Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – You’re Worth More!

Did you catch the first two installments of the Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry blog series? To recap, please go back and read…

Let’s Talk Quality

A Look at Authenticity

The next part of the definition of fine jewelry is that it’s “often considered an investment or something worth collecting and passing down…” When we choose to invest in something, we’re saying you’re worth more than what I’m initially giving you, so therefore more will be returned to me. You’re saying you can get behind the grand idea because it’s a worthwhile effort. We tend to not give our investment of time or money to what we don’t consider to be worth it. Some of us may also possess things that have been passed down from other family members or we acquired it through an estate sale or auction. No matter the means by which you attained it, it’s worth a lot of money and truly is a timely treasure. Here, I’m speaking of things, but what about you? Do you realize that as a gem, you are worth more? Do you understand you are a worthy investment? Maybe by the end of this blog post, you will at least be on the right track to this realization. Here are 3 ways to demonstrate you’re on the path to realizing you’re worth more.

  1. Own your no.
  2. Opinions, trials, and current realities do not determine your worth
  3. Stand on your worth and know you’re worthy to take such a stand.

Own Your No

In an effort to be a gem, we turn ourselves into costume jewelry because we feel that saying yes to all requests helps us to shine. We feel needed or fulfilled in some way or that others will draw to us because of our gracious and giving nature. The real deal is that most people won’t think twice about telling you no despite the fact that you are their yes man or woman. You vow to stop doing stuff for certain people only to turn around and say yes again for fear of losing them as a friend or “influential” acquaintance. Maybe they’ll be offended or mad if you say no and stop talking to you. I’m here to tell you in this blog post – SO WHAT?! Some of these folks have a false sense of entitlement because they think they have done so much for you, why can’t you do anything for them. Forget the fact that you say yes to 9 of the 10 things they ask of you. The first time you say no, you’d swear the apocalypse was near. Now, you never do anything for them. You’re never there when they need you. Blah blah blah… The phone calls are few. The text messages are non existent. Blah blah blah…img_2986-1

Saying yes to most things caused me to lose way more than I ever gained. I lost time when my son was a baby. I missed grand opportunities to enjoy my husband. I felt I HAD to do all this “stuff.” People were depending on me. Who else would do it? Just craziness…I was well into my 30s and I’ll be 40 next year before I realized that no is NOT a 4-letter word. I take that back, it IS a 4-letter word and that word is FREE! Saying no frees you. Saying no keeps your integrity in tact because saying yes to a thing only to realize you can’t put forth the effort or expertise throws a negative light on you. Saying no shows those who really love and care about you that they mean something to you. You can’t get time lost back.

Don’t allow anyone to take you on a guilt trip. Don’t buy that ticket. You say no and you mean it.

Opinions, Trials, and Current Realities Do Not Determine Your Worth

Begin to understand who and what really matters. Some things and some people aren’t worth the time in thought you give them. The opinion of others are just that…opinions. Meaning, someone out there doesn’t feel the way they do, but you take so much stock in this one in particular that your whole world crumbles if “they” see you in a negative light. Perception is a quirky thing. How people see you is NOT your fault, so don’t base your worth on someone else’s thoughts.

You’ve been through some rough times in life. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you had to interrupt your schooling. Maybe you’ve had to move due to foreclosure or eviction. Maybe you’ve experience infant loss like I did. I don’t know your story, but if these things happened in the past, that means you got through it. More than likely the worst of the situation is over. Your worth didn’t diminish in those times of crisis. You’re worth more than a lost house. You’re worth more than time lost from school. img_2984None of these circumstances make you any less worthy than you were before any of it happened to you. Even now, your faith can be tested and your reality may not be what you want it to be. Or it could be everything you want it to be. Good, bad or indifferent – it still doesn’t determine your worthiness.

Worth is internal and eternal.

Stand on Your Worth and Know You’re Worthy to Take Such a Stand

You, loves, are worthy investments because God gave His son to save you. There is a purpose only to be fulfilled by you, and if you were worthless, what good would you be to God to carry out His purpose? I mean if you want to feel that way about yourself, He can always get someone else but His heart is for you to do it.

You declare that you are worthy and make no apologies for it. Yes, you’ve been through some things. Yes, you’ve had a plethora of successes in life. Yes, you’ve been on the mountain and below the valley. You are God’s worthy investment. You are a precious jewel. Diamonds make no apologies for shining. Rubies don’t let anyone steal their sparkle. You sparkle, shine and illuminate WORTH.

Worth More…costume jewelry – wear it, don’t be it.


Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – A Look at Authenticity

14611533479171574704512In last week’s blog post, I talked about being a gem in terms of knowing your worth and realizing that you are a quality product created by God for a purpose. Continuing on with the “Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry” blog series, let’s examine authenticity. One of the criteria for fine jewelry is based on “the authenticity of the stones set into the pieces.” This means the stones have to be real, pure, genuine…follow me?

A real diamond doesn’t seek to be a ruby. A genuine pearl has no need to be an emerald. All of those stones in their true state are valuable, and a buyer will pay a hefty price to own them. Notice, I said in their TRUE state. You see, a cubic zirconia can hope and wish all day to be as brilliant as a diamond, but the reality of a cubic zirconia is that it isn’t the real thing. No amount of mining will yield you a cubic zirconia. No amount of money will give cubic zirconia the same value over time. It just isn’t a diamond. If rubies aren’t your thing, the ruby won’t cease to be a pure gem because you don’t prefer such a stone. It won’t try to change to green because they would be accepted as an emerald. It isn’t natural. I’m going somewhere with this, and here it is… Be-Yourself1

Every gem has qualities that make them unique, and you can’t take that away from them. It doesn’t matter if those you want to accept you don’t. They may not be the crowd for you. They may not be the client for you. They may not be the mate for you. They may not be the friend for you. Anything or anyone who puts you in a position that you feel the need to put on a one-woman or one-man show featuring many different characters probably isn’t the company you need to be keeping. I’m not speaking of making life changes in response to self-awareness, revelation and growth. I’m talking about flat out being somebody else…period.

I’m a writer (obviously), social media manager, educator and speaker. I come with a myriad of gifts and talents within those realms. Of course, I’m not the only person who does all or one of these things, but I am the only VYCE who does them. No one can do me; of that, I’m 200% sure. The question becomes do you want what Vyce has to offer or not. If it’s “not,” no love lost, but what I won’t do is compromise my authenticity to become something or someone else to appease you. What God has for me is set up just for me. Have you ever thought that maybe you delayed your blessing because God had it for you but couldn’t find you because you were in deep undercover posing as someone else? Think about it. While you were being fake costume jewelry and shutting down the light of the gem you are, your “manna” was being held up. Ouch is all I can muster.

I was in deep undercover when it came to my purpose. Because I knew it but didn’t own it, I walked away from my purpose trying to go an easier route only to be miserable somewhere I didn’t belong. I launched a business not owning my purpose, so things sounded forced or contrived and not authentic. Now, I have a clarity that pushes me into revamping a few things that speak to my passions and my calling – not what I was trying to be and ready to run away from because it just didn’t seem right. wallpaper

Sometimes, others either can’t or won’t see the rare find of a gem because they’ve been blinded by the bling of diamond-LIKE stones. It’s ok. A sapphire is still a sapphire in the display case or on your finger, wrist, ear or neck. Cheapening yourself to costume jewelry so you’ll be accepted makes you shiny, but FAKE. The right buyer finally came into Jared’s looking for you, a real gem, and you hid in Claire’s?! You lost out trying to be something you’re not when you were brilliant all the time in your own right. Just be you!

Actors rehearse for hours, months, and years perfecting a role for a film or stage production. They get on stage and embody a character. Often times, they get asked in interviews how close is that character to their real personality. Many of us have perfected the real life character we play each and every day. We could earn an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony. Shoot, Milli Vanilli won a grammy, being someone else! I ask you how close is the character you play to the real you? Sometimes in costume jewelry, there might very well be an authentic stone in the setting, but its value is decreased because of the counterfeits around it. The genuine gem will bring light on its own; just get rid of the counterfeits. All the extra stuff isn’t necessary.
Theday235re is a peace that comes with just being yourself. You don’t have to keep a running record of who you were yesterday because you are the same every day. No, maybe not in the same bubbly mood all the time, but still you. No one has to take bets on who will show up on any given day. A gem is showing up every day. No need to be an imposter on your own life. The world doesn’t need another object taking on a gem persona. It needs a real, genuine, bona fide, original and precious stone. It needs you and only YOU can fill that void. Authenticity – wear costume jewelry; don’t be it.

Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – Let’s Talk Quality


I did a Google search on the difference between gems (fine jewelry) and costume jewelry. Part of eBay’s definition stated, “The difference between fine jewelry and costume jewelry is the quality of the metal used in the jewelry and the authenticity of the stones set into the pieces.” It goes on to explain some other criteria that I’ll address in another blog post, but for this one, I want to zero in on quality. It is my prayer that you read it with the question, “Am I a gem or costume jewelry?” in mind and be ready to answer it. Are you gold or gold plated? Are you a diamond or glass? Are you platinum or nickel? Think about it and walk with me through this discovery.

For most of my life, I’ve always thrived on the validation of others. If people didn’t like what I did or what I said or where I was going with my life, then I must be headed in the wrong direction. My never ending quest to please people was on! Perfectionism will eat away at your peace; please, believe it. Even though I had the appearance of shininess, I was trapped in a locket of self-doubt, fear, insecurity, and uncertainty of purpose. Knowing that I’m God’s child and that alone makes me qualified to be quality wasn’t an easy revelation to come to. I’m blogging on quality…

***Own Your Value***

God is excellent, and He creates excellence. If He created you, then you are excellent – fearfully and wonderfully made! Your life is a hot commodity, not to be taken lightly because blood was shed for it. When my pastor talked about this in the message, it was an “aha” moment for me. Of course, I know Jesus died on the cross for my sins but I never equated that to my value. More on value as it relates to gems vs costume jewelry…

Costume jewelry puts on a shine fest for others but the moment those others don’t respond to their fluorescence, they’re ready to run and quit. Costume jewelry allows others to use them until every bit of energy you have is gone and they still want more because you feel if you have the “backing” of someone you put on a pedestal, then you’ve arrived. Costume jewelry has no value. Remember, God creates excellence, and if we were made in His image, then costume jewelry we are NOT!

30426b2022ab209498361730fd89ab66We have something to offer this world whether it be through our careers, daily walk, businesses, organizations, campaigns, and causes. What we have can only be delivered through us. That’s important my friends! So what if there’s another car salesman who sells hundreds of cars. So what if the teacher next door is national board certified. So what
if there’s another photographer within the same area you work in. The way you sell a car, teach students and take pictures is the way YOU do it, and it’s valuable to somebody. You own your value.

In the world of business, don’t allow people to diminish your value by trying to get something for nothing. If you want to perform services out of the kindness of your heart, then that’s your choice, but no one should expect, obligate or guilt you into doing free work. It’s amazing to me how some folk sing your praises until there’s a fee for your services. The song hits a flat note and the chords aren’t in perfect harmony. All of sudden, your stellar work is just ok. Now, they wanna see who else can do the same thing. In these instances, that costume jewelry mindset will try to rear its head. Doubt will set in. Thoughts of, “Maybe, I’m not good enough to make a business out of this. What was I thinking? No one will want what I have to offer.” This negative self-talk will turn the gem you started out as into costume jewelry really fast. Sometimes your closest friends and even family won’t see the value of what you do because it’s you, but don’t take it personally. They may not be your target market, and sometimes they eventfully come around. Their value meter of you doesn’t negate the value meter you have for yourself. Don’t waiver in owning your entrepreneurial or career choice worth. The right people will see it and run to write that check or get you to the people who are ready to move forward with you on their team.

From a personal standpoint, life is something. You’re going along, minding your own business, not bothering a soul, and then just like a pounding headache, pain and anguish come to visit you – completely unannounced and uninvited. Life’s circumstances will make you feel like costume jewelry – worthless, thrown around, popped, if lost no one cares kind of stuff. I don’t know what’s going on in your life. Maybe you’re dealing with sickness, relationships issues, being passed over for career opportunities, past hurts, abuse, guilt, depression or any other situation that eats away at your self-worth. I’ve been there. Some days, I AM there, but what I know is that I’m worth it every day God gives me life, it’s worth living. That’s it – period. I know my purpose and I’m not going to let “they” or “me” detour me. On the days, I don’t believe it, I pray and keep saying it. Ephesians 2:10 says I am His workmanship…GOD’S workmanship. I’m not worthless and unwanted. I’m GOD’S workmanship, and as stated previously, He creates excellence!

9be832f5682a49c2f96a4c49b08a0df2Real gold and silver will tarnish a little over time, but it doesn’t make them any less real. It doesn’t lessen their quality. All you do is clean it, and it’s good as the day you purchased it. When it’s fake, you have to be careful because the metal-like substance can rub off altogether leaving you with something that you don’t want to wear or present to anyone. Are you following me here? Even though you may get dealt a bad hand over time, you are still just as valuable as pure gold or silver. You’re more valuable and of greater quality. You may feel tarnished and worn, but a “clean” with a new perspective, positive thoughts, fresh ideas, and strategies. “Clean” with people who love you and truly have your back. “Clean” with the love of God and stand on His promise. “Clean” knowing that under all the “tarnish” there’s still a valuable being. Be blessed…

YOU ARE NOT COSTUME JEWELRY! Wear it; don’t be it.


Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak

dae6476eb70f5a6fc578aba9c4c568dbFaith. Faith. Faith. No, it isn’t a typo. I meant to type it more than once because I have grown to have to be reminded that faith is what I used to lack and still sometimes chip away at when life’s circumstances spring forth. Again, God gives me the flow I need to write and He tends to speak to me through the word delivered by the man of God I sit under. It’s uncanny! I’ve written great stuff prior to ever knowing of this ministry, but now it’s like new life has been breathed into a gift God gave me so long ago.

“Living Hands Free” was the title of the message. I’ve heard a plethora of sermons on having faith, believing in God, let God handle it and so on and so on. I sat there and listened. I sat there and made a mental declaration that from here on out, I’m going to let God do what God does in His time. I sat there and LIED! It was more like, “God, I’ll let you do what you do for a little while, but if things don’t change, I’ll take over from that point. Thanks but no thanks.” How DARE I say that to the only sovereign God! Over and over again, God has shown the power He has, and it’s just an inkling of the power He REALLY has. He saved my and my son’s life from a fiery car crash by sending medical professionals to the scene of the accident who were just passing by (miracle). I used to be afraid to get out my car and go into work because I was afraid I’d have a panic attack. God brought me out of that. I could name other “But God” moments in my life, but this blog post would be extremely long.

ee6b2421cce4cdca9a7a0c9302b003f0There are truly things in our lives that we have no control over, but we will try to the bitter end to take the reins. We get tired and then go to God to say, please take over. The thing is we never HAD to take the reins. God didn’t ask for our assistance, but what He will do is let you do your thing, fail miserably, yet still love you enough to pick it back up for you. True faith is never putting your hands in it, but I’m confessing. I’M A CONTROL FREAK. This blog post is a Control Freak’s Anonymous group. My name is Vyce and I’m a control freak. The group responds, “Hi, Vyce.” Allow me to tell you how much having control of a situation meant to me.

I’m not saying I’m some obnoxious, bossy, mean girl. What I am saying is while I love God and believe in Him, I don’t WAIT for Him. I believe faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I believe we should speak things that be not as though they were. BUT…I may believe it’s true but I don’t trust it when it’s time to live it. Not until the “Living Hands Free” message, did I truly take a long look at myself and where my faith stood.

On May 19, 2006, my daughter, Triniti Lauren, was stillborn. There was nothing I could do…and I mean nothing. Pregnancy is one of those things that you might can control it happening but once the seed is planted, it’s out of your hands. After suffering this devastating loss, I was done. God? Where was God? Where was He when my child was fighting to breathe? I’ll take control of this and make it so I don’t have to have faith to believe I could have a successful pregnancy and delivery. When I developed fibroids, I could have just had them removed and tried again; however, I opted for a hysterectomy because then I knew I’d NEVER have to endure that pain again. You see, I took control of the situation and wasn’t going to allow faith to interfere. In the midst of this tragedy, my fearful and faithless decision, God was creating a path for a very special little boy to come into our lives by way of adoption. My faith was at ground zero and God still saw fit to bless me and show me He had a plan all along.

I haven’t had a steady paycheck since October, 2015. I gave my job a 30-day notice. In the back of my mind, I was thinking,”Ok, God has 30 days. 30 days is enough time.” I was giving GOD a deadline! I was riding home with a dear sister from church and we were discussing this. She said, “And even if He doesn’t come in 30 days, He’s still God.” I agreed but was secretly hoping and praying He would come through in those 30 days. What a testimony of “faith” that would be! Well, 30 days came and went. 60 days came and went. 90 days came and went. 120 days came and went. 150 days have come and gone. I still don’t have a job. A couple things…

  • Faith without WORKS is dead. Yea, I believed God would bring me a new job and bless my business financially, but I had no true plan of action. I didn’t know without a faith-without-works2
    shadow of a doubt what I was called to do.
  • We don’t tell God what to do, when to do, how to do. The bible says in Matthew 8:27 “What kind of man is this that even the winds and waves obey him?” Part of the hook in James Hall’s song “God is in Control” is “God can do just what He wants!”

God could have opened up the window of opportunity in those 30 days, but that wouldn’t have strengthened my faith. I would have had my chest out as if God did what I said and met MY deadline. God had a different method. He had to break me to make me live hands free. He provided for us being that we went from a two-income household to one. When I took my hands off it and got to work, the phone rang for 1st and 2nd interviews. People are calling me to do freelance social media and creative multimedia work. Every little bit is God’s doing. I came to understand what my calling and purpose is – I am an educator in all I do. I love to train people and see the lights come on when something I taught them becomes a little more clear. I enjoy making a difference and an impact through my writing and social media. That’s what I’m called to – to educate and enlighten others as well as invoke their imaginations through written word. Had I not taken my hands off, I would have never come to discover this and own it.

I have some other personal situations that only God can handle. Getting in God’s way is only going to delay His work. He continues to work on me and through me because Vyce is the only person I can control. Changing yourself internally will change your external environment. I’m stronger than I ever thought I was because I’m learning one day at a time to live hands free. I titled this blog post “Confessions of a Recovering Control Freak” because it is a daily decision. I like to know that I have things together in the way I want, but God doesn’t work that way. He will shake all you knew to be together in an effort to get you to worship Him, His way and His will. Our flesh wants to cross the T’s and dot the I’s, and God will let you do that. He’s not pushy or invasive, but when your T is an X and that I comes just short of that dot, God will be there to pick up the pieces. I thank Him for covering and loving me through all my hands on living. Faith in God with an assist from me is not faith. I get it. I got it. One day at a time, I’m recovering.e87152a7cbeb2c3262d51598e1de52d5