Peace In The Storm

A quiet night, alone I am; no one else around. I am emotional, I cannot deny. I want to cry, yet I want to stay strong. I have said time and time again, when you cry you are strong, but why do I try to avoid it? When I cry, I feel. When I cry, it hurts. When I cry I am reminded of what is happening around me; in me. I am comforted, yes. When the tears roll down my face, I feel relief and the pressures go. It seems like I am no stranger to tears and tears to me; oh how well acquainted we’ve been this past month. No one knows, only He. No one knows the reason for these tears, but He does. That is enough.

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Wife You’re Not Alone

It’s been a little over a month since everything happened. Days of brokenness, days of joy, days of chaos and days of peace; I have experienced them all. ✨This week has been the most rough of them all. I haven’t been able to eat right because my stomach had been in “knots” and anxiety was trying to make its home in my life and the thought of loneliness was becoming invasive. 

Because God is a mighty God I have been experiencing peace in the midst of all this. I have been experiencing God in such a way, that makes me feel WHOLE. Every void in my heart and my life, He has been filling it with more of Him. 🌸 I have learned to be real with Him. I have learned to express myself and just be simply honest with God about what I am feeling and what I “hate.” Yes, I finally broke down and told him the thing I hate. ✨ It wasn’t until I confessed that thing hidden that I began to feel free. All the chaos in my this past week led me to this confession: “I HATE BEING ALONE.” 

Then I heard this question; “Then why do you always insist on always having your alone time and isolating yourself?” ✨ I didn’t realize how pushed away from everybody I had been. I didn’t realize how isolated I have become, that being around people without my husband, hurt and all I wanted to do was hide. ✨THAT IS NOT FREEDOM, at all. (I would always tell my husband I wanted alone time. Now that I have it, I don’t want it. I just want him home already.)

“Though I still struggle with a bit of anxiety, I am experiencing PEACE. I am learning that I can have peace in this storm. I am learning that I can enjoy being out and about while in this storm. I am learning to enjoy everyone around me while in this storm. ✨THAT IS FREEDOM.”-Stephanie

Though my husband is still in the hospital, I don’t have to keep myself isolated and locked away until “things are better.” On the contrary, I need to surround myself with people who are there for me; praying for me and helping me get through this. ✨God is showing me who I really am and definitely making me courageous. All I can do is thank Him. 🌸

Just Write

I know it’s been weeks since my last post, and honestly it doesn’t seem that long. It doesn’t seem like it’s been over a month since this all began. That tells me God’s hand is on everything. Everything is going to be ok. 

I felt the need to write, writing has always been the very thing that has helped me through it all. I feel God wants me to do it more, now. Though my flesh feels it’s the last thing I want to be doing. I have hidden away for some time. I have been pushing away the very things that can help me through all this and waiting for that, “right time.” I have realized that there will never be the right time or the perfect time. Only the, “now.”

What I mean about that is, when God says. Most days it will be when you least feel like it or the hardest days. But I have learned over time that what I am going through and what I share, has always blessed someone else reading it. It’s a constant reminder to me that I am not alone in what I go through and that others are going to the same things, or something similar.

We are never alone.

Tears, Just Cry

I remember telling my sister in-law when this first happened, that I will continue to cry through all this until God doesn’t allow me to cry anymore. It was after her telling me to not worry about what others think. To this day, I still shed my tears. It’s hard. I can’t deny that. I can’t pretend that I am not a mess at times, in all of this. I can be a mess. I don’t have to have it all together. Why? Because I am still human and I know when I am weak, God is strong. When I feel like I can’t stand, God is standing for me and that’s where I draw my strength from. He is my strength through all of this.

The Hidden Place

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God sees all things, especially those moments when we are alone and tears just flow from our eyes. He hears what is so hidden in our heart. He hears what words cannot say. 

I once heard, “tears are silent prayers.”  It is true. Our tears manifest what we feel inside, good or bad. I have had a lot of sad tears flow from me expressing the very thing I was holding in; frustration, impatience, fear, pain, even gratitude.

Only He knows exactly what I feel, think and desire. There have been times where I hold back those tears when I am around others and as soon as my bedroom door shuts, they pour out. I drop myself on the floor next to my bed and just cry. I know I am not alone in that.

“It’s been in my hidden (alone) place with God that I have found strength. The very place where I have expressed to Him what I feel, the things I hate and what I desire. It’s been that very place where I’ve been drawing my strength from. Each day I need it. Each day I recognize that I cannot make it without him. I need Him.”

Speak Life

Speaking life is speaking words of blessing, comfort, hope, love and truth.

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When all that I hear is negative, I speak words of life. I speak the word of God over the circumstance and ignore the bad. This entire journey has been just that. Words have knocked me down, but God has lifted me up, but stronger. I have been learning to block out words of death and combat them with words of Life. I have been changing the way I speak and think, and it’s helped me see things the way He sees them.

I have had doctors tell me one thing, yet see God do the opposite. I have been hit with the worst news anybody can get, but I have seen God’s hand over my husband. I know it’s only going to get better. My husband is still alive. 

I am choosing to speak words of life, because I have seen God manifest miracles before. I was a witness to one, though I didn’t know Him and my heart was so far from Him.

I know He is the same God. I know He will do it again. 

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I will not give up. I will not surrender to the pressures of the storm. I know who I am and who’s I am. My Father is the Lord of all of Heaven’s army and I am not alone. He is my defender. He watches over me and my husband and is the one giving him new life. We have nothing or no one to fear. That is what brings my heart peace.  ❤

 

Do It Again- Elevation Worship

Forgiveness, a powerful tool it is. It sets a prisoner free, later to discover that the prisoner was me. I have made mistakes, I know that full well. I am human. I am not perfect, and I do not claim to be. I have hurt the ones closest to me with words; with actions. I have looked back, tears I have cried. “I am sorry”, I cried out to You. I have asked for forgiveness, but do I really believe that I am? For it is easier to forgive those who hurt me, but why is it hard to set myself free from torment and guilt? The past days have not been kind, my stomach in chaos; I need to be set free. I am not the bad person the enemy makes me out to be. I am yours. I am your Daughter. I have been forgiven. Help me to believe it’s true. Help me to live in this truth;

“Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.” -John 8:36

The Days Have Been Hard

Words cannot express how this past week has been. Tears have been cried. Things have happened that I never imagined would happen to us. My husbands health has been a storm! I have been dealing with anxiety, stress and panic attacks.

Never have I experienced such “anguish,” before. I have been in this place in the past, but this time it’s been hard. Waves of regret, waves of guilt, waves of condemnation have flooded my mind trying to get me to surrender.

But nonetheless, God has manifested in mighty ways. What He has been doing in my life hasn’t been easy. It’s been a rough encounter; one of discipline and of freedom. One of them being; seeing the wrong of my ways, attitudes and so on. It all came to me like a flood when things happened with my husband’s health.

We Want What We Want…

…but when it comes down to it actually happening, we automatically feel regret. That was me this last week. In my heart I have grown an attitude towards the situation in my marriage, which only came from selfishness. I had grown a callused heart towards God for how things have been going. Telling Him, “This is not what I imagined, or what I wanted.”

How quickly that changed when He allowed this storm to take place. When the thought of losing my husband became reality. I started to see where I was so wrong and began pleading to God for help; for changes.-Stephanie

One thing I have been struggling hard to do is, forgive myself. Everything that I had done wrong and was doing wrong came to my mind. Tears fell from my eyes and I began thinking, “How could I have been like that?! How could I have acted like that and treated him like that?” I felt so much guilt. I felt so much regret. It broke me. 

Forgiven

As soon as your request to God to be forgiven is released from your lips, you are. God is not a God who holds on to offenses or wishes to “punish” you, the way the world portrays Him to be. It’s our lack of belief because of what we feel, that causes us to feel unforgiven. We think, to be forgiven means we no longer feel the pain or some kind of guilt. We have to remember that guilt doesn’t come from God. I am not going to sit here and say that it doesn’t take time for you to start believing it, because it does. It’s been almost two weeks since everything happened and I have yet to fully believe that I am forgiven.

The reason being; I haven’t been able to forgive myself, fully. God already forgave me. I need to forgive myself and let go of all the wrong I have said and done. It’s been a slow process, but I am getting there. Each day it gets easier.

What brings me comfort is what His word says:

Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love. Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!- Micah 7:18-19

Learning From The Circumstance

In life, we will always go through problems. It’s been promised.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”-John 16:15

God has not withheld anything that will help us and equip us for what life throws at us. There are signs and warnings that we seem to overlook because we think we, “know it all.” When things come suddenly and we are caught off guard, we question God’s existence or whether or not He is really for us. 

Everything that we go through is never in vain. I have said that over and over, because it’s true. There has always been a lesson to learn in every experience I have had. This one being no exception. It’s been a huge learning experience. I saw that with the utmost humility.

I have been learning how to be a better wife and what God expects from me during this season. I have been seeing where I can improve and allowing Him to remold me into the woman He needs me to be. I have been learning that life doesn’t just stop in the midst of the storm. I have been taken out of my comfort zone to continue doing things as the helper to my husband.

I wrote something last night. I shared it on Instagram and as I wrote it, it was a revelation to me and what God has been doing in my life these past few days.

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  • “In Darkness He Is My Light.” It’s been a rough few days, today being one. I honestly find myself still struggling to trust God, fully. I know He is asking me to let go and let Him. I know He is wanting me to do something here, while my heart wants to be there. As a wife, we tend to have this nurturing spirit when it comes to our spouse (family) when they aren’t feeling well. It becomes a feeling that things would be better if you were by their side. What if you can’t always be right there? 
    I have been learning recently that life doesn’t just stop in the midst of the storm. I have been learning that as wives, we need to keep moving forward for our home, for our marriages, for our life & relationship with God. It’s in these moments that we have to trust God is there when we can’t be. It’s in those moments when we have to trust God to do what we can’t. It’s in those moments when we have to trust that God is there and working all things for our good. Wife, you are the helper. I have been learning that. I have been learning that being my husbands helper means I take care of things when he can’t. It means keeping my home in order when he can’t. It means staying connected to God for both of us when he can’t. My husbands health has taken a tole on him and what he’s been able to do. Soon I will be able to share what’s been happening, but in the mean time I stand strong and continue to trust God.
    🌸Wives, I pray for strength over your life. Those who are struggling with their spouses health, I pray for peace and comfort. I pray that no matter what your storm looks like, that you will find strength in God’s truth. I pray that God will guide you and show you what you are to do in the now. I pray for restoration and that God’s will be done. In Jesus Name. Amen. ✨Wife, You’re Not Alone. 

My Husbands Helper

After writing that, I finally got it. It finally clicked in my heart. It’s not easy to let go and let God. It’s not easy not being there 24/7, but it’s true. It’s POSSIBLE. (Luke 1:37) Life doesn’t just stop in the midst of the storm.

What I have being learning is, when our husbands can’t, we pick up the slack; spiritually, physically and in all aspects.  We seek God for guidance to do what we need to do. We take up the responsibilities, making sure things do not just fall apart. Wife, I get it. I know. You’re not alone in this.

You’re stronger than you feel. You’re stronger than the obstacles you’re currently facing. I am still waiting for things to get better, but in the midst of all this, I am trusting God. I am learning to let go of things I cannot change, and change the things I can. I am learning to pick up the slack for my home, for my marriage and for my family.

I am not doing it alone. I can assure you that. I have had to humble myself before Him and ask for forgiveness and for help.

Again and again, and again I have heard these words: “God is more interested in healing your inside, than He is at healing your circumstances.” 

A hard pill to swallow, but what good is it for Him to change our circumstances, when our hearts are the same and most likely will not appreciate what He does? This is for me. This is for you.

In order to fully trust God in the storms, is acknowledging that He did NOT cause the storm. The enemy paints a pretty picture that tries to turn us against God. All the bad things in life are caused by our enemy, not God, but He does allow them. The reasons are often unknown, but in all my experiences I have seen victory after victory. The sooner we recognize that the enemy only comes to: steal, kill and destroy, the sooner we are able to cling to God for help and see Him at work in our life and circumstances; giving life and life in abundance.-Stephanie

 

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.-John 10:10 (NLT)

Song On My Heart

Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship

 

 

 

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.”

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 “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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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

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

 

Rain, Coffee & Skincare

I sit here, alone. I begin to wonder about what the future will bring or if it will come at all. A long ways off I see what my heart desires, but in Your eyes it is not that far. I extend my hand attempting to grab hold of what I have been waiting for; it’s still out of reach. I am not ready for it. I look at you and wonder, “when?” All I can hear is you tell me to be patient. All I feel is you telling me is, “my timing is perfect.” I feel relief. I feel secure. For everything, I have placed in your hands.- Heart of Grace

Rainy Day

I sat here for a few minutes contemplating whether or not I was going to write. I haven’t written in awhile… life. I have been busy with so many things, one of them being my business. I began my business back in December, right after my husbands surgery. I prayed, I asked for guidance and I jumped in.

Since then it’s been a blessing. Who knew that Skincare and Makeup would leave me feeling so happy and relieved. Especially when it comes to finances.

I have seen God move in my business, because I have honored Him with it. Through this I have learned to trust in His timing. I have learned to give him full control as to what He wants me to do with it. Through this business I have been able to help so many people.

The Gift Of “Motivation”

When I began my business I had prayed that God would allow me to be a blessing to my team. Because the last thing I wanted it to be was just some, “business.” I wanted it to count for something. After praying for awhile, I was asked to share inspiration every Monday. It was an open door for me to share about my faith, to share encouraging words and share about my experiences.

“I believe that when we honor God with whatever it is we are doing, we will see bigger and better things; not just for ourselves, but for others as well. A person with the right heart will find so much happiness with helping others, rather than helping themselves.”

-Stephanie

Why I Started My Business

My husband had heart surgery, I have shared that before. He has an LVAD implanted into his heart. It is a pump that is taking up the role of pumping his heart. Because of that he can no longer be alone. I have become his caretaker. We prayed for God to provide, He has been. Being able to be here at home with my husband has given me a piece of mind. It’s helped me to draw closer to him, as well as God. It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t think I would have wanted anybody else looking after my husband.

“This is where I have really learned to be his, “wife.” Being there to help him. Being there to make sure he is ok. Being there for his appointments. Just being there for him. Being a Beauty Guide has opened that door for me. I wouldn’t change it. I am truly blessed.”

-Stephanie

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”-Genesis 2:18

My husband is my why. He is the reason why I am working hard. He is the reason why I push hard everyday to overcome insecurities and fears. Watching him has brought me so much encouragement. I see what he has gone through and I see how much he has pushed through and not given up. That inspires me.

 

Wonderfully Beautiful

www.WonderfullyBeautiful.com
Was inspired by one of my favorite verses.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.-Psalm 139:14

I knew I wanted my business to stand for something. I wanted a foundation for my business. When it came to create a web address, I was inspired by that verse. We are all wonderfully made. We are beautiful in the eyes of God. I wanted something that would motivate and inspire. I wanted to help restore confidence. I have been one who has struggled with that so many times. Especially when it came to my skin; my face. I hid it behind so much make up.

But I have been freed from that and now I can literally say I am comfortable in my own skin. I can go days without makeup. I can look as see that acne is gone; redness is gone. It’s an amazing feeling.

The Heart of a Giver

I set out to help as many people as I can. I set out to share with others what I have received. For the word tells us; “What you have freely received, freely give.” Whatever that looks like. It’s never my job to question what He is leading me to do.

“Because we have known what it’s like to struggle financially and now, knowing what freedom looks like. What I sometimes think is still a long ways off, God is bringing us closer to. When there seems to be no way, He makes a way.”- Stephanie 

I am learning to trust in His timing and not in my own impatience. 

 

I Have Experienced It

Before jumping into the business aspect of LimeLife by Alcone I was using their products. I dealt with oily skin. I dealt with acne and breakouts. I never found the right skincare or make for my face. My friend introduced me and I started trying their make up. I fell in love. I slowly began using their skincare products and I saw results.

Skin Care

 

Makeup

 

I am a real person with real struggles with it comes to my face. I am not someone who is just sharing something because it sounds good, no. It has helped me. Not just the skincare, but also the foundation. Switching over to this foundation, I have seen less breakouts, because it is not oil based. It’s waxed based and has a lot of skin benefits.

It wasn’t until I became a Beauty Guide that I realized I had been using the wrong shade of foundation. HAHA I was using a color that was too light for me. I am not a professional makeup artist at all. In fact when I joined I didn’t know a lot about makeup. I just knew they worked and I wanted to share them.”-Stephanie

 

My Heart’s Desire

Helping someone feel comfortable and confident in their own skin; men and women with natural and good for you skincare & makeup. Helping a makeup artist expand their business with professional grade makeup. Building a team of people who want change. Who need extra income.

“It’s not so much about me, as it is about helping others. For I have been blessed to be a blessing. And that’s what I plan on being. God has made way for me, now I wanna be used to make way for others as well.”-Stephanie 

Things That Last

There are no words that can express what I feel inside the moment my lips begin to sing out to You. In the times of trouble, in the times I feel weak, singing love songs to You, makes way for freedom. I sing to you, not only when things are good and well, I sing to you when things are hard and all I want to do is fall, because in my praise and worship I find strength. In that moment of intimacy with You, I find rest. I find who I am and I can clearly see who You are, again. When words are few, the Spirit takes over, a joyous noise births forth. I cannot contain it. There is freedom. There is joy. There is life, in my worship to You.

When No Words Come Forward

These past few days have been such a struggle; emotionally, physically and mentally. There have been moments when my words wouldn’t come out, my mind so distracted and congested with insecurities.

I had it in my mind to skip on service and just stay home, but I didn’t let my feeling dictate my actions; so I went regardless of how I was feeling.

Last night during worship, I sang with so much freedom. It was the first time in a long time. When my words were few, the Spirit birthed forth a joyous noise that I couldn’t contain. Tears fell from my eyes and all I could feel was His embrace and comfort. I felt free, I felt stronger… In that moment, I wasn’t worried about anything, my heart was fully on Him.

I have truly missed that. Spontaneous worship; singing. 

 

Letting Go Of Those Things That Hurt You

“When something has been planted so deep within you, placing down roots, it becomes difficult and can hurt so much when it’s being pulled out of you.”-Stephanie

These days have been just that for me, moments when things that have been hidden deep inside, have been slowly yanked from my life. Things such as; hidden insecurities, bitterness, unbeneficial relationships, deep desires; things that have been causing me to act out of character.

I didn’t see it until this morning, but those things were only hurting me. I received a message from someone that left me feeling so bitter, for it was picking at a sore spot in my life. I realized that God removes those things that are only hurting us, without even knowing it.

When it comes to things that we desire to keep, we become blinded to the fact that it is only causing harm.. and we wonder why we feel the way we feel every time we are around it, around them, etc.

That still small voice; our conscience tells us what is wrong, but we ignore. We care more about those things or the feelings of others, that we neglect our own wellbeing; sometimes or most of the time.

“With everything that I have encountered and have been through, I have grown to learn when it’s time to let go of things; people. It may take me awhile, but I don’t try to fight it, like I used to. I have learned to love and respect myself enough to start taking better care of myself, even if it means letting go of people, habits, things…”-Stephanie

 

Distractions

When we find ourselves in these situations, where we are so focused on other things, we forget who we truly are and what we are meant to do. We get so lost chasing after things; people, that we forgot to seek Him.

When something is out of order, nothing goes right and things just seem to fall apart. How many times has that been true in my own life? Many times, more than I like to remember.

Last night I was walking into that pit. I was forgetting who I am, I was forgetting what I am capable of… I was just forgetting the important things. I was becoming so congested with lies and insecurities that I was losing desire for everything.

It was causing me to wander off course. 

 

A Praying Spouse

I always give God thanks for my husband. The one who has been there for me through everything. He has seen the worst of me, yet chose to love me through it all. Through him, God spoke to me. He reminded me of who I am and what I capable of. Knowing that he prays for me is what strengthens me and keeps me protected.

Keeping things in my life that God has been trying to remove has caused a slight division, because of how it’s made me feel. I admit, that I have been putting things before my marriage and how they have made me feel… I have been taking it out on my husband.

I cannot stress enough about how holding on to things that we aren’t supposed to have can cause so much damage to our life and our relationships… especially when it’s a relationship with someone you’re not supposed to have.

 

Temporary vs Eternal

This is the reason we do not give up. Our human body is wearing out. But our spirits are getting stronger every day.  The little troubles we suffer now for a short time are making us ready for the great things God is going to give us forever. We do not look at the things that can be seen. We look at the things that cannot be seen. The things that can be seen will come to an end. But the things that cannot be seen will last forever.- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What more important to you? The for sure thing or the temporary; the thing that brings temporary excitement? 

The things I have tried holding on to; I have grown to learn that they are not worth losing out on everything God has for me, for my marriage. I have had it revealed that what is awaiting for me, means so much more than what these temporary things can offer me.

‘No one loses out on learning how to hunt, for a temporary meal that only satisfies them for a short while, eventually they will grow hungry again.

It’s the same way with the things of this world and the things of God. This world offers only temporary things, while God offers things that will last and are beneficial; satisfying every single need.

 

 

 

 

 

Strong Girl Vibes

Sometimes I catch myself in a certain place, a place that is familiar. There are times I have to remind myself of who I am; in doing so, I pull myself out of the pit I am walking into. It’s like my mind snaps out of the temporary trans. I am awakened again. I cry. I can’t believe how far I was wandering. Then I lean on Him. The one who comforts me and tells me, “you’re never too far gone.” I am dusted off, I am clothed in robes of purity, identity and cleanliness. I am made new.

Saturday Vibes

“Because I am human. I don’t always have it all together. I break down. I become an emotional wreck…then I choose to pick myself up and keep moving forward. I determine myself not to stay where the enemy tries to keep me. I am no longer a prisoner of my emotions, thoughts or the mistakes I make. I have been made free; sometimes it takes me a littler longer to remember that.”-Stephanie

Today is a day where I literally have not gotten out of bed. There is really no desire to do so, but duties call. I don’t feel like myself today. I feel very weak and drained. I haven’t felt like this in awhile.

In all honesty I am a bit emotional. The only thing keeping me, “put together,” is me reaching out to God for what I am needing today.

Strength. Love. Peace. Joy.

 

When There Is Pain, There Is Healing

I have learned time and time again that when I have these episodes, it’s because I am being healed of something, set free from something, or there is something there in my life that I haven’t fully acknowledged. That one thing is coming to the surface, to be exposed by Him, only to be removed and replaced with more of what I am needing from Him.

Yes it hurts, and all I want to do is hide under my blankets, but I can’t. There is true freedom in knowing the truth. Only then can it really set you free. There is freedom in knowing what the underlining problem is. For we cannot fix what we don’t acknowledge is out of order.

Last night I cried. I saw myself trying to be who I was set free from. I cried, because that’s not who I am. I cried out those words. I had to remind myself that the enemy can’t keep me there anymore. But it’s up to me to fight through; which I am.

“I lean on Him when I feel weak. I look to him when I feel like I can’t see where I am going. I run to Him I feel I can no longer walk on my own.”-Stephanie

 

Today’s Play List:

My constant reminders that His love for me, never changes and that I don’t have to be perfect in order to run to God. That he loves me in my brokenness as well as in my put together. 

 

Jordan Feliz- Never Too Far Gone

 

 

Hawk Nelson- Drops In The Ocean

 

We Are Messengers- Magnified

 

Micah Tyler-Never Been A Moment

One Body

I see clearly now. When this began, I had dread, I had doubt, I had fear. I was afraid of opening up and letting people in. The thought of “unity,” scared me and the thoughts of, “how would I be able to work well with others,’ came into my mind to torment me. I wanted to run the other way, I wanted to close myself off. You didn’t let me. Instead, You strengthened me, you renewed my way of thinking, helping me see the good that You have begun doing. The beauty of unity, I see it now. The power of a single team, with one purpose and one goal; I finally get it. You make us stronger, together. As a single body works in unison for one purpose, so do we; your children.-Heart of Grace

New Year

Last month, January, we started 18 days of Fasting & Prayer. I can honestly say I was hesitant, I was in dread. I was afraid of what God would begin in my life. I was worried about learning to work with others, I was worried that I would fall into the cycle of feeling insecure and overlooked. I was also dealing with the lies that were telling me that I was incapable and inadequate.

It almost got to the point where I didn’t want to show up each day. My flesh, my emotions were in dread of the word that would be given each day for 18 days. I was so focused on what God would ask me to let go of, as if it meant more to me, than Him.

Everything He has done up to now, in my life, has been just what I’ve needed and has helped me grow.

 

As A Single Team

For the first time in eight years I have felt like a part of a team; like really. My mind has been so renewed that it’s helped me see the bigger picture. One body, one purpose, one goal.

Each day since we have started, a different person has given a word on a topic that was assigned to them. I have seen so much growth in each one of them so far, especially in how they’ve allowed God to use them.

We are a group of people with a heart willing to be used by God. I see that now. For the first time I feel privileged to be among that group. It’s like I can look at them and think, “yes, we have something great in common.” It’s something that we all need to experience.

One Body

When I think about being one body, I think of this verse. I think about how our physical body has so many different parts/members that make up our body. It’s amazing that each part of our body have special and specific duties that benefit and help our body function properly and helps fulfil their purpose.

Our legs and feet may lead us to places, but it’s our arms and hands that open the door allowing us to enter. -Stephanie

We can’t have one without the other, for the body wasn’t created to be that way. We were made to depend and rely on the other members doing their part.

As children of God, we have all been given our unique graces, gifts and talents. Though we are different and can do things differently than someone else, it all ties in, in the things of God.

We, without our different capabilities build up the body of Christ; He is the head.

Vision Restored

For the first time, I finally get it.

Recently, God has been using me to minister His word, something I love to do, with a passion. I have been called to it. To be a teacher of His word. The more I have been given the privilege of doing it, I am realizing this is my calling, this is my ministry.

It has helped keep me from focusing on what others are doing and wanting to do what they do. So much time I have wasted with that mentality. I spent so much time focusing on what others were doing and wanted to be like them.

Nothing worked and frustrated I was left. But now that I am walking in my own calling and purpose, I am able to celebrate with others as they walk in theirs. It’s a joyous feeling; because we are finally walking in unison and in one flow… into God’s order.

Where there is order, there is blessings. God cannot bless something or someone out of order.

2018, I know is going to be a blessed year, especially for those who allow themselves to be renewed and restored.

Monday, I gave a word on the Restoration of God and I shared about how much God has done in my life… I will share that in a different post. But that is the key to seeing new and better things in our lives; allowing our minds being renewed. I am living proof. 

This Heart Of Mine

You’ve opened my eyes to see the better things. My heart You have transformed; stronger and wiser it has become. Through it all I have learned to guard this heart of mine, for it has been the cause of many insecurities. You’ve given me a heart that can see past the bad, that can let go of the offenses and show Your love. This heart of mine, You hold carefully in Your mighty hands, never to harm it. You’ve given me the courage to stand strong even when my surroundings are yelling, “fall.” I walk in surrender to You, for You’re the only one who leads me to the safest of places. My confidence is found in You. This heart of mine is the well of life, only springing forth all that is of You. – Heart of Grace

Guarding Your Heart

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

-Proverbs 4:23

A part of guarding your heart is knowing how much you’re valued in the eyes of God. It’s knowing who He has called you to be, and no longer worrying about what others think or say about you. It’s walking in confidence that He is always with you and guiding you in all you’re doing.

Throughout my life I have allowed so many things hinder me. I struggled with insecurity, low self-esteem and honestly, cowardness. I allowed my heart to get hurt time and time again. I was limited due to the fear of what others would think about me. Never did I step out of my comfort zone. All eyes on me??? Please, no! So behind the scenes I stayed. (Until God called me.)

When Your Weaknesses Become Your Strengths

This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”-Joshua 1:9

It’s taken me so much to be where I am right now. I mean, in the place where I have the courage to walk with my head high, even when everything around me is trying to get me to shrink back. I have truly understood who I really am in God’s eyes.

Lately God has been calling me to step out of the, “boat.” Meaning I have been led to do things that I have never imagined id be doing.

Public speaking? Yes. Being in the spot light? Yup. 

I learned this a long time ago; God uses your weaknesses and turns them into your strengths. I never knew that this girl, (me) the one who never spoke up in class would be used as a mouth piece for God. Speaking in front of people always caused me anxiety. I would literally skip school because of the fear of being in front of people.

When it comes to the things of God, I cannot skip out on it. Though I have wanted to give everything up because of the fears, He hasn’t let me. Every time I have seen things as challenging, in confronting them, has allowed me to see that I have been capable the whole time.

So are you:  Capable. Worthy. Stronger than you think. Courageous. And so much more, in the eyes of God.

 

This Heart Of Mine

In it I carry strength. In it I carry hope. In it I carry love. In it I carry courage; not because of me, but because of Him. I had the choice to stay stuck in the boat and watch all that is meant for me flow past me, or step out of the boat and take hold of what is mine, regardless of what others would think or say. The choice was mine.

What we allow in our minds, falls into our hearts and that is what we begin to live. What are you allowing into your mind? The fears and insecurities of others, or the truth that is solely found in God, His word?

“I choose to receive the truth and throw out the lies.”-Stephanie