WHOSE I AM By Lori A Alicea

Give me five minutes with a person’s checkbook, and I will tell you where their heart is.
Billy Graham

 Insightful words I thought told my heart’s story revealed in the boxes of our house all packed up as the property we have rented for the last three years has been sold.


One doesn’t usually take inventory or keep a ledger of “things” accumulating on the shelves of our homes from week to week.

But when that SOLD sign reminds you from the kitchen window while doing dishes it’s time to move, you realize and feel the weight of all the “stuff” when the closets are emptied into those cardboard boxes headed for storage, each telling a story of Who I am.

A friend of my girlfriends we jokingly referred to as Madame Blueberry, a Veggie Tales character who kept accumulating “stuff” from the Stuff-Mart became me after realizing our boxes filled up two storage units when only three years ago we filled up one. Yep, words do come back.

But it was in the mundane process of item after item passing through my hands to be bubble wrapped or trashed, each getting my attention for a second or two, prodding the question as how these things fit in the story of

Who I am.

It’s easy to answer when the treasures I pause to hold and remember date back to the earlier years of my children’s lives.

Like those special outfits I couldn’t part with or their precious milestones they reflect; first day in church, baby dedication, Christmas and Easter dresses or suits. This list goes on for days.

Special toys, school day mementoes, sports memorabilia.

Don’t even get me started on the pictures.

Multiply all of this when the grandchildren came.

Why can’t I part with their bottles or pacifiers or their old bikes still sporting training wheels they outgrew years ago?

I dare not part with my grandchildren’s crib I stood beside many nights in the midnight hour tending to their needs while they spent the night at Gaga’s house.

I lost an afternoon reliving the best day ever, getting lost in those beloved boxes of our 25th Wedding Anniversary just one year ago.  Remembering a day I’ll never forget, surrounded by our dearest friends and family at the altar of our thankfulness for 25 years of marriage.

Of course, my Hobby Lobby finds took up most of the bubble wrap and storage, always begging the question, “What in the world was I thinking and whose party was I decorating for when I bought all this stuff?”

Would I do it again…..uh, laughingly, David knows I would.

I’m a mother.
I’m a grandmother.
I’m a wife.
I’m a crafter and party decorator.

This is Who I am.

 The facets of my life are written on the pages and chapters that tell a story of
Who I am.

At least, they tell a story of who I think I am.

 It’s interesting that God decides to add his own chapter to my story one week before we close the door and lock up behind us at this house for the very last time.

I haven’t been able to pack one remaining closet as the decorations to my mother’s 80th birthday celebration are waiting their reveal tomorrow afternoon.

With sadness, our mother’s milestone birthday will be an outside event with her watching from a nursing home window due to the current circumstances that mandate.

But you bloom where you’re planted.

You create and decorate
For a mother most deserving…

Announcing her

Princess for a Day Event.

Honoring that little girl in our mother who quite possibly never thought of herself or was celebrated as the princess God has always seen in her these last 80 years.

I decided that along with our mother, every girl, young or old attending this Princess for a Day event,

Be celebrated also as the princess she is with their own crown and scepter.

The little princes will also be celebrated as royal heirs with swords in their own honor.

Sometimes I forget the conversations I’ve had with my daughters when they see their mirrored reflection not as God sees them.

I remind my girls when their eyes deceive them,

“This circumstance doesn’t reflect who you are.”
“Because your true self is reflected from the face of
Whose You Are.”

You are a child of God, created in His image, in His likeness, fearfully and wonderfully, an heir to the throne with His Son, Jesus.

Yes God, thank you for reminding me that it’s not
Who I think I am.



I’m yours.
Forever and ever,
I’m yours.


Dedicated to every little girl, young or young at heart, who has always wanted to be that beautiful little princess, but needed someone to remind them that
a princess, they’ve always been.

Dedicated especially to the little girls in this grandmother’s life:
Brooke, Bristol, Ayva, Aubrey, Cova, Rosalee, and Kizzie Mae.
May they always know.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 18

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there hides a place too beautiful for words, a place where everything sparkles in all the rainbow colors, especially butterflies that leave behind a diamond mist of fairy dust wherever it waves its wings.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 19The gates of this far away land only open when little girls sleep, where dreams of becoming a princess really do come true.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 31Dreams grant every wish that little girls have; dreams of that grand entrance through the gates of a royal ball, where every eye is fixed on her loveliness, facing the crowd in a dress befitting a princess, full of glitter and sparkle.

Prior to this grand entrance every princess enjoys a day of pampering at a Princess Boutique, where her highness is surrounded by many hands privileged to open up her exquisite beauty as the sun does to the petals of a rose.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 2Designed to compliment the glow of her royal eyes and innocent smile, the hair of a princess is styled and fashioned accordingly.


Lipstick, cheek color and eye shadows together create the stunning look that royal watchers wait hours for with cameras ready when princesses take their stately walk on the red carpet.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 9Nails painted perfectly, a princess’ delicate way about her is evident even in the simplest of tasks.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 12A princess smiles while receiving an exquisite rose, a flower given only to royalty, a gift that also matches her dress.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 14Never truly believing her royal status until a blue diamond crown with her name attached lay waiting to be worn when a princess takes that special place at her reserved seat.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 28Nothing is more befitting than when you wear the crown of who you were born to be; a princess of the royal ball hidden in your heart, lived out in your dreams.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 20Every fairy tale has a special someone who is part of your “happily ever after”. Little princesses have fairy godmothers who love them their whole life, teaching, showing and reminding them every day how special they are.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 22Even when a fairy godmother kisses her little princess at the ball,
2019 cumbee ayva princess 30The princess doesn’t awake from her dream, as the ball was never a dream after all.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 31You see, Once Upon A Time in a land far, far away, there hides a princess too beautiful for words, a little girl who sparkles in every color of the rainbow, who has to believe in her princess status that rests in a faraway place of her heart, though maybe having to open the gates to this faraway place in her dreams to remember.
2019 cumbee ayva princess 32


Just in case you’ve second guessed your princess worth.
Just in case you’ve forgotten your princess place.
Just in case you see your princess crown a bit tarnished.
Just in case your princess wings appear to be broken.
Just in case the princess truth you were born into doesn’t feel like the truth anymore.

Allow me to remind you.
2014 cova jake guitar cova princess

From the beginning of time you were destined to be a princess.
You were born into royalty.
You were born for royal purposes.
You were born for greatness.
You were born with destiny, born to stand before the kings and queens of your day to make a difference, to be a difference.
aubrey 2There’s no denying your beauty while eyes behold how perfectly you blend in the delicate garden you grow among. As a mist of light perfume from flowers dancing in the air on a spring morning, the aroma of your presence leaves a sweet fragrence on those that you touch.
kizzy 3It doesn’t take long in a young life where your royal blooms begin to open up under the wooing of the sun’s kisses, revealing your princess smile and personality.

When once you blended among the garden flowers to keep your royal birth concealed, your beauty can no longer be kept a secret and the announcement of its newest princess is declared in the castle.


Princess training begins to help you find your wings.

An older princess comes along side and teaches you to spread your wings to the big destiny assigned for a little princess. Though at times you might be frustrated and believe there must be a mistake, the older princess whispers for your remembrance, “you were born for greatness.”
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSometimes in a princess’ life she senses her wings have broken.

Being born a princess with a royal assignment may bear too much weight on her wings, a load too heavy to carry.  But be not dismayed. The royal king picked you perfectly and is patient for you to find your wings again.

Continue to believe in the princess you were called to be until then.
IMG_5218Your royal day has come.

The Princess Coronation invitations have all left the hands of the royal castle.

The tables announce “a princess is coming” in its decorations of pinks and purples, glitter and sparkle at every glance, befitting the kings finest royals.
2018 ayva princess 10Every princess has a seat reserved in her glorious honor.
2018 ayva princess 22All the little princesses waiting to take her place in the kings court have picked out a special dress accentuating her beauty, a gown she wears before the king to receive her crown.
2018 ayva princess 6
Princesses are seated next to their mommies, a royal in her own right as “queen in waiting.” A seat she once sat in attending her own princess crowning.
2018 ayva princess 20Moms and daughters, queens and princesses all share the royal journey of destiny and greatness. Though not always in understanding, they are mini versions of the royal other, a portrait hung in the king’s palace portraying his special girls.
kristy brooke brystolRECEIVE YOUR CROWN.
IMG_6866Receive your crown Oh Special Princess.

Wear your crown with pride and high honor as the royal daughter of the king that you are.
There is no other princess like you, before you or after you.
You are one of a kind.
Take your place at the king’s table.
You deserve to sit with him.
Your seat will forever stay reserved with your name on it.
Spread your wings and soar to your destiny.

Your wings sometimes might appear to be broken but nobody can break a king’s daughter. They’d have to stand between you and the king and the king will never allow that to happen.

Take your place before the kings and queens of your day.
Make the difference you were created to make.
You are beautiful.
You are a royal.
You were born for a purpose.

You are a princess.

In case you have forgotten,
Allow me to remind you.
2014 cova jake guitar cova princess
 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.  Isaiah 62:3 ESV

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9 ESV


Little girls sure love to play “dress up”.

A full length mirror reflects her show of heels, beads, purses and gloves, all compliments of mommies closet.  To catch a glimpse in every angle, hips sway from side to side as a private dance for one.  Practiced lines to her mirrored audience carry to a mother secretly listening outside the actress’ door.

A Star is Born.
But a Princess She’s Always Been.

Little girls of every age love to play “dress up”.  Though all grown up, that little girl stays behind for future productions of turnabouts, dances, proms and weddings, still addressing her mirrored audience for dress rehearsal.  Fairy tales and its fanciful glitter must be sewn into the dress, as Cinderella comes to life upon her runway reveal.

A Star is Born.
But a Princess She’s Always Been.

As a mother you always want your daughter to believe how beautiful she is.  These words are showered upon her newborn face and echo in the years that follow.  “Dress up” continues in her fashion show of bonnets, bows and patent leather shoes for every occasion; with the photo shoot to remember it all.

“Isn’t she lovely!”
The sentiment of parents, grandparents and family alike.
Of course she is; more lovely than hearts convey.

Sometimes though, lovely is clouded in the mirror of Cinderella’s eyes, when lovely is defined by the dress or what fairy tales we believe or told should look like.

A Star Might be Born.
But A Princess She’s Always Been.

From the beginning she was fashioned “fearfully and wonderfully” in her mothers womb.  Psalm 139:14.  In the hands of her Creator, the Most High King, she was formed in “the image and likeness of God.”  Genesis 1:27.  She wasn’t born in a dress.  She wasn’t conceived in a fairy tale.  “All the days ordained for (her) were written in your book before one of them came to be.”  Psalm 139:16.

A Princess She’s Always Been.

The Princess Within Rosalee with shoes

That Princess Within
By Lori A Alicea

Don’t ever run from who you are,
Our Princess in Disguise.
More beautiful you see yourself,
When seen from Father’s eyes.