Hello Everyone! Wow, it is so good to be writing to you all. It has been way too long since the last time I have done so. I want to thank all of you who have supported J.O.E by Erica since its inception in December of 2019 and say welcome to all of you who are being introduced to it for the very first time. J.O.E is so special to me and it’s been a blessing being able to bring encouragement and life to people through it. I am so excited to get back into it after a very eventful 3 years.
For those of you who do not know, I launched this business venture back in December of 2019 after a few months of planning and figuring out how to turn my passion into a business. This creative idea of making decorated mason jars with encouraging notes on the inside was birthed after a very difficult season a few years prior. I needed to find a gift to give a friend who was moving out of state and found a similar idea on Pinterest. After creating an encouragement jar for him, I found the encouragement I was giving to him reciprocated onto me. From there, I began to create more jars and the love and passion was birthed. So when the opportunity to turn it into a business presented itself, I knew it was time to step out in faith and take it to the next level of creativity and reach. We had a very successful launch and to see my dream come true was a blessing.
Shortly after, we entered into the year 2020 (y’all already know what happened that year!), and many of us began to walk through difficult and refining seasons, whether directly related to the pandemic or not. For me, it was a time of loss, mourning, pruning and making the choice to stand firm on my faith in the midst of difficulties. My J.O.E business began to the slow down but I knew that God was getting ready to do a new thing. What I learned in that difficult year was that JOY truly does come in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
In the fall of 2020 I began my studies to receive my Masters in Christian Ministry from Oral Roberts University. On Christmas Eve of that year, my business partner became my fiancé! In front of all my family members, Marquez Hughley proposed to me and in April of 2021 we were married :) I could go on and on about how grateful I am that God brought him into my life but we’ll save that for another blog post lol. I couldn’t ask for a better man to lead me, my family, and help me to become all that God has created me to be. About 2 1/2 years into marriage, we both now have our Masters in Christian Ministry and are parents to a beautiful baby girl named Ayanna Skye. Now, we are venturing on this new journey of planting Kingdom Christian Church (launching January 2024 in St. Pete)! I am so blessed to have a wonderful partner to do this life with, and I know that as long as we stick together and God is with us, we can fulfill all that He is wanting to do through us and get through any challenges that may come our way.
So, as you can see, the last 3 years have been very eventful!! But through it all, J.O.E has always been in my heart. And I couldn’t think of a better time than now to reintroduce her and get back to doing what I love after all the growth and refinement that has happened within me the past few years through marriage, motherhood, etc. I can’t wait to see what the Lord will do.
Maybe for those of you who are reading this, there is a dream or passion that you’ve had to put aside for the time being in order to walk through the process of a challenging season of transition. I want to encourage you that your dream or passion is NOT dead or done for good. It’s time to seek the Lord for guidance, get back into it, and use the lessons and growth to make it better than ever. I pray that you will hold onto this scripture as I often do, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Much love and blessings to you all!
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Happy 2020! It’s crazy to think that we have officially entered into a new decade. I first want to thank everyone again for all of the support and love that has been shown for J.O.E. It’s been so fun sharing and displaying this gift to the world. I am so excited for what 2020 holds for J.O.E. Stay tuned for more cool jars to come!
I know with a new year comes a mixture of stuff. Things such as: reflection of the good, reflection of the bad, goals to be fulfilled, disappointment from un-fulfilled goals, expectancy of greater, fear, thankfulness, etc. A whole lotta stuff. Honestly, it doesn’t even take the start of a new year for all of this to flood our minds and hearts. For myself, 2019 was filled with both beautiful and challenging moments. I got to stand by some amazing friends as they brought a beautiful baby boy into this world. A baby boy who has a massive calling on his life; and will no doubt change the world. At the same time, cancer began to get a little too up close and personal. In fact, it took the life of someone so young. But through one of my jars, he was able to hear the Gospel one last time before he left this earth. My dream of turning my jars into a business came true (which came very unexpectedly I might add). In the midst of that process, I had to fight off many fears and lies. It hasn’t been an easy year; but the good outweighs the bad any day. I believe that the “not so great” moments are just setting me up for something greater. And guess what? The same goes for you!
I don’t know about you; but I am tired of letting fear grip me and hold me back. I am tired of believing lies that I am not capable of becoming all who God has created me to be. I am tired of walking through this life thinking I got myself all figured out. Anybody else with me? So, let’s walk into this new year believing for more; that new opportunities await, and new dreams will be birthed. There will be breakthrough in areas of struggle and healing in areas of pain. We will walk by faith into everything God has for us; and the devil will cower in fear with every single step that we take into deeper purpose and calling. Let’s continue to move forward; even if fear is trying to get the best of us. Let’s be reminded that He who has begun a good work in us will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). Finally, let’s be ok with loosening the grip on our lives so we can discover our true selves. It won’t be easy; but the blessing on the other side will surely outweigh it all. I so greatly desire growth and greater joy for myself; and I pray that for you all as well. Not just for a new year or decade, but for our entire lives. Greater is to come, my friends! Love you all!
Erica Rivera :)
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Welcome to J.O.E by Erica! (Whoa, did I just say that?!) I am so excited to finally share with you all this venture that I have been working on for the last couple of months. These jars of encouragement were birthed almost 4 years ago while walking through a tough season of life. Sitting in my closet completely unsure of what the future would look like, I came across an idea of putting encouraging notes inside a decorated mason jar for a friend who was transitioning into a new season of life. Creating that jar of notes was one of the coolest things I had done; and I instantly felt overwhelmed with joy. I knew that what I was doing was something special, and it wasn’t going to stop at just that one jar. I began to create more and more; and my love for it began to quickly grow as well. For the first time in my life, I felt passionate and fulfilled. In encouraging others, I was being encouraged myself by the words being put into those jars. A season filled with hurt and confusion became purposeful. God birthed something beautiful out of something so dark; and it absolutely blows my mind every time I think about it. J.O.E is a gift; grace poured into my life by the Father. For the rest of my life I will be creating these jars and doing my very best to steward this gift well; bringing glory and honor to the one who gave it to me.
Life can be tough. We are all walking through something challenging that is trying to get the best of us. And I know some of us are walking through situations that are tougher than most; testing us to our core where we honestly are unsure if we can even make it. But I believe in the power of words and their ability to bring light into a situation and completely change it. To even save a life that is ready to throw in the towel. That is what J.O.E is about. Allowing people to encounter the love and comfort of Jesus; encouraging people to keep on putting one foot in front of the other; and edifying those who are hungry for more and to be better.
It is an absolute honor to create these jars; but I’m simply a vessel that God is using to reach his people. I pray that these jars are nothing but a blessing; and that they would always point to the Father. I am so excited to take these jars to the next level and to see what God does through them. LET’S DO THIS!
Erica Rivera :)
P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog to stay updated with what's going on with J.O.E by Erica! (Located under my logo above) Also, click "Like" below this post and/or tweet using the Twitter button. Help me spread the news!
“Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.”