motherhood

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

Keepin' Your Cool

Keepin' Your Cool

As a new mom, my style has evolved immensely over the last 9 months. Before I became a mother, I always seemed baffled at the fact that some women let themselves go after having kids. Now that I’m a mom, I can completely understand why. After taking care of every need your child has all day, who has time to take care of themselves? Well, one thing that I’ve learned is that if I want to be productive during my day, I do a lot better when I’m dressed well. 

Be Still

  Today, as I took some time to quiet myself before God, I asked Him to search my heart and show me what I need to do and where to improve. As I read though the scriptures and sat in reflection, I heard my Father speak two simple words to my heart: Be still. I then saw a vision of a situation that I have faced numerous times over the last few weeks: me trying to clean my daughter's nose. I know this may sound strange, but if you're a mom you've experienced the struggle of trying to clean out your child's nose with a nasal aspirator. Not fun at all. My daughter screams, kicks, whips her hair back and forth and basically freaks out. Over and over again, I look her in the eyes and calmly tell her, "Grace, be still." Frantically, she disregards my instruction for a few more minutes and finally stays still long enough for me to help her by cleaning out her nose. You see, she'd been sick for about two weeks or so and as her mother, I knew that she couldn't blow her nose on her own & needed a clear nasal passage to help her breathe better and get well. I didn't want to take much of her time, but the more that she resisted me, the longer it took for me to help her.

Friends, God wants to help us. He wants to heal our hearts. He wants to bless us. He wants us to breathe easy. But the more that we resist Him, and the temporary discomfort of the process, the longer it will take for us to get well. Be still. Relax. Allow Him to do what He needs to do. Trust that He has your best interest at heart and doesn't mean you any harm. I know the situation that you're facing is very uncomfortable, but it's being used for your benefit. Let go. Be still. Take a chill pill, if you will. ;)

I believe that God showed me this scenario to reveal to me my own situation but I feel that this is for you too. I was watching the First Conference live from Gateway Church on Daystar tonight and the associate pastor gave the same word: Be Still. It was a confirmation to my heart and I know that God is speaking to you and me in this moment with this word.

"Be still, and know that I am God..."(Psalm 46:10 NKJV)

Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark

Divine Inconvenience

This morning, I was getting my husband a breakfast burrito and smoothie from the grocery store and at the checkout I realized that I didn't have my debit card in my hand or pocket. I searched frantically as the 5 million people in line behind me that were probably in a rush to get to work on time waited patiently for this young mom to find her money to pay for her order. I couldn't find the card anywhere so I hurried and just payed with cash. After getting my order, I sat off to the side and continued to search for the card. Still, nothing. I went back to the line that I ordered from and asked if the clerk had found my card by chance. The lady behind me in line said that someone in the bakery department found a card and was asking everyone if it was theirs and was headed to customer service to drop it off. I thanked the lady & zoomed to the customer service desk. While I waited to be helped, another woman was coming to clock in for work and stopped to talk to Grace, my 7 month old daughter, and me. We got to talking about kids and she began to share with me the importance of praying for your children. She told me that she is standing in faith for her adult children that are away from the Lord right now, but that she knows they will come back into relationship with Him. I shared with her that my mom just wrote a book on prayer and handed her a business card to get more information on the book. She seemed very excited, and we said goodbye, shook hands and exchanged smiles. She said that God sent us her way this morning & that she really needed a smile. She told me that her name is Patty & that she works in the floral department and would love for me to visit her sometime. I assured her that I would as I walked away with a smile, thankful that what seemed to be an inconvenience and set back of my time was really a set up for me to be a blessing and blessed in return! I dropped off my husband's breakfast & smoothie, went back to the store for another burrito (they just looked too good to pass up!) and then headed home on my usual route. As I approached the stop light near my home, my heart sank as I saw a number of emergency lights flickering in the distance. When I got closer, I saw that two cars had crashed and two others had gone into the ditch and it didn't look good at all. Fire trucks were everywhere, one of which I captured quickly on my phone as you can see above. As I drove past the scene and headed home, I realized that my inconvenience was even more than a blessing, it was a means of protection. My baby girl & I could have very well been involved in that accident as we were headed home today. Thank you, Jesus, for your hand at work in my life, keeping my daughter and me safe from hurt, harm and danger. Thank you for intervening in my day, even though I thought I was being held up by losing my card. I know that it wasn't just a coincidence. I also thank you for protecting and caring for those that were in the accident. Be with them and give them peace. Allow them to see your hand in the midst of this situation. And bless Patti, Lord. May her children come to know You in a real and powerful way this week. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.

Today, allow God to arrange (and rearrange) your schedule. He may be setting you up for a blessing, and protecting you from harm.

Emonne Markland Leave YOUR Beauty Mark

New Mom 101: Lessons I'm Learning Along the Way

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)

Surrounded by the Word

Surrounded by the Word

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. 

Behind the Name

Beauty Marked is a phrase that expresses who we are as women. Every woman on this planet, regardless of the color of her skin, her past mistakes, her body shape or her geographical location, has been beautifully created, fashioned and marked by God. We are beautiful women made in the image of a beautiful God. We are called to do extraordinary things. We are destined for greatness. According to the Oxford American Dictionary, the word "marked" means "to make a visual impression or stain on". I believe that the unique beauty that God has marked every woman with is a visual impression from our Creator and a reflection of who He is. The purpose of this blog is to encourage women to discover their inward beauty and to confidently express it outwardly as we reflect our beautiful God. As a new mom and a fairly new wife of two years, I'm getting a personal crash-course on rediscovering myself amidst the fast-paced life of motherhood. I want to go on a journey with you as I share tips on how to strengthen your inward and outward beauty. This blog is open for moms especially, but is also for women anywhere from the studious college fashionista to the single, career woman that is passionately pursuing her dream. Let's walk together as we journey through the daily joys and challenges of life and learn to unveil the beauty in every situation.