Embrace the Mess

MAY 1ST YALL!

If you know anything about me- May 1st is my favorite along with May 30th, my birthday.  Since my 18th birthday, birthdays have been a huge deal for me, both good and bad. I’m not kidding when I tell you that God always does something crazy in my life as my birthday comes up. I have learned so many lessons as each year passes and sometimes, I make them more difficult because…. HELLO?! Human. And other times, I simply ride the waves and accept the lesson. Nonetheless, I am in the middle of learning something now, and it’s no coincidence that my birthday is in 29 days.

I have been so overwhelmed with my mess. I look at the people around me, friendships, church family, social media, etc. and I think to myself “why can’t I be more like them? why am I such a mess?”

I am tired of trying to change myself to match others.

I know that life isn’t supposed to be all tears, all drama, all indecisive, but the truth is that is where I am, and that has to be okay because it’s temporary. It’s so hard to admit that you are not 100% okay and that you are still a little broken, still a little confused, still a little mess. But then why would I need God? The whole process of healing, of forgiving, of moving on, of letting go, of growing doesn’t happen over night. That’s why it’s called a PROCESS.

I was thinking all day yesterday about who I wanted to be this year, what I wanted to accomplish, what I wanted to let go of, what I wanted 23 to be about.

And I realized it’s so easy to try and change everything I hate about myself in 4 weeks, key word, TRY. But let’s be real…. I’m gonna be exhausted, still the same girl, and only bitter that I wasted my entire month. So instead, I am going to accept who I am, where I am at, and just focus on each day that passes, as I look to my goals. People around me are always challenging me, making me better, and correcting me so that I am the best me I can be. This isn’t a bad thing. But it is easy to get wrapped up in trying to be the best leader tomorrow, the ministry director at 3:00pm, pastor at 3:01pm. And I always want to speed up the process and just get it done already, but then I am reminded there is beauty is the whole thing, not just the destination.

So here are the things I struggle with. Filtered and controlled, they serve a purpose but regardless, I will choose to love myself where I am today.

  1. I talk too much…. But this is such a gift because I will always have something to talk about & not be afraid to get on a mic and talk away. I am almost positive that others wish they could talk as easily as it comes to me.
  2. I’m too intense…. but you will always know where I am, you will never have to doubt what I am feeling or where I stand because I will be very clear. I am passionate about everything I do and what a great way to live life, passionately.
  3. I love too hard….. When did this become a bad thing?!
  4. I can’t make up my mind about anything….. I am so creative and such a quick learner, I can have a million options on anything and what a beautiful thing to never be stuck.
  5. I am too sensitive…. Which I am thankful for today because after everything life has thrown, what a beautiful reminder that my heart has not grown cold and hard.

These are just a few of the things on my heart. I’m sure there is more but instead of looking for more reasons to change myself, I choose to embrace where I am today and what I want to accomplish this year of 23. I cannot tell you how excited I am for this new year. It’s the middle of other huge ages like 21 and 25, but God can move, stretch, and grow anytime He desires.

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I will embrace who I am this year. I will embrace my calling, the love God has for me. I will embrace my dreams, my friendships, my seasons, the waves, and run hard after who I was created to be. My life can be messy, chaotic, adventurous, all at once but I choose to embrace the mess.

Romans 10:10-11 says With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!” Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this – heart and soul – will ever regret it.”” (MSG)

I don’t know if you are having a birthday this month, but I do know that you too may struggle with accepting who you are, just like I do. I want to remind you that it is by grace, by faith you are saved. We embrace everything God is when we believe that He has the power to save us, and that fact continues as we grow and as He guides us to be who we are created to be. Change your perspective and allow those things you hate about yourself to be the very things that launch you into your destiny!

Just like scripture reminds us, no one who trusts God, heart and soul, will ever regret it.

Embrace the mess as you dance in His love.

xx,

Leslie Tatiana

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| Wedges: JustFab (similar) | Jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch (similar) |

| Blouse: Forever 21 (similar) | Necklace & Shades: Charming Charlie |

Hi 2017

Hi 2017, I can’t lie and I say that I am not scared that you are here. I show the world that I am ready, excited, determined and though these things are half true…. I am more afraid, more paralyzed than anything. I don’t want you to be like previous years.

I don’t want to sass my way through the year, control freak it, continue in my same cycles of running away from God, coming back a prodigal daughter and then doing it all over again until….. Happy 2018! I don’t want to disobey, cause my heart more ache than God intended, walk away angry, and then come back humbled and on my knees in repentance when I realize it was all me and I can’t fix it alone.

It is true to me that a new year symbolizes a spiritual shift. New beginnings often do that.But what matters most is the weeks, months, seasons that follow that new beginning. Will I choose to hide His word in my heart for the dark seasons? Will I follow wisdom’s instruction, hold my tongue, look for guidance, and seek peace in every decision? Or will I be tossed to and fro by the waves? Will I choose to be a victim to life?

I want to believe that I will strengthen and develop a better character. That I will be consistent and show up when I am needed. That I will love without expecting a return and that I will focus on the kingdom and not on the things that satisfy my flesh.

There are many questions, many habits to break, much to do, but I will choose to set my eyes on Jesus. The beautiful thing is that I don’t have to do this alone. I decide to go to the one who knows my heart and then He responds by guiding me and keeping my world together.

I have many goals to accomplish and much I’d like to change, but my best bet is sticking with Jesus, learning from Him, and becoming more like Him.

A week late because I am human and I am working on my habits (lol)

but happy new year ❤

If you are like me, planning, freaking out, controlling life, but so desperate for His presence and to please Him, then keep your eyes on Him.

He molds, he changes, He knows.

And there is nothing that brings me more peace than having someone 100% on my team and 100% with His love for me.

I am so excited for this year and I pray that you are too. It’s a process and there is nothing better than dancing in His love as we figure it out.
Get to know me a little better this year by subscribing to my youtube channel! My first video is officially up as promised and it’s a whole lot of facts about me and random dancing because HELLO, dancing in His love is what I do 😉

First VLOG! About me | Dancing In His Love

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The Best Of 2016

We made it YA’LL!! It’s the last few days of the year and if you are anything like me, you are anxious, overwhelmed, but so excited and ready for this year to be OVER!!

There are many things to be proud of, but again, if you are anything like me, it’s easy to feel like you are not where you should be.

So let’s reflect together and get ready for 2017!

There is a lot that I have processed and learned this year. I have gained so much experience from friendships, new and old. I feel like I have really taken control of my life and actively pursued my happiness, cutting off anything that got in the way of that, sometimes to a fault because I was in control and not God.

I will say that it is a bittersweet ending to 2016. It’s weird, but I know that 2017 will not allow the same habits of this year. I have friendships I’m leaving behind, habits I need to change, goals I have to accomplish and none of this will be possible if I live how I lived out this year.

I am sharing the top 5 posts of this year and the lessons we learned from each. I really hope you go back and revisit some of these pieces as it has been the best year yet for Dancing In Your Love.

  1. August 16, 2008 A murder that happened in my family 8 years ago, my experience, and years later. This was such a hard piece to write. I sat in my kitchen, tears rolling down my face the entire time.
  2. God of Miracles. Our church and our worship leaders experienced a very difficult, yet stretching season with the birth of Baby Belford. It grew us as a family, it allowed us to lock arms and believe together and till this day- the Belford’s are the strongest people I know. Can’t wait to meet you in heaven Michaela Joy! ❤
  3. Finally, Goodbye A goodbye letter to relationships, habits, fears. Letting anger and resentment go is such a freeing experience. 
  4. I think I am finally clean I was finally able to write about a break up I experienced almost 2 years ago. It taught me so much, especially a few tips on getting through tough seasons. 
  5. An Apology on Behalf of America There was so much anger, frustration and commotion that we experienced as a nation after the election. I was saddened to see and hear the opinions on immigration that belittled people as humans so I respond.

As you end this season, and begin the next one, I want you to believe in yourself. Believe that the Lord has a plan and a purpose for your life. I believe this is the year of application. I have learned and experienced so many lessons this year and it would be a waste of 2017 if I didn’t apply myself. I believe you have great potential stored up that you are not even capable of seeing or understanding. The only way to tap into that is to know the Lord, because then you’ll get a glimpse of who you were created to be. 

I hope you continue to walk with me and to discover the beauty of dancing in His love. Here is to many more lessons, to chasing and accomplishing our dreams, and to forever Dancing in His love.

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Luke 1:45

Happy New Year! ❤

See you in 2017.

XOXO

Leslie Tatiana

An Apology on Behalf of America 

I want to apologize to you on behalf of America. You were brought here to have a life, a chance at your dreams, in hopes that this place would be better than where your parents brought you from.
In most ways, you are safer and have a greater chance at making something of yourself. But I am sorry for the racism you are facing.
I’m sorry that you aren’t being treated as a human with a heart and a God given purpose.

Regardless of your legal status, I want you to know you matter. Despite the news, the election, and social media- you matter & you have a purpose, a unique calling that will change our world. There are people who will only be reached by you and what you carry. You carry such a potential that I’m not even sure you realize what a weapon you can be against hate.

I want you to know you matter to me. Some of you are family, best friends, people I love. You have brought such joy to my life and have changed me for the better. In my toughest seasons, you have been there to hold my hand and now I return the gesture.

I am sorry as a Colombian that I was born here and you weren’t and that somehow makes me better- it doesn’t. I am just as immersed in my culture as you are, I celebrate Christmas on the 24th, I eat buñuelos and pan con queso for breakfast & I wish my grandma was here instead of in Colombia.

I also don’t want to simplify your feelings. I don’t know what it feels like to not have a license or to not have the security of a job. And though most of you have a work permit, I cannot imagine what it feels like to be stuck… not able to leave because you won’t be “let” back in. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be called an alien and to have jokes with “la migra”.

You are just as much an American as me because most of you have been here since before potty training days and only know this land to be your home.

You bring culture and diversity to this nation. You bring hope and you inspire many who came with nothing, that they too can belong and make something of themselves.

Don’t give up and don’t back down. Do not be intimidated, many of us stand with you and choose to defend you.

Always remember that He brought you here for a reason, & He will be faithful to carry out your purpose here.

Your hope isn’t rooted in a leader or a status or a nation, your hope is rooted in love, in faith, in the fact that you are unique and special, that you are not forgotten, that you are not just simply a number- but that you breathe, your heart beats, and again you matter.

Be better. Do not stoop down and create more hatred. Let people have opinions and let them choose. Don’t give them a reason to talk and definitely do not let yourself be disrespected.

I’m on your team. 

Leslie

The struggle of “Not worthy”

Total honest moment.

It’s 12:54 AM & I suddenly have the desire to write…. When I have been avoiding it for 2 weeks.

TMI…   maybe it’s my monthly friend that has me in a mood and emotions all over the place and confused thoughts and rambling and the desire to do nothing at all…. (sorry to the fellas, but come on ladies!?)

So I’ve been avoiding blogging because I suddenly felt like I wasn’t good enough… like the words that came to my heart were pointless and that because I don’t have it together, I should just keep to myself

and that’s so unfair to myself, to God, and to this whole process of life.

How unfair to think that my experiences don’t mean much… that my heart doesn’t matter, that fighting through the rubble won’t bless anyone else? A little selfish too.

So now I am here, 1:00 AM in the morning, crying and processing my thoughts.

How many times have we walked away from big dreams and desires because we didn’t feel up for it? How many ideas have we pushed aside because our mess is too real?

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Look ya’ll… I’m such a mess. I have a big heart that loves and wants to be loved. I desire nothing more than to build people up, to be accepted, and to love deeply. I cry at least once a day, for dead animals on the street, because someone cancelled on me, because God whispers, because I realize I am not who I was but I also have a long way to go…. Literally CRY LOL

I laugh at the most ridiculous things…. And it makes me so happy.

I hate putting gas in my car and at least once a week, I end up on 0 miles on a freeway…. In Houston traffic!!!! LOL not joking. I spend way too much money on food and not enough saving.

So far I sound just like you right? So why do I feel so unworthy to share my experiences?

Lets get more honest here.

I don’t have it all together… I still struggle with forgiving. I am angry at my step dad who is not even my step dad anymore and no one knows this. I struggle with sin. I talk too much and don’t listen enough. I barely sleep. I don’t take care of my health.

Butpicsart-3 Leslie…. Cut yourself some slack. You’re 22 and you’re doing the best you can.
And it is the whole vision of Dancing In Your Love: to sort through my mess, discover His secrets, and to encourage others as I learn.

Can I tell you the same today??

Cut yourself some slack. Be kind to your heart. Take care of yourself. Life isn’t always sunshine and that is okay. It will get better and before you know it, those things you’re working at will work themselves out.

Take a deep breath and conquer your day. 

Don’t give up on your crazy, wild dreams just because you see your mess. That’s the process of it all. You were made to do great things and a little fire is necessary to shape and to mold you so you can be the greatest YOU.

For once, be on your team. Be your own #1 fan.

We can do this together. It’s Friday & we made it to the WEEKEND!!

Here’s to difficult days, that sometimes we bring on ourselves.

Thankful for a God who is patient through it all… the one who makes us worthy.

Dancing in His love,

xx Leslie Tatiana

I think I am finally clean

Life has a funny way of happening.

It chooses its victims and its victors, and simply happens.

In life’s toughest seasons, I have found that worship is the key to getting up and regaining strength. Worship is not only just singing to God, but also a state of being, the confidence that God is good, faithful, full of grace, and that He has your world in His hands.

I recently went through a difficult break up in my life, which was caused by many different factors, but nonetheless it hurt. I was thrown into a season that I later prolonged, causing it to last and hurt way longer than God probably wanted for me. My life suddenly became meaningless, dry, empty. The joy and passion for life I once had was no longer evident. I did not want to be around people, around anything that was stable because I was angry, at myself, at the guy, and at God. Looking back at my actions, my attitude, my perspective, I have learned a few things that would have changed the duration of my desert.

1. Embracing

The very first thing I didn’t do was accept. I refused to believe that my world had taken a drastic change. I tried to continue doing the same things I did when I was in the relationship, including hanging out with the same group that was connected to us, keeping communication with his family, eating at the same places, driving by the same streets. Literally nothing changed. Except the appearance together on social media. This made it difficult for me, and I’m sure him as well, to allow a death to happen so that healing could begin. Instead, we kept rolling around in the ashes of what was left, hoping to rebuild something that was long overdue to end.

I accepted my desert and my brokenness a year later, and everything that came with that; pain, friendships ending, new habits, new hangout places. This allowed me to accept my feelings. I was angry, mad, broken, confused, a little relieved actually. The lack of acknowledgement the year before didn’t leave room for these feelings and caused me to live in a lie, not ever dealing with the actual emptiness. After taking it in, my entire outlook of my season was transformed, and most importantly I was able to worship, to look for God, to seek help with sincerity, a new sense of clarity. I was now aware of the condition of my heart and spirit; I could care for myself better.

2. Enduring

The second important thing to do in every season is endure, hold on. After accepting and acknowledging, you have to fight to endure whatever comes your way. This may look different depending on your personality and your season, but this happens by gaining understanding, a new perspective. Some seasons require more time alone, while others require us to be surrounded by loved ones, learning to interact with other souls. Sometimes you need to study the Word, other times a lot of worship and time of prayer will help. Each season will be different but part of embracing it and not having to relearn the lessons years later, is knowing what your season is all about.

I endured my season by soaking in on His presence. Being in His presence was so important for me because I felt as though my heart was a shattered mess and I had no idea where to begin. I felt as though I had to pick up the pieces alone, buy some super glue, and put it all together alone. My identity had been placed in the relationship and when that ended, I no longer knew who Leslie was. Worship allowed me to hear the Lord’s sweet voice again, to hear life, to experience a love so sweet and not be afraid to be broken again. His presence was a safe place for me these last few months and as I embraced the brokenness and loneliness, I learned what I needed to heal and gained a sense of direction. Somedays I spent hours alone, writing, reading, thinking, crying to worship… and Adele songs (not a joke lol) and other weeks I spent all 7 days with my girls. I had to be connected to God and be constantly checking in on my heart to know exactly what I needed that day. Being in His presence didn’t make the pain go away, my friends didn’t distract me enough to forget what had died, but these two things did make the season more bearable.

I didn’t blend.

I didn’t make this brokenness my identity. I did not allow someone walking away from my life to define who I was. The season could have easily made me bitter, angry, hateful, but I chose to allow God to remind me who I was. I did not allow the pain to blend in with my deepest desires, to control my heart. We allow situations/people to intertwine themselves into our identity and we give them more rights than they deserve. Although we are shaped by our environment, we are not defined by them and this is so important to remember in seasons of growth. How careful a season is handled determines how you end it, if you pass the test, and if you have to repeat later in life.

3. Guarding

I don’t know about you, but seasons make me vulnerable. I feel like suddenly I have no idea what is going on inside of me or around me. I know now that seasons are meant to grow you. To teach you something, but in the middle of it, I tend to get overwhelmed and a little lost. I wish I could sit in class, learn all about the season, and then test over it. But most of the time, I don’t even realize it’s a test, until I am annoyed and frustrated and throwing fits to God.

And then I’m like oh SHOOT!!!! This is a test!!!

And I buckle down and try to pass it lol just like college.

One of the most important pieces to the seasons puzzle, is guarding.

Guarding your heart, mind, entire being- with everything that is within you.

When I first entered my season after the break up, I did not guard anything. I cried wherever, I spoke to many people about how I felt- and got millions of responses, some bashing the guy, some making me feel like crap, others making me miss what we had, others making me glad I was out. But none of them were actually me, no one understood because I was the one in the relationship, I dealt with the fights, with the decisions, with the memories. No one knew exactly how good or how bad it was because they weren’t us.

The opinions affected me a lot and literally had me back and forth, running in circles. Depending on who was giving their opinion that day, I was hopeful, expecting to fix the relationship, to heal what was broken, and to fight for what we had. Other days, I was angry, I hated him, I felt abandoned and betrayed, I hated him for giving up, for walking away.

I would also listen to songs, look at pictures, reread birthday cards, text messages, to remind myself of promises made and then I’d see my current state and this would send me into deep depressing days. I would be having a great day but I CHOSE to take myself to this hole every single time.

After awhile, I grew tired of hurting and fighting myself.

Instead of being my #1 protector, I was the biggest bully to my fragile and vulnerable heart.

My heart would trust me by allowing me to feel and I would take advantage and make it 10583034x worse. I stopped listening to Adele, Taylor Swift and any songs that reminded me of what was. I stopped watching romantic movies and I stopped pinning wedding things on pinterest. I stayed away from anything that would negatively affect me including people. People who had strong opinions about the breakup no longer had place in my life, and it sucked. I let go of many friendships because they were so connected to that time in my life but my heart became more important to me.

This is SO important. You are your own advocate, the best friend your heart longs for. You connect your spirit and heart to Jesus and you CHOOSE to thrive in whatever season you are in. So ultimately, it is YOUR duty to guard your season, most importantly guard your heart. You can no longer have an open door and allow songs, opinions, movies etc., around you but now your main focus should be to successfully pass this season and learn what you need to learn.

I guarded my mind so much, I would only listen to worship, read healing/life speaking books, hang out with people who had my heart as a priority.

And I don’t apologize for that.

I had spent so many years trying to submit to someone else, trying to be someone else so that I would be loved, trying to please man and be perfect. Let me tell you, the first chance I had to take care of myself and “do me” I ran and took it!

4. Growing

Like I ranted before, seasons are about taking care of yourself. About learning of you and of Him. If handled correctly, they take you to the next level in life, making the vision of your life and your creator clearer.

This is something that is to be kept in the front-line, in a place where it can be constantly looked at and remembered. These trials all are different, some last months, some years, and it can be easy to forget what the real purpose is. Although the heartbreak I endured was one of the worsts I have ever experienced, I chose to grow from it. Doing the first 3 things set me up to thrive. I did not allow the circumstance to make me a victim but instead held so close to Jesus that my identity began to change and I began to see purpose in my pain.

I love love love what 1 Peter 1:6 says:

“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”

What more do we need?! The trials cause our faith to be tested and if handled correctly, our faith will grow! If our faith grows, we will see Him in His glory, more clearly. Locking eyes with my King is more than enough for me to persevere through seasons of all kinds.

Come hell, come high water, come valleys, mountains, deserts, sunshine….

I am His and He is mine, forever.

Crazy that when the above picture was taken, a year ago, I was broken, faking my way through the pain. The pieces of my heart were too shattered and I had no idea where to begin. Thankful I fought my way through that season, and that I stand today.

Praying for you today. Whatever season you are in, CHOOSE to stay in the fight. Embrace, endure, guard, and grow from your trials.

Be truly glad friends, there is wonderful joy ahead.

From glory to glory we go,
All while dancing in His love.