There’s More to Life Than Me

Over the last 6 years, I’ve been learning that there is more to life than me. Life is not about what I want, but what God wants. As I’ve surrendered my dreams into God’s hands, I’ve found that God has taken my dreams from me….but instead of just throwing my dreams aside and leaving me empty-handed, He has taken what I have given to Him and He has molded those dreams into something new and even more wonderful.

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” –John 12:24

When I first moved here to Arizona, I didn’t know what God was leading me to. I had no idea. Similar to Abraham, I heard God’s call on my heart and even though I wrestled with it at first, I heeded to His call and came.

Since I first felt that call 6 years ago, I have seen a pattern of how God has called me over and over again to surrender my dreams to Him and let them die in His hands.

I didn’t like this idea at first. But then I started to think about it more and realized, that if He were to allow those dreams to die there, He legitimately could.

He is God.

I am not.

But, being the loving Father that He is, He never seems to let what we surrender to Him stay dead.

He is the God who raised both Lazarus and Jesus from the dead.

Why would He not raise to life the dreams I willingly broke and gave to Him?

Jeremiah 29:11 has been a Bible verse I have held onto since I first became a Christian as a teenager and with good reason:

“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.”

I truly believe that whenever we give God something in sacrifice that He either returns it with a blessing or returns it with something even better in its place.

He exchanges the plastic beads with pearls.

The rhinestones with diamonds.

The valueless for value.

When God called me to leave behind my job, my family and friends in California to move to Arizona, I thought He was crazy for suggesting the idea. But through the years, I have learned to surrender my dreams to Him and as I have, I’ve seen Him bless me in more ways than I could have ever thought possible.

God took my original vision of working for Disney for the rest of my life and transformed it into something He wanted to do to impact people in a different and direct way. He took me from employee to employer. He took me from not passing at school to being a straight A student. He gave me the ability to do things that could not have been possible if He had not given me the power to. He gave me the courage and the opportunity to travel and reach outside my safe little circle.

He began to form a dream in me that was bigger than myself.

A dream that reached outside of my own little world and that was instead focused on serving other people.

There is such freedom in that.

I’ve learned…..it’s not about me.

It’s about Him and it’s about others.

Life is kind of like a piece of popcorn–we’re called to live inside, out.

Beba Couture …. Fairytale Princess Magic in AZ!

Beba Couture (1 of 1) with logo2

For years, I have been surrounded by all things girly and princess.

When I was a little girl, I was always playing princess or my Barbie dolls were always being dressed in one kind of royal frock or another.

When I became a teenager, I could not get enough of the “royal” costumes I saw on the theater stage and felt a longing to be an actress–not so much to act, but so I could dress in the beautiful gowns I was seeing waltz across the stage.

I also went through a period of that time in life where I became quite convinced that I must be royalty when I discovered that some of my 6th great grandparents were kings and queens and would spend hours drawing out outfits that I deemed worthy of royalty.

Fast forward a few years to when I was a young adult and I was surrounded, yet, again, by princesses, but this time at Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth where I used to work as a Cast Member. It was there, when I was working at the Park, that the vision for Beba Couture was born and begin growing as a dream inside of me.

There was a day that I was hosting Cinderella in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and remember seeing that there was a little girl standing there waiting to see her favorite princess, which should have been a call for joy. But instead, her face was downcast and her hands were sadly crossed in front of her. I knelt down so I was face to face with her and asked her why she was looking so sad. Her little friends were standing nearby dressed as their favorite Disney princess and she was dressed in the typical tourist fare — shorts and a t-shirt.

I can’t be a princess, because I don’t have a dress like those girls do.”

My heart felt like it broke into two when that little girl said what she did!

No girl should feel that way.

I looked into her sad little eyes and reminded her that before Cinderella ever became a princess at the palace and before she got her beautiful dress, that she was already a princess inside her heart and that that is what made her a princess.

She smiled and you could tell that her mood had lifted some and was just as happy to meet Cinderella as the other little girls were. They went off on their merry way, enjoying the rest of the theme park, but that moment touched something on the inside of me and stayed with me. It never went away.

I started to think about how the media speaks a strong message to girls and women of all ages that they have to look a certain way in order to feel a certain way.

That is when an idea started to form. Because of that encounter, I wanted girls to know how beautiful, special and unique they are to God and that He has a purpose for their lives.

I wanted to evoke beauty from the inside, out and capture it with my camera.

Beba Couture (1 of 1)-9 with logo

How could I help them to SEE themselves this way?

When this idea first came to mind, I went out and started to purchase Disney princess dresses, but I felt very strongly in my heart that God was telling me NO.

“Hmmm….what am I supposed to do for dresses, then, God?”

I felt like He was saying for me to create something special for these girls and to not make them tied to Disney at all, because He wanted me to honor HIM through it. But, what was I supposed to do? I had never sewed on a sewing machine before (except once when I was younger. I tried to make a coverlet for my Barbie’s bed and after 1 try, it was horrible and I never touched a machine after that).

I prayed about it.

And I prayed.

I asked God to give me the ability to sew and shared my heart with Him, how I felt like He was putting this vision on my heart to help encourage girls. What happened next, blew me out of the water as far as expectations go! I wasn’t ready for what was about to happen!

Beba Couture (1 of 1)-3 with logo

I had never sewn before, but suddenly, I could sew and make beautiful gowns like in the photos above! (The green dress was my very first anything ever made (with the exception of my failed attempt at making a Barbie bed cover when I was younger)! I sat there and awe and thought,

“I made this….God, I made this…YOU gave me the ability to make this!”

It was in that moment, that I knew that I was doing what God had been calling me to do! That my purpose was to help others to see themselves as God sees them:

Unique

Special

Purposefully created by a loving God.

Seriously, how does that happen unless it’s by the hand of God? He blesses His children with the desires of their heart and I am so grateful that He has blessed mine. I felt like there was an anointing on what He was calling me to do.

It’s not the gown that makes the princess….it’s the heart….and when a girl can SEE that beauty that has been placed inside of her, a sort of magic overtakes her and she lights up the world:

realizing that HER beauty is HIS beauty. 

It’s beauty, from the inside, out.

Beba Couture (1 of 1)-2 with logo posts Beba Couture (1 of 1)-8 with logo Beba Couture (1 of 1)-11 with logo Beba Couture (1 of 1)-12 with logo Beba Couture (1 of 1)-16 with logo Beba Couture (1 of 1)-18 with logo Beba Couture (1 of 1)-19 with logo Beba Couture (1 of 2) with logo book with logo snow with logo

Beba Couture (1 of 1)-13 with logo

It’s HER story in HIStory.

If you have a little girl here and would like me to capture her for the beautiful princess that you already know her to be, I would love to talk with you! I photograph primarily in the Phoenix metropolitan areas, but photograph out of state as well and am willing to travel.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Alicia : alicia@BebaPhotography.com / 480.399.3030

A Lot Has Changed In The Last Year!

As I sit down to write this blog post, part of me wonders where to even start! So much has changed for me and my life since the last post I wrote back in 2014. When I wrote my last blog post, I was still working a full time marketing job for a local pediatric dental company. I loved the owners and felt so blessed to work for friends…but there was still something stirring inside of me, that wasn’t letting me rest at night.

I had felt, for the last 2 and a half years, that God was calling me to quit my job and go into full time photography.

Um, WHAT God???

That is a little scary. Okay, make that a LOT scary.

No way. No how.

That’s a fun idea, but no, not me, God!

I felt a little bit like Jonah running from what God was calling him to do. It was a dream of mine, but surely I wasn’t cut out for that kind of thing.

Still, that persistent tugging was relentless and so I finally started to pray about it.

Well, more like I tried to talk God out of it:

“Um…so….I need encouragement to do this, God.”

God already had that in mind.

I had an onslaught of encouragement from nowhere that week. People telling me that this was my calling in life.

That I needed to be doing full time photography.

So, I did what any normal person would do….I got creative:

“Okay, well…..Lord, what about an emergency fund? I don’t have an emergency fund.”

 Phew! I knew He wouldn’t be calling me to something like that without a safety net below me, right? Surely, I was safe now. No quitting my job. I brushed some invisible dust off my shoulders, sure that I was going to stay comfortable at my marketing job.

I’m sure God was thinking, “That’s real cute, daughter. Real cute.”

Yeah, you guessed it. In 1 weekend, I had my entire emergency fund.

Hmm….Well….

I brushed off a little more imaginary dust and said,

Okay, God. I’ll do it. I’ll do it! I’ll even show You how much faith I have. I’ll quit on March 17th, 2016. I’m even setting a date when I’ll do it.”

Surely He must be beaming down at me with pride.

Not quite.

It was more like:

That’s a nice sentiment, but you’re going to quit this month. In fact, you’re going to quit this week.”

Slam on the brakes. Shut the front door. WHAAA??? What did I just hear God say to my heart?

I’m going to do WHAT and by WHEN??

But sure enough, I kept receiving confirmation after confirmation that this is what He was calling me to do, so I met with my boss that week and told her. To my surprise, her face lit up and she confirmed what God was calling me to! She said that she was proud of me and that this was my gifting, my heart and my passion and that she was happy for me! It was almost like I could hear her saying, “Finally you’re doing what God has called you to do! Finally you’re seeing that you’re supposed to be doing this!”

Gulp. So, that was it. I left my job at the end of December and just reached my 7 month full time entrepreneurial journey on July 29th, 2016. It’s been 7 whole months since I left corporate America to pursue the dream that I felt God putting in my heart and I’m living out the purpose and calling that He has for my life.

And it’s pretty darn awesome!!!

I almost had a full blown panic attack before I quit (okay, so I actually did) but now, looking back, I’m so glad that I did take that leap of faith and did it! I love this amazing journey God has me on and He has opened more doors than I could ever possibly imagine.

This year, I have been busier in my business than I have ever been in my entire almost 5 year photography career.

I’m starting to travel for my business. I’ll be visiting Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii for photo sessions.

I branched out my Photographer’s Day Planner to now include a Busy Mommy Planner and a Business Entrepreneur’s Day Planner as well.

So many amazing things happening.

Things that are so much bigger than I am.

Things that could only happen by the hand of God.

Was it scary to make the transition?

Oh, you betcha.

But do I regret it?

Never.

I’m learning to embrace life for all that it is, right now.

I don’t expect fear to not be there.

I love the line from the movie, “The Princess Diaries” that says:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear.

The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.”

Therein lies the key that my friend’s little girl once quoted:

“DO IT AFRAID.”