Tag Archives: #blamelessandforeverfreeministries

Emerging From Caves Of Intimidation

When Speaking The Truth Hurts! 

Hi, family and friends, and cliques/clicks!  Being barricaded and isolated in our caves of hiding is daunting!  Is someone bullying you?  Gossiping about you?  Judging you?  Persecuting you?

How about expecting conformity in a Stepford Christian Clique/Click? 

My lack of conformity and refusal to live out the clique/click demands while standing for Truth and change caused me to be ostracized.

Ouch… 

No matter how you look at it, it hurt! 

Since I’m bold and courageous (generally), and love my Jesus, I tend to stir up controversy…

A lot!!! 

But the Truth sets us free, right?

Adversity ushers in promotion.

Being Bold Stirs Up Controversy

With cliques/clicks controlling power, people don’t have to go very far these days admitting defeat, they just hit the delete button without much thought of a salutary dismissal, a goodbye, a see ya, or kiss our assets. 

Those actions belong in hell! 

Where’s the love of Jesus there? 

Is church membership a do-or-delete click/clique?

If our relationships, families and congregations are ruled by cliques/clicks, how is that representative of Christ? 

It’s not!!!

Even Jesus condemned the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy in Matthew 23:1-12 for not practicing what they preach.

Many people say they follow Christ, but they don’t live by Jesus’ standard of Love.  Cliques/clicks don’t embrace others.

If God is a God of justice, and He is, then as His ambassadors and representatives, how can we blindly continue to overlook these actions without waging war? 

How do we teach and equip our children and grandchildren with the tools necessary to recognize the subtleties of evil?

Rejection may be our Protection…

But that doesn’t mean the pain afflicted doesn’t sting during the school of pain.

Being image bearers of Jesus Christ requires our actions to be centered around Love, His Love, that glorifies Him because we are made in His likeness. 

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It’s hard when our voices have been cut and restrained because we took a stand for the Truth.  Remembering Whose we are and belong to will validate our true worth and value as we embrace our identity proclaiming our uniqueness with royal blood running through our veins.

Who thought being in a cave of intimidation required boldness and courage while being bound, but exiting our caves to do wilder things for Jesus is quite daunting. 

Ephesians 6:10-17 proclaims, as image bearers, we were designed and created to wage war against the spiritual forces of evil, to push back the powers of darkness.

Voice of Truth vs. Curse of Deception

Gullibility and being easily deceived is where we have to take a stand by knowing what the Word says.  Allowing cliques to exist that deny fellowship/community because of race, age, marital status and/or conformity, we are partaking in the increase of the curse of deception.

Jesus extends open arms, not barricaded circles. 

Choose Love!

God’s asking us to trust Him.  Are we willing to step out in wild faith and wage war by allowing Him to clothe us in a new wardrobe of courage and strength? 

Or will we just retreat back into hiding?

Backlash and retaliation will be met with the roars of heaven as we boldly position ourselves for battle.  No more backing down.  If faith didn’t require sharpened swords, persevering through the great unknowns would not require fierce battle cries. 

We can’t become desperate.  Let’s believe God will not only come through, but expect Him to show up and show off in His own spectacular way.  God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or could imagine, according to His power within us (Ephesians 3:20), so… 

What happened to being that valuable person God designed us to be with our own unique qualities that only we possess?

Community is built on uniqueness, not conformity!

Are we seeking the approval of others or God? 

The approval of others is not only an intoxicating idol, it entices us to turn away from God through deception.

Do we hide from the truth and run with flags of hate when we become challenged with the truth?

Dwelling in the shelter of the Almighty opens our hearts to so much more during stillness.  We realize that God knew us long before we were born or even conceived.  He thought about us and even planned for us.

So when we’re feeling discouraged and inadequate, leaning into God’s Word, sweet friend, reminds us how we’ve always been thought of as valuable.  We’re God’s treasured masterpiece, and He has so much more in store for us. These promises bring hope for tomorrow and strength for today.

Love is patient and kind.  It does not dishonor others or is easily angered.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13).

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Clothe Yourselves With…

Blameless Don't Get Dressed Without It

Why Is Being Patient and Kind So Exhausting?

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:12-14).

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I knew better.  The lies!  I was exhausted and accosted.  I didn’t feel humble.  I sat there ready to crumble.  My patience was beyond tested and my heart arrested.  I went from “THE FAVORITE” to being rejected “INDEFINITELY.”

Indefinitely???

All because my “life-line” (cellphone) access was nonresponsive for over four hours.

Four hours, really?

Who cares it was due to surgery.

Four hours???

I have a 24-hour rule; thank you!

God forbid, the power of cliques (and clicks).  Rejection was my protection for not fitting in the clique mold because I clothe myself with…

Their ricocheted venom!!!

I’m your worst fear;

I’m your favorite! 

My patience and gentleness must have also been surgically removed because my claws wanted vengeance and I wanted it right then and there!

Scorned?

Pretty much!

Being subjected to the power of cliques (clicks), both literally and figuratively, opened my eyes AGAIN to how subtle evil creeps into our lives, relationships, jobs and our churches.

Christian Cliques/Clicks Want Conformity and Convenience!

Are we only as important to the demands and conformity in our Christian cliques/clicks?

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Will we mourn the death of our Christian clicks/cliques long enough to break through the fear of missing out in order to be different, authentic, present and loving?

Sick or click???

I thrive loving on others and being kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (usually…), but when the constant sting of slander and persecution latches on like a leech sucking the very life out of me, I find myself unable to grab ahold of that venomous snake and bite its head off and spit it into the fire.  Instead, I allow the wounds of the ricochet to continue assaulting my heart.

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We know better than to give the enemy any more haunting power, so why do we allow the sting from others’ judgment to keep us wrapped up replaying the lies over and over?

That’s wasting precious time where I should have been healing and not at war, but… 

Outwardly, I was being Godly by forgiving their actions, but inwardly, I was roaring like a lion and it was devouring my own flesh from the inside out. 

I could no longer shake off this leech effect (viper) that latched on to extend kindness and forgiveness like Paul did in Acts 28:1-6 when the superstitious islanders cast judgment waiting for him to swell up and die. 

Sound familiar?

It’s hard to shake off the venomous actions of others and let it go when we’re isolated from communal support.  Clicks/cliques can’t deliver the support we need when our hearts need to be held, they only add insult to injury. 

Lives laid down in love and service deliver comfort and compassion.

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Being naturally a people pleaser, I find myself often in a tug of war trying to emulate our Lord in Psalm 103:8; being slow to anger.  I love being different, so I must take a stance against these cliques/clicks because society tells us our demise is just a click/clique away.

Presence Requires Transparence!

I’m choosing to be a “present beloved” who puts on love everyday.  Someone who isn’t easily distracted.  That’s hard with all the demands vying for our attention and the blood-sucking leeches.  And with my lack of social media precedence, it offends many because the affirmations of the “likes/clicks” esteems their identity and worth.

Isn’t a person’s physical presence more valuable and precious than clicks/cliques? 

We all want intimacy… 

God knows what we’re going through and thinking.  He desires that we’ll lean into Him and release the vengeance so He can pour peace and healing into us.  He reminds us, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

Sometimes that is sooooo very, very hard to do… 

Especially when God isn’t reactive!

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Are we making present, loving, authentic connections filled with compassion, humility and gentleness?

Do Christian cliques/clicks allow us to just be and receive?

Clicks/cliques want conformity, not uniqueness and authenticity…

I pray this connection of patience, kindness and forgiveness is something my children and grandchildren will walk out in their lives because vengeance belongs to God.

I’m choosing to let God vindicate my pain!

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Rejection Is Merely A Redirection!

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God Selects What Man Rejects!

Are you feeling rejected? 

Maybe you’re being redirected!

We’ve all experienced rejection! Rejection often hurts like hell! Rejection develops insecurities leading to impurities. Impurities lead to isolation. Isolation leads to depression. Some of us even wallow in rejection and remain hollow. Some bolt and revolt.

But when was the last time we stopped long enough to realize that maybe, just maybe, this rejection we’re encountering is nothing short of God redirecting our lives? We are, after all, created and designed in His image to be His masterpiece and work of art!

Blameless Rejection

This Woman…

Has fought a thousand battles,

But is still standing…

Has cried a thousand tears. Probably closer to a million,

But is still smiling…

This Woman…

Has been broken and left unspoken…

Has been betrayed and left afraid…

Has been abandoned and left branded…

Has been orphaned and left without fortune…

Has been abused and bruised…

Has been rejected and redirected…

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But This Woman…

Still walks boldly while wearing her crown…

Insists on being different…

Laughs loud reaching the clouds…

Lives without fear and loves to cheer…

Loves without doubt…

This woman is beautiful…

This woman is humble and ready to rumble…

This woman is courageous and it’s often contagious…

This woman is treasured beyond measure…

This Woman Is M-E!

Blameless Pointing Finger

Yes, Y-O-U…

♥♥♥

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Let your love for God change the world, but never let the world change your love for God!

Blameless Love The World With God's Love

Being Unique Doesn’t Stink!

Change takes Courage…

Courage over Comfort…

Courage breeds Confidence…

Confidence takes Chances…

Chances offer Celebrations…

Celebrations deliver Connection…

Connection contributes to Community!

Communities who connect, contribute and celebrate delivers change!

May we never forget that once upon a time what we once perceived as being rejected might very well have been God’s way of protection while grabbing us by the bit to redirect our stubborn fits!!!

Can I hear an Amen along with the ahem?

Take a moment, Treasured Masterpiece, to look into our Beautiful Jesus’ tear-stained face. In all your distress, He too was distressed. And in His Great Love and tender mercy, He redeemed you. Now that’s love worth celebrating!

Until next time…

Blameless Beautiful You

 

I Cried When I Was Denied…

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I Cried When I Was Denied…

But I Never Died!

The morning coffee buzz from being drunk on too much caffeine, along with the clanging plates from the waitresses rushing to cater to every need, drowned out the sobering convulsions conveyed from the beaten and burned beloved.

From rejected to accepted!

Cigarette burns and bruises to any part of your body is considered torture and abusive!

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Somebody is always listening…

If truth be told, I prefer my morning brew in the comforts of my own home, preferably in bed, along with my morning devotional time spent at my Lord’s feet opening up my Bible.  The sounds from Mr. Owl chiming in with his whoot-whoots as the orchestra of frogs rib-bit out a beat or two in sync with the birds’ melody who excitedly embrace their new day is more than a welcomed sound.

Today was different, though!  Tuesdays we do a Bible study for the homeless beloveds that would like to know how to experience this great love affair trusting and waltzing with the Lord after being abused myself.  I am writing this Bible study called God’s Great Love Changes Everything specifically catered to our homeless! 

After only receiving a couple of RSVPs for tonight’s study and the constant complaints delivered from being cold due to the night’s rain, chocolate chip pancakes and hot coffee seemed to be the menu topic initiated in a community text message about where dinner would be.  This quickly ushered us into meeting at iHop for breakfast along with the Bible study in lieu of dinner. 

Dinners are a rare luxury for the homeless population and Blameless is one of the few organizations that offers hot dinners twice a week.  Usually only breakfast and sack lunches are offered at shelters and churches, so I knew there was a great need behind this need for a breakfast meeting.

Blameless Need Behind Need

Between the noise, we settled in tight as the girls started peeling off their damp scarves and jackets to get warm.  I hadn’t noticed the bruises and lacerations on one beloved until she removed her many layers hiding more than emotional turmoil.  Once the injuries were in full view, I knew we needed intervention to figure out the best protocol to approach this behavior. 

Homeless women tend to be associated with domestic violence encounters because they’re used to living under the fight and flight mentality as a form of protection, no matter how distorted that may appear.  Having a buddy for comfort and protection helps fend off other violent attacks against the homeless along with assurances that their few bags of possessions will still be nearby when they awaken.  But the cost is often great!

This precious beloved shared how she just wanted to be held and comforted because she didn’t end up getting to talk to her son, who had promised to call her over the weekend.  This mama totally understands the love our children cover us with and the rejection that might follow. 

She shared how much she loved her son, but that she was so wrapped up tight living under her own veil of shame and living in the wrong hood (battlefield of the mind), that she just decided to pity party her own disappointment.

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If you’ve ever lived under the demands of abuse, you find yourself living, or surviving, under the confines of mental anguish.  Instead of seeing this pain as a process (a wake-up call to get out), you find it accepting as a permanent residence because you become isolated due to shame with no one to help you get up or out. 

You cried when you were denied, but since you never died, you become quite familiar and comfortable in the most horrid conditions.  When you live in darkness, being out in the light is frightening and quite startling.  Initially…

I shared with the girls how my pain turned into power when I realized that facing this Goliath of fear walking through it scared as hell was the only way to unlock the shackles.  The key was that it would take others to help pick me up each time I fell.  No more isolation. 

Taking baby steps ended the life being subjected to the multitude of abusers while living a life loved and yes, helping others.  That meant acting and living like who God says we are; His works of art! 

We cannot allow this process, being homeless and/or abused, to become our permanent spot.  Engaging in pity parties, having the mindset of a victim and denier, announces the need to break free from the toxicity of this environment. 

Yes, living a life filled with an outpouring of love and peace will be awkward and quite uncomfortable at first, but it will offer us freedom, along with our own tear-stained pillows and soft embrace from the protection and warmth that our own cozy blankets offer. 

I am choosing to honor my Lord by honoring the beloveds He has placed in my life.  I know the Lord will show me how to love others the way in which He loves me so that our faith will grow stronger and deeper in our hearts as we learn to trust in Him.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being

A Beautiful You Events

Today Is The Bridge Between Your Past and Future!

Are You Fully Present Today?

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)

Life of Worship

I admit, living in the present is sometimes so, so very hard.  When my mind is exhausted from this tug of war delivered from both the fear and shame in not being good enough that the unknown presents and the excitement in seeing what God is actually doing is overwhelming. 

Can you relate?

Sometimes living in the future with all its anticipation and excitement can rob us of God’s blessings here and now because He lives in the “today.”  We forget what we receive “today” is preparing us for tomorrow’s blessings, so we would bode well to embrace this scenic route bridging our pasts and futures.

I have found myself becoming somewhat resentful as to what God has called me to at this particular point in time because He is opening up all these other doors that I thought were forever closed and I’m stinkin’ excited. 

Because of this, I have found myself living buried underneath the weight of anger and discouragement because I’m ready to move on; thereby, consuming my thoughts and interfering with time I usually am spent in His presence. 

Time spent with our Lord empowers us to walk out each day faithfully with joy and trust. 

How many gifts of today do we pass by, neglecting to pick up or even open up because we’re so preoccupied with thoughts, anxieties and/or fears in our future?

There’s no room living in that bad neighborhood (mindset) to be present for today.

The enemy gets worked up for good reason when we’re doing what the Lord wants and attacks our beautiful hearts and minds with flaming arrows and emotional darts filled with the venom and sting that doubt and confusion delivers. 

These tidbits of insecurities, fears and indiscretions are trying to completely wipe me out and keep me from focusing on the Lord and on today; thereby, nearly robbing me of all these amazing blessings the Lord is ushering me to receive.

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If you’re anything like me, sweet friend, planning for tomorrow is exciting and time well spent, but when we become preoccupied with worry and control about tomorrow, time is not only being wasted, but we’re robbing ourselves and others of being present for this day. 

If our Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him (Psalm 37:23), then why do we deviate and fill our hearts and minds with preoccupation and the opinions of others, forgetting life is about the journey and not the destination?

Guilty as charged…

When walking out our callings, and I’m not just talking about my nonprofit organization dealing with the homeless, we can be consumed with both fear and excitement. 

Isaiah 61:1 (AMP) reminds me, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me to bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, to proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives and freedom to prisoners…”

Remembering to be fully present enables me to receive the comfort through trust that the Lord promises in bringing deliverance through His timing.  It is up to me to be present so I can hear and receive His guidance filled with treasures that are right around the corner.  If I’m not present, then I’ll walk right past His blessings (peace/perseverance/strength) and wonder what happened causing me to forfeit His gifts for today. 

So recognizing that planning for our futures can alleviate much of our anxiety and worry, when we become obsessed worriers, we become so consumed, forgetting to trust in God’s provision, therefore running ahead of His timetable, we become tripped up. 

The worst part of all of this is denying Jesus’ invitation for help through an intimate and loving relationship with Him. 

So… if the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in Love (Psalm 103:8), this should illustrate to us a picture of God’s nature and will, worthy of His trust, commitment and timing!

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So I hope you’ll join me in sojourning this side of heaven living under the umbrella of God’s Great Love and promises that offers peace that surpasses all knowledge (Philippians 4:7) while being reminded that today is the bridge between your past and future.  Live in this moment.  This way we can embrace the invitation that our Beautiful Jesus is extending only if we’re fully present.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Encountering Homelessness in 2019

Happy New Year!

2019 Is The Year Of The Voice

I struggled to get off the jam-packed freeway full of road rage and weary drivers that found themselves parked instead of moving forward.  Here it was 6:45 p.m. and I needed to get my life-sustaining heart meds before 7:00 because the pharmacy closed its steel doors at the strike of the 7:00 hour and would be closed for the next two days. 

Once I got off the freeway, there was no way possible to maneuver over four lanes in enough time to turn into the pharmacy’s parking lot so I was forced to travel another bumper-to-bumper half-mile to perform a U-turn.  Amazingly, the light connected with my anxiety and turned green, rushing me into the parking lot with just a few minutes spare to run in and get my prescriptions. 

As I leaped out of my car, I was stopped, even bullied and challenged by an unknown homeless man who was adamant that I give him a couple of bucks. 

You see, in my city, the City of Roseville, I refuse to put up with panhandling.  It’s a distraction.  It initiates fear and crime and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED FOR IT! 

I have even been known to stop in the middle of an intersection to get them to move on.  It’s not that I lack compassion; after all, I run a homeless organization, but it’s just that we have many resources available and their panhandling is an excuse and becomes an eyesore.

I work hard to help guide and direct them to get tapped into alternative resources and get off the streets. 

It’s hard for reality to prevail over guilt!

When encountering panhandlers, I instinctively stop what I’m doing and give them the lowdown of who I am, how and why I run an organization catered specifically to helping love on the homeless, and if they are hungry, I will buy them food.  I then pray over them, give them my business card, and tell them that if I come back in the next hour and still see them panhandling, I will have them arrested. 

You might find that harsh given my heart pours out the love of Jesus into these individuals daily, but if the services we offer don’t suffice, then it’s obvious they’re only looking for a quick fix related to drugs and/or alcohol.

This man was the FIRST AND ONLY HOMELESS individual who didn’t pack up and leave.  Sadly, he felt his fear tactics and threats to kill would influence me otherwise. 

I challenged him with his futile threats to go ahead (not the brightest move admittedly), but I’m ready to meet my savior, Jesus Christ, at any time so it didn’t really matter.

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Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is praying that 2019 initiates a new attitude and compassion for stabilization regarding our homeless epidemic. 

Being the founder of Blameless, I want to be very honest here.  In working to stabilize our homelessness through God’s Great Love, I humbly admit I get frustrated and quite offended when I encounter panhandlers.  Giving them “money” is defeating our arduous work!  It’s much easier to trigger sympathy than to seek help.

Mental illness is the main precursor of homelessness; addiction, depression, psychosis, abuse, rejection, and abandonment issues are the leading causes, but a lot of homelessness has to do with shame and guilt and the need for guidance to get reestablished back into society. 

I don’t like seeing the makeup of my town changing because homelessness is out of control, and everywhere you look they’re either lined up around our stores or in parking lots panhandling or passed out in our parks while depleting our fire and law enforcement resources.

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

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Please don’t encourage Panhandling!

There are many ways you can help and we need a village of people to come together and help combat this Goliath.  Please don’t encourage panhandling by offering money; but instead, as you encounter homeless beloveds, acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a warm smile and maybe even say “good morning.”  Being affirmed builds worth and a sense of belonging.

You could offer to buy them a sandwich or burger along with a milk.  A used bike and metal cart is invaluable. 

Another idea is sharing you are tight on money, but could they use laundromat tokens or clothing?  Share with them you’ll go home and be right back with a few things and/or buy tokens with laundry detergent. 

Better yet, donate to charitable nonprofits like Blameless that deal with homelessness.

Here is a glimpse of one homeless beloved who wanted to go to the laundromat for his birthday…

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I personally have found that the most significant treasure was asking if I could pray for them.  Praying over an individual offers hope and a sprinkling of love that someone actually acknowledges their presence and took the time to pray for them.

Being the hands and feet of God encourages the homeless that they’re seen and their lives matter.  This is the way our communities can come together along with the homeless and help find a remedy to stabilize and tackle this epidemic.

God is going to do mighty things in 2019 and tackling this homelessness is going to be one of them. 

Happy New Year!  May God be with you, keep you safe and bless your generosity.

 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

We Remember, Honor and Thank all of our Fallen Heroes and the Great Cost!

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We Remember, Honor and Thank All Of Our Fallen Heroes!

God Bless America.  May We Never Forget This Great Cost!

As we awaken to new beginnings, peace and amazing sunrises each and every day, especially on Veterans Day, we remember, thank and honor all of our fallen heroes who selflessly served and sacrificed with their lives that we so easily seem to take for granted.  We appreciate your sacrifices and the courage it’s taken to defend our country.

Blood That Was Shed!

Blameless Veterans Neil Thomas Photograph

God Bless America!  Our heartfelt love, devotion and prayers are extended to the courageous men and women who continue to fight for justice in protecting our freedoms.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!