I want you to take TWO short minutes to watch this video:  YOU BELONG

This is MY group.

This is where I BELONG.

November 20th, 2013 was the day that I went to my first Essential Oils 101 class.  I remember sitting there on the couch, learning about the oils and smelling each bottle that was passed my way.  I dove in that night and 7 days later I received my oils in the mail.  I was a believer within 24 hours and decided that I wanted to help get these oils into everyone's hands!

No one told me what I was getting myself into...

I didn't just get some oils from Young Living, I was welcomed into the Lemon Droppers group!  It was as if I got a second family...I started making friends left and right...I started talking to my new girlfriends all of the time!  Before the Lemon Droppers, I honestly felt a little bored and lonely.  I didn't have a job that I loved and I felt that I had no purpose...I thought that my only option was to eventually have kids and be a stay at home mom (not that this is a bad thing!...I just needed something until that time).  I really didn't know what to do with myself!  But........for the last 16 months, my life has totally changed!

I am more CONFIDENT in myself.
I am developing my LEADERSHIP skills.
I am taking better CARE of myself.
I am a part of something BIGGER than myself.
I have TIME to be a good friend, sister, daughter, wife and (one day) mother.
I am able to HELP others.
I am able to support world MISSIONS.
I am more financially STABLE.
I am my own BOSS.
I am achieving my DREAMS (I've got a big Bucket List).

I am absolutely convinced that I am in the right place...
this is more than a business

We are changing lives...
I am a Lemon Dropper 
and THIS is where I BELONG :)

---Happy 2 year Oilyversary to my fearless leader, Lindsay Moreno...the Lemon Droppers are such a Blessing to Nick and me and I'm so thankful that we are a part of this group!!!

I'd LOVE to hear from some of my readers...where do YOU belong?!!?!?


I AM a teacher!!!!!

     Did you know that when I was in high school, I wanted to go to Cosmetology school?  Yep.  I LOVED cutting my Barbie's hair...later I upgraded to my friends' and sisters' hair (they totally trusted me).  I LOVED doing face masks, hair masks, face scrubs, manicures, pedicures, waxing my legs and all that good stuff.  I also learned to LOVE products that were safe and natural, without toxic chemicals.  However, even though I was interested in and passionate about this stuff, my parents said that I had to go to college and get a degree first...then I could go to cosmetology school.

     So, I applied for college.

     Did you know that I went to college to be an Elementary Education teacher?  Yep.  I started at Columbia International University...spent 1.5 years there.  Then I transferred to Francis Marion University...spent 3 years there.  The entire time I was in BOTH schools, I kept saying that I didn't like it...I didn't want to be a teacher...but, everyone would assure me that I would like it once I got my own classroom.  I wanted to quit.  But, I stuck it out.  I graduated.  I got my own classroom.  And do you know what?...I still didn't like it.  I didn't last long before I quit and moved on to other jobs.

     So, I quit teaching and I never went to school for cosmetology...for years, I felt like a failure...pretty much all of my 20s.

     But you know what happened last Friday???  I went to my old school here in Bolivia and substitute taught for the day.  From 8am-3pm, I was in the 2nd grade classroom and you know what I found?...I STILL don't like teaching...kids!!!!!!

     It's as if (all of a sudden) TWO things became very clear:

1.  It's true....I don't like teaching kids, but I DO like teaching (I was just in the wrong age group)!!!!!!!  I am organized, creative and a good communicator and I use that everyday...I teach people about finding wellness, beauty and financial freedom with Young Living Essential Oils.


2.  It's true...I didn't go to cosmetology school, but I HAVE spent over a decade educating myself!!!!!!  I read and research (almost daily) about caring for our bodies through clean living and safe, natural products...I implement what I learn in my own life and teach others to do so.

    I realized, looking back, that God saw the big picture and had this all planned out from the very beginning...HE took my passion, combined it with my degree and put me in my SWEET SPOT!  

     So, I AM a teacher...I hereby declare myself a Wellness, Beauty & Financial Freedom Teacher...and you know what?!?!?!?...I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Subbing 2nd Grade


10 Years With Nick Stewart

     Sometime, during the Spring of 2005, I went to Charleston, SC to interview for a summer job in the Magic Kingdom.  Mark Temple and Spence Romine picked me up in Columbia, SC where I was attending Columbia International University.  

2005, while working in the Magic Kingdom

 Before my interview began, I met Nick Stewart.  I honestly don't remember what I was thinking...I had been in such a panic trying to remember my home addresses over the past 10 years while filling out my application.  Mark, Nick and I were all called into our interview together and Nick said that he was so worried that I wouldn't like him after he had to tell the interviewer that he had a tattoo on his leg (I don't even remember his tattoo confession).  After our interviews were over, we all hopped into our cars and drove over to Moe's to get some lunch.  Nick says that he sat by me and tried to talk to me, but I wouldn't talk (I don't remember that either)!!!

2006, while attending Francis Marion University together

     So, you seem a theme here right!?!?!?!  I don't remember most of what happened on the day that we met.  But, do you know what I DO remember???  


  We got back into our cars to go home, Nick was looking for his keys that his friends had hidden from him...Spence turned to me and said, "You will NEVER meet anyone better than Nick Stewart!".  Now, THAT stuck with me.  

2008, at Pawley's Island

    It seemed that God had plans for Nick Stewart and Emily Jackson.  I got home and found out that we had actually BEEN GOING TO THE SAME CHURCH.  Then, I went to Florida for the summer and we ended up having the SAME JOB (in Disney World) WITH THE SAME HOURS, so I rode to and from work with him every single day.  We had NEIGHBORING ROOMS in the hotel where we lived for the summer and we were placed on the SAME CAMPUS OUTREACH TEAM.  When the summer was over, the school that I was applying and transferring to was THE SAME SCHOOL THAT NICK WAS GOING TO.  And finally, when I moved into my apartment, turns out NICK WAS MY NEIGHBOR THERE TOO!     

2009, serving with OM Ships

 I just could not get away from Nick Stewart (I didn't want to at all, so I was 
totally ok with this)!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2010, visiting Bolivia

      After dating for almost two years, we got married in 2007.  We still had two semesters left of school so we both went to school full-time and worked all of the hours that we weren't asleep or in class!  We were determined to make it work...we both graduated and went into missions with OM Ships.  


We have worked many different jobs together.

2012, visiting the Faroe Islands

We have traveled all over the world together.

2013, at an Atlanta Braves Game.

We have dreamed together and made wonderful memories.

2014, in Scotland

     And you know what I have found after these 10 years?!?!?! 

2015, in Bolivia

Spence Romine was right...I have never and will never meet anyone better than Nick Stewart.

So, here is to 10 years knowing the BEST MAN in the world...I love you Nick Stewart!


A Letter From A Survivor

     Alejandra, her mom, Vicki, and her younger sister came to be interviewed by me a few weeks back...CLICK HERE to read that post.  All of the questions were mostly answered by Vicki because Alejandra still can't talk about her accident.  Instead, Alejandra was able to write down her story.  Here it is below:

"I'm writing a story of what happened to me.  

My name is Alejandra.  I am 8-years-old and this happened 6 years ago, when I was 3 years and 2 months old.  I had a terrible accident.  I was a little girl who liked to explore a lot and wanted to see everything, but sometimes we shouldn't get near things that are dangerous, like electricity, fire, boiling water and when we are little, the kitchen stove and oven and the iron.  Basically, anything that our parents tell us not to get near.  

I was burned with boiling water on half of my body.  The pain was worse than most people ever feel. I had surgery 6 times and this made my entire body hurt.  I had to stay in a room all alone, without my parents and I didn't even know why.  It seemed like 1,000 years passed while I was alone because everything hurt.  I always wanted it to stop, but it never would.  My momma could never be with me.  I always wanted her beside me, but she had to stay outside and I could only see her through the window.  She would stand out there and tell me that she was still with me.  

After a lot of time passed, they put me with other children.  But, I already felt so alone and I was already so tired that I couldn't move anywhere and I had to just sit still all of the time.  I wanted to go to play with the other children, but I couldn't.  There were other children like me.  There was one little boy that had his hand cut off by the doctor because of his accident and I hated to see him like that.  I thought that this would also happen to me, but it didn't.  The days passed and I was desperate to go play or hug my momma.  My momma could only visit for a short time, then the nurses were so mean and so strict that they would kick out all of the mommas.  

One day my doctor came in and called one of the nurses to come with him.  He told the nurse to take me to the Operating Room.  They took me there and began to operate on me without giving me any anesthesia.  It hurt so bad that I didn't think that I could take the pain.  I thought that they were removing my skin and I screamed and screamed with all of my strength, calling for my momma, yelling for help and for someone to save me from the pain.  After the operation, they put me in a pool of water.  I was so scared that it would make my skin hurt worse.  One of the doctors was so nice and kept telling me that I was very brave and that it was almost over.

One day, my momma came at night and told me that we were going home.  She put on my pijamas and carried me outside where all of my uncles waited for me.  I was so happy to go home and thought that I had finished everything.  But, I wasn't finished because I couldn't walk, so I had to do three different types of therapies: Physical Therapy, Hydro-Therapy and Pressure Therapy.  While doing these therapies, I began to improve, while my skin began to heal.  Sometimes I was in so much pain that I couldn't stand for my momma to bathe me with cold water.  I wanted to scratch, but couldn't even though my skin itched so badly.  They said that it would make my skin grow more keloid scars if I did.  

I asked God to help me heal quickly so that I didn't have to take these nasty medicines.  I hated when people touched my skin, but I had to go to Physical Therapy.  It was so painful, but I went every single day.  After Physical Therapy, they would put me in the water for Hydro-Therapy and I would stay in there for 3 hours every day...this was my favorite.  I also used Pressure Therapy and this was what I hated the most.  It was a suit that was very tight over my whole body.  Sometimes I felt that I couldn't ever breathe or move well.  It was like wearing a girdle.  But, I used it for 2 years 24 hours per day.  During those two years, I was brave and did all of the therapies, like I was supposed to.

I lost 3 years of my childhood.  I couldn't play with any children because I couldn't be in the dirt, I couldn't be in the sun, I couldn't run because I couldn't sweat in my suit.  I was prohibited to play, but all that changed when I went to Kinder and my momma decided to take me out of the horrible suit.  I didn't have to go anymore to my therapies.  I was afraid that they would hurt me again.

Even until today, I carry the scars on my body and the pain in my soul.  Only I know of the pain that I went through.  I am a happy girl and have many friends.  Now I can play, run, and dance.  I have a little sister that I can play with 24 hours per day, my momma and my daddy by my side and I am happy.


CLICK HERE to visit BCI's website to learn more about our important ministry.  
-You can DONATE ONLINE by scrolling to the bottom of the website and clicking the DONATE button.  

-Or you can MAIL A CHECK to:  
Burn Care International
419 Woodland Drive
Florence, SC 29501.  

All donations are tax-deductible and will change the life of a burned victim!!!


Villa Albina

     Yesterday, we decided to take a trip to Villa Albina.  This is one of the many houses that Simón Iturri Patiño built...remember we already visited one of his other local homes, Palacio Portales???  

     After we enjoyed the mansion and the gardens, we decided to walk up the mountain a little more, in search of Patiño's tomb.  On the way up some people were getting ready to catch up and run past us...I could hear them talking and knew that they were Americans.  They ran past Juana and me and said "Buenos Días".  Then, they ran past Nick and the wife said, "You're not Bolivian!".  As Nick was laughing and agreeing, the wife saw his Clemson hat and said, "I LOVE Clemson...I'm from South Carolina."  Nick told her that we are from Florence and she said, "I'm from Darlington!". Immediately, I knew who this couple was and started walking faster to try to catch up.  At this point, both the wife and husband stopped running and turned around to talk to us.  The husband said, "We know someone from Florence...he is a big guy."  I quickly said, "WICK JACKSON!!!!!!!!!!" and of course this was the correct answer!  Turns out that this couple was Marcus and Jennifer Morris who are local missionaries.  They are the directors of Agua Viva de la Roca, where Sandra grew up going to school.  AND, we went to their home for dinner around the year 2000.  It's so crazy, but it's true that the more you travel, the smaller the world gets!

Inside the mansion...all of the rooms are connected by a courtyard instead of hallways.

Don't you just LOVE big, old trees like this one?!?!

Part of the gardens.

Villa Albina

Waiting for the bus.


Burn Care International - Javier Abel Espinoza Rodrigez


     "Two years ago, when I was 32, I was burned in an electrical explosion.  My wife was 2 months pregnant and I took up a second job to make some extra money for us.  It was only the second night on the new job that I had the accident.

     When the accident happened, I was sitting down on the floor, facing the piece of machinery.  The electrical currents were too strong and caused the explosion.  I guess from the surprise, I sucked in a breath, which caused me to also suck in the fire.  I passed out and came in and out of unconsciousness while I waited on the ambulance to take me to the hospital.

     First the ambulance took me to Hospital Viedma and waited there for a few hours, but there was no ICU for burned adults, so I was sent to Hospital Univalle.  I spent 2 months in Univalle.  For the first two weeks, I had operations every single day.  Then, during the next two weeks, I had operations every other day.  The staff didn't let my wife come in to see me because I looked so bad and my body was so swollen.  They all said that I was going to die.  My wife was so upset that she almost lost our baby...she had to stay in the bed for 3 weeks after my accident.

     Since I had sucked in the fire, I was burned all the way down my throat and lungs.  I had to have a trachea for 2 months.  45% of my body was burned.  My body was 3rd degree burns and my face was 2nd degree burns.  I had skin graphs taken from my lower legs and the back of my thighs and bottom to cover the rest of my body where I was burned.  Everything was so painful that I felt like it would be better for burn patients to die rather than live through this...especially children who are burned.

     After two months in the hospital, I was sent home.  I stayed in bed for 1 more month and the hospital sent nurses and physical therapists to me.  Once all of my skin had healed, I went to get my Pressure Suit from the Burn Clinic.  The doctor at the hospital told me that I was going to have to have many more surgeries because of my scars.  On my stomach I had skin that needed to be removed.  Also, in both of my armpits, I needed to have skin removed because the skin from my body had grown and attached to the skin from my upper arm.  It was almost like I no longer had an armpit.  I had no movement and was more like a robot.  My skin was so hard, I could knock on it and it sounded like wood!  I was so sensitive, I didn't want anything or anyone to touch my skin.

     When I first began using the Pressure Suit, I hated to wear it.  It was tight and I was always sore and uncomfortable.  But, Juana at the Burn Clinic told me that I had to wear it and kept checking up on me.  So, I listened to her and slowly saw my skin start to improve!  The skin that was so hard became softer and flatter.  The place on my stomach no longer needed surgery!  And the best part was the my skin improved more and more until I finally had my armpits back and could lift my arms!  The Pressure Suit saved me from having to have many more surgeries and I'll always remember that...I am so grateful for the Burn Clinic and for Juana.  

     I finally returned to work 4 months after the accident, but I continued to do physical therapy at the hospital for 7 months.  I still do the exercises now at home, on my own.  I've now been wearing my Pressure Suit for 1.5 years.  In the beginning, I wore it 24/7, but now I am slowly wearing it less and less.  I continue to go 1 time per month to have Juana check my Suit and make adjustments.  I finally am starting to feel good and move like a normal person.  In my Pressure Suit, I feel much more confident now...I know that my skin in protected and nothing will touch it, it is healing well and I have good movement.  The only thing that is still challenging is the sun...my skin is very sensitive to sunlight and heat, so I have found that I now love the nighttime!

     If I could talk to other patients I would tell them that they MUST wear the Pressure Suits and Garments.  The doctors and nurses saved my life in the beginning, but had no idea how to help me as a burned victim.  Going to see Juana and getting my Pressure Suit saved me from so many more operations and so much more pain.  Every one should listen to Juana and do what she says.  It is not easy, but it is the best thing that you can do for your skin.

     If I could talk to the hospital, I would tell them that they need to improve their services.  At Hospital Viedma, I waited for hours while I was dying, only to be sent away because they didn't have ICU.  Then once I got to Hospital Univalle, I was put in a huge ICU room with all of the other ICU patients.  Because of this, I contracted a virus and got an infection...it was very dangerous for me.  When visitors would come, the hospital would make them wear protective clothing, but when the students would walk around during their internships, they wouldn't come in protected...I think thats how I got the virus.  Also, everyone who has a breathing tube, breathes the same oxygen.  It circulated through the ICU room to all of the patients...so everyone was breathing in the same oxygen, viruses, germs, etc.  There need to be so many improvements for the safety of the patients.  Also, the hospital only sent me to a psychologist one time.  It was in the very beginning of my hospital stay.  All I remember was sitting there in pain.  Patients need to speak to someone much more than one time...being burned its terribly traumatic and many people never overcome it.  For all of this treatment, the hospital charged me $60,000!!!!!  No one here has that kind of money...luckily the work place where I had the accident covered all of my medical bills.

     However, although the hospital was bad, the Burn Clinic and Juana were amazing.  She was always there to help me, talk to me, adjust my Pressure Suit...I was never without.  Now, I am well, living here in Cochabamba with my wife and 2 years old son.  I am able to work and live a normal life and I owe it to Juana and my Pressure Suits."

     I already know the amazing impact that my mom's ministry has had on people, but each unique story that I hear convinces me all over again.  Each story makes me more and more confident that Burn Care International is vital, not only to Cochabamba, Bolivia, but to burn victims all over the world!  These scars can handicap and destroy lives, but the Pressure Suits help these victims overcome and live normal lives!  Every person deserves good medical care, someone to talk to and the necessary items to continue to heal properly after leaving the hospital.

Please support Burn Care International so that we can continue to save lives like Javier's!!!

CLICK HERE to visit BCI's website to learn more about our important ministry.  

-You can DONATE ONLINE by scrolling to the bottom of the website and clicking the DONATE button.  

-Or you can MAIL A CHECK to:  
Burn Care International
419 Woodland Drive
Florence, SC 29501.  

All donations are tax-deductible and will change the life of a burned victim!!!


Daring Greatly

     During February, I read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown...it was an amazing book and I actually cried a lot while reading it!  She basically talks about learning how to be vulnerable and how it can change your life.  I HIGHLY encourage you to go watch this video below and then pick up and read her book!!!

Bene Brown - The Power Of Vulnerability (Ted Talks)

     Vulnerability is a HARD thing!  I think that the time in my life when I felt most vulnerable was when I was around 12-years-old.  My family had just moved to Bolivia, South America as missionaries.  I was new, had no friends, didn't speak Spanish, I was taller than all the girls AND boys my age, wore braces and dorky clothes and was just starting to break out...everything was awkward.  I felt terribly shy and wanted to shrink away and hide.  It was uncomfortable, but I had to push past it and get myself out there.  I had to learn the language and make friends and after a while, I finally learned how to be more comfortable with myself.

     Fast forward 17 years and I still struggle with vulnerability.  Sure...it is different things that make me feel uncomfortable, but its vulnerability none the less!

     Everywhere we look, the world is telling us what we should be or should have.  

-a big house
-a new car (s)
-the perfect pet (s)
-great clothes
-successful careers
-2 kids (a boy and a girl)...

WOMEN should be:
-have perfect skin
-long hair
-be good mothers...

MEN should be:
-provide for their families...

     How can we all keep up?!?!!?!?

     We can't.............but we sure do try!

     Social Media has become an outlet for us to prove to the world that we are GOOD ENOUGH!  We all feel vulnerable and want to have approval from others, so we turn to FaceBook and Instagram and Twitter to get "likes" and affirming comments.  But, are we really showing our true selves or are we showing what we wish we were or what we think others wish we are?

     Think about it...what do you compare yourself to?  Do you compare your house to IKEA catalogues?  Do you compare your looks with Victoria's Secret supermodels?  Do you compare your family's meals to Pinterest?  Do you compare your vacations to your friends vacation photos posted all over FaceBook?  Do you compare your clothes to what you see in popular magazines?  Comparing yourself to anything or anyone will NEVER make you happy...the only way that you will truly be happy with yourself is if you dare to be vulnerable...dare to be your true self...dare to show people who YOU really are!!!

     The people who truly love you for YOU are the ones that will stick by you through thick and thin. They won't care how you dress, where you shop, what your house looks like, what you eat, where you work, if you don't work, what your hobbies are, whether or not you exercise, what your hair looks like, how your kids act...you can be your true self with these people...you can be vulnerable.

     So, I want to challenge you to figure out who those people are!  Who are the people who you completely trust and you know that they love you for YOU?  Who are the people who always got your back?  Did a few people come to mind?

     And as for the others?!?!?!  I honestly feel like most people have "haters".  There will always be at least one person who does not like your lifestyle choices and decisions...that's ok!  Every person is different, likes different food, dresses in different clothes, spends their free time differently, raises their kids differently, spends their money differently, enjoys different hobbies, is drawn to different careers...this is good!  Can you imagine a world where everyone is the same?!?!?  How boring!  

     God made YOU and loves YOU.  
YOU have gifts and talents...embrace them!  
YOU have weaknesses...improve on them!  
Be vulnerable and enjoy being who YOU really are!  
Enjoy the people who love you for YOU!  
Don't worry about the haters!  
And finally, as Brene Brown would say, Dare Greatly!!!

And don't forget what Taylor Swift says...
'Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

---you know you just sang that to yourself! haha!