Charleston Fashion Week 2017

Charleston Fashion Week 2017 Highlights

Night One 

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My Dress: https://www.bluepoppyboutique.com/ Shoes: Jessica Simpson 

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Night Two 

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FAUX Fur jacket: Maris DeHart // Velvet Flares: Blue Poppy Boutique https://www.bluepoppyboutique.com/ // Graphic Tee: Wild Fox Couture https://www.wildfox.com/whats-new?gclid=Cj0KEQjwiI3HBRDv0q_qhqXZ-N4BEiQAOTiCHiLd3QtUq85XxBfWNGkshEe8o05E5qmlF_Ou_rJlthYaAqDs8P8HAQ // Wedges: Jessica Simpson // 

 

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Photo by http://www.currentvisuals.com/

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Night Three 

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Dress: Mustard Seed Clothing // Heels: Steve Madden 

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The Happiness Tag

So thankful for your kind words and the nomination for The Happiness Tag! Happy blogging sweet friend! Y’all go and subscribe to Life Bellissima for encouraging posts, organic recipes, and all things family.

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A few weeks ago, I received the lovely surprise of being nominated for The Happiness Tag! What made this extra special is that it came from my dear blogging friend, Tonya, who is absolutely delightful! From the first time I visited her blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl, I could barely pull myself away from reading, and now I eagerly look forward to each new post!

I love reading about life at Green Hill Farm, Tonya’s travel adventures with her husband, and of course, all of her sweet critters! Her sheep, Hamish, is one of my personal favorites — I’ve always wanted to keep sheep as pets! Maybe someday!

A very special thank you to Tonya for her nomination — I’m truly inspired by her kind heart and generosity!

Here are the Rules:

List:

-Five things that make you happy

-Five songs that make you happy

-Five bloggers that make you…

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Faith vs. The World

Screenshot 2016-06-07 14.47.48.pngHave you ever found yourself frightened to share your faith with those in the world? Are you, or have you, been fearful of being belittled for identifying as a Christian? Have you ever held back from sharing the Gospel with someone because you knew it would be a challenging conversation? Fearful that a guy may not like you or want to date you? Or, have you just wanted to avoid being labeled one of those Christian stereotypes?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’m here to tell you: it’s okay. As a Christian, I have been there. The fear, for me, was very brief and short lived. Why? Because I knew Jesus was so much greater than any kind of fear I would experience. Fear is nothing in comparison to what Jesus endured on the cross for us. So why should we be ashamed? He died for us so we could go out among the nations and share the most incredible love story in all of history.

Sharing your faith is vulnerable. And vulnerability is scary.  It’s like giving someone a really huge magnifying glass into your soul. You are opening your heart, and baring who you are with another person, and that’s not easy…but it is a BEAUTIFUL thing. Vulnerability > Fear = Freedom

Calling yourself a Christian doesn’t make you uncool or unpopular. In fact, it’s the opposite: it makes you super cool, incredibly popular, and altogether unique. You have the ability to share grace, mercy, love, and perform acts of service. As imperfect human beings, none of us have earned any of those things. But thankfully, when you serve Jesus, you are fed a daily dose of grace, mercy, compassion, and love. I am so grateful for the way He loves me in spite of my imperfections. With Jesus, you are worthy, you are important, and you are so loved. With Jesus, you have the potential to earn a reputation for how you love people, how you live your life, and how even in the darkest times, you exude joy and hope. Don’t you want people who are hopeless to know this same kind of joy? I do.

As Christians, the Gospel is good news, waiting to be shared. Even though we are followers of Jesus, we still commit acts of sin. It’s inevitable. We were all born into the world broken and we mess up. However, sinning and following Jesus is followed by self-conviction. You identify with your sin immediately. Conviction leads to change. These questions become integral in our conscience: “how can I be a better follower of Jesus?” “Who can I surround myself with to keep me accountable?” “Do I even have accountability?” “Who is leading me, encouraging me, etc?”

However, to non-believers, the Gospel can be seen as a reminder of their own sin. No matter the circumstances or outcome of sin, it provides temporary satisfaction followed by self-pity, guilt, hatred… fill in the blank. It is a vicious cycle. No one wants to be reminded of their sin. So they avoid the Gospel, thus missing out on all the peace and fullness that come with simply receiving it.

The most common misconception with non-believers and Christianity is they fear they will never be good enough to follow Jesus. They are too dirty. They’ve ruined any chance of having a relationship with Him. Again, quite the opposite. Actually, Jesus has a special place in His heart for people who feel that way. He goes to the broken, He is a friend of sinners, He heals the broken.  He WANTS you and LOVES you, even at your darkest. That was the purpose of the cross and Him conquering death. He took up all of our sin, past, present, and future.

So faith vs. the world. Can the two co-exist? Is there room for your faith in this world, in relationships, in the work place? The answer is “yes”, absolutely. God equips the called as believers, and we are called to share what Christ has done.

 “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

One of the best ways to share our faith is leading by example, live a Godly life. Non-believers and those alike often look at Christians as hypocritical because we say one thing but do another. In order for us to put that judgement to rest, we need to live our lives demonstrating to others that we genuinely care. We need to listen without judgment because we aren’t perfect.  We need to love without reservation. We need to pray without ceasing. We need to show grace and mercy, and ask for it to also be given to us. When we live authentic lives, it makes it difficult to deny the reality of what Christ has done in our lives. If you find yourself still struggling to share your faith, simply ask God to speak to you that you may walk more closely with Him. He will always provide the words you need.

Lastly, Christians, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share your story. Some of our biggest messes in life make the greatest message. People can relate to a person who is honest and real. No sin is greater than any other. We are all on an equal playing field. Romans 6:23 says, “God is holy, but we are human and don’t measure up to His perfect standard.” So don’t be afraid to share your imperfection and your scars. You have the potential to bring someone out of their hopelessness with your greatest insecurities and fears.  Be brave so others will be inspired to do the same.  Let your faith be bigger than your fears and your MESSAGE bigger than your MESS.

The Joy of Cooking

What is it about food that brings people close together?

Food is a universal language. No matter who we are or where we are in the world, we all like to eat. I grew up with the kitchen being my favorite room in the house. Watching my mom prepare our family meals was the best part of my day and still is to this very day. Her daily routine consists of lighting candles, pouring a glass of wine, and turning on the sweet tunes of Frank Sinatra.

It has always been clear that my mom is at complete peace when she is cooking. Cooking has been one of the many ways she expresses her love to us.  Her contentment in the kitchen warms my heart and has become a comfort to me. That same happiness and peace has now rubbed off on me. I now feel the same joy when I cook. Cooking and baking, a common language that my mother and I share, are therapeutic for me.

Cooking has become another outlet for me to express my love. There is nothing I enjoy more than preparing a meal for my loved ones. Matter of fact, I have come to find that eating is one of the most intimate and profound acts we perform. Food is a way to bring people together in a close-knit community.  The language of food does not discriminate and surpasses all cultural barriers. We celebrate milestones and holidays and create memories and traditions, all with food. Ultimately, we identify food with comfort.

While cooking, I am brought to a place of euphoria. The time I spend in the kitchen is filled with fond memories shared with my friends and family and continuously is a place where we create more memories. The fulfillment I find in cooking is because of the time I am able to share with my loved ones. As a southern cook, the kitchen has always been the most sacred place in the house.

There is a sense of healing when you find the joy in cooking. I want to challenge y’all to give it a try. It does not have to be a complex dish. Start small and find what works for you. What types of foods bring you the most joy? Think about it and attempt to recreate your favorite meal for those you love. See how it makes you feel. I can guarantee you it will be worth it.

P.s. I am going to start posting some of my favorite recipes to the blog very soon. I will also be sharing my favorite local spots to eat in Charleston as well as in my travels. Stay tuned and happy cooking!

From my kitchen to yours,

Love and blessings Asheton Rose

Asheton Rose

 

Season of Change

12469356_10209018206234650_1596519548130696717_oHappy Sunday, lovely people!

I love the changing of seasons, don’t you? Living in Charleston, there isn’t much of a seasonal weather change. Charleston weather is bipolar. However, I do enjoy the change of focus when the weather decides to cooperate. The way I look at the changing of seasons is the way I view the seasonal changes of life. They share a similar pattern. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, the Bible says there is a season for everything in life. This verse has become a stronghold for me in the past two months more than ever.

Y’all, wouldn’t it be a game-changer if we learned to embrace the different seasons of our lives as willingly as we embrace the seasons of the year? We are rarely satisfied: when it’s cold, we want warmth, when it’s cloudy, we long for sunshine, when temperatures soar, we covet snow. That same mentality applies to the materialistic items in our lives, dating relationships, friendships, and our jobs.

Seasons of change can be magnificent, joyful, scary, lonely, etc. But there is a reason for every season of change we go through. Whenever I experience a season of change, I’m mindful it has been planned and ordained by God. He knows every feeling, every worry, every tear, the laughter and love that will be required to bring about the change He set forth to accomplish in my life. It has all been created by His hands. Whether the season is pleasant or not, I rest confidently in Him, knowing He planned for me to walk through it. You know what is so cool? Jesus always graciously provides His hand for me to hold during my seasons of change. It is a time for me to surrender and realize I am not the one in control: He is.

I am currently going through a season of change. This one is a GOOD one. It’s a time of happiness, opportunity, joy, and growth. I have been completely overwhelmed by God’s GRACE–its abundance brings me to tears. I’ve adopted new habits in my health and wellness, the way I love and serve others, and have discovered new things about Jesus and our relationship. I know there will be more tough seasons on the horizon–I don’t know when, but I do know I will be ready to walk through it holding His hand. I cannot fear the tough stuff, because God is always in the tough stuff. He is working even when we may feel that He is absent.

Are you going through a season of change? Do you feel that God is absent in it?

If you answered yes, remember these verses:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is His faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 22 & 23

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. Psalm 139:16

Our faith should be shaken sometimes. It should be tested. If it isn’t, how will we ever grow? How will we learn? Challenge brings about transformation. So if your season is cold and stormy, don’t be afraid: embrace the change as we embrace the seasons of the year. God is with you, always. In those seasons of pure bliss and blessing, just praise God. Praise Him by laughing, loving, and having a thankful heart.

Life is a journey, unpredictable, and a learning process. It won’t always be perfect. But PTL (Praise the Lord) I have Jesus to walk with me through it. It’s nice knowing I never have to walk through anything alone.

If you or someone you know is struggling to find Jesus or is questioning Him in the midst of a seasonal life change, I would love to know so I may pray for comfort, peace, and clarity on your behalf. I invite you to comment or message me with your requests. I want this blog to be a place of transparency, a place where we can all share our “mess”. Let’s combine our mess and create one giant MESSAGE together. No one has to walk through life alone.

So much love and prayers to all of you,

Asheton Rose

Media, Fashion, and Body Image

Happy Sunday y’all! The Lord has put something on my heart lately that I feel pressed to share. I was recently asked to write a research paper on any given topic of my choosing. I was stumped. I didn’t want to write a mediocre paper just to complete an assignment. So I decided to pray about it. The Lord clearly spoke to me. This was a reminder that submitting everything to Him brings clarity and resolve to any given circumstance even writing a common research paper. I wanted my topic to be relevant and The Lord couldn’t have given me more of a relevant topic to write about: Media, Fashion, and Body Image. After reading this, I want y’all to realize that your ultimate identity is found in Jesus. When we fully grasp the love of Christ, we live in the truth that His love defines us and gives us life! Christ looks at us and says we are enough. You are beautiful and worth more than many sparrows. If you find that you are struggling with these issues please tell someone! Find an accountability partner who can encourage you and walk with you daily. Pray daily, surrender daily, and submit everything to Jesus daily. He will never fail you. His love, grace, and mercy always prevails. 

fearfully

Mass media has become a driving force in current modern culture more than ever. Individuals and communities are flooded daily with messages and images from a crowd of sources including magazines, TV, and websites. Social media has served as a considerably powerful tool for people regarding body ideals and the value of what is considered attractive. Media has served as a handbook for how we should live, dress, and look especially in regards to the fashion industry. The images we come in contact with everyday show us what is acceptable to the world’s standards of attractiveness and how to achieve it. We live in a body and media obsessed culture. Both women and men desire to have flawless bodies. So what exactly defines real beauty? What level do we fit on the world’s beauty scale? These are questions that both men and women ask themselves on a daily basis. However, my focus is going to hone in on body image issues amongst women and why we feel the constant pressure to conform to the cultural ideals of body image. Mass media has altered our perception of how we see ourselves and what defines us. Media has proven it can be positive but also deceiving. We believe lies about what a picture-perfect body is and what defines us as beautiful.  The lines get blurred due to several factors that we can’t seem to escape from.

According to most people, the fashion industry seems to be the leading cause for eating disorders or body image issues, which is understandable considering the size zero super models on the front pages of magazines or when scrolling through your Instagram feed. First and foremost, the fashion industry is unquestionably a factor, not a cause. In 2011, Glamour Magazine published a survey in which they discovered 97 percent of women “will be cruel to their bodies today”. This verifies how low our body image is. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, nearly 70 percent of girls in grades five through twelve said magazine images impact their standards of a perfect body. In so-called “pro-anorexia” forums, posters write about watching fashion shows and combing magazines for “thinspiration” and the phenomenon with the “thigh gap.” This can be seen as a culmination of our culture’s perception of beauty as well as our own life experiences. The combination of these two are detrimental to our self-assurance.

In a study performed by the National Institute of Health, the estimated lifetime prevalence of anorexia and bulimia is 0.6 percent of the U.S. adult population, but among 13 to 18 year-olds, it is 2.7 percent. There are several risk factors, including being female, age (eating disorders are most common in the teens and early 20s), family history and influence, as well as the presence of additional mental health issues.

There is no single cause of body dysmorphia or eating disorders. However, research is clear that media is a definite contributing factor. The fashion industry encourages the lie that we should appear a certain way to what we see on the runway, magazine, or a TV screen.

Everyone has different insecurities and a different way of dealing with them. There is a constant desire to maintain the “ideal” body. While leading a healthy lifestyle is vital to your everyday health and development, the attempt to develop and maintain an unrealistic body size and shape can be detrimental to your mental and physical health . To achieve the “ideal” body image, many restrict their food intake and deprive themselves of proper nutrients. Restricting your calories can rob you of your health, joy, pleasure, and life balance. This can lead to intense cravings and a disorder known as binge eating. Once you binge eat there is an instant feeling of guilt or self-loathing. When this process begins, food becomes poison. It is no longer seen as something that is essential for your everyday health. It becomes something that has control over you. This is dangerous and starts a toxic cycle often resulting in an eating disorder.  Mary Pipher, PhD, said, “I think anorexia is a metaphor. It’s the young woman’s statement that she will become what the culture asks of its women, which is that they be thin and nonthreatening.” This proves to be true because we live in a body and media obsessed culture.  We are continuously searching for the next best products to fix our flawed appearance. There is an endless need for affirmation to feel beautiful. You’ve got to love mass consumerism, right? Her statement is relevant to what goes on in the fashion industry. The industry visually sends out a message of how we should look in order to even be considered beautiful. As women, this causes us to lose our sense of self, our independence, our confidence, and ultimately our voice. The desire to be thin replaces what makes us beautiful, our individuality and what lies within.” Real beauty is a matter of the heart and we often forget that due to the flood of media images we see everyday .

Our cultural ideals of beauty and body image have lessened largely in part of the impact of social media. Debra Bourne, co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk said, “The problem is that we’re allowing marketers and advertisers to run wild with their interpretation of how the female form should look. There is almost always a discrepancy between the reality and the fairy tale created by Photoshop and photography masters and the woman standing in a department store.”

Bourne goes on to address the other issue lies with the designers. She exclaims that fashion designers are not being trained appropriately. Most designers are trained on mannequins, which rarely exceeds a size 8 or 10 while the average woman is now a size 14. Unlike hair stylists who train on real human heads of hair, Debra explained that designers are left with an objectified relationship with a non-human. Her statement holds significance to women because designers create clothes for people. When designers are trained on mannequins they become accustomed to working with relatively low sizes, hence why designers choose size 0-2 models. Once designers have been trained a certain way, they feel there is no need for change.

Media is the master of self-deception. Glamour Magazine performed a study and found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day. We have actually trained ourselves to be this way. Dr. Ann Kearney- Cooke, Ph.D., a Cincinnati psychologist who specializes in body image said, “Neuroscience has shown that whatever you focus on shapes your brain. If you’re constantly thinking negative thoughts about your body, that neural pathway becomes stronger—and those thoughts become habitual.” This shows that we spend too much time focusing on cultural ideals. Our involvement with media allows us to be susceptible to lies that we aren’t good enough. According to Nichole Wood—Barcalow, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Laureate Eating Disorders Program in Tulsa, Oklahoma, “There are only so many times you can be hit with the message that your body isn’t ‘right’—whether you see it on TV, hear it from someone, or just feel it in the ether—before you internalize it and start beating yourself up for not being as perfect as you ‘should’ be.” We internalize cultural norms believing our beauty and self-worth is measured by a number on a scale or the size of our jeans. Dr. Courtney S. Warren wrote to psychology today saying,

“We need to become more critical consumers of the mass media. We need to think about the messages that we learn from a very early age about what makes us valuable or not valuable. As we become more aware of our surroundings and the cultural messages we learned, we must determine whether we aspire to be a certain way because we believe it. Is it right or because we were culturally conditioned to believe it is right. The next time you watch television or a movie, ask yourself: What messages is this show promoting about my fundamental value as a human being? Have I internalized this message? If so, now is the time to change.

This leads me to several begging questions. How do we put a stop to the self- deception of mass media? How do we free ourselves from the lies? How do we discover our real beauty? Well, Nichole Wood Barclow offers seven ways to gain back our voice, our worth, and the reminder of what makes us beautiful. Number one, we need to learn how to rewire our brain. If you know that reading the latest issue of Cosmo, checking celebrity gossip sites, or flipping through the Victoria Secret catalog is making you think negatively about your body then teach your mind to focus on other things that boost your sense of worth. Number two; we need to ask ourselves, Is this really about my body? Or am I trying to distract myself from being upset with someone or something else? The next objective is to exercise. Those who work out regularly tend to have fewer unkind thoughts than those who didn’t. Exercise not only improves your shape and health; it also enhances your mind-set. If we want to put an end to self-deception then number four is extremely vital. Whenever you feel your mind setting on the path to negativity just say stop and rewire that brain. Objective number five is to remind yourself. Remind yourself that obsessing about who you look like or what you eat will not change your appearance. Remember to eat mindfully and not agonize over every bite. Lastly, number six and seven go hand and hand. Ladies, appreciate your body and play up your strengths. Focus on positive thoughts comparing you to no one, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. “Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:3-4. If we can remember these seven objectives then we are well on our way of breaking free from mass media’s chains and helping others discover their real beauty. Don’t believe the lie. Trust in Jesus.

 

 

 

 

Resources

Bloomfield-Deal, Elizabeth. “The Fashion Industry & Body Image; Transcending the        Acquisition of Thinness.” Eating Disorder of Hope. EDH, 15 May 2015. Web. 2 Dec.         2015.

Catherine, Pearson. “Fashion And Eating Disorders: How Much Responsibility Does Industry    Have?” Huffington Post Healthy Living. Huffington Post, 13 Sept. 2011. Web. 2 Dec.    2015.

Dawson. “What Is True Beauty?” The Hope Line. The Hope Line. Web. 1 Dec. 2015.

Dreisbach, Shaun. “Shocking Body-Image News: 97% of Women Will Be Cruel to Their Bodies    Today.” Glamour Magazine 3 Feb. 2011. Print.

Koskie, Brandi. “What Role Does the Fashion Industry Play in Women’s Health and Self Image?” The Conversation with Amanda De Cadenet. The Conversation, 30 May 2013.  Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Roxby, Philippa. “Does Social Media Impact on Body Image?” BBC News. BBC News, 13 Oct.   2014. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Warren, Courtney S. “The Mass Media, Body Image, and Self-Deception.” Psychology Today.     Sussex, 4 June 2014.   Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faith Meets Fashion

crossI wanted to take a different approach to the blog today and share something very personal and close to my heart: my faith. I’m sitting here on an early Sunday morning in my Charleston studio, in an oversized baseball tee, sweatpants, a cup of coffee in hand. I woke up in a state of vulnerability with the need to share my heart with my readers…

I’ve had an interesting past three years since starting my college career, living in three different cities, attending three different schools, and studying three different majors. To say I was indecisive is an understatement. Bless my parents’ hearts, they were so patient with me. I was struggling to find a place where I could truly fit in and feel plugged in. My freshman year was the start of my journey to self-discovery and learning what God’s purpose for my life was. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be, and if you’d asked me what my ten-year plan was, I would have looked at you with a blank stare. I felt LOST, and frustrated. So many of my friends seemed to have it all figured out. It seemed like it should be so simple: you graduate high school, attend an in-state college with your high school friends, and before you know it, it’s time to get married. The thought of my life moving in that direction that quickly was terrifying. I knew I wanted all of those things some day, but not so fast. I could hardly decide what I wanted for breakfast, much less getting married right after graduation. I had always dreamt of becoming a fashion designer from a very young age, but felt my dream was not a tangible one, so I continued to push it to the back burner. At the time, I didn’t realize how much I was limiting God and His plans for me. I wasn’t listening to His voice: I was listening to the enemy telling me my dream was out of reach, that it was silly, that if I left the comfort of home, family, and friends, I would fail and have nothing.

Then, I began to pray in earnest like never before. I was at my most vulnerable, and allowed myself to submit and fully rely on Jesus.

I spent 2 years at Clemson University, and although it was a wonderful school and a great learning experience, I was unhappy. I was going through the motions because that’s what I felt obligated to do: choose a general degree, graduate, then pray I could find a job fresh out of college. But, those 2 years also brought unexpected blessings and friendships. I met one of my very best lifelong friends, Diana. God used Diana to bring my dreams and passion to fruition–she taught me how much fun life can be and that no dream is too big.

Let me tell you about Diana: she is the most passionate, vibrant, beautiful, funny, free-spirited person I have ever known. There is no one like her. She marches to the beat of her own drum and has the most beautiful outlook on life. Diana inspired me to embrace a more enthusiastic and open outlook.

The single most inspiring influence in my life was, and is, my Momma. Momma is indescribably the most exceptional human being God has placed on this Earth. She is my earthly angel. Call me biased, but it’s the truth–she’s the most angelic, selfless, genuine, and wise person I know, and I’m truly blessed beyond belief to have her as my guiding light. She has taught me how to celebrate life well, every single day. She has taught me how to love unconditionally. She has taught me how to live a life following Jesus. She has taught me that laughter is the best medicine. One of the most important lessons she has taught me is how to practice grace and mercy. I would not be the woman I am today without my mother’s influence and love. I look at her and see exactly who I want to be in a friend, a businesswoman, a wife, and someday, a mom. She is the one person in this life who truly gets me and knows my heart.

So, through a newfound friendship, the wisdom of my amazing mother, and the Lord guiding my steps, I knew it was time to make some life changes. Change can be pretty frightening, and I was terrified. But Momma always said, “your fears have no power against your actions”, so I began the search for design schools. I looked in New York, LA, San Francisco. Finally, I found The Art Institute, and this led me to The Holy City, Charleston, South Carolina. I have always felt a special connection to Charleston, and felt the call to make the move. So, with my mother’s encouragement and help, I did. God challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and trust Him. We packed up everything and transferred to Charleston to begin my career in design. I didn’t know a soul at my school, who my roommates were, and went with no expectations, other than the knowledge that God was going to accomplish His purpose in my life, and I need only trust and obey. And did He ever! As soon as I moved, His blessings poured out. Opportunities in the Charleston fashion market became endless. It was overwhelming. As He continues to open doors and reveal His plans for me, my faith continues to grow. I’ve learned that through obedience, God will give you the desire of your heart, that His plans for our lives are far more imaginative and creative than anything we could conjure or manufacture on our own. He is the greatest Author of all time and has written a story for each and every one of us. I am so humbled to serve a Father who loves me so unconditionally that He cares enough to write my own personal story.

Before I moved, I was serving at my church back home as a sixth grade small group leader. We had around twenty girls in our “small” group, and attendance increased each week. We were so blessed to see it grow and watch the Lord working in each girl’s heart. They were hungry for Jesus and it was inspiring. I always had a passion for investing in the lives of women and ministry, and lived to lead these girls, teach them, and love them. I made their burdens mine. But it became a sole identity for me–I lost focus on who I was one-on-one with God, and I was spiritually worn out. I was ministering to these girls with an empty cup because I didn’t have anyone pouring into mine. My mom taught me that our lives ARE our mission field, every day, that I didn’t have to be working at a church in order to minister faithfully–I could even use my dream career as a ministry. That changed my life. I began to envision how God wanted me to use my passion to share the Gospel. After all, God created us to create for His purpose.

I allowed myself to share the gospel by telling a story through my designs. Each piece I create holds a meaning of significance to my walk with Christ. This is where the name for my company comes from, Via Dolorosa by Asheton Rose. Via Dolorosa is Latin and translates into “Way of Grief,” “Way of Sorrows,” or “Way of Suffering”. Dolorosa is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, held to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. I want my company and my designs to be telling of God’s ultimate sacrifice for us, how He willingly gave up His only Son so we may have an eternal life. The whole concept of Via Dolorosa is to visually symbolize the journey that Jesus walked through fashion. God provides me with a vision and I simply create it. This name has given me the great opportunity to explain to people what it means and where I draw my inspiration. I get to talk about Jesus on a daily basis, and that is pretty awesome. Via Dolorosa by Asheton Rose is my ministry. I have found my place. I have found my purpose.

I do not know what the future holds, nor do I want to. That is why I live by faith. I trust in the Lord and the steps He urges and guides me to take. There is truly no gr
eater love or joy than when you find your identity in Jesus. I choose to walk through this life with the ONE who will never leave me or forsake me. So really, it is simple. This life is beautiful. I just live to create for His purpose, love God, and love people until I am called home.

“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31

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