#preapproved: part 2

by Kayla Raymond

All week I read words that spoke love. We start our days at ViBella with a short devotion, so this week I chose segments from Love Idol to share with the ladies. Author of Love Idol, Jennifer Dukes Lee, has been to our center before. She’s loved on us and watched the ladies in their prime of jewelry making. I wanted the words in her book to speak to my sisters like they did to me.

This past week, we not only read parts of the book but also made jewelry which was designed in honor of her book and the message that we are pre approved! These pieces will be sold online at www.vibellajewelry.com

I prayed a shaky prayer one morning: “Lord, let us feel your presence today as we work. Lord, bless our hands as we work, bless our hearts as we work, and bless our minds as we work. Lord, let us feel your Holy Spirit with us today. May we always remember how much we are loved by you. Thank you for your love. Thank you for you grace.”


I pray this in Creole, mind you, so it probably doesn’t really sound like that to everyone, but I know what I’m trying to pray. I just have this longing for my artists that they may always feel cherished. Life hasn’t always been easy for them, having witnessed only a portion of their hardships. I look them in the eyes somedays and wonder if they truly feel that love we talk and pray about. I worry that the words I read from our devotional book – or Jennifer’s book – are merely jibberish to them. Wondering if somedays they purposefully show up to work 10 minutes late, so that they don’t have to sit through devotions again. I don’t know. But, what if it’s the best part of their days. Some have told me they feel most comfortable at work, living with everyone like a family. Praying everyday encourages them.

I hate how the devil works in me like that.

But, Jennifer’s message speaks light again. Even in the moments of pray or with the Bible spread open, I worry what they’ll think. I wonder if it matters. I doubt it all. Day by day, I try to smash the Love Idol inside of me. I try to be less of me and more of Him. I want people in the village to see more of Him and less of that crazy white person.


I have to say one of my favorite times of the day is giving my baby girl a bath. She loves the water! She’ll sit and play in the bathtub for an hour if you let her. I pick her up and wrap her in a bath towel. We giggle as she smears her wet face against mine.

We stop and look in the mirror. So, much to stare and wonder at.

I smile and say, “who is that beautiful girl?” She looks back at me and giggles again.

I look back in the mirror and wonder if she’ll believe that when she grows up. Will she realize the miracles God has already worked in her tiny body and short life? Will she believe in the love her heavenly Father holds for her? Will she know how much I love her and care for her? Will she worry what the world has to say about her? Will she let the disease that runs in her blood hold her back? Will she stand up for what’s right and believe in herself?

But, that’s for later to worry about. Right now, in this moment, I can hold her tight and confirm with my hugs and kisses that I love her no matter what.

And, I see how God must look at you and me. How He cherishes those moments when we hold on tight to His love and believe in His plan. How He longs to spend time with us and how glad He must be when we turn our eyes towards heaven and confess our beliefs: we are loved, we are cherished, we are pre approved. No. Matter. What.


Sunday’s a comin’…

Peace, grace and love from Haiti

{you can buy Love Idol at http://www.amazon.com and the jewelry we made in Haiti to go with it at http://www.vibellajewelry.com}