The beach…a gift to be treasured.

I recently took a drive with two of my kids to a beautiful beachfront in Northern California called Dillon Beach.

Being at the Ocean, I feel free! Laughing so hard as I skip around the beach, searching for seashells and taking in every detail of its beauty.. What a gift to be treasured…it will always be my happy place. 💙

The beauty of….a sunset.

I captured a beautiful Sunset with my daughter while in Seattle, Washington.

I cherish the surreal vastness of the sunset in all its shades of oranges and reds alongside blues with yellows. I give thanks and honor every lesson that my day brought me. I forgive those who tried to make me feel small and I forgive myself for allowing disappointment or unrealistic expectations to rule over my peace of mind. I choose to acknowledge my hurt, process my feelings and forgive.

I welcome the darkness of the night sky as I find rest and replenish my body, knowing that in the morning I will be greeted by the light of day.

– denise marie

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

in awe…of beauty

I captured this beautiful picture in Lake Tahoe.

I am in awe of the glorious sunrise as it casts its golden hue across the morning sky. As I look around, I see the beauty around me and embrace the gift of life.

I choose to live my life fully and contently as I continue to grow, learn, love and honor its sacredness.

– denise marie

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

Your presence matters…

liberation…the act of setting free

YOU matter….

Even when you feel like no one notices or cares. Your presence on this Earth is important…your voice, your opinion, your ideas, your disappointments, your shortcomings, your accomplishments, your defeats, your best qualities and your worst character defects, your talents, your stories, your laughter, your hugs, your smile. Every aspect of YOU, is a gift to this world. You are valued, cherished and needed.

And even when it doesn’t always feel like it…

I encourage you to grab on and hold tight to this truth…YOU are loved…overwhelmingly loved, undeniably loved, forever loved.💗

~ denise marie

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

I am her…

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

There was a time, that I didn’t identify with the one who stared at me daily in the mirror.

Sometimes I didn’t like her, other times I felt like I didn’t really know her and many times didn’t understand her. She found herself lost between living to please others and resenting her continued self-sacrifice, even at the cost of her well being.

Ultimately betraying herself.

Numerous times she tried to free her true self, but found it difficult to come out from under the deep despair of childhood trauma and shame.

Today, she realizes it’s ok to choose Her.

She now, carefully cradles her heart, whispering powerful words of truth dripped in non-judgmental love and grace.

She is no longer hidden beneath the layers of trauma, she is emerging, growing and nurturing each space within the weight of her being.

She no longer identifies as an outsider, but acknowledges Her name.

The name her Mother, lovingly graced her with in 1969.

Her name is Denise Marie and I am her.

I broke my silence…at 40.

A few months ago, I was frazzled by a situation which caused others to look at me with doubting glares and accusing words that began by a simple misunderstanding.

Not being understood and discredited stirred up deep rooted memories from my childhood of not being believed when I told a trusted adult that I had been abused. At 11 years old, my self-esteem immediately plummeted as my worth was devalued deeply beneath the open wound of keeping the abuse a secret. My humanity was denied access to protection. I suffered emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally, internalizing my pain, suppressing my feelings and silenced my voice.

I didn’t talk about it again, until I was 40 years old.

This recent situation, caused me to gravel as I continuously explained myself over and over again only to be looked at as if I wasn’t telling the truth.

My mind raced as my anger grew causing me to want to lash out at the ones who didn’t believe me.

The little girl in me was spiraling out of control, in that moment, I felt helpless.

Instead of using old self destructive ways of coping, I applied tools I’ve learned and communicated my feelings to those who misunderstood me, and I spoke my truth. We were able to clear up the confusion and move forward.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and unfortunately there are millions of survivors in the United States and around the World who are suffering from the affects of sexual assault, it is so important that we speak out against sexual assault and put an end to it.

If you are a survivor I want to let you know that, I believe you, healing is possible and there is hope.

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE

~ denise marie

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

Simply becoming…

Breathing deep the sweet fragrance of joy.
~ denise marie

Have you ever just let go?

Really let go of who you thought

you were to be,

to simply just becoming.

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

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!đź’—