I Get Out.

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Hi guys, I know it’s been a while. I’ve been so busy with my new job and a bunch of other newness in my life that I fell behind. Forgive me?

Have you ever heard the song “I Get Out” by Lauryn Hill? Her “Unplugged” album is unarguably the best album of my generation. Hence, I said MY generation. Here are the lyrics:

“I Get Out”
I get out, I get out of all your boxes
I get out, you can’t hold me in these chains
I’ll get out
Father free me from this bondage
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must change
[Verse 1] Your stinkin’ resolution
Is no type of solution
Preventin’ me from freedom
Maintainin’ your pollution
I won’t support your lie no more
I won’t even try no more
If I have to die, oh Lord
That’s how I choose to live
I won’t be compromised no more
I can’t be victimized no more
I just don’t sympathize no more
Cause now I understand
You just wanna use me
You say “love” then abuse me
You never thought you’d loose me
But how quickly we forget
That nothin’ is for certain
You thought I’d stay here hurtin’
Your guilt trip’s just not workin’
Repressin’ me to death
Cause now I’m choosin’ life, yo
I take the sacrifice, yo
If everything must go, then go
That’s how I choose to live
No more compromises
I see past your disguises
Blindin’ through mind control
Stealin’ my eternal soul
Appealin’ through material
To keep me as your slave
[Singing Chorus] But I get out
Oh, I get out of all your boxes
I get out
Oh, you can’t hold me in these chains
I’ll get out
Oh, I want out of social bondage
Knowin’ my condition
Oh, is the reason I must change
[Singing Verse 2] See, what you see is what you get
Oh, and you ain’t seen nothin’ yet
Oh, I don’t care if you’re upset
I could care less if you’re upset
See it don’t change the truth
And your hurt feeling’s no excuse
To keep me in this box
Psychological locks
Repressin’ true expression
Cementin’ this repression
Promotin’ mass deception
So that no one can be healed
I don’t respect your system
I won’t protect your system
When you talk I don’t listen
Oh, let my Father’s will be done
[Singing Chorus] And just get out
Oh, just get out of all these bondage
Just get out
Oh, you can’t hold me in chains
Just get out
All these traditions killin’ freedom
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must change
[Singing Verse 3] I’ve just accepted what you said
Keepin’ me among the dead
The only way to know
Is to walk then learn and grow
But faith is not your speed
Oh, you’ve had everyone believed
That you’re the sole authority
Just follow the majority
Afraid to face reality
The system is a joke
Oh, you’d be smart to save your soul
Oh, when escape is mind control
You spent your life in sacrifice
To a system for the dead
Oh, are you sure…
Where is the passion in this living
Are you sure it’s God you servin’
Obligated to a system
Getting less then you’re deserving
Who made up these schools, I say
Who made up these rules, I say
Animal conditioning
Oh, just to keep us as a slave
[Singing Chorus] Oh, just get out
Of this social purgatory
Just get out
All these traditions are a lie
Just get out
Superstition killing freedom
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must die
Just get out
Just get out
Just get out
Let’s get out
Let’s get out
Knowin’ my condition
Is the reason I must die
Just get out

 

That album has gotten me through some of the toughest times growing up, especially my father’s passing when I was 21. It helped me heal through a lot of issues I had. Anyway, this song specifically came to mind when I was thinking and praying on about the topic for this post. As a Christian, a woman, and a mom, and specifically a Christian woman, there’s a lot of stipulation sometime on how I should behave, dress, feel, think, and act or not react. If Christ was never in a box (He was in a tomb and even that couldn’t hold him down) I am wondering why people think its okay to put others in a box, aka, your limits. I have never been the type to play by what society said I should be. By society’s standards (and “statistics”) because I come from a long generational line of single mothers, I was predestined (according to society) to be a failure. YHWH obviously had a different plan. Since birth, by the grace of YHWH, I’ve been defying statistics. I am not your typical “Christian”. Yes, I have tattoos, yes I show my midriff (sometimes), and yes I have fun. No, I do not live my life according to religion. My goal here on earth is to win the lost. Isn’t that what Yahshua did? Often times, we get so worried about what other people think of us that we forget that the only opinion that matters is that of the Father. I have always been different. I never quite fit in anywhere. I was awkward, too cool, too nerdy, too this, too that. The religious folks think I’m too liberal and the liberal folks I don’t agree with LOL. So where do I belong? That’s the thing. YHWH called us to be His body, right. But that doesn’t mean everyone will have the same opinions and convictions. My relationship with Christ will definitely be different than the next persons. I read the Word and allow it to mold me, transform me, and complete me. In doing this, I can only pray that in the process I gain more grace so I can perform the works that Elohim has called me for. I encounter a lot of theology bible thumping folks that know a whole lot of Word but have no relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is dangerous. Dangerous because there is no waiting for movement from the Holy Spirit. Only throwing, what I like to call, “scripture shade”. It is when someone thinks they can pervert scripture in order to make another human feel inferior than them. We all know a few people who do this. If you are one of these people and you are reading this.. Please, just stop. It cannot benefit anyone.

Let’s take the way I dress, for example. Yes, I know what the bible says about modesty. Does showing midriff make me any less modest than the next Christian woman wearing a tight revealing dress who is not showing her midriff? No. The reason being, I was called to win the LOST. Not conform to someone else’s perception of what it is to be “Christian” or a woman, in general, for that matter.

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“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men. “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13

 

YHWH didn’t call me to be a wallflower. What He did call me for was to be bold in truth. To be unashamed. To be unapologetical in my walk for Him. To be the woman He called me to be. I’ve learned in this life you will always be too much of something for some one.  I am far from perfect but I am sure that by now, my transparency has gotten your attention some way, some how. I am here to show women who are in my path, that we can accomplish ALL things through Christ when and because He is the source of our strength. If I can do it (whatever IT is) – you can surely do it too. I have never let anyone tell me I cannot accomplish what I set my focus on.  I believe it’s so important as women for us to know just how precious we are to YHWH. He has given most of the women I know such unbelievably HUGE callings. As humans it’s normal to allow fear to set in. But, we don’t have that kinda time to waste. I was called to be a light on a hill. What a lovely thought. That YHWH wants to use someone as skewed as me, in order to be a walking testament of His transformative power. Every day I choose to not walk in bondage that someone else might have set forth for me. Not only am I a woman, an unmarried mother, but I am Hispanic on top of that. it’s almost easy to fall into someone’s perfectly cut box of how your life should be lived and what exactly your destiny should look like. As if THEY were God! Guess what? Not today. Not EVUH. I will continue to defy gravity. I will continue to excel. I will continue to succeed. I will continue to be the best damn mother I know how to be. I will continue to love. I will continue to be free. I will continue to preach. I will continue to move in the prophetic. I will continue to listen to the Holy Spirit. I will continue to crush goals. I will continue to pray my way through the warfare. I will continue to slay demons. I will continue to reach lost souls. I will continue to be transparent and unfiltered all the while graciously using wisdom. I will continue to laugh. I will continue to cherish my peace. I will continue to dream dreams that are bigger than life. I will continue to expect and anticipate increase. I will continue to do everything that YHWH as set forth for me. I will continue to unapologetically be the assertive woman of Yah that Christ has called me to me.

Unapologetically Yara.

 

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Post Deets 1:

Location: Dumbo, Brooklyn
Photographer: Shaun Martinez ♥

Outfit:
Bodysuit: Rainbow $5
Skirt: Express $10
Crossbody: Vintage Fendi $15 (Chelsea Flea)

Post Deets 2:

Location: Manhattan
Photographer: Shaun Martinez ♥

Outfit:
Bodysuit: Express $14
High waisted jeans: H&M $12
Loafers: Steve Madden $25
Floral Clutch: Steve Madden (Belongs to Naj)

Tightrope.

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When I was younger, it almost felt like the days would last forever. As an adult now, often times it feels like there’s just never enough hours in the day. As a mother, especially, I feel like something always has to take a back seat in order for me not to burn out.

For the past 8 years, I have been doing product development within the fashion/home textiles industry. When K was born, I vowed to not be the kind of mother I had growing up. So I learned very quickly that my career was no longer #1 priority, but my little cub was (and still is). I remember when his dad left, I asked myself “how will we do this?” I was scared but knew (although I was unsaved) that there would be a way. I just could not imagine going back to work after just having my baby. America is about the only country that forces mothers to go back to work in such a short period of time. Abuse, I tell you. Anyway, YHWH blessed me with the opportunity to be home with my baby and finish college during his first two years. After that I did temp or freelance positions in order to get the bills paid, but that still awarded me the freedom to be able to spend the most time with him. During these years, my social life or any adult fellowship outside of church (where he would also come with me) was completely unheard of.  So that took a back seat. I was fine with that for a long time, but something happens to your socializing skills when you stop using them and you’re speaking to a child all day long. LOL. Adult conversation is imperative to brain stimulation. He is intentional.

I had absolutely no support and no family around for the majority of the first 2 years of his life. I learned how to be a mother solely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He kept me even before I knew what my calling was. I didn’t read any of the baby books, but I did take parenting classes. Truthfully, nothing can equip you quite like being thrown into the fire. I’m grateful now because that exact fire turned to passion for me. I learned how YHWH loves His children, while I learned to love my own child.  As I had no one else to call on during that depression, those sleepless nights, not eating, not showering, a baby that never wanted to sleep. I know the struggle is real for all first time parents. But my gosh, with not a soul in the house but me. The struggle was really real, ya’ll. But I’m grateful for it. I sometimes wonder if my son’s dad would’ve been more actively involved at that time, if I would’ve blossomed into the mom YHWH intended me to become. Probably not. I don’t like to ever focus on what if’s because I know that it happened exactly how it was supposed to. He is intentional.

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If you have been following me on social media for the past few years, you know that motherhood is my ministry first, but also my passion. The time alone with just K and I was so vital and so, so, precious to me. It’s really amazing how much of the Heavenly Father and His characteristics I see in kids. Especially in mine. K has taught me how to be fearless. He gave me a voice when I had no idea who I was.  He taught me how to fight. He delights in the little things I love (like Law and Order: SVU). He is fearless. He honestly thinks he can do anything and I let him believe that. His zeal and faith really ministers to me on a daily basis. He makes me laugh. He gives me prophecies. Don’t roll your eyes, guys. For real. there are  times Kingston will give me a word and I’m like.. Mind. Blown. It’s crazy. But it’s real. He has a little attitude which I believe YHWH uses in order to keep ME in check. It’s like a mirror. He speaks life into me exactly when I needed. I gotta testify that for years I have always been the one to encourage folks even when I was going through it. I used to always pray that YHWH would provide that exact thing to me. Welp, I got it. In my little guy. Of course he has a whole bunch of other wonderful traits. I say all that to say that YHWH gives the exact kind of child that you need. Characteristics, flaws, love language (his is the same as mine!), interests, likes and dislikes, they were all tailor made. Your child for you. Or in this case… Kingston for me. He is intentional.
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K recently turned 4 (and graduated prek3!!! Insert ugly crying face here) and it is only now that I’m starting to feel like, “hey man, this isn’t so bad I can do this.” I recently started a new job that isn’t as demanding as others and really respects my work/life balance. I can breathe now and have time to make silly things happen like hair appointments. I actually have a social life now. I can eat right. I learned how to cook! I can answer multiple text messages at once without getting overwhelmed. I can carry out a conversation on the phone (for about 10 mins max LOL). I don’t always feel like I’m rushing somewhere. Or like I’m forgetting my head. I can concentrate at work. Blogging, on the other hand, is an area I still need work in. (pray for me!) I can have deep conversations and exercise compassion and respect during disagreements. The past 4 years have really set me up for this moment in time. I’ve learned who I was, how to really LOVE, and how to COMMIT to someone other than myself. Before Kingston, I had absolutely no depiction of what real commitment was. I had to truly learn how to be the mother, raw and uncut, lose my balance, fall, and let Him pick me back up, with both Kingston’s and Christ’s love, before I can appreciate such a time as this. Now, I feel that I have more maturity and experience to offer my son. I’ve made so many mistakes thus far, the good ol’ trial and error way, that I trust in my ability to make proper decisions for the sake my boy and I. I learned that if I don’t make time for myself when I feel like I’m going to explode (which is rare these days because deliverance is REAL) – no one can benefit from that. I sometimes marvel at the reminiscent of those really rough first years as mother and baby. I can’t believe I went through all that. Most importantly, I can’t believe I SURVIVED through all that. I’ve learned so much about myself in the process. Let me tell ya’ll. When YHWH does the humbling, it is no joke. But it was all for such a time as this. Equilibrium isn’t easy but it surely is obtainable. I’m excited to see what else YHWH wants to jam pack into my schedule. At least I know my plate will be full of the blessings of Elohim. My cup runneth over. He gives us the deepest desires of our hearts. Hold on. He is intentional.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

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Post Details:

♥Photography: Naj of Driven x Style
♥Location: North Bergen, NJ

Outfit:
♥Hair Slayage: Abi (Shears_of_Gold)
♥Heathered Tee $4 Wetseal
♥Jeans $6 Old Navy
♥Shoes Vince Camuto $30

Kingston:
♥Printed Tee $3 Old Navy
♥Joggers $6 Old Navy
♥Neon Kicks Free Gap

Creature of Comfort

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A few weeks ago my sis in Christ Shaniqua Zastrow (of Real Love Rules blog) asked me to take part in the vision YHWH gave her for a movement of 10 women who would be featured with their testimony for a series called “The Testifying Ten”. I was honored to be asked to participate and terrified at the same time. As humans, I think its always hard to tell people your story because you have to admit all your dirty laundry. I wanted to be extra raw and uncut by the leading of the holy spirit. It took me seven hours to type. SEVEN. And I literally cried throughout the entire thing. But obedience. Obedience is better than sacrifice. I knew that I needed to be as transparent as possible and it was going to be way beyond my comfort zone. You can read the entire post here. The response I received was so overwhelming but in a really good way. I never, ever thought that my story would encourage people but I’m so happy that it has. I’m just a nobody that YHWH chose to use to carry out His will. So the glory goes ALL to Him. I can’t even tell ya’ll how much I was blessed by this entire situation.

YHWH does not want us stuck in the mediocrity of our comfort zones.

I’ve always struggled with low self esteem my entire life. Self esteem is defined as in the having of confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect. Because I grew up without a dad and had a mom who had no idea what it was to love herself; my perception of who I was was skewed. This carried out into all areas of my life. I’ve always been shy. Settled for many things and situations in my past. Always scared to ask for what I truly want. For a long time, I didn’t even pray my prayers with authority. I would doubt YHWH and never believed I was good enough to receive all that He had for me. Man, I was so wrong. Its hard as humans to comprehend just how much He wants to bless us. So much so, that often we get mad at the fact that we will hear a straight up NO from YHWH. Like, but YHWH I really want this job! You think it’s the perfect one for you. You don’t get the job. Now you’re mad at YHWH because He didn’t come through with what you thought was perfect for you. His plans are always greater than ours. When I learned to sync myself to His flow, I stopped stressing because I knew Christ would come through. I controlled my own destiny for so long while I was in the world, that it’s a relief I can count on Christ now for direction. If we settle for what we think we want, it’s telling YHWH we don’t want His very best. And I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m trying to love everything about my life.

I’ve always been curvy but never really knew how to handle it. Society says we are pieces of meat with the way media portrays us women. I have never looked like the girls in the magazines. Heck, I didn’t even look like the girls around me. So I was always self conscious about my body and the way that I dress. It seems as though I could wear a garbage bag and I would still get stares or I would still get judged. As I got bigger during my weight gain, I lost control of who I was.  I did not know how to dress for my body. So realistically I used to dress like a bum the majority of the time. I felt that as long as I was presentable, it was okay. I did not feel good about who I was at all. And I knew Christ did not want me here. He took me on a journey to find what loving myself the way He loves us is truly about. The bible says, in 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. My heart was transformed so why wasn’t this translating into the physical? I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin. How could I have been such a bad caretaker of the body I was leant? I wanted to believe that I was as beautiful and as valued as as YHWH says I am.

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Who YHWH says we are:

  • Royalty –  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
  • His Masterpiece –  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Yehoshua for good works, which YHWH prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
  • Citizens of Heaven – But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Messiah Christ Yehoshua. Philippians 3:20
  • Children of Light – For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 1 Thessalonians 5:5
  • Wonderfully Made –  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14
  • Handpicked and Chosen by YHWH – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16
  • Strong –  I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
  • Set Apart –  “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14
  • Confident –  And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14
  • At Peace –  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to YHWH. And the peace of YHWH, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
  • Wanted – He predestined us for adoption as sons through Yehoshua Christos, according to the purpose of his will Ephesians 1:5
  • One with Him – I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:1-5
  • Forgiven –  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
  • Free – He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son Colossians 1:13
  • Safe and Protected –  Put on the whole armor of YHWH, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
  • Heirs of Christ –  And if children, then heirs—heirs of YHWH and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:17
  • Provided For – And my YHWH will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Yehoshua. Philippians 4:19
  • Cared For – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
  • Always Good –  And we know that for those who love YHWH all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
  • Bold –  In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. Ephesians 3:12
  • Authoritative – And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. Mark 16:17-18
  • Demon and Giant Slayers – Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Luke 10:19

And above all..

Unconditionally Loved –  For YHWH so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

As a mother, it’s important to me to make sure not to stifle my son’s free spirit. He teaches me so much about being fearless. The way he just trusts. There’s no hindrance there. How can we preach the life Christ has allowed us to have to our kids yet not follow it ourselves? When you know who you are in Christ and who HE says you are, life takes on a brand new shape. You are no longer a slave to others and their preconceived notions of you. I now have courage to do all things YHWH has called me to do. I am delivered of so many things, you guys. I have the boldness to prayerfully jump into where Christ wants me. Life is meant to be lived abundantly. What are you so afraid of? The fear of change or the fear of staying the same?

 

“With Christ I must take only one step at a time and wait for Him to illuminate the next. It’s like jumping off the high dive and then checking on the way down to make sure there’s water in the pool. With Christ, however, I am assured that there’s always water in the pool.” – Judy Baer

 

 

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Outfit deets:

Photographer: Naj of Driven x Style
Edits: Shaun Martinez
Location: Weehawken, NJ

Crop: $5 eBay
Harem Pants: $5 Wetseal
Converse: $30
Denim Jacket: $10 Old Navy
Sunnies: Vogue Eclipse $25
Hair: Shears of Gold

 

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