Celebrating a day in history…

Wearing pearls & Celebrating the History making of our Madam Vice President Kamala Harris 🖤🤎🤍💛❤️

I will not be silenced…

My voice matters.

My opinion matters.

My words matter.

My thoughts matter.

What I have to say matters.

How I feel matters.

My questions matter.

My disagreeing with you matters.

Standing up for myself matters.

Speaking up matters.

What I like matters.

What I don’t like matters.

Telling my jokes matter.

Telling my story matters.

My choice matters.

My dreams matter.

My disappointments matter.

My goals matter.

My style matters.

Being comfortable in my own skin matters.

Being confident matters.

Being unsure at times, matters.

Taking my time to process my feelings matters.

Being sad matters.

Being happy matters.

Being angry matters.

Laughing out loud matters.

My smile matters.

My quirkiness matters.

My “no” matters.

My “yes” matters.

Saying exactly what I mean matters.

Having boundaries matter.

Being kind to myself matters.

Being kind to others matters.

Practicing self-care matters.

Loving freely matters.

My brown skin matters.

Being myself, even when others say it’s “too much” matters.

Being free spirited matters.

Letting go of what I can’t control matters.

Liking myself matters.

Loving myself matters.

I matter.

~ denise marie

lean into his presence…

This week I was feeling a lot of anxiety. Between the pandemic, friends and family battling sickness, the loss of so many lives, the violence, the financial struggles of many, racial injustice and the chaos in our nation, I found myself struggling to hold onto my peace. My emotions fluctuating from sadness, to anger, to fear as I battled my own thoughts to bring my mindset back to a place of peace.

Then I heard a still small voice that said, “Lean into his presence.”. At that very moment I knew he was calling me to him.

One of my favorite lyrics in a song by Elevation Worship goes,

“In Your presence there is freedom
In Your presence there is hope
In Your presence there is healing
Love restores me, I am whole”.

In my moments of distress, I am learning as I lean into his presence, my anxiety surrenders to Him.

Lean into his presence.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

**side note**: I am a firm believer in Jesus and Therapy! God provides us with resources that if we are willing, can come alongside us and help us in our journey. My regular appointments with my therapist and support from my sponsor in Celebrate Recovery, are vital parts of my healing!💗

Time to soar…

So many wasted moments, overthinking, replaying the “what if’s” over and over again. Constantly talking myself out of doing something for fear of failing or waiting for the “perfect” moment to step out of my comfort zone.

I know many of you can relate to finding themselves waiting for just the “right” time as you hope for just one more sign from God that this is what I am supposed to do next.

If I can be blunt with you….Girl please STOP the madness!! (that statement is gender neutral) we have to put an end to allowing our own limitations to stunt our growth.

We (ME 🙋🏽‍♀️) are more than capable of accomplishing anything and everything we set out to do, it doesn’t have to be prefect or even “pretty” our greatest work aka call is done authentically messy, real, honest, laced with plenty of vulnerability and above all else…Gods grace.

It’s time to silence the lies which keep us bound, stand on faith and soar.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

a hope deferred…

I recently met up on zoom with two friends that I have known for 35 years. Though our life had taken us different directions and we tried to talk over the phone occasionally, but us three haven’t been together in one place for 27 years, we quickly were able to pick back up where we left off and that same connection that brought us together 35 years ago was naturally the same connection we had on the zoom call. We laughed and cried as we reminisced, caught each other up on our life and made plans to get together on zoom regularly.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

After our call, in the middle of the night, I woke up and clearly heard the words “a hope deferred”. I knew exactly in that moment what God was trying to tell me.

For years I had longed to be in touch with these two friends, missing them, needing them, allowing feelings of rejection or unrealistic expectations of them to cause me to create scenarios in my mind that were not accurate. Looking back, simply picking up the phone, to let them know how I felt, would’ve put an end to my questions or to scenarios which were not accurate. Reconnecting with my friends fulfilled the longing in my heart and brought me so much joy.

So if you are sitting on the sidelines, watching an old friend or even a family member live their life through the lens of social media but afraid to reach out and really reconnect, I want to encourage you to pick up the phone and let them know you care. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, It’s not too late to let someone know you miss them, or that your sorry and that you love them.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

the stroke of a brush releases anxiety…

✨ Art is beautiful in the eyes of those who simply embrace the freedom of each stroke of a brush.✨

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

When the waves come crashing…I will trust you.

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me,
Take me deeper than my feet
could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior”.
⁃ Oceans by Hillsong United

This summer, I had an overwhelming need to go to the Ocean, so I told my husband and the next day we drove to Santa Cruz.

As I stood there on these rocks on the beach, I watched the water go from calm to all of a sudden the waves came crashing violently and then the calmness of the water subsided as the waves went back out to sea.

I was so fortunate to capture this photo at the exact moment of impact.

As I watched in awe, I heard God sweetly whisper, “trust me”.

Unbeknownst to me, my life would change four days later, when I survived a pulmonary embolism.

As I heal, this picture is a constant reminder of how we all face the unexpected crashing of overwhelming situations that disrupt our life. But even in those uncertain times, God promises to be our firm foundation, as he continuously whispers “trust me”.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety”.

– Psalm 18:2

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36 #nolongerheldcaptive

They call her Joy…

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.-Nehemiah 8:10

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Inhale the sweet fragrance…

As I inhale the sweet fragrance of self acceptance,
my joy emerges.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Painting imperfectly…

As I am healing, painting has become one of my relaxing pastimes that completely allows me to free my mind and release anxiety.

The need to control every stroke of the paint brush diminishes, as I am no longer self-critical or try to aim for perfection, instead I embrace my vulnerability as I trust myself to just let go. ~denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Be Strong & Courageous…

My new art piece, which is one of my favorite scriptures now hangs on the wall in my bedroom. These words have been on repeat as I continue to recover. I never would have imagined that I would be adding “Survivor of Pulmonary Embolism” to my story. But nonetheless here I stand, believing Gods promises for my life even when things are hard 🙌🏽😭

I have hope and faith as I continue to say:

“I AM Strong and Courageous, I will not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord MY God will be with me wherever I go”. – Joshua 1:9💗

~ denise marie

#nolongerheldcaptive

Living in uncertain times…but there is hope.

A little break from writing poetry as I heal. I am sure I will be inspired soon with words of encouragement and hope as I reflect on my current situation. 💕

A reminder to always listen to your body….I was discharged from the hospital yesterday and am home recovering and resting.

Went to the ER with shortness of breath and extreme chest pain. After a Cat scan, I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my right lung (pulmonary embolism). I still have a recovery/healing journey ahead of me, but am praising God because I am here to tell you my story!

Since this happened, I have been battling with some anxiety and some fear, but reading God’s promises, praying, listening to worship, and talking to family and friends have been a huge help!

Some scriptures that have strengthened me and reminded me to focus on hope are the following:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  – Psalm 56:3

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” – Psalm 91:1-16

Please keep me and my family in your prayers.

Denise🌸

Throwing stones…

❤️We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19❤️

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

The rise…

The rise from depression and anxiety has been a feat in itself. The ebb and flow of the uncomfortable highs and lows of not being able to describe the exact reason for that particular moment of heaviness or the fast pace racing of my mind.

At times my faith seems stronger in the midst of my “fog”, its in those vulnerable moments where I find myself surrendering as I read the words from my favorite book, the verses of hope in my bible seem to jump from the pages, as I grasp onto each message of truth. Its in my realness that I realize, I no longer am depending on my own ability to overcome, but I lean into a deep longing and yearning for the transformation of my heart by the one who calls me his own. The abolishing of “fake it” till you make it or pretending to be “ok”, these strategies no longer work in the midst of my authenticity.

As I grasp the uneasiness of healing from trauma and line up my thoughts and actions to truth, moving forward…my life will never be the same.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

**Artist Credit: Painting called “Rejoice” by monicastewart.com

 

 

Trauma…

Healing from trauma is a one day at a time process, and is never a “one size fits all” approach. The stigma behind mental illness continues to keep people suffering in silence. If you are hurting, please reach out to the following hotline for help, support or someone just to talk to:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

You are not alone, you matter and God loves you.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerhedcaptive

Love is not blind…

“Let us (unselfishly) love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves (others) is born of God and know God (through personal experience). The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God (does not and never did know him), for God is love (He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature).”- 1 John 4:7-8

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

carrying the wait…

Definition of WAIT: stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.

I will no longer be held captive to the ideology of carrying the WAIT.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

God is love….

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

– John 3:16-17❤️

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Happy Mother’s Day🌸

The Powerful, Never Ending Love of my Mom has always completely surrounded me. I love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

She looked into her daughters big brown eyes, lightly kissing the dusting of light brown hair on her head. Whispering softly how loved and honored she was to hold her only daughter. Anticipating with much excitement, all of the hopes, and dreams of a wonderful life for, Denise Marie. Without blemish or imperfection, Adorned with Beauty and Grace. She was the love of her life, the beat of her heart, the precious connection that would never be torn apart. The immeasurable amount of Love she deposited into her daughter’s life, equipped her with unyielding strength, faith and hope.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

When enough doesn’t seem to suffice….

When enough doesn’t

seem to suffice,

and shame comes flooding

in like a vengeance

with it’s futile attempt to

keep me bound.

I lean in…

to its liberating way

of stretching me

uncomfortably in the

direction of healing.

the peeling back of

each layer that exposes

a raw area of my heart

that I wasn’t quite ready

to expose.

I lean in…

and take a deep breath

as I stare at the

woman in the mirror,

embracing her with

words of love and

complete acceptance.

~ denise marie

**Artist credit:

Briahna Wenke @artbybri

http://www.artbybri.com

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Today I celebrate…

On April 11th, I turned 51…

Today I celebrate

both the good and the bad of these 51 years…there were so many days that I struggled with my value and self-worth, never “feeling” good enough as I listened to the lies which kept me bound to their twisted truth for far too long. So many years of refusing to truly allow myself to shine for fear of failure or rejection, playing it safe instead of living freely.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I despised who and what I saw in my mirror.

It has been such a slippery slope to maneuver through the trauma.

Daily choosing to renew my mind, as I apply truth to my brokenness, I am healing whole.

Today I celebrate.

Every step
she takes
is a brave
quest to silence
the lies
which kept
her bound
for far too long.
This courageous
feat outweighs
the years of
previous defeats.

Her new found

confidence
beams as
she finds
her worth
in simply
being
present.
~ denise marie
“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36
#nolongerheldcaptive

Even in the darkness…the sun still rises.

Early in the morning,

when the house is quiet

and darkness hasn’t

quite succumbed to daylight,

it’s during those wee hours

when slumber seems to slip from me.

Anxiety heightens,

as fear of these uncertain times

tries to consume my mind.

I cry out to God and quietly hear,

“Even in the darkness…the sun still rises”.

In that moment, I am reminded of his promises for me.

He said he will never leave me or forsake me,

my strong tower where I can find safety,

my rock, my refuge, my fortress, my hope.

His love protects me, surrounds me,

and never fails me.

This is where I find my peace, and place my trust in him.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive