channeling Lauren Santo Domingo:

How to build an office wardrobe worthy of an uptown socialite

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I could go on and on, because there are sooo many amazing posts over at HOM.  Oh, and this is not shameful promotion, I really can’t believe I get to be a part of such an amazing project and get to write about fashion.

Happy Saturday!

-Yelena