Bloom girls ministry

Bloom girls ministry
Some of my little bloomies

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The pursuit of beauty

Don't you ever wish you were beautiful? I mean, seriously, like "knock out" beautiful? I remember a friend of mine from high school telling me that very thing once. She lamented, "I don't just want to be cute or pretty, I want to be a knock out!". I feel ya Lindsay! Well, my friends, this a desire so deeply set in the core of our hearts that it never fades away. Now, before I get started on my story, I know our friends and family all think we're all beautiful and we feel the same way about them. But, lets be honest, do we really believe them? When your family tells you you're handsome or beautiful, you're probably thinking "Yeah, yeah, you're just saying that because you have to". Why is it so hard for us to believe good things about ourselves? Why do we go through great measures to get noticed?
As I write this, I dealing with a case of the "un-pretties" today. I forgot to put on mascara this morning while I was getting ready for work. I felt so "blah" without it, that I actually drove back to my house real quick to swipe some on. (I only live 2 blocks from my office). Yes, I couldn't believe I did that either. Today, I don't like my hair, and I haven't liked it for 3 days already. I feel like chopping it off! And, I've been looking in the mirror telling myself its time to carve some abs into this muffin top! Man, I really beat myself up. So what does this have to do with anything, you ask?
My younger brother Marcus got married this past July. It was a beautiful wedding and words cannot convey the deep joy I feel for my brother and my new sister! I'm overcome with joy! In the weeks before the wedding, I decided that I was going to look my best at this wedding! I was going to lose some weight and rock my dress, my hair was going to be awesome and by golly, I was going to turn heads!!! Well, my plans didn't go quite as well as I thought.
When I got my bridesmaid dress in, I couldn't zip my dress all the way. I literally felt like the seams were going to bust if I sneezed! So, I got up at 5:30 a.m. everyday for a month and a half and walked two miles. Wedding day: the dress zipped with room to breathe!!
I decided that I wanted to have the smoothest skin ever, so, I waxed....yeah, it didn't work out so great. The wax strips wouldn't come off of my skin right. I had bruises all over my body where the strips were pulling my skin. The worst part is,a few days before, a friend of mine was going on and on about how she finally removed the hair from her arms and how great it felt. She was like "Steph, you need to try this! Its the best feeling ever!". I've always been self conscious about my arm hair, so I thought, why not. So, during my waxing "escapade", I decided to wax my arms. Bad idea. It literally ripped off patches of my skin. I was pink, red, purple, bruised and in agony. I threw the wax away and I have since vowed to never wax again!! Its just me and a razor from now on!
As I looked at my skin, I realized, I need a tan! If you know me, you know I'm pasty pale. I mean, I'm fish belly white! So, the next day, I get my happy self over to the tanning salon and get my first spray tan. Now, I've learned to accept the fact that I'm pale and that "regular" tanning is not good for me. So, I do my best to embrace my paleness. But, remember, I want to look my best. So, here I go, I'm spray tanning. I get out, and yeah, I'm liking it...alot! That is until I look at my arms. Remember how the whole "waxing" thing didn't work out so well and it ripped off patches of my skin? Well, I looked like I had a skin disease! I had white blotches on my arms where the tanning stuff did not adhere to my freshly exposed skin...and there was nothing I could do but eventually let it fade away. Talk about EMBARRASSING!
Then, I decided that I was bored with my mousy brown hair. I wanted something different. Not funky, but classy. So, I decided to dye my hair black! And, to save some cash, I asked my aunt if she would color my hair at home. I go to rinse the color and I have dye running into my eyes and it burns so bad. My hands were gray for two days from rinsing my hair. And, I had some black patches of skin on my forehead that I had to cover with my hair until it wore off. Lesson learned: Vaseline the heck out of your skin before you dye your hair and use some gloves!!! But, all in all, I like my black hair.
So, the big day arrives. Everybody, especially the bride, looked stunning. All eyes were on Gabby and Marcus, as they should have been. They had my undivided attention and I was raptured in their joy! But, at the end of the day, I remained the same. After all the "preparation", I didn't feel any different. I thought "What was all of that for?" Who was it for? Me?
You know, sometimes we don't think anybody sees us. I mean they "see" us, but not really. God reminded me that He sees me. When nobody seems to notice, He gives me His special attention. Undivided attention. He calls me His own. He calls me the apple of his eye. And I believe Him! He loves me despite my flaws and faults. He just...sees me. So, today I'm reminded that I have a God who doesn't care about my appearance. He doesn't care about my hair or makeup, clothes or weight, race or social status. He sees my heart. He sees my soul. And he still loves me. I belong to Him and He belongs to me. And when I think about his love, I don't just feel beautiful, I feel free!

Monday, February 15, 2010

"Keep telling yourself that..."

So, yesterday was Valentines day. If you don't know me, I'm single so naturally, its not the best day of the year. Most of the time, its the one day of the year that reminds me that I'm alone. (like I don't have 364 other days that tell me the same thing.) You see, I'm 26. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "so what?". Well, to be quite honest, I'm beginning to feel like an "old maid". In fact, I've even been told that I'm an "old maid" by some of the sensitive and brutally honest farmers that come into the business I work in. Last year, Valentines day was bad. (I don't think I'll ever forget that day.) But this year was different. Now, I don't want to go off on a rant and I don't want you to think that I am crying. I know that there are bigger things than me that are out there in this world and I know that larger problems exist. But you see, I have been faithful to God and this is the one desire of my heart, to find the Godly man that God has for me. I have been waiting for many, many years. But, I feel let down sometimes because I don't see it happening. So, I go on spending holidays, birthdays, significant events alone and with no one to share them with. Sometimes I feel very alone. All of the people I see everyday are married and have been for quite some time. They don't understand the fear that grips me when celebrate a birthday and realize that I'm getting older and I'm still alone. Am I gonna be this way when I'm 30? 35? 40! It gets a bit scary. But, in spite of all of those feelings, this year I resolved to have a happy Valentines day.
So, I was in my co-workers office (a dear friend of mine) and we were talking about the impending "holiday". And as the griping went on I said "Jesus is the only one I need." To this, my friend responded "Yeah Steph, keep telling yourself that". I know that it was just a light hearted jab, but it got me thinking. Is that what everyone thinks? Those who are watching my life from the outside, look at my life and think that I'm never gonna get married. They think that no one wants me and even if they do, I never go for them. They think that I'm never going to find the kind of man that I'm looking for. They probably think I'm just perpetually single. And you know what, those thoughts go through my head too.
You see, when I was in high school, I experienced the "High School Sweetheart" syndrome. And, as in many cases, I was left with a broken heart. When that happened I gave my heart to God and I told Him that my heart was His. I promised to wait for the one man that He has for me and I promised not to give my heart to anyone else but the one man that He has for me. The Godly man that would share this walk of faith with me. So far, I have not see such a man come my way. Yes, I have been pursued by many, but they were missing the key ingredient...a relationship with Christ.This is why I'm still single. I also live in Olton and there just doesn't seem to be anyone like that around here. Ans if I do go out and I'm in a christian setting, all the guys are either married or they don't even look at me. So, what's the problem?
I don't feel that I am going about this wrong. I said I would wait and wait I shall. Is this easy? No! Please don't look at the single people in your church and for one minute think, they have it made. You don't know their hearts and struggles. You don't know how lonely this road may feel for them. Praise God you have someone to change your oil, throw the trash, or even help you pay the water bill. Praise God that you have someone to talk to at the end of the day. Praise God! It can be a real struggle to make God your everything when you feel like something is missing. And most of the time, we singles feel guilty for getting down about being single because we feel like we aren't making God our everything (at least I do).
But this Valentines day was different. Instead of sadness, I felt joy! Instead of anxiety I felt peace. It was a great day and I praise God for that. I really prayed that He would help me have a different attitude this year. I didn't want an attitude of sadness but I wanted an attitude of praise. And, just like the faithful God that He is, God came through for me. Not once was yesterday sad. Not once did I feel lonely. Not once did I feel down. It was a great day to be alive. Jesus really is the only one that I need!
I know God has someone for me. There are days when I get excited to see who I've been waiting for. I know he will be worth the wait. I know God will reward me. I know God has a plan. Until the day that the Lord chooses to bring me that man, God will be the only one that I need. Forever and always. And I will keep telling myself that because its true.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

High School Reunion

Happy Thursday! I hope this day finds you happy and blessed!
So, a friend recommended a show to me. Its called "High School Reunion". I don't know if you have ever heard of it. It comes on TV Land. Any who, the show is about the class of 1989 and it takes place 20 years later. They pick a handful of students from that class and put them all in a house together in Hawaii. So, picture a house full of the people that used to be the jocks, nerds, outcasts, cheerleaders, the super popular girls, bullies, see where I'm going with this. So here we are, 20 years later, and you get to see how they interact and if they have changed or if they are the same. Needless to say, this makes for a very interesting show. As I watched, I was struck by the fact that many of these people were exactly the same type of person that they were in high school!! The mean girls were still mean! They were still hot. They were still selfish. The bullies were still bullies. Even when one bully was confronted by one of the guys he used to pick on, he acted like he had a right to pick on the guy and had no reason to apologize for that. The "it" couple from high school is still hung up on each other 20 years later. The Ladies man was still trying to get with every girl in the house. The girl that was a nerd in high school was still crying about how she didn't fit in then and still doesn't fit in now. The only person that changed was the wallflower. She emerged as this beautiful, confident woman. She was happy and fun and for once, everyone couldn't help but notice her. Even the most popular guy in high school is smitten by her. She was just radiating.
As I watched this, the word that kept coming to my mind was "identity". Identity. Most of these people still had the same identity. They still had the same type of behavior, the same attitude, the same old antics. Their identities were the same. And I thought, "Why didn't they change? Why didn't they improve or become better people inside? Why didn't they mature from that 'high school' state of being?"
Then I began to look at myself. Who was I in High School? Who am I now? In high school, I was awkward. I had my group of close friends and I didn't have enemies. I wasn't part of the popular crowd. I really felt like I was just myself. I don't think that I tried to be somebody that I wasn't. Good, bad and ugly, I was myself and I hope that people would agree with that. And yeah, high school was a bit tough. Here, I can relate the the lament of the "nerdy" girl in the show. There were times when I myself felt like the wallflower. I felt so unnoticed by those that I wanted to be noticed by. I felt that maybe I wasn't seen for who I was inside. Many times that feeling made me ache inside. I was just a girl. I wanted to be beautiful. I wanted to be told I was wonderful. I needed to feel valuable. I don't think that I was alone in feeling this. Maybe you felt that way too.
Today, I am a woman after God's heart. He captured mine and I owe all of my love to Him. He makes life worth living and everyday is an adventure. He found this lone, insecure girl and let her know that she was the apple of his eye. I am a conqueror through Christ and I am his beloved! I know who I am and anything I am today is because of Him and him alone. You see, who I was then wasn't enough. I needed improvement. The improvement that I needed wasn't a new body or hairstyle. It wasn't new clothes or an amazing career. I recognized that even though I was myself, I needed HIM. By myself, I was still not enough. Only Christ completed me. He was the missing piece to the puzzle of this soul. In Christ, I feel complete. My identity has changed because of who Christ is. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!". The old me is gone! All of aching for people to notice me has been replaced with gratitude because the God of this Universe noticed me...He noticed me!
Next year will be my 10 year High School reunion. I'm excited to see everyone again. But most of all, I hope that we aren't in the same place we were 10 years ago. Lets take a page from the book of the "wallflower" and emerge as people that have been transformed by the identity of Christ! I hope that we all can testify of the wonderful work God has done in our lives. I know I can! And I hope that that is what you see when you see me again!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lets get this started shall we...

Hello all!
Welcome to the Bloom girls ministry Blog. I'm so glad that you made it! So, sit back, relax, grab a cup o' joe and enjoy :-). This is the first of many blogs to come. So, I would like to introduce myself and let you know what Bloom is all about. My name is Stephanie Rejino and I lead Bloom girls ministry. Its has been a pleasure and it has been a journey. God first placed bloom on my heart about 4 years ago. And here we are...1 1/2 years into bloom and I am so excited as I watch God do new things every Tuesday.I have been blessed to have two incredibly Godly women serve by my side. Sister Christy Delacruz and Jennifer Aviles have been with me from the very start and they have just been an amazing team! I love these women so much! Bloom is a ministry aimed at teenage girls. We get together once a week and have a Bible study. But its also a place for these girls to relax, have fun and feel safe among friends. Our message to these girls is that they are precious, loved and priceless to our God. It is not impossible to be a Godly girl and and ungodly world. We strive to be the difference; the light in a dark world. And you don't have to be a teenage girl to be involved in Bloom. I have found that many of the same struggles that girls grapple with everyday are the same struggles that women grapple with everyday. So, we can relate to what these girls feel. And if you are a woman needing some food for the soul, well, have a seat because the table is prepared for you my dear! So, if you have any questions, suggestions, comments, let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time amigas!!