New YouTube Video Posted*

Attention viewers (and followers):

New YouTube Video has been posted at our YouTube Channel today for the following:

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Living Birth: Chapter 1

Be sure to give this a view!

Feel free to watch my other videos relating to Infertility & my 5 Miscarriages.

Be sure to subscribe so that you can get updates on when our weekly videos have been posted. Also, feel free to watch the prior chapters!

Much Love!
-Karen

Mark

When Daisy Duck meets Mickey Mouse

Mickey and Daisy

In a world that says only Mickey Mouse can marry Minnie Mouse…
In a world that says only Daisy Duck can marry Donald Duck…

What happens when Mickey Mouse and Daisy Duck meet?

I was Daisy.

I grew up in a part of America where whites marry whites. Blacks marry blacks. Hispanics marry Hispanics. Asians marry Asians. Etc…

Labels Labels Everywhere!

I felt attracted to white guys. I think mainly out of my cultural environment. But I also grew up in a diverse area where I had friends of different shapes, colors, and beliefs.

In my mid-20’s I just never felt like there were any guys that met my criteria. Guys that were mature, not stuck wanting to play video games all day, guys that seriously loved Jesus like I did. Not in a religious way, but in a real relationship with Jesus kind of way.

I never dated anyone. That’s right. No one! No one fit my heart’s desire of a husband.

Now, on the other side of the world was Mickey Mouse.

Mickey Mouse wasn’t from Orlando. My Mickey Mouse was from….India!

Shocker!

I met my Mickey Mouse at church. Right here in my cultural environment of the United States.

At first I wasn’t drawn to his look. But I was curious about his very sincere love for Jesus. We became friends. We grew in mutual respect.

My Mickey is very dark.

I am very very very very very very pale white. Much like Daisy actually ♥

One day, God intervened. He brought us together in such a “Kingdom” like fairy-tale way. No lust. Just God ordained.

We fell in love and got married. On Valentine’s Day mind you.

So here we have a Mickey Mouse and a Daisy Duck getting married.

Total cultural shock to my family and many of my friends.

But I didn’t care. I look at the heart, not the outward appearance.

And I love my Mickey’s heart for Jesus and for me.

We’ve just hit our 9 years mark. And, boy, do we still feel like newlyweds.

So this is my Disney Love Story. It just looks different than we are “trained” to view marriage relationships.

And by the way, this Mickey Mouse and Daisy Duck had a son. And he is more like Goofy. ♥

1 Samuel 16:7 says: “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

It’s Time to Talk: D&C/D&E

d&c-set

It’s time to talk.

(This could be a trigger, so please use caution while reading)

On my 5th pregnancy….my 4th miscarriage…. I had to have a D&C.  Mine was actually called a D&E.

I was about 8 weeks when we went in for our first ultrasound for this pregnancy.  A sac was found but no baby.

Thinking it possible that my dates would have been wrong, we waited two more weeks to do another scan.  Seeing as how I was still “pregnant”, we went.

At my 10 weeks scan, again, there was a sac but no baby.

This is called a “Blighted Ovum“.  (I had two pregnancy miscarriages as a result of Blighted Ovums.)

It was recommended that I get a D&E done.  An evacuation needed to be performed.  I also had a large cyst on my right ovary (found during my third pregnancy), scar tissue for my son’s emergency c-section, and endometriosis (also found during my third pregnancy).  Everything needed to be cleaned up.

I’ll never forget what it was like being pregnant…but empty.

I still felt pregnant.  Still had pregnancy symptoms and by now showing since the sac kept growing.

And yet I was told….no baby.

That was hard to come to terms with.

I go in for the D&E.  They wheel me back into the operating room.

I was out.

They performed the clean out.

I wake up in so much pain.  Abdominal pain very similar to my c-section.

I threw up.

I rested.  Yet feeling forced to hurry up.

I was dizzy.

They packed me up and sent me out the door to go home.

With NO BABY.

I am pregnant.  I go to the hospital to have a forced delivery.  I walk out empty handed.

Nothing was worse than that.

That’s like showing up at your family Christmas party and leaving with not one gift.

Total disappointment.  But beyond disappointment…..total robbery.

I felt robbed.

How do you ever come to terms with that?

For me:
Lots of time.
Lots of counseling.
Lots of coming to terms with.
Lots of prayer.
Celebrate Recovery 12-Step Program
Mainly….time.

If this is you, whether it be Blighted Ovums or D&C/D&E, I have been there.  You, too, can overcome these unanswered feelings.  You, too, can face the dreaded acknowledgement of what happened to you.

Seek counseling.  Seek out a Celebrate Recovery near you.  Talk it out.  Cry it out. Process.  Blog.  Vlog.  Draw.  Paint.  Mainly just get it out.  And give yourself lots and lots of time.

You have the grace to process.  We are not robots.  We were made to process through hurts.  You were never created to just “accept it”.  You were created to question what happened to you.  You were created to “feel”.

Your brokenness is always welcome here.

Feel free to share with me anytime.  You’re not alone.

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Rain and Joint Pain

joint_pain

Nothing goes hand and hand together better than RAIN and JOINT PAIN.

Like peanut butter to jelly.
Like tight leggings to a long……loooooongggg….sweater
Like cookies to milk.

For me, and many like me, joint pain is always the precursor, the during, and the after effects of rain.

Ouuucccccchhhhh.

I didn’t sleep very well last night.  Neither did my husband.  We are both weather-predictors based on our body aches.  And we are only in our 30’s.

I lived with joint pain since I was 10 years old after a blow to my left ankle resulting in several major sprains and even surgery in my 30’s.  I know what it’s like to have a lived a life of pain, aches, and soreness.

I must confess, however, that something much more painful has hurt me.  Much more than any minor attempts at arthritis.

And that pain is crushing heart-ache.  A broken spirit.  A shattered hope.

Child-abuse and unforgiveness.
Hurtful friendships.
Hurtful family members.
5 Miscarriages.
Years of Infertility.

All of these things have injured me.  Some deeper than others.  Some just beneath surface.  Some as deep as my soul.

For the ones that critically injured me, I didn’t let them last just the moment.  I let them last my whole life.

I did not have a joyful heart anymore.
I did not have a peaceful heart anymore.

I was overcome with grief and anger and the constant urge to isolate.

But the Bible says:

*Proverbs 17:22 says:
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

*Proverbs 14:30 says:
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

*Proverbs 3:8 says:
“This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

I had to learn to trade in my sorrows for the JOY OF THE LORD.

Now I don’t walk around like “Eeyore” in Winnie the Pooh.
I don’t have to walk around like a zombie in The Walking Dead.

I can walk around head held high with a genuine smile on my face.

And so can you.

It’s only a matter of choosing to make a trade with God.

Beauty for Ashes
Strength for Fear
Gladness for Mourning
Peace for Dispair

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.

Much Love!
-Karen

 

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

A Simple Reminder

Reminder Finger

Today I am “reminded” about the simple gift of grace.

Grace is the most “unfair” gift.  You cannot earn it.  You cannot work for it.  You cannot win it.  You cannot obtain it through practice.

Grace is unmerited favor.

The word “grace” is referenced over 170 times in the Bible.

I guess God knew how often we’d forget and need a simple reminder.

In America we’ve been taught that “nothing is free“.  Looks like we are wrong. Grace IS free for us.  But at the VERY COSTLY EXPENSE of someone else!

Grace was the most expensive gift ever purchased.  You cannot buy grace at the mall.  You cannot buy grace on-line.  There is no Cyber-Monday reward.

Grace was bought for you with blood.  Grace was bought for you on the cross by one Man who died, not just for the whole world, but for YOU!

You ARE valuable.  You are WORTH His gift.

Stop fighting grace.  Simply receive today.

*1 Corinthians 6:20 says: “y
ou were bought at a price”

*Galatians 3:13 says: “Christ paid the price to free us from the curse”

*Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

*Ephesians 1:7 says: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace”

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Be careful of what/who RULES you:

ruler crop

Today is President’s Day.  A day to remember and to appreciate.

Our family is bi-racial (Caucasian and Indian).  Without great leaders in the past (such as Abraham Lincoln) our ability to be a family would be null and void.  Impossible.

So, while we choose to celebrate today in gratitude for our “family” because of these leaders, we also have to be mindful of WHAT or WHO rules our lives.

What:
-Rules (Moral, Spiritual, Ethical, Social)
-Substances (Drugs, Alcohol, Food, Etc…)
-Money (Gambling, Shopping, Stocks, Fashion, Make-Up, Hair, Etc…)
-Fame (Social Media, Books, Movies, TV, School, Work, Etc…)
-Emotions (Fear, Anxiety, Depression, Happiness, Etc…)
-Logic, School Smarts, Street Smarts
-Sex (Pornography, Masterbation, Prostitution, Friends with Benefits, One Night Stands, Etc…)
-Job/Career
-Material Possessions (House, Car(s), Decor, Etc…)
-Constitution of the United States
-Power and Authority
-The Bible, The Koran, The Book of Mormon, Hindu Vedas, The Pali Canon, Etc…
-Entertainment
-Firearms and Weapons
-Politics and Government
-Human Rights

Who:
-Yourself
-Boss
-Spouse
-Boyfriend/Girlfriend
-Ex-Partner
-Children
-President and Governmental Authorities
-Police
-Living Family Members (Parents, Grandparents, Etc…)
-Dead Family Members
-Reality Stars, Movie Stars, TV Stars, Musicians, Singers, Painters, Etc…)
-HOA President
-School Principle/Teachers
-Pastors
-Strangers (Traffic/Road Rage, Store Clerk, Loud talkers at Theaters, Etc…)

We *unknowingly* give a ton of power to a lot of WHAT’S and a lot of WHO’S.  In essence we do worship these things.  We give them “worth”.  We give them value and esteem.

These WHAT’S and WHO’S can help but they can also cause great confusion and harm.

The question is Lordship.  

Are things and people worth worshiping?

Things and people will ALWAYS let you down.

Things only satisfy for a moment but always leave a bitter taste in your mouth. A craving for more but never feeling satisfied.  Things change.  Things waste away.

People always have their own agenda in their relationships.  People are human and fail.  People can use their power over us to promote themselves.

While it can be a great blessing to have people and things, it could actually lead to our downfall.

Personal Sharing About Things:  I obsessed about food my whole life.  Eating too much, eating too little.  Being thin.  Being fat.  I would torture myself before eating and then torture myself some more after eating.  I would hide food. I would binge.  I would starve myself.  I would use spiritual fasting as a time to hide my eating disorder.  I would constantly look at myself in the mirror and inspect my body.  My food became my idol.

Personal Sharing About People:  So strongly desiring a husband and children led me to obsession, fear of not having, and anxiety.  I was so driven to obtain these “humans” that I lost track of my first love.  God.  I craved having a family.  And this became my idol.  I worshiped my future family with my mind, my emotions, my time.

We all fall somewhere on the spectrum of obsession and idolatry.

However, the majority of the time, our biggest idol is…..OURSELF.

We all want our way, our will, all the time.

And once we crown ourself as King/Queen, others go by the wayside.

We treat other people as things.
We treat other people as stuff.
We treat other people as less than.
We abuse stuff.  We abuse people.

Aren’t we seeing this in the lives of the rich and famous right now?  Those who have used their power to lord themselves over others sexually?

The more selfish and god-like we become, the less God-like we become.

Jesus Christ gave us the best example of how to not let the WHAT’S or the WHO’S to become our lord.  How not to worship those things.  How to see others as equals.  How to see others as valuable and loved.   And yet, He never made Himself into a king on earth.  He made Himself the least….the servant…the giver.

Jesus Christ always pointed others to the Father God. He took no self-pride.  He took no crown.  He took no glory.  He gave it back to the Father.

So, are we living as Jesus?  Loving the Father, and Loving Others?

Or are we mainly, just honestly, loving ourselves and not really loving others at all?

Romans 1:25 says: Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

John 4:23 says: But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

Isaiah 46:5 says: To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike?

God cannot compare to any human being (alive or dead).
God cannot compare to any made object.

I’m right there with you; learning this hard truth of selfishness and self-worship.

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!

Spirit First. Brain and Heart Later.

ultrasounds-7
When I was pregnant with my son, Christian, I would get ultrasounds.

I would study each week to know how the baby was growing and developing.

Did you know that at:
Week 5: Heart begins to grow
Week 6: Baby’s nose, mouth and ears are starting to take shape, and the intestines and brain are beginning to develop.
Week 7: Little hands and feet develope
Week 8: Breathing tubes grow into the lungs
Week 9: Earlobes are developing
Week 10: Nails are starting to form

(Baby Center Development Website)

As believers, we know that the Spirit of God has entered the baby the moment of conception.

So, think about this, before the heart, lungs, eyes, nose, ears, and brain develop, the SPIRIT OF GOD within that life has already existed.

Now, I am 36 years old.

I am realizing that my Spirit (The Spirit of God) within me MUST rule my life in all areas. I shouldn’t let my mind take control. I shouldn’t let my heart take the lead. I shouldn’t walk my spiritual journey based on what I see.

If the Spirit did come first (which we believe it does), then why shouldn’t that same Spirit lead us first?

So, before you debate with God using logic.
Before you let your broken heart turn you away from God’s goodness.
Before you walk by sight and not by faith….

Consider, maybe letting God direct His Spirit within you first.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,and he will make your paths straight.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 139
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Much Love!
-Karen

Beauty 4 Ashes 24/7 YouTube Channel! Click Here!