Thursday, December 31, 2015

The end of 2015

Wow…it’s hard to believe that this is the last day of 2015. It seems like it was yesterday when I wrote that 2014 was almost over and that events from that year had made me realize I was a stronger woman in that year. A woman of Worth, Love and Character. That I had found a richer and deeper love for Christ than ever before in my life.
My goal for 2015 was to not set resolutions but to live life falling deeper for His love and walking through my life with more love, laughter and zest.

I can truly say 2015 was a year of change and growth. Spending time in His Word made me realize that I needed to make some big changes in my life in order for that growth to happen.
I had to learn how to set boundaries in order for relationships to continue, and along the way there were a few relationships that didn’t survive.
I had to learn to not worry about what people said about me on facebook or even what they thought about me.
I had to learn that being humble, more than ever before, brings much happiness….yet, it is one of the hardest things to do.

After much praying, in May, I decided to move back to St. Louis to be closer to my son, Tyler, and his wife, Heather. In my heart I never wanted to live away from my son and I certainly didn’t want to live away from grandbabies when the time came for them to start having babies, so I put things in place to make that transition.

I packed my house in May & June. I traveled to Texas in July to see my best friend and upon returning to Indiana…I moved 3 days later. Talk about a crazy few months packed with chaos!
I moved in with Tyler and Heather. They created a small cozy space in their basement until my apartment was ready in October.

In the change of things I learned that I didn’t know Heather and she didn’t know me. We “knew” each other but didn’t “know” one another, yet we both loved the same man. I learned that my son loves and adores his wife.

I learned that my old church, as much as I loved it and had hoped to return there, wasn’t were I was supposed to be.

With all the many things I learned and the wonderful changes that happened I grew into a woman who got a little lost along the way and stopped picking up her Bible. Please don't misunderstand. I still spent time reading the Bible app on my phone and still listened to worship music, but there’s something to holding and reading and studying the Word with the Bible literally in your hands.

Even though I wasn’t holding my Bible in my hands I was still seeking Him and ways to grow closer. In September I began a Bible study that was deeper than any study I’ve ever done before. We studied from the book Redemption by Mike Wilkerson. It was a 12 week study and even in the first 4-5 weeks I wasn’t sure what I was getting from it. I wasn’t just going through the motions. I was digging deep and just didn’t see where I was connecting with this study.
Now, you need to know, when I’m studying I write all over and in my book. I write whatever comes to my heart if something is triggered. During week 6 the chapter I read resonated with me and I decided to read it again. Holy Moly…..on one of the pages there was my sons name, written across the page. I didn’t even remember writing it. So I backed up and began reading the chapter from the beginning. I bawled. For days!

That study opened my eyes to see that for 15 years (if not longer) I had made my son an idol. I looked to him for love, approval, respect, acceptance and appreciation. I say 15 years because it was 15 years ago that he led me to Christ. I left behind an addiction and love for alcohol. 
So deeply seeded and never would I have imagined that I had put my only child on a pedestal. Somewhere deep within I had made my son my savior. Talk about a HUGE realization and the heart ache that came.

What was even harder than realizing that I had done that, was going to Tyler and asking for his forgiveness and setting in place the changes I need to make.

2015 was eye-opening!! I, however, would not change this year for anything in the world. I welcome 2016 and the changes I need to make to insure I do not put that pressure and burden upon my child.
I have Jesus Christ. He is my true Savior, and the only one who can handle any pressure and burden I place upon Him. He is the only one I will seek comfort, joy and peace from.

Again, I will not set a resolution for 2016, but I will strive to become the woman God needs and wants me to be. My plan for 2016 is to live more humbly and even more transparent. To live with greater intent with those in my life. To love more. To laugh louder...and to seek God with all my being.

My prayer is that you will look within and see what is hidden. Look deep within, not just on the surface. Jesus is waiting to carry the burdens for you.

Happy New Year!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Just Bloom!

It seems so easy to conform to this world and the things around us. Our friends buy a new house or new car and we quickly compare what they have to what we have. In that moment, that hour, that day, that week…we think about, even dwell upon the thoughts of “we aren’t good enough because we don’t have -------.”

So easily we begin to compare ourselves. Our lives and our possessions to that of which our neighbors have. In that split second we become focused on not what we have been blessed with but what we want. 

Is it really – what we have isn’t good enough? Or is it….the bigger, the newer the better we have the happier we will be?
I am so guilty!
I complain.
I compare.
Unlike a flower that never compares itself to another flower. It just blooms.

I have wilted.

I’m constantly being convicted of not being content with the riches I have. And yet I lose sight of the many blessing God has bestowed upon me.

Recently I heard someone say “It’s easy to be content in the highs of life.”
Oh….that’s so true!!!!
Yet, when the lows of life appear we instantly lose sight of Phil 4:19 which tells us that God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
He will supply our needs!

Maybe – all in all – it’s not the “things” we aren’t content with. Maybe it’s our heart.
Our hearts and minds are not set on the things of above but on the things of this World. (Col 3:2)

A Kingdom Mindset!!


If my mind and heart are set on the above how could I ever want for anything on this Earth?
He will supply My needs. With a Kingdom mindset I shall receive His Kingdom.
What more could a girl want?

Forgive me Father…..
I shall become the flower that does not compare herself to others flowers. I shall…Just Bloom.

I will be content in whatever state you have me.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Flip the Switch!

Shame on me. I’ve allowed life to consume me and haven’t been faithful in listening to God and journaling the words He puts upon my heart. Gotta love free will, right??

**heavy sigh** 

So…here I go.

I’ve recently encountered a few people that seem to suck the life right out of me and in turn I allow them to ruin my day. Anyone and everyone who knows me personally knows one of my biggest quotes is:

 “Don’t allow anyone or anything to steal your God-given joy. They are not worthy of that right.”

Yet, as humans we are easily set off by others by something they say or possibly something they do. Why? What is it within us that allows another to flip our switch? I’ve always been told no other person can make you “feel” anything, yet many times I “feel” hurt, betrayed and even angry. I believe most people experience these feelings and emotions but, in reality we are the ones allowing those feelings to happen.

What are we missing?                                                                                      
Why does our focus and thought process go there?                                                
Is it because we long to feel loved?   
Why is it some of carry our hearts on our shoulder and are so easily offended.

Did Jesus feel offended when people didn’t accept him? Did He allow others to “flip the switch” by what they said or did to him.

I know many times in my life when someone has done something against me I’ve said I’ll never forgive them – yet – I’ve done the same thing to someone else. It will never be within our own ability to forgive painful attitudes and hurtful acts. It can only be the love of Christ within our hearts that can exchange that hurt for love.

Only God can allow you to look beyond the offense and see with His eyes.

Crowds mocked Jesus. Those that loved him dearly abandoned him. Roman soldiers nailed him to a cross. (Talk about a ruined day!)
Yet, in the end his words were, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

We live in a broken and fallen world. We are going to be hurt, wronged, and sinned against. We have been wounded and some of those wounds run deeper than anyone knows.

Jesus has the answer. He calls us to love one another. He calls us to forgive one another. He doesn’t want us to plan our revenge. He wants us to forgive. Not once, but 7 x’s 70 times a day! If it was just that simple.

(This is not my personal picture. I got it from the internet)

C.S Lewis said it best. “Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive.”

Love like Jesus. Flip the switch and put the words upon your lips: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Drop the Call & Reconnect!

I love my cellphone. I love the safe feeling I have knowing I have a way to call for help if needed when traveling. I love that I can send and receive texts when I need to talk to someone but am somewhere where I can’t talk out loud. However, I do not live for my cellphone. It is not the breath of me.

I was on facebook the other day and someone posted a picture of their young daughter with her cellphone at the dinner table. The post had a picture of the girl looking at her phone while in a restaurant and the post said “she’s texting me!” The responding comments were many LOL’s.

My brother is always commenting on how he hates that his kids are always on their cellphones. Yet, he is always on his. It’s so discouraging to go to dinner with them and see my brother constantly checking or clicking away on his cellphone.

Personally, THIS infuriates me. It’s not the fact a cute picture was posted with her on her phone, it’s the fact that as a society we have lost touch of what personal communication really means anymore. I’m sure this blog is going to ruffle some feathers somewhere and this is strictly my opinion.

We, as parents, wonder why we can’t connect with our teenagers or understand the lingo they speak. We wonder why they’re failing in school or why they’re in trouble in school. We wonder why kids are becoming more introverted every day. Being a parent of a teen is hard enough as it is.

My son, now 25, was not permitted to have a cellphone until he was 16 years old. Yes, I said 16. He was made fun of by his friends because he didn’t have a cell phone, but I didn’t care what his friends thought. It wasn’t that I didn’t think he was responsible enough because he was a very responsible teenager. It was simply because I wanted him to learn the basics of how to communicate with people on a personal level. I wanted him to grasp the fact that talking face to face is far more important than clicking keys to talk through text.

I’m not saying my choices as a parent were the best choices….heck I was a drunk who took her anger out on her son when he was little. Praise God that child forgave me for those mistakes!

But, what I am saying is, if we teach our children to put the phone down and to live intentionally with people and around people our children will grow and understand how to communicate face to face. They will learn how to express their feelings and emotions, but most importantly they will learn how to talk and relate on a personal level.

I want those around me to know that they are important. That the short amount of time I might have with them at dinner is far more important than me checking my phone to see the status of my friends on facebook who I don’t even really know or haven’t talked to or seen in 3, 5, 10 or 30 years.

What really matters in my life? What or who is really important? My family, statuses on facebook or the next level of candy crush? I want there to be no doubt to the people who choose to spend time with me, whether it’s a couple hours or a quick lunch, that THEY MATTER MOST. I want to live with intent and I want to talk and laugh and hear and know what they are truly saying. And I want the same in return.

I wonder, how many people have dropped their cell in the toilet? Our cellphones have become idols. There…I said it. We can’t even go to the bathroom without them. I’m guilty. I’ve sent many texts while sitting on the potty. (Not that you wanted that visual!) But, lets be real here.

As a society we have grown to grab that little electronic idol all the time. What would happen if we put it down and focus on our children, focus on our family, focus on God? What would happen if we  re-learned how to communicate with our children, with our family and with God? What if we put God first, family second and our cellphones last?

What if…
If we would reach for God the way we reach for our cell phones.
We would hug our children as tight as we hug our cellphones.
We prayed instead of played candy crush.
We ate dinner without bringing our cellphone to the table and had real face to face interaction.

Just…what if?

I think it's time to drop this stronghold just like it's carriers use to drop our calls.
Just sayin'

Matthew 6:21
For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6:33
But seek first His kingdom and righteousness, and all things will be given to you as well.
I found this picture on the internet and it fit perfectly to my blog topic. I have not altered it in any way. Credit is given to who said the quote as well as who used this for their business. I do not know either the person who quoted or the business and do not promote this business. I just used the picture as it was.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Reflection of 2014

2014 is now in the past. It was a year where memories were made, heartaches happened, laughter rang out, smiles were shared and tears were shed.

I can't say I enjoyed everything that happened in 2014 because some things felt like they ripped my heart out. But, I wouldn't change it.

The events that happened, good and bad, made me realize I am stronger than I ever imagined. That within me was a woman of Worth. A woman of Love. A woman of Character.

I found a love richer and deeper with Christ that I could have ever imagined. Because of that love I stand in faith stronger than ever before.

My goal for 2015 is to not set resolutions, but to live life falling deeper for His love and walking through my life with more love, laughter and zest.

Join me!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Family Traditions

I love hearing about family traditions. Whether it’s getting together once a year for a family reunion, having Sunday Fun-Days, 4th of July blasts, or venturing out to a tree farm to pick out and cut down you own Christmas tree….the list could go on and on.
This sled belonged to one of my clients grandfather.
She used it with her three grandchildren in transporting their Christmas tree.
What a wonderful tradition.

When talking with people I always ask if they have a family tradition. Some do. Some don’t. Time and time again, what I see in people when I ask if they have a tradition is the light in their eyes. There comes a sparkle of excitement. Even when the response shared is that they don’t have a tradition. There is still that sparkle.

But, what is the sparkle? Is it excitement? Is it the joy in knowing you are or could be part of something? I, personally, think its Hope.

Hope is something we all have in common. It’s something we all cling to.

The family that has a Christmas tradition of getting all dolled up to attend The Nutcracker has hope they might see something a tad different than previous year’s performances. The woman sitting in ICU with her child has hope he will recover from his illness. The homeless man has hope he receives a hot meal to nourish his body and warm shelter to bring him comfort from the weather.

Though the situations are different, we are much the same at heart in having hope. We believe in the hope that is instilled within our hearts.

However, hope is not something we see. Just as the wind. You don’t actually it. You see or feel the results of it. As you close your eyes and turn your face towards the refreshing breeze the wind has brought you inhale experiencing something you can only feel, yet not see.

This Christmas, my prayer for you and your family is that you will experience hope in things you can’t see in a way unimaginable.  I pray you experience the refreshing wind. I pray you have faith beyond the size of a mustard seed. But, most importantly I pray you experience the joy and love of Christ and that He would be your hope. That He would become a tradition you would pass down to your family.

Merry Christmas!



Thursday, November 20, 2014

For His Glory

I’ve never been a big fan of roller coasters. I remember as a kid there was only one roller coaster I would ride. That was “The Racer” at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. There were two “Racers”. They did just that….they raced. One went forward and one went backwards. I preferred the one that went backwards just so I didn’t have that feeling of “I’m going to fall out of this seat” or “This car is going to flip over itself” just as I saw the downward hill. I only had to see the sky as the thrill of plunging downward began.

I don’t know if there is much difference in the experience of riding the coaster forward or backward….. Either way your stomach ends up in your throat! At least it always did for me. HA!

I’ve attempted to try a few other coasters in my 49 years….but, yeah….for me...the thrill…not so much! I can live without roller coasters.

But, life itself is a roller coaster. Ups, downs, Sometimes we think we’re going forward when actually we’re going backwards, and then the loops and turns and…..shew…I need off already.

I can truly say God led me to a new amusement ride about three months ago. He guided me in starting a photography business. Now, I had dabbled for a couple years, but it was just that…dabble. It took a couple of months with me battling Him and literally screaming at Him, “Are you crazy?” But, He kept bringing it before me. Finally, I bowed down and became obedient.

I knew, without a doubt, that the business name would have to do with blessings. Beautiful blessings from God. So I went with Beautiful Blessings. When I went to get a domain name….it was taken. Trying to stay on the same track, I thought I’d do Bonita Blessings, since my given name is Bonita and it means beautiful in Spanish. However, that, too, was taken.

Now, I was discouraged. I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to be called and I didn’t want just any ole name. I hit my knees in prayer and in tears. Begging I asked, “What? What am I doing wrong? If this is supposed to be why is coming up with the name so difficult? Why? I don’t understand.” I prayed and I prayed and I prayed some more.

Then one night about 3:30am I sat straight up in bed and said, “I got it! Why didn’t you say that in the first place?!” I had the name all along.

Heartbeats From Heaven.

Heartbeats From Heaven are Beautiful Blessings.
By the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. James 1:16

From that day forward, my business has been all Gods doing. It’s not my business, it’s His. I’m just the vessel capturing His beautiful blessings.
It's for His glory!

I’m still not so sure what He has planned but I can say, “This ride has been exhilarating!” I know His plan will be magnificent no matter what.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

What has He been speaking into you? Are you kicking and screaming and asking Him if He’s crazy? What would happen in your world if you just trusted Him and became obedient?

Have a little faith and enjoy the ride. I’m certain He has something wonderful planned. Let it be for His glory.

He loves you, you know!?!



If you’d like to see the beautiful blessings I’ve captured through my lens you can find my work at and on Facebook at Heartbeats from Heaven Photography. I’d love to hear what you think!