Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini

It’s Theological Thursday.  As is the custom, here is a post from a Christian point of view.  Enjoy!

I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  I was warned, but nothing prepared me for what I saw that day.

A few days before, I lay on a hospital bed in the emergency ward, preparing for surgery.  I had developed a condition, a Small Bowel Obstruction, which required emergency surgery.  The doctor explained what he was going to do, and where they were going to cut.  I looked at the Doctor, mortified.

Surgery

Surgery (Photo credit: Army Medicine)

“Can’t you cut across my belly, below my belly-button?” I asked.

“No, that’s not possible,” the gentle Doctor quietly responded.

Well, when they got to the surgical floor, I prayed that the situation would change.  My procedure was successful (or I wouldn’t be writing this blog! 😉  ).  A day later, a nurse came to change my dressing.  Most of my stomach area had gauze or surgical tape.  I eagerly awaited the revelation of where my actual scars were.  As the nurse worked and explained what she was doing, I peeked.  I would eventually be doing her job when I was released.  As the gauze was taken off, I gasped.  I had been cut from my sternum, past my belly-button, all the way down to—well I couldn’t tell.  I couldn’t see that far!  My hopes of a low-lying scar were dashed against a rock, and broken into a million pieces!

“Who would want a scarred body like this?” I thought.  Turning to the nurse, I said,

“Oooh gosh, look at dat!”

“Girl, yuh had may-jah belly sur-dree”, she replied.

Not only was the surgery a surprise, I was also in a foreign country.  I was in the second week of a vacation to my birthplace, Trinidad.  It didn’t take me long to revert to being a “Trini” again—embracing the slower pace of life, and the sing-song method of speaking.

A few days later, I was released from the hospital.  During the next couple of weeks, I had some major fights with God about my scar.  It was a bone of contention during many of my prayer sessions.  I believe that it even started sowing the seed of ingratitude in my heart.  I was upset that now, I couldn’t wear an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie” bikini of any colour.

One day, I came to my senses and thought,

“Hold up!  This is ridiculous!  You have borne three children.  Your belly has been stretched to the maximum.  You have all the rivers of the world etched into your belly as proof!  There’s no way under the sun, that you’ll even ever go out in public in a bikini!”

That was a huge turning point for me.  Perhaps being angry at the scar was a way of taking my mind off the seriousness of the surgery.  Either way, I was finally able to thank the Lover Of My Soul for creating my body to be the wonderful machine that it was.  I was grateful that I was able to bear three wonderful children and nourish them.  I had strong legs, hands that worked, and a sound mind.

I looked back at the events surrounding my surgery, and they had God’s hand written all over them.  My room-mates were all Christians.  Visitors provided prayer coverage, and worship music was constantly playing.  I was surrounded by relatives who loved and cared for me.  This included a prayer-warrior aunt, who mustered up the support from my childhood church.  I had the surgery in a fabulous teaching hospital, with the head registrar leading my team of doctors.  I was able to have the surgery for free, as I was born there.  And when I was released into the care of my relatives, I didn’t have to lift a finger.  My laundry was done for me, my food prepared…that would not have been the case had I been in my own house.  This is the first time in my life that I was truly pampered.  Fussing over an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” seemed so puerile.

Recovery was a challenge, I won’t lie.  This surgery really changed my life.  Each day I’m thankful for my health.  I look at my “bikini” line”, and I’m well-aware that God saved me from the jaws of death.  The Lover Of My Soul has a great plan for my life.  I will reap my heavenly rewards, after I shake off this broken-temporal body.

What life-changing (near-death?) experience have you survived?  Please share…

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

 

 

Wacky Wednesday~27/02/13

This Wacky Wednesday is a video.  Sweet!

Cute Kiddies

Choices: Victim vs. Responsible

This is a hard blog to write, and I’m gonna do it anyways.

Twenty-seven years ago this month, I moved out on my own.  I didn’t like the guidelines that my parents had in place.  They were too strict, to old-fashioned.  I wanted to do my own thing; make my own rules; go my own way.  I was almost 21.

When I did that, I walked away from my faith as I knew it, and my family.  By that summer, I was pregnant with my first child, living far away from my hometown and my family.  Although I was alone and pregnant, I WAS IN CHARGE!!

As time progressed, I decided to marry my baby’s father, despite the fact that he displayed a bad temper.  My parents tried to dissuade me from marrying him, saying that it wasn’t going to last.  At the time, I thought that it was because they believed he wasn’t “good enough”.  I wanted to have a complete family.  I was gonna prove them wrong!

My parents were right!  I stayed in a marriage, that turned out to be verbally abusive, for 23 years.  I left three times, trying to find peace during a very bad situation.  The last time I left, it was for good.

This past week, I have been repeatedly listening to a CD called “Victim vs. Responsible” by the late Brian Klemmer.  I thought back to the many times that I wanted to blame people for the choices that I made to create my reality.  Often, I defended m passive stand in situations, rather than standing up and moving in my power.  So much wasted time!

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We go through life not realizing the impact of the word CHOICE.  The choices we make today may impact this afternoon, our week, a year, or a lifetime.  I CHOSE to think that I knew better than my parents~they were right!  I CHOSE to have unprotected sex~I had a baby as a result.  I CHOSE to marry a man with a temper, despite the signs~he didn’t disappoint, and abused me verbally.  I CHOSE to go back to him twice~I received more of the same.  I CHOSE not to go back~I now live free!

I’m not negating the fact that I was a “victim of abuse”.  I am saying that I am now whole and can own that I had a part in.  I chose to give my power away.  (When you are in an abusive situation as a victim, you do not see the word CHOICE in the same light.)

Now, I actively choose, instead of playing the victim.  I choose to only have good days.  I choose to live peacefully.  I choose to let go, so that I can receive.  I choose to forgive so that I can thrive.  I choose to be grateful each and every day.  I choose to have a joyful heart.  I choose to smile.  I choose to help people reach their destiny.  I choose to hug, and get close to people~even though that means that I may occasionally get sick.  Because, I also choose to leave a legacy of being a giver and someone who cares.  So that means that I also choose to love people, even if it means I’ll get hurt.

Are you happy with the choices you are making?  Will they create a legacy that you can be proud of?  Are you a victim, or are you responsible?

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

www.createdtoexcel.ca

Consistency Creates Success

Consistency Creates Success.

I normally do a Foodie Friday, but this vid is sweet!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Theological Thursday, Late Edition

Duh!

You know what?  I hate being told, “I told you so”!  Or realizing that I had been in a similar situation before, and it didn’t turn out then…What makes me believe that things would be different this time?  There is a saying that goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”.

When it comes to choosing a life partner, I have seen this in living colour.  A friend has made a bad choice as a boyfriend, and what do you do, you turn around and date someone just like him or worse.  Another girlfriend leaves an abusive husband, and her daughter becomes involved with someone like her father, even though she swore she would never do it.  What is our affinity to doing really dumb things?  Don’t we believe that God loves us enough to send a truly wonderful person our way?

“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. ” (Romans 7:15)  Holla!  Wut is dis?  Paul was one of the biggest pillars of our faith.  He wrote a large part of the New Testament, for goodness sake.  Yet, there were times when he had  “the thorn in my flesh” which  kept him humble.  There has been much speculation over what the “thorn” was.  Wouldn’t it be cool to find out that it was a “who”?!  😛

Why DO we do dumb things?

Why DO we do dumb things?

 

We fail, and we fail again.  We are fallen creatures.  The Lover of My Soul desires for us to have a passionate relationship with Him.  It does grieve Him when we fall, as it puts distance between the Creator and the created.  Repentance restores that relationship, and He remembers our sin no more.  We may have to deal with the ramifications of the action, though.

I have become an avid student of life.  Life is FANTASTIC!  God wants to take us to higher and deeper levels with Him~despite the fact that it sounds like a contradiction.

This post is brief:  A full life happens when you fall, repent, and let the Love of Jesus pull you back to where you can hear His voice again.

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

www.createdtoexcel.ca

Wacky Wednesday, Again

Ever had a day like this???

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Theological Thursday~Forgive & Thrive

It’s Thursday, and time for another post from a Christian point of view.  Hope you enjoy.  Please comment!

I was on my way…I started regaining my self-esteem.  Joy was becoming a part of my every day life.  Things were starting to look good.  Then, BAM!!  The blame game hit.

Have you ever played the blame game?  I believe we all have, at some time.  Growing up, we’d blame our brothers or sister(s) for taking a cookie from the jar, “He did it first”, after all.  And for many of us, it never stopped.

“If only she’d do this”, or “Why doesn’t he do that?”  Sound familiar?

Asking For Forgiveness

Asking For Forgiveness (Photo credit: hang_in_there)

That was precisely the position that I was in.  I was blaming my former partner for the predicament that I was in.  And in the process, I was carrying around a huge dose of unforgiveness.  This, I knew, could very well turn into bitterness.  And bitterness causes a host of dis-eases.

While grumbling about my situation one day, my eldest child looked at me and said,

“Mumsy, our father never did this while you were married, why would he start now that you have left?”   If you can’t say Amen, say Ouch!  That hurt~and it came from my own kid!

Yet, that’s just the message that The Lover of My Soul wanted me to hear.  I needed to Forgive in order to Thrive.  He cared about me so much more than a misguided former mate.  I needed to let go, and let God.  I had every right to hold on to the hurt.  I had every right to be upset about the state of my finances.  Yet, I did not have a right to hold on to it, and harp over it again and again.  I had no right to be God’s judge.  His word says,

“Do not take revenge, my friends”, Romans 12:19a.  I was also reminded that we are to forgive “70 x 7” times (some say 77).  [An aside here~I believe that one should forgive the sin.  If this sinner is preventing God’s plan for your life from being fulfilled, it may be prudent to remove yourself from the situation.  Just sayin’!]

As time went on, I realized that my Father loved me so much that, although money was a challenge, my family was never hungry.  We moved into a house and I didn’t have a job or references; people guided us to food banks; hampers and gift cards showed up at our door at Christmas.  Miracles were, and still are, a part of my everyday life.

Now, these things possibly could have happened without the forgiveness.  However, I don’t thing that we would have thrived.  I don’t think that we would have been as grateful.  I KNOW that I would not have been as grateful.  To be sure, a grateful heart is more receptive to gifts~big and small.  When a person has unforgiveness in their heart, they cannot be grateful at the same time.  They will accept gifts with an entitlement view.  I’ve seen this quite frequently.  After a person forgives, it’s like the flood-gates of Heaven open up.  The shackles around one’s heart, head and feet, break off.  I know that~speaking from experience~it’s really tricky to walk with shackles on my feet!

The Lover of My Soul was right.  I thrive more and more.  Forgiveness, then, was not for the perpetrator.  Forgiveness was, and is an act of love for my family, myself, and my future!

 

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Wacky Wednesday III

Alas, here in the Tdot, we got pummelled with a major snowstorm in the last week.  These guys take me back to my high school days.  Enjoy!

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May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Tuesday Inspiration…

Speak Out!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Foodie Friday

Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Although it’s Foodie Friday, today’s entry is not really food (although most ingredients are edible).  It’s more like a recipe for great winter hands.  I love when my hands are hydrated.  Dry hands, especially in the winter, are not my fave thing.  For years, I have made various concoctions of creams to help keep my skin soft.  I even came up with a belly cream for my daughter to use to prevent stretch marks when she was pregnant with my grandson. It worked~she doesn’t have a single striae there.  She doesn’t even look like she had a baby! 😥  (I really should start writing some of this stuff down, as people always comment on how well my creams work.)  And since I’m on more of a health-kick since my surgery, today’s feature was right up my alley.

I was really happy when I found this hard lotion recipe.  I added more coconut oil and cocoa butter because brown hands can handle~and often need~more “grease”.  Fiddle around with the recipe.  Make 1 little bar, stick it in the freezer and test it out.  If you don’t like it, melt it down and keep working until you like it.  Everyone has different tolerance levels for moisture & oil on their hands.

The original recipe was from one of my fave sites, Made On.

In a double boiler, melt equal amounts of beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil.  Stir until fully melted.  Pour into moulds and enjoy!  I used paper muffin cups for larger ones (1/4 full) and plastic ice cube trays for ones that I put in my purse.  For different fragrances, add a few drops of essential oils, such as vanilla, to smell your preference.  (I made ylang ylang and lemon.)

Like I said, I added more oils, about 2 tbs of coconut oil and cocoa butter, but my hands can handle it!  You can mix and match oils quite easily.  Oh, and these are all natural butters, not processed!  For those allergic to beeswax, a hard lotion can be made with soya.  I’ve experimented with one, but have not had success as yet.  Will post when I do.

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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