Category Archives: Uncategorized

New Season, New Life, New BLOG //

Hi, everyone! I am excited to announce that I have a new website! I am going to copy my newest blog post down below to explain the changes for all of my current followers. I am so thankful for all who have supported this blog, you all are amazing! I hope that you will continue to join me in this new chapter of my journey. Head on over and check out the new website; Alyssa Lauren Blog. Don’t forget to subscribe for updates! xo

I am so very excited to be launching my new blog today! I was planning on launching in a week or so, but I thought, what better of a time to talk about new seasons than the first day of September? Autumn begins this month and it is by far my favorite season. Leaves changing pretty colors and falling from trees, a chill in the air and pumpkin spicedeverything! This quote from Christine Caine reminds me of this season, “God prunes us when He is about to take us into a new season of growth and expansion.” This statement has proved true so many times in my life. I have had to say goodbye to friendships that weren’t allowing me to grow and quit a good job making decent money that was consuming too much of my time and energy.

For this reason, I have decided to start fresh by creating a new blog. Although I have had a good following on my last website, I wasn’t very committed. I was often distracted and would go months between posts. This is a way for me to begin with a clean slate and see what God wants to do through this blog. I didn’t have a very clear direction before and I believe that is what was holding me back. I have also struggled with the idea of fashion posts for quite some time. I wondered if it was too self-centered as a Christian woman to post photos of what I’m wearing each day. However; The Lord confirmed that this was not true for me in a few ways. Young girls are going to look to someone as an example for fashion advice and if there aren’t many Christian role models, they will look to the media and what the world says is cute and trendy. He has also shown me that it is good for women to feel confident in who they are, and we have that confidence when we are well dressed. With that being said, I will be focusing more on fashion blogging than before. This blog will also be a platform to share my faith and anything that has been resonating in my heart.

Along with this new season…we are expecting new life! Yes, we are pregnant! Our little miracle will be making a debut in February and we couldn’t be more excited! I believe that this is a time for new life physically and spiritually. God is so good and we are extremely blessed that He has chosen us to raise this precious child.

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Be sure to subscribe to this new blog to receive daily updates on our growing family and more! I am ready to embrace this new journey and so happy to have you joining alongside me.

xo, Alyssa

Very Inspirational Blogger Award //

The lovely Cortney Bre has nominated me for my very first blogger award, ‘Very Inspiring Blogger’ ! Although this is just for fun, it makes my heart so thrilled! Not only because people are reading my blog, but more importantly, they are getting something out of it. My only desire is to be able to encourage and inspire all of you!

 

The rules for this nomination include:

1. A big thank you to the blogger who nominated you (Thanks again, Cortney!)

2. Sharing 7 facts about yourself

3. Nominate 15 of your fellow bloggers to share the love with

 

Alrighty…let’s get this party started!

 

1. I have lead worship for about 8 years and wrote my first song when I was only 11. I actually recorded that song in a studio with my best friend who played the piano at age 13.

2. Although I have not really danced much the last few years, I was a dancer and a choreographer my entire life. Hip hop, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, you name it! My favorite dance style to this day is lyrical, that is where I am truly in the zone and connect most with the music. Also, I was in the Superbowl half time show back in 2009!

3. My hair has been many colors. These include red, pink and black. Yep.

4. I was born in Naples, Italy. My father was in the US Air Force and was stationed there. This is especially neat because my family is actually Italian.

5. Of course following my husband, my mother is my absolute best friend. She is the greatest role model, the best listener and advice giver. I have no idea where I would be without her in my life and I am extremely blessed to be her daughter. I wish every girl and her mother could share the bond that we do. I hope to someday be as wonderful of a mother as she is.

6. I am a car enthusiast. I love to look at cars, learn about them and admittedly…race them! I am so crazy, I know. But there is nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline you get when you’re racing! (Like racing that 7 series BMW earlier…cough cough)

7. Some places I would love to travel to include Norway, Maine, Alaska, Iceland, Ireland, France and Italy (again).

 

It was tough to choose only 15 bloggers, but these were at the top of my list. Check them out!

 

The Girl With The Red Bag

Positively Depressed

Emily Ann Moschner

Snippets With Alex

To The Nines

Cara’s Cliché

KateSpanish

Scully Speaks

A Pretty Penny

The Pink Wings

The Quintessentials Blog

Karissa Marie

Cara Loren

Barefoot Blonde

Pink Pistachio

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Baby Steps //

Hello there, Strangers! I’m back! I apologize for such a delay in my posts, as I have been recovering from being ill for the last few weeks. I’ll admit, I was getting quite depressed after a while. I had planned on starting some classes the first week of this month, but wasn’t able to. I spent much time at home alone resting and was hardly able to do anything on my own and it just became disheartening.

I used this resting time as also a time of reflection. I prayed about my goals, dreams and passions. However, at one point, I allowed doubt and fear to creep in and convince me that I wasn’t good enough to do the things I know that I am called to and that I missed my opportunity since I wasn’t able to start my classes immediately. How silly is that?! When I finally snapped out of that funk I was in, I came back with my dream kicking inside of me more than ever before and ready to be delivered into this world.

A l w a y s  remember that you are beyond capable of achieving the dreams that God has placed inside of you. You ARE good enough. In fact, you’re the best person for the job because YOU’RE the one that The Lord has chosen to live out YOUR calling. Even if things aren’t going the way we had originally planned, there’s always a reason for that and it’s all a part of our unique and beautiful journey.

Rather than sulking over the fact that being sick messed up the plans I had made, I am thankful for the opportunity to have more time to learn and grow. I always love to soak up as much knowledge as possible and be one step ahead of the game, so I am using these next few weeks to do some studying before my classes begin. During this time, I find that I am learning more about myself as an individual. The reading material has been very encouraging to me and has reignited some passions that have become dull over time.

I just wanted to be of some encouragement to those of you who may be dealing with a similar situation. When something doesn’t go as you had planned, don’t lose heart! Remember that there are far greater things in store than you realize and that the end result is going to be so rewarding.

We are a ‘now’ generation. We have become some accustomed to getting instant results at the touch of a button. Sometimes we expect life to be the same way. We hurry into things, expecting to get the results we want and as soon as we want them. That’s not how it really works, especially when we are wanting to be in the Lord’s will. As long as we are taking baby steps in the direction of where God wants us to be, we are successful, because a little bit of progress is better than no progress at all. Regardless of where you are at, learn to embrace the season that you’re in, because it has been appointed by One who holds the universe.

xx,

Alyssa

Finding Your One True Love //

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I got married at the ripe young age of 19. There is so much controversy these days over what is the ‘right’ age to marry, living together before you are married and how long people should be together before they decide to marry. My husband and I dealt with a lot of irresolute comments and ignorant questions throughout our courtship. Most of which came from those who had different backgrounds, beliefs, and morals than we did. They asked us why we wanted to get married so young, told us we needed to live together before we got married to make sure it would ‘work out’ and said we were missing out by not exploring other ‘options’.

In other instances, I have had many unmarried young women ask me about our relationship and seek advice for finding their future spouse. Questions like, “how did you know he was the one and when did you figure that out?” and “do you really think I will find someone for myself?” are among the most common. You see, every relationship is different; no two love stories are exactly the same.

God spoke to each of us individually and told us that we would one day be married (we hardly knew one another at the time…scary). After praying separately and with our parents, we began courting almost immediately, taking premarital counseling courses and going through marriage studies. About 8 months later, we got engaged and 13 months following our engagement, we became husband and wife.

We lived at home with our parents, up until the day we exchanged vows. We waited because we thought it would be worth it, and it was. We are told in Hebrews 13:4 that this is the way it should be. I can stand in front of anyone to this day and say that I have absolutely no regrets with the decisions we have made in our relationship.

Now I’m not going to sit here writing to you about how perfect of a marriage I have and how perfect my little life was before I met my husband. I just want to share the truth- what my life was like as I was growing up and how broken I was, before I completely surrendered everything to The Only One who could satisfy my needs.

Let’s rewind a bit to before we had even met one another. I struggled with a very deep depression for as long as I can remember. I didn’t think I was pretty or worthy of someone who could treat me well. I measured my worth based on the opinions of others. I found my identity in boys and relationships, rather than finding it in Jesus. I allowed myself to focus all of my energy and attention on these relationships, only to end up with a broken heart every time. Rather than finding the satisfaction I was expecting; I found hurt, despair, broken trust and even more depression.

The world has created a new stage before dating. I don’t mean friendship; it’s between friendship and dating. This epidemic is called ‘talking’. I’m sure most of you 30 and under know exactly what I’m talking about. This is probably one of the most juvenile relationships one could be in. Usually a guy will take the girl out like a date…but it’s not a date. Because they’re just ‘talking’. He can kiss her and touch her like he would if they were dating…but he can do that with someone else too, or can he? Because they’re not dating. They’re just ‘talking’.

This type of relationship only confuses and hurts both parties involved. There is no sense of where the relationship is headed, and no proper expectations or intentions set. This typically gives the guys an opportunity to get all of the benefits of a relationship without having to commit to anything. Ladies, you are worth so much more than that. Don’t allow yourself to be led on, and don’t allow someone else to control your happiness. A real man knows what he wants and the person that God chose for you will respect you.

It took an awfully crappy relationship with an equally crappy ending for me to finally snap out of these series of train-wreck-like decisions I was making. I gave up completely. I realized that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to find my happiness in another human being. I found myself on my knees in total abandonment in front of my Savior.

I want to take a moment to speak directly to those of you who are single and eagerly awaiting the arrival of your Prince Charming. Guess what? He’s right in front of you! His name is Jesus Christ, the only one who will truly love you regardless of all of your flaws and no matter how many times you betray Him. He is waiting with His arms wide open, ready for you to run and embrace Him. His love for you is deeper and richer than any Nicholas Sparks character or any man you could dream up yourself. Once you allow Him to be your center focus and the love of your life, then, in His timing, He will direct you to the one you will spend the rest of your live with.

I’m not saying that if you’re single, you’re not putting God first in your life. That would be a completely asinine thing to say. I am simply stating that when you give your entire heart to God and find your true worth and happiness in Him, you can’t go wrong. No one else can fulfill that need in your heart, not even your spouse. Marriage was not created to make you happy, and if that’s what you think, you will be extremely disappointed when you find yourself in your first argument with your significant other.

If you think it’s too late to start over, or too late for you to find ‘the one’, don’t fret. And stop searching, your love story has already been written by the most incredible Author. Leave your worries at the feet of Jesus and give Him all of your love. As said in Proverbs 37:4, “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. ” Trust in Him, I promise you will not be disappointed!

xx

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It’s A Heart Problem //

I have come to the conclusion that I am done. I give up; I just can’t do this anymore.

I am so tired of trying to earn grace. I know that grace can’t be earned, and yet I find myself trying to work for it. I focus too much on trying to make myself look neat and holy, rather than the One whom actually matters. There is a spirit of religion trying to disguise itself in Christianity and we seem to not always recognize it when it comes to our own lives. We walk around with this self-righteous mind set and call ourselves Christians. We point fingers at others and judge the lives that they live, when in reality, we aren’t even right ourselves. The world can decipher the difference between hypocrisy and a genuine love for The Lord and for others.

I have allowed myself to be constantly let down because I always screw up. No matter how hard I try, I always find a way to make a mess of things. That’s because I try and do it all on my own.

We are called to be like Jesus. And to be honest, that’s all I really want. I don’t want people to look at me and see me, the messy girl who is always slipping up and then hypocritically pointing the finger at others. I want them to see Jesus instead. I want them to see a girl that occasionally slips up and isn’t afraid to admit it, brushes herself off and moves on. A girl that loves on others with a love like Jesus.

I have a desire to lead others to Christ not just with my words, but with my actions. I want everyone to know that no matter how far you have strayed, how unworthy you feel or how big of a hole you’ve dug for yourself…it’s never too late. You don’t have to do anything to work for God’s grace and mercy, He has already given it unto us freely.

So how do we live like this, you ask?

First, we must get down to the heart of the problem and realize it’s a problem of the heart. We need to make our first priority to fall in love with our Creator more than ever before. When you genuinely love someone, you desire to spend as much time with them as possible and to do whatever you can to make sure that it happens. You long to know more about them. The more we make it a priority to spend time with the Lord, the more we will begin to see a real change in ourselves. You simply cannot go against the Holy Spirit when you are continuously and consciously walking in Him. It will be even less of an effort to try and act holy, as it will come more naturally.

Secondly, we need to stop judging. Really. I am so tired of hearing others tear down fellow believers and then try and justify their actions. There is a huge difference between correction in love and tearing down another person. Our words are so powerful and death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). I understand fully that we are all human and that we won’t always like one another and agree with each other’s way of living, but we need to stop using that as an excuse. We are called be set apart, not of this world (John 15:19). Jesus loved unconditionally, which is what drew people to Him. We are doing such a disservice to His name when we speak negatively toward others.

We must work on ourselves and renew our minds daily, rather than try and fix everyone else. If you desire to become more like Jesus, make Him your main focus. We are all growing and constantly learning, but the only way to actually do so is by surrendering every bit of ourselves to Jesus Christ.

This year, I am committing myself to getting to know God more intimately than ever and erasing negativity and judgement toward others from my life. Join me in making a genuine change in our lives and in this world. Let’s show everyone what God’s love is really all about!

xx

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New Beginnings //

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Another year has come and gone. It’s truly amazing how time flies. As 2013 is coming to a close, we all look back and review the events that have occurred throughout the last 365 days. Achievements, passing of loved ones, celebration of new life, personal growth, etc. Personally, I have experienced so many new things this past year and my life is forever changed.

In January of 2013, I stepped up and became a youth pastor for an incredible group of kids. For a year, I wrote sermons and preached every Wednesday night. I never really saw myself before as someone who would be putting messages together and preaching every week, but God stretched me and proved to be faithful as always. He really showed me that He will use whoever He wants to get something done. He used this opportunity to strengthen me and help me move in the direction of my purpose. New doors are opening and I couldn’t be more excited to see what He is going to do next.

May 19th 2013 was our one year wedding anniversary. It came so quickly! We spent an entire week away in the mountains of Tennessee. I spent so much time planning the things we would do and just as much time praying that I would be able to actually do them. July 11th 2012 was the date of my car accident. Up until now, I was still seeing the doctor every week, unable to move and do certain activities that I once was capable of. I enjoyed working out, dancing and being active. After the accident, the enemy had really instilled in me that I would never be able to fully do those things again. And I believed him. I told myself that I had faith and was waiting to receive my healing, but I wasn’t really. I still harbored bitterness and doubt.

The Lord really taught me a lesson during this time. He showed me what true faith is. During our time away, we did everything we had planned! Zip lining, whitewater rafting, skydiving and hiking. We spent an entire day hiking to the top of Mt. Leconte, one of the highest peaks in the Smoky Mountains. I had a serious God encounter during the climb. I was quoting scripture and felt The Lord just wrapping His loving arms around me. He filled me with an overwhelming peace and told me that I was healed- and I received it.

On this day, December 31 2013, I can say that my faith is stronger than ever. My marriage is the best it has ever been and I am even more in love with my husband than the day I married him. My purpose and the dream God has given me is clearer than ever before. I wouldn’t trade anything that has happened this past year; It has molded me into the person I am today.

My prayer is that regardless of the things that took place in your life last year, you would learn from all of it. That you would see the blessings over the hurts and the achievements over the failures. It is all just a part of your journey. Step boldly into this new year. This is Y O U R year, your new beginning, and God has got some pretty amazing things in store.

I am so excited to see what God is going to do in my life and how He is going to use me. New opportunities, new challenges, new blessings and new ways to serve others! I hope that you all join me on this adventure!

Have the most amazing New Years filled with lots of love and food!

xx

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Merry Christmas //

Christmas time is such an interesting time of year. There is a wide range of emotions that different people are experiencing. For some it is cheerful and for others, it is actually quite depressing. I understand that we all get a little busy and stressed out over the holiday preparations, but we still need to be considerate of others.

It seems that each year we become more bitter and callus during this season. Suddenly, Christmas becomes more of a hassle and less merry and bright. Unfortunately, I have come into contact with more greedy people this year than ever before. It not only frustrates me, but breaks my heart. I do realize that a portion of those people are hurting due to the loss of a loved one or perhaps a broken relationship, etc. But I’ve also seen just pure belligerent greed. Some people feel so entitled to what they want when they want it, and no one will get in their way or stop them.

Take into account how others around you may be feeling these next couple of days. The reason for this season is Jesus, and He is all about love. Go out of your way to love on others, even if they show you the opposite. Be a light- be compassionate and understanding and  s m i l e  at everyone! Smiling is contagious! You just may give someone a new sense of hope and peace.

If you’re the one just trying to get by this year and suffering from heartache; try to focus on the positive. Remind yourself of what Christmas is all about. None of us are perfect and we all experience some kind of hurt at one point or another. The good news is that God knows that. He knows that we can’t carry all of these burdens on our own, which is the very reason He sent His Son to this earth; so that we may cast all of our cares and worries on Him. We can put all of our hope, faith and trust in Him, and we have freedom when we do so. Know that you are loved unconditionally by our very Creator!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and experience lots of love, joy and peace this holiday season!

xx

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Be Still //

huntingtonRight now, I am sitting on Huntington Pier, sipping my caramel macchiato and reflecting on life. I have long awaited this very moment; yet for some reason, I am finding it almost difficult to enjoy. It’s baffling to me how we can rush through life and keep ourselves so busy but complain about not having time to rest or time for ourselves. Then when given the opportunity, we think of every excuse imaginable to not take advantage of that time. We become so acclimated to running around and just trying to get through life, rather than actually living it. We accept the thought that it is much too late to follow our dreams and that our reality is just a simple life of going through the motions, where everything is safe and familiar.

The Lord has really been showing me that I need to be still and rest in Him. If you know me, you know that being still is a very difficult thing for me to do. My life is so busy and I am the type of person who always has to be working on some sort of project. Lately, I have been waiting for the opportunity to rest because I have been so stressed out. And here I am, in beautiful California alone for the week and already worrying about things back at home after two days.

I am going to vow to use this precious time as I had originally planned. To rest, pray and be still and wait on the Lord. He has blessed me with this special time with Him and I need to take advantage of every bit of it.

I just wanted to encourage all of you to take a moment and breathe. Take a step back, be still and dream again. Whether you think you have the time or not, be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit has to say and show you. Don’t be too busy trying to make it through the day that you forget to live and enjoy it. Don’t forget to dream and to soak up this season of your life!

xx

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Thankful //

It’s that time of year again. The day that families come together and partake in turkey, pumpkin pie and a million other foods. The day that everyone shares what they are thankful for and then spends the next 24 hours beating one another up for the last 50″ television. Although it is so cliché, I have decided to write a blog post on what I am thankful for. If no one reads this, I wouldn’t mind one bit because this is simply for myself. I want to take this opportunity to collect my thoughts and reflect on them a year; even ten years from now.

First of all, I’m thankful for the love and mercy of my Savior. I am so undeserving of His grace, but He calls me worthy. No matter how many times we fail Him, we are never too far from His love. He has saved my life and for that I am forever grateful. I owe everything to Him.

I am thankful for my husband. He loves me with his whole heart and puts up with my silliness.  My hubby is my absolute best friend and I couldn’t ask for anyone more perfect to share my life with. God sure knew what He was doing when He brought him into my life, but when doesn’t He?!

Family is so important to me. I know that no matter what happens in life and despite the disagreements, my family will always be there for me. They are my foundation and support.

Last but certainly not least, I am so thankful for where The Lord has taken me over the last year. Through all of the stress and frustration, I have seen so many blessings flourish. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a blessing to others. I believe that we are blessed so that we may bless others also. I have grown in every area of my life and I know that without allowing God to stretch me, I definitely would not be where I am today. I have learned to trust in Him completely and embrace my current situation, as it is a part of my journey; the story that has already been written for me.

When you take a moment to really think about it, you begin to realize that there is a l w a y s something to be thankful for. Count your blessings on this beautiful day. What has God done for you?

Happy Thanksgiving, loves!

xx

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