Sunday, October 23, 2011

Early, Early, Early! Sunday Morning;

Good morning, friends. It is a very early morning for me as it says 05:18 on my clock. I don't have to even be up and awake until 07:00. But here I am, fully awake, sitting on my bed with my laptop at my knees. Even the cat knows it's much too early to be awake as he yawns and stares at me with irritated eyes. Forget that, I'm sure he's thinking, as he flips and turns away from me. Maybe I have bad breath or something...

I cannot sleep. Something woke me up...and it's not often that I get woken up this early to be wide awake and ready to write or do something. (Insert yawn here). I finally fell asleep at around 02:30. I slept until 04:30. I know I will be paying for this later...oh yes. I see it now: a three hour nap midday. It already sounds lovely. I will go to church one, enjoy worship, and then hustle out the door to rush to building two with my ride to assist her with the preschool before service starts at the second campus. Too bad I am not a coffee drinker. The caffeine pot would be a'brewing right about now... =] And to me, tea is an evening treat as I drink decaf.

Okay, so obviously blabbering off about my not-so-normal morning isn't exactly why I was awakened. I woke up because it is when God wanted to use me. Throughout my two hours of sleep (listening to my mp3 player--and no, I'm not cool enough to even have an i-pod yet...just putting that out there. Haha) I had a few songs play that was partially awake to hear. I am typically the girl who likes it as dark as can be and as quiet as can be to sleep, but somehow I just wanted to listen to music this night. So, about some of these songs. I used to listen to them as a very young little girl. Late at night I would stare out my window and look at all the city lights, feeling empowered to conquer the world listening to them. Yes I, at eight-years-old felt the desire to conquer the world because it was at my fingertips. I knew that there was something greater out there for me and that even though I didn't know what it was, I eventually would. It's not even the songs that are important, but they made me reminisce and feel again those feelings. 

God reminded me of those things. He reminded me of the promise He made to me those nights. I know now that the world had been offered to me and one day I would have all the tools I needed to grab it and be all that He designed me to be. Maybe that feeling returned as a reminder that I am close--or maybe I am at that point; I do not know. I do know, however, that every place I have been since last summer has been under the direction of God only, and I, nor anybody else, has had an influence without Him opening the way. I fully immersed myself into the Living Waters and gave Him the chance to take control of my life, and to this day, He still has control. I never worry about the future anymore because the future He has promised me is still waiting for the exact combination and trajectory to align properly and unlock it.

My concept and the world's concept of time changed last summer when I focused on the spiritual path laid out in front of me. As I stated, I stopped worrying about my future. I stopped worrying about tomorrow; I stopped worrying about the rest of the day, for the most part. I knew that all my needs would be provided for, and, best of all, that if I walked out my hardships in faith, I would be rewarded. 

Yesterday I had a spare moment in which a thought struck me that I have everything I could possibly and truly need. The basic needs are met. Yes, I still struggle with some things, but I make do because He makes the way. I am starting to see so many of the rewards coming in, things I never thought I'd see be restored to me...

If you have watched any of my videos for the Dreams series I started on YouTube, you'd know that I started out the year 2011 with many goals and dreams. One of the big ones was to be able to return to school, having my financial aid reinstated (it was canceled in 2007 when I moved back home with my mom when she first got really sick, and I had been overwhelmed at school dealing with severe anxiety). For the past few years, any of the courses I took were paid for out of my own earnings, which was a financial burden until tax time. I probably was one of the only people who looked forward to doing her taxes--it meant that I could claim the 'Making Your Tax Dollars Work For You' tax credit, and $1,500 of my hard-earned money was credited back. I had to itemize my deductions to get much of anything back, so this credit greatly helped. The other day, I got a letter from the financial aid office at my school and my petition to have it reinstated has been approved and I return to school in January! PRAISE GOD! It goes to show that prayer makes miracles happen. That was a prayer and strong desire. My education is the key to unlocking so many doors...including growing my own business.

When I decided to go forth and establish myself in the YouTube world and move on with my own business, I knew it would be tough, but looking at it today, I am so grateful for the struggles. I appreciate and treasure these things so much more than I ever would have otherwise. And things are looking up. I have new clients and at the beginning of the year, Simply Bellezza will officially be Simply Bellezza, LLC and my new position will be CEO. Oooooh that's so exciting.

Thinking of time, the world runs on a fast-paced, never having time, short-wired clock that races against the odds. When I allowed God to direct my life, I had so many burdens lifted from my shoulders. I do believe that I would have crumbled had it not been for the events that happened. I carried more than just the weight of the world on my shoulders; I carried my family's burdens close to my heart--their pain and suffering was mine. I always felt like I was meant to be the caretaker of my family, but God told me that I am not meant to carry such large burdens. Matthew 11:28 says, "Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest," which states just that.

We have such an amazing grace and tool--we actually get to swap loads with God. Jesus' blood washes us clean from having to hold the world anymore. The mythical ancient Greek tale of Atlas was a lie given to us by the enemy who said that we aren't worthy and that we deserve all the shackles, chains, pain, and weight. What a dirty, filthy lie it is, and I rebuke it. 

Wow, my load is light. My heart isn't weighed down with guilt either. That, too, is rebuked in the name of Jesus. Isn't that awesome?! 

My heart is light and happy, enlightened. 

And for that, my dreams are locking into place. 

So what are these dreams?

Well, ever since I could talk, I sang. Singing is the one and only thing that gives my breath a purpose. If I go one day without singing, I am deprived of my oxygen. I am malnourished. It is my soul food. God gave me the gift of voice and the "hidden" talent to do the things I can if only I had the confidence to go forth...haha!  With the songs playing that reminded me of my eight-year-old self, He reminded me that even then I dreamt of encapsulating people in song, in the passions of my heart. 

And now, with my vision focused, my heart cleaner, and my spirit in check, I can work on glorifying Him in those dreams. Hallelujah!

So, I don't know if the purpose of me being awakened at 04:30 was for me to realize that, or if it was to just write this to encourage someone out there. Either way, I really do hope that this is encouraging and uplifts your heart. Do not ever give up on your dreams because they were gifts and seeds planted by God in the beginning. He planned you for a purpose and those dreams are map of your course, the user manual is the Bible, but those gifts are your individual instructions, given only to you! Hold on to your dreams as they were treasures. Trade your burdens for hope and you will see your dreams come so much closer.

You are in prayer and in thought, my dear readers. I pray for you all to be enlightened and your hearts to be protected from the lies of the world. 

Now as it is 06:26, I am going to take advantage of the extra half hour and get ready for church! =]

Thinking of big fluffy clouds and first inversion chords in A minor,

Your Emmy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Action! Action! Read All About It!

Greetings, my favorite friends. I hope that you are all doing great! I have been doing well...busy as ever. That would explain my absence from updating this blog, of course. I have been meaning to write a mini-review on an incredibly artistic rendering of the Bible that my roommate recently purchased...Not only does it include easy-to-understand explanations/scriptures, but it also piques the interests of a younger generation that may not be as easily excited into reading the Bible. 

Maybe you have seen it or heard about it? It's called The Action Bible: God's Redemptive Story.

And it's just that...a big story book made into a comic/action manga/comic book! How fascinating and innovative is that?! Here's a picture of it:

It was illustrated by Sergio Cariello, who masterfully is known for his work with DC Comics and Marvel. This monster book boasts 750 full-colored pages going through the stories and parables in the Bible. I love it! My roommate's 11-year-old daughter gravitated to it and kept thumbing through it, soaking up the amazing artistry and learning all about the Biblical principles that maybe aren't so attractive to read about for the non-reader.

I have included some pictures of random stories/pages of this incredible book for your viewing pleasure: (click on a picture to enlarge it).

As you can see, there are so many appealing things about this Bible. It is meant to be a learning tool for those who may have a harder time envisioning the Bible in a picturesque or imaginative way. I must state, though, that if you bring this Bible to church with you, you won't be able to locate scriptures as you would in a standard Bible. This particular book is categorized by stories, and each particular story is based off of the scriptural references from the standard Bible format. For example, if you were trying to locate John 3:16, you wouldn't be able to flip through pages to find the book of John. Instead, you would look through the table of contents, find the scripture reference and locate the story that derives from John. This isn't a devotions book either. It isn't a self-help, or self-guiding Bible, but merely a book that brings the stories to life in pictures and breaks them down for ease of reading.

It is great to look through when you don't fully understand something or you are especially interested in visualizing one of the Biblical principles/books you've been struggling with. 

For study and for church reasons, you will still need to keep your standard Bible. But for fun and lighter reading, enjoy The Action Bible. Here's a video I found that shows how truly awesome this is for family life: 

My roommate found this book at WalMart for $25. It is available online for less...check out, where I have seen a listing for $14. 

What do you think of it?

Let me know!

With a Ka-Pow, Boom, Thwack!,

Your Emmy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Deep Dreams Resurfacing

I have found it hard to find inspiration to write lately, which is sad because I normally feel inspired from most anything--trees, dancing, singing, lime green colors...anything. So my latest writing slump has been quite hard on me, brewing in the back of my mind like old coffee, and let's just face that fact, old coffee isn't very yummy.

Today I feel inspired by dreams. If you truly know me, then you'll know how much my dreams mean to me, and that I am constantly dreaming, imagining the amazing things I want to do someday. The things I will see, taste, touch, hear... That alone is inspiring to me. 

Since I was little, I have always wanted to live in New York City. It always seemed like such a magical mecca where dreams come true and inspiration is surely plentiful. I know that this dream is shared by many other young hopefuls out there. I know that now is not the time to be there, but I know if God wills it to happen, it will. I know that traveling is definitely part of my future because God placed it in my heart. I want to see His amazing world, the very thing that He treasures: all the wonderful people who exist that I could learn about. There is an innate passion in my heart to move with the wind, touching lives and spreading His love and peace. I want so dearly to go to Africa and pray with the women who are so severely abused and taught from birth that they are worthless. I want them to know that they are worthy and that they are loved. I want them to know human compassion, and the compassion of our Lord.

There is no feeling worse in this whole world than feeling unloved. I know how it feels to think that way and my heart resonates with compassion to want to change that. To rock the world. Why not? I dream big. That's the only way that I have known to dream. 

In the past six or so months, I have become complacent with my life. It allows God to move greatly, yes, but I got at a standstill where all my big dreams on on the back burner and smaller ones are becoming more and more prevalent. These small, insignificant dreams are lovely, but my heart isn't in them as deeply as the larger, more elaborate dreams. 

I never wanted a simple life.

Life has to be exciting and simply put, having a mediocre job, and doing the same things throughout the years would greatly bore me. I would not be fulfilled. I would be wasting the gifts that God gave me, and that would be more than just disappointing to me. It would be devastating. 

Today, as I write, I am trying to convey a message to you all that no matter where you are in your life, whether or not you have accomplished all your dreams, that you CANNOT be complacent and abandon all your hopes for the future. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. They are to prosper you and not to harm you, but to bring you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). 

So if you feel hopeless, don't. We have an amazing God and He says that we can do all things through Him. 
Be inspired. Find something that you find words or encouragement through. Go on a walk. Write in a journal. Paint. Watch a movie. Something to spur your creative juices!

All I did was dance like a was fun!

Doin' the moonwalk in socks,

your Emmy.
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