“You Are Free”

As an avid reader and someone who loves words (yes, I know I am a nerd), I am constantly on the search for a good book. My Nana sent me a link about a week ago to a video series, Rhythms of Grace, by Rebekah Lyons. The videos were all about learning how to be ok and willing to accept a season of rest from God, and I absolutely needed to hear that. It left me wanting more, so I decided to order one of her books, You Are Free. 

I had no idea in that this book I ordered will literally shake my soul down to the core. Every page of this book felt like this woman knew my life more than anyone and that God was constantly speaking and teaching me. I am trying to learn how to be more vulnerable with what God shows me in my life, so I wanted to share a little of what God put on my heart as I read this book. Each section is a different chapter in the book. So if you are reading this (aka hi mom and nana), be willing to open up your own heart to see what God might be trying to tell you.

“To Be Free”

It is human nature to feel the desire to be needed. Who does not want to feel like they are needed? Whether that be from family members, friends, coworkers, the church and sometimes even God.

“From the beginning of time, all God ever wanted was our union with him. He didn’t create Adam and Eve because he wanted help cultivating the earth of naming the animals. Believe me, God is capable of this all by himself.” Rebekah Lyons

Well here is the reality, God does not need me. He can do more than fine all on his own when it comes to any matter imaginable. But that brings up a point that makes that raw truth bearable, God does not need me, but he wants me. The God that needs literally nobody, wants me. Crazy, right?

That idea that God wants me pushes me to keep on pushing forward. I want to keep up with being the best person that I can be, but that feeling started to feel like a burden to me.

“We weren’t made to keep up. We were made to be free. To be who we already are.” Lyons

I have never really thought about the desire of ‘keeping up’ as a sin. I love to ‘keep up’ even if it drains me physically and mentally. That is just who I am and who I have always been. It caught me a little off guard when I realized this mentality that I have is the exact opposite of what God wants for me. God does not need me to ‘keep up,’ but instead, he needs me to just keep going. He wants me to keep going in the pursuit of total freedom in Christ Jesus.

“We cannot prioritize our doing before being, our assignment before healing, our service before freedom.” Lyons

This sentence forced me to stop and reread it over and over again until it really sunk in. Before anything else, I need to prioritize three things. I need to be a child of God, let God heal my heart and soul and free myself in the presence of God.

“Free To Be Rescued”

I am not one that feels like I ever need to be rescued. I take pride in putting on a face to the world that seems like I have everything completely under control, but boy is that the opposite of the truth.

One thing I struggle with more than anything is asking God for healing. As a junior in high school, I hit one of my biggest breaking points. I got on my knees with tears streaming down my face while I begged God to heal one of my dearest friends of cancer. I had many sleepless nights where I just prayed over and over and over again. My world was shattered when my friend passed away that same year because I felt that God did not listen to me. After that, I never wanted to ask God for any type of rescue ever again.

“He’d found me in my deepest, darkest moment, in the desperation of my complete and utter surrender.” Lyons

No matter how low I got on the hardest days of dealing with my anxiety and struggling with my self-worth, I could not surrender that to God. My fear of rejection outweighed all else. Then, God revealed the truth to me. My friend that had cancer had faith that could move mountains. That girl was something special. She trusted God more than anything or anyone, so she had no fear of what was to come. I do not have the answers to why bad things happen in this world, but I do know that God got to use my sweet friend in incredible ways on this earth because of her mighty faith in Him.

I can slowly, but surely feel God starting to recuse me from this pit I have fallen in. I am not completely out yet, but I trust that God will rescue me.

“Free To Be Called”

If I am going to be honest with you, I am a complete control freak. I have (attempted to at least) had my whole life planned out from the moment I could write my thoughts down. But there has always been one thing I have never been quite sure of, what is my calling? The thought of not knowing stresses me out more than you even know.

“Chasing meaning, I tripped over surrender, the place of releasing total control. Meaning follows surrender.” Lyons

Something I continually struggle with is giving up control, even when it comes to God. Finally, God made me ask myself: How can you expect God to show you your purpose if you will not give him the reigns?

From the moment God created me uniquely in my mom’s womb, he has known what would happen and will happen in my life. He already knows the whole life of Sierra from the moment I was formed to the moment I will one day join him in Heaven. If he already knows, why stress about my meaning?

“God was inviting me to use the gifts that made me come alive, to redeem the things that broke my heart.” Lyons

God is going to use me and the things He put on my heart to glorify His Kingdom. I might not know exactly how God is going to use me yet, but I know he has big plans for me to glorify Him.

“Free To Confess”

Sometimes, you just have to be honest with yourself and then, you have to be honest with God. It is a little scary to admit your faults, but the thing is, God already knows.

“Those who keep score in life just want to know that they count. When you work for an audience of One, you always know that you count.” Ann Voskamp

Wow, how freeing is that? I tend to care so much about what others think of me. I care about the number of likes I get on my Instagram posts, how much feedback I get on my blog posts, etc. When in reality, the one person’s opinion that actually matters calls me his masterpiece. So, why even bother to try and get approval from the world?

“Confession is the gateway to healing, the route to freedom. Confession, whether it be a confession of repentance or a declaration of truth, begets freedom. There is no shortcut or strategy.” Lyons

I honestly did not realize how much I bottle inside and do not even admit to God, even though he already knows. If I cannot confess my struggles and the things that make me a human of the world, how can I expect to get full freedom? Especially when Jesus Christ already died on the cross for my sins. It is so freeing to just talk to God one and one about the things that keep me up at night. It is so freeing.

“Free To Thirst”

“We often insist our setting must change before we can live fully, but perhaps it won’t change until we live fully.” Lyons

Although I am not a huge fan of change, there are certain aspects of my life that I think could use some changing. Sometimes those thoughts consume me and in between, I miss out on so much of the life that is happening right in front of me. I forget about my meaning and I do not just live, but it frustrates me when life is not moving. How do I expect it to change when I am not living?

“She wanted what she could see. He wanted what she couldn’t see.” Lyons

When I read this, I literally laughed out loud because this is the story of my life. I want what I want for my life and I freak out when it does not go my way, but God sees what I do not see: those moments in life that he made just for me.

“When we thirst for what Jesus offers, he shows us what he wants to set free.” Lyons

It is ok to thirst for Jesus, actually, it is more than ok. He wants us to thirst for Him so that He can show us the plan he has created for our lives. The best part? He is there to walk with us on that plan every step of the way.

“Free To Ask”

One of my least favorite things in the whole wide world is putting myself in a position where I have the possibility of being vulnerable. What is one of the main places where I have to be vulnerable? When I ask for something.

“We aren’t responsible for the healing (or whatever seemingly impossible thing we are asking for); we’re only responsible for the asking.” Lyons

Asking for something takes a whole lot of vulnerability, even when it comes to God. God has got it under control when it comes to answering whatever question I might have for Him, but in order for Him to answer, I have to ask.

“For starters, asking often requires an admission and confession of need, an acknowledgment that all is not well. Asking also requires us to do something, to participate in whatever God wants to do. Finally, asking requires us to entrust what is beyond our control do the One who controls all.” Lyons

That is exactly why asking God for something makes me feel so vulnerable, it is because I first have to come to terms with the fact that something is not ok. Sometimes, it is even hard for me to admit to myself that things are not ok, which is why the wounds just grow bigger and deeper.

In those moments, I have to trust God more than ever. He already knows what is going on in my life, but I have to ask him for help, guidance, peace, etc. I have to trust that even if God does not answer my question the way I think I want it to be answered, does not mean he is ignoring me. He will answer it how he deems right.

“Being free to ask God for anything means trusting him the way a child trusts — openly and unreservedly and expectantly. It means not holding back. And isn’t that the crux of our faith?” Lyons

“Free To Begin Again”

The struggle of being a junior in college is the great question: where are you going to go once you graduate? Oh, trust me, I wish I could tell you. The thought of deciding where I want to live after graduation literally kills me because I honestly have no idea and I hate not knowing. The thought of leaving my home where my family is at is terrifying, but the thought of being stuck in Oklahoma forever is equally terrifying.

“Home is wherever God is. And God is ever with me.” Lyons

These two simple sentences have given me such a peace of mind when I think about the future. It does not matter where in the world I might be in two years when I graduate or in twenty years when I have my own family because home is wherever my God is.

“Free To Wait”

“All I saw was scarcity, because I was not seeing the transition, the waiting as gifts from God. But his promise is clear — as we wait on him, we discover we are enriched. The waiting is for our salvation, for our good.” Lyons

As someone who is patient with people, but not as patient with life in general, I can tell you that I absolutely hate to wait. I want to constantly be on the go, moving on to whatever needs to be done. Something I have learned through the years though is that those moments of waiting bring moments of clarity. God purposely sets out a season of waiting, so that when our time comes, we will be prepared. No time is wasted in God’s kingdom.

“Free To Rest”

Along with not being a fan of waiting, I am not usually a fan of rest. Do not get me wrong, I love a good nap as much as the next person. Because I am such a type A kind of person, it is hard for me to accept that it is okay for me to take time to rest.

“Sometimes it takes a stripping away of what we know in order for us to be willing to stop and learn.” Lyons

Sometimes I just have to tell myself to stop. Stop worrying. Stop thinking about tomorrow. Stop planning. Just stop for a minute. Stop, and let God teach you something while you rest. Like I said before, God does not waste time. If he puts you in a season of rest, it is for a reason. He is constantly working to teach us to prepare us for what He has in store for our future plans that will glorify His kingdom.

One thing that I absolutely love that Rebekah did, is put her name in a bible verse that God put on her heart.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me, [Sierra]. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

God is talking directly to each and every one of us in that verse. He wants us to come to Him. God wants me to take a rest in order to replenish my soul. During that time of rest, is when God works the most in our lives, even if we do not realize it. He puts importance in a season of rest, so that we can focus on being in His presence.

“God cares more about our presence than our performance.” Lyons

God wants me. God wants you. God wants us. He wants a real and authentic relationship with us, which can only happen when we spend time in His presence. What is a better time to do that than in a season of rest? Jesus is saying, let me draw you in my daughter or son. The best thing to do in that situation is to pray, overcome me with your presence Lord.

“Free To Grieve”

Grieving is one of those things that is just hard to talk about. All people grieve differently and for different reasons. It is hard to explain to people sometimes how I can still have so much faith in God even when bad things happen.

“Isn’t that what faith is all about — trusting God is working something beautiful and beyond our wildest imagination? Jesus, in the flesh, joined our sufferings in life and death. But the third morning after his death, at dawn, he gave us an example of exceeding abundance. A promise of hope for all who believe.” Lyons

I might not always know why things happen, but I know who God is and I know his promises are true. All I can do is have faith, and that faith is what helps me to keep going when I grieve.

“Every time we express grief, we allow Jesus to absorb our pain. When we live out the freedom we have been given to grieve, Jesus takes our grief upon himself and replaces it with comfort. What a precious gift.” Lyons

Jesus did not die on the cross for nothing. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, so that we could live eternally in Heaven and have a relationship with Him. That kind of love does not just leave someone when they are dealing with pain and grief. Jesus wants us to come to Him when we are in the middle of however we experience our grief. He wraps His arms around us and comforts us, because He takes on our pain.

“Free To Be Weak”

I am not one that likes to admit my weaknesses. I try my best to push through the hard moments all on my own, but why do I do that when I have a God who is ready to be my strength?

“What if we’re called to admit our weakness and declare that only God’s strength is sufficient? God wants us to reveal our weakness — to recognize what traumatizes and exhausts us. He wants us to confess our wounds, our sources of pain and stress, and bring them into the light so he can redeem and transform them with his strength. Have you confessed to him your exhaustion, your fear, your stress? Have you confessed that God wants to display his strength in your weakness?” Lyons

God’s strength is bigger than….(insert: fears, weaknesses, flaws, etc.). He is bigger than all of the things that bring you down. God is ready to take over in your life and conquer all of the obstacles that may come in your path.

“Free To Celebrate”

With God on our side, we have everything to celebrate! God wants us to succeed. God wants us to be happy. God wants us to have joy, but that all only happens when we put our trust in Him.

“Joy is not the absence of darkness. Joy is confidence that the darkness will lift.” Lyons

When you trust God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength, you will be certain that the darkness that surrounds you will not last. That is the true joy. That is why we are free to celebrate.

God is so good!

“Free To Be Brave”

Even though I try my best to put on a brave face, I am really not brave when I only lean on myself.

“Bravery is moving scared. Bravery requires stepping out. The key is to never stop. Nothing may change about our circumstances, but we make a decision. To move. To trust. To be brave.” Lyons

It can be pretty hard for me to trust, which makes it hard for me to be brave. The thing is, it is not about trusting myself at all. It is all about trusting God.

“If he is the one who sets this thing in motion, he is the one who completes it.” Lyons

With God, I have all the power to be brave. He already knows what is going to happen, so why not trust that He will get me through all things? God will never take me somewhere where I cannot make it through. He is always ready to do whatever He can to get us to the other side of the problem or fear.

“Free To Love”

As someone who is extremely critical of myself, it is hard for me to believe that I deserve to love or be loved. The idea of love 100 percent completely and utterly freaks me out because I do not feel deserving or I am afraid of messing things up. Luckily, God has shown me that my fears are not true at all.

“Jesus’ love will hunt you down until you land on your knees. It knows no bounds; it cannot stop, in spite of all our kicking and screaming. It will lift your heard and cradle your heart. It will remind you who you were before all the running. His love will bring you back to life. Jesus set you free to receive his love, and you are free to love others with the same ferocity. Walk in that freedom.” Lyons

If it were not for Jesus’ everlasting and unending love that I cannot escape, I would never be able to experience authentic love on this Earth. It took me a while to realize that love is way more than being married to that “perfect guy.” Love is the smile on my face I get when I hear my cousin Kaden laugh. Love is when my heart melts every time I see my sweet Blakelee smile. Love is getting to be a part of an organization that cares so much about kiddos who are sick and their families in Oklahoma. Love is my family that would do anything and everything in this world for me. Love is my best friend who knows exactly what to say to me when I need it. Love is so much more than the picture perfect world we see on movies.

“Free To Set Free”

“These things I know:

Freedom begets freedom.

Freedom is contagious.

Freedom helps us set others free.” Lyons

When we become free, God uses us to help others realize that they need to be set free. One thing to remember though, is that is always a God thing, not a ‘me’ thing.

“We are nothing without him. We are everything in him.” Lyons

If you made it to the end of this blog post, props to you! I hope showing you a little glimpse into what God is doing in my life through this book can help you out in some way, shape, or form. This new sense of freedom has completely transformed my life, and I hope it can do the same for you.

10/10 would recommend checking out: You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons.

XOXO, Sierra

Be Still…And Know

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

That verse has always stuck with me, but it took me a little bit to fully understand what God was trying to tell me in one verse. At first, when I heard “be still” I literally thought of physically being still.

I am the type of person that has no problem being physically still whether that be in a classroom, during church Sunday morning, or just in general. People that are constantly moving and fidgeting usually drive me crazy. So naturally, I thought: oh perfect, I have this “be still” thing down.

Then, it finally hit me one day. “Be still” in my case did not mean to physically just be still.

When I started my journey as a freshman in college two years ago (dang where did the time go?), I also started my struggle with anxiety. It is not something I like to share with everyone, but that is the real, ugly truth. I was suddenly thrown into the world where everyone seemed to have their lives figured out, temptations surrounded me at every corner, I did not have someone standing over my shoulder holding me accountable, I was constantly paranoid, I questioned my worth, the battle going on in my brain was (and still is, to be honest) never ending and the storms of life just seemed to never stop coming. I had no clue what to do. Life just seemed to never slow down (and I still feel like that sometimes just to be real with you).

It was in that season of my life that I realized something. God was not telling me to physically “be still.” God was telling me that no matter what season of life I might be in, He is still God. He is still the God that created the universe. He is still the God that created me. He is still the God that has a purpose for me. He is still the God that sent His one and only son to die on the cross for my sins. He is still the God that makes the orphans sons and daughters. He is still the God that provides. He is still the God that keeps his promises. He is still the God that loves me despite what I have done. He is still the God that never leaves me alone. He is still the God that only wants the best for me. He is still the God that is the beginning and the end. He is still the God that I will one day stand face to face with in Heaven.

I realized that because I know who my God is, my life is forever changed for the better. At my lowest of lows, at my highest of highs and everything in between, I know my God is always a constant.

When you read all of Psalm 46:10, it says:

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

If you are a little curious about how I came to remember who God really is even during a tough season of life, it is because of the second half of that verse. I finally learned how to “be still” and remember who my God is, was and always will be, because I know that God is always working through us. My “job” as a Christian living on this Earth is to glorify God in everything that I say and do. God used my tough situation (and is still using it) to teach me more than I can ever imagine, and my only hope is that I can help at least one person out of sharing the words that God puts on my heart.

So, when life just does not seem to be going your way, or when you feel on top of the world, or even when you are simply in the middle, just remember to “be still” and remember the God that did, does and will do so much for you. Remember that God is using those moments to glorify the Kingdom of the Lord.

Why?

Tomorrow morning my summer is officially coming to a close as I drive back to good ole Norman, Oklahoma, to start the process of getting ready for the new baby Alpha Phi’s we will welcome home in a couple of weeks.

If you take a look at my Instagram, you probably think that my summer was picture perfect: sweet moments with my family and best friend, pool days, a great nanny job, etc. Boy, if only you knew what was really going on in my life this summer.

Where do I even begin? First, I got in a car accident with my best friend that ended up in lots of medical bills and a new car. Then, I got my wisdom teeth out (10/10 would NOT recommend). Next, my cousin who is practically my big sister lost her husband and father to her two perfect children in an auto accident. And to end out the summer, my Aunt Linda is now cancer free in the paradise that we call Heaven with our Heavenly Father.

What a summer, amirite?

After hearing about my summer, you can probably now see why I am extremely ready for this summer to be gone and over.

This summer has pushed me to some of my hardest and darkest moments in my twenty years on this Earth. It has been one thing after another and my family just cannot seem to catch a break. I have caught myself many times asking: why? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is this happening to my family? Why does death come when we are least expecting it? Why do I have to watch the people I love hurt? Why did this happen? Why do bad things happen in this world? Why me? Why, God?

Why?

Guess what? I can honestly tell you that I still have no clue what the answers to all of those questions are. I do not know the “why’s” of everything that my family and I have gone through this summer.

But, do you want to know what I do know?

I know that my God is a good God. I know that my God will one day wipe every tear and take away every pain. I know that my God has a plan. I know that God is always on my side. I know that God loved me so much that he sent his son to die on the cross for my sins. I know that God hears me and listens to me. I know that God cares about me. I know that God loves me with an unending and unfailing love.

I might not always have the answers to all of the why’s that the world throws my way, but at least I do know my God and who He is.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

It is not easy to remember this when we are hurting. The raw truth is that it is easy for me to forget who my creator is when I fall down the deep dark hole of pain and suffering. It is easy for me to feel all alone in this big world. It is easy for me to doubt myself and everything I believe in. But is anything worth while ever easy?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, everything will be ok in the end when you stand face to face with your Heavenly Father and see the glories he has in store for you, his good and faithful servant.

18 Thank Yous To My Best Friend On Her 18th Birthday

We all have those people in our lives that we wish we could do more than just say “thank you” to because they mean that much to us. I wish there was more that I could do to show my best friend just how thankful I am for her, especially today, on her eighteenth birthday. I am more thankful for you than you even know Ally, but a simple “thank you” will have to suffice for now.

Thank you for loving me at my best.

You are there to cheer me on at every victory and successes that life brings me, and I am so lucky to have you as my biggest cheerleader and fan.

Thank you for loving me at my worst.

You know me enough by now to know that I am not the easiest person to deal with. I have my moments, I have my meltdowns, I have my freak outs, yet somehow you still love me. Thank you for your patience because I know that it can be hard.

Thank you for loving me when we lived two hours apart.

Everyone doubted that our friendship would last when I moved to Norman to start college and you stayed in Broken Arrow to finish high school for two whole years. But guess what? We made it. It was not always easy, but luckily we both put in the time and effort to make a long distance friendship work (aka face timing five times a day).

Thank you for pushing me to be the best version of myself.

You never let me give up and you never let me settle. You truly want the best for me and I cannot even tell you how much that means to me. You always push me to be the best version of myself and I am so thankful for that.

Thank you for loving food as much as I do.

Chips and queso? Chick-fil-a? Sushi? Thanks for making me fat dude (haha just kidding).

Thank you for taking the time to know the real me.

It is not easy for me to let my walls down and let people see the real me, but somehow you managed to make me feel comfortable with you. Thank you for never giving up on me.

Thank you for loving my family like they are yours.

I cannot even begin to describe how much this means to me. You know what you have done for my family, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that. My family loves you like crazy, and it is good to know that you love them just as much.

Thank you for being my ‘boyfriend’ when I am single.

No prom date? No problem! You were a way better prom date than any boy could be anyways.

Thank you for trusting me enough to let me into your family’s life.

I absolutely adore your big family and I am so thankful that you let me into their lives. We both love our families more than anything, so I know how it is a big deal to let an outsider in like that. But you and your family embraced me with open arms and I could not be happier.

Thank you for binge watching crime shows on Netflix with me.

I do not even want the public to know how many hours we have spent watching Netflix, but at least I know that you will not judge me for my bad habits.

Thank you for laughing with me.

Whether it is laughing with me or at me (Scholtzky’s LOL), I love that we can have fun together and just laugh. I do not think we can go a day without laughing when we are together, which is my favorite.

Thank you for crying with me.

The best part is that you do not just laugh with me, but you cry with me too. You are there for the raw moments where sometimes all we can do is cry. It means a lot that you are there at all times.

Thank you for the back road jam sessions.

There is nothing better than scream singing trap music with you down the good ole back roads of Coweta, OK (and hitting a pothole or two).

Thank you for being you.

This one is hard to describe, but just thank you for being you, Al. I have never met anyone like you and I am so lucky to have you.

Thank you for never leaving me.

It is easy for people to leave, but it is hard for people to stay. You have stayed through it all, and I know for a fact that you will never leave me. You are stuck with me for good.

Thank you for being my beauty expert.

I can always count on you to fix my hair, do my makeup and tell me what to wear. Thank goodness I have you as my beauty expert (now go kill that state board test!).

Thank you for being a light in my life.

I am so lucky to have a best friend who loves Jesus with all of her heart, soul and mind. You are such a light in my life Ally and I am so thankful to have a friendship that is rooted in the Lord.

Thank you for being my best friend.

I could not live life without you, pal. I could not imagine my life without you as my best friend. God knew I needed you, and I am forever thankful that he sent you my way. I love you!

Happy 18th Birthday, Ally!

XOXO, Sierra

Ipsy July Glam Bag Review

Hi, loves!

It is my second week getting the fabulous ipsy bag, and I must say…I love ipsy! There are some great products in this months bag that you for sure will want to check out.

Makeup Bag

All I have to say is…what the heck is a gudetama? My 13-year-old sister, who is fluent in the world of anime, told me it is a Japanese anime and he is a lazy egg. Well, ok then…He is a cute little fella, but not one I would publically carry around as my makeup bag.

Jersey Shore Cosmetics

Mandarin Green Orange & Ginger Mongongo Lip Conditioner 

This lip conditioner will definitely make your lips feel silky smooth and soft, which I absolutely love. I am not a big fan of the orange taste I tasted when I put it on my lips, but I am not a huge orange fan in general. If you like oranges, then I would definitely try this product out. I might try out another flavor because I do like how this makes my lips feel. I also like that all of the products used to make this lip conditioner are organic, that is always a plus. I would not buy this exact product, but I am curious to see how the other flavors are.

The Mandarin Green Orange & Ginger Mongongo Lip Conditioner is $10.00.

Ciaté London

Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner In Black

My go to eyeliner is always black liquid eyeliner, and this one is a pencil eyeliner. I am not really a huge fan of this eyeliner mainly because it is a pencil. I do not like how pencils do now show up as dark and they do not glide on as easy as liquid eyeliner does. I would not buy this product.

The Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner In Black is $18.00.

Seraphine Botanicals

Lychee + Gold

I love EVERYTHING rose gold, and this blush is no exception! It is a gorgeous color, and I love it on my skin tone. It is a very bright blush, which I do not normally even wear blush. This one would be fun to wear for a special occasion, but probably not my everyday wear. I would buy this product, but maybe just for the summer.

Lychee + Gold is $14.00.

Winky Lux

Double Matte Whip In Angel Food

I love love love matte lipstick. I was super excited to try this product! The color is subtle, but it looks very pretty on. It dries a really pretty color and without any cracks. Do you want to know my favorite part? My lips still feel super soft, which is always a plus for me when it comes to matte lipsticks. I would absolutely buy this product.

The Double Matte Whip In Angel Food is $13.00.

OFRA Cosmetics

Gold Rush Eyeshadow

The color of this eyeshadow is absolutely gorgeous, but it is very bold. It is not a color I would normally wear, but I think it is a fun color for summer. I might not buy this exact product, but if I did it would only be during the summer.

The Gold Rush Eyeshadow is $15.00.

FULL LOOK:

The only other products used beside the items in the glam bag are: Sephora foundation and Two Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara.

Make sure to comment what your favorite products in this months glam bag are! I would love to hear your must haves and

XOXO, Sierra

Need New Sunnies? Check out, Civion!

Hi, loves!

A couple weeks ago I was contacted via Instagram by a company that asked if I would be willing to try out their product and give my feedback to my lovely followers. How exciting is that? 

Civion is a cute online accessory store based in New York that sells the absolute cutest sunglasses and bracelets. I had never heard of it before, but I am so glad that I finally got to check them out!

I checked out their website and fell head over heels for a pair of sunglasses called The Designer. You can select your size: small or medium (I chose small because I have a little face). Small is usually the best fit for women. Then you can select the color of the lens: black, blue, or light (I chose light because it looks like rose gold).

Do you want to know the best part? Two words: free shipping! It took a little under three weeks for them to ship to me in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is not too bad. On their website, it says shipping to North America takes 7-20 days, to Europe takes 8-25 days, and the rest of the world takes 14-30 days.

The Designer sunglasses are usually $39.89 USD, but they are currently on sale for $27.35. 

Civion has a special deal for my followers. Who wants a code for 10% off any one item at their store? Use code: SIE10 at Civion to get 10% off! 


Let me know your thoughts on their products in the comments.

XOXO, Sierra

Time For Relaxation: Bath Time Essentials

Hi, loves!

Do you want to know one of my favorite ways to relieve stress?

My go-to stress reliever is simple: a bath. The past two years of college I have lived in a dorm room and my sorority house, so taking baths as a stress reliever never happened. As soon as I go home during breaks or the weekend, I take advantage of my nice, clean bathtub.

Are you feeling a little stressed? Go home, fill up your bathtub with warm water, lock the door and make sure you have my bath time essentials by your side:

1. A Good Book

One of the best ways to relax is to take a little escape from reality. What is the perfect way to do that? Make sure you have a book on standby for days you just need to hop into the bathtub and relax. Tonight (yes, I am taking advantage of being home this summer) I am going to start The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. My Nana recommended it to me, so I hope it is good!

2. A Cozy Robe

There is nothing more relaxing than wrapping yourself up in a cozy robe while you prepare to get in the bath and then putting it back on when you get out of the water. My personal favorite robe is my fuzzy, pink robe from Victoria’s Secret. It is literally the coziest thing ever.

3. A Candle

A scented candle is a must when taking a bath. You want to make sure you have something yummy to smell while you relax. Plus, scents are one of the best ways to relax. My favorite candle at the moment is the Buttercream Icing scented candle from Bath & Body Works.

4. A Face Mask

I love a good face mask while I am relaxing in the bathtub. Not only does it help you relax, but you get to purify your face at the same time. Double win! Tonight I am trying out the Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask from BioRepublic skincare that I got from my June Ipsy Glam Bag (check out my review of this here).

5. Wine

Well, duh? What better way to unwind for the night by popping open a bottle of your favorite wine. My personal favorite is Cupcake Moscato D’Asti. If you have not tried it yet, you have to I promise it will change your life.

6. A Cute Wine Glass

You cannot drink wine without a cute wine glass! My personal favorite at the moment is my pink sparkly wine glass from Francesca’s that says “Wine is my Valentine.” Shoutout to my best friend for buying it for me.

7. A Bubble Bar

Who does not love a good bubble bath? I might be 20-years-old, but I will not pass up putting bubbles in my bath from a cute little bubble bar from Lush (aka heaven).

8. A Bath Bomb

Bubbles are great, and so are bath bombs! I do not think I will ever get over watching a pretty little ball dissolve in my bathtub and turn the water a pretty color (preferably pink, of course). Another one of my favorite things to buy from Lush.

9. Soap

You most likely got in the bathtub to relax, but also to get clean of course. So, another must buy from Lush is their yummy smelling shower gel. Wow, lots of products from Lush, but I promise I am not a spokesperson for them I just seriously enjoy their products. I mean who would not love a company that does not test their products on animals and (for sensitive people like me) does not break out your skin! That is a double win for me.

10. Body Lotion

Hydration is key. Once you get out of the bathtub, do your skin a favor and make sure to hydrate it with some body lotion. My personal favorite at the moment is Victoria’s Secret Coconut Milk Hydrating Body Lotion. It smells yummy and makes my skin feel silky smooth.

What are your bath time essentials? I would love to know! Make sure to comment and let me know your favorite products to use during your baths.

XOXO, Sierra

Being You

When I was a little girl, all I did was think ahead. I was always thinking about what was next, and I made sure to have every little thing planned out from my future career to my how many kids I would have. Along with this process (as well as realizing that planning out my future was not really up to me), I started to realize that I did not really know who I was. Yes, I obviously know that I am Sierra, but who is Sierra? What is my heart? What is my destiny? Who am I?

I started to struggle with this, and honestly, I still do a little bit. When I was younger, I thought that I would figure out who I really was when I was “older.” Now I am 20-years-old, and honestly, I still do not fully know who I am and what I am meant to do on this Earth. There are some parts of Sierra that I still am trying to figure out, but guess what? I know the main thing that I am, I am the daughter of the one true king.

Being me means that I am not in control, God is. That is not an easy thing for a control freak like me to fully comprehend, but luckily, God is patient. I might not know much, but I do know that as a daughter of Christ, my identity is clear in Him.

Who am I?

Because of God…I am beloved.

I crave love. It is human nature to claim love. If someone does not immediately love me, I crumble because I crave it that much. I search for love in all the wrong places, when the one place where I will always be showered in love is in God’s arms. Do you want to know the best part? He is always waiting with open arms to pull me in and show me just how beloved I am to him. Do you want to know what is even better? That love is an unfailing, everlasting love that will never ever give up or run out on me. It is an eternal love. I am loved for an eternity by the one who created this world…wow. I do not even have the words to describe how special it is to be loved like that.

“But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Isreal, the one who formed you says, ‘Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Isreal, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.'” Isaiah 43:1-4

“Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!” Psalms 63:3

Because of God…I am equipped.

Let me tell you, it is way too easy to feel worthless in this world. Our dreams are too easily knocked down by the people of this world because they think we are not “good enough.” Do you want to know a little secret? You are enough, heck, you are more than enough because God has equipped you. God knows we cannot do anything on our own, which is exactly why he equips us with what we need. With God, we can do literally anything.

“May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 13:21

Because of God…I am called.

I might be a junior in college, but I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with my life. I might have my degree in two years, but then what am I supposed to do? I do not have a clue and that stresses my inner control freak out. The good part is, God already has his plan ready for me. He has called me for great things to glorify his kingdom, but I have to be obedient. Following God is not easy, so I am sure that most of the paths he places me on will be messy and hard, but I am called to go that way. I will not know why, but God has a purpose for everything. It is hard to trust that God has a calling when it seems like you are doing absolutely nothing at the moment (aka me right now), but trust me, He has a calling for your life and mine (and whatever it is, it will be great because you are glorifying him).

“For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” Romans 11:29

Because of God…I am an overcomer.

The world tends to throw its worst at us: losing someone we love, struggling with mental health, temptation, etc. It is easy to get wrapped up in the pain and suffering and dig ourselves into a deep, dark hole. Guess what? God is bigger than that pain and suffering. God is bigger than the sharpest blow the world can hit us with. When we call to God for help, we can overcome. No matter where we are at in life, God is ready for us to call out to him for help. Do not look for help in the things of this world because it will only bring more pain. But looking for help in God will bring instant peace.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Because of God…I am a masterpiece.

We live in a world where people the think the number of likes on a picture on Instagram determines how pretty you are. We live in a world where models are photoshopped to look “perfect,” and little girls think that is how they are supposed to look. Living in a world like this makes it way too easy for us to think we will never be pretty enough. We care so much about how we look to others that we let our physical features define us instead of what is on the inside.

Who created me and you? Oh, that is right, the creator of the universe…let that sink in for a minute. God only creates beautiful masterpieces, so that makes us masterpieces. Trust me I get it, it is incredibly hard to remember that I am a masterpiece when I look on Instagram and see “perfect” girls. But, why is it a competition? I am beautiful because God made me in HIS image. Now that is a pretty big deal. We are each beautiful in our own special way because God hand made us exactly how he wanted us to be. That is real beauty.

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it.” Psalms 139:13-14

Because of God…I am innocent.

Innocent? What does that even mean? Well, we are all human. We all mess up (multiple times a day if you are me). It is easy to let those mess ups fill us with guilt and shame, but we are innocent. No, I am not saying that we do not all sin (because trust me, we do sin). I am saying that because God sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life on Earth only to die on the cross for our sins so that we could have a relationship with God and live eternally with him in heaven, we are innocent. On that day, Jesus Christ washed away the crimson stain of sin and made it white as snow. We do not have to walk in shame or fear because we are innocent thanks to the love of our savior.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

Because of God…I am new.

The day that I gave my life to Christ as a little seventh grader, I died. Obviously, I did not physically die, but my old self died and a new Sierra was created. I am no longer dirty, I am no longer filled with guilt and shame, I am no longer messed up. I am new. I am clean. I am reborn in Christ Jesus. I am here to glorify God in everything I do and say. My past does not define me, my future as a daughter of the one true king does. My life before God was empty and meaningless, but as soon as I invited him to forever live in my heart, I was full and my life was full of purpose.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Ipsy June Glam Bag Review

Hi, loves!

I am so excited that I have finally jumped on the ipsy train and decided to try out their monthly glam bags, so I can review them for y’all and give you my thoughts on the products. Friendly reminder that glam bags can be different for each customer due to preferences/wants/skin complexion, etc. Still, I am hoping this can give you an idea of what products out there are worth the buy and which ones are not.

Makeup Bag

This makeup bag is simple but cute. On ipsy’s website, it describes the bag with the caption: “this loud and proud pouch is a not-so-subtle reminder to *always* speak your mind!”

BioRepublic SkinCare

Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Fiber Mask and Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask

I literally got the worst sunburn on my face today while I was laying out at the pool, and the Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Fiber Mask felt like literal heaven as soon as I put it on. It automatically cooled my face down and made it not feel as dry and painful. I am literally obsessed with this facemask and now I want to go buy a bunch of them. This product is definitely one you should look into for the summer.

The Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Fiber Mask and Green Tea Detox Purifying Mask are both $14.95 for a set of 3 or $44.95 for a box of 10.

NYX Professional Makeup

Whipped Lip & Cheek Souffle: Cocoa Bean

I used this as a lipstick for this review post. I am a lover of all nude lipsticks, and this one was no exception. It is light feeling on my lips and super easy to put on. It is nude, so it does not stand out a whole lot as a lipstick, but I still love it. I would definitely buy this product.

The Whipped Lip & Cheek Souflee: Cocoa Bean is normally $6.00, but is currently on sale for $4.20. 

theBalm Cosmetics

INSTAIN Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush in Pinstripe

This blush is a little darker than the colors that I normally go for. I tend to go for light pinks or I just do not wear blush at all. I actually think this blush turned out very pretty when I put it on, and I was happily surprised at how much I liked it. I would not buy this product during the summer, but I might during the fall.

The INSTAIN Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush in Pinstripe is $22.00. 

City Color Cosmetics

Shimmer Shadow: Cheers to Life

I tend to keep my eyes looking pretty natural and I mainly use various pinks (I know what a shocker). I did not think I was going to like this eyeshadow at all because it is very orange, very sparkly and very bright. However, I think this would be a super cute summer look. You literally can just brush it on, throw on some eyeliner and mascara and be good to go. I think if I was brave enough I would buy this product for the summer.

Shimmer Shadow: Cheers to Life is normally $4.99, but it is currently on sale for $3.99.

Skone Cosmetics

Insanely Intense Tattooed Waterproof Eyeliner: Brown

I was super excited to get a liquid eyeliner because that is literally all that I use, but I was not excited to get brown because I only ever wear black liquid eyeliner. This liquid eyeliner is super easy to use, and I actually do not mind this brown tone at all. It still looks pretty dark, and I absolutely love it paired with the shimmer shadow above.

Insanely Intense Tattooed Waterproof Eyeliner: Brown is normally $20.00, but it is currently on sale for $15.00. 

PS: The only extra makeup item I am wearing in the photographs is: Sephora foundation and Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara.

XOXO, Sierra

SOO AE Charcoal Clay Bubble Mask and Hydrogel Lip Patch Review

Hi, loves!

I am by no means a beauty expert, but I have decided to start a new section on my blog: beauty! It is just a place for me to review certain beauty products that I try out or to highlight my favorite beauty products.

The first post of my new beauty section is a review of SOO AE’s Charcoal Clay Bubble Mask and Hydrogel Lip Patch. This was my first time trying these products, so I was a little nervous, but super excited because I have heard a lot of great reviews.

Charcoal Clay Bubble Mask

I am not going to lie…I had no clue what an oxygen bubbling mask was before I tried this face mask out. I had no clue what to expect or what the heck is was going to do to my face. Nervous much? Well of course. I have super sensitive skin, so I am always a little weary of trying new skincare products because I never know how my face is going to react.

Let me tell you, it is a pretty strange feeling to put a mask on your face and then all of a sudden literally feel it start to bubble up and hear the sound of bubbling coming from your face. It felt like someone was tickling me all over my face. It was a strange feeling, but I got used to it after a couple of minutes.

I have been spending a lot of time at the pool, so my face is a little sunburnt and incredibly dry. Literally, as soon as I washed my face off and put some moisturizer on, my face felt brand new. It felt soft and smooth unlike before.

I give this face mask a 10/10. You should definitely go try it out, especially if you are like me and you are spending a lot of time out in the sun this summer. Do you want to know what the best part is? It is literally only $2.50 at good ole Walmart.

Hydrogel Lip Patch

If you are like me, then you had absolutely no idea that there was such a thing as a mask for your lips. Who would have thought?

I was not really sure what a lip mask would even look like. Would it be a cream that I would wash off? Would it be a sheet mask that I would just throw away? Well, I was definitely surprised that it was neither of those two options. Instead, I took it out of the package and pulled out a jelly feeling lip patch that let out a delicious smelling fragrance of berries.

My lips have felt super dry and chapped lately thanks to that lovely Oklahoma sun that I have been out in all summer. I feel like I have been constantly putting on my chapstick because my lips feel so dry and yucky. I have been so annoyed because I feel like no matter how much chapstick I put on, my lips are still dry and they do not feel good at all.

This hydrogel lip patch seriously changed my life. After keeping it on for about twenty minutes, my lips felt great again. They were soft and felt hydrated. This is absolutely my new favorite product. I am in love!

I give this hydrogel lip patch a 10/10. You should definitely go try it out, especially if you are like me and you are spending a lot of time out in the sun this summer. Do you want to know what the best part is? It is also only $2.50 at Walmart.

If you try out these products, I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below!

XOXO, Sierra

PS: The bubble facemask freaked out my little teacup Yorkie, Prince Charming, so use with caution around dogs.