In matters of fashion our girl of faith for this week's series would describe her style as modest and understated, but in matters of faith her style is just the opposite. This young woman travels the world, boldly and liberally proclaiming the gospel as a youth missionary. Emily not only does so on soil in distant places during missions trips, but also through her blog Bloom and Bless, where her reach extends far beyond that of the ground she treads by foot. At Bloom and Bless you'll find biblical encouragement and true, faith-filled life experiences that help motivate people to bloom into who God created them to be and to bless others in the process of becoming. It is her hope that while readers are there visiting Bloom and Bless they grow closer to God and come into a deeper understanding of His great love for them! To therefore, not only know Him, but to make Him known, Please meet our phenomenal Women of Style & Faith Emily Carpenter.
Talk to us and tell our readers a little about yourself, what you do professionally, and about your blog & ministry. What about either of these inspires you?
I had been in missions for the past three years with Youth With a Mission and Island Breeze Ministries. My commitment to these organizations was completed about 6 months ago. After my commitment finished I began praying and seeking the Lord on my next step. I had always said that I eventually wanted to start my own ministry and while praying the Lord reminded me of this. The Lord spoke to me to begin blogging and gave me the name Bloom and Bless. I initially didn’t know anything about blogging but I’ve learned so much in the past 6 months and still have so much more to learn! I also am on staff with my church’s youth group, The Remnant, and really love working with the youth! Missions and ministry are definitely my callings and passions. Through blogging I have been inspired to see missions in a new way. You can reach so many people through the internet! It’s also inspired me creatively as I’ve learned more about photography, writing, and web design.
How do you couple your faith with what you do professionally?
I’ve been called into ministry so thankfully my faith is the core of what I do, but really, your faith should be the core of anything you do! I try to challenge myself to invite God into everything, even if it’s just going to the store, doing laundry, or something else that may seem mundane. You never know what He may want to speak to you or ask you to do. There have been times where the Lord has spoken to me through ordinary, routine things because I had my ears open to hear His voice. I don’t always do this perfectly though! Many times, I have to evaluate myself if I’m feeling frustrated or anxious and ask myself if I had invited God into every part of my day. If the answer is no, then I immediately go to the Lord for forgiveness and make myself attentive to His presence. I always feel better afterwards!
How do you manage and a maintain balance in the different aspects of your professional & personal life along with your relationship with God?
What advice can you give others who have interests in what you do, what type of direction would you give them?
I try to spend time with God every morning. There’s nothing like coffee and bible time. I usually listen to worship music as I get ready in the morning also. Doing these two things helps my relationship with the Lord to grow every day. I also talk to God throughout the day about what I’m feeling, the situations I’m in, or just to thank Him for His goodness. I also go to church every Sunday and help with its youth group. This keeps me in community and surrounds me with people who can help guide and challenge me in my faith.
My advice for others who have a desire for missions, ministry, or blogging is to just take the first step. That’s always the hardest but most important step to take. Don’t let fear or insecurity hold you back but instead have faith that God will have everything turn out for your good. Be bold and confident because God has given you all authority in heaven and earth! Persevere through the trials by holding onto the words and promises God has spoken over you. Pray and seek the Lord in all that you do and I guarantee you will live a life that you love.
What’s been your greatest accomplishment thus far? Tell me about the any challenges you’ve faced, how you endured and what keeps you wedded to what you do?
My greatest accomplishment so far has been having the honor to lead groups of young people to other nations to share the gospel. I never thought that was something that I would do! I have been so blessed to be able to help other people come to know God and to grow in their faith. There is no greater accomplishment than to lead a lost soul into salvation through Jesus Christ!
I have faced many challenges in going after the things God has put on my heart. I’ve been short on finances, physically ill, exhausted, and discouraged many times. I endured through these times purely through the grace of God. I faltered in trusting God in some moments where I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but He never gave up on me or left my side. I continue to do missions and ministry despite all the trials and obstacles because it is my passion! It makes my heart beat and truly is a fire in my bones. Nothing else satisfies me like sharing about what Jesus did on the cross and the love of the Father for His children.
What about fashion do you love most or even dislike? Are there any new trends or concepts in fashion that’s piqued your interest as of late? Do you have any particular designers/stores/brands that you just love and even prefer when actually shopping for clothes? If so, tell me why these in particular are your go-to?
What I love most about fashion is that it’s an expression of who you are or even how you are feeling that day. Some days I want to wear a dress and look very feminine, and other days I just want to wear sweats and be comfortable (most often I go for the sweats). I don’t keep up too much with fashion or trends but I do like chokers, the off the shoulder look, and anything Adidas. My go to stores are PacSun and Forever 21. I usually love everything in PacSun and wish I had enough money to buy anything I want there! I like Forever 21 because it’s affordable but still so cute! I also love to support Christian clothing lines. I find many of them through Instagram and I just love what they do so much that I’m now in the process of adding a couple of Christian tees to my blog as well!
Is there anything you will not wear even if it’s considered haute or on trend?
I will not wear something that I feel is immodest or says something offensive on it. If I’m not sure if something is too revealing I go to both a Christian friend or family member and the Lord and ask them what they think about it. I’ve found though that usually if I’m unsure then it’s probably a no. I also don’t wear anything that I’m not comfortable in even if it’s cute. I love the way girls look in heels but I very rarely wear them because they hurt my feet.
I have a witty style question that I like asking all you stylish gals of faith, “What’s Your Style Innuendo” (the way you would like others to consider or view what your style is without you even saying a word when they see you)? Now, how would you describe your overall style (lifestyle) – dress, education, personality, things you do, your circle etc? How has your overall style evolved in the past few years and why?
My “Style Innunedo” is cute but modest and understated. I would describe my clothing style as comfort above all else because I love baseball caps, beanies, oversized sweatshirts and yoga pants. This fits my personality because I’m a pretty laid back person. I love to hang out at home watching The Bachelor (guilty pleasure), cuddling up next to the fireplace with a cup of tea or coffee, and reading a good book. I also enjoy traveling, which is funny because I’m a bit of a homebody, but I just love to see the different cultures and places that God created. I am equally introverted and extroverted. I need time both with people and by myself. I love to laugh and joke but many times people think that I’m serious until they get to know me. My style has changed a lot over the years. I used to only wear sweatpants in high school (my mom would often scold me for that). Now I will wear dresses more often, especially in the summer, rarely go out in public in sweatpants and if I do they are usually at least the cute Victoria’s Secret ones. My sisters are much more fashionable than I am so I borrow their clothes too!
This blog series is about not only highlighting careers, businesses and accomplishments, but transforming style from the inside out, therefore, how can one transform their style and faith in a positive, progressive manner, and maintain it without compromise?
You can transform your style and faith slowly but steadily. Most people don’t have the money to throw out their entire closet and start over, so it’s best to decide the look you want to go for and gradually build up your new closet. This is similar to how we throw out our old lives and the Lord works on us to make us more like His son. Your new faith and style can be maintained by staying determined and not giving up on them!
What’s next on the horizon for you, your blog, ministry etc?
I am so excited to announce some fun, new things the Lord is doing! I’m currently redesigning my website, adding new categories, writing an ebook, and will be selling a few cute Christian tees! I will also be speaking at a women’s conference this summer and hope to gain some experience through it. I will also soon be welcoming my first nephew! I can’t wait to him. God has great things ahead!
Please visit and connect with Emily and Bloom and Bless by logging onto the following:
Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/bloomandbless or just the handle is @bloomandbless
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bloomandbless1 or just the handle is @bloomandbless1