Thanksgiving VLOG: (Gender Reveal Surprise)

Hello my loves! With this year being Aria’s first official Thanksgiving (and the girl loves to eat ha) I wanted to bring you all along our day! Plus we finally found out what my sister in love is having! Hope you all enjoy! Also don’t forget to subscribe to my channel, and let me know if you want to see more of these kind of videos.

 

 

Love,

Mrs. Luster

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My Breastfeeding Journey

Hey All! I breastfed Aria for a year and whew what a journey! I got a lot of questions from other moms regarding my journey and I wanted to share my experience in hopes to help any other momma out there! Hope you enjoy and let me know what your experience was like!

 

 

Love,

Mrs. Luster

5 Things I’ve Learned about Marriage

 

 

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Wow, it’s so hard to believe it’s been 5 years already since the day I married my best friend. To be honest, it feels like we’ve been married way longer ha! Maybe that’s because we’ve been together for like 12 years now all together lol! Nonetheless, I am still if not more in love with my husband today than I was the day I married him.

Marriage is hard work. Let’s get real. It’s not at all roses and candle lit dinner ( or any of that unless it’s an anniversary lol let’s be real) every day, but if you’re willing to put in the work marriage is such a beautiful thing.

I’ve come up with 5 things that I’ve learned so far about marriage and I hope to encourage you all. In our generation you just don’t hear about long-lasting marriages anymore. As a matter of fact, 50% of marriages today end up in divorce. 50% guys!!!!! That means that every 1 out of 2 people you meet are divorced. Wow, that means our generation has to wake up! We’re doing something wrong. Which brings me to number one on my list.

 

  1. Put God first- Sounds easy enough right? In order to have a successful marriage, God should be at the center of your marriage. This is not up for debate. This is by far THE most important one on this list. It’s what keeps a healthy foundation. It’s what gets you two through the darkest of times, what keeps you two on the same page, and what sets up a healthy foundation. This is what has kept my marriage whole, healthy, and successful. Michael and I made a commitment before God, to love and honor one another in His name. That’s exactly what we’ve done and it has worked wonders for our marriage. The bible tells us in Mark 10:9 “What God has joined together, let no man tear apart.” Sure we experienced trials and tribulations in our marriage, but because of our strong foundation (God) it didn’t even make a dent in our marriage. I know more trials and tribulations are to come, but with our strong foundation in Christ, our marriage can stand strong. God’s word doesn’t lie. 🙂
  2. Be Selfless– This one can be so hard at times because we’re all human and if we’re completely honest…we can all be a little selfish at times. I’ve learned that no matter what I need to be selfless when it comes to my husband. I’ve been angry before and by nature have acted selfish. Let me tell you, especially to my ladies…its not worth it and it only makes things worse. I’ve learned to take my frustrations to God and leave them there. I even challenge you ladies to ask the Lord how you can serve your husband more. Your husband might have had a stressful day at work and just wants to come home and relax. Cook your man a hot meal, serve him his meal when he walks through that door and just talk with him about his day. I do this everyday for my husband and I realize how much it means to him. He loves a hot plate of food and for it to be served to him.
  3. Pray for your spouse– this is also another important key factor in a healthy marriage. The devil is prowling around trying to devour not only you, but your spouse as well. Your spouse may be dealing with something they’re not even telling you about and it’s so important to keep them lifted up in prayer. Michael as I’m sure as a lot of men do, doesn’t like to show when he’s stressed out. He doesn’t want to get me all stressed out and he is very much a problem solver. As his wife, I’ve learned to sense when he’s stressed so I’ll try to get him to talk about with me and I always pray for him in my quiet time. I don’t need the devil anywhere near me or my family, especially around the leader of my household. NOT TODAY SATAN!
  4. Remember you’re on the same team– Ladies, I know we tend to angry and we want so badly to prove our point. We have to stop and remember that it’s not about who is wrong or who is right. You have to remember you’re on the same team as your spouse. You two are one, so whatever hurt you’re feeling, they’re also feeling it. Don’t let pride get in the way of coming to a resolution and never go to bed angry. The bible tell us in Ephesians 4:26 to not let the sun go down while we are still angry. I guarantee you that whatever you’re upset about is not worth it at all. Take a deep breath, pray about it together, and let it go.
  5. Never stop dating– Just because you two are married now, doesn’t mean you two should get so comfortable where you don’t date each other anymore. Keep the love alive. Ladies, get dolled up to go out and have regular date nights with your man. Fellas, plan a romantic date night with your wifey every once in a while. Date night can be anywhere at anytime. You two can have a date to the grocery store, cook a meal together, or watch a movie at home alone together. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you two are spending alone quality time together. Don’t have a babysitter? Wait until the kids go to bed and play board games with each other. This is a fun and inexpensive way to have a date night. Michael and I love playing board games. Fun fact: I’m actually a beast at connect four and one night Michael was determined to beat me so we stayed up until like 2 A.M. until he finally won haha! I may or may not have let him win because I was tired and ready to go to bed, lol shhhh don’t tell him. 🙂

 

So there you have it. 5 things I’ve learned about marriage so far. I pray that you are encouraged and for those that aren’t married yet, I pray that you take these 5 tips and apply them to your future marriage. 🙂

 

Love,

Mrs. Luster

I Do

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The definition of marriage is the legally or formally recognized union of two people in a relationship. Two words that jump out to me are union and relationship. Union is the joining of two things into one. When you marry someone, by law you two become one. You make a vow legally before God to become one with that person, taking in every aspect of their life and becoming one.

They say the first year of marriage is always the hardest. That’s because the things you once did as a single you can no longer do. When you’re mad, you can’t just disappear and shelter yourself, you can’t run to your mother or father (sometimes even best friend) to help you fix this. You can’t just push your feelings to the side, or let them build up and blow up on your spouse. I remember the first year of marriage being so challenging in the area of family. My family and I are pretty close and like pretty much every Hispanic family, we roll deep lol! I was always with my sisters, always going to family events, and not to mention the cultural differences Michael and I had.

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I’ll never forget our very first New Year’s Eve celebration as a married couple. I remember thinking to myself “what did I get myself into,” if I can be totally honest. Every year my family goes all out for New Year’s Eve. We would all get together and have a big celebration with delicious Dominican food, Salsa and bachata music playing, people dancing, I mean I could go on about how my family throws down ha! Well Michael grew up celebrating New Year’s Eve very different. He spent it either in church or at home with his family.

It was out first New Year’s Eve celebration as a married couple, we didn’t have church service because at the time my father in law had just started his own church so we didn’t have a building yet. I thought to myself, hey more time to party with my family. Well Michael had other plans. He thought it would be special to celebrate our first New Year’s Eve as a married couple in our Pj’s, drinking some hot chocolate and watching the ball drop in NYC on T.V. Sounds pretty adorable and romantic right? Well I was NOT having it. I remember getting so upset, yelling (not going to lie probably even said a few curse words. Ya’ll this was before Christ delivered me from cursing lol.) I was so accustomed to spending New Year’s Eve with my family partying that I didn’t even take into consideration my new husband and how he wanted to spend OUR first New Year’s Eve.

The bible tells us we are to leave our mother and father and become one with our spouse. (Ephesians 5:31) Michael was fully ready to leave his life as a single man behind and become one with his wife. I remember this being so challenging for me at first because I did everything with family and I had serious FOMO (fear of missing out) when it came to family events. Now I’m not saying I had to just abandon my family and forget about them because I was married now. Not at all, I just had to take into consideration my husband and also tend to his needs and wants. It was so hard for me to just let go of my old life as a single woman and now become one and submit to my now husband.

I know I have written an entire blog post on here on submission so if you want a full length version be sure to check that out. I just want to discuss submission for a few. Ladies, just because you submit to your husband does not mean you become a doormat and does not mean he can use that in an abusive way. My husband and I are one. We are on the same team. I am not below him he is not above me we are on the same row. We are teammates. I submit to my husband because he loves the Lord and because of that it makes it so much easier for me to obey what the bible tells me to do as a wife and that’s to submit to my husband as he submits himself to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22) I have found that when I spend time with Lord and submit to my husband as he submits onto the Lord, our marriage is truly blessed. Does it mean it’s going to be perfect? Absolutely not, but it makes for a peaceful home when Christ is the center of marriage.

As I come to a close, just remember that you and your spouse (or future spouse for those that are not yet married) are on the same team. Don’t run from your spouse when things get hard. Don’t run back to your single life ways when things get hard. Always keep Christ at the center of your marriage and always pray for your spouse.

Love,

Mrs. Luster

 

 

 

 

Before The Ring

 

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Marriage is something just about every woman dreams about as a little girl; her white wedding dress, her husband, having kids with him one day. All that is cute and all, but the most important time of anyone’s life is while they’re single. Let’s face it, with more than half of Americans getting divorced, there is a real growing problem. Way too many people are rushing to the Alter before truly knowing what commitment they’re about to make and with who.

Before Michael and I were a thing, I had a few characteristics that I thought were really important that my future spouse had to have. I know what you’re probably thinking, Steph didn’t you and Michael meet in high school? Ha, yes! God spoke to me even as a little girl. He told me that I needed to marry someone who loved the Lord and put Him first. My characteristics were: He needed to know and love Jesus Christ, he needed to love and respect his mother (my mother always told me you could tell a lot by how a man treats his mother and sister) and he needed to be a family man. I didn’t want someone who was more worried about what was going on outside of his home rather than inside his home.

This prompted me to ask a friend of mine, who is going through a rough time in her marriage, what five characteristics would she tell a friend to look for in a man. Her answer blew me away. She started off by saying that especially now that she’s dealing with a potential divorce; she knows now more than ever that these 5 characteristics are extremely important (we say potential because at the end of the day we know WHO we serve and I’m praying with her that the Lord restores their marriage.) In the midst of her tough time, she allowed me to share these characteristics to inspire girls to ask themselves what they truly want in a future husband.

  1. A man who puts God first above all. Who will sit and pray with you through every storm in the relationship. (I legit screamed out YASSSSSS when I read this first one. That is THE most important one of all, She legit could have said that and that alone ha!)
  2. A man who focuses on the solution rather than the issue. That’s how you both will outgrow each issue and turn it into an amazing lesson.
  3. Selflessness.
  4. A man who isn’t defined by a woman. Who sees them as a partner and who compliments him. Not someone who is beneath them or less.
  5. A man who truly shows sympathy and empathy through everything. Putting himself in other peoples shoes.

The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”

That is why number one on her list is the absolute most important one. To know the Lord is to Love the Lord, so how can a man properly love you if he does not know the Lord? The bible also tells us to not be unequally yoked. Meaning if his beliefs do not line up with yours sis, run. Run the other way. Don’t settle. Don’t think you can change that man because the truth is, you can’t. Only God can and yes God can, but you shouldn’t run to that alter because you think you’re in love and things will change once you two say I do. If he doesn’t stand for God, he will fall for anything.

Lets not forget to look at ourselves as well. Ask yourself this; of those five characteristics you want in a man/woman, do you see any of those in yourself? Do you know and love the Lord with all your heart? Do you put the Lord first before anything else? In your singleness, instead of putting so much time and effort on trying to figure out when you’re going to meet your future spouse, lets focus on being prepared when the Lord does bring them into your life.

Ladies, the bible tells us “He who finds a wife, finds a good thing,” He, not she. So we should be focusing on building our relationship with Christ so that we can be the woman that God has called us to be and the wife that God has called us to be. Life is not all about getting married. It’s about serving the Lord and finding out our purpose He has designed for us.

So for my single ladies, have a date night with the Lord. Sit before Him, worship Him, talk and pray with Him, and let Him lead your path. I’m a strong believer in speaking things into existence. If the Lord places marriage specifically on your heart, start a prayer journal and write to your future husband. Pray to God that your future husband knows and serves the Lord. Write it down and watch God make it happen.

 

Love,

Mrs. Luster

 

 

Aria turns ONE!

 

Wow. It’s all I can really say. It seems as if I blinked and my baby girl is one. It’s true when people say that kids grow up really fast. Seems like just yesterday my baby girl was moving around in my stomach and now she’s sassy as can be and just the center of our world. It never gets old looking at her and thinking, God, you really did it, you blessed me with me most amazing gift ever, a beautiful baby girl that I can call my own.

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This year has been by far the best year of my life. Aria has taught me so much about myself as a woman, a mother, and even a wife. Seeing my husband with her and how patient and loving and kind he is just makes me fall in love with him even more. I should be asleep right now, but I’m lying in bed, writing my thoughts, staring at both of my babies sleep, Hubby and Aria.

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The day I gave birth to Aria I felt this sense of peace like no other, it was as if Jesus himself was in the room. I have never felt peace like that ever before. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t scared, I just knew that the Lord was with me and he prepared me for this day my whole life. In that moment I knew my purpose, I knew I was born to be a mother. I knew that this little bundle of joy was about to take over my life in the best way possible and I was so ready for it.

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The journey to motherhood was no easy task and labor proved to be another obstacle. I wanted so badly to do an all natural birth (as in no drugs whatsoever), but the pain was way too much. After 4 hours of intense contractions, (that were coming less than a minute apart…OUCH) I had enough. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, (I mean I got all four of my wisdom teeth taken out and I didn’t take one single pain pill), But I remember thinking to myself, I’m not going against what the Lord specifically made to be painful. So I got an epidural. Was it painful you ask? At that point, I couldn’t feel any more pain than what I was already feeling so to be honest I don’t even remember the epidural process.

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I was in labor for 21 hours. The last 4 hours were the most intense. Each time I had a contraction, Aria’s blood pressure would drop very low. This went on for a few hours and each time it happened I felt like the world stopped and I couldn’t breathe thinking about if something might happen to my baby. But I had one amazing hospital staff to back my amazing doctor and me up. He knew I wanted so badly to deliver vaginally. He was patient and made sure baby girl was doing great. Then I got stuck at 8 CM. I had to be at a full 10 CM to start pushing. I just remember the doctor saying “Okay Steph I’m going to come back in about an hour. If you’re still not fully dilated, I’m sorry we’re going to have to discuss a C-section.” Something inside me refused to accept that so I called my family in and we all started praying. An hour later the doctor checked me and I was at a full 10! Time to start pushing. The song that was playing as baby girl was being born was a song by Kari Jobe called “Speak to me”. It was so fitting. I felt the Lord speaking to me the entire time. It was a healing moment from all the pain I had endured. The miscarriages, the heartaches, it was as if God said, “It is finished,” I now had my beautiful blessing, my promise from God, my rainbow after the storm.

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So I say all this to encourage someone that may be going through a tough time. God is with you. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, He’s always there and there is always a purpose. May the Lord continue to bless you.

 

Love,

Mommy Luster

Our Pregnancy Journey: From Loss to Answered Prayer

 

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Hi Guys! We’re back with a new video! As many of you know Michael and I struggled to have a baby for two years. We went through several losses and I went through a period of anxiety and depression. But GOD…….has answered our prayer and we finally got our little miracle.

We wanted to make a video to help encourage any other couples that may be dealing loss and fertility. We hope this video encourages you!

Love,

Mrs. Luster