Emerald Green and Taupe Winter Look & The Victories Of 2018

Photography by:  Doug Reynolds

Photography by: Doug Reynolds

The Harvest & Victories Of 2018

Anytime I see the word Harvest, my mind thinks of plenty. It thinks of rest. I thinks of fullness and enjoying the fruit of one’s labor. Last year my word was HARVEST, and although I had a difficult year, you can read all about it here; I also had a year of the most plenty I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was even weird receiving it all. I felt like it had come to the wrong person, if you know what I mean. I really had to praise God for the Harvest and know that it’s because of HIM and not me. It’s to show his might and power to my, sometimes ,little anxious heart and to the people around me. God is abundant and when he moves no one can stop him. I had to really learn how to hold my hands out and in faith receive all the blessings, I in my flesh, didn’t think I deserved. I had to picture Jesus dying for me to live and God being so pleased with His son , that I THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS, got to enjoy a life I never thought was possible. I had to picture Jesus being the author of my faith and as I understood that the Harvest meant a direct highlight beam to my Savior. I began to dance and praise as it came rolling in! Thank you Jesus that “you came so (we) can have real and eternal life, more and better life than (we) ever dreamed of. (John 10:10 )” Parenthesis mine

This week marks my 4th year being a “blogger”. I say it with quotes because I’m more interested in you knowing I am a woman of God before anything else. Blogging is just what I do, it’s not who I am. I chose to start my blog to encourage anyone who would read, to love themselves right where they are. I wanted my message to be, “Sister, you’re enough because you belong to God!” And little did I know that I would be the one being transformed for the better, with each post I had the courage to produce. I don’t know if you’re anything like me friend, but I like things to go fast. I love my hi-speed internet. I love the feeling I get when my Nespresso jacks out an amazingly tasting coffee in a matter of minutes. I love when my husband changes the water filter in my refrigerator and all of the sudden the water is coming out faster than I could ever imagine, a big contrast from needing to wait for, hours-it-seemed-like, to fill up our water bottles. Now, it’s fast and I like it! I love it when things take less time than expected. I don’t love it when God has put a vision in my heart that requires TIME! At least I didn’t like it so much in the first three years of my blogging career when I would wake up to no one reading my posts, except for my best friends and me (sometimes two or three times ). Or after being rejected for the bazzillionth time by a company because I didn’t have the numbers they needed for me to work with them. I have to be honest with you, if it weren’t for God’s strenght and love, I would’ve quit this whole thing a long time ago. Sometimes, I still wonder what the heck I’m doing and if it even makes a difference what I do. BUT here’s the thing. I’m learning that victories do come when we are persistent. When we pray and seek God first. When we take action, even if it’s through sweaty pits of anxiety about whether or not we are enough for the business or the ministry or the marriage or the children or the school! I am learning that the tinny actions we choose daily are compounded after TIME and they make a world of a difference! I guess that years of me taking action and not giving up on this little blog have allowed me to sow the Harvest I received in 2018. Friend, if I can do it, you can do anything! I wasn’t “qualified” I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a manual. So you too, can do what you feel you aren’t equipped for! God has the power and wisdom all you have to do is trust as much as you can this moment. I know sometimes the hardest part is trusting. But I will tell you something. Even if you fail. God will comfort you and help you until the end of time! Start before you feel qualified. Start before you feel ready. If this is your life, take authority of it! No one is going to do it for you! Take tinny steps each day and don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t work as fast as you might want it to. TIME! You can do it!

Here’s a re-cap of the accomplishments and highlights of my year in which I give ALL THE GLORY TO GOD. For He alone is worthy of the praise, awe and wonder. If he can use me, he can use anybody! I am not a unicorn or anything special. He is the powerful one who is miraculous. I hope my victories will encourage your walk this year as you delve into the unknown of 2019!

I attended NYFW for the first time in my life.

This was amazing! I had a dream of going to NYFW for so long so the fact that it became a reality was truly a dream come true! I felt like Elf in New York just beaming from ear to ear. I was happy as happy can be to attend the shows I was invited to and to be around artist with so much courage! If you’d like to see my vlogs here they are! I took you with me.

I was amazed as I went back to a place where I had been before and my dreams hadn’t worked out. I was crying so much as I felt God redeeming a lot of pain and broken dreams with this new trip. I felt like a little girl being given a second opportunity to live her dreams now in the covering of her Heavenly Father. No need to strive or compromise my morals or values for the sake of a dream. But rather delighting in the reality of who’s I am as I walked into these spaces I felt an assuredness that only has come from getting to know my identity is in Christ and no one and nothing can take it away.

I got my sexual groove back

My husband and I have enjoyed sexual intimacy like never before. If you don’t know my story I will tell you just a little bit of why it was so hard for me to be intimate with my husband. I was sexually assaulted and abused in my past, so I had a lot of pain and shame around sexuality. God is such a faithful healer that not only has he allowed me to heal from the pain of my past. But he has allowed me to redeem my sexuality. I used to think of sex as dirty and shameful. But through a lot of prayer and communication with my husband, I was able to open up to Doug about how challenging it was for me to trust in that area of my life. As I became vulnerable about my feelings and about the things that trigged me during sex and made me feel afraid, my husband and I started to really be gentle. Instead of pretending nothing was wrong and clearly having an issue, I communicated. Doug was such a gentleman and allowed me to grief. What healing happens when we are allowed to grieve. That space that was held by my partner gave me the trust I needed to open up sexually to him. That gentleness turned into healing in my heart from being so hurt and battling with so much shame. God gifted me with the ability to see sex as a blessing for my body, not a curse. Little by little, I started to trust that God made sex for me to enjoy. Little by little, as I communicated clearly with my husband, and I allowed the grief of being abused to take it’s place when it needed to, I became less and less afraid of my sexuality. I began to trust my husband after I leaned into God’s heart and then I began to trust myself that I was enough in that space as well. Whatever that looked like in that moment; if I was a little insecure about my body I leaned into Jesus’ heart for me or if I needed a reminder that I’m not shameful, I leaned into the heart of Jesus where I became aware of the new person I could enjoy in Christ. Little by little, I was able to enjoy sex with my husband like never before. Tears are streaming down my face right now because I just feel like the goodness of God is incredible. He can do anything! I didn’t even think the intimacy that I now have could be possible. It wasn’t even something I could have dreamt up. I didn’t know that sexual intimacy could be so beautiful and ENJOYABLE. Wowza! Talk abut, muy caliente if you know what I mean!! Lord Jesus have mercy on me! I feel like a newlywed right now. Super grateful for the harvest in this area of my life. It has been a tremendous blessing! I encourage you wherever you are on the road to healing from whatever has hurt your heart in this space. There is healing available and there is thriving available too! For anyone!

I became a published Author.

Clover Illustration by:  Samantha Davalos  | Watercolor art by:  Haley Titus

Clover Illustration by: Samantha Davalos | Watercolor art by: Haley Titus

In March the little book that was hidden in my heart self-published on Amazon! Through The Wilderness was one of the hardest pieces of art to let out into the hands of others. It is my story and while it was super fast and easy to write; cathartic and healing as I poured my heart out on the pages of my little apple-that-could, publishing was another story! It took me a long time before I could muster the courage to let go of the shame from my story. I thought of someone else knowing the REAL me, and I felt terrified of their thoughts about me. As I sorted out that I just needed to be at peace myself with my story and let Jesus do his work through it, I felt excited at the people who would be touched by my brokeness and the thought of even ONE person finding freedom in Christ through my story literally is one of the reasons why I breathe. So that gave me the courage to PUSH even when I felt like I was in labor pains all over again with a baby that wasn’t a real baby! I felt like I was going through the most painful part of labor. I just thought, No one that reads it will ever see me the same. And that’s exactly why God showed me he is faithful. As I become vulnerable and he can use my broken parts to speak to someone else in their pain. I’m processing the fact that I am an “Author” of a book. Because again, I’m a child of God and the glory of that accomplishment goes to God alone. Me accomplishing this doesn’t make me better than anyone else. I am learning that nothing that we can accomplish or attain can bring us happiness or contentment. Joy and contentment of life come solely from a daily relationship with Jesus. I’m just glad to worship a God who knows the things I delight doing, like being a creative weirdo and pushing myself to a new version of myself through setting goals I didn’t think I could accomplish on my own strength! I’m so happy I wrote my book I now see the lives it’s touched at least the kind people who share with me or write a review of my book on Amazon! It feels amazing to know my story is making a difference!

My children have enjoyed a healthier mother

I was able to forgive something I have been harboring

I healed from bulimia and no longer feel shame for having struggled with the toxic thought pattern of coping with difficult emotions. I am now processing my emotions in much more healthy ways.

I was asked to co-host FOX40 LIVE !

I became a Professional TV Lifestyle Expert and Blogger

I contributed to 20+ shows on Good Day and 15 on FOX40 LIVE! WOW! No wonder I’m tired! HAHA! Just kidding. I just took a long break over the Holidays and I’m recharged and ready to rumble!

I was able to finally become professional at my dream of creating. I finally got to enjoy the harvest of all the work God allowed me to put in the fist few years of my career with no financial fruit. I always looked at bloggers and thought, “Oh, what an easy job, you take pictures with your Starbucks all day.” Now that I’ve have experienced the behind-the-scenes of a blogging business personally, I understand it’s not easy. It’s not glamourous. It’s not even fun sometimes. It’s downright HARD and painful when you get rejected, even sometimes a little more because it’s YOU as the brand/product. However, I have loved so much of it because it does give me the ability to be creative and have freedom to do what I love, which is to be an artist and it takes shape in so many forms being an entrepreneur with an online business and platform. I love what I do and that’s what has helped me to not give up! I see a strong side of myself and other women who can separate their successes and failures from the job and not make it their worth. I’m still on a journey with my career and I’m seeking to fine tune where I want to be in five years. Or what I want my business to look like, but I am so grateful that I get to run my own business and be an entrepreneur with vision and the ability to create what my heart desires! Here’s to 2019 and partnering with more brands that spark my joy and to created more content that is meaningful to me and impacts the world for the Kingdom of God. For it is for that very reason that I do any of it. I want anyone who sees my blog to experience the love of Jesus even if I’m talking about my favorite mascara! I just love that I get to connect with my tribe of people who want to do life together! I am so grateful for the companies that have partnered with me and the tribe of people who are excited to read and consume the content I so lovingly put together!

That’s all folks! If I had the time I am sure I could write a novel of Victories but these are the ones I hope inspire your faith! I love you and I am so happy you’re here! I’d love to know one of your victories in a comment below or on Instagram! I’ll see you next week!