Have you ever felt unnoticed? Alone in a crowd... Lost in the shuffle...Good intentions gone unseen. I believe we all have. When considering these thoughts, I couldn't help but think of my boy Mordecai, the "supporting role" in the book/story of Esther.
Hello beauties! I first would like to say thank you for your prayers regarding The Pink Lid girls conference and the entire Miami trip. I had no idea what a blessing it would be to my family and me. God did exceedingly, abundantly, above ALL that I could ask or even think! Not only did we have a fabulous time of ministry with the girls in Miami, Florida, but we had a great time of relaxation at the beach and on a day date. Below are some highlights from the trip!
Friday Night at The Pink Lid:
The Pink Lid: Saturday
After the conference, we spent some time with our close friends Matt & Alyssa Shull and Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua. On Tuesday, the last day of our trip, Stephan and I spent the day in Hollywood Beach at the boardwalk and had a whole day of fun and relaxation to ourselves!
One of my favorite moments of relaxation during the trip was riding bikes with Stephan along the Hollywood Beach boardwalk. I will never forget how fun that was.
I also recorded a video while on the boardwalk that I included in a previous post. If you haven't seen it already, click here.
This past week was one of the best weeks of my life. I haven't had this much fun in a loooooong time. It was our first family vacation and largest Pink Lid conference to date! Thank you for taking the time to share in my joy and take a glimpse into this special moment in time with me. I know that even better days are ahead. And I can only imagine what God has in store!
Leave Your Beauty Markland
Bloom: a state or time of beauty, freshness and vigor; a state of high development or achievement; to mature into achievement of one's potential; to flourish in youthful beauty, freshness or excellence; to shine out; glow
A number of weeks ago, the word “bloom” sprang up in my heart. Given the fact that I absolutely love doing word studies, I immediately began to search high and low for the various definitions of bloom and the scriptures associated with it. I even preached a message on it at my church! Over the last few weeks, a new joy and hope for this Spring began to rise up in my heart. As you know from my previous post, I absolutely love Spring. But this study of the word "bloom" and what the Bible has to say about Spring has given me a new-found love for the season. There is so much goodness packed into this five-letter word that is rarely used outside of Springtime and often overlooked. I truly believe that our Heavenly Father is speaking in the midst of this season, and through this simple yet profound word. My sisters, my friends, it is officially time to bloom. It’s time to arise from our sleep, as a seed rests in the darkness of winter below the ground, and spring forth into the newness that God has for us.
“For as the earth bursts with spring wildflowers, and as a garden cascades with blossoms, So the Master, God, brings righteousness into full bloom and puts praise on display before the nations.” Is. 61:11 MSG
This past weekend, we celebrated the beautiful sacrifice of Jesus' death on the cross and His glorious resurrection. As a result of His life, death and resurrection, righteousness and praise have sprung forth throughout the world as people of all nations have received Him by faith. In other words, because He rose, we can arise! Because He bloomed, we can bloom!
This Spring, I am full of expectation for God to move in a great way in our lives and resurrect some things that have lay dormant. As my mom says in her book, Pray-ers Bear Fruit, "without a death, there can be no resurrection". Maybe you have been in a dry season for a while and it seems like God's voice has been a faint whisper, or maybe even silent. Maybe you've experienced the death of a dream and feel like there is no hope for a new beginning. Maybe you're in a relationship that is struggling to survive and you feel like the love is long gone. Oh, my sister, Jesus is about to resurrect your situation. He is fully aware of and well able to raise up that dead situation in your life and breathe a new life into it this season. Encourage yourself in the Lord. Build your faith through the Word. Don't believe the enemy's report. Believe the report of the Lord! He has positioned you for a miracle this season! We are about to see things that we've never seen before, do things we've never done before and go places we've never gone before.
Get ready to shine. Get ready to spring forth. Get ready to glow. Get ready to bloom.
Leave Your Beauty Mark
If you're reading this post right now, you have a testimony. God has brought you through the storms of life time and time again. He was with you on the operating table. He was with you at the isle. He was with you in the wilderness. He was with you at the highest mountain. And in all that you've been through, God wants you to know that HE is the one that brought you to where you are today and that all of the things that you've been through have built the tools and weapons that you need to withstand through the trials and tests of life. When the enemy comes to accuse you and condemn you, bringing up your past and telling you that God is not going to come through for you this time, you can stretch back your faith to all of the times that God WAS there and when He DID bring you through. You can stand strong with your head held high, look your accuser square in the face and say, "There is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! I am more than a conqueror through Christ. NO WEAPON formed against me shall prosper!" This week, stand strong in your testimony. Know that you are redeemed through the Blood of Jesus. That you are justified, "just-as-if-I'd" never done it. Don't allow the enemy to keep beating you up and oppressing you with your circumstances, past mistakes & failures. Enough is enough! The enemy is under your feet! Speak the Word and hold fast to your freedom in Christ! And remember this: Your greatest test gave birth to your greatest testimony. You. Have. The. Victory.
Steve Jobs was a visionary and innovator that changed the way that we live. Apple products have not only become a vital part of our every day lives, but they have been used to further the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in a dynamic way. As I watch the news coverage and remember the life of Steve Jobs, I cannot help but think of all of the millions of people around the world that have been affected as a result of his passion for technology and determination to make the impossible possible. Even when things seemed to be going down hill for Apple, he fought to bring the company back to life and never gave up on his dreams. Regardless of how amazing each product was, he was always reaching higher and demanding more excellence for the next version. He not only dreamed of great products and user-friendly technology, but he made them a reality that all of the world would benefit from. As I write this post on my MacBook Pro and periodically check my iPhone, I am reminded of how much his products have affected my life. He truly left his "beauty mark" on our world and has been deemed the Thomas Edison of our time.
What dream is stirring in your heart that could potentially affect our world for generations to come? What could you create if you silenced the loud distractions in your life and allowed your creative juices to flow freely from your heart and into the hands of others? How will you be remembered? How can you leave your beauty mark on the world? These are the questions that I challenge you to ponder as you remember the life of Steve Jobs.
We are all created with a seed of destiny waiting to spring forth and bear fruit that will leave a beautiful mark on the hearts and lives of others. May we all be encouraged to discover our potential and use all of our might to passionately pursue the purpose in which we were created for.
Emonne Markland: Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
P.S. Thanks to Steve Jobs, the following apps are a part of my every day life and are used to enhance my reading & hearing of the Word and my ability to connect with other like-minded people around the world:
- YouVersion- My digital bible & bible reading companion. I constantly use it to cross-reference during my study time and love reading all of my favorite scriptures in various versions. A must-have.
- Instagram- My photo editing/social media app that makes all of my photos pop. Love it.
- Twitter- Allows me to follow the thoughts & lives of my friends, families, celebrities & fav. ministers in realtime. I'm always guaranteed to receive an encouraging word on my feed!
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association- We all know that Billy Graham is the greatest evangelist of the century. This app keeps me connected to all of his greatest sermons via video and audio. Powerful.
- TBN Mobile- I've been watching Trinity Broadcasting Network since I was a child. Now, I can watch it live with my baby girl on the go right from my iPhone and never have to miss a show!
- Facebook- Keeps me in touch w/ my friends and family near and far.
As a new mom, I have found myself learning countless life lessons every day. Periodically, I will be posting my experiences as a mother and sharing the lessons that I am learning along my journey of motherhood. Thank you in advance for reading my post today and I hope that it encourages you and blesses you in a special way.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned now that I am a mom, it can be summed up in these two sentences:
Stretching doesn’t end just because the pregnancy is over and the baby has been born. True stretching, of the whole person: spirit, mind and body, begins in the hours, days, weeks and months to follow the delivery.
As a first time mom, I could not wait to feel my baby move for the first time during my pregnancy. I can remember telling my mom that every nudge, kick and stretch would bring me the utmost joy and happiness. My mom, however, being the sweet and honest person that she is, told me that it would be pleasant in the beginning but may become very uncomfortable as the baby grew and had less room to move around in my womb. Sure enough, those little flutters that I found so sweet turned into karate chops, kicks and punches. What in the world is she doing in there? I asked myself. Is this normal? I feel like I have the karate kid in training in my belly! My OBGYN kindly assured me that everything was fine and normal and that I had nothing to worry about.
During the final days and weeks of my pregnancy, contrary to what I’d been told, the kicks and punches got even more strong and even painful at times! I was so ready to have my baby. Well, on April 25th at 3:47am, after hours of home labor and hospital labor, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. And as you know, especially if you are a mom, giving birth to my daughter required major stretching. Let me repeat, major stretching.
In the hours, weeks and now months to follow my daughter’s birth, my whole person, spirit, mind and body, has been stretched. My body has stretched as it has slowly but surely gone back to my pre-pregnancy weight. My mind has stretched as I continue to learn all that my baby needs and develop wisdom on how to be the wife and mother that my family needs. My spirit has grown as my inner strength and dependence on God has increased and enlarged in this new season of life.
The word of God says in Isaiah 54:2, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”
If you are reading this post today and can relate to what I am saying, I want to encourage you to know that all of the discomfort and stretching that you’ve been experiencing lately is being used to build you into the woman, wife and mother that God has created you to be. He is stretching you in order to make room for you to handle the next level of victory and destiny that is coming to past in your life.
This week, join me in praying the prayer of Jabez, a prayer for God to enlarge your capacity for the days to come. Also, as you go about your day this week, ask God to open your eyes to the needs of those around you so that you can leave your beauty mark on someone’s life by being a blessing to them in a time of need. Have a powerful week and feel free to come back & share what God is doing in your life!
Emonne Markland: Leave YOUR Beauty Mark!
The Prayer of Jabez:
“And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying “Oh, that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted what he requested.” (1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV)
Hello beautiful ladies!! Today has been a fairly relaxing day. I've been at home with the baby and my mom stopped by to visit for a bit. This morning I took some time to study in preparation for my trip to Oklahoma this weekend for The Pink Lid purity conference. It will be my first time preaching as a momma! My perspective on life has changed so much and my passion for young women knowing the truth about beauty and purity has intensified as a result. I'm delivering a message of freedom based on Isaiah 61 and various other scriptures. As women of God that have accepted the free gift of salvation, we are entitled to the freedom that Jesus died to give us!
Isaiah 61:1-3 tells us that God equipped Jesus with anointing and the Holy Spirit in order to preach good news to the poor, set the captives free, proclaim the year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25:8-17), heal the brokenhearted, comfort those who mourn, and to give us BEAUTY for ashes! He has also given us the oil of joy in place of mourning and a garment of praise in place of heaviness that we may be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He may be glorified!
I have shared this message numerous times over the past 2 years and every time it is such a joy to deliver. Thank you, Jesus for the freedom that you died to give us! May we stand fast in this freedom and never go back to our former life of bondage (see Galatians 5:1)
This week I encourage you to take time to study Isaiah 61 and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal this message to your spirit like never before. May every weight, every burden and every chain that has held you down from your past be broken THIS WEEK in Jesus' Name! May you receive the freedom and beauty that Christ came to give you & may He be glorified in your walk of freedom!
Be sure to come back and share what God has spoken to you as you read and meditate on this message of freedom!
Emonne Markland: Leave YOUR Beauty Mark
Ever since I was in college I have been posting scriptures all throughout my living space. It began as a necessity when I was struggling through a difficult season of my life where the negative thoughts in my mind were so troubling that I had to physically surround myself with the Word in order to make it through each day. I remember friends and acquaintances coming into my dorm and saying, "What's up with the scriptures all over the walls?" I would try to explain to them my reasonings but they usually just shrugged their shoulders or laughed a little to themselves. Nevertheless, I kept myself surrounded by the Word of God and always knew where to turn when I was going through a personal battle in my life.