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Secrets Out, And Here’s The Truth…

Her eyes were wide and heart was out on the table.

She said, “I wasn’t expecting this conversation to be this honest. It’s good though.”

May I be the first to just point out that social media only projects our good?

When I do my morning scroll through Instagram I look less like the pictures that I’m double tapping and more like a barbie doll that was shaken around till her hair got all ratty.

While I do love to scroll mindlessly through social media, personally I have to do a heart check to see if I’m comparing myself to unreal standards.

For me with social media I get this idea that I have to be perfect too like the people in the pictures. When meeting with friends I’m tempted to hide behind excuses. To say things like I’m fine, and everything is great.

Isn’t it easy to just hide behind a false image?

Because what if you’re looked down on for being less than perfect? 

What if you fall short of the standard?

Dear friend, I’d like to encourage you this week to be honest with the people around you. To be honest, real, and vulnerable. 

That can be so, so scary especially if you have been hurt in previous relationships but dear friend, as a Christian we have to invest our time, and ourselves into community with others. Doing life with them.

Hebrews 10:23-25

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

So friends, I’d like to encourage you this week to get honest with a friend.

If things have been less than glamorous in your life lately. If you’ve been feeling alone, less than, or left out. Reach out to the Lord and have him meet you where you are.

Thanks for reading.

Have a blessed week!

 xo, Sarena


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Why I Want to Be the “Sinful Woman”

In Bible study this week we covered Luke 7:36-50 and it was wonderful.

If you haven’t already read this story get ready to dive in.

Jesus comes into the home of a powerful and well known Pharisee named Simon.

Simon most likely a man of wealth and power and it was assumed that he had a close relationship with God and may have been considered holy.

But the story does a complete plot twist where the prostitute has a better relationship and understanding of who the Lord is than the Pharisee.

Verse 47 says, “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”

Getting a little more personal here, how many times have I just brushed off my sin against God? How many times have I downplayed my attitude or disrespect to the Lord?

Newsflash… Sin is sin. In the Lord’s eyes it’s all equal.

The Sinful woman was absolutely vulnerable to the Lord.

What a great reminder to us so many years later. She began washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. She did extreme actions because she felt the extreme burden of her sins.

Each and every day we need to learn this type of love for Jesus.

I want to be like the the “Sinful Woman” as she is called in the story. I want to learn such a love and desire to be right with God that I don’t care who is watching. She humbled herself and took on the lowly place before him to say she was sorry for her sins.

So, my dear friends and readers… Where are you at today? Where is your heart? When was the last time you sat at the Lord’s feet and just asked for His grace to cleanse your heart?

Your testimony is powerful and the Lord will always meet you with love and grace.

Blessings this week!

XO, Sarena

 

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Our Wedding Day

Our wedding day was full of joy and of tears.

Full of family, friends, and hundreds of photographs.

Our day was full of kisses, and wishes, and lots of laughter.

Full of good food and fun dancing.

Our day was full of Jesus and His design for marriage.

So far I have learned that I am a sheet hogger, he’s the sleeper, my pen collection compares fairly to his camera collection, and that we have a great time together.

Marriage has treated the both of us so wonderfully and I am so thankful for the amount of patience, love, and grace that Ben has been extending to me these past 6 months.

Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for….

WEDDING PICTURES!

 




View More: http://makenziephoto.pass.us/benandsarenaengaged

One Thing Mr. Dreamy Needs

Benjamin wants to be a director and a photographer.

I aspire to possibly work as a public relations specialist for companies and become a professional blogger.

My soon to be hubby is wonderful at encouraging me. 

But there is one thing about my honey that is something I can’t even imagine having a relationship without.

This one secret thing is inspiration.

If your significant other cannot motivate you to chase after dreams beyond yourself, then you can do better.

If he is hot, makes you laugh, and seems perfect at everything else in life but holds you back from what you want to do the most? Let him go.

A few days ago I was not feeling motivated to go to work, the gym, or even get out of my bed. But he sent me a text message.

It was one of the sweetest and most encouraging messages ever. He told me to make the most of every minute I have left on this earth and he is so very right.

Working together as a team is one of the most important things you can possibly do.

Your significant is the one person who knows everything about you.

They know your deepest fears, best moments, and know what you’re capable of.

So if currently you are out searching for someone to hold your hand and buy you dinner, make sure that they also have high hopes for their lives. That they have dreams they are working towards and are also willing to support you to your dreams.

Be blessed this week!


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What No One Tells You About God’s Grace

For a period I was numb to feeling God’s grace.

Whenever the preacher would go into the part about Jesus dying for us and about how much God loves us, at some point in my walk I began to tune it out. My mind would casually wander to some other place. Or instead I would think, oh and here is the part that will get those “new Christians” on fire now, they better be listening.

I didn’t think I needed grace. 

And that was the very problem.

Something beautiful is that when a child of God is lost and wandering they know completely and 100% that they don’t deserve God, and are amazed when the Lord comes into their lives.

Unworthy, yet loved.

Filthy, yet cherished.

And the most ironic part of this is that those who feel the guilt and shame from blatant sins, may be in a better position spiritually to worship God because they know they are broken.

I think sometimes God allows us to Walk away & sin because then we are able to realize how powerful His Grace is.

Not that He likes it when we disobey Him.

It hurts Him.

But we see how much and to what extend that He loves us.

He refuses to abandon us. 

Not the He enjoys seeing us walk away from His love and care but because when we come back to Him we truly are humbled and in need of undeserved love. Because in the end that is what it is all about isn’t it?

Truly Experiencing God’s love Daily.

I’m not sure where you are with God today.

Maybe you’re feeling near and great,

or completely lowly and undeserving of being in His presence let alone love.

But please listen when He says He cares for you.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance”

2 Thessalonians 3:5

This week take a deep breath and truly let it sink in how much God cares about you, mistakes & all. Have a blessed week my friends! 


View More: http://makenziephoto.pass.us/benandsarenaengaged

Our Engagement Photos

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With a great big thank you to Miss Makenzie Barefield owner of Makenzie Photography  I would happily like to share with you all some fabulous pictures of our engagement session at the beach! These are just a few of the pictures and I am so very pleased with them. If you are in search of a photographer, please look no further than Makenzie She rocks!

In these pictures is my handsome soon to be hubby. You can find out more about him by checking out his website at Ben Hess Photography.

Now though we are just waiting for these next months to fly by.

I’ll leave you here with a quote and 2 questions.

Quote:

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Question(s):

What was it like when you were engaged to your sweetie?

OR

What do you imagine your wedding day to be like??


This picture is about 10 minutes after the big question was asked.

Thursday July 31st, 2014

On a normal Thursday I woke up and quickly began planning how my day would be spent. With Ben away and at work from 10 AM until 7 PM I had a few hours to be productive. My first goal was to go to the gym. After about an hour or so I went home.

I walked into my room and there was Ben standing in the middle of my messy room with a small gift bag in one hand looking casually dressed. Shocked I asked what he was doing here.

He smiled and said, I just wanted to surprise you Sarena, here open this bag.

So still a little unsure I sat down on my bed and began folding away the wrapping paper. Inside was a beautiful white top and a bracelet that had the word “Blessed” engraved on it.

Confused I looked at him

What is all of this?

Aren’t you supposed to be at work? 

It was at that moment I wondered if today was the day he was going to propose.

Nah, I thought, maybe he is just trying to be extra romantic today.

Sarena, you better get in the shower, we’re going to the beach, Ben announced.

So that’s just what I did. we left about 45 minutes later and during the whole drive I agonized in my head wondering if he was going to ask me to marry him or not. Wondering whether I should as him if that was what he was going to do or not. At the end of the drive when we finally arrived I simply stopped trying to figure it out. I will just live in the moment and enjoy me day.

And that I did.

He took me to Cambria, the beach in California where we had our very first kiss.

Our day was filled with wonderful things, ice cream cones, pizza, walking around the shops, and laughing away. We were both so nervous.

He suggested going to the Sea Chest for dinner.

The Sea Chest is a very expensive seafood restaurant in Cambria, however, the Sea Chest is also the place we had dinner at so many months before and just a short walk away from the ocean and the spot we first kissed. I agreed to having dinner there.

Hours passed and eventually we made our way closer to the restaurant and took a walk on the beach waiting during the hour and a half wait for a table at the restaurant. (I told you it was fancy)

By then it was early evening and the sun was lowering. Ben took my hand and played some country love songs off of his phone. We slow danced to a few songs on the beach. He didn’t care that people were around, nor did I. It was at the moment my heart stopped and I wondered…

Is this the moment?

Is he going to ask me now?

He didn’t…yet.

He went back to the truck and left me waiting at the spot we had our first kiss.

It was getting darker now, just near sunset. I remember it felt like Ben had been gone for the longest time.

I was getting more and more nervous. At that moment I felt like God was telling me It’s time to go to the next step Sarena. Time for both of you to grow as people. 

He came back with his camera, set his tripod up just right. Says he wants to take a picture and I agree.

He walks over to me then asks if we can pray. He prayed one of the most meaningful prayers I have ever heard come out of his mouth.

He ran back again and checked the tripod. He was checking to make sure that camera was filming.

He looked at me. Hugged me. He was shaking. My heart was pounding.

He pulled a card out of his camera bag. On the card was a collage of pictures of us this past year together. 4th of July, Christmas, Thanksgiving, beach trips, and many other pictures.

He opened the card and began to read,

I began to tear up because I knew it was the moment.

The last line of the poem he wrote inside was

Honey bunches of love, I wanna ride this boat of life into the sunset and across the sea, but not alone. Sarena Olivia Clark will you marry me?

This part all happened so quickly.

Tears in his eyes, down on one knee, ring box open, and a beautiful sunset and ocean behind.

Forever engraved on my heart.

I said yes, put the ring on my finger, and hugged him with tears streaming down my face.

He cried and I cried, because we knew our lives were about to change 100%.

Thank you for reading friends. Just wanted to share an intimate moment of my life.

Have a blessed week!