October 30, 2014

It's Real:: Trapped In The Life of Domestic Violence

Hello ladies!! Alaina here again with some real talk.. I’ve started and deleted this blog post about a million times now. Every time I type out the words, a sense of panic takes over me. What will people think? What will people say? Out of the dozens of blogs I’ve written, this is by far the most difficult for me to write about, yet has the potential to be the most important.
I have always been very open about most aspects of my life; the fact that I was a teen mom, the fact that I’m divorced, my daughter’s brain condition, my husband’s car accident, etc. But the one area of my life that is still the most difficult for me to talk about, is actually the one area that I’m the proudest to say I survived.

It’s something that I am reminded of every single day by the physical and emotional scars.

It’s something that I have never wanted pity for.

It’s something that changed my life while coming close to losing it on more than one occasion.

I am a domestic abuse survivor.

For nearly 10 years I lived a life of complete uncertainly. Every day, every hour, every minute carried its own set of rules and consequences. It was a life that few on the outside knew about; a life that I worked extremely hard at hiding, and successfully did for many years. I can remember locking myself in the bathroom, sitting on the floor crying, and thinking to myself, “How did I get here? Where did things go so wrong?” I, like so many victims of domestic violence, never considered myself one of “those” people.  I was married to a man that I loved with all my heart. He had a career in the military, we had 2 incredible daughters, we had a beautiful house, and by all accounts from the outside looking in, we had a wonderful life. How could THIS have happened?

Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, the articles on the topic seem to be constantly trending online. I recently read an article about how survivors needed to share their stories in order for this epidemic to end. All I could do is laugh as I read this article that was clearly written by someone who had never lived through such a nightmare. Which story did they want me to share in order for this horrific crime to end? Is it the story about the time He lit my shorts on fire with a blowtorch and now I have to live with a scar up the entire side of my hip? Or is it the story of when He tried to cut my throat with a kitchen knife and in the struggle to get away ended up cutting my arm open leaving a scar there too? Or maybe it’s the story of when I finally moved out with our 2 children and He broke in to my new house and tried to drown me in the bathtub filled with water? Let’s be honest here, none of these stories will stop this from happening to someone else. All they do is bring on a sense of pity in which I am not interested in entertaining. I don’t know that we will ever be able to stop abuse in all its forms from happening. It’s so embedded in our culture that we can’t seem to see the difference between right and wrong many times. While teaching our Sons that not hitting women is important, the answer to the problem might be more in teaching our Daughters not to tolerate it.

During my divorce, I saw a counselor for PTSD. During that time I was contemplating going back to my husband. I had no idea how to be on my own. I had been married since I was 18 and a mother since I was 16. I didn’t know how to live without someone telling me every move to make. The outside world was overwhelming. For the first time in my life I had to make all the decisions. But what kept me from going back to Him wasn’t the fact that I knew better, or that people were telling me how much better off I was without him. What kept me from going back was what that counselor said to me.
“I Believe In You. I believe that you are strong enough to do this, even when you don’t feel like you are. I believe in all that you are, all that you’re capable of, and all that you’re going to someday be. I believe that you have the power to change your own life. And on the days when you can’t find it in yourself to believe, I’ll be there to believe in you until you can.”

Can you imagine what your life would be like today if just one person had believed in you when you needed it the most? Maybe the answer to the epidemic of domestic violence isn’t in campaigns and months celebrating awareness. Maybe the answer in saving a life is just believing in someone when they need it most. I stayed in that marriage for so long for many reasons, but the main reason, was because I didn’t believe I was strong enough to leave. Thankfully, 6 years later, I can say that not only was I strong enough to leave, but I was strong enough to fight back and now He carries the title of Convicted Felon.

In an effort to break the cycle of abuse, I've tried to teach my own daughters that they have the power to choose what they tolerate in their lives. In a world where teaching your daughter to be biblically submissive to her husband has been misconstrued, I am attempting to break the earthly mold and teach them to be submissive with a voice of their own; to love, obey, and respect both their husbands AND themselves.

My heart breaks for all those that are trapped in the life of domestic violence. It is a life that no one can truly understand unless you’ve lived through it. The complexities of the emotional, financial, and physical torture are far deeper than most on the outside would even want to begin to understand. Maybe changing the world, saving a life, or ending an epidemic just needs to begin with the simple act of believing that you can. Maybe believing in each other might be the answer to finding our own courage to believe in ourselves and not tolerate anything less than living the life that God intended us to live. But no matter what life circumstances you are going through are, maybe, just maybe we need be the one to say….

“I Believe In You. I believe that you are strong enough to do this, even when you don’t feel like you are. I believe in all that you are, all that you’re capable of, and all that you’re going to someday be. I believe that you have the power to change your own life. And on the days when you can’t find it in yourself to believe, I’ll be there to believe in you until you can.”


Psalm 31:24 

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord! 

October 29, 2014

5 Ideas For Accessorizing Your Wedding Party For Fall

Welcome guest blogger Tina Hamilton back on She Inspires again, this time she's sharing five ideas for accessorizing your wedding party for Fall.. The perfect inspiration for this Wedding Wednesday!

Fall weddings are growing more in popularity every year. Many people have always loved the idea of a fall wedding because of the beautiful colors outdoors and the crisp, cool weather, but today many couples are also leading towards a fall wedding to work around their guests’ schedules and take advantage of off-season prices for all their wedding items. Additionally, the new trends in weddings along with the daring new trends for fall fashion, a fall wedding can become a truly unique and spectacular event for any couple with a little inspiration.
Accessorizing the wedding party is always a difficult task for any couple. Fall weddings, however, offer a lot of great accessory options for any wedding party, ranging from simple and classic to original and eye-catching. These ideas can not only make any couples wedding look more pulled together and fashion forward, but these ideas are also a great way for couples to show how much they care about the people in their wedding party. Here are five ideas couples can use to accessorize their wedding party for their fall wedding.

Stay away from perfectly matched wedding parties
The days of perfectly identical wedding parties are long gone and many couples are embracing the idea of having a wedding party that has personality and unique styles. This trend partially started because couples wanted to make it easier for their wedding parties to find outfits that fit their body type and price range, so this is a great option for any couple to utilize. Couples can let their bridesmaids pick dresses in different styles, but a similar color palette, or let groomsmen pick their own shirt to pair under a chosen suit.

Play with fall textures
The best part about fall style is the great textures that always come with it. People are ready to mix in heavier fabrics like tweed, wool and corduroy into their fall fashion. The same ideas can be used by couples when accessorizing their wedding party. Couples and look for options like tweed vests for the groomsmen and feather hairpieces for the bridesmaids. These little touches add dimension and visual interest to any wedding party look.

Incorporate pastels or jewel tones for a trendy look
Traditional fall wedding looks usually involved neutral colors only, but this season’s trends have taken a turn for the bold and colorful. Pastels usually reserved for spring are making an appearance in fall weddings. Couples can utilize pastel colors in their wedding party flowers for a fresh and cool look. Bold fall colors are also a big hit for weddings. Couple can consider pairing together colors like bright orange and deep purple for an outstanding look for any fall wedding.

Lean towards a more casual look
Weddings are no longer required to be a super formal affair. Couples are embracing the laid-back casual style of today’s wedding trends and giving their wedding party some extra room to breathe during the wedding day. Groomsmen can wear dark wash jeans with their sport coats for an easy formal look. Bridesmaids can also opt for short dresses with loose hair styles for an effortless appeal. These ideas take some of the formality out of the wedding day and make the entire event more relaxing for everyone involved.

Give double duty wedding party gifts
Couples often struggle with deciding what to give as wedding party gifts to those people who have helped them so much in the preparation of their wedding day. Couples want wedding party gifts that are special and unique, but still work with their budget. Couple can consider killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, and give their wedding party gifts they can wear the day of the wedding as a simple accessory. This is a great way to pull together a miss-matched wedding party, make a wedding party feel special during the big day and help everyone involved with the wedding stay within budget. Couples can consider cheap groomsmen gift ideas and bridesmaid gift ideas that will double as accessories for the big day. Some great ideas include personalized initial necklaces for the bridesmaids and initial cuff links for the groomsmen.

Image: The Brides Café

Tina Hamilton is a journalist, blogger and social media guru. You can usually find her online or walking along one of Southern California’s beaches with her dog, Joey. You can find her on Twitter.

October 27, 2014

October Fun:: Pumpkin Patch Snapshots

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!!  It was a pretty low key weekend for me & my family, working on design projects & unpacking around the new home and just really getting settled in. We did squeeze in a little Pumpkin patch visit, and picked out a couple of pumpkins for carving.. Starting the week out with some of my favorite snapshots from our trip!!

                                                           Happy last week of October!!

October 24, 2014

Room To Style: Leopard & Teal

Sorry for the long delay in postings this week. Lots of unpacking & transitioning been going on in my little world lately, I hope to share a peak into what I've been up to with you all soon.

Next week I will be back on here with some fall inspiration, a guest post and a of course words of encouragement.  But for now I'll end the week with a room to style post, since I haven't posted one in a while..Plus you just can go wrong with pairing teal with leopard, this time of year!! Would you agree?

October 21, 2014

Coffee & Words: Strength In God Is Enough

What's your definition of strength? Is it the ability to lift a 150 pound weight, is it being able to hold in your emotions of hurt or grieving.  Is it the ability to wake up every morning with the will power to press through. Strength is more then just carrying the load, it's about walking in God's light and allowing him to carry you through any obstacle that you are faced with and doing so in a way that allows you be humble, calm and joyful.

You are probably thinking, what does she mean? What I am saying is, being strong is not about covering up the pain and hurt that you are dealing with, but being strong enough to stand up, look it in the eye and allowing God to guide you through. To allow your faith in God to give you the strength to climb out of that ditch or emotional slump you are in.

Joshua 1:9 reads, "Have I not commanded you? Be Strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

I was having a conversation with a close friend recently, about how God revels himself to us on a daily, in order for us to feel his presence and to know that he is there for us. He gives us the strength; through his word, through his comfort, and by surrounding us around people that lift us up.
God allows us to walk tall with our heads held high, he wants us to hold his hand every step of life and allow him to order each step, without looking back.

Strength in God is enough!

XOXO, Nycia
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