Interviews, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Quotes, Religion/Morality, Writing

Interview With Jackelyn Santana


Welcome back to another December issue of my biweekly interview series. Today I’m interviewing the gracious and beautiful Jackelyn Santana who was recently married. She has a faith based blog here: Faith Walking Hebrews 11:1. She describes her blog using the Hebrews 1:11 Bible Verse: “Now Faith Is The Assurance of Things Hoped For, The Conviction of things Not Seen.”


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Jackelyn Santana

1. Jackelyn, Please Tell Us About Yourself?

My name is Jackelyn Santana, I am from Miami, FL, and my family is of Cuban descent.I am a child of God and passionate about my faith. I LOVE reading, blogging, and spending time with my family.  I was married on November 11, 2016 and  I am a mother to an amazing six-year-old and a stepmother to two beautiful young ladies.

This year has been full of blessings. To emotionally prepare myself for our marriage, I spent the year analyzing myself and I’m finally at a place where I can embrace my authenticity. I spent a good portion of my life internalizing my pain, wearing masks to cope, and believing something was wrong because I didn’t have everything as it seemed everyone around me had.

Having this frame of mind enslaved me. There wasn’t anything wrong with what I was facing, but because there’s a stigma associated with imperfection and emotional struggle, I thought it was a ‘ME’ problem. I didn’t realize the truth, my problems were natural and universal.

As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.

The most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed is a group of hopeless lost souls coming together and loving each other back to life. We found a reason to smile again. This world is in such need of healing. I would love nothing more than to help spread love and healing wherever I go in my life.


” As I began opening up and peeling off the layers I was hiding under, I discovered more and more  people who hid there pain as I was doing. We strengthened each other, helped each other heal, celebrated our spiritual growth, and learned to love ourselves no matter where we are in life.” – Jackelyn Santana


2. When Did You Begin Blogging? What Does Blogging and Writing Mean To You?

I started blogging about four months ago July 20, 2016 to be exact. Blogging means everything to me! It’s liberated me. I’m free!! The more I write about things, the less ashamed I am of what I’ve faced. With each post I’ve removed the chains of emotions and experiences I kept a secret. These emotions and experiences have lost power over me.

This has allowed me to acknowledge and celebrate my spiritual growth. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers. Blogging also gives me an inside view of my soul. Sometimes I’m shocked when I read older posts because when I wrote, I let the words flow from my soul and they expressed things I wouldn’t voice out loud.


3. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation To Write?

I am inspired by my faith and other bloggers. I began blogging about one-year ago, but I didn’t think I could write posts people would want to read. I’m better at public speaking than I am at writing. A co-worker of mine kept pushing me to write. I would share advice with her and she would nudge me to put it on paper. I finally decided to test the waters by submitting a guest post on Proverbs 31 Women.

They approved my guest post one-month later and I was shocked and honored.  I started writing away on my blog often. My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs. It’s become a way of life for me and I want to help others learn about Jesus in practical terms.

Many times when we think of the Bible we think of a standard which is too high for most of us to reach. The Bible comes across as something only ‘Holy’ people read. Or, we become intimidated by it because we find it unrelatable since The Bible was written many moons ago and times have changed.

These ideas of Christianity couldn’t be further from the truth. We need to find the right tools to break down barriers from reading God’s Word, The Bible, and help others understand faith in simpler terms. Believing in Jesus can guide us towards love and happiness. Once we understand the basics, our soul will keep searching for more – our hearts will be “homing our Heavenly home,” if you will, and we will grow spiritually.

By identifying with examples from the stories in The Bible, we can understand our obstacles are not too much, our lives can be molded in a way which allows us to serve both God, our families, and friends because they’re all related.

God acknowledges our need for connection and sent his son Jesus not only so that we could be saved, but so we could identify with Jesus and strive to imitate His way of life. As a woman, fiancee, and mother, I have been able to love more purely and unconditionally through The Bible’s teachings, making them a way of life.

Reflecting on the dark moments I’ve faced, I see how fine the line between good and evil can be — being saved or being lost; I want to help others be saved as I am saved through Jesus’s death and resurrection. 


“My faith in God changed my life, it wasn’t until I understood my faith better that I was able to apply its principles to my life. In the past few years I’ve uncovered so much richness I was missing out on because I didn’t study my beliefs.’ – Jackelyn Santana


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Jackelyn Santana

4. When Do You Like to Write and Do You Have Any Current Special Writing Projects?

There isn’t a time of day that inspires me the most. I write whenever my heart moves me to write. As of today I’m only blogging. My passion and dream is to help others. Perhaps join /create a traveling retreat group, or participate in spiritual workshops. This is a concept similar to a ‘Women of Faith’ tour, but on a smaller more personal level.

There would be one to one interaction, healing exercises, and honest group talk. I would love to help others come out of their shells and be saved through faith in Jesus and God as I was. My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.


5. Are You Planning on Publishing Any Written Work in The Future?

I have not published anything. Perhaps later in life I will be presented the opportunity to do so, or I will submit writing drafts. With only four-months of blogging under my belt I’m focusing on identifying my writing voice, interacting with others through my writing, and improving my writing skills which are at a novice level. I would also like to study theology and I think it would further advance my writing.


“My healing is made possible through God and meeting an amazing group of women in my Emmaus Ministry who were transparent about their struggles and shared tips on overcoming the obstacles of life.”


6. What Is Your Writing Process Like?

I sit in front of my laptop or a notepad and I pray, relax, and set my soul free to express itself. When an idea pops into my mind I write it down either on my phone’s notepad, or sticky notes. I may begin draft posts that I revisit at a later time when I can give my writing undivided attention. I have about fourteen draft posts which I’ve begun and I’m saving for the future blog posts.

When I first started blogging I would write and post instantly. I’ve learned to slow down and process topics, allowing my mind to continue digging for information. I will officially post my writing after I have looked at every angle.


7. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers Starting Out?

Write about topics you are passionate about. It feels great to do what you love. I love what I write about and it’s how I live my life. If you’re on the fence about writing I would suggest you take a leap of faith and see what comes from this desire.

WordPress has a wonderful community of bloggers and this community helps you grow as a writer. Don’t write posts for the sake of increasing traffic and followers, write on topics you enjoy writing about.  


8. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share Pertinent to Yourself or Your Writing?

I am God’s creation, I am human, I am imperfect, and I am meant to depend on God. Read this post to learn more about me.


9. Please Share With Us Some Of Your Favorite Blog Posts:

Slogging Through The Tears

By Jackelyn Santana

*****

“Sensitive people are the most genuine and honest people you will ever meet. There is nothing they won’t tell you about themselves if they trust your kindness. However, the moment you betray them, reject them or devalue them, they become the worse type of person. Unfortunately, they end up hurting themselves in the long run. They don’t want to hurt other people. It is against their very nature.  They want to make amends and undo the wrong they did. Their life is a wave of  highs and lows. They live with guilt and constant pain over unresolved situations and misunderstandings.  They are tortured souls that are not able to live with hatred or being hated. This type of person needs  the most love anyone can give them because their soul has been constantly bruised by others. However, despite the tragedy of what they have to go through in life, they remain the most compassionate people worth knowing, and the ones that often become activists for the broken hearted, forgotten and the misunderstood. They are angels with broken wings that only fly when loved.” –Shannon L. Alder

 *****

I am on an emotional roller coaster ride.

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I will not try to deny it, this is who I am, sensitivity and all. I wear my sensitivity as a badge of honor, although throughout life I have been ridiculed or further wounded because of it. I cannot control the sensitive nature of my heart. I may pretend something has not stabbed or wounded me, but more likely than not this is not the case.

For many years I have tried to harden myself, hoping that I would become immune to the blows of life, and the harsh words received from those I hold with high esteem. Despite my efforts, my sensitive nature is unchanged.

My sensitive nature is misunderstood.

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Those closest to me believe they understand me and my motives. They believe they can read between the lines. Many dare to correct me when I express my intentions and motives, determined their interpretation of my position is correct. My hard and serious exterior denies me the right to ever be recognized as a victim, although, my heart tells me otherwise. Many times I find myself confused, doubting my heart, thinking that there is something severely wrong because I’m always wrong and never right about my own feelings. Maybe I am bad at the core?

One Of My Favorite Bible Verses:

“For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15

broken-heartIn my case, I do not understand why I continue to love and care the way I do. I know better, yet I cannot help it. I continue to express my vulnerabilities to those I care about in hopes that I will be understood. The more I explain myself, the further away I get from MY truth, and the closer I get to shedding unfavorable light on myself. I allow the fighter in me to get the best of me when I feel taken advantage of. This without a doubt, is used against me as I fail to be consistent, giving in to my human frailty. I can only be silent for so long without jumping into protective mode. I can only shed so many tears without lashing out. The cruelty I spew is the cruelty I have learned through life, it is not the natural nature of my heart. I would never purposely provoke tears from anyone, not even those who have hurt me profoundly. Yet sometimes acting in this manner is the only way I can get someone to listen to my voice and believe my truth. I am neither too proud to extend an apology when deserved and make amends with those I’ve offended. My truest desire is to maintain peace.

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I am not taken seriously in my tender moments; my tenderness is taken for granted. The world demands yet resents my tenderness. Should a loved one offend me, my tenderness is an inconvenience because my tears take away from focusing on the “root” of the problem, and I am forced to slog against the tears. Should I act sternly with others, not allowing my emotions to flinch, I’m accused of being cold and harsh. The combination of my emotions is never seen as right.

It seems my sensitivity is to be used at the convenience of others. I can never be me. I’m never entitled to the beauty of my emotions. My view of my emotions is brushed off because I am overly sensitive. Yet, I cannot label the world as overly cruel, overly angry, or overly unforgiving.

I read once that instead of numbing our pain we need to identify the source of our pain and work on the problem instead of the symptom. For example, we may have a headache because we are dehydrated, hungry, or stressed. We should work on fixing those issues rather than silencing the headache calling out for attention.

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The same goes for my tears. My tears, the ‘water works’ as they’ve been called, are not crocodile tears. It’s not an act or an attempt to manipulate; these statements couldn’t be further from the truth. My tears are indicators that my soul is experiencing pain, something is hurting me. To stop my pain at it’s root I need to either freeze my heart (which I have failed to accomplish) or excuse myself from the undesirable situation until I’m emotionally ready. This I can rarely accomplish without ridicule that I cannot work through a topic, without being accused of being overly dramatic.

I am always apologizing, but rarely entitled to an apology when hurt because my over-sensitivity is what causes the pain, not the actions or words of others.

When is my sensitive nature ever right for me!?

People say my tears and sensitive nature take away from the moment. I have slogged away for a good portion of my life to hide these parts of myself. I keep my tears a secret and am ashamed of my weakness.

As an adult, I find that my sensitive nature and heart are not the problem. The problem is the lack of sensitivity in the world. It’s not the compassionate who are the problem; a lack of empathy is the problem!  I will continue to embrace my sensitivity, tears and all. I do not lose hope there are more sensitive people out there. I won’t (and truthfully can’t) harden myself and lose hope because I find the world to be cruel and unloving. I am who I am. I am transparent.My anger is pain masked with anger. It’s sadness for being the recipient of a pain I would never wish to inflict on others. It’s a betrayal I never foresaw. It’s the second opportunity no one else would’ve extended, yet I’ve already extended a third to my offender while knowing how the situation will likely end. It’s fighting the urge to assume the worst in others. It’s the unconditional love I am willing to give which is rarely cashed in.

It’s the product of a broken heart living in a broken world that is trying to break the best in me.

  “Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a “hot mess” or having “too many issues” are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.” – Anthon St. Maarten

Slog

*****


Here Are More of Jackelyn’s Posts:


Thank you so much Jackelyn for agreeing to be interviewed. I am thrilled to find out so much about you and hope your struggles in life have become easier to handle through your faith. I hope you have more peaceful moments, than times which stress you out. Here is one more link to Jackelyn’s BlogFaith Walking Hebrews 11:1


Thanks for reading! If you would like to answer some interview questions about writing/blogging/poetry and your unique perspective and process on writing, I would encourage you to reach-out to me on my Contact Page. I would love to have you featured as a biweekly interviewee. See you in two-weeks!


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty, Fashion, Health, My Thoughts, Nonfiction, Writing

Fall Beauty Haul 2016 Part One


Happy Friday everyone. I’ve been meaning to do a beauty haul for a while for those of you who appreciate makeup and beauty products. This will be the first half of the new products I’ve tried since spring and I will do the second half either on the weekend or early next week.

In my opinion when you buy makeup, you often get what you pay for. This does not mean a $300.00 beauty cream is better than a $75.00 cream. But I do find a difference between drugstore brand makeup and skincare and higher-end beauty products one might find at Sephora or in a department store. Sephora makeup for instance, is often better quality depending on the brand and ingredients. The makeup lasts longer, works better, and depending on the product, can save you money in the long run.

However, there are always cheaper products which break the rules. And drugstore makeup products are improving in quality and have improved a great deal in quality since I first used them as a teenager around eighteen-years-ago. I do have a bit of variety in price point for products I’ve been trying lately.


  1. Kat Von D – Shade + Light Contour Quad – In Plum – Matte Finish – (www.sephora.ca)$34.00 CAN (three additional colour pallets to choose from).
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Kat Von D Eye Shadow Quad In Plum (www.sephora.ca)

I was searching on Sephora one day, for that perfect palette to create a pink and purple eye. I was concerned mainly, that the palette have a light purple-pink colour.

It’s a colour which appears great on women with blond hair and winter skin colouring. I also wanted the pink to be in a palette because individual eyes shadows alone can cost $25 dollars and up so I feel if you’re going to use even some of the other colours in a pallet, it’s usually a better deal to buy a palette.

I ended up choosing an eye shadow quad in plum by Kat Von D. Outside of her foundation, I have never tried products from her brand before. I know she is an extremely artistic woman with many beautiful tattoos and had her own tattoo show and I’m pleased with her makeup brand so far.

The pigment of each eye shadow colour in the Plum quad is excellent and there is not a lot of fall-out when you’re applying the eyeshadow to your eyelids and eye area. I also liked how the colour you are supposed to apply all over your eyelid and above, is bigger than the other eye shadows. This makes sense because you use more of that colour than any other colour.

My only problem is this bigger-sized eye shadow in the plum palette is not a good colour for me. While the other colours are more wintry colours, this shade is a fall colour and too orange for my complexion. It didn’t appear that way on the Sephora website — this is a reason its sometimes good to see the products you are purchasing in store.

Nonetheless, this didn’t bother me because all the other eyeshadow colours in the quad are colours I will use and have used a lot. I put a different lighter colour underneath which is more of a cool light-brown.

The idea of a contouring palette is that having a darker crease area and highlighting in certain places on your eye, will make your eyes pop and be a defining feature on your face. For the most part, I’m impressed with this eye shadow quad and would be willing to try other Kat Von D products in the future as they are also reasonably priced.


2. Joe Fresh Lip Gloss – In Fresh Glass – (Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore) – $8.00 CAN aprox.

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Joe Fresh Lip Gloss in Fresh Glass – Shoppers Drug Mart or Superstore (in store).

So in Canada, are main drugstore is Shoppers Drug Mart. They carry drugstore brands as well as high-end makeup. They were bought out by Superstore a grocery store chain. This hasn`t changed anything except that brands from Superstore, are now appearing in Shoppers Drug Mart such as Joe Fresh and President’s Choice.

My local Shoppers isn’t great in terms of their variety of beauty products because it’s in a poorer neighbourhood and people tend to steal. They did, however, start carrying Joe Fresh Make Up which is inexpensive and from the women I`ve talked to,  decent makeup.

You can always use a lippy so I decided to choose a Joe Fresh lip gloss from Shoppers Drug Mart in a darker rose-pink tube. I thought the gloss would be coloured but it’s clear. In fact, whatever name or colour the tube of lip gloss was, I found they were all the same clear colour called Fresh Glass. I think it’s deceptive to name each tube a different colour and then only have clear lip gloss.

Another weird thing about the Joe Fresh makeup line is it cannot be bought online. Shoppers Drug Mart does feature the products on their website, but you have to go in store to Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada or Superstore to buy Joe Fresh makeup.

Over all, I`m pleased with this Joe Fresh lip gloss. It’s extremely moisturizing and not sticky at all. It stays on your lips a long time. I`m disappointed I couldn’t buy a coloured lip gloss but for around $8.00 CAN, I`m not complaining. It was a great purchase.


3. Urban Decay All Nighter Liquid Foundation – Waterproof and Longwear – Full Coverage – Matte Finish – Oil Free – Shade 0.5 (fair porcelain) – (www.sephora.ca or http://www.beautyboutique.ca) – $49.00

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Urban Decay All Nighter Waterproof Longwear Liquid Foundation – Full Coverage – Matte Finish – Oil Free (www.sephora.ca or http://www.beautyboutique.ca)

I lucked out finding this foundation. I loved my Make Up Forever Matte Foundation but I kept running out every month and a half. It’s not a bad lifespan for a foundation for me but the All Nighter Foundation by Urban Decay lasts much longer for around the same price.

All Nighter is a brand new liquid foundation from Urban Decay and Shoppers Drug Mart also carries it in store or online at http://www.beautyboutique.com. What’s even better about this foundation then the Make Up Forever Matte Foundation (which I would still use) is that my shade o.5 is a bit lighter than the my Make Up Forever shade and it blends into my fair skin better.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s difficult to find foundation when you’ve such pale skin but still need some coverage. Sometimes, you have to use the lightest foundation shade you can find and later upon wearing it in daylight find, it isn’t light enough or appears too orange for pale skin. For winter, this is a better foundation in for me, but I might go a shade up for in summer time.

All Nighter also lasts even longer than the Make Up Forever Matte Foundation — a full 24 hours. Both foundations are waterproof and have a matte finish so on that account, their equal. As well, neither foundation since they are matte and oil free, are better for oilier skin types and don’t make me break-out. The Urban Decay foundation sure does last longer by far.

Literally, two dots of foundation from the pump on the back of my hand and I dab the foundation over my entire face and into my neck and blend with my foundation brush. The All Nighter foundation blends even better than its Make Up Forever counterpart and I need to use so little of it. I have to be careful I don’t make the dots of foundation on my hand too big or I will put too much of the Urban Decay foundation on my face. I totally recommend this foundation, it’s so worth it and there are twenty-four foundation shades to pick from.

The only issues I see with this foundation are if you aren’t looking for full coverage foundation, this isn’t the foundation for you. Also, if your skin is dry you probably want to choose a creamier foundation, something that is has more moisture in it. You could apply more moisturizer under this foundation but I do think it is better for women with oilier or combination skin types.


4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Blonde or Cool Taupe – (www.sephora.ca) – $30.00 CAN

Since I started to define my brows, I have used the Benefit Brow pencil which cost

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil In Blond (www.sephora.ca)

$30.00 CAN, the same amount as the Anastasia Brow Pencil. The brow pencil shade I used was pretty much the same colour as well. However, Benefit decided to change their brow pencils and make them thinner in both options they carry. This isn’t good for me as the Benefit brow pencils are soft and in a thinner pencil, I would use it too quickly.

The lady who helped me at Sephora said Anastasia was one of the first makeup artists to care about brow appearance, beyond filling them in a bit if you had sparse brows.

While the Benefit pencil looked the same as the Anastasia brow pencil it was a much softer pencil and I used it within about two-months. I didn’t like how soft the Benefit brow pencil was at first but I grew used to it because a softer pencil meant you didn’t have to use as much product.

Since I have switched to the Anastasia brow pencil, I find it much harder than Benefit’s discontinued brow pencil. It may mean it will last longer than the Benefit brow pencil did but, on the other hand, I find I use the Anastasia brow pencil differently. I use it to fill in my brows and trace around my brows. Since the pencil is harder, it does not spread over my brow as easily as the Benefit brow pencil did.

I do need to fill in my brow to get a fuller appearing brow with the Anastasia brow pencil and then blend it with the spooly on the end. With the Benefit brow pencil I traced around my brow and blended it, no need to fill in my brow because the pencil spread easily.

I’m happy with the Anastasia Perfect Brown Pencil and becoming used to working with a harder brow pencil.  I’ll let you know if this one lasts longer than two-months. I’m positive so far, it will last longer than two-months which is always easier on the budget. The Anastasia brow pencil comes in eight varied brow shades.


5. NYX Matte Finish Long Lasting Setting Spray – MSS01 – (www.ulta.com and Shoppers Drug Mart in store) – $10.99 CAN or $8.99 on sale ($7.99 US)

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NYX Matte Finish, Long Lasting MakeUp Setting Spray (www.ulta.com and Shoppers Drug Mart in store)

This is possibly my best purchased cheap product. I’ve heard good things about the NYX makeup brand even though it is a cheaper drugstore brand. I had tried an Urban Decay setting spray earlier in the year which was about $17.00 CAN in Sephora for a small-sized bottle (1 oz.). Like he NYX Matte Finish Spray, it was oil free and set my makeup so it did’t run or come off on a pillow case (much) if I napped. Both sprays also never let my makeup melt in the day. For most occasions, using a finishing spray on my makeup means I do not need to wear a primer underneath.

A couple of other beauty bloggers I recall reading, raved about the NYX Setting Spray which is available in both Matte and Dewy finishes. As I have combination oily skin, I chose the Matte finish. Some girls who were looking at the spray in store, expressed concerns about it causing them to break-out more.

I did find I had to let my skin become used to wearing the NYX setting spray. I broke-out a tiny bit but not a lot. Now I don’t break-out wearing it at all. I bought the spray at Shoppers Drug Mart on sale for $8.99. I have had it for over two-months and there is still setting spray left in the bottle which is 2.02 oz and a much better deal than buying a small Urban Decay Setting Spray for $17.00. I have used the NYX Setting Spray daily as I did the Urban Decay one.

Urban Decay originally came out with a makeup setting spray. They have several kinds you can choose from in a larger bottle that is $38.00 Can (4 oz) at Sephora or Shoppers Drug Mart (www.beautyboutique.ca).

The smaller version they offer only lasts one month (1 oz). I would like to test to see if  the $38.00 (4 oz) Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray which is almost twice the size of the NYX spray (2.02 oz), might be a better option if it lasts double the amount of time. It would need to last at least four or five-months.When I have some Optimum points from Shoppers Drug Mart, I might try the bigger version of the Urban Decay Setting Spray in Oil Free.

For now, I’m extremely satisfied with the NYX Matte Setting Spray for Makeup. If I can buy it on sale for $8.99 CAN, I think it’s similar or the same product as the Urban Decay sprays for a better value or less money spent at once. Has anyone tried both products and has an opinion on whether they like the NYX or Urban Decay Spray better and why?

That’s it for today’s Fall Beauty Haul. I’ll be back with a Part Two later.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.