SOUL & GRACE

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SOUL & GRACE

SOUL AND GRACE

We are all on a journey of pursuing full health. Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. We don’t know anyone more passionate about this pursuit then our very own Kayla Jones. Kayla is the founder of Soul and Grace- a platform designed to resource you in your pursuit of health. We interviewed her to learn more about what she’s doing and how you too can pursue health alongside us.


WAU: So lets start here, why the name Soul and Grace?

KAYLA: The name Soul and Grace literally comes from God. I had been praying about the name for months, I shared my vision with God and my heart of what I would love for the site to reflect and one day I had a revelation and he gave me Soul and Grace. I am all about taking care of your Soul in every aspect of life, but also having Grace with yourself, because perfection is never the goal.

WAU: Since we’ve known you, you’ve always been so passionate about holistic living. Why is that? 

KAYLA: Yes, my passion for holistic living stems from my own personal health journey. I have been living with Chronic Illness for the past 8 years, and I spent most of that time undiagnosed and extremely frustrated. I spent nearly 6 years going to doctor after doctor, taking medication after medication, dealing with side effects of the medication, and undergoing multiple procedures to look for answers. It wasn't until I started seeing a functional medicine practitioner a couple years ago that I started connecting the dots with my health. From there, I started a plan specific to my bodily needs, took a ton of nutrition courses, and did extensive research on healing your body through food and emotional management. It was extremely liberating finding some long overdue answers, and the process instilled a passion in me for a field I never saw myself working in. Although I am still on my health journey, and it's going to take me awhile for my body to fully heal, I am happy to be walking in the right direction and to have the knowledge to do so affectively. That's just a glimpse into my journey, but I plan on sharing my full health story on the blog later this year.

WAU: What can we expect from you and your site? 

KAYLA: You can expect a ton of posts focused around holistic health and overall lifestyle. I will also began hosting workshops this year which I am super excited about because my ultimate goal is to make this little nook on the internet feel like a real community of people doing life together.

WAU: What do you hope women gain and experience from soul and grace?

KAYLA: I hope that women come to understand that they're not alone. There are so many of us that struggle in silence; whether that is in regards to mental health, fertility issues, chronic illness, eating disorders, or regular everyday life struggles. These struggles are not something that need to be hidden, we don't have to suffer alone. There is so much freedom in sharing your story, and allowing others into your journey to walk alongside these struggles with you. I want Soul and Grace to be a diverse community of women learning together, growing together, and a space to truly find your tribe. You will learn how to take care of your body, eat well, exercise regularly, and hopefully learn about processing your emotions in a healthy way. It's going to be great!

WAU: How can our audience stay connected to you?

I would love to connect with you guys, blow is where you can find me.

Website: https://www.soulandgrace.co/

Instagram: soulandgrace.co

Facebook: Soul and Grace Co 

Pinterest: loveeconquers

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photography by Afritina Coker

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#GOALS

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#GOALS

Although Christmas is over, we wanted to leave you guys with one more gift to take you into the new year. Our very own Monica Zuniga is featured on our blog today to share with you not only her tips for setting goals in the new year, but how to identify your God given purpose in order to set the right goals for the new year. Check it out below and don't forget to sign up for your FREE guide to discover your purpose!

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WAU: SO TELL US, WHAT INSPIRED THIS WORKBOOK?

MONICA: Honestly lots of things. Mainly the fact that I have found there are always a lot of people out there talking about how they 'made it' (or even faking that they have made it), but there aren't many people in the thick of it with everyone else trying to figure it out. I'm just like most people out there. I spent the majority of my 20's just trying to figure out what to do with my life and what I was made for. And now I feel like I've finally figured it out and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I realized I had over complicated things along the way due to the influence of so many things around me. I never want to look like I have it all together or act like I've made it, but now that I have some insight, I just genuinely want to help people. I want to walk with people during the hard stuff and the struggles. Through the tough questions like, 'What really are my dreams and goals?' 'What does it really mean to chase your dreams?' 'How do I know this is the right path?' 'What happens now that I'm here?' I truly believe this workbook is a practical first step to identifying what God created you for and will help you answer some of these tough questions.

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WAU: WE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE YOU PUT ON CHASING YOUR DREAMS IN THIS WORKBOOK, YOU EQUATE DREAMS WITH GOALS, WHY IS THAT?

MONICA: 'A dream is a goal with a deadline.' No I didn't come up with that one (laughs), Napoleon Hill did, but it's so dang good and true! I think often times we chase and pursue things like our careers, education, hobbies, etc. all based off of what we 'think' we should do. Somewhere along the road to adulthood we forget to go back to the basics of what makes us, well... us. I believe that your passions, desires, dreams, and all those things you just really love are the missing puzzle pieces to your purpose. Your dreams can become your goals when you take the time to really connect the dots. 

WAU: WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY 'CONNECT THE DOTS'? 

MONICA: Well, I guess I say that because I believe that if the things you just really love are within you, they were put there intrinsically by someone. That someone being God. It's not just because you were raised in a environment that encouraged you to love basketball or comedy for example. Of course your family influences you, but there is so much more to that. There are things that you love that your family doesn't. Even more so, there are things growing up that your community or environment liked but you really loved. Think about it. Maybe everyone liked to read, but you constantly had your nose in a book. Then you'd tirelessly write out plays for all the kids in the neighborhood to act out. Sure it was fun, but you probably did it so much that it eventually annoyed everyone else. But for you, you could never get enough. It's those things that I believe are from God and are good things you should really tap into. It's those kind of dots I hope people connect with this workbook to help them see why those passions are tied to their purpose.

WAU: WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE OUT OF THIS WORKBOOK? 

MONICA: Honestly I just pray that people learn to dream again. I think if you truly follow the plan that you'll begin to discover more than you set out to. AND you'll begin to remember some of those long lost dreams you had for your life! I believe thinking outside the box is the first step to opening up your mind and heart to see how God created you. And from there, with clear dreams (which are goals) you'll be able to go into the new year with a vision of where you not only hope to go, but where God created you to go. I hope everyone really loves it!

photos by @syderryn

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Healing

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Healing

“Father will you please heal me?”

The words I begged in frustration, entering my doctor’s office, awaiting the news of my pet scan and hip biopsy.I believed He could at that very moment, but would He?

I said another “amen” as I quickly wiped my tears off my face and took a deep breath. I proceeded to walk into a room where the doctor was waiting. There, I received the news that it’s stage 4 breast cancer now, and unfortunately the cancer has spread to my left hip.

Right now, I am taking the strongest form of chemo meds out there for breast cancer, yet when doctors biopsied my hip area they found out that my receptors in my hip were negative to the treatment I am currently taking now basically indicating that the chemo that I’m undergoing will not kill the cancer in my hip to the extent that doctors hoped for.

There is also an indication of another small mass on my right rib area.We still have no answers as to what it is. Or if it’s even cancer related.

I’ve come to see why people say, “Cancer sucks.”

Because it really does…I just want my life back. I want to be healed.

To be completely transparent, I feel like this past month I have begged God to heal me. And as my knees constantly hit the floor, I became aware that I felt a pain in my chest when I would say, “Your will be done.”

In Mark 11:24, it says that whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. But that’s all I’ve done… and my cancer is worse.

I am asking in Jesus’ name for healing and I’m asking that it may bring Him glory and I’m believing He will heal me. but I feel as if time is standing still. As if time isn’t moving. The days are so slow.

I had no doubt that God could heal me, but the evidence of what was coming my way was contradicting everything. It is so hard to continue praying when you don’t see a difference in your circumstances. It is so hard to refrain from asking God “Why aren’t You taking care of this right now?”

You see, sometimes we don’t understand why things happen in life. Why do bad things happen to good people? Or why healing on earth never comes to our loved ones.

Sometimes, life hits us so hard it takes a while to get back up. Sometimes, we are so drowned out by the sorrows of this broken and tainted world that it’s hard to see God. We want God to show up and “save the day” at that very second of our pain.

In the month of August, my Facebook newsfeed has been sadly bombarded by the loss of family members. A beloved husband was taken from his wife due to complications with a lung transplant, a father that battled cancer was taken from his daughter, and a sweet mother is eagerly praying for her son to survive a horrific car accident. My heart hurts. The fact that they all prayed for healing and didn’t receive it on this side of eternity, or are still waiting for it. You see, we have all desired to be healed and have all sought physical healing in some way or another. I have believed so much, to the point that I have found myself telling my friends that the next time they see me, I will be cured of this disease, in Jesus’ name. But, God did not bring earthly healing to this husband. And He didn’t bring earthly healing to this father. And right now, there is still a mother begging God on her son’s behalf. It’s hard to think that this could be the will of God in my life. Will God say no to my healing on this side of eternity, as well? You see, praying for healing means that you are investing in hope. In an outcome that is out of your hands. And when your prayers aren’t coming to pass, it causes great fear. Without realizing it, FEAR had crept in and obscured my view, to the point that I hid behind a scenario that was easier to deal with.

It kind of looked like this : Not praying was easier because I didn’t have to face my fear. I just kind of hid behind the excuse that God’s got it. So why tell Him what to do? Right? I would argue with myself that I need to stop asking for healing. Because if it’s not God’s will, I will end up disappointed. My point is, I needed an encounter with God. I needed help. I needed to be rescued from this way of thinking!

It’s about 1:50 a.m., and I’m awakened by small drops of rain hitting my bedroom window. I look over and tenderly stroke my husband’s hand, climb out of bed and proceed to the boys room. When I approach their room, I realize my oldest son is awake. I gently whispered, “Leo are you ok? Why are you awake?” He whispered back, “Mommy, What does heaven look like? With tears in my eyes, I described the wonders of heaven. He continued by reminding me that Jesus died on the cross. He asked why? I said “He did it for you and me.” The infamous, “but why” continued.

Because He loves us. Because we matter most to Him. He was so amazed, and quickly said, “Jesus is a super hero! Does he wear a cape?” I giggled quietly trying not to wake Eli in the bed across from him, and said, “Well, it’s more like a robe. And it’s white.” “Will we get to see Jesus one day?” he asked. I said,. “Yes, one day Jesus will come to get us and take us to heaven.” “And then you will be better right, Mommy?” “Yes , Leo. I will be all better.” Then he responded, “Ok, that’s nice.” At that moment, he turned his head away, tucked his shoulders under the covers, and fell asleep.

Quickly tiptoeing back to my room, I realized I hadn’t felt that pain in my chest anymore, and that God used my three-year-old son to remind me that living for what matters most requires sacrifice. This is what Jesus did for us. 1 Peter 2:21-22 says, “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps.” God used my three-year-old son to remind me that just as Christ suffered yet trusted the Father, I am to follow in His steps on the road marked with suffering and trust my heavenly Father, even with CANCER.

The truth is that you will have detours on the road marked out for you, but you will never get off of the road. That road was placed there and your destination was already established by God. It is so important to realize that the God of the mountaintop is also the God of the valley. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). The sufficiency of God’s grace is found in that we can endure suffering just as Jesus endured the cross. Jesus didn’t just die in vain. He died for a purpose. I am not going through cancer in vain. I’m going through it for a purpose!

There is no senseless suffering.

At that very moment, getting back into bed, laying my head down, hopeful tears flowed from my eyes. I looked up and said “Thank you, God. Thank you.” I came to realize of how truly blessed I have been to be given another day of life with my family. My perspective changed drastically. All of a sudden, the room lit up from the bright light given off of my phone. As I reached over I saw a sweet reminder alert that said, “Happy birthday!”

It was as if God was saying, “Happy birthday, sweet daughter.”

As I learn more of my diagnosis, I realize how much of a gift life really is, and that my faith isn’t based on how much God does for me, it’s based on how much I trust God. I had been frustrated and complaining while this other wife I mentioned earlier might have been thanking God for every second she had with her husband before he passed. And this daughter might have been enjoying every minute she could with her father even if it was on the third floor of a cancer center. And this sweet mother is still holding her son’s hand as much as she can, as she waits by his bedside for a miracle. The revelation from God was simple.

The fact was that I needed to have my will changed according to His desires, not His will changed according to my prayers. I whispered up to heaven and softly said the words that pained me to say before, but not anymore, “May Your will be done.” God, please help me to let “my” will be changed to “Thy” will. You see, some feel that God will never heal anyone miraculously today. Others feel that God will always heal a person if he or she has enough faith.

But I learned and now refuse to place God in either box. You see, God may remove your suffering, and that will be great cause for praise. But if not, He will use it. He will use anything and everything. So let God mold you and make you, transforming you from glory to glory. That’s the deeper healing. I may not know anything regarding my future, but I do know this, the struggle is real, But so is my God! God is worth trusting and the Bible is worth believing. The world can’t argue when it sees people in pain rejoice in their God. Because when an unbeliever receives tragedy, so does a believer, so that the world can see the difference. That difference is hope, love, grace, mercy. Jesus. Someday, all sickness and death will be WIPED OUT. Revelation 21:4

That precious wife will see her husband again, that sweet daughter will be embraced in the arms of her father again, and this strong mother will hear her son’s sweet voice again and I with so many others will be freed of this disease. Cancer will no longer exist. All of those asking for healing today will have it. The tears of pain will be wiped away; no more suffering no more mourning. But until then, there is a greater healing that needs to be done in this world, and that is the salvation of so many. That is why I write to you today, to tell as many people I can about Jesus through my story. No matter the suffering here on earth, it does not compare to the glory that awaits (Romans 8).

May the Lord give me a taste of the kingdom of God by healing me today! BUT IF GOD SAYS NO, then so be it. He is the one who gives and takes away and I walk into the month of November proclaiming as Job, “Though He slay me yet I will praise him.” So I ask you today, what if we trusted His heart, even when His hand seemingly withholds the very thing we so desire? What if we chose to celebrate all of the previous yes answers He’s given us despite His current no? I think it would change how we respond. I think we would find joy, keep hoping and smile despite what we see. I know how badly you want your yes, but hang in there. Keep hoping. Keep praying. Keep believing. And if God says no, trust that He has your destination in His hands. I’m still here. Which means God is still working. We expect God to move. It’s just not always the way we expect it. But God always moves.

- Jacquelyn Aviles

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Jackie is a wife, mother, and writer who’s mission is to share the gospel and encourage others to boldly face seasons of struggle.

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God is our Protector

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God is our Protector

PROTECTOR

WHAT COMES TO MIND WHEN YOU READ THAT WORD?

When we’re younger, protection and shelter are things we either know and experience or we don’t. When we feel safe, we know it. When we don’t, fear, doubt, and insecurity creep in, no matter our age.


Seeing God as our Protector can be difficult–especially if our view of what a protector is becomes skewed from life experiences. And, if you find yourself in this boat, I get it, it’s something I’ve struggled with for over 29 years but, my friends, it doesn’t have to be this way.


God has made a way for us to see Him as our safe-haven, our shelter, our covering, and most of all–the one who fights for us and wins every time. Though we all experience pain and hurt, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t still protecting us along the way.


As we chat through what it looks like to see God as our Protector, I challenge you to open your eyes and heart to not see God through the lens of your past or your pain, but see him willing and able to heal every wound and show you just how protected and covered you can be in Him.
As you watch the video, I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will gently sweep in and remove your past perceptions of God and insert a new perspective: God is your Protector.


On the journey with you friends,


-Jessica

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jessica Pittman

Jessica is one of the original co-founders of WE Are Unveiled. She currently is a growing leader in the marketplace and it is her life mission to live her life to bring Jesus everywhere she goes.

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God is Our Provider

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God is Our Provider

Provider.

What comes to mind when you read that word?

Do you become anxious as you wonder how you’ll make ends meet this month?

Do you picture a person you can always count on, like your mom, dad, or spouse?

Do you feel disappointed, certain that no matter what you do, you just won’t have everything you need?

Our perspectives on the word ‘provider’ are all different and are based on our unique experiences. We have memories of lack and plenty and our own ideas about what provision means and who it comes from. But what if I told you that you can reshape your view? What if you could not only see, but believe, that God is your source of all provision?

According to Scripture, God is our provider. He’s a Father who provides physically, emotionally, and even spiritually. He’s a God who gives good gifts, anticipates our needs, and takes care of even the smallest details of our lives.

This month, we will unpack God’s true character and heart as a Father who provides. My prayer is that, as you see our video, the Lord will begin to open your eyes, your heart, and your mind to fully receive the truth of who your heavenly Father is. May He begin to mend what has been broken in your life as He reminds you who you truly are in Him as His beloved child.

Monica

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Monica Zuniga

Monica is the founder of We are Unveiled and seeks to use her life to point others to Christ.

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Learning to Slow Down

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Learning to Slow Down

Our society might be moving a mile a minute, but we can take a few precious moments to slow down to get in tune with God, in touch with ourselves, and in relationship with others. And, I suspect, as we do this, our communities, workplaces, homes, and social circles will begin to look drastically different. 

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God is Perfect Love

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God is Perfect Love

What’s amazing about God is that he’s not just good at loving, he hasn’t grown proficient at it over years of trial and error, he doesn’t flex his love muscles to get something from others, he is love.

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Alex's Story

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Alex's Story

There are so many moments in life that I look back upon like steps in a staircase. Some steps have been long, stretching for miles, while others have been quick hops taken with ease. I have seen the growth that comes from the stumbling, the hurting, and especially the healing.  

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Kari's Story

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Kari's Story

If God has taught me anything it’s that nothing is impossible for him. And no one, absolutely no one, is too far gone for his grace.

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Maryland's Story

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Maryland's Story

I have learned that Jesus is there to help us, of course, but he also uses the people around us. I’m changed because of my trusted friend who was able to love me, speak truth to me, and hold me accountable when I couldn’t do that for myself. And I’m so thankful for that.

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Erika's Story

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Erika's Story

When I was not rooted in the Lord, I found love, comfort, satisfaction, and worth in things and people that could never make me whole. I tried to take control of my life, pushing God to the side, but his love patiently pursued me. He remained constant and his arms were always opened wide to me, even when I rejected him again and again.

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Zuleika's Story

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Zuleika's Story

I haven’t arrived, but I am pressing. Prayer, seeking the Lord at His Word, and surrounding myself in community have been the very things that continually remind me that the Lord is good. I have learned that even during the weak points of my life, it’s all for my good and His glory, that in the end I may “count it all joy!”

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Barbara's Story

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Barbara's Story

I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm no longer who I was. God found me and chose me at my worst. I asked Him to give me a purpose, and He gave me something far more valuable: He gave me a love for His word and His son Jesus. And through it, I see the world so differently now.

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Jo's Story

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Jo's Story

I am a new creation because of God, and because of his servants who loved me through it all. I am forever grateful that God calls the most unequipped and loves on the unlovable. I am grateful for his everlasting love and grace that has been extended toward me.

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Kati's Story

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Kati's Story

Jesus gave me a space that was safe, whether I needed to worship or curse or laugh or cry out. He brought me into a place and restored my broken identity and my warped perceptions of him. In the quiet that tried to drown me, Jesus saved me.

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Jamie's Story

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Jamie's Story

The Lord has truly taught me that just because you are broken doesn’t mean that you are beyond repair. The Lord is great at turning broken pieces into a masterpiece for His glory.

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Bailey's Story

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Bailey's Story

Faith is still a hard and undeserved journey. I still wander through seasons of struggle and weep over the grace of the lessons learned therein. But oh, how thankful I am to worship the God of the mountains and seas. The One who finds us in showers and strangers’ homes in Seattle. The One whose mercy never fails.

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Juana Ines de la Cruz

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Juana Ines de la Cruz

Juana's is inspiring to me. Honestly, if I hit enough roadblocks, I have a tendency to give up and move on to something else. But that’s not what she did.

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Latasha's Story

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Latasha's Story

My story is still being unveiled, moment by moment, but it’s been a journey from a state of complete brokenness to becoming whole.

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