“Hey girl! Random question! Lol. Are you a Disney Princess Movie fan? And just for fun, which is your favorite one?”
I received this DM from @FoReVeR_ShineOn and, being a total Disney fan, I knew I would love this conversation! Let me tell you, social media can be such a cool thing. Little did I know, this author/singer/song-writer is also from Michigan! You can feel her passion for encouraging women on who they are in Christ through her books, articles, videos, interviews, and more. She writes on beauty, love, friendship, positive thinking, and other articles on how to be a Princess Warrior for Christ. She’s interviewed artists such as Chris Tomlin, Colton Dixon, TobyMac, Francesca Battistelli, For King & Country, Kari Jobe, and much more! I’m ecstatic to share a new fmG Guest Feature- Livy Jarmusch!
fashion meets God: My friend, you have such a way with words! The way you use them to portray a picture for the readers is outstanding. Has writing always been a forte and passion for you?
Livy Jarmusch: Oh wow, thank you for that sweet compliment. All the glory goes to Jesus, though! I’ve always loved writing, but I haven’t always been good at it! (Even when I look back at things I wrote four years ago, I shudder.) It’s certainly a learned skill, just like anything else in life, and I’m still focusing on honing and developing what happens with my pen. I have such a long way to go! But I do believe that God placed the desire to write and tell stories in my heart, when I was just a little girl. I’ve always been drawn to words and how they can serve as portals to transport you to another time and place.
LJ: I launched Crown of Beauty in January of 2012. As I mentioned earlier, I was fresh out of High School, and honestly had no clue what God’s plan was for my life. I’ve always had many different interests, and I felt like 20 different possible paths were spread out before me. How was I ever going to choose?! Looking back, it feels like the magazine came about a bit randomly. I was praying and asked the Lord what His will was for my life, and I felt like He asked me, “What do you want to do? What would be a fun and unique expression of who I’ve created you to be, to bring answers to this broken world?”
I’ve always had a dream of starting a magazine. But I didn’t have a clue how to go about it! When you first graduate High School, there is so much pressure to choose the “right thing” and get everything perfect in your life. But that kind of pressure doesn’t come from God, it comes from man. Once God spoke these words to my heart, He released me from that gripping fear, and gave me the permission to be myself; fully, completely, and unashamedly. And so, with that freedom, I decided to step out and launch the magazine!
I had always been heartbroken by the fact that so many girls in our generation struggle with things like self-image, eating disorders, and simply not knowing their royal identity in Christ. Positive, encouraging, Godly examples and media sources are really scarce in today’s society, so I wanted to step out and bring an answer in that area. The purpose of Crown of Beauty is to encourage girls in their royal identity in Christ! Our name comes from Isaiah 62:3 “You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, a royal diadem in the hand of our God.”
LJ: Throughout every day of this journey it seems that there continues to be one recurring theme: trust. With each new interview, conference, magazine issue, and book, I find myself saying, “Lord, help! I’ve never done this before. I have no idea what I’m doing!” And every time I hear Him laughing in the midst of my unnecessary panic, holding me gently and saying, “Of course you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ve never been this way before! Follow Me. I’m the leader. I know what I’m doing.”
As far as being “more accountable,” I think that sometimes in this ‘social-media ministry’ saturated culture, a lot of people can get caught up in the thinking that says, “Oh my goodness, I have a following online now! I’d better make sure that I’m living in a Godly manner and set a good example for them! Id’ better make sure that I don’t skip my quiet time with God in the morning!” But honestly, if that’s the first time you’ve ever had those thoughts, I find that a little strange. It shouldn’t matter whose following or watching you: God is always watching and His opinion is the only one that matters! Sure, having followers on your Instagram account can magnify the reminder that says “you influence the people around you,” but if you have a heart that truly wants to please God, you’re going to give time and attention to your relationship with Him no matter what. It can be tempting for people involved with “ministry” to think, “Lord, show me something amazing so that I can Tweet about it today!” Or, “Fill me up so that I can fill up the people.” But that mindset can be really dangerous. Jesus wants a relationship with you. He is so much more concerned about your heart and spending time with you, than he is about showing you something “cool and catchy” in your quiet time so that you can Tweet about it. A good example is like with marriage, or a dating relationship. You don’t spend time with the person that you love, just so you can get a good blog post out of it. No! You hang out with that person because you love them, and I want my relationship with God to be the same way.
Whether I’m in “ministry” or not, I want my relationship with God to be real, genuine, and all about us. Even though He does give awesome revelation, things to Tweet and write about when we hang out with Him, we must be careful that that is never the driving purpose behind why we are seeking Him!
fmG: What has been your favorite moment of Crown of Beauty so far? Would you say it connected you and built relationships with people and other opportunities you never expected?
LJ: Woah, tough question! I’ve had so many favorite moments! One of the sweetest though, was when we hosted our first conference. After dreaming about that day for months, with tons of prayer and preparation, when it finally came to pass, it was even more amazing than I had imagined. God’s Spirit really broke out and touched hearts, and one young woman dedicated her life to Jesus! That was a moment that I will never forget. Her salvation was worth all the hard work, and reminded me that if this ministry touches just one girl, than it’s all worth it!
I have met so many amazing friends through Crown of Beauty. Honestly, I don’t have enough time to tell you about all the connections He has made, and friendship formed. I never would’ve met my best friends, and the amazing community of Christian women that surround me, without Crown of Beauty.
LJ: Our identity is everything. Why? Because it’s eternal. When we die, physical beauty, social status, achievements, or anything else we might try to find our worth in, is going to be stripped from us. When we stand face to face before Jesus, it’s just us and Him. We won’t have our boyfriends, husbands, best friends, or parents. Just our hearts, and the heart of God. What then? Will we know who we are, and stand confident in His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love? Or will we be naked and afraid because we never understood where our worth truly comes from, and tried to fill ourselves up with empty, temporal things that cannot satisfy?
LJ: Consider taking a break from the social media, TV shows, and movies that are making you feel this way. It’s hard to combat the lies when you’re constantly filling yourself up with them. God has created our brains in a really amazing and profound way: our minds are powerful! What we fill our eyes and ears with, all gets stored up inside. Over the span of 24 hours, we take in a lot of information. And sadly, so much of it is negative and damaging. These messages and images that bombard us, are major distractions from our royal reality. I would encourage you to ask yourself, “What am I feeding on, everyday? What I am I filing my mind with?” Turn it off for a bit! Return to truth. Fill your mind with books, media, and messages that echo the truth of what God says about you. Dive into, and dine on His Word! His Words are Spirit and they are Truth! They will transform you! They will encourage you! They will remind you of who you really are. The saying, “What goes in, comes out” always rings true.
fmG: Where do you see the future of Crown of Beauty? Any goals and dreams for the magazine?
Oh my. Again, I don’t think we have enough time to go into all that! Haha. I am a huge dreamer. The list of things that I envision happening for Crown of Beauty is overwhelming. But I know that nothing is impossible for God! Right now, what I see as Crown of Beauty continues to grow is more books, magazine issues, and conferences! We’re also fundraising to build an orphanage in India! My heart is very much drawn to our international sisters all over the world, so I’d love to see conferences in other countries as well.