nourishing words//

speak 4

“If the words you spoke appeared on your skin would you still be beautiful?” -unknown

words. i’m a bit obsessed with them. they can be kind, beautiful, hateful, ugly, positive, negative. these adjectives can certainly describe the people who use them too. words have profound affects on our human souls. 

if you do not believe in the power of the words you speak, take a moment to remember how God formed creation. Genesis 1 is full of “God said, and there it was. light, water, sky, sun, moon, stars, creatures, plants. all made when God spoke.

if you are a christian, this same power lives in you by the presence of the Holy Spirit. your words matter. your words hold power. so use your words wisely. use your words to speak life.

speak 1

let’s dive deep into a passage of scripture that more closely reveals the sacredness of the words we speak. proverbs 10 unveils the 7 aspects of the lips of the righteous.

  1. Well of life: The mouth of the righteous is a well of life,
    But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.” -proverbs 10:11
  2. Discernment: “Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding,
    But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.” -proverbs 10:13
  3. Self Control:In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
    But he who restrains his lips is wise.” -proverbs 10:19
  4. Valuable:The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
    The heart of the wicked is worth little.” -proverbs 10:20
  5. Nourishing:“The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.” -proverbs 10:21
  6. Wisdom:The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
    But the perverse tongue will be cut out.” -proverbs 10:31
  7. Acceptable: “The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
    But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.” -proverbs 10:32

do what you canwith all you have, wherever you are.

out of all the above verses, proverbs 10:21 stood out to me the most. it made me think about how i speak to not only others, but to myself as well. are my words full of grace and love, which are the essential nutrients to nourish a soul; or are they full of hate and loathing, that are damaging to a soul? are you damaging or nourishing?

think back to the times of the city of Jericho. for six days the people of God marched around the city in complete silence. (first of all, can you imagine not speaking for that long?!? girl i sure can’t!!) on the 7th day the walls immediately fell when the people shouted. the people of God waited for His direction before engaging in the power of their tongues. here we see because their tongues were guarded, they received a great reward. [reference Joshua 6:20]

speaking negatively can take a toll on your spirit, but guarding our speech can bring about spiritual bounty. 

speak 3

proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. it would make sense that since the words we speak so carelessly have power, that the words of our prayers have power as well. as christians we should have “reverent submission” to God in our prayers (like Jesus did in Hebrews 5:7), that will lead us to living a holy life.

you see, our words aren’t really a mouth issue, they are a heart issue. so dear friends, let God mend your heart. He is the only one who truly can. once your heart is aligned, your words will follow.


content in singleness//


when i was a little girl i loved dressing up (and forcing my brother to too). from princesses to pirates we made our childhood fantasies come to life. you see, i grew up watching cinderella on repeat. i especially loved the part where the fairy godmother came and transformed her and brought her to her prince. from the age of 6 i remember dreaming of my own prince one day. he would be strong, but gentle; he would be handsome, but humble. don’t you know the dreams of little girls are the secrets to our hearts?

fastforward to present day. i’m 21. i’m a college graduate. i’m single. naturally, my relationship status gets a lot of attention from “concerned” family members & fellow church go-ers. when asked the question of why i don’t have a boyfriend, it takes literal physical restraint to not roll my eyes. the lyrics of ella mae singing i’m holding out for a hero also tend to filter through my head.


in today’s (christian) world i often feel like people treat my singleness like a disease that they need to cure with set-ups, advice, etc. they act like my singleness is some type of punishment from God that i’m forced to endure until “the right one comes along.” Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 7: 32 [MSG], that “I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master.” NEWSFLASH PEOPLE, Paul is telling us that our singleness is a gift. It provides us freedom to completely worship the Lord without any complications or distractions. God is not punishing us, He is giving us a sacred opportunity or a season to have complete focus on him without the pressure of trying to please and love a spouse. 


yes i think marriage is a beautiful thing. i desire to one day be able to experience it. however, as a church we have got to stop acting like marriage is a final destination in life. God doesn’t say to himself ok she’s married, I’m done with her. think about in your own church. how much time is spent on ministry to married couples vs singles? while sure strengthening godly marriages is important, i often find ministry to christian singles is lacking.

now let’s talk about contentment. if you read my blog post about waiting, then you know that i think our task in waiting (on whatever your desire) is to follow the instruction given in Romans 12:12. this same principle applies in our singleness. while waiting on a spouse (if that’s what you desire) you should be at all times joyful, patient, and faithful. thumbnail_file14

i also think we find contentment in our singleness when we fully surrender our future (marriage, babies, job, and all) to Christ. realizing that nothing but Jesus can satisfy your soul, is a reminder to all us single people that marriage does not and CAN NOT complete us. only Jesus can do that. christian women let’s please stop seeking marriage or a “godly” relationship with the intention that these things will fix the condition of our damaged and worldly hearts.

so, let’s make the most of our singleness. stop waiting to live until you’re married. live now. be content with the person God created you to be. pursue your passions. spread kindness. show love. seek Christ with your whole heart, and one day my friends we may find the one God set us apart for.


dear future husband. i am content in my waiting for you. no rush, i believe in the plan God has for us.

“The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him.”
Lamentations 3:25


You ain’t gotta rush love, girl, slow down,
When you meet him you gon’ know, wanna know how?
He’s gonna treat you right,
Make you the queen of life,
If he don’t then I’m a take ‘em out,
Psyche, all kidding aside God has the perfect,
One that was made for you, designed to worship,
God and He sees your beauty and true purpose,
So baby sis, trust the process, it’s worth it. ——- Jamie Grace, Just a Friend


also p.s. flowers make my heart happy.

be blessed sweet friends.


essential oils 101


you might be asking what the heck are essential oils? i feel you. that was me, up until about 2 and a half years ago. i had just gotten into holistic health and came across one of my favorite blogs recommending them for anxiety (which hi, my name is Riah and I struggle with anxiety). so after some research and encouragement from my cousin Becca (who i mentioned here), I jumped on the essential oil express train. then BAM, now i’m an oil freak. or witch doctor. or hippie. or whatever the cool word on the block is these days.

definition: essential oils are distilled from botanicals such as trees, flowers, shrubs, or seeds.

you, like even my own mom (love you mom), are probably shaking your head and asking how do you even know those work? to answer this question, i encourage you to check out this study here. the results from this study give us a clearer insight on the fact that fragrance inhalation affects the adrenal system through the sympathetic nervous system. how cool that one scent, like essential oil of pepper can stimulate the adrenals causing an increase in adrenal response, but rose oil relaxed the adrenal system?! my mind is blown y’all. #witchdoctorpower (Christian friends, don’t freak out, I’m just kidding)


speaking of christian friends (see what i did there), i love the fact that essential oils have a biblical and spiritual connection. Randi Minetor, author of Essential Oils of the Bible: Connecting God’s Word to Natural Healing, says “In biblical times, essential oils were used for everything from the holiest ceremonies to everyday needs. Today, we too can harness the all-natural power of essential oils to soothe, heal, and sanctify our bodies and homes.” like WOW friends, i love love love that. also this book is full of super simple remedies and discusses the 30 types of essential oils mentioned in the Bible. just saying, i had no idea how essential (haha) essential oils were back then until i read this book.


my main caution about essential oils for the newbies out there: not all brands are created equal. you need to decide which brand is best for you and your family. this means please do your research people! do not waste the twenty bucks on the bottle of “frankincense” that you found while randomly scrolling on amazon. not a good idea, as it is probably a fake fragrance sold in order to appear and smell like frankincense. you won’t reap all the benefits of real frankincense essential oil (and it may be harmful!!). i personally use and love doterra essential oils. to read more about them, you can click here.

on another note, if you have pets or children, be extra cautious in how and what you are using. some essential oils that can be great for YOU, might not be so good for your new puppy or infant. my advice: RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH


now you’re sitting there thinking okay girl i have all the facts, now what? how do i use them? well there are three main ways to use essential oils!

  1. aromatically: inhale the scent of the oil by diffusing or smelling directly from the bottle
  2. topically: this is applying the oil to the skin (important to use a carrier oil here)
  3. internally: ingest with a liquid or in capsule form


essential oils link together both our bodies and our minds. as a believer in holistic health i believe that our emotional and physical wellbeing are interconnected. essential oils can help balance that connection. for example, frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties and helps physically treat things such as arthritis, asthma, skin inflammation, while emotionally frankincense invites us to become more focused & conscious and our spirits to be more courageous. Fun fact: Frankincense was used by Egyptians to address both spiritual and physical weaknesses. They believed frankincense was powerful for both strength and protection.

“Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” -EZEKIEL 47:12 


Luke 10 describes to us the story of the good Samaritan. it describes how he bound up his wounds, poured oil and wine on him, and then took him to the inn to be taken care of. (see verses 30-34). I like how Minetor says that oil begins the healing process in her book Essential Oils of the Bible: Connecting God’s Word to Natural Healing. she also refers to the passage in Luke 10, declaring “when essential oils are combined with loving care, they can be part of the greater good we bring to others.” I find this fascinating as it further proves that God designed our minds and bodies to be interconnected. the physical, mental, and spiritual working in unison.

i so encourage you to dive into the wonderful world of essential oils. here are some helpful links if you are interested in learning more:

-What are essential oils


-Essential Oils of the Bible

-Use essential oils effectively 

The aromatherapy bible

Doterra products 

The Science/Research behind Doterra

be blessed & stay oily my friends.


*books featured in pics above: Gracelaced (this a great devo if you are in need of one), The Home Reference to Holistic Health and Healing (a good resource), and Essential Oils of the Bible. you can find all these on amazon!

rooted in the waiting//


(photo credit: victoria hardy)

the topic of waiting is an ever present subject in my life. for as long as i can remember i have always been waiting for the next thing. waiting to graduate high school so i could go to college. waiting to graduate college so i could get my masters. waiting to fall in love. waiting to get the perfect job. always, always waiting. in the midst of all my waiting i failed to see the true purpose for actually waiting. the waiting grows us. 

psalm 126:5 says, “Those who cry while they plant will joyfully sing when they harvest.

this psalm is historically referring to the freedom of the israelites from babylon. this verse gazes forward to the mercies that had yet to come. the conception of mercy soon encourages us to pray for the completion of that mercy.  we are promised that in the midst of sorrow, in the midst of our “wait” the end will be joyful.

as i was reading this verse, God gave me this analogy: When seeds are planted in the soil, in order for them to grow rain must first come. Sometimes the gardner has to sow the seeds in the wet, just as the believer has to sometimes sow his/her tears in order for growth to occur. 

tears of sorrow for our sinful hearts, yet in the end Jesus will redeem us.

tears of tender gentleness in prayer, yet in the end Jesus will give us peace.

tears of compassion for a burdened church, yet in the end Jesus will take the church as his bride.

these tears, these precious tears, sown with sorrow and sweat during the waiting will bring a harvest of joy in the end.

po swing

(photo credit: victoria hardy)

the seed now watered must now withstand the harsh environment of the world. dry wind, wet rain, cold snow, scorching heat. it doesn’t mean we don’t feel the harshness, it simply means that when we do, we bury our roots deeper in the life giving soil of the word. 

“Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord, his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

take note of the language used here. he will and is sure, both leave no room for doubt. even in our waiting we can be assured that God will be there. he hears our groans of pain, just like he heard the cries of the israelites.

these groans, what are they? they are our growing pains. and isn’t waiting just that though? growing pains. the waiting can hurt, but in the end there will be a joyful harvest. no doubt, it will be. 


“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

this verse is not only our instruction for the waiting, but also our encouragement. we are told to STAND FIRM; we are to stay rooted in the soil my friends. but the best part?! get this sisters, our waiting is not in vain. our struggles though they may feel fruitless, are yet not. we friends, are promised a joyful harvest.

i encourage you to harness the power of Romans 12:12 and to use this verse as your battle cry during the waiting. use it in those times when pruning the roots or watering the soil feels like just too much of a burden to face. you are not alone. God is with you and he hears you.

“Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.” Romans 12:12


(photo credit: victoria hardy)

on another note, i shared this with my wednesday night women’s small group, BLOOM, tonight. we are having a break before we move onto a different study, so i had to prepare something. when praying about what i was to share, God placed this topic on my heart. i felt like i needed to share it here too.

be blessed.


current 5 favorite natural products//

msin phoyo

i am a natural product junkie and I love trying new things! beauty, haircare, cleaning supplies, skin care, you name it, if it is made natural I want to try it! i have been using these products for awhile and i am in love with each of them!



this mask gets rid of all those pesky black heads and makes your skin so glowy. i have never used a mask that has made such noticeable improvements on my skin. i have some acne scaring and this has really helped eliminate some of the scars.


it is this really fun green color too!!



this is HANDS DOWN the best natural deodorant i have ever ever tried. it moisturizes the under arm area while still keeping you smelling as fresh as a daisy. if you want to avoid aluminum deodorants and still smell good then this is the product for you!



my cousin Becca makes natural healing salves and let me tell y’all i am OBSESSED. she uses natural ingredients and doterra essential oils in all her products. if you are interested check out her Facebook page here! my absolute favorite salve she makes is her Aunt Flo salve. (tmi) but that time of the month is always rough for me but this stuff is my saving grace. it helps with my pain and my mood. I also have the Flying with Unicorns salve which is perfect for those nights i can’t shut mind off long enough to fall asleep.



i use this hydrosol (flower water) as a toner after i wash my face. i love the way it smells and the hydration it provides my skin. gem juice also comes with gem stones inside which as a lover of crystals and gems makes me so happy! this spray is also great for misting onto your skin in the middle of a hot summer day for a little pick me up.



first of all this product smells amazing, and second of all it delivers what it claims to do. this is my holy grail natural cleaning product. i use it after every shower and it helps keep all the grime away. i recommend the method brand for natural cleaning because it is easily accessible (find it at your local Target) and it works!


happy sunday everyone!! i hope y’all have a blessed week.


misiòn mèrida 2018

i really debated sharing about my experience in mèrida, mexico so soon, because to be completely honest i still feel very emotionally raw. part of my heart got left behind when we boarded the plane back to louisiana. since i’ve been back i’ve got the same questions countless times, “how was your trip?” and “what was it like there?” while i wish i had this wonderful/grand answer, it seems every time someone asks me, i can only respond with “incredible” while also holding back the tears that spring to my eyes. i was not expecting this trip to change my life. i was not expecting to make meaningful relationships with the people there. i was not expecting any of the blessings that God bestowed on us that week.


(kids’ carnival at the mission in hunucma)

a little personal background on me: in my junior year of high school i felt the call to missions. that was over 5 years ago. while i did local mission work and traveled with my church to hawaii, i still was longing to GO. longing to tell all the nations. i agree, we need people right here in our own local communities to serve, but i also know God planted a special desire in my heart to go beyond our local community. in these past five years i have tried to go on several international mission trips, but to my disappointment none worked out. until now. until mexico. and i am so thankful to God for that.


(pastor gilberto and his precious granddaughter)

i do not speak spanish. i do not talk in front of large crowds. i do not easily open up with strangers. yet God challenged me to do all of those things in the week we spent in mèrida.

there were a few team members who had been to mèrida before, and they warned me of the language barrier. one even told me how overwhelming it was to him to hear spanish all the time. i was expecting it to be extremely hard to communicate, but in fact it wasn’t. God broke down the language barrier. i mean do not get me wrong, google translate was still my BFF, but in terms of building a relationship with others, language was not a hinderance.


(my friend Kayla, who spoke no english but somehow we formed a sweet bond)

Mrs. Hannah, Pastor Brent’s wife (leader of the other team), asked if i would speak at a pastor’s conference held at the church. i thought to myself, ME? she wants ME to speak? i even told her i was much better one on one, but still i felt like i could not say no. not because she pressured me, but because God was pushing me to do so. so what did i do? i got up, sweating buckets, and made my way to the mic. there beside me stood a smiling Cynthia (translator/Gilberto’s [local pastor] daughter). I started speaking, and man i felt so awkward. i felt unqualified. looking into the faces of the 70 women, i felt intimidated. 30 minutes later, i finally sat down with a sigh of relief. i had done it. i did what God asked. i felt like i did terrible, but i was at least glad it was over. little did i know those 30 minutes made an impact on someone. at the end of the conference, Pastor Gilberto asked for people to share what they learned and this woman stood up. the next thing i know she is facing me and speaking rapid fire spanish. a translator then begins to tell me that she is a missionary and that she is home sick. she is missing her old church. she was feeling down and disappointed, but what i said had encouraged her. she now had a renewed desire to make meaningful relationships with women in her church. to say the least i was shocked. and i was most definitely in tears. the whole conference i thought what i said had no meaning for the women who heard it. but you know that old saying, God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. how true that was that night. 

 (these two sweet ladies really encouraged me the night of the pastor’s conference. the one to stand up and share is the lady on the left!)

i would not say that i easily connect with people or strangers the instant i meet them. i’m more of an introverted/extroverted mixed type of person, but i do love talking with people. the first day though, i instantly clicked with three teenage girls. Cristal, Sonia, and Neyla all have special places in my heart. Every second we were together we spent talking. About unicorns, dancing, their English, my Spanish, boys. you name it, we probably giggled about it. i miss them so, so much. I also was able to form a sweet friendship with Joani (aka Mimi) who is Pastor Gilberto’s daughter-in-law. She felt like family instantly, and if we can’t ever be earthly sisters, we know we are sisters in Christ. I ugly cried the night we said goodbye.

(my girls: Cristal, Neyla, and Sonia)


(Joani!! Doesn’t she have the best smile?!)

So what did we actually do, you ask? We helped clean up the mission in Hunucuma. We put on a kids’ carnival where we were able to share the Gospel, invite families to church, and give out care packages. We put on a pastor’s conference. We attended a wedding that Pastor Brent got to officiate. We prayed together. We ate good food. We visited with neighbors. We slept in hammocks. We laughed. We cried. We experienced pure joy.

One thing that resonated with me from this trip is that material things don’t really matter. I met families there who had less material items than families in America, but yet they were so much richer. Richer in faith, richer in love, richer in Christ, richer in family. This trip showed me true love. The love that comes from Christ. So i say thank you. Thank you to Pastor Gilberto and his family. Thank you to my team members. Thank you to Addy and Martina who cooked for us daily. Thank you to Hada for welcoming me with open arms. Thank you to Cristal, Neyla, and Sonia for reminding that I am to be a mentor to those younger than me. Thank you to Joani for treating me like the sister I always wanted. Thank you to each and every soul that I met on this trip. Thank you Jesus for Mèrida.

now enjoy some pictures!! xoxo

( handmade hammocks that we slept on that are so comfortable!!)

(Hada and Martina cooking/serving us breakfast!)

(mission at Hunucma!! if you donate to operation christmas child, this is it in action! how cool?!)

(night of the pastors’ conference)

(night of the pastors’ conference)

(mission at Ochil)

(sharing the gospel with the children at Ochil)

(wedding day! the groom’s family served us lunch! that would never happen in America!!)

(more fun at Ochil)

(Pastor Brent trying chicharones/ carnival day at Hunucma)

(kids’ carnival day at Hunucma)


(precious children singing at sunday night service!!)

(the best ice cream i’ve ever tasted!!)

(day trip to Celestún, the beach was so beautiful there!!)


(handing out care bags after the kids’ carnival at Hunucma)

(ice cream at El Colon (haha)/ Bro Jeremy, Mrs. Melody, and I sharing the gospel at the Sports Crusaders basketball tournament)

(trip to the market on sunday)


(our team!!)

Gracias a la iglesia de Ebenezer. Todos ustedes hicieron de esta experiencia una que nunca olvidaré. Todos ustedes tienen mi corazón!

January favorites//

blog photo cov

The photo above captures how i felt jumping into january (haha get the pun??)!! for this month i set the goal/mantra/intention to be more intentional in every aspect of my life. from my health to interacting with others i tried to make each moment count. i have also began the path in my spiritual life to pray more intentionally. our prayers are powerful, and it’s time we as christians realize that prayer is relational. its simple communication between God and us. it’s not a laundry list of everything we want/need/things that are wrong. God moves through prayer. think of joshua 10:12-13, joshua prayed for the sun to stop moving & guess what?! it stopped. it did not go down the entire day. as we move into february i encourage you to pray more intentionally.

along with everything God has been teaching me this month, i also want to share my january favorites!! yay!!




this has been the BIGGEST lifesaver this month! i received it as a gift from my sweet friend in the above picture, and it has truly been a blessing. not only has it allowed me to be more intentional when planning out my meals and workouts, but it also has helped transform my prayer life. something about writing down my prayers & mediating on daily scriptures has really brought a lot of joy into my life. this planner is also a great accountability tool if you are like me and need some help in that area!! when you purchase this planner you have access to an online community all year long which is super encouraging. (click here to check it out)




y’all. i can’t tell you how good this book is!! i’m only half way through & i can not wait to finish it! Katie Davis Majors has an amazing story and i highly recommend you read Kisses from Katie by her before you read this book. (link here). this book is best enjoyed under a cozy blanket and with a warm cup of coffee coffee coffee. (please tell me someone appreciated that gilmore girls reference)


essential blend for blog

one word: amazing. i’m a bit mermaid obsessed (ok a lot), and this is by far my favorite blend to ever diffuse. simply add 10 drops hawaiian sandalwood, 5 drops lavender, and 5 drops grapefruit to make your house smell like it’s been kissed by mermaids. i prefer to use doterra essential oils  only, but was out of my grapefruit by them.  you can find them here.




i have no idea the names of the bath fizzys as i got them as a gift from my friend, the driven daydreamer, but man oh man do they smell so freaking good. the dark green fizzys smell like a man (in a good way haha) and the other one smells like eucalyptus. i LOVE baths, and these are the perfect way to relax after a long day! check them out here.


shampoo for blog

giovanni eco chic hair care is a new discovery of mine. i’ve heard about it in the natural product “world” but had yet to try it out until this month. let me just say i am not disappointed. it can be difficult to find a natural shampoo and conditioner that checks all my hair care needs boxes, but this set does it! i have blonde color treated hair and this really has helped hydrate my hair better than any other natural shampoo/conditioner i’ve used. in case you are wondering it smells more like jasmine and cherry blossom than rose to me! the shampoo and conditioner are also both cruelty free, sulfate free, paraben free, phthalate free, formaldehyde free, and completely natural! (you can find it here)


tea for blog

i was at whole foods awhile back and was browsing their tea section when i stumbled upon Get Gorgeous. to be honest i only first picked it up because the container was pink (#packagingwin am i right?). this tea is flowery with a hint of citrus. i love making mine with a dash of local honey from my friend’s dad. his honey has a citrus quality because the bees drew nectar from citrus flowers (how cool!!). Get Gorgeous is caffeine free and full of antioxidants. it boasts the benefits of clear skin. i like that combo: great taste and clear skin! (you can find this tea here)


salad for blog

this salad has been on repeat for dayzzzzz. literally not kidding. it is SO good and easy. all you have to do is throw some spinach in a bowl, add sliced apples, a sprinkle of gorgonzola, and some chopped pecans. i recommend some fresh squeezed lemon as a dressing. this would also be super good with garlic roasted chickpeas or even grilled chicken! if you’re bored of the same ole pb & j for lunch give this salad a whirl and trust me, your taste buds won’t be sorry!

i hope everyone has a love filled february.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:9-10