Blessed

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Blessed Facts: • 1/2 the world lives on less than $2/day • 80% of the world has no roof, electricity or running water. • Everything is God's and you are a steward.

Truth:

• As an American, I am blessed beyond my comprehension. While most people on earth are concerned about their next meal or fresh water, I am not. And chances are you're not either.

Too often we focus on what we don't have rather than what we do have. We allow our desires for the next high-tech device or trendy outfit overrule our ability to be thankful and content. Hey, I'm all for reaching forward and dreaming big, as long as we don't forget to thank God for what He's already done.

This is a big reason why I'm doing this 30 Days of Thanksgiving. To get you and I back to thanking God daily for His provision and blessings, many of which we can't even see. And also to consider ways to be a blessing to others, which is what leave your beauty mark is all about!

So, what are you thankful for today? Have you been on a missions trip or lived in another country where you've seen extreme poverty as I mentioned earlier? Are you thankful for the basic blessings of life that we so often neglect to even acknowledge? Please share your thoughts!

Emonne Markland | Leave Your Beauty Mark

Sisters

Sisters

I've heard it said that friends are the family God allows you to choose. Oh, how I agree... I have been blessed with friends that encourage me and allow me to be myself. Always uplifting, inspiring and walking by faith. Overcomers. Warriors in the army of the Lord, yet gentle and loving. Never talking about people, always planning and executing dreams to build God's kingdom. Confident in who they are and never allowing the hurdles of life to deter them from their missions.

My First Book: Break Every Chain

My First Book: Break Every Chain

For the past year, I have been working relentlessly on this project and am confident that it will be a blessing to you and many others. As part of the Beauty Marked community, I want to personally thank you for encouraging me throughout this process with your comments and feedback on the blog posts I've shared. I can't say thank you enough, and believe that Break Every Chain truly is my best work to date.

Pro(vision)

Pro(vision)

All throughout college, I wanted a MacBook Pro to write and use for school. I remember seeing other students with sleek, high-tech laptops...while I had a chunky, loud Dell. (Sorry Dell...it is what it is. Lol.) I didn't have an extra $1000 lying around, so I had to wait. I was tempted to make it happen in my own strength, but the doors kept closing in my face. 

Where is Your Trust?

“What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,” says the LORD. “You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by my Spirit, thus piling up your sins. For without consulting me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection. You have tried to hide in his shade. But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated, and by depending on him, you will be disgraced. For though his power extends to Zoan and his officials have arrived in Hanes, all who trust in him will be ashamed. He will not help you. Instead, he will disgrace you.” (Isaiah 30:1-5 NLT)

Beware of making your own plans without consulting God; trusting in the help of a leader instead of the right hand of the Lord. Make God your strength. Consult Him for your plans. Seek His path.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5, 6 NLT)

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

Agape

Agape. Unconditional, Christ-like love. This is what I experienced in a beautiful way today.

I arrived at the door of my church hoping for a miracle. Nothing life-changing, or so I thought.

The deal was, I wanted to attend the KAIROS freedom ministry conference and had no idea how I could make it. It's 9-5. It's Thursday and Friday. It's adults only. So, as the wife of a working man and mother of a toddler...eh, it just wasn't happening. But, I told the Lord a few months ago that I wanted to go and asked Him to make a way. I had since forgotten about my small request and was busy with life up until this week. At the last minute, God showed up and provided a way for me to go. The only problem was, it appeared that the conference was full and registration was closed. Still, I got dressed and ready for the conference, determined to just sit outside of the sanctuary and listen if need be.

So, as I walked in, I replayed the speech in my mind of how I would ask the volunteer to put me on a standby list for if any registrants didn't show up so I could take their spot. When I arrived at the registration table, I gave my speech. I've experienced situations where you are reprimanded for things like this, so I braced myself for the worst. And then, love showed up.

The volunteer smiled and told me that it wasn't a problem at all and pointed to a sign up sheet where I could register on the spot. She handed me my conference package, which included a beautiful conference workbook, Kleenex (you know it's gonna be good when they hand out Kleenex in your package!) and a map to locate nearby restaurants for lunch.

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Now, this may seem like no big deal to you. But to me, this was everything. It was as if God was expressing His love for me by welcoming me in even when I didn't deserve it. Even when I was late in registering and didn't know how it would all work out, He showed up in that small way. And that was just the beginning of a powerful day of freedom ministry and worship.

Thank you, God, for showing your love towards me in this small way. And thank you for doing the same for my friends that are reading today. You truly left Your beauty mark on my heart. And I am so thankful.

So, what are you thankful for this evening? How did God show up in your day today? Let me know and express you gratitude for His goodness in a post below! I look forward to sharing with you tomorrow of God's goodness through the Beauty Marked 30 Days of Thanksgiving series!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

A Word for Today: Psalm 37

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Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither. Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.

Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the LORD will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.

The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly.

Day by day the LORD takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. But the wicked will die.The LORD’s enemies are like flowers in a field— they will disappear like smoke. The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers.

Those the LORD blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die. The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.

Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the LORD loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever. The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. But the LORD will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

Put your hope in the LORD. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them! Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. The LORD rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The LORD helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him. (Psalm 37:1-40 NLT)

Don't worry. Put a guard about your mouth. God is in control. Our job is to trust Him, pray and keep our hearts pure.

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

30DOT: Hope

20121106-232529.jpg America, we have just elected our president for the next 4 years. Many people are worried, angry and hopeless by the results. Many others are hopeful, proud and excited for what's to come. Here's my stance:

The same God that was in control of my life the last 4 years is the same God that will be in control the next.

Here's what the Lord says in His word:

“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. (Jeremiah 17:5-8 NLT)

Friends, we must keep our eyes on Jesus, our hearts purified by love and our hope in God through prayer. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are members of the Kingdom of God. We serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are empowered by the Spirit. We are commanded to love.

Last night, I had a powerful dream about the future of our nation and feel very strongly about the importance of prayer and love as we go into the next four years of presidential leadership. It's important to keep our hearts right, guard our words and walk in love no matter what. Remember: prayer, not politics, will bring the change we all desire to see in this nation. The same weight of responsibility we have to vote is the same weight of responsibility we have to pray. Please, pray for our president and nation as believers in Jesus. This is the way to true health and healing in our nation.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT)

Today, I'm thankful for my ability to vote, as many people fought for this right. But most importantly, I'm thankful that God is in control. He is the leader of my heart. He is the captain to my ship. He is the source of my freedom and my hope is fully in His ability to shift the heart of our president and our nation towards Him. As we head to bed tonight, let's rest in peace, remain united in prayer and hopeful in our God's lordship over all.

GOD IS IN CONTROL.

So, what are you thankful for tonight? Do you trust that God is in control? Are you committed to walking in love, praying for our president and elected officials and keeping your heart pure?

Please leave a comment below!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

30DOT: Anesthesia

Anesthesia? I know...not my average blog topic. But today,  it is absolutely necessary. I got a few fillings done at the dentist and as I was praying during the procedure I took a moment to thank God for the local anesthetic. I mean, c'mon people...imagine having dental filings, a root canal, or oral surgery without being numb!! Yikes!!!!

I'm thankful for modern dentistry and learned a lot from working in the dental industry a few years. My dentist is such a loving, caring woman of God and it's always a pleasure to be in her care. Most importantly, I'm thankful for the fact that God is with me everywhere I go.

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Tonight, I want to encourage you that God is with you wherever you go. Whether you're in the dental chair, the hospital bed, a classroom, playing on the floor with your kids, the basketball court or just alone in your room, God is there. He is El Roi, the God who sees you wherever you are. Aren't you thankful for that tonight?! I know I am.

So tonight, thank you God for local anesthesia... and for seeing me and every reader of this post.

Friend, what are you thankful for tonight? Leave a post below and join me in thanking God for something or someone in your life tonight. I look forward to reading your comments!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

30 Days of Thanksgiving: The Church

20121104-130502.jpgThe local church is one of the greatest blessings to the world today. The love and giving that God has called us to is a precious gift and great responsibility. We have been given the gift of grace and the responsibility to be His hands and feet in the earth. Every Sunday, and throughout the week, I look forward to gathering together with my brothers and sisters in praise & worship to God. I pray that one day I can join together with churches around the world in this way. Today, I'm thankful for my pastors & leaders that selflessly shepherd the congregations of the world and teach us God's word, and the gift of the family of God.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 12, 27 NKJV)

So, what are you thankful for today? Did you join in worship with your family today? Leave a comment below and join me in thanking God for His goodness today!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Grace

20121103-205805.jpg{Grace: unmerited favor; blessing.}

This morning, I woke up to a delicate kiss from sweet little lips & a soft "mmmmmmwahhh." That's my Grace. The first moment I saw her I was captivated. She was honestly the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. It's a joy to watch her grow and freely express herself without a care in the world. Everywhere we go she makes a friend, gives a hug and tries to share something with others. She has brought so much joy to our family and I'm so thankful for the one, the only, Amazing Grace.

So, what are you thankful for tonight? Leave a comment of thanksgiving below!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Hello, my loves!!! I know it's been a few weeks since we've spoken but I'm excited to get back to blogging with you! I've been working on an exciting project and can't wait to share the details with you soon! Last November, I participated in the #30DaysofThanksgiving challenge on Instagram. As I took time to reflect on God's goodness and express my gratitude for all He has done, I was encouraged and reminded of His faithfulness. This year, I want to share my 30 days of thanksgiving here on Beauty Marked. You can also join me on Instagram (@EmonneMarkland) and post your own #30DaysofThanksgiving posts! I pray that you are encouraged & reminded of God's faithfulness in your own life. So, let's get started!

Day 1: Stephan

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This tall, dark and handsome man waited 3 YEARS for me in college while I was, well...in my process. Ha. Months before we got engaged, God led me to write out everything I wanted in a spouse. I was tired of counterfeits and didn't even want to THINK about marriage, but I obeyed God and began to write & dream again. I titled that list "My Manifestation of Love", since I wanted a husband that would be a physical manifestation/representation of God's love for me. God answered every desire of my heart & exceeded my expectations. He is the answer to my prayers, my best friend, my team mate, my bodyguard, my support & my love. He is a loving father to our daughter Grace and a great leader to our family. And for the record, he's the best, most anointed drummer I've ever heard. I still get chills every time he plays...

Thank you, Jesus, for Stephan Markland.

So, what or who are you thankful for today? Leave a comment below and express your gratitude for God's goodness in your life!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

Promise

the promise is worth the rain

Yesterday, it rained. All day.

My husband and I made use of the rainy weather by staying inside and cleaning up our home. Later in the day, I faced the rain and went out to Starbucks for some quiet time and reading. (By the way, I tried a pumpkin chai tea latte as suggested by the barista and it was delicious!) I decided not to take my laptop, which I usually never go to Starbucks without, and simply brought my bible and favorite book: Beauty Will Save the World by Brian Zahnd. In chapter 2, “The Greatest Wonder of All,” he shares a glorious moment he had atop a mountain. As he took a moment to breathe and bask in the beauty that surrounded him, a deer came alongside him and his antlers formed a perfect frame to the sunset. It was a moment of glorious wonder that he said he will never forget.

As I read the story, I could only image how beautiful that sight must have been. My imagination ran wild as I tried to place myself in his viewpoint, visualizing a mountaintop sunset framed by brown antlers. What a sight that must have been. After I finished reading, I headed home and noticed that there was a festival going on in my city. A large ferris wheel was going round and round and the tents covered the street to keep the goods dry. Amidst the rain, the contrast of flashing lights from the fair rides was an interesting contrast to behold. Is this my “wonder moment”? I thought. I parked alongside the festival gate and snapped a few photos of the scene with my iPhone. I used various filters on Instagram to enhance the shots, but didn’t care for the mood that was captured.

I continued home and prepared to go out again to the grocery store with my family. After about an hour and lots of team work, my husband and I completed our shopping trip and headed outside. As we looked into the sky, we were captivated by the most beautiful, bright, full rainbow we had ever seen. We gasped as we beheld this unexpected display of glorious wonder amidst an ordinary Sunday afternoon. Customers all throughout the parking lot were taking photos and gazing into the sky, grocery carts pushed aside as the priorities of the evening were delayed in this moment of divine beauty. THIS was my wonder moment.

As I beheld the rainbow, this thought entered my heart:

The promise is worth the rain.

Every rain drop that fell from the sky throughout the day was worth the display of the magnificent rainbow. I want you to know that the rain in your life will be worth the rainbow that’s coming. Although storms seem to last forever, and there seems to be no end in sight, there is a promise on the other side of your storm.

Hebrews 6:13-14 tells us that God gave Abraham a promise and swore by Himself, because there was nothing higher to swear by, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.” Psalm 12:6-7 tells us that the words of the Lord are pure, like silver tried in a furnace purified seven times and that He will keep His words and preserve them forever. We all have received promises from God, spoken directly to our hearts and found within His word. God is not a man that He should lie, and He’s not toying with our emotions. If He said He'll do it, He will do it! The question is, are we willing to wait? There’s that gap of time between when God spoke and when the promise manifests when we must trust God and not allow impatience and murmuring delay the process. Hebrews 6:15 tells us that after Abraham patiently endured he received the promise.

In Psalm 27, titled An Exuberant Declaration of Faith, David proclaims,

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (vs. 16-17).

My encouragement to you (and myself) today is not to lose heart! Don’t try to make a “wonder moment” happen by creating your own promise in a time of impatience, as I did with the ferris wheel photo. God is bringing your promise in His timing. A promise that will be worth every teardrop of rain we’ve cried and every loud roaring storm that we’ve endured. In the meantime, our job is to stand firm by faith, patiently endure and wait for God. The promise is coming. The rainbow is worth the rain.

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

Kingdom Model

FNO Galleria 2012

While attending Fashion's Night Out at the Galleria mall in Dallas, my friends and I gathered together along the runway and eagerly anticipated a fall fashion show showcasing the latest trends. As the show began, we gazed carefully at each model's attire from head to toe and pointed out those which we liked the most. We quickly snapped photos and continued our observations of each model's representation of their designer brand. The show was fun to watch, and the models did a great job, but as I headed home I couldn't help but ask myself this question:

After the hair comes down, the makeup is wiped away and the clothes are hung back in the closet, what remains?

As a culture, it's safe to say that we put a strong emphasis on outer appearance. While there's nothing wrong with enjoying fashion and style, which I do very much, we must remember that our identity is not based on what or "who" we wear. We must find our greatest joy in things that are unseen and our identity in Christ alone.

If you're anything like me, you can relate to a time when you bought an item that seemed irresistible in the store. You just had to have it. And yet, once you bought it and tried it on again at home, it didn't have the same affect. Away from the bright lights and thumping music in the shopping store, it just wasn't...well...worth it.

That's what it's like in life. We have to be careful of "believing the hype" and getting caught up in things that don't matter. We've got to keep first things first and focus our attention on the eternal rather than the temporal. Our goal should be to dress well outwardly and inwardly alike.

Did you know that as believers we are God's kingdom models? Our assignment from our Designer is to represent His "brand" in the earth and model His lifestyle. God has called us to wear His custom-made "labels" and display His kingdom to others. To model His love and joy on the catwalk of life. To model His peace and wear our blessings well. Colossians 3:10, 12-14 in The Message translation says it like this:

Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

When we wear the wardrobe that God has picked out for us, we will always look our best. His love and kindness will never fade or go out of style. So, if you're wondering what the fall-must have items are for this season, these are our Designer's top picks! Let's confidently and boldly model His way of living. His wardrobe will never grow old...and there's nothing more beautiful and flattering to wear than that.

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

Rescued From Rejection

Rescued From Rejection

In life, we often experience things that we don't understand. There seems to be no purpose for the pain we suffer, especially when referring to rejection. Rejection hurts. There is no pain like it, especially when it comes from someone that did (or should) love you. It pierces to the depths of the soul. Rejection can draw you to anger, depression, insecurity, low self-esteem and leave you feeling empty. If you are reading this post, there's a great chance that you've experienced the pain of rejection first hand.

And the winner is...

Hey there! Last night, I gathered together all the entries for the Beauty Marked Blogiversary giveaway, asked my husband to shake them up in his hands and pulled an entry from within his tight grasp. (We both love a good challenge. Lol). The winner of the giveaway is Tafadzwa!

Tafadzwa, I'm so excited to send you the gift card of your choice and hope that you enjoy it very much! You have been a great source of encouragement to me along this journey and I always look forward to your responses on the posts!

Thank you to everyone who participated and I look forward to doing more giveaways in the future! This evening, I will be posting a new blog post entitled Rescued from Rejection. This word has been stirring in my heart since April 2nd so you will not want to miss it! I hope to hear from you all this evening and congratulations again to Tafdwana!

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark

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1 Year Blogiversary!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for joining me on my first year with Beauty Marked! The last 12 months certainly flew by! Here's a quick video from me and an opportunity to participate in a free giveaway! Let's celebrate! Tell me what your favorite post was from this year and why in a comment below as an entry for the giveaway! You can also share your favorite post on facebook and twitter with hashtag #BeautyMarked for an extra entry! The winner will be contacted via email and announced on a post next week!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6x1k0zIVSg&feature=plcp]

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

P.S. Here are a few of my favorite posts from this year: DTR: Define the Relationships The Attractive Factor: What Role Should Physical Attraction Play When Choosing A Spouse The Attractive Factor: What to Do While You're Waiting for the One Am I Ugly or Pretty? Fashion's Night Out: Dallas Style Bloom Be Still Divine Inconvenience