Hey Everyone!

Hubby and I are starting a new series called “#Goals.” We are super excited to be sharing our thoughts together on what we think dating should be all about. Check out our intro video and don’t forget to subscribe to know when we post! 🙂

Love,

Mrs.Luster

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When Anxiety Attacks

 

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to update everyone on what I’ve been dealing with and after talking with several different people (strangers, family members, and friends) I realized I wasn’t alone on this journey of anxiety and panic. It’s something that a lot of people deal with (yes even Christians) and yet not a lot of people talk about. It’s been super rough, but with God anything is possible.

Let’s face it we all have anxiety! Some more than others, but we all experience some level of anxiety. It’s natural, but what isn’t natural is constantly worrying, or like I did…push my feelings so far back that it was let out in a nasty and vicious way. First the panic attacks happened, and then depression set in because I couldn’t get “rid” of the anxiety and panic attacks which led to a vicious cycle. I’m happy to say that I have made it to the other side and you can too! Don’t let your circumstances or anyone else tell you that you can’t take your life back! The enemy wants to see you fail so badly, and he definitely wanted to see me fail. With time and lots of prayer, I have overcome fear! Does that mean fear won’t try to come back? No not at all, I’d be silly to say that. But when fear does try and come back, the key is to not entertain it. We all go through difficult things in our life, but God is always in control.

I pray this video helps and encourages someone out there that may be feeling hopeless. Don’t be afraid to get professional help, pray, but most importantly don’t be afraid of the enemy!

Love,

Mrs. Luster

Being Patient in an Impatient World

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There are different seasons in your life that you will experience. You’ll have a season of love and happiness, you’ll have a season full of heartbreaks and loneliness, you’ll have a season where you feel like everything is working out in your favor, and you’ll have seasons where you feel like everyone is out to get you. I’ve experienced every one of these seasons, yes, including a broken heart and loneliness. I remember finding myself in the season of being single, broken hearted, and feeling like my world was crashing down. What if I told you that was one of my best seasons of all? What if I told you I’m so thankful for that season and I wouldn’t change that season of my life even if I could? That season made me the woman I am today. You might be thinking, girl you’re crazy! I’m single now and it sucks being alone. Well let me just tell you this, you’re never alone. God is always with you and he’s taking you through this season for a reason.

 

The bible tells us in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

 

So on the days where you feel like you’re never going to find the one, or you just can’t see another engagement picture, or happy couple picture, or anything that reminds you of your season just know that God has heard your prayers, but have you listened to Him? He has ordered your steps to Him and yet you pull further and further away. You spend time thinking about Mr. or Mrs. Right that you start getting so anxious to find him or her and then before you know it, you find yourself thinking every person you meet is the one, only to realize that’s just your flesh talking. You have fed your flesh and then before you know it you find yourself single again and this time with a broken heart. Before you can be anyone’s wife or husband, you first have to learn to submit to your creator. How can you serve your spouse if you can’t even serve the one who gave you life?

 

Job 22: 21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart.

 

My husband and I have recently gone through a rough time with our miscarriages. A family member suggested I read the story of Job. Let me just tell you how faithful this man was. Here is a man that had it all. The house, the wife, the kids, you name it he had it. The enemy as always, tries to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan goes to God and asks if he can test Job’s faith. God allows him to do so as long as he does not kill Job. So the enemy takes everything Job loved, He takes his house, his crops, and even his kids. What’s the first thing Job does? He praises God. The enemy wanted a different reaction and decided that wasn’t enough so the enemy went further and inflicted sickness on him. Now job finds himself completely alone, broken hearted and now super sick. Even through all of the pain and suffering Job knew he served a faithful God and not once did he curse God. He may not have understood why he was going through what he was going through, but not once did he curse God for all that he went through. Instead he cried out to God. He called on God for answers and for healing. So many people try to distract their mind from the pain and they run away from God instead of towards God. We try to fill our time with trash T.V, with trash music, and we run to people for advice (which is okay, but don’t run to people first before you have brought it to God).

 

Get out of that random person’s bed; stop playing house, stop feeding your flesh and start feeding your spirit. If so many of us picked up our bibles every time we face different situations and learn to trust God with all of our heart, the world would be a much better place and you would be a much better you. The hardest part is being patient. So many times I hear people say, “I’ve been praying for this situation and God has not answered my prayers!” God is going to answer your prayers on His timing, not yours. Right now he wants you to go through this season to grow with him. By no means am I saying it’s going to be easy because it’s not. These past few months I’ve had to remind myself this every day. I’ve been praying for the Lord to help me grow with him and grow in ministry and instead of him giving me just that, he’s put me through many tests. It’s as if the Lord is saying, “Okay Stephanie, you say you trust me, you say you’re following me, well let’s see how you do when your faith is shaken.” It’s so easy to trust God when everything is going right, but let me tell you how hard it is when everything is going wrong. I’m learning and growing through these trials and tribulations, and although I don’t understand them, I will praise Him through the storm.

 

Whatever you’re going through won’t last forever, so trust and believe in Him. Your broken heart, your loneliness, your sickness, your financial problems, your relationship problems, and whatever else you may be going through won’t last long. God has your back, so let him lead you as you go through these hard times.

 

Love,

Mrs. Luster

 

All in His timing

Hey Guys!

I apologize that it’s been a while, but we’ve been dealing with our second miscarriage. The bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5, to trust the LORD with all of your heart and to lean not on your own understanding. Although we may not understand, we know what kind of God we serve and we know that all things work together for the greater good. This road has not been an easy one, but we’re reaming faithful to God.

We wanted to share our struggles in hopes of encouraging someone that may be going through the same, or going through any trials and tribulations in general. The bible also tells us in the book of James that we will face many trials of many kinds, but to rejoice in the mist of a storm because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. We’re not letting this get us down, we’re pushing through and fighting the enemy with God on our side.

Stay encouraged friends, God is on your side!

Love,

The Luster’s

Heaven Couldn’t Wait For You

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“I’m 99% sure you’re having a miscarriage,” that phrase will haunt me for the rest of my life. That’s not what any expectant mother wants to hear, EVER. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I broke down immediately and handed my husband the phone. We got off the phone with the doctor and I just broke down. I felt so angry, sad, confused, shocked, all that and more. I instantly became angry with God and kept screaming out “Why God? Why God?’ This was supposed to be a time of joy and it instantly turned into one of the hardest moments of my life. I consider myself a strong person, but this… this was way too much for my heart to handle. I just wanted to go to heaven to meet my baby. I couldn’t understand why this joyous moment was instantly taken from us.

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The moment I found out we were pregnant I screamed tears of joy and cried out “thank you Jesus, hallelujah!” I wasn’t expecting to be pregnant and took the test at home while my husband was on his way home from work. The day before we found out we were pregnant, God confirmed this pregnancy before I even knew or had a clue. We were praying at church and I felt the Holy Spirit take over my body and an image of a baby popped in my head and I was overwhelmed with emotions. As we were done praying, I turned to Michael and smiled. I said, “Babe, God just confirmed we’re having a baby and our baby is beautiful!” We both just smiled and hugged each other. Little did I know I was already pregnant. Over the last few weeks I had been having this weird sensation in my throat. I thought it was allergies so I went to go see my ENT doctor. He told me I was having acid reflux problems and to take tums to soothe it. I did that for about a week and still nothing. I thought, let me just rule out pregnancy even though I know this is not what’s wrong with me. As I sat there two little pink lines appeared on the pregnancy test almost immediately. I couldn’t believe it. I had to text my friend Danielle to double check I wasn’t going crazy. She text “OMG, OMG, OMG YOU’RE PREGNANT!” I started crying, fell to my knees and thanked God. A precious gift was growing inside of me. I had to quickly think of a way to tell my husband. I was so scattered brain! I ran out of the house telling my mother in law I had to get something from the store. On my way I passed my good friend Giselle’s job so I just ran into her job as she was heading out and told her the good news. She screamed and we both had the biggest smile on our face. We headed to Babies R Us to try and figure out a way to tell Michael. I grabbed a bib that said 50% mom 50% dad and 100% cute. I ran to Target to grab a digital pregnancy test. Giselle had to buy me water because I had already taken so many pregnancy tests just to confirm. It finally came up. The word “pregnant” appeared and it made it even more real. Michael got home and needed to go to the store. We went to Walgreens and I told him in the parking lot that I had a gift for him for being so mean to him yesterday ( I really was being a brat, but I blame it on the hormones!) He couldn’t believe it. He was so confused at first then saw the pregnancy test and just kept saying “Are you serious? Are you serious?” I said, “I’m so serious babe, we’re having a baby!” We just hugged, smiled, and kissed each other.

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The moment we told our family, they were so excited. It’s a moment everyone had been waiting on. Little did we all know that his moment would soon come to an end. My sister’s reaction was the most emotional. She cried so much! It was a beautiful moment. We bought a picture frame that said “Coming soon” We wrapped it and gave it to his parents and sister first. They were so happy and shocked. Then we went over to my parents and everyone went nuts, especially my sister Samantha. We’ve all had such a rough beginning of the year and this was supposed to be a blessing in disguise, a fresh start for everyone, a new beginning.

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I wanted to wait to tell the rest of the family and friends until our first sonogram. Michael and I were so excited we even asked my doctor bump up our appointment by one week. The excitement to see our baby was too much for us to handle. We got there and couldn’t wait to see our baby’s heartbeat on the monitor. Everything was going fine, until the doctor got really quiet. He sat me up and said he didn’t see what he expected to see and couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat. I got teary eyed and almost broke down, but I wanted to stay optimistic. Plus I knew that God had already confirmed this pregnancy so I had nothing to worry about. He told me to get blood work done to check my HCG levels. I had test my levels again in two days. Then I got that dreadful call on Saturday. “Steph, I’m so sorry to tell you this, but I ‘m 99% sure you’re having a miscarriage.” I thought NO, he’s wrong this can’t be! I handed the phone to my husband. I felt so numb. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard in entire life. I felt empty, completely empty. To know I wouldn’t’ be holding my baby in April Like I had thought completely tore me up. I’m not going to lie, this is going to take a very long time for me to heal. I’m not even close. Even though I instantly blamed God, I know He didn’t want this either. God didn’t want me to loose my baby. He’s the only one that knows why this happened. I prayed for a healthy baby, and maybe this just wasn’t it.

I didn’t want to see my baby pass. That was just too much emotionally for me. I decided to have a D&C. When they called to give me instructions, I broke down. I broke down so hard that my mother in law had to come in the room and just hold me. I let it all out. I cried so hard. I went in the next day to have surgery. I was so sick to my stomach. I couldn’t believe I was going to the hospital to have a D&C. They were going take out my pregnancy. I wanted to run out of there so fast. I thought I would be coming here in 7 months to deliver my baby, not to remove it and go home empty handed. We even double checked with another sonogram and still nothing.

When I was starting to wake up from surgery the nurse asked me how I was feeling. I just replied “sad,” and just broke down. My husband and mother came into the room and I was balling. I kept yelling out “I’m not pregnant anymore!” Everyone was trying to be encouraging as much as possible, but this pain is just too much. The nurse came back and made all the difference. Looking back, I know for a fact that was God talking to me through her. She said, “honey you’re going to be okay. I got emotional and had to step out seeing you like that because I was once where you are. I actually had to go through this twice. And you know what, you’re going to become a mother. I now have two beautiful children!” She just kept talking with me and encouraging me. As she wheeled me out to the car, I gave her the biggest hug with so much embrace. In that moment I felt peace. It’s finally healing time. I know I will become a mother one day and although I’ll never forget this baby I know I will heal. I decided to share my story because I want to let any woman out there that’s currently going though this or that has been through this before, it’s okay to feel pain, hurt, cry, scream, yell, and even be mad at God. It’s all normal. God loves you anyways and will not leave your side. He hasn’t left mine and I need him more than ever right now. I just want to let you know you’re not alone. I’m with you, and most importantly, God is with you.

To my precious angel in heaven, Mommy loves you so much baby and one day I will hold you and tell you how much I love you.

Love,

Mrs. Luster

Sold!!!!

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Signing our lives away to our very first home was one of the best moments of our lives. We were so excited we could hardly contain it! To say that this process has been easy or that the hard part is over is a HUGE understatement. You have NO idea how much we prayed and how many times we were told “no” before we finally found our future home.

For those that are beginning their search for a house, or those that hope to find a home in the near future, here are few things we learned.

  •  Pray- Seems pretty easy right? Well try telling yourself that when you find a home, fall in love with it, start figuring out how you’re going to decorate it, and then you’re told NO. I was crushed and I’m not even going to lie it got to me. I was so sad. That was first of many let downs let me tell you. Michael and I first started looking for homes last year when our apartment lease was up. I thought to myself how ideal it would be to move from our apartment into our brand new home. Yeah it’s not that easy. You may have a house that you want in mind and then God comes in and says no I have something better, just be patient.
  • Save- What we should’ve been doing was saving money like crazy. We weren’t prepping for a house. We thought we were, but we were far from it. Once our lease was up, we decided the best and fastest way to buy our very first home is to take a leap of faith and move back home. That has been the most challenging. Being married and living with your in-laws should be illegal ha! I love my in-laws dearly it’s not that, but a married couple needs their privacy! But we decided it was worth making a temporary move so we could later make our permanent move. When we tell friends and family what we’re doing, they always say “You guys are really brave,” and to that I say thank you (and you may be right lol), but honestly we’re just so driven to be in our house. With Michael going back to school to become a youth pastor we knew this was best. So don’t be too prideful to go back home or make a drastic move to get to where you want. Those people you’re afraid of pleasing won’t be buying you your first home! Moving in with my in-laws has taught me humility and patience like no other, but it’s well worth it because we’ll be moving into our brand new home in just a few months!
  • Sacrifice- This whole process is all about sacrifices and we’re not done yet. I would love to be shopping more, getting my nails done, going on trips with my husband, but unfortunately right now every dollar counts. We’ll be in our brand new house before we know it and every dollar needs to go towards that. Our biggest sacrifice was when we decided to give up our privacy and move in with his parents. Not to say we don’t get husband and wife time, but it’s different. It’s been tough but in the end we know it will all be worth it. Make sure you go into this house buying experience with an open mind, determination, and willingness to sacrifice A LOT. It will be hard, but I promise you so worth it!
  • Have faith- It seemed that the more homes we looked at, the more we were being told no, and I’ve heard with building a home it’s even more stressful. After so many let downs I was ready to throw in the towel. I told Michael I didn’t want to look at any more homes. He tried to encourage me, but I think he secretly was over it too. The Holy Spirit tugged at my heart and I couldn’t give up. I stumbled upon this neighborhood and it seemed like it would be a perfect fit. We went to go see the neighborhood and fell in love. I got scared again and thought here we go again. Just when it seemed as if this wasn’t going to happen again, God spoke and said, “Congratulations, the home is yours!” Ok so the contractor told us that, but it might as well have been God because that’s whom we gave all our glory to!

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Once we got the green light, the fun part came. We got to pick our brick! We were like little kids in the candy store. It was so cute to see my husband equally as excited as I was. I love seeing his eyes light up, it made my heart so full. To think that we will raise our future children there just made me so happy. It felt right. God confirmed that this was the place for us before we even entered the neighborhood. There was a huge sign that said “New Beginnings start here,” and I looked at my husband and said look at what it says! We both smiled because the name of our church is “New Beginnings Fellowship.”

I’m beyond happy to start this new beginning with the love of my life.

Love,

Mrs Luster

Withholding Nothing

I recently went to a women’s conference titled “Withholding Nothing,” and boy oh boy did it wreck my entire soul. I cried my little eyes out and let go of all my pain. I learned so many insightful things that I couldn’t go without sharing with someone. Here are a few things that I learned at the conference.

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There are three things that God puts in our hands.

  • Purpose– what is your purpose in life? What has God called you to do? This one hit home for me because for a while I thought I had life pretty much figured out and then God came in and set it to me straight. For the longest time I wanted to be a news reporter. Growing up as a child I always had our family camcorder in my hand making funny videos of myself talking. (It still haunts me to this day when my parents show me those home videos haha!) I went on to be a reporter and thought yep, that’s my calling. While out in Oklahoma, God began speaking to me. He wanted me to walk away from the very thing I wanted the most. I didn’t get it at the time and I thought maybe God really isn’t speaking to me; maybe it’s just the devil. Ha, nope it was God. He made things so uncomfortable until I heard him loud and clear. Now looking back it was the best decision I’ve made thus far. I’ve grown in my walk with Christ; I’ve grown as a wife, in my home, as a friend. I’ve grown in such a way that I would have never grown had I not listened to God. You see I was making my reporter life more important than God. Read the Bible you say? Yeah right! I had no time and if you want to make it in the business, news is life. I was so focused on my career that I didn’t even enjoy my first year as a new wife. I don’t mean that in a sense that I didn’t love being married to Michael, but without realizing it, I was putting him second. I worked Sundays and was never able to go to church. My husband would get all fine and dressed up to go to church and I had to go to work. After a while that didn’t feel right. I didn’t know it then, but that was God beginning to talk to my soul. When God tells you to do something, it’s SO important that we listen because His plans are far better than our plans! So whatever purpose He has for your life, be patient and be ready to obey him.

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

 

  • Miracle– Many of us are going through something hard and feel like we’re alone and there’s no one else out there feeling the same things they’re feeling. Well I’m here to tell you you’re NOT alone. Every single person right now is going through something; they’re dealing with something within. People wonder why I love God so much, it’s because he’s the one person that picks up the broken pieces in my life and puts them back together as if they were never broken to begin with. He’s the only one that sent his only Son to die for my sins. I can’t name anyone else who can do that for me. Sure there are people that can help ease the pain. When I’m down or upset, my husband helps cheer me up, but he can’t fully put me back together. Some of us are waiting on our miracles not realizing it’s right in the palm of our hands. All you have to do is believe that if He can do it for me, He can do it for you. One of the things God helped me with was Depression. Depression can be a scary thing that can have life long consequences if you’re not careful. The enemy uses that weapon and way too often it ends with tragedy. I’ve discussed this before, but there was a time where Michael and I broke up for about a year my senior year of High School. I was so lost, but that’s when I met Grace and Mercy. God pulled me out of that depression and if He did it for me, He can do it for YOU.

{Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need} Hebrews 4:16

 

  • Life– I don’t know about you, but without God in my life would be a total mess. Not to say that I’m not a total mess at times, but I need God to put order back into my life when things get out of line. Life has its ups and downs and I need God in my corner so that when Life tries to get me down, he can pick me back up. I don’t know how anyone can live their life without Christ. I have the fear of the Lord so deeply rooted in me, there’s no way I can live without him. There was a point where I was living without him. I always believed in the Lord, but I wasn’t really living for Him I was living for myself. I didn’t hang around other believers, God really wasn’t the topic of discussion, and it was more of a thing to do. Going to church on Sundays was a thing to do. Now I’m not trying to discourage anyone that goes to church. In fact I encourage it, because even if it’s not making sense to you now and you can’t seem to stay awake in church because you’re mind is clouded with things you don’t even need to be worried about… the word of God will eventually hit home for you. Who do you turn to when things go wrong in your life, people, God, or both? It’s okay to turn to both but NEVER okay to turn to man before your Lord and Savior. Don’t fill your mind and spirit with temporary things and expect your life to make sense, because it won’t.

{Those who oppose the Lord will be broken} 1 Samuel 2:10 

I pray for anyone that may be feeling lost, like they don’t know their purpose in life, and those who feel broken. God loves you and has a purpose for your life. He will not forsake you!

go before you

Love,

Mrs. Luster