Fully Woman | A Series: Part 4- Anna Diepold


Anna Diepold is from Wettstetten, Germany, who currently doing 2nd Year at BSSM. Anna and I met during Revival Group and it was an instant connection. She is in my Home Group for 2nd Year and she carries a life on fire for what God wants to do on the earth. Getting to create friendship with her is so much fun and her tender, pure heart has impacted my life. Her quiet place with the Holy Spirit is so tender and passionate that I am inspired by the confidence and authority she carries. She is humble and brings people up to help them find their voice.  Below is Anna's story and on how she realized the moment when she is, indeed, a woman. 

Hey Friends,

I am so excited to share my heart with you and try to put together all the pieces that I feel like answers the question, When did you realize that you were a woman? best for me, in the context that shaped me in my identity as a woman. First, I want to tell you how much I love womanhood. I can't put it into words when I see look into the eyes of a woman when she knows who she is. It is awe-inspiring and beautifully dangerous. It truly creates this space of contagious courage and confidence that it often makes people welcomed and relaxed when they are around her.

In my life, I believe that it is very costly that very often one type of woman is getting the platform to be seen, but I also believe that this is the generation that will celebrate the different expressions and ways of being a woman more than any other before. Then it will become much easier again for our younger sisters to realize what it means to be a woman because it is realizing who they are when they are truly themselves. When we are ourselves there is no question to, "Am I a woman in a correct way?" You are a woman, the right way, when you are yourself and womanhood looks like you.

When I think about the broader topic of womanhood, I could think and write for a long time and my fascination for true beauty. Beauty is like something deep in me that gets excited when I am allowed to see into the heart of someone and their whole appearance starts to glow for me, but today I want to invite you into my story. And that is much harder to articulate because English is not my first language. But I will try...

I can not share just one moment with you where I have realized that I am a woman. Of course from a young age onward you know that you are female and then you learn what that actually means throughout all your life. There have been different moments in which I have realized that I am a woman and then other moments helped me to understand what that actually means. There have been times when I unconsciously fought being a woman and then a lot of moments where I have learned to celebrate femininity and have been able to deeply enjoy it.

These moments also had a lot to do with how I was defining womanhood in each season of my life. It was and is a journey to grasp the unique beauty that lies behind "Pride and Prejudice." That's why I want to share three moments with you, where I was able to realize and understand more what it means to me to be a woman.

MOMENT 1 // Daddy Daughter Dance

A memory came to mind when I was 12. We have been traveling to Sweden for our one and only camping holiday. It was so much fun! We lost a tooth on the way, explored Northern Germany and South of Sweden, and jumping over waves at a lonely beach for literally hours. Very relaxing!! We traveled there for the wedding of my older cousin. The celebration was wonderful and in my yellow Zara dress, I was anticipating a big party. And what an opportunity to show off my dance skills! Further into the celebration, they opened up the father and daughter dance for all the guests. I was just screaming excitedly to my father, "Daddy we should dance! They said, ALL fathers and daughters."

My dad wasn't too impressed to be honest, but he took my offer to dance with him. He didn't really have the chance to not dance with me. I could hardly believe my luck, because it is just one of the most fun things to dance with my dad (his very very special dance moves inclusive, I mean really he is far beyond the normal dance moves!!). But why did this come to mind, thinking about this question? I was experiencing in that very moment with my dad how much womanhood has to do with valuing a man and being valued by men and living in good, vulnerable, and committed relationships with them. It starts with our fathers and brothers and continues with our partner. Because of the relationship with my dad and other valued men in my family. I know that I don't have to fight men to be heard. Actually they can be my biggest champions and I am theirs. They don't see me as less, but  they are also aware of where my weaknesses as a woman meets their strength as a man and the other way around.

I know we often hear the message that we need to be independent, but what I have learned out of that moment, and a lot of other moments, is that there is something very special in running hand in hand with men and that it doesn't take away any of my strength, but through the right relationships; it actually gives space and confidence to display my strength when I live in partnership with men.

No matter if male or female, everyone wants someone who knows how powerful you are and who is willing to protect your weakness in a playful, protecting, and not exposing way so that it is fun to you. That is what I have learned dancing with my dad. It doesn't mean you are not enough just because there is a spot that can be covered better by the other gender or because you are waiting to be truly valued by someone. I got to know that womanhood feels good when we have strong men around us. Womanhood can only exist alongside manhood.

MOMENT 2 // From the Girl to Woman

I was 13 years old and standing in front of the mirror for a loooong time, I would not only say things to what I see in one mirror, but in every mirror the house has to offer to make sure that what I am seeing is true. And this was not a unique moment. The way I saw myself in the mirror has been more like a season full of moments. A season in which I have been aware of a pressure around what it means to be female for the first time. Seemingly, I was missing the right timing and it was out of my control to change that. Missing the timing to become a woman, not meeting the surrounding anticipation to change into a woman fast enough. I was mature in my manners and what people would consider wise for my age, but I started to feel pain about seeing my body not change into a woman, because people seemed to differentiate a woman from a girl only by their physical appearance. The person that I was seeing in the mirror was still a girl. I remember standing in front of it with unease about not changing fast enough or as early as my classmates.

I was so frustrated standing there for hours not knowing if I will ever be enough. Not only did I want to have change in my inner world, but my appearance. Will I ever look as mature as I am? Very silly thoughts, but they can be very crashing for the thought life of a 13-year-old. Now I can laugh about it. I was measuring my body as the guarantor to be valued and heard. And the results of my comparison and self-critical measurements were: Not enough. This season closed itself very quickly when-- what a surprise-- my body changed and I got my period even when it was later than most girls.

Being different from others for a time, when only in appearance, taught me to value the people that are able to see my heart. It was this time in my life when I started to develop deep and long-lasting friendships and determined loyalty and commitment in relationships as part of my core values. And it actually was good to be changing later than others, because I really liked the change then. It was a part of my life where I didn't have to be the pioneer.

But what I also found was that it is quite easy to be a girl. In my case, it wasn't strict. I wasn't pushed into a lot of boxes during my childhood, but there are a lot more restrictions and boxes when it comes to being a woman. Messages where added to what defines me. Conceptions such as, you need to be pursued, you are seen when you are wanted, and should not be too much. I went into being too controlling with what I let other people see me because I wanted to keep my heart pure and meet all the expectations at the same time. I learned to be valuable in friendships and really cultivate them intentionally from a young age onward, but when it came to bigger groups of people I tried to not attract attention.

But you have to know, even if it takes some more seasons to redefine womanhood for yourself, it is worth it. Relationship to God and people unpacked layer after layer how I can be without boxes and control and mature at the same time. Now I feel very free again to be authentic with people around me because I took time to understand what really gives me security and identity.

MOMENT 3 // Strength Redefined

I was crying when that blind spot was covered. Bawling my eyes out, when I realized ups that I didn't know was even there. You know the moment when someone or in my case the Holy Spirit is opening up a blind spot to be seen. It all comes to light with a little pain, but more relief and transformative healing. I wasn't aware how I have been building up a wall with my words over years. I so often said, "I don't want to have kids," out of my own insecurity when the question was raised if I want to have them. Not saying that it is wrong or unhealthy to not want to have kids, but I actually wanted them someday, but I have completely connected motherhood with captivity and burying my potential. I couldn't see myself being a wholehearted loving mother and laying down my passions at the same time. Knowing I would be fully in and thinking it means that I cannot be fully into a lot of other things.

In my case, it was out of the wrong motives when I have said I didn't want to have kids. I knew how devoted my heart is when I love someone and how much compassion is driving my day to day, so  I thought being a mum would clearly make me weak. Alone the word, "Nurture" would trigger me, I don't just want to nurture and be left behind from changing the world. But then I was able to first get healing from the comments that led me to believe that being a mum is slowing a woman down. Seeing that my passions can actually meet being a mother. My eyes have been opened to see the value of the work of a mother and then I realize how beautiful it is to change the world by passing an inheritance and being able to build something over the course of generations. Family always goes further than a lone fighter. You cannot change the world in a better way than family and I want to be a cultural architect by being a mother for people-- giving them all they need to be launched and the safety and care that they need to shine, even before I am a natural mum. Motherhood is very strong and brings wealth to our society. Thank you to all the good mums out there (MINE INCLUDED)!! Being a woman means for me, now, to be a mother next to being a daughter, lover, and/or friend, and I am excited to grow with patience and self-love more and more into that role. 

Now at the age of 20, I am actually just at the starting point to take my place as a woman in society. To step up and model how you don't have to please every public opinion and contradicting requests and still be enough. And I cannot wait to see girls skipping the seasons of insecurity in life because they have good mums and dads that celebrate who they are and that we all saying yes to breaking the boxes in which we try to put ourselves and others in. 

I hope you like these little snapshots out of my journey as a girl becoming a woman. And I hope you can see the richness that comes out of all the lessons that you have learned in every season of your life. 

Much Love,

Fully Woman | A Series: Part 3- Michelle Mbok


Michelle Mbok graduated from Simpson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and has done exemplary work with both the Mayor of Redding and a semester abroad in Washington DC working professionally with a civil rights lawyer. She has a heart passionate for people and she has been an asset in my life! She carries wisdom, authority, and fun that I am always blessed and at peace whenever I get to talk to her. She knows who she is and loves God so greatly, which inspires me to want to go after God's face in every single moment I can get! She is a woman of faith and has witness countless miracles. Despite what she sees in front of her, she is quick to look at the face of Jesus and her voice embodies the quiet place that she's coveted with God. It is a great privilege to have her featured on my blog! Below is her story on the moment when she realized that she was a woman!


When did I realize I was a woman? I think I have always known that I was a woman, however, I didn't fully understand that I was a woman until I started to live a consecrated life. What do I mean by that? I am glad you asked! Follow me as I unpack what I mean by "I didn't fully understand that I was a woman until real consecration unto the Lord."

Born in America and raised in different parts of the world for the past 30 years, my life manifested a series of events that brought confusion in my femininity, especially during my teenage years. I grew up noticing patterns of dysfunction in certain communities. Men objectifying woman and women not valuing themselves enough. My teenage years were filled with experiences! A few of those that marked my life that I can remember are seeing women engaging in prostitution, selling their bodies in exchanges for money; men calling women names and using them for their own advantages. 

Although I have never engaged in prostitution nor have I ever been objectified by a man, these experiences impacted my subconscious and created in me confusing messages such as men are dogs and women are less than. You see I knew by head knowledge that I carried the attributes of a female however, I was confused about my identity as a woman! Were women just supposed to have sex with men and have babies? Were women supposed to be inferior than men? Were women supposed to be whatever they wore? You name it...

Fast forward to my young adult years, when I truly encountered love, that Father's love. My journey of real life transformation began in 2014, in Cape Town, South Africa. The more I surrendered to God's invitation of real love, the more I learned about God's intent for creation. It was in 2014, that I understood God's intent for my life. I became aware that my life had a purpose and that purpose is to represent God in whatever domain or capacity He's destined for me to do so. I spent the entire year of 2014, unpacking layers of confusion that I carried from my childhood as well as letting go of bad patterns and wrong beliefs toward my femininity. 

Then I got real hungry! I wanted more of that discovery! In 2015, I moved to Redding, California, to attend a ministry school. I didn't really know why I was going there, but I knew that God was moving in my life and He was calling me to experience more of Him. Throughout my three year journey of attending ministry school, I received healing from past hurts, gained understanding of who I was as a child of God, and I grew in my appreciation of being a woman called by God to lead. Three years later, there was no more confusion in my identity. I knew I was a woman, designed by a perfect God. I knew I was born to create, to lead and to empower. I knew I was born to be a partner, not a slave to a man. I knew I was significant. 

Does this mean I am perfect now? No! It means that I gained clarity on my identity-- I am no longer confused! My life has been completely transformed. Now I live with the foundational truth that I was created as a woman for creative purpose. I am not limited to my gender. The only limits I have are the limits I place on myself. I am a beautiful woman, full of creative expressions, diversity, and wonder. There is so much I can do as a woman.

I am not limited by what a man says; I am not limited by what society says. I am free. I am ME! I am a strong and powerful, yet meek and kind woman. All of these discoveries fueled by love have given a platform to stand on, which is called identity. My identity is not in what I wear, who I am with, what others say about me, or what I do. It's in who I am-- who God has created me to be. 

This is the journey I am on and I thrive there because I know the real voice that really matters. I hope you know or find that voice too! I hope you find encouragement through my journey of embracing my identity as a woman. I pray you receive whatever you need from this season. You are VALUABLE! 

Much Love Girl,

Vision for the Fully Woman Series

During a drive to Sacramento a few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me a question, which was, "When was the moment you realized that you were a woman?" This made me reflect and think about different moments in my life-- moments when I started to second guess or even reconsider that I was, indeed, a woman. Now, I don't mean I suddenly was in the revelation that I had all the physical attributes of what constituted me to be female. I was more so wrapping my mind around the thought that I was no longer a girl, but that I am growing with my body. I'm seeing changes and understaning that I am stepping into another level of womanhood. I was inspired by this question that I began to wonder what it would be like if other women were to answer this same question.

My Vision for this series is to empower the collective journey it can take to step into womanhood. I have by no means reached the full epitome of what it means to be a woman, but I think creating conversation and insight to different journeys for different women from various backgrounds, age groups, and walks of life would be an interesting and fun way to start. I also hope to invite men into the conversation, too. As much as we can talk about equality, womanhood, and what it means, we need to invite the other half of the population. 

I hope this series connects women together in seeing the potential and beauty in figuring things out. I hope this is an opportunity to reflect on their lives as well as your own and to think of a moment or a collection of moments that being a woman is beautiful, empowering, different, and in some ways similar. So, as you read and explore the stories of the women I have featured in these series, please connect and encourage them! The women that I feature on my blog are by no means to define or constrain a woman's journey in stepping into womanhood, but a creative outlet to figuring it out together. 

I am passionate about a world impacted by who God has called us to be and when we realize that men and women need each other, I fully believe it would be a different world. These stories are a handful of women, who inspire me in going after the heart and identity of being a woman and what that could mean. I hope you learn and grow with us as we walk into who God has called us to be.


Fully Woman | A Series: Part 2- Hasse Louage



Above: Hasse Louage. Hasse is a dear friend, creative, Jesus-lover, advocate, hype-woman, story-teller, and artist of mine. She is from Belgium and has a passion for the creative arts in acting, drawing, singing, and painting. Hasse has a desire to see a generation impacted by Jesus and carries Kingdom inside of her. I am grateful of her friendship and the impact she has had in my life. The following is her account of answering the question, "When was the moment you realized you were a woman?"

Hi Lovely Ones,

I'd love to share my story with you of how I stepped into womanhood. It's still an ongoing story about a life-long, intriguing process where God introduces me to myself. It's a collection of moments where I am confronted with the reality that I am distinctly different yet beautiful and significant in my Father's eyes.

There are many aspects, many layers to womanhood, so my goal with this letter isn't to define womanhood or femininity, but rather to share my experience as a woman with you.

Growing up, I was surrounded by strong woman, who owned their femininity to the best of their ability. Each of them were mighty yet tender. They walked in wisdom and integrity and as a result of that inspired me to aim to become a woman of substance. In a culture that predominately celebrates women's physical appearance and sexuality, these women inspired me to look beyond my body and try to find beauty in my mind, soul, and spirit through the eyes of Jesus.

Now before I move on, I'd like to say that I personally don't think there's anything wrong with celebrating physical beauty and embracing our sexuality as women. In the contrary, it is empowering and God delights in it. What I actually needed to understand, as a young girl, is that my physical beauty only represented a facet of who I am. It never was supposed to define me nor should it have as much power as it had over me.

I didn't always use to believe I had an "inherently beautiful body." Once I became a teenager, I had a really hard time accepting that my body was evolving. I didn't understand what my body was going through and I mistakenly punished myself for gaining weight and started to look different. The problem was that I had unrealistic expectations about what it would look like when I'd go through puberty. 10-year-old-me used to see the women in movies and music videos and assume that I'd magically look like them as I grew older. The problem was that I had no idea about the price the majority of these women needed to pay to maintain such beautifully toned figures. Nor had I any idea about the amount of photoshopping that took place. I expected my body to naturally develop what needed to be worked for and in some cases, would need some editing. I misdiagnosed my body and, therefore, mistreated it. I gave culture permission to define beauty for me and let it tell me that beauty could only be found in one body type. I believed that if I couldn't measure up to those standards, I therefore, wasn't enough. That's when beauty became really one dimensional to me. It lost all its life and vibrant nature. Inception took place. Culture planted an idea in my head that I started to water and nurture... not knowing the effect it would have on me.

A few months ago, the presence of God fell really strongly in the room and as that happened I felt the urge to lay on the floor. A man came to minister to me and whispered in my ear that God called me beautiful. I started weeping and my under lip started quivering. When I asked the Holy Spirit why that was happening, He took me back to a prayer I'd been praying: "Lord, I give you permission to shake what needs to be shaken." So He did. He started shaking belief systems inside of me that I'd been creating for years. He started challenging lies I'd been holding onto for so long. He showed me that it was ignorant to believe that beauty is only found within the physical. It robbed me from the opportunity to look at myself in a healthy way and discover me through the lens of God. The truth is, after having an encounter with the Creator, I no longer want to be entitled to my opinion anymore. Especially when it doesn't align with His. He makes me feel like a natural women and He is the one that silences the war within my head. It wasn't until I gave God permission to redefine beauty for me that He gave me His definition of beauty.

I've never felt more in line and more feminine than I do now. He has the last say over my femininity. Beauty is found in all layers of our human existence. This revelation changed everything for me. All of the sudden beauty became about more than just a pretty face. It became about representing a facet of who God is on this earth. He taught me that I couldn't afford to have a thought in my head about womanhood that didn't originate from His mind since there is too much at stake.

God is calling women to rise up. Those who will let Him define beauty for them so they can start to thrive, change culture, and do His works on the face of the earth. We've been distracted long enough. We've been trying to strive for the very thing that we inherently are! I'm no longer okay with the enemy trying to distract and fool me.

God started to unpack all these beautiful gifts that He gave women such as, the ability to carry and nurture life, compassion, intuition, tenderness, elegance, and so forth. And in all those qualities there's beauty interwoven. His plan for us is to take back our rightful place as matriarchs alongside the patriarchs in society. We need to stop disqualifying ourselves for what God has qualified us, starting now!

My prayer for you is that God reveals you're inherently beautiful because you're His and that you'd start walking in noble character and live courageously. I bless you to start living in the same freedom I've found through Jesus.

Much Love,

You can follow Hasse on Instagram: @hasse_louage_

Fully Woman | A Series: Part 1- Ami Bulauitan


Above: Ami Bulauitan :D

I met Ami Bulauitan on my missions trip to the Philippines during my 1st Year at BSSM. Ami has done two years at BSSM and currently lives in Redding, California, where she is working and seeking out God in her life through creativity, community, and personal development. I am so grateful to have her as the first woman in this series! Ami is also selling stickers that she made herself, which I will insert pictures and ways in which you can follow and interact with Ami as well! I am so excited to see how this dialogue sparks thoughts and feelings (Women or Men) in honoring our sisters in Christ and insight on how we can partner and lead together. The following blogpost is Ami's story answering the question, "When did you realize that you were a woman?"

To My Fellow Women:

Let me ask you a question. When did you realize that you were a woman?

So, sometime in January, I submitted an answer to the question, 'What made you smile today?' I responded, "I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and was like "wow she's hot." I've been on this journey of growing in self-esteem, becoming a woman and growing to love the one God created. So this thought really caught me off guard and it made me smile. Even now, but not all the time, it still surprises me when I react kindly or in-awe of who I see in the mirror. Growing up with eczema has played a huge part when it came to hindering my self-esteem. I recognize now that even back then, I had really good friends, and really good family members with the best intentions. But rather than seeing their intentions with love, I saw it as fuel to my insecurity and a reminder that I was a failure. I convinced myself that I had to 'get better.'

The new year of 2020 had started and I applied for a boudoir photoshoot, which is an organization called Beauty and Grace that promotes empowering women and redefining beauty while helping women out of sex trafficking. Preparing for the photoshoot, I went to pick out lingerie and I felt so foreign in a Victoria Secret dressing room. One, being a place I felt so inexperienced and the other of safety-- this is where I began to look at myself differently.

Going into unknown territory always brings a sense of intimidation. Crossing over into the lingerie section had me in disarray. My thoughts were scattering, jumping from price to style, to color, to thought of the regulations of sanitation. With choices in hand, I go into the dressing room. After laughing at certain styles and feeling a bit lost I asked for help. Top tip: asking for help is not a bad thing. I not only was able to find the style that I wanted, but I left with a life-altering knowledge. At 24-years-old, I can now say that I finally know my bra size. If that was not enough to boost my confidence I found this matching lace bottom to that push-up bra. The matching set was a wedding-dress white. (That's not the actual description, but that's the vibe I got from it.) I looked at myself and had so many thoughts going through my head: (1) my future husband is going to see this and (2) wow. I almost cried because in that moment I saw a Woman. She was not proving her worth through works neither was she fulfilling someone else's needs. She wasn't doing-- she was being and this human being realized she was a woman.
She was not proving her worth through works neither was she fulfilling someone else's needs. She wasn't doing-- she was being and this human being realized she was a woman.
Another moment happened in the same week trying on dresses in the Target fitting room. As I was shopping a few things came to mind. I began thinking it is not like she was a young girl running with a troupe to try on woman's clothes. It is not like she was adorning body-fitted dresses to affirm her belief that one day she could pull it off when she grew up. No. She went in alone. She had hard-earned cash in her pockets. And before her standing in front of the Target dressing room mirror, she was someone older. Wiser. She was grown. A woman.

So I guess the question cannot just be answered by one moment, it might take a few. I just want to encourage you that you are becoming. You are growing. You are unraveling. Through surrendering. Through a better mindset. Or simply and magnanimously realizing your worth. Your unraveling of womanhood will never stop, but it does have a valuable beginning. 

So let me ask again, when did you realize that you were a woman?

With You,
Amiann Bulauitan

You can follow Ami Bulauitan on her social media and check out the stickers she created, which you can purchase as well!
Instagram: @shitakesmushrooms

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