Farewell

A step to move forward; letting go of the past is required. I am at a crossroad. I look at the options ahead of me, yet I still see what I wish still existed. I am at a standstill. With all my heart I want to let go and start anew, but there is something deep down within that remains afraid of the unknown that lies ahead. I look up to You, no words are said, You know the very look my eyes carry. With my face downcast all I can say is, “I want what You have in store for me.” Help me to let go of what was, for forgetting it will not happen. A day is coming when I will no longer look back on the memories and mourn, but be thankful for the opportunity given. I hear it again and again, “This had to happen,” and immediately I am comforted. You know the plans You have for me. I know they are not to harm me, for through the eyes of hope I see Your prosperity.

Farewell

September 15th of last year, was the day we celebrated the life of my husband. It was the day I thought I would be saying, “see you later,” but it turns out I have been trying to hold on to him for as long as I could. The process to healing has taken a bit longer. I have been fighting my way through, constantly saying, “no.”

I have been wishing things were the same, only to fully ignore what God had been trying to do. It was not to hurt me, but to give me a new future. Just like His promise in Jeremiah 29:11 says. This verse has been my everything during this season of widowhood. I was reminded of a poem that I wrote:

“You Know,” came to me at night while I was in bed. I remember feeling angry and doubting God’s goodness. I doubted that He cared for me because of what He had allowed to happen. I was angry at Him because I believed that He didn’t answer my prayers. At that moment that verse came to my heart and I repeated it out loud:

‘You know the plans You have for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me hope and a future.’ When those words flowed through my mouth a sense of peace came over me. It was a clarity that I needed at that moment to realize that He knew what He was doing. A vail was torn and it was a confirmation that something good was going to be coming out of this. My Father manifested Himself to me at that moment.

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Fighting The Motions

These past few months have been seasons of growth and a lot of healing. They have also been moments where I have been letting go of him, little by little, but fighting God every step. I have been taking baby steps because I have been afraid of “forgetting” him and acting like he never existed. Last night I felt like the time was soon coming when I would start taking down photos of him and I. I immediately shot back, “I am not going to act like he never existed.” This only proves that I am fighting God.

I often ask myself, “why is this so hard?” I have yet to get an answer. I wish I didn’t feel the way I do. I wish it was easy for me. I wish I was able to be fully obedient to let go completely, but I haven’t.

Every step; the good, the bad and especially the ugly have been necessary for growth and healing. There was no way I would have been able to skip over the harder parts just to get to the good.

Fading Away

It’s like a movie that is playing in my head, the memories of what was are slowly fading away until everything is gone. Pictures are being removed, clothes have been taken down… the realization that that part of my life is really over. I am afraid.

I am afraid I will forget him, but I know I have to say, “I’ll see you later.” I know it’s time. For I know that this will make way for the man God has for me. The best is yet to come. God’s best for me, he is yet to come. I am a single woman walking in the ways of God. This gift of a new start, I will not take it for granted.

I want to see the Goodness of God in my life.

 

Letting Go

As I let go, I am not forgetting. What I am doing is letting go of my past. Even now memories are being shot in my mind and they hurt. The very reason I am meant to let them go. Memories of the hospital visits. Memories of what it was like to endure hospital stays and so much more, I am letting them go. I am letting go of the sadness, the lonliness and the pain. I am letting go of the ugly, to fully embrace the good that is soon to come.

It’s what is best for me.

I will always carry the good in my heart and the good examples that were made I will carry into my new relationship. The lessons learned will always be in my heart, for they have made me wiser and have helped me see what kind of woman I want to be.

I will always have that special place in my heart for Freddy. He was my first real love and husband. I could never forget that. I am letting go of my past for myself, in order to move forward and also as respect for the man God is preparing for me.

My sister in law told me something that really made me think. She said, “after this step, there is one more step you will have to take. You will have to let go of all the photos and things of Freddy when God brings that man into your life.”

At that moment, I was thinking of how hard that would be, but now, I know when that time comes God will give me the courage and the ability to do it. It will be that fresh start He has been preparing me for… I will be ready. 

It’s all one step at a time.

 

 

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I Will See You Later

My life is a movie that is playing out and a sweet mystery it’s becoming. One step at a time, things are unraveling. Stepping into this new season and this identity, many doors have been opening. I have stepped through a new door, only to finally understand that the one behind me has already been shut. I take a look back and all I see is a closed door that can no longer be open. I begin forward, ready to embrace the new He has for me.

I now say, “I’ll see you later.” It’s time.

You were my best friend and I loved you. You were the best part of my life for those eight years. You helped me know God’s love for me in the way you loved and cherished me. Your friendship helped me through difficult moments at that time. I will never forget your encouragement and the words of life you spoke over me. You always reminded me of who I was and who you knew I would be. I will always be thankful for having you in my life, Alfredo Hernandez Jr. I believe you would be proud of the woman I am today. I know without any of this, I wouldn’t be where I am. You showed me how to love unconditionally. You showed me how to cherish every moment. These are things I will carry over when God brings the One.  Thank you for being the man of God you truly were. I especially thank you for teaching me what true worship is. You always had a worshippers heart. I will never forget that.

I will see you later. I love you.

With that I say, “goodbye,” to the past.

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2010 – 2018

Dare You To Move…

A song played at his service, as if he was telling me.

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everyone’s here
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

 

I Don’t Want To Be.

I don’t know where to begin. Words have gone and all I have are thoughts; thoughts that silence me, no words to flow from my lips. I plot in my own mind how I will react to the next one, my heart just hardens. This person, I don’t want to be. This person, is no longer me, yet I am being pushed to it. I think I am getting stronger. Capable to endure whatever comes my way: words, actions… but in reality I am just shutting down and becoming numb.

Emotionally drained; I cant do it anymore. The cares to give are starting to become no more.

I Am Not Myself

I see myself in him. I see how I was and I don’t like it. All that is being reminded to me is; we reap what we sow.

The one person that truly cared about me, I made so many mistakes with. I see it clearly now. My heart hurts and I wish I could take it all back. I wish I could ask my husband for forgiveness. I wish I can have a do-over.

I hate the person I am seeing; in myself. I hate the person who I am not… I have to fight to keep my feelings from being hurt. I have to fight to keep myself up. I fight to protect myself… something I no longer had to do. I feel like as soon as my husband died, I reverted to that guarded girl. That girl no one was going to hurt… someone I don’t want to be; emotionless.

I am guarded and I hate it.

So many things cause a person to change who they are; into who they used to be or who they never were.

I feel myself fighting to NOT become who I used to be; this cold and careless person. A person with a hard heart and not caring about anything; a fiery cannon of a mouth. That’s not who I am anymore.

Lately specific things and circumstances have caused me to lash out and be on the defense when all I really desire is to feel safe. There is no safe place there, yet… I shouldn’t have to wait for one to be, in order for me to remain who I truly am.

 

I am not alone. God is with me. 

I am not who they say I am or how I think of myself. God loves me. 

I shouldn’t be afraid of winding up alone. God will never leave me or forsake me. 

 

Therefore nothing or no one should make me feel a way that I don’t want to feel.

I want to care.

When I think about my husband, I remember how he would always call out the best in me. I remember how he would always remind me of who I truly am. I remember how he just loved me even when I was wrong. I remember his patience for me and how much it helped me.

There are times I can just hear his voice; him telling me things to encourage me. That’s what has kept me going on those days I feel SO ENADEQUATE due to words and actions.

 

I AM NOT HOW OTHERS TREAT ME.

I AM NOT WHAT OTHERS THINK OR SAY.

 

How I have seen myself lately, has been through eyes of not being good enough and through the eyes of comparison. It has distorted my identity and has really shaken my confidence. It’s like I am being made to feel small, but God says I am seated in Heavenly places.

My heart… is the wellspring of life. It’s also something I have been fighting to protect. When this whole time, I could have just allowed God to protect it. I am the prodigal “daughter”… I have run away. I desire to return; into the Father’s arms, in my rightful place. 

 

My Prayer

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A man should always protect the delicate heart of a woman, ALWAYS.

An Open Road-I Still Believe

I look at myself, not in the physical; in the spiritual. I see myself standing before an open road. I look to the left, I look to the right; even straight ahead. I am filled with confusion, I don’t know which path to take. I cry out to You, You’re the only one who can help me. Alone to decide, I am and I am not sure what to do. You see my heart and know every desire; lead me in the way I am to go so I will not wander in the direction of my own wants. I am anxious, I just want to move. I am scared, too, at the thought of doing it alone. Every tear I have cried, not in vain they are. Lead me, I want to go where You are.

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Not Like Lot

Yesterday, being Monday, marked the finale of a three day conference at our mother church. It was a powerful service which ended in God moving and reigniting the passion in our hearts for what He has for us; for serving Him.

I stood there in the back crying out to God. Ever since all this happened with my husband, I have been more certain that I want to serve God. I want to be used to help women and young girls. It was so evident in my heart that I am meant to, but I am just not sure which path to take or where to start.

As I was standing there, I cried to God and this flowed from my heart without me even thinking about it: “I don’t want to be like Lot. I want to be like Abraham

I was surprised that I said that, let alone thought about it. But I knew it was God, because He knows EVERYTHING; even my thoughts. Lately I had been thinking of where my place is. I have been thinking if I should go, or if I should stay. The things that had me considering moving were things like: “They have it all together. Things are already established there… it will be easy to serve in where you want to serve. Or they are in need of servants/people to help out, surely they will accept you.” 

The things that were making me consider staying were like: “You have the opportunity to begin something new here and establish it… though there is nothing here, there can be.” 

Both had seemed appealing to me, but the last thing I have wanted was to move without God’s guidance and only because of what I don’t or do want to work for; if that makes sense. I want it to be all God and His timing, not me or mine.

The very fact that I cried out those words, that I didn’t want to be like Lot, and wanted to be like Abraham already gives me the answer I am needing; I just need the faith to walk it out… like Abraham did. 

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I Don’t Want The Greener Grass

Lot chose what was appealing to him, out of the selfishness and greed in his heart. He chose the beautiful, the very thing that he didn’t have to work for; everything was set and established. The very place he chose was a place that was filled with so much evil and things not of God; instead of being a blessing to him it actually brought evil upon him… he was influenced.

On the other hand, Abraham chose the overlooked. There was nothing there and it took him faith to be able to see the blessing of the plains. God spoke to him and promised him that he would be tremendously blessed because of his faith, his humility and obedience.

He wanted what God wanted for him even though he couldn’t see it yet and not what he was able to see. That’s where I find myself right now, in this very season of my life. 

Like Abraham, I believe and trust God even though I cannot see where He is leading me to or the blessings yet to come. I don’t even know what to expect, except that I know it’s going to be a blessing for my life.

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I Still Believe

I haven’t felt so connected to this song, like I do at this very moment. Though I have gone through so much and though it HURTS SO BAD, I can lift my arms and say to God, “I still believe.”  I would be lying if I said I didn’t have questions. I have a lot of questions and still I don’t seem to understand why my husband was taken. Pain and confusion still blur my vision of the bigger picture. I still cry for my husband, because I miss him so much. But through it all, I know God is still good and He is still faithful.

I know that He didn’t allow this to hurt me. I know that for a fact. Like Abraham, I can’t see the blessing, but I have faith that it’s coming they very way He promised it. 

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My heart’s song in this season. (Jeremy Camp lost his first wife years ago. That is where the song was birthed. I have also heard another testimony of Danny Gokey-Tell My Heart To Beat Again who also lost his first wife and how it affected his life. They show me how God restores and how He blesses even when they couldn’t see His plan.) It encourages me. I know this isn’t the end for me. ❤

 

“I Still Believe” by Jeremy Camp

Scattered words and empty thoughts
Seem to pour from my heart
I’ve never felt so torn before
Seems I don’t know where to start
But it’s now that I feel Your grace falls like rain
From every fingertip, washing away my pain
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe
Though the questions still fog up my mind
With promises I still seem to bear
Even when answers slowly unwind
It’s my heart I see You prepare
But its now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every finger tip, washing away my pain
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don’t see, I still believe
The only place I can go is into your arms
Where I throw to you my feeble prayers
In brokenness I can see that this was your will for me
Help me to know Your near

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There was a time when I was crying out to God and all I could tell him was help my heart to beat again. This song came to mind and after listening to it, it touched me in a way that allowed me to encounter God like never before. He reminds me:

He is near to the broken hearted. He’s near to those who call on His name. 

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Tell Your Heart To Beat Again by Danny Gokey

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good
Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again
Oh, so tell your heart to beat again

IMG_3546 WHAT YOU ARE FACING; THE LOSS THAT YOU HAVE ENDURED ISN’T WITHOUT PURPOSE. IT WAS NEVER MEANT TO HARM YOU. GOD HAS A PURPOSE FOR IT, YOU ONLY NEED TO BELIEVE. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU ARE LOVED AND THERE IS A NEW BEGINNING COMING FORTH FOR YOUR LIFE. 

-Love,

Stephanie Ann ❤

 

Proverbs 31:25

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.

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On the Rock I stand. For God has placed me there and there is where I want to stay. A wise decision it is; the storm has hit, but I have not fallen. The storm raged, yet I’ve stood my ground. He upheld me with His righteous right hand, still I stand.

As days pass, the pain begins to fade and transform into joy. This hit was hard, I stumbled. Yet I did not fall. Like a child learning how to walk, so am I; learning to live this life alone, with Him.

Fear, a close companion in this storm, but deep inside is breaking free.

On the Rock I stand. For God has placed me there and there is where I want to stay. A wise decision it is; the storm has hit, but I have not fallen. The storm raged, yet I’ve stood my ground. He upheld me with His righteous right hand, still I stand.

Not The World’s Strength

It’s been a week and a day since my husband’s passing. Each day is getting better, but I have my days. I have been grieving in my own way. Keeping myself and my mind busy has been helping me a lot. Many people told me that I would experience “this” and “that”, but I told God I didn’t want to go through them. I am not going to experience depression. I am not going to deal with anymore anxiety attacks. I’m just not, because I am determining myself to trust God and cast all my cares. God is FAITHFUL.

Yesterday was a rough day. All week I have been up and down with no time to sit and just “grieve”, and after yesterday I think it’s a good thing. I stayed in bed until after 3pm. I woke up really missing my husband, I felt down and I didn’t feel like doing a thing. I had allowed those emotions get the best of me.

I had no appetite, but I made sure I had something to eat. I just felt weak…

God is good and I can’t say that enough. During this storm that began almost two months ago, He has been teaching me about what real strength is. He has sent so many people to tell me how strong I am or have been, on days where I feel the complete opposite, leaving me to think; how??? 

When we think of strength we think of someone who has it all together and isn’t fazed by what they face or that one person who is physically strong, but in God’s eyes it’s not it.

To be strong, is to be strong in the Lord. What I mean is, someone who clings to God without letting go in the middle of the storm. It’s someone who truly trusts Him even when all you feel is confusion, fear, doubt and so many other things. It’s knowing that you can rise up from the stumble, because you know God isn’t letting you fall. 

That’s where I am right now. I was hit hard. I was blindsided,  but not once has God let me fall. I stumbled, but I did not fall. I clung to God’s outstretched hand and allowed Him to lift me up. I am not backing down and I am not giving up. I trust Him. 

The last thing I want to do is let go of God.

Each Day is Getting Better and I Am Getting Stronger.

This has been my confession, especially when I haven’t felt it. Yesterday, again, was one of those days. The enemy had been telling me, “you’re going to have an anxiety attack at night. You’re husband isn’t here anymore. Why isn’t he here?” In all honesty it was getting to me and I felt such a heaviness on me, until I made a decision to change my thoughts and put the enemy in his place. 

I found myself saying, “each day is getting better and I am getting stronger.” It helped and I began to feel that oppression fall away. After everything I have been through in my life, I am seeing how each and everything has added up to prepare me for this season.

I am stronger. I am wiser. I clearly know who I am and how I am no longer an easy target for the enemy. I have gained more discernment that helps with distinguishing God’s voice from the lies. 

“I am the good shepherd, I know my own sheep, and they know me…”-John 10:14

He is the good shepherd. I am the sheep. I know my father’s voice. 

Proverbs 31:25

I have prayed this over my life. I am drawing courage from this verse. When my husband went to be with God, I immediately felt scared. I thought to myself, what do I do now? I am alone. 

Looking back, I can see how dependent I was on my husband. We did everything together. I hid behind him when I felt scared or when I felt uncomfortable around other people. I just simply hid… 

God has broken me free from that. 

In the past week, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone. I have learned to be around others, alone. I have learned to solely depend on God, alone. The day before yesterday, I was surrounded by a group of women I did not know and I felt so much peace and comfort; something I never experienced before. It was liberating. It was true freedom.

I have come to the point of being myself and no longer caring about what others think of me. It’s something that God has done down deep within my heart. I am now walking with my head held high because I am God’s daughter and He is with me. I am not alone.

I am learning:

 To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.-Micah 6:8

My entire walk with God, I never once felt that comfortable being alone. Each day I am getting to the point of true confidence where I feel I can do anything because He is with me. Each day I am growing into that courageous woman He needs me to be, because I am coming into who I truly am.

I don’t need anything but Him to feel whole, secure and confident. It’s an unexplainable feeling, one I never felt before. I know who I am without my husband, now. 

“You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”-Matthew 5:14-15

Now that my husband is Home (Heaven) I can no longer hide myself; my defense mechanism, my comfort zone…is gone. I made a choice: I now need to be bold. I now need to be courageous. I now need to be that Warrior; the Daughter of God. 

Front Line

I am now on the front line, a place I have desired for so many years. There are so many other women and young girls who need to know they are loved and cherished by a real God. Even before my husband’s passing, my heart was always for women and young girls; even more so now.

Like I said, I am not backing down or giving up just because of what has happened, on the contrary, I am putting on my armor and preparing to fight this good fight, the way my husband did his whole life.

I want God to use me. I want the things God has for me. Every hardship I have experienced in my life, I always said: “I am not backing down and I am not giving up.” I thank God for keeping me at my word.

 

Do not call to mind the former things; pay no attention to things of old. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.-Isaiah 43:18-19

 

 

Though you are gone, it still feels like you’re here with me. I can still feel your love for me. I loved you then, I still love you now. You’re my best friend. God’s love through you for me changed my life, I am no longer the same. You loved me at my worst and more so at my best. The woman I am now becoming, your prayers are coming true. I know you would be proud of me. You’ve looked out for me from the beginning, it still feels like you are, now. I love you now and forever. 

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April 16, 2016

 

 

Beauty Lies Within

It’s amazing to me how just one thought can send me back to a place I hoped to never return, again. I woke up, with joy I looked at myself in the mirror; my progress I could clearly see. As the clock ticked and time passed, I began thinking things that are no longer true. I tried this on, I tried that on… I didn’t like. I started to lose sight of the progress I have made and I became miserable. Oh how my eyes deceive. Oh how my thoughts taunt me. By Your strength and truth I pushed through, though deep down, comparing myself I was. Oh, that lie!

It’s Amazing

What a day it has been…

This morning I got out of bed and the first thing I did, like every morning, was look at myself in the mirror. I liked how I looked and the shape my body is taking. I felt happy; until it was time for me to get dressed for the day.

I went ahead and tried on a few things, some new pieces. I wasn’t surprised that those were still a little snug-I see that as motivation. So I was ok with that. I went on to search for a pair of pants that I wore awhile ago. I was excited. Trying them on I realized they didn’t fit like they used to. (This is where the lies began leaking in.) First, I was like ok these just shrunk when my husband accidently threw them into the dryer, but then it just kept picking at me when I was looking for a top to match. Long story short, I wasn’t happy with how I was looking.

The entire time we were out I felt so bloated. The enemy in my ear telling me, “You’re still fat!” I was feeling so uncomfortable and almost self-conscious, again. I was beginning to compare myself with every woman passing by and comparing my outfit to theirs. It was literally making me unhappy about myself. I was getting angry at myself because I didn’t “look” like them. I was getting upset because my progress wasn’t fast enough. 

I was telling my husband that, it’s amazing to me to how one minute I was so happy about my body and the next, because of something that didn’t fit right, I felt sad and almost bad about myself.

It happens a lot! We can feel so good about ourselves and see so much progress we’ve made, but when it comes to something that isn’t flattering to our figures, we lose sight of the good.

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I’m Flattered

When it comes to my body, it’s taken me years to finally accept myself and be happy in my own skin. It’s taken me so much time to finally accept that my beauty isn’t what is seen on the outside. It’s what I carry on the inside that radiates outward. I finally understood that I have been, “fearfully and wonderfully” made. So have you. ❤

I have been there; thinking something looks good, then trying it on to only realize that it wasn’t right for by body, like it was for “hers.” I have also been that girl to criticize myself because of one piece of clothing. How much value and power we give such things over how we feel and see ourselves. That needs to stop because it’s not the clothing that give us worth, value or our beauty. It’s God.-Stephanie 

I have learned this, the hard way.

So many tears. So many self-critiques. So much self-hate.

I wasted a lot of time allowing material dictate how I see and feel about myself. Today, I broke free from that lie. I determined myself to believe what my Father says about me. I determined myself to reflect on the progress I have made and remember how I was, this time last year. I am not the same. 

When I talk about how clothes and such aren’t what makes us important, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t look our best or wear what we like, because I do it. What I mean is, we shouldn’t depend on such things to give us worth or make us “feel” beautiful. ((I am so guilty of this and I have asked God to help me with it. )) That’s something we should already know, regardless of what doesn’t fit or look right.

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I Ate, I Enjoyed

To really break free from the, “you’re fat” torment, I ate what I wanted and enjoyed it. Yes, I enjoyed my Mexican food, with my husband and dad. I didn’t pick at myself for eating that, because one “treat” meal isn’t going to bring all the weight I have lost, back. I simply enjoyed the food.

I had a delicious chocolate chip cookie. I had a yummy Caramel Macchiato with almond milk, too. Guess what, I am not fat. I am not huge. I am not anything the enemy was yelling in my ear.

So, about my clothes not fitting how I want them too, well it’s my GOAL. Instead of picking at myself, I will work harder. Instead of beating myself up about it, I will make better choices. That’s, that.

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Encouragement

I know I am not the only one who goes through this. I am not the only who has tried something on and completely hated how they looked and felt in it. I am not the only one.

For those who are struggling with this, I say this:

“You are so beautiful. There is no amount of clothing that can take away what God has already said about you. You are his masterpiece and what is the most beautiful about you is, your heart. Your smile. Your personality. You are a gorgeous GEM. Your worth doesn’t come from the size you are, or what didn’t look good on you. Your worth comes from a loving Father who created you in His image and says, ‘I take delight in you.’ He looks at you with so much love and awe. That’s how you should see yourself.”

🌸

 “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you.”-Song of Songs 4:7

Those words are for me too. I take them and I hold them close to my heart, because I know, when Gods looks at me He sees nothing wrong with me. He calls me beautiful. He calls me worthy. He calls be his delight. He says this about you, too.  I say this with so much love; If someone continues to tell you, you are beautiful, believe them. 

After years of being self-conscious, I literally just started accepting those compliments from my husband. I know he loves me. I know he tells me the truth. Knowing that I am beautiful in my Fathers eyes and his, is all I need. ❤

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.-1 Peter 3:3-4

He sees the heart, not what’s on the outside. Always know that true beauty doesn’t come from what you wear, but from the attitude of which you carry inside about yourself, and those around you. It’s a lie to think that having the latest fashions or a new haircut considers you beautiful or helps make you feel better about yourself. Though it may, it’s only temporary. One who chases such things is never satisfied and is always searching for something else to fill that void. 

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Quotes

“You’re beautiful. 🌸

It’s not about what’s on the outside. It’s about what’s on the inside. Your heart manifests and radiates a beauty that no amount of looks can. Attitude of the heart goes further than how you look.”-Stephanie

🌸-“True beauty emanates from a woman who boldly and unabashedly know who she is in Christ”-Unknown

🌸-“Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face. It’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart and a pretty soul.”-Unknown

🌸-“Nothing makes a woman more BEAUTIFUL than the belief that she is BEAUTIFUL.”-Uknown

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“True beauty of a woman is not a facial mode, but the true beauty in a woman reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”-Audrey Hepburn

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New Season New Menu

Wonder Beauty Designs ~ Beauty ~ Style ~ Poetry ~ About Me

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Hey guys, lately things have been changing. I have been working a lot on other things and decided to share that part of myself, as well. ❤ I have been sharing a lot of these things on my IG page and I wanted to unite both parts of my life on here. I have been doing a lot of writing about personal things, which I am going to continue to do, but I wanted to change things up a bit.

 

A Crafter At Heart

Gift Tags

(My Crafts)

I created a new MENU where I have added in a page for my crafting: “Wonder Beauty Designs.” It’s a space where I will be adding in all my recent art work, crafts and designs. I have been putting so much effort into it and I have been able to see so much fruit… and learning a lot about myself. So, it’s amazing.

 

All Things Beauty SAH

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(That one time I mastered the smokey eye)

Also included in the menu is: “Beauty.” I have been really into beauty hacks, makeup and stuff like that and I have been posting MOTD photos, photos of my favorite products and stuff like that on my IG. I will be doing the same thing in that page as well. ❤

 

I Be Stylin’

Feeling Fancy
The only  time I ever wore that hat. LOL

Related to yesterdays Blog Post: Summer, I have decided to add in a space called “Style” where I am able to share outfits of the day; things that I really like. I have been doing that anyway, just thought I would add it in. ❤ It’s new side of me that I want to share with everyone.

 

Poetry

Of course, I needed a space specifically for my poems. I will be updating that and adding all my poetry, with a lot of the recent ones. I will be updating that every time I write a new one. So keep a look out for that. 😀

 

About Me

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How I Am A Wife, I Am Also A Woman

This change is going to be a good one. I am opening up and sharing everything I like. I want to be open and transparent. I want to show a different side to me, rather than just a wife and struggles. I want to show that I am HUMAN and enjoy so many things. I want to share my realness; my likes and things I really enjoy. Like I said, my original posts will continue to come, but I will also be changing it up a bit every now and then. ❤

I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers who has been doing the same thing. I found it so refreshing. I guess it’s just a new season I am walking into. Especially after spending so much time in the storm. The sun is finally beginning to shine and shifting things around. God is so good. ❤

The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that is coming.Image result for romans 8:18

I am excited about this change and I know it’s going to be so much fun. I hope you guys all enjoy the changes and continue to interact with me. Especially if you’re into art, crafts, fashion/style… anything! I just wanna get to know you guys. I have been on here for over a year… this change was needed.

Summer

A peaceful noise; the chirping of the crickets, the night so calm. How I love these summer nights; the warmth, yet fresh. The slight gusts of wind through the windows is like a gentle kiss. Relaxing. Peaceful. It is.

Summer

I have been loving these past few days; the weather in the high 90s and low 100s. I am enjoying it, though I haven’t spent so much time outdoors lately. I miss those days when we were always outside. When we yearned to plan picnics at the park, followed by a game of softball… a family favorite. ❤ I really miss those days. I was literally thinking about that today.

Summer has never been my favorite season until this year. Last year, is when I changed my lifestyle and determined myself to get healthy. I was so out of shape, two years ago. The heat just added to my distress. I was the type of girl who complained about nothing looking right, or feeling “fat.” I was. I was at my heaviest and so miserable. So, of course I was self-conscience.

I am happy to say,…

It’s not like that for me this summer. Lately, I have been looking forward to going out and wearing cute summer dresses and cute outfits, to show off my new confidence. Why? I feel proud of my accomplishments. I am able to wear things I never wore before like: chokers (I haven’t worn one since I was in high school), spaghetti strap tops, off the shoulder blouses, shorts, etc.. I fit into smaller size clothes. That makes me happy. Why? Because I know I am not where I used to be. Sure, I am still not where I want to be, but that is ok. ❤

Oh, It’s Just Me

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and outdoorTo be totally honest, this was the first full body photo I liked in a very long time. I always thought I didn’t look good. It’s amazing how my face reflects the confidence I have finally been able to feel. I didn’t have to starve myself. I didn’t have to start strict diets, like I used to. I have been loving my body. I have been strengthening it and nurturing it. It has taken me a really long time to “lose weight.” I see so many other women who drop weight so easily and it used to make me feel bad, but now it doesn’t.”-Stephanie

It wasn’t until I finally listened to my body and began giving it what it needed. I started doing workouts that were right for my body. I started making changes to my diet that were right for my body. I stopped following someone else’s lifestyle and began my own.

Since then, I have been happier, stronger and I have learned to enjoy the things I like. That is how  I began seeing so many changes. God is good. ❤

“Loving yourself is the best thing you can do for your body. When you learn to take care of it and nurture it, it will then begin doing what you need it to do.”-Stephanie

Image result for fearfully and wonderfully made-Psalm 139:14

Something Different

I spent all day thinking about my next blog post. (Ha ha) I am serious. I wanted something different. I wanted something other than what I have been writing about; though some things are still the same, I feel a lot happier. So I wanted to post about how I have been enjoying summer and stuff.

It feels good to do something different every once in awhile.

 

QUOTE

“Self-confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. How can anyone see how great you are, if you can’t see it yourself.”-Uknown

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This has been my favorite accessory these days. The wrap around choker. ❤ A few months ago I wouldn’t have thought about wearing it. It’s not the case anymore, and the feeling is amazing. 

Freedom

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. A promise I hold close to my heart. You have said time and time again that nothing or no one can separate me from Your unfailing Love; no darkness, no highs, no lows, not even the mistakes I have made. Perfected in your Love, I am. I do not fear of what lies ahead. Though many things around me attempt to torment me, captivating my thoughts, You set me free because nothing outweighs the CROSS.

 

freedomWhere the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.-2 Corinthians 3:17

Painting by: Stephanie Ann Hernandez

Depression…

I am no stranger to depression. Throughout my life I have struggled with it and the torment; the lies and the loneliness it has brought me. But I have never experienced it like I have been, recently. It’s lasted a lot longer and my emotions have been all over the place and not to mention a sudden temptation to “cut.” Yesterday was the worse.

Thoughts so loud saying, “cutting will make you feel better.” It painted a really good picture of escaping my reality, like I had mentioned in my last Blog Post: Unveiled.

Yesterday, started out like any other day, but the difference was I was feeling tired with no energy to do anything. Things lately have been a little rough and have been so challenging for me, especially as a wife. My husbands health and things we are dealing with have had me feeling so overwhelmed. I shared a bit about it on Instagram: @wifeyourenotalone

I stayed in bed for awhile, feeling just blah. I was struggling to breath. The entire day I was in my own world, not really caring about things around me. I was so emotional, crying here and there; crying out to God for help. I just felt angry.

Throughout the day I felt so anxious, I felt so alone and I felt like I couldn’t breath. I felt like everything around me was just caving in on me, I was suffocating. I felt defenseless. Never have I experienced such pain caused by depression.

I realized how bad it was when my mother in law came to drop something off, hearing her say hi from the door, stung. I didn’t want to be around anybody. I didn’t want anybody to see me. I didn’t want to see anybody… I finally got it. I finally understood what depression really is and how much of a thief it is.

…Can’t Beat The Cross

IMG_4384Sitting at the kitchen table, last night and still feeling a bit blah and as though I couldn’t breathe, I started drawing and painting. I didn’t know what I would be drawing. First, I had drawn the flower (I just love to draw flowers) then I went into that heart, but it wasn’t my intention to draw a heart. I was inspired by a plant I have on the table. The leaves are shaped like a heart. I attempted to draw that… but I began drawing what I was feeling.

I felt my heart darkening and being surrounded by darkness. I just kept darkening the heart without realizing why. As I kept painting, I felt to place the cross in the center of the “chaos.” After doing so I literally heard these words, “Depression can’t beat the cross.” Then I felt led to add light bursting out, breaking free from that darkness. I connected the flower as it represented freedom.

I started crying. God had used my own painting to minister to me. It reminded me that the cross has power to defeat the lies that try to overtake me. The same is true for you. 

This isn’t the first time I draw out what I feel inside. He reminded me of that. A few minutes later, after that encounter with Him I realized that I was no longer feeling anxious or as though I couldn’t breath. I felt a sense of peace come over me.

This morning He reminded me of the verse: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”-2 Corinthians 3:17 

The Spirit of the Lord resides in my heart… the very thing that the enemy tried to overtake. Greater is the power of the CROSS, than any scheme from the enemy.

My husband is such a wise man. Many times God has used him to speak words of encouragement into my heart and to confirm a lot of things. For example: he told me today, “I believe God allows us to go through things like this to bring us understanding of what others are going through.” I wasn’t seeing it like that.

Our marriage. His health. Me currently re-struggling with anxiety, depression and self-harm… someone needs to hear that they aren’t alone and that I, too, go through it. I believe that He will bring someone in my path who needs encouragement, someone who is facing the same things. Someone who needs to hear that there is a way out. That the cross has power to defeat the darkness! -Stephanie

Freedom Reigns

After my experience last night and my husband and I coming closer, I feel a lot stronger, today. I went to bed to my husbands embrace and I woke up to his embrace. God knew how much I needed that; needed to feel my husband’s love and support in all that I am going through.

Freedom is what I am feeling today because of the One who lives within me. It’s no coincidence that the topic, today is Freedom. Though we celebrate 4th of July, there is a deeper freedom God wants to impart to everyone. A freedom that truly lasts and that is ever life changing. FREEDOM REIGNS. He is FREEDOM. 

Prayer, My Heart’s Desire

I pray that this blog blesses all who come across it. That it will impart God’s true love upon them and they will be able to feel His embrace. I pray that freedom will come upon every heart and every mind that is currently being tormented by the lies of the enemy. I declare a divine intervention for those who are on the verge of taking their life or wanting to harm themselves.  I pray for protection and for guidance. I also pray that those who do not know God will come to experience and know who He is and open their hearts to Him. ❤ 

-Stephanie

 

 

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“Freedom reigns in this place.

Showers of mercy and grace.

Falling on every face, there is freedom.”

Freedom Reigns by Jesus Culture

Just Like A Rose

I never figured out where my love for flowers came from.

They are elegant.

They are beautiful.

They are uniquely created…

Just like you and me.

Created differently, yet wonderfully made.

We are God’s creation.

Written by: Stephanie Ann Hernandez (Pequeno) on June 21, 18
Inspired by: A photograph I took of a rose and my love for flowers.  

 

Bloom Into You

Blooming into who you are really are, difficult it can be when all around you is what they expect you to be. Standing out, a beautiful flower you are. Thorns and thistles try to hinder, but the Creator prepares the way for you to not stay; in the same place. For there is room in this world for your full bloom.

I Am Such An Introvert

It’s been awhile since I have felt this tug on my heart about opening myself up and no longer hiding who I really am. There is something about me that I really dislike; I am an introvert.

All my life I have been one who kept to myself and kept people at a distance. I was sharing with some friends last night, that I avoid certain places because I don’t want to run into people. (That is not freedom.) 

“Like a turtle hiding in its shell, so am I. I hide behind insecurities. I hide behind not wanting to be seen. I hide behind all things that are not of Him. In doing so I am not blooming into who I really am.”-Stephanie

I have not been given a spirit of timidity, God has promised. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.-2 Timothy 1:7

Doing What I Have Been Called To Do

Like a flower created to bloom and manifest the splendor of God, so are we; so am I. We were created to stand out and not fit it or coward behind what’s not of Him. This world needs so much more uniqueness and less, “being just like everyone else.”

“I know I am not like someone else. I know that I can’t do what others can do. In all honesty, I spent so much time trying to copy and imitate, that I had lost sight of who I really was and what my unique qualities were. It hasn’t been until recently that I have been tapping into my gifts, my capabilities… those very things that make me, me.”-Stephanie

What makes you, unique? Have you really thought about it? Or have you been going with the flow, rather than against the current?

These can be hard to acknowledge. Like I mentioned in my last blog, it’s spiritual. We live in a time where it’s normal to all be the same and wrong to stand out and be different.

God Sees You As Special

When you were designed in your mother’s womb, God had amazing plans for your life. He engraved in you; potential, talents, gifts, identity and so much more. You’re His masterpiece; made ready to bloom at the perfect time.

Times are changing, things are shifting and it’s getting time for God’s people to rise up and be who they were really meant to be.

We were given life, but not just to exist… but to fulfill our purpose. To bloom where we are.

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…declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.-Jeremiah 29:11

It’s Not Just For The Introverted

Even those who are so outgoing can be hiding behind some kind of insecurity. Being who you are isn’t just about what people are seeing. It’s about what kind of heart you have and whether or not it aligns with His will.

So many people do what they think they should be doing, but don’t really bloom.

People aren’t happy with their life. People aren’t happy with what they are doing. People look everywhere for that sense of completeness, purpose and so on. They are in need of the right “food” to help them bloom.

Living Life To The Fullest

I shared this with the youth a few years ago. I shared with them that, to “live life to the fullest” had nothing to do with how much you partied in your life or all the things the world shows us is, “living life.”

Living life to the fullest is living out the life you were meant to live out. Accomplishing goals. Fulfilling your purpose; walking in your identity and not hiding behind insecurities or the masks of the world. 

I would rather bloom, showcasing all I can do and be criticized, then to remain in a mold and be just like everybody else who never blooms and shows the world who they are and what they are capable of.

 

Negativity. Hate. Rebelliousness against authority. No respect for others… that’s not what I mean. That doesn’t come from God, at all.  He will never lead people to act that way. He will never tell someone to mistreat others. What is not in His word, is not of Him.

All those things are distorted images of ones self and the way we see others; it comes from the enemy.

  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.-John 10:10