Here’s to you…


For the last two weeks I’ve been trying to figure out why my best friend had become so obsessed with essential oils. I get it, it’s “a thing” now. But it has never really been “a thing” to her…or me. But she got invited to an oil party and was legitimately ‘turnt’ about it. She even (forcefully) made me her plus one.

Fast forward to the day of this oil party. Saturday, November 18th.

We hop into the car and weather an Ohio version of a hurricane. A drive that should have taken 45 mins stretched well beyond an hour which aided in my disdain for attending this party. But she was insistent that it would be worth it.

Yay…oils. issa

We reach a restaurant, walk in, and BOOM! I’m greeted with claps, balloons, 11 pieces of my heart, and not one single oil.

It was a surprise birthday dinner that I soon found to be not just a celebration of another year of life, but also appreciation. Instant tears.

Once I was over the initial shock and got situated in my seat, I looked around only to see everyone at the table wearing one my my t-shirts! Again, tears.

Next, I was handed a scrapbook that showcased letters of appreciation from even more pieces of my heart!!!!



And as if that wasn’t already amazing, the next day at church…16:15 (my church’s youth department) had a special appreciation presentation for during service! WHAT?!



So, this blog is specifically dedicated to each and every one of you who had anything to do with this past weekend. And what better day to tell you how thankful I am of you but on T H A N K S G I V I N G !

Mom, Aunt Patty, Aunt Michelle, Aunt Diann, Kiana, Danae, Lorraine, Brigette (we had yo back that night girl! #BLM), Chelsie, and Reeshemah: Thank you. I don’t get speechless often but there are literally NO WORDS to describe how it felt to see each of you there. To know you all cared enough about me to weather that crazy rain just to come support me and to show me that you love me. Uuugh, I’m tearing up now just thinking about it. I love y’all!

Kisha, Jenna, Lorraine, Renee, El, Shaunee, Chelsie, Aunt Patty, Aunt Michelle, Aunt Diann, Tyeshia, and Stacia: Thank you for your letters! I can’t tell you what EACH of your letters meant to me. I don’t look at myself as anything but Jessica, no one special. I know I have strengths but I’m guilty of focusing more on my weaknesses, mistakes, and shortcomings. And because of that, I struggle with feeling inadequate…a lot. So your words literally breathed life into places of my heart that needed resurrected. Thank you. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart for taking time out to let lil’ ol’ me know what you see in me. Just wow.

Jordyn & my G-Baby (Ty’Aire) and the entire 16:15 Youth Department: ALL of you are rock stars in my eyes. To stand in front of an entire congregation to read your letter (Jordyn) and speak from your heart (Ty’Aire) without looking or sounding even remotely nervous! Y’all are so bomb. TEACH ME YOUR WAYS! lol I can’t thank God enough for entrusting me with such an awesome group of young people! Wow. Y’all are truly an outward manifestation of God’s love for me. Often times, I expect to teach and sew into y’all but I can’t count the amount of times each of you have poured into me without even knowing you’re doing it. Each of you mean the world to me. You’re all a part of my destiny. “Thank you” will never be sufficient.

Ciara, I know you were neck rolling thinking I forgot you in those last few paragraphs. But you deserve your own space for all that you’ve done. I honor you. I honor our friendship. I honor the person you are and the person I see God shaping you into. And most of all, I honor God for giving us the bond that we have. It’s rare and I know I’m blessed to have you. You set this WHOLE weekend up, from the fake oil party, to writing a letter (which I know you don’t like doing), to soliciting letters from others (even from people you didn’t know), to gathering people to travel to be with me, to organizing the kiddos at the church to do the presentation, and so much more. Wow. God knew exactly what he was doing way back in the second grade when he crossed our paths. You have been more than a friend, you ARE my sister. You consistently CHOOSE to listen, affirm, push, and believe in me and you’ve never stopped. You’ve been my ride-or-die in some of the toughest times of my life…especially this current one. There is no language yet, that has produced a word to express my appreciation for you. I love you! Thank you.

Let me stop before I get to ugly crying again. Plus, nothing I’ve said does any justice for how you’ve all made me feel! But if nothing else makes sense, let this…

I am BEYOND thankful for ALL of you!

With all my love,



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