New Years Resolutions & Review of 2015 (My Highlights)
Below is a list of the Miracles I experienced in 2015!
Oh my goodness, what a year! I am seating in my office right now, beat up from being sick for over a week. My eyes super bloodshot and red, in no way shape or form-feeling like taking a #selfie right now! I am actually feeling quite humbled and forced to take a step back and rest. My Christmas was one full of illness. Both my kids and I were extremely ill with a severe cold and we still are. I'll tell you something, nothing helps you feel compassion for others, other than actually experiencing heart ache or difficulty. I spent most of my time praying for anyone sick or suffering through the Holidays. I probably wouldn't have been so thoughtful.
After a year of healing from my abuse, I wrote a song to raise money for a non-profit organization. This is the video of me actually writing the song. So embarrassing! But I had NEVER thought I would write a song. I didn't even know how. MIRACLE that I did it and was able to record it. Check out the process from the beginning to the finished product. I started this blog with the attempt that if I got some decent traffic, people would like to join my fight against human trafficking and they'd donate to the cause I was so passionately working towards raising money for. I thought of blogging my outfits since that seemed to be the thing that I could do on a daily basis that would be fast and easy. I had no idea that it would turn into one of my most beloved jobs in a year!
I really fought to find my voice in February. I was a people pleaser my whole life because I was so afraid of someone leaving me or not liking me that I just did everything to hold on to that conditional love. I compromised myself and my morals for the sake of being liked. Breaking out of this was PAINFUL to say the least. I lost a lot of people in my life that were used to my older self. MIRACLE: I gained Christ and I gained ME. My voice, small at first came out to say what I really felt and how I wanted to really live my life and how I deserved to be treated. Once I respected myself, I demanded it from other people. I learned to say no and to explain when I felt hurt or mistreated. God helped me to focus my eyes on Him and I got stronger and stronger.
I was full force trying to raise money for a non-profit (thus why I started this blog) I set my goal to help raise money for Bridget's Dream, a non-profit organization that helps women and children out of human trafficking. It was the hope of helping someone else out that bought out all my passion and brought me back to MYSELF. That journey has been so beautiful, seeing God work so delicately, showing me that it was I who needed the healing and freeing, I was a slave to FEAR and self-doubt. God so lovingly showed me that before, I can help ANYONE, he has to help ME. I launched my first ElSpace.Net video and did an art auction that FAILED miserably. We didn't raise ANY money. How frustrating! I felt like I should quit, but God's MIRACULOUS power helped me to KEEP going, something that before I would never have done because if I felt defeated once it felt like a personal failure rather than just a redirection to something better so before, I would always quit on things when the going got tough.
In this month, I also recorded my single, NEW. What in the world? God opened the doors for me to have my song recorder at no cost! MIRACLE
I had an incredible April. I was able to shoot the cover for my song, you can watch the video above. I also released another episode on ElSpace.net- I was meeting so many AMAZING and talented people. My hope with El Space, was to collaborate with talented people here in Sacramento with the hopes of raising money for the non-profit. I was finally LIVING in the city that I had existed in for twenty-something years. It was as if things were entirely different, when the only difference was me. The hope and faith and possibilities were endless. I was so excited to see God do miracles. MIRACLE: A reporter from Univision, Karina Banda was interested in my story and asked to do a special on TV featuring my song!
My story came out on TV and one of my abusers happened to watch it . He contacted me and told me how ashamed and sorry he was for what he had done. He also confided in me that he didn't know how God was going to forgive ALL that he had done. I was able to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him. Sharing with him that if he was willing to repent and let Jesus into his heart, God would take him in as one of his own and forgive ALL his sins because CHRIST had already died and paid the price for him. It wasn't about what he had done, it was about what Christ had done FOR him. He can never repay God for his forgiveness and love. How beautiful. That's why when you really know who Christ is, and how merciful he is, you can't help but fall deeply in love. Christ forgave ME for all that I have done. Forgiving my abusers DID NOT COME EASY, it took a long time and it took me feeling ALL of my feelings, which at first were anger. But as the months went by and God's love so filled my heart, he placed forgiveness, for my sake, in my soul after feeling all of the pain that I had endured, the hope of it being turned for something good was what kept me going. I didn't even know that it would be possible to forgive. But with God, ALL things are possible. I witnessed God's mercy through me to one of my abusers and it was ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS I'VE EVER EXPERIENCED.
To see someone truly repent for what they've done and to receive God's love and forgiveness was a MIRACLE.
MY SINGLE WAS FINALLY UP ON iTunes! What in the world? This proved to me that my life has nothing to do with what I can do. It has all to do with what God can do with a life yielded to Him. It was through his strength that all of this happened. I sang my song on live television. And I got hit with a curve ball that re-directed my focus to helping City of Refuge. I finally saw that this whole year had been about God resuscitating ME back to life, Giving me my dreams back, giving me my life back. I finally started to love myself, respect myself, and really get to know me better. I learned so many valuable lessons! I also learned that through Christ ALL is possible. I would have never had the courage to sing in front to cameras before, MIRACLE.
JULY & AUGUST 2015
These two months were full of slowing down and unplugging. I felt like I needed a break from all the social media. I had started a blog with one intention and now it wasn't the same vision, so I knew I needed time to pray and ask God for guidance. I still really loved the blogging part of it, so I kept up with that, I was just really tired of trying so hard on social media. I felt like I wasn't being myself. So I took a break from all things with that. It felt good to see that I was still able to live a normal life without Instagram, go figure. At this point in the year, things got difficult, without a clear vision or goal to work towards, I felt sort of directionless and really struggled with my anxiety. God gave me a lot of hope through these two months of anonymity of sorts. I felt I learned a lot about myself and how I clint to the approval of people way too much. God peeled back my fingers from all the unhealthy places where I put value. Painful, ouch. But necessary. I learned that I am VALUABLE no MATTER the number of followers on my Instagram, I learned I am valuable no matter the number on the scale. I learned that I'm valuable without ever accomplishing ANYTHING. I learned that no one, or nothing can ever take my value from me, because it comes from Christ. I have value, no matter what.
MIRACLE: I found out I was VALUABLE and had SELF-WORTH. I don't know about you friends, but that was a HUGE success for me. I've struggled with my low-self esteem for so long I never knew how to love myself.
MIRACLE: After a lifetime of hoping I could play the piano, the night of July 11, 2015, with ONE piano lesson under my belt just the day before, I could just play! Skeptics might say, "Well that just comes easy to some people." NOPE. MIRACLE. I can play the piano and I have never in my life been able to do that. I can read music. I might not be amazing at it, YET, but I can make my own music. WOWZA!!
I was back with a fresh vision to encourage as many people into dignity, faith and love as I could, through my blog through my life! I had a vision to be ALL that I was created to be, holding NOTHING back. Not allowing FEAR to hold me captive any longer. I was on a high and then something terrible happened. I had a painful situation happen to me, but God turned into something amazing that benefited me more than the pain I endured at the time. See friends, God is so good. He can take anything, any pain, any curse, any shortcomings, any illness and give us joy in return. His promises NEVER fail.
I was featured on TV with my fashion blog for the second time and I could not believe my little brain! God is amazing. I give him all the glory because if it weren't for him, I would be dead.
AND the indie movie I filmed in 2013 that had ZERO budget (MIRACLE) became available on DVD. Wowza! God IS good!
I met some of the most beautiful people in my life that encouraged me and held me and spoke such life to me. I had never experienced WOMEN being SO ENCOURAGING and loving. it was as if I was getting a HUGE dose of momma, sister and friend love all at once. It was an experience that I will never forget. I met an amazing woman of God that said yes to mentoring me, and that was amazing. It's hard when you don't have your mom close to you, you need someone to help you along the way giving you wisdom and love. I'm so blessed to have the friends that I did, and then God gave me more lovely ladies. It was truly a time of friendship abundance. I soaked it up so much and it will remain as one of the most valuable memories. Things collect dust, but the fiber of someones heart intertwined with yours is something you'll keep forever,
Crazy Mary's picked me as their blogger of the month and I got to do some really cool outfits with their clothes! Such a blessing God opened up for me! It was a pleasure to work with them!
This month was CRAZY! I felt like I had been working so hard for a whole year without much "happening" and then BAMB! A bunch of opportunities flew right open. As if God was saving the best for last. I was featured three times on KCRA and worked with some amazing people on a special photoshoot for my winter look-book. My birthday was this month and I've always had a really hard time on my birthday because of some trauma I endured, but God brought so many women to pray over me as I experienced the anxiety of this date. I can't tell you enough good things about this month, even throughout the hardships!
MIRACLE: I called KCRA myself to try to get on the air with them, it didn't end up working out. After praying about it, a few days later I walk into my daughter's classroom and I'm talking to her teacher about my business and she tells me she'd love for me to meet her daughter, who is an anchor at KCRA. A door no one can shut.
This month has been really hard on me. I'm not going to lie. It has been full of illness and grief from lost family and the Holidays always seem to remind us of what we no longer have. It has been my toughest month so far because I have been distant from God doing his work. Can anyone relate? Sometimes we get so busy doing good things that we forget to tend to the first relationship, then to the second one. Thus why I think I have been sick for 10 days and I'm worse today than ten days ago. Guys, I'm a walking virus. This was the first Christmas that I experienced so much JOY without outside circumstances helping out much. My situation was one of illness so I could have turned it into a sour situation by saying things like, "Why does everyone else get to really celebrate Christmas and I'm sick?" Something I probably would have said before. This time since it was my first Christmas after accepting Christ and not being in "Healing" mode (experiencing PTSD, panic attacks and such. Which happened from 2013-2014) that I really understood what Christmas meant for me. It meant that no matter what my circumstances are, Christ is mine. No one or nothing can take him away from me and he is enough. As I laid in bed for two days while my family did fun things, I realized that the prize is HIM. Nothing else in this world satisfies. The most fanciest Christmas present pales profoundly in comparison to the true meaning of Christmas. For the first time I was celebrating the life of someone who literally SAVED MINE. Experientially getting the meaning of Christmas was beautiful beyond words, it was no longer just fictionally. The baby I used to get dressed up, make tamales for and have a huge party on his behalf, has NOW become my Savior, redeemer, and never-failing love. This Baby Jesus that I was celebrating this Christmas, grew up to be a man that gave his life for mine. I am crying so hard right now with overwhelming gratitude, for he suffered so much so that I would BELIEVE his sacrifice and actually live a life in freedom. He died that I might live my life abundantly, with my dignity back, confident in His power and honorably on his behalf. For that I am forever grateful. Jesus has proven to me time and time again that he not only is who he says that he is, but that he will never get tired of picking me back up. No matter how many times I fall, he picks me up.
To understand that love is my life goal, at least as much as my feeble, brain can do so on this earth.
Thank you so much for your readership. I appreciate you so much. I hope you know how loved you are.