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Self-worth

My True DNA


Hi, friends!
Have you had your DNA tested to see where you came from? I’ve been wanting to do that for years. I bought a DNA kit for my hubby a year ago for his birthday. And since then, I’ve wanted to send off for my own. (Darn jealousy–or curiosity, I guess.) I held off until sometime in November of last year, when I received an email for 1/2 off of the regular price. 😮 I requested one that same day.

It took a couple weeks until I got the kit in the mail. I made sure not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes before I gave my sample–or is it a specimen? Eh, it’s “spit.” I entered all the necessary information online and set it out for the mail carrier.

Can I just say it took forever? Or at least, it seemed that way. Maybe it was delayed because of the holidays–or all the other people who received the offer for 1/2 off. Regardless, I finally got it in the mail.

Before I show you my results, I want to share what I was expecting, based on what I already knew–or thought I knew. 😉

I am Puerto Rican on both sides of my family. I have some Native American background and possibly some Venezuelan. But other than that, I’m … Puerto Rican. That’s all I know. Generations and generations of Puerto Ricans. 🙂

So… I was incredibly surprised to see the following results:


It appears I’m from 15 different regions! (Rough interpretation, I know.) And somehow, someway, people from these areas migrated to a tiny island in the Caribbean years and years ago. Isn’t that cool? (I know you learn about migration patterns in social studies classes, but it’s different when it’s about your own ancestors.)

Of course, I wanted to know more, so I started building my family tree online. It’s addicting! So far, I’ve gone back to the 17th century. 🙂

What makes me–and millions of others around the world–so curious about where we come from and how we got here? What propels us to dig deeper into our past? How far back could we go? Could we be related to someone famous?

And the most important question: Who am I?

We can answer that in any number of ways.

  • I’m Puerto-Rican.
  • I’m part Venezuelan.
  • I’m part Portuguese.
  • I’m part West African.
  • So on and so on.

All that is true–for me. But who am I really? Who are you?



Who are you?



The Bible says, we–you and I–are children of the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth. He made us. We are His masterpiece, his handiwork (Ephesians 2:10). He fashioned each of us.



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.

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:13-16)

From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. (Acts 17:26a)



For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ (Acts 17:28)



He also planned each of us.



God decided exactly when and where they must live (Acts 17:26b).



I might not like where I was born or where I am in life now. I might have wanted to live in another time period, but that’s not what God had planned for me. I was not to live in ancient times. I was not to live in another country. I was not to live in a family of ten or a family of three.

God planned for me–Daphne– to live in the 1970s, to be born to a mostly Puerto-Rican family, whose ancestors had traveled from across the ocean at various times throughout history to a tiny island in the Caribbean. And just like them, I moved around and “wound up” in Florida in 2005–a 30-something divorced woman with a basset hound. Fifteen years later (:o), I am married and have three beautiful children.



What a Creator–and what an adventure!



Life has its ups and downs, its joys and disappointments, but I am a child of God. My DNA comes from my mother and my father. My true DNA comes from Jehovah God. I am His.

Have a listen to one of my favorite songs, “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship.





Come alongside… Have you had your DNA tested? What did it reveal? Were you surprised? How do you feel knowing that God is your Heavenly Father? That He created you and planned a beautiful life for you?



Forgive and Forget? Not Really. (Part 2)

 
Hi, friends!
 
forgiveforgetrev1
Several months ago, I wrote the post, “Forgive and forget? Not Really.” In that post, I said I agreed with the “forgive” part of that age-old saying. (If you haven’t read it yet, hop on over to that post and chime in on our discussion.)
 
 
I ended that post saying I would address the “and forget” part in the next post. Summer came and went. So did the holidays, and still no follow-up on the post.
 
 
I haven’t wanted to talk about the “and forget” part–much less, blog about it. Several things happened after the first post that have challenged me in the forgiveness department. It’s as if God was saying:
 
 

“Do you really believe what you say you believe, Daphne?”

 
 
With God’s help, lots of tears, and the help of my family, friends, and my recovery group, I’m working through the forgiveness part–and doing well, at least, for today. 😉
 
 
Lately, the “and forget” part has come to mind, which, if you ask me, shows progress. Does that mean I should just go ahead and forget about what happened? Should I erase the bad things that have consumed me for the past year? Do I pretend the harmful things that have dominated every waking–and “sleeping”–moment of my life since early summer no longer matter? No.
 
 

Pain matters.

 
 
Forgetting the pain my family and I have gone through would also erase the good that has come from it.
 

  • More conversations about feelings and long-standing issues with low self-worth.
  • Healthy boundaries.
  • New directions for our family.
  • A simple life that treasures even the little things.
  • Courage to protect myself and my loved ones.
  • Restored relationships with estranged family members.
  • Right priorities.
  • Tighter family relationships.
  • Renewed importance of the fragility of life.
  • Better listening skills.
  • Learning about each others’ lives–things we didn’t know about each other that we will carry with us for years to come.
  • Giving and receiving advice across generations.

 
 
Who knew that negative situations could produce such positive change? And this is just a short list of good coming from bad! There were plenty of good things in our lives last year. That’s an entirely different list of God’s blessings. Should I forget it all–2014?
 
 
When we “forgive and forget,” we essentially tell God our pain is better left in the past. Nothing good has come from it. I am where I am today by my own merit, not anything God has done.
 
 
“Forgive and forget” is an affront to the sovereignty of God who turns evil into good (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28).
 
 

Pain is important to forgive. It’s also important to remember.

 
 
forgiveremember2“Forgive and remember” until you can do so without an inkling of anger, bitterness, or revenge. That, my friend, is healing. “Forgive and remember” speaks hope: Look what God did for me in this situation. He can do the same for you. That’s the power of remembering. That’s the hope you can share with others. “Forgive and forget” lacks hope. It has nothing to offer anyone. Your pain is in vain.
 
 
My pain is not in vain. God has brought much good from it–and I know He will continue to do so. This is the hope I offer you: God can bring good from whatever wrong was committed against you or whatever hurtful thing was said about you.
 
 
Forgive and remember.
 
 

 
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel!
 
He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
 

 
 
 
Come alongside… Do you agree that you shouldn’t forget the wrongs committed against you? Why or why not? What have you been trying to forget that you need to remember? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can comment anonymously.
 
 
 


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Go Ahead, Give Yourself Some Love

 

I’ve been wanting—er, needing—a massage for months now.

 

Yes, I said need—for my chronic pain, of course. 🙂

 

Seriously… right now, a visit to my massage therapist Debbie would do wonders for me—physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and even spiritually. But I’ve been depriving myself of it—for a number of reasons:

  • I don’t have time.
  • I don’t have the money—or I can use the money for something else—or someone else.
  • I don’t really need it now—I can make it a little longer.
  • I feel guilty.

 

Can you relate? Maybe it’s not about the massage for you. Maybe it’s:

  • Getting pedicures—yes, guys, you can get pedicures too. 😉
  • Indulging in chocolate ice cream—or ice cream, in general.
  • Snuggling with a book.
  • Taking a nature walk all by yourself. For us mothers, it could be just being by ourselves.
  • You name it.

 

What have you been depriving yourself of that would do wonders for you physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, and even spiritually?

 

And now the bigger question:

 

 

Why have you been depriving yourself of it?

 

 

I’m not talking about unhealthy habits or addictions. Rather, I’m talking about those things that make us feel loved.

 

Please hear my  heart, dear one. You don’t have to wait for someone else to love you. Love yourself—Jesus said so!

 

 

Love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Matthew 22:39)

 

 

God’s not talking about a narcissistic, sinful, lustful kind of “love.” He says do good to yourself, look after yourself—your body, your mind, your soul. And this, not only when you feel you’ve earned it, but routinely and unconditionally loving yourself in healthy ways that say…

 

 

“I love God, and I love myself.”

 

 

That’s a hard thing for codependents: Loving ourselves. We prefer to look after others, sometimes forgetting about ourselves completely. We fear we’re not worth being loved. We deny our feelings—and many times, our needs. We don’t love ourselves.

 

But God loves you, dear one. And I’m sure you love God. And because you do, He wants you to honor Him by pausing from work, obligations, roles and responsibilities to spend some time on yourself. God gives you permission to love yourself. In fact, He commands you.

 

So go ahead, give yourself some love.

 

 

Hmm… Where’s Debbie’s phone number?

 

 

Come alongside… What makes you feel loved? Have you been depriving yourself of it? How do you feel knowing that God gives you permission to love yourself? What steps can you take to love yourself today? Share with us in the comments section below.

 

God Gave Us The Works

It’s every little girl’s dream–a princess party. We took it one step further: We made it a princess spa party.

 

  • Eight little girls.
  • Giggling.
  • Primping.
  • Getting royal treatment.

 

A hostess took their name, asked what spa services they desired–hair, nails, makeup, or the works. Of course, each little girl asked for the works. While they waited for their names to be called, they enjoyed mini scones with various jams, jellies, and preserves.

 

 

We took them back into the spa room three at a time.

  • Two hair stations.
  • A makeup station.
  • And a manicure station.

 

My station? Hair!

 

“So, what is the occasion?”

 

“We’re going to a princess party. We want to look beautiful.”

 

“Look beautiful?”

 

“Yes.”

 

Look beautiful.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m 35, and want to look beautiful. Every little girl wants to look beautiful.

 

 

As I combed each girl’s long locks, it occurred to me: These girls don’t need to look beautiful. They are beautiful.

 

Even before I started working on them, they were beautiful.

 

  • No makeup.
  • No manicured nails.
  • No fancy hairdos.

 

I looked each of them in their eyes when they came to my station. “You are beautiful.”

 

Dear one, you too are beautiful. I am beautiful. We are all beautiful in our Father’s eyes. We are His most precious possession (Zechariah 2:8), His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He alone created our inner beings and knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. We are amazingly and miraculously made (Psalm 139: 13-18).

 

We don’t need a lot of makeup, perfectly manicured nails, and fancy hairdos to be beautiful–although those things are nice from time to time–even for little girls.

 

Our beauty comes from within. It comes from Him.

 

God gave us the works!

 

Come alongside…What have you used to make you look beautiful? Do you believe you are beautiful? Who needs to hear that they, too, are beautiful? Will you share this with them today?

Lifting my head

He extended his arms to her and gently raised her head so she would look him in the eyes.

“Come here, baby girl. Lift your head up.”

He caressed and reassured her.

“Daddy always wants you to lift your head. There’s no reason to look down.”

 

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Our dog has this habit of walking with her head down. Sometimes she even approaches you, cowers, and tucks her tail in between her legs.

 

 

 

Some would say she’s overly submissive, and I agree.

Others would say it’s a result of being disciplined, and I would also agree.

And yet others would say she knows when she’s done something wrong. Agreed.

 

But this isn’t about my dog. It’s about me. It’s about you. It’s about what we do when we approach God–and others. Our pasts weigh us down.

 

  • Lies.
  • Cheating.
  • Abuse.
  • Addictions.
  • Hurts.

 

We feel humiliated, beat down, guilty, and ashamed.

 

God wants me–He wants you–He wants us to approach Him. He wants to forgive us. He wants to lift our heads. When we accept His forgiveness, there is no reason to hang our heads.

 

If you set your heart on God and reach out to him, If you scrub your hands of sin and refuse to entertain evil in your home, You’ll be able to face the world unashamed and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless. You’ll forget your troubles; they’ll be like old, faded photographs. Your world will be washed in sunshine, every shadow dispersed by dayspring. Full of hope, you’ll relax, confident again. ~Job 11:13-18

 

If we would only look to Him!

 

Our faces are never covered with shame. ~Psalm 34:5

 

God will shield us from shame. He will ground our feet. He will lift our heads high. Psalm 3:3

 

 

 Come here, my child.

 

Come alongside…What keeps you from holding your head high? Would you allow your Daddy to forgive you, to raise your head, and blot out your shame?

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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