31 December 2013


6:38 PM

Last New Year's Eve I excitedly created my 30 Before 30 list of all the wonderful things I wanted to focus on accomplishing over the next 18 months.  I've had a blast checking some things off the list....and still have quite a few to go!  

This NYE, I'm a bit more pensive.  For starters, I didn't sleep last night at all.  I was suffering from a migraine that was undoubtedly stressed induced - from work, from personal stuff, from life.  

2013 has been an amazing year.  I have opened my heart wide again after a very long time, traveled alot - BaltimoreCalifornia, Indianapolis, Vegas, Delaware, LALondonParis, and Baltimore again.  This year has been amazing!

I have been feeling really excited about the new year.  I am excited about being more disciplined this year in order to cross off some of the major items on my 30 list like being debt free.  I'm excited about the things that are going to happen in my Scentsy business, the 25th anniversary we will be celebrating at work, my son growing more and more, and the #365journalchallenge.  Yet tonight I find myself in a very quiet, unexcited mood.

Most people reading this are probably thinking...geesh...what a drab way to bring in a new year.  The reason I am being totally transparent in this moment is because I think it is important to share that with all the joy comes some very difficult nights.  I have had more sleepless nights and appetite-less days at the end of this year than I have had in several years.  As my spirit feels greater things coming in 2014, so too do I know that with all the great moments comes a bit of struggle.  The late in the midnight moments where it's me and God....and I'm begging Him to pull me through.

I've been humbled a lot over the past year.  I have always prayed that my transparency would bless someone and help them.  I have prayed over and over again for God to enlarge my territory to allow more people to experience His love.

So part of my pensive attitude tonight is because I am a bit overwhelmed.  I'm overwhelmed by my dear sister friend who wrote me and said "thank you for being you and loving me back to life'.  I'm overwhelmed by my dear sister friend who wrote me and said " thank you for the many talks and just feeding me spiritually". I'm overwhelmed by the YouTube comment saying "I can tell you really love The Lord".  People make these comments to me and have no idea the major impact they have on me.  Just typing this brings me to tears.

Because, I'm honestly just a messed up girl from Alamogordo, New Mexico who has had to learn lessons from life  - sometime the really hard way. (hence my #niecyisms).  I love the Lord with all my heart and yet I fail Him every single day of my life.  I want to be a supermom to my son but yet sometimes I just need peace and quiet to sit with my thoughts and I don't want to play Uno or read a book.  My relationship with my son's father is not the best right now, and yet God called me to lead people to connect with Him daily through the #365journalchallenge.  I constantly am pouring into myself so that out of my overflow I have something to give to others.  So when dear friends tell me I've "loved them back to life or fed them spiritually" or inspired them..or helped them....I don't know whether to feel like a fraud or to thank God for His grace.  Of course I know it's nothing but His grace.

I think part of my mood this evening is because I have a feeling that God is about to call me deeper this year.  Which means my messed up self has to do my work.  Everything you see me post. Every #niecyism, every #365journalchallenge post, has been ministered to me first and I have had to sit with myself, my messed up self, and work through it.  Because I know how much I've labored in this, I am a bit terrified of what the battle will be like when He chooses to take me deeper.

Then I just have to be real myself and acknowledge that part of my mood is because I feel like something I prayed for, fasted for, waited for is slipping away from me faster than I can hold on.  So tonight is also a night of letting go and letting God.  Afterall, no matter the outcome, I desire His will above anything I could hope or dream.  Period.

This is absolutely not a woe is me post.  I am giddy with anticipation for what God is going to do in 2014.  I'm just taking a different approach to entering it this year.  I've literally been praying since last night, and since I haven't been to sleep, I've written about 12 pages in my prayer journal off and on today.  

Thank you for sowing in to my life.  Thank you for your messages that say I inspire you. Thank you for allowing God to use me to touch your heart.  It is simply an overflow of how He is touching mine. Your notes bless me in ways you could not imagine.

This year I pray to let my life speak love.  Use me Lord.

Happy New Year!

26 December 2013

The Prayer Project

7:04 PM


Recently, I was having a conversation with my love about how social media can be a major force for good or a huge source of distraction.  Today is an example of it being a major force for good. 

While scrolling through my timeline, I came across this photo which had been posted by @keetaray.  I followed it to @saunyaaa's blog and fell in love.

The concept is so simple yet so major. Choose one person. Commit to pray for them for 30 days.  This is a practice that I talked about here at The Virtuous Home earlier this year and one I've been employing for a few years. It has gotten me through some bitter places. 

I think this is a marvelous way to start off the #365journalchallenge, especially if you have concerns about committing to what to write about every day.  

Leave a comment below and let me know if you will be participating. Have you gotten your journal yet?

20 December 2013

One Little Word - 2014

10:12 AM
For the past 3 years, I have created a theme word to live by for that year.  My theme word for 2010 was Encore 2010, 2011 was Increase 2011, 2012 and 2013 were both Glory.  My word is a little secret written on my heart of what I am expecting God to do in my life for that year.  They all hold significance.
In 2010,  I was desperate for God to do some things in my life again that He had done before.  I had just left Baltimore and moved home with my 18-month old son.  I left everything I had, including my house and job, in Baltimore.  So when the new year came, I had to have God do some things in my life that He had done - like blessing me with a fantastic job, a new home, and the ability to provide for my son. 
In 2011, I prayed for increase.  God had kept me miraculously through 2010, but it wasn't easy.  I faced some of my most challenging days during that year.  I was so grateful that He kept me, but I wanted an increase in the next year.  Increase in my faith.  Increase in my influence. Increase in my mothering. Increase in my finances. Increases across the board in my life.
After asking God to give me an encore in 2010 and provide increase in 2011, I wanted to make sure His glory was seen because it was certainly only by His hand that I made it through those two years and that the doors that opened wide for me were even there. For the past two years His glory has revealed itself in every area of my life.  While He has remained completely faithful and steady to me, I cannot say I have done the same in return.
As I reflected over my journey the past few years and just how good He has been to me, when I tell you I don't look like what I've been through, don't try to figure it out, just believe me.  So in 2014, my one little word is all about being disciplined.  Practicing discipline in my faith. Discipline in my thoughts. Discipline in my talk. Discipline in my actions. Discipline in my finances. Discipline in my fitness. Discipline in my motherhood. Discipline. Period.
I am excited to write this (not-so) secret on my heart and commit to it.
Do you set an intention for the new year?  What is your one little word?


19 December 2013

School Style - Leather & Suede

7:43 AM
Leather Bomber Jacket (JcPenny last year), Flannel Shirt (Target), Jeans (Children's Place), Suede Botas (Target), Backpack (Pottery Barn Kids), Smile (Jesus in His heart!)

This guy brings me so much joy. He's just so cool! I love watching him develop his own sense of style (which is of course influenced by what I'm willing to buy) but he totally puts his own flavor on it! Love him. 

11 December 2013

My 2014 planning looks something like...

4:28 PM

I have been anxious to begin my reflection of 2013 and to start planning for 2014.  I needed to find time to be still, get quiet, and think.  2013 has been good to me. Not perfect, but good.  There were things I wanted to do that I have been fortunate enough to do, like travel to London.  I have matured alot this year. I made some major changes, like choosing to switch churches. I opened my heart to love, and what an amazing love it Is. I really could go on and on.

As I sat down today to reflect while writing in my journal, I realize overwhelmingly that 2013 has brought me a joy that is unwavering, a resolve that is sure, and a confidence in the Lord that is more certain than ever.

2013 has been good to me.

People make resolutions every year but at the beginning of 2013 I set strong intentions. Intentions that life would get better, it would be great, and all the circumstances surrounding me were conspiring to make a life worthy of my calling.

Life showed up for me.

Which is why spending time being intentional about my desires and plans and laying them before The Lord is so important. I have seen the power in having a vision, writing it down, and getting to work.

2014 is only 20 days away.  So I took time today to sit, think, dream. I love the desk calenders from Barnes & Noble.  I have used them for the past 4 years.  I have my prayer journal as well because I want to commit my plans to the Lord before I plan anything.  I also found some fun metallic pencils at Barnes & Noble (Munchkin don't touch!).  Combine that with some Panera Bread Green Tea, and I was a happy girl.  I am excited and expectant for what 2014 holds!

09 December 2013


4:55 AM

I believe in the power of writing every day.  It is my form of prayer and peace.

I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember.  One of the closets at my parents house has several of my journals from my childhood stored away.  Writing has always been a way to get the over thought thoughts out of my head.  It has been a way to express myself. Free myself.  To pray.

Several years ago when life hit me really hard, my journal was really my only escape.  No one knew the depths of the pain I was experiencing, or how deep the hurt had gone.  No one knew just how close to breaking I really came....but my journals.  As I look back over that time, being able to pour all of my emotions onto those pages rescued me.  Journaling has rescued me over and over again. (Matthew 11:28).

When we think. We pray.  When I write. I pray.  It is such a powerful way to record our prayers and be able to look back at all the places God answered in our lives.   It is revealing to look back to see those times when we thought God was being silent in our lives....and to discover He actually was answering our prayers..it just didn't look like what we were expecting.

At the start of 2013, I decided to issue a #365journalchallenge to encourage people to take time each day to write.  For me, it is my prayer.  For you it may be your creative outlet.  Whatever it is for you, let it be.  

Life is busy for so many of us.  I can hardly count the days they seem to be going by so quickly.  I have had to become extremely intentional about taking the time to connect with God, to be still, get quiet, and calm my spirit.  I have an appointment set on my calendar every morning at 5:30am for coffee with Christ.  I am in no way perfect, but I try to keep our appointments.  This time sets my day straight, orders my steps, and gives me the confidence I need to face this life. It brings me joy.

I need to get alone with God and quiet my desire for the world's feedback and the crazy train thoughts that often play in my head in order to hear His voice. 

So when I started the #365journalchallenge my desire was to inspire my circle of influence to slow down and take the time for themselves.  It was also to help hold me accountable to journaling every day.  My journaling time is rooted in my faith, because at the very essence it is who I am.  There are days where I don't feel like doing it. There are days where I'm too busy, too tired, too this, too that to open that little notebook.  I wanted to created this community so that on those days where we are seeking inspiration, we can glean from each other.

So how does the challenge work?  You commit.  Commit that for 365 days, you will stop to slow down and connect.  Each day doesn't need to be 5 pages of journaling.  Even if you just stop to simply say "thank You".  There are several days in my journal where the only words written are "Lord, help" or "Your will".  That is enough.

Once you commit, have a journal on hand.  Preparation is key and without having a journal on hand, you're not going to keep your promise.  I love pretty journals with inspiring sayings.  It can be as simple as a notebook or you can go all out.  Whatever you want.

I love to have devotional books and inspirational books on hand to prompt me. Some days I use them. Some days I honestly don't want to be bothered.  Having thoughts to ponder and to reflect on helps focus me in my sometimes dizzying world on the One  I am seeking to connect with most.  

Finally, share.  I will post prompts and inspirations on instagram using #365journalchallenge.  If something you see during your day to day inspires you, please share with us there so others can glean from your inspiration. You can also see any prompts I post on pinterest and share.

Thank you for joining me on this journey and for being an accountability partner with me.  I am excited about the many blessings that await you and watching the glory of the Lord revealed in your life!

The Lord will fight for you.  You need only to be still. Exodus 14:14

08 December 2013


5:06 AM

Every now and then I step on my soap box. This week was one of them. An acquaintance from college posted a question on Facebook about why any woman would move a man's son away from him if the two don't work out. Of course the comments to this status were all about how women are vindictive and hurt and ya ya ya.


Then the rest of the week his posts were simply inappropriate. Because of experience, my alert was heightened. Around the same time that I was thinking about this, a great giant, Nelson Mandela, was called to rest. My spirit started brewing about the gap that exists between who we say we are and who we  really are. The respect we demand for who we say we are, versus the respect that is worthy of who we are. 

It is a challenge. To be the man worthy of the respect you demand. It is hard to be a person of moral character. To do the right thing even when no one is watching. To not count what will get the most "likes" on Instagram, but to live a life that is worthy of respect. You can't demand respect when you inhale and exhale unrespectable words and deeds at the same time. Let your breathe match.

Stepping off of soap box.

04 December 2013

Buy Direct

4:56 AM

As many of you know, I run a small independent business as a Scentsy Family Independent Director.  This business has blessed my life tremendously.  Not only financially, but also through the customers I have met who have become friends, the many amazing people whose lives I've been blessed to cross, the ability to travel, and the list goes on and on!

I have also made connections with some other amazing direct sellers over the past  few years.  I want to encourage everyone I know to buy direct this Holiday season.  This caption above is so true for me.  My Scentsy business has allowed me to provide for my son in a major way.  So to every single person who has ever purchased a warmer, bar of wax, lightbulb, purse, chocolate from me....THANK YOU!

If you read this and are a direct seller and I don't have you listed, please let me know and I'll add you!

Buy Direct

Home Goods

Jewelry & Accessories

Purses and Bags

Make-Up and Beauty Products

02 December 2013

Love People

5:28 AM
Life teaches each of us daily if we are open to receiving the lesson.  Last week when I found myself in a bit of a cloud, I realized it was because I was allowing someone's attitude that I deeply care about to determine my security in a situation and my feelings surrounding it.   Once I snapped out of it and started honoring how blessed I truly am and that I really have nothing to worry about, everything started to shift.

From that lesson I felt like my spirit was screaming at me to be constant.  When you love someone you don't have to go on the roller coaster ride with them when they are going through hard places and seasons.  Certainly, the people who love you don't need to be expected to go on the roller coaster ride with you.  Love is patient. Kind. Constant.  Be the constant. Be the consistent force.  

Love through it.

01 December 2013


6:42 AM

Not only did we celebrate a huge Thanksgiving this week with about 30 loved ones, but we through my dad a surprise 60th birthday party the day after with family and friends from all over.

My dad is a gentle giant. He is the one person who never wants anything, gives more to everyone else, and is always there when you need him. Words would underestimate the man that he is.

My sister and I knew he'd be highly upset if he knew we were planning anything for him. We just felt we had to. Not to make him happy but to honor the amazing dad he is to us and the amazing grandpa he is to our kids. His selflessness is unmatched.

I think you can tell the measure of a man by his relationships. The fact that him and my mom have been married for 35 years, he talks to my Granny every single night on the phone, he started a business to leave a legacy for his kids and his grandchildren, he has friends that came from all over the country to celebrate him speaks volumes. 

It was completely special because our children had such amazing things to say about their grandpa. I know for me and my Munchkin, grandpa is the reason we are back in Albuquerque. He's the greatest role model of a man I could err dream of my son growing up around. 

We hosted the event at Papadeaux's Seafood Kitchen in their large private room. It was a really great atmosphere that opened to the patio and was simply perfect for the feel of this occasion.

Happy birthday Dad!

29 November 2013

Steeped in Thankfulness

6:14 AM

A few nights ago, I literally had to snap myself out of the dark funk I had allowed myself to slip into. Circumstances weren't appearing as I would have liked them, and I allowed them to drag into the pit of worry and discontent.

I was stuck there. I was upset that I was going to be in this funk on Thanksgiving with all of our family here. I couldn't seem to shake it. My attempts at surrendering it were futile. I needed to snap out of it bad.

Then, late Wednesday night, I decided no. No this circumstance wasn't going to just happen to me. No I wasn't going to just sit by and let it drag me with it. I just said no.

Yesterday I decided to work on actively creating my happiness and even though I'm bothered by a situation, not giving any negative energy to it. Just let it be and love through it.

I'm grateful. I'm grateful that even through these difficult lessons of just being and trusting, I'm growing. I'm creating a happy, positive life even when it doesn't look like it. I'm blessed beyond measure. 

It is so easy to let our circumstances take us with them on the roller coaster ride. It's best to tell the director of the crazy train "excuse me, I need to get off".

Yesterday's Jesus Calling devotional really helped snap me out of it. To "seep" in thankfulness. I think about how my tea must seep in hotter water to get its full effect. So must a life must seep in His goodness and thankfulness to get its full effect. 

Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestation of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. Elizabeth Gilbert

23 November 2013

La Tour Eiffel

5:20 AM

One of the things I cherish most about our trip is the hours B and I spent walking from place to place. We really didn't use public transportation unless our destination wasn't in eyesight and you know sometimes things are farther than they look.  It was great though. Walking. Laughing. Taking pictures.

We set out for the Eiffel Tower from the Musee de Louvre. It is a decent walk but I wouldn't change anything about it. 

Our first sighting of the Eiffel Tower was still when we were on the other side of the river. B said "look., there it is". Me: "Where"? B: "There". Snap picture. 

I'm one of those people who don't really believe all the hype. What's the big deal about this Eiffel Tower anyways? I mean its on everything. 

We walked and we walked. Through neighborhoods. We saw a mom and her two children stop to dig in the trash cans in one neighborhood. The look on their faces still sticks with me. Why is there suffering all over the world? We were walking. Walking and all of a sudden B said "look up". 

It was like magic! So majestic. It took my breath away. All I could say was "wow"!

We walked upon the Eiffel Tower from some side street. Who knows where we were. We entered through a quaint little garden with a few benches but no one else there. It was tucked away from the busy circle where most tourists enter. It was a moment I will never forget. (Until guards with semi- automatic guns walked by).

I do now believe in the wonder of this amazing landmark. It is remarkable. 



20 November 2013


4:48 AM

Magical. In love. Total indulgence. Amazing.

I love Paris.

We rode the EuroTrain from London to Paris on Wednesday. When we arrived at Charles de Galle train station, it immediately felt surreal. The cultural differences between London and Paris were glaring. Not to mention there now existed a language barrier with the French. 

B navigated our way through the train station (the entire trip really), and I stood to the side with our luggage taking it all in. Such diversity in people. (The sociologist in me was so giddy). 

Once we figured out the metro, we were on our way. There weren't any lifts in the metro so we had to lug all our luggage underground. (Bless that man). We finally made it onto the metro during rush hour with all our luggage.

We walked from the train station to our hotel and noticed how booming the neighborhood was even on a Wednesday night. We stayed at the cute boutique hotel The Artus in the 6th quadrant (sounds like Hunger Games).  Once checked in we decided to hit the town!

Our first dinner was at The Germaine, a delightful Parisian restaurant. We enjoyed the freshest bread, scallops, pasta, wine, and beer. Indulge me.

We then hit the streets and stopped at another little place to enjoy some more food and wine. Oh my!

Our last stop that night was at a British pub (yes in Paris). It felt much like Kate's (our college bar/pub). It was such a sight to see some of the young folks celebrating. We even met some interesting folks like a young woman from Mexico who started college in the States but found out she could go to school for $400 a semester in Paris so she transferred. 

I'm a people watcher so just sitting back, observing the culture and its people was a total delight! 

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