I'm joyful in the midst of super trying times, totally weird.

I'm joyful in the midst of super trying times, totally weird.

Man, oh man. 

Longest writers block I've ever experienced in the history of ever. After going through all the writing cues I could find from more experienced writers than I'll ever be, having amazing topics come to mind and then never pulling the trigger, and wondering if I should just delete my blog once and for all (lol), I've decided to just call it quits on my over analytical passivity and JUST WRITE. 

So here I go. I don't know if I even have a topic, or if the title I'm going to choose for this AFTER I write will even be truly fitting, but I'm just going to talk with you because I think that's what I need to do. <3

I am currently in the most amazing season of my life thus far. I am 27, and it's taken an entire 27 years to see first-hand what Peter was talking about when he encourages us to have joy in the midst of sorrow (or trying times). [1 Peter 1:6-9] Not to say I haven't had very trying times before, but I don't think I've ever been TRULY joyful in the midst of them. 

I wake up. I go to sleep. I manage through my weird schedule. I handle my assortment of "triggers" and oddities, daily. Things are messed up. People are messed up. And through it all, I cannot believe how amazingly beautiful God has shown His grace in my life. He has truly used all "bad" and "hurtful" things for His glory...and for my own good. I don't think I was ever really expecting to meet a man that can not only "tame the tiger", but also, lead me and our relationship through his relationship with Christ our Savior....AND be, legitimately, the sexiest man on this Earth?

More than this, Steven and my love has awakened the most beautiful fear in me. I've never really been that afraid to lose someone in a relationship. I think I even got into quite a bad habit of being mean to some of my dating partners in the past just to see if they'd leave. I think I've had this sort of mentality with a variety of relationships/friendships in the past, but I'll save that for another post. Anyway, yeah...why I'm fearful NOW. 

-I've am so wildly in love with him that the mere thought of him being in danger, getting hurt, or some circumstance causing us to be separated scares the bajeezus out of me.  

-We are in the midst of a "financial diet" aka "budget drought" and are planning a wedding

-Not everyone has been the most kind towards us/our relationship 


I say all this in vulnerability as I don't think any of us like to share our struggles upfront (especially without knowing who is reading), but I know for sure that I don't mind being open about it now. I think we've all experienced a time where the unknown is scary, hurtful people stick their face in where they don't really have a place, and money likes to play hard to get...and I think I'd rather be one of the women that share my experiences (good AND bad) in the hopes that it might encourage you either now, or sometime down the road. 

Yeah. Circumstances are not easy right now. Maybe I'll go into depth in those another time, but I think just leaving it at that will suffice. HOWEVER, I have NEVER ever EVER been more joyful, content, overjoyed, perfectly overwhelmed, ecstatic, thankful than I am at this moment. 

This time last year, I had more money than I knew what to do with, and now I am figuring out the best recipes with Ramen...but you know what? I'm joyful. 

Could I be making more money if I over charged, still posed in lingerie, and sold diet plans willy nilly? Sure. 
But I want to be effective, not an infection. That's why I am a serial UNDERcharger and I keep my rates for Life Empowerment coaching and social media consulting at reachable figure for those who actually need and desire the help. 

Steve owned Vipers, BMW's, and a house by his 21st birthday, and right now he is sporting a $500 red Infinity with a pretty bitchy AC...but you know what? He comes home every day and we laugh and hug, and eat, and kiss, and read our Bible, and read our Marriage book, and just enjoy every minute.

Now, more than ever, I'm realizing how much I've used distractions of all sorts to keep my mind off of how unfulfilled and unhappy I was. After about a 2 hour long conversation with Steve on this same subject, I feel I can write for him when I say that through all the things he's owned, all the trips and random experiences he's had, they were a bandaid that hardly made a stick (not saying that ALL his trips, cruises, experiences were a waste, but he had been looking for happiness in people and things that weren't measuring up).

I think even at this point we both have agreed over and over again, that while we are each other's "lobster" (anyone watch Friends?)...we are not the solution to each other's unhappiness and void. God has been SO good in bringing our hearts to delight in HIS will. This, undoubtedly, was the answer to "what are we/what am I missing?"

I'll go more into Steve's story another time (see all these things I have to write about now?! Hooray!), but I am overjoyed every time I think about Him accepting Christ this past April. He is the same amazing guy I knew, but like...on crack. (Is that politically, or Christian-ly correct? lol). God didn't replace the man I loved...He is actively sanctifying Steve in the most delightful way. Walking not only in life together, but also in our Faith, has been a refreshing and incredible testament to what God truly wants for us (all of us) in our relationships/marriages. Even more, this is coming from two people who got together under "non-Godly" circumstances purely based off our connection and attraction. While those two things are important, they are not EVERYTHING. They are not damage proof. All of us are going to bag, sag, and drag at some point...what then? 

I say this to encourage any of you newly in a relationship, or maybe even on year 10 of your relationship, who are experiencing a lack of butterflies, connection, even love?...what is the FOUNDATION of your relationship? Do you love them only when things are going smoothly? Do you purely just love the IDEA of them, but can't stand who they are? Do you find your identity more in them than the love and value God has in you? 

Okay, I'm asking a bunch of questions and obviously we can't answer them right here, right now. But like I said in the beginning of this post...I'M JUST WRITING. I'm not going to over think it, and I'm not even going to proof read it before I post it. 

This all may be a jumble of thoughts, but I trust in God's ability to turn this messy jumble into something meaningful and effective...just like He did in my life. 


photos from this past week

When you can twirl because your fiancé is taking the pic. 

When you can twirl because your fiancé is taking the pic. 

When your cup of tea is funny....

When your cup of tea is funny....

When you're trying to take pics for work and your dog wants to know what the product tastes like too. ‪#‎permanentphotobomber‬

When you're trying to take pics for work and your dog wants to know what the product tastes like too.


Traveling 20 hours to Croatia! | STEVE AND CIARA DO CROATIA #1

Traveling 20 hours to Croatia! | STEVE AND CIARA DO CROATIA #1

Our Engagement Social | gathered together and loving it.

Our Engagement Social | gathered together and loving it.