SCW STRONG & COURAGEOUS WOMEN
uContents LIFE From The Desk Of The Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3 Ways Your Marriage Can Shine Like New . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Reflect the Son . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 The Purpose of Being Single . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . How to Shine in the Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Breaking the Silence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
10 12 14
WELL-BEING It’s Time to Get Up and Shine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Let Your Style Shine Through . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beauty Tips That Will Help You Shine . . . . . . . . . . . . .
17 18 20
LEISURE Pushing Through the Writing Obstacles . . . . . . . . . . . Book Review: Miracle in My Living Room . . . . . . . . . . Radiant Woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Going Offline in a World Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hues of Light in Argentina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Make Your Table Décor Shine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Healthy Recipes to Make You Shine . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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S T R O N G A N D C O U R A G E O U S W O M E N . C O M
MICHELLE ATHENS MARRIAGE A writer who is eternally grateful for the “perfect for her” husband God has blessed her with. Find her @ michelleathens.com
SUZETTE LADOUCEUR MOTHERHOOD Her desire is to share her experiences, life lessons, and simple tips to inspire and build up women. Find her @ PurposefulMoms.com.
CHELSEA DRINKARD BEING SINGLE A millennial with an Entrepreneurial spirit leading Christian Business Women’s Connection. Find her @ officespacebrokers.com
BELISA PEREZ BUSINESS
SUSAN DYER-LAYER BREAKING THE SILENCE
ALIVIA MCDANIELS FITNESS
Associate Pastor alongside her husband at Good Samaritan Christian Church in NYC where they live with their three children. Find her @ Kingdom Mompreneurs Unite on Facebook.
Susan Dyer-Layer, LCSW, is the Director of Passages of Hope abortion recovery for women and men, an outreach of New Life Solutions.
She is all about empowering women to be the best through physical, mental, and spiritual health. Find her @yourbestshe.com
RACHEL WARD FASHION
KALANI JOSEPH BEAUTY
KAREN GILLMAN TECHNOLOGY
She has been in fashion for 20+years. Find her @ Gemara’s Gems on Facebook.
Living God’s Love, she is convinced that a woman’s outward beauty comes from the grace of God. She loves all things that may cause others to know the truth of God’s love and beauty
Her life work is devoted to helping others seek God and through Him realize and go after their hearts desires. Find her @onpointexecutivecenter.com
MARIA LAURICELLA TRAVEL
CHRISTAL GIARDINA HOME
JODI COSTA CULINARY
She turned her love for travel and philanthropy into a unique business model, providing sustainable revenue for non-profits worldwide. Find her @ humanitydelsol.org
She is driven by her passion, creativity and desire to help people. Find her @ ckgassociates.com
Jodi Costa is a wife to John and mom to Joshua, Jordan, Jackson and Josie. Find her @ NowGoCook.com
From the Desk of the Editor FRANCIS FERNANDEZ EDITOR IN CHIEF Find her @SCWLife.com
s I welcome 2017 I am compelled to reflect on
purpose is to kill steal and destroy. The enemy will
the great challenges, miracles and victories
try to make you believe a lie that will steal your
that occurred this past year. One thing stands out, it
purpose and kill the dreams God has deposited
was the proving grounds and the preparation to step
into the purpose God has for SCW. The word God
As you take the steps needed to walk into your
gave us for this issue is “Shine”.
purpose in 2017 I pray you will not believe the lies
As Matthew 5:16 says, that
that the enemy will try to throw your way to steal it.
“in the same way let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”
You are a daughter of a king who has been created
We want to encourage you to Shine in the purpose
equipped for the purpose that has been deposited
God has set out for you, shine in the place He is
for a greater purpose. There will be some scary and uncomfortable steps you must take to walk towards it. This journey has not been for the faint of heart. However, I truly believe each of you has been
calling you into and most of all shine for those
Connect with me and share how you will be stepping into your purpose. I’ll be praying for you!
around you. Step into your purpose with strength and courage. Our purpose for existing is for God’s glory to shine through us. However, the enemy’s
By: Michelle Athens
â€œA wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.â€? 6
photo credit: Studio 33 Photography
emember when you and your husband first
Thinking good thoughts about your husband will
met? Those wonderful, exciting, first few
naturally help you speak life giving words to him.
months? If you’re like most people, you were head-
Commit to translating those thoughts into words
over-heels in love. Fast forward some years into
every time you have them. Send him text messages
a marriage and your daily routine is jam packed
throughout the day or jot them down in a little
with things like getting dinner on the table, driving
pocket note for him to find later on. When the
the kids back and forth, and juggling long hours of
kids are settled in their beds and you’ve got him
work. Reconnect with your man on a deeper level,
to yourself, let him be privy to all the good stuff
a level that lasts beyond your monthly date night.
that’s been going through your mind. Don’t keep
Lure the dreaminess back into your marriage with
those things to yourself or wait to tell him later.
the following methods:
Those words are bricks in the foundation of your relationship. They are gifts and you should give
Thoughts Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Deeds And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Proverbs 4:23 Our thoughts are the baseline for our behavior. They will eventually translate into actions so think good
thoughts about him, constantly and no matter what.
Simple isn’t it? I’m not talking about a long drawn
This may have come easily in those first few months
out foot rub, although if you’re up for it, why not?
of your courtship. Now that you’ve been together
I’m talking about a genuine, wide smile when he
awhile, you may not see one another through those
walks into the room. Leave some of the tension at
rose colored lens. Make a conscious decision to
the door with a lingering hug at the end of a long
put them back on. Choose not to focus on your
day. Hold his hand in bed as you both drift off
husband’s shortcomings. Instead, focus on all the
leaving this day to bleed into the next. These actions
terrific qualities that stole your heart from the start.
will strengthen your bond and revive some of that
Yes, even on days when he leaves his dirty towel on
the bathroom floor, again.
Your marriage-- this thing the two of you have constructed-- isn’t only about a house, some kids and
Words Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21
a family dog. It is a carefully considered attitude. Protect that intimacy at all costs. Even when it doesn’t come easy. Even when it feels like too much work. Intimacy is the fuel marriages need to make the life long journey. Start with taking your thoughts captive. Point them in the direction of success. Everything else will fall right into place. You’ll be floating on air in no time.
Reflect the Son By: Suzette Ladouceur
placing on my children all the time, and sometimes still do. I would tell them that their behavior reflected the kind of mother I am. I would tell them their behavior was supposed to make me look good. Now, do not get me wrong. I have great kids. They are very good, but they are kids, which means there is always going to be a level of unpredictability involved when we leave the house. Yes, it’s important for my children to behave in public. They should behave in a manner that is above reproach. But they are not supposed to reflect me. They are supposed to reflect Jesus. My light is not strong enough, it never will be. Their behavior is not to bring me glory. It is to glorify their Heavenly Father, not their earthly mother.
photo credit: Studio 33 Photography
e live in a dark world. The moral compass of our culture and country is changing direction. But, in the dark world, we need to raise up a generation who will be a light in the darkness, just as the moon shines in the darkness of night.
Matthew 5:16 says,
Right now, in science, my daughter and I are learning about astronomy. The sun, moon, Earth, planets, rotations, orbits, and galaxies.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
During one of our classes, I was hit with something I have always known, something that is so elementary, but something that impacted me more as a parent than it ever did when I was a student.
Our children need to know that as believers in Jesus, our behavior needs to reflect the One who lives in us. We need to shine with kindness, love, obedience, gentleness, and respect for others.
The moon does not produce its own light. It reflects the light of the sun. Without the light of the sun, the moon would not shine at all. However, nothing else in space reflects the light of the moon.
My job is to bring them into the presence of Jesus. The more they are in front of the Son, the brighter their light will shine for Him. The more I bring them into His presence, the more their moral compass will align to His, and the choices they make will reflect Him. The more they stand before Him, the brighter their light will shine in the darkness.
And it hit me. In a manner of speaking, I am the moon.
The way the moon shines in the darkness, I want my children to shine in this darkened world.
I cannot produce my own light. My job is to reflect Jesus. And how often do I forget that no one is supposed to reflect me? Yet, that was a burden I was
This month’s craft is a mobile designed to remind us that we are to reflect Jesus. It can be printed on cardstock for sturdiness. This would be a great time to talk to your children about the kind of behavior that would reflect Jesus.
SCW Shine Mobile
StrongandCourageousWomen.com Designed by Faye Adams 9
photo credit: Studio 33 Photography
The Purpose of Being Single By: Chelsea Drinkard
s something wrong with you if you are not dating,
could avoid pain and loneliness wouldn’t you want
engaged or married? You may feel like it at times,
to? The purpose of being single is not looking for the
but you are not the only woman on the planet and
“right one” more than “becoming the right person”
there is definitely nothing wrong with you.
but developing a deep relationship with your Father. He predestined you before the world was formed
If we want to understand the purpose of being
and your name is written on the palm on His hand;
single, we should shed light on the meaning of
that my friend is true love.
marriage, right? In “The Meaning of Marriage” by
How do we do this? Think of the most intimate
relationships in your life, what did you do to get
Keller says, “We should be neither overly elated
there? You spent a lot of time together, right? How is
by getting married nor overly disappointed by not
your relationship with your Father different?
being so-because Christ is the only spouse that can
● Spending time one-on-one praying and
truly fulfill us.” The author draws a parallel of God, sacrificing His son, Jesus and Jesus willingly laying
down His life. This is a comparison to the selfless
● What does He say about you? There is a love letter
act of two people sacrificing their own identity to
written for you in the book of Ephesians.
joining in the covenant of marriage. This covenant is
● Write down verses like those in Ephesians, post
the ultimate act of surrender.
on your wall and declare them over yourself.
You may be thinking, “I don’t think I am ready to be that selfless.” I used to feel the same way. I realized
Now is the time to draw near God and He promises
getting married sounded great. I felt like I should
“He will draw near to you”
because all of my friend’s were moving in that
direction but I was not ready; and that is ok! Don’t let everyone’s opinions determine your actions.
Embrace His love as it shines upon you and you can mirror the brightness of His love onto others.
Keller further states, “If single Christians don’t
By choosing to build this foundational relationship
develop a deeply fulfilling love relationship with
now, your feet will be firmly rooted in Him.
Jesus, they will put too much pressure on their
When winds begin to blow in your career,
dream of marriage” or when you are married you
relationships or future marriage, you will stand firm
can fall into the trap of leaning on your husband to
in your identity, as a daughter of the King of Kings.
meet your every need.
You will not find yourself looking to anyone or thing
We all have friend’s who never focused on their
for your value but to your Father in whom you have
relationship with Jesus and got married. But, if you
been made complete.
How to Shine in the Marketplace By: Belisa Perez
e live in a time where everyone seems to
repent and receive Jesus on social media or that we
want to be in the spotlight. Especially in
should be trying to convert every person in sight.
today’s online business and social media world,
What I do mean is that the light of the world which
“likes” and followers are coveted and even paid
is Jesus, may be lit in us so that we can in turn share
for in order to maintain the status quo. What some
everything that He is with others through our living
people don’t know is that “likes” and followers
mean nothing for your brand or business unless
Not everyone is called to full-time ministry in a
you’re sharing your message, building relationships,
church. The truth is that some of us have been called
and engaging with your audience.
to full-time ministry in the marketplace. Newsflash!
Engagement is KING (so is Jesus!)
On that note, as Kingdom
We need to be the ones
women, we have been
at the gates and places
given the freedom to be
of influence of the world
who He created us to be --
so that Jesus can reign
in His image, royalty, full
through us to transform
of the fruits of the Spirit,
our city, nation, and
confident in our gifts and
world. With that said, it’s
talents and to be servant
important to understand
leaders. This confidence comes from having a true
photo credit: Caroline White Photography
relationship and staying engaged with God as well
that our life does not consist of a secular and a
separate sacred life. There should be no separation
as accepting our identity and purpose. That’s where
and no difference with how we do life at home, at
true abundance shows up.
church, and in the marketplace. Through Jesus, we are the light of the world!
We are called to reign in the platforms where God has placed us while representing Him in all that
So what do we need to do to shine for God in the
we do. We are created to extend His Kingdom by
establishing the influence and culture of heaven here on earth. By this I don’t mean that we should
A Functional Relationship - The most
be preaching at the workplace, posting for people to
important relationships: Know God, know yourself
and everything He’s called you to be (identity and
more interested in the salvation of people rather than
purpose). It’s so important to take a stand in the
making a profit from them; When we are kind and
marketplace not only as daughters of a King but also
genuinely good to everyone; When we honor people
servant leaders. We belong to the body of Christ and
even if they don’t deserve it, etc.
therefore this means we have a function within that
God hold high regard for those who live in integrity.
body. We are co-laborers with God.
“Because of my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.”
“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
1 Corinthians 3:9 (NIV)
A Kingdom Mindset - Having focus on
The Heart of a Servant Leader - God has
the things of heaven allows us to advance in the
given you gifts and talents, what are you doing
Kingdom. Also, meditating on the word of God
with them? When we don’t answer to the call of
will transform our mind daily. The word tells us
God for our lives, we remain stagnant and feeling
that if we practice right thinking, we’ll receive great
unfulfilled. His dreams were placed in your heart for
a reason! It’s time to say “YES LORD” so that with your obedience you can lead others into their call
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”
and destiny. When we choose to give into our own desires and neglect the call of God, we are doing a disservice to others. The transformation of many people’s lives can be on your hands-- what will you choose to do?
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…”
Colossians 3:2-4 (NLT)
A Life of Integrity - There’s that famous
acronym/saying, WWJD? (What would Jesus do?) Jesus came to give his life, to love and to serve as he
Whether or not you are in ministry or a faith-based
remained righteous before the Father and man. How
business, it is your duty to shine your light. We are
are we demonstrating to others what this means? It
not called to live a mediocre life but to live a life of
becomes as simple as following Godly principles--
greatness and prosperity. Let’s pursue excellence
doing what you say and saying what you do. Other
knowing that God will continue take us from glory
examples are: When we set aside position and
to glory. It’s the only way to an abundant life and
entitlement in a world that craves that; When we are
testimony in the marketplace.
Breaking the Silence: How to Heal from an Abortion Loss By: Susan Dyer-Layer
n our society where most feel uncomfortable talking about grief in general, disclosure about abortion grief is extremely rare. I was that person thirty years ago, gripped by fear and confusion over the decision to keep or abort my unborn child. Without hope offered, the financial struggles as a single parent, along with the growing doubt about the viability of my unborn child seemed so overwhelming that I chose to abort my baby. Similar to others’ experiences after an abortion, the initial relief from the unrelenting worry and fear was soon replaced by an all-consuming, isolating shame and guilt that fueled an exhausting cycle of busyness. Instead of seeking comfort from God, performance-based behavior became normative to atone for my past. It would be a few years later before someone would speak truth in love by asking me the right questions that opened the door to my dark secret. Why does someone choose to grieve silently from an abortion loss? Shame and fear silence a person grieving from an abortion loss.
that you have not shared with your future spouse that may impact your future marriage relationship?” Immediately, I thought of my abortion and the deeply held belief that if my fiancé knew about my secret, he would not want to marry me. Through a floodgate of tears, God gave me the courage to share and to experience His unconditional love through the cradling arms of my future husband assuring me of his unchanged love. I began to volunteer at New Life Solutions (NLS), a ministry that provides help for women, teens, and families promoting healthy lifestyle choices and relationships, and specifically was interested in Passages of Hope (POH) for abortion recovery. Jan Walters, the former pioneering POH leader, asked me, “Have you ever had an abortion/s?” I told her yes. Despite my rationalizations of “I’m fine… I know God has forgiven me.” She spoke truth in love sharing that I would need to complete the POH group to ensure I was in a place of restoration before counseling women with similar losses.
Spirit-led Questions Open Doors
How does it help to ask about an abortion? From a compassionate heart, Jesus masterfully asked questions to uncover sin, to speak truth in love, and to restore broken lives. Openly sharing and asking for help is the most difficult task for a person affected by an abortion loss, directly and indirectly. Indirect involvement means someone who may have advised or coerced a girl or woman to have an abortion. Therefore, it is essential that those in church ministry and counselors routinely ask about an abortion history. Through the encouragement and safety of a few kind-hearted souls asking the difficult, yet Spirit-led questions, these courageous individuals opened the door for my journey toward healing:
Almost a year later through Jan’s gently nudging and compassion I finally attended the POH Bible study group to openly mourn my abortion loss. Over the next 9 weeks, my life would be powerfully transformed and set free by His Holy Word into a new identity in Christ. For the first time, I was free to openly grieve in the company of other women who showed compassion, and understood the heartbreak and loneliness unique to an abortion loss. I began to fully embrace and understand the fullness and completeness of God’s forgiveness, no longer struggling with forgiving myself. During a “Breaking Free” Beth Moore Bible study, my pastor’s wife asked, “Is there anything in your past that you have struggled in forgiving yourself?”
Twenty-four years ago, during an engagement encounter weekend, we were asked, “Is there anything
The Holy Spirit led me to share about my abortion in our Women’s Bible Study and later with our church family to provide hope for others. Soon after while attending University of South Florida as a graduate student, I along with Jan Walters, Kelly Wild, and Dr. Cleora Roberts researched the effectiveness of faith-based post abortion grief groups from New Life Solutions, A Woman’s Place, and Project Rachel (1). The survey data clearly demonstrated significant reduction in shame, grief, and trauma for the group participants. More importantly, the data revealed that the vast majority of the participants attributed their faith in God as essential in the healing. Over the years in my volunteer role as a Passages group leader, God has enabled me to provide hope and comfort to others through the same comfort He gave me twenty years ago! And now I am deeply blessed to serve in the New Life Solution outreach as the Director of Passages of Hope!
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
“If the roles were reversed, would your love for them change?” “Do you view abortion as a greater sin from other sin?”
Truth: “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)
“How are we to respond to someone who has a repentant heart and courageously shares his or her past struggles to honor God?” “What role did Mary Magdalene play in Jesus’ ministry?”
If you know of someone who has had an abortion you may consider asking her the following questions. “Have you openly mourned your loss in the company of others who understand your grief? Do you share your abortion recovery in your testimony to comfort others in our church family?”
Truth: “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will nei-
Truth: “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:4)
ther fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
In breaking the silence about an abortion loss, we become Strong and Courageous “like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.”
“Is God’s forgiveness sufficient? “Why did Jesus die on the cross?”
If you would like help with your abortion grief or information about upcoming groups and trainings, please contact us at our confidential number 727-940-2636 . To learn more about the New Life Solutions Ministry, please visit us at newlifesolutions.org.
Footnote: “Post-abortion Grief: Evaluating the Possible Efficacy of a Spiritual Group Intervention” was awarded recognition at the University of South Florida Research Day and later published in the Journal of Research on Social Work Practice, Volume 14, No. 5, September 2004. SAGE Publications. Quoted scripture is from the New Living Translation (NLT)
It’s Time to Get Up and Shine By: Alivia McDaniel
or me, 2016 was a life changing year to say the least. A
In 2017, I challenge you to take the first step in your health and
year of excitement, heartache, struggles, blessing, loss, and
fitness journey. The #1 thing you need to do is BELIEVE that you
disappointment. We all have those years, right?
can! So many people never even start because
Where we just feel like no matter how hard
they don’t BELIEVE! It’s time to detox your
we try, it’s just not good enough. No matter
mind and start believing in YOU today! Look in
how many fitness fanatics, health experts,
the mirror and tell yourself that you are a child
inspirational speakers, or trainers we follow
of God, that you are more than a conqueror,
on social media, we just can’t change our life
you were fearfully and wonderfully made and
around! Well, girlfriend, it’s time to ARISE
you can do anything that you put your mind to.
AND SHINE! It’s time to get out of your funk
You are never too far gone, too overweight, too
and be victorious! It’s time to stop living out
unfit, too unhealthy, too whatever it is to get
of habit and more out of intent. It’s time to
healthy and fit!
realize that you are a daughter of the King. It’s
Accountability. Studies say that those who
time to get out of the desert and to claim your
work out with a partner have a 95% success rate
promised land! Ladies, it’s time to GET UP
while those who work out alone only have a
success rate of 43%. This is huge! It is crucial to
As a new year begins, there is a plethora of
get others involved in your fitness journey! A
resolution programs to be a part of. You know
few things I suggest telling your accountability
what? I personally would like to challenge you
photo credit: Studio 33 Photography
partner are: sharing your biggest struggles,
to get out of the “new year’s resolution” idea and start thinking
guilty food pleasures, 3 week goals, fitness plan, and level of
about “new life solutions”. What are those things that you can
change in your life that will sustain you past 2017? What are
Something that has helped me and the “She” girls tremendously
those God given desires, passions, gifts, and talents that YOU
is to make physical, mental and spiritual goals. Focus on short
have that you can use for HIS glory?
term goals that you can follow up on every 3 weeks. Take
A love for health and fitness is a gift that brings me so much
photos and measurements, record weight, and track how you
joy. Sports and everything about the game, including being
feel each week. Don’t stress about the number on the scale! Pay
competitive, pushing myself past my limits, and being part of
attention to how your clothes fit, how you feel emotionally,
a team, always excited me. After playing soccer my whole life
pushing yourself mentally, and getting stronger every day!
and then in college, I needed somewhere to channel my inner
Don’t compare yourself to your friend, sister, daughter,
athlete, competitive spirit, and love for the game. In 2014, I
mother, fitness model, or anyone else! You were fearfully and
founded a non-profit for women’s health and fitness called Your
wonderfully made! Like I remind my “She” ladies, be YOUR
Best She, or She for short. She is all about empowering women
best “She”, don’t try to be someone else! Make a plan and stick
to be the best through physical, mental, and spiritual health!
to it! Whether it be one of my workout programs, workouts on
Find her @yourbestshe.com. Since 2014, part of my mission is
Pinterest, fitness DVDs, gym membership, or a group fitness
to remind women that they are never alone in their health and
class, just DO IT! It’s time to ARISE AND SHINE because you
fitness journey. Some of the main problems with many women
are one of a kind!
is self-confidence, accountability, and a plan of action.
Would love to chat with you about your health and fitness goals! Feel free to contact me anytime!
Let Your Style Shine Through By: Rachel Ward
W photo credit: Studio 33 Photography
your wardrobe around that. For me, I’m super
like it or not,
casual. I’m totally a jeans & tank top type of girl --
what you wear says
nothing fancy. Being that I own a jewelry company,
a lot about you.
I wear very basic, solid colors and then pile on a
What exactly is
bunch of accessories. Effortless but still put together.
your personal style and what does it say about
You can look at me and tell that I’m casual, like to be
comfortable and love me some accessories, especially bracelets!
Style is defined as “a distinctive appearance”. What first impression do you want people to have of you?
You may have a boho chic style, a classic style, a
What do you want them to think of you before you
surfer style or no style. If you can’t pinpoint your
even start speaking? If you see a woman wearing a
style, do yourself a favor and take the time to
suit and pearls you would most likely presume she
identify what looks best on you and what colors help
is polite, proper and classic. If you see a woman in
you shine. Step out of your comfort zone. Use 2017
jeans and a tank top you would presume she is laid
an opportunity to discover your personal style. Get
back, casual and likes to be comfortable. Let’s face
rid of stuff in your wardrobe that’s old, worn and
it, as women, we care about how we look and how
unflattering. Buy a few key pieces that make you
others perceive us. Is your style in sync with your
FEEL good. We all want to feel good, right? Clothes
and accessories can do that for us.
This year, why not resolve to dress more appropriate
God is in all of us and as we let our own light shine,
to not only our body type but also our personality?
we unconsciously give other women the permission
You are a shining star, so let that light emulate from
to allow their light to shine as well. During this
the inside out. When you dress a certain way it helps
light shining phenomenon we are liberated from our
shift your internal self. If you’re not feeling so hot
own fears and that presence of light automatically
and you get dressed up, it will make you feel better.
liberates others. So, ladies, as you begin 2017, with
We’ve all been there, right?
a new look and a new you, don’t ever forget to let your light shine everywhere you go.
The Bible says in Isaiah 60:1 “Arise, shine, for your
light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon
NOW, GET DRESSED AND GO SHOW THE WORLD WHO YOU ARE! SPARKLE & SHINE!
you”. As believers, we all have a light. We need to let our light shine, always. Let your light shine in everything you do, including your style. Think about
how you want people to perceive you and formulate
Beauty Tips That Help You Shine By: Kalani Joseph
s bold believers, we shine from the inside out! Here are some beauty tips to illuminate your look this upcoming season:
A touch of shimmer that can be added to the everyday makeup look is sheer gloss. Whatever color you choose to rock with your makeup look, just add some clear gloss right over the color for a glassy effect. L’Oreal Paris infallible lip-gloss in the shade cream 108 does the job flawlessly. This product can be purchased at practically any drug store.
For those who wish to have a shinier complexion there are two things that can be done depending on the skin type God gave you.
For ladies with skin on the drier side who want to achieve a natural glow, an illuminating face primer or serum will do just the trick.
THE NEW TREND HITTING THE RUNWAYS FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON IS GLITTER EYES. WITH A GLITTER ADHESIVE AND ANY CHOICE OF COSMETIC GLITTER, THIS WILL GIVE YOUR MAKEUP LOOK A GLAMOROUS “WOW” EFFECT.
For women who are more on the oily side, avoid matte foundations. Use a regular liquid foundation and skip the powder to achieve this look. No matter what your skin type is, it is highly recommended that you spray your face with a setting spray. This will keep the makeup from slipping and sliding off of your face and will help keep your makeup in-tact. It also adds a refreshed and natural luminesce to the skin. A popular setting spray on the market is the MAC Cosmetics Prep and Prime Fix Plus.
__________________________________________________________ Glitter can be placed all over the lid, on the lower lash line, on the outer corners, or for the daring ladies out there, you can trace the lower part of the eyebrow. I recommend using the Ben Nye Glitter Glue $7. It is high quality and affordable and feels like a steal.
Another trend off the runway and award shows is a hint of metallic shadow. This is usually placed in the inner corners or on the centers of the lids. For those who want to be even more courageous, metallic eyeliner will add an extra pop to your look. Last but certainly not least, the most popular trend that will add some shine is using a highlighter. Highlighter should be added to all the high points of the face where the light hits the face-- to literally highlight. These areas are the cheekbones, inner corners of the eye, bridge of the nose, brow bones, Cupid’s bow, and the center of the forehead. But, for those that love to go the extra mile, it can be added on the center of the lips to make the lips appear fuller.
As for cosmetic glitter, many women rave about MAC cosmetics pigments, which range in price. The colors and pigmentation are absolutely stunning. Although the glitter eye is not the everyday makeup look, it is perfect for any special event ahead. photo credits: Studio 33 Photography
Although makeup is an easy way to outwardly shine, the most glorious light that can shine from within us is the hope of glory, Christ in us. So remember we are lights in this world, so let that light shine and remember who we are glorifying!
Pushing Through the Writing Obstacles
NAKIA KELLEY CORPORATE STRATEGIC OFFICER Find her @nowpra.com
o you feel like you have you been called by
It depends on what is right for you and what you
God to write? Has God placed a burden on
truly want, at any given moment in your life. Your
your heart to pour yourself over a blank page,
age is irrelevant; it’s more about being open - and
possibly for ministering to other people through
willing to create or improve your writing habits.
your written word?
“I Don’t Have Time to Write.”
There are endless amounts of information about
Actually, you do.
“how to write a book” or “how to write a blog”.
You have the same amount of hours in a day as every
I know, it can feel utterly overwhelming and
great author or blogger does, the only difference is
paralyzing. That’s why most quit before
that they continue to make writing a priority.
Many well-known women who write were working and juggling many demands of life just like you and
Whether you’ve dreamt about writing a book, or you
me when they began their writing careers.
keep reading blogs for “research” on how to start yours, this article is for you. This article will help
Grab your calendar.
you to get started on the writing process with
What do you see? Hair and nail appointments?
identifying some obstacles and ideas to overcome.
How many times a day do you visit Facebook or
You are not too old or too young to shine!
Instagram? Yep, those are your priorities. What if you began scheduling in writing time and started making it a priority? What if you treated that
If you have fingers and you’re able to physically
time no different than any of your other
write, whether by hand or by typing on a keyboard,
or some writers will even voice record their writing on their phones...you are ready to write. You
Commit to writing, begin looking at writing
quite literally are never too young, or too old to
appointments just like other non-negotiable
appointments. Do not just say you will, physically
add them to your calendar and be prepared to write
message changes their heart and draws them closer
during this time you have set aside.
to God, was it worth writing? Besides, writing is a
“I am a terrible writer.”
form of self-expression and at the end your writing could quite possibly be a way that God chooses
This is a declarative statement and words have
to speak to you personally. The writing could be
power, therefore, this is a phrase that no one should
intended not for anybody else but yourself.
declare for themselves. Most writers, including some of the biggest New York Times Best-Selling
If you feel like you genuinely lack some writing
Authors think they are terrible at writing. I think that
skills and you really want to write, don’t let that get
it’s important to be willing to take the risk and
in the way. Take a class, workshop, watch YouTube
put yourself out there. I often hear writers say “Who
videos, listen to audio cd’s, or find a local writer’s
would want to read my story? I’m a nobody”,
group. Do whatever it takes to improve your skillset.
or “What if everyone hates it”.
Here’s the reality of it though...
Above all, if you want to write and you’re passionate
Not everyone will care to read your story. Your book
about getting your story out into the world, then
will be read by those who are meant to read it. That’s
commit to it. Do not let anything get in the way of
the bottom line. The Lord knows His plan for
accomplishing this. You do not have to “be a writer”
using your story.
to write a book or a blog or anything else. Massive amounts of people get on their devices every day
The same goes for those who might “hate” your
and draft posts for social media, this is writing. All
book. You cannot expect every reader to like your
you need is a desire and a plan. If you tend to be a
book, let alone fall in love with your book. You will
perfectionist (like myself), you may find yourself
have critics but you need to remember that they
waiting until you feel you’ve mastered the skill.
are not the author and creator, their opinions are
Don’t do that, you could be waiting indefinitely.
just that, opinions. Not truth. These are unrealistic expectations and the sooner you can accept this, the
Start today, right where you are. Be easy on yourself.
sooner you will get to the writing. Write with the
Be patient and kind to yourself. Most importantly
expectation that no one may ever see what you have
though, have fun with it. Shine your light in the
written. Pray and write whatever the Holy Spirit
world using your words!
urges you to say. If one person needs to hear a message that is written within your story, and that
Book Review: Miracle in my Living Room By: Krista Lyons
ave you ever read a book that grips you from the first line? A book that places its
metaphorical hands on your shoulders and shakes you awake, telling you that everything you are going through will be okay because God has all of your needs covered? It seems like these books are so rare that I was beginning to give up on my search for one-- but then came Evelyn Mann’s “Miracle in my Living Room.” This memoir follows Evelyn and her husband Ralph
as they embarked on a journey to save their baby. When Evelyn was pregnant, doctors discovered that their son, Samuel, had a rare form of dwarfism. The doctors were anything but optimistic and encouraged Evelyn to abort her baby, but against all odds she decided to keep him. After he was born, he was faced with seemingly insurmountable odds and one doctor even told Evelyn that her son was sure to die. With God’s incredible love and grace, Evelyn and Ralph began to see daily miracles with Samuel, and the book chronicles the times that God created peace during the fires of life (literally). Without giving away too much of the book, the miracles haven’t stopped to this very day for Evelyn, Ralph and Samuel.
One of the strengths of this book that make it so hard
the dark. Reading this book filled me with hope
to put down is Evelyn’s steady and faithful voice. As
that I could feel warming me up from inside, and
I read, I was reminded of the grace that God gives
the writer does a fantastic job filling you with the
us through mothers and of how strong that we as
thankfulness that she felt for each helper.
women are when the going gets tough. As a reader,
There are technical pieces of the book that make it
I felt like I was having a sit-down conversation with
hard to put down as well. The book flows seamlessly
Evelyn -- her voice is clear and her writing is deeply
from one scene to the next and the author did
personal. By the last page, I wanted to hug Evelyn
a wonderful job building suspense when it was
and thank her for sharing the gift of her story with
needed so that you can feel what she felt in tense
the world. No matter what you are going through
moments, and alternately she had moments of
in your life, feeling the grace and love that Evelyn
intense relief that will make you feel like you are
poured into the pages will help to remind you
right there in the room with her. My only complaint
to live your life with that level of faith and it is
about this book is that I didn’t want to put it down
truly reassuring. _________________________________________________________
and ignored my household duties for an entire weekend as I read. If you are looking for a book to
THIS BOOK DOES AN INCREDIBLE JOB SHINING A LIGHT ON ALL OF THE HELPERS THAT GOD SENDS WHEN YOUR FAMILY IS IN A MOMENT OF CRISIS.
bore you and make you feel nothing, then this book is NOT for you. This book is a worthwhile read and is a fabulous
book to kick off your 2017 reading. Filled with hope, When all hope seemed lost, God sent the Manns a
peace, and surprise, these pages will not disappoint.
doctor and nurses who believed that Samuel was
You can find Evelyn’s book at NowPRA.com/miracle
going to be okay. When situations seem hopeless,
or at your local Barnes and Noble bookstore.
there was always someone there to shine a light in
Radiant Woman Thanks for letting your light so shine before man You’re faithful and obedient Therefore I call you My friend. When you send a smile, give a pat on the back or Speak an encouraging Word Your light shines brightly as you reveal The love of the Lord. You pray and obey Which keeps others from going astray. Your light shines out of your works unto Me You are My human resource To help set the captives free. Enjoy showing your good works And letting your light shine. Then I will be glorified in Heaven And you will keep living a life that is divine. What an inspiration you are to both the young and the old Your faith magnifies Me as many around you learn to live free. Thank you radiant woman for glorifying Me Your good works makes earth more Heavenly. I did good at creating you And you do good in glorifying Me. From the heart of your Heavenly Father “Let your light so shine before man That they may see your good works And glorify your Father which is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
© Judy Dubé 2014
â€œWhen [Jesus] had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. â€œ Matthew 14:23
photo credit: Studio 33 Photography
Going Offline in a World Online By: Karen S. Gillman
n today’s fast paced society, many of us do not
answers to the questions you haven’t even asked!
know how to rest. We are fired up 24/7 with a
The One who knows the outcome of every task
to-do list that knows no end. Our phones, tablets and
on your list. The One who cares more about your
any other devices we use to communicate are always
offline countenance than your online presence.
‘on’. When asked, ‘How are you doing?’ our answer
Times of isolation with God precedes the times of
is, ‘tired’. Yet, how can we be tired when there is an
inspiration we receive from God.
app to do just about any and every thing for us?
Perhaps you should consider an accountability
Technology promised to make life more efficient
partner to keep you on track with your intentions.
and solve the problem of how to obtain the ultimate
Technology can be addicting and an accountability
work-life balance. Instead, it has turned balance into
partner might be what is needed to help you succeed
the great divide. As soon as we have achieved our
with your schedule.
self-defined work-life balance, we want more. Our
schedules are crammed so full of activities that we are distracted from the one true source of any kind
• How many hours a day do you spend completely
of balance; a relationship with Jesus Christ.
offline and without television?
In order to genuinely be yoked with God we must
• How many times a week do you share a meal
make time to be in a committed relationship with
with family or friends when no form of
Him. Devotion to Him requires time spent in
technology is ‘on’?
isolation, prayer and rest. These three things can only be achieved by going offline in an online world.
• How many hours per week do you spend in prayer, isolation or intentional rest?
If needed, schedule daily appointments for these activities. They shouldn’t be luxuries. They are
• How many hours do you spend on activities that
a gift. Schedule time when you will be 100%
do nothing to further your relationship
unplugged and devoted to the One who holds the
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 29
Hues of Light in Argentina By: Maria Lauricella
he sun dips over the snow-capped peaks,
For experiences, such as this, Mendoza, Argentina
revealing hues of pink and lavender skies,
is a land that quite frankly, takes my breath away.
punctuated by crisp clean air, - the kind found only
Maybe it’s the baby blue skies that seem more
at such altitudes. The landscape is barren, and yet
brilliant than anywhere else I’ve ever explored. Or
so vivid, one wonders if he is merely in the midst
maybe it’s the fresh empanadas I receive upon every
of a fantastical dream. I scan the horizon, stretching
visit. Perhaps it’s the wine and vineyards that con-
my entire body in both directions ensuring an all
stantly beckon, or the boutique hotels with a décor
encompassing sensory intake. While this land is not
teaming with both modernity and antiquity. It might
native to me, I’m more at home here than anywhere
also be the restaurants that offer tantalizing morsels,
else I’ve ever been.
satisfying the most discerning of tastes with rich rustic charcoal aromas.
Situated at the foothills of the Andes Mountain range, in one of the most exquisite regions of the
Very likely though, it is the children, and now
world, I find the whispers of God echoing to me
family, I’ve formed at the Quinta Betel orphanage.
from high atop the peaks. I somehow hear Him
Smiles, laughter, open arms, and giggles fill the air
clearer here than anywhere else. I see God’s mak-
as I open the van door to receive my courtly greet-
ings, written in Genesis, come to life. ‘Let there be
ing. Hugs and tears of joy solidify my reunion with
light’, He proclaimed. And there was light.
this immeasurably unique place that has captivated my heart.
In recent years, much evidence has emerged to suggest that taking time away, reflecting, experiencing new cultures and destinations, does - in fact - increase productivity. Subsequently, quality of life, connectedness, and feelings of gratitude ensue. So, in January, after all the planning is done for the year, I say, why not hop on a plane and go live? Reflect on your life in God’s great nature. Uncover your strengths during a horseback ride into the Andes. Absorb all the variations of light that God
foothills. Jump off a cliff, and glide through the air.
himself created with a picnic in a valley.
Dance all night to the sounds of electro tango. Take a cooking class at a five-star winery/eatery. Most definitely, take several wine tours. Enjoy an iglesia (church). And yes, we can schedule a visit to meet our children. This alone will be enough to remind you that the New Year will be bright and that you are on this earth for God’s great mission. On the blog, you’ll see a listing of all our Humanity Partners. We have a great many of them in Mendoza. They even contribute a portion of your cost back to our orphanage. These fine people will treat you like
Specifically speaking, I suggest you make the
family because whether we book a trip for you, or
18-hour trek down to Mendoza, AR via the Chile
you join us on a retreat down to Argentina, you too,
Route. This way you can fly right over the
will become family. And I can guarantee that one day
spectacular Andes Mountain ranges. You’ll need
you’ll write about how Mendoza and its enchanting
no less than 7 days in the area. Yes, all 7 days in
and ethereal light changed your life forever.
Mendoza! In January, you’ll be right in the middle of
This trip will be the beginning of a positively
their perfect summer.
transformative year. Go live and let that light
While you are in Mendoza, move slowly. Sit under
the stars for hours on end. Light a campfire in the
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Ways to Make Your Table Décor Shine By: Christal Giardina
anuary, the first month of the new calendar year. New Years, another year in the books,
resolutions being made, celebrations, fireworks…. What does your New Year look like? Whatever it looks like, hold that thought now…. and ask yourself, “How will it SHINE?” I want to encourage you to make it “Shine”. I love the Bible verse, Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” New Year’s resolutions are things that come and go. Goals change when they are met and new challenges come into our lives to accomplish. But then what? God, wants us to be women that “Shine” ALL the time, every year, every day! I want to talk about inspiring shimmer into your home décor
and table setting that will set the tone for the new
Did you know you can rent specialty items to dress
year with a theme of “Shining Bright”.
up your home table settings? Chargers, glassware, plates, silver wear, specialty table linen, napkins,
A good color pallet sets the mood for your inspired
chair covers and more. This is great news to you!
theme. Colors that come to mind when you think of
This means, when you decide to host a party, have
“Shine” are probably yellow, similar to the sunshine,
the family over for a gathering, or just because you’re
metallic colors such as, silver and gold, white,
feeling that inner event designer in you…. You get to
anything with shimmer, diamonds and glamour. I
do something fun and creative, and return everything
love white! White means, clean, purity, a successful
when it’s over. You get to create an experience for
beginning, and the color of perfection. These are all
guests, something you normally wouldn’t do, and
good reminders and special meaning behind why this
enjoy them and return them. This route is often more
color will be a part of our Shine design. “It’s all in the
affordable and practical then shopping in retail stores
details”. The main color will be silver and our accent
and paying full price for something you won’t use
color will be a white with some touches that will
shimmer. Let the planning begin…
use. Choose something that will make you and your
Specialty linen consists of table linens, table runners,
guests smile and create a memorable experience
napkins, chair covers and more. This linen comes in
for guest to enjoy. Remember it’s not about “the
a variety of patterns and textures. Common types
material things” but, the conversations that start
are polyester, sequins, and satin to name a few. For
because of why you choose to decorate a certain
a Shine Theme, we must have shimmer and glam,
way. You can share your meaningful story behind
so I recommend choosing a silver color and sequin
your shine theme! Be hospitable and share your
type table linen. You don’t have to stop there, add
heart to Shine for the Lord.
some chair covers, maybe even chair accessories
like a bling gem on a chair band. These lay on top
Candles are always appropriate for a “Shine” theme.
of the chair covers. Have fun with it. Remember
After all, they illuminate the space naturally! You
your doing something you don’t normally do and
have many options with candles. You can choose
you can give it back when it’s all said and done. Try
from candelabras, votives, floating candles, decorate
something other than basic linens.
with different shapes of cylinders to place your
Chargers and Glassware:
candles in and more. Candelabras are great for
Chargers and glassware will absolutely add some
centerpieces if you want to try something other
shine to your table setting if you choose anything
then floral. You can even get decorate with scented
that is not a part of your everyday use or color
candles to create a sensation to your display!
pallet. Chargers aren’t always utilized for every day
I hope your Shine décor, helps create an atmosphere
settings and isn’t clean glassware just pretty to look
for you and your guests to enjoy as well as the mind
at? You want to proudly pick up that goblet or wine
set of how you will carry out your Shine everyday.
glass and smile because it’s “fancier” then every day
Healthy Recipes to Make You Shine By: Jodi Costa
re you inspired to make New Year’s resolutions
Providing healthy, cost-effective meals is a constant
each January? Chances are, you have at least
challenge for my family of six, four of which are boys.
considered what worked in 2016 and what you wish
My reason for choosing a whole food lifestyle is
to improve on in 2017. Most people want to contin-
because I trust God to provide the fuel for the
ually improve in various areas of their lives. Home
bodies He created. The more man interferes with
life. Career. Spiritual walk. Relationships. Health.
convenience, the further away we get from how God
Finances. Education. Personal disciplines.
intended for us to eat.
According to data pulled from Google by iQuan-
God richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6.17
ti, 62,776,640 people are seeking to “Get Healthy” in 2017. Running not too far behind are 15,905,290 people looking for ways to “Spend Less/Save More”.
I’m sharing two of our family’s favorite budget-
I couldn’t agree more! The idea of stripping away
friendly, mouthwatering recipes with you. It’s my
unnecessary calories and spending is appealing in so
goal to inspire and empower you to reach for better
health one meal at a time.
TUNA CAKES WITH YOGURT DRESSING AND CUCUMBER SALAD 2 large cans Albacore tuna, drained: 2 stalk celery, minced fine: 2 Tbls. onion, minced fine: 2 Tbls. parsley, minced fine; other herbs too thyme, cilantro, dill; 2 eggs; 1/2 cup oat flour (organic oats, pulsed in your blender until it’s flour consistency) plus 1/4 cup for dredging; Salt & cracked pepper DRESSING: 1 cup plain Greek yogurt 1/2 cup cucumber, grated and drained 2 oz. feta, crumbled fine Salt SALAD: Sliced Cucumber Thinly sliced onion, red and white Tomato, chopped 2 Tbls. olive oil 2 tsp. lemon juice Salt & cracked pepper STEP ONE: Combine tuna cake ingredients together and shape into patties. Coat each side in remaining oat flour. STEP TWO: In a skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbls. olive oil and tuna cakes. Cook each side for approximately 5 minutes. STEP THREE: Combine all the dressing ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use. Combine salad ingredients and refrigerate until meal time.
TOMATILLO SHREDDED CHICKEN Slow Cooker Friendly 1 c brown rice, dry; 2 lb. chicken breast, skinless on bone; 2 tsp cumin; Salt & pepper; Olive oil; 1 onion, chopped; 10–12 tomatillos (about 1 lb), chopped; 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped; 1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (or whole pepper if you like more kick); 1 bunch fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, divided; Juice of 3 limes; 4 cloves garlic, minced STEP ONE:
Add 1 cup of brown rice to 2 1/2 cups boiling salted water. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 30-40 minutes until rice is tender. Add freshly chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime before serving.
While rice is cooking: Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and cumin. Drizzle with olive oil and place on aluminum foil lined baking sheet in a preheated 400-degree oven. Roast for 20 minutes.
STEP THREE: While chicken is roasting: Sauté onion in 1 Tbl oil for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add tomatillos and peppers. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. STEP FOUR: Shred chicken with two forks. Add to tomatillo salsa. Then add fresh garlic, cilantro and juice of 1 lime. Stir all together, cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Just a few minutes for all the flavors to get happy together.
Serve with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, a sprig or two of cilantro and lime wedges. Black beans are a great side dish to this tasty meal. SLOW COOKER OPTION: Make the brown rice separately. Place all raw ingredients in the slow cooker - except the cilantro and lime. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Right before serving, add lime and cilantro.
JODI COSTA After a lifetime of unintentional eating habits (blind consumer), Jodi and her family are on the path to nutritional wholeness. And her main goal is to inspire you to do the same by empowering you with the art of simplistic recipes and ingredients, easy cooking methods, meal planning instructions and encouragement along the way. Jodi Costa is a wife to John and mom to Joshua, Jordan, Jackson and Josie. She loves sharing the journey to freedom through a whole food lifestyle by way of NowGoCook.com