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

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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. 

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.  

 

Wife, You’re Still Not Alone

I have wandered away, failing to see what’s right in front of me. Things I have wanted, I began chasing after though it left me without you. I kept telling myself over and over, “this isn’t what I wanted,” and angry I began to be. My rebellious heart pushed me away and through eyes of anger I was seeing everything. I don’t know what Your plans are, but I have learned to surrender and let go. I am not You; I know that full well.

Where To Begin

Lately I have been at a stand still. I have felt my world at a halt and honestly it’s left me overwhelmed and frustrated. Thoughts tormented me, telling me that I am losing so much. The thought of my life standing still while everyone else continues moving didn’t sit well with me. I was angry and feeling as though it hasn’t been fair.

After so long of doing what I thought I needed to do, I ran into a wall. I had taken the roll of God in my own life. Meaning, I have tried doing what I thought was best for me. I tried in my own ways to get what I needed, whatever it meant.

I was wrong, I was out of line… I was rebellious. 

Wife, You’re Still Not Alone

Is what I continue to hear God telling me, in all that his happening. Recently, on top of the health issues my husband has… his knees have both swelled up leaving him not able to move.

I have cried out to Him asking, “when and why?!”

It’s been over two years since my journey with my husband began. Since the day we said “I do,” it has been a uphill battle with his health. And days have gone by, recently, that had left me so hopeless.

For the first time I began feeling hopeless. One thing after another kept happening. My heart grew angry and I began questioning God. It got to the point where I only kept seeing what I didn’t want.

I didn’t want a husband who was sick all the time. I didn’t want this kind of marriage. I wanted out.

(I am just being honest.)

I was becoming selfish. In my heart is where I told God, “I am taking over.” Things started to fall apart and my husbands body just kept hurting that’s when I broke.

I became angry. I became frustrated. I broke down.

The Storm

In this storm we are in, you remain in control. You attempt to teach me what it is to remain calm but everything within me is fighting, fighting You. These thoughts, these emotions rage within and rebellious I have been. Puffing myself up, all I have shown you is that I think I can do it better; that any other way is better than Yours. I am so wrong. Everything is just falling apart. I can’t take it anymore. 

I want to run away. I want to give up. I just want to leave it all and just go. “Anywhere is better than here,” my mind torments. Painting a false picture of how better off I would be without You.

In the middle of this storm, I am at a stand still, a wall I have run into. That wall is You. I am fighting You, but a losing battle it is. I can’t overtake you. I can’t win. How foolish I have been to think I had a chance. I am only hurting myself. “Why are you fighting me?!” You question me, then wrap me in Your arms; calming the rage I have carried for so long. 

I look up to see that there is no going around; there is no going over. I stand still. I can’t go backwards. I can only go forward. I am in the now. The exact place You are. I fall to my knees, weeping; my face in my hands. I surrender. I back down. 

“Stand still in this storm,” You tell me. “Stay calm in the middle of this storm…I am here. Stop fighting. Stop rebelling.” 

Inspired by a song called: "In The Eye of The Storm"

When I think of this storm, I can clearly see myself standing in the rain and all the chaos happening around me. The thunder. The lightening… but I just remain calm and still. Nothing can touch me, nothing can harm me because He is there.

I had began doubting Him. I didn’t believe His promise: “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” I have heard that verse so many times, but what did it really mean?

“Even when we do not feel Him near, He is there. We push Him away, but still He remains until we give Him his place in our life.”-Stephanie

Where Are You, God?

I dared to ask Him. He answered me… He was blunt. I dared asking Him after being rebellious, after pushing Him away from me and the circumstance. I dared to ask Him even after I kept Him out of my marriage. I dared to ask. 

He is a loving Father, though I was rebellious in my ways, His answer was gentle, but strong.

“I have been here the whole time. I haven’t turned my back on you, the way you have imagined. I have not left your side or left you to fight alone. It has been your choices and your own understanding that has pushed me out of the way. 

You have attempted to take control and do things in your own way, because you thought deep down inside, you could make those changes. That the circumstances would change by your own fleshly force and manipulation; anger, selfishness, isolate.

You have taken your will to take thing in your own hands. I simply stepped aside until you finally realized that you couldn’t, until you reached that wall you couldn’t break through. Me. 

So, I never leave you. I never abandoned you, but I do step aside when you decide to take up MY roll in your life.”-God  

After hearing those words so clearly, in my heart, I started crying. I knew exactly what He meant and exactly what I did wrong. It wasn’t in a punishing way. God doesn’t punish(the harsh ways the world punishes), He simply disciplines, because He loves us.

Hebrews 12:6 

After recognizing my ways and finally surrendering to God, a veil was torn. I felt strengthened and I felt at peace. Hope has been restored. He lifted me up and dusted me off, reminding me of how good He has always been.

Wife, You’re Not Alone

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I have so much to share. I have so many things that God wants to share with other wives, especially the ones who are going through similar things. I have felt alone, but it’s a lie. I have felt like no one would understand what I am facing in my marriage, but it’s a lie.

I want to be used by Him to restore hope. I want my messages to radiate God’s faithfulness in the midst of the storm. I want to bring freedom to the wives that think there isn’t another way out of what they are facing with their husbands health.

I am my brother’s keeper. What I do for my husband, I do for God. How I treat my husband, I treat God. 

We are our brothers keeper.

We are our brothers helper in the difficult times. 

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Social Media

Wife, You’re Not Alone” is my ministry. It was birthed after my husbands heart surgery back in November of 2017. I knew then that I wanted to share my journey and I know I will be doing just that.

I will be posting on my Instagram page- @wifeyourenotalone 

 

Weight & Confidence

When I look into the mirror I desire to see myself the way You see me. I have fallen away, my eyes have been deceiving. What I see, I have not liked. What I have seen, I have not loved. My self-image, distorted it has been and feeling down, has risen. Tempted to lash out about my body, but You have held my tongue and are helping me get back on track. You line things up perfectly, today is a new day. I see things differently. I acknowledge that alone I cannot do this, it was proven when I first began…

To Feel Confidence

…when I feel otherwise. This last week, I did not workout. I let my body have its way… not to mention it also had what it wanted to eat. It’s like my mindset was reverting back to how it was last year. Something was taking over and bad habits were returning.

The bad habit of lashing out about how I look and about my body. To be honest I was feeling, “fat.” I was starting to see myself that way and I was beginning to feel how I used to… angry and disgusted.

Such attitude and so much self-hatred doesn’t come from God, it comes from the enemy whos sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy the creation of God; which is you and me. Now a days it’s through body image. Through food.

It’s A Spiritual Battle

Yes. You may be wondering, how?!

Last year, in March, I was the heaviest I have ever been. I was depressed. I was so self-conscious and very insecure about my body. When I looked into the mirror I saw nothing but bad things and I spoke nothing but bad things about my body. The way I felt was bad. I felt fat. I felt gross. I felt so uncomfortable. I had no confidence, what so ever. I felt like I was in some kind of trans. Inside I felt angry. I felt disgusted every time I looked into the mirror.

It was like I was in bondage. I was enslaved to food. I was enslaved to bad habits. I couldn’t break free from it. That’s why I had gained so much weight and had so much hatred towards my body.

I had no energy to do anything. I wasn’t enjoying my husband and all I wanted to do was stay in bed because of feeling sick and always in pain.

I once heard a testimony of a woman who had so much trouble losing weight. She said that she felt like demons were keeping her bondage. Until one day she cried to God and those chains broke and once they did she started losing weight. 

That’s what happened to me. It wasn’t until I cried to God for help that I started being consistent and finally losing weight. I had tried so many “diets,” but none worked. It wasn’t until I learned that it’s a lifestyle…

“Diets only last as long as your motivation to do it is, but a lifestyle is what lasts.”

-Stephanie

So when I say it’s a Spiritual Battle, it is. There is an enemy that is trying to destroy people. And if you look closely, it’s by the food the people are consuming. More processed food. More sugar added. More preservatives…etc.

We wonder why we can’t lose weight. We wonder why there is a huge outbreak of child obesity… it’s what we have been putting into our bodies.

It’s An Addiction

Just like drugs, food can be an addiction. Junk food can be an addiction… I know that very well. Sweets. Salty foods. The very things I still struggle with. This past year, in eating healthy I have learned so much about my body.

I learned that I have a gluten intolerance. That’s the reason I was always bloated. The very reason why I always felt tired.  I am slightly lactose intolerant. That’s the reason why I always had stomach problems and always felt nauseous. Recognizing these things have helped me lose weight and take better care of my body. I have learned how to better nurture it, LOVE it and give it what it needs.

Of course, habits had to be broken. It wasn’t easy, because I had been used to certain foods for so long. I was “addicted.” -Stephanie

Last week, when my friend David Lugo was here, we were talking about his transformation. He was sharing that it was hard for him to let go of what he was used to eating. His body was going through withdrawals and that his body would shake and tremble, like a drug addicted getting cleaned. I believe it.

He also shared that he had gained a lot of weight and that his health was starting to fall. He changed his lifestyle. It is a Spiritual thing. It’s a battle. 

I say that because, our bodies are temples of the Spirit. Our bodies are used for God’s purposes. So if the enemy can keep our body sluggish, sick and so on, we cannot fulfill what we have been called to do; jobs, ministry, etc.

QUESTION: Have you ever felt like you didn’t want to do anything, especially after the food you ate?

Choosing Not To Eat The Kings Food

The story of Daniel and the three men. I was reminded of this story because it confirms what I have been saying. Nowadays the “kings food,” is the junk we eat. It’s the rich foods, the processed foods, the salty and sugary foods. The very foods that are harming the people, rather than strengthening them.

The king of this world is Satan, whether you want to believe it or not. His foods are fast foods, junk foods, processed foods, salty, sweet… etc. 

Daniel 1:8-17 New Living Translation (NLT)
But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. Now God had given the chief of staff both respect and affection for Daniel. But he responded, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has ordered that you eat this food and wine. If you become pale and thin compared to the other youths your age, I am afraid the king will have me beheaded.”
Daniel spoke with the attendant who had been appointed by the chief of staff to look after Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said. “At the end of the ten days, see how we look compared to the other young men who are eating the king’s food. Then make your decision in light of what you see.” The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion and tested them for ten days.
At the end of the ten days, Daniel and his three friends looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king. So after that, the attendant fed them only vegetables instead of the food and wine provided for the others.
God gave these four young men an unusual aptitude for understanding every aspect of literature and wisdom. And God gave Daniel the special ability to interpret the meanings of visions and dreams.

It’s not about being vegan or vegetarian, but about choosing to nurture your body with healthier options. These four men, chose to do just that. Filling their bodies with vegetables and water, rather than the delicacies of the King, everybody was able to see the difference. They were stronger, they were healthier. They too needed God’s help.

People wonder why they are “fat.” People wonder why they can’t go day without feeling pain in their body. People wonder why they feel tired all the time… It has to do with that they are filling their bodies up with.  

It wasn’t until I started nurturing my body that I no longer felt pain in my joints. My knees have gotten better. My back and ankles have gotten better.

Receiving More Than You Let Go Of

Going back to the story of Daniel; After the ten days of eating healthy they saw the difference, and started having the other men eat healthier too. Stronger is better for fighting battles. Stronger is better for fulfilling the daily tasks. Stronger is better for supporting your family. Stronger is better for living life. 

What’s a few broken habits compared to great overall health and endurance? Which one is more important to you?

In verse 17 you can see that ridding themselves of such foods opened up their hearts for what God had for them. Those four men were given favor and a place in the royal service.

In other words, when you are freeing yourself of all things that are harming you, you are given so much more. Health. Life. Motivation. Wisdom and so much more. To me that means more than what my flesh craves. 

The Choice

Ultimately the choice is ours. Sometimes it comes when we have had enough. Tired of being tired. Tired of feeling sick all the time. Tired of being overweight. Just tired. It was my breaking point that led me to asking God for help. I haven’t regretted it.

I am determined to not go back to how I was. I am determined to nurturing my body with healthy foods. I have goals. I have dreams and I want to be healthy to achieve them. Especially when it comes to what God has for my life and marriage.

I know that I want to be a mother. I am preparing my body for that day. I plan on being there for them. I plan on having a lot of energy for them… (I am smiling as I type that.) Thinking of that just makes me so happy.

 

What or who in your life deserves a better and healthier version of you?  

All you have to do is ask for help and chains will begin to fall off and you will begin to see your life transform before your eyes. 

 

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“You can have confidence in the midst of the transition. You can look at yourself in the mirror and finally love the person staring back at you.”

-Stephanie

More To Life

It has been days since I have heard You tell me this, “there is more to life.” More to this life than what I feel I should be doing, in my own flesh. I have been so focused on my own thing that I have ignored your presence and your direction for my life. Time and time you send your messengers to speak into my heart. Papa, I am ready. For there is more to life than money. There is more to life than trying to fit in. There is more to life than worldly recognition. There is more to my life. -Heart of Grace

“Todo Va A Estar Bien” (Everything Will Be Ok)

Through a worship song by a dear friend David Lugo, God spoke directly to my heart. It was during a time where my husband and I were overwhelmed with things pertaining to his health. (I will be sharing the journey, soon.) A few weeks ago, we were driving and were led to listen to his new album. As the songs played, we came across a song that was birthed at our church… we knew which one it was as soon as we heard it. We immediately felt Gods presence fill the car and tears began to fall down our cheeks.

It was then that we felt Gods assurance and comfort. He reminded us that everything will be ok. He reminded us that He has not left us and that He is doing a new thing in us and in my husbands life (health.)

“Last night He reminded us again. It’s been a theme these past few weeks. Things have been hard, but His love has sustained us through it all. My heart had been closing little by little and other things I was beginning to pick up, in place of Him. I was overburdening myself with things I felt I needed to do because I wasn’t seeing what I needed, when I needed it. I was losing faith.”-Stephanie

More To My Life

Though it is hard to explain to others, the important thing is that I know what is being asked of me. My heart has been taking on a transition, from what I want, to what my Father wants. When I envision my life, I see myself doing what He has called me to do. And it’s powerful.

I have been listening to music from Blake Whiteley. He raps about answering God’s call and doing what he is supposed to be doing, to reach the lost.  It has been challenging me. It’s been re-shifting my thoughts, desires and my will. Last night was confirmation of that, and the words God spoke directly to me were the right ones to remind me of my identity in Him.

I know I was meant for more. I know I was called to do more. I know that I have been given visions, desires and specific gifts for a reason; to serve Him, to do what I have been called to do.

I Want To Be Called And To Be Chosen

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”-Matthew 22:14

When it comes to purpose, we all have one. We were all born with a purpose, but so many fail to live it out. I am not saying that everyone is called to be in “ministry.” God has doctors. God has athletes. God has lawyers. God has so many people doing different things, but they do it for Him. They are where they should be. 

So many people fail to do all they are meant to do, because they do not answer His call. In all honesty it’s because they are afraid of what it will require. I don’t want to be like that. I have so many desires and so many things I would like to do, to reach out to so many people. To share with them what’s been done in my life.

I was found. I was healed. I was restored. I was loved when I felt unlovable.

How many people are still out there feeling hopelessness? How many people are still feeling broken? How many people are still in need of saving? So many!

 

I want to answer His call. I want to be chosen, because of my willingness to serve Him.

 

On Replay

These songs have been on my replay list. They have been encouraging me and helping through this season. I want to share them.

If you understand Spanish: Todo Va A Estar Bien by David Lugo

 

More Than A Conqueror by Blake Whiteley

Fly by Blake Whiteley

 

 

A Girl and Her Journal

My passion for writing started from a place of desperation. It was during the time in my teen life where I felt so lost and alone. With so much to say, I didn’t know how to express it. Depression crept in, cutting began. I was only a teen, a girl who felt unloved. Blade to my wrist, the only pain I could control. I sought help, to a counselor I was taken to, but nothing seem to help. Every Monday, science class I would miss. It was in that moment, my love for writing began. What I couldn’t express with my counselor, I was able to share in my journal. I have always said, I say it again, the paper always knew me better than any person could.

Being Transparent

It’s time. Time to share my story. Depression comes like a thief in the night. The signs are there, but few recognize. It was so with me. I have always dealt with depression, like many have and continue to.

There are many things that can cause it, but it’s mostly formed in the mind. That’s where it begins. The thoughts of being unloved, unworthy, unaccepted, no good and so on were what sparked it in my life, not to mention the way things were at home. Less than perfect, I am sure I am not the only one.

With all honesty and transparency, I have felt this way a couple days ago. Things in my life and being so disconnected has left me feeling so helpless and desperate; feeling like nothing is going to get better. It’s suffocating. It’s made me feel anxious…

Crying Out To God

because he says… “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”- Matthew 11:28

Yes, with tears down my cheeks and ready to throw in the towel… I have cried out. I have thrown myself at His feet, questioning His reasons as to why things are the way they are. But all I can hear Him say is, “So I can be glorified.” It may seem unfair for Him to say that, but I know exactly what He means. All I can do is say, “Ok.” I cannot fight His plans.

In my walk with God, there have been many obstacles. There have been many times I have felt tempted to lash out, but because I knew I was loved it shielded me from any kind of lies trying to get me to fall back into that self harming life.

He has taken upon him all my worries. He has taken upon Him all my pain because He cares for me…all so that I may find rest and strength in Him.-Stephanie

Freedom Comes By Humbling Yourself

is what I have learned.

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.-1 Peter 5:7-10

“We can read these verses and then wonder why things are allowed in our life, the things that hurt us and leave us wondering what’s going on, but we are only seeing it through our own eyes, our eyes of pain and desperation. We forget to see things through His eyes. After all, He is the one who sees things from the beginning all the way to the end.”-Stephanie

Only God knows why we go through what we do, and the reasons for it.

Maybe it’s to bring you closer to Him. To set you free from the things that keeps you in bondage. To strengthen you because there is something greater He is wanting to give you. There are many reasons as to why…

To be honest, I still struggle with fully trusting Him and what is being done in my life. I am human and far from perfect. We all are.

Let me tell you this: You’re not alone in your suffering. You’re not the only one who is going through it. I have been there, I know what it’s like. But there is someone who has seen every single tear, every single cut; all your pain and wants nothing more than to set you free.

Let Go Of Pride

To receive the freedom you need, starts by first acknowledging you need help. It’s humbling yourself to admit it. Pride takes many forms, and the most popular one is the,

“I am ok.”

If that were the case, you wouldn’t be isolated, feeling the way you feel and so on. 

This kind of pride, “denial,” comes from a place of insecurity; it keeps people at a distance because we are afraid to let others in and see the “mess” we are in. I learned this from a friend, we are not a mess when were are going through something.

We are human created to lean on and need God. We definitely have feelings and emotions. While it’s ok to feel what we feel, we shouldn’t stay there. Remember this:

There is freedom in humility. There is freedom in surrender. There is freedom, together. 

 

This Is Me

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“I have always been one to build up a wall and push people out. It has always been my so called “safe place,” until the day God opened my eyes and revealed to me the damage I was doing and the danger of it. All I was doing was enclosing myself alone, with all the torment and struggles and at the same time I was keeping people out; the very people who could help me overcome depression & isolation. I was so worried about them seeing me as not capable or inadequate. It was pride. It was insecurity.  I didn’t want to admit and confess my struggles. With opening up, I have learned there are many caring people who are there for me. I have learned to trust God and others with my pain and hurt, instead of trying to do it alone. In doing so, I have gained the strength to get back up and keep going. In doing so I have not had to fight alone. In doing so I have been the best version of me… and in doing so, my life is not like how it used to be and those temptations are gone.”-Stephanie

My name is Stephanie and I am no longer a slave to depression or self harm .

I am free. 

 

My Heart’s Song

When I Feel Off

Everything within me cries out for you. This I know, how? I feel off, out of order.

On days like this, it is you I want; the preferred parent that a child runs to for the nurture and comfort.

I run to you with arms up, crying inside… Papa!

I jump into your arms, ready you are to catch me and hold me close.

As I lay my head on your shoulder, I cry.

Holding me tightly, you tell me, “It’s ok. Everything will be ok…”

I believe you, papa. I believe you.

On Days Like This

It’s been days that I have been feeling a little, “out of order.” There are things that I am currently going through that no one knows about… things that have me feeling a little emotional.

My life is undergoing a transition from living the way I have wanted to, to following through with what I need to do. Things are being removed, people are being removed… but nonetheless things are being placed back in order in my life. I feel it.

Ever felt like you were “off” and not the real you? Yup, that’s how I have been feeling and the reason I am allowing God rearrange my life for the better.

A Season For Everything

“I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason and for a certain amount of time. The things we pray for or ask for are given, but then comes a time when it  no longer has the same meaning in our life…I mean it’s no longer how it used to be or what we need.” -Stephanie

That’s where I am at. I am currently at that point where I want more, but more of what He wants for me. For I know that those things are continuously fulfilling and so much more rewarding than what I think I want or need.

When it comes to relationships and people that were in my life for a season and the next they aren’t meant to be there anymore… that’s where it gets hard for me. So many people have come into my life for various reasons, purposes. Some have taught me a lot, while others were just used to strengthen me.

There comes a time when you’re being moved to a higher level, or a new chapter in your life; when you have to decide whether you want to hold on to what is being asked of you to let go of and remain in the same place, or when you finally decide you’re ready to let go of the past and advance.

To be honest, a lot of people remain in the same place because they aren’t willing to let go of the comfort or what they are used to. I can’t be like that, no matter how much it hurts to let go of things or people.

“Where God is taking you, such things cannot follow.” 

Where I Am Going Is Not Where They Are Going

This part of my life is like when we are walking alongside someone, talking and chitchatting, but then are met by a crossroad, they both say bye and go their own ways. Where I am going is not where a lot of people are going. Meaning, my journey is far different than a lot of peoples. 

Their priorities are not my own. My calling is not their own. That’s ok. I am slowly learning to accept this and just look forward & let go. People will never truly understand the things you do…especially when it comes to being obedient to what God is calling you to do.

Am I being judged? Maybe. Am I being criticized? Maybe. Should I care? No. Should I worry about opinions? No. For the only one I am looking to please is, God. 

Being Bold, Being Courageous

Eeek, thinking about those two words can sometimes intimidate me. Me? Being those things… slowly.

The bad thing about it is, I am only those things when I feel backed into a corner, or when I am feeling a little down or hurt by something or someone. It’s like it comes from an inner anger that shoots up and moving me into the right direction. It becomes a confidence that no one can take away.

I know that I am a strong person, but sometimes I back down. I know that I am courageous, but sometimes I become afraid.

Ever feel like that? Especially when you’re being asked to manifest those things through a big decision? Yessss! I have, too. I laugh a little, because we tend to manifest those things when we shouldn’t, but when we should we become like, “I don’t know how to be courageous, strong or bold.” haha (I speak for myself, here.)

Why can’t I just manifest that attitude, always?! That’s something that will change, soon.

Encouragement

I may joke around a bit when it comes to what I go through, it is just a way that I cope. I am able to laugh at things like this because I know they won’t last forever. Laughter has been my remedy for healing.

But the best thing has been listening to podcasts by Steven Furtick

The word has been bringing me new life. It has been encouraging and confirming so many things in my life. It’s been reminding me that through all the chaos in my life or all the problems and so on, that He turns all that into something beautifully amazing. Everything I am going through is not in vain, but about to be turned into something better than I can imagine.

The same can and will happen for you. You just need to be obedient to what He is saying…putting Him first. ❤

 

“It’s ok. Everything will be ok.”

-God

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Staring Insecurity In The Face

Days passed, days lost. I was surrounded by a fog, it slowly began to blind me. Blinding me from seeing Your truth, I was becoming vulnerable. Vulnerable to the things that once hurt me, those things that had caused me to wander so far away from you and how You see me. Approval from others, I was beginning to think I needed. I was putting myself in a place where I didn’t belong. I was trying to be someone I am not; as if who You made me to be, isn’t enough. I dragged my head so low as to think that who You created, wasn’t good enough for the world to see. So, imitation was becoming my limitation. I have gone through so much for such things still be an issue, but still deep down there are things hidden; things that still need Your freeing light. I am grateful for that still small voice. For clearly you speak into my heart and remind me of who I am, in You. -Heart of Grace

It All Starts With A Seed

I was laying in bed, (after all it is 1:08 am) of course I couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning, things were just running through my mind. The baseball game tomorrow, that exciting live I did with a friend on Facebook, etc.

But deep down, I knew there was something wrong, something I needed to acknowledge. I knew exactly what it was, because as soon as I recognized it, tears flowed down my cheeks. It’s an insecurity that has remained hidden, until recently.

The insecurity of not being liked, or not being that one person everybody wants to be friends with.

It’s always been about trying to be “popular.” It makes me wonder how many young girls now a days still struggle with things like this. What they have had to do just to “fit” in.

The Cause

I have always been the one to take offenses so personally to the point where I would start doubting myself and always wonder what was wrong with me. Why don’t they like me? Why don’t they want to be friends with me? What did I do so wrong?

I have always tried to be likeable because the moment I did something that someone didn’t like, was the moment I was pushed to the side and no longer, “liked,” or talked about.-Stephanie

Not knowing then, that there was a greater plan for my life. I wasn’t meant to fit in, but stand out. It literally took years for me to finally understand that… at times it’s still hard, especially when I see certain things.

The truest friend is the one who remains your friend when everyone else is trying to make you look bad, to them. They will also be the one to accept you for you, regardless of your flaws, that everyone else seems to highlight. 

God is always that friend. 

The Past Is just That, The Past

There will be moments in life when you find yourself in similar situations; situations that will make you think, “this is just like last time.” Or “it’s going to happen again!”

‘That hurt teenager, screams those words, now. That teenager who put everything in their friendships only to be easily pushed to the side is feeling that all over again. That hurt teenager… 

…is me.”-Stephanie

 

My Hearts Cry

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.-Psalm 139:23

The light of God illuminates deep within our hearts and exposes those things that we never knew were there, those things that we have tried so hard to hide and those things we never wanted to “relive” again… but it’s all for a beautiful purpose.

For me it was one of those things that I didn’t realize I still had. There are so many layers when it comes to forgiveness.

The truest way to know you’ve forgiven someone, is by what flows from your heart the moment you’re in a similar situation, with the same person. 

God has been restoring so many of my relationships, because I have first allowed Him to change me. There are specific people in my life that I thought I had completely forgiven, until recently.

Flashbacks have come of things that were done in the past; trying to get me to believe that it’s going to happen all over again. I have felt afraid. I have felt insecurity. I have felt like that teenager who just wants to go run and hide in a cave.

The verse in Psalm 139 is one of my favorites. It’s my hearts cry, constantly. At times I am a little hesitant to ask Him, because I know I don’t always like the process. It’s been because of that, that I have changed. It’s been because of that, that I have been healed from so many other things and insecurities.

“What I have found time and time again is, when God is about to do something great in my life, or about to use me in a big way, something tries to intimidate me and cause me to run, hide and shrink back like a scared little girl.”-Stephanie

“The actions or behaviors of others is never a reflection of you, but reflection of who they still are.”-Stephanie

Everything You’ve Gone Through Is Used For You

In the heat of the moment, it’s so hard to see. It’s so hard to understand. It’s so hard to believe that, “What the enemy means to harm you, God will use it for good.” Being completely honest, I have asked God, “when???” I have asked Him, “Why?!” I have even asked Him, “Why do I have to go through this?”

I didn’t always like the answer, but I knew He was always right. Everything that I have gone through in my entire life, has made me the person I am today. The strong willed woman. The courageous woman. The angry woman. The wiser woman.

I am being taught to use those things for Him. Being strong willed enough to not settle for less than His best, less than His truths. Being the courageous woman, to go out and do what I am supposed to do, regardless. Being that angry woman that fights back against the enemy and against the attacks that come to my mind; those things that try to get me to shrink back. Being that wiser woman, knowing and discerning what’s going on around me so I will no longer fall into the trap that is set before me. 

It was during worship on Wednesday that those questions flowed from my heart, into His ears. His response was simple. “You’re more mature than that to be affected by this, again.”

It only takes a small answer from God to break us free from a big lie.  

Because of being in similar situations in the past, dealing with insecurity and unforgiveness and so on, I have been strengthened and given wisdom to overcome the next “encounters.” Sometimes I need to be reminded of that.

Nothing you go through is in vain. Nothing you suffered is in vain…if it’s been given to God, to be used as a tool against the enemy. 

Attacks will always come. Instead of seeing them as such, I now see them as tests; testing my maturity, testing my strength, testing my trust and faith in Him, testing me to see if I am ready for the next level He is wanting to take me to.

 

I am no longer that hurt teenager. I am now a warrior and daughter of God.-Stephanie