A Series of Seamless Events
Posted on October 13, 2019 Leave a Comment
There are no coincidences in life. They are signs.
I can’t explain why I feel God’s presence so strongly in moments that can only be given by him.
I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to fight his will. I’ve tried so hard to carry life on my shoulders without prayer or seeking God in my trials.
I’ve given so much of myself to men in my relationships and have lost each battle because he wasn’t in it.
I know God exists. I saw his miracles in Guatemala at the children’s refuge center I lived/volunteered at for 3 months in 2013. His hand protected me and placed every stone in front of every step. Too many signs. Too many “coincidences” for it to be anything else than the great divine. I walked in faith that summer and it changed my heart.
In the last 3 years I have suffered through 3 great deaths.
The death of my marriage
The death of my step dad who was like a father to me
The death of one of my dearest friends turned into a forbidden love
After each it chipped away at my heart and soul and the last one extinguished what was left of my light.
I took my daughter to visit my dad the weekend of August 23rd. He asked if Sunday I wanted to take my daughter to the beach but I insisted on attending his church instead. They promoted their women’s retreat focused on inspiring women to find their purpose and their passion. I decided to go.
September 15th I went to check out this church down the road from my house that was recommended by my physical therapist. The founder of the church had passed down his title to his son however I was lucky to hear him speak that day. The sermon was about faith:
“To eat without faith is to invite sickness and anger into your life.
Work and finances are little in God’s eyes. This is material possessions but with God he will provide. If you walk in faith everything you need will be given in abundance if you believe in him.”
2 Corinthians 9:8
“Abundance does not depend on material possessions. Abundance means that God supplies all that we need with something to spare for others. Faith is the key to abundance.”
This changed my perception of praying over my meal and reminded me to rest in him like I had before.
September 27th & 28th was the women’s conference. This experience was emotionally heavy but uplifting at the same time. They taught us that facing our fears activates faith. God brings purpose from your pain. They spoke about forgiveness, gratitude, embracing our differences and learning to love our individuality through better understanding our strengths. I prayed for God to shut out any relationships that are of desires and to open up and allow relationships that fill my spirit instead.
October 6th I attended passion city and the message was that God wants to use us as a catalyst to bring others to know Christ. The pastor is a vessel to teach the people to bring more to him. Shine. Pray. & Share. Also, that the kindest thing to do was to pray for another’s salvation.
October 7th my mom mentioned checking out this show at the church close by in which I replied was already over. My physical therapist that same day told me they had extended the show two additional days for Friday and Saturday night.
October 12th I’m eating with my family at a new restaurant I didn’t want to wait to be seated at but did because they wanted to wait. While eating I noticed a pretty lady at the table to my left and when I saw who she was with I realized it was the founder and his wife of the church I attended close to my house. I then remembered his sermon on praying over your food and eating clean through being grateful to God and I said to myself oh shoot I forgot to pray and quietly said a prayer in my head. I waited until they finished to say hello and explain my funny remembrance of his sermon and how it reminded me to pray over my food. I mentioned the show and how my mother and I wanted to go see it. They offered us to be their guests and we went.
Once we pulled into the church we were graciously welcomed and brought in to find our seats right next to the founder. The show Blink: The Vanishing was more than words could describe. It walked you through what revelation might be like and offered inspirational stories along the way. We watched movies they produced, live actors on stage, lyrical dancers. It was Broadway worthy and so touching. At the end they offered for you to accept Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior and while I’ve always wanted to before I never had the courage or the humility to do it but this time was different.
For the first time as an adult I accepted Jesus into my heart and I can’t explain to you how much lighter I felt or the excitement in my heart. There are no words to describe the holy spirit. I followed my heart and walked outside to follow through with an actual baptism.
I never liked to describe myself as a Christian because of the scrutiny they have to bear, the commitment, the discipline, the hypocrisy others slap you with when you slip, and overall the weight of integrity you must carry but I’ve realized that the weight of everything else in life without him is way heavier than what I just listed all in one which is why Christ died for our sins. He carried our burdens so that we could find our way to everlasting life.
However, just because I get to start over with a clean slate doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. I’ll still face the same temptations and old habits that stood between my salvation as much as before if not more. I want to commit myself to God for his will to be done in my life and to others who are struggling.
I had to share this story in hopes that if you’re going through anything that feels too heavy you don’t have to do it alone. So I pray for anyone reading this… I pray for your salvation so that you can walk a little lighter and shine alot brighter in this sometimes harsh but beautiful world.
The Beauty of Battle
Posted on October 3, 2015 2 Comments
Strength is something we don’t realize we have until we are put in a situation where we have to find it or perish. Daily challenges make us stronger and because of these challenges we grow, we evolve. When we go through a difficult trial we are forced to cope. We fight through the layers of emotion. In the fight our body, mind, and spirit are tested. It is only in the chaos of the battle that we are truly able to mold ourselves into a stronger, wiser, more enriched embodiment. It is only in the battle that we find our true self. Be grateful for strife because without it we wouldn’t flourish into the beautiful souls we are. This is the beauty of battle…
A sharp pain in my lower abdomen kicked in and I knew it was time. At 11 PM contractions hit and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of urgency, excitement, and fear of what to expect…
I decided to wait it out as long as possible because I knew once I got to the hospital I would be bound to a bed and as uncomfortable as the contractions were when they started I knew they would be worse laying down. I told my husband to read the bit of information for the support partner in What To Expect When You’re Expecting. I grabbed an exercise ball and started rolling around on it like a walrus rolls around on dry land… or that’s how I felt.
I’ve always loved a challenge and mostly charged anything that scared me in the past but this fear was a completely different feeling than I had ever felt before. Knowing that a human is about to come out of your “flower” is SCARY! I was terrified and rightly so.
My husband reassured me at the time that it was probably just braxton hicks (false labor or mild cramps) which is just your body’s way of preparing you for the real deal. I reassured him it was time and I was going to take a shower and take my time… fix my hair and makeup. Yes, as laughable as it is, I thought I could look good during childbirth.
I made it through the shower and I actually did curl my hair but the makeup didn’t make it on. The contractions were too strong at this point to comfortably stand up straight. It gets to a point where you have to hold on to a counter or anything to brace for each contraction. The best way to describe this feeling for men (someone kicks you right in the balls) – women (a period cramp straight from the underworld intensified times ten). We grabbed our bags and hopped in the car en route to the hospital. In this moment I was very excited and anxious. I couldn’t wait to meet our tiny little human.
At the hospital they make you fill out paperwork which is just so enjoyable when you feel like a knife is going through your cervix but yes I would LOVE to thank you.
The hospital room was very cold and uncomfortable. I asked the nurse if I could use the bathroom just to buy some time. I locked the door and paced back and forth as long as I could until the pain hurt to the point where I was doing this awkward shuffle or dance that you would see someone do if their crotch was on fire. The nurse came in and hooked up an IV and my contractions were also being monitored on what looked to be a richter scale. The waiting game had begun.
I wanted to have my baby naturally and without any pain medication. Most women would “like” this but reality is you don’t know what to expect until you’re going through it.
Six hours in and I asked for the IV pain medication which you can only have every 2 hours. When that hit I felt nauseous but it helped with the pain from the contractions. At this point I thought to myself, ” I got this. This isn’t so bad.”
An hour passed and close to the end of the second I asked for another dose. The second dose helped but it wasn’t killing the pain like the first. Two hours later couldn’t come fast enough and I asked for another dose. This time it didn’t help but I didn’t want to give up the fight and get the epidural yet. I was determined to make it through without an epidural mostly because I already had lower back pain and heard the epidural could make it worse.
Ten hours in and this sharp pain hit right above my left hip in the pelvis. It was immobilizing. I tossed from left to right and dug my thumb in to see if it would relieve the pain and it didn’t. I was breaking. I laid on my right side to try to alleviate the left hip and dug my head under a pillow and cried. I felt completely hopeless at this point.
My Aunt who had already went through this three times before looked at the computer to my right and let me know the contractions were only hitting at 25% meaning they were going to get much much worse. I immediately asked for the epidural in a panic.
The nurse asked everyone to leave the room and a doctor came in to administer the epidural. I was asked to sit up on the edge of the bed and not to move. My contractions were unbearable at this point but the thought of the needle slipping and hitting my spine or a nerve from a movement and paralyzing me kept me from moving. I closed my eyes and faced the ground and cried almost to a point of defeat. I was upset that I couldn’t hold out without the epidural. I felt that I had let myself down. After they were done I resumed back in my position as before and they checked my vitals to make sure everything was ok. The nurse wrapped a device around my stomach to monitor the baby’s heartbeat. I was still trying to lay on my right side because the sharp pain over my left hip worsened. The epidural helped with my contractions but not the new sharp pain. The nurse had a concerned look on her face and then let me know the baby’s heart rate was dropping. She then asked me to lay flat on my back to see if we could get it back up. When I repositioned the sharp pain got worse and I cried in pain. The baby’s heart rate picked back up on my back so I had to deal with the pain. I asked for another epidural. They administered it and yet I still felt everything. It didn’t take. At this point I was going to have to deal with the pain.
I was told my doctor was still in surgery with another mother but would be done shortly…
My contractions were now at 100%. Each hit was a blow to my spirit. I felt like I was getting beaten down by a force I had no strength to fight at this point. That’s it. I was over it. I made my mind up that I couldn’t take anymore and I was pushing whether they liked it or not.
I told my husband to prepare to catch the baby because I was pushing, doctor or not. My Aunt ran to get the nurse to let her know of my decision. My mom sitting to the left in the room with tears in her eyes and a helpless and frantic look. My husband calm and cool kept monitoring my vitals and providing me with ice chips when needed.
I sat up and started pushing. I couldn’t believe how much pain I was in. It was unbearable but I was bearing it and at this point all I could think was let’s get this over with.
My body was exhausted. I was overheating and started feeling sick. The nurse came in and set everything up and told me when to push. I pushed and felt like I had to throw up so my husband gave me a bag to throw up in. I would push and then throw up. I yelled, “Get this thing out of me!” (at the time we didn’t know the sex which is why thing was appropriate). I yelled again, “Cut it out”. These were cries of pure desperation. After an hour had passed I broke: spirit, mind, body. I was done. “You can see the head!” said my Aunt. I cried uncontrollably. My Aunt grabbed my shoulder and said, “You can do this! Don’t give up. You have to do this!” The nurse stepped in and said you have to pull it together the baby’s heart rate keeps dropping. My husband on the left with a calm voice said, “She’s right there! I can see her. Just one more push!” The fear of losing my child set in and I focused on everyones words. I straightened up and followed commands. All I could think was that I might lose my baby. I prayed in hopes that the baby would be ok. The sharp pain above the left hip was stronger than ever and yet I ignored it to focus on pushing. The doctor stepped in and placed both hands in and pushed down. A hard stretch and I came off the table in agony. He then had to cut down to help the baby come out. He asked for the Kiwi which is a suction device. He placed it below and told me to push. I took a deep breath and used every ounce of strength I had left. The doctor saw a dark purple head and then a cord wrapped around the neck. The heart rate dropped. The doctor tried to get his finger under the umbilical cord but couldn’t because it was pulled too tight. He looked up and asked me to breath out slowly and that loosened the cord enough for him to lift it up and over the head. The remainder of the cord was wrapped around the tiny body.
Looking in the mirror hanging from the ceiling I could see a little purple body come out. “You have a little girl!” the doctor said. No cries. I was horrified that she wasn’t breathing. Finally a slight movement from her little arms. The doctor allowed my husband to cut the umbilical cord. I felt them lay her body on top of mine and I felt her tiny belly, arms, legs, toes. The feeling at that moment truly is indescribable. My eyes were closed and I just held her close to me and said to my husband, “Look what we did!”
My introduction to motherhood was more difficult than I could have ever imagined. I looked at this blessing that I just worked so hard to get and praised the heavens for her life. Two big beautiful eyes stared up at me as she fed for the first time and my whole being was flooded with more love than I had ever felt before. My tiny miracle. She was perfect. Nothing else at that moment mattered. I forgot about the pain and just marveled over God’s creation. Perfect marvel.
The most difficult and painful time in my life gave me the most beautiful and fascinating gift. The miracle of life. The beauty of the battle.
Oh “Snap! Orlando” did it again
Posted on May 26, 2015 1 Comment
PICTURE this: A fusion of light and movement through projection art curated by the most forward thinking digital artists, designers, and filmmakers.
Snap! Orlando brought out the big beamers outshining any other art show I’ve been able to venture to. An exhibition that will make any normal person turn into a photomaniac over night. BYOB Orlando (Bring Your Own Beamer) was a one night event that left me wanting more.
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the night with a brief description of the interactive play…
A morphing algorithm allowing the background to change shapes and colors in a mesmerizing way.
This interactive installation and cymatics projection involved a whole lot of work behind the scenes. Basically this awesome tech guru, Ginger, used a programming language known as Processing to create a code that would analyze color change through audio from this other artist’s GIF which in turn would send out a frequency to a speaker which activated cymatic visuals ending up as a lovely projection of light reflecting off the surface of the water showcasing patterns of sound vibrations.
A better breakdown of this masterpiece and artist check out: SPECTRE’M
A beautifully crafted GIF with downward facing rotating psychedelic planes.
Interactive motion sensored Van Gogh. Yes please.
Before you shed a tear check out BYOB Orlando and SNAP! Orlando which will fulfill all your wildest dreams and satisfy your artist fixation one by one.
Profresh Photo Cred: Mark
Posted on March 31, 2015 1 Comment
I’m always up for the next big adventure and my next one includes a baby aka “it” – for now.
My husband and I decided to wait until “it’s” born to find out the sex because I’m sure you’ll agree that there are very little surprises in life and what an amazing one this will be. We also decided to keep the name(s) to ourselves because lets face it… opinions from others on our future “it” is better left unsaid.
What an amazing experience this pregnancy has been.
The first trimester (3 months) was about as pleasant as sitting on a cactus. Your hormones are all over the place. Annoyed* is your newfound adjective. You basically eat to “toss your salad”. Oh and you have now acquired a newfound super power (sense of smell) that gives you the nose equivalent to that of a Bloodhound. Prepare to smell everyone’s stink and turn your head when they speak to you directly or carry tic tacs on hand prepared for battle.
Before you swear off having children there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The second trimester…
So far (knock on wood) this has been smooth sailing thanks to an amazing husband and support from great friends and family.
My appetite has picked up quite a bit with pickles, strawberries, ice cream, burgers with bacon and other weird cravings on the weekly grocery list.
My body has changed a little. I have always been active and into running and swimming so the bun in the oven is baking in a small space, thankfully.
The first movements are weird… at first you may think you have gas bubbles but it’s the peanut swimming and squirming in its little oasis. They become more prevalent as you grow and you’ll get a strong karate kick or jab here and there. I notice it more before bed and after eating spicy foods or when I listen to dope beats (a musician in the making).
I also like to be completely honest about the experience of having your first child… it’s really scary, weird, and amazing all at the same time. I mean, you start thinking about what’s taking place in your body and the fact that you will have actual food for your newborn coming straight from your bosom. It’s weird. My husband asked why I thought it was weird and my explanation was this, “Could you imagine having milk streaming from any of your body parts?” Mmhmm weird.
I am so thankful though for this weird but amazing experience God has granted us. It is a blessing to even be able to conceive and I cannot wait to hold this life in my hands that I am growing inside of me and will be able to bring into this world. It is truly a miracle in the making.
The first time I saw my sonogram my husband and I were doing missionary work in Guatemala. A Cuban doctor took me in and showed us on the screen what looked to be a small human like formation that was intense to see for the first time. You process the fact that there is a human growing inside of you that will be the most important part of your life. There is no better feeling in the world. (Side note: a sonogram that cost us $27US)
My priority now is to live a life that I would want my child to live. My goal is to be what I want it to be and I want it to see what I want it to be. You feel me?
People say they will change their lifestyle when they have a child but I believe you should start emulating the character you want to see in your future children before you conceive. Simply put, the “do as I say not as I do” is out and the “do as I do” is in; A simple goal for us to strive for paving a brighter future for our children, their children, and ourselves.
Oh and please feel free to share any advice for the “it” in the making by leaving a comment. I love hearing stories from other parents and what helped them make their life a bit easier before, during, and after birth: Books, strollers, holistic alternatives for babies and all that jazz.
Ps. A time capsule message for my little angel ❤
“Your father and I cannot wait to meet you, see your first steps, watch you grow and learn, and show you all the beauty the world has to offer. Your daddy touches your little cocoon/ my belly once a day just to let you know he’s there. We look forward to showing you an abundance of love that will be with you long after we are gone. You will be our greatest creation yet.”
Featured Artist: Baowolf
Posted on March 31, 2015 Leave a Comment
Creeping up on the music scene is this newbie with fresh beats Baowolf!
His sounds are chill synths with an electronic flare. This underground artist is pretty hard to track due to the rookie status but I see a bright future ahead for this producer. All I know is that his name is Will. He likes pizza and beats so he must be cool. Not to mention has an amazing ear for the creation of new sounds which is what I personally crave.
Show Baowolf some love and help share the tunes!
Featured Artist: Swindle
Posted on January 23, 2015 Leave a Comment
If you enjoy jazz with an electronic twist you will love this…
Swindle is a multi-talented producer/musician from the UK who mixes funk, bass, piano, and more instrumentals that will satisfy your earbuds.
This 27-year-old has played at festivals with other big name favorites like Massive Attack, Kryptic Minds, and Mimosa. Hitting the music scene hard this year with an Asia tour is sure to boost his beats.
Not only does he have a unique sound but a peculiar style that is sure to influence his followers. The end of 2008 Swindle Productions was born. Here is an artistic video with imaginative animation full of fun twists and turns:
Follow this cool cat to the moon:
Your Heart Knows What´s Best For You
Posted on December 21, 2014 1 Comment
Follow your heart.
Be true to yourself.
Be true to your passion.
Do what you wish in your wildest dreams and let no one discourage you.
Use obstacles to fuel your strength for what´s to come.
Others will project their fears on you. Let it propel off of you like a drop of water hitting a hydrophobic coat.
When you walk with purpose and passion and compassion for others the light will brighten your path.
When you walk with love in your heart you project love and receive it.
Love those who feed your soul.
Love those who feed your mind.
Write down your dreams, wishes, desires, and watch them manifest through belief and faith.
Detach from all materialism.
Cut the chord of unhealthy habits and people in your life.
When you are being the best YOU no one can shake your confidence, your faith, your happiness.
Keep love in your heart no matter how many times you are hurt.
Happiness, love, compassion, understanding, and peace come to those who stand strong in their faith and follow their heart.
Be authentically you without fear of others thoughts.
Keep your eyes on the heavens.
Keep your heart full of love.
Keep your feet in the light.
Stay true to yourself and watch life unfold before you like never before.
May God bless your journey.
Featured Artist: FAUL
Posted on November 24, 2014 Leave a Comment
Sneaky beats that make you figuratively do backflips in your mind… coming in hot from under the Eiffel Tower.
FAUL, a new up-and-coming Dj/Producer, will captivate your spirit with his jazzy deep house compilations.
Catch him if you can by checking out his world tour dates! (Sorry America – still pending on the list)
Follow This Paragon
Featured Artist: Montmartre
Posted on November 9, 2014 Leave a Comment
Underground Parisian duo setting in off under the Eiffel Tower!
Montmartre ties in smooth acoustics and synths with French/Electro/Pop/Club/ & Indie. All this combined leaving a warm fuzzy feeling in the depths of your soul.
Inspired by love, inspiration, and music which I’ll happily condone.
Check them out and show them some LOVE ❤
Featured Artist: Nicolas Haelg
Posted on November 3, 2014 Leave a Comment
A Swiss music producer that brings his own spice to deep house.
Melodic piano melodies with a nice transformative back beat that’s warms your soul.
As a piano player and composer he mixes the perfect sounds including a bit of old school tracks enhanced with a new flare.
This artist’s numbers are sneaking up on Soundcloud. Meet the next big DJ from Switzerland. You are welcome.
Enjoy more of his tracks and catch these free downloads while you can.