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FNO Galleria 2012

Kingdom Model

While attending Fashion’s Night Out at the Galleria mall in Dallas, my friends and I gathered together along the runway and eagerly anticipated a fall fashion show showcasing the latest trends. As the show began, we gazed carefully at each model’s attire from head to toe and pointed out those which we liked the most. We quickly snapped photos and continued our observations of each model’s representation of their designer brand. The show was fun to watch, and the models did a great job, but as I headed home I couldn’t help but ask myself this question:

After the hair comes down, the makeup is wiped away and the clothes are hung back in the closet, what remains?

As a culture, it’s safe to say that we put a strong emphasis on outer appearance. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying fashion and style, which I do very much, we must remember that our identity is not based on what or “who” we wear. We must find our greatest joy in things that are unseen and our identity in Christ alone.

If you’re anything like me, you can relate to a time when you bought an item that seemed irresistible in the store. You just had to have it. And yet, once you bought it and tried it on again at home, it didn’t have the same affect. Away from the bright lights and thumping music in the shopping store, it just wasn’t…well…worth it.

That’s what it’s like in life. We have to be careful of “believing the hype” and getting caught up in things that don’t matter. We’ve got to keep first things first and focus our attention on the eternal rather than the temporal. Our goal should be to dress well outwardly and inwardly alike.

Did you know that as believers we are God’s kingdom models? Our assignment from our Designer is to represent His “brand” in the earth and model His lifestyle. God has called us to wear His custom-made “labels” and display His kingdom to others. To model His love and joy on the catwalk of life. To model His peace and wear our blessings well. Colossians 3:10, 12-14 in The Message translation says it like this:

Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

When we wear the wardrobe that God has picked out for us, we will always look our best. His love and kindness will never fade or go out of style. So, if you’re wondering what the fall-must have items are for this season, these are our Designer’s top picks! Let’s confidently and boldly model His way of living. His wardrobe will never grow old…and there’s nothing more beautiful and flattering to wear than that.

Emonne Markland
Leave Your Beauty Mark

Rescued From Rejection

In life, we often experience things that we don’t understand. There seems to be no purpose for the pain we suffer, especially when referring to rejection. Rejection hurts. There is no pain like it, especially when it comes from someone that did (or should) love you. It pierces to the depths of the soul. Rejection can draw you to anger, depression, insecurity, low self-esteem and leave you feeling empty.

If you are reading this post, there’s a great chance that you’ve experienced the pain of rejection first hand. A friend who betrayed you. A boyfriend who left you for someone else. A parent who never wanted you. A woman who you thought you would marry who chose someone else instead of you. A job offer that fell through. A hope lost. You put yourself out there- invested your time and money- extended a hand of hope and love, only to be pierced by the sharp edge of an evil eye, a cold shoulder, or even worse, deafening silence.

Personal Example

When I graduated from ORU, I had high hopes and expectations for getting a great job in my field. I had a number of interviews lined up, even one for the day after graduation! I would prepare my resume, get my suit on, self-talk, pray and get in the car and do what I felt was a great job at the interview. In one particular case, I discovered an opening at a Christian advertising and marketing firm here in Dallas. After checking out the website and job description, I just KNEW this was the job for me! I went up to the office with all the confidence in the world, gave them my resume and told them that I was very interested in the position. Over the next few months, I made it through interview after interview and was even given the job and told to put in my two week’s notice at the current retail job I had. I was so excited and all of my retail co-workers were too as the countdown began to my new, dream job.

One day, about a week before my first day, the owner’s wife called me and told me that they had a financial meeting and wouldn’t be able to hire me after all. As tears welled up in my eyes, I thanked her for the opportunity and hung up the phone. The pain of rejection and disappointment flooded my heart. In the days and weeks to come, I humbled myself and asked for my old job back. I just couldn’t understand why I had to go through this situation. Why didn’t they want me in their company? Why did I do all of those interviews and put in my two week’s notice only to be told that I wasn’t hired after all? It was a rough season, but looking back, I know that God protected me from focusing my energy into a job that wasn’t in line with His plan and purpose for my life. In time, God opened a door for me to work from home as a social media manager, giving me the opportunity to bring in income, take care of my daughter, write and prepare for my purpose. His plan was much better than mine.

The Rejected Stone

Today, I want you to know that Jesus understands your pain. The Bible says that He is the stone that the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22). He came to earth and was rejected by His own people, even to the point of death, but chosen by God (see 1 Peter 2:4; Isaiah 53:3). He was betrayed by Judas, a disciple that walked with Him and was taught by Him. Every day, for thousands of years, the Father has been rejected by people that He loves and created for His glory. Year after year, members of the church close their doors to the work of the Holy Spirit and reject His ministry in order to accept fanfare and bright light shows. God is very familiar with the feeling of rejection, and wants you to know that you are accepted in His arms today. He loves you. He cares for you. He sent His only Son to die for you so that you could be accepted through grace, despite your faults and failures. Even when people reject you, He will be there for you and use the rejection you experienced to direct and protect you.

Protection in Disguise

You see, rejection can be a means of protection in disguise. It’s hidden beneath your pain and despair. Be glad that he or she rejected you. Thank God that the job you wanted didn’t come through. Rejoice when the school that you applied for sent you a rejection letter. Their rejection closed the door to your plan & opened the door to God’s plan. He knows what we need and can work through the pain of rejection to protect us from the deeper pain of being outside of His will.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some people are not rejecting you per se, they’re rejecting the God in you. The fragrance of Christ in your life is like a stench to them, causing them to turn away from you in disgust (see 2 Corinthians 2:15). In this case, count it all joy as well, and pray that God will bring that person to a true knowledge of who God is and stop rejecting His open arms of love.

So don’t view the rejection of man as the rejection of God. If you have accepted Jesus, He has not rejected you. God says in His word that He will never leave nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5). He has rescued you from rejection.

So my challenge to you today is not to reject God. Don’t reject His love. Don’t reject His correction. Receive His love. Accept His plan, even when it doesn’t make sense. Embrace His purpose for your life and walk boldly into your future.

You are not rejected. You are accepted.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV).

Emonne Markland
Leave Your Beauty Mark

Photo credit: Emonne Markland

It’s A Matter of Time

Photo credit: Emonne Markland

You’ve prayed. You’ve praised. You’ve sown seeds. You’ve kept the faith. You’ve stood on the promises in the Word. You know that God is able to answer your request, but you haven’t seen your harvest yet. I want to encourage you today that you have not been denied. Your prayer has not gone unheard and lost in the masses of prayers that go up before the Lord. It’s just a matter of time.

Genesis 8:22 says, While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” We often think about the importance of sowing seeds and reaping a harvest. But what about the time in between? Seedtime & harvest can actually be looked at like this: Seed. Time. Harvest. Just like when a farmer sows a seed into the soil, he must water his seed and allow time to take its course for the harvest to appear when it’s ready.

Consider the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-2:11. She was loved of her husband and yet could not have a child. The annual rivalry between her and her husband’s other wife Peninnah, who had many children, was becoming more than she could bear. Even though she had a great husband, she couldn’t even eat because of the pressure and disappointment of not being a mother. One day, she went to the tabernacle to pray and silently pour her heart out to God in despair. She made a promise to God that if He would remember her pain and allow her to have a son, she would give him back to the Lord. The priest, Eli, who was in the tabernacle saw her praying and actually thought she was drunk! She assured him that she wasn’t and explained how she was praying from a sorrowful heart. Eli encouraged her to go in peace and that God would answer her prayer. When she heard that, she received the word and went to eat. The next day, she and her husband woke up early in the morning to worship God and then went home.

So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:20)

Hannah followed through with her promise to God and gave her son back to the Lord. It says in 1 Samuel 3:19 that “Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground”. He became a prophet to the nation of Israel and was used of God to anoint Israel’s first king, Saul, and also King David. God used him to speak into their lives at very critical times and he was a highly influential prophet in the land of Israel.

Though it seemed like God had forgotten Hannah and hadn’t seen her suffering and despair, He did not. It was just a matter of time. God knew that Samuel had to be born at a certain time to be alive during Israel’s transition from judges to kings. Samuel was the last judge and the first prophet. God had a purpose for Samuel’s life that went beyond what Hannah could even image. The mere fact that Samuel has two books of the bible named after him (1 Samuel and 2 Samuel) are an indicator that his work and the work of the kings during his lifetime was of great importance.

What appears to be a delay in the answer of your prayer is not a denial of your request. It’s just a matter of time.

Maybe you have been believing God to get pregnant and have tried everything you can to conceive only to be disappointed by negative pregnancy results time and time again. Maybe you have been single for a long time and are believing God for a spouse but haven’t found the one yet. You feel like you’re getting older and older and that all the “good men” out there are few and far between. Maybe you’re believing God for an open door in your life and yet every door that you seem to knock on is bolted shut. Whatever your situation is, be encouraged today! Keep the faith! Don’t lose hope! You are not forgotten! God sees you. He knows you and He loves you. He is willing and able to strengthen you in this season of waiting.

Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the end of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases their strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:27-31)

Our eternal God is not confined to or limited by time, but He will work with and inside of time for His purpose. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,“To everything there is a season; a time for every purpose under heaven.” You are not behind schedule, you are moving forward according to His timing. As you continue to trust God and His timing in your life, you will be able to enjoy the road along the way and rest in peace, knowing that He is in control. Praise God in advance for what you know by faith He is going to do!

Your time is coming.

He has made everything beautiful in its time… (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

define the relationships

DTR: Define the Relationships

At various seasons, we must take time to DTR: define the relationships in our lives. When God is taking you from one season to another, and from one level to another, not every person will go with you. In some cases, people who were in your life from the past can only see you as who you used to be. When God starts growing you and changing you into a new creation in Christ, those people are so familiar with who you once were that they cannot accept the new you and therefore will not transition into the next level with you. It’s important to know who’s who in your life and understand where each relationship stands when your seasons change. Some relationships may always be in your life, but some may be just for a season. God designed them that way.

Have you ever had a balloon and were holding it by a ribbon and then all of a sudden it flew out of your grasp and began to swirl away, higher and higher until you could no longer see its path into the sky? The reason why the balloon was able to soar so high and far was because it wasn’t restricted by your weight. Consider, also, a time when you bought a bouquet of balloons for a party or celebration. What did you buy along with the balloons and ribbons? Most likely, you bought a weight. Why? Because what’s inside of them will cause them to elevate to a place beyond your grasp and you need a way to hold them down & keep the balloons from going higher so that they will fulfill the purpose for which you bought them. I’m sure by now you see where I’m going with this.

Some relationships, even if they started out well, can become a weight in your life. They may not be a bad person per-se, but the difference in the intentions of the relationship conflict with one another. Like the balloon purchaser, they want to keep you down at their level for decorative purposes. They don’t want to see you go higher because they feel intimidated by your elevation. Do you have a relationship with someone where when you talk to them, they always have some drama going on and yet want to talk on the phone for 3 hours, rarely letting you get a word in edge wise? That relationship is probably a weight. Do you have a relationship with someone who always points out every reason why you can’t do the dreams in your heart in order to “protect” you from disappointment? That relationship has most likely become a weight in your life and can be inadvertently used as a dream killer. First Corinthians 15:33 in the NIV says “bad company corrupts good morals”. Be mindful of the company that you keep. If someone has become a weight in your life, you’ve got to let them go. Even if it’s uncomfortable for a while and you may have to be alone for a season, make the adjustment. Being alone in peace and obedience, though it may be uncomfortable, is better than having unhealthy companionship in turmoil and disobedience just because it’s comfortable and familiar. I’ve been there, I know.

Relationships become dangerous and controlling when people feel entitled to be your friend. You owe no man nothing but love (Romans 13:8). And regardless of who was with you back in the day when you were in high school or college and feels like they deserve to be in your life today, let God be the judge of that. You can’t take every friend that you’ve had in your life where God is taking you. Young people in middle school and high school tend to want many friends and try to be cool with everyone in order to be popular. Mature, wise people understand that it’s not about the quantity of friends that you have, but the quality of friends that you have. You must be selective about your relationships and surround yourself with people who know you by the Spirit. You can’t be everybody’s friend. You have to choose your friends wisely.

Back in 2008, I heard a life-changing sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes where he explained the 3 different types of relationships in our lives: constituents, confidants and comrades.

Constituents are people that are for what you’re for (your cause), but not for you as an individual. They get excited about what you’re excited about and are passionate for what you’re passionate for but in no way are to be personally connected to you as a close friend. They come, and they go. Their motive is to pursue the cause, not you. Having a relationship with them is not a problem, but confiding in and telling them your dreams is a big problem. God can use your relationship to get you both closer to your purposes and then allow the relationship to come to an end. Don’t try to hold on when it’s time to let go. These relationships are seasonal. Thank God for the investment that you made in each other and keep it moving.

Confidants are people that are not necessarily for what you’re for, but they are for you 100%. They are those once-in-a-lifetime friends that you can trust and be yourself around. They have your back through thick and thin. They are excited for you when God is blessing your life and not jealous or envious of how God is raising you up. They help you give birth to your dreams. They know who they are and therefore don’t feel the need to compete with you because they understand that you are both called and chosen of God in your own unique ways. They respect you and love you for you, not for what they can receive from you or because they merely want to be seen with you in public or in your pictures on Instagram. (OK?!) They pour into you and you pour into them. These relationships must be invested in more than the other two types. Don’t neglect your confidants! Take time to nurture those relationships and go out of your way to bless those people. Pray for them. Call them. Send them a letter of gratitude and thank them for being a trustworthy and loyal friend. God placed them in your life as a blessing and support so don’t take them for granted. If you do, you’ll be doing you both a disservice.

Comrades are people that are against what you are against. They’re in your life to work with you to defeat a common enemy together. They are similar to the comrades and will only be your friends until you win the battle. They are in your life for a specific purpose and season. They are not a confidant, therefore they do not need to know the details of your life and deep things that God is speaking to your heart. Invest accordingly.

I highly recommendwatching this sermon video by Bishop T.D. Jakes where he discusses the three types of relationships. Understanding and heeding this word can save you so much heartache, time, disappointment and confusion. It’s a source of wisdom that I keep in my personal library.

It’s so important to know who’s who in our lives when it comes to relationships. Being able to discern which type of relationship that you have with various people will make a huge difference in the expectations and investment that you make in them. Thank God for all of the relationships in your life because they all serve a specific purpose. I pray that this posts gets you thinking and that the Holy Spirit will begin to speak to you even now about the various relationships in your life. Take some time this week to get quiet and start to evaluate your relationships. Ask God to reveal to you the motives of the hearts of people in your life and help you DTR. As He begins to lead you, be obedient to make the necessary adjustments. You may have to let some relationships go. You may need to unfriend some people on facebook and twitter. You may have to make a phone call and apologize to a confidant for not investing accordingly. You may want to send a letter to someone and thank them for being a loyal friend. Whatever it is that God leads you to do, do it. And pray that He gives you the words to say and the right way to go about making the adjustment so that there can be peace on both ends (if possible). Most importantly, remember that God is your #1 relationship and true best friend. Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” God is the friend that sticks closer than a brother and should be the main relationship that you invest the most in. Trust me, it will be worth the ROI (return on investment).

So tell me, have you had a DTR session recently? How did you make the necessary adjustments? Do you have a confidant that you would like to honor and tell others how they’ve been a blessing in your life? If you’ve been blessed by this post in some way, let me know you’ve stopped by and share the post with friends. Leave a comment below and join the conversation!

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

P.S. If you have a prayer request, please feel free to email me at beautymarkedmom@gmail.com. I’d be happy to agree with you in prayer!

The Attractive Factor: What To Do While You’re Waiting For the One

You’re single. You know you want to get married but haven’t found “the one” yet. You trust that God has someone out there for you but have no idea where and when you’ll meet them. So, what do you do while you’re waiting? How can you make the most of your single life without feeling lonely and desperate for a relationship? Here are a few tips:

Seek God & His Kingdom

The best thing to do while you’re waiting is draw near to God and seek Him with all your heart. Think about it. This is the one time in your life where you have total freedom over your time! Get lost in His presence. Spend time in the word. Build your faith through listening to bible teachings via podcasts and other audio/video avenues. Learn to hear and heed the voice of God. Pour out your heart to Him and allow Him to restore you in every area so that you are whole, not waiting on someone to come and fulfill you. The best, most-fulfilling love comes only from God. Every other love relationship aside from Him is icing. He’s the cake.

Discover you

If you don’t know your purpose, dreams, goals and desires, now’s the time to find out! So often people go through middle school, high school, college and beyond jumping from one relationship to another and neglect to discover who they are by themselves. Don’t be afraid to be alone! Now is your opportunity to realize your dreams and goals and discover your purpose in life. Spend time by yourself. Don’t worry about going on dates all the time. Date you! Learn about your family history. Discover who you are and where you’re going. Write down your vision and keep a journal of what the Lord speaks to you. That way, when someone does come along, you can see if your purpose and vision lines up with theirs.

Become the spouse you want

Most singles, especially ladies, write out a list of all the things they want in a spouse. (Be honest ladies, you know you did!;) ) I want a husband that is tall, athletic, funny, smart, financially sound, loves God, protective, loyal, affectionate… And the list goes on. And on. And on. That’s a good thing to do, don’t get me wrong, but what about listing all the characteristics that YOU want to bring to the table? Marriage is about giving, so ask God to show you areas of growth and how you can become the spouse that your future spouse will need. You want to have a husband, ladies? Begin acting like a wife.

Maximize the moment

Like I mentioned earlier, this is the one time in life where you are able to do things according to your own time schedule, so carpe diem! Don’t allow the enemy to steal this precious time from you by keeping you focused on what you don’t have. You may not be in an awesome relationship with the man or woman of your dreams but don’t think of it as lost time! This season is a gift. I remember being single and wishing I was married. One day at a church event a lady spoke to me and said that I must spend as much time as I could with God because when I get married and become a mother I won’t have the same amount of time to devote to Him as I do now. That word was spoken to me 6 years ago, and let me tell you, now that I have crossed over into that season, I know that what she said is true. So maximize the moment! Commit to an area of service in your church! Travel! Write a book! Record a CD! Seek ways to give back to your community! Develop and achieve financial goals! Start a business! You don’t have to wait until you’re married to begin living your dreams and experiencing joy! It’s available NOW! I have a friend that’s in her late 20’s and isn’t married. She’s written a book, traveled the world through missions trips and more, speaks at conferences, produced a TV show, committed to leadership and service in her church, and the list goes on! She’s not waiting for a man to come into her life for her to start enjoying it! She understands that Jesus has a purpose for her single life and has maximized this moment in her life. You can too!

Walk in the Spirit

So let’s face it, you have the desire to be married but it hasn’t happened yet. Which means you have the desire to love and be intimate with someone, but now is not the time. Let me encourage you, you can remain pure in thoughts and actions if you walk by the Spirit (see Galatians 5:16). How can you stay pure? By living according to and being governed by God’s word (see Psalm 119:9). Not in your own strength and righteousness, because how many of you know that good intentions are a weak foundation to lean on? It takes extreme discipline to keep your desires under subjection! You want to do the right thing, and God understands that. Ask Him to help you during this season and He will. Even if you failed in the past, you can win in the future.

I heard Pastor Steven Furtick recall the scripture that says, “Without a vision, people cast off restraint” in reference to single life (see Prov. 29:18). If you don’t have a vision and hope for your future marriage, it’s easy to cast off restraint and start settling for whatever you can get in the moment. Don’t settle for cheap counterfeits when God has the real deal in store for you.

As you guard your heart (i.e. avoid love scenes, be selective about dating/friendships with the opposite sex, guard what you allow your eyes to see and ears to hear, avoid love songs, etc…), live according to the word, maximize the moment, seek God, become the spouse you want and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, you will live a single life of true freedom.

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So tell me, what are you doing while you’re waiting? How are you maximizing this time in your life? Feel free to share information about your church, business, organization, etc. and see how others are enjoying the single life!

Emonne Markland: Leave Your Beauty Mark

For more information on The Attractive Factor series, check out these posts:

The Attractive Factor: What Role Should Physical Attraction Play When Choosing A Spouse?

The Attractive Factor: A Bride for Isaac (Video)

The Attractive Factor: What Role Should Physical Attraction Play in Choosing a Spouse?

Selecting a spouse is one of the most important decisions that we can make in our lives. That one decision has a ripple effect, pouring into all areas of life: physical, mental and spiritual. Many different factors come into play when selecting a spouse, but what should be the top priorities? For many people, physical attraction is the number one factor, and sometimes even the deciding factor. But as believers, should our standards be the same? Should physical attraction be the top priority and deciding factor when selecting a spouse? I’ve asked this question of myself and others, and have searched the scriptures for biblical examples and answers to this poignant question. Here is what I believe to be an informed answer:

Let me begin by saying this: God would never create a spouse for you that you are not physically attracted to. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be attracted to your future spouse and allow a person’s looks to be considered when choosing a spouse. What I am saying is this:

The number one factor that should determine the selection of your spouse is the leading of the Holy Spirit. You want the hand-picked, number one, best fit, most compatible person based on who you truly are and where you are going.

You want someone who will outlast your temporary emotions and attractions and be by your side for the long run. My husband and I both have mentioned to each other that had it not been for the leading of the Holy Spirit, we would not have selected each other. In our case, my husband was considering another young lady while at school at ORU and the Holy Spirit told him to turn his focus away from the woman that he was pursuing and onto me. As he did this and continued to pray, the Lord spoke to him and revealed that I would be his wife. Although he had this revelation in his heart, he never tried to force the relationship to happen. He was cordial, kind, and always friendly to me. On a few occasions, he tried to begin a relationship with me, but because my eyes were so set on his outer appearance (glasses, plain clothes, etc.), I always declined. I never gave him the time of day until I got very sick and spent time on the phone with him while at home recovering from surgery. I finally began to see him with the eyes of my heart and discover how attractive he was as a person. Over the course of time, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that he was my husband and we later began to date, get engaged and then married. Our entire relationship was Spirit-led. I like to say that God arranged our marriage, and our attraction to God brought us together.

But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 MSG

You see, we all know that person who is physically attractive but their heart is hideous, so pervasive that it spills out through the words they say and the actions they make. Many of us have been deceived by our attractions, and fallen prey to bad relationships based on what we thought we were attracted to. Blinded by the outward beauty, many of us have settled for less than God’s best. Singles, it’s so important to see as God sees regarding your future spouse. Physical attraction is important, yes, but looking at the heart of a person is even more important. I know that this is especially challenging for men, as they are visual by nature, but I encourage you, brothers, consider Sampson & David. They were mighty men of God, strong in many areas, but deceived by physical attraction and led into destruction as a result. Remember: “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting…” (see Proverbs 31:30). Also, did you know that Proverbs 31 NEVER reverences the virtuous wife’s physical appearance?! I believe that is a huge indicator as to how God sees the role of “beauty” and physical attraction in the selection of a spouse.

Two important things you should consider and ask the Lord in prayer while preparing for and selecting a spouse are: “Who are You? and “Who am I?”. Until you develop an understanding of who God is and who you truly are, you will not know who or what you are really attracted to. (Read more here). For all you know, you could be basing your current attraction on something that you learned back in middle school and high school that is totally irrelevant to who you are now and who you are to become. I don’t have the exact quote, but Damon Thompson said it something like this: “Run your race (the calling/purpose that God has given you) and as you’re running, take a look around and see who’s running next to you.” I couldn’t agree more.

I have so much to say regarding this topic and will continue this talk in my next blog post, focusing on Genesis 24: A Bride for Isaac. I encourage you to take time this week to read this chapter and allow God to speak to your heart regarding this matter.

So tell me, what are your thoughts regarding the attractive factor? What role/priority should it play when selecting a spouse? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

Winter Whispers

BLOG_WinterWhispers

I’ve never been one to like the cold.

Having been raised in Michigan and other Northern states amidst chilling winters and freezing temperatures, I’ve often given winter the cold shoulder. The weightless snowflakes that some find so beautiful have been like a disguised enemy to me. Masked in gentle white flakes, but once accumulated cause harmful road conditions and treacherous walkways.

But somehow, over the last few days, I’ve heard a whisper in the air. Seen a message in the desolate trees that appear barren and isolated. Oh, if winter could talk, I may have heard her gently share a lesson in my ears:

“What appears to be unfruitful, barren and dead, is merely in process of blooming. Why, in a few short weeks the tale will be told, as green bulbs of life sprout forth with the shinning of the sun.”

Winter whispers that joy must be unearthed from within. External circumstances are always subject to change, and we must not find our happiness outside of us. As the sun hides its face behind the winter’s clouds and all appears gray, this is an opportunity to remember the source of our strength. The joy of our souls. The deep place inside that either is tossed to and fro by the seasons that come and go, or the place where we make the conscious choice to find the warmth of joy in the cold seasons and rejoice without the sun. The test of winter comes each year, and yet how often do we fail and succumb to the externals, withering away with the weather?

The joy of a restful snow day quickly turns into a complaining festival as we hurry to busy ourselves with unnecessary project, because rest is unprofitable, we say. Oh, but winter’s whisper reminds us that it is necessary to rest. Profitable to renew and hibernate for a season to regain strength and vitality. Life, as we know, is a challenging race. But a sprint? Not so much. It is a long distance journey to a crowned finale at the finish line of faith. May we remember to embrace the moments of rest without guilt and condemnation, realizing that it is a gift for the diligent, not a playground for the idle.

As I take a moment to hear the winter whispers, I hope you too can hear the message. See the lesson. And past the test.

What is winter speaking to you?

Please share below and I pray you find joy today from deep within.

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Your Mordecai Moment

mordecaiphotoMordecai Moment.

This phrase sprung from my spirit and through my lips while I was on the phone with my mom this morning. As we began to read through Esther chapters 6 and 10, the revelation flowed and joy arose in our hearts. I couldn’t help but dig deeper and share this word of encouragement with you today…

 

 

Have you ever felt unnoticed?

Alone in a crowd… Lost in the shuffle…Good intentions gone unseen.

I believe we all have.

When considering these thoughts, I couldn’t help but think of my boy Mordecai, the “supporting role” in the book/story of Esther.

Many of us, especially women, enjoy the story of Esther. Beauty. Favor. Royalty. Queen. These are just a few words that come to mind as we recall Esther’s rags to riches story. The higher purpose of her beauty and courage to risk her life in order to speak on behalf of her people yet to perish is undeniably inspiring. What woman wouldn’t want to undergo months of spa treatment, catch the eye of a king and become a beautiful queen used to rescue a generation?

But Mordecai, Esther’s cousin, didn’t have the spotlight role. A voice of wisdom and reason, he cared for Esther as his own daughter after her parents died and was the one to take her to the palace for a chance to be queen. He inspired Esther to break the silence and act on behalf of their people appointed to die. As she was raised up and drew closer to front/center stage, Mordecai remained content behind the scenes and didn’t catch the eye of the king. Matter of fact, the good work that he did to spare the king’s life (Esther 2:21-23) was written in a book and seemed to have gone unseen and unnoticed…until his moment came.

As we look at Esther 6, we find King Ahasuerus in the palace unsettled one evening. Unable to find rest, he summoned someone in to bring the book of records and read them to him. As they did, Mordecai’s unseen act of valor was revealed and the king discovered that Mordecai had not been honored for his action that spared the king’s life.

2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 3 Then the king said,

“What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?”

And the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” (Esther 6:2-3)

Nothing had yet been done… but something was about to happen. Mordecai’s moment was drawing near. The one who never did anything for recognition and out of a pure heart had caught the king’s eye and was about to be rewarded….

I wanted to take a moment today to encourage you that your Mordecai Moment is drawing near. You’ve been doing all the right things, keeping your heart right, remaining humble before God and looking out for the well-being of others even when they can’t see it. Maybe you’ve been working a job with integrity and have been overlooked for promotion… but like the stellar employees highlighted on Undercover Boss, your work is about to be noticed. Reward is on the way.

When we remain faithful and keep a pure heart, God sees that. He looks at the heart, while everyone else looks at the appearance. He looks behind the scenes, while everyone else focuses on front and center stage. He looks at the roots, while everyone else focuses on the height of the tree. It’s the inner part of us that determines the outer work. It’s the foundation that makes preparation for the building.

So to all the Mordecais out there, you who have been kept behind the scenes, know that your King has taken note of your work. You have not slipped through the cracks. You are noticed. You are seen. You are loved. And your moment is coming.

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

P.S. Interested to read what happens next in Mordecai’s story and how his moment unfolds? Read Esther 6 and find out how the king unknowingly used Mordecai’s enemy to honor him before the entire city. You’re gonna love it!

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Trusting God In Transition

trustingGodinTransition

That breathtaking hump in between the long, slow incline and the steep, exhilarating drop of a roller coaster. #thecamelback

That season in between the wonder of childhood and reality of adulthood. #teenlife

Those seemingly endless months (or years, in my case) in between dating and marriage. #engagement

The piercing pain in between the final hours of pregnancy & giving birth to a baby. #transition

And as some of my natural sisters have experienced, the state of your hair in between a relaxer and going all natural. LORD, have mercy…

Transition.

The process of giving birth to a new season in our lives is never easy, nor is it comfortable. How do I know this? Well, I’ve been in transition before, I am in transition now, and I know that I will inevitably be in transition again in the future.

The challenge of transition is trust.

Not in our own reasonings, feelings, facts and knowledge, but trust in God. Oftentimes, when we make the decision to live a life of faith in God, we are presented with the opportunity to allow our faith to be tested.

Will we remain confident in God’s will and control of our lives when nothing makes sense?

Will we walk blindfolded down the road of His sovereign will as He leads us one step at a time?

Can we trust that God is in control even when we feel like everything is out of control?

I don’t know what season you are in right now, but as for me and my house, we are right in the thick of transition. For the last few months, we have taken steps of faith down a road that seems uncertain, in obedience to three specific words from the Lord.

Do they make sense? No.

Has this been a comfortable season of bliss? No.

Have I tried to figure everything out in my mind and allowed confusion to rob my peace and joy? Yes. And too often than not.

Has this season challenged my walk with God & exercised my patience? Absolutely.

If you are in a season of transition like my family and me, I believe that God is calling us to a higher level of trusting Him. His will. His foresight. His omnipotence. His ability. His love. His character. His faithfulness. His goodness. His correction.

Even at the very end of last year, when I was unaware of an upcoming transition in my life, God whispered,  Are you willing to trust me? Immediately, my spirit picked up on what the situation was and my heart became strengthened for the upcoming challenge. I knew that God was forecasting the next season through this simple yet profound question, and I felt gratitude for His love to even prepare me for what was ahead. Sure enough, the change that I sensed in my heart became a reality & I have spent this year in total trust and reliance on the Lord in an area that I once had not, riding the roller coaster of faith with my arms raised. Walking the dimly lit path of trust with my eyes on the Light.

Now, another transition is at hand. One that I surely didn’t see coming.

But nevertheless, here we are. You and I are on the camel’s back again. The hump between the long way up and the full speed decline into God’s will. From faith to faith.

Our challenge now is not to understand. Not to over-think the details, which are sure to cause all kinds of anxiety and worry. But just to acknowledge Him.

In all our ways, not just the ones we understand and have down to a science. But the ways we don’t understand. The ways that don’t make sense. The ways that seem ridiculous, except for the fact that they are led by His voice.

In ALL our ways, let’s decide to acknowledge Him and trust that He will make our path straight.

I don’t know if you’re facing a major decision, looking for a new job, preparing for a move, or maybe just screaming at the top of the camel’s back saying, “Forget it! I just want off of this thing!” Wherever you are, right here, right now, I invite you to relinquish control of your destiny and rest in God. Put an end to the drowning, gasping-for-air feeling of worry and make a decision to lay on your back and float in the ocean of God’s grace. Trust that He is fully aware of exactly where you are right now and will not leave you alone in this process.

Be still and know that He is going to work this out, and begin to exhale…right here, in the middle of transition.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6 NKJV)

You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:2-4 NKJV)

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I’m baaaaaack!…

I’m baaaaaack!

Get ready for fresh, new blogposts right here where it all began! Be on the lookout for a new domain name soon! -E

We’ve moved locations!

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As of January 1st, 2013, BeautyMarked has moved to my new website, emonnemarkland.com. It’s a new season and I’m excited about the release of my new book for young women, Break Every Chain, now available worldwide!! Here’s some quick info on the book (more available on the new site):

Break Every Chain Book from Emonne Markland on Vimeo.

Break Every Chain is a book about freedom.

In 2010, I had a life-changing vision of high school students walking down their hallway bound in heavy chains. In my heart, I knew this was a representation of the invisible weights that many young people in this generation carry every day. What began as a vision has become a book, fueled by a burning desire to share the Gospel message of freedom to young women around the world.

Break Every Chain is not your typical book for young women.

Unlike other faith-based young women’s books that focus solely on beauty and purity, Break Every Chain gets to the root issues of life and helps you begin the journey of freedom and self-discovery. In the book, you will:

  • discover the two main plans for your life
  • identify your chains and find out the breaking news of freedom
  • receive encouragement from stories of women set free, including my personal story
  • understand your true identity
  • learn how to break the chains & live free in everyday life

Now is your time to break free from your past and push forward into your destiny. Get ready for a chain reaction.

Break Every Chain is available here, as well as barnesandnoble.com and amazon.com.

Will you join me at my new site? I’d love to see you there! 

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

2013: Embracing a New Season

Hey everyone!

I hope you had a great NYE and are excited about 2013! I had a wonderful time with my family and close friend at the Watch Night NYE service at The Potter’s House here in Dallas. It was a powerful night of worship, praise and ministry to ring in the new year. For me, and I’m sure you feel this way also, a new year is not just a change of date on the calendar. It’s a new beginning. It’s a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to begin again, learning from the victories and failures of the prior year and become wiser, stronger and better.

This year, I am beginning a new season in my life as a new author. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, with the lack of recent blog posts, I have been quite busy the last few months preparing for today’s launch of my new book, Break Every Chain.

Last week, I had the joy of receiving my first hard copy of the book in the mail and was completely elated. (Hence, the picture below). :)

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I’m so excited about this project and the new season that is emerging with the release of the book. Here are some of the changes that are coming soon, including a new home for the blog!

  • As of today, January 1st, BeautyMarked will move to my new website, emonnemarkland.com, along with the release of Break Every Chain. When I first began Beauty Marked in 2011, formerly known as Beauty Marked Mom, the Lord clearly spoke to me about the importance of focusing the majority of my writing efforts on my book, as it was His will for me to begin to act upon the projects that He’d put on my heart. Writing here at BeautyMarked was a wonderful place for me to encourage and interact with other women, discuss important issues, and grow in my writing skills. I want to personally thank you for being a part of my journey here, and welcome you to join me at emonnemarkland.com as we embark on a new year and new season together!
  • BeautyMarked’s facebook page will close as well and my new author page will be the primary facebook page to stay in touch with all blog posts, book news, giveaways and more. “Like” my new author page for a chance to win a personalized autographed copy of Break Every Chain!

I know that God is on the move in our lives and have such an excitement for this new year. I want to personally invite you to join me on my new journey for 2013. Let’s continue to encourage each other on social media and obtain all that God has for us in the new year!

See you at the new site!

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

Blessed

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Blessed

Facts:
• 1/2 the world lives on less than $2/day
• 80% of the world has no roof, electricity or running water.
• Everything is God’s and you are a steward.

Truth:

• As an American, I am blessed beyond my comprehension. While most people on earth are concerned about their next meal or fresh water, I am not. And chances are you’re not either.

Too often we focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. We allow our desires for the next high-tech device or trendy outfit overrule our ability to be thankful and content. Hey, I’m all for reaching forward and dreaming big, as long as we don’t forget to thank God for what He’s already done.

This is a big reason why I’m doing this 30 Days of Thanksgiving. To get you and I back to thanking God daily for His provision and blessings, many of which we can’t even see. And also to consider ways to be a blessing to others, which is what leave your beauty mark is all about!

So, what are you thankful for today? Have you been on a missions trip or lived in another country where you’ve seen extreme poverty as I mentioned earlier? Are you thankful for the basic blessings of life that we so often neglect to even acknowledge? Please share your thoughts!

Emonne Markland
Leave Your Beauty Mark