Here we are. The last day of the year. I don't know about you, but 2020 felt like I was swimming against a current underwater most of the time. Coming up for air in joyous times and moments , then swept away and drowning again. I came into 2020 with high hopes. In February, and I got the part time job of my dreams- which I have written about before.
Then March 13, a Friday the 13th that no one in the education field will ever forget- that was all shattered. That same month, I had to PIVOT (everyone's favorite word of the year) and pivot , I did- Valor & Grace was born, and I continued to share my love of essential oils and wellness with all of you.
I went from a tutor to an educational consultant, and I couldn't be more grateful for the students I work with each week who have shown academic progress all year long.
Then came the race issues of the world. Shouting a huge thank you to all of those who still see me for the person I am regardless of color.
From there- I continued to work hard, and landed a contract writing position with a writing firm! HUGE! It will be even more huge, in 2021! Can't wait to see where that goes!
Then we sold our house in less than 24 hours. Bought a new one, and had our closing delayed several times.
My elderberry syrup is becoming a staple in our little town, and in places like Texas, Ohio, Hawaii, and California. Glad to serve others! My final proposal was submitted, and I'm editing in stages. Dr. Smiley 2021. YES! So much still to be thankful for. I got a new ride, and wrecked it. Thankful that my family and I are safe.
Anyone else feel that drowning, breathing and drowning again going on? I don't write this for sympathy- I'm writing it so that I can let it go. Leaving it all behind- and tiptoeing into 2021 with a kind, loving and prayerful heart and spirit.
Did you notice I said tip toeing? Yep- walking reaaaal slow. Healing does not happen overnight- I am thankful and grateful for those who stood by me all year long. Your support is so appreciated. 2020 was one for the books.
Praying health and happiness over everyone in 2021! Sending love to all, because this year really hit hard.
Cheers to growth, and confidence in 2021. Which brings me to my word for the year: VALOR = confidence. Whats yours?
Answering the Call!
God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called. This statement has really been one to stick out to me for the last few weeks. It has resounded in different ways, in not so many words, through bible study, in prayer, conversation with others and in actual happenings in my life.
If you know me, you know that I am a Christian, and cannot live a day of my life without the Word of the Lord, present in some way. Whether or not you have the same belief system as I do- I do believe that this can apply to everyone.
So often, we think- “ I cannot do that” “ I’m not ready”, and faith tells us that we absolutely CAN do that thing that we have been putting off or holding back from. We are human and it is so easy to say-
I WILL NEVER- or
IM PLANNING TO
These things have been happening in my life all too often lately, and the things I said I would never do- are things that are happening. Things I didn’t believe could be so- are taking place. I JUST HAD TO GET OUT OF MY OWN WAY! Wow! As I am writing this , I am literally thinking “ I still need to be taking my own advice.” Anyone ever been there?!
For example, when I started with Young Living- I said to my friend, who helped me get started- I WILL NEVER SELL THAT. Look at God. Not only am I sharing and selling these products with and to the people I love most and everyone I meet, it is now my sole source of income, allowing me to contribute to my household every month. Am I making millions, no- but I am keeping steady and seeing growth, better than where I was when I first started a little over a year ago. All it takes is the first step. I am home as I finish up my PhD, therefore getting to spend more time with my family- and have a bit more flexible schedule to explore and prayerfully take on other opportunities that would allow me to continue this lifestyle that I didn’t know I would need and love so much (God knew!)
God shows up and shows out, yall- when we let Him. All we have to do is say YES! He’s already worked it out for our good. SAY yes to the things you never saw yourself doing, and the places you never saw yourself going. Gods plan is always better than ours. We just have to answer the call.
Embracing the PIVOT!
-to turn or rotate
Its been a while since I have written. There is so much going on in the world, and if I am honest- it’s been really heavy emotionally. I’m just coming in from a walk this morning and all is still quiet. I prayed for all the people in the world this morning, some of them I know, others I have yet to meet. For some, I prayed specific prayers - and for others I simply prayed peace over them. I prayed for joy in the journey whatever journey that may be.
So- pivot- why pivot? Sometimes we hear things we don’t want to hear, right? Something has taken place that just doesn’t make sense, or someone has said No for what feels like the millionth time. When you pivot- you don’t give up and turn to something new- you keep your eye on the end goal, and turn with that same motivation to find a new avenue, a new way of getting things done.
The pivot is also about enjoying the new direction, that could very well be completely out of your comfort zone, and nothing like you planned. It could be full of uncomfortable moments and things that make you think- however, I’m used to telling my students- “time flies when you’re having fun”! The more you embrace the pivot and laugh while doing it, the closer you are to that end goal- whatever it may be.
Also keep in mind that with a pivot, can come transformation- you may end up doing something other that what you THOUGHT you were setting out to do. Embrace it, learn from it, run with it!
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read! It’s only my thoughts in word form, but my prayer is that someone needs this today! :)
Going to go put some transformation and valor (surprise, surprise) in the diffuser, and embrace the day!
Good Morning Friends!
It is my hope that each of you is feeling well!! I am writing today about new beginnings and a fresh start. You might be wondering, How can I have a fresh start in the middle of a pandemic? You guys, it’s all about faith, and mindset changes.
Yep, I said it- with everything that’s going on- you can choose to look at it as a set back, or you can look at it as a set up.
WHAT IS A SETUP?!
When I say set up, I don’t mean a set up for failure, but I mean a set up for success , for grace, for saving. I’ve mentioned in posts before- to do things that you enjoy- and this is true- however, it is also important to do things that lift you up! Build you up. Things that help you grow as a person.
Read, Study, learn.
Plug into the word. Grab some books, intentionally carve out quiet time in your day- and just dig in.
If you have kids, spend time with them. They are affected by this as well. Lots of changes happening for our kiddos, and they need us.
Now, there are literal new beginnings happening as well- as states start to open things back up, many people are going back to work in coming weeks, seniors are virtually or drive thru graduating , or having degrees conferred and celebrating with a ceremony at a later date. ❤️
These are all good good things folks- Joy doesn’t stop. It doesn’t stop unless we allow it to.
For me and many others, a new semester for summer courses is beginning.
Look forward, with joy and hope. Look up.
Along with oils for the Great Day Protocol (Joy, Valor, Harmony, White Angelica) I’ll be using hope in the diffuser this morning. 💜
Becoming Mom Strong
Becoming Mom Strong- Devotional
QBQ- The Question Behind the Question
You are a Badass
Being Intentional about Rest
Hey everyone! It’s been a week since I’ve written! We took some time away to go quarantine in a different setting. I was still doing things- and getting things done- just at a more leisurely pace. Those of you who know me, know that I am busy by nature. If I don’t have things to do, I’m looking for them, and when I rest- I often feel bad about it, or feel lazy.
This past week I really embraced the fact that it’s okay to just STOP and breathe. Find joy in the solitude of this current time. I was talking with a friend today, and I shared that I long for some sort of normalcy- as we all do, but I also know that there is purpose and reward in the wait.
If you are a caregiver of children or anyone - it is important to take care of yourself and fill yourself up so that you can continue to pour into others. So, as we go into another week- breathe, and remember that rest is part of the process!
Hey everyone! It’s late! However, I promised a post a week- so here it is. I hope that those of you who read this are well, and surviving these days of all the changes!
Often we see posts shared about keeping a schedule and a routine. And I am one who needs structure , or at least I need to feel like I have some. Over the last week- that has just NOT been the case.
Unknowingly- that could cause one to have big feelings of anxiety or even depression. Insert prayer, and oils. I have been praying since before the world changed and if you pray it’s important to remember to continue to do so. If you don’t share these same beliefs- it’s important that you surround yourself with those things that make you be your best self.
I am consistent with the great day protocol. It is a short process of applying oils and saying positive affirmations over yourself! I’d love to chat about it with you!
Try to stick to a routine , if you can - but if you cannot - ITS OKAY! Give yourself grace. Take this time to reflect and look inside yourself. Focus on things that you GET to do, rather than those that you can’t. Live in the moment. Take everyday one step, one minute at a time. Try to be a blessing to those around you. In whatever ways you can.
Until next time.
• Good Friday •
“Even when I don’t see it You’re working...”
Good morning! It’s barely 7 AM- and the sun is just beginning to rise. I had this post on my list of things to do today. However, I find that I write better in the moment. As we prepare to celebrate Easter this Sunday- I am reminded that the Lord is always present with us- even when we don’t feel it, or see it. That’s faith right? The tomb was empty - Jesus is Risen. Last week- several people in my neighborhood and areas surrounding were posting pictures of the rainbow that came after the storm. I ran outside to take a look- and I couldn’t see it! No rainbow here. I’ll tell you what I did see, better yet- I’ll show you-
I saw the fresh new blooms on a tree right beside our deck, and the sun setting beautifully over the water- meanwhile noticing everyone else posting the rainbow after the storm. Y’all- we are in this season together, it does not look the same for all of us. And still, we are not alone. Enjoy the day, embrace it- listen to some music and just let it help calm you. My favorite oil right now is peace and calming. Constant meditation on the peace that I am so confident, that God wants us to have during this time.
Easter Weekend Plans
We are going to keep it simple! I am going to boil some eggs this morning to paint and decorate with Matt & Liam. If I don’t get out to the store, I will hide those in the yard for him to find on Saturday. On Sunday- we will watch church online, and give Liam his Easter basket that I am filling with things we already have here at home. Chocolate, undies- because I need to get him excited about using the potty, Lavender oil, and a bear that will aid with aromatherapy while he sleeps. I’m sure I’ll find some other goodies too!
Of course there will be FaceTime calls with family/ loved ones- and this mama will submit Chapter 2 of my dissertation.
I also have the Bible App for Kids on my phone that has a fun story called “A Happy Sunday” about the empty tomb- and some activities that I will do with Liam if I can get him to sit still long enough!!
Definitely check it out!
Have a wonderful weekend, and a blessed Easter! Remember , you are stronger than you think!
“and so it is with you, and how you make me new- with every seasons change, and so it will be as you are re-creating me- summer, autumn, winter, spring.”
Adapting to Change
How many would say we are in a different time right now?
If you don’t think so, then I wonder where you’ve been the last few weeks. Schools are closed due to CoViD-19. Seniors are missing out on some of the most important times of their lives, people are losing jobs- small business owners are working hard to stay open. Essential personnel are reporting to work each day to help care for the sick, or provide a service that is needed in the community. Thank you for all that you do. I realized last week when the site was in the planning stages that I was just starting a new job, that was like a dream to me. I pinched myself daily to make sure I was awake, and that I was actually getting to live out something I wanted for such a long time. By the time the site was published, that had all changed. I’ll get it updated, I promise!) That’s when I knew I had to write this post. You guys- all together we are going through many changes, some unexpected that are rocking our worlds. No doubt. But our REACTION to things in the short term, often determines the OUTCOME in the long term. So I say this to say - don’t be afraid of the change. Embrace it.
As many of you are already doing, enjoy time with family. Spend more time on the hobby you love. Organize the heck out of your living space. Continue to pray and seek His face. I did an in home workout this morning with an amazing instructor via FB live, and it was JUST LIKE I was in the gym, except I didn’t have to drive there- and everyone was SAFE at home. The state that I live in has now issued a stay at home order- and we have a two year old! So we are coming up with creative ways for him to play inside when days are rainy and cold - like today.
Grab the ball pit, and set it up indoors. This goes for the bounce house too, if you have one. I found some awesome paint pens at the store the other day that were awesome! So easy and made for kids! A lot of things are uncertain right now- but the way we react to this current situation doesn’t have to be. React with love, with grace. Help one another, check on each other. Im a message or phone call away! We are in this together. Adapt to the change. Be the change.
Much love to you all.
Until next week.
Hey You Guys,
I have thought for a while about what this initial post should be. Then I talked with a friend and decided on spiritual gifts. What are spiritual gifts? What do I mean BY spiritual gifts?
Allow me to explain what I mean; each day that we have been given, that we are so blessed to receive, is a gift from God that allows us to walk in the ways of Christ and be more like Him. I have a natural longing to pour into others that can most closely be related to the biblical and spiritual gifts of teaching (1 Timothy 3:15), wisdom (James 3:17), and service.
If you looked around the page a bit, you would see the words, educate, uplift and inspire. It is my prayer that these things constantly take place through my everyday life! Through what is known as a testimony, I get to share my words and express on this blog my spiritual gifts!!
We are going through a time right now when encouragement is needed the most. I encourage you all to dig into the word, surround yourself with things that will strengthen and calm your spirit.
Pray, read a book, watch a feel good movie, paint, color, sing, and dance, if you have oils- diffuse them- put them on. Be present. Do a FaceTime or Google Duo. Have a glass of water and/or wine!
For all of those who know me, for new friends to come, and those who I’ve yet to meet, you will soon know and see why I love to be around people.
However, practicing social distancing doesn’t allow for that (although I did get to see some people when I ventured out yesterday.) and (technology gives us other options, such as blogs!) It is an honor to serve a God who is so loving. I’m watching, praying, and enjoying the process of waiting while God helps me put these spiritual gifts into motion in different ways.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of a comfort zone, and watch God work. Is it scary? Sure. That’s why we have grace, and faith. Faith over Fear you guys. If you’re reading this, thank you! Believe it or not- your support keeps me going! Feel free to reach out to me with things you’d like to see on the blog! I look forward to what this journey reveals to us all! I appreciate each and everyone of you. I promise to achieve a new blog post each week! You are so loved. We are all so deeply loved!
Until next time.
Welcome to the blog section of the site! I chose to blog because writing brings things to life!